Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spidey/Obama update

You all know that I’ve posted a bit about the Spider-Man/President Obama comicbook that Marvel published earlier this month, well, I wrote a short piece about it for my local newspaper, The Norwalk Citizen.


If you are at all interested in what (else) I had to say on the subject, you can check it out for yourself.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hells’ Blood

I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but my good buddy Hector Rodriguez put together a truly knock-out project called Hells’ Blood I read an ashcan of it some time back and was very impressed with what I saw. I have just heard that the comic has gone to the printer and will be ready for the NY Comic Con. Personally I can hardly wait. In the mean time, here is more imagery from the comic.

I highly recommend it and urge you all to head over to Hector’s site and snag a copy for yourself. It is going to be good.

The Legacy of Cats

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a cat person.

As much as I like dogs (and I do like dogs) I prefer the company of cats. While it is true that they say that cats were once worshiped as gods, and they will never let us forget that, there are numerous advantages to cats over dogs:

1) You don’t have to walk cats.
2) You can leave a cat’s food out all day, and they won’t eat it all at once.
3) You can leave them home all day without having to worry that they will gnaw on your furniture (cats sleep close to 80% of the day)
4) They prefer to be ignored.

Conversely, you can tell if a cat loves you when they allow you to sit under them while they sleep (you don’t own cats, they own you).

The cat in this post is Zazu. My daughter belongs to her. However, during the day (recently) she has been coming downstairs into my office to sleep in my Spidey chair. Needless to say, this is irritating Peanut (she has authority over my son) because the two tend not to get along, and Peanut used to sleep in my office when I’m here. Now Peanut is sleeping elsewhere and well, I’m probably in the dog house over this all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2009 CAG Indy After Party

Hey folks, I don’t know if you are going to be coming to NY Comic Con, but if you are, why not check out the 2009 CAG Indy After Party the BEST party of NYCC.
We’d like to get the word out to as many people as possible. The Party Invite is being posted here.



You are all invited, as well as your friends and fellow industry folk. The party is open to the entire comics community. We have already received some responses from industry professionals expressing interest so we've hoping for some great surprise guests! Now you should come and have fun...!

We want to thank all our sponsors and acknowledge that with your support the Indy After Party is coming together quite nicely.

I’ve listed all 10 of our sponsors here, so feel free to list them in your correspondence for the largest East Coast comics convention... NYCC2009!



2009 Indy After Party Sponsors:

Comicbook Artist Guild (CAG — Keith Murphey)

Hell’s Blood! (Hector Rodriguez)

Atlas Unleashed (mark mazz)

The Toonseum (Joe Wos)

Atomic Media Group (Chris Buchner)

BullaClothing (Kirk Abrigo)

J.M. deSantis

MediaConnection (Eric Lopkin)

Planet Lovecraft (K.L. Young)

TOOLfist (Jose Andrade)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All Spidey/Obama, all the time

I just couldn’t resist:


This is currently my desktop wallpaper.

How cool is this? Eh?

This just in!

The cover of the forth Spider-Man President Obama comic has just been released, it is a combination of the second and third printing (Obama on the left but with a flag background) only this one has a white background. It also has a “4th issue variant” disclaimer on the cover.)

From what we can tell, the hypersonic bidding on the other issues seems to be over, and these copies seem to be going at or close to cover price.

I have to say, that as the features editor of a comics price guide I honestly don’t think that the people who paid five and 10 times cover price will never recoup that value (the Spider-Man 9/11 comic shot through the roof, when it came out. Now you can pick it up for around $20.00 — I have two).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

CAG means networking

I belong to a networking group called The Comicbook Artists Guild (CAG). I have been a part of this organization for three, or four years. I was first invited to join the group by my good Friend Mark Mazz. Mark set up a meeting between me and co-founder and current president Keith Murphey. I have since gone on to work with both Mark and Keith to actively promote the group at conventions and to various media outlets, as well as producing three newsletters for the group which have been handed out at conventions across the country. I was also privileged to relaunch my signature series, Agent Unknown in CAG #7.

Networking is really the only way those of us struggling to get in can hope to survive. Take my pal Chris Buchner. I first “met” Chris while we were both on SpiderFan, and when I realized that he was local to me (he’s NY, I’m CT). I brought Chris over to CAG and then, once I was invited to contribute to The Official Index to the Marvel Universe, I was able to get the invitation extended over to Chris, who is now contributing as well.

When my Pal and fellow CAGer, Carl Herring needed an inker for his self-published comic, The Enforcers, I was able to hook him up with another friend, Chris Torris (who painted my re-launch of Agent Unknown).

When CAG-pal James Rodriguez, was producing a 2009 art calender with a bunch of other CAGers and the very lovely and talented Belkis, I lent him a hand in the production and editorial phase of the project. (You can still buy this calendar, it is not only spotlighted here on this blog, but if you reach out to James, he’d be very happy to sell you one of your very own.)

So, now in the same vein as all of that I want to direct you to a trio of other online pals-o-mine, first up is the CAG web comic page. It is hosted on Drunk Duck, and you will find a bunch of CAG writers and artists assembling an impressive array of online comics. Go there, bookmark the page and then go back to see what we put up there over the coming year. I promise you that it will be very cool.

Now that I’m on the subject of web comics, I want you to head over to Rusty Haller’s page and discover the very entertaining Ace & Queenie; an anthropomorphic action/adventure spy series that he has been producing for Furrlough Comics for over four years (generating over 150 pages of printed art). About 2 years ago, Rusty brought his unique creation to the web where they can be seen in a new storyline.



If his name sounds familiar, it is because he is a cartoonist with quite an impressive history in the print world. His first published work was back in the late ‘80s for a small CT-based publisher, Spotlight Comics. From there Rusty managed to score a gig at Marvel’s line of Star Comics working on such titles as Danger Mouse, Count Duckula, Heathcliff, and Alf, as well as producing some illustrations for Marvel Age. Over at DC he worked on Tiny Toons Adventures, Looney Tunes, and Animaniacks. In addition to this, he worked on various Flintstones and Harvey titles for Archie Comics.

Another site I want you to bookmark is BelkisNYC: Marketing for the Creative Soul. This is the site of Belkis’ very cool and very knowledgeable marketing blog. (Hey I told you she was not only drop dead gorgeous, but wicked intelligent as well!) Currently there are only about a dozen posts, but I’m telling you that I’m already finding it invaluable.

These folks are all good friends of mine, and I want you to treat them well.

Whups, almost forgot...



Hell’s Blood is the creation of another CAG-buddy, Hector Rodriguez. This past Saturday (yesterday), CAG held it’s second annual mixer here in CT (in my old stomping grounds of Fairfield), and we held a Yankee Swap Gift Party. I donated a copy of Comic Values 2008 (of which I’m the features editor), and in return I wound up with a Hell’s Blood T-Shirt. A very cool gift indeed, as I’m currently in talks with Hector to team up his character and my very own Wülf Girlz, as well as the possibility of me colaborating on future issues of Hells’ Blood itself.

Now how cool is that?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Portraits by Dave Ryan

I met Dave Ryan a couple of years ago, I was introduced by a mutual friend, Mark Mazz. All three of us are involved in the Comicbook Artists Guild, and well, I knew that Dave was a righteous illustrator, but I really had no clue as to how good he was until I saw the following Vid.



Dave is living in LA now, but I expect to (hope to) see him this year at the New York Comic Con.

Very cool stuff Dave. I’m totally impressed (Oh yeah, Dave is also the driving force behind The War of the Independents, where my characters — The Wülf Girlz — are slated to appear).



Trust me when I tell you that no one is cooler than Dave.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hey, I’m nearly famous!

So, look what very cool posting has shown up on the Marvel Website!

Official Index to the Marvel Universe #4
Reddit Seed Newsvine StumbleUpon Furl del.icio.us Digg It!
Coming from Marvel in April...


Official Index to the Marvel Universe #4 preview
OFFICIAL INDEX TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #4
Written by AL SJOERDSMA, CHRIS BUCHNER, RONALD BYRD, MICHAEL HOSKIN, ERIC J. MOREELS, ROBERT J. SODARO, JEPH YORK & STUART VANDAL

Continuing the chronicle of the Marvel Universe, starting with Spider-Man (from Amazing Spider-Man #170 on), Iron Man (from Iron Man #70 on) and the X-Men (from Uncanny X-Men Annual #7 on). Follow the history of the Marvel universe as it unfolds month by month with the All-New Official Index to the Marvel Universe. Each issue provides synopses for dozens of individual comics, including back-up strips, introducing you to the characters, teams, places and equipment that appeared within, providing vital information about first appearances, where they last showed up and where they appeared next!

64 PGS./Rated A …$3.99

**********

Yep, you read that right, I’m contributing to the Official Index to the Marvel Universe. To be sure, I’ve contributing to it since December of last year (with my first work appearing in issue #2), but this it the first time that my name is beingincluded in the solicitations.

How cool is that?

President Obama Xs three!

That’s right kiddies, we now have multiple versions of Amazing Spider-Man #583. In our attempt to be all things Spidey to all of you Spidey-Lovers out there, we have learned that there are going to be a total of three variant covers to that landmark issue, the “standard version” (which we saw earlier). This one can seen (again) over here to the left of this opening paragraph. (oh yeah, there is the interior splash page to the Obama/Spidey story (which can be seen off to the right).

Then there is the first variant cover — which is essentially the interior splash page, minus the story’s credits, and plus the standard cover logo info. As with the interior splash page, this image is back-colored blue, and has The new President on the left side of the page, smiling his trademark smile and giving us the “Thumbs up” while Spidey is off in the background (hanging upside down while snapping a pic.).

The second variant has President Obama over on the right side (notice that the image has been flopped) and now appearing on a yellow background). I’m not really sure about why these two particular background covers were picked, and it quite possibly doesn’t really matter, but since the two issues are significantly different (and there is a “2nd printing variant” notice on the cover, there should hopefully be no confusion with collectors (and the rabid speculators) out there.

All of which brings us to the third variant which again has the President on a blue background, again, The President is off to the left (as he was on the first variant), with Spidey is in the background. This time there is an American flag proudly flapping in the breeze behind them, and again, there is a notice on the cover indicating that this is the 3rd printing variant. Also, this time around, Spidey’s snappy comment on the cover also seems to have been eliminated.

Well that should cover it, and I don’t believe that there will be any more variants (#2 came out this week, and #3 is due to come out next week). Oh yeah, if you wanted to read a synopsis of the Obama/Spidey story, you can pop over to SpiderFan and read one written by resident reviewer, Neil McClean.

Hopefully you got a copy (or more), for yourself and didn’t get stung in the process.

**********

THIS JUST IN: To meet the continuing, unprecedented demand, Marvel is going back to press with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #583 FOURTH PRINTING VARIANT. A record three sold out printings in three weeks will now be surpassed with a record fourth printing arriving in stores February 4. Now's your chance to experience the story uniting Barack Obama with the character that, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he named his favorite super hero!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A horse of a different color

Well, the Spider-Man/Obama comicbook is out now,and, well, I didn’t get one.

That’s right. I didn’t get on. You see, one of the comic shops at which I usually shop, was supposed to get 40 or 50 of them, and put most of them out at cover price, only they were (apparently) shorted by their distributor. To be sure, they will be getting copies of the second printing in next Wednesday (there is already a third printing, I understand). The second printing is supposed to have a yellow cover (rather than the blue of the first printing — no word on what the third printing will look like).

The cover you see here is the “Standard” cover. It is the version that I purchased, because, well, I am not about to pay exorbitant price-gouging prices for a brand-new comic, I don’t care who is on the cover. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll pick up a copy of the second printing next week, because, well, it is kind of a cool thing to own, but only at cover price.

On the day of issue, neither of the two shops near me, nor the guy I purchase my books from has the Obama cover. a shop three towns away was selling them for $40.00, and my brother picked one up two towns further out for $15.00 (he’s thinking of selling it, and I’ll replace it with a 2nd printing edition).

Personally, I don’t see this comic holding its value over the long haul. I mean it will be like this for three, maybe six months, but a year into Obama’s term, or after he is no longer in office (eight or 10 years from now) it simply will not exponentially increase in value.

Near as I can determine (through my own inquiries, and by chatting with other collectors), the folks scrambling to buy this issue at any cost are — by-and-large — not comicbook collectors. They are (first and foremost) speculators, Democrats who voted for Obama, and, well, African Americans. I can’t help but to think that anyone who is buying this comic with the intention of selling it in a few years and putting their children through collage are going to be seriously disappointed.

Interestingly enough, I recently learned that this is not the first time that Obama’s visage has appeared on the cover of a comic (and, no, I’m not counting the pair of comics that came out before the election). Two companies published comics staring him and Senator McClain. One comic was a flip book (one side Obama and the other McCain) while the other company (IDW) produced individual comics for each candidate.

No, I'm talking about Obama appearing on the cover of Savage Dragon #137. In fact, the way I hear it, Obama has become something of a regular in Savage Dragon. I really don’t follow that title, so I was totally unaware of this, but still, I find it hard to believe that Erik Larsen put Obama on the cover and I, as both a Democrat and funnybook fan missed the announcement entirely.

To me, that simply smacks of bad marketing.

Anyway That’s what I have today (truthfully, I have more, but I’ll leave the rest for tomorrow, now I’m going to bed). In the mean time, go back and look at the Spidey cover again, as it is this cover that will be the topic of our next conversation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The gal who would be queen

As reported earlier, today was the day when Marvel Comics published a special edition of Amazing Spider-Man #583 which co-stared the (soon to be sworn in) President (elect) Barack Obama. Well, as already revealed the villain of the piece was to be the Chameleon, a long-standing Spider-Man villain.

I am revealing here fro the first time that was a bit of disinformation from Marvel, and through my investigative powers (and Photoshop) I was able to determine the actual villain:



Yeah, I thought it was pretty funny too.

Don’t over think the ordinary

In medicine, it is called “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.”

In political parlance it is rendered...“If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it probably is a duck”

What it means is that (as a rule) things tend to be what they seem to be. So don’t go exotic (or over think them).

My son sent me this clip today,and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

And then, of course, there is this!

Now I have seen (and read) everything!



Speaking for the first time about the project, guitar lord The Edge has revealed: “It is happening. We’ve written a lot of the songs at this point.

“It’s in a pretty good state, and I hope it’ll open this year. We’re not sure where in the world, but most likely it will be in New York.”


You can read the rest In The Sun

Having said that, you all know that I’ll be first in line when it opens.

Spidey, meet Mr. President (elect)

Yep, you read that right, Spidey is going to meet Barack Obama. According to USA Today:

On Jan. 14, Marvel Comics is releasing a special issue of Amazing Spider-Man #583 with Obama depicted on the cover. Inside are five pages of the two teaming up and even a fist-bump between Spidey and the new president.


Yep, Not since Superman met President Kennedy have I been this excited (well, no not really, but you get the point). If you want to see a couple of panels of the comic you can do that now, but the comic itself won’t be out until January 14. That is if you can find it.

The issue, selling for $3.99 at comic-book specialty shops (find one at comicshoplocator.com), is expected to be an instant sellout, especially because the Obama cover, by Phil Jimenez, is limited to half the run.

"This issue will have a lot of heat and go for premium prices. I already have people calling about it," says Alan Giroux, owner of All About Books and Comics in Phoenix. "I expect this will be on the collectors' market for $20 by the first day.


I’ll let you know if I manage to score a copy.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

There go the Holidays

Yes, the holidays are over, but I wanted to show off the way-cool Spidey/Santa hat that my buddy Chris got me for Christmas:



And then there is the long shot...



Thanks again Chris, and Happy (Spidey) New Year to all

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy Belkis Year!

I’m officially declaring this the year of Belkis, as you all know she graces not only the cover, but each and every page of the NovaStar Studios Fantasy Illustrated Calendar. The (unfortunately slightly pixelated) image to the left is the first image of Belkis that greets you at the opening of the new year. It was drawn by by good buddy (and fellow CAGer) Keith Murphey.

If you still haven't purchased a calendar for 2009 (and even if you did), then you should hurry on over to James Rodriguez’s web page and snag yourself one of these beautiful calendars. For all of you who are too cheap to buy one who haven bought one as of yet, I’ll be posting the facing page for the rest of the year. I hope you all enjoy looking at Belkis as much as do I.
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