Tom King Gave Away Comics to Furloughed Federal Workers!

Tom King Gave Away Comics to Furloughed Federal Workers!

I think it is stupid. I write comics about superheroes, and no superhero would be doing what the President is doing.

Tom King

The United States federal government is still in the midst of a partial shutdown. Over 800,000 federal employees, across multiple agencies and departments, are in some state of either on furlough or being required to work without pay. Today, Tom King, comic writer and former federal employee, tried to bring a little bit of happiness to some of the people affected.

At Third Eye Comics in Annapolis. MD, an in-store signing was quickly set up this week, and as emails and social media posts went out, the word spread that Tom King, current writer of Batman by DC Comics, would be signing comics today, Saturday, January 19th. In addition to signing whatever amount of comics that people brought, King announced that he would be giving away comics books from his own collection to anyone with a federal ID badge. At midday on Wednesday, January 16, the first Facebook post came out about this event. After all the tweets, retweets, facebook shares, and emails, the event was a rousing success with hundreds of people attending and at least three news organizations to cover it.

Steve from Third Eye Comics told us. “This was all Tom. He called us and said, ‘I want to come out and do something.’ We have a lot of customers and employees who are affected by this shutdown, and so we were all for it.”

Continue reading “Tom King Gave Away Comics to Furloughed Federal Workers!”

With Further Ado #023: Winged Passion – Tim Board’s Hawkworld

With Further Ado #023: Winged Passion – Tim Board’s Hawkworld

There are a few select long-lived comic characters who always seem to bring out the very best in creators. Marvel’s Daredevil comes to mind. One can easily list a “Who’s who” of top comic creators and realize they all brought their A-game their time on the series.  Just off the top of my head, I think of talented folks like Wood, Colan, Miller, Nord, Bendis, Waid, Isabella, Rivera, Samnee and Soule and wistfully remember each of their stints on the title.

Hawkman is another character with that same pedigree.  Originally created during the 40s, during the Silver Age when two legendary artists, Joe Kubert and Murphy Anderson each left an indelible stamp of creative excellence during their runs on the series.  Top creators followed in their impressive footsteps, providing memorable work – each arguably at the top of their game – Truman, Gold, Ostrander, Nolan, Morales, Sook, Palmiotti, Isabella (there he is again!), Grey, Chaykin, Simonson…. the list goes on and on.

So, it’s not surprising that Hawkman has inspired great passion among comic fans. It’s always amazing how certain fans carry the torch and pass along their personal passion to other fans.  Sometimes they almost act as an official marketing department.  That’s why I wanted to catch up with one Hawkman fan named Tim Board, who rules the roost of…

…Hawkworld Continue reading “With Further Ado #023: Winged Passion – Tim Board’s Hawkworld”

GrimJack Convention Panel Audio at Baltimore Comic Con 2018

GrimJack Convention Panel Audio at Baltimore Comic Con 2018

Hello there. In the interest of making sure you have something to do this weekend. We are bringing you an audio recording of the GrimJack Panel from Baltimore Comic-Con in September 2018. It is moderated by our own Mike Gold, and is starring the creators of the wonderful GrimJack, PCS’s John Ostrander and Timothy Truman. Former First Comics Art Director and comic legend Joe Staton also makes a guest appearance.  The audio recording tracks the panel discussion from the origins of the character and lets the creators share some of their fond memories of John Gaunt.

 

 

 

With Further Ado #022: The Bat and the Matt: Batbooks and the Holiday

With Further Ado #022: The Bat and the Matt: Batbooks and the Holiday

On several Christmases, Santa gifted me a plethora of Batman toys. My favorite Bat-gifts? Well, I especially loved the Trans-o-gram Batmobile.  My dad and I even built a cardboard Batcave for it!  (#BestDadEver) I always yearned for the Batman Captain Action set, but Santa could never find one. My (wonderful) mother ended up sewing one for me. (#BestMomEver) And I am pretty sure I looked quite dashing pedaling during rush hour in the living room, riding the Marx Batmobile.

(By the way, the commercial for that one is classic. Check it out here!)

After a few more Christmases, I still like Batman but I’d graduate from toys to books. The quintessential Bat-book for me is still Batman from the 30s to the 70s, a collection of stories wrapped up in that gorgeous Infantino & Anderson dustjacket.  But many subsequent Batbooks would follow on many subsequent Christmases. And now I really love giving Bat-books too. It’s never too early for brainwashing, after all.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #022: The Bat and the Matt: Batbooks and the Holiday”

With Further Ado #020: Were the 90s the Best Decade EverrrrRRRR?

With Further Ado #020: Were the 90s the Best Decade EverrrrRRRR?

I used to joke that I didn’t need to participate in all that 80s nostalgia because I was there the first time. And it seems like it never went away. Upon reflection, I think I’ve heard that old Violent Femmes song Blister in the Sun more in the past year than I did in 1983.

The 90s are a whole different kettle of fish. I was kinda busy then and love to look back on that decade. So I’m grateful that TwoMorrows has just published the 1990s edition of the long-running series: The American Comic Book Chronicles. Each volume has been fantastic and this one looks to carry on that standard of excellence.

And of course, this week “With Further Ado” is all about Yuletide Gift. I thought this would be another good book to recommend. I caught up with writer Jason Sacks just to make sure. Spoiler alert: he confirmed my suspicions…it’s a fantastic book for gifting. Here’s what he had to say:  Continue reading “With Further Ado #020: Were the 90s the Best Decade EverrrrRRRR?”

With Further Ado #015: Cat Scratch Fever

With Further Ado #015: Cat Scratch Fever

A Conversation with Stuart Moore

AHOY Comics has burst onto the scene and is quickly becoming known as the comic company that’s a welcome breath of fresh air. And comic shops are increasing their orders for AHOY titles, so they must be doing something right. I caught up with Stuart Moore, who’s an integral part of the AHOY team to learn more.

ED CATTO: How’d you ever get involved with AHOY Comics? Given the initial critical support and comic shop reordering, what’s it been like?

STUART MOORE: Well, I got involved because Tom Peyer called me up. Initially he asked if I would edit his titles, High Heaven and Wrong Earth. The company evolved a bit differently, with each of us basically editing our own titles and providing backup for each other as needed. Tom is editor-in-chief, and he’s also editor of all the books that AREN’T written by him or me.

When we lost a crucial member of the initial team—Sven Larsen, who’s currently doing great things at Marvel—I stepped into the Publishing Ops position on a freelance basis. Wrong Earth has been quite a hit—AHOY has just gone to a second printing on issue #2—so we’ve all been scrambling to deal with success. Which is nerve-wracking, but a hell of a lot better than scrambling to deal with failure.

EC: What do you think is the secret sauce for a new comic company to thrive, or just survive, in today’s difficult publishing landscape?

SM:  I think every new company has to find its own way, its own voice. For AHOY, it’s a combination of engaging lead stories and a wealth of backup features—giving the reader as much value as possible for their $3.99. Tom is also very determined that every book have elements of humor to it.

This is just my guess, but I suspect AHOY is appealing somewhat to lapsed comic readers—without pandering overtly to nostalgia or fanboy trivia. If you have fond memories of the early Vertigo titles or of 1963 (the comic, not the year), you’ll probably want to check out these books. Whatever we’re doing, it seems to be working so far.

Also, of course, we’re hoping to attract cat fans.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #015: Cat Scratch Fever”

With Further Ado #014: Writer or Entrepreneur?  A conversation with Ron Marz

With Further Ado #014: Writer or Entrepreneur? A conversation with Ron Marz

Ron Marz is a creator who has been around the block a time or two.  He’s worked on so many favorites (Silver Surfer, The Shadow, Green Lantern and more) for so many publishers (CrossGen, Valiant, Dynamite, Marvel, DC and more). With that in mind, it’s fascinating to me to see how he pivots and keeps not only his writing fresh but also his entrepreneurial freelance mojo fresh too. 

I enjoyed his latest graphic novel, Beasts of the Black Hand from Ominous Press. It’s a great read, but I’m equally intrigued by the format and Marz’s go-to-market strategy.  Despite his hectic schedule, I was able to catch up with Ron to learn more.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #014: Writer or Entrepreneur? A conversation with Ron Marz”

Spotlight Interview: Talking Web Comics and the Red Hook with Dean Haspiel

Spotlight Interview: Talking Web Comics and the Red Hook with Dean Haspiel

At Baltimore Comic-Con this year, we were able to catch up with comic artist and writer Dean Haspiel. Dean, a New York City native,  grew up in the comic industry working with luminaries such as Howard Chaykin and Harvey Pekar. He has produced award winning work in both television and web comic media. He is know for works such as Billy Dogma, The Quitter, American Splendor, Beef with Tomato, Bored to Death, The Alcoholic, The Fox, and his current epic saga, The Red Hook.

The Red Hook is a webcomic that was original released on the LINE WEBTOON platform and won the 2017 inaugural Ringo Award for Best Webcomic. It was released this year in a collected print format by Image Comics.

The second season of the Red Hook was released as War Cry, also on LINE WEBTOON in 2018. It was also nominated for a Ringo Award.  The third season titled StarCross is expected to be released early 2019.


Webcomics: You can’t avoid it. You can’t deny it. Start to embrace it!

PopCultureSquad: Hi Dean. Thanks for doing this. Let’s start with, “When are we going to get to see StarCross, the third volume of the Red Hook saga?”

Dean Haspiel: The initial date that we decided on was Valentine’s Day 2019. It is a very ambitious project for me. Ideally, I would like to have about sixteen chapters in the can before we launch. I hope to have that done by mid-February. If not, then we may push it until March or April, and then it will run for about five and a half months consecutively.

PCS: There are times when things get announced on LINE WEBTOON as “Coming Soon”, and then it takes quite awhile before we get to see them. Continue reading “Spotlight Interview: Talking Web Comics and the Red Hook with Dean Haspiel”

Spotlight Interview: Don McGregor

Spotlight Interview: Don McGregor

A few weeks ago, Ed Catto sat down with Don McGregor for a lengthy chat

 

Continued After the Next Page #004: When Thor Rode the Bus

Continued After the Next Page #004: When Thor Rode the Bus

Comic books today are made in vastly different ways than the were in years past. Scripts are emailed; pencils are done on tablets and then emailed or shared again across the internet; colors and letters are handled digitally. Of course, I am generalizing, but the point is that, in the world we live in, the creators of comic books have evolved to take advantage of the technology available to them. In this column, I want to remind us of the interesting events that surrounded the physical creation of the comics we read in the past.

I had the great opportunity to meet legendary artist/writer/letterer John Workman at a convention last year. He shared an amazing story with me, and recently we spoke again about it and many other comic and non-comic topics. In the coming weeks, here on Pop Culture Squad, I will be sharing the interview as a whole, but today, I would like to share with you a few humorous and fascinating stories related to the methods that John employed in getting the art, words, and color on the Bristol board pages that made the comics of old.

John Workman has been a frequent collaborator with the great Walter Simonson throughout the years. John was the letterer on the entirety of Walt’s remarkable run on Thor in the 80’s (1983-1987). They are still working together on the creator-owned Ragnarok, for which John is nominated for both Eisner and Ringo Awards this year. I asked John to recount the tale of how he and Walt would pass the comic pages back and forth back in the day:

Thor Rode the Bus Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #004: When Thor Rode the Bus”