Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dracula - Neil Vokes

Neil Vokes - Dracula 2008.12.07 Comic Fest, East Hanover, NJ

Vokes started his career in 1984 with the publication of The Key Eternal for Comico, and has not slowed down since. Works include Marvel (Spiderman) DC (Superman, Congorilla, Static, Life the Universe and Everything) Dark Horse (Jonny Demon, Adventures of the Mask, Hammer of God), Image Comics (The Black Forest) Malibu (Tarzan the Warrior) Topps (Jurassic Park, TeenAgents) Comico (Robotech Masters) Apple Comics (Blood of Dracula) just to name a few.

From 10 Questions for Neil Vokes : Most rewarding project might be Parliment of Justice with Mike Oeming...It was with Parliment that I found my voice...

Why waste this short time we all have by just coasting through life half-ased? Find that passion and hold tight with all your heart.

Marvel Comics - Dracula first appeared in 1972 Tomb of Dracula and is based on the Bram Stoker novel as well as the Universal Movies character

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.....

1999 I had my eldest son Michael, age 5, draw a picture for Santa. I mailed the envelope to my PO Box, so I could save his artwork...Hope everyone who reads this blog has a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a healthy New Year.....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Andrew Pepoy - Little Orphan Annie

Classic Comics - Little Orphan Annie
Annie was created by Harold Gray (1894-1968) and was published August 5, 1924.
The story followed Annie and her dog Sandy a she went from the orphanage to live with the wealthy Mr. Warbucks. Annie found many adventures throughout the life of the strip, and found many artists to keep her alive..David Lettick, Tex Blaisdell, Leonard Starr, Andrew Pepoy, Alan Kupperberg and Ted Slampyak.

Andrew Pepoy took over the artist duties in 2000, with writer Jay Maeder, with the intent of updating Annie's style. Pepoy has also worked on several different comic book characters including Superman, Spiderman, Batman, X-Men, Star Wars, Betty & Veronica, Simone & Ajax and many others.

Annie's last comic strip ran June 13, 2010. Although like many readers I lost interest in the soap opera type strips like Annie, I hope someone will try to resurrect her, possibly changing her to an adult character-explorer, in the mold of Tomb Raider...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mort Walker - Beetle Bailey

Mort Walker...Beetle Bailey 2010.10.20

Walker created the Beetle Bailey comic strip in 1950 ... Beetle was originally created as a college student, who would leave college to enlist in the US Army. Stationed at Camp Swampy, Beetle is a lazy character always trying to avoid work and his fellow soldiers offer a variety of different characters. Sgt. Snorkel is Beetle's main nemesis, who is frequently seen beating up Beetle for any minor infraction. Although the villain, Snorkel is still a lovable character. Walker himself was drafted into the US Army in 1943, Walker served in Europe during world War II, discharged as a first lieutenant in 1947.

Walker has been assisted by Jerry Dumas, Bob Gustafson, Frank Johnson and his sons Neal, Brian and Greg Walker .

In 1963, 50 animated episodes of Beetle's adventures were broadcast on television. From 1953-1980 Beetle saw publication in comic book format through Dell Comics, Gold Key, King Comics and Charlton Comics. 1992-94 Harvey Comics published a Beetle Bailey comic, as well.

Walker also created the comic strip Hi and Lois in 1954, a spin-off of Beetle Bailey. Beetle is the brother of Lois Flagston. Hi and Lois was written by Walker and drawn by Dik Browne who also created Hagar the Horrible. Walker has also created the comic strips Boner's Ark (with Frank Johnson), Gamin & Patches, Mrs. Fitz's Flats, The Evermores, and Sam and Silo (with Jerry Dumas)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mort Walker - Beetle Bailey

1997.11.01 New York..Mega Event Stamp Show, Javits Center

When my first son was born I started a journal to keep track of all the events we would do together as a family (vacations, train rides, important family events), this way we would have a record of our children's growth.

When the Mega Event Stamp Show was held at the Javits Center, we went as a family, the boys being 3 and 1. The main event of the show for me was the last day of issuance of the Classic Comics stamps. The USPS figured they could get an extra bang for their buck not only if they held a ceremony for the issuance of a stamp, but now included a celebration of the stamp being removed from sale.

Mort Walker was the guest of honor, and graciously signed covers for all in attendance. I placed my journal in front of him and asked if he could provide a sketch for my boys. He stated he wasn't supposed to take the time to provide sketches, only to sign. In the time he had taken to say this he was completing a sketch of Beetle Bailey. I was impressed and realized he could do this in his sleep without any effort. After thanking Mr. Walker, I went to have the Yellow Kid stamp canceled at the bottom of the sketch.

The Yellow Kid was the lead character in Hogan's Alley, drawn by Richard F. Outcault, which became one of the first Sunday comics in an American newspaper, the New York World in 1885, later moving to the New York Journal American.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beetle Bailey - Classic Comics 1995

When the Classic comics stamps were issued in 1995, several comic strip artists that were honored (Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, Blondie,...) included the stamps in their strips. Mort Walker ran this comic on his Sunday panel to commemorate and honor those comics that were being featured on the Classic comics Stamp.

The USPS held a Last Day of Issue Ceremony as part of the ASDA Stamp Show held November 1, 1997 , New York, with Mort Walker as the guest of honor. While obtaining a autograph from Mr. Walker I ask if he could provide a sketch. He said he was told that he shouldn't as it would take too much time. In the time he said this he completed a nice sketch of Beetle, which I had canceled the Yellow Kid stamp with the Last Day of Issue cancellation. I believe Mr. Walker could draw Beetle in his sleep without a moment's hesitation.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Billy Tucci - Shi

Billy Tucci - Shi 2010.10.02 Wizard-Big Apple Comic Con, NYC

Billy Tucci created his own publishing company, Crusade Comics, allowing him to publish his personal projects.

Shi is a young woman of Japanese and American heritage drafted into present day shadow war between descendants of shoei warrior monks from medieval Japan. Shi translates to death in Japanese. Her signature weapon is the naginata.

Shi first appeared in Razor Annual #1 1993. Shi's adventures have included cross-overs with Daredevil, Witchblade, Vampirella, Lady Death and Wolverine.

I decided to use the 1960 US - Japan stamp commemorating the centennial anniversary of the first treaty to promote mutual understanding and good will, for the Shi sktech. The stamp depicts the Washington Monument with Cherry Blossoms, that were donated by the Japanese government in 1912. The US-Japan Treaty stamp was designed by Gyo Fujikawa, children's book author and illustrator.

Gyo Fujikawa

Gyo Fujikawa (1908-1998) Illustrator and children's book author, whose work has been published in 22 countries.
Her most popular book "Babies and Baby animals" has sold over 1.7 million copies. Fujikawa is recognized as being the earliest mainstream illustrator to include children of many races into her work.

Ms. Fujikawa has created many stamps for the U.S Postal Service, including the 1960 US Japan Treaty and the 1982 International Peace Garden.

Mike Rhode at CartoonPhilately has written an excellent article on the various stamps that were created by cartoonists, including caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, Mad Magazine's Jack Davis and editorial cartoonist Herblock......

Friday, November 26, 2010

Carmine Infantino - The Flash

Carmine Infantino - The Flash 2010.10.02 Wizard-Big Apple Comic Con, NYC

Infantino started his comics career as a freshmen in high school working with Harry A Chesler, inking the feature Jack Frost for USA Comics #3, 1942.

Infantino would move on to work with various publishers drawing Airboy and the Heap at Hillman Periodicals, Holyoke Publishing and eventually at DC where he would become the regular artist for Golden Age Flash, Black Canary, Green Lantern and Justice Society of America, westerns and science fiction. At Prize Comics Infantino drew Charlie Chan.

1956 DC decided to revive the superhero market starting with an updated Flash. Infantino would design the now famous streamlined red suit. Infantion used the blurring effect to depict Flash's speed. the success of the Flash began the Silver Age of comics...
Infantino would also draw Adam Strange in Mystery in Space, Batman and Robin and Elongated Man.

At Marvel, Infantino would draw Star Wars, Spider-Woman and Nova.

A winner of numerous awards, Infantino was elected to the Comic Book Hall of Fame 2000.

The Flash stamp is credited to Carmine Infantino and Murray Anderson. Infantino is also credited with the Marvel stamp issue Spider-Woman, with Tony DeZuniga.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rich Buckler - Captain America

Rich Buckler - Captain America 2010.10.02 Wizard-Big Apple Comic Con, NYC

Buckler co-created the character Deathlok in Astonishing Tales #25, and has drawn virtually every major character at Marvel and DC, often as a cover artist.

Buckler's first work was part of the 1967 King Features comics Flash Gordon with a 4-page story Freedom Fighters:Washington Attack Trenton.

At Marvel, Buckler would draw Fantastic Four, Black Panther and Spiderman. In the 1980's working alongside Roy Thomas at DC, All-Star Squadron would be launched.

The Uncle Sam stamp from the Celebrate the Century issue 1998, reminded me of the first All-Star Squadron issue with Uncle Sam dispatching the All-Star Squadron. I had requested the Star Spangled Kid, but Buckler was unsure of the character's look and without a reference could not reproduce it faithfully. Keeping with the Uncle Sam theme, I requested Captain America and received a for beautifully rendered sketch.

Buckler and John Romita are credited with the artwork for the Marvel stamp issue for the Incredible Hulk, and Buckler and Dick Giordano are credited with the artwork for the DC stamp issue for the Supergirl comic cover.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Herb Trimpe - The Incredible Hulk

Herb Trimpe - Hulk 2010.10.02 Wizard-Big Apple Comic Con, NYC

Trimpe is a comic artist who is best known for his work with the Incredible Hulk, as well as being the first artist to draw Wolverine. Trimpe joined Marvel in 1967, making his pencilling debut with Kid Colt Western stories. Staring with The Incredible Hulk #106, 1968, Trimpe would continue to draw the Hulk for seven straight years through to issue #142, returning for issue #145-193 and additional drawings for Hulk Annuals and Specials up until 1983.

Trimpe also drew every starring Marvel character including Captain America, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, Killraven, Captain Britain...

Trimpe has received a nomination for the Shazam Award for best inker 1973, Comic-Con International Humanitarian of the Year Award 2002, for his work as a chaplain at the World Trade Center site after 9/11, and the Inkpot Award 2002.

The Hulk - stamp artwork by Rich Buckler - was created by Stan lee and Jack Kirby 1962. After exposure to gamma radiation Dr. Bruce Banner transformed into the giant raging monster, a cross between Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Frankenstein...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chris Giarrusso - Silver Surfer

Chris Giarrusso - Silver Surfer - 2010.05.15 Wild Pig Comic Con, Springfield, NJ

Chris Giarrusso has drawn the Mini Marvels, featuring Marvel superheroes as children, at Marvel Comics.

Giarrusso has also created G-Man, published by Image Comics, a kid superhero whose powers come from a magic cape. Giarrusso's comic style is influenced by Chareles Schulz, Erik Larsen and his brother Dave.

Silver Surfer was created by Jack Kirby, first appearing in Fantastic Four #48, 1966.. Surfer would become a recurring character in the Fantastic Four comics. The Silver Surfer was launched on a solo career in 1968. The Silver Surfer would be the main adversary in the Fantastic Four's second movie, with the Surfer being played by Doug Jones.

Doug Jones was appearing at Wizard-Big Apple Comic Con, NYC 2010.10.02 and signed the Silver Surfer cover.

Jones, besides the Surfer has portrayed Abe Sapien from Hellboy, El Fauno and the Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth. Jones first appearance was as a thin clown in Batman Returns.

The Silver Surfer stamp's artwork is credited to Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rickman -Poison Ivy

Rickman - Poison Ivy aircraft nose art...2010.09.26 Comic Fest, East Hanover, NJ

Since I have several first day covers honoring the Air Force, I wanted to have some covers drawn to duplicate the "cheesecake" pin-up style of nose art many of the US aircraft had painted on their planes during World War II.

Rickman accepted the challenge and draw Poison Ivy in the often seen reclining pose featured on many of the planes.

While researching the nose art, I came across a site where a collector has put together an impressive collection of nose art he calls "Bombshells!" featuring heroines from the 1940-50s.

Rickman has created the comics The Sock, Fishman and Toteman's World, which is an epilepsy awareness comic, as well as drawing editorial comics for a local newspaper. Rickman has previously worked as a graphic designer for the NFL, Lucent Tech, Warner Bros and Disney, and taught at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Design.

You can view a beautiful Captain America, by Rickman, my son picked up on Matt's Page.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Elvis and the Comics

Hi & Lois by Chance Browne

Luann by Greg Evans

Dave Fox -Ghost Rider (Elvis Presley)

Dave Fox - Ghost Rider Elvis - Elvis first day cover June 16, 1993

Dave Fox, freelance artist from NYC, has contributed to several trading card sets including Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Lord of the Rings Masterpieces, Wizard of Oz, Fantastic Four Archives and DC: Legacy.

When the Elvis stamp was announced the the USPS, they had a fan vote either a young rock n' roll Elvis or the Vegas Elvis wearing a jumpsuit. Thankfully the fans voted for the younger version. What they didn't offer, Dave Fox provided...Ghost Rider Elvis!

Dave is also the the vocalist, bassist and song writer for the group Dead on A Friday...

"Waiting for the train to take me far, far away from here
Looking for a change of pace where my mind is clear
The open road and the chance for something new
I never thought I'd meet someone like you...."
Bliss Hall by Dave Fox

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fred Hembeck - The Beatles

Fred Hembeck...The Beatles...2010.09.26 Comic Fest, East Hanover, NJ

Hembeck's style is pure cartoon parody, his characters are always drawn with curlicues on the elbows and knees. Starting in 197o's Hembeck's work was published as a 3-panel comic strip appearing in the Daily Planet page of DC comics. Hembeck would also continue producing comics for Marvel (signed Fantastic Four Roast), First Comics, Krause Publications, Fantagraphics Books, Topps comics, TwoMorrows Publishing and Archie Comics.

Hembeck's work includes his comic character The Dog, Mr. Mumbo Jumbo, Little Freddy (fictionalized tales of a youthful Hembeck), Petey, the Adventures of Peter Parker Looong Before He Became Spider-Man and Kidz.

When I heard Hembeck would be at Comic Fest, I went to his website to learn about him. Then I found his Beatle page. The man is a big fan, he has a devoted to the beatles, their comic book appearances, CD and DVD reviews and some classic comic cover make-overs featuring the Beatles, by Hembeck.

There was little thought that I would ask for a Beatle related sketch on the Beatles Yellow Submarine first day cover from from the Celebrate the Century series. Hembeck did an excellent rendition of the Beatles in his unique style.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weapon Brown - Jason Yungbluth

Jason Yungbluth - Weapon Brown - 2010.09.17
When Charles Schulz died many comic strips and editorial cartoonists paid tribute to what they envisioned as either a Peanuts final strip or their goodbyes. None of them came close to Weapon Brown....

the world of comics in a post-apocalyptic world. The adventures, adult in context, follow Weapon Brown and his pet dog Snoop in a parody of today's comics. With a cybernetic arm and plaz gun, Brown runs across many altered comic strip characters and fights against the villainous organization known as the Syndicate. Weapon Brown runs as a web comic, and his adventures have been printed in comic book format as well. A signed copy of the book is shown.

I dearly love Peanuts and I also enjoy the parody.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Charles Schulz - Snoopy

Charles M Schulz sketch of Snoopy

Schulz created one of the most popular comics when Peanuts hit the newspapers Oct 2, 1950.
Schulz's first comic was called Lil Folks (1947-1950) running in the St.Paul Pioneer Press. Schulz approached United Feature Syndicate about publishing his strip, and with some changes Peanuts was born. Charlie Brown is the main character, a lovable loser, but one who never gave up.

His dog Snoopy started as an ordinary dog, but has become one of the most recognized cartoon characters in the world. As Snoopy's character evolved he became more human-like, playing shortstop on Charlie Brown's team, flying his dog-house as a World War I ace pilot, playing tennis, serving in the French Foreign Legion...

Charles M Schulz has received many honors including the National Cartoonist Society Humor Comic Strip Award, the Elzie Segar Award, The Reuben Award and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lester patrick Trophy for his contributions to the sport of hockey. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.......

Schulz announced his retirement with the final daily strip being published on January 3, 2000. The final Sunday comic was published on February 13, 2000 the day after Charles M Schulz died.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ian Glaubinger - NY Rangers

Ian Glaubinger - NY Rangers Win Stanley Cup..
2010.09.18 Wild Pig Con II, Springfield, NJ

When I read Ian's bio he mentioned several times that he loves hockey. Being a hockey fan myself, I knew the perfect cover to get a sketch on. NY Rangers Stanley Cup Victory Commemorative cover.

June 14, 1994 the day the Rangers finally win the Stanley Cup, ending the 54 year wait. I had one requirement of my cover, that a superhero had to wear the Rangers jersey. It turns out that both Ian and I are actually Devils fans, but give the Rangers their due, they won. By the way the Devils won the following year!

I wonder if Ian knows the truth behind the Rangers victory, they had help from the Green Lantern!

What I like about Ian's work is the true comic style of the characters. Be sure to check out his work.
Go Samurai!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Charles P Wilson III - The Stuff of Legends

Charles P Wilson III - the Stuff of Legends .. 2010.09.18 Wild Pig Con II, Springfield, NJ

The year is 1944. An allied force advances along a war-torn beach in a strange land, outnumbered and far from home...Led by a toy soldier and a teddy-bear named Max, Princes, Quackers, Percy, Jester set off on a journey to find their boy....The story is incredible and the art is fantastic.

The pencil sketch is on a Celebrate the Century first day cover honoring the Teddy Bear. Named after President Teddy Roosevelt, the first teddy was made by the German company Steiff, which was exhibited at the Leipzeg Toy Fair, March 1903. by 1906 the craze for these bear was in full swing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Marcus Hamilton - Dennis the Menace

Marcus Hamilton - Dennis the Menace 2010.09.17

Hamilton received his Bachelor's in Commercial Art and began working in the field of freelance illustration. Hamilton would produce illustrations for magazine and book covers, as well as advertising art.

In 1993 Hamilton contacted Ketcham about an opportunity to draw Dennis the Menace should Ketcham retire. Ketcham liked what he saw, so Hamilton re-trained his drawing style to match Ketcham's and eventually took over the daily panels.

Marcus Hamilton was awarded the Reuben Award for Best Newspaper Panel 2004.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ron Ferdinand - Dennis the Menace

Ron Ferdinand - 2010.09.13 - Dennis the Menace

Ferdinand attended the School of Visual Arts (1971-73) and the Art Students League (1974).

In 1981, Ferdinand read an interview with Hank Ketcham in Jud Hurd's Cartoonist PROfiles. Ferdinand sent some pencil sketches to Ketcham and after a few months of correspondence, he was brought in to work on the Dennis the Menace comic books for Marvel Comics. In 1982, Ferdinand began drawing the Sunday pages for Ketcham.

On July 16, 2010 the USPS issued a set of 5 stamps honoring the Sunday Funnies (Dennis the Menace, Beetle Bailey, Garfield, Archie and Calvin and Hobbes).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hank Ketcham - Dennis the Menace

Hank Ketcham (1920-2001) - Dennis the Menace

Ketcham had been an animator for Walter Lantz and Walt Disney. During World War II, Ketcham, serving in the Navy, created a comic strip about the military called "Half Hitch".

In 1950, while working in his studio that the cartoon Dennis was born, when his wife came in and complained that their 4-year old son Dennis was a menace. In 1951 Dennis the Menace was published.

Dennis' mis-adventures have been published in both the comic strips and comic books, cartoons, movies and a TV series. The TV series, which ran from 1959-1963, was my first exposure to Dennis. The call of "Hey, Mr. Wilson!" still brightens my day. He has since become one of my favorites, which I still read to this day. Although Dennis has never grown older he certainly has grown wiser.

Ketcham retired in 1994, with production of the strips being handed over to his assistants. Ron Ferdinand produces the Sunday color funnies, And Marcus Hamilton draws the daily panel.

Always one of my favorite characters, I enjoy the fact that besides Hank Ketcham, Dennis also signed the above sketch.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Captain Clockwork - Glenn Whitmore

Glenn Whitmore, Superheroes for Hospice, Eatontown, NJ 2010.09.11

Glenn Whitmore was a freelance colorist for DC comics for 10 years, his first assignment on Hawk & Dove, 1988. Whitmore also worked on several Superman titles, Flash, Justice Society and Power of Shazam, as well as work for Dark Horse (The Moth) and Archie Comics...

As a penciller, Whitmore worked on a cover image for Justice League of America Archives #3, and his self published Captain Clockwork, 2000 Big Bang Comics published by Image.
The self-published Captain Clockwork Chronology and Captain clockwork Special were issued in 2007...

Superman - Achilles Yeldell

Achilles Yeldell, Superheroes for Hospice, Eatontown, NJ 2010.09.11

Achilles has worked with Arch Nemesis and Pronto Comics, for which he is working on "Out in Space". Pronto Comics is an independent comic book company which helps writers and artists in self-publication of their work, build portfolios and put on workshops. Pronto celebrated it's first anniversary June 2010, congratulations.

Godzilla - Jeff Drylewicz

Jeff Drylewicz - Superheroes for Hospice, Eatontown, NJ 2010.09.11

Drylewicz is an illustrator, inker, colorist letter and author. He has freelanced for Grandreams Books, Inc. New Realm comics, Ammeaifos, LLC, Twilight Press, Goreallah Press and currently Pronto Comics.

I felt the Dinosaur stamp of 1989 from the USPS would worked perfectly with a sketch of Godzilla, a mutant dinosaur living off the coast of Japan effected by the Atomic Age and Nuclear Weapons.

While looking through his portfolio I was impressed by his drawings of Godzilla and Abe Sapien (Hellboy) which can be seen at Jeff's site. Jeff provided an excellent pencil sketch of Godzilla.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

John R Dilworth - The Mousochist

Production sketch from John R Dilworth's 2001 animated short The Mousochist.

John R Dilworth - Courage the Cowardly Dog

We interrupt this program to bring you ...Courage the Cowardly Dog Show....

John R. 'Dilly' Dilworth is best known as the producer, director and creator of the Courage the Cowardly Dog series that ran on Cartoon Network from 1999-2002 a total of 52 episodes, each featuring 2 stories, all involving the supernatural.

Dilworth was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995 for the animated short The Chicken From Outer Space. Dilworth was commissioned by Cartoon Network to turn the short into a series, which eventually became the popular Courage the Cowardly Dog Show.

Dilworth's breakout film was The Dirdy Bird (1994) winning numerous prizes including a place in the permanent archive of the Venice Film Festival.

After making a purchase from Dilly's website Stretch Films, I received an e-mail from Dilly stating that one of the items I had purchased was out of stock, would I be interested in something else. Of course I directed him to this site and explained I would really like to get a sketch of Courage. He agreed, I was astonished. At first I did not tell my boys. after the second e-mail I mentioned Dilworth and he immediately asked if that was the creator of Courage. I let them read the e-mails and they finished reading with one word, "Cool".

I sent the cover and we waited impatiently...I had chosen a Universal Monsters Mummy stamp first day cover for the Courage sketch. One of the first Courage cartoons I saw was King Ramses' Curse. In this cartoon Courage finds a rare slab stolen from a mummy's tomb, Eustace's (Courage's owner) greed causes the mummy's ghost to bring forth his ancient curse along with the spooky disembodied voice saying "Return the slab!" A classic cartoon.

When the cover arrived I was speechless. It was as if my tongue was ripped from my head. The sketch of Courage was awesome, better than expected!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Boba Fett - Chris Ring

Chris Ring created the miniseries comic "CarbonKnight", which he self-published through Lunar Studios, and is currently working with Paul Michael Kane on the PMK's comic book "Perfect Victim" and "Nevermore" a collection of Edgar Allan Poe stories. Chris Ring's art can be seen at his website The Art of Chris Ring. Sketch obtained on May 15, 2010 at the Wild-Pig Convention, Springfield, NJ.

Boba Fett is a fan favorite from the Star Wars Universe. A villainous bounty hunter had a major part in Star Wars Return of the Jedi. Boba Fett also was animated for the Star Wars Holiday Special broadcast on television in 1978.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alley Oop - Dave Graue

Alley Oop - Classic Comics
Created by VT Hamlin (1900-1993) Alley Oop was first published December 5, 1932. The story follows the prehistoric character Alley Oop from the kingdom of Moo. Eventually Alley Oop was transported to the 20th Century by a time machine invented by Dr. Wonmug. Alley Oop would soon go on adventures in time and space as he traveled to the moon in the 1940's.

Alley Oop would be adapted to a Saturday morning cartoon, and would carried by 800 newspapers at it's peak.

In 1971 Dave Graue (1926-2001), who had assisted VT Hamlin took over the strip on Hamlin's retirement. Hamlin's last strip would be published on Dec 31, 1972. Jack Bender would take over the drawing the strip in 1991, while Graue continued to write. Carole Bender assumed writing the strip after Graue's death, Dec 10, 2001.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Peter Max

Peter Max is a well-known artist, specifically for his 1960's cosmic pop, psychedelic art style, which was a great influence on the 60's culture. His works are produced on everything imaginable, but most commonly as poster art.

Looking at Jamal Igle's quick Supergirl sketch, one of the people present at the signing stated if could be anyone. Yes that is true, but it more reminded me of Peter Max who often provides a female profile with his signature. The quick sketch and signature from Max was obtained at an art gallery show. My brother and I have long been fascinated by Max's work, growing up in the 1960's it was part of our development, and we would eventually purchase a few prints.

What many may not know is that Max designed several stamps for the United States Postal Service (Exps '74) as well as the United Nations Postal Administration (Earth Summit). Max also designed first day covers for the UNPA and the Fleetwood (Unicover) company. Few people may remember that Peter Max's art was also used for stationery. My father worked in envelope manufacturing and brought home several envelopes bearing Max's work in the late 1960's. These had designs with the Cosmic Jumper, flowers, smiles, butterflies, etc. and were printed in bright colors, including day-glo yellow and orange, which would glow under a black light. I would use these envelopes as first day covers where the subject of the art would match best with the stamp issue.

The above Moon Landing FDC from 1969 features the Cosmic Jumper, which was used for his 1974 Expo stamp issue, and was the first Peter Max envelope I would use for an FDC.

I know this is not a hand-drawn cover, I list it for reference.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Super Girl - Jamal Igle

Aug 7, 2010 Dewey's Comic City, Madison, NJ - Jamal Igle artist for the current Supergirl series, as well as Nightwing, Green Lantern, Firestorm the Nuclear Man, Marvel's New Warriors, Iron Fist/Wolverine. Igle has also worked for Sony Animation on projects, Max Steel and Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles.

Supergirl stamp issued by the USPS July 20, 2006 as part of the 20 stamp commemorative features art by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye. Super-Girl first appeared in Superman #123 August 1959 in a one time appearance. The character of Supergirl would return in Action Comics #252 and remain part of the DC Universe. Supergirl first appeared in her own comic Nov 1972.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

S. Ruth Lubka - Firebird

2004 Illustrators Night - Barnes and Noble, Clark, NJ
This covers is a favorite, because it does not represent the usual comic book artist, instead the drawing is from a children's book illustrator and writer who only published the one book "Pupniks" before her untimely death.

S. Ruth Lubka (1948- 2007) received a B.A. degree in Art History and graduated Cum Laude with Honors in her major at Barnard College in New York City. She did graduate studies in Jewish Art and Material Culture at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. She received a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She was a former Deputy Chief Staff Attorney for the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts in Hartford. Arad Artists Program Artist-in-Residence, WUJS, Arad, Israel, 1994-95.

Wrote and illustrated the children's book "PUPNIKS: The Story of Two Space Dogs", Marshall Cavendish Children's Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Honors Awards: Manekin Family Fellowship, and Cutler art fellowship, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1998-99; Best Book, Bank Street College, NY, 2003, for PUPNIKS.

In Slavic folklore, the typical role of the Firebird is an object of a difficult quest. The quest is usually initiated by finding a lost tail feather, at which point the hero sets out to find and capture the live bird. In the book Pupniks, Ms. Lubka features the Firebird as a starting point to the quest for space travel.

“The secrets of my childhood gave birth to a passion for knowing what existed beyond the world around me. And in the late 1950s and the decade that followed, my passion for understanding the unknown found a new, brighter focus: space exploration. Of all the space explorers of that time, none appealed to me more than the four-legged, tail-wagging variety. 'What did they think?' I asked myself. 'Did they realize they were in outer space?”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ryan Claytor - And Then One Day

Ryan Claytor - Summer 2010 In-Store Signing Tour
Aug 9, 2010 Dewey's Comic City, Madison, NJ
"Car Chases and Sizable Robots and Explosion are regretfully absent from Elephant Eater Comics"

I was really looking forward to the Ryan Claytor in-store signing, mostly because he is not a conventional comic book artist whose works features superheroes. Although driving to 25 comic stores in 15 states and 5 Canadian provinces to promote his comic "And Then One Day" is a heroic feat. Claytor is a comic artist and college professor, teaching Comics Studio courses at both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Flint. His self-published comic "And Then One Day" by way of Elephant Eater Comics, was established in 2004. Ryan's comic is autobiographic in content with strong line drawings as seen in the sketch he provided.

I chose the Library commemorative first day cover for Ryan's sketch to coincide with the aspect of self-publishing his book. We briefly considered a superhero or rock n' roll cover, but stuck with Libraries. Ryan's work has been featured at the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco, Ca.

Ryan's work can be seen at

Friday, August 6, 2010

Obi-wan - Storm Troopers FDC

July 24, 2010 - Superheroes for Hospice, Livingston, NJ. Manny Mederos artwork for the Star Wars first day cover. Manny is a comic book artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Manny has produced sketch cards for Damsels & Dinosaurs, Golden Age of Comics, Archie Comics March of Dimes, and many others.