Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pre-order IDW's "Imaginary Drugs" now!

Well, that was a lengthy break I took from this blog.  Not because I don't love you, blog...don't ever say that.  But I am back with good news!  The Imaginary Drugs anthology will soon be released by IDW, and you can pre-order it now!

I am, of course, very excited that the book will have such a high profile.  What started out as a moderately successful Kickstarter campaign has become a full-fledged wide-release graphic novel.  Not only that, but I was able to jump on as an assistant editor, which means I get to do things like slave away at a table of contents page design.  Above is a shot of it, and you can see my name pop up every so often in the midst of some other really talented creators.

Among some of my stories:

"Eternal Flame" with Paul Tucker!

"Teddy and the Yeti" (perhaps you've heard of it) with Pietro!

And as a special exclusive story to the IDW release, "The Corn Has Ears" with friends Lauren Girdler and Ian Chase Nichols!  Lauren, as you might recall, is a prolific blogger who often writes about food...she's got a new Simpsons-themed blog, "Eats Like a Duck", that you should check out!  And Ian drew a backup story in the 2014 Tick FCBD issue.

Also joining me on some of my stories is Duane Redhead, Mario Wytch, Rafer Roberts and Christine Larsen!

If you'd like to order this book (and that'd be great), you can do it in one of a few ways.  First, you can go to your local comic shop and use the code NOV140515 to have them reserve it for you (or just ask for it by name).  Second, you can pre-order the book on Amazon right now by clicking here.

I hope the book is well received.  I know that everyone involved put a lot of work into it.

I'll post again soon.  Perhaps it'll be more Comic-Con pictures.  You never know!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sideshow's The Thing Legendary Scale Bust

I've been on a bit of a run lately with some nice Thing merchandise.  Up now is the Thing Legendary Scale Bust from Sideshow Entertainment.  This is one of the larger busts available, and when I found it for a good price I couldn't turn it down.

I'm glad that the original shipping box was included.  Of course, that just means one more thing that I can't toss out.  Ah well.  When you see a box from Sideshow in the mail, you know that good things are inside.

Here's the inside box.

...and inside the box is Ben Grimm in all his glory.  I would guess that this is about a 1/3 scale replica, which is still pretty big.  It weighs about 13 pounds but is lighter than I expected.  This version was labeled as a Sideshow Exclusive edition.  It's limited to only 150 copies.  I lucked into this version, honestly, as I didn't even know there was an exclusive edition.  As to what exactly makes this exclusive, well, from what I can gather, it's this:

It's a separate Thing logo on a...a rock...thing.  It's about six inches long and I find it to be cooler than I probably should.  I'm glad I landed the exclusive because this addition adds something to the whole presentation.

Here's the back!  It's like a Thing candy bar or something.

The bust is solid and glossy.  It makes an impressive addition to the statues that I've currently got.

The back is just as impressive.  This is the second Sideshow statue that I now have, the first of which is the Tick, which coincidentally is also the exclusive version.

And here's the bottom of the statue's base, with the numbering written on it.  Onward and upward.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pictures from the 2014 Comic-Con International, part 5 (Lucas Till, Nerd HQ, Zach Levi and more!)

I know that this costume has been done before, but it was probably my favorite of the entire show.  The green base really made it work.  As I walked away from taking the picture, I overheard some teenager say "it's one of the guys from Toy Story."  Okay, buddy.

This was a very strange addition to the show floor.  This wheeled contraption was controlled by the guy we see here on the screen; he shuttled it from place to place via remote control.  In front, a handler paved they way for the machine to move throughout the convention (presumably so attendees didn't just pick the thing up and run away).  It seemed a bit disconcerting to more than just me, because it took a while to figure out if the guy on the screen was just a recording or if he was actually connected live.  This made me wonder if he was promoting something (the product or a program?) or if this was some guy's way of circumventing the badge-buying process by wheeling himself around as a robot.  In the end it just seemed like a guy with Google Glass and too much time on his hands.  Overheard many times since: "Oh, they did something like this on The Big Bang Theory!"  That damn show.

While walking the convention floor, I saw a few people making a big deal about meeting the gentleman on the left of the above picture.  Curiosity getting the better of me, I asked them just who they were getting their picture with, and they informed me that it was Lucas Till, who might be best known as Havok from the X-Men: First Class movie (also Hannah Montana).  Lucas was kind enough to take a picture with me, and I apparently did my best to mess it up by looking stupid while snapping the photo.

I don't know what the car is from, if anything, but I respect anyone who can maneuver this giant contraption through the aisles of Comic-Con.

Ye olde Tick booth.  I didn't take too many pictures from this location this time around, for no other reason than I didn't really think about it.  Needless to say it was a very fun time.

Sweep the leg.

After the show let out on Thursday night, I went over to the Interactive Zone, where I got to sit in the Ninja Turtles pizza launcher (what fun!).  Apparently I missed seeing Megan Fox and Will Arnett by only a few minutes.  This is a shame, because I would have performed my chicken dance for GOB until we either became good friends or he had me forcibly removed.

The pizza launcher really launched (fake) pizzas at stationary Shredder targets.  You couldn't really see the targets from the top of the launcher, but it was a good time regardless.

After the TMNT festivities concluded, I walked to Petco Park, where both the MTV party and Nerd HQ were located.  The MTV party was unfortunately packed to the gills, to the point where the organizers weren't letting anyone else in until some of those inside left.  Having waited in lines all throughout the convention itself, I thought it best to instead take in the Nerd HQ experience, and I'm glad I did.

Of course, I had to climb up the side of the building to get in.

The timing was good, as we managed to catch Zach Levi (star of "Chuck" and the "Thor" sequel) at the Nerd HQ photo booth.  Levi looks like a giant compared to the rest of us.  He looks like a realistic robot that I could physically step into and control as a way of infiltrating secret Hollywood sects.  He's also a pretty handsome dude.

Also in this picture is Jennie Wood, she of Flutter and FUBAR fame!

My name's on here somewhere.  I found it at some point.

Nerd HQ features a retro arcade, and here's a picture of Jennie working some Centipede magic.

Nerd HQ was, as always, a whole lot of fun.  We spent a few hours there playing games and dancing before heading out for the night.  Levi throws a great party.

We left just as the MTV party was letting out.  I snuck in and saw some of the sights before being forced out.  Here were a few other party goers.

I also ran into a guy wearing a suit made out of stuffed animals (really) and asked to take a picture with him.  Instead, he let me wear the jacket.  It was the sweatiest thing I have ever worn.

I don't really know what this is.  Except that it is Comic-Con.

Who's to say that these aren't the real guys?  It's the same logic as robbin' a bank.

That's it for Thursday of Comic-Con.  Who wants to see more pictures?  Well, you have to wait.  What a shame.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spider-Man/Fantastic Four #2 original artwork by Mike Wieringo and Wade von Grawbadger!

I got some new original artwork recently, and this one is really something special.  It's a page from the 2007 mini-series Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four with art by Mike Wieringo and Wade von Grawbadger, and as you can see, there's a lot going on and a lot to like with this page.  Here's the cover to the issue from which it came:

I found the page on the ComicArtFans website and I knew that I had to grab it.  I've wanted to get a page of FF art by Wieringo for a number of years now, but they are increasingly difficult to find.  I got this one at a fair price and it's something that I'll keep forever.

Here's a little known story: I contacted Mike about drawing a cover to Teddy and the Yeti in 2007, just a week before he passed away quite suddenly.  I have no idea if he would have been able to draw the cover (I'm not sure of his contractual status at the time) or even if he would have been willing, but it was such a shock to learn that he died at such a young age.  At the time, I was looking at his website and through his pages of art for sale, and I found a point-of-view image of the Thing opening up his wallet from a recap page from his Fantastic Four run with Mark Waid that I remember so fondly.  The page wasn't very expensive but I didn't buy it, and I've regretted that decision ever since. So to come upon this page was a nice surprise and I'm happy to check that purchase off my list.

Wieringo's inker on his Fantastic Four run was Karl Kesel, and Kesel inked all of the story pages from blue line recreations, meaning that most of Wieringo's original FF art is pencil only.  The Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four mini series, though, brought inker Wade von Grawbadger into the mix, and pencils and inks were done on the same page, which makes this an extra special treat.

The page itself (21 of 22 in that issue) features the entire FF team plus some great shots of Spider-Man.  The Thing is in four different panels, people!!  But my favorite overall might be the shot of Reed and Sue hugging each other.  The Waid/Wieringo run, more than most others, captured perfectly the loving relationship between these two stalwart Marvel characters, and it's well-represented on this page.

And so my small collection of Fantastic Four original art grows by one.  What a page to add, though. It's a real treasure of cosmic proportions.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pictures from the 2014 Comic-Con International, part 4 (Felicia Day, Rob Corddry, TMNT Pizza, Game of Thrones and more!)

More pictures from Comic-Con? Celebrity pictures from Comic-Con? Why yes! 

This batch is the first from Thursday, 7/24...the first "official" day of the show.

Just as I did in 2013, my first stop on Thursday morning was to Geek & Sundry, Felicia Day's gaming-themed event space.  Unlike last year, the place was incredibly crowded, packed from front to back, for as long as I stuck around.  This was a troubling theme for much of the show, one about which a solution is not readily apparent.  Many of the expansion events - places outside of the convention hall - did not require visitors to have Comic-Con badges to enter and attend.  At first this sounds like a great idea, one that spreads the wealth and allows more people to enjoy the events, especially if, say, they were able to get Comic-Con proper tickets on some days but not all of them.

The result, though, was just an incredible crush of humanity.  It was appreciably more crowded outside of the convention hall than the previous year and it was impossible to see many of the outside events.  As a result, many attendees with tickets stayed inside, making the convention floor, especially on Friday and Saturday, more unbearable than usual.

I'm not sure what the perfect answer is to this problem.  I'm not even sure there is an answer to make everyone happy or at least satisfied.  But having thousands more trying to fit into a relatively small space is not ideal by any means.  I see no reason that Comic-Con can't continue to grow and admit more people to all of the great attractions, but there needs to be a tenable plan as opposed to trying to squeeze more into the same space.  Who knows how this will all play out?

But back to the point at hand.  I really enjoy the idea behind Geek & Sundry and I'm always sad that I don't spend more time just hanging out.  Comic-Con is all about prioritizing as there's always something to do, and crowds often make it difficult to even get to outside events, but this small space is well worth it and I'm going to try to give some more time to this particular location in years to come.  Even though it was packed inside this year, it's still a low key event with appearances by none other than Felicia Day, she of Dr. Horrible fame.

Here's a nice picture of the two of us.  Here's me after I said "okay, we're gonna point at each other", and after Day probably said, to herself, "whatever, dude."  But it's a fun picture nevertheless with a lovely and talented actress and gamer.

After leaving Geek & Sundry, I made my way back to the interactive zone with one goal in mind: to score a slice of Pizza Hut's TMNT Pizza.  The concept of free food has not lost its appeal and I was lucky enough to get some pizza before the line got too long or the exhibit ran out of food.  The pizza, which was actually pretty good, came in this well designed box.  I managed to grab some of the promotional posters for the Ninja Turtles movie as well.

After I ate, it was time to get back to the convention center.  Here's BMO from Adventure Time.

And a pretty good Homer Simpson costume!

The Red Woman texts during this Game of Thrones picture, but my favorite was, of course, King Robert's beard.

Lady Shredder.  Great costume.  I wonder if she had to get the weapons on her arms approved before she got in...they were very realistic.

I'm not quite sure why Captain America's shield is missing its red stripes.  But this was a pretty decent Marvel ensemble, with '90s Cyclops, Cap, Jean Grey, Black Widow and Star-Lord.

Pirate dog.  Must have been a service dog of some sort to get in, or perhaps his costume fooled the convention floor workers.

I probably enjoyed this new Captain Marvel costume more than any other at the convention.  It's very book-specific and part of the comic book zeitgeist.

He's probably gonna wreck it.

Oh, it's the obligatory Comic-Con photo op from the escalator.  I get one every year.

While I was on said escalator, I saw these great Sherman and Mr. Peabody costumes.  I suppose these were on display because of the recent movie, but it was fun to see these old time cartoon characters represented in 2014.

See?  I told you the eyes opened.  I wonder what they do with this huge prop after the show ends.

Yes, the eyes of this White Walker lit up.  A very impressive prop in the media section of the convention floor.

And let's end with a shot of Children's Hospital star/Daily Show alumni Rob Corddry.  As I walked past and took this picture, I noticed that there were about two people waiting in line to get this actor's autograph.  I looked around and said, " there a line for this?" and a security guard looked at me as if I was the biggest idiot at the convention.  Okay, so it was a stupid question and I knew what the answer would be, but it never hurts to ask.  OH WELL.  Lots more to come.  Please hold your anticipation in check.