Joe Kubert died yesterday, August 12, and frankly I’m still stunned by the news. Above is the cover to the first comic book I owned- given to me because of my childhood obsession with Tarzan. That issue, in turn, began an obsession with comics and an undying love of Joe Kubert’s work. His beautiful pen and brush style bonded permanently with my “aesthetic DNA”. Decades later, my long-boxes are bristling with DC comics I bought only because they had Kubert covers. Decades from now, they will use various words when referring to Joe Kubert: Giant, Legend, Innovator, Teacher, Father, Artist- and they’ll all be true.
Camden Bottoms wrapped up its third and final appearance for the year at Project Comic Con in St. Louis, June 9-10. An excellent review of Project Comic Con can be found by Jeff Ritter on “The Trades” site by clicking here (thanks for the shout-out, Jeff!). I had a ball, even though all proceeds from the sales of my books, t-shirts and sketches went directly to the gentleman at the extreme left in the picture above, in return for various silver-age issues of the Amazing Spider-man.
As I mentioned, I sold almost everything I brought and met some wonderful people. A special thank you goes to my booth neighbors; Taffeta Darling, and Halo Seraphim and Terry Parr from Shonuff Studio, for bringing a steady flow of traffic by my table!
On Sunday, Kevin Wolf came across the aisle from his booth to introduce himself and made me aware of how strong the St. Louis comics community is. Kevin writes and draws the wonderful comic strip Pangaea, and contributes to a loose collective of local comic creators known as Ink and Drink Comics. Ink and Drink Comics not only inhabit local bars while drawing, they also publish anthologies emphasizing St. Louis talent. Thanks to Kevin’s introduction, I’ll be contributing to the upcoming fantasy-themed anthology, due out sometime in the Fall.
Mr. Wolf was also kind enough to post an extensive review of Camden Bottoms on his site recently- (thanks Kevin!) available here.
Project Comic Con is getting stronger and stronger, thanks to the tireless efforts of Steve Falcon & Jeff Morris, and I’m ready for next year, so come on out and enjoy what’s becoming a St. Louis institution!
In mid-May I had the pleasure of attending Spectrum Fantastic Art Live in Kansas City, where I had my copy of “The Prince Valiant Page” signed by Gary Gianni. Mr. Gianni, a master of pen & ink, has been a hero of mine for about 20 years, and my goosebumps grew goosebumps when he drew the above for me!
In a nutshell, “SFAL” takes the only thing that ever interested me about big comic conventions- namely meeting the artists, seeing new work, etc.- and removing it to a quiet location away from massive halls filled with crowds waiting to see the secondary cast of “Twilight” or “Glee”. Artists Mike Mignola, Brom, Gary Gianni, Ian McCaig, Phil Hale and Android Jones were the guests of honor, but other heavy-hitters such as Gregory Manchess and James Gurney were there among many others.
Fortunately I was at my booth most of the time, when I left it to look around I spent money. I met the incredibly nice Craig Elliott and bought a book of his with accompanying sketch. Several of the artists made me want to quit; Bruce Holwerda and Armand Baltazar, I’m looking in your direction!
The show was small, ultimately 4,000 people came through the doors, but Spectrum has already announced a show for May of 2013, so do yourself a favor and get there!
Dodeca-Con had it’s debut last weekend in Columbia, MO, and thanks to Randy Taylor and crew, it was a rousing success! It was my first convention as an exhibitor and it was somewhat fitting that it took place in Columbia, the town of my childhood, the town where I first became aware that there were stores entirely devoted to comic books (Rock Bottom Books n’ Comics).
When I wasn’t busy harrassing passers by with Camden Bottoms freebies, I was chatting with other exhibitors such as Jai Nitz, comics writer extraordinaire (Heaven’s Devils, and his own Paper Museum) and Dirk Burhans creator of Epiffany Jones a brand new -gasp- daily (see the link to the right). I also met a talented sculptor named Phillip Dutcher from around the Lake of the Ozarks -I think-. Phill approached me late Saturday for a sketch of Claude which I did as best I could considering all I had with me were soulless, crappy Microns. Sunday morning Phill walks up to me with a bust of Claude he threw together from the sketch. Needless to say, that made my weekend and maybe my Summer! If anyone is in need of a good sculptor, contact me and I can forward Phill’s email address to you.
Next stop: Spectrum Fantastic Art Live in Kansas City MO, May 18-20, see you there!