Thursday, December 25, 2014

Darren Auck - Winged Monkey

2014.08.23 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ


A second sketch from Daren Auck, a graduate of the Kubert School who has worked for Pacific Comics, DC Comics and Marvel Comics - book titles include Rocko's Modern Life, Ren and Stimpy, She-Hulk, Marvel Presents Wolverine, Vanguard, Vision, Elvira's House of Mystery and others...

The winged monkey is drawn on a commemorative Oz Fest event cover, from Chesterton, Indiana home of the largest Wizard of Oz festival.....

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dean Kotz - Krampus!

2014.10.11 New York Comic Con, NYC

When the bones of Saint Nicholas are stolen, the Secret Society of Santa Clauses must call on their old friend Krampus, a child-punishing demon. But things are not so friendly as they must release Krampus from their jail cell and convince him to help...

Dean Kotz was the artist on the Kickstarter project for The Black Coat ...Or Give Me Death, with Francesco Francavilla and Ben Lichus.

Kotz has also worked on Zenescope's Charmed; Poe from Boom! Studios and Mask of the Red Panda from Monkeybrain Comics...

Merry Krampus to all...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Andrew Edge - Jimi Hendrix

2014.10.11 New York Comic Con, NYC

Andrew Edge is currently working on Grizzly and Caticus for Cool Monkey Press. His previous work includes working for McFarlane Toys and McNabb Studios. What drew me to Andrew's table was a painting of Jerry Garcia. I remembered that I placed a Jimi Hendrix cover in my bag that morning just in case something came up. Ask if he would be able to produce a Hendrix sketch and Andrew was ready to comply...

Over the past year the stamp collecting old guard has raised complaints regarding the subject matter currently being commemorated. Reality is, if you what to attract a new audience you have to give them something they can relate to. A rough count shows as many as 40 stamps for George Washington (well deserved), but to honor modern figures that changed history, why not. Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) changed the way the youth of the 1960s heard music. Hendrix is one of the most influential and creative musicians of the 20th century. National Public Radio's 100 Most Important American Musical Works includes Purple Haze by Hendrix, alongside Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind, Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring, Gene Autry's Back in the Saddle Again, Pasty Cline's Crazy (written by Willie Nelson), George M. Cohan Give My Regards to Broadway, Ferd Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite and the list goes on...

A few designs that I drew for the Jimi Hendrix stamp:


A broom is drearily sweeping
up the broken pieces of yesterday's life.
Somewhere a Queen is weeping,
somewhere a King has no wife.

And the wind it cries Mary.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vanessa Solis - Joker

2014.08.23 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Vanessa is a first year student at the Kubert School...I am always amazed by the different approaches artist take to my requests. To my eye this has a Heath Ledger darkness, but the Joker's smile shows a playfulness that the eyes do not...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tom Schloendorn - Lego Spider-man

2014.11.08 Superheroes for Hospice, Livingston, NJ

I had this Spiderman FDC signed by Chris Claremont on 2014.04.12 at the Asbury Park Comic Con. I figured I would have him sign the cover and have an artist provide a sketch.  Prior to meeting Claremont, I was asked if I ever requested a writer to write something on the cover. I had not given this much thought, but in my usual smart-ass manner, I explained my project to Claremont I added that he was welcome to write something if he wished. He looked up at me with a look that said "let me give this consideration" - No. He did this with a slight smile and took less than of 1 second of thought. Although best known for his work on Uncanny Z-Men (16 years), Claremont did write Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #11...

Tom Schloendorn started out as a penciler, but switched to inking when he realized inking was a lost art. Many of the inkers of the past were so good, you did not know they were there. Their job was to compliment the pencils not overtake them. Tom is credited with inking the titles Hope: New Orleans (2007), Memories and Echoes: Remembering World War II (2005), Pantheon (2007),  Varied Scaries (2004), Tales of the Starlight Drive-In, Trailer Park of Terror....

Tom was sketching Lego Superheroes at the Hospice show, so I figured a Lego Spider-Man would work great for this cover...


Friday, November 21, 2014

Ed Coutts - Wasp

2014.11.08 - Superheroes for Hospice, Livingston, NJ

I am always amazed at the beauty of Ed Coutts' work. I knew he was going to be at the Hospice show and I  was prepared to ask for a Lady Liberty sketch. Then  I started looking through some of his prints, and his drawing of Wasp changed my mind. I had a dragonfly first day cover, which I was hoping for the right set of circumstances, the right character and the right artist...  Time was right...

I first starting thinking of obtaining a Wasp sketch after having seen a sketch from Jason Baroody at show earlier in the year. When I saw Ed's version it was a must have for me. As usual Ed did not disappoint...

Wasp was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1963, Tales to Astonish #44. A founding member of the Avengers...

Besides the bevy of beauties Ed always draws, he had some excellent monster prints, I especially like the Creature from the Black Lagoon...
Ed Coutts Art Portfolio site

Dragonfly is a villain from Marvel comics, created by Chris Claremont and Len Wein for Uncanny X-Men #94 (1975).  Rik Levins created a Dragonfly character for Americomics, in 1983, who became a member of Femforce. One day I hope to add a sketch of her to the mix...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Donny Cates - Batman

2014.10.11 New York Comic Con, NYC

After leaving artist alley, I ventured to the main floor to check out the comic companies. As I walked past the Dark Horse booth, I noticed a creator drawing a Batman sketch in a fan's book. The sketch was not great but the artist was having fun and the collector did not seem to mind. When he was done I questioned the book he was signing "Buzz Kill". He told me he was the writer, Donny Cates. I picked up a copy and asked him to sign it, and questioned why he was drawing a Batman. He stated some collectors ask him to draw even though he is not an artist.

We discussed my collection and that I had one previous writer draw a sketch (Erica Shultz) and had asked Chris Claremont if he would write something (he did not, but after some thought). 

I opted for a Batman sketch from Donny, which is not that bad for a writer. I enjoy collecting and it is fun to watch someone create a drawing even if it is not their specialty.

Buzz Kill is the story of an alcoholic superhero who derives his power from massive amounts of alcohol. Written by Cates and Mark Reznicek, art by Geoff Shaw.

Cates is also writing The Ghost Fleet for Dark Horse Comics...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

J.M. DeSantis - Chadhiyana

2014.10.11 New York Comic Con, NYC

"Sagreembal learned his cruelty from the great enemy, but it is said he learned his wisdom and cunning from the dragons"...

I was finishing my day at Comic Con by visiting the small press area when I stopped to look at the sketches on display at DeSantis' booth. Something about his style caught my interest. Although I was getting ready to leave and did not have much time, I asked for a sketch, something related to DeSantis' book Chadiyana. Although there are no dragons in the story, the serpent Sagreembal has a relationship to dragons, J.M. provided a quick sketch, which he did while standing up (I'm impressed).

J.M. DeSantis is a writer and artist, and creator of Chadhiyana the heroine of an India-inspired fantasy. DeSantis' approaches his writing as if they were historical events. His art utilizes traditional methods of acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils and ink.

Works include - writer and artist for GWP Presents, Planet Lovecraft Magazine and Psychosis Today. Penciller for Comicbook Artists Guild Anthology and Iconic...



Friday, October 31, 2014

Lee Kohse - Star Wars

2014.10.11 New York Comic Con, NYC

Lee Kohse has worked as a freelance artist for Aspen Comics, Lucasfilm, Dreamworks, Topps, Marvel, 20th Century Fox, IDW, Indiana Jones, Nike, Reebok and Speed Racer...

Contributes to Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and the Hobbit as well as a regular contributor to sketch cards for Topps and Rittenhouse Archives..

Kinergoth a webcomic by BloodFire Studios, with lots of ass-kicking...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Claire Connelly - Dinosaur

2014.10.11 New York Comic Con, NYC

While walking around the small publishers booths on the main floor, I came across Erica Schultz' booth. She and Claire Connelly were promoting their book The Unauthorized Biography of Winston Churchill: A Documentary.

A strange book that sees Churchill taking a time machine back in time to the prehistoric age and helping the velociraptors fight the tyrannosaurs...

The website Slay Monstrobot of the Deep! stated: You know why I love comic books?  Because it's a cold Sunday morning, and, well..because sometimes you just need to see Winston Churchill riding a dinosaur and brandishing a sword while flipping everyone off.

I agree!

Not sure if Erica and Claire did well this weekend, but they were sure having fun!

Erica Schultz is the writer and creator of M3. Claire Connelly has published many stories which can be viewed on her website...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jay P. Fosgitt - Bodie Troll

2014.10.11 New York Comic Con, NYC

I became aware of Bodie Troll through the Ellie On Planet X website, and then introduced as the backup story in the Red 5 Atomic Robo FCBD comic...

I had obtained a pictorial event cancel commemorating the 150th anniversary of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, Troll Capital of the World! Rich in Norwegian history Mount Horeb holds an annual Troll Festival, where trolls can be found all over town...

Jay P Fosgitt is Bodie Troll's creator, and was nominated for the Shel Dorf Award in 2013 for the Kid's Comic of the Year, for Bodie Troll.

Bodie Troll is an all-ages comic set in the mythic village of Hagadorn. While Bodie wants to big and scary like the other trolls, he is fact cute and cuddly...

On Fosgitt's dark side is the web-comic Dead Duck, a minion of Death and his sidekick is a zombie named Zombie Chick. Yes she is a cute chicken. There mission is to collect the dead for their master Death. I wish there was more of this, although I wonder why I enjoy comics about death and ducks?

Fosgitt's other works include Old McMonsters Haunted Farm and Necronomicomics in Rue Morgue Magazine. Contributed to Boom's Adventure Time, sketch cards for Star Wars Galaxy 5 from Topps, Archie, Sabrina and hack/Slash for 5finity..

Fosgitt is also involved with Team Cul De Sac: Cartoonists draw the line at Parkinson's. Proceeds from this book go towards finding a cure for Parkinson's Disease...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Howard Bender - The Hulk

2014.07.20 Jersey Shore Comic Con, Toms River, NJ

I had picked up the 1966 World Cup cover from Great Britain and was looking for a unique way to obtain a sketch. The morning of the show I had come across a Nike commercial "Winner Stays", in which several youths arrive on a pitch to play football. One group challenges the other to a game. As the game begins one boy calls out that he is Ronaldo and turns into Ronaldo. The other counters he is Neymar and turns into Neymar. This continues throughout the game as the boys yell out various players names. One boy calls out that he is the Brazilian forward known as Hulk. Instead of Hulk the footballer, he transforms into the Incredible Hulk. Another boy tells him he can not be the Hulk, so he transforms into American goalkeeper Tim Howard. Nike has always produced some excellent commercials, but this has to be one of the best commercials Nike has ever produced!

Knowing that Bender had worked for Marvel, I thought he would be perfect for the transformation of turning the Incredible Hulk into a footballer...


Friday, October 3, 2014

Alex Rivera - The Mummy

2014.08.23 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Alex Rivera - Playful Gorilla was sitting with Mickey Fiedler when we were discussing his contribution to my collection. Mickey was very enthusiastic when he said "You have to get a sketch from Alex!" and I could not agree more...

Rivera is an animation artist with a great style...I like the mummified haircut! His interests include production of limited edition art toys. Playful gorilla is dedicated to upholding artistic freedom, the pursuit of unbridled creativity and remembering a time before it was all about money...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chris Batista - Hawkman

2014.08.23 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Chris Batista has worked on several titles for DC Comics, including Steel, Booster Gold, Robin, The Legion, JLA, Black Lightning, Deathstroke, Extreme Justice, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Teen Titans, Doomsday

Marvel Comics titles - Spider-Man 2099, Thunderbolts, ROM Spaceknights, X-Men, X-Factor, GI Joe, Dr. Strange

Crusade Comics titles - Shi: The Illustrated Warrior (with Billy Tucci)

Dark Angel Productions - BlackJack: Blood and Honor (with Alex Simmons)

Valiant Comics - Turok: Tales of the Lost Land, Magnus Robot Fighter

Harris Comics - Vengeance of Vampirella

Friday, September 19, 2014

Michelle Sciuto - Groot

2014.08.23 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

The show although very good had one drawback. A small room off to the side where several talented writers and artists were trying to sell their product. I found the room by accident when I saw the small sign. Venturing in in started looking around. On Michelle Sciuto's table was this great sketch of Groot dancing...

Without hesitation I produced a Liberty Tree first day cover and requested my sketch. The Liberty Tree was an elm tree located in Boston Commons, Boston, Ma. Prior to the American Revolution, colonists used the tree as a rallying point for their resistance to British Rule. British soldiers chopped down the tree in 1775...

Michelle Sciuto is an aspiring illustrator with a BFA from Montclair University.Although working freelance, she has produced work for Channel M Publishing, Airship 27 Productions, Angry Gnome Comics and Project Roundup....

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ethan Van Sciver - Flash

2014.08.23 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ

Van Sciver entered the comics industry with his own creation "Cyberfrog" (Hall of Heroes and Harris Comics) at age 19. He would go on to work for DC titles Impluse, The Flash: Rebirth, Green Lantern, Superman/Batman, Hawkman, JLA Secret Files and others...

For Marvel comics he has worked on Weapon X, Wolverine and the New X-Men...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hon-Bun Leung - TMNT

2014.08.23 Garden State Comic Fest, Morristown, NJ
"Leonardo"

When I first researched Leung prior to the show, I was taken by a drawing he did of the Mutant Ninja Turtles. The print featured the four current Turtles, but Leung was reluctant to draw them and offered the original design as his preference. I totally agreed that the original Turtles were the best..

When I went back to pick up my cover I noticed a print by Leung that was great and didn't even realize his shirt had the same design -  Hello Kitty as Buzz Lightyear.. It was awesome. Next time I see Leung I know what I have to request...

The Turtles were created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman in 1984 through their Mirage Studios before making a big splash in cartoons and movies, as well as giving life to many copy-cat titles...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Erin Humiston - Band

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Erin Humiston is currently working on a mature audience comic titled Band, on Run the Risk comics, written by Christine Humiston. After losing a key member of their band the remaining members try to continue...

Humiston's career however is based in animation, working for Humouring the Fates, Genesis Orlando, 3DH Entertainment, ToonWerks and Premise Entertainment serving in several roles including animator, storyboard artist, inbetweener, video editor, character designer, concept artist, background design, layout artist and more....


Friday, August 22, 2014

Rusty Gilligan - Mac and Trouble


2014.07.20 Jersey Shore Comic Con, Toms River, NJ
"Only for cheese"

I had passed Rusty Gilligan's table at several shows. I would stop and look and then move to another table. In the back of my mind I kept thinking I need to get a sketch, but I didn't have the right envelope.

On May 5, the USPS released a set of stamps commemorating vintage circus posters. I had several of the stamps serviced for first day covers. When the above circus stamp with the tiger arrived I thought of Mac and Trouble. With luck Rusty would be at the next show I was attending and I would have my opportunity. When I approached Rusty with the idea of Mac and Trouble doing a circus routine, he readily agreed...

Mac and Trouble are based on Rusty's real life pets. The story of two average house cats who fall through a wormhole in their litter box and land in the middle of the Nexus of realities. Accident or destiny? The evil Professor Wormhole holds the answer... 

Posted on Rusty Ink! - Mac and Trouble will appear in The War of the Independents, Red Anvil Comics by Dave Ryan. This is one comic I always look forward to the next issue...

Rusty has worked on many titles in the comic industry, including storyboard artist for Captain America: The First Avenger, The Walking Dead, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 and Heavy Metal...

Credited as starting the sketch card while working for "Clubhouse Diamonds" in 1992/1993 Rusty has also worked on cards for Star Wars, The Avengers, Marvel Beginnings and Star Trek and Recollection Magazine sketch covers (with Jim Taylor)..

On the website Sketch Card Fanatics Talk - Rusty made some great comments on his lack of formal art training "I'm so slow that I basically hold pencil and the Earth's rotation slowly moves the paper underneath it!"

On IMDB Rusty has credits as a professional wrestler and child actor...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Chris Faccone - Goamla "Savage Conquest"

2013.03.30 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ
Goamla "I Want Your for Savage Conquest!"

Chris Faccone's style of art is influenced from a mixture of Bruce Timm, Jack Kirby, Dan DeCarlo and Frank Frazetta. Faccone contributes to the card art for Zoloworld and H8 Club Designs' "Warlords and Warriors"

The Barbarian Brothers' Savage Conquest  is a barbarian themed comic book.There is some great art, figures and comic pages on the Savage Conquest website. You can definitely see the Kirby influence in many of the drawings. I also see elements of He-Man, Conan, Sonja and others that dwell in the world of barbarian mysticism...

Faccone has also been a professional and award winning tattoo artist...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mina Sanwald - Harry Potter: Bellatrix Lestrange

2014.07.20 Jersey Shore Comic Con, Toms River, NJ

When I decided to attend this show and reviewed the artists in attendance, I knew immediately I wanted to have Mina draw Bellatrix Lestrange. Mina has done a sketch for me in the past, and I really enjoy her style and vibrant color palette. 

Since Mina is a big fan of Sailor Moon I thought of Bellatrix in a Sailor Moon anime treatment. I was not disappointed. This almost looks like a fashion design for Bellatrix, evil can still be beautiful on the outside.

Yes, even though Bellatrix is purely evil throughout the Harry Potter movies, her portrayal in the movies is fascinating, you can't take your eyes off her (beside that would not be wise).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bob Petrecca - Star Lord

2014.07.20 Jersey Shore Comic Con, Toms River, NJ

Bob Petrecca started his career in 1990 at Marvel Comics as one of John Romita's Raiders. This eventually led to freelance inking and finishing work for Marvel, DC and Continuity Comics.
Petrecca has worked on titles that include Captain America, Thor, Doctor Strange, Hyperkind, MS. Mystic, Justice League of America, Green Lantern, Birds of Prey, Batman, Night wing, Scooby-Doo, Wonder Woman and many others...

When I approached Petrecca he was intrigued and started looking through my selection of covers. He stopped at the 1993 space fantasy first day cover and offered to draw one of the Guardians of the Galaxy. I had no idea what I was going to get. When I saw the finished product I was amazed...

Star Lord, leader of the space-based Guardians, created by Steve Englehart and Steve Gans in 1976, with his first appearance in Marvel Premiere #4.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rose Arenas - Breathless

2014.07.20 Jersey Shore Comic Con, Toms River, NJ

Breathless is a fantasy-action comic that tells the story of Jesse Williams. He learns he has a twin brother and now he must save the world from falling apart.


This world however is not the world we live in. The Carasonians are a species evolved from dragons. In the 1980s a portal opened between their world and ours...

Rose Arenas, who began this web-comic in 2007, is a visual and web-designer...

The web-comic was originally published in black and white, the comic shown is a color version of the first chapter of the story. The cover of the book features Jesse Williams. Arenas sketch on the Year of the Dragon first day cover features Eclipse, a powerful and dangerous clan leader. He takes on the task of training Jesse and his twin T.J. for what lies ahead...


Friday, July 18, 2014

Jamal Peppers - Sonic the Hedgehog


2011.07.16 Superheroes for Hospice, Livingston, NJ


Sonic the Hedgehog is video game character from Sega, whose popularity has moved him beyond the game to TV series, comic books. Sonic first appeared in 1991. Credit for the creation of Sonic are given to Sega programmer Yuji Naka and artist Naoto Oshima.

A blue 15 year old anthropomorphic hedgehog, Sonic can run at supersonic speed and has the ability to curl into a ball to attack his enemies...

Sonic as published by Archie comics debuted in 1992. Archie also publishes Sonic the Hedgehog (TV Series), Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Archives trade paperbacks...

Jamal Peppers took an interest in comic art at a young age. He has worked in illustration and character design, but got his start in comic at Archie Comics working with Sonic the Hedgehog...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mickey Fiedler - OctoTrooper

2013.11.03 Jersey Shore Comic Con, Forked River, NJ

Mickey Fiedler, his Dad's Cartoons facebook page states he is a proud father of 2 awesome boys, loves science fiction, comic books and video games. During the day Fiedler teaches 4th grade, and by night he mashes comics...

I took some time looking through his portfolio of images before requesting a sketch. Many of Fiedler's drawings were humorous mixes of animals and fictional characters. These include Electrophant, Breaking Bad Papa Smurf, Symbiote Mickey Mouse, Yoda Stewie, Boba Fett Elephant, Mega Man Green Lantern, Dr. Suess' X-Men and the drawing that really had me was a Cyclops Mike Wazowski from Montsers Inc.

As we discussed the sketch concepts the decision was made to draw an octopus Storm Trooper. When Fiedler was done another of his customers comment that the drawing looked a lot like the Hydra emblem. Neither one of us realized this at the start. In any case, I like the concept of the OctoTrooper...

Fiedler is working on his own comic book to help children with life issues, such as bullying and health...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bob Camp - Ren & Stimpy

Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Bob Camp started his animation career working on the animated series Thundercats, Silverhawks, TigerSharks and many others for producer Rankin/Bass. At DiC, Camp worked on The Real Ghostbusters. At Warner Bros, he worked on Tiny Toon Adventures...

Camp would co-found Spumco, the studios that gave us Ren & Stimpy. John Kricfalusi created The Ren & Stimpy Show for the NIckelodeon Network in 1991. Bob Camp would take over as director in 1992 when production of the show was moved to Games Animation (later Nickelodeon Animation Studios).  Ren is an unstable chihuahua and Stimpy (Stimpson J Cat) is good natured and dim-witted. The show developed a cult following for it's satirical style and off-color humor

Camp has been nominated for two Emmys, a Cable ACE Award and an Annie Award for The Ren & Stimpy Show...

Camp would also work on Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Robots, Horton Hears a Who and Ice Age: The Meltdown; as well as illustrations for several comics including GI Joe, Crazy Magazine, Bizarre Adventures.....

Friday, June 27, 2014

Evan Dorkin - Milk and Cheese

2012.09.29 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Evan Dorkin created Milk and Cheese, first published in 1988 in Greed Magazine. Milk and Cheese would eventalluy be published in comic book form through Slave Labor Graphics and Dark Horse Comics. The story line follows the anthropomorphic container of milk and a wedge of cheese. These dairy products "gone bad" drink to excess and are usually involved in violent situations...

Dorkin and his wife Sarah Dyer have written for Space Ghost Coast to Coast, episodes of Superman the animated series, the Adult Swim program Welcome to Eltingville. Dorkin co-created Beasts of burden with Jill Thompson...

Awards: 
  • 2010 Esiner Award: Best Publication for teens
  • 2005 Eisner Award: Best Short Story
  • 2002 Eisner Award: Best Short Story (The Eltingville Club)
  • 2002 Eisner Award: Best Writer/Artist (for Dork)
  • 2001 Harvey Award: Best Single Issue or Story (Superman & Batman: World's Funnest, shared with several artists)


Friday, June 20, 2014

Peter Bagge - Bat Boy

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Bagge discovered underground comics in 1977 after being inspired by the work of R. Crumb. Bagge co-published three issues of Comical Funnies (1980-81), which saw the debut of the Bradley's, a dysfunctional suburban family. Buddy bradley would emerge as the main protagonist of the series Neat Stuff (1985-89). Neat Stuff would evolve into a new book titled Hate... 

Bagge would also contribute to R. Crumb's Weirdo magazine, taking over as managing editor. Additional work would be contributed to DC for Yeah! and Sweatshop, a Marvel one-shot satire of Spider-Man and a 2-year stint drawing the Bat Boy comic strip for the Weekly World News...

Bat Boy is a fictional character created by the Weekly World News editor Dick Kulpa in fabricated stories about a creature who is half boy and half bat in 1992. Scientists frequently capture the Bat Boy only to have him escape. An production the Bat Boy: The Musical debuted in 1997 (Los Angeles world premiere, 2001 Off-Broadway, 2004 West End)...

Bagge has also contributed to  several record and CD covers, as well as the magazines Hustler, MAD and Oxford American

Friday, June 13, 2014

Larry Hama - The original GI Joe

2014.05.24 Woodbridge comic Fest, Woodbridge, NJ
The original G.I. Joe

Larry Hama started drawing and/or writing the Marvel Comic version of the Hasbro military action figures G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero in 1982, continuing until 1994 for 155 issues.  Other titles included G.I. Joe: Order of Battle, G.I. Joe: Special Missions

For Devil's Due Publishing, which ran GI Joe stories from 2001 to 2008, Hama, returned to G.I. Joe for the miniseries G.I. Joe Declassified, G.I. Joe: Frontline, Snake-Eyes: Declassified, and Storm Shadow...

IDW began publishing the series in 2008, with Hama writing G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and  G.I. Joe: Origins.

Hama also wrote most of the file cards that were printed on the action figures' packaging.

However during the second world war, a young cartoonist with the 45th Infantry Division volunteered to work for the unit's newspaper. Bill Mauldin would created Willie and Joe, modeled after his friend Irving Richtel and every other regular Joe in the army. The original GI Joe.

July 1943 Mauldin  began working for the Army newspaper Stars and Stripes. Given a jeep and the freedom to roam the front lines to gather stories for his work. Mauldin's cartoons often offended the Army officers for his portrayal of them, but this endeared Willie and Joe to the soldiers on the front line and around the world.

Mauldin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Cartooning in 1945. His work has been published in several books and Willie and Joe were featured in the films Up Front (1951) and Back at the Front (1952).

Willie and Joe have appeared on 2 US stamps. The first as part of a 1993 set marking the 50th anniversary of the war and in 2010 honoring Bill Mauldin...


Charles M. Schulz, a WWII veteran regularly paid tribute to Mauldin in his comic strip Peanuts during  Veteran's Day...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Vanessa Seixas - Frankenstein's Monster

2014.05.24 Woodbridge Comic Fest, Woodbridge, NJ

Sharing a booth with Michal Brodka was Vanessa Seixas. A freelance illustrator, her art featured illustrated posters of pop culture icons like Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Jerry Garcia, Daredevil, etc... It was her portrait of Walken Dead (a frankenstein Christopher Walken) that inspired me to ask Vanessa for a Frankenstein sketch on an Abbott and Costello first day cover...

Thanks for not being afraid of a little rain...

Vanessa drew in a more cartoon style to match the feeling of the Abbott and Costello stamp. I had the idea of getting the Frankenstein sketch from Paul Castiglia, who is writing a blog Scared Silly as a companion piece to his upcomign book about the comedy based horror movies that featured Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Bob Hope and the Bowery Boys among others...

Abbott and Costello met Frankenstein, along with Dracula and the Wolfman, in 1948 and would go on to meet Boris Karloff, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Mummy and go to Mars...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Michal Brodka - the Batman

2014.05.24 Woodbridge Comic Fest, Woodbridge, NJ

Outdoor festivals always run the risk of bad weather. When I arrived at the Woodbridge Fest, there were 5 vendors set up. Larry Hama, Michal Brodka, Vanessa Seixas, a candle seller, robotics and a musician, along with a few cos-players. the threat of bad weather had kept many of the comic book vendors away...

I give credit to those who did brave the potential for rain (we all know what happens when comics and water mix)!

I was looking over the art at Michal and Vanessa's booth and taken in by both of their work. Michal had some amazing engraved and screen prints. Since I try to keep my collecting to first day covers, and there were only 3 artists are the fest I asked Michal if he would be willing to provide me with a sketch. His response was low key "sure". When I asked what his preference in drawing might be his response - "anything dark"... I love that kind of response!

Michal provided me with a quick Batman, that does not give full credit to his talent. His engravings are gorgeous.. From his Youtube video bio - Michal is one half of Celestial Bodies, a galactic collaboration between himself and the music artist Ruined Machines. I have been listening to them while writing this, excellent prog rock...

Check out Michal's work at his facebook page and RSI apparel...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Louis Small Jr - Vampirella

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Louis Small Jr is best known for his work on Harris Comic's Vampirella.  Small has also worked as a writer, inker and cover artist on titles for  DC Comics (Supegirl); Marvel Comics (Ka-Zar); Defiant Comics (Michael Alexander, Dark Dominion; and Vertigo Comics (Codename: Knockout), which Small co-created with Rob Rodi...

Small has also provided sketch work for Breygent Marketing Cards (Golden Age Heroes, Cartoon Sketch cards and Sci-Fi Horror cards)...

updated 2014.06.26 recently came across this site for Vampirella related covers

Sunday, May 18, 2014

H. R. Giger

H.R. Giger, swiss painter, sculptor and set designer passed on May 12, 2014. Giger was known for his fantastic designs for the movie Alien, as well as album covers such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery. Meticulously detailed, his paintings show a biomedical style that combines flesh and machine...


comic strip - Eek! by Scott Nickel

Friday, May 16, 2014

Chris Calle - Moon Landing

2014.05.07 postmarked

Oh my GOD!!!
The voice was that of a 10-year old girl - the body it came out of was a 50+ male. That was my reaction when I saw the above sketch from Chris Calle.

I had the opportunity to receive a correspondence from Chris Calle, when I had posted one of the Peter Max moon landing covers I had on e-bay. Since I had a few copies of the cover being offered, I suggested a trade of several space and Peter Max related covers for a sketch of his. His e-mail came back "I usually do not do quick sketches...    let's trade!"

Apparently Calle had visited my site previously and was impressed with the covers I had presented. The note he sent with the above cover "My cover to add to your very cool collection - All the best, Chris."

Chris Calle is the son of Paul Calle (1928-2010), two of the most talented artists to put pen to paper. Their specialty is space art. Paul designed the 1969 Moon Landing stamp, as well as the Gemini Space twins, Douglas MacArthur, Robert Frost, Clara Maas, Vietnam Veterans all for the USPS. Paul also designed stamps for the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Sweden and the United Nations.

1962 - NASA set up their art program for the purpose of recording the history of space through the eyes of artists. These artists included Paul Calle, Norman Rockwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Annie Leibovitz and several others. As part of the program, Calle was given exclusive access to the astronauts during the mission and his sketches are on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Chris Calle followed in his father's footsteps as he designed the 25th anniversary Moon Landing stamp with his father. Chris has also designed many issues for the USPS including issues for Bessie Coleman, Theodore von Karman, Edward R Murrow, Connecticut Statehood, and others. Chris Calle also produces his own first day covers...

Chris Calle also specializes in wildlife and nature sketches due to his concern for the environment and the plight of endangered species...

As for the Moon Landing envelope, this was given to me by my Uncle Bob, who was President of an envelope manufacturing company, the same facility where my parents worked and met. Uncle Bob was in Washington for a conference on Sept 9, 1969, when the stamp was issued. He attempted to obtain a first day cancel, but found he did not have an envelope in his possession. He had to borrow one!
Because of this I have always held on to this cover, never realizing that one day it would carry Chris Calle artwork.

As far as the trade I made with Chris - I win!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Terrell Jefferson - Harley Quinn

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Terrell Jefferson (JTonz) had a small table at the Con, yet he was totally comfortable with that. His work displayed on the table showed skill and a style that called to me. We talked briefly about his style, which I referred to as having sharp angular features with a soft touch. His subjects included Hellboy and Michael Jackson.. when we discussed a subject for his sketch, he suggested Harley, to which he provided a great sketch with Harley mimicking the Fanny Brice stamp. 

Looking at his deviantart page, I was really taken by his drawing of The Horseman of Death (wish I had seen that at the con!)...

Fanny Brice in 1910 became a headliner for the Ziegfield Follies, was a comedian, singer, actress, radio personality (The Baby Snooks Show) and was the subject of the Barbara Streisand film Funny Girl. (Never thought I would be including Streisand in this blog)...

Harley Quinn was introduced into the DC world in 1992, created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for the  Batman: The Animated Series television program...

Friday, May 2, 2014

Bob Fingerman

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ
"Will kids of 2025 ever know the Dewey Decimal system?"

Bob Fingerman's titles for Fantagraphics include the acclaimed Minimum Wage (semi-autobiographic) and White Like She (a 1993 graphic novel about a black man who has his brain transplanted into a teenaged white girls body). Image Comics issued Maximum Minimum Wage in 2013 which is a deluxe reissue of his defining comic series...

Starting in 1984 Fingerman produced work for Harvey Kurtzman on the young readers anthology "Nuts!" During this time Fingerman produced a series of parodies for the French L'Echo Des Savans and Spain's El Vibora...

Other works included Cracked magazine, Screw magazine, Penthouse Hot Talk, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, High Times, The Village Voice and Business Week. Comic books include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and short stories and cover work for Dark Horse and Verigo Comics...

Fingerman looked through my available first day covers and chose the Libraries FDC to draw his self portrait, since his works cross the boundaries of comic books, graphic novels and prose novels...

Novels  - Pariah, Bottomfeeder...
Graphic Novels - Minimum Wage, Beg the Question, From the Ashes (I picked up this book and found it to be very humorous), Recess Pieces, You Deserved It...
Illustrated Novella - Connective Tissue


Friday, April 25, 2014

Kate Glasheen - Harry Potter

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

I was looking over the work on Glasheen's table and was taken by her style, especially a drawing of Link from Zelda II. Before leaving for the Asbury Park Comic con, I grabbed a Harry Potter FDC, not thinking I would get to use it. I thought Glasheen's style would be perfect for the subject, and I was not disappointed...

Glasheen has contributed to Archaia Entertainment's Hybrid Bastards, Seven Story Press' Graphic Canon: Volume 3, Affect Production's Constance, Kickstarter backed Bandage...


Begining in 2012 the USPS made the decision to honor living people on postage stamps, previously persons being honored had to be deceased 5 years, exceptions only to Presidents. The USPS felt the decision allowed persons being honored to enjoy the honor while they were able to enjoy the honor. Of course this opened the door to increased marketing especially in the area of pop culture. The Harry Potter series was honored in 2013 and featured all of the headline characters - Harry Potter, Harmoine, Ron, Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter above), Dumeldore, Hagrid, Severus and others. The series marks the first time non-American citizens were honored by the USPS...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mark Schultz - Xenozoic Tales

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, ASbury Park, NJ

Mark Schultz's first published comics work was The Sea King, featuring King Kull in Marvel Comics Savage Sword of Conan, inking over the pencils of Val Semeiks.

Schultz would later develop his own storyline Xenozoic Tales. A story where a catacysm has wiped out human society. When the survivors emerge from their underground bunkers, they find a world tranfromed to a prehistoric age dubbed the Xenozoic age.

Xenozoic Tales has been published by Kitchen Sink Press, Dark Horse and DC Comics. The story would also be turned into a Saturday morning cartoon series (which I am watching while I write this). The 13 episodes ran from 1983-1984. A video game was also created based on the series...

Schultz created the underwater adventure SubHuman for Dark Horse, contributed illustrations for Wanderin Star Books reprinting for Robert E, Howard's The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, writer for the DC - Dark Horse crossover Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predators.


In 2004 Schultz began writing for the comic strip Prince Valiant, created by Hal Foster in 1937. The Sunday only strip has always been one of my favorites...

John Cullen Murphy
Murphy began his collaboration with Hal Foster in 1970. When Foster retired n 1979, Cullen's son took over the writing of the strip. Shortly before his death in 2004, he turned over the illustration duties toGary Gianni.