Jet City Comic Show, November 4-5

So, yeah, Sarah and I with our daughter in tow will be at the Jet City Comic Show this weekend in Tacoma, Washington. We'll be signing, sketching, saying hello to whoever stops by the booth, pushing copies of Calla Cthulhu and art and pins and stuff. We're looking forward to it -- it's the first time we've ever been to Washington, and the first west coast show we're doing since San Diego in 2000, if I recall correctly. Been a long while.

Some of you long-term readers may recall my problems with flying in the past. It's still a problem, but I'm heading into this in better shape than expected. I'm anxious pretty much all day and night, and I'm taking something to help me get through it, but there's no panic or anything like that. So far! But with one day away I'm probably in the best shape I've been pre-flight in a long time. Especially since I haven't flown in a long time.

Back in the late 90s I stopped flying for a few years when I had what I guess  emotional breakdown (as discussed in Dork #7 at some length). I started flying again to  afew events, but haven't flown since 2001. That wasn't due to post-9/11 fears or anxiety (although that didn't help), it's mainly been due to our situation, schedule and a lack of opportunity. I haven't been invited as a guest to many shows since then, and the shows that have invited us have been close enough to home that it's been worth going by car to haul our books and stuff. We can't afford to do shows that we're not comped at, travel+hotel+table is beyond our means to recover at a show with anything left over, and we're in a situation where making something at a con is an important reason for us to be there in the first place. I had an offer to go to Brazil several years ago to promote Beasts of Burden -- I was keen to take them up on it (despite my stomach rumbling at the idea of flying, especially alone) but I had deadlines and it wasn't the kind of comic show where you set up and sell things. It would have been cool, but it would have cost us money we couldn't afford to lose. So, it was really welcome and cool of the folks at the Jet City Comic Show to invite Sarah and I over as guests.

Anyway, so, I'm nervous and there are moments of semi-panic. I used to love flying but something went off while I was melting down back in the 90s and it became a challenge and something I dreaded. I assume everything will be fine but my imagination kicks into overdrive, despite knowing my fears and worries and scenarios are irrational and all that. At the same time, though, I'm nervously excited about breaking the routine and going somewhere by plane and seeing friends and being with my family and hopefully meeting with readers. A new show is always exciting, going to a new region usually means a decent turnout at the table, for signings, if nothing else. I just hope I don't throw up later today and I can get some sleep and be positive and "calm" for my daughter's sake if not my own. It's her first flight and she's not sure what to expect. She knows I'm antsy soI don't want to make her jumpier. Maybe that's why I'm writing all this when I wasn't planning to. I just wanted to plug the event!

We fly out tomorrow. Back on Monday, with fun in-between. Then, back to work on some scripts.


Calla Cthulhu: interview and review round-up

Yikes, as usual, it's been a while. Things have been happening, some good, a few bad, the bad actually not connected to our comics work.

CXC went really well, NYCC was a madhouse, but some nice things may come from it, and it was good seeing folks from Dark Horse. We even sold a couple of books at our signing. Wonders, and all that never ceasing stuff.

Wanted to share some press we've been getting since CALLA CTHULHU came out. No idea if it's selling, but we know some readers have responded to it very positively, and we got the book into a few libraries. Anyway:

Previews World interviewed Sarah and I at NYCC about the book, the video can be seen here. We were also interviewed for the Funny Book SPlatter podcast at NYCC, which you can listen to here

The School Library Journal gave us a very nice review,

The Barnes and Noble Teen Blog gave Calla a nice plug as part of a roundup of YA horror books.

The Comic Crusaders blog gave us a very enthusiastic review, and here's an older write-up as part of an article from the SYFYWire.

I think we have another interview or two in the pipeline for the book, so, maybe I'll remmeber to post that here by 2019.

You can buy Calla Cthulhu at comic shops that stock it or special order things, or you can get it here, if you get the urge. 


The H.O.F. at CXC

Sarah and I will be exhibitors at next weekend's Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) event, bringing copies of our latest book, CALLA CTHULHU, along with old-timey favorites like BEASTS OF BURDEN: ANIMAL RITES (our last HC copies, trade paperback due mid-2018) and THE ELTINGVILLE CLUB. We're all out of MILK AND CHEESE books, unfortunately (also being re-issued in a trade paperback in mid-2018)

We'll also be selling HOF enamel pins and buttons, some crafty items and some DHC Eltingville Club lunchboxes. Oh, and we'll have original art from most of my own projects Including Milk & CHeese, Eltingville, Dork, Mad Magazine, Biff Bam Pow, Hellboy: Weird Tales and whatever else I can fit in the portfolio.

We'll also have the original art for the CXC wrap-up party poster we did for sale:

I don't know what "hosting" this after-party entails, I just hope my arm's okay enough to bowl.

You can see more about the CXC at their site, and at their Facebook page. It's an amazing city-sponsored cultural event, the whole thing is free to the public, as are the related lecture, workshp and spotlight panel events. And the guest list is always pretty darn stellar (which is why we're only exhibitors, ha ha).

FYI, we're also going to be signing at the Dark Horse booth at this year's NYCC on Friday, Oct 6th, from 2-2:45. In November we'll be flying (ulp) out to Tacoma, Washington for the Jet City Comic Show, our first left-coast con appearance in over sevenbteen years, I believe.

My Jack Kirby "Wake Up and Draw" eBay auction for the Hero Initiative

Hey, folks: I wanted to promote the auction of my drawing for the Hero Initiative's "Wake Up and Draw" fundraiser, an event done to honor Jack Kirby's 100th birthday and raise funds for comics creators in need. I drew Karkas, from Kirby's 1970's Marvel series, The Eternals.

There's a batch of drawings by other cartoonists up for grabs, the Medusa piece by Aud Koch is pretty fantastic, and one I'd bid on (if I could swing it).

You can see the auction for the karkas sketch here, and through it see the other offers from the Hero Initiative.

Still Here, Still Doing Stuff

I have a lot going on and the world's in flames so I rarely get around to posting here these days. I still mean to, and I enjoy it, this is my most comfortable place to be, as far as social media goes, but it also takes the most time for me to deal with. Still, I appreciate the fact that there are some folks left around here, so I try to show up.

Here's what we've been up to in case this is the only place you check for updates from the House of Fun (thx!).

- The Dark Horse Comics print release of our Stela app comic CALLA CTHULHU will be out in shops tomorrow, and available at Amazon on Aug 29th. You can see the other folks involved in the cover image above, Erin is our penciler/designer/co-creator of this weird action-adventure/horror coming of age story about a teenager who discovers her genetic ties to a very old, very powerful and very awful family. Mario inked, Bill colored, Sarah ran the show, she and I scripted and made stuff up. Our letterer is Nate Piekos of Blambot. We loved working on this project and we're hoping this does well enough to be continued, as we have a lot of story to tell. DHC, 256 pgs, full-color, $12.99.

Sarah and I will be signing debut copies of Calla Cthulhu at Comic Book Jones on Staten Island tomororw night from 6-9 pm. And we'll have giveaway bookmarks and I'll be sketching if asked and all that sort of stuff.

- Fans of BEASTS OF BURDEN will be happy to know that Jill Thompson is almost done with the first issue of our next two-part arc (The Presence of Others). On top of that, I'm writing a four-issue BEASTS OF BURDEN mini-series which AUTUMLANDS artist Benjamin Dewey is illustrating. The side series will feature the Wise Dog Society members. Ben's completed the first issue, the second script is done, and I can't be more excited. Look for Ben on Instagram and see previews of his pages. If all goes well we could have six issues of the series next year, and eventually three collections. Oh, and in case you missed it, Sarah, Jill and I won an EIsner for What The Cat Dragged In last month or so.

- Speaking of Beasts of Burden, the anthology series it first ran in is being collected by Dark Horse in one low-priced hardcover called THE DARK HORSE BOOK OF HORROR. It's out Aug 23rd.

- Oh, I'm on Instagram too, now. I take photos of pages I'm working on or things I'm looking at. I could use some followers.

-The DORK collection is just about ready to get sent out to DHC from our end. I'm drawing an introd/autobio story and we're polishing off the interior contents order and sourcing. Almost there. Should be sweet.

- Sarah's been working as the art director for Pinup Girl Clothing for the past year, if I haven't mentioned it. Can't remember, too lazy to check. My third print with them has been approved and could be out later this year. First Cthulhu, then Monsters, and next...???

- DC released SUPERMAN ADVENTURES vol 3, featuring our giant-sized Supergirl story from SA #21, illustrated by Brett Blevins and Terry Austin. DC doesn't mention us by name on the solicitations or website (despite our being the only writers from the animated series, ha ha) and we haven't been sent comps (@$&#!, heh heh) but we still want people to read it. We enjoyed working on that series and the show a lot.

- We will be exhibiting at the CXC in Columbus this Sept 28th, and will be doing our first west-coast convention since 2000 (!) later this year.

- The page I did for Tellos vol 2 will be auctioned off for the ASPCA, the late Mike Weiringo's pet charity (pun not intended) in the near future.  A lot of the art from the self-published books honoring Weiringo's legacy will be available in the auction, date TBD. Tellos 2 should be out soon.

- I have an essay and a drawing in the KIRBY 100 book from TwoMorrows, due Aug 28th. Long Live the King, the Creator, The Heavy Lifter. A shame so many publishers decided the best way to honor Kirby was to sell new comics based on his ideas instead of thinking up something more special, meaningful and less of a cash grab. TwoMorrows celebrates Kirby every month, has for years, and I doubt this is a cash grab so much as a thank you letter that needed funding. Marvel and DC could have done this, but they're lazy-minded and like to jump on Kirby's IP at every opportunity and have stock holders to worry about. I was paid for Kirby 100 with a comp copy, as I assume everyone was. I'm fine with that. I love Jack Kirby and his work. I wish he was here, or at least could have lived long enough to have seen his work embraced by Hollywood and the world the way Stan Lee has. Kirby deserved far more than he got in his lifetime.


 - P.S. I got some good news regarding a new comics project. More someday.

End of transmission. Everyone stay safe.