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......