Monday, August 29, 2011

FUBAR: FDArrrgh! Part 2: "Presidential Counsel" with Leonardo Pietro

The second volume of FUBAR, a preview edition of which appeared at the Baltimore Comic-Con, is all set to show up in the October edition of Previews for a December release.  FUBAR head honcho Jeff McComsey has put online the final page of the volume for all to see, so I thought I'd post it here as well.

This single page is the second installment of the "FDArrrgh" continuing story, with art by the great Leonardo Pietro.  I had a great time revisiting this mini world that was at one point just a one-off joke in "Yalta!" (you can read that here).  The third installment is on the way, too...but for now I hope you enjoy this bastardization of a an incredibly weighty historic decision.  Here's a little easter egg for this strip: the background characters are all members of Harry Truman's cabinet at the time: Secretary of State James Byrnes, Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal.

Also, Alex McKinley wrote a review of FUBAR's first volume here:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Teddy and the Yeti & Mr. Massive sketch cards by Ken Hunt!

While at the Wagon Wheel Comics booth at the Baltimore Comic-Con, artist Ken Hunt was magnanimous enough to draw some familiar characters on blank Teddy and the Yeti sketch cards!  The Yeti is above and Ted is immediately below:

Ted has a little bit of that Kirby flair to him, doesn't he?  Things are looking good in any case.  Now, I'd be happy to keep any and all of these cards for myself in a steel vault for the rest of time...but I suppose if anyone would go to the Teddy and the Yeti store and buy at set of 18 cards (plus the convention promo card!) for a meager five bucks, well, then I might just have to part ways with them.  Just saying.

Even Mr. Massive got into the action!  Ken did a great job with all three of these, but this one might capture the character best of all.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Maryland's Green Lantern Road

If you ever travel from Western Pennsylvania to the state of Maryland, chances are at some point you'll drive east on Route 68, briefly passing though West Virginia along the way.  As you roll through the town of Lonaconing, Maryland, you'll drive under a particular overpass with its street name emblazoned on the side on a green sign with white lettering.  The name of that sign reads: "Green Lantern Road".

I myself have seen this road sign probably a dozen times, but I was finally able to snap a picture of it on the way to the Baltimore Comic-Con this past weekend, and above, in all its grainy brilliance, is the proof (also proof that the windows in the Camry could stand to be washed).

I do realize that, unlike me, the world does not always think of things in terms of comic book references, but really - what else could this road name refer to?  An actual lantern that was green?  That's doubtful, and it also means that someone purposefully named a street after a comic book character.  I've seen my fair share of Lois Lanes and other clever names, but this particular road just fascinates me.

I wonder - and I'll probably never know - who named this street any why they decided to do it.  Was the person simply a fan of the comic?  Did the people of Lonaconing want to honor a notable resident for contributions to popular culture?  Could this really be just a huge coincidence?

About 15 years ago, I mentioned this road to Green Lantern co-creator Mart Nodell while attending the Pittsburgh Comicon.  If I'm remembering correctly, he told me that he hadn't heard of the street before, and the look he gave me while answering seemed to imply that he didn't necessarily believe that such a road existed.  But it does!  It does.  I wonder if the mystery of this road will remain just that, at least to me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"The League of Obscure Historical Figures" with Jeff McComsey!

Fresh from the Baltimore Comic-Con, FUBAR head honcho Jeff McComsey and I have completed a new mini project for the third issue of DC Conspiracy's The Magic Bullet.  Jeff and I worked on a story for the second issue as well, and you can read it by clicking here.

This new story is titled "The League of Obscure Historical Figures", and in a very, very loose sense it's a parody of Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in that instead of well known fictional characters, our story features real people of whom history has relegated footnotes (though honestly, we should all be so lucky) banding together for...well, for whatever reason.

This particular story came about in a roundabout fashion - as the deadline for Magic Bullet stories drew closer, Jeff suggested doing a story that told the history of an obscure figure.  I liked the idea (and still do), but for the life of me I couldn't come up with just one person to highlight, and I couldn't think of a way to write a biography of that person that would even be remotely interesting.  If the characters all came together, though...then there'd be a story...and that's how the LOOHF was born.

You'll notice that this story features an almost obscene number of panels, but there were even two more in the original draft, which would have been nearly impossible to include in this oversized page.  At the beginning of the story, Catharine Sedgwick has a difficult time getting past the doorman into the meeting room, as the doorman has never heard of her before in his life, thus setting the stage for everything else to come.  I'll admit that those two panels were the right ones to take out, though Ms. Sedgwick does seem to be a bit underrepresented in this final draft.  Oh well...I guess she's obscure for a reason.

And, of course, I had to sneak in an appearance of George McClellan - no group of obscure characters would be complete without him.  I do take some small pride in the fact that he might be the most recognizable of any in this story, a point that makes it into the end of the story.  All in all, I'm very happy with how this short tale turned out, and I think everyone will agree that Jeff McComsey brought everything together in a visually pleasing way.

If everything I've heard is correct, this issue of the Magic Bullet will be out very soon - the weekend of September 10th and 11th at the Small Press Expo in Baltimore.  I'll probably get my hands on some copies a little while after and will do my best to distribute them at shops around the Pittsburgh area.  The MB seems to really be catching on, as this issue will have more pages than previous issues.  That's great news, because it's a really fun publication!

Here's the cover to issue #3:

Find out more about the Magic Bullet here:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pictures from the Baltimore Comic-Con, part 3

Here's the final batch of pictures from last weekend's Baltimore Comic-Con.  A good time was had by all!  And I've got the evidence below.

YES!  Awkward blue-screened celebrity photos.  I went up to the table with the prints and snapped a picture of them, and oh, what gems I found!  This is such an odd phenomenon, and one born of an event planner's desire to expedite the money making process.  I understand why someone might want a picture with his or her favorite famous person, but who wants something so generic and often creepy?  All of these people did, apparently, and shelled out a nice chunk of money to do so.  Stan Lee looks a bit like someone stuffed him and propped him up.

Ken Hunt drew this great Yeti sketch for a fan who bought the whole set of Teddy and the Yeti.  I was sad to see it go!

This zombie couple stayed in character as long as I saw them - staggering thought the isles, moaning and staring at passers by.  I appreciated the commitment.

There's so much to like about this homemade Galactus costume.  The globe is a really nice touch.

Ken Hunt sketches a Yeti in the Josh Howard Presents: Sasquatch collection.

This was a very well done movie Thor costume.  The circle things on his chest even lit up!  When we asked him if that was his own hair, he looked at us as if we were crazy.

Words cannot describe how awesome this duo was.  I'm not sure why the guy dressed as Krang didn't go as Rocksteady instead, but still, give credit where it's due.  Anyone who breaks out the 90s Ninja Turtle costumes gets an A+ in my book (I also saw a girl dressed up as April O'Neal at the show).

Dazzler is probably too much a product of her time to be really relevant today.  But this costume looked good anyway.  I asked her (mostly joking) if she had thought to wear roller skates, but she told me that she tore some ligaments in one of her feet, so that idea was out.  I imagine heels in general must have been pretty painful.

Hey!  It's the Franks and Beans table!!  All of our fans are just off to our left.  What a great time for Larry and alternate me.

This happened outside the convention center after the show was over -- I'm not even certain that this mermaid had anything to do with the Comic-Con itself.  But she still looked cool.  As these two guys were carrying her, her tail began to slip off, revealing some gratuitous nudity underneath.  A great end (pun!) to a great day.

Well, I'm finally out of pictures to share.  I guess I'll just have to think of something different to say tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pictures from the Baltimore Comic-Con, part 2

Here's more pictures from the recently concluded Baltimore Comic-Con!  I didn't realize how many great costumes I saw,'s the evidence.

Ah, the obligatory "I'm very sad behind the booth" picture.  IT NEVER GETS OLD!!

This steampunked gentleman is Nate Taylor, which sounds like a pseudonym but is perhaps his real name.  Here he points to his walking stick...

...and here he blatantly promotes Teddy and the Yeti after buying the whole set.  Awesome.

The banner kept its new vinyl smell all weekend!  And I appreciated it.

This picture doesn't do this Batman costume justice.  This guy said that he worked on his costume on and off for two years.  It looked like he could actually go out and fight crime after the show.

This is quite the staged photo...both I and artist Ken Hunt (at the booth sketching all weekend!) are looking good.

This Deadpool stayed in character the entire time I saw him, which was cool.  Domino behind him looks good, too.

This is quite possibly the most impressive Hulk costume I've ever seen.  The person inside stood on platforms and was probably over seven feet tall.  I'm not sure if the Hulk is supposed to be battle-damaged or if it's a zombie Hulk, but either way it's a fantastic outfit.  I hear that an Optimus Prime won Saturday's costume contest, but I'm not sure how it beat out this guy.

A great Scott Pilgrim themed outfit!  It's simple but spot-on.

Officer Rick Grimes.  Good stuff.

I've still got more pictures...and I'll show them.  But not now!  Soon.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pictures from the Baltimore Comic-Con, part 1

The Baltimore Comic-Con for this year is over and done with, and I'm happy to say that it was a lot of fun - a success on most accounts.  I'll go into some details later, but for now, here are a few pictures from the two-day weekend:

This view of the convention center is partially obscured by fencing, as the streets of Baltimore will soon be used for some grand prix-like racing.  It was fun to drive the '97 Camry down these roads built for racecars.

In this picture I'm pretending to be hard at work on...something.  Check out the new banner behind the table!

The FUBAR booth was definitely one of the highlights of the entire show - they really outdid themselves this time.  Crowds gathered just to stare at the setup, which featured a machine gun pointing out at the audience.

Cyclops's visor even was cool.

I saw a surprising amount of Tick shirts and merchandise over the weekend, but this homemade Arthur costume was really great to see.  People were actually calling it a bunny suit, which was funny because that's the joke in the book, too!!

A fairly random crowd shot.

Girl Loki!  From the back.

We'll end with a picture of the universe-destroying Dark Phoenix.  There was lots of neat stuff to see at this show and I took a bunch of pictures.  I'll show more soon!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Visit Ken Hunt at the Wagon Wheel Comics booth this weekend!

The Baltimore Comic-Con is just hours away (and I should really get to bed and not worry about Blogger...BUT I MUST CARRY ON), and here's a last minute announcement for anyone attending: artist Ken Hunt will be at the Wagon Wheel Comics booth (A213) both Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 until 3:00.  If you're in town and at the show, stop by, say hello and get a free quick sketch from Ken - that's practically what I made the Teddy and the Yeti sketch cards for, so get to it!

Check out Ken's great deviantART site here:
Ken tells me that he's going to bring some original art as well as prints of his work, including the great Joker piece you see above.  The Baltimore Comic-Con is here!  It should be fun.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Do-it-yourself Yeti action figure; a step-by-step guide!

A while ago I went to the Pittsburgh Steel City Con, which is basically a toy and comic show that happens several times a year.  While I was there I dug though a toy bin and found a Marvel Legends Sasquatch figure for pretty cheap, so I bought it and brought it home with the intention of repainting it to look like a Yeti.

Months and months and layers of paint later, I'd say that I'm 95% finished - there are always new spots of brown that I find hidden in joints so I'm sure that touchups remain, but for most purposes the figure is done.  I'll be bringing it along to the Baltimore Comic-Con and...I don't know, probably hanging it off of something.

As this is obviously a modern artistic feat, I've decided to post a meticulous step-by-step guide to creating YOUR OWN (wow!!) Yeti figure.  Perhaps one day it can even look as good as mine (but probably not).  Let's begin!

Step One: Buy a Marvel Legends Sasquatch figure.  Assuming that Alpha Flight characters haven't suddenly and inexplicably risen in popularity (even from "not at all popular" to "moderately unpopular"), you can find one for a couple bucks or perhaps a few shiny pebbles.

Step Two: Buy paint and some paintbrushes.  I used Testors oil-based paints for two reasons: first, the name sounds somewhat dirty, and that is funny; second, I still had some in my desk from the last time I painted a model, about 20 years ago.  I did have to go out and buy some purple, though, and was happy to find that Testors (heh heh) had not gone out of business in the meantime.

Step Three: Just...paint it.  Really, how else was this going to end?  Paint one side, and when that side dries, flip it over and paint the other side, and then repeat until it's all covered.  And then you'll have your own Yeti figure, which will be cooler than all the other toys in the neighborhood.

In searching Google Images for the above picture of the unpainted Sasquatch, I came across this Marvel Legends variant figure, which features...a completely white Sasquatch.  DAMMIT!  Buying this figure instead would have cut down my workload by like 80%.  Ah crap.  Well, I suppose I still have my memories.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Take a look at banner, Michael!"

Just arrived from Staples (and only a week late!) is the new banner for the Wagon Wheel Comics booth at conventions - such as the quickly approaching Baltimore Comic-Con.  Eagle-eyed readers anyone who's ever been to this site before will recognize that this image comes from Duane Redhead and Karin Rindevall's cover to Teddy and the Yeti #2.  The image has a nice vertical strip suitable for a banner of this size, and it frames Teddy, the Yeti and the ninja in the bottom left really well.  Plus it smells all vinyl-y, which is extra fun!

I'm working on building an easel/stand/hanger contraption out of PVC pipe that should enable me to, well, display it.  I think it'll work.  The font I used (for my egotistical) is Sean Kleefeld's "Fantastifont", designed, of course, after the classic Fantastic Four title font.

Tomorrow's a packing day for Baltimore, then it's off to the races.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Great day in the morning! The website returns.

The official Teddy and the Yeti website has been absent from the Internets for a fairly inexcusable amount of time, but I'm happy to say that as of last Friday, the site is back up and running with a few small tweaks and upgrades.  At first glance, it doesn't look too drastically different from what came before, but I like to think that things are a little more streamlined this time around, and that I've cut out some of the fat that was there before.

One page I added was an interview page, which compiles the interviews that I've done here on the blog and in the printed comic.  It serves as an archive of sorts, I suppose, and should make the search engines happy.

The store has seen probably the most changes over the previous iteration, hopefully all of them for the better.  Most notably I've added both the trading cards and the crochet Yetis as items to purchase; all of the categories should be easy to navigate.

I've also added a section with webcomics and updated the comic preview section.  Scrolling through these sections, though, tells me that I still have some work to do on the site.  It's not perfect by any means and browsing though these pages will tell you why.  Some pages (like the above "Eye of the Beholder" image) are easy to read, but others are not, and that's something I've got to remedy before I'm happy with it.

Overall, I'm thrilled just to have a damn website back up and running, especially with the Baltimore Comic-Con coming up this weekend.  There are certainly still some bugs with the new design, some of which I've found out for myself already, but there are others I'm sure I'm still missing.  I hope that if you, faithful reader, do decide to check out the new site and find something you don't like or think should be changed, you'll do me the favor of leaving me a comment right here on the blog or e-mail me you thoughts at

And in case anyone's forgotten (it's been a while, I know...), the address for the main webpage is