Friday, October 5, 2018

Mike McKone - Johan Cruyff

2016.11.19 NJ Comic Expo, Edison, NJ

Mike McKone is an artist from Newcastle, whose work was published work includes Justice League of America, Justice League International, The Punisher War Zone, Exiles, Teen Titans, Fantastic Four, Deadpool: Suicide Kings, Ms Marvel, Amazing Spider-Man and many other titles...

Originally McKone was going to provide me with a sketch of Batman, an easy out.. but as we discussed other possibilities he was very willing to accept more of a challenge. Our discussion turned to his being from Newcastle, England and supporting Newcastle United, a football club that was recently relegated from the Premier League. A team that has a devoted fan base even though the team has had difficult seasons. (I have heard many stories from a friend who is also from Newcastle!)

I asked if he would prefer to sketch a footballer to a super hero, and he took up the challenge. As a father of 2 football (soccer in the US) players I usually have a football FDC with me. I left McKone not really knowing what he would come up with...his final product was a beautiful rendition of Johan Cruyff.

Cruyff was a Dutch footballer who played in the Eredivisie (Dutch League), La Liga (Spainish League) and the North American Soccer League (USA). He is considered to be one of the most influential figures in football history. His style of play and his total football philosophy has influenced many managers and players..

Friday, September 28, 2018

Scott Kolins - Blue Beetle

2018-04-27 East Coast Comic Con, Secaucus, NJ

Scott Kolins is an illustrator, writer and creator of multiple superhero and science fiction comic books. His main credits are as a penciler, but he is an established inker and colorist as well. Kaolins has illustrated numerous titles for Marvel Comics from 1992 to 2008, including Excalibur, Hawkeye, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Thing, The Avengers, She-Hulk, Wolverine, The Fantastic Four and others

Kolins has also illustrated several DC titles including Green Lantern, Superbly, Legion of Superheroes, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman/Batman. Kolins started work on Blue Beetle in 2016

After studying at the Kubert School, Kolins landed a job with Valiant Comics, before moving on to Marvel

Kolins is credited or co-credited with the creation or co-creation of several characters including Peek-a-Boo (Flash super-villain), Iron Maniac Gear (alternate universe Iron Man), Tar Pit (Flash super-villain) and others

The Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) is the third incarnation of the character, created by Keith Gifffen, John Rogers and Cully Hamner. The original Blue Beetle, Dan Garret first appeared in the Fox Feature Syndicate Mystery Men Comics #1 (August 1939)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Karl Slominski - Astronaut

2018-04-28 East Coast Comic Con, Secaucus, NJ

After I obtain the sketches I had planned for a specific convention, I walk the room to look for unexpected surprises. Karl Slominski gave me the wow feeling. His con banner featured a skeleton astronaut, which grabbed my attention. I explained my collection and asked if he would be able to reproduce the astronaut, which was very detailed. I appreciate the detail Karl was able to provide in a small sketch.

Karl Slominski is a graphic novelist and an alumni of the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Arts. His work has been featured in a wide rate of cartooning and illustrative outlets, including the graphic novels Golgotha (written by Andrew Harrison), Run Like Hell (written by Jeff Dixon) and Ashes: A Firefighter's Tale (written by Mario Candelabra) Tad Caldwell and the Monster Kid (written by Kurt Amacker). His recent works include his creator-owned comic book series Star Child, Fixer and the graphic novel Teeter Topple.

Slominski has also worked in the film industry, notably for the horror anthology The Mortuary Collection from Trap Door Pictures


Friday, September 14, 2018

Kyle Starks - Rick and Morty

Kyle Starks drew several web-comics before committing to comic books. His first venture was Sexcastle, funded through a Kickstarter campaign and eventually being picked up by Image Comics. Starks received an Eisner Nomination for the book.

Starks is a writer for Oni Press' Rick and Morty series, starting with issue #16. Starks also works on the Invader Zim comic and has a new book called Rock Candy Mountain.

Robot Mountain

Friday, September 7, 2018

Ben Harvey - TMNT

2018-04-27 East Coast Comic Con, Seacuacus, NJ

Ben Harvey found an attraction to art at an early age, through cartoons, video games and comic books. Harvey attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia, which exposed him to the world of digital art, which he takes advantage of in almost all of his work.

He describes his style as heavily manga influenced to comic booky with hints of manga. Harvey has work on projects for publishers Tokyopop, Radical Comics, Beach Studios, Image Comics and IDW

Saturday, September 1, 2018

AJ Morrone - Micky Dolenz

2018-04-27 East Coast Comic Con, Secaucus, NJ

When I read the guest list for the Con, and saw Mickey Dolenz was going to be in attendance, I wanted to obtain an autograph. I have seen the Monkees in concert, grew-up on the TV show and I appreciate the music. 

Dolenz started out in television in 1956 starring in Circus Boy, portraying a water boy for the elephants in a circus. The show ran for 2 seasons. 

Prior to auditioning for the Monkees, Dolenz had led a rock group called Mickey and the One-Nighters. The Monkees success was both due to the music and the comedy of the show. It connect with the younger viewers.

Since I decided to obtain an autograph, I knew I did not want to carry around a record album, and I did not want a photo. I decided to find an artist at the show who could provide a sketch of Dolenz. AJ Morrone is a sketch card artist for Upper Deck and Fleer trading cards. He accepted my challenge and produced in short time a sketch that truly captured Dolenz' personality.

I selected a Richie Valens first day cover, a celebration of early rock n roll....

Friday, August 24, 2018

Steve Lavigne - TMNT : Raphael

2018.04 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Steve Lavigne was the first person hired by Eastman and Laird at Mirage Studios. He inked a backup story in the 1989 collected "Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

Along with Ryan Brown, they illustrated the artwork seen on the majority of officially licensed TMNT merchandise, which included art for Burger King, Pez, New Line Cinema, Konagi, Colorforms, and other toy lines.

I requested Steve to choose which Turtle and style he wanted to draw.

Shellback Artworks

Greg Hildebrandt had prepared a sketch for the charity auction, which featured Bebop and Rock Steady and April from TMNT. With this late twin Tim, the Brothers Hildebrandt worked collectively as fantasy and science fiction artists, producing work for books, movie posters, calendars, trading cards and other items.

Best know for their work on the Lord of the Rings, Marvel and DC Comics, Greg has been a fixture at the Garden State Comic Fest, meeting fans while actually working on one of his paintings. A great experience to be able to ask him questions while he works.

The TNMT pencil sketch was drawn at the request of the show organizers for the charity auction

Friday, August 17, 2018

Joe Barbosa - Simon's Circus

2018.04.27 East Coast Comic Con, Secaucus, NJ

Joe Barbosa released his comic Simon's Circus through 3Kidz comics. It is a hilarious and rude comic. Rude if you are a fan of clowns. Funny if you don't mind seeing a clown get trashed by an elephant. It seems the circus elephant Eddie hates clowns, as well as visitors to the circus. Eddie would rather be playing golf, when not beating up on clowns.

Definitely not for little kids

Simon's Circus

Friday, August 10, 2018

John Beatty - Batman

2018.04.17 East Coast Comic Con, Secaucus, NJ

John Beatty entered the world of professional artist at age 15, when he was hired by Camelot Publishing to produce cartoons for computer instruction manuals. shortly after graduating from high school, he wrote and drew "Crime Smasher", which found publication Tom corrigan's Super Hero Comics. while attending a comic con in orlando, Beatty met AC Comics publisher Bill Black. After seeing Beatty's work, Black offered him a job as an inker.

Soon Bob McLeod asked Beatty to assist him on some pages, which inducted drawing backgrounds.

Beatty then had a second opportunity to show his work to Jim Shooter, who offered him work, if he came to New York. Beatty would spend 20 years inking titles such as Captain America, Punisher, Secret Wars, The Nam, The Adventures of Superman, Batman, JLA and many other titles.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Mike DeCarlo - Batman

2018.04.17 East Coast Comic Con, Secaucus, NJ

Mike DeCarlo has been involved with numerous titles as both penciler and inker.
With DC comics in the 1980s, DeCarlo work Batman, Tales of Teen Titans, Legion of Superheroes inking the pencils of George Perez, Greg LaRocque, Keith Griffen and Jim Aparo.

DeCarlo has also worked on diverse titles as Atari Force, Cartoon Network Block Party, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Fantastic Four, Pinky and the Brain, Simpsons, Superman, Bugs Bunny, NFL SuperPro, Thor, Conan the Barbarian

Bongo Comics Radioactive Man series received an Eisner Award in 2002 for Best Humor Publication, while DeCarlo was one of the series artists

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Fernando Ruiz - Cosmo - Animal Jam

2018.07.08 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Animal Jam is an online virtual world launched in 2010 by WildWorks and the National Geographic Society. Players discover various facts about zoology. The popularity of the on-line game has launched other media products including shirts, notebooks, playlets, plush figures.

In 2017 Dynamite comics released a 4 book mini-series of comic books written and drawn by Fernando Ruiz and Eric Esquivel (this includes #0 a Free Comic Book Day publication).

When I came across the FCBD copy at my local store, I had to grab it because first there was a koala on the cover and second because it was by Fernando.

My wife does not know Fernando, but she loves koalas. Given the choice of me or a koala, it would be the koala. I knew Fernando would be at a local show, so I went on eBay to look for a first day cover that featured a koala stamp and kept an eye open for Fernando's appearance. I am posting the cover this week, as Nancy birthday is in a few days, so this is for her. (cheap gift)

There are several main Alphas that oversee the Animal Jam community which includes:
Liza the Panda (leader); Greely the Wolf (animal magic); Graham the Monkey (Inventor); Sir Gilbert the Tiger (warrior), Peck the Rabbit (non-conformist); Cosmo the Koala (expert herbalist), Tavi the Dolphin

Friday, July 20, 2018

Charles Paul Wilson III - Pooh's On First

2018.07.08 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

As a fan of Abbott and Costello, I had been looking for someone to draw a Frankenstein Meets AC. Then i taught it would be great to obtain a sketch related to the routine "Who's On First". Which is still one of the greatest comedy routines ever!

Then it hit me - "Pooh's On First!"

Why hadn't I thought of this before (this is where I smack myself in the head!). Charles Paul Wilson III was the perfect artist for this. If you ever saw Charles at an event you know he uses the Pooh character in many of his works. I had to wait it bit before Charles was at an event I was attending. Charles accepted the challenge to draw a baseball related Poh character.  Pooh is dressed in an early style uniform with the round painters style cap (See Willie Stargell - Pirates c.1970s)

Thanks to Charles Paul Wilson III for his great style...