Monday, March 20, 2023

Adventures in Babysitting, Brenda & the Frost Giants Style.

Back in 2006 is when I first met Matt C. Ryan (Bigger) back in 2006 when he illustrated the first chapter of my Wűlf Girlz storyline. We went on from there attending Comic Cons, related events, swapped comics we produced (and he illustrated the second chapter if the initial trilogy in 2008). So, yep, I have known him for a while now and sure we’re friends and all, which is why at a recent comic show in Manchester, CT I purchased from him, his most recent minicomic, Brenda The Frost Giant Babysitter a comicbook targeted for young adults.

Matt has a very straightforward storytelling style that is ideal for this particular market. His very distinct art is fun, bold, and clean, as it caries the story through the tale being told. As for the story itself, it is a fun, entertaining romp swirling around a young Viking girl who already sees herself as a warrior even though her father, a Viking chief, still sees her as his little girl. Needless to say (and much to our own delight), Brenda has a very different view of her place in the Steelhammer clan.

This comic contains two stories, The Four Ages and High Adventures in Babysitting (the first, shorter, story is in black & white, while the second, longer story is in full color). The first tale gives some background of the world in which Brenda and her kin lives and tells us a bit about the four ages of that world (The Dragon Exiles, the smaller lizards that came to replace them, the rise of mammals, and finally the appearance of Men), as well as the resulting wars and conflicts between each race of beings as one declined and the other ascended.

The second, main story, relates how Lord Greyton Steelhammer (Brenda’s doting father) must conduct some business away from camp and leaves his precious Brenda in the capable hands of Ruby, her teenaged babysitter. Well, as previously stated, Brenda doesn’t believe herself to be a child in need of being watched over, but as a full-fledged warrior woman who has every right to go off on her own adventures, so what we are treated to is Brenda doing everything she can to elude her babysitter, and go off to join her father on the trail in search of some quest.

For her part, Ruby does her level best to attempt to restrain Brenda but all to no avail. (Imagine if you will another frenetic comic youth and his hapless babysitter – I speak of course of the Mischievous Calvin and his hapless babysitter, Susie.) Well, for what it is worth, Ruby has as much luck detaining Brenda as Susie did Calvin, with as much hilarity ensuing in the process. As for how the story winds up, you’ll simply have to acquire your own copy to learn that.

The comic itself not only comes with a number of variant covers, each one promoting and supporting a different part of Matt’s business model (a move we found quite engaging), but with a mini Food Fight Value Stamp . The version we purchased is targeted towards Cliff’s Cons which are held nearly monthly in Plainsville, CT at the VFW Hall on 7 Northwest Dr. We’ve attended a few of Cliff’s cons, and have always found them friendly, and full of wicked cool comic-related Tchachakas. Matt has his own studio (Fee Lunch Comics) in Granby, CT which offers classes and workshops in comicbook art and design.

Monday, February 20, 2023

ShieldMaster to the Rescue

While comicbooks themselves (one word, not two, we’ll explain later)[i] can be trace back to Geneva, Switzerland back in 1837 then then jumping to appear in the UK and the U.S. in the 1840s. Here in the U.S. the recognized dawn of comicbooks in the States began in 1897, with the publication of The Yellow Kid in McFadden’s Flats has long been considered to be the first U.S. comic book (still one word, more later), insomuch that it actually bore the phrase “comic book” on its back cover. Still, it wasn’t until 1938 and the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1 that the Golden Age of comics truly began. This Golden Age ran from ’38 ‘til ’51, with the resurgence of comics as viable pop culture medium occurring during the Silver Age which ran from 1956 through 1970[ii].

Throughout the intervening years, comics have morphed into various changes, altering size, price point, format, delivery methodology, and even ultimately jumping from the static page to TV, Film, and currently living on the internet. Still, for those of us who were first introduced to comics in their “All in color for a dime”, 32-page, episodic original incarnation; even those of us (your humble narrator included) who came of age during the second (third?) great age of comics; The Silver age which ran from 1956 through 1970[i].

Needless to say, there were some folks who were there during the Golden Age, who stuck around and/hoor were still influential in one form or another. One of those people was Joe Simon, who was the partner of Jack Kirby who has been credited with founding the look of the Marvel Universe. It is no secret that one of Joe and Jack’s greatest creation has been Captain America, who, in his first cover appearance was depicted as punching Adolf Hitler in the Jaw on the cover of Captain America #1 in 1941 a full nine months before the U.S. entered the war.

Now some 80+ years later, Jesse Simon, the Grandson of Joe, along with his father Jim (Jo’s son) have brought a new set of heroes into the fold, all reminiscent of his grandfather’s greatest hero. ShieldMaster is a comicbook about four teenagers from Montauk, NY just off the eastern end of Long Island. The teens wander onto a decommissioned military base and come across a set of extra-dimensional shields that imbue them with supra-normal powers and abilities, transforming them into the incarnations of powerful warriors that once protected another world in another dimension. The first two issues of ShieldMaster initially appeared as an Illustrated graphic album entitled ShieldMaster Comics Phoenix Project and was then continued as ShieldMaster Comics in an anthology comic, packaged with The Fly in a new story by Jim Simon as well as a Blue Bolt reprint by his grandfather, Joe.

Upon reading the series, the first thing readers will see is the similarity in art style between the that of Reed Man’s and the art of many of the popular comics from the Golden age. Another aspect of the series is the rather simplistic storytelling style. To be sure, this is not so much of a slam as it is an observation of a comics historian with 50 years of first-hand knowledge of the field, from multiple angles; from that as a fan, a journalist covering the field, as well as a professional working for both major and minor publishing houses, plus publishing my own comics.  

One of the aspects of ShieldMaster (as well as Golden Age) comics is the shear simplicity of the storytelling; heroes are good guys because they do the right things, while villains are bad because they do bad things. There was little if any subtility to the storytelling during that era, some of which spilled over into the early days of the Silver Age with the appearance of the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in X-Men #4 (March 1964), because truthfully, no real world organization would actually use the word “evil” as part of their name. As the medium evolved, subtilty and layers of storytelling were added to what was once believed to be solely a child’s medium. Needless to say, this simpler, straightforward style of storytelling is not entirely without its charm. Plus, for all of its layered subtility, a simpler, more to-the-point style of telling a story is probably more effective for a small publisher without a clear, regular publishing schedule.  

Having said all of that, as someone who spent the Lion’s share of his life reading, and working in and around comics, seeing the scion of a comicbook legend entering the field is a most amazing, and heartfelt sensation. (Back in 2010 Jason Goodman, (another third-generation offspring, the grandson of Martin Goodman (who founded Atlas, which became Marvel) and the son of Chip Goodman (who launched Atlas/Seaboard back in ’74) attempted to bring Atlas Comics back into the funnybook publishing industry with the characters from the ’74 re-launch.

In conclusion, we wish Jason and Jim all the best in their noble endeavor to keep Joe’s legacy alive in the field that he help found.

For more information about ShieldMaster, check them out on Facebook, or Twitter.

[i] Stan Lee once stated that “comicbooks” should be written as one word because they are neither either “comical” or “books” but by combining them into a single word, they actually become an entirely new genre. Hence we have since referred to our medium of choice by the nomenclature that Stan laid on it.

[ii] The accepted eras for comics are as follows:

1 Platinum Age (1842-1938)

2 Golden Age (1938- c. 1951)

3 Silver Age (1956 -c. 1970)

4 Bronze Age (c. 1970 – c. 1985)

5 Iron/Modern Age (c. 1985 - present)


Friday, January 06, 2023

Avatar, the endless path

Well, we just this week watched the second James Cameron Avatar film, The Way of Water, and well, I want to give all’ya’all my quickie review of the film here on my blog before I post a longer, more reflective , review over on my HubPages site.

Still, to do that, I’m-a gonna have to give you my quickie review of the first film.


A group of nasty, self-entitled, White Colonials travel across the galaxy to new planet to seize a power source from the sacred ground of the indigenous peoples. Only the hi-tech, highly militarized, Colonials get their collective asses kicked by the lo-tech (bow-and-arrow) indigenous peoples and are sent packing. 

Avatar 2: The Way of Water

Fifteen years later, those same nasty, self-entitled, White Colonials (pissed that they got their collective asses kicked) travel back across the galaxy in order to seize a brand-new power source from sacred creatures of the indigenous peoples. Once again, they get their collective asses kicked, only this time in water. 

For my next trick, as Cameron has announced several more Avatar films (one every two years from now to eternity and beyond, just like James Bond). So I’m going to (precognitively) deliver my reviews of the next six projected Avatar films.

Avatar 3: The Way of Fire

The nasty, self-entitled, White Colonials (who are still living on Pandora) attempt to seize another brand-new power source from the indigenous peoples of Pandora. Once again, they get their collective asses kicked, only this time more severely, and with fire. 

Avatar 4: The Way of Wind

Here it is another several years later and those same nasty, self-entitled, White Colonials (still pissed that they keep getting their collective asses kicked) travel across Pandora in order to seize another new power source, this time from the very planet of the indigenous peoples. But, once again — that’s right — get their collective asses kicked. 

Avatar 5: The Way of Desert

A whole bunch of new nasty, self-entitled, White Colonials (pissed that their friends got their collective asses kicked) arrive on Pandora so as to seize spice from the giant sandworms that are ridden by the indigenous Na'vi Dessert Dwellers, and are surprised when they get their collective asses kicked.  

Avatar 6: The Way to Tipperary

Those very bad nasty, self-entitled, White Colonials (once again surprisingly pissed that they got their collective asses kicked) travel back across Pandora to seize a new and improved power source from a sacred place of the indigenous peoples. Only to (surprise), get their collective asses kicked. 

Avatar 7: The Way to San Jose

You will get to see even more nasty, self-entitled, White Colonials (once again, eternally pissed that they keep getting their collective asses kicked) travel to yet another sacred place on Pandora so as to seize a spanking-brand-new power source from the indigenous peoples. And here’s a new twist to the story, they get their collective asses seriously kicked.


Avatar 8: The Way of the House Speaker

This time the Na'vi are fed up with the constant waring on their planet, and travel to Earth in order to confront the nasty, self-entitled, White Colonials on their homeworld to once again, majorly kick their collective asses, this time on TV by repeatedly not voting Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker. (Yeah, I totally went there,.)


Yeah, I realize that I got seriously flip with my extended mini reviews, but here’s the rub. When thew first Avatar film came out Cameron was fairly-well roasted over the fact that his plot for that film read suspiciously like the plot to the Disneyfied version of Pocahontas. Now, having seen both films, we now feel that the film he will be retelling for the next 3,000 years of longing will, in fact, be Zulu (a 1964 film that recounted a 1879 battle where the Zulu nation hands the invading Colonial British armed forces a resounding defeat in battle; a defeat that will be echoed throughout history by the American Colonists, and virtually ever British protectorate for all times). 

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Turning Book Pages into Art

Book Page Art started when founders Jen and Kristy discovered a box of books that were discarded and placed on the curb to be thrown away. They were determined to do something with the books and brought them home in order to give them a new life as art!

I personally discovered them at the 2022 New York Comicbook Convention, where they occupied a booth opposite the booth where I was working (Heroes in Action). During our down times during NYCC (which weren’t many) I was drawn to their booth in order to check out their very cool product.

What Jen and Kristy have done is take pages from books that are old, torn, tattered, and/or getting thrown away, and give them new life by creating original art on weathered old book pages. According to Book Page Art’s web page, they work at matching their page artwork and quotes to the books that correlate with them. “We take special care that artwork represents the book that the pages are from.” Needless to say, the specific book page on which the art appears (either a quote from the book, or some art relevant to the book itself) will often vary from the pages shown in photos on the site.

Given that they use all possible pages from each book to create their art, each page is uniquely different. Also, the art is done directly on the pages of the upcycled books and never photocopies of pages. Customers can either choose from pre-existing pages and art or they can request a specific page or passage from a book, creating a custom order, which is also possible (assuming the book and/or page is available). Anyone wishing to place a custom order should directly contact them directly).  

Because books vary in size so too does the art, thus they mount each page onto a black mat backing that is 8 x 10, so that it fits perfectly into an 8 x 10 frame. All art is shipped in a protective casing with a sturdy cardboard mat in order to protect it from bending in the mail. In the unlikely event that the art is damaged in the shipping process customers should contact Book Page Art directly.

The art page that I discovered which best suited my state of mind was a page from The Alchemist (a book, I admittedly (sadly) never actually read, but I did acquire a copy soon afterwards and it is now sitting by my bedside). I immediately fell in love with this page and the quote as it most assuredly described the current state of my life, as I find myself in a relationship with a woman I’ve known and have been friends with for several years. After a number of failed relationships (for each of us) we have found a cojoined life for both of us with each other. Hence the quote seemed spot on as far as we were both concerned.

 The art is now on display in our Livingroom, just above the fireplace. Because while the gift was from me to my love, it accurately describes how we each feel about each other.

“I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you”

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

I was A Middle-Aged Superhero

This is an article I wrote that was originally penned in the mid-‘80s (when I was in my 30s) and was published by the Comics Buyer’s Guide. I’m republishing it here, with a special addendum/update to further help put the conclusions I drew then into perspective.


Do you remember Saturday morning cartoons, Wonderama (with Sonny Fox — sorry, a local NY TV program from the late ‘60s), and the wide-eyed innocence of youth? Do you remember tying a beach towel around your neck and transforming yourself into the Man of Steel? Do you remember when you really believe that a man could fly?

I do.

So — given this — you can perhaps better understand what I did a couple of Halloweens ago. Brace yourself — I became (drum roll, please), the Amazing Spider-Man. No, I am not an overgrown fanboy (although I do admit to being a card-carrying Marvel Zombie), since I had been invited to a Halloween party, I decided that I would attend, and — for the first time in several years — go in costume.

Thus, I went down to a local comic shop and bought the last Spider-Man, long-sleeved T-shirt they had in stock. You know it, the black one with the white spider symbol silk-screened on it. Yes, yes, I knew that Spidey had long since abandoned this costume (and it was adopted by the villainous Venom), but who in the outside (dare I call it “real”) world, knew this. If the truth were to be told, most people never knew that the costume changed to black in the first place. I supplemented the shirt with a black turtleneck, black sweatpants, a black, full-faced ski mask, black knit gloves, and heavy black socks. I inserted a pair of thick insoles into a pair of black socks (making them akin to a pair of slippers), sewed the mouth of the face mask shut and (using white medical tape), edged the mask’s eyes and placed a patch of white on the backs of the gloves.

Donning the makeshift costume (along with a pair of curved, mirrored sunglasses worn under the mask), I transformed myself into my childhood hero: the Amazing Spider-Man. To all who could see, I was covered from head to toe in black; with the ominous-looking spider on the front and back of my shirt, as well as the spectral-like white-rimmed, mirrored-eyes, I was no longer the mild-mannered writer, Bob Sodaro, I was Spider-Man, a bona fide Superhero. All I needed to do now was to make my grand entrance.

I determined that this costume was too good to “waste” on just the party, so I decided to make the rounds, and show it off. My first stop was my uncle’s deli. Clad in my new costume, I flung the door open and leaped to the countertop next to the cash register (promptly sliding on its slick surface and falling on my rump). The gal at the register, who I’ve known for years, looked at me and said, “Hello Robert.” Oh well, I said, she knows I collect comics and that Spidey is my hero; so, it was a lucky guess on her part.

My next stop was to a local restaurant I frequented and knew most of the help. I calmly strolled in during a mid-afternoon lull to a chorus of “Hey there, Bob.” “Great costume, Bob.” Bummer, two strikes against me, I thought. After I was there for a while, the owner showed up, I quickly pulled my mask back on and jumped up on the banister behind a booth in my best Spider-like pose. He calmly walked in, glanced passingly at me and said, “Nice costume, Bob.” Grrr, this is getting ridiculous.

Me (as Spidey) & Pop
From there I went across town to another establishment I frequented and knew the help. I walked in and jumped up onto the back of a videogame in the lobby (which was being played by one of the workers), “Ooh, Spider-Man,” the gal playing the game cooed. “Is that Bob?” A co-worker asked. “Yep,” the first gal responded. Ah well.

The last stop of my tour was (naturally), the comic shop I frequented (not the shop where I bought the shirt in the first place). I burst in the door of the shop, shouting “Beware evildoers! Spider-Man is here!” One patron looked passively at me and said, “You clown, Sodaro.” While others laughed and called out my name.

Needless to say, no matter where I went that day, no matter who I saw, either knew right away who I was, or strongly suspected that it was me. Granted, I do have a reputation for being a tad flaky, and pulling some silly stunt or other, but what depressed me was that literally everyone knew it was me! leading me to ask, just how does this work in comics.

You know what I mean, how do guys like Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Robin, and other, who only sport those dinky little masks (and, by the way, how do they stay on?), get away with not being outed? I have no trouble recognizing people when they put on a pair of sunglasses. Further, how does Oliver Queen get away with having such a stylish beard and mustache without people questioning that Green Arrow does as well? And don’t even talk to me about how Clark Kent gets away with just his eyeglasses as a disguise. I wear glasses, and everyone recognizes me with or without them (or when I change the style of them, as I do every couple of years or so.

Once I had a gal come up to me in a dimly lit, smoky bar and ask if I was Bob Sodaro (which I then was, and still am). I responded that I, in fact, was, and she told me that we were in second grade together, and not only had she recognized me, but she stated that I hadn’t changed at all since then (this, in spite of the intervening 30 years, and that I was probably twice as tall as I had been the last time she saw me, plus I was now over a hundred pounds heavier, moustached, bearded, wore glasses, and my hairline was in a full retreat up my forehead. I — of course — had not a clue as to who this gal was; when prompted, I eventually did recognize her name, if not her.

In spite of this incident (that I was recognized in full costume), I still believe that a man can fly. Nevertheless I do not fully understand how people never quite figure out who these superheroes are. (Personally, since this incident, I’m more inclined to believe John Byrne’s line of thought as expounded in Marvel Comics’ comic The Star Brand. That is to say, that superheroes’ secret identities aren’t discovered more often within their respective storylines is because it would not only ruin a nifty story, but that the writer simply doesn’t want it to happen.

However, while this doesn’t really inhibit my enjoyment of superhero comics, I am a touch more critical of plot holes that simply ignore things that are (or would be in real life), glaringly obvious. If only other writers would consider how certain events would look if the story was told outside comics, perhaps they would improve their storytelling.

As for me, I believe that this year I’ll stay home for Halloween.


It is now 30 years hence from when I originally penned that article, and I’m in my 60s. This article is even more relevant today than when I originally wrote it, as we have recently came through a two-year pandemic/lock-down where whenever I was out in public, I was fully masked, and yes, people I knew still recognized me, so, clearly, nothing has actually changed, and while I still believe in heroes (especially the colorful, mask-wearing ones) I’m still not completely convinced that the entire masked-wearing gerne actually works; especially when being fully-masked (as many of us were during the pandemic) were still recognizable to those who knew us. Still, it is fun to pretend.


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Mr. MiSoki are the comicbook socks you should be wearing!

If you are into comicbooks and sartorial splendor as far as your footwear is concerned, then you just might want to consider checking out Mr. MiSoki brand socks.

That’s right, you read that correctly “Mr. MiSoki” (clearly a play on the iconic Mr. Miyagi character played by Pat Morita in the Karate Kid films) is what you could expect from a comicbook-based sock company. As it turns out, Mr. MiSocki was started by a pair of guys who really love socks and design.

What Mr. MiSocki has done is combined flashy socks, innovative marketing, cool graphics, and entertaining comics. The company sells a box containing two pairs of flamboyantly decorated pairs of socks packaged with a comicbook. Currently the company produces six separate comics, along with 12-gloriously eclectic socks; and what could be more fun than that?

The comics themselves are 6" x 3.5" 22 page full-color comics that tell the story of a pair of matched socks and their efforts to stay together. In the first comic, they become separated, and work to become matched upo once again. the comic is written by Munish Taneja, and illustrated by A. T. Pratt.

According to the company’s website, Munish Taneja, the company’s CEO, has spent several years in technology product management and business development. He currently works at Google as a Mobile UX lead. Funky socks have always been a unique obsession for Munish and he wanted to apply the versatile skillset he developed throughout his career to create something that would bring joy to people's lives.

A. T. Pratt, the CCO (Chief Creative Officer) is a multi-disciplinary cartoonist, illustrator, fine artist, designer, and self-publisher. Each project he creates aims to tackle words and pictures in new and exciting ways, incorporating handmade additions like pop-ups and foldouts in his comics, and now with socks leaping from the flat comic page into real life!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Welcome to Halloween

 Recently (just today as I pen this post). I've had yet another short story of mine posted on the internet. The story is Halloween-Themed, and was posted to a Facebook site entitled, Writers Unite!  

I had joined the site a year or so back, and in the intervening time I've has three short stories published by them in three separate anthologies (A Western, A Fantasy, and a Romance story).

Each of those stories appeared in print, whereas, this most recent story appears only online, as stated, in the Writers Unite! Facebook page. 

 To locate this Spooky tale, one need to go to Facebook, log into the Writer's Unite! page, and find the WU Witching Hour post, then navigate to the WU! Witching Hour Part Six which is where my story resides. My story is entitled "Cat Got Your Tongue", which is the final story of the set.

Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Romance is in the air!

So here I am, Some 40+ years writing professionally and I'm — quite honestly — having perhaps one of the best years ever. I have several projects in print, as well as several more awaiting publication. 

This past week I just finished off laying out a book project for a new client, and am starting on the layout of a magazine for one of my longest-running clients. I have three prose short stories out for publication, five comicbook scripts in various stages of production. I'm getting set to launch a comicbook Kickstarter with a new publisher, as well as brand new offer to script a one-shot (with the possibility of sequels). 

Still, none of that is what I really want to write about today. As of the 1th of this month (just two days ago as I type this, 8/15/22) I'll have my third (yes, third) prose short story out in print with Writers Unite (a Facebook group to which I belong). The anthology Writers Unite: Dimensions of Love, is a two volume set of short stories.

My story, entitled The Way Back appears in the second volume of the set, and I'm very excited to have it appear in this set as penning a romance story is so far outside the type of writing I've been doing for the past four decades. 

Over the years I've written ad copy for radio, print, direct mail, and the web; I've written marketing material as well as technical and procedure manuals. I've worked as a journalist, done hundreds of interviews, written reviews of films, books, comics and more. Still. This romance story is honestly one of the coolest things I've ever written. Hopefully others will enjoy not just my story, but the full run of stories in the series.

The anthology is available on Amazon in both print and ebook editions, the links for both editions are below. (The links will lead to both version of each volume.)

Writers Unite: Dimensions of Romance, Volume One:

Writers Unite: Dimensions of Romance, Volume Two!%20Anthologies%20Dimensions%20of%20Love%20Volume%20two&qid=1660659890&s=books&sprefix=writers%20unite%20anthologies%20dimensions%20of%20love%20volume%20two%2Cstripbooks%2C52&sr=1-1&fbclid=IwAR1bcj5sJ17_tNeMiPp-7w61oE8acP7UzZmjtoE82khV4e7CPGTcqp0j58w

As an aside, a second romance story of mine has been posted online over here:

Thursday, August 11, 2022

John Romita, Sr, Gerry Conway, Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy, & Me!

So here is a bit of my own personal history in comics.

Back in 1973 (when I was just a mere lad of 18) I attended my first or second NY Comic Con. For context this was shortly after the release of Amazing Spider-Man #121 when Gwen Stacy died at the hands of the Green Goblin. While at the show, I wandered into the Pro room to find to John Romita (Sr.) doing sketches and signing autographs. (No lines, no charge, just JRSR sitting at a table signing for the kids.) 

While wearing my über-cool Spidey T-shirt (with art by JRSR), I eagerly held out my convention book. For John to sign. Looking up from his last drawing, he spotted my shirt, smiled and reached out past a couple of other fans, for my book and asked who I would like for him to illustrate for me. "Gwen Stacy." I said. 

"I can only draw her head," He replied.

"OK, that's fine with me." I responded.

So he drew her face. Upon completing the sketch and autographing it, I reached for my program book, to take it back, only John wasn't quite done with it. He then drew a big word balloon, and wrote "You did it Gerry C.!" And then handed back to me.

I laughed at the cool moment. (Remember, Gerry Conway was the writer who famously wrote the story in issue #121 of Amazing Spider-Man where she died.)

About an hour or so later, I was back in the pro room to see who else I could get an autograph from, and lo and behold who was there, but none other than Gerry Conway himself. Knowing I simply couldn't pass this moment up, I turned to John's autograph in my program booklet, and handed it to Gerry as I asked for his autograph. 

"Sure kid," He said taking the booklet from me. Then when he noticed the page he was asked to sign, he did a double take and laughed, then he too autographed the page, adding "Yeah, and I'm glad I did!"

Needless to say, this was an even cooler moment for me. 

I still have that booklet with both autographs in it. 

A week or so back I attended TerrifiCon at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. where Gerry Conway was one of the guests. I hadn't crossed paths with Gerry in nearly 50 years, but I again couldn't pass up this moment. I went up to his table and said. "Gerry, you certainly don't remember me, but I hope you remember this." And I showed him the photo of the page from that old convention book that was on my phone.

"I absolutely do remember that!" he exclaimed, then he asked if he could take a picture of it off my phone, which I agreed to letting him do. I then got to chat with him for a few minutes to tell him how much I always enjoyed his writing.

A little later in the show John Romita, Jr showed up to sign autographs for the fans, and I — once again — wanted to share my 50-year-old story. So I approached JRJR's table and got his attention, saying "50 years ago I got your father's and Gerry Conway's autograph, and this is how they signed my book." showing him the photo on my phone.

As can be expected, JRJR also loved the story, and I entreated him to also take a picture of my phone and send it to his father (who had never seen the response autograph that Gerry had gifted me with.) Which JRJR did. 

To both of them I then related the story how, when I showed up to see the 2nd Andrew McCarthy Spider-Man film my friend, Shawn, who worked at the theater, told me "You're gonna hate this film." To which I replied, "Why, because Gwen dies in it?"

Have you already seen the film?" he asked. 

"No." I said, "She died when I was 18 and I'm still not over it!"

Here now is that autograph that JRSR and Gerry did for me back in 1973, when I was 18.

Honestly, it is probably the coolest thing I own.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Call me "Storyteller" Part the 2nd!

For years  I've been referring to myself as (alternately) a Journalist and as a storyteller. While both are true, a more accurate descriptor would be that, even as a journalist, my best articles were, in fact stories. 

Part of this reason is that, where my own learning has taken place, I've always been better at learning/remembering something if it was related to me as a story, rather than simply as a fact (probably why I was always better at English than Math). Needless to say, I've always been able to spin a good yarn. 

A short while back, in an earlier post, I shared a few links for some print stories that I had written. Well, since that time, I have penned a few more stories that reside online, and I would like to share those links with you now.

First up, is a story of a slightly different genre than I've been writing in, this one a romance story. This was in response to a writer's prompt in the attempt to get the story included in an anthology. Unfortunately, the story didn't make the cut, but it still is readable online, here. The story is entitled Good Morning Cupcake, and is the tale of a woman approaching 50 who is a widow, and on the cusp of a relationship with an older male friend whom she has known professionally for well over a decade. Part of my reasoning for making the couple older, is that so many "love" stories are about young teens or 20somethings, and I really just wanted to write a story about an older couple (finally) finding true love.

illustration by Carl Morgans
The second story Night of the Owl, operates on more familiar ground, as it is the backstory of a Golden Age superhero whose adventures I've been chronicling (along with others) in InDELLible Comics. Those of us who are working on stories for InDELLible are playing in a sandbox of Public Domain characters that were once published by Dell Comics back in the '50s & '60s. These comics and prose anthologies can be found on Amazon. We've written a bunch, and more are on the way.

The third story is an original piece that I penned while officiating a flash fiction story writing exercise at a comic con several years back. (To be sure, my piece wasn't so much entered in the contest I was proctoring, as it was done to pass my time while the actual contestants were writing their stories. My story sat around all these years with no where to go, until I discovered this website where I could post it.

Currently I'm writing more short stories, and just may wind up posting them online in one of these two sites. So, keep your eyes open as there is more to come, so stay tuned!

Adventures in Babysitting, Brenda & the Frost Giants Style.

Back in 2006 is when I first met Matt C. Ryan ( Bigger ) back in 2006 when he illustrated the first chapter of my Wűlf Girlz storyline. We w...