With Further Ado #60: On Target with Green Arrow

With Further Ado #60: On Target with Green Arrow

I was excited to read the announcement that DC is creating another oversize book to challenge the stamina of bookcases everywhere. The Green Arrow by Mike Grell Omnibus Volume #1 will be published next year. This collects a series that was a real favorite of mine.

It was the late ’80s, which somehow quickly turned into the early ’90s, and this series was such a breath of fresh air. The ever-brilliant Mike Gold (You are most certainly reading his columns here on Pop Culture Squad) was the editor who famously teased writer/artist Mike Grell with a pitch consisting of two words: “Urban Hunter”.  Gold knew that a more modern approach to the character would appeal to Grell.  For many years, the Green Arrow had been strange sort of a hero that mixed the best parts of Batman with Robin Hood. But those silly days were long gone.  Grell signed onboard, intrigued by Mike Gold’s vision, and the rest is history.

This series started with Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, a mini-series with story and art by Grell.   Fans barely had time to catch their collective breath when Oliver (Green Arrow) Queen’s story continued in the regular comic. Mike Grell was still the writer, and supplied many memorable covers, but the art chores were initially handled by Ed HanniganDick Giordano and Frank McLaughlin impressively inked it. Continue reading “With Further Ado #60: On Target with Green Arrow”

With Further Ado #059: Isaac Bidwell of Pickled Punks

With Further Ado #059: Isaac Bidwell of Pickled Punks

One of the coolest Finger Lakes entrepreneurs I’ve gotten to know is Isaac Bidwell.  Sometimes he refers to himself as an artist, but he’s really so much more. He’s created a company, Pickled Punks, that evokes a bygone era of Halloween and spookiness, all with a charm and panache that forces you to exclaim, “More, please!”

The official listing for Pickled Punks talks about how this innovative company creates artwork, plush toys, coloring books and apparel based on Cryptozoology, Sideshow, Spook Show and Halloween. They sell online, but also travel around the county doing various events from craft shows to horror festivals, committed to educating people (young and old alike) to the wonders, mysteries and folklore of the past. 

I caught up with this busy guy and had a lot of questions for him!  Continue reading “With Further Ado #059: Isaac Bidwell of Pickled Punks”

With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery

With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery

Back in the day, when we had no idea that the Star Trek mythology would become so expansive, there was always a hint of untold stories about the folks on the Enterprise before Uhura, Scotty and the gang.   We were briefly introduced to Captain Kirk’s predecessor, Captain Pike, and shown the tragic ending to his career.  Little fanboys watching the show via 70s reruns (like me) couldn’t help but wonder what adventures that guy had in the earlier part of his career.

Over the years, I read a few paperback books focusing on Captain Pike. Marvel published a series called Early Voyages (that didn’t really do it for me) and more recently John Byrne took a crack at it again at IDW.

With all that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised by IDW’s new series Star Trek: Discovery – Aftermath. This series spins out of the recent Star Trek Discovery mythology.  As is the case for many longtime fans, this new reboot seemed to have so many troublesome issues for me that I’ve kind of drifted away from it.  Oh, I’m not shaking my fists with fan rage. Like a party that isn’t that great, or meant for me, I found myself slinking out the back door when no one was looking.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery”

With Further Ado #057: The Rockwell Museum Hosts Art Spiegelman

With Further Ado #057: The Rockwell Museum Hosts Art Spiegelman

Living outside of New York City for years and years spoiled me. I was able to see and meet so many “big-names” in various industries. Entrepreneurs, authors, actors and especially big-name creatives from the world of pop culture. That time with Tom Hanks was my wife’s favorite, I think. 

On the other hand, I have been able to drag a few icons from comics to my new home, the Finger Lakes: Neal Adams, Walter Simonson, Louise Simonson and Mark Waid. That’s all been a lot of fun.  But still…the opportunities to speak with and spend time with creative professionals is less frequent.

That’s why it’s so exciting that The Rockwell Museum in Corning, N.Y. is hosting an evening with Art Spiegelman.  The Pulitzer Prize-winning Artist/Illustrator will be discussing his graphic novels Maus and Maus II and their place in global discussions, as the culminating part of the Rockwell’s year of Questioning Identity.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #057: The Rockwell Museum Hosts Art Spiegelman”

With Further Ado #056: Catching up with Michael Uslan

With Further Ado #056: Catching up with Michael Uslan

I caught part of a televised discussion on whether success more likely comes from either (a) an intense focus on one specialization or (b) living a life full of many experiences, and then specializing.  After talking with Michael Uslan, it seems that filling one’s life up with many experiences, all of which are pretty cool, might be the way to go. 

You may know Michael Uslan as the guy behind Batman at the movies. Perhaps he was your university professor years ago for that ground-breaking course on comics.  Or maybe you know him as that guy who loves The Shadow comics and wrote a few in the 70s for DC and again more recently for Dynamite. Did you first cross paths with him in New Jersey, as the local boy who put on that Montclair Museum show focusing on comics a few years ago? You might remember he wrote that brilliant Batman Elseworlds graphic novel, Detective No. 27. Or maybe you remember him as the guy who came up with the creative “Archie gets married” idea a few years ago.    Continue reading “With Further Ado #056: Catching up with Michael Uslan”

With Further Ado #055: So Bad It’s Good

With Further Ado #055: So Bad It’s Good

Every other Tuesday, I’ve been hosting the Screams & Screens movie series locally at Auburn Public Theater. We celebrate B-movies that are so bad they’re good. To be fair, some of the movies we show really are good, or actually have a few good parts to them.

We’re wrapping up our summer season with The Giant Claw. It’s a curious movie that epitomizes the whole “so bad it’s good” charm of these flicks.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #055: So Bad It’s Good”

With Further Ado #054: Summer Reading

I am worried that at this point in my life, the notion of leisurely reading on a summer day is more myth than reality. I still read a lot (too much?), but I don’t really seem to have those lazy-lay-about-days any more.  Still – summer’s in that home stretch, and I’m always optimistic.  Let’s not give up! And here’s a few new reading ideas for all of us:  Continue reading “With Further Ado #054: Summer Reading”

With Further Ado #053: Entrepreneuring at SDCC 2019

With Further Ado #053: Entrepreneuring at SDCC 2019

The 50th annual San Diego Comic-Con was filled with creativity, passion and innovation. But it always seems to be. You can see it in everything from the cosplay (see the post from Tuesday) to the big corporate announcements about the next phase of the Marvel movies.

But I’d like to take a moment and focus on just a few of the creative entrepreneurs who find their own path in nerd culture. They don’t participate in the usual distribution channels, instead relying on the entrepreneurial power of exhibition, kickstarters and trail-blazing in general. And they were in full force at SDCC.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #053: Entrepreneuring at SDCC 2019”

SDCC 2019 Cosplay

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With Further Ado #052: A Conversation with Mark Waid

With Further Ado #052: A Conversation with Mark Waid

San Diego Comic-Con was full of big ideas, creative thinkers, celebrations of fandoms and a heathy respect (and awe) for the comics industry and those that have come before us.  Mark Waid embodies all those things. At the convention, he was busy speaking on panels, meeting fans, promoting the new innovative line of comics from Humaniods and trying to get his hands on that Rainbow Batman exclusive toy from Mattel.

(But then again, weren’t we all?)

But just before SDCC, I had a chance to interview Mark. He was the Keynote speaker at a small convention in the Finger Lakes.  He had a lot to say and speaking to him was a blast.  Enjoy this video, and you can almost relive last weekend’s 50th San Diego Comic-Con…but without those long lines!