Saturday, October 29, 2011

FUBAR signing at Pittsburgh Comics - January 7th, 2012

The second volume of FUBAR is set to arrive in comic stores across the globe on December 17th, and the plan has always been for a national signing event to take place once the books are available.  To play it safe and not conflict with the Christmas holiday (being an indy book, Diamond distributors won't guarantee that they'll ship the books exactly on the 17th, even though the book is in their warehouses as we speak), the FUBAR braintrust made the decision to push the signing event back a few weeks.  Thus, the big day is now Saturday, January 7th, 2012.

As a change of pace, I'll be signing the book at Pittsburgh Comics in McMurray, PA.  If you haven't been to Pittsburgh Comics yet and you're in the area, do yourself a favor and check it out - it's one of the nicest, friendliest shops I've ever been to and they've got a great selection of new books, independent books, back issues, trades, toys and statues.

Seeing as January 7th is still more than two months away, we haven't set a specific time for the signing just yet, but it'll probably be in the afternoon as traffic should be a little higher later in the day.  As soon as I know, I'll post an update.  In the meantime, check out the back cover, featuring some fantastic art by Steve Becker!

Find out more about Pittsburgh Comics at their home page:  Hope to see you there!  I'm sure I'll look at least THIS enthusiastic:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

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

Yesterday at Pittsburgh Comics, I picked up the first issue of Dave Ryan's War of the Independents, an ambitious crossover event with independent comic characters galore from dozens of different publishers.  Dave first previewed the book at the 2010 New York Comic Con, and the first part of this miniseries is now out in comic shops everywhere.

As I made my way to the back of the issue, I came to the following spread:

There are a lot of recognizable characters to be seen - Bone, Hack/Slash, the Tick, Ms. Monster, Todd Nauck's Wildguard, Digital Webbing's Fist of Justice...oh, and if you look near the top left corner, you'll see the Yeti!

I knew that Teddy and the Yeti would be making an appearance in this book at some point, but I didn't know it'd be so soon.  The image is taken from Jorge Correa's cover to T&Y issue #3 - it seems that there was a lot of cutting and pasting when it came to characters in this shot.

This won't be the last appearance of either Ted or the Yeti in this series - I'm told that they'll both have a part in issue #3 and, if I'm remembering correctly, we'll see them in issue #6 as well.  So check for this at your local comic shop...if you can't find it, I'll try to get some ordering info to pass along.  Issue #2 arrives this December!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pictures from XCon World 2011

Last weekend's Xcon World (or maybe they're calling it Xcon Myrtle Beach now) has been over for a few days, and after ten hours there and ten hours back, I think I've finally gotten over the car lag.  Is that a phrase, car lag?  It's like jet lag but in a car.  Maybe I should call it "car jet lag".  I'll think about it.

Anyway, Xcon is a nice little show (that just happens to take place at the beach), and it was fun to meet some new people and hang out with friends new and old.  As always, I took a handful of pictures that I'll now share, to the delight of all involved.  Let's begin!

I was told that the little guy was a Doombot.

There's always zombie related events during XCon, to the extent that there's a booth just for people to get their zombie makeup.  The picture doesn't do this girl's makeup job justice, as close up it looked like she really had torn flesh on her face.  Plus, what is that, a My Chemical Romance shirt?  Funny.

I usually take a picture behind the table of the Wagon Wheel Comics booth at every show - one of me crying or in a rage or something equally fun.  I went solo this time and didn't have the you'll just have to imagine me, just slightly off panel, crying so much that I'm throwing up.  Or something.

We're mixing imagery here.

After the show we had a nice night out with some of the fellow organizers and guests.  In this picture we have folks like Laura Benjamin, David Hammond, Space Ghost Coast to Coast's C. Martin Croker and Ren & Stimpy co-creator Bob Camp.  I'm there, too, looking svelte and dashing.

Oh, and did I mention that the show was at the beach?  It totally was.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Teddy and the Yeti pinup by Danny Cruz!

Take a peek at this awesome new Teddy and the Yeti artwork from Danny Cruz!  Danny's a rising star in the gaming and comic industry, recently working on titles like G.I. Joe for IDW...but c'mon, folks, we all know him better as the guy who sat at the Wagon Wheel Comics booth at the 2010 New York Comic Con, right?  Right?!?  I have photographic evidence of this, Danny.

Danny was nice enough to put this together for T&Y and I'm thrilled to have it.  If you haven't seen more of his work, you can check out his deviantART page here:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mr. Massive Saves the Universe! webcomic

Several months ago, I started working on a webcomic featuring one of my favorite co-creations, Mr. Massive.  For those who don't know, Mr. Massive is a comedy about a 15-year-old boy who becomes a  superhero and does really selfish and stupid things with his powers.  It plays right into my sensibilities.

The opportunity to work on this came out of the blue, and I never really knew how long the wheels would keep turning.  Eight strips and nine pages in, I'd say that this is probably all we'll get out of this concept.  That's a shame, because I was really having fun with this.  There's plenty more written (Mr. Massive even gets off the planet and into Universe Saving), but who knows if the accompanying art will ever surface.

Even so, it seems a crime to waste all of this work, incomplete as it is, so I'm posting the first nine pages of "Mr. Massive Saves the Universe!" for all to see and, perhaps, enjoy.  Mr. Massive is, of course, co-created by Artboy_X, and he provided layouts for these pages.  The only name I (frustratingly) got for the artist was "RJB"; I never spoke to him (her?) directly and to this day I don't know just who that person is or where he (she??) hails from.  But the art is really energetic, simplistically cool and I enjoy the heck out of it.  I wrote and lettered the thing.

These were originally supposed to be released one at a time, which is why there's a title and credit section on each strip (with the exception of the first, which was supposed to be released along with the second).  Read these comics!  And enjoy them!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Magic Bullet #3!

Thanks to Rafer Roberts and, well, the United States Postal Service, I got some copies of DC Conspiracy's The Magic Bullet #3 yesterday, and it looks great.  I'm always happy when some of my work gets printed, but it's more of a treat to read the other entries and see what else people are creating.  The page limit is a real challenge and it's something others find more creative ways to deal with that I do.  Even so, I think "The League of Obscure Historical Figures", with art by Jeff McComsey, turned out very well.

As with any publication featuring multiple contributors, I found that this issue contained stories that I liked alongside others I didn't enjoy as much, but there was more good than bad.  I especially enjoyed entries by Bill Ellis, Dominic Vivona, Matt Sheean and Michael May & Jason Copland.

To find a copy of is issue, you can check out this Google Map for locations around the country.  The map is as of yet incomplete, as I haven't added my stack to the list.  If you're in the Pittsburgh area, I'll be dropping copies off at the Century III New Dimension Comics, Impossible Dreams, Pittsburgh Comics and Evil Genius Comics.  I'll also take a few copies with me to next week's Xcon World and maybe even Fanboy Comics in Wilmington, NC.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Russian research team finds "irrefutable" proof of the yeti's existence.

The world of cryptozoology has been abuzz these past few days as scientists (using the term loosely) have reportedly found evidence of the existence of a yeti in the Kemerovo region of Russia.  According to the researchers, this evidence is "irrefutable", releasing a statement that claimed, among other things: 

"During the expedition to the Azasskaya cave, conference participants gathered indisputable proof that the Shoria mountains are inhabited by the 'Snow Man'."

"Conference participants came to the conclusion that the artifacts found give 95% evidence of the habitation of the 'snow man' on Kemerovo region territory."
"In one of the detected tracks, Russian scientist Anatoly Fokin noted several hairs that might belong to the yeti."

It seems like 95% leaves about a 5% margin for error, here, but hey, I'm not one to challenge the definition of "indisputable" this time around.

This discovery is, interestingly, actually being reported on by media outlets worldwide.  Check the links for various tellings:

- International Business Times
- The Telegraph
- STLtoday
- About.com
- The Sun
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

This story seems to harken back to one a few years ago, in which some guys from Georgia apparently found a dead Bigfoot and stuck him in their freezer.  You remember the picture, right?

And just because "Bigfoot" here turned out to be a, what, gorilla costume with animal guts thrown on top doesn't mean that people weren't at least a little bit interested in the story at the time.  And just because the Kemerovo region has apparently bit hit hard by a poor global economy and would benefit from a little monster-hunter tourism and a government research center, that doesn't mean there still couldn't be a den full of yetis living in the Siberian mountains, right?  Right??

In related news, a woman from Michigan claims that she's been feeding blueberry bagels to Bigfoot for the last two years.  God bless America.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gabriel Lehman & Conor Mahoney

A couple of guys from Wilmington, NC (old stomping grounds of mine) are doing some great work together and I thought -- because I'm a supremely nice guy, don't you know -- that I'd take a few minutes and promote some of their nascent work together.

The collaborators in question are Conor Mahoney, a budding writer I helped, out of the kindness of my heart (I'm a nice guy, remember?!?) with a school project a few years back, and Gabriel Lehman, an artist I've never met but displays some prodigious talent that is easily on display here.

The two creators are combining words and art in not a traditional comic book sense, but in a way more common to more traditional picture books - Mahoney is adding his poetry to Lehman's paintings, often interpreting and expanding on the physical image on the canvas.  So far they've come up with some exciting, creative things, and I'll be interested to see what happens next with their collaboration.

I'll post a few of Lehman's paintings (I wouldn't be surprised if these incorporated some mixed media as well), followed by a corresponding poem by Mahoney.  And we'll all enjoy them.  Let's begin!

That Old Man's Cap

There once was an Old man,
as quick as can be
who would go far away
and pick flowers for me

He would always be back
with a snap of his fingers
his cap on his head
and a smile that lingers

Flowers so gorgeous
to make any girl blush
If I asked he would wink
And tell me to hush

He's been gone a long while
But with my grandfather's cap
I can pick my own flowers
And won't ever look back

Each and Every Day

The Artist awakes each and every day
to find a canvas and a fresh paint tray.
Without thinking clearly he grabs brush
and begins to create such worlds
as only a boy can dream of.

Such beautiful colors and swirls,
pure ideas run rampant and fly,
Umbrella girls and cups in the sky.
If only he were to turn round,
He would see his personal muse,
His own Inspiration's guide.

The Flying Machine

Thadius Penley was according to most
incredibly odd and prone to large boasts.
So when the yearly winds crept in
and he got the ears of betting men
He made quite the outstanding wager

You see old Thadius Penley was no fool
He was a genius you see, a man of tools
An inventor of sorts but a gambler of course
so the hustlers came up with a real tour de force
and accepted Penley's incredible wager

You see Thadius was a real mean drinker
And always pretended to be a crazy old duffer
So he bet the men a million in cash
that he could get across the Ocean De' Gashe
In less than eight days, that was the wager

The gambling men laughed, easy as pie
No man could swim that, no point even to try
But they gave him his eight days and,
by six and a half Penley, showed them first hand
exactly how he would win his wager

The Flying Machine, he called it, laughing,
They joined in, joyously bragging
The old man was nuts, the money was theirs
Nothing like that could really ride the airs
And by the seventh day all the town spoke of the wager

And boy did he do it! Flying over the ocean!
Like a bird only sideways, by his own locomotion!
He soared across the sea, and came back before noon
He floated back to land, grinning like a loon.
Drunk off of his ass and ready to wager.

So there you have it, that's how it happened
Mankind can fly now cause of what good booze fashioned.
A gamble of such incredible scope and absurdity
But drawing quite some speculative uncertainty,
Old Thadius Penley never planned on losing his wager

Lehman has a website for his art that you can see here:

The two should get a friggin' website for their collaborations already.  Blogger is free, fellas.  Best of luck to 'em both.

Monday, October 3, 2011

FUBAR: Empire of the Rising Dead Diamond order code

I've known that FUBAR: Empire of the Rising Dead would be in this month's Previews catalogue for a while, but now I've got an order code to pass along.  Volume two in this WWII epic has the following order code: OCT11 0764.

I've got a few stories that will appear in this volume - "Life Preserves" with Mario Wytch, Amy Corbin and Jeff McComsey, the second instillation of "FDArrrgh" with Leonardo Pietro, and "Run Silent, Run Dead", which I lettered, with Daniel Thollin and Stephen Lindsay.  So that's three reasons right off the bat to give this book a try - but there are dozens more as anyone who's seen the preview edition that appeared at the Baltimore Comic-Con can attest to.  This is going to be a huge book - 256 pages! - and there'll be lots of stories to read from some incredible creators, topped off by Danilo Beyruth's awesome cover, also the second in the series.

The clock is ticking - pre-orders are being taken this month.  I hope that if you've enjoyed my writing and/or volume one of FUBAR, you'll take a chance and give this book a try.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Alex Ross at the Warhol - appreciation for the man, frustration with the exhibit

Today was the big day for Alex Ross's "Heroes & Villains" exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum on Pittsburgh's North Shore.  I decided on which books I should take and got in the car a little before 12:30, drove through the Fort Pitt tunnels and parked along Sandusky Street, right across the way from the museum.

As I walked through the front doors, I was greeted with a sign that said "'Heroes & Villains' Exhibit open to the public beginning at 8pm" or something to that effect, which was disconcerting.  I entered the main hall and saw a few dozen others lounging around, many holding comics and similar items which made it clear that they were there for the same reason I was.  I made my way to the front desk and asked about the exhibit, at which point I was told that the only people who could see the exhibit before 8:00 in the evening were those who purchased $250 tickets to the private tour.

I found this to go against everything I had seen on the Warhol Museum website and elsewhere in the days leading up to the event, and when I told the woman at the desk this, she wearily turned to a man in the background and said "what are doing about that again?", which led me to believe that others entered with the same understanding I had.  I spoke with another employee and voiced my displeasure at, well, not being allowed in to see the event for which I showed up, but the best answer I got was that I must have mistaken the information on the website or got it from a different, more unreliable source.  Below are screenshots from the site specific to the exhibit:

...and from the page with hours of operation:

So...I'm not sure what I was missing.  But just as the squeaky wheel gets the grease, I apparently pointed out my misgivings long/obstinately enough and scored some free passes for a return trip.  I got the impression that others at the show were similarly placated.

It's nice to know that I'll be seeing the exhibit at a later date for free, but I can't help but wonder why, even if there wasn't a miscommunication, Ross's exhibit wasn't open from the start of the business day.  Ross, as (correctly) advertised, held a book signing in the main lobby at 3:00.  My eyeball estimate of the crowd that showed up for the signing was a couple hundred people, fewer than 20 of whom took the private tour at 1:30.  While a number of the people there (myself included) bought items from the gift shop, I can't help but think that a solid percentage would have also bought a ticket to see the exhibit if given the chance - but as it was, many stood in line, got some signatures and left without paying a dime to the museum.

As it worked out, I waited in line to see Ross from about 1:30 until 3:00, at which time he walked in accompanied by a few guards and some of the museum staff.  The line moved fairly briskly, with some friendly conversation being exchanged between Ross and attendees.  I made it to the front of the line in about 15 minutes, and I had all the drama captured on flim:


There was a two-item limit on signatures, though I cheated a bit and had my wife carry an extra book to get signed.  I eventually decided upon the Mythos hardcover, Earth X #1 and Kingdom Come #1.  Ross was very cordial and seemed (in the 30 seconds I was in front of him) like a nice guy.

Naturally, I brought copies of Teddy and the Yeti #s 1-3 with me and gave them to Ross.  He remarked on the title and then noticed that Phil Hester drew the first cover.  Five minutes afterwards I made the connection, but at the time I only said something stupid like "yep!"  Ross (obviously) worked with Hester on several Dynamite titles like Black Terror, which I thought was the Project Superpowers line's strongest book.  I could have mentioned that Phil was our one degree of comic book separation or asked if that line would eventually continue now that Kirby: Genesis seems to have taken its publication space, but at the time I was just happy that he took the books and seemed to appreciate them.

Here are two of the signatures I got: first on the inner cover/first page of Mythos, then on Earth X:

As I mentioned, I did pick up some swag while there.  The museum store must have stocked up for the exhibit, because they had a number of collections with Ross's work (the cafe had recent issues of books like Invaders: Now to read!) and a lot of comic-themed items in general.  I left with the following:

- A "Heroes & Villains" comic book: this Silver Age sized book isn't really a comic in its usual sense; rather it's a brief history of Ross and some of his influences.  It has the feel of a newsletter but is still pretty cool.
- An Andy Warhol bookmark featuring Ross's painting.  I was handed a few when I got to the table for the signing.
- A Fantastic Four magnet with the cover to issue #49
- Two Fantastic Four stickers, including one of the Thing and his catchphrase.

Overall, I had a nice time.  Obviously, it would have been nice to get to enter the exhibit today, and I'm still a little put off by the lack of clarification on the museum staff's part.  But I still managed to meet one of the most talented and recognizable creators in comics today, and I was able to leave him with some work of my own.  I'll take that for what it's worth and look forward to coming back at some point in the next few weeks.