Archive for ‘Blatant self-promotion’

August 16, 2017

A meal fit for The King!

And not The King most people in Memphis think of, either … but the one and only Jack “King” Kirby!

2017 marks the centennial of Jack Kirby’s birth, and I’ve been working on projects to celebrate that anniversary. Some are coming along better than others, but one that is complete is my contribution to Crosstown Arts“Potluck” exhibition, on display during the grand opening of Crosstown Concourse.

This piece, which is a tribute to Kirby’s character and machinery designs (and his co-creation, Galactus), was a good challenge that stretched my creative muscles a little. It’s been quite a while since I worked in 3D, and in the process I used materials and tools that were new to me. I’m happy to say that it turned out pretty much how I envisioned it– if not better! Come see it (along with 80 other artist-created place settings) this Saturday!

And look for other upcoming Kirby-celebratory pieces from me, both online (like this) and in print…

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July 20, 2017

Hot off the press: Zines! Zines! Zines!

This week I’ve been lucky enough to assist at Crosstown Arts‘s Youth Zine Workshop led by Erica Qualy and Mary Jo Karimnia. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a teaching situation, and it’s been an instructive week for me as well as for the young zinesters. It’s always a joy to see that spark of connection when young people really “get” creation as its own reward, not just fulfilling the requirements of an assignment– when it’s the start of a way of life, not just homework! As they’ve been finishing up their zines for this Friday’s Memphis Zine Fest, I’ve been finishing up some new minicomics of my own to debut at the event…

Three new issues of Smeary Soapbox Press-ents, featuring a mix of old, reworked, and new “Bad Joke Funnies”! BJF was a series of minicomics I made when I first starting trying the 8-page minicomic format nearly 30 years ago, and it was fun to revisit them. Stop in to say “hi” at the zine fest and pick up copies for yourself… plus bring some extra dollars for work by students, participants in the recent Adult Zine Workshop, and other Memphis zinesters!

Can’t make it? You can also get copies from me by mail, postpaid for just $1.00 each from the address in the footer of this page.

May 17, 2017

Hot off the press: Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #11!

Last issue’s “Pocket Gallery” was so much fun that I thought I’d do another … who could have figured it would take me this long to finish it, though? Certainly not me!!

This issue, as you might guess from the cover, is another “art” mini, collecting images old and new: some of the same inked abstractions as were featured in Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #10, along with a spread from my sketchbook and two recent pencil drawings.

Interested? You can get your very own copy from me by mail, postpaid for just $1.00 from the address in the footer of this page.

February 27, 2017

I’m now also on Patreon!

Hi! I just wanted to share the news that I’ve finished one of my 2017 goals, and have launched my Patreon account. I could go on about it here, but the best thing to do is just show it to you; click here to see more. I hope you’ll consider my work worth patronizing.

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December 7, 2016

Hot off the press: Festive Funnies!

Festive Funnies No. 1 cover art by Dale MartinInspired by my parent’s traditional Christmas letter, in 1985 I began a holiday tradition of my own, creating original holiday pieces to share with my friends and family. Sometimes these have been woodcuts or poems or die cut cards … but my favorite pieces (not surprisingly) have been comics!

For most of the past decade, these pieces have centered around Watusi the talking dog and his supporting cast from my weekly adventure strip (new each Wednesday at www.watusithetalkingdog.com), often tying into the storyline then running in it:

  • “Watusi’s White Christmas” (2003) was originally published as a minicomic.
  • “Wrapping up Christmas” (2008) came with a customized gift tag as part of its cover.
  • “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (2006) was the first solo Professor Harvey and Mitchell comic.
  • “The Green Line” (2005) had a hand-stencilled cover. It’s been fully colored for this collection. (And I laughed when I read it, in spite of myself)

Hapless hot dog vendor “Flamin’ Frank” (1999) was a character I used frequently before Watusi came along. Sadly, much of what would have been his supporting cast has been co-oped by Watusi, too! The original version of this comic came singed as my way of wishing readers “all the warmth of this holiday season.”

Likely my favorite holiday comic– certainly the most elaborate– is 2000’s “Three Wise Men”. Adapting my favorite part of the Nativity story, I did research into King Herod and the historical period, gaining new respect for the Magi in the process. Kings in their own right, they were crossing into the kingdom of a ruler beset with illness (Jewish historian Josephus described him as “suffering from uncontrollable itching, coughing, fever and worms”), haunted by the spirits of the wife and children he’d already murdered, and allied with the powerful Roman Empire. These men put their own lives on the line, all to pay homage to a newborn baby. It certainly gave me a new sense of their bravery and what a powerful effect that star had for them.

I hope you enjoy these comics with my best wishes for the season; they’re available in two formats:

  • A .pdf version is available in my online store for $2.00.
  • A print edition is available for $3.00 postpaid in the US (see address in footer of this page).

But, for those of you who read to the end of this post, you can get a .pdf copy for FREE! As 2016 winds down, I’m conducting a survey to better understand my readers, their reading habits and interests, and their thoughts on my comic. I hope you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts (survey starts here); complete the survey before the end of the year, and you get a code for a FREE copy of Festive Funnies. Thanks for your help!

November 8, 2016

Hot off the press: Smeary Soapbox Press-ents 100-Page Inventory Closeout Super Spectacular

ssp100pageI’m gearing up for my appearance this weekend at Wichita’s Air Capital Comiccon and I’ll be bringing a new comic (in addition to my “Watusi and the Emerald Serpent” roadshow) along with me. Well, maybe “new” isn’t quite the right word; here’s the story behind it…

The Smeary Soapbox Press-ents 100-Page Inventory Closeout Super Spectacular is my way of thinning out my backstock in a way that also pays homage to DC’s 100 Page Super Spectaculars of the early 1970s. Assembled from extra copies of my one-shot comics, each copy has its own unique mix of content (although I did make sure they each contained the characters mentioned on the cover: Watusi, Flamin’ Frank, FooF!, Professor Harvey, and the Guy with a Hammer!), as well as an original convention sketch. Given that nature of this collection, the material included varies, ranging from just a few years ago back to my earliest days as a self-publisher in the 1980s! The mix could include a sampling of my earliest superhero parody comics, a smattering of the annual holiday comics I’ve made since 1985, one-off comic “singles”, and/or comics featuring Watusi and his costars. The drawings may be rough, the stories may be silly, and they may even take me down a path I ultimately decided not to follow. But many of these comics are work I’m still proud of, if for no other reason than they led me to become the creator I am today.

I had fun “curating” the material that went into these copies, and I think my binding comes pretty close to capturing the feel of those great old 100-pagers. Check it out if you’re able to make it to the Air Capital Comiccon– I hope to see you there! But if you can’t make it, here’s a selection of some of the better sketches that ended up in the copies…

September 30, 2016

Hot off the press: Watusi and the Emerald Serpent!

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Well, maybe more “warm out of the oven,” since I’ve taken this collection to my last two events (with two more on the horizon: the Memphis Comic Expo, Oct. 22-23 and Wichita’s Air Capital Comiccon, Nov. 12-13) . But with the print copies now in hand, and my shipping costs figured out, I’m happy to share these comics with those of you who aren’t able to catch me at one of my appearances!

Watusi and the Emerald Serpent is the story of an ordinary talking dog thrown out of his comfort zone into a crime-ridden island paradise! Watusi finds himself pitted against an outlaw gang and its lunatic leader in his most epic adventure yet! Inspired by the Kenneth Robeson Doc Savage novels and Floyd Gottfredson’s “Mickey Mouse” strips, this story may be my favorite project so far. Certainly my favorite Watusi story.

As I wrote a couple of months ago, I’ve been working on a print edition of this story, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. This print edition has been edited and expanded from the story as it was first published online (46 of its 84 pages have new &/or updated content), and I think the changes help the story flow much better. And look better, too! In addition to interior art improvements, I’m also really happy with the full-color covers– I think it’s my best color work to date– and the full-color guest art from JB Winter, Billy McKay, Mike Sullivan, and Tom Cherry really rounds out the package in a classy way. As you can tell, I’m trying hard not to overdo the hyperbole, but I’m really proud of these comics, and hope everyone who reads these issues enjoys them as much as I did making them!

You can order all seven 16-page issues (b&w interiors with full-color covers) as a set from my online store & have them delivered right to your mailbox.

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May 4, 2016

Free Comic Book Day 2016 preview

FCBD2016Free Comic Book Day is coming up this Saturday, and I’m happy to be able to say that I’ll be participating again this year!

Thanks to the networking magic of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association, I’ll be joining MSCA members at Comic Cellar (thanks, Jason!) starting at 10 in the morning to spread the news about our individual comic projects. It will be my first comic-related appearance since I’ve moved to Memphis, and I’m excited to meet some of the comic readers around the area. If you’re out and about, stop in for some free comics (I’m especially interested in those featuring Mooncop, the Phantom (Jim Aparo! Don Newton!), ROM (yes, ROM!) and Spongebob), say hi, and maybe even get a sketch…

Any day is a great day to read comics, but Free Comic Book Day is an especially good one; I hope you’re able to take advantage of it!

March 30, 2016

Hot off the press: Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #10!

SSPress10frontcover

This all-new issue of Smeary Soapbox Press-ents came about following a conversation with D. Blake Werts (of Copy This! renown). I remarked how I was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of affection in his zine over the passing of Tim Corrigan, given how Blake seemed to be coming from the obscuro/dada/newave scene rather than the story-oriented approach that Tim practiced (and I favor). It was an eye-opening conversation for me, and got me to look at art-oriented minis in a whole new way.

It also got me thinking … thinking that I’d never really done an “art” mini! And that it was time to change that. Back in 2002-3 (before my Watusi comics got traction and pulled my attention in that direction), I did a series of abstractions that I planned to publish as a digest for a gallery show of the drawings. While the book never came about, I did exhibit (and sell) a number of those drawings. I’ve recently been revisiting them as I prepare material for an upcoming show, and they’re drawings I’m still really proud of, even cropped for minicomic proportions as they are here.

I’ve got a couple of distribution schemes in the works for this one. For now, you can pick up a FREE copy at tomorrow’s “Planet Nine: Displacement” closing karaoke party (while they last) at Marshall Arts. You can also get a copy from me by mail, postpaid for just $1.00 from the address in the footer of this page.

December 2, 2015

From the Back Issue Bin: “Continuity and Vine”

Starting in 2001 I wrote and drew a comic strip for The Tornado, a local (Lawrence, KS) weekly. “Continuity and Vine” was my chance to snark about pop culture, art, history, and whatever else caught my fancy. Including comics about comics:

CandVCliche

Unfortunately, six months into the strip’s run the Twin Towers were destroyed and cartooning about movie marketing schemes and celebrity misadventures didn’t seem so important any more. Over the next year, the strip veered into overtly political territory and was getting darker in tone than I enjoyed. Also during that time a number of things happened to lead me to end the strip: The Tornado folded, posting strips on my website at the time wasn’t very satisfying for me, I wasn’t able to find a syndicate interested in the strip, and Watusi jams were keeping me busier (and making me happier) than “C&V” was. The final nail in the “Continuity and Vine” coffin, though, happened when someone at a show said he was glad to read my comics … so he’d know what to think about the news! I certainly wasn’t writing these strips to become some sort of political guru!

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