Wednesday, June 29, 2011

choopie and heywood at the top of the space needle~


it's been a busy couple weeks here at the plays well with otters studios upstate new york facility and it seems that, since heroescon last month, i've been jaunting off each weekend to one small show or another. this past sunday it was the capital district toy show put on by our friend, john belskis, the same guy who puts together the charming and growing twice-a-year albany comic con! i had a great time and met a bunch of fun, new people--if you're into toys or into comics, you might wanna think about checking that out next year...!

two weeks ago, as i mentioned here on the blog, i was in washington dc with jim starlin doing a whirlwind one-day show with baltimore comiccon organizer, marc nathan! there two, i had a fun time and got to see a lot of familiar faces and meet quite a few new readers! one of the new people i met was inker/artist, tim dzon! tim and i had actually met before and we struck up a nice conversation which, sadly, included the lack of work for inkers these days as marvel and dc both shift even more toward digital, making the inker's graceful contribution to the comics page yet another victim in the mechanization of comics. (we could go on all day about that, but as did our chat turn to more pleasant things, let's us do the same thing here...)
as a couple people were waiting to get a couple sensational spider-mans signed, tim excused himself and shot off to his table, returning, what seemed only minutes later with this sketch of koj and gave it to me!


our pal, mike went to seattle and all he brought was this lousy t-shirt!

disappointed that craig and i did not have the time or the wherewithall to climb to the top of the space needle when we were in seattle last march, mike estelle--heywood to those of you familiar with his comments here on the blog--made sure to take choopie to the top and get a picture on his recent visit to the emerald city!
thanks for baby-sitting, mike! glad you had a good time!

mike also sent me this which...i'm not sure where he saw it... mike...?


weird pictures on my desktop department:

if i was out swimming and i spied this thing swimming next to me, i would definitely wet my bathing suit...
yikes...! big and scary!

and i don't know what this is or even where i got it, but it scares me--chasing me in my dreams.
at night.

that's it!
a new installment of rich woodall and jason copland's "SAINTS and SINNERS" will be up on friday--be here for that!
smell ya later!

Friday, June 24, 2011

happy birthday~!


anyone who knows me--knows me in person, i mean--knows that i'm a glass-half-full kinda guy. an eternal optimist, the always-looking-for-the-silver-lining, guy, the constant cheerleader. i strive to always stay positive, always be supportive. sometimes irritatingly so. okay, most times. ask craig. or mike.

which brings us to what that little preamble was about.

today is mike's birthday. he would be 48 today. he would complain about how old he's (we're) getting and how time is just flashing by and i'd tell him to shut up. we'd agree that we need to re-double our efforts to get more of our many projects done and i'd remind him that he needs to get out of his studio more, get out of the house more, go somewhere and meet people and maybe find someone nice to spend some time with. then we'd laugh, 'cause, c'mon--who're we kidding?

some people tend to get very sad and mournful on the date of a person's passing and i guess that's natural. we remember them fondly and wish they were still here. think about that hole in our lives where that person used to be. and that's okay.

but it was the year anniversary of my mom's death that my dad pointed out that that's not what we should be doing. to really honor that person and remember them positively, we should focus more on their birthday. if we want to celebrate them and their life, why not do it on the day that they would celebrate?!

though painfully short, mike's life was good. he was blessed with a fantastic family, wonderful friends, an incredible talent, legions of fans, and a laugh that you could hear across the room. he laughed a lot.

and, despite the relatively brief time, he gave us so much awesome!

happy birthday, brother~!
miss ya--definitely...
but more than that, i love ya!


and, HEY~! if you haven't been following the awesome story--"SAINTS and SINNERS"--by rich woodall and jason copland over on the Tales from the Perhaps page, you are MISSING OUT! click the "TALES" link above and see the adventure unfold!!


i'll be here this sunday...

swing by and see me--if you're in the neighborhood!
smell ya later~!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

washington re-cap and a long-distance sketch from eric


first off, sorry for the delay in getting this post out; things have become a little hectic here the past couple of weeks, but it looks--finally--like things are getting back on track.
i hope.

speaking of shaking things up, our pal and upcoming perhapanauts back-up artist, eric henson, is also a sergeant in the air force and just recently he and his family have been deployed to a whole 'nother country (i don't think i'm allowed to say where). in transit for about a week, eric 'e'd me that he was getting bored and, with all of his art supplies and drawing tables packed up and hovering somewhere between here and there, out of desperation, he doodled this (awesome) haps piece on some typing paper while waiting in the doctor's office. goes to show--you can't keep a good artist down--!

thanks, eric--very cool!


and speaking of wonderful pieces, i had a fantastic time at the washington comic con the other day! though it was a whirlwind of racing here and racing there with jim (my pal, starlin), we made it into a crazy one day adventure which actually went quite smoothly save for a delay on the ground on our flight back home from dulles. all in all, a fun time!

i forgot to take pictures--or maybe better, i really didn't have time to take pictures--but it was so great to see some old friends (hi, jen and bob, william and charlotte! mindy and john and caleb!), make some new friends (inker tim dzon and artist/writer dan nokes), and pick up a couple of old silver age comics that made the trip home all the more enjoyable!

especially, i got to see my friend john gallagher--buzzboy, roboy red, and a slew of other projects decidedly aimed at the involvement and interaction of kids in comics!--and meet the rest of his charming family! having some super hero squad comics on-hand didn't hurt as far as john's kids went and it was to my great amazement when son jack, 7, came over to gift me with not one, but TWO beautiful sketches of two of his favorite squaddies--thor and captain america! obviously talent runs in the family and if john's smart he'll get jack working on some new buzzboy stories real soon!

and if john's not that smart, it's ';cause he gave all of his brains to 9 year old daughter, katie, with whom i had a delightful conversation regarding the brilliance of jk rowling and how katie loved the harry potter series but was currently very mad at draco malfoy. outraged with how evil he had become at the beginning of book 6, the half-blood prince, katie put the book down in anger at the white haired antagonist and hasn't picked the book(s) up since. she assured me that one day she'd pick it up again, but for now, she was still very mad. i give her full marks for integrity and honor!


and speaking of cool art work from sources very near and dear, here are a couple of masterpieces from my boy, johnny--well, i guess he's really craig's boy, but i can take him anytime i want to--who made these drawings shortly after my visit back in may. you can see, obviously, several of the super hero squad represented, including some of doom's lethal legion--as well as a trio of johnny's own creator-owned characters--the heroic hoola hoop man and two of his super powered adversaries, spy-eye-guy and party skull ( all copyright, of course, johnny rousseau © 2011 )

i think that's all i got--as i said, things are a bit crazy at the moment!
oh--i WILL be at the capital district toy show this sunday, wolf road in albany!!
here's the poster--!

smell ya later~!

Friday, June 17, 2011

thom's displays and the washington dc show~!


so my good friend thom zahler--of LOVE and CAPES fame, and if you're not reading that you're missing out on a lot of superhero-and-their-relationships fun!!--posted this on his blog a couple weeks back and iu wasn't able to post it until now! thom makes these AWESOME , lightweight table stands for your comic books, trades, cd's, dvd's, whatever!! they're great and if you travel to shows and want a cool, efficient, economical way to display your books--or even if you just want sharp way to display your favorites in your room, den, or man-cave--look no further! these are fantastic!
take a look~!

Display Stands for Sale
Last year, I figured out a way to make a display stand for showing off my books at comic conventions using foam core. The idea was I wanted something light, cheap, and if needed, disposable. Shipping costs for shows are an issue, and with baggage fees and everything, something that doesn’t add much weight and can be abandoned seemed like a needed combination. And, when folded, it’ll fit in a standard large suitcase.

I posted the plans (which may have had a couple of minor errors in the measurements originally, but they’ve been fixed) online for everyone to use.

But, some people have asked what I’d charge to just go ahead and make them. I resisted for a while, trying to figure out if there was a way to make the template quickly and effectively. I think I’ve come up with it, so now I’m making them available for purchase. If you want one, I’ll make you one for $70.00 and bring it down. I’ll be glad to bring them to any show I’ll be at, and if you want it shipped, we can figure that out, too.

So, if you’re going to HeroesCon and want one of these, let me know and I’ll make one and bring it down. Orders close Wednesday, June 1.

And, if you want to build one yourself, the plans are still online, too.

for ordering info, and to see this same story over on his cool blog, go to:


"SAINTS and SINNERS" by rich woodall and jason copland pt 7 is UP! go see it now in ^ "tales from the perhaps"


and here are a buncha fun charts sent to me by the (in)famous spencer beck~!

that's it!
come and see us in dc on sunday if you're in the area!
and happy father's day to alla you dads!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

washington dc con and...what the heck it THAT?!


another reminder about the washington comic con this sunday--father's day--at george martin university in fairfax!
frank cho!! jim starlin!! larry hama!!


rich woodall sent me this link last week from the always curious, always on the cutting edge io9 website, but i couldn't post it right away as i was wrapping up all the heroescon reports.
here it is for your consideration.


Bizarre, unexplained creature photographed in Mexico
Annalee Newitz — Last year, people in the small Mexican town of Chiquimitío were startled by the arrival of this bizarre creature. They took a few pictures and a short cell video, but this remains one of the clearest images of its head.

What is it?
Unfortunately we don't have enough evidence, beyond a few blurry pictures, to ever know for sure. But there are a few theories, including that it's a cyclops-eyed chihuahua.

According to UFO blog Inexplicata:

Chiquimitío, a town of approximately 1,500 residents, is a small community some two thousand twenty meters above sea level, quite close to the city of Morelia. And that's where some local residents encountered a strange creature, small and walking on all fours before standing on two legs. They described the creature as having thin arms, legs and torso, covered with very little hair. Unfortunately, the few witnesses to this event were gripped by fear, and threw themselves against the unknown entity, lopping off its head with a single blow and throwing its small carcass to the local dogs, which devoured it almost immediately. It should also be noted that Chiquimitío is a farming community, and it is customary for residents to carry machetes wherever they go . . .

It should be noted that we first thought it could be case of cyclopia - a congenital deficiency characterized by a single facial orbit visible on the face of living creatures — that is to say, a single eye — accompanied by cranial deformation and the absence of a nose (also known as holoprosencephaly) and that the creature's physique, and its similarity to a dog of the Chihuahua breed, could have indeed been an adequate hypothesis. However, a situation that also prompts reflection is that one of the characteristics of cyclopia, while it can affect any living creature, it is evident in approximately 1 to 3 per 1000 births. This low percentage is either stillborn or dies shortly later.

This factor also leads to consideration. This being's head shows signs of having been alive for a longer time, a detail evident in the teeth, which were in some way developed. In turn, the strange shape and size of the ears is striking. These could initially be said to resemble those of a Chihuahua dog. However, this species of canine has rigid and firm ears, contrary to what we see in this unknown creature, as the ears appear larger and more flexible.

Chupacabra, anyone?

i dunno.
this is the only picture that was released?
i don't know about you, but this kinda looks like an old chicken leg to me with some meat left on the bone to dry out and then doctored to look like a face. anybody...?
also, i guess the new go-to when these armchair cryptozoologists are stumped is "chupacabra!!"
come on. please.

happy wednesday!
smell ya later~!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Washington DC Con and the Amazing Spider-Man 663~!


first and fast--this is kinda a last minute post for some last minute arrangements; while having a drink on sunday night after the show last week, my good pal, baltimore comiccon organizer, marc nathan, asked if i'd be interested in coming down to be a guest at a one-day show he and a few friends were throwing together for this coming sunday, father's day! seems there is no real washington DC show to speak of yet and he and a few buddies were hoping to bring the love of comics to the capital district...and this was the only weekend they could get the space!
while we talked about it, my other pal (i have two, you know...) and volleyball buddy, jim starlin, said he'd join me and so marc got, not only a guest, but a comic book LEGEND!
sadly, our third, ron, will NOT be able to make it, come if you're in the area, come on down and see me and jim and the awesome larry hama! oh, yeah--and frank cho will be there too.

that's this sunday--father's day!--in fairfax at the george martin university!
see ya there!


oh, and apparently, my spider-man back-up story appears in the latest issue of amazing spider-man 663 and features the long-awaited re-teaming of the todds!! me on words, the sensation todd nauck on pencils and inks! go get it, tiger!


and here is the last of my shots from charlotte--the only two pieces by craig that i was able to photograph!

first is from a sketchbook that this very cute and very chatty (pleasantly so) girl presented us with where the theme was penguins--

and this gorgeous commissioned canson phoenix~!
love her~

and that's it for monday~!
smell ya later!

Friday, June 10, 2011

more from heroes~!


the truly great thing about going to heroescon is the people and the positive energy and the celebration of comics! yes, there are new faces, new perhapa-fans to be courted, but charlotte, to me and craig anyway, represents family and seeing the same people year after year who, despite that familiarity, are always just so happy to see us! and we them...! having taken last year off, it was great to see those smiling, friendly faces and to catch up a bit...

there were many high-points over that wonderful weekend, but here are a couple that i caught on film...

apologies, apologies, warren, for the fuzzy photo...
here, my friends, is our own warren newsom, decked out in his perhapanauts big t and his perhapanauts hat--easily making him the ULTIMATE PERHAPA-FAN! way to show your colors, warren--

and here, i proudly present warren's winning piece in the con's quick-draw competition! again, sorry for the blur, but i think you can see it if you click on it and enlarge it.
warren confessed that, going in, he had no idea of what he was going to draw when he was suddenly inspired by a little boy reaching out to and comforting his father. a very sweet and poignant moment. i don't remember all the details--warren, could you tell it again...?


now, everybody knows our pal nick cardy~
here's a picture of him (with a doesn't-know-she's-in-the-picture sharon behind him). i made sure to capture that twinkle in his eye to support what happened next...

so, you remember that absolutely stunning wonder woman i posted the other day--a particularly beautiful cosplayer who's real name is miracle (hi, miracle~!)--who was kind enough to pause before our table for a picture...?

looking up from the sketch of wonder woman he was doing, nick was instantly struck dumb by her beauty, his dentures dropping to the bottom of his mouth, that small part of him deep inside that he had thought was now little more than a spark suddenly flaring up to a flame, a short, sharp "unh" the only thing he could produce. but only for a moment. his brain quickly firing as fast as it could, our nick, stammering and stuttering, called this majestic princess over...
(sorry, matt, for the bad photography. i should be shot for missing this one...)

true miracle that she is, miracle was kind enough to engage nick in some play, immediately wrapping him up in her golden lasso--(you do know that wonder woman's creator, william moulton marston, was also the inventor of the modern polygraph--the lie detector, don't you...?)

conscientious about his now loose teeth, it took us a couple of shots to finally get nick to smile...

...and though he's looking down in this one, trust me, miracle left our boy nick smiling for the rest of the day~!

thank you, miracle!


and yet, as wonderful as that was, my absolute favorite moment of the whole show was courtesy our good friend--and perhapanauts contest winner--ernie cooper~!
pictured here with gal pal, ash--i mean, megan (hi, megan~!) and, sorry, i think his name was dave but we'll just call him 'hapless victim'...ernie is one of those people i love to see each year at heroes and chat about life and work and writing (you need to write more, ernie...!) ernie is the manager of a local movie theater and has often set up special midnight showings of the big blockbusters for guests of the show in the past~!

having met up in the little 'green room' that the show had made available to the con's guests that was supposed to be stocked with various sodas and snacks--but was not--artist/legend/pal joe staton and i were walking back to our respective tables when we passed a display of all the enormous movie canvases promoting next week's green lantern film. i, personally, can't wait to see the movie 'cause i've always loved the character and especially the multitude of weird and wild alien green lanterns that have been introduced over the years--many of them co-created by, yep, joe staton. and particularly my favorite, kiliwog.

as joe and i paused to take in the majesty of the poster, joe told me that, kiliwog is actually his favorite too, that he's always loved his polar personality, and that, as co-creator, he actually get points on the character--royalties for toys and appearances, etc. mostly , he said, he loves that poster and would love to have one...
you can see where this is going, i'm sure.
sure enough, when ernie swung around my table later that day, i asked him if he had the banners at his theater, if they could keep them or had to send them back, and if they could keep them, would it be possible to buy one...
ernie just smiled and said, "see ya tomorrow."

the next morning, he and megan showed up with a long cardboard box and another smile. i ran them over to joe's table where he just happened to be visiting with family that had come to see him and his lovely wife, hilary, and introduced ernie who p[resented joe with the box. joe is a very happy, very personable guy--maybe a bit quiet--and so believe me when i tell you how shocked i was to see him sprint around the table and give ernie a huge hug (he's never hugged me...), thanking him profusely and calling him his new best friend. my happiest moment at the show was seeing joe that happy and it's all because of you, ernie! thanks so much!

that's a long post~!
now go take a look at "Tales from the Perhaps!" for part 5 of rich and jason's "SAINTS AND SINNERS!"
smell ya later~!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Heroescon Costume Parade!


well, as the title proclaims, here are the wonderful costumes--and wonderful comics fans--that we were fortunate enough to see/meet/enjoy this past weekend! it seemed like only a few minutes would go by when matt would nudge me or call over to me pointing out yet another photo op! needless to say, the costumed con-goers are always one of my favorites and this year there were some absolutely beautiful costumes on hand! (as always, i apologize for the quality of the photos and especially the couple of fuzzy ones in here--i must have inadvertently changed the setting at one point...)

let the parade begin...!

we'll start out with this wonderful, wonderful wasp~!

beautiful batgirl!

this magnificent ms. marvel~!

a cheerful cheetah! (i'm trying to go with the alliterations...we'll see how far i can go with it...this one is a bit sarcastic)

a spine-chilling scarecrow and a jovial "killing joke" joker...

just...WOW~! wonder woman~! and i mean, WOW~! (you can see more of her her on friday...) and a resplendent red skull! (both costumes were just incredible..for obvious--and quite different reasons. both were perfect, but our red skull here was chilling, with a stunning mask and piercing electric blue eyes! excellent job!

a scintillating spider-man 2099!

a bombastic black widow!

the curious combination of a hungry hulk and a saucy silk spectre!

and finally...a defiant dark knight! i accidentally cut his ears off, but when i asked him for another picture--

--bitch knocked me out~!

be here friday for more from heroescon, the next installment of
rich and jason's "saints and sinners", and the ever-feisty nick cardy~!
smell ya later!