Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose..."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Connecticut ComiCONN 2014 - Part III: Art and Celebrities!

Here is just a quick collection of some of the celebrities we saw, as well as a few of the great artists we saw and some of the art we picked up, and an extra random photo or two.

(The central area was packed with vendors, artists, vehicles, cosplayers, and celebrities.)

(Nicholas Brendan and the author.)

(Maximiliano Hernandez from Captain America: Winter Soldier.)

(Art by Modhero.)

(Art and book by Casey Caracciolo.)

 (A few signed prints by the great Neal Adams - the Green Lantern/Green Arrow on the right is also signed by Denny O'Neil, who wrote that issue.)

(Signed print by Bob Layton, the quintessential Iron Man artist.)

(Some of the great Billy Tucci's work (Creator of "Shi"). I've been wanting to pick up this Cap print for a couple of years now. And of course, since it was such a deal, we threw in the Bat and the Cat.)

(Art by Frank McLaughlin.)

(Frank McLaughlin.)

(Franco, artist of Tiny Titans, among others.)

(Jerry Ordway with a great Captain America he drew for us)

(Art by Jerry Ordway)

(Art by Ordway)

(Jerry Ordway)

(Frank McLaughlin and Jerry Ordway)

(William Katt, The Greatest American Hero, as well as my wife, and me)

(Ready to head out in my new truck. Ever since Cap shut down SHIELD, the stuff has been really cheap.)

(All Photos by Fashion and Action)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Connecticut ComiCONN 2014 - Part II: Panels!

     One of my favorite parts of any comic book convention is always the Panels. Here, we often get to see the top writers/artists/editors in their respective crafts share real experiences, ideas, and sometimes, new stuff in the Nerd Kingdom.

     I believe this is the first year that Connecticut ComiCONN had any panels, but these were some of the best panels I have been to in my many years of comic con panel-hopping.

     The first panel we attended was the Charlton Comics Panel (yes I am a geek about geekdom, and love the old stories about this "great" business). Charlton was a comic book company that was based right here in Connecticut, over in Derby.

      The panel consisted of Paul Kupperberg, who is the guy doing all those wild and amazing things you've been hearing about over at Archie Comics; illustration GOD Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez; Frank McLaughlin, creator of Judo Master; the great Iron Man artist among other things, Bob Layton; and my hero, comic book writer, editor, and general sequential art sifu Dennis O'Neil.

      Silver Age comic book history as told by the men who were there. Tales of cheap editors, dirty deals, and a bunch of guys completely without adult supervision, free to create and develop great characters that are still around to this day. One of those characters happens to be one of my favorite characters of all time, the Question, created by the great Steve Ditko and revisited by Denny in the 80s.

(From left to right: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank McLaughlin, Paul Kupperberg, Dennis O'Neil, and Bob Layton)

I finally got to attend one of Arlen Schumer's Panels -- This one was calleed"Art and Comic Book Art," and yes, this man is one heck of a public speaker and he knows art and comic books like nobody else. He entertained and he enthralled as he shared his knowledge and ideas about the various connections between fine are at the greatest comic book art -- and there are many. When the revised edition of his book, the Silver Age of Comic Book Art, comes out, I'll be raving about it.

Moments before Arlen Schumer testified about art and comics. None walked away unchanged.

Then, I got to see Dennis O'Neil and Danny Fingeroth deliver a "
writing for comics" panel -- not a lot of new territory, but listening to masters speak is always a thrill. Many years ago, I took just such a class from Denny at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Danny was the editor of the entire Spider-Man group back in the 80s, which for Spidey fans was an "amazing" time for the character. The term "Amazing Eighties" was not my coinage. It's out there.

      (Denny O'Neil and Danny Fingeroth)           

     Denny O'Neill and I have history. The man, together with Neal Adams, changed my life and outlook on everything at the ripe old age of eight years old when I read the "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" series. It was at that moment I became an anarchist, and that made all the difference. Mix that with Captain America and you get a PATRIOTIC anarchist, so there.
      Anyway I grew up and years later took a class with this maker of heroes, where he got to know me as that pain in the ass who never shut up (ask Mark Mazz over at Atlas Unleashed). Now, years later, it was great seeing him again.
      Of course, most of my writing involves little more than arguing with people on the internet about the nature and function of government in a free society, but hey, the structure of a good argument isn't that different from the structure of a good story, and I learned that from a true master of the art.

Denny and me. Can I be your sidekick?

Next: Art and Celebrities!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Connecticut ComiCONN 2014 - Cosplay Edition!

     Over the weekend of August 15-17, I went to the Connecticut ComiCONN, which was held at the Webster Arena in Bridgeport, CT. What started as a relatively small con a few years ago has grown into what I would call a great con. Big enough to draw great cosplay, comic book talent, and some celebrities from geekdom, yet small enough to have that intimate feeling that reminded me of the "good old days." Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those nerds who laments the fact that all his little darlings are now mainstream. I LOVE seeing the Captain America shield being worn at the guy in line with me at the bank, I love the young lady with the big S on her chest at the supermarket.

All that being said, the big cons like NYCC are almost TOO crazy and too packed, and well...NOT ENOUGH COMICS, at least as a percentage. This one is beautiful, almost exclusively comic book and comic book related subject matter.

Without further ado, here are some photos taken by my wife over at Fashion and Action blog:

My favorite, this gorgeous vintage Captain America genderswap, done by Jaycee Cosplay

Celebrity cosplayer ECHOEndless as Wonder Woman. Look at the detail on that costume.

ECHOEndless as She-Hulk and her friend as Medusa, both from the Fantastic Four versions of the characters.

Here is ECHOEndless as Tarantula, some Carnage dude, and the author.

A sweet classic Green Arrow

...and of course, a more updated, Arrow version of the character.

A fun Ghost Rider.

 This guy was more than meets the eye.

 A heavily armored Batman


 I see "V" people.

Another favorite, an absolutely stunning Zatanna

A whole group doing Guardians of the Galaxy!

Two lovely Zombie Disney Princesses

 I am loving the growing number of Lady Lokis I have been seeing.

Definitely one of the best Ultron cosplays I have seen.

   That was all we got pics of, in that we were really there to shop and meet writers and artists. Next up, the Panels!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Great Freemasons: Albert T. Reid (August 12, 1872 - November 26, 1958)

Albert T. Reid (August 12, 1872 - November 26, 1958)
Cartoonist: Born: August 12, 1873, Concordia, Kansas. Died: November 26, 1958, New York City.
On September 11, 1896, Albert Turner Reid sold his first political cartoon to the Topeka Mail and Breeze. A Cloud County native, Reid longed to pursue an artistic career. After this first cartoon, his work began to appear regularly in the Kansas City Journal, Kansas City Star, Chicago Record, and the New York Herald as well as several national magazines including the Saturday Evening Post.

(32° AASR (SJ))

Photograph of Albert T. Reid at his easel

"The Mail Must Go Through"
Oil on canvas - removed from post office and moved to Olathe City Library.

Here are a couple of his political cartoons:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Love -- and Black Metal -- will keep us together...

Great Freemasons: Edmund Randolph (August 10, 1753 – September 12, 1813)

The general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils, to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy."
Edmund Randolph in describing the purpose of the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Edmund Jennings Randolph (August 10, 1753 – September 12, 1813) was an American attorney, the seventh Governor of Virginia, the second Secretary of State, and the first United States Attorney General.

"The Senate will be more likely to corrupt than the House of Representatives, and should therefore have less to do with money matters.

(Grandmaster of the Virginias)