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Category: Comic Books

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Some Cons

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Okay, so we’ve been to MoCCA Fest, Asbury Comic Con and Wizard Philly — all completely different. heidi_shannon

MoCCA Fest 2012 came and went so fast I never got a chance to take any pictures. Judie snapped this one of comics ace report Heidi MacDonald of The Comics Beat, a plump, long-haired version of me, and the always entertaining Shannon Wheeler of Too Much Coffee Man and The New Yorker Magazine fame. It was long couple of weeks, doing Boston Con, working on the MoCCAFEST.org site up until the last few days (I’m a volunteer), and then jamming everything into the car again and heading in NYC for the weekend. We had a great dinner with Rick Parker and Jim Salicrup (sorry, no pictures while we’re eating), and that’s all I can remember. All a blur. So when Heidi invited us to join Fred Van Lente, Ben McCool, Brian Heater, Torsten Adair, and old pal Shannon Wheeler, I was ready to kick back for an after the con pint. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much and so hard. Shannon does that too me. What a great way to end a con.

CliffRob_asbury

Then on May 12, Rob Bruce and I threw our own con — Asbury Park Comic Con. It was probably one of the oddest venues for a con: the rock club The Asbury Lanes, which is actually a bowling alley built in 1963 and looks like a time machine.
evan_croppedWe had special guest Evan Dorkin (pictured above), Sarah Dyer, Jamal Igle, Steve Mannion, Danny Hellman, Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey, Charles Soule, the pictures are on a disk somewhere — thanks Dad for taking those shots.

Here’s a few by Dan Mozgai: Good shot off exhibitors and fans having a great time at the first Asbury Park Comic Convention.
Screen shot 2012-06-22 at 10.47.42 AM

And just as the con was beginning, the venue, The Asbury Lanes was getting a facelift after hurricane winds at the beach mangled the iconic sign.
Screen shot 2012-06-22 at 11.01.55 AM

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Boston Comic Con

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The crowd at Boston Comic Con this past weekend was epic! Here the patient fans are waiting to enter Saturday morning at the Hynes Auditorium. What a great crowd — I had so much fun, so many laughs and met so many new people and caught up with old friends. Ran into Pete Bagge, Bernie Wrightson, Jamal Igel, Steph Buscema, Bob Polio of New England Comics, Cliff Chiang, Paul Litch of CGC, Jim Calafiore, Mark McKenna, Bob Schreck and many others.

crowd

The debut of the Rat Bastard SMALL DOSES issue 1 went better than I imagined. Fans of the old books as well as new fans made me very optimistic about the future of creator owned titles and self-publishing.

kids_boston

A crowd of young guys descended on the Crucial Comics booth and snapped up T-shirts, stickers and comics, then brought more friends. They had so many questions — it was great fun, I dug their enthusiasm for Rat Bastard.

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New Model Sheets and Sketches

Friday, December 9th, 2011

sergeant1
Click on image to enlarge

It’s the secondary and tertiary characters that can make all the difference between a good story and a mediocre one. How many times haves you read a comic or watched a cartoon and all the supporting characters appear to be spit out of from the same mold? Sometimes it’s a matter time — there is no wand that can be waved to make new characters simply appear, they need to be developed. Perhaps I spend too much time on that at times, but I’d like to believe it pays off. This is Sergeant Slag, who’s pretty much a one-dimensional character: he doesn’t like Roscoe’s kind. He’s a first class FURC-hater. And as haters tend to be, he’s rather myopic — he allows his prejudices to keep him from finding the the true criminals.

sergeant_sketches

I have several pages of sketches of some sort of sergeant to accompany Detective Penski. The Penski character was already gruff, the sergeant had to be more of an ignorant clod. During this period, I experimented with all sizes, races, and even gender. This led me to think about their captain, who would eventually appear on the page as a politically savvy woman. She would have to be smart in order to become a captain — someone who was considering all the angles and ramifications.

jetbike_sketch

Roscoe’s bike is a constantly evolving vehicle — perhaps like the Batmobile, with many iterations. I’m always trying to justify its design, as if it would ever actually fly. So I work with it for a while and think, jeesh, that thing would never get off the ground, or how does it really do this or that? Stay tuned.

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MoCCA Fest NYC and a Return to Conventions

Sunday, April 17th, 2011
Photo © 2011 Brett Unis

Photo © 2011 Brett Unis

On April 9th 2011 I was returned to my people. It had been 9 years since I appeared at a comic convention. It was in some ways everything I’d hoped it would be: the art, the fans, the camaraderie, making new friends, the pasion for the medium, and all those wonderful comics. But the best part about MoCCA Fest, was I got to spend the weekend with my old pal Jon B. Cooke. Will Eisner documentary producer and publisher of the award winning Comic Book Artist Magazine, J.B. and his brother Andy Cooke (director of Will Eisner: A Sequential Artist) kept me in stitches with equal parts of  chop-busting and comic book references.

Cliff Galbraith, publisher Jon B. Cooke and Director Andrew Cooke

Cliff Galbraith, publisher Jon B. Cooke and Director Andrew Cooke

When not outright laughing, I found myself smiling, for no particular reason, other than the fact that I was incredibly happy, and forunate to be making comics once again. While at MoCCA Fest, I ran into another old friend, Alex Simmons, who invited me to his Kids Comic Con in the Bronx. While the Bronx isn’t the most convenient place to reach from Red Bank, NJ, I nonetheless drove into northern NYC to visit with old friends and make new ones. I’m not sure what artist Rick Parker asked of us as he took this shot, but Jack Morelli (master comic letter for Marvel and Archie comics), me, Torsten Adaire (Comics Beat contributor) and Jim Salscrup (editor extraordinaire) are  enjoying the con as much as any kid at Kids Comic Con. Well worth the drive.

Photo © 2011 Rick Parker

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A New Comic Project

Monday, February 21st, 2011

anl1b
I’d hoped to have had this one ready for the 2011 MoCCA Fest in April, but we changed the name and well, you know how it is. Or do you? Inspiration comes and goes. Ideas seem great, then days later they don’t. Characters take time to develope – I found some notes for this story, and only one out of the original five names or characters survived.

Also, I’m collaborating on this with my wife this time. It’s based on a concept she had many years ago. It made us laugh back then and we began noticing things and phrases that would go into here story. A few years ago, I was looking for an animated project to work on, so I started conceptualizing her story ( some of it was posted here about two years ago). A lot of it is based on our days in New Brunswick , NJ where we met.

So here’s the first page – I’ll put up a site for adventuresinnowhereland.com eventually, but first I’ll need to bang out a few more pages. One thing’s for certain — this is a lot easier than those damned Rat Bastard pages. Well, not easier, just simpler. After all, none of this is actually easy.

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