Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stan and Jack-o meet!

Yep, that’s right, according to Jim Salicrup, Stan Lee and Michael Jackson met and there was someone there to film the whole thing. here is a piece of it.

Read the rest about the encounter on Jim’s blog.

Transformers @ BK

OK, so I went to a BK over the weekend in the hopes to score some very cool Transformers, only the one I went to was apparently out of the figures (or simply refused to sell me them without the meal). Slightly disappointed, I looked at the figures, and was somewhat less than impressed.

To be sure, they might be cooler when you actually get one in your hands, but I just wasn't impressed by the look of them in the display case.

Perhaps I’ll just skip them, and wait for the GI Joe toys that I know are coming.

Have to think about this. Still, the movie is wicked-cool!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rusty Haller

So I have this professional friend...or rather this friend who is a fellow professional. He is a cartoonist, and well, has been having a bit of personal and professional bad luck. In this tough economy he is having some difficulty getting a stead stream of assignments and, is getting evicted. He has to move out of his place at the end of the month (which as you all know is two days from now).

I’ve been doing what I can to get Rusty hooked up with more work, or representation of some sort (even commissioned and purchased art from him recently). I’ve also been trying to get other friends of ours to help in in whatever way they could. Sever folks have risen to the challenge (including the folks at Bryanna Bunny, who have set up a donation fund for Rusty, and the guys over at Free Lunch Comics who are holding a charity auction to help raise money for Rusty).

Rust was doing a bunch of great work in the ‘80s and ‘90s for Marvel, Dc, Archie, and other companies. He is also the creator of Ace & Queenie, a very cool action/adventure anthropomorphic espionage series, that began live over at Radio Comix and lives now on the Web.

In the mean time, take a look at a very cool comic that Rusty recently drew (I'm trying to see if I can find a magazine that will purchase it — so if you know of any editor that want's to get his or her hands on a very talented cartoonist, let me know).

More Spidey, More Spidey, More Spidey!

Went to the movies last night to see Transformers, and while I was there I made my usual trip to the toy dispensers that are in the lobby. One of them contains Marvel characters packed in a little plastic egg. Well there eight toy figurines and I now have seven of them (only Missing the Human Torch).

Needless to say, I also managed to score five duplicates (two of which I’ve given away, one is slated to be given away, and the other two are sitting on my desk, looking for a good home.

The figures in the set are two Spideys (different poses)Wolverine, Ghost Rider, The Thing, Captain America, and Hulk. (The ones awaiting “homes” are an extra Hulk and Ghost Rider.) They each come in three pieces and need assembling.

They are very cool, and only a buck a figure. Whenever I go to this particular theater, I drop a buck (or two) into the slot and (hopefully) grab a figure I didn’t have. Well, like I said, I have only one more to go. Normally, I stop after I score the Spidey figure, but it wasn’t ‘til this last time that I managed to get the 2nd Spidey.

This Week’s Funnybooks

I’ve been reading the Avengers/Invaders mash-up this past decade or so (actually, it has only seemed that long with the ponderous and meandering storyline that Writer Jim Kruger has been trowling about. Seriously, after all this time, nothing of note has occurred (OK there were two minor linchpins that get pulled out at the end, but seriously, This whole thing could have been told in a Giant-Sized special, and told much better.

By comparison, let me tell you that I sat through two hours and 42 minutes of Transformers which had way less storyline than did Avengers/Invaders, but seemed to take up way less of my time. No I realize that it my not be fair to compare the two, but seriously, A/I (which contained characters that I love), just seemed interminable while Transformers (about which I care not in the least), was really enjoyable. The only thing that i can think of was that Kruger had a point to make and then decided what size sledge hammer he needed to pound it in, while Michael Bay simply wanted to entertain me.

Needless to say, I hate Norman Osborn with the whit-hot passion of an exploding sun (hate hate hate), yet I've been reading Dark Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis (who I consider to be a very talented hack — no offense Brian) but is certainly writing the Hell out of this series, and actually is making me care about Osborn as a person (and I totally hate Bendis for doing this. I want to hate Osborn, but for the first time in like 40 years, I actually feel sorry fo the guy — Osborn not Bendis)

Now that is seriously good writing!

Ms. Marvel is a hit-and-miss character for me, but the last couple of Spidey appearances in her book (#40 being the most recent) have been pretty decent, and I’m enjoying her storyine as we wind through the Dark Reign scenario. (Oh, can anyone tell me if the Moonstone/Ms. Marvel we’ve been seeing in the Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers is the same Moonstone from back in the day who was the bald chippie in the Avengers during the Celestial Madonna storyline? Just wondering.)

I want to see what’s up in Captain America (Yeah the Steve Rogers is back hype got to me, and while I still think that Marvel missed a way-cool opportunity to put Sam Wilson in the suit, I still want to be there when Cap comes back.

Also, while I’m still on the fence about the whole Timestorm thing, I can’t help but to point out that the 2099 Universe into which Spidey and Wolverine have been pulled isn’t the same one from way back when. Not sure if I’m liking this, but it isn’t entirely bad, and I want to see where they go with it (Plus it is way better than A/I)

Haven’t read the Sinister Spider-Man (staring Scorpion/Venom) or Mr. Negative minis yet, and well, I’m still POed about BND, but with #600 of ASM coming up, I’m hoping that they will put the whole thing to rest (Still, I’m not afraid that they are going to wait until #666 to put a fork in it, which will seriously wind my clock.

OK, time to get back to (paying) work.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Real Heroes

Each year Marvel does a bunch of giveaway or sponsored comics. for the past six, they have done one in conjunction with the U.S. Military, well this year is no exception, and we just have received news that it is now time for issue #7. If you don’t live on or near a U.S. Military base, you had better head to ebay to score your copy.




TITLE: "An Army of One"

Marvel Comics once again salutes the real heroes -- the men and women of the US Military -- with this special comic book! The Hulk is leaving a trail of destruction across the American Southwest, and it will take the combined might of Marvel’s super heroes and the United States Military to end the green goliath’s rampage!

NOTE: This special free comic will be available exclusively at Army and Air Force Exchange Service locations on US Military installations worldwide during the Summer of 2009.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Father's Day gift for myself

So, a week or two prior to Father’s Day (Which I spent on the Cape at my niece’s wedding) I was shopping with (the ball and chain) my lovely wife; and we were at CostCo picking up a couple of things. Well, as we passed the DVD aisle, I spotted an eight-pack of Marvel films (X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, Elektra, Daredevil, Fantastic 4, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which were packaged together with Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes — volume one (containing four episodes from the Fox FF animated TV show).

Also packed in this slipcase, were some “exclusive” Marvel collectibles: Two X-Men mini comics (a single flip book, actually), a Silver Surfer digital comic, and a custom-designed lobby card.

What made this package extra-cool, was that it was $29.99. I mentioned how cool a package this was (given that I really only had two of the films on DVD) and my wife mentioned that “Father’s Day was coming.” So I put the package back on the shelf.

Well Father’s Day came and went (with me at the Cape) and no Fox DVD Film package. Needless to say, the other day I found myself at Costco’s again, and low and behold, the boxed set was still there, so I snagged one for me.

I haven’t had time to watch them yet, but, well, I have time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blast from the Past

So, last weekend I went up to Cape Cod to attend my Niece’s wedding (yeah, on Father’s Day Weekend), and while we were up there, we took part of one day to walk around downtown Falmouth (yeah, where the tourist shops are located), and there, nestled among all the “standard” tourist shops was this kitschy shop Blast from the Past. In fact it was this display (off to the left) that first attracted my attention to the shop. Then (of course) it was the sign in the window that said “Comics sold here” that finally pulled me in.

Well, I went inside and began chatting with the gal who was working there, and, well, in short order she introduced me to her husband (at least I think they were married), who had worked in comics back in the ‘80s & ‘90s. His name is Kevin Juaire, and well, it turned out that we knew some of the same people.

Needless to say, I couldn’t leave the shop without buying something, so I picked up a pack of Marvel cards (packed with a figurine of Spidey), a couple of plastic eggs of toys from his “gum” machines out front, a miniature tin Spidey lunch box, and a copy of the new Love & Rockets compilation (I had acquired the Free Comicbook Day version of the book back in May, and recalled how much I loved L&R.

So, as much as I did enjoy going to my niece’s wedding (on Father’s Day) being able to visit Kevin’s shop and chat with him about our glory days in comics, really helped the weekend out. (Not that I need to find comics wherever I go, but, well you know.)

So, anyway, between the cards, toys, key chains, and comicbook graphic album (and just being able to walk around Kevin’s wicked-cool shop, soaking in all of the very neat stuff he has on display), the weekend was fun...oh yeah, my niece’s wedding was pretty much fun as well (there was alcohol and family involved — which of course required more alcohol).

When I get to reading the L&R book, I’ll post about that as well. In the mean time, if you ever find yourself in Falmouth, check out Blast from the Past. Heck, even if you are not in Falmouth, you can visit Kevin’s web shop and get a pretty decent idea of how very cool his retro shop is in person.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fanning the Flame!

So, you might not know this, but I (generally speaking) work from home. My office is in my basement. Hence I am “underground” down here. Needless to say, it is always quite moist, so I run a dehumidifier to suck the moisture out of the air. then because there are no windows down here I run a fan to circulate the air. Then to help improve the air quality I run an air filter to help clean that up. Plus, because we are below ground it is about 5-8 degree cooler so I also run a small space heater. Oh yeah, the cats (two of them), have their litter box down here (in the laundry room, not in my office) combined with the musty smell often requires that I light a scented candle in my office.

Funny thing, is that I noticed that where I had placed the candle just struck me as funny. Take a look at this pic, and see if you agree.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Avengers/Invaders Redux

So, I’ve been (suffering through) reading the Avengers Invaders endless limited series and well, quite frankly, enjoying it less and less with each passing issue. I received a wonderful treat this month, in Marvel Adventures: Avengers. It seems that the two teams got together there as well, only, not only was the entire story contained in a single issue, but it was actually enjoyable to read.

It was fun, entertaining, and well, not padded out for 12 issues.

I couldn’t have asked for more.

I am seriously bored to tears with writers who feel that they need to pile everything and the kitchen sink into an issue. Just tell me the story and make it good.

Is that too much to ask?

I have Spider-Balls!

No. no, not like that. One of the gifts I got for Father's Day was a set of bouncing Spider-Balls. I apparently forgot to photograph and post them yesterday. Here they are now.

So when anyone ask, the answer is “Yes, Bob DOES have Spider-Balls.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day Swag!

Well, as we all know, this past Sunday was Father’s Day (one of two days of the year that I get all to myself (the other being my birthday), and well, you know I’m loving it. (To be sure this year I had to share Father’s Day with my lovely Niece who got married that day, but I’m OK with that, she’s cute and well, I am a soft touch in that regard).

Besides, while we were up on the Cape, I discovered this very cool retro shop that sold comics and stuff, and while I was there I picked up some nifty-cool stuff (which I’ll tell you about tomorrow). In the mean time, this

Anyways, I still managed to collect a (small) pile of Spidey Swag from my own kids. Photos follow:

First up is the book that you see at the top of this post (it gives a brief background of a few of Spidey-related characters)

Next is a “paper China” bowl

Next up is a bag of small, sparkly stickers.

Here are some “pillow magnets” (I have a few of those from a year or so back)

Last up, is a small throw pillow that is going to find a home on the futon in my office.

Sorry about the glare, folks, still trying to figure out how to avoid that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Can you hear the THUNDER?

Online columnist/blogger Marc Fletcher just posted his top 10 pick of comicbook characters that are most deserving of a reboot. Topping that list is The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. According to Marc, with the recent release (and success) of the Project Superpowers comic from Dynamite Entertainment returning long dormant heroes like The Black Terror and Fighting Yank to the comic book scene. Well, it got him thinking of other characters that deserve another chance to shine, and, well, he wrote about about a few that deserved to make the cut.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents
(The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves)

The creation of the legendary Wally Wood from Tower Comics in the 1960s, this blend of superhero and spy genre was ahead of its time. Lead by super strong Dynamo, with members Menthor, Noman and Lighting, these characters were literally killing themselves by using the devices that gave them their power. Not to mention heroic sacrifice being a theme as members such as Menthor and Egghead fall in attempts to protect their allies. Numerous companies have tried to relaunch the series, each failing. But these heroes deserve another shot.

You can read the rest of the post here

As I recently reported, my good buddy John Carbonaro (who owned the agents) passed away, and now his heirs are trying to revive the characters. I really hope that they are able to do it, because (as Fletcher indicates), there are others who are interested in the characters.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Reviewing Myself (sort of)

While I know that we can all agree that it probably isn’t entirely kosher to pen a review your own product, so let’s not call this a “review” but rather some some soft-sell marketing spin. Last weekend I received my copies of the CAG graphic album Iconic and I just have to tell you how excited I am about the book. Yeah, yeah, admittedly I contributed a story to the project, but mine is only one of the 10 stories that appear in the tome. Having just read the other nine stories I really have to say that I very much enjoyed them as well. (There is one about Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper that offers us a new take on these two characters that is positively chilling.)

Also of note are the John Henry story, plus the “sequel” to A Christmas Carol. As a long-time fan of the legend of Prometheus, I was drawn to the re-telling of that legend in it’s Sci-Fi setting. The re-telling of the story of Robin Hood took me a bit of time to get to patch into the legend on which it was riffing, but again, a fine tale.

Not to go all “Hey this is the best thing since sliced bread” route, I’ll talk a little bit about the parts of the book where I had a (small) issue or two.

On the “less than completely glowing” side, while the most excellent forward by comicbook author and high-school teacher Gary Cohn served as a very fine overview of the genre and hopefully will help “legitimize” the book to our potential audience, it was (for some reason) written in white text on a gray patterned background which made it a tad difficult to read. Then (a personal peeve of mine) due to the square-bound binding, the center of the pages tend to disappear into the interior margins. This is actually a common production error that many production folks fall into when moving from saddle stitched magazines (which can lay flat) to square bound books (which can’t). Thus they need to leave a slightly larger interior margin to allow for the binding. (I recently read a very good — square bound — Graphic Novel which suffered from the same problem.)

Then, of course there is the (slightly smaller) size of the book (9" x 6"), which really isn’t a negative, but given that CAG is targeting young readers with the book is actually a positive thing, as it is CAG’s intention that this more compact format makes the book more accessible and less formidable to this market segment, than would the traditional larger-format GN.

Anyways, if you you want to get a very cool gift for a young reader (or yourself) who wants to learn some history, be entertain, and perhaps explore some classic (dare I say “Iconic”) themes, follow this link and score yourself a copy (or three).

The Perfessor

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cap is Back

As I reported the other day, some two years ago (real time, one year in the comic) Captain America was shot to death on the steps of the courthouse in lower Manhattan as he was being brought in chains to his trial for being a traitor.

To be sure, he wasn't really a traitor, he just chose to defy Tony (Iron Man) Stark in the Marvel Civil Wars. Anywho, Marvel played with us for an issue or two whyle they “debated” who would be Captain America.

Clint Barton’s name was tossed into the cowl in Fallen Son, but he backed away, and we finally settled on Bucky (now Buck) Barton;l Cap's former teen sidekick from WWII (who had been cryogenicly frozen, then revived and corrupted by the Red Skull into believing himself to be the Winter Solder).

While I always knew that Steve Rogers would be revived and will eventually put back on the uniform. I still think that Marvel missed a huge opportunity to do some truly innovative storytelling by not putting Sam (“Falcon”) Wilson into the Red White & Blues. I truly believe that an African American Captain America would have stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy that would have truly raised the bar for most-excellent story-telling in Comics.

Seriously, can you imagine it, a Black Cap? (Sure I know all about Isaiah Bradley (from Truth) and his grandson Elijah, but neither of them were real Cap. I think that you could have done a whole riff with the Sons of the Serpents, the Klan, and other “White Pride” hate groups decrying the bogus Cap, while he is formally welcomed into the White House by President Obama.

Yep, Marvel totally missed out on a great potential story. Too bad.

Still, Cap #600 (they compiled all the various Cap comics, added their numbers together, and renumbered the Kit and Kaboodle to come up with this number). Now, with issue #600, we learn that like the guy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Cap “isn't quite dead yet” and the team of New Avengers are going to revive him in the upcoming mini series Captain America Reborn. One of the other very cool aspects of this issue is that it reintroduces the Rickie Barnes character from the Rob Leifield run of Captain America when he was shunted off into that other dimension after Onslaught.

So, while Marvel may have missed a really cool story by not giving us a Black Cap, they still might have some nice chops left in where they do intend to go with his rebirth. Truth, I’m now buying Cap again for the first time in over a decade.

Spidey-boy, Spidey-boy (does whatever a Spidey-Boy can)

Who say we don't have fun here?

And, no, I don’t know who the kid is.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back in X!

Yesterday I talked about Chris Claremont returned to the X-Men after a 17-year (banishment) absence, and how his new, on-going series will — quite literally — pick up right from the end of where he left off 17 years ago.

Well, I read issue #1, and while I rather enjoyed the comic (I leaned that I really missed Chris writing the adventures of the X-Men, for many years, I really enjoyed reading his work. It was exciting, interesting, entertaining, and well, always was the center of attention amongst my comicbook friends.

Still, I have some questions regarding how this is all going to work:

  1. Is this still the 616 (the mainstream continuity) Marvel Universe?

  2. is this really the story that he would have written 17 years ago?

  3. Other than Nick Fury (who is there now) will other Marvel characters appear?

  4. How is this going to play out over the long haul?

  5. Is this an on-going or limited series?

Only time will tell if this “experiment” actually works.

Too Funny

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

X-Men Forever and Ever

So, 17 years after his 17 year run, Chris Claremont comes back to helm the comic that established his bonafides, and I have to say that, wow! I really missed him.

To be sure, I haven't read much of the X-Men over the intervening years, but after having read the three-issue recap (X-Men Forever), I have to say that the look of comics from 17 years ago was so much different (and as far as I’m concerned, way better looking). I still haven’t had the opportunity to read the new X-Men Forever #1, to see if it still holds up, but I have it here and it has migrtated to the top of my pile, so we’ll see if you can come home.

Undead Again

Not like it is any surprise to anyone who understands marketing, but it has just been revealed that Steve Rogers (the “real” Captain America) is no longer dead (or will soon no longer be dead). As revealed by Tom Brevoort on Newsarama, and elsewhere, the real Cap is back (like we always knew he would be).

The above panel came to us courtesy of The Initiative #1 (released the same day as Captain America #25, where cap “died”).

Hey, I wasn’t surprised when Superman died and came back a decade-and-and-a-half back (1992), so the fact that Marvel “suddenly” got the idea to recycle this tired old storyline was obviously no surprise to those of us who have been reading comics longer than the past couple of weeks.

Here is how CNN reported the story:

Perhaps he should be called Captain Phoenix?

Rising from the dead after being killed off over two years ago, Captain America is being resurrected by Marvel Comics.

Though the circumstances of his return are being closely shielded, the star-spangled superhero returns July 1 in a five-comic-book series, "Captain America Reborn."

A big-budget movie in development by Marvel is also expected in 2011.

After close to 60 years in print, Marvel Comics killed off Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, in 2007, one of its most famous and beloved superheroes, amid a controversial story line.

He fought and triumphed over Hitler, Tojo, international Communism and a host of super-villains, but a sniper's bullet cut Captain America down in 2007, a move that shocked many of his fans.

Get the rest of that story, here.

I’ll probably pick up at least some of the comics revolving around this story (Captain America #600 — they are combining all the various runs of his various comics, to get that number), as well as the five-issue mini-series (Captain America Reborn). However, I’m still upset over the fact that the week that Cap was shot, every English newspaper in the free world reported it, but six real live U.S. Soldiers died in Iraq and not one newspaper mentioned their names.

Some days it is just embarrassing to be a comicbook fan, other days it is so uncomfortable you just want to hide. That day I was both.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fater’s Day is Coming

This Sunday is Father’s day, (and it is also the wedding of my niece, Jessie). Well, as usual, I’m certain that my family is going to be showering me with Spider-Man related gifts. How do I know this? Well, they do so every year, and, well, I already (accidentally) found one.

The Spider-Man candle you see posted with this blog, was intended to be given to me on Sunday, only quite accidentally, I spotted the gift. Buying into the concept of “surprise” gifts, I tactfully ignored that I had seen it (even though it was pretty obvious that I had), so my wife decided to give it to me early.

Needless to say, I’m still expecting more Spidey stuff (mostly because I accidently found that stuff as well, only no one knows it yet).

Yes, I’m on Facebook

It is a digital world, and I'm just a string of digitized electrons in it.

Yep, that's right folks, I’m on Facebook and I’m telling you all this now because if you are on Facebook, I’ve just added my blog to the apps on my page. Now I just need three or four more people to follow my blog over on Facebook, and I’ll get listed on the Blog Page.

So, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wülf Girlz: Resurrection

OK, perhaps that is a bit more dramatic than required. My Wülf Girlz haven’t really gone away, as much as have metamorphed. The last time we all saw them, they appeared in the Guild Work Production comicbook, Psychosis!, as illustrated by the incomparable Matt Ryan. Well, Matt is the heart and soul of MattsMineStudio, that produces the most excellent line of Free Lunch Comics. So, as you can probably expect, Matt is wicked-busy these days producing some of the finest Indie comics to come out of New England, so he really hasn’t had much time to devote to the Girlz.

And well, I really want to continue their adventures. Still, as much as I wanted to wait for Matt, I really couldn’t, so (with his understanding) I have engaged the services of the very talented Rick Lundeen, who as you all recall, illustrated my Gustave Whitehead story which appeared in the recently-published Iconic graphic album from CAG.

So, Rick has finished his first installment of Wülf Girlz (and agreed to do more), so I’m currently writing a new Wülf Girlz script for him, but the really big news is that I just finished my very first Wülf Girlz prose story. Yep. That’s right, prose (some 6,500 words long, I might add).

Needless to say, I’m really very excited about it and I can’t wait to tell you more about it (including where and when it will be released). Suffice it to say, that it (along with the first illustrated story by Rick, and perhaps even the second) will all be out sometime this year under the Atlas Unleashed banner.

Here is a sneak peak at Rick’s take on the Girlz...

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Button, Button; whose got the Button?

So, as I mentioned, Over the past weekend I was at the MoCCA show and had a great time. Even to the point where I helped my client move more product than he had been able to move at each of the last three shows where he had displayed. To be sure I credit a couple of different factors helping in that area; first, it was the type of show (geared more towards the small press publishers), and second, it was us actively interacting and engaging the potential client. (If we sat back in our chairs and talked among ourselves behind the table, folks just walked by with their cash in their pockets, if we stood, and chatted the audience up, we tended to separate them from their cash, and sell our product. Funny how that works, eh?)

Any way, one of the very cool folks we met were the extremely nice folks at Twin Comics. Well, not only do they produce some cool comics, but they have an online web comic entitled Night Owls that is currently being hosted over at Zuda. Well, we got to know them quite well, especially when we learned that they were making little buttons for a buck and drawing anything you wanted on the button.

What most of us opted for, was a B&W picture or ourselves (except Mark Lear who — for some inexplicable reason — chose to have them draw my face. Anyway. this proved to be the coolest bit of collectible at the con, and I think I sent about 20 people over to their table to buy a button. Needless to say, when I got home the first night I showed my button off to my daughter, whose immediate response was “Why didn’t you get one for me, daddy.” The following day I went back to the Twin Comics booth and purchased two more buttons; one for my daughter, and one for my niece (who was visiting us at the time).

I think that they did an outstanding job on the buttons, and everyone who purchased one over the weekend clearly enjoyed theirs as well. So if you ever see Twin Comics at a con, go over to them, flash a buck, and ask for your face on a button, and tell ‘em that I sent you over.

In the mean time, you can follow their blog if you so choose.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Two Days of Mocca

So, this past weekend I spent a couple of days at the annual MoCCA comicbook convention MoCCA is the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in NYC. If you have never been it is far different from virtually every other comic book show in that the stars of this show are not Spider-Man, Superman, and the other heroes from the big three (four, five?), but are the small, independent comicbook publishers (like Atlas Unleashed). Yep, this show is the Sundance Film Festival to NYCC’s Oscar extravaganza.

Unlike at many shows that spotlight mainstream comics, where I can walk around all day long and never reach for my wallet, I felt that while I was at this show I found quite a number of books that I wanted to acquire — and yes, I put my hand in my pocket to pull out cash quite a few times.

Among the item that I purchased were Craig Yoe’s Secret Identity. A book that talks about some lost treasures drawn by Joe Schuster. I blogged about this a while back, but this was the first chance I had the opportunity to actually get my hands on a copy of the book. Craig very generously autographed the book to me (after I paid him for the privilege of owning it). I’ll talk more about the book after I’ve had the chance to read it, but I think it was a terrific find by Craig, and I’m glad that he wrote about it.

I also picked up a copy of Jobnik, which is the story about Miriam Libicki, an American Jewish girl from a religious home who — one summer against everyone's better judgment — moved to Israel and enlisted in the Israeli Army. Jobnik is her illustrated account of that journey. I had met Miriam a year ago at last year’s MoCCA and picked up a copy of her comic. I’m glad that she has issued the first six issues as a trade paperback, and I also scored a copy of issue #7 as well.

All-in-all, this was a very good show, and I had a great time and managed to conduct some business as well, not only for myself, but for my client as well. Now, after spending the weekend as a rock star, I get to come back home and finish writing my entries for The Official Index to the Marvel Comics Universe.

Talk to you all later.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Outer Space Men

A few months back, I (digitally) crossed paths with Eric Hayes. Eric is a very talented writer who took a set of very silly yet endearing toys from our collective youths (The Outer Space Men) and turned them into a gripping, well-written, and wonderfully illustrated graphic novel* that took these great toys and translated them into a well-thought out, well-executed, and thoroughly readable tale full of action, philosophy, and intrigue.

Yep, all based on a toy from the ‘70s.

Now I know that you are all used to reading repackaged serialized adventures that have been padded out to fill five or six issues so that they fill out a “full length” story. This is so not that. This is a real graphic novel that is nearly 150 pages long full glossy cover and interiors, measuring a standard comicbook-sized 6.5 x 10.25". This is a very fine package, and impressive in its own right, plus the art is clean, vibrant, and better than most of what I see these days passing for professional art. This book is über slick!

Hayes takes the concept of these handful of children’s toys and brilliantly transforms them into a viable Sci-Fi concept worth of Golden-era pulps. This story is so clearly well-though out by someone who is interested in not only delivering a super fine product, but an intelligent story as well. Hayes most excellently weaves real science, history, and and politics into this story as he crafts a very believable epic adventure that engages the reader on multiple levels.

I’m not sure how he was able to acquire the rights to translates these characters from the dim, dusty corridors of my ill-spent youth, into the full color reading pleasures of my here-and-now, but I’m ever so grateful that he did. This is a great story, and certainly is capable of spring-boarding the characters and concepts into another graphic novel, an on-going series, or (dare we say it), the next big-blockbuster action-packed, summer film.

I seriously wish Eric all the luck in the world. It is for certain that he has a heaping helpful of it already. Credit where credit is due Dept. The art chores on the graphic novel were handled by Rudolf Montemayor and Marc Borstel.

*Graphic Novel: for those of you in the audience who don’t understand (and probably aren’t reading this blog anyway) that’s a long-form, complete-in-one-package, single story with a beginning, middle and end, told with words and pictures, not a series of short, thematically similar, tales loosely strung together with a hastily-conceived, framing device. Oh, and don’t worry Eric, this comment has nothing to do with you, or you most-excellent book, ask me off-line and I’ll be happy to explain.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Yes, June Belongs to Belkis!

We already met my good buddy,
Ravi Wilki who pals around with the guys at The Filament Factory is (as you can see) is an extremely talented artist, and previously contributed to James Rodriguez’s, NovaStar Studios Fantasy Art Calendar.

Sure, sure, we are now halfway into the year, but this is still a smoking-hot calendar, James, Ravi, and the rest of the folk who contributed to the calendar are wicked-talented, rising-star artist, and, well, Belkis is always worth looking at, even in two dimensions.

As for my pal Ravi, he is so talented, that I would certainly love to work with him, perhaps on something relating to zombies.

The Filament Factory is a cadre of extremely talented NYC artists and writers (who throw wicked-cool parties), put up with me, and will be exhibiting this weekend at the MoCCA comicbook show in NYC.

I too will be there with Atlas Unleashed. Stop by and visit us if you can, it promises to be a rockin’ good time!

Friendly Spam

I have friends, both personal and professional, and — don‘t get me wrong — I (generally speaking) like them, and (as many of them are in comics) they all have comicbook projects that they are trying to promote. As a comicbook creator myself, I too have comicbook projects that I want to promote. The problem I’m having these days is that a number of my comicbook friends are involved in a comicbook-related “American Idol”-style contest that involves voting and levels of “winning.”

Every day friends get to vote for their project to advance them onto the next round. The only problem is that many of these folks are competing against each other in this same contest, and all of them are sending out multiple emails to multiple email accounts, and connectivity links, resulting in what can only be described as an unrelenting torrent of “friendly” spam.

Now, as much as I want to help these folks out in their upcoming projects and dreams of glory, I really can’t be bothered to spend all of my time working on their stuff when I have my own stuff to do. The result is that while I certainly don’t mind advising them (if I can), and purchasing their books when they come out, I really can’t be spending all of my days reading their repeated solicitations to vote for them, nor am I interested in constantly trudging back to the site to vote.

In case you haven’t gotten the message yet. I’m really starting to find the constant emails and solicitations from the same folks irritating and I’m seriously considering blocking them. No offense, but it really is getting tiring. I’m sure that if were happening to you, you’d agree.

You folks know who you are (you might not even be reading this blog, but you know who you are). This is just a friendly warning.