Showing posts from August, 2007

AnimeVegas this weekend

The 4th annual AnimeVegas will be this Labor Day weekend (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday). I've attended (and have had a booth) the previous three years (I'll have one this year also so stop by and say hi!) and it's always a fun time. The guest of honor this year is Yoko Ishida, who has recorded theme songs for many anime shows as well as doing voice work. There'll be a performance by Yoko Ishida as well as a signing afterwards. As with previous AnimeVegas' there'll be other voice actors, j-pop performers, and various dealers selling all of the anime things you NEED (ha - but seriously, the Japanese are the kings of cute!). There's also all day and night anime screenings (two new animes I'd recommend are Beck and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzuniya), cosplay (people who dress up as their favorite characters), and a variety of panels featuring guests and events such as Japanese bingo, a dating Sim demo, and charity auctions.

Both of the photos here are from …

Jack Kirby!!!

Jack Kirby would have been 90 years old today. Kirby died February 6, 1994. I remember first reading about his death in USA Today. I was sad and in shock because I thought if anyone would have lived until at least 100 years old, it would have been Jack Kirby. It's hard to imagine what the American comic landscape would look like if Kirby hadn't made such a huge imprint on this medium. This photo shows two covers of The Jack Kirby Collector, a magazine devoted to the art of Jack Kirby and these two images are great examples of the power and dynamism of Kirby's art.

Head over to, Mark Evainer's website, click on "News From Me" and scroll down until you get to Mark's Tuesday (August 28th) post titled "Jack Kirby". Mark Evainer was a long time friend and collaborator of Jack Kirby and is the foremost authority on everything Kirby related. Evainer has two Kirby biographies coming out, with the first one called Kirby: King Of Comics…

Bendis/Mack circa 1995!

This is Brian Michael Bendis holding a book called Jinx that he had something to do with. Seriously though in 1995, way back when the internet as we know it today barely had its training wheels on and I had just started up my store, Bendis, David Mack, Greg Horn, and James Hudnall were doing their Caliber tour and I was lucky enough to host them. Note the uber cool Love and Rockets shirt Bendis is wearing!

I'll always fondly remember that signing because I got to have both Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack as my first signing guests.

Here we see Bendis doing his Wolvie pose, foreshadowing a character he wouldn't write until years later. David Mack is of course to the right of Bendis probably wishing he wasn't next to the fashion victim that is me in the white t-shirt. Greg Horn is in the red shirt (and he didn't even die afterwards!) and James Hudnall is on the left of Bendis. We had just finished eating at this submarine themed restaurant (I think it was called Dive…

John Stamos is Preacher!

Garth Ennis at the 1996 San Diego Comic-Con with the Preacher action figure I made for him out of a John Stamos (actor from tv's Full House) doll I bought at a Toys R Us. The pants are from a Skipper doll (and thus don't button up in the back because Jesse has a bigger ass than Skipper) and the shirt was air brushed black by my friend Jim who owns Cosmic Comics here in Vegas. Kate and I, with a marker, stubbled up his face (the John Stamos doll, not Garth's) and reddened up his eyes.
Before giving my homemade Preacher action figure to Garth (and I made this figure well before Vertigo made theirs), one early morning before leaving Vegas for the convention I went to a local church to pose the Preacher doll next to their statue of St. Viator (I hadn't thought of what I would have done if a church official had come out while I was doing that!). I wonder if Garth still has his John Stamos Preacher action figure?

Jim Rugg owns the pencil!

This awesome illo is by Jim Rugg, artist of The Plain Janes (someone commissioned this piece fom him of the Janes as the JLA) and writer / artist of Street Angel.

Another commission Jim Rugg did featuring Aquaman, of course. He's got some other great pieces on his live journal at: I'm not sure if he's still doing commissions, but I'd guess that if a person headed over to his live journal and asked him, he'd let you know (as well as what the price would be). I'm going to see if he's up to doing a Promethea commission for me.

Everyone needs to fire off a letter or email to DC letting them know that an Aquaman prestige format book by Jim Rugg would be a highwater (let the groans commence!) mark for the character!

Mark Twain liebe comics!

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." - Samuel Clemens

Chance In Hell is Gilbert Hernadez's (of Love and Rockets fame) newest graphic novel and if you've never read anything by Gilbert Hernandez, this is a good book to sample. His storytelling style is probably best described as a cross between David Lynch and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. After experiencing a Gilbert Hernandez comic you'll see why he's considered an alternative comics pioneer.

Initial D is just a really good manga (drawn in a very atypical style for manga) about street racing, specifically mountain street racing (also called drifting). The main character is Tak, who started off as a tofu delivery driver (seriously this isn't as wonky as it sounds) and he's hard to beat when he's in his Eight Six. While Initial D is mostly about racing and cars (and heavily researched racing and cars at that), it also has a great cast of regular ch…

Good As Derek Kirk Kim

The newest Minx graphic novel came out this week and it's one of the best books I've read recently (my other favorite Minx title is Plain Janes). I've liked Derek Kirk Kim after reading his other great graphic novel Same Difference and Other Stories which came out in 2003 that he wrote and drew. When I first heard about Good As Lily I was a little concerned that it wouldn't be as good as Same Difference because Kim wasn't drawing it, but somehow they've found a clone of Kim named Jesse Hamm who really does a bang up job on the art (seriously it is eerie though how similar his style is to Kim's).

The Minx line from DC was mainly created to attract more of a female audience, but of course that doesn't mean that guys won't like books like Good As Lily or Plain Janes unless they need all of their entertinment to have lots of explosions, slugfests, or other testosterone elements. Good As Lily has great characters that are instantly likeable and grow with…

Fantastic Wieringo

Mike Wieringo, artist most known for his work on the Flash, Fantastic Four, his creator owned Tellos, and as co-creator / artist of Impulse, died of a massive heart attack Sunday, August 12th at the way too young age of 44.

I've been a fan of his artwork for a long time, but sadly never talked to him or told him how much I enjoyed his art so I never knew the Mike Wieringo that fellow creators that worked with him and fans that did talk to him at conventions and elsewhere are talking about through message boards and blogs all over the internet. As much as Mike Wieringo's art was universally loved, Mike Wieringo, as a person was even more loved and now missed. On, artist Cully Hamner has a beautiful, sad eulogy for Mike Wieringo. Over on, if you scroll down the August 14th posts until you get to Abhay's post titled "Just A Note About Mike Wieringo...", he excerpts some writing from Mike Weiringo's blog that shows those …

more cats on the internet

Because there's not enough cats on the internet already, here is Malificent (the white cat, Kate named her this after the witch in Sleeping Beauty) and Alucard (the black cat, "Alucard" is "Dracula" backwards named after the character in the manga / anime Hellsing). Of course people only name cats for their own amusements because cats don't really come when you call them. For those of you allergic to cats, I apologize for this post.

Our cats are yin and yang in just about every respect. Malificent (white cat) is female, Alucard (black cat) is male. She's a long hair, he's a short hair, her meower doesn't work too good, his does, he wants to always play, she doesn't, she doesn't like other critters (except people), he does (tolerates them), he's a teenager, she's of an advanced age, etc.

Our cats adopted us, it's not like we set out to have salt and pepper cats (although I think it's cool that things ended up this way). Our…

big show wrap up!

This is Scott and Heather, two of my Vegas friends that let me hang out with them every now and then. This was little Davy Smuckers' (I've given him that as his new middle name because with a name like Smuckers he has to be good) first convention and he told me that he'll definitely be going again and his favorite part of the convention was visiting with JH Williams III and his lovely wife Wendy. JH Williams III had another awesome sketchbook this year and you may be able to get one if you visit his site. This week's Batman #667 is the first part of his three part story with some little known writer named Grant Morrison and it's all that and more (great jumping on point)!
Thursday night of the convention I managed to get into the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) party with an hour to spare and I wished I was there longer although I was busy having a nice dinner with my friends Dave, PJ, Brooke, and her brother and his friend. Pictured here are some of the Seq…

the big show pt.3

San Diego 2007 continued... So now the San Diego convention is being called the new Cannes in some circles (actually they should be calling it the popular culture Cannes because the indy / arty side of the medium isn't really talked about at all, rather it's just the loud, shiny, expensive projects that are getting promoted). With me in this photo is Lark Pien. She was nominated for best colorist this year for American Born Chinese, which she didn't win, but she was happy when American Born Chinese won for best original graphic novel. Every year for the past several years Lark Pien sells these small uber cute canvas paintings and this ends up being one of my favorite purchases from the convention. She also does mini comics including Long Tailed Kitty (

Kate dressed as a variation on Poison Ivy.

The new Flash!! I was joking with Kate that we should have had kids so that we could torture them through costumes. Actually, I'm sure the kids dressed in costu…

the big show pt.2

I like taking pictures, especially of people in costumes so here are some of my favorites from this year. I think there may have been more people in costumes last year, but that may be because I wasn't in the right places this year to see them. In the background at the Top Shelf booth as I was selecting this picture I just noticed the guy with brown hair sitting behind the Top Shelf booth (to the right of the Lost Girls book) is Matt Kindt. I meant to see him during the convention as I looked through his new Top Shelf book Super Spy (it looks really good), but with everything else going on I forgot. Matt Kindt also illustrated Pistolwhip and Mephisto, two great books written by Jason Hall (disclaimer - he's also a good friend) also published by Top Shelf.

Captain American looks pretty alive to me!

This guy in the red Spidey speedoos was really funny, actually the funniest thing I saw / heard the whole show. He called himself Spidey Sam and had a camera guy filming him as he wa…

The big show pt. 1

San Diego Comic-Con International 2007 was for me a great time and somehow I managed to not be super overwhelmed. I think this is because I took the advice of others who have suggested that faced with a convention as huge as San Diego has become, that you find the convention within that's right for you. My two favorite panels that I attended were the spotlights on Alison Bechdel (in photo above on the left of course) and Miriam Katin (photo below). Alison Bechdel gave a very entertaining power point presentation of her graphic novel Fun Home, additionally showing some very funny panels from Dykes To Watch Out For. Bechdel also read from Fun Home (while images from the book appeared on screen) and I'd guess that anyone who hadn't already read Fun Home would definitely get the book after this panel. Bechdel gave a demonstration of her art process which surprised me in how reliant she is on photographs (she doesn't trace photos though, rather she uses them as a tool to s…

Joel and Sandra's wedding

My friend of almost 25 years, Joel, got married yesterday and I had the winning lottery ticket as his best man (Joel was best man at my wedding ten years ago this December). Joel and his lovely wife Sandra are of course at the center of this photo, with the woman in red being Sandra's sister, Roberta, with her son Gabriel, next to her, part of the side of Joel's mom, Debra, is in the foreground, I'm to the right of Joel, and Bill Willingham, who married Joel and Sandra, is behind them.

Yes, it's THAT Bill Willingham, creator / writer of DC / Vertigo's multiple award winning Fables and Jack of Fables. How many people can say that they've been married by an acclaimed comic book writer (actually anyone can say they were married by a comic book writer, but they'd be lying)!? Joel asked Bill about a year ago if he'd perform the service and after Bill did some wrestling with Las Vegas officials on the legalese of his doing this (after all marrying people is a …