Saturday, May 31, 2008

What it Is

What is What It Is? Well, it's brilliant, it's also beautiful, amazing, insightful, truthful, joyful, and brilliant (I think that bears repeating). This is the kind of book that while reading it you think "yeah, yeah, she's right, that is so true, I never thought about that in that way."

What It Is, is Lynda Barry's graphic novel follow up to her excellent Eisner winning One Hundred Demons. What It Is, is an autobiography of sorts, but mostly it's a collection of musings on memory, the imagination, and creativity. Try this thought from What It Is on for size: "Is a dream autobiography or fiction?" or "Can we remember something that we can't imagine?" What It Is was a sheer delight to read, experience, and will have me pondering many of the ideas contained within for a long time to come. In the the last third of What It Is, Lynda Barry offers some exercises for rekindling one's creative energies and I think for many people that section alone will be worth the entry price of what I think is a front runner for graphic novel of the year.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Judenhass arrives

Yesterday, Dave Sim's Judenhass arrived to finer comic stores everywhere. Judenhass is German for "jew hatred" and with Judenhass Sim has found quotes from people throughout history and the anti-semantic things they've said to show that jew hatred wasn't just central to Nazi Germany. Judenhass is only $4.00 for 50 pages and the book is a high quality production all around as Dave Sim wanted to produce a book on the Holocaust that was afforable and that could show what this medium is capable of.

The art is in a high quality photo realistic style, actually Sim has used photos from throughout history and turned them into fine line illustrations that are very poignant. Judenhass is a book I'll always have in stock and I think everyone should read and share this with others, because in its 50 short pages it very powerfully communicates why any kind of hatred is wrong and a blight on humanity. As I've mentioned when I first read the preview copy a couple of months ago, I'll be donating the profits of Judenhass at my store to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. and will fire off a check reflecting my initial order upon finishing this entry.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Project Rooftop revisited

I think I've blogged about Project Rooftop before, but even if I have, it's a site / blog worth revisiting!

Project Rooftop features artists redesigning superhero costumes with people then reviewing them (often comic creators will show up and do this) and one of the recent updates featured artists doing variations of Iron Man's armor. The illustration I have here is by Daniel Krall and it's a beauty! Go to for more great geek eye candy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Minutemen & Black Freighter

Today this photo was released (from the upcoming Watchmen movie)showing the super hero team The Minutemen, which were an earlier assemblage of heroes from Moore and Gibbon's Watchmen graphic novel (which was a twelve issue comic maxi-series origninally).

I like what I'm seeing from this image, which I think captures more of what Moore and Gibbon's were doing with their look then what I've seen of the main Watchmen characters costumes from the movie (they look like Batman Forever costumes, but hopefully they'll look good in the context of the movie).

In other Watchmen movie news, it was announced that The Black Freighter pirate sequence from Watchmen will be released as a separate animated DVD, four days after the Watchmen movie opens. I like the idea of the pirate sequence (which in the graphic novel is a comic that a kid is reading) being animated and released separately (mostly because even with this sequence not being in the movie, there's still a lot of story to be told in a two or so hour running time), but as others have said online, I'd like to see it released a few days before the movie or on the same day as the movie debuts.

Speaking of Watchmen, a couple of months ago, I had an older gentleman (about 55 years old) come into my store from Vancouver, Canada (where they did a lot of filming of the Watchmen movie) who was an extra on the film and he said that he was very impressed with the way things looked. Afterwards he went and bought Watchmen and has since been on going on an Alan Moore reading binge. His name is Larry Jacobs (the extras probably won't be listed in the credits though) and I'm sad that I didn't think to take a photo of him.

Everyone's got March 2009 marked on their calendars, right?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Homburg part two

Continuing my flashback to Kate and my Germany trip in May of last year...

This is Rick in front of a head shop, notice the lovely bongs (hey, I was a big Cheech and Chong fan, so it's cool to see Germany "representing")!
This is me and Nicole in Homburg. Her sister, Lorraine, and their mom, Zena, where there also, but for whatever dumb reason I didn't get a picture with them there).

This is a local Homburg, traditonal band, totally setting the mood for our Germany excursion!

On this town celebration, Maifest, last year, Homburg also had a really cheesy fashion show going on, but it was awesome in a "what the F" kind of way!

This is me being a dork.

Today here in Vegas, it's rainy (!!) and around 77 degrees, so the weather is definitely reminding me of Germany. Kate and I had such a fantastic time in Germany and I'd highly recommend visting because the people are great, the weather is pretty great, the architecture just screams with so much wonderful character, and the place is rich in history almost everywhere you turn. I was surprised with how much of the German language I'd remembered, but really even if you don't speak German, a lot of German people speak English. And everyone knows that "beer" is "beer" in just about any language, right!? Speaking of beer, shortly after coming back from Germany I discovered that my favorite kind of beer is dunkel (dark) beer and the one I drink semi-regularly is called Warsteiner. Auf Wiedersehen!

Homburg part one

Last year at this time, Kate and myself were in Germany visiting our friends Zena (who was stationed in Ramstein), Lorraine, Nicole, and Rick (who was my first Sunday guy here at the store form about 1995-1997). Their tour in Germany ended last July and even though they had a lot going on with their upcoming move and Lorraine graduating from high school, they opened their home to us as we took day trips around the Rhinelands in Germany (and we were glad to have their company when their schedules allowed).
Before last year's trip I hadn't been to Germany in 27 years. One of the things I wanted to do while I was there was visit the small town where I was born, Homburg (not to be confused with the much larger Hamburg, to the north), which I was surprised to learn was only about a half hour from Ramstein. So our second day in Germany we spent the afternoon in Homburg because Nicole noticed in the paper that they were having a town celebration, called Maifest (May fest, of course). This was on a Sunday, a day in which the shops are usually closed, but it was nice for them to open up for their native son (grin)!

Kate and myself in Homburg.

This is the Homburg town square, which as you can see was quite the center of activity. I was so happy to be back in Germany and amongst friends I hadn't seen in a long time (actually when I lived there growing up I didn't appreciate it as much as I was always thinking that everything was "cooler" in the U.S.).
This is me and Rick (Rick is on the left of course). This photo should give you some idea of what a live wire Rick is (and I mean that lovingly)! Actually while I made it a point to have at least one beer every day (which is a lot for me) while I was in Germany (because Germany = beer), the only thing I regret not doing during the ten days we were in Germany was going to one of the local bars (or hofbrauhaus as the Germans call them) on at least one of the nights and drinking with Rick and the local color. Oh well, that gives me an excuse to go back again, only this time I'm not going to wait 27 years!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Some great covers!

Yesterday was one of the best days for comic book covers that I can remember in quite a while. A great cover to me isn't just a posed shot of a character doing something generic (like most of Thor's covers, which don't suggest how good that book is) or a group action image. I think a cover has to make a person want to pick up that book in the sea of all the others on the shelves (and I realize that isn't easy to do on a monthly basis), it should be a solid visually appealing singular piece of art, and if it's able to do those two things and actually have something to do with the actual issue - bonus. Presented here are five of my favorites this week.

The first one is the newest Catwoman, with art by Adam Hughes (he doesn't do the interior which sometimes bothers me as in this case I'm sure interior artist David Lopez could do nice covers, but I can understand why a company would want to use marquee artists to help books sell). I'm not the biggest fan of Adam Hughes (I know that's sacrilige in a lot of circles), not because I don't think he's a good artist, rather his kind of big breasted cheesecake isn't my favorite kind of cheesecake. With this cover though, Hughes draws an image of Catwoman that has a lot to do what happens within (a good solid issue after some lame prison world tie in issues) and is just a wow image all around.

This cover of Twilight Guardian (a series of one shot characters by Top Cow in their Pilot Season title) by artist Reza, who also does the interior. This is definitely an atypical image for a Top Cow comic and I like it because the character has a nice quiet reflective expression (the cat's cool also). This odd little story of this girl who patrols her neighborhood looking for crime and or evil doers is written by Troy Hickman and I hope to see more.

covers used to be consistently striking, but for the longest time now they've been amongst the biggest offenders of the generic pose image. This cover by Lee Bermejo justs jumps out for me as I like the placement of the logo (which is on the women's arm on the actual comic) and the central character (John Constantine). There's a preview of the new Vertigo series coming out called Madame Xanadu which I haven't read yet, but it looks good.

I've got a lot of problems with the Spider-Man comic post (and during) the storyline One More Day with them hitting the reset button, but this cover by Marcos Martin, who also does the interior art, is a perfect example of how to draw Spider-Man combining Ditko sensiblities with great sequential story-telling sequences.

>Dark Ivory
is Joseph Michael Lisner's new book, co-written by Eva Hopkins, and this cover, while very much a posed character image, is one in which it easily stands out from any other cover around it and the eye can't help but gravitate towards it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Goodbye Rory

Yesterday was a really really sad day for anyone who knew Rory Root (and sad for people who didn't get to know Rory). Rory went into an Oakland hospital either Sunday or Monday for a ruptured hernia and some time thereafter went into a coma before dying yesterday afternoon. Rory Root was the owner of Comic Relief, THE Comic Book Bookstore in Berkeley. Rory has been in comic book retailing for something like 30 years and I always told people when I talked about his store (Comic Relief) that his store was the comic book store that all good comic book stores want to be when they grow up.

I first heard that Rory was in a coma via the CBIA (a comic book retailer delphi forum) when Joe Field (of Flying Colors in Walnut Creek, California) posted a link from the ComicsPro (a retailer trade organization) site. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Rory wasn't in the best of health or shape, but I'd seen him at the DC retailer summit in Austin in March and just this past April here in Vegas for the second ComicsPro meeting. When I'd talked to him in Austin he told me that he was taking steps to turn his health around (was going on a diet and had quit smoking sometime last year). So I thought things were starting to swing around for him. So hearing that Rory had gone into a coma and then dying all in one day hit me hard.
I'd only really got to visit with Rory at either the San Francisco Wondercon, the San Diego Comic Con, or at various industry trade shows over the past few years, but I remember when I first meet him at my first DC retailer summit (in 1997 at Burbank), he welcomed me like a long time member of the comic retailing community. Over the years I'd had several great chats with Rory but even before I knew him on a personal level, what I knew about his store has served as my biggest inspirations for what a comic book store should be.

Last year after Wondercon, Kate and I stayed an extra day in San Francisco and we went over to check out Rory's new store location. Rory gave us a guided tour of his store (you could just feel his excitement when he talked about what this great big new space allowed him to do) and afterwards the three of us went to a great nearby Indian restaurant for lunch. Rory's endless knowledge of the industry, his commitment to always having a comic book store that represented all of what the comic book medium was capable of, and just his sheer love of books and sequential art had no equal.

It's going to be an especially sad San Diego convention in a couple of months because Rory had a big presence there (not just his huge sprawling retail operation he set up there and at Wonndercon, but he also has been a long time sponsor of the Eisners) - hell, just seeing Rory work the show finding new homes for great comic books always re-energized me. This year has been especially hard for those that love the comic book medium, with Steve Gerber (Howard The Duck), Dave Stevens (Rocketeer), Jim Mooney (Supergirl and numerous other comics since the 1940's), and now Rory (and Gene Colan artist on Tomb of Dracula and Howard The Duck and billions of other comics isn't doing that well either - I really really hope he gets well).

Rory created such a great foundation / template for a great comic book store (seriously if you're ever up in the Bay area you have to go to Comic Relief because you WILL find a comic book, graphic novel, or manga that you won't see almost anywhere else, displayed with great visual flair) with his Comic Relief and I'm happy to hear that his long time manager Todd Matinez has been passed the torch as per Rory's request so Rory's legacy is in good hands.

As much as I miss him now, I'm sure that none of us who've known Rory are really prepared for how much we'll miss him in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cristina goes to China

Today my best friend, Cristina, left for China for three months. Specifically she'll be in Tanjing, China, which is about an hour outside of Beijing. Cristina and another UNLV computer science student (I don't know the spelling of his name so I'm not going to butcher it here). have been selected to go to China as the continuation of a project they've been selected for that they've been working on for I think about a year now. I think she'll be building a computer from scratch - seriously I don't know what exactly she'll be working on, but I think it does involve building a chip (I'm such a computer illiterate).
Wednesday, Cristina graduated with a BS in Mathematics and a Minor in Computer Science. I've known her during her entire college journey and she's always been the kind of person that looks for new challenges and then excels at them.

I'm so happy that Cristina has gotten this opportunity to go to China for three months, but actually I feel the need to stress that she wasn't just handed this, rather she made it happen (I remember a couple of months ago Cristina, her mom, and myself had gone to a movie and afterwards one of her previous professors had seen her and told her mom and his wife that she was the best student he'd ever had). Obviously we all have different strengths, but I think that anyone who graduates with distinctions in Mathematics and the Sciences should be especially exhalted and this is part of why I'm posting this blog today. I'm sure that once Cristina sees this entry she'll be a little annoyed with me as she likes to keep a low profile, but I think that as hard as she's worked attaining this first part of her college journey (she'll be going to grad school of course), that her accomplishments should be paraded!
This is Cristina with part of her family at the airport. I know that Cristina is going to have such a great, rich life experiences during her three months in China and I can't wait to hear about them.

La enhorabuena, Cristina, y tiena un rato fantastico!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Big Barda tattoo

Sunday, May 4th I got my second tattoo. The character is Jack Kirby's Big Barda. I've decided that all of my tattoos will be of female comic characters (not that I plan to get a lot!). I wanted to get a Jack Kirby female character for some time and since I'm more of a DC guy than a Marvel guy, I had to go with Big Barda. Up until a couple of months ago I was having a hard time finding just the right Big Barda image.

My first tattoo was two years ago on my other calf and I'd forgotten how much it hurt (because on that part of the leg there's not much skin before you hit the bone)! My first tattoo took about three and a half hours and I was glad to have gotten it done in one session just to get it over with. As the saying goes "no pain, no gain", so off I was to get Big Barda done. I thought I was going to get it all done in one session again, but Dirk (my tattoo artist) wanted to wait until the black healed first since there was so much of it (just doing the black took two hours). So I've got the color session scheduled for June 24th (Dirk said that would also take two hours - joy!). I think it looks great now, but when the color gets done it's really going to pop out!
This is Dirk Vermin bringing the pain to me. Dirk Vermin is a long time tattoo artist and he owns PussyKat Tattoo Parlour here on Maryland Parkway.

This is one of the milder pictures of me during the tattoo process (I don't want to scare anyone by showing the other pictures Kate took of me while she was watching and being my support system)! I pretty much close my eyes the entire time that I'm getting the tattoo in an attempt to find a zen state (doesn't work) and also so that I don't see how much work remains to be done.
This is my first tattoo done almost two years ago now, also by Dirk, of Alan Moore and JH Williams III's Promethea. Good thing I pick easy tattoo designs (ha, ha)!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

deconstruction week one

No this isn't the site of my new comic book superstore. This building was a Wendy's up until about a year and a half ago when they closed. That Wendy's was the first one in Las Vegas and was there for 30 years!
The Wendy's was almost directly in front of my store so I was of course very interesested in what would occupy that space post Wendy's. Last week I found out that someone had actually bought that land and that someone is Starbucks. My early thoughts were that, wow, as if we need another Starbucks, but actually I've heard they take good care of their employees and I think it'll be good for my business. I'm also glad that something is finally being done with the building and even more glad that it's not going to be a payday loan check cashing joint!
It's been pretty exciting watching the Wendy's being torn down.
I'm guessing (hoping) that they'll have the last of the debri removed from the site by next week, but actually I'm just happy they torn it down as fast as they have.
I'd like to think that it won't take too long for the Starbucks to get built, but for now I'm happy because the absence of a building being there just makes my store super visible from the main street. I've heard conflicting reports as to when it'll be done, with my property management saying early October and a customer of mine that works at the Starbucks a block from my store saying he heard it wasn't going to be done until January. Now of course this could change and what someone hears and what actually happens are two different things and as these things are out of my hands, it's just a waiting game. Parking may be a little tricky while this deconstruction / construction is going on, but so far it hasn't been and I'd like to thank people who still stop by my store during this transition period.

Mononoke tattoo

Yesterday afternooon one of my customers was sporting this awesome full arm tattoo (also called a "sleeve" in tattoo lingo) of the Kodamas (tree spirits) from the great Princess Mononoke anime by Hayao Miyazaki from 1997. I'm not the biggest fan of tattoo sleeves, because I often think that the tattoos just all blend together and the person that got them hadn't thought out very carefully what the visual effect of their tattoos would be and or they just ended up getting sleeves because they ran out of room for areas on their bodies upon which to put another tattoo. This Kodamas arm sleeve is an excellent example of someone who has really thought out how to have a tattoo sleeve that even people that don't know what Kodamas are would appreciate as a great work of art.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Son Of Rambow!

Yesterday someone from Paramount Films called me asking if they could send me some free tickets and posters for a movie called Son of Rambow. I always say yes, even when I haven't heard of the movie they're promoting, as was the case with this movie. Of course hearing the title of the movie the first thing I thought of was: "they're making a sequel to Rambo!?"

So today I got the tickets (they're for next Tuesday at 7pm for anyone who's in the neighborhood of my store and wants to pick up a free ticket good for two people) and mini movie posters. I love the tag line of this movie which is: "Make Believe. Not War." Anyway I looked Son Of Rambow up online to see what it was about and it's a comedy "about friendship, faith, and the weird business of growing up." And it actually does have something to do with the original Rambo (it's also from England).

Welcome Nolan!

My friend, PJ and his wife, Brooke, had their baby on Sunday, April, 27th. Nolan Wahlquist is their son's name and he's really cute.

This is me and Nolan. I wonder if PJ lobbied to name their baby Luke, Han, or Indiana!?

Those of you who know PJ, know that he doesn't usually have a white eye patch on his eye. Well over this past weekend he was doing some yard work and somehow ran a scrub branch into his eye! Fortunately it didn't actually puncture any part of his eye according to what the doctor told him, so hopefully his eye will return to "normal" before too long. I told Brooke that PJ was just starved for all the attention that she and Nolan had been getting, but now I'm thinking that he just wanted to also get out of yard work (grin)! Seriously though, I'm sure that hurt like HELL and I hope that he's going to be all right (Brooke drove him to my store on Wednesday to get his new comics and his patch was off - his eye of course didn't look like it's supposed to, but he said it should be shortly).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

House Of Mystery - POW!

POW stands for: Pick Of the Week!

This week my money back guarantee book is Vertigo's House of Mystery, written by Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham and drawn by Luca Rossi and Ross Campbell. This is how a first issue should be done; it's got interesting characters and is full of the kind of intrigue that makes the reader want to pick up the next issue because they can't wait to see how things unfold. Basically, as Sturges and Willingham discuss in their On The Ledge feature towards the back of the book, House of Mystery will contain two stories each issue, the main one following what happens to the characters trapped in the House and a short story told by one of the people in the House, drawn by guest artists (this issues short story is drawn by Ross Campbell who has so far written and illustrated three graphic novels for Oni called Wet Moon and he has a Minx book coming out soon called Water Baby). Newcomer artist Luca Rossi"s pencils and inks are very friendly on the eyes and he's got great story-telling abilities.

The House of Mystery title comes from DC's comic anthology title of the same name that they had in the 1970's (it didn't have recurring characters, rather just short horror light stories by different writers and artists every issue). As I've mentioned elsewhere (on my website and or blog), DC's old House of Mystery was one of the first comics I read regularly so this new incarnation has a special attatchment for me. I'm happy to report that this new House of Mystery had just the right dose of creepiness! I'm going to predict that House of Mystery will be the next big breakthrough Vertigo title (I'm also optmistic about the other new upcoming Vertigo series Madame Xanadu, written by Matt Wagner, with another new artist that looks promising).

some good comics...

This week had a much higher average than usual of really good comics. Following are some of my favorites (I'll number the images here because some of them don't have titles): 1. Suburban Glamour 2. X Factor 3. New Avengers: Illumiati 4. Tor 5. Batman: Death Mask

The Suburban Glamour trade that came out this week collects the excellent mini series by Jaime McKelvie and it starts off as a good regular people story that morphs into a Fables type scenario without missing a beat. The X Factor comic that came out this week is a great one shot called The Quick and the Dead written by Peter David and drawn by Pablo Raimondi. It focuses on Quicksilver and I like where the character is by the end of this issue. New Avengers: Illuminati collects the five issue mini series written by Bendis and Reed and drawn by Jim Cheung. I think Jim Cheung is one of the best current super hero artists, it's really too bad that he's really slow (not that I want to rush quality, but I wish he was able to do a title on a semi regular basis). This trade definitely sets the stage for Secret Invasion. Joe Kubert returns to writing and drawing Tor, a caveman type charater he did years ago (but you don't have to have read previous Tor to get into this new mini series). Joe Kubert is at least in his 70's and he's still writing and drawing circles around almost everyone. This will make an especially nice collection, but I think it's worth picking up in singles. Batman: Death Mask is a four part black and white manga series by Yoshinori Natsume (Togari) and is a story about Bruce Wayne's early training in Japan. This, like most manga will really make for a nice bigger volume book when it's finished.
Another great issue of Madman came out this week and has two short stories, both of which I think could serve as good introductions to the character for new readers. This week also saw the much DELAYED conclusion of The Last Son storyline in Action Comics written by Johns and Donner, with art by Adam Kubert (he's the one who has delayed this whole storyline). I thought it was a solid conclusion and I think this will make a great collection (I'd say wait for the softcover because as good as it is it's not hardcover good as DC will do a hardcover first). It's a shame that both Kubert brothers got even slower when they signed up with DC last year because I actually liked their DC work better than their Marvel work, but I'm thinking they didn't care as much about the DC characters.
Jack Staff, by writer / artist Paul Grist, also came out this week and it continues to be a fun left of center British super hero title. It's now coming out monthly after a really long time of coming out very irregularly. I think that if Jack Staff had come out on a semi regular basis when Paul Grist first brought his character over to Image it would have a bigger audience thn it does - there are several nice trades that a person could get to catch up with though and I'd say that any issue of Jack Staff would give the reader a sense of what Grist is doing. Another issue of Omega the Unknown came out this week, which is a re-working of Steve Gerber's character from the 1970's. I'd say this will be a much richer reading experience when it comes out in collected form.
This week's Mighty Avengers was a good Secret Invasion tie-in (that I liked better than the main Secret Invasion title and is drawn by Alex Maleev. The first issue of the Avengers / Invaders twelve part series gets off to a good start. Crossing Midnight is coming to an end and this week we get the penultimate (that's one of my favorite words!) issue. For me Crossing Midnight isn't what it was when it debuted and I think that this title is also designed to be read in a big chunk (meaning in collected form). Another penultimate chapter in a series also arrived yesterday, Countdown To Mystery, of which I've only been reading the Steve Gerber Dr. Fate part of the comic. This issue is scripted by Adam Beechen from Gerber's plot as Steve Gerber wasn't able to finsh this story before he died. The last issue will have four different endings written by writers that have been influenced in their writing by Gerber's work over the years. I think this Dr. Fate story is a good ode to Steve Gerber's wonderfully demented way at looking at the world and people.
Two superhero trade paperback releases of note this week are World War Hulk, which is just a fun Hulk smash storyline with great art by John Romita Jr., and Aztec The Ultimate Man, which collects one of writer's Mark Millar and Grant Morrison's earlier collaborations.

My apologizes for this post being little more than a listing of titles, but I just wanted to give an extra shout out for some of the books that may get overlooked and or that I think will warrant re-readings.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Iron Man the movie

No Spoilers folowing:

Kate and I saw the Iron Man movie Sunday morning and really enjoyed it. All the changes they made from the comic and the character's origin were great changes that made sense and weren't just changes for the sake of changes (or director's and writer's egos) as is common with movie adaptations of comic books. The movie was really smartly done and while I think it plays more to male wish fullfillment fantasies, I think it has a good cross audience appeal (although I wouldn't take kids under ten or eleven to see it). If you haven't already heard, stay until after the credits, there's a good little bonus scene. The Iron Man armor and effects are really good, but the movie actually has a story that doesn't seem to just exist to get to the special effect sequences. My only little complaint would be that the villains, including Jeff Bridges' character, could have been fleshed out a bit more, but they weren't so bad that they impaired my surprise with how good the Iron Man movie is (and I don't like the Iron Man movie poster, it's really kind of boring and way too airbrushed - which had me worried at first the movie would duplicate - what a nit picker I am!).

Tomorrow a new Iron Man mini series comes out called Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas (cover and one page of interior art shown here), written by Jon Favreau (who directed the Iron Man movie) and illustrated by Adi Granov (who did an Iron Man storyline with Warren Ellis called Extremis). I didn't get a preview copy of this, but I think that this will be the Iron Man comic that people who liked the movie will be looking for.

Harry's 40th B-day pt.2!

Harry with my wife, Kate. Kate and myself aren't the biggest party people in the world, but every once in a while we like to let our hair down. Harry's 40th b-day pirate bash was one of the very best parties I've ever been to, of course any house party that has The Vermin playing live couldn't suck if it tried!
This is me with Alex (Alex is on the left). Alex is another longtime friend and he used to be my Sunday guy at the store.

Alex and Lauren. They should get married to each other (grin)!

Harry helping out The Vermin with the evening's merriment. Harry's been a police officer here in Vegas for eleven plus years - it's something he keeps a low profile about. I think part of that's due to what his job as an officer (SGT. now) entails, but I think it's also because of some people's misguided stereotypes of what kind of person a police officer is. Trust me, having known Harry for something like fourteen years now (and having been to parties at his house in which some of his other friends whom are also police officers attended - like Saturdays), all police officers I've encountered are totally solid people (hell, you have to be to do the things they deal with on a daily basis). Sorry for the digression just now, but I do think it was an important one to make.

So at once point someone shouted out that the pirate wenches needed to gather up front and center so here they are!

Harry's old! Actually like I tell anyone when I tell them my age, comics will keep us young!