Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teddy and the Yeti's back!

I'm looking forward to the upcoming New York Comic Con for a lot of reasons, but one of the big ones is pictured above - at the show I'll have with me the first new Teddy and the Yeti story since April.  Titled "Teddy and the Yeti's Back" (get it?  Eh?), this short comic will feature a story with Alan Gallo that's never been seen before, the "Coming in 2011" story I posted here a little while ago, and a first look at the upcoming issue #4 with some artwork by none other than Duane Redhead.  Above is the pencil-and-ink version of the cover for this book - Duane also grayscaled it, but you'll have to wait until the show to see it (because I said so!!).

No matter how much I prepare, I'm sure it'll be a rush getting ready for the show.  But rest assured, this new book will be there.  Exciting stuff!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kung Fu Bean

Mike Adams is a familiar name around these parts (I've always wanted to say "around these parts") as a colorist and co-creator of Ultimate Hero and the Protector.  In addition to those two properties, I've been lucky enough to collaborate with Mike on a few other projects in the past as well: he colored Mario Wytch's pinup in Teddy and the Yeti #2 and a Mr. Massive pitch as well.  Mike is much more than a colorist, though - he's always brimming with new and exciting ideas for comic plots, and he's great with design work to boot.

I got some good news the other day that Mike was bringing a long-time favorite concept of his (and mine...I'm a big fan), "Kung Fu Bean", to Viper Comics (publisher of Josh Howard Presents: Sasquatch) as an exclusive webcomic, and lo and behold (I've also always wanted to say "lo and behold"...dreams do come true!!), the Viper-hosted site seems to be up and running.

Kung Fu Bean is a tongue-in-cheek comic about a baked bean imbued with both sentience and a martial arts background after falling from space through the broadcast signal of an all kung fu television channel.  As crazy as that plot seems, I think it really works and it sets up a lot of the laughs that follow.  At one point I had written something resembling a KFB comic with Mike - I have no idea if any of that plot will be used in this webcomic, but I'm excited to see where it goes.

You can check out the KFB webcomic here.  The site is updated with new pages every Monday!  Best of luck to Mike in his new endeavor.  The only negative thing to come out of this is that Mike now has the martial arts vegetable market cornered.  So much for my new comic, "Tai Chi Broccoli".

Saturday, August 28, 2010

You are here.

The New York Comic-Con floor plan is now online, and while I knew that Wagon Wheel Comics had been assigned booth 550, now I know exactly where that's going to be.  I'm pretty happy with our location - we're right across from artists' alley, and while it would have been nice to be on the other side of our row, I think we lucked out with where we are.  One thing about the small press section: people tend to see those booths on the way to other booths, so being next to artists' alley is a good thing.

If you go to the interactive version of the map (and don't just look at my screenshot), you can see some of the other creators we'll be stacked up next to.  We've got some talented company to be sure.  Wagon Wheel will be back-to-back with Khary Randolph (Mutant 2099) and Mike Norton (Green Arrow), and just a few blocks away are the incredibly talented David Lloyd and Michael Gaydos!  Gaydos worked on the series Alias with Brian Michael Bendis and David Lloyd is none other than the artist of the Alan Moore-penned V for Vendetta.  Let me reiterate: the artist on V for Vendetta, one of the classic comic stories of all time (it even includes sheet music!) will be just a few feet away from me at the New York Comic Con.

It'll take a little while for that to sink in.  Oh, and these gentlemen are both Brits, which should make Duane Redhead feel right at home.

Friday, August 27, 2010

FUBAR's Diamond order code: do it for zombie FDR!

Jeff McComsey sent me this image today for the worldwide release of the Fubar graphic novel, which includes my short "Yalta!" story and a bunch of other stuff.  Not only is this image pretty awesome, but it's significant in that it includes the all-important Diamond order code, which as we all know is crucial to the book's success: whether or not Diamond ultimately carries the book will be determined by the number of pre-orders it gets.

If I had to guess, I'd venture that Fubar will meet its benchmark quota with no problem - if nothing else, a large number of creators means that friends and family of those creators will be ordering a nice chunk.  But just to be sure, we should all reach down deep into our souls, write down the order code, drive on over to the local comic shop, and order the heck out of this book.  Seriously, do it.  If it does well, we just might get another Yalta-inspired tale out there.

So, to reiterate: pre-order Fubar with Diamond order code SEP100743!  Your country will thank you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Joe Sinnott on the Fantastic Four's 50th anniversary

I recently conducted an interview with the illustrious Joe Sinnott for the fourth issue of Teddy and the Yeti.  Joe's work over the years has been nothing short of inspirational, and the cover he drew for the aforementioned issue is a testament to that.  I'll leave most of the questions for the book itself (BUY IT!), but there was one response that I felt needed to be published here and now:
Jeff: Next year is the 50th anniversary of the Fantastic Four at Marvel, and I expect to see a number of titles spring up in celebration.  To the point that you are allowed to say, will you be working on anything for this anniversary?  Can you divulge any details?
Joe: Marvel has yet to contact me concerning any projects involving the FF, but I certainly hope I am included in some capacity. I was fortunate enough to ink many of the FF's 40th Anniversary Worlds Greatest Comics. That was 12 issues.  I probably wouldn't want to ink that much at this stage, but I would really like to contribute something as I feel I have been a big part in the success of the FF lasting for 50 years.
There's still time for Marvel to step up and include Joe in what will obviously be a pretty big deal over at the company - and who knows, maybe they're in the process of doing that as I write this.  But it's disappointing that there's been no movement on this as of yet, in any case.  Stan and Jack are the undisputed creators of the FF, but I feel strongly in my position that the characters wouldn't be the same without Joe's influence over the years.  Here's hoping that 2011 brings more Fantastic Four with Joe Sinnott handling inking chores.  He deserves the recognition for all he's done for the book.

Friday, August 13, 2010

unexpected art

Mike Harvey, a friend of mine since middle school (...six years ago...), surprised me with this painting a few days ago.  Mike is a talented guy, but I never knew he had much skill in the way of art, even though we totally put a three page comic together a long time ago featuring a clay sculpted caveman titled "Primordial Soup".  Mike drew a picture of a caveman eating soup for a masthead-like panel and I added the caption "Needs more amoeba."  Perhaps I'll post it here one day if I can dig it up.

Anyway, Mike is obviously going for a Mini-Marvels vibe for this portrait of the Yeti, which I'm really liking.  This is going to serve as the pinup for Teddy and the Yeti #4...so I guess I completely ruined that surprise.  But I've been enjoying it a lot since I've gotten it...and now everyone else can, too.  Thanks, Mike.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Franks and Beans visit the Pittsburgh Comicon

The second season of Franks and Beans is slowly winding down (check out the YouTube page!), but it JUST! KEEPS! GETTING! BETTER!

Back in April, I mentioned that I'd be trying to film an episode while attending the Pittsburgh Comicon, and above is the result of that venture.  The opening collage of shots is from the show, with folks like Margot Kidder and Scott McDaniel, and - what a coincidence! - the Wagon Wheel Comics booth with a Teddy and the Yeti image in plain sight.

I do plan on bringing the camera to the New York Comic Con and filming an episode - perhaps the season three opener! - while we're there.  But time management is crucial with these things.  We were thrown out of the convention hall (really!) with threats being hurled at us over the intercom because we all stayed much too late after the show was over to film.  I'd say that it was worth it, but still...I'd rather it not happen again, especially since security is sure to be tighter in the Big Apple.  Oh, how we suffer for our craft.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here's what's next:

A few days ago I was asked if Teddy and the Yeti #3 was the end of the series.  It's not, of course, but I understand the question as it's been a few months between issues and everything that's come so far has had an ending to it - I haven't left too many "to be continued" questions (though there still is the issue of Ted's submarine abduction from issue #1...) and that was by design.  Even so, Duane and I are working hard on getting the next story finished so we can get it out to you, the discerning reader.  You are discerning, right?  Of course you are.

Above you'll see a preview of the next few issues/stories we'll be telling.  This page is going to be printed in the short promo book that I'll be taking with me to the New York Comic-Con, but I want to make it as available as possible for anyone to see, which is why I'm posting it here and will soon have it on the main website and Teddy and the Yeti's Facebook page.  So, hey - tell a friend and help me get the word out, if you would.

The art on this page is provided by Alan Gallo, who did a great job all around as usual.  I've included clues to the next three issues of Teddy and the Yeti (yes, Rusty will be in a story), even touching on some of the backup stories that appear in each issue.  I think the Andromeda Jones story, drawn by Nick Acs, will run in issue #5 as long as I get the art in on time.

Look for the special promo issue soon!  And issue #4 will be soon to follow!  Exciting stuff!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Teddy and the Yeti to cameo in "War of the Independents"

"War of the Independents" is being billed as a "Crisis for independent characters" - and it's certainly an ambitious comic project if I've ever seen one.  Perhaps the attempt got a little more ambitious (let's say 0.5% more) in the past few days as I've recently learned that Teddy and the Yeti will have a small role to play in this six-issue series that's set to debut at the New York Comic-Con in October.  The extent of their roles is yet to be seen (perhaps some lines of dialogue? *nudge nudge*), but it's an exciting prospect nonetheless.

Dave Ryan is heading up the book, which is being published through Red Anvil Comics, and I wish him luck in this massive undertaking.  There are a lot of nice things being said about the project scattered over the web - thanks, Google! - and you can read a few of them here, here and here.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

Friday, August 6, 2010

My No-Prize snafu

I came across my very own No-Prize, pictured above, earlier this evening.  I received it in 1998 after writing in and getting a question published in one of Stan Lee's Soapbox columns - I think I asked some asinine question about Stan's role with the company or some such noise.  To earn a No-Prize, one usually had to explain away a seemingly unexplainable gaffe within one of Marvel's books (Mr. Fantastic is drawn with three arms?  He must be stretching his back into the shape of a fist so he can punch someone!), but the rules got a little lax in the '90s: all one had to do was get a question published and the once-lofty prize got shipped out en masse, lucky for me.

What's funny about this is that my name is misspelled on the envelope - I go the double-C route with "McClelland", and what's written above drops the second "C" and capitalizes the first "L".  What's funnier is that my name is also printed incorrectly in the Soapbox and the handful of books in which it appears.  What really takes the cake, though, is that I have a sinking feeling that I misspelled my own name - the one I've had since birth! - on the letter I sent in.  I don't have any proof of this, but I can distinctly remember seeing my letter printed and saying "this is my fault.  THIS IS MY FAULT!"  So, for posterity, my name in the catalogue of Stan's Soapbox No-Prize winners is officially "Jeff McLelland".  Dammit!

I've probably written a total of four letters to comics in my life (and none in the last, oh, ten years), but I also had a letter printed in a Superman: Man of Tomorrow letters column and was awarded the "Baldy" award for that issue - something they ran with for a good long while over at DC.  I never received anything in that regard, leading me to believe that the Baldy award didn't actually exist.  I mean, at least with the No-Prize, you get SOMETHING - an empty envelope with a stock image of Spider-Man on the front.  Thus the irony of the situation: I got more of a prize from being awarded a No-Prize.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's time for more random notes! DEAL WITH IT!

It's time again for me to tell the world about various things that are going on in the world of Teddy and the Yeti...and other comic stuff that I feel like talking about.  And Franks and Beans.  Let's get to it!

- I posted a picture of the soon-to-arrive Teddy and the Yeti sketch cards the other day, mentioning that I'm working on a total of 18 trading cards for the series.  Several of the cards will be "character" cards, similar to the old Marvel Universe series from the early 1990s.  A number of artists are working on these cards, and I delegated the character Craxl (from the "Seeing is Believing" story in issue #3) to superstar Alan Gallo, cover artist on the New Dimension Comics version of issue #1.  He sketched a couple different versions before we settled on a pose, all of which you can see below.  They're all pretty good - though I do think the bottom right looks a bit like a deranged Dr. Zoidberg.

- So, the economy is currently in the toilet.  Times are tough, I know.  One good thing to come out of these economic times is the bevy of deals to be had on eBay.  I recently bought Fantastic Four annual #2 - the origin of Dr. Doom! - for less than 20 bucks.  Twenty bucks!  Holy crap.  I was happy to see that, upon inspection, the book did not feature characters with penned-on mustaches, as has happened before. I also got issue #32 for around $17.

- I'm currently trying to organize my entire comic book collection, which is a real pain in the butt.  All of the comics I've bought for the last seven years or so have been placed in their own bags with boards, but any comic I got before that time is another story.  So I'm alphabetizing and trying to get all of the comics packed away like a good obsessed collector should.  Right now I'm on "N", and I want to gouge my eyes out.

- A friend recently send me a link to one of the strangest blogs I've yet to come across, comic related or not.  The site is called "Dateline: Silver Age", and it's devoted to posting newspaper headlines from stories in Silver Age comic books.  There's no editorial content, no contextual information beyond the issue title, number and date.  It's just the picture.  So bizarre.  I find that I go there at least once a week, and I have no idea why.  It's strangely intoxicating.

- A little while ago I mentioned that the Franks and Beans website had crashed.  I did my best and managed to get it up and running again, only to find that the site might have been hacked and - oh no! - there might be a virus imbedded in its code.  So for all that is holy, don't go to the main website!  At least until I get THAT problem worked out as well.  For now, though, you can console yourself by watching the videos on YouTube, which is almost as good.  In fact, I've uploaded a ton of new episodes in the last week.  Here's one of my favorites:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I've finally updated the store.

Yeah, about that whole "me not uploading ordering information for Teddy and the Yeti issue #3" thing...sorry about that.  I've done some tinkering with the main website as well as this blog (now you can share these gems of posts on ultra cool places like Facebook and Twitter!  Also Google Buzz!), so it seemed like it was well past time to get the store up to date.

In addition, the issue should soon be available through Haven Distributors as well as the Mile High Comics website.  Please feel free to rejoice at your leisure.

Click here to go to the store!