Tag: unshaven comics

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #090: Vegas Vacation (Part 3)

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #090: Vegas Vacation (Part 3)

Let’s just get this over with:

If you’re just now getting here… you might want to read part one, and part deux

This is the final installment of our Vegas saga. For now.

As it stands… we have not signed a single licensing deal for The Samurnauts, yet. So, if you were actually thinking we were being that coy? Nah. Keep in mind that it’s absolutely beyond rare that a little side hustle no-name business waltzes on to an expo floor for the very first time, and instantly becomes the belle of the ball. We weren’t counting on that, and it didn’t happen. No harm, no foul.

What I can say though… Unshaven Comics has a few things we are actively pursuing and have had positive movement in the last few weeks. Forgive me if I don’t say more. One, because I’m probably a little stupid and superstitious — and I genuinely believe even an ounce of unearned excitement will make the universe pull the rug out from under us. And two, we genuinely don’t know what will happen, good or bad. 

So, let’s head backwards in time to where we actually left things off.

The Licensing Expo was now over. Unshaven Sales-o-matic Kyle Gnepper returned to the Cheesiest State™ to be husband and father. Unshaven Matt and myself hopped into the ole’ minivan and took off to Traverse City, Michigan, for the Cherry Capital Comic Con. So, any follow-up to be done was going to wait until the Monday after the show. That was also a smart move as we figure most folks attending stayed in Vegas through Friday at least, to get in some more entertainment. No need to have our email awaiting them several dozen down in their inbox, right?

Once officially home-home — wife smooched, kids hugged-and-high-fived, and suitcase unpacked — I powered on my PC to fulfill my duties as the Unshaven Business Beard. I pulled out the heavy pile of business cards taken in from Las Vegas, and opened up my Google Sheet of notes. Here I reorganized every contact into piles: unlikely to work with us, likely want our money, mild interest, and heavy interest (#StartHereDummy). Once organized, I created a copy/pastable scripted email. In short, I reintroduced myself and Unshaven Comics. I left specific room to leave some detailed notes so this wasn’t some wholly robotic schpiel. And most importantly, I included a call to action. I should note: I am a marketer by day. So, doing this kind of stuff is very much how I personally pay the bills. In total, I sent out 53 emails, and hoped I’d get a dozen back.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #090: Vegas Vacation (Part 3)”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #089: Vegas Vacation (Part 2)

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #089: Vegas Vacation (Part 2)

Welcome back to Sin City, kiddos! (and if you missed last week… best give it a read so this makes sense)

Our flight into Vegas was smooth. Our check-in for our rental SUV was not only smooth… we got a free upgrade! We took the keys to our Kia Carnival, and set off for adventure — by way of rolling the dice on Unshaven Comics. 

Our first stop was at the home of family friends — who graciously offered to accept a few shipments of bric-a-brac for our booth. With said crap loaded into our spacious vehicle, we made our second official stop: In-N-Out Burger. As was demanded of us by half a dozen well-wishers, we stopped for the quintessential west coast fast food. Go ahead and cry foul now though. Matt, Kyle, and I all got standard burgers, fries, and pop. No animal style. No protein style. No 3x3s. The joke is on all y’all though: we all loved it anyways. Simple, fresh, and decently priced. Call it a win, and let’s keep driving.

With the Licensing Expo taking place the next day, our plan called for us to set up the booth. As per our usual… we parked incorrectly the first time. Our dumbass selves parked at the main Mandalay Bay parking lot ($25) and meandered throughout the restaurants before finding the convention center. We snagged our passes, and briefly walked the showfloor to locate our diminutive space. After clarifying that the convention center itself boasted its own parking lot, but would not let us sneak from one lot to the other without paying… we made the executive decision to hoof our cart of crap through the common areas of the resort anyways. Hey! $25 is $25!

Landed. Got car. Got booth stuff. Ate. Setup booth. All that was left now was to get to our room and consider the evening’s plan. I could waste an entire chapter of this saga discussing how we wound up not having the room we paid for, but will save us all the anxiety of reliving it. We were supposed to stay at the Mandalay-Bay-adjacent Luxor, but due to things happening, we wound up staying at The Orleans.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #089: Vegas Vacation (Part 2)”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #088: Vegas Vacation (Part 1)

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #088: Vegas Vacation (Part 1)

When I last left everyone, I’d made mention of exploring Unshaven Comics’ recent respite to Sin City. So I guess I owe no one a Coke. Whew. That’s right, two articles in two weeks. Maybe I’m on to something? We’ll see.

Before I dive deep into our trip, let me take you back — all the way back — to the secret origins of Unshaven Comics. When we debuted at Wizard World Chicago in 2008, the shared goal of the table was simple: Find an all-important Comic Book Editor™ who would be so enamored with our creative non-fiction book “The March: Crossing Bridges in America” that they’d whisk us off to Comic Book Land™ with three full time jobs waiting for us to just make comics for the rest of our lives.

No, I’m not even kidding. We were in our mid-twenties and absolutely that delusional and devoid of any actual industry knowledge. 

The upside to this goal? It made Mike Gold laugh so hard he hasn’t stopped being our friend since his late wife — the amazing Linda Gold — dragged him over to our table to hear about “The March”. Silver linings and all that jazz.

After we three Unshaven Lads learned how the comic book sausage was actually made, our goals shifted appropriately. If the industry wasn’t going to hand us all jobs, then we’d play the long game instead. We recognized that the journey was likely only ever to be our reward, and as such, we declared to no one the new goal: exist. And maybe, if we were ever lucky? Our flagship title The Samurnauts might one day become more than a comic series.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #088: Vegas Vacation (Part 1)”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #087: When Did We Become Old Men?

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #087: When Did We Become Old Men?

Welcome back to my infrequently populated (yes, I know, I’m sorry!) corner of the interwebs wherein I wax poetic about all things geeky in my life. That tends to revolve around a continuously dwindling amount of things: pro-wrestling, streaming mostly (now) older shows, and my not-so-secret-second-life as a comic book author/artist/entrepreneur. PCS’s resident curmudgeon Mike Gold simplified me down to “multi-hyphenate”, and now I’m a little mad because I’ll be damned if it doesn’t fit perfectly. Grumble grumble. I forever digress.

I’ve come out from hiding, halfway through the year, to go through a few big bullet points of Unshaven Comics’ 2024 thus far. When I last wrote in, I condensed our 2023 into a fine little recap. Since that write up, we’ve ventured to Indianapolis for PopCon Indy, Traverse City, MI for Cherry Capital Con, and now most recently Charlotte, NC for Heroes Con. We also went to Las Vegas — yes, for comic book related frivolity — but I’ll get to that in another column. If you don’t see that column in the next two weeks? I owe you a coke.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #087: When Did We Become Old Men?”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #086: A Year of Unshaven Cons

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #086: A Year of Unshaven Cons

On the weekend of October 28-30th, 2023, Unshaven Comics rounded out its year in convention exhibition at the Winnipeg Comic Con. For those of you following the ebbs and flows of my little studio, I wanted to take time out here in my little corner of the internet to dish on all things Unshaven in 2023. From our wins, losses, pure data, to our anecdotal musings about those wins-losses-and-data. Sound good? Well, I don’t care, I’m writing this as much for me as I am for you. So… strap in, Sally.

Before we dive deeper into the year for us overall, let’s talk about why Winnipeg. At the tail end of the pandemic, with a house of trade paperbacks and serious cabin fever… Unshaven Comics crossed the border in 2021 to go to the Fan Expo Canada comic convention in Toronto. It was one of the best shows we’d ever done — even with a limited sale of fan tickets. So much fun was had, we returned the following year (sadly only with Kyle and myself going, with Unshaven Matt Wright stuck at work). With a “full force” fanbase? It remained an amazing show for my little company. Knowing that we’d not have anything new in store for the following year, I asked a rhetorical question: was it Toronto that loved us… or was it Canada being just that awesome. We opened up Google Maps and found the only other drivable city for us in Tim Horton’s home country to attempt to answer that question.

Winnipeg, Manitoba. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #086: A Year of Unshaven Cons”

Continued After the Next Page #022: Planning Panels and Conventioning in the Windy City and Ithaca

Continued After the Next Page #022: Planning Panels and Conventioning in the Windy City and Ithaca

In the “before times”, people would come to the gathering place and wander the concourse taking in the sights purchasing shiny wares with no fear of deadly disease. That was three years ago. Are we back to that point? Probably not, and probably not for a while still, but we are getting closer.

Comic convention season is back in full force. That break in con scheduling that we normally have from before the December holidays until late February didn’t really happen this year. Most people seems to be willing to return to the circuit with little concern for the pandemic creating coronavirus. The best part of this is that my social media feeds are not filling up with tales of infections or even the dreaded con-crud.

All of this has me even more excited to begin my 2023 convention season in a couple of weeks. Your intrepid correspondent will be part of the press contingent at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, more commonly known by its geek friendly acronym C2E2. I will be walking the floors all three days talking to exhibitors and fans and checking out some of the interesting panel programming.

However, the most exciting panels, in my not so humble opinion, will take place on Sunday April 2, 2023. I will be hosting two panels a Reed event for the first time in my career, and I am beyond excited. Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #022: Planning Panels and Conventioning in the Windy City and Ithaca”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #080: “FOConMO”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #080: “FOConMO”

rejection from comic consAs I age like a fine wine, I’m realizing my anger is receding into solemn contemplation. Not unlike Bruce Banner? I’m always angry at something. Be it the GOP and their unending campaign against logic and reason, to more simple things… like my four year old refusing to poop in the potty. But I’m not writing this week about poop, the potty, or the GOP — which I’d like to point out is quite interchangeable these days. No folks, today my idling ire is aimed at comic cons. More specifically? Juried comic cons.

It never fails: with a solid third of my social media follows dedicated to the pulp-and-paper-pals I’ve made in my semi-career in comics, on any given weekend, my feed becomes choked with con content. This morning, as I cracked open Adobe Illustrator to begin working up some new PokeMashups, I also checked in to Facebook to see what’s shaking. The Northwest Indiana Comic-Con (NWI) kicked off, and in six pulls of my scroll wheel, no fewer than a dozen posts shared out photos and optimistic words signaling the masses to head out to Schererville, Indiana for a day of fun. And with that deluge of content, I closed Facebook in an immature huff. 

To know that there’s a comic con not twenty minutes from my house that Unshaven Comics will never* attend grinds my gears. Doubly so when I see other south suburban cohorts proudly tabling. So why the asterisk? Well kiddos, I admit: we didn’t apply to the show this year. So, I’m being half-cheeky half-angst-filled over my assertion. For all I know? Had we applied for a table, we would have been welcomed with open arms. But you know what George Bush Jr. says: fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #080: “FOConMO””

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #077: “Dragon Conned?”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #077: “Dragon Conned?”

On labor day weekend of 2021… Unshaven Comics (yeah, my studio still exists) got in the ole’ minivan of power and headed from our quaint Chicago suburbs all the way down to Hotlanta for the back-in-the-venues-for-real Dragon Con. The show was our first outing as a studio since Dragon Con of 2019. Why? It rhymes with schmovid blinetine.

The show gave me all the feels, and it behooves me now to reflect. And I’m not here to sugar coat said thoughts and feelings. Because there’s no need for spin anymore. I’m 39. I’ve been making comic books and associated bric-a-brac now for 15 years. For those doing the math? That’s more than a third of my life. I’m done faking it till I make it… and so is Unshaven Comics.

For my lil’ studio, the show was already not going to be as successful as we might have wanted it to be. Because one third of the company was still at home. That’s right… our secret weapon, Kyle “Salesman 5000” Gnepper opted to stay back and away from the potential throngs of con-goers. For his safety, and that of his wife and children… he made the choice to let me and Matt “Penciler, Inker, Coffee Drinker” Wright do our thang as a gruesome twosome. Let’s be clear: Matt and I were 100% cool with the choice. And irony be damned? Kyle’s kiddos had a bit of cold to fight during the weekend anyways. As dads ourselves, we knew that Mr. Gnepper was best served doing his fatherly duty. The fort, we figured, was held down. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #077: “Dragon Conned?””

Unshaven Comics to debut new PokeMashups at DragonCon 2021!

Unshaven Comics is well known for a few things. Strong pitching, stronger beards, and the strongest chain of mashups on the independent comic book scene! Be it their pivotal powerhouse The Samurnauts — Samurai-Astronauts led by an immortal kung-fu monkey defending humanity from zombie-cyborg pirates in space — or resident “middle smiley” Marc Alan Fishman’s crafting of his PokeMashups series.

With that said, and the Unshaven Lads carefully traversing to Atlanta for next week’s DragonCon, Marc knew he needed to grace the fans he’s missed in person for a year with something new. It also helps to note Marc should stop writing about himself in the third person.

So, this year, enjoy the exclusive until otherwise noted debuting trio of new PokeMashups joining the fray with 52 (!!) other available mashups cards available at the Unshaven Comics table!

DragonCon 2021 (Unshaven Comics’ table): September 3rd — 6th at AmericasMart, 4th floor, table B37!

NOW ENJOY THIS SNEAK PREVIEW! (After the jump) Continue reading “Unshaven Comics to debut new PokeMashups at DragonCon 2021!”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #052: Things I’m Thankful For – 2019 Edition

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #052: Things I’m Thankful For – 2019 Edition

It’s about to be that time again. I know it’s likely my article drops after all y’all done gorged yourselves  all day on good foods. But it’s still time to reflect on the year that is almost over, and figure out the bests, the worsts, and what-have-you. As I’ve written on other sites, I like to assemble a list of those things I am most thankful for at the time of writing. A time capsule of positivity, if you will. Except we live in cynical nasty times, so, well, this is what you get. Enjoy it. Hate it. I don’t care anymore!

(Because some people will like to throw stones… this list is purposefully built in random order, and should not be dissected for importance. Jerks.)

1. I’m thankful for Bill Taylor, George Kent, Marie Yovanovitch, Alexander Vinman, Jennifer Williams, Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison, Gordon Sondland, Laura Cooper, David Hale, Fiona Hill, and David Holmes. As of this writing, we’ve no idea if Donald Trump will be impeached or removed from office. And while his blatantly obvious scheming would have me personally hurl the book at his orange mush so fast, it’d break the sound barrier… I am not in the House of Representatives. So, I digress. I am thankful that those above testified openly and honestly about what they saw, heard, and felt about this whole Ukraine situation. Because as it was plainly (and brilliantly) put: “This is America… Here, right matters.”

2. Schitt’s Creek, GLOW, Orange is the New Black, and The Good Place. Somewhere between my terrestrial cable subscription (it’s retro chic, don’t you know) and my Netflix account, I’ve enjoyed an amazing smattering of peak sitcom joy. And those shows listed above all have, at their core, belief in joy. Despite our joyless world, these shows have all touched my heart, and remind me of the good in the world.

3. AEW and NXT. Well, no doubt you knew this one was coming. AEW and NXT have both reminded me what good professional wrestling can be when it wants to. Well-crafted in-ring stories paired with over-the-top-but-still-plausible storylines are literally incomparable to the standard dreck dealt to me by the still-Vince-driven RAW and Smackdown shows. And make note: I will be doing a best-and-worst list of wrestlers / storylines in 2019 before the end of the year. You’ve been warned.

4. My wife and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. While we’ve been a couple now for nearly 19 years, it’s the last ten that have been the legally sanctioned ones. This year, I went all-out gifting the love of my life into a complete stupor. A custom-made Funko (err, Fishko) Pop figure was paired with a cameo video message from my wife’s true bae, Joey Fatone (of NSYNC fame). How did I know I did well? My wife said plainly “Well now I feel a little bad, cause I can’t compete with those gifts.” Damn straight. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #052: Things I’m Thankful For – 2019 Edition”