Friday, December 18, 2015

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" review

As the title of this should indicate, this is my review of the latest Star Wars film, Episode VII: The Force Awakens. And if you haven't yet seen this film, know that this review will be spoiler-filled, so if you wish to avoid spoilers, stop reading this now.

In fact, I'm writing an extra long introduction to this post JUST to make sure that no spoilers pop up in anyone's feed or a google search of this blog. Yes, I am writing a bunch of pointless filler right here JUST to take up space and words to protect you all from spoilers.

So... SPOILERS!!!!

If you don't want to know anything about the film, STOP READING NOW!!!





Okay, you were warned. Don't whine to me if you keep reading.

First off, let me say that I REALLY liked the movie. It will take time for me to decide if I LOVED it. But I've seen it twice already and it's really solid. That said, I think it's nowhere near as perfect as it's currently being touted as.

I think that fandom was given a very expensive, 2 plus hour fan film/love letter to the original "Star Wars", and at the end of the day, that's a little disappointing and in some ways, exactly what I was worried was going to happen.

Let's spoil the plot right out the gate. A lonely, gifted girl from a desert planet is whisked away on a grand adventure where she meets a wise old man who offers to shepherd her away from her sad life into a new one. Together they storm the evil villains lair where he is killed, inspiring her to discover the hidden power within her and save the day. Does that sound familiar? Okay. The evil lair is a giant super weapon that can destroy planets with a single weakness that can destroy it utterly. I know you've heard THAT one. "The Force Awakens" is an almost scene for scene redo of "A New Hope".

And not in an artistic mirror. A nearly one-for-one remake. And at the end of the day, was that really all you wanted out of a new Star Wars? The same stuff you loved over 30 years ago repackaged? I thought everyone hated remakes?

Let's talk now, not about the genuinely interesting new characters like Rey, Finn, Poe or "Ben". They are great, well fleshed out characters that were pleasures to watch. Go J.J.! You nailed fixing the biggest flaw of the much hated prequels. No more stiff, wooden dialogue or acting. Home run, there. No, let's talk about our returning heroes. Specifically Han Solo and Leia. (Chewy was great. No gripes there.)

Han Solo is a grizzled smuggler living on the edge of space, taking jobs where he can get them.

Leia is a general, leading something baffingly called "The Resistance" with intelligence and powerful leadership.

They are EXACTLY THE SAME CHARACTERS THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN. The script bent over backwards to make sure that the old guard and the entire universe itself have not changed in any significant way. Instead of the Empire, we have the First Order. Instead of the Rebellion, we have the Resistance. But what are they resisting, since we are told there is a restored senate and Republic on a planet that sure as hell looks like Courescant, but is destroyed without ever being named.

Shouldn't the "Resistance" just have been, ya' know, the army. Why is Leia leading another rag tag group of reb...istance fighters when the rebellion won the war? Well, sadly I suspect, it's because all involved wanted to stick as close to the expected status quo as they could. Fans HATE change. That's just the sad truth. As much as we all whine about hating remakes, they are made because we want to see the same damn characters go through the same damn motions over and over. And J.J. Abrams and co. delivered. Han and Leia had a son, he went evil and their reaction was apparently to spend the next however many years doing nothing new at all.

All the foreshadowing of Leia being as potentially as strong in the force as Luke in "Jedi"? All but ignored. Their relationship? Broken up to try and recreate the tension we fans are more comfortable with. It's like how Pixar keeps bending over backward to make sure we get to see "delusional Buzz" in every Toy Story film. The warm,comfortable hug of the familiar in place of forward motion, change or growth.

This seems to have been the guiding light of the entire film: Maintain the illusion of change without really changing anything. Even John Williams' score was sadly anticlimactic. Sure, he gave us all of our favorite hits from the good ol' days. But where was this film's "Duel of the Fates", "ACross the Stars" or "Battle of the Heroes"? Even the most ardent prequel hater will generally, if begrudgingly, admit that the scores were fantastic. Williams built upon the familiar themes with new ones to GROW the audible universe. New characters and moments were given dynamic life in the scores. But there was precious little of that in "The Force Awakens".

Rey had a nice, melancholy bit of music, but it was overshadowed by a slavish need to dip into the depths of nostalgia at every turn. Much like the rest of the film.

I feel a little robbed. I was hoping for an Episode VII that would show us a bold new vision of a galaxy far, far away. Instead we were given a beautiful recreation of what we've already seen.

And yes, I still liked it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Uncle Scrooge

I first fell in love with "Scrooge McDuck" from his staring role in "Mickey's Christmas Carol". From there, I followed the gent to "Duck Tales", and years later to the work of #carlbarks and #donrosa.

While I still love #ducktales, I find that nothing beats #unclescrooge COMICS for the very best of the old bird.

That said, this piece was designed to have elements from both the cartoon and the comics that inspired it. The #moneybin was modeled after it's appearance in the cartoon, as was the inclusion of a plane, to represent #launchpadmcquack. While the nephews #juniorwoodchuck quidebook, Scrooge's "sideburns" and his good old #numberonedime are specifically from the comics.

This was a lot of fun, and maybe someone from #IDW will see it and decide I would be a good cover artist for their #disney books!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Comic Art Examples


My name is Dee Fish. I'm a cartoonist and illustrator located in Oil City, PA. I am the creator and artist of the online comic, Dandy & Company and the independent graphic novel series, The Wellkeeper.

As an artist, I've drawn stories for the Image Comics titles PvP and The Perhapanauts. I've worked on Atomic Robo for Red 5 Comics and Star Mage and White Chapel for IDW. I'm also the co-creator, co-writer and artist for the Hashtag Comics mini series, Carpe Noctem.

On this page, I've collected a number of samples of some of my work, broken down by tasks for your review and consideration. Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions or would like to contact me, my email is:


INKS (All pencilers credited on art files):

FULL PENCILS & INKS (The Wellkeeper):

FULL PENCILS & INKS (Carpe Noctem):

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions or would like to contact me, my email is:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dandy & Company: The Movie!?

So, I can almost hear you all asking me, "There's going to be a MOVIE!?!"

Ummmm.... No.

Well, maybe SOMEDAY, but not just yet. See, as a creator, I've been told countless times "Someone should make a Dandy & Company movie!". And HECK, I agree. I'd LOVE to see these characters that I've been drawing for over THIRTY YEARS made into a movie. But that's not happening anytime soon.

As such, I've decided to do the next best thing. And so, starting in January of 2016, the weekly webcomic becomes "Dandy & Company: The Movie! The Official Comics Adaptation of the Non-Existent Motion Picture!"

That's right. For the full 52 weeks of 2016, I'll be creating a longform comic book adventure that is exactly what I WOULD make into a movie if I could! It's going to be the ULTIMATE DANDY & COMPANY ADVENTURE!!!! And what better way to announce a new FAKE movie than with a FAKE movie poster where I do my level best to rip off movie poster master artist, Drew Struzan!

See you online in 2016!!! (Actually, keep reading now too. There's all kinds of funny new strips every week!)


Monday, August 24, 2015

Who Ya Gonna Parody?

Since restarting the strip last December, I've been doing mostly one off gags and have only dipped my toes back into the water of long form storytelling. Well all THAT'S over starting this September with the upcoming crossover with Martin Dunn's ghostly SPECTRO of #iFightGhosts!

So prepare for 3 months of laughs, spooky scares and shameless rip offs starting this September 2nd!!