Tag: unshaven comics

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”

So Long And Thanks For the Fish, Man #042: Sticks and Stones

So Long And Thanks For the Fish, Man #042: Sticks and Stones

Not long ago (as in, a little over a week or so), Unshaven Comics tabled at a would-be decently attended Comic Con near the home of our resident writer and sell-o-matic Kyle Gnepper. Due to his proximity to said con, versus both Unshaven Matt and I being several hours away — and because the show wasn’t slated to demand a full court press by our little studio — we as a company agreed to let Kyle fly solo. Color me a shade of confused then, when checking in with Kyle after the first day of said show, that the unflappable Mr. Gnepper called me in a state that could only be described as quite flapped.

“I really wish you guys were here…” he started — with an unmistaken quiver to his normal timbre. At first I figured (nay, hoped) that his desire for backup was due to insane amount of demand. But alas, the now-shook-salesman reported that the show itself was more than a little problematic. Low attendance due to a then-moved metropolitan festival perhaps led to a lack of local fan support. It happens. But Unshaven Comics has suffered through a constrained con every now and again. Kyle continued. “It’s our neighbor. He… uhh. Well…”  Continue reading “So Long And Thanks For the Fish, Man #042: Sticks and Stones”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #037: Charitable Contributions

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #037: Charitable Contributions

Photo by Carole Sharwarko of the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

For those that know me well? I am a big fan of the long game. It’s why after Unshaven Comics took the better part of a year and a half working on our very first graphic novel (The March: Crossing Bridges in America, thank you very much…) my inclination wasn’t to immediately cut ties to the insanity of comic book production and just focus on my video game skills. No, I sat down with my brothers-from-other-mothers and said “we need to do this again!”. I dated my now wife for over eight and a half years before popping the question (and at least five years after the gem in her hand started glowing red!). And we waited to have our first kid several years after getting hitched. So, yeah. Long game.

Which is why it was so satisfying after sitting on the news for the better part of a year, I was finally able to share with my community a charitable donation I shilled for, to the tune of $1000 donated specifically to my home school district earmarked only to be used for the visual arts. Let me take you back… Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #037: Charitable Contributions”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #026: If I had a million dollars…

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #026: If I had a million dollars…

The other day over on the Unshaven Comics Facebook page (you DO like us, right?), I offered up a little question of the day that sparked the largest block of engagement we’d ever seen on the page. While I’d hoped that it would be some fantastic and layered comic book debate… instead it was a bit of naval gazing instead. I proposed the always-good-during-a-long-car-ride prompt: What would you do with $1,000,000? I then specified (to detract from the typical snark that might come in tow…) that the money was after all taxes were paid. So, like, you wake up tomorrow and are a million bucks richer, no strings attached. What would you do?

Well, for those that participated on our page, it was a ton of practical answers that I both understood and frowned at. Truly, my ilk have all grown up when the most common answers all revolved around paying off debt and traveling. Not that any of those answers should be frowned upon, of course. But I was more hopeful for flights of fancy.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #026: If I had a million dollars…”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #007: Indie Comic Book Publishing 101 Part 7

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #007: Indie Comic Book Publishing 101 Part 7

If you google my name, and “Kickstarter”, “Crowdfunding”, or “Needs Money”, you will undoubtedly find a plethora of articles I’ve penned detailing my complicated thoughts on the matter. But, time has passed, and as such, it’s time within the context of this series to imbue you, the newly-minted would-be comic creator, with my hot take on all of your fancy IndieGoGoKickStartGoFundMe’ing. In short:

Crowdfunding is the blessing and bane of the indie comic movement.

Let’s just go ahead and lay out the forest before inspecting the trees, shall we? The good part about crowdfunding is that it offers the chance to level the playing field when it comes to raising funds before a project is ready to go—allowing successful campaigns to have a honey pot from which to build a budding empire. With the toolsets of all the major players set, crowdfunders enjoy having a working platform to process payments, organize purchasers, and promote their project both socially as well as natively to the crowdfunding site itself. And when a creator is extra good at creating a buzz? Well, sometimes those crowdfunding sites will organically promote those on-the-rise campaigns which can snowball a project from funded to stretch goals in a matter of hours. It’s exhilarating.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #007: Indie Comic Book Publishing 101 Part 7”