Tag: Thom Zahler

Join Host Bob Harrison for a Creator Owned Comic Panel Now

Join Host Bob Harrison for a Creator Owned Comic Panel Now

Our own Bob Harrison will be hosting a virtual panel from the Gem City Comic Con virtual event on Sunday 3/21/2021 at 2:15. Guests include comic creators: Thom Zahler, Christy Blanch, Paul Storrie, Tony Fleecs, and Emily Whitten.

The panel is being broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube.

You can find the Facebook page for the Con here:

https://www.facebook.com/GCCCON

The YouTube broadcast is below:

 

With Further Ado #137: Catching Up with Thom Zahler

With Further Ado #137: Catching Up with Thom Zahler

One of the many nice things about attending conventions was seeing familiar faces. For fans and industry professionals alike, it’s a great way to catch up with, and be inspired by, the many creative entrepreneurs of Geek Culture.

One guy that was always working hard, and doing it with his natural, movie-star smile, was Thom Zahler. Since I can’t walk up to his cool booth at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, I just had to catch up with him ..via this column!


Ed Catto: How have you been managing during the pandemic?

Thom Zahler: I’m not gonna lie. It’s been rough and interesting and everything in between.

When the lockdown first happened, I was kind of designed to be fine through the summer. I was working on season two of Cupid’s Arrows for WEBTOON and that wasn’t affected by anything. I converted the last convention-exclusive issues of Love and Capes: The Family Way into a shop-exclusive version that I was able to put out when Diamond shut down. And, when it comes to how I work at home, quarantine isn’t a lot different than normal times. I couldn’t go to the gym anymore, and everything had an extra layer of complexity, but it wasn’t a big change. I was fortunate to be close enough to my parents that I could take care of them, do their shopping, things like that. And I live in a small town where you could still go out and take walks and not run into anyone.

Losing conventions certainly hurt, as much from the emotional hit as anything else. Conventions kind of recharge me. I can see the people who read my comics and that helps fuel me to make more. The loss of the revenue stream wasn’t great. But it was manageable.

Then the summer rolled on and nothing changed, and it got a lot tighter. I’m glad I bore down and prepared for the worst, squirreling money away and preparing for the long game. It still wasn’t awesome, but it was better than the alternative. Continue reading “With Further Ado #137: Catching Up with Thom Zahler”

With Further Ado #135: Comics (M)Ad Men

With Further Ado #135: Comics (M)Ad Men

I don’t think this week’s review will be at center of a firestorm like last week’s review of Abraham’s Riesman’s The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee.  As you may have read, the “controversial” biography  is another deep dive Stan Lee biography.  And in this arena with so many passionate fans, everyone has an opinion. It certainly has generated heated discussions.

On the other hand, Fantagraphic’s Comics Ad Men by Steven Brower is also the type of book that I’m eager to read, but somehow had escaped my notice.  It came out in 2019, but I just learned about it and I snagged a copy last month.

Stan Drake Art

Many comic professionals don’t do just one thing.  In the up-and-down world of creatives, it’s generally important to be able to work on different types of assignments, sometimes in different industries. When one thing gets slow, there’s a need to work on another.

Neal Adams Ad Work

Steve Brower has assembled a top-notch showcase of comics artists that produced traditional (and some non-traditional) advertising.  There’s wonderful examples of from artists like Neal Adams, C.C. Beck, Stan Drake, Creig Flessel, Noel Sickles, Basil Wolverton, and so many more.

Brower also provides some background to help readers understand those halcyon Mad Men days of advertising firms.  There are fascinating stories about DDB, Young & Rubican, McCann Erickson, Leo Burnett and Johnston & Cushing. This informative look into the past is peppered by industry luminaries like Joe Kubert and one of his students-turned-pro, Thom (Love and Capes) Zahler.

Frank Robbins Art

In that classic age of ad agencies, Westport, Connecticut was a bedroom community for Madison Avenue . But I also learned here that there was an artist’s drop off spot in that town. Illustrators could drop off their work late at night. It would get to the agencies by 10 am., and then they’d get their next assignments later day.  Who needed email, Dropbox or Slack?

 

 

 

Superheroes Deal With the Pandemic in “Love and Capes: In the Time of Covid.”

Superheroes Deal With the Pandemic in “Love and Capes: In the Time of Covid.”

Press Release:

1/5/2021 – Timberlake, OH

The Harvey-nominated superhero romantic comedy Love and Capes is taking on an unlikely foe: the coronavirus. In the recently-released free online comic, the heroes and their families take a light-hearted look at lockdown, masks, social distancing and all the other hardships of the last year.

“I was living through the lockdown like everyone else and have been keeping it out of the comics I was writing hoping it’d be over before it was an issue,” says series creator Thom Zahler. “Obviously, that didn’t happen. And then I got to thinking about how my Love and Capes characters would deal with the world today… and before I knew it, I had twenty pages of ideas.”

Zahler used this latest chapter of Love and Capes to launch a Patreon campaign. It quickly found an audience, and a new page appears every Thursday. For the New Year, Zahler has decided to make the older pages available for free on his website. Each Monday, a new page will be released to the public.

“Writing and drawing this story has helped me deal with the way things are right now. I think, even separated, we have a lot of shared experiences and there’s a lot of humor to be found in them. I hope it becomes a little moment of respite for everyone who reads it.”

The Patreon continues to provide members-only content, too, including weekly sketches voted on by Patrons, “Lost Tales” of pitches than never became comics, and more.

This is not the first pandemic-related Love and Capes venture. In the early days of March when comic companies and distribution centers were shut down, Zahler created a direct-to-shops version of the six-issue series Love and Capes: The Family Way and got those to local stores, even including local store branding on each cover. The books were printed with the assistance of Jones Printing in Eastlake, Ohio.

 


Thom Zahler lives in Northeast Ohio and has been creating comics for over fifteen years. Love and Capes launched as a hybrid print and web comic in 2005. Since then, the series has been self-published by Zahler’s imprint, Maerkle Press, and by IDW who also publishes the collections. The latest, Love and Capes: The Family Way, came out in November of last year. He also created the Webtoon series Warning Label and Cupid’s Arrows, and writes for IDW’s My Little Pony series.

Link to webpage: https://thomzahler.squarespace.com/love-and-capes-in-the-time-of-covid

Link to Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/thomzahler

Continued After the Next Page #017: Looking Back At The Good In 2020

Continued After the Next Page #017: Looking Back At The Good In 2020

Well, we made it to the end of 2020. I am sure that it didn’t turn out like any of us expected. There have been plenty of low lights, and there are too many people who have been irrevocably harmed by the local and global tragedies that happened this year. That is awful.

However, someone told me something recently that stuck with me. Despite the horrible dumpster fire that 2020 has brought, your mental health can benefit from the activity of looking at the good things that happened in this past year. So, that is what this final post of 2020 will be about.

The SquadCast

This year I finally got off my tush and started presenting the interviews that I do with comic book professionals in a podcast format. In the past, I had merely transcribed the interview, but I found that there was more interesting content in the discussions that people would enjoy that didn’t quite fit in a text post.

So, I went to Buzzsprout and created a hosting site for the Pop Culture SquadCast: Interview Edition. I learned enough of Audacity to edit the interviews and splice some sound together, and here we are.

I need to say thanks to our artistic genius Marc Allan Fishman for the logo and episode art. Also Space In Time is the band that we use for the intro and closing music. You can check there music out at Bandcamp.

And of course, thanks to the pros who to took the time to talk to me about their work.

The Books

While all of you Pop Culture Squad Members know about our digital presence here on the site and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there is now physical printed evidence that Pop Culture Squad exists. On the back covers of two trade paperback collections, I have blurb quotes for reviews.

I cannot tell you how awesome it is to see my name on a comic book. I could not even have ever imagined that five years ago.

Both of these books are special to me. Hyperbreed from Louise Simonson and Guy Dorian is a fun YA space story from Storm King Comics. Did you notice that? My name is on a book written by THE Louise Simonson!!!!

I have been following the Love and Capes stories that Thomas Zahler creates for years, and when he told me last year that he would be coming back to that universe, I was stoked. He totally made it work, and I am grateful for his putting my review blurb on the back of the book in some seriously impressive company.

The Comics Industry Adapts and Supports Itself

This year has hit the comics industry hard. Publishers and retailers had to deal with a nearly two month shutdown of new comics distribution. But through it all, people worked hard to support each other and save the industry that relies a lot on in-person contact.

So many great new comics were made and you can check out our list of the years best here.

Fundraisers and charity auctions popped up all over the place. We detailed some of those as they occurred.

Give Comics Hope is one of the charities that we highlighted through the year and will continue to do so.

There were plenty of Kickstarter campaigns launched to find different ways to publish and create comic book content. You better believe that we covered them.

Conventions Happened… Sort of

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit America hard in March, comic conventions were scrapped as we all needed to isolate to stop the spread of the dangerously contagious disease. But plenty of talented people scrambled to turn the experience of seeing pop culture personalities and comic creators in virtual cons.

Some were better than others, and none truly replaced the experience of strolling down artists alley and chatting with creators and friends. However, they were good enough to be a decent placeholder for the time that we will be able to be vaccinated and able to go out and see each other in person.

Geek Culture TV

There was a massive amount of quality television programming that was produced and broadcast this year. There are more outlets, streaming and otherwise that are now committed to delivering high quality shows. Here is a list of some of our favorites in no particular order:

  • SCHITT’S CREEK: SEASON 6 – AMC
  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS: SEASON 2 – FFX
  • HARLEY QUINN: SEASON 2 – HBOMax
  • THE BOYS: SEASON 2 – Amazon Prime Video
  • THE MANDALORIAN: SEASON 2 – Disney+
  • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: SEASON 1 – HBOMax
  • THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: SEASON 2 – Netflix
  • STARGIRL: SEASON 1 – CW
  • I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS: SEASON 1 – Neflix
  • STAR TREK: PICARD: SEASON 1 – CBS All Access
  • KILLING EVE: SEASON 3 – BBC
  • PERRY MASON: SEASON 1 – HBOMax

And don’t forget there were some other shows like Tiger King (Netflix) and The Vow (HBO) that left us captivated, or horrified, or both.

Based on the announcements from Disney, Warner Bros, and others, it looks like this trend of high quality serialized episodic programming with continue.

Pop Culture Squad Thrived

Even before the pandemic shut down a lot of the world, we worried that this would be a slow year for PCS. However, we persevered and continued to bring you content as best you can.

If you are not a regular reader of Mike Gold‘s two columns here, you are missing witty and entertaining stories and opinion.

Ed Catto’s regular With Further Ado column finds new ways to look at comics, books, film and other cool stuff.

While we have bigger dreams for what is to come, it was a pretty good year for Pop Culture Squad and we are excited for making them happen in the next year.

Thanks for being here, and READ MORE COMICS!

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing:  August Edition

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing: August Edition

Hey everyone! Welcome back to the latest edition of Kickstarter campaigns that we think you should check out. There are lots of creators taking advantage of the slowdown in comic publishing and lack of comic conventions by running campaigns for crowdfunding their work. We have been keeping our eyes on the stream of great projects that are being offered and come up with a list of campaigns to spotlight.

Below you will find a list of Kickstarter campaigns listed by the order of the end of the campaign. We will give you the details and a quick word or two about why we like them.

Cupid’s Arrows Volume 1 by Thom Zahler

Campaign Ends: August 27, 2020

This is the collected edition of the hit Webtoon series Cupid’s Arrows by Thom Zahler. It is a fun, light hearted, but moving romance series with a great concept. There are plenty of extra options for backer rewards.

BACK IT HERE

Note: You can check out the last time that we talked with Thom about his other upcoming publication, the 5th volume of Love and Capes, here.


Continue reading “Kickstarters You Should Be Backing: August Edition”

Creators are Caring for Comic Shops

With the mass chaos and uncertainty that the physical comic book industry is in as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, comic book writers and artists are finding unique ways to try to help comic shops. As we have detailed earlier, comic professionals are also affected by this pandemic in real financial terms. As their income streams dry up and “pencils down” orders are given, the community searches for ways to survive.

We are confident that the medium of sequential art will not go away, but it may emerge from this crisis altered. Will it be for the better? It is impossible to tell. In the meantime, the community is trying to support each other.

Today, we want to highlight some of the innovative efforts to support both creative talent and comic shops.

Love and Capes Returns

We told you in an interview earlier that cartoonist Thom Zahler has been working on the new Love and Capes: The Family Way series, and selling small print run single-issues at conventions. IDW will be collecting and printing a Trade Paperback this summer, but with all conventions on hold, Thom came up with an inventive way to get the story and get new inventory into the hands of comic shops that are still open in whatever form.

He is offering a way for comic shops to order the individual issues directly from him, and is, even, offering a way for the issue covers to be customized. Comic Shops can get all the details and links to the order forms on Zahler’s website. Orders are being taken until Friday 4/17 at Noon!!

Fans can reach out to their Local Comic Shops and encourage them to order the new content.

#Creators4Comics

An event is going over in the Twitterverse. Over a hundred comic creatives are auctioning off artwork, books, and experiences through the #Creators4Comics. The auctions will end on Monday 4/20. The funds raised will be donated to The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, an organization that supports independent booksellers, including comic shops. Continue reading “Creators are Caring for Comic Shops”

Spotlight Interview with Love and Capes Creator, Thom Zahler

Spotlight Interview with Love and Capes Creator, Thom Zahler

What happens with super heroes when they are not fighting crime. Do they date? What are their private live like? Who are the people they interact with out of uniform? This are the questions that writer/artist Thom Zahler wanted to explore and decided to make a story about the personal lives of superheroes.

The first volume of Love and Capes was published by IDW in 2008. Three subsequent trade paperback volumes were published culminating in Volume 4 “What to Expect” which was published in 2013.  Since then, Zahler has worked on a bunch of excellent different creator owned properties and licensed material. All the while, he has been peppered with questions of when the will be more Love and Capes.

Recently, he has returned to Chronopolis and the world of the Crusader. Volume 5 of Love and Capes, titled “The Family Way”, will be published by IDW in February 2020, just in time for Valentine’s Day. We sat down and talked with Thom about what it was like to come back to the story after so much time and what has changed.

Check out our SquadCast interview on this page and a part of the interview that we transcribed below: Continue reading “Spotlight Interview with Love and Capes Creator, Thom Zahler”

Exploring Webcomics With the Pros – The Video SquadCast

Exploring Webcomics With the Pros – The Video SquadCast

Hey Everyone!!

Welcome to the Video SquadCast! This is the recording of the panel we hosted at Baltimore Comic-Con on October 20, 2019. The panelists are Steve Conley, Katie Cook, Dean Haspiel and Thom Zahler.  The video is hosted on our YouTube Channel and the audio version of the SquadCast can be found at the bottom of this post.

Be sure to check out this great conversation about webcomics and how these professionals work their craft. The will tell you the techniques they use for developing story and rendering it into art.


Continue reading “Exploring Webcomics With the Pros – The Video SquadCast”

Pop Culture Squad was at Baltimore Comic-Con 2019 and it was a BLAST!

Pop Culture Squad was at Baltimore Comic-Con 2019 and it was a BLAST!

The weekend of October 18 – 20, 2019 was the twentieth anniversary celebration of Baltimore Comic-Con. It is consistently one of our favorite conventions of the year. That is a sentiment that is shared by visitors, invited guests, and exhibitors alike.

A consistent refrain you will hear is that it is a “comic book convention that is about comics”. The vendors and guests are heavily weighted toward the comics side of fandom. The show is sponsored by Cards, Comics and Collectibles in Reisterstown, Maryland, and there is a very family-like atmosphere to the event. It is not easy to pull off an event of this magnitude as an independent convention. Marc and Shelly Nathan, the showrunners, put their heart and soul into this weekend, as do all the people who work on planning, logistics, and making sure everyone has a blast.

This is the sixth time that I have attended this convention, and it never disappoints.

Location

The convention was held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD. It is located across the street from Oriole Park at Camden Yards in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. There is a light rail station across from the Convention Center, and there is also a ton of parking garages in easy walking distance to the event.  The convention partners with Parking Panda to provide easy access to pre-paid parking from its website.

The convention floor was an easy escalator ride down from the main entrance, and the programming panel rooms were one flight up. Continue reading “Pop Culture Squad was at Baltimore Comic-Con 2019 and it was a BLAST!”