Friday, July 14, 2017

Once again...the San Diego Comic-Con

The 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International is nearly upon us once more...and I'm heading back for another trip. Maybe THIS is the year that I find fame and fortune. Or at least another trip to the Taco Truck, which deserves to be a proper noun.

Amazon's "The Tick" has just wrapped its first season and there will be a huge presence at this year's show, and some of it bleeds over into my tiny corner of the Tick universe as well. Let's take a look at some of the things I'll have with me at the show, running from Wednesday-Friday, July 19-23.

There's a new issue of The Tick debuting at SDCC with this special wedding issue! I'm joined by Duane Redhead and Ian Nichols for this issue, which comes with two covers: the "A" cover is the regular one, and the "B" cover is a (mostly) blank sketch cover!

Each are limited to 250 copies. I'll be signing copies - Ian will be there, too! - at the New England Comics booth, #1807, every day of the show.

Naturally, there's a lot more going on regarding The Tick at this show, and I hope to awkwardly stare at famous people at more than one point at the convention. There's a panel, an exclusive Funko Pop! figure, an autograph signing...and an incredible offsite area which includes a giant animatronic Tick head. It's all pretty neat. Read more about it here:

Honcho makes its semi-official debut at SDCC! What this means is that I'll have copies of the book with me, and I hope that people come and buy some. Jenny Klein, who did me a huge favor and wrote a foreword, will also be at the show! I'll be sharing a booth once again with the wonderful Jennie Wood in the small press section, at booth M-06!

I made some enamel pins that I'll be taking with me, too! The (very official) Honcho pin can be seen above. It's a one-inch pin with a custom backing, and it's based on Jeff McComsey's art from the book.

Because I can never do anything without also considering "hmm, how can I also make this about Weird Al?", I have a "UHF"-themed enamel pin as well. This one clocks in at about 1 1/2 inches.

And lastly...I put together another Rotten Tomatoes poster/print/comic for this year's event! Like last year, they're limited to 50, and I'll be giving them away at the very exciting "Your Opinion Sucks" panel. This year, Rotten Tomatoes is doing three separate panels at an offsite, across the street from the convention center. They've expanded it to 2 1/2 hours long!! The poster this year is drawn by Lonny Chant and Tomas Marijanovic, and I think it's really something. I'm already planning the next one!

Wish me luck, people. I hope it's a good show. I also hope I don't spend every last cent I own.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Thing sketchbook, part 19

Let's look at some more entries into the Thing sketchbook!

Jim Rugg - Wizard World Pittsburgh 2015

The ill-fated Wizard World Pittsburgh was disappointing on a number of levels. After Wizard World took over for the Pittsburgh Comicon in 2015, I had at least faint hopes that the venue change (moving from Monroeville to the downtown convention center) would mean better things for comic conventions in the 'Burgh. This was decidedly not to be, and the show dragged on for the weekend at a snail's pace, but at least I got this great Thing sketch out of it! This one is by Jim Rugg - a Pittsburgh native and creator of the wonderful Street Angel series. Rugg is one of the most underrated artists in the industry, and I'm happy to add his work to the sketchbook!

Art Adams - New York Comic Con 2015

How in the world, you might ask, did I manage to get the legendary Arthur Adams to draw in this book? It took a lot of luck, my friends, but in general, I found him at a time that he wasn't too busy and I made a nice donation to the Hero Initiative in exchange for a five minute sketch. Adams has been at the top of his game (and the top of the industry) for decades at this point, and he draws one of the best Ben Grimms of all time. This is without a doubt one of the most impressive pieces in the book on name recognition alone.

Karin Rindevall - New York Comic Con 2015

I've been friends with Karin Rindevall for years, all the way back to Teddy and the Yeti #1, but I never thought I'd get the chance to meet her, because she lives in Sweden. She and her boyfriend made the trip to New York for NYCC in 2015, though, and I was lucky enough to get to spend a little time chatting with them. Naturally, because I'm an awful and pushy person, I talked Karin into drawing the the Thing in the sketchbook, and he kindly obliged with the above piece (the word balloon is roughly "it's clobberin' time!" in Swedish). Karin needed to find a table on which to draw, so (keep this to yourself) we sat down at the then-empty table of Art Adams. Several people walked by while we were there and were very confused.

Dave Wachter - PIX 2016

Dave Wachter is a Pittsburgh native and recently completed a run as artist on IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. I had met him a few times before but finally managed to get a sketch from him at the Pittsburgh Indy Comix Festival in 2016. I believe this is the second trench coat Thing in the book - you can never have too many. The rain in the background adds that extra something to it. And I'm absolutely in love with Dave's stamps, which he changes every year.

Todd Webb - Comic-Con International 2016

True story - I once bought a toilet seat from Todd Webb. He drew pirates on it and I still have it, packed away in a closet, waiting for the day when I can figure out where to hang it. That was quite a few years ago - 2003 or 2004, I think - and I hadn't heard anything of or from him in the intervening years until running into him at the very end of Comic-Con 2015. I was lucky enough to find him again at the 2016 show and knew that it was time to ask him to join the sketchbook ranks, near the very end of the book. This is the first entry drawn in crayon, and it's one of my favorites!

Believe it or not, this very nearly completes the Thing sketchbook. I'll be back with one final entry before closing the book on this...uh, book for good.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Black Terror by Ramona Fradon and Duane Redhead

Perhaps you recall my Black Terror: Wednesday at the Diner webcomic/comic strip/mini comic/whatever that Rafer Roberts and I worked on a few years ago. It's been a while, but I'm slowly putting together some new material on that front for an eventual book, and two cool pieces of that recently came together from two great artists, so I thought I'd share them here!

The first is an image of the classic Black Terror from Golden Age artist (and personal favorite) Ramona Fradon. Fradon is an underrated legend in the comic book industry, and I'm kind of stunned that I was able to commission her in the first place. She's been drawing comics for almost 70 years and might be best known for co-creating Aqualad and Metamorpho for DC Comics. What a thrill it is to work with her in even the slightest capacity.

Our next piece is from a familiar source, Mr. Duane Redhead! Duane took some time from drawing the Tick to pencil and ink this lovely image of an elderly (but still muscular, check out those biceps) Black Terror and Mr. Q. The backdrop for this image is the city of Cleveland, because Cleveland is just kind of a funny place.

I'll update this page with more info on my take on the Black Terror in the future. For now, I'm excited to see these images.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nuclear Winter!

Well, hello, Internet. It's been several months since I've posted anything. Has anyone noticed? Maybe Larry noticed. Anyway, I had to take a break for a couple reasons, both mostly accounting to the excuse "I'm busy". This isn't a great excuse, because I love you, Yeti blog. I think I've had this damn thing for nine years. But the spring brought about some new online classes that I signed up to teach, which meant a lot of content design, and it also brought some new comic book work, which is by far more exciting and enjoyable. I'll try to update more often, but maybe not as often as in years past, because a lot of my time is not going toward making comics, and that's, I guess, pretty neat.

So let's try to spend a few minutes going over what's going on here in whatever year this is now:

Probably the biggest news is that the first volume of Honcho is finished and has made its way back from the printer! It topped out at around 120 pages and, if I can say so, it looks really great. Everyone did a really nice job with it. Jeff McComsey and I are trying to find a publisher for a wider release, which I think the book deserves, so we'll see how that goes.

Free Comic Book Day 2017 has come and gone, and with it, a new issue of The Tick! This is actually the fifth year in a row that I've been able to write a story for FCBD, and as in previous years, I was able to travel to Boston to sign some books at a few different New England Comics stores. This will be a big year for The Tick, as the first season of the new television series officially premiers on Amazon's streaming service in August. I wrote a new story for this year's San Diego Comic-Con, where there'll be some surprises in store regarding the show and a few different items related to it. Let's take a tiny peek at one of the panels from that new comic:

How tantalizing! What could it mean??

I had a short story published by the newly launched AR Comics. Ian Nichols (who drew the above Tick panel) invited me to contribute to the geographically-named "New England Tales of Terror", which premiered at a local New England comic convention in February. My story was drawn by none other than Joe St. Pierre, formerly of Spider-Man 2099 fame, so I was pretty excited.

This hasn't been formally announced yet, so keep it to yourself, but I'm lettering an original graphic novel that has been picked up by Image Comics. I can't really talk about it at any length, but I lettered a pitch for the book in 2015 and we recently got the go-ahead to produce the full-length story. If all goes well, this'll be my first work under the Image banner, which is very exciting. I hope I'm not jinxing it by talking about it.

I'll be at Comic-Con in San Diego once again this year - my sixth year in a row! I'll have copies of Honcho with me along with the aforementioned new issue of The Tick. I'll be sharing a booth with the very talented Jennie Wood in the small press section. I'm a little surprised with how excited I still get for Comic-Con. I'm in full preparation mode over a month away. This should be a fun year. Oh, and if all goes well, I may have something that looks similar to this with me at the booth:

Let's keep our fingers crossed for this one.

How many new Thing items have I gotten since I last posted an update? LOTS, including this incredible (and ugly) bootleg Thing toy from Mexico. What's up with his mouth? Wow. Anyway, I've landed quite a few items that I would love to show off, if only I had a blog or something to post them to - oh, wait. I guess that's what this is for.

I'll post again soon. Not too soon. Soon-ish. We'll all do what we can. Take care, folks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Corgi's 1:12 scale Thing statue (plus some relatively random updates)

I recently picked up another Thing statue, this one from the Corgi company. I had seen this around a few times, but it was never on my "must buy" list until I saw it for a great price.

This statue came out in 2006, when Marvel was starting to roll out its more generic branding with stock art. The side of the box is the Thing's chest, though, which is pretty cool.

Here's the front of the box, with an image of what's inside.

The statue itself it pretty heavy for its size. The base is made of metal and is quite hefty. I got #1453 out of a run of 2500.

And here's the back. The pants the Thing is wearing are similar to his appearances in the Ultimate Fantastic Four title, which debuted around this time. It's a nice, if not unremarkable statue. I'm glad that I finally grabbed it after looking at it online for years.

While we're here, why not have a quick Local Comic Shop Day recap? I spent a few hours at Pittsburgh Comics on the day of the event and signed a few books. Some people even got a (very rare) Sandwich Edition copy! Lucky ducks.

How did the day go? Well, here's a picture. What is Larry doing in the background? Nobody knows. (Check out Larry's new website here.)

Extra big Fantastic Four news: I walked out of the store on this day with a copy of Fantastic Four #11! (I paid for it.) This issue has the first appearance of the Impossible Man, and is now the earliest issue of the series that I own. The issue is in good shape and I'm thrilled to have it.

And lastly, artist Tony Sedani sent me this great Thing pinup a few days ago! Tony has drawn a few pages in recent issues of The Tick, and I was surprised to get this in the mail. What a cool piece! Into the collection it goes. Thanks, Tony!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Tick: Local Comic Shop Day Special and signing at Pittsburgh Comics on 11/19

There's a new issue of The Tick coming out this Saturday, 11/19, for Local Comic Shop Day! LCSD is in its second year and is designed to promote comic shops with physical locations (so the books aren't available at online retailers). The Tick is the first book with all-new material. I wrote the main story in this issue with Duane Redhead once again on art. There's also a backup story from a new Boston-area creative team. This is the first issue in stores since the new Amazon show aired, so I hope that the reception is good.

If you're in the Pittsburgh area, I'll be signing some copies of the book (and basically anything else) at Pittsburgh Comics on Saturday from 1:00-3:30. This is the first time I've been in Pittsburgh on the day of a release - I'm usually in Boston for FCBD and in San Diego for the Comic-Con specials, so I'm happy to, for once, just get to roll out of bed in the morning and wander into the comic shop without having to plan a trip around it.

Check out for more details on the event and for location information on the store!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pictures from the New York Comic Con, part 2: Saturday (Robert Kirkman, Dana Snyder, and...okay, more costumes)

Hi, everyone. Here are some more pictures from this year's New York Comic Con, taken on the Saturday of the show.

I've probably seen more group costumes at NYCC than any other show. I wonder why that is? Anyway, here's a pretty neat Game of Thrones smattering.

Adult Swim had a glass-lined cubicle set up on the show floor where they were streaming video to their website. You could wait in line to be on the program for a few minutes. I wonder how many people swore just to see if you could.

Here's a really nice costume from the He-Man cartoon and...wait, is that guy wearing a Steelers jersey in the background? Good for you, guy.

I guess these people beat up Batman. Fair enough.

Here's a view of the mass of humanity at the show. Those hallways fill up very quickly and very tightly.

There were two great Lex Luthor costumes that I saw at this show. This battle suit is great!

This lady was born to dress up as Barb. Very well done.

I got on the escalator to get to the main hall and found that I was right behind "Walking Dead" co-creator Robert Kirkman. I'm pretty sure the only reason I was able to get a picture with him is because neither of us was going anywhere for half a minute.

I'm fairly sure all of these Spider-people came to the show separately and then were drawn together when they saw the elaborate Carnage.

Here are some folks as the TV-show inspired Flash and Professor Zoom.

I've actually seen a few Ant-Man costumes lately. It doesn't look like a very easy costume to make, so that's surprising to me.

I chased these MST3K fans down for about three minutes before I could get close enough to take this picture.

Okay, this guy is dressed up like every Johnny Depp character (or a lot of them, anyway). I thought this was a really unique outfit, but Larry tells me that he's seen it before.

I got a picture with this Thing last year, and I had seen the Invisible Woman then as well. But this year the whole gang got together. Great to see a Fantastic Four group costume at the show!

And then I saw someone else dressed up as Mr. Fantastic! Crazy!

I caught up to Dana Snyder - Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force - in artist alley. He shouted right as the camera took the picture. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.

I'll never get tires of seeing Chairface Chippendale costumes.

I love that this is an issue specific Mr. Fantastic. The costume (and the beard) are from the Hickman run on the book.

Someone dressed up as the Comedy Bang! Bang! mascot! We even exchanged show quotes.

Shameful fact about your old pal Jeff: I've never watched The Sopranos. I know that I should fix this and I plan to one day. Here I am with Matt Servitto, who I knew because I was an extra a few times on the show "Banshee", where he plays a small town sheriff, and I remember seeing him there. We talked a little bit about the show and Pittsburgh in general. He's probably best known for his role on Sopranos, which I found out soon after.

This whole family was dressed in their Starfleet uniforms.

Interestingly enough, Run DMC had a table in artist alley.

Samurai Vader.

I was walking past the Stan Lee Collectibles booth, and I thought to myself, "Oh, I wonder if Stan Lee ever comes here". I then thought that was a stupid idea, because what would he do there? Sell merchandise? Then I looked to my right and I saw Stan Lee. It was at this time that everyone else in a 30-foot radius also noticed him, and chaos ensued. A huge crowd gathered and he left soon after. Here's a picture of a guy getting a picture of himself near Stan Lee.

And here's Stan Lee, pretending not to notice the masses gathering around him. Everyone was very excited, but thankfully no fathers of modern comics were trampled.

And here's the last group shot of the show, near closing time. Lookit all of these '90s-era X-Men! I think I see Marrow in the back. That Bishop is rockin' it pretty hard.