Even though 2021 did its best to stop me, I still made it to #500!

I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I managed to work on comics through the 500s. It’s the longest I’ve done any comic and outside of the site itself the longest spent on any project. What started as me playing with art styles followed by needing a way to open a weekly wrap-up of comic reviews became something I’m almost proud of. Jake & Leon is basically a shorter commentary that allows me to practice on my art. October 26th is supposed to be the anniversary but with various issues and the Scooby-Doo intro retrospective I missed it. So let’s fix that.

Every year I like to go through the comics of the previous year and find my favorites. It could be a joke I really liked, something I did in the drawing that I’m proud of as someone of questionable drawing talent, or just one that for whatever reason was fun to make. I did miss a few but not as much as 2021 because I didn’t have a surgery to deal with. I did, however, take July off. So with that let’s take a trip back through a year’s worth of the crazy actions of Jake, Leon, Bill, Meredith, Beth, Max, Fizzbin, and the other characters and parodies that I’m still proud of one year on.


This is one problem going digital can’t solve.

Yeah, we’ve all gone through it.

Modern DC heroes are becoming people I aspire NOT to be.

The smartest thing I ever did when it comes to this comic is making a template of the Superman and Batman symbols. I insert it into the framework or pencil stage, whichever I think is best or remember to use it, then inking over it still looks like it belongs in the art while at the same time making it look better. I know, Older Jon uses his own symbol and I’ve tried using it recently, but that needs its own template.

Cheating? You’d rather it look like crap? I don’t use it in the inking stage and if I use it in the framework I’m drawing it twice. Even in the inks some jerks would call it tracing. So the heck with it. If it works I’m going with it. And yes, in J&L’s DC Universe both Jons still exist while Superman’s “trunks” are now part of the outfit, as seen in an earlier comic. Just because DC keeps screwing up my favorite superhero doesn’t mean I have to.

Streaming once the various Pluses finish fighting over it.

There was a point where it seemed like Elba’s fans were demanding he be in every movie that was being cast. So here he’s the hero, the villain, AND the love interest. Don’t think this movie wouldn’t make a lot of money. Forget the all-black cast, an all Idris Elba cast would break the bank. For the record I have nothing against Elba. He’s a good actor. But when fans live up to the “fanatic” term it’s time to reassess life choices.

I found in short research a lot of German Shepherds, the DCAU had a Black Dane mix, and one bulldog.

I’m just surprised how well this came out…by my art standards. Batman is going under a variation of my “Reconstruction Zone” design but considering my history with animals the semi-traditional design (technically based on his appearance in Krypto The Superdog and the DCAU rather than his original design but the grey fur works perfectly) and the Legion Of Superpets movie “breed-swap” came out better than I’d expect.

And here’s another reason for you to call me a cheater. The cave wall is done with a textured brush and brown overlay. This is the best the Batcave walls have come out.

And what if you misspell it?

Someone actually explained this to me, that you have to be picturing which John Smith you want to drop dead. So if you hated a lot of John Smiths, does the name have its own page?

Also, it’s still a ring that hurts when a fist hits your face.

Now can we stop talking about how lame his no-longer-used weakness is? It’s not my fault the writers never thought of this but did find new and exciting ways to knock Hal out cold.

The sad part is that there are areas of the world where these are legit jobs. Two of them in the US.

Every now and then I watch a game show (usually Let’s Make A Deal with breakfast) and think of this joke. It’s an occasion where I actually wanted to share a joke in my head with the world. No, I didn’t have a particular game show in mind. It would have been helpful if I did.

Jason killing? Fine. Huntress killing? How dare you? Jean-Paul Valley…

This one I’m still waiting on an answer for.

Gee, I hope there isn’t some dying security guard or cleaning person who tried to stop them.

Something to think about when you insist the store has insurance as if it magically solves everything. The Insurance Fairy comes with higher premiums if you’re in a high crime area (like Gotham City) or this happens a lot, and it’s not the big company that’s getting screwed. It’s the franchise owner, the employees who have to hide from the rioters, and the innocent people that get hurt or killed by the rioters. Also, this is a story where the city loses power. Exactly HOW are they going to watch that new big screen TV they just stole?

They’re using the Geoff Johns reimagining as the core of their Shazam movies and even got that right.

I wasn’t going to add this one at first. The DCEU/New 52 logos for Shazam and Black Adam are oddly harder than the classic lightning bolt. Still, it had to be called out and just recently Texts From Superheroes did their own take on the fact that The Rock would rather have his Black Adam fight Superman instead of his actual arch nemesis. I actually beat Texts From Superheroes to a gag. Weird.

The Snuggle Extended Universe continues to grow.

I wasn’t going to use this one, either, but it just has a good moment with Beth and her family. It has some heartwarming factors to it and her having a negative reaction to the lockdowns and other nonsense that went on in 2020 was something that happened in the comic, so I figure having loving parents that helped her through it must have had a positive influence on her, thus adding to the Snuggle Heroes of Snugglepuppy and Snugglekitty. And I just noticed I didn’t color it in properly. Dang it!

Imagine that as a cover to a comic with a better artist.

Someone send this to Tom King and demand he apologize and fix this. It’s not like they care about continuity anymore. Heck, just fix it and I’LL write it. Cheap, just to make it happen and to get an idea if I’m good enough to charge a real fee in the future. Plus I’m curious what my stories would look like by a good artist. Plus I really want to use that line by The Protector in something that might actually be read.

Also, this comic was the debut of me adding my name to the comic. I’ve been wanting to add some kind of credit in the panels, like my initials or something, but I never remembered. So I went into the strip’s template and added this is. I may readjust it in the future but now you know who made the comic if someone swipes it and forgets to edit my name out.

And don’t think I missed the lack of capes in these new costumes. Can you really not think of anything better than a jacket?

I’m actually getting better at hair. It didn’t come out as well on young Jon as is it did the other characters (Tom Taylor is surprisingly fun to draw and I experimented with highlights on the Twins because it looked so good in the official art I really wanted to try it) but it’s still a step up in some areas. Also I did a decent job doing Old Jon’s new logo from scratch, but I still need to do that template thing if I can get a shot of it straight on. So to speak.

It’s not all the comics I did this past year, as even with July off there were too many, but there are the ones I’m most proud of for one reason or another. And thus year thirteen ends and year fourteen…technically began with last Sunday’s comic. What improvement will I see? We’ll all have to wait a year to find out.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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