Category: With Further Ado

With Further Ado #294: Robot Monster 3-D Comic

With Further Ado #294: Robot Monster 3-D Comic

One of the most fun things I do is host the Screams & Screens movie series at Auburn Public Theater. We celebrate old movie, with a real emphasis on 50s/60s/70s Science Fiction and Horror movies. You know, the type of thing that makes life worth living.

And don’t worry, we’re about to announce the new season. Keep an eye out on the Auburn Public Theater website!

Robot Monster is one of those movies that we really should include in our line-up. It’s schlocky, cheaply made and totally wonderful. And it was filmed in the Bronson Canyon area, which you’ve seen in dozens of movies and every time the Adam West and the Batmobile roared out of the Batcave.

My old pal Paul Castiglia is part of a new comics project focusing on this forgotten property. Only it’s never really been forgotten.

ROBOT MONSTER COMICS IN 3-D is truly an ‘alpha and omega’ project,” says editor and contributing writer, Paul Castiglia of ARCHIE’S WEIRD MYSTERIES fame. “It features both the first comics fiction scripted by noted teenage comic book historian, Carl Scheckel, and the participation of the film’s last surviving cast member, Gregory Moffett, among other points of fascination for pop culture fans everywhere.”

I’m excited for this one. Here’s their official Press Release: Continue reading “With Further Ado #294: Robot Monster 3-D Comic”

With Further Ado #294: Tripwire Explains that Crime Does Not Pay

With Further Ado #294: Tripwire Explains that Crime Does Not Pay

5 and ½ Questions with Tripwire’s Joel Meadows

Joel Meadows is always juggling the most interesting projects, so I’m elated that I was able to speak with him and ask him 5 and ½ Questions about the next issue of Tripwire Magazine.

Question #1
Ed Catto: Can you give us a little background on Tripwire?

Joel Meadows: Tripwire has existed as a print magazine covering the worlds of comics, film, TV and art since 1992 and online since 2015. We publish a print magazine three times a year, currently in a high production value of a 100-page format. We have garnered a lot of industry fans over the years:

“Tripwire is research done right celebrating and investigating the love of comic books.” – writer/ artist Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn, Jonah Hex, Pop Kill, Paper Films)

“Tripwire is a vibrant part of entertainment coverage – specifically comics and geek culture. Supporting them, we support ourselves.” – writer Alex Segura (Pete Fernandez book series)

“Tripwire is always well-researched and enthusiastic, by people who truly care about the importance of story. It’s analytical without losing heart.”–JH Williams III (artist, Echolands, Promethea, Batwoman)

” Tripwire has been for over three decades the touchstone of comic book culture in the U.K and one of the leading periodicals dedicated to this narrative art form. Incisive, smart and always relevant.” – Guillermo del Toro (Oscar winning director, The Shape of Water)

“Tripwire covers such a wide variety of topics in the world of news, entertainment and the arts, and covers them so well, that it’s pretty much become my go-to source for what’s going on in media. I know if Tripwire is covering a subject, it’s not only interesting, fun and informative, it’s also legit.” –Bill Sienkiewicz (legendary artist and illustrator)

Question #2:
EC: The current issue of Tripwire looks especially fun. What’s it all about?
Continue reading “With Further Ado #294: Tripwire Explains that Crime Does Not Pay”

With Further Ado # 292: The Prescience of Otto Binder

With Further Ado # 292: The Prescience of Otto Binder

I dropped by a comic shop in Elmira, NY with a clever name: Heroes Your Mom Threw Out. It’s run by a passionate retailer named Jared Aiosa. You might remember I talked about a signing event he hosted last year with Ed Brisson. This shop is packed full of treasures, and it’s just the type of place that Burgess Meredith would love to get locked into if the world ended (provided he doesn’t break his glasses).

Jared had just acquired some beat-up Silver Age comics, and they caught my eye as they hadn’t been filed yet. Jared sold them to me at bargain prices, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. They were more for reading rather than collecting.

But Superman #188 (July 1966) was a shocker. Wrapped in a glorious Curt Swan/George Klein cover is a story by Otto Binder that’s illustrated by Al Plastino (not my favorite Superman artist) that could have been written last week. It’s all about AI, fake news and the anxiety of elections! Continue reading “With Further Ado # 292: The Prescience of Otto Binder”

With Further Ado #291: From Convention to Comic Shop

With Further Ado #291: From Convention to Comic Shop

Conventions can be the perfect place for discovery. Here are three comics that I wouldn’t have stumbled across if not for first learning about them at conventions:

The Displaced
By Ed Brisson and Luca Casalanguida
Published by BOOM! Studios

After the recent ComicsPRO industry meeting, all the attendees traveled to various comic shops in the Pittsburgh area. The first stop was Pittsburgh Comics, owned and operated by Colin McMahon. Wow – what a fantastic store-it’s laid out well, upbeat and fun. Plus, it’s stuffed with so many treasures!

During this visit, Ed Brisson was on site signing and selling copies of his new comic, The Displaced. Brisson is an innovative writer and an industrious entrepreneur. I’ve been a big fan of his ever since I read his time traveling Comeback comic series. He always seems just as happy selling his books as he is creating them. I bought two issues of The Displaced #1 from him. Upon reflection, I wish I had bought his variant issue. He explained that sales from that comic fuels his signing tours.

The Displaced is a moody thriller with a disastrous event and then a creepy cover-up. It almost seems like it could be a modern-day version of one of the best The Twilight Zone episodes that never existed.

I had enjoyed Luca Casalanguida’s art on Scout’s Honor from AfterShock Comics a few years ago, and he’s only gotten better. (That one was written by David Pepose, and I’m eager for his new take on Space Ghost for Dynamite). Continue reading “With Further Ado #291: From Convention to Comic Shop”

With Further Ado #290: SXSW 2024 Reactions Part 2- Flatstock

With Further Ado #290: SXSW 2024 Reactions Part 2- Flatstock

It was my second time at that business/start-up/technology + music convention, SXSW. I’ve been describing this festival-convention to folks as San Diego Comic-Con without the comics.

During the second half of the show, they have a portion of their exhibit floor focused on the total creativity that is Flatstock 92. It’s a true event-within-an-event.

Here’s the official description:

Flatstock is an art exhibition of the world’s most influential and exceptional gig poster artists, featuring handmade, limited-edition posters from artists around the globe. The show features an incredible range of visual styles, techniques and colors for sale by the talented artists who created them.

I love these posters, but I focused my purchases on stickers from the artists rather than the posters per se.

As I joked last year, if “a picture tells a thousand words”, this column may become longer than War and Peace and Don Quixote. I’m going to let these amazing poster artists do the heavy lifting for the rest of this With Further Ado column. Continue reading “With Further Ado #290: SXSW 2024 Reactions Part 2- Flatstock”

With Further Ado #289: SXSW – X: “South By” + The X-Men (From the Ashes)

With Further Ado #289: SXSW – X: “South By” + The X-Men (From the Ashes)

The annual South by Southwest Festival is usually written as SXSW and folk typically refer to it as ‘South By”. I tend to describe it to industry friends as “San Diego Comic-Con without the comics”, but that doesn’t really capture the essence of this sprawling and wonderfully bloated event. It’s more like the answer to a riddle along the lines of “What if a business conference, with a focus on technology, media and start-ups had a baby with a Music Festival?”

Last year there was only one comic industry panel. Vault Comics made some cool announcements and leveraged a celebrity collaboration they had just inked.

This year, Marvel Comics (not Marvel Studios) was at the main convention hall (there are SXSW events and panels all over Austin, TX) with a panel that pulled back the curtain on a new X-Men initiatives and talked about a collab with new technology startup.

The panel was initially led by Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, C.B. Cebulski. Also onstage were Executive Editor Tom Breevort and writers Gail Simone and Jed MacKay. Continue reading “With Further Ado #289: SXSW – X: “South By” + The X-Men (From the Ashes)”

With Further Ado #288: Tarzan, the Rebooted

With Further Ado #288: Tarzan, the Rebooted

I remember in the early 90s when “upstart” publisher Malibu Comics burst on the scene with their new Tarzan comics. To add a bit of context, their efforts followed the classic runs of Tarzan comic series published by Gold Key Comics, with wonderful Russ Manning and Doug Wildey artwork, DC, with top-of-his game Joe Kubert art, and Marvel Comics, showcasing John Buscema as he was obviously loving every minute of it.

This new Malibu comic cover had a different Tarzan (albeit throwback) logo and a shocking image of the central characters with jarring colors. The front cover was by Marc Hempel and the alternate cover – flip covers were the norm back then – was painted by Simon Bisley. The cover copy taunted readers: “You’ve never seen Tarzan like this before!”

And they were right!

Writer Mark Wheatley, penciler Neil Volkes, and interior inker Hempel showcased a different approach to Tarzan. I don’t know if we were all using the word “reboot” back then, but this clearly was a reboot.

Wheatley explained to me that the Tarzan fans, at the time, were furious with him. But over time, his innovative run has now become revered and embraced.

How difficult is it to reboot a classic character? Is it necessary? Is it ever embraced initially?

Tarzan the Untamed

I just read the seventh of book in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original Tarzan series: Tarzan, the Untamed. My wife, Kathe, and I were in a wonderful comic shop in Saratoga Springs, Cosmic Capes Comics, not long ago. The cover to this hardcover caught my eye. How could it not? The insanely talented Joe Jusko is providing new covers to all the ERB books. He’s knocking it outta the park! Each cover is clever, creative and compelling. Continue reading “With Further Ado #288: Tarzan, the Rebooted”

With Further Ado #287: ComicsPRO – A Comic Convention with the Fans

With Further Ado #287: ComicsPRO – A Comic Convention with the Fans

I just spent several days with a couple hundred entrepreneurial retailers and industry professionals fighting the good fight in the comics biz. This was at ComicsPRO, the industry trade association’s annual tradeshow/convention designed to help retailers develop best practices, better understand the year’s new releases, and generally recharge everyone’s batteries for an engaging year.

Maybe you haven’t heard of ComicsPRO? There’s no shame in that. It is not really a consumer- facing organization. Here’s some background from their site:

WHAT IS COMICSPRO?

ComicsPRO is a trade association for comic book retailers. We are a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to improving the comic book specialty market. The power and strength of ComicsPRO comes from its members.

The goals of ComicsPRO spell CAPE:

COMMUNICATE: (Forums, Feeds, ComicsPROgress.com, Digital Newsletters)
ADVOCATE: (Lobby Industry Partners)
PROMOTE: (Industry Days, Industry Awards)
EDUCATE: (Annual Meeting, Online Education, Seminars at Conventions) Continue reading “With Further Ado #287: ComicsPRO – A Comic Convention with the Fans”

With Further Ado #288: Brit Brilliance – Hope and Holmes

With Further Ado #288: Brit Brilliance – Hope and Holmes

Andrew Sumner of Titan Books just zoomed into one of my Ithaca College classes, as he frequently does. Andrew is one of those guys who gets students to open their eyes that much wider – and imagine new possibilities. And like so many Brits, he does it in a way that’s fun and engaging from start to finish.

I was reflecting on a couple of other British efforts I’ve recently been enthralled with and wanted to shine the spotlight on them too.

Hope

Jimmy Broxton is a brilliant British comics artist, who, like many comic characters, uses a secret identity. (Fancy people call it a pseudonym.) There’s nothing with that. I’ve enjoyed his work on projects like Goldtiger and Vampirella, but I worry I miss much of his UK focused work. Continue reading “With Further Ado #288: Brit Brilliance – Hope and Holmes”

With Further Ado #285: American History Comics -without the comics (kind of)

With Further Ado #285: American History Comics -without the comics (kind of)

I’m fascinated and impressed by America Redux: Visual Stories from Our Dynamic History by Ariel Aberg-Riger. This one took me by surprise – it’s a series of short stories each focusing on an event, or topic, from various points in American history.

It’s told visually, but not will illustrations, as is so familiar (and expected) to comic fans like me. Instead, each segment comes to life in clever “collage-y” and lettered pages.

The collages are clever – photographs, old maps, documents and graphic design. And lettering would certainly not be approved by someone like Todd Klein. It’s rough and uneven, but somehow it lends the homegrown feel of it all. Continue reading “With Further Ado #285: American History Comics -without the comics (kind of)”