Friday, April 27, 2012

Parker-Mannion collaboration

2012.04.21 Barnabas Health Superheroes for Hospice, Livingston, NJ
Hospice Care FDC 1999

When I purchased several first day covers, I found a Hospice Care cover from 1999. At first I was not sure how I would use this particular cover. When I found out the both Rick Parker and Steve Mannion would be returning to meet fans at the April show I came up with the idea of a collaboration between the two. I approached Parker first, with the idea of them each drawing a nurse, with full knowledge that the style of nurse they would draw would not be the type of nurse that would provide the typical hospice care. Nevertheless, this is a comic sketch, so all ideas are welcomed. With the space provided on the cover, Parker came up with the idea of drawing half a nurse and Mannion drawing the other half. Two distinctly different styles coming up with a nurse that is unique. Reminds me of the B-movie beauty queen who runs afoul of an evil doctor and seeks out her revenge on her patients (I don't think I want to know what she is doing with that IV)!

The comic show featured for the first time a lecture series that featured Arlen Schumer speaking on "My Comic Book Life" a lively lecture with Schumer wearing a white suit and a Superman cape. Visually stunning! next Rick Parker gave a demonstration on "How to Create a Comic Book Character" followed by Hannah Means-Shannon speaking on "Why Superheroes Matter: Modern Mythology from Comics to Films". 

Good versus Evil the Comics Podcast was on-site, along with Shane Moore (Omen Comics) Dave Ryan (War of the Independents) Erica Schultz (M3), Chris Notarile (The Protector) Paul Castiglia (Archie Comics)... Picked up Steve Mannion's Fearless Dawn in Outer Space, another classic...

Hospice care focuses on palliative care of terminally ill patients. The concept has been around for centuries, but modern hospice services emerged in the 1950s in the US and the United Kingdom. Cicely Saunders, a British nurse, pioneered modern care of the terminally ill. Obtaining her doctorate she opened the St. Christopher's Hospice in 1967. At the same time Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote On Death and Dying, 1969, showing how the medical profession responded to the terminally ill. Modern hospice care includes palliative care for the ill, along with providing care for patients who wish to die in their own homes as well as hospitals or nursing homes. Barnabas Hospice has offered physical, emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families for over 30 years. their services are dedicated to improve the quality of life while providing comfort, preserving dignity and honoring the unique wishes of each patient and family.

Superheroes for Hospice is a funding raising event  in support of the Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center, Livingston, NJ. Other volunteer programs include Paws for patients - Canine therapy Program and Bear Hugs, where volunteers sew memory bears for grieving families...

Example of a Memory Bear, Superman style, as sewn by my wife, Nancy who is a volunteer...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Stan Goldberg - Archie

2012.03.31 NY Comic Book Marketplace, NYC

Stan Goldberg has been in the comic industry for over 50 years, starting his career at age 16, in 1949, as a colorist for Timely Comics. Two years later he advanced to color department manager. By 1958 he went freelance, but continued to color all Marvel comics into the mid-1960's, including Spiderman, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Hulk...

Goldberg also illustrated horror stories, drew gag cartoons, pop art billboards (No Cal Soda) and drew Marvel titles Patsy Walker, My Girl Patsy, Millie the Model and several humorous animal stories. By 1968 Goldberg left Marvel to freelance, including working for DC titles Debbie, Scooter and Binky, Captain Carrot. Various other illustration jobs included greeting cards, National Lampoon, Redbook magazine...

Goldberg's long time association with Archie Comics, with his art appearing in most of the companies titles has made him an Archie icon. From 1975 to 1980 Goldberg drew the Sunday Archie comic strip, which was honored by the US Postal Service as part of their Sunday Funnies issue. Goldberg also drew the Riverdale characters for the 1994 Archie Meets the Punisher, an Archie-Marvel one-shot crossover...

Stan is still active, in 2010 Schoolism Online released a "Stan Goldberg" instructional video. IDW Publishing released "The Best of Stan Goldberg", DC's Scooby Doo and Bongo Comics The Simpsons...

I have alway hoped I would be lucky enough to meet Mr. Goldberg, and I was not disappointed. Signed FDC has several excellent Stan Goldberg sketches.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cosmonaut Day - Buzz Lightyear


2011.06.18 Wizard Comic Con, Philadelphia, Pa

Posting a day early to honor all the men and women who were/are involved in space travel...
Another gem from Sara Richard...Buzz Lightyear to Infinity & Beyond!...
April 12, 2012 marks the anniversary of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's flight as the first man into space, April 12, 1961 about the Soviet Union Vostok 1 spacecraft. Gagarin orbited the earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes... Gagarin became a national hero of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc nations...
Gagarin's success pushed the US Space program as Alan Shepard would become the first American in Space on May 5, 1961, with John Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the earth Feb 20, 1962. Yang Liwei became the first Chinese astronaut when he was launch aboard the Shenzhou Spacecraft October 15, 2003.

Other nations have sent representatives through the USSR Intercosmos program or as NASA payload specialists aboard the Shuttle.

Cosmonautics Day celebration started the following year in 1962 and continues in his honor. The United Nations General Assembly on April 7, 2011 adopted a resolution declaring April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight...


The first launch of the US Space Shuttle took place on April 12, 1981...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jim Calafiore - Batman

2012.03.31 NY Comic Book Marketplace, NYC

Jim Calafiore first broke into comics on Valiant's X-O Manowar and Armorines. Moving on to DC and Marvel to produce quality work on Aquaman, Exiles Gotham Underground, various Batman titles, Secret Six. On his webiste Califiore lists his influences as John Byrne and the X-Men, along with Berni Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith, Richard Corben's work in Creepy and Eerie, Windsor McKay, Maurice Sendak, Bilal, Caza, Drulliet and most important Moebius.

Favorite characters are the Hulk, Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, Metal Men

The first day cover honors the 50th anniversary of the motion picture industry in 1944, with the central design of the stamp showing GI's in the South Pacific watching the 3 Musketeers in a native setting. With this cover I had been waiting for the right artist to sketch the Batman as seen in the 1943 Columbia Pictures serial. The Batman had very pointed ears and a longer nose on the cowl. Calafiore depicted the character perfectly, and looks as if it could have been drawn in 1943.

The NY Comic Book Marketplace featured many great guests most notably Stan Lee. My son Matt had the opportunity to obtain Lee's signature on a Fantastic Four book and also obtained a signature from Joe Sinnott. All of the artists and celebrities in attendance were great, and a pleasure to meet. From Henry Winkler to Mark Texeira (his signed Ghost Rider comic is on Matt's Page). An excellent experience and a day to remember...

Marvel Comics - Fantastic Four Lost Adventures, signed by Joe Sinnott and Stan Lee.
We waited close to 1.5 hours for the Stan Lee signature. They kept all the fans at a 2-table distance from Stan, and used an intermediary to hand items back and forth. It was worth it. Through it all Stan kept his sense of humor and was very pleasant.
A quick out of focus photo of Stan Lee and Matt

I was speaking with Don Smith and Spiro Ballas at the Super Mega Show in Whippany in June 2012. When mentioning that Matt met Stan Lee, Don quipped "So he got his 30 seconds of Stan Lee!" Very appropriate. 
updated 2012.06.30

The autograph ticket was excellent, featuring a nice color sketch of Stan. However they collected the tickets as you reached the table and would not let you keep them. They would have made an excellent souvenir of the event.