Friday, June 22, 2007

lunch with the boys


i am such a lucky guy.

i know this. i don't want any one to think that i don't realize how very fortunate i am.
i have had an absolutely wonderful life, blessed with a close and loving family, surrounded by many great friends, living with a beautiful, caring (and patient!) girlfriend. i have been fortunate enough to make my living (most of the time) doing something that i am deeply passionate about. i laugh a lot.
plus, i have the coolest dog around.

so now that i've told you all about the great time i had with my amigos down in charlotte this past weekend, lemme tell ya about the very next day, after i got home, with my pals up here in upstate new york.

for years, i used to play volleyball across the river in the town of woodstock with the likes of comics legends terry austin, fred hembeck, ron marz, jim starlin, and bernie wrightson. this was an every tuesday night thing and it gave all of us who worked at home a chance to get out, get some exercise, and then go have dinner and chat. i became good friends with all of them--as well as the other players; don, drew, kevin, alex, dani and it went on for 8 or 9 more years until people started moving away (ron--crossgen--yoko) and the group slowly disbanded.
good times.

in particular, terry and i became close and we get together from time to time to have dinner and talk comics, tv shows, growing up, etc. and so terry was the one who called me up a week or so ago to tell me about a new tradition he's starting; tuesday lunch with joe. once a month or so, terry has rallied much of the local comic book talent--as well as a few of us remaining vollyballers--to go and have lunch with his pal, comics super-legend, joe sinnot!

joe sinnot!

you young kids can google him.
go ahead. i'll wait.

so the very next day after my return from my awesome weekend with craig and mike down in north carolina, i went to lunch with terry, joe, and his granddaughter, erin, my good pal and funny, funny guy, fred hembeck, and artist extraordinaire and also a wonderfully nice guy, joe staton! wow! (herb trimpe couldn't make it 'cause he was teaching, dan green had a prior engagement, and starlin couldn't make it 'cause he just got married or something...)

so here are a few of my pictures from lunch with the legend.
we had a great time and talked for hours and it was wonderful to hear joe sinnot's stories of his life, his early days at marvel, and some of the characters he worked with. (fred and i will keep the vinnie colletta stories to ourselves... right, fred?)

fred and joe staton and i were the first to arrive. i told them to get together for a picture outside the restaurant. this looks more like a mug shot. they really do like each other.

the whole gang. well, i'm behind the camera...but from left to right; erin sinnot, joe sinnot, joe staton, kneeling; terry and fred.

i snapped this just as an incredibly animated joe got to the climax of his story...

...and this one as an equally animated terry tried to laugh at the punchline with a mouthful of food!

needless to say, i was honored to be invited along and i hope that they'll ask me again. i had a great time!

that's about all for now. next week we'll get into some more perhapanaut-y stuff, some cryptozoological stuff, some comic stuff, and some more trivia stuff.

here's a final "random picture of the week"

have a great weekend!
smell ya later!


Heywood Jablomie said...

You are indeed a lucky lucky man Todd!! I'm jealous, that's quite the crowd to get to hang with. Joe Staton is one of my fave artists out there, but the rest of the gang there is just too much. Where do you live exactly and where did you go to lunch? Haha just kidding. The old gang sounds like it must have been fun as well. Jim Starlin is one hell of a genius in my book. I have had the honor of meeting Bernie Wrightson at a horror convention here in Jersey a couple of years ago, and he was really cool. Man, as a fan I wish i lived anywhere near some of my faves just to get to hang possibly and shoot the shit! I'm jealous. =)

Christian D. Leaf said...

Very nice indeed, Todd. I still need to pick up that book that just came out about Joe, 'Brushstrokes with Greatness.' (Or something along those lines.)

Mike Wieringo said...

THAT is just so freaking COOL....!

You truly are a lucky guy...

Brian said...

Lucky indeed and fully deserving of it as well.

Scott Weinstein said...

What a great follow-up to Heroes. Why is the Hudson River Valley such a hot spot for comic people?

Bill Nolan said...

Great, now I'm hungry for Chinese for some reason...

Heywood Jablomie said...

If you have the time, fill us in on more with Joe Sinnott-what was it like getting to talk with him? It looked like you all had a lot of fun.


Matt Wieringo said...

Extremely cool! If I ever get to do a FREAKY FRIDAY-style switcheroo, it's going to be with you. Okay, actually, I'd use it on Jessica Biel so I could stare at myself naked in a mirror all day but still, you sure have some cool friends.

Walt said...

How is it in all my years in Kingston that I never got to meet Joe?