Friday, March 02, 2018

The Death of Captain Mar-Vell

So, we have just recently learned that Marvel’s film Captain Marvel — staring Brie Larson — is duethe seventh Captain Marvel (she was previously known as Ms. Marvel) in the comics, the film ignores all of that and puts Larson/Danvers as the first and only Captain.
to drop March 19, 2019.

This film deals with Captain Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel. Well, as we in the funnybook world know, while Carol Danvers was actually

Yes, yes, we totally understand that there are differences between the Marvel Comicbook Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are different (oh Hell, we’ve been reading Marvel Comics for most of our life, and understand that there are differences in the comicbooks themselves.) Thing is, we know the original Captain Marvel, and we remember when he died.

In fact, we wrote about it at the time in the landmark issue of Comics Collector, at the time, and still to this day, feel that it was one of the most emotional and well-written graphic novels we ever read.

Here is the article that I wrote at that time. (the article was reprinted on Bleeding Cool back on November 17, 2013)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Yes, this is another America Flag is Hung Wrong in a Funnybook Post

OK, so all’Ya’all know that as a (former) Boy Scout, I feel strongly about the way the American Flag (mostly because I’ve posted about it rather extensively in this blog), well, I don’t actually seek these things out, but they do tend to follow me around.

So here I was, catching up on my Free Comic Book Day (#FCBD) comics from last year (2017 — yeah, I just a tad behind on my funnybook reading) and I came across #KidSavage from #Image.

Towards the end of the comic the Kid Savage character stumbles into a space ship and discovers a poster of a woman he seems to remember. In that poster is a U.S. flag that is (you guessed it) hanging horizontally, and (once again) the artist has illustrated it with the blue star field in the upper right corner.

Once again, let me say that this is wrong. the blue star field is always (always) displayed in the upper left! Especially when the flag is horizontal.


When will artists learn to look stuff like this up? When will editors and writers also learn this and correct the image so it doesn’t appear in print backwards?


Free Comicbook Day is celebrated the first Saturday in May, this year it will be on Saturday May 5, 2018.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Steve Bissette's Taboo!

Back in 1988, I went to a comic convention in New Hampshire. There I met Steve Bissette. Steve had recently announced that he was launching a horror anthology entitled Taboo. As I was regularly contributing to Amazing Heroes (AH) at the time, I asked if I could interview him, and secured his contact info. After the con, I contacted my editor, Kim Thompson, at AH to pitch the article.

I was given the go-ahead and then reached out to Steve. Only, Steve told me that he wasn't quite ready to launch the series. So I got back to Kim, who told me to continue to pursue Steve, and when Steve was ready, and I got the interview, to let Kim know, and he would schedule the article.

Well, I wound up calling Steve once a month for a year, while he gathered material for the book in preparation for the launch. Well, when he was finally ready, I got to chat with him. Steve, if you didn’t already know, was a extraordinarily talented horror artist and writer. When I began the interview I confessed to him that I really wasn’t a big fan of horror.

We then spent the next four hours talking about all kinds of horror, from comics, to books, to TV to film, and of course about Taboo itself. As it turns out I — quite literally — knew of every horror reference he made. Which really surprised me as (as I told Steve)  I really didn’t like horror, mostly as it truly scared the living crap out of me.

Needless to say, I got the interview, wrote the article and had it published in issue #153 of AH.

Then, for some 10 years after it’s publication, whenever I would run into Steve at a con, he would be very nice to me, saying hello, introducing me to others around him, and chatting with me. I never really understood why Steve was always so nice. Then one time he said to the folks with him. “Bob was the first person who wrote about Taboo.”

It was then that it suddenly occurred to me that what to me was simply me chasing a story (calling him once a month for a year), was to him the tenacity of a reporter intent on promoting something that was something of a life passion for him.

I have since caught up with and frended Steve on Facebook as well as reviewed his book Teen Angels & New Mutants, which details Rick Veitch’s groundbreaking work on the series Brat Pack. Anyway, today I happened to come across AH #153, and thought I’d post the interview in its entirety here.

I honestly think that it is one of the best articles I’ve ever written,

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A (Writing) Blast from the Past

So, I was going through some old (file, not music) CDs of mine, and I came across one where I had archived an article I wrote back in 2006 for the premier issue of a magazine called Norwalkplus. As that particular article never quite made it to being posted online, I figured that I’d post those pages here now.

This turned out to be a pretty cool gig for me for a while, I even got to have a number of articles appear in not only Norwalkplus, but the mag’s sister publication Stamfordplus. While I don't have scans of those articles, I do have links to those online pages.

Super 7: Two sides of the same highway — this was an article for Norwalkplus about the proposed extension to Route 7

Artists in Residence — An article about The Silvermine Artists-in-Residence program. (Norwalkplus)

Engineering the 21st Century — A profile of the then newly-opened engineering high school AITE (Stamfordplus)

Stamford Today — about the Stamford Art Association (Stamfordplus)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A question of Suns

OK, so I was just watching the most recent episode of Supergirl on the CW (1/22/18 — Fort Rozz). In this episode she needs to travel to the Kryptonian prison, Fort Rozz, which is currently orbiting a blue sun.

Now, while I totally understand the concept of different colored suns (as well as the comicbook legacy that Kryptonians gain powers under yellow suns) it has always bothered me as to how Supergirl (man) is able to maintain her/his powers when out in space.

I'm sure that this must have been addressed in the comics over the years, only I don't actually recall.

I mean, is it that all Kryptonians actually have power, only the rays of a red sun somehow negate them? Do they only have powers under a yellow sun? (Do they have additional or alternate powers and/or abilities under different colored suns?)


Anyone want to weigh in on this?

I mean, it’s not like this is keeping me up at night, but I really do kinda want to know.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

How to properly hang a U.S. Flag

As a (“former”) Boy Scout (Once a Boy Scout, always a Boy Scout), one of the things that truly grinds my gears is when someone improperly handles or displays a U.S. flag. Sure, sure it is a relatively small thing, only it really isn't because usually the folks that are handling the flags tend to think of, or refer to themselves as patriots. Well, you see— to my way of thinking, if you are going to call yourself a patriot, then you should know the proper way to display the iconic image that denotes your very patriotism.

Now, while I have, quite often, seen improperly-displayed flags in public, where I generally tend to see them improperly displayed most often, is in entertainment (films, TV, Comics), and have called it out on a number of occasions — both in person, and in this blog, it always seems that folks simply never quite seem to understand that research is important, and just because you "know" something, if you are working on a project, that you really need to look things up before committing them to paper or film.

A couple of films that I recall having wrongly-hung flags, are Hoosiers (1986) and Meteor (1979).

In Hoosiers, in the background of numerous scenes that took place in gyms, during various basketball games the flag on the wall was hung backwards.

In Meteor, there is a scene towards the end of the film where the U.S. flag is hung alongside a Russian flag, and the U.S. flag is hung backwards (I have no idea if the Russian flag is hung correctly).

Needless to say, comics, film and real life aren't the only places where the flag, or an image of the flag is improperly displayed. We tend to decorate our clothing with flag imagery as well, and yep, you guessed it, it is often displayed there wrong as well.


Still, what set off this current tirade is that I spotted this image in the January 2018 edition of Marvel Spotlight.

So, here we have that classic image of “soldiers” (mercs?) who have painted the U.S. flag on their face (presumably to show what bad-ass “Patriots” they are, only (again) they have painted the flag wrong!

  • When the flag is hung vertically on a wall, window, or door, the Union (blue section) should be to the observer’s left. When the flag is hung either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the Union should be to the observer’s left.
So this version of the painted flag on their faces is simply wrong! Wrong! WRONG!

Once again:

This is wrong

This is correct

Thanks for paying attention, and you know, feel free to pass it around.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Cracking the local scene

Hey kids, I know that I haven't posted here in quite some time, but well, I relocated from the North East to Richmond, VA and well, it has been taking some time to get acclimated to the local scene, but well, I haven't been completely dormant.

To be sure, I do spend most of my time these days on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but, That's not all I've been doing. I'm still assembling books for both Jim Main (Main Enterprises), and Roger Keel (Stone Island Comics), as well as writing and editing comics for Red Anvil (Cyberines, Unit 5). I also did the layout and production for Joe Martino’s prose novel, The Way of the Gray. So, you know I've been keeping busy.

Needless to say, if there is anyone out there who is looking for a reasonably talented, nearly famous writer for writing, editing, and/or production, hit me up.

Meanwhile here are a couple of articles that I've written over the past couple of years.

The first one was while I was the Deputy Registrar of Voters in Norwalk, CT where I discussed how we introduced technology to improve voting and decrease costs to the city (several of which were adopted by the the state to be used in other municipalities)

 The second article was for RVA Magazine here in Richmond, and talks about the growing comicbook community here. (Oh, and I just recently learned that RVA is the 5th hippest city in the good ol‘ U.S. of A.! How cool is that?)

OK, that’s about it for now. I promis to (try) and come back here a tad more often, but now I have to go back and finish writing a Golden Age Owl Girl script or InDELLable Comics new title, (Popular Comics).


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Support Joe Martino's 20th Anniversary Edition of Shadowflame

Comicbooks (or as my uncle used to call them “Funnybooks”) tend to be filled with all-powerful heroes and world-conquering madmen, however, when we first meet Joe Martino’s everyman character, Tom Wyatt (soon to be known as Shadowflame), he was just a regular guy; This first meeting is memorable for us as it is just a month after the death of his wife, for which he feels responsible )as well he should) and he all but ready to put a bullet in his head over it. As can be expected, Wyatt is something of a total wreck, and isn’t ready to go to the store to buy milk, forget about being granted unlimited power and potentially become the savior of the human race, yet that is precisely what happens.
For comicbook fan and creator Joe Martino, seeing his creations come to life first in a series of independently-produced comics, and now collected together as a graphic novel — complete with a cover illustration by his personal inspiration, Comicbook Legend John Byrne — is something of a dream come true. “Let me tell you. This is the guy that inspired me to pick up a pencil and draw. So having him do the covers to the Shadowflame trade is like a dream come true. I have the original hanging up in my apartment and every once in a while I stop and look at it and just say ‘Wow’ He really said yes.”
For Martino, Shadowflame has that same fun, free-spirited feeling that the Marvel comics from the 1980s and early 1990s had for him. He has chosen to pay homage to this era in comics, because, for him, that’s when comics really had magic. “I am not trying to reinvent the wheel. I am just writing and telling the stories that I would like to read.” Martino feels that in today’s modern-day, “reality-fueled” world, that comics have seemed or have lost some of the sparkle that made them magic that they had when he was younger. Nowadays, everything needs to be explained and changed to make sense. According to Martino, comics should be about losing yourself in something that is bigger than you, about reimagining yourself in the role of the hero. “When we were kids, how many of us tied a towel to our backs and pretended to fly? Shadowflame is about THAT magic.” 

Today’s mood!

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

With the 135th anniversary of the first flight of Gustave Whitehead fast approaching (August 14, 1901) I want to remind everyone that Gustave flew two years prior to the Wright brothers).

I learned about Gustave through my high school science teacher, Andy Kosch, who went on to build and fly a replica of  of Gustave's Old #21 back in 1985. He is currently building a couple of other replicas in order to duplicate his (and Gustave's) successful flight(s).

In 2013 historian John Brown researched and coorberated that Gustave did indeed fly two years prior to the Wright brothers. His findings were subsequently published in Jane's All the World's Aircraft.

When I first heard this story from Andy (when I was still in high school) I thought that this would make for a great comicbook. Well, it took me 35 years, but I finally published that comic. So, if you are at all interested, here is a comicbook that I wrote about Gustave Whitehead.

You can purchase copies of the comic from IndyPlanet.

Congressman John Lewis’ Long March Toward Justice: March: Book One

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is considered by many to be something of an American political icon. Lewis’ own commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress itself. He was first elected to Congress in November of ‘86 and has faithfully served as Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District ever since. Not only was he one of the key figures of the civil rights movement of the 1960s but he actually met and worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during that time. Congressman Lewis’ story began in 1940 as the son of sharecroppers. He went to school in a segregated Alabama schoolroom and became inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycott as well as the words of Dr. King he became involved in the Civil Rights movement, eventually becoming a nationally recognized leader. In ‘63, he was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement when, at 23, he was not only an architect of but a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington.

March is Lewis’ personally-told, extremely vivid, first-hand account of the Congressman’s lifelong struggle for individual dignity, civil and human rights, and accountability. Beginning during the days of Jim Crow Laws and segregation, and firmly rooted in Lewis’ own story, March deals both reflectively and intimately on the highs and lows of the much larger civil rights movement. As Lewis spins his tale of growing up in the repressive South as a Black man who was bound and determined to become educated so as to live a better life, we (as readers) come to better understand the hardships and struggles through which he and others went through to achieve (even a small) measure of equality.

Throughout this emotionally-moving story we become a part of his struggle for equality, where he received beatings from state troopers, to ultimately, receiving the Medal of Freedom in 2010 from the first African-American president, Barack Obama. Now, with this graphic novel, Lewis, has chosen to share his remarkable story with a new generation, he has penned March, relating his own, very personal story. The book — written in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin (who is a staffer for the Congressman) and illustrated by New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

This is actually just the first installment of a planned trilogy that covers Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing, initial meeting with Dr. King, the birth of the Nashville Student Movement (which he helped found), and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. Throughout the story, we read about the atrocities perpetrated upon Lewis and his fellow protesters as they struggle to simply achieve the basic human rights that have been denied to them because of the color of their skin. Given the events in Ferguson, as well as the 2014 biopic Selma (which chronicled the events in that city when Dr. King, Lewis, and others marched across The Edmund Pettus Bridge for civil rights in 1965, forever altering the political and social landscape in America), the release of this book, is a very important publication that should be read by anyone interested in politics, current events, history, and social equality.

Congressman Lewis relates in this first book of March, how he grew up poor on a rural farm in Georgia, and the struggles with which he, his family, and the other Blacks from that time and that place were confronted with. He talks about his struggles to get an education as he fought against racial inequality. The book spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, leading up to his life-changing meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as his involvement with the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and that organization’s fight to end segregation through their many nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, and culminates in a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. All of this is told against the backdrop of Lewis attending the initial inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2008.
In the back of the book, there is a text feature that reveals how many years ago, Representative Lewis and the other student activists who worked with him drew inspiration from the 1958 comicbook entitled,  Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story

Now, Lewis presents his own story in his own comic in order to bring those days back to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations. Top Shelf (publisher of March), has re-issued that Dr. King comic, and both are currently available from Top Shelf, as is the second volume of March.

A third volume of the Congressman's autobiography is due to to be released in October of 2016 and will also be available from both Top Shelf as well as on Amazon, Barns & Noble and other book sellers.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Superhero Cakes

So, I was in Dunkin’ Donuts today, and I noticed that DD is offering a quartet of superhero-themed cakes, two featuring Spider-Man

And a pair featuring Batman.

So, I'm thinking that with Father’s Day and My Birthday both still happen this year, Someone is going to deserve a couple of Spidey Cakes soon.
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