Friday, July 9, 2021

A veritable slew of props from Amazon's Tick series

Last year, Heritage Auctions sold off a number of props from the gone-too-soon Amazon Tick series. As I wrote around that time, a lot of the items - and especially the costumes - went for big bucks. In the year that has followed, though, the items that were left over have become more and more affordable, to the point where I have been able to get some really great items for not that much cash.

I recently got a lot of them together and made this post to show some of 'em off!

First up, and most impressively, I think, is a lot that contains actual pieces of one of The Tick's season one costumes. These are all labeled as "back panels," but most of them are arm segments.

Here's a closer look at this exterior piece, where you can see the textured nature of the material.

Some of the pieces were labeled on the inside, such as this bicep piece. The sections were all slightly rubbery and felt like they might fall apart if I touched them too much, so they'll remain in the bag in which they were shipped!

All of the pieces came with certificates.

So what else did I get? Nothing else can really top the costume pieces, but I did get a few very cool items, including:

Goggles from the Lobtercules costume!

Lenses from Arthur's season two costume!

Griffin Newman's Arthur spent a part of the second season with cracked helmet lenses, and I got one of them here. It's not actually cracked, but there's a metallic tape on the inside of the lens. It looks pretty convincing!

Here are some patches from the City police uniforms!

Now here's a prop from one of the scenes I was in when I was an extra during the first season. It's a Flag 5 memorial staff card!

These glass eye props are about as weird as you might expect, at least without some context (and even then...). These are, of course, props for the Miss Lint character, who had many options when putting in her false eye. These are just a few. I can confirm that they are made from glass.

This is one of Peter Serafinowicz's daily scripts for a season two episode. Which episode?

Two, in fact: episode 209 and 210.

This is a Brown Tingle Cola executive summary report for the Terror's soda company, filled with charts and the like.

Here's another item that went for a ton of money when other copies sold last year. The City Chronicle is one of the fine journalistic endeavors in The City, and this one even comes with a picture of Lobstercules on the front. If you zoom in on the articles, you can read some fine word salad.

The Chronicle front page section was just placed over a real-world copy of the New York Times from April of '18.

I feel like I have enough props to start a Tick-themed museum now, or at least to set some up at the New England Comics booth at conventions (this will never happen). 

I found this promotional item on eBay, and it's actually a promo for the original live-action Tick series, with Patrick Warburton as the blue titular hero. These plastic, branded spoons were given out at Comic-Con in advance of the complete series DVD.

Also on eBay, I found another of these Tick experience shirts from Comic-Con. They came with a variety of slogans and were printed on site. All of the others that I have are giant in size - this one is small enough that I could actually wear!

I'm always on the lookout for Tick props and I'll always think back fondly on the series. It was fun while it lasted.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Pitches that never made it: Adventure Time Comics

I should pitch more stories. One of the toughest things to do, for me, is figuring out who to reach out to when pitching ideas. Comic book editors are generally very busy and are also not necessarily worried about things they could publish when they've got what they ARE publishing on their minds. But I do still try, even though it takes a lot of time and effort and doesn't always get a good response - or even any response, as if often the case.

Below is part of a story that I pitched to Boom! Studios when they were publishing their Adventure Time comics line. At one point, there were two ongoing Adventure Time series along with a number of miniseries from a number of creators. I was never able to crack the code to get in on the publishing angle of things, but here you can see my best attempt:

My friend and frequent collaborator Pietro drew the first two pages of this story, which was going to end with Jake falling asleep just as Finn wakes up. As always, Pietro makes anything look good, as these pages are just beautiful to behold.

Pitting pitches together is always a time consuming process, and when they don't work out, you're sometimes left with pages that will never see the light of day. But if I've got 'em - especially when they're for projects that no longer have a published comic to put them in - I might as well show them to you, all of my good friends on the internet. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Thing sketchbook, part 24

I've been thinking a lot about comic book conventions lately. I will say that after more than a year away, I am looking forward to the opportunity to go to shows once again. The New York Comic Con is preparing to sell tickets to their October show soon and others are on the horizon, as well. So with that in mind, I thought it might be appropriate to show off another five convention sketches of the Thing from my personal collection. Let's get to it!

Nathan Kane - Comic-Con International 2018

Nathan Kane, in addition to having a very comic book-y name, also works in the comic book industry. He was one of the head editors at Bongo Comics, as well as a colorist on many of their titles. I had met Nathan a few years before and would always bug him about letting me pitch some stories for different Bongo titles - he outlasted me, though, because it was at Comic-Con 2018 that they announced that Bongo would stop publishing. This is a bummer. But I did get this Simpsons-themed Thing sketch from him! I guess that's some consolation.

Dave Garcia - Comic-Con International 2018

Dave Garcia is a fun guy and a great comic artist who has worked on quite a few issues of The Tick - first as an inker of Ben Edlund's pencils, then as a penciler/inker on books like Paul The Samurai, also from New England Comics. I had a nice chat with Dave on the day he drew this really charismatic Thing sketch for me. I hope to see him again at the show in 2021 or '22!

Jenni Gregory - Comic-Con International 2018

I was booth neighbors with Jenni Gregory in the small press section at Comic-Con in 2018, and at the end of the show, she was kind enough to add this broad-shouldered Thing to the sketchbook. Jenni is a fantasy artist, caricaturist and comic book creator on books like Abby's Menagerie and and DreamWalker!

Ben Edlund - New York Comic Con 2018

There's not much to say about Ben Edlund that I haven't said time and again. Ben is a creative genius and a comic book hero, not to mention a really wonderful human. He created The Tick and he was a creative force behind Firefly. And he drew the Thing in my sketchbook! Good gravy.

I saw Ben at the New England Comics booth at NYCC 2018. Season two of Amazon's Tick series had recently wrapped and Ben was as relaxed as I've ever seen him; booth traffic was slow so I got a chance to chat with Ben and NEC art director Bob Polio for a while. As Ben was sketching, Bob mused that "All men struggle with the Thing," and thus this masterpiece was created. This is one of my absolutely favorite Thing sketches.

Tom Raney - New York Comic Con 2018

Tom Raney has had a long career in comics, working for both Marvel and DC as well as many smaller publishers. I love the extreme closeup sketches that I've gotten, and I love the "single crack down the middle of the mouth" look that has been so popular with the Thing in the last 15 years or so. Raney's Thing is definitely a great one!

Well, that's it for now. It's time to get more Thing sketches! Hopefully I can add a few more this year.

Monday, May 31, 2021

"Weird Al" Yankovic manga comic in Japan's FM Recopal music magazine!


I am a fairly hardcore collector of "Weird Al" Yankovic merchandise, but I'll admit that there are a few fans out there who have items I've never even heard of before. One of those fans is Kenneth Guinup, a really nice guy and someone who has been a part of Weird Al fandom since right around the very beginning. Ken shared some images from his collection of a copy of FM Recopal, a music magazine from Japan. This one is from 1984:

Inside the magazine is a comic that centers around Al's 1984 hit parody "Eat It," which of course lampoons Michael Jackson's "Beat It." The comic features Al lugging a refrigerator behind him, eating food, and singing in a music video. It also includes references to at least one of his earlier songs, "My Bologna."

I'm posing the full comic below; without having a translation available, I can't offer up much more about the content, besides that it looks...really bizarre, and that I love it. I have two requests: if anyone can read Japanese, I would love to update this post with an English translation, and if anyone owns a copy of this issue, I would love to buy it from you. But for now, let's just enjoy the comic!

Friday, April 30, 2021

Bowen full-size Thing statue

The first Thing statue I purchased was in 2004, as a result of having my first comic story published. Part of what I received for the comic was a gift card to Things from Another Universe, and I used that to buy the Bowen Thing mini-statue. It wasn't until a few years later that I found out that there was a larger version of that same statue. I guess it took 17 years, but I finally managed to grab the full-size Bowen Thing statue, and oh boy, do I love it.

Randy Bowen sculpted quite a few statues from Marvel in the early 2000s, and he recently released another Thing statue. I definitely have an affinity for his work. His Thing is a nice combination of Kirby and Byrne, with thick, flat fingers and toes, and a huge brow that reaches halfway around his head. This is the stocky, bulky Thing of the '60s-'80s.

The colors on this statue are all so rich. I love the lighter orange and yellow that make up the well-segmented rocks. The blue and black trunks are a shiny contrast to the flat color of the Thing's skin.

The base of the statue connects with those of the rest of the Fantastic Four. They're all rather expensive and Reed's statue has a habit of breaking, so this is probably going to be the only one I get. But it's a heck of an addition to my collection.

The base comes with a classic Thing logo and an individual number. This one is #2372.

The box itself is wonderfully branded. The front panel comes with the Thing's patented trademark.

One side shows the statue from different angles.

The other has an infographic lifted from an early issue.

I also picked up the slightly less impressive, but still pretty cool, Marvel Legends Human Torch figure from Kenner. This one is made to look retro even thought it's brand new. The colors, again, are really nice. Johnny is the only FF member for this line so far, but hopefully they'll have the rest of the team before too long!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Another dang Kickstarter!

So I'm teaching a course this semester on comics. Who would've thought that would be possible? I was so surprised when it happened that I took a picture of the flyer I made when I saw it on campus.

Anyway, the class is titled "Comics and Graphic Storytelling" or something like that, and as you might expect, I have not run out of material to talk about as we near the end of the semester.

Beyond talking about comics, one of our big projects for the semester is to actually make a comic book, and I'm happy to say that we actually managed to do that. It's titled "Tales of the 399," and the cover is below:

(The course code for the class is 399.)

We're trying to print the book now, and to do that, we set up a Kickstarter. Yes, it comes directly after the Planet Comics #2 Kickstarter. But it's a different project! And we still want to get it done. Here's a link!

All of the stories in the book are short memoirs from students in the class (I have one in there, too), and there are some really good ones. Here's a page from one of my favorites, by Grace Gilbert:

The campaign ends, er, very soon, so check it out while you can!