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New Zodiax: The Liberaider episode 100: A Real Life Crossover

A few key story points were introduced to the New Zodiax mythos in that single image: 1—it introduces THE DREGS, a group of homeless hackers who roam the streets of D-Town after curfew, 2—one of those Dregs is one of the New Zodiax and 3—it may very well be the first time a real life comics and pop culture podcast--FanboysInc's Inccast--has crossed over into the comics world.

I had a brief discussion with the show's hosts, DW and NUB, and we discussed this landmark event.

JOE: So how does it feel knowing that a gang of homeless hackers bent on destruction listens to your podcast?

DW: Well we have fans of all shapes and sizes, so Im not surprised that some homeless hackers listen to us. We are very entertaining (lol). But it does bother me that they do listen to us while they cause havok...hope my DW rants don't fuel their anger (lol)

NUB: Oh man! Hopefully they learn the error of their ways, but still tune in every week!

JOE: More seriously, what do you think of the idea of real life personalities such as yourselves crossing over into comics?

DW: This type of crossover has been in comics before and I have always enjoyed them, as they were fun 1 shots or mini events. But this is a little different, meaning that with the explosion of the Comic Culture in the last 5 years, there has been an increase of general public awareness for comic characters.[ ie: Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Avengers and, of course, The Bat.] and we are seeing many crossovers from big screen to small to comics but not too many real life personalities. Which surprises me, since we are in what I call the "Geek Renaissance".
v This particular real life crossover is special for obvious reasons but it also spotlights another media outlet that has blown up in past years...the podcast. People like Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan, the Nerdist and Kevin Smith, to name a few, have brought this media outlet some great exposure. It too is growing in leaps and bounds! It gives us all a new outlet to get our news and entertainment, and to express our thoughts to thousands if not millions of people.

I feel safe in saying that this particular crossover, our team-up with the Liberaider, is the first of its kind; a real life podcast and personalities are being put into the 4 color pages. Kevin Smith has done something similar in his upcoming movie; "Tusk" but using a fictional podcaster.

I feel this crossover will bring something new that other events haven't done before; that is, it will use real life events and dialog within the comic and this will bring the 2 worlds together and become intimate for fans of our podcast and fans of the Liberaider. Readers will get a cool experience from reading this story. Knowing that actual, real podcast audio is part of the story only enhances the credibility of both worlds and makes for a smooth merge.

NUB: I think it's a fun idea when real life personalities cross into the comics-verse. Two instances I can think of are Jay Leno teaming up with Spider-Man several years ago, and Aerosmith was featured in a Shadowman comic published by Valiant comics in the early 90's.

JOE: That's right, I think President Obama and Stephen Colbert appeared in Spider-Man comics as well. But I'm pretty sure you guys are the first podcast to appear in comics, and you guys will appear in person later on in the story.

JOE: Do you guys have any recollections how this whole thing came about? I know DW, you and I have gotten into story discussions where we had some very good back and forth re: ideas.

DW: I met you thru NUB at NYCC a few years ago and well thats what got the ball rolling. We've had you on our podcast (IncCast) a few times now…

JOE: Which, aside from my stagefright jitters, is always a good time.

DW: we will talk once a week or so and go 2 to 3 hours throwing ideas around about art, designing, sharing stories about our own history with comics and just shoot the sh*t. (lol)

During this time, I approached you to do a special limited edition print of our likenesses to be used when we travel to cons; from that we talked about your future plans within the Indie comic world, what I wanted to do with FanboysInc in the future, and that spurred some AWESOME brainstorming together for this team-up. It was a match made in heaven from the start. We shared plots and possible story lines for our (DW and NUB) characters and how they might be incorporated into the world of The Liberaider. At first it was gonna be a cameo, and then, like many times when we talk, it goes even further as we get more ideas and get inspired by what each of us say to each other. BOOM! It really started to take shape-- you said "lets use the podcast as an element within the comic." DUH!! No brainer. its never been done and damn how cool and fun this would be...

So here we are. I look forward to seeing where this story will go and where it will lead The Liberaider and FanboysInc. JOE: Me too!

Liberaider Montage Colors by Steve Firchow!!

Celebrating the 60th episode of THE LIBERAIDER with this AWESOME colored piece by me, Sandu Florea, and the mighty Steve Firchow. Steve is a comics giant, who has worked on X-Men at Marvel and tons of stuff for Top Cow. He is currently Art Director at WBGames. Check out his work at

I am so happy with how this turned out--I am still looking at it and noticing details I hadn't seen before.


Liberaider 2 Pin-up Inks by JAY LEISTEN!

Jay Leisten is one of the best inkers working today, he is a regular inker of Greg Land on so many X-MEN projects, and has worked on THOR and NIGHTWING, among others. When this one arrived in the e-mail my head exploded and I had to call him right away and get all fan-boy gushy on him.


Liberaider 1 Pin-up Colors!

Here's the LIBERAIDER 1 image, colored up in MONSTER fashion by Andrew Covalt!


Liberaider by Hembeck!

This was a real treat, an illo of THE LIBERAIDER from my buddy Fred Hembeck. You know you're somebody when Hembeck draws your character!


Liberaider Pin-up Pencils!

Continuing our celebration of the 50th episode of THE LIBERAIDER with this penciled piece by me. Depicts the cyberspace sleuth Benjamin F and his alter e-ego, THE LIBERAIDER. The grid you see is actually blue guide lines I printed on the paper which won't be part of the final image.


Liberaider Pin-up Inks by Sandu Florea

Continuing our celebration of the 50th episode of THE LIBERAIDER--it's this week!!-- Very excited to show off this piece inked by comics giant Sandu Florea! Sandu has worked on Batman and Detective Comics with Tony Daniel, as well as several X-Men projects like X-Men: The End. In my eyes, Sandu is a master of line and black design, and it is a privilege to work with him.


Liberaider Pin-up Pencils

Continuing our celebration of the 50th episode of THE LIBERAIDER, here is a montage pin-up I did recently. Pencils by me! My pencils look like chicken scratch lately, as I usually ink my own stuff, but I have a special guest inker working with me on this one, so I had to look my best! Very excited about it!!!


Approaching the 50th episode of THE LIBERAIDER

We are fast approaching the 50th episode of THE LIBERAIDER, so to celebrate, I thought it would be fun to show this pin-up, penciled and inked by me.



Have you ever noticed the number of companies who are attaching fictional mascot characters to their products and services in their advertising campaigns?

That may be because they have proven to be very successful. Toshiba's Xario Heroic Performance ad campaign with Pop Art Properties generated approximately $26 million in sales.

Pop Art Properties excels in this type of Intellectual Property design, specializing in characters from a heightened reality, science fiction, mythological or superhero niche.

Joe St. Pierre and the Pop Art Properties studio worked with Toshiba in developing a superhero character to represent their medical scanning device, the Xario.

Joe collaborated with the client on conceptualizing and designing the Xario and Katherine characters to best represent and reveal the features of this unique product. Xario and Katherine were used in a promotional campaign that included a promotional comic book, six animatic episodes for the Xario website, and several advertisement illustrations.

The Xario campaign is still unique within the medical field.

Joe St.Pierre is represented by Shannon Associates

Intellectual Property/ Character Design

The Process - The Character Design process varies from one project to the other, depending on the client and the schedule restraints. Generally, it begins with a detailed discussion with the client regarding the overall direction of the character. Personality of the character are discussed. A full history, supporting cast and overall "universe" for the character can also be provided so the viewer/customer may immerse themselves in the full story of the character.

The first round presentation usually includes black and white sketch drawings, depicting distinct directions the character can be presented in.

In this case, the client wanted a more realistic approach, more of a heightened reality rather than an overt superheroic look, while embracing some of the more traditional features of the superhero costume. Some live action commercials were being filmed for the campaign as well, so the character had to be consistently believable from one media to the other.

After feedback and further discussion, a direction is chosen for the design, and a couple of variations may be presented on that same theme.

From this point, color ideas are also introduced for discussion.

The third round illustrates the final stage, where details are fine tuned, final decisions are made, and a character is realized.

Crocodile Hunter TV advertisement


This was a TV spot mashing some of the art produced for the Croc Hunter promotional comic book with live action. Fun Stuff! Joe