Friday, December 2, 2016

Jon Gregory - Janis Joplin

2016.08.27 Monsters and Robots, Somerset, NJ

Jon Gregory has 20 years of graphic design, illustration and art direction experience. Within the last few years Jon has established himself as a sketch artist for Topps' Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages. But when I arrived at Jon's table I did not see any sign of GPK art, but instead I saw very impressive pencil sketches of various celebrities.  When I questioned Jon about a preference for a sketch, without hesitation he stated he loved Rock and Roll.

Rock and Roll is in Jon's blood. He plays guitar, drums and piano. In his spare time he moonlights as a professional concert photographer and travels with various bands capturing their performances..

Muhammad Ali trading card

Stamps that feature composers, musicians and artists are not new. What has changed is the subject matter that is reaching new audience. Where we once honored Bach, Beethoven, Sousa, Whistler, Picasso, or van Gogh, we now honor Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Buddy Holly, Abba, Kylie Minogue, Gordon Lightfoot, Andy Warhol, Calder, Peter Max, and many others..
The UK honored album art from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Blur, the Clash, now the Isle of Man honors Roger Dean...

Island and Bridges
Deans artwork has graced many album covers, and bands probably sold many of their albums due to the fantasy art that Dean provided.  Most famous of these bands were Yes, Asia and Uriah Heep...
The stamps from the Island and Bridges collection: Meeting Place - painting inspired by the Isle of Man, Blind Owl Late Landing - album art, Pathways - Yessongs album art, Green Parrot Island - Yes the Studio albums art, Tales from Topographic Oceans - Yes album art, Sea of Light - Uriah Heep album art.
Thes stamps were issued by the Isle of Man on 19th August 2016


Friday, November 25, 2016

Travis Hanson - Trav's Big Imagination

2016.11.19 NJ Comic Expo, Edison, NJ

I appreciate all styles of art, but every so often, one just grabs at me. Travis Hanson has that style. His self-published works include The Bean and Little Lost Tales.. Trav's website has a comic showing him speaking with his daughter about how his imagination took him on many adventures through his summer afternoons, fighting robots, traveling in hot air balloons, spaceships, riding on the back of dinosaurs, exploring jungles like Indiana Jones, etc...  No different from everyone who attends a comic expo...

I was especially taken by his imagery of a hot air balloon flying alongside flying whales, this beautiful vision of flight is what made me want to visit his booth at the expo...

Although the sketch he drew is small in size, it is expansive in imagination... Dream Big!


Travis provided the artwork for the Expo program and T-shirt.  He made sure to include the iconic Edison Tower in the background and the NJ Devil, in his hockey uniform as part of the artwork to add a true touch of Jersey attitude to his art...


Friday, November 18, 2016

Budd Root - La of Opar (Tarzan)

2016.07.10 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Budd Root is the creator of the independent comic book Cavewoman and his one-shot "Cavewoman: Jungle Tales" was nominated for a 1999 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Story. I had hoped to obtain a Cavewoman sketch on the Tarzan cover, but Budd being a big fan of the Tarzan series decided to sketch a Tarzan character, and I am very happy with his choice. Since I am not well versed in Tarzan, Budd's enthusiasm has made me start to read the series...

La of Opar made her first appearance in the second Tarzan novel "The Return of Tarzan". La is the queen and high priestess of Opar, the lost city located deep in the Jungles of Africa. La would also appear in the story Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs...

Burroughs created Tarzan in 1912, with Tarzan of the Apes; along with John Carter from Mars as part of the Barsoom series of stories; David Innes and Abner Perry in the Pellucidar series; Carson Napier of the Venus series and his Caspak (or Caprona) trilogy that started with "The Land That Time Forgot"...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Jaff Zapata - Garbage Pail Kids

2016.08.27 Monsters and Robots, Somerset, NJ

Jeff Zapata  is the former art director for Topps (Garbage Pail kids, Hollywood Zombies, Wacky Packages and Mars Attacks). Along with  Joe Simko, they directed the documentary "30 Years of Garbage Pail Kids"

In attendance at the Monsters and Robots show were Zapata, Simko, Jay Lynch, James Warhola and Mark Pignitore. They all participated in a panel discussion of their experiences  creating and developing the Garbage Pail Kids. An excellent panel...

I went to this show with the thought of obtaining an in-person sketch, I have a Mars Attacks sketch card from Zapata... During our discussion he kept referencing back to his enjoyment of being involved with the Mars Attacks project. Since I already had a Mars attacks sketch card, we agreed on a Garbage Pail Kids - Mars Attacks mash-up. The Buzz Lightyear cover was a great choice, as we all know Buzz would be there battling  the Martians with us... To Infinity and Beyond....

Friday, November 4, 2016

Tom Palmer - Doctor Strange

2016.07.09 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Tom Palmer started his career in comics with Marvel, after working in advertising and as a freelance illustrator. Palmer would go to EC Comics working alongside Jack Kamen and Wally Wood.
Moving to Marvel comics he was offered his first pencilling work on Doctor Strange #171, which did not go as planned, and the title was handed over to Gene Colan. Marvel quickly changed Palmer's position to inker. The Colon-Palmer run on Doctor Strange became legendary.

Palmer would also work with Neal Adams on Un canny X-Men and The Avengers. Palmer would also work on additional titles including Daredevil, Tomb of Dracula and Star Wars.

Palmer has received many honors for his work, including the 1969 Alley award, 1975 Favorite Inker Comic Fan art Award, 2008 Favorite Finisher/Embellisher Inkwell Award and the 2014 Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award (Inkwell Award)

Doctor Strange was created by Steve Ditko for Marvel Comics, making his first appearance in Strange Tales #110, 1963. Doctor Strange is a neurosurgeon who lost the use of his hands following a car accident. Seeking out the Ancient One to help him, eventually becomes the Sorcerer Supreme himself..

Harry Houdini was honored by the USPS in 2002 with his own stamp. An illusionist and stunt performer, Houdini was noted for his remarkable escapes. Houdini started his career as a magician in 1891 as the "King of Cards" performing card tricks before moving on to the more demanding escapes.  Houdini would go on to debunking spiritualists, exposing frauds

Friday, October 28, 2016

Bob C Hardin

2016.07.10 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

I have had the pleasure of meeting Bob C Hardin a couple of times, each picking up a nice sketch in return.  I used to enjoy the old DC Comics war comics, especially Enemy Ace or any other story that involved World War I era biplanes. I was a Kickstarter backer of Epics  (from Marques, Hardin, Redvio and Ruiz), so when I saw an issue of Epics 2 on Hardin table and it had a biplane in battle, I had to ask for a sketch.

Bob's main focus in art is hot rods, and his story in Epics 2 takes his lead, Rat Rod Daddy's Daughter, from the Epics 1 story and puts her in a situation where she is traumatized over an ancient fighter plane piloted by the German Ace Baron Rittmeister von Kamphert attacking her father during World War II.  The cover of Epics 2 show the biplane in action against the pinned down American soldiers...

On the Eddie Rickenbacker cover Bob has drawn a different version of a battle in which Rickenbackers plane is attacking the crazed visage of von Kamphert.
Capt Eddie Rickenbacker was  a World War I ace with 26 victories, and was awarded the Medal of Honor..

signed copy of Epics 2

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mark Pignitore - Garbage Pail Kids

2016.08.27 Monsters and Robots, Somerset, NJ

Just as with Joe Simko's sketch, I was not aware of the Garbage Pail Kid that Mark had provided. When he saw the Pinocchio stamp he said he could draw something for that.  I had no idea the image had been created by Brent Engstrom on the card Lyin' Ryan
Again my lack of knowledge of the characters, made seeing this sketch a first time experience. I was thrilled with the sketch. My comment was "I didn't think I would find a use for the Pinocchio first day cover.." and I was thrilled with the outcome. I don't usually like going to an artist without knowledge of their background, but I found this experience made the discovery of the design more exciting...

Mark Pignitore has done over 100 Garbage Pail Kids illustrations, as well as sketch cards and illustrations for Mars Attacks, The Walking Dead, Adventure Time, Wacky Packages, Hollywood Zombies, and Cereal Killers.  He has also painted the cover for IDW's GPK comic book...

The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, was published in 1883. Several countries have honored Collodi and his creation on postage stamps. Although many of the stamps issued are done so for the Disney version of the story, I have included some of my favorite non-Disney Pinocchio stamps..
Italy - 1954 -- Uruguay - 1981 -- San Marino - 1990

Friday, October 14, 2016

Joe Simko - Garbage Pail Kids

2016.08.27 Monsters and Robots, Somerset, NJ

I attended the Monsters and Robots show to obtain a few sketches from the Garbage Pail Kids' artists that were going to be in attendance... They were coming from the GPK Convention held in Las Vegas. Since I am not a collector of GPK, but an aware of the product I thought it would be great to pick up a few sketches...

As soon as I made my request of Joe Simko, he knew immediately what he was going to do. Since I do not know all of the characters, the sketch he provided of Haley's Vomit was a great surprise an pleasant surprise...

Joe Simko has contributed to Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages. He is the author illustrator of the book Sweet Rot as well as creator of his own line of trading cards "Cereal Killers"
Simko also designs CD covers and posters for Rock bands...

The original concept of Haley's Vomit (also known as Inter Stella) card #318 from the 8th series, 1987, was created by Tom Bunk...

Just wanted to show 2 recent purchases, although not sketches, that have a space theme...
FDC Cover Center 1962 Christmas issue with Santa riding a rocket to the Moon. I still appreciate the simple 2 color design over the more modern full color all-over printed covers from today that hid the stamp and postmark. 

Georges Melies, was honored by France in  1961. Melies was a movie maker during the silent film age. One of his films was "A Trip to the Moon" 1902, which had strange and surreal imagery, most notably the rocket crashing into the eye of the moon..

This image was also used on a different version of the GPK's Haley Comet..

Melies vision is the primary inspiration behind the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Sleznik, published in 2007 and the movie adaptation Hugo, 2011. Both excellent...

Friday, October 7, 2016

Rags Morales - Batman

2016.07.09 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Since 1989 Morales has trudged his way through the mean streets and jungles of suburban New Jersey to entertain the comicbookin' masses and tickle them into nerdgasms...

Count me as having a nerdgasm after seeing this pencil sketch of Batman. .. Rags is a graduate of the Kubert School.  He has since written for Acton Comics, provided pencils for Action Comics, Adventures of Superman, Archer & Armstrong, Batman Confidential, Black Condor, Blackest night, Bloodshot, Dungeons and Dragons, Hawkman, Sgt, Rock, First Wave, Green Lantern, and many other titles. He has inked Action Comics, Turok Dinosaur Hunter, New Avengers, Green Lantern, JSA Secret Files and many others..

Cover artist for Action Comics, Archer & Armstrong, Black Condor, Captain America, Winter Soldier, Superman, Nightwing, Larfleeze, Justice League and many others...

Morales has received awards, which include:
2004 Wizard Fan Award favorite mini-series: Identity Crisis
2005 Wizard Fan Award favorite one-shot: Countdown to Infinite Crisis
2004 Best mini-series Diamond Publishing: Identity Crisis
1977-78 St. Theresa Little League All-Star Team

Friday, September 30, 2016

Creees - Batman

2016.07.09 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Creees, aka Hyungsun Lee, is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, NYC.  Creees started honing his skills at age 3, growing up drawing characters form Dragonball Z and Batman. Creees draws because he feels it keeps him alive...

Creees is inspired by the talents of Jim Lee, Kenneth Rocafort, Klaus Janson (SVA), Matteo Scalera and Sean Murphy...

CreesArt - check out his Marvel X Pokemon art on Phoenix X Ho-oh, as well as his other Marvel and DC - Pokemon pieces...

Friday, September 23, 2016

Howie Noel - Louie the Lilac

2016.08.27 Monsters and Robots, Somerset, NJ

When I picked up this envelope, I knew I wanted to get a sketch of Milton Berle as Louie the Lilac, from the Batman TV series. I ran into an old friend Nick Mockoviac when I entered the Monsters and Robots show. I told him I was looking for the right person to provide a character sketch. He pointed to Howie Noel, whose booth we were standing in front of. Noel provided an excellent rendition of the Berle character.

The Batman TV series ran from 1966 - 1968, featuring many top names in villainous roles created just for the show. Louie the Lilac appeared in 1967, having cornered the flower market in Gotham, he planned on taking over the "flower generation"..  Milton Berle is considered the first major American TV star and was affectionately known as "Uncle Miltie"..

Berle stamp was part of a series honoring early stars of television. Berle starred in the Texaco Star Theatre (1948-1955)..

Howie Noel is an illustrator-caricturist, as well as the creator of the comic Tara Normal, Mr Scootles and Vincent: The Painter of Death. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Noel is the official cartoonist of TAPS Paramagazine...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Jenaro Pagan - Phantom of the Opera

2016.07.09 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Jenaro Pagan has been an illustrator for over fifteen years, providing work for Headlocked Comics and Arcana Comics (colorist for Koni Konfidential and A Cat Named Haiku)..

Excellent version of the Phantom of the Opera...

Jenaro Pagan homepage