Monday, April 15, 2019

Original art from the wedding of the Thing and Alicia!

In December, 2018, in the pages of Fantastic Four #5, Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters finally got married! When I read the issue, I said to myself, "if the artist ever sells pages from this issue, I need to get one." Well, Aaron Kuder, the book's regular artist, put a bunch of pages from this issue on sale recently and I jumped at the chance to get one. Let's take a look!


This is page 58 of the oversized issue, and this particular page happens immediately after Ben and Alicia share their "you may now kiss the bride" moment. Kuder both pencilled and inked the page, so I didn't have to choose between one and the other.

Ben and Alicia have been destined for each other since Fantastic Four #9 (1962), so it's great to see them finally tie the knot, more than 50 years later. One of the covers for the issue (by Alex Ross, pictured below) was an homage to FF Annual #3, which featured the wedding of Reed and Sue.


The Thing appears in every panel of this page, from the top sequence where he's breaking the glass:


At the bottom half of the page, we can see quite a few other supporting characters, including Reed, Sue and Johnny, Alicia, Franklin, Valeria, Aunt Petunia and more!


I kinda never thought I'd be able to buy artwork from such an important issue in the life of the Thing, but the page I bought was surprisingly affordable and I managed to grab it before someone else came along. This is a great page and I'm so happy to have it!

Lastly, here's the page as it was in print:


And they lived happily ever after. It's clobberin' time.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Pictures from the 2018 New York Comic Con, part 2 (Saturday, 10/6)

I took a lot of pictures of the New York Comic Con on Saturday. I took too many to show them all in one post! The post explodes if I post more than 25 pictures - I'll bet that you didn't realize that. But it's true! I'm very concerned about safety. Let's look at some pictures!


I never quite know what to make of people outside of the convention center in costume who just seem to be hanging out, standing by a telephone pole or whatever. Are these people who don't have tickets but want to join in on the festivities anyway? Did Beta Ray Bill feel like going for a walk around NYC in full costume as a lark? Are they just...biding their time? There's not much going on outside of the convention center, is what I'm saying. But I did enjoy seeing Lady Sif and my favorite horse-themed Alien (take that, Comet!), Beta Ray Bill.


Do you think he made this Black Panther mask? It's a really good one.


One of the last Rickmobile stops on the 2018 tour was at NYCC, and I finally got a chance to go on Saturday after missing out in San Diego. I considered driving to Buffalo a few months earlier, but that would've been...a mistake. To my great surprise, there was almost no line for this on the busiest day of the convention (in 2017, I waited about two hours in line when it came to Pittsburgh). I bought the official Rickmobile comic book and a Morty mask.


The classic '90s Superboy pose right here.


Hup-cha!


Does anyone like Waluigi? I hate him.


I'm honestly not sure how I feel about people dressing up as comic book or movie Nazis at conventions anymore. Some people take it too seriously. But, credit where it's due, this is a great Red Skull outfit. The mask is fantastic.


Pretty fancy outfits Skeletor and Evil-Lyn have going on here.


We're at the point where kids who grew up watching "Teen Titans Go!" are coming to conventions dressed as their favorite Titan. Good on 'em.


I will never not appreciate someone with his or her own DOOP costume.


Cap & Peggy.


IT'S HAPPENING, PEOPLE!


In the early afternoon, I was in line at the Marvel booth to get some comics. As I made my way to the registers, the Marvel costume contest was hitting its stride. And Dr. Doom looked on...


Here are a couple shots of most of the contestants.


I was impressed by a lot of what I saw - and a little surprised to hear a number of contestants, as they were on stage, talk about how they had five or six other people on their "team", helping them with different aspects of their costumes and even just getting in and out of the things. I guess it's a profession for some.


Look at all of this. I appreciate the guy who stuck to his guns and went as Reed Richards.


As I was paying for my items, the crowd started to disperse and I got to see a number of costumes up close. Ivy and Joker were perhaps trying to infiltrate.


How many people would put the effort into creating such a detailed Annihilus costume? The Fantastic Four have the best villains. How great is this?

That's it for now. More to come from the rest of Saturday!

Monday, March 11, 2019

"Black Terror: Social Insecurity" campaign on Kickstarter


I've got a new comic that is currently up and running on Kickstarter - Black Terror: Social Insecurity!

A few years ago, Rafer Roberts and I created the short story Black Terror: Wednesday at the Diner, and the basic concept was this: old, Golden Age superheroes meet up at a diner and talk about their problems. It was a lot of fun (and Rafer is really good at drawing old people), and I've wanted to do more with the concept for a good long while now.


While "Wednesday" was a short story, "Social Insecurity" is a full-length story that follows all of the Diner crew into a new adventure in geriatrics, such as the Black Terror's quest to keep his government benefits without giving up his secret identity.

Rafer helped us out with a new cover (the first image in the video at top), and artist Ryan Howe has jumped in to do the art on the new story, with Tomas Marijanovic on colors.


Ryan brings a classic style and some smooth lines to these 80-year-old characters. I'm very excited with what he's been able to do so far! The book collects the Wednesday at the Diner story, in addition to the new, full-length story, plus some other material that I'm hoping to add if the campaign is successful.

I've also got some rewards lined up for the campaign. Let's take a look at one of 'em:


I'm really happy with how these enamel pins turned out - they're big and shiny and really high quality. They're designed by my friend Dani Grew, based on the original cover icon that showed up on a lot of early Black Terror covers in the 1940s. This pin is about 1.5 inches big, which is hefty for a pin.

I've also got stickers, prints, and bookplates set as reward for various tiers in the campaign.

I'm trying to raise enough money to make it possible to print the books and pay our various artists for their work. Kickstarter is a way to make that happen and I hope that it's successful. If it's REALLY successful, well, more books will follow, but right now I'm just hoping that we can get this one book (and various rewards) finished and printed.

If you're interested in a the book, I hope you'll take a look at the campaign and pledge if you'd like! You can get to the main page by clicking...well, almost anything that's clickable on this post, but here's a direct link, too: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jeffmcclelland/black-terror-social-insecurity?ref=creator_nav

Lastly, I'll leave you with a Black Terror commission that I got from Ramona Fradon, one of my favorite artists, who has been working in comics since 1950 - almost as long as the Black Terror has been around!


Friday, March 1, 2019

Pictures from the 2018 New York Comic Con, part 1 (Friday, 10/5)

Let's take a deep breath, everyone. I attended the 2018 New York Comic Con for three days in October, and I took a lot of pictures. It's time to look at them. I feel that you're ready! Let's go!


I want to point out that these folks dressed up like this a few months before "Into the Spider-Verse" came out. Good on them for being ahead of the curve!


The first picture I took once I got into the Javits Center was of some guy's sketchbook. I like to think that my two Thing sketchbooks are pretty cool (and they are), but this individual had a Jack Kirby Captain America in his. This is a big deal. Yow!


As I made my way along the floor, I ran into Anthony Del Col, writer of the recently published "Son of Hitler" for Image Comics, which I lettered.


This was my first time seeing the book! It's a really high quality hardcover.


There are two of the best costumes I saw all weekend. Colossus's face paint and contacts are really well done.


I always appreciate seeing older folks taking the time to dress up in costume. I have to imagine that this gentleman dresses up as General MacArthur at times as well. This Popeye has an iPhone in his spinach can.


Drax and Star Lord should switch places, but I get it.


This was an oddly specific Coneheads couple. I remember the wedding dress/flower wreath combo from the movie, right?


The Black Flash has finally caught up to his heroic counterparts.


In every Elseworlds, a Batman.


Group costumes have to be the hardest to pull off, just because if you want to really make it work, you've got to stick together all day. Unity put more work into her costume than anyone else.


Snotgirl is...such a weird concept. But she's got her fans.


Listen, everyone. There were TWO couples dressed as Coneheads at NYCC on Friday, independent of each other. I asked this couple about it and they said they had no idea someone else was also doing it. Madness!


It's the Golden Age Batwoman!


The chest-level video screen on this Armin Zola was really well done. Good on this guy for making it work.


It seems that every year, there's a symbiote meetup at NYCC, and every year, the costumes get more elaborate.


This Carnage is apparently steam powered.


I guess if you've got the body type, you can pull it off. This was a great Malibu Ken, mint in package!


That is...a movie quality MASK, uh, mask. He's been waiting 25 years for this moment.


I will never not take pictures of full-size Krang, this one with clever face place-age.


What is Steel's hammer made of? A suitcase?


Static Shock!


This was a father-daughter combo dressed as The Tick and Miss Lint. Lint even got the buttons on her outfit correct. Needless to say, I was very excited too see these two.


Ben Edlund stopped by the New England Comics booth later in the day. I always appreciate getting to talk to him, and this time, I got a pretty wonderful Thing sketch from him, too.


This picture was obviously taken later in the day, because when else do you see the walkways in the Javits Center so relatively empty?


I saw this walking video game cabinet at several points during the show. The game was playable, too. There's a joystick joke out there somewhere.


Good on this guy for having the courage to dress as Jubilee - and to pull it off pretty well, too!


The last panel of the night was Adult Swim's Venture Bros. panel! It was mostly held to promote the new "Art of the Venture Bros." Dark Horse book, but there were a lot of questions and a lot of topics covered.


And also at some point there was ice cream.


This was a pretty great (if not weird) Brown Recluse costume.


Just like at SDCC, attendees here were given animation art from the show! It's hard to express how much I appreciate stuff like that - because these would be expensive to get otherwise (and I really like them!). This one is from the "All This and Gargantua Two!" episode, with Professor Impossible's stretchy arm winding its way from one side of the page to the other.

Lots to see on Friday. More to come from the rest of the weekend!