Friday, July 14, 2017

Once again...the San Diego Comic-Con

The 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International is nearly upon us once more...and I'm heading back for another trip. Maybe THIS is the year that I find fame and fortune. Or at least another trip to the Taco Truck, which deserves to be a proper noun.

Amazon's "The Tick" has just wrapped its first season and there will be a huge presence at this year's show, and some of it bleeds over into my tiny corner of the Tick universe as well. Let's take a look at some of the things I'll have with me at the show, running from Wednesday-Friday, July 19-23.

There's a new issue of The Tick debuting at SDCC with this special wedding issue! I'm joined by Duane Redhead and Ian Nichols for this issue, which comes with two covers: the "A" cover is the regular one, and the "B" cover is a (mostly) blank sketch cover!

Each are limited to 250 copies. I'll be signing copies - Ian will be there, too! - at the New England Comics booth, #1807, every day of the show.

Naturally, there's a lot more going on regarding The Tick at this show, and I hope to awkwardly stare at famous people at more than one point at the convention. There's a panel, an exclusive Funko Pop! figure, an autograph signing...and an incredible offsite area which includes a giant animatronic Tick head. It's all pretty neat. Read more about it here:

Honcho makes its semi-official debut at SDCC! What this means is that I'll have copies of the book with me, and I hope that people come and buy some. Jenny Klein, who did me a huge favor and wrote a foreword, will also be at the show! I'll be sharing a booth once again with the wonderful Jennie Wood in the small press section, at booth M-06!

I made some enamel pins that I'll be taking with me, too! The (very official) Honcho pin can be seen above. It's a one-inch pin with a custom backing, and it's based on Jeff McComsey's art from the book.

Because I can never do anything without also considering "hmm, how can I also make this about Weird Al?", I have a "UHF"-themed enamel pin as well. This one clocks in at about 1 1/2 inches.

And lastly...I put together another Rotten Tomatoes poster/print/comic for this year's event! Like last year, they're limited to 50, and I'll be giving them away at the very exciting "Your Opinion Sucks" panel. This year, Rotten Tomatoes is doing three separate panels at an offsite, across the street from the convention center. They've expanded it to 2 1/2 hours long!! The poster this year is drawn by Lonny Chant and Tomas Marijanovic, and I think it's really something. I'm already planning the next one!

Wish me luck, people. I hope it's a good show. I also hope I don't spend every last cent I own.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Thing sketchbook, part 19

Let's look at some more entries into the Thing sketchbook!

Jim Rugg - Wizard World Pittsburgh 2015

The ill-fated Wizard World Pittsburgh was disappointing on a number of levels. After Wizard World took over for the Pittsburgh Comicon in 2015, I had at least faint hopes that the venue change (moving from Monroeville to the downtown convention center) would mean better things for comic conventions in the 'Burgh. This was decidedly not to be, and the show dragged on for the weekend at a snail's pace, but at least I got this great Thing sketch out of it! This one is by Jim Rugg - a Pittsburgh native and creator of the wonderful Street Angel series. Rugg is one of the most underrated artists in the industry, and I'm happy to add his work to the sketchbook!

Art Adams - New York Comic Con 2015

How in the world, you might ask, did I manage to get the legendary Arthur Adams to draw in this book? It took a lot of luck, my friends, but in general, I found him at a time that he wasn't too busy and I made a nice donation to the Hero Initiative in exchange for a five minute sketch. Adams has been at the top of his game (and the top of the industry) for decades at this point, and he draws one of the best Ben Grimms of all time. This is without a doubt one of the most impressive pieces in the book on name recognition alone.

Karin Rindevall - New York Comic Con 2015

I've been friends with Karin Rindevall for years, all the way back to Teddy and the Yeti #1, but I never thought I'd get the chance to meet her, because she lives in Sweden. She and her boyfriend made the trip to New York for NYCC in 2015, though, and I was lucky enough to get to spend a little time chatting with them. Naturally, because I'm an awful and pushy person, I talked Karin into drawing the the Thing in the sketchbook, and he kindly obliged with the above piece (the word balloon is roughly "it's clobberin' time!" in Swedish). Karin needed to find a table on which to draw, so (keep this to yourself) we sat down at the then-empty table of Art Adams. Several people walked by while we were there and were very confused.

Dave Wachter - PIX 2016

Dave Wachter is a Pittsburgh native and recently completed a run as artist on IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. I had met him a few times before but finally managed to get a sketch from him at the Pittsburgh Indy Comix Festival in 2016. I believe this is the second trench coat Thing in the book - you can never have too many. The rain in the background adds that extra something to it. And I'm absolutely in love with Dave's stamps, which he changes every year.

Todd Webb - Comic-Con International 2016

True story - I once bought a toilet seat from Todd Webb. He drew pirates on it and I still have it, packed away in a closet, waiting for the day when I can figure out where to hang it. That was quite a few years ago - 2003 or 2004, I think - and I hadn't heard anything of or from him in the intervening years until running into him at the very end of Comic-Con 2015. I was lucky enough to find him again at the 2016 show and knew that it was time to ask him to join the sketchbook ranks, near the very end of the book. This is the first entry drawn in crayon, and it's one of my favorites!

Believe it or not, this very nearly completes the Thing sketchbook. I'll be back with one final entry before closing the book on this...uh, book for good.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Black Terror by Ramona Fradon and Duane Redhead

Perhaps you recall my Black Terror: Wednesday at the Diner webcomic/comic strip/mini comic/whatever that Rafer Roberts and I worked on a few years ago. It's been a while, but I'm slowly putting together some new material on that front for an eventual book, and two cool pieces of that recently came together from two great artists, so I thought I'd share them here!

The first is an image of the classic Black Terror from Golden Age artist (and personal favorite) Ramona Fradon. Fradon is an underrated legend in the comic book industry, and I'm kind of stunned that I was able to commission her in the first place. She's been drawing comics for almost 70 years and might be best known for co-creating Aqualad and Metamorpho for DC Comics. What a thrill it is to work with her in even the slightest capacity.

Our next piece is from a familiar source, Mr. Duane Redhead! Duane took some time from drawing the Tick to pencil and ink this lovely image of an elderly (but still muscular, check out those biceps) Black Terror and Mr. Q. The backdrop for this image is the city of Cleveland, because Cleveland is just kind of a funny place.

I'll update this page with more info on my take on the Black Terror in the future. For now, I'm excited to see these images.