Friday, July 18, 2014

Jamal Peppers - Sonic the Hedgehog


2011.07.16 Superheroes for Hospice, Livingston, NJ


Sonic the Hedgehog is video game character from Sega, whose popularity has moved him beyond the game to TV series, comic books. Sonic first appeared in 1991. Credit for the creation of Sonic are given to Sega programmer Yuji Naka and artist Naoto Oshima.

A blue 15 year old anthropomorphic hedgehog, Sonic can run at supersonic speed and has the ability to curl into a ball to attack his enemies...

Sonic as published by Archie comics debuted in 1992. Archie also publishes Sonic the Hedgehog (TV Series), Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Archives trade paperbacks...

Jamal Peppers took an interest in comic art at a young age. He has worked in illustration and character design, but got his start in comic at Archie Comics working with Sonic the Hedgehog...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mickey Fiedler - OctoTrooper

2013.11.03 Jersey Shore Comic Con, Forked River, NJ

Mickey Fiedler, his Dad's Cartoons facebook page states he is a proud father of 2 awesome boys, loves science fiction, comic books and video games. During the day Fiedler teaches 4th grade, and by night he mashes comics...

I took some time looking through his portfolio of images before requesting a sketch. Many of Fiedler's drawings were humorous mixes of animals and fictional characters. These include Electrophant, Breaking Bad Papa Smurf, Symbiote Mickey Mouse, Yoda Stewie, Boba Fett Elephant, Mega Man Green Lantern, Dr. Suess' X-Men and the drawing that really had me was a Cyclops Mike Wazowski from Montsers Inc.

As we discussed the sketch concepts the decision was made to draw an octopus Storm Trooper. When Fiedler was done another of his customers comment that the drawing looked a lot like the Hydra emblem. Neither one of us realized this at the start. In any case, I like the concept of the OctoTrooper...

Fiedler is working on his own comic book to help children with life issues, such as bullying and health...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bob Camp - Ren & Stimpy

Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Bob Camp started his animation career working on the animated series Thundercats, Silverhawks, TigerSharks and many others for producer Rankin/Bass. At DiC, Camp worked on The Real Ghostbusters. At Warner Bros, he worked on Tiny Toon Adventures...

Camp would co-found Spumco, the studios that gave us Ren & Stimpy. John Kricfalusi created The Ren & Stimpy Show for the NIckelodeon Network in 1991. Bob Camp would take over as director in 1992 when production of the show was moved to Games Animation (later Nickelodeon Animation Studios).  Ren is an unstable chihuahua and Stimpy (Stimpson J Cat) is good natured and dim-witted. The show developed a cult following for it's satirical style and off-color humor

Camp has been nominated for two Emmys, a Cable ACE Award and an Annie Award for The Ren & Stimpy Show...

Camp would also work on Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Robots, Horton Hears a Who and Ice Age: The Meltdown; as well as illustrations for several comics including GI Joe, Crazy Magazine, Bizarre Adventures.....

Friday, June 27, 2014

Evan Dorkin - Milk and Cheese

2012.09.29 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Evan Dorkin created Milk and Cheese, first published in 1988 in Greed Magazine. Milk and Cheese would eventalluy be published in comic book form through Slave Labor Graphics and Dark Horse Comics. The story line follows the anthropomorphic container of milk and a wedge of cheese. These dairy products "gone bad" drink to excess and are usually involved in violent situations...

Dorkin and his wife Sarah Dyer have written for Space Ghost Coast to Coast, episodes of Superman the animated series, the Adult Swim program Welcome to Eltingville. Dorkin co-created Beasts of burden with Jill Thompson...

Awards: 
  • 2010 Esiner Award: Best Publication for teens
  • 2005 Eisner Award: Best Short Story
  • 2002 Eisner Award: Best Short Story (The Eltingville Club)
  • 2002 Eisner Award: Best Writer/Artist (for Dork)
  • 2001 Harvey Award: Best Single Issue or Story (Superman & Batman: World's Funnest, shared with several artists)


Friday, June 20, 2014

Peter Bagge - Bat Boy

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Bagge discovered underground comics in 1977 after being inspired by the work of R. Crumb. Bagge co-published three issues of Comical Funnies (1980-81), which saw the debut of the Bradley's, a dysfunctional suburban family. Buddy bradley would emerge as the main protagonist of the series Neat Stuff (1985-89). Neat Stuff would evolve into a new book titled Hate... 

Bagge would also contribute to R. Crumb's Weirdo magazine, taking over as managing editor. Additional work would be contributed to DC for Yeah! and Sweatshop, a Marvel one-shot satire of Spider-Man and a 2-year stint drawing the Bat Boy comic strip for the Weekly World News...

Bat Boy is a fictional character created by the Weekly World News editor Dick Kulpa in fabricated stories about a creature who is half boy and half bat in 1992. Scientists frequently capture the Bat Boy only to have him escape. An production the Bat Boy: The Musical debuted in 1997 (Los Angeles world premiere, 2001 Off-Broadway, 2004 West End)...

Bagge has also contributed to  several record and CD covers, as well as the magazines Hustler, MAD and Oxford American

Friday, June 13, 2014

Larry Hama - The original GI Joe

2014.05.24 Woodbridge comic Fest, Woodbridge, NJ
The original G.I. Joe

Larry Hama started drawing and/or writing the Marvel Comic version of the Hasbro military action figures G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero in 1982, continuing until 1994 for 155 issues.  Other titles included G.I. Joe: Order of Battle, G.I. Joe: Special Missions

For Devil's Due Publishing, which ran GI Joe stories from 2001 to 2008, Hama, returned to G.I. Joe for the miniseries G.I. Joe Declassified, G.I. Joe: Frontline, Snake-Eyes: Declassified, and Storm Shadow...

IDW began publishing the series in 2008, with Hama writing G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and  G.I. Joe: Origins.

Hama also wrote most of the file cards that were printed on the action figures' packaging.

However during the second world war, a young cartoonist with the 45th Infantry Division volunteered to work for the unit's newspaper. Bill Mauldin would created Willie and Joe, modeled after his friend Irving Richtel and every other regular Joe in the army. The original GI Joe.

July 1943 Mauldin  began working for the Army newspaper Stars and Stripes. Given a jeep and the freedom to roam the front lines to gather stories for his work. Mauldin's cartoons often offended the Army officers for his portrayal of them, but this endeared Willie and Joe to the soldiers on the front line and around the world.

Mauldin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Cartooning in 1945. His work has been published in several books and Willie and Joe were featured in the films Up Front (1951) and Back at the Front (1952).

Willie and Joe have appeared on 2 US stamps. The first as part of a 1993 set marking the 50th anniversary of the war and in 2010 honoring Bill Mauldin...


Charles M. Schulz, a WWII veteran regularly paid tribute to Mauldin in his comic strip Peanuts during  Veteran's Day...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Vanessa Seixas - Frankenstein's Monster

2014.05.24 Woodbridge Comic Fest, Woodbridge, NJ

Sharing a booth with Michal Brodka was Vanessa Seixas. A freelance illustrator, her art featured illustrated posters of pop culture icons like Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Jerry Garcia, Daredevil, etc... It was her portrait of Walken Dead (a frankenstein Christopher Walken) that inspired me to ask Vanessa for a Frankenstein sketch on an Abbott and Costello first day cover...

Thanks for not being afraid of a little rain...

Vanessa drew in a more cartoon style to match the feeling of the Abbott and Costello stamp. I had the idea of getting the Frankenstein sketch from Paul Castiglia, who is writing a blog Scared Silly as a companion piece to his upcomign book about the comedy based horror movies that featured Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Bob Hope and the Bowery Boys among others...

Abbott and Costello met Frankenstein, along with Dracula and the Wolfman, in 1948 and would go on to meet Boris Karloff, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Mummy and go to Mars...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Michal Brodka - the Batman

2014.05.24 Woodbridge Comic Fest, Woodbridge, NJ

Outdoor festivals always run the risk of bad weather. When I arrived at the Woodbridge Fest, there were 5 vendors set up. Larry Hama, Michal Brodka, Vanessa Seixas, a candle seller, robotics and a musician, along with a few cos-players. the threat of bad weather had kept many of the comic book vendors away...

I give credit to those who did brave the potential for rain (we all know what happens when comics and water mix)!

I was looking over the art at Michal and Vanessa's booth and taken in by both of their work. Michal had some amazing engraved and screen prints. Since I try to keep my collecting to first day covers, and there were only 3 artists are the fest I asked Michal if he would be willing to provide me with a sketch. His response was low key "sure". When I asked what his preference in drawing might be his response - "anything dark"... I love that kind of response!

Michal provided me with a quick Batman, that does not give full credit to his talent. His engravings are gorgeous.. From his Youtube video bio - Michal is one half of Celestial Bodies, a galactic collaboration between himself and the music artist Ruined Machines. I have been listening to them while writing this, excellent prog rock...

Check out Michal's work at his facebook page and RSI apparel...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Louis Small Jr - Vampirella

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Louis Small Jr is best known for his work on Harris Comic's Vampirella.  Small has also worked as a writer, inker and cover artist on titles for  DC Comics (Supegirl); Marvel Comics (Ka-Zar); Defiant Comics (Michael Alexander, Dark Dominion; and Vertigo Comics (Codename: Knockout), which Small co-created with Rob Rodi...

Small has also provided sketch work for Breygent Marketing Cards (Golden Age Heroes, Cartoon Sketch cards and Sci-Fi Horror cards)...

updated 2014.06.26 recently came across this site for Vampirella related covers

Sunday, May 18, 2014

H. R. Giger

H.R. Giger, swiss painter, sculptor and set designer passed on May 12, 2014. Giger was known for his fantastic designs for the movie Alien, as well as album covers such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery. Meticulously detailed, his paintings show a biomedical style that combines flesh and machine...


comic strip - Eek! by Scott Nickel

Friday, May 16, 2014

Chris Calle - Moon Landing

2014.05.07 postmarked

Oh my GOD!!!
The voice was that of a 10-year old girl - the body it came out of was a 50+ male. That was my reaction when I saw the above sketch from Chris Calle.

I had the opportunity to receive a correspondence from Chris Calle, when I had posted one of the Peter Max moon landing covers I had on e-bay. Since I had a few copies of the cover being offered, I suggested a trade of several space and Peter Max related covers for a sketch of his. His e-mail came back "I usually do not do quick sketches...    let's trade!"

Apparently Calle had visited my site previously and was impressed with the covers I had presented. The note he sent with the above cover "My cover to add to your very cool collection - All the best, Chris."

Chris Calle is the son of Paul Calle (1928-2010), two of the most talented artists to put pen to paper. Their specialty is space art. Paul designed the 1969 Moon Landing stamp, as well as the Gemini Space twins, Douglas MacArthur, Robert Frost, Clara Maas, Vietnam Veterans all for the USPS. Paul also designed stamps for the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Sweden and the United Nations.

1962 - NASA set up their art program for the purpose of recording the history of space through the eyes of artists. These artists included Paul Calle, Norman Rockwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Annie Leibovitz and several others. As part of the program, Calle was given exclusive access to the astronauts during the mission and his sketches are on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Chris Calle followed in his father's footsteps as he designed the 25th anniversary Moon Landing stamp with his father. Chris has also designed many issues for the USPS including issues for Bessie Coleman, Theodore von Karman, Edward R Murrow, Connecticut Statehood, and others. Chris Calle also produces his own first day covers...

Chris Calle also specializes in wildlife and nature sketches due to his concern for the environment and the plight of endangered species...

As for the Moon Landing envelope, this was given to me by my Uncle Bob, who was President of an envelope manufacturing company, the same facility where my parents worked and met. Uncle Bob was in Washington for a conference on Sept 9, 1969, when the stamp was issued. He attempted to obtain a first day cancel, but found he did not have an envelope in his possession. He had to borrow one!
Because of this I have always held on to this cover, never realizing that one day it would carry Chris Calle artwork.

As far as the trade I made with Chris - I win!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Terrell Jefferson - Harley Quinn

2014.04.12 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

Terrell Jefferson (JTonz) had a small table at the Con, yet he was totally comfortable with that. His work displayed on the table showed skill and a style that called to me. We talked briefly about his style, which I referred to as having sharp angular features with a soft touch. His subjects included Hellboy and Michael Jackson.. when we discussed a subject for his sketch, he suggested Harley, to which he provided a great sketch with Harley mimicking the Fanny Brice stamp. 

Looking at his deviantart page, I was really taken by his drawing of The Horseman of Death (wish I had seen that at the con!)...

Fanny Brice in 1910 became a headliner for the Ziegfield Follies, was a comedian, singer, actress, radio personality (The Baby Snooks Show) and was the subject of the Barbara Streisand film Funny Girl. (Never thought I would be including Streisand in this blog)...

Harley Quinn was introduced into the DC world in 1992, created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for the  Batman: The Animated Series television program...