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Thought you'd seen the last DEAD DAYS? Nah. I'm coming back soon.

Here's a Twitpic to prove it:

Stay tuned! ;)

  • Listening to: The Smiths
  • Reading: Stitches by David Small
  • Playing: Fallout NV: Dead Money, RDR: Undead Nightmare
  • Eating: Sandwiches. Duh.
For the second time, I've been criticized on The Webcomic Beacon podcast for my use of grayscale in DEAD DAYS as opposed to slathering my strip in BITCHIN CULORZZZ!

Well, as you all know, DEAD DAYS has always been in black & white and will always BE in black & white. Here's the rebuttal I wrote into their comment section:

Hi Webcomic Beacon! This is John Rios and I do the webcomic DEAD DAYS.

Now, this being the second time your (awesome) podcast has mercilessly bashed my strip because it doesn't happen to be in color, I felt like I needed to comment.

DEAD DAYS began as a strip in my college newspaper that obviously did not have the budget to print in color. It was considered a treat if we were able to do one spot color throughout the issue! "We get to print RED this issue? SWEET! What's the occasion?" Thus, I had to do my strip in black & white… and that was just fine with me.

See, like many of us, I grew up reading strips by my heroes like Gary Larson and Berkely Breathed in the newspaper and in compilation books. There wasn't any color in those strips and frankly, I didn't much care for the Sunday editions when they were forced to colorize them (I say forced, because I can pretty much assure you that the artist was perfectly happy working in ink). Sure, the black and white came from the limitations of the medium, but it also created a great feel to the artwork that I can only describe today as timeless. Just because I didn't see any color didn't make Bloom County any less funny.

When I graduated college and continued DEAD DAYS as a webcomic, I felt absolutely no need to go color. What for? The strip worked just fine in gray. Furthermore, I LIKED working in gray! For the same reason people still make black & white films, I do my comic in grayscale. I like the look and feel. It has that old school newspaper vibe. It makes you use your imagination. It's (and I say this with no ego) timeless.

My point is that just because you CAN add color doesn't mean you HAVE TO add color. If people's internet and technology ravaged minds have trouble processing anything that isn't coated in bright reds, blues, yellows and that "shine" effect the web 2.0 crowd seem to love so much, then I don't know what to tell ya.

I love working in black & white. I love the look and feel of my strip. I enjoy the challenge of conveying color without using color. It's a limitation I put on myself. Why? Because it's my STYLE. I hope that people who read and enjoy DEAD DAYS and other wonderful black & white and grayscale strips out there appreciate the work that goes into creating a world that can be just as vibrant and interesting as anything saturated in technicolor.

Oh, and when the SWEET ASS color palette you use in your strip looks dated in 10 or 20 years, don't worry, I'm not one to say I told you so. ;-)

What they SHOULD have critiqued me for is my lack of updates. Now THAT'S a legitimate gripe! :D

P.S. I'm moving this week. I'll post a new strip next week!
  • Listening to: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  • Reading: Love and Rockets
  • Playing: Zelda: Spirit Tracks, X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • Eating: Too Many Sandwiches
Hey all!
Sorry for the lack of updates, but I have something different for you all! My home town Fresno just had an awesome Swede Fest (you know Swedes, right? Where you remake a popular movie with your friends, bad acting and the lowest production values possible) and my buddy Adrian and I did "No Country For Old Men".…

Sooo, check it out! It's horrible/awesome! I'm working on the new strip so sit tight! But in the mean time, watch the ridiculousness!

They posted the rest of the Swede Fest 4 entries! Check them all out at (go to Swede Fest 4)

ALRIGHT! Our Swede won BEST PICTURE in the Swedie Awards!… I took BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR TOO! YES!
  • Listening to: Wilco, Neko Case, Adam Green
  • Watching: 30 Rock
  • Playing: Brutal Legend, Gay Tony, Oblivion
  • Eating: More Sandwiches
  • Drinking: Not nearly enough...
Hey all!
Just a quick heads up, DEAD DAYS is on Twitter! Which means it'll mostly be me talking nonsense most of the time.

Wait, scratch that, there's too much of that on Twitter.

I'll be on Twitter talking SENSE. Yeah, that's more like it. Oh, and also, you'll get comic related updates and stuff. So that's a plus.

So feel free to follow DEAD DAYS at this

Cool? Cool. Yeah.
  • Listening to: Sarah's Mix Tape
  • Reading: Chuck Palahnuik: Haunted
  • Watching: Flight of the Concords: Season 2
  • Playing: EVERYTHING
  • Eating: A Jimmy Johns Sandwich
Man, I'm knee deep in a bunch of games right now! Here's a quick breakdown:

-"Battlefield 1943" on Xbox Live has become an obsession. Seriously, it's unhealthy. I didn't think I'd like it as much as I do. "One more match" has become an all too common phrase in my home...

-I just picked up a really cheap used copy of "Pure" and I'm totally surprised with how much damn fun it is! I don't know thing one about ATV's, but I found myself STRANGELY concerned about whether or not I was using the best shocks for the handling on my Class C ride...

-"TURTLES IN TIME" REMAKE. 'Nuff said. ... ..... Ok, maybe not 'nuff said. Having a blast playing 4 player online with strangers. Anyone wanna hook up and do a play through? I'm "deaddays47". Look me up!

-Just beat "Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood." LOVED IT. Except for the last 2 levels. Ugh. Frustration central. But seriously, 85% of it is pure western bliss. Can't wait for the new "Red Dead"!

-I'm still whittling my way through "Ghostbusters" (which I really like, but not enough to power through... I think I'm trying to savor it's goodness) and the bargain impulse buy "Conan" (which I only bought because I was having "Viking: Battle for Asgard" withdrawals). I get to them when I can.

-"GTA: Chinatown Wars" is my go-to when on the go. I MUST be near the end by now!

-"Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition" has still sadly gone untouched... plan to remedy that this weekend.

WOW. That's a lot more games that I thought I was playing! What are you guys into at the moment? Any recommendations? I mean besides "Quit playing damn videogames and get back to making DEAD DAYS." I already know that one.

P.S. One an unrelated note: want a free 3 month subscription to DevArt? (Yeah, thought so) Well then, you better haul ass to the happienoodleboy page and enter his "oh so easy to win" contest! Here's the…
  • Listening to: Modest Mouse
  • Reading: Chuck Palahnuik: Haunted
  • Watching: Flight of the Concords: Season 2
  • Playing: EVERYTHING
  • Eating: A Jimmy Johns Sandwich
  • Drinking: Bud Light w/ Lime
I'll be postin' a new comic here in not too long! Going to be getting back into my weekly DEAD DAYS routine soon! Just an FYI. Have a bitchin' day!
  • Listening to: Trainwreck Riders: The Pearch
  • Reading: Chuck Palahnuik: Haunted
  • Watching: One Tree Hill: Season 3
  • Playing: Ghostbusters on the 360
  • Eating: A Togos Sandwich
  • Drinking: Not for a while (yikes!)
Hey guys! Sorry all's been quiet on the comic front this last week. Today is my sixth and last day in Boston, I've been here all week with my design job (and was in Portland the weekend before). I have some sweet ass strip written and ready to draw when I get home though, so expect the wrap up to the "Old Enough" series soon! Thanks for sitting tight.
  • Playing: My DS!
Hey everybody!
Sorry for the delay in DEAD DAYS strips, but I've had a busy month so far... and we're only 6 days in!

I won't bore you with details, but it's thus far involved social commitments, Sarah and I taking our former landlords to court, and dentist appointments! It also doesn't help either that I'm playing through 2 GTA games right now and just downloaded Psychonauts to play through for my FIRST TIME (excited)!

But fear not, the drawings to one of the biggest DEAD DAYS strips yet (I mean that literally! You'll see when I post) are finally done and I'll be posting the finished strip soon! Sorry for the cliffhanger, but if you think about it, it's a good time for one! After April (where I still have things like Sarah's 25th birthday and a mini vacation to visit some buds in Portland), I'll be whipping my comic schedule back into weekly shape, PROMISE! Thanks for your patience!

I'll post funnies soon!
  • Listening to: She & Him, Neko Case, Cut Copy
  • Watching: How I Met Your Mother on DVD
  • Playing: GTAIV:TLAD, GTA:CTW, Psychonauts, Bully, Peggle
As if the gaming bliss of Street Fighter IV and new GTAIV content wasn't enough to make my dorky heart swell, the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" is finally here! I've been waiting for this movie since he first mentioned he was working on the script, like, back in late 90's! Oh man!

Here's a… to the video!

Bask, bask in the Tarantino goodness! The wait's almost over! Boy, it's a good time to be a geek.
  • Listening to: Morrissey - "Years of Refusal"
  • Watching: This trailer
  • Playing: SFIV, GTAIV:TL&D, Big Bang Mini, Viking


Wed Nov 26, 2008, 1:40 AM
Check it out!

The DEAD DAYS ACTION FIGURE army is coming along nicely! Soon, I will send them forth into the world to do my evil bidding! Wahaha- I mean, next we color them. We're getting close people! We'll be taking pre-orders soon! I'll keep you guys posted! So excited!

  • Listening to: The Streets "Everything is Borrowed"
  • Watching: Sukiyaki Western Django
  • Playing: GTA IV, Mirros Edge, SFIIHD Remix

So Proud Right Now

Tue Nov 4, 2008, 10:52 PM
For the first time in my adult life, I'm truly proud to be an American.

After 8 years of an incompetent leader, pointless war and generally pissing off the rest of the world, I'm happy to have done even my tiny minuscule part in helping elect one of the most inspirational men I've witnessed in my lifetime to President of the United States of America.

President Barack Obama. Has a great ring to it, don't ya think? Check it out world, we finally did the right thing.

P.S. I'm packing this week for my big move this weekend. New DEAD DAYS as soon as I get settled in! Thanks for waiting!
  • Reading: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • Watching: MSNBC
  • Playing: GTA IV, Guitar Hero World Tour


Mon Nov 3, 2008, 8:20 AM
Hey everyone,

Just writing a short entry here to remind every American on DeviantART to VOTE THIS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4th!

Seriously, VOTE. Whether or not you believe/realize it, this will be one of the most important elections you'll have a chance to be a part of in your lifetime. Don't blow it off.

Hell, even Brown and Blonde are voting and they're pretty much helpless.

So brave the lines (if you get up early, the lines will be shorter) and enter your name as a part of this crazy-ass historic event. Go VOTE.

Jesus, I sound like Leonardo DiCaprio or something. Only hansomer.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by Tide with Bleach.

Not really.
  • Listening to: My Morning Jacket
  • Reading: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • Watching: The Polls
  • Playing: GTA IV, Guitar Hero World Tour


Wed Oct 15, 2008, 2:57 AM
Sooo, who's ready for big DEAD DAYS news?


For those of you whose eyes haven't popped from the pure awesomeness of the above picture, listen up: That visionary deviant Kaos2007, his crew and I have joined forces to bring you the DEAD DAYS Mr. Brown action figure that will soon be available to order online!

What you see above is the just finished model that will come in both, bitchin' color and limited edition black & white, just like the comic!

Now, we're still a small ways off from mass producing these suckers and we're still crunching numbers on the cost, but I'll keep you guys posted on the progress!

I hope you guys are as excited as I am! Just try and tell me it wouldn't look killer next to your Gundam and Master Chief figurines! :) Stay tuned for more details!

P.S. Check out the DEAD DAYS cameo in Kaos Produktions' webcomic "Juvies"!
  • Listening to: The Streets "Everything Is Borrowed"
  • Reading: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • Playing: GTA IV

Wedding Cake Tasting...

Wed Sep 24, 2008, 5:07 PM
Sounds great right? Well, not if you've been married for a year and said cake has been sitting in your freezer for 365 days developing an obscene amount of freezer burn and "gross."

Nah, it wasn't all that bad. Here's the video Sarah uploaded to Youtube for her blog to prove it!… YUM? Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who's given me a congrats or thumbs up for managing to keep hold of my wife for a year! Here's hoping I can dupe her to stay with me for a bunch more! Later!

P.S. No, I don't ALWAYS wear ties. We had just gone out for a nice dinner. :)
  • Listening to: Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream
  • Reading: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • Watching: The Darjeeling Limited
  • Playing: GTA IV, Burnout Paradise, Viking: BFA
  • Eating: Veggies

Busy Weekend, Late DEAD DAYS

Tue Jul 29, 2008, 8:27 PM
Hey everyone,
So, I just had a pretty busy weekend.

On Friday, I was over at my buddy Brodiemash place to help him out with a podcast for his awesome blog THE DUMB ARE MOSTLY INTRIGUED BY THE DRUM where we, and our other pal Adrian (of LATE UPDATE), waxed "intellectual" about all things geek (movies, comics, games) and drank lots of beers. Check it out here!

After driving up to the mountains on Saturday for a suprise party for my father-in-law (and a stupid huge dinner; Thanks Jessie!) I spent ALL of Sunday filming a Swede with 5 friends (including Brodiemash and Adrian) for a Swede Film Festival we're having here in my home town! We're doing The Usual Suspects and it's gonna be epic! :D Again, I'll be posting a link as soon as it's put together (give us another week and a half or so).

The point of all of this that I was crazy busy this weekend and I wasn't able to finish this week's DD strip! Don't worry, I'm not skipping it, rather I'll be posting it later in the week... which is a good thing because I'll be gone this next weekend as well and I'll be late on this next week too. So for the next 2 weeks, I'll be updating DD midweek instead of the beginning. Thanks for your patience, dear readers! Be back with strips soon!
  • Listening to: Moz
  • Watching: Sex and the City (Sarah's fault)
  • Playing: Almost... done... with Okami (it's long)
  • Eating: Teppanyaki


Mon Jul 21, 2008, 5:24 PM
There you have 'em. 3 things (other than my loverly wife and DEAD DAYS) that take up most of my non-working waking hours. And, BOY, have I been exposed to alot of good stuff lately! Here's a news ticker of stuff I'm totally into right now:

Am about 35 hours into Okami and I can safely say that I'm enjoying it as much as any Zelda I've ever played.  •  Picked up the new My Morning Jacket album "Evil Urges" and while it seemed to get off to a shaky start (with the 1st and 3rd tracks being throwaways), it's now one of my favorite MMJ albums yet. It kicks their last album "Z" in the ass.  •  Had a chance to squeeze into a packed theater and watch The Dark Knight over the weekend and I'm pretty positive it's the best crime movie I'll see in the next 2 or 3 years. And if you're sick of hearing about HOW GREAT the late Mr. Ledger is as the Joker, then you obviously haven't watch the movie yet. Witness his performance and have your mind blown!  •  Replaying Bully on Wii right now too. It's just as fun as I remember it being on the PS2.  •  Got the new Beck album "Modern Guilt" and he continues to be one of the most musically talented fellas in the biz. The guy can do no wrong.  •  When the HELL is the StrongBad Wiiware game coming out? It was supposed to be out in early July! I'm getting a little bit impatient here...  •  I downloaded the Neo Geo game Ninja Combat from virtual console for some quick and fun 2 player action with a buddy and was not disappointed! Those game are a blast! I'ma totally pick up SNK Arcade Classics Vol.1 coming out for Wii this week!  •   In an attempt to get my wife to endure 2 comic book movies this week (with HellBoy 2 coming up later in the week), Sarah subjected me to Mama Mia this weekend as well. Though I contemplated lying to you all and keeping my cool by saying that the movie was stupid, I actually had a pretty great time! I've been singing ABBA songs all weekend... Dancing Queeeeeen, only seventeeeeeennnn...  •  And finally, being the obvious Nintendo fanboy that I am, I have to say that their E3 keynote conference was kinda pretty disappointing. Though the announcement of the new Animal Crossing: City Folk game, the DS GTA: Chintatown Wars and the Wii port of Dead Rising did lessen the sting a little. A LITTLE.

There. It was nice to get all that off my chest. Any of you guys enjoying the same stuff or wanna recommend some stuff I SHOULD be enjoying?
  • Listening to: MMJ "Evil Urges, Beck "Modern Guilt&quot
  • Watching: Mama Mia apparently. Oh and Batman
  • Playing: Okami & Bully and lots more soon...
  • Eating: A sammich. Duh.
  • Drinking: Ice Tea/Lemonade


Tue May 13, 2008, 11:59 AM
Oh man, I'm playing too many great games right now!

I'm having an absolute BLAST with Okami, still in the process of unlocking stuff in Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii (Sarah is stupid good at both), am LOVING the downloadable WiiWare Lost Winds, and won my first Phoenix Wright case EVER last night (what a RUSH)! All this while trying to get to my buddy Adrian's house to play GTAIV as much as possible.


If it wasn't for me going out of town for the next 2 weeks (to Denver on business and Chicago for my sister's wedding), I'd probably go into a game induced coma... and love it. Good thing I'ma have Phoenix Wright to keep me company (OBJECTION! Hee hee!).

My leaving town will only affect DEAD DAYS minimally. While I won't post here on DA for the next 2 weeks, I'll have a strip ready for this Sunday on And next week, my buddy, the hilarious Eli Parker of Tall Comics fame (and formally "Too Far" fame) will be GUEST STRIPPING on the site as well! So be sure to check the official DEAD DAYS site for your weekly DD dose!

Thanks for reading everyone! Go play some games!

Uh... Quitting?

Tue Apr 1, 2008, 9:11 AM
Did I say I was quitting DEAD DAYS? I meant I was going to quit playing Zelda: Phantom Hourglass... because I beat it. Last night. Great game.

... you can see where I got confused there...

Just thought I'd join the ranks of the thousands of artists pulling the same crap today and remind you to do something totally shitty to someone you love. It's the APRIL FOOLS WAY!

Sarah caught me offguard last night at exactly 12:01am when she SCREECHED and screamed that our beloved fish Kinsey was DEAD. I figured that fish die if you so much as bump their bowl, so I felt pretty stupid after running into the kitchen to see it eating. :)

2 years before she told me that our cat had chewed through the Guitar Hero cord. She's good at April fooling me using our pets.

Anyhoo, happy foolings everyone! Hopefully everyone thinks of something better than "Quitting DEAD DAYS." Like that's even the least bit believable. I can't quit, they're sucking less and less every week! Later.


Tue Apr 1, 2008, 7:58 AM
Hi everyone.
Welp, I've thought it over and I've come to the realization that 400 strips is enough. More than enough, really. I'm quitting DEAD DAYS.

I'm leaving my DA account open for another week or so, then I'll be closing it out. Same with

Thanks for all the great times everyone.
  • Listening to: Love Fool
  • Watching: Pieces of April
  • Playing: SSX Tricky


Sun Mar 30, 2008, 1:44 PM
Thanks to everyone who entered the DEAD DAYS Book Drawing over the last week! I know you're all itchin' to know who nabbed the books so here are the 5 randomly drawn winners:

Ikar1kun - favorite strip:…
Doomsday-Device - favorite strip:…
alienbabe - favorite strip:…
pixie-the-gator - favorite strip:…
child-clueless - favorite strip:…

Congratulations people! You all get a free signed copy of "Games, Girls & Gags" of your very own. Your luck disgusts us all. You'll all be receiving notes with directions on what to do next soon!

If you didn't win, but want to pick up a copy, they are still available to buy for cheap! Check out this… for all the info!