Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nuclear Winter!

Well, hello, Internet. It's been several months since I've posted anything. Has anyone noticed? Maybe Larry noticed. Anyway, I had to take a break for a couple reasons, both mostly accounting to the excuse "I'm busy". This isn't a great excuse, because I love you, Yeti blog. I think I've had this damn thing for nine years. But the spring brought about some new online classes that I signed up to teach, which meant a lot of content design, and it also brought some new comic book work, which is by far more exciting and enjoyable. I'll try to update more often, but maybe not as often as in years past, because a lot of my time is not going toward making comics, and that's, I guess, pretty neat.

So let's try to spend a few minutes going over what's going on here in whatever year this is now:

Probably the biggest news is that the first volume of Honcho is finished and has made its way back from the printer! It topped out at around 120 pages and, if I can say so, it looks really great. Everyone did a really nice job with it. Jeff McComsey and I are trying to find a publisher for a wider release, which I think the book deserves, so we'll see how that goes.

Free Comic Book Day 2017 has come and gone, and with it, a new issue of The Tick! This is actually the fifth year in a row that I've been able to write a story for FCBD, and as in previous years, I was able to travel to Boston to sign some books at a few different New England Comics stores. This will be a big year for The Tick, as the first season of the new television series officially premiers on Amazon's streaming service in August. I wrote a new story for this year's San Diego Comic-Con, where there'll be some surprises in store regarding the show and a few different items related to it. Let's take a tiny peek at one of the panels from that new comic:

How tantalizing! What could it mean??

I had a short story published by the newly launched AR Comics. Ian Nichols (who drew the above Tick panel) invited me to contribute to the geographically-named "New England Tales of Terror", which premiered at a local New England comic convention in February. My story was drawn by none other than Joe St. Pierre, formerly of Spider-Man 2099 fame, so I was pretty excited.

This hasn't been formally announced yet, so keep it to yourself, but I'm lettering an original graphic novel that has been picked up by Image Comics. I can't really talk about it at any length, but I lettered a pitch for the book in 2015 and we recently got the go-ahead to produce the full-length story. If all goes well, this'll be my first work under the Image banner, which is very exciting. I hope I'm not jinxing it by talking about it.

I'll be at Comic-Con in San Diego once again this year - my sixth year in a row! I'll have copies of Honcho with me along with the aforementioned new issue of The Tick. I'll be sharing a booth with the very talented Jennie Wood in the small press section. I'm a little surprised with how excited I still get for Comic-Con. I'm in full preparation mode over a month away. This should be a fun year. Oh, and if all goes well, I may have something that looks similar to this with me at the booth:

Let's keep our fingers crossed for this one.

How many new Thing items have I gotten since I last posted an update? LOTS, including this incredible (and ugly) bootleg Thing toy from Mexico. What's up with his mouth? Wow. Anyway, I've landed quite a few items that I would love to show off, if only I had a blog or something to post them to - oh, wait. I guess that's what this is for.

I'll post again soon. Not too soon. Soon-ish. We'll all do what we can. Take care, folks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Corgi's 1:12 scale Thing statue (plus some relatively random updates)

I recently picked up another Thing statue, this one from the Corgi company. I had seen this around a few times, but it was never on my "must buy" list until I saw it for a great price.

This statue came out in 2006, when Marvel was starting to roll out its more generic branding with stock art. The side of the box is the Thing's chest, though, which is pretty cool.

Here's the front of the box, with an image of what's inside.

The statue itself it pretty heavy for its size. The base is made of metal and is quite hefty. I got #1453 out of a run of 2500.

And here's the back. The pants the Thing is wearing are similar to his appearances in the Ultimate Fantastic Four title, which debuted around this time. It's a nice, if not unremarkable statue. I'm glad that I finally grabbed it after looking at it online for years.

While we're here, why not have a quick Local Comic Shop Day recap? I spent a few hours at Pittsburgh Comics on the day of the event and signed a few books. Some people even got a (very rare) Sandwich Edition copy! Lucky ducks.

How did the day go? Well, here's a picture. What is Larry doing in the background? Nobody knows. (Check out Larry's new website here.)

Extra big Fantastic Four news: I walked out of the store on this day with a copy of Fantastic Four #11! (I paid for it.) This issue has the first appearance of the Impossible Man, and is now the earliest issue of the series that I own. The issue is in good shape and I'm thrilled to have it.

And lastly, artist Tony Sedani sent me this great Thing pinup a few days ago! Tony has drawn a few pages in recent issues of The Tick, and I was surprised to get this in the mail. What a cool piece! Into the collection it goes. Thanks, Tony!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Tick: Local Comic Shop Day Special and signing at Pittsburgh Comics on 11/19

There's a new issue of The Tick coming out this Saturday, 11/19, for Local Comic Shop Day! LCSD is in its second year and is designed to promote comic shops with physical locations (so the books aren't available at online retailers). The Tick is the first book with all-new material. I wrote the main story in this issue with Duane Redhead once again on art. There's also a backup story from a new Boston-area creative team. This is the first issue in stores since the new Amazon show aired, so I hope that the reception is good.

If you're in the Pittsburgh area, I'll be signing some copies of the book (and basically anything else) at Pittsburgh Comics on Saturday from 1:00-3:30. This is the first time I've been in Pittsburgh on the day of a release - I'm usually in Boston for FCBD and in San Diego for the Comic-Con specials, so I'm happy to, for once, just get to roll out of bed in the morning and wander into the comic shop without having to plan a trip around it.

Check out for more details on the event and for location information on the store!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pictures from the New York Comic Con, part 2: Saturday (Robert Kirkman, Dana Snyder, and...okay, more costumes)

Hi, everyone. Here are some more pictures from this year's New York Comic Con, taken on the Saturday of the show.

I've probably seen more group costumes at NYCC than any other show. I wonder why that is? Anyway, here's a pretty neat Game of Thrones smattering.

Adult Swim had a glass-lined cubicle set up on the show floor where they were streaming video to their website. You could wait in line to be on the program for a few minutes. I wonder how many people swore just to see if you could.

Here's a really nice costume from the He-Man cartoon and...wait, is that guy wearing a Steelers jersey in the background? Good for you, guy.

I guess these people beat up Batman. Fair enough.

Here's a view of the mass of humanity at the show. Those hallways fill up very quickly and very tightly.

There were two great Lex Luthor costumes that I saw at this show. This battle suit is great!

This lady was born to dress up as Barb. Very well done.

I got on the escalator to get to the main hall and found that I was right behind "Walking Dead" co-creator Robert Kirkman. I'm pretty sure the only reason I was able to get a picture with him is because neither of us was going anywhere for half a minute.

I'm fairly sure all of these Spider-people came to the show separately and then were drawn together when they saw the elaborate Carnage.

Here are some folks as the TV-show inspired Flash and Professor Zoom.

I've actually seen a few Ant-Man costumes lately. It doesn't look like a very easy costume to make, so that's surprising to me.

I chased these MST3K fans down for about three minutes before I could get close enough to take this picture.

Okay, this guy is dressed up like every Johnny Depp character (or a lot of them, anyway). I thought this was a really unique outfit, but Larry tells me that he's seen it before.

I got a picture with this Thing last year, and I had seen the Invisible Woman then as well. But this year the whole gang got together. Great to see a Fantastic Four group costume at the show!

And then I saw someone else dressed up as Mr. Fantastic! Crazy!

I caught up to Dana Snyder - Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force - in artist alley. He shouted right as the camera took the picture. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.

I'll never get tires of seeing Chairface Chippendale costumes.

I love that this is an issue specific Mr. Fantastic. The costume (and the beard) are from the Hickman run on the book.

Someone dressed up as the Comedy Bang! Bang! mascot! We even exchanged show quotes.

Shameful fact about your old pal Jeff: I've never watched The Sopranos. I know that I should fix this and I plan to one day. Here I am with Matt Servitto, who I knew because I was an extra a few times on the show "Banshee", where he plays a small town sheriff, and I remember seeing him there. We talked a little bit about the show and Pittsburgh in general. He's probably best known for his role on Sopranos, which I found out soon after.

This whole family was dressed in their Starfleet uniforms.

Interestingly enough, Run DMC had a table in artist alley.

Samurai Vader.

I was walking past the Stan Lee Collectibles booth, and I thought to myself, "Oh, I wonder if Stan Lee ever comes here". I then thought that was a stupid idea, because what would he do there? Sell merchandise? Then I looked to my right and I saw Stan Lee. It was at this time that everyone else in a 30-foot radius also noticed him, and chaos ensued. A huge crowd gathered and he left soon after. Here's a picture of a guy getting a picture of himself near Stan Lee.

And here's Stan Lee, pretending not to notice the masses gathering around him. Everyone was very excited, but thankfully no fathers of modern comics were trampled.

And here's the last group shot of the show, near closing time. Lookit all of these '90s-era X-Men! I think I see Marrow in the back. That Bishop is rockin' it pretty hard.

Monday, November 7, 2016

New Fantastic Four original comic and cartoon art!

The past few weeks have been pretty good in terms of picking up some neat Fantastic Four items. I addition to some actual merchandise, I've acquired some original art from both the comic book and two of the cartoon series. And what good is a blog if not to show off your stuff? Here's some of that stuff:

Every year at the New York Comic Con, you can find a massive display of original art for sale near the entrance to artist alley. The art ranges from fairly cheap to sell-your-house expensive, and I tend to browse the lower end of the scale. But I've been able to find some deals on nice pieces over the last few conventions, and this year brought in two pages. The first is from Fantastic Four #505, where the FF invade Latveria to set up another epic Reed/Doom showdown. At the end of this storyline, the Thing literally goes to Heaven.

This page features some nice images of the Thing and the Human Torch as they break up some Doombots.

The art is by Howard Porter, with inks from Norm Rapmund. Porter was filling in for Mike Wieringo during his run with writer Mark Waid.

At some point in this story, Dr. Doom takes possession of the Thing's body and uses it to do what we'd all do in that situation, beat a lot of stuff up.

The ol' belt buckle communicator. I don't think the Thing needs the "4" symbol on his costume, but at least it was functional here.

The next page I grabbed (and paid for) is from the more recent Hickman/Eaglesham run, featuring the Council of Reeds, which included, you know, a whole lot of alternate reality Reed Richardses.

I'm a little surprised at how tight Dale Eaglesham's pencils are on this page. I'm not certain if he had an inker on the issues he drew or not.

This page has all four characters together, which is not always easy to find in original artwork. Here we see the Invisible Woman turning invisible for no apparent reason (but I appreciate the effort, Sue). Eaglesham tends to draw a bulky Thing with a smaller head. I'm just glad that we get to see all of those rocks and he doesn't cover them up with a giant costume. Draw 'im how Kirby intended!

This Reed Richards had the power to grow a huge beard (maybe).

My next group includes some production drawings from the 1967 and 1994 Fantastic Four cartoon!

I've been looking artwork from the very early 1967 show for a while - it turns out that they've been on eBay under a different name (sneak eBay sellers). They had a number of production drawings, but I (of course) stuck with the Thing for now. It's such a weird design - different from really any other version of the character. It's very strange and pretty ugly. But I love it for those reasons.

Each of these three drawings came from the "MoleMan" episode. They're in great shape for being nearly 50 years old.

And I couldn't resist picking up another from the 1994 series as well.

Lastly, I finally managed to add a copy of Fantastic Four #50 to my collection, the final part of the Galactus trilogy. I've not got all three parts! This copy is in decent shape and looks nice next to issues 48 and 49.

That's it for now! I'll be sure to force you all to see more Fantastic Four items soon.

EDIT: This is my 700th post. You're welcome.