We are so excited for our Retro-Con review and podcast! Coming soon! For now enjoy this video we shot at the con as a teaser.
We are so excited for our Retro-Con review and podcast! Coming soon! For now enjoy this video we shot at the con as a teaser.
Happy 125th birthday, Nintendo! Nintendo was born in Japan on September 23, 1889!
Comix Gab Episode 13: The Team Goes Down To Baltimore Comic Con!
Ken and Dre make the trek from Philly, PA to Baltimore, MD for the 2014 Baltimore Comic Con. Baltimore Con virgins, they are pleasantly surprised to find a more comics-and-creators-centered show, unlike the more pop-culture-and-celebrity-centered cons that are becoming more prevalent.
As they take in the panels and various exhibitions, Dre and Ken (mostly Dre, though) stop and talk to Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carebo (Curls Studios) and Vito Delsante (Hang Dai Studios). Dre and Ken take away valuable advice on exhibiting, as well as priceless advice on writing for comics.
And now, the show…
(Don’t see the podcast player? Click here)
Podcast’s Chronological Timeline
0:00 Ken and Dre introduce themselves from the long line at Starbucks at the Baltimore Convention Center.
1:00 Creative comics team Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carebo of Curls Studios get their fifteen minutes of fame on the Gab. Carolyn shares her perspective on being one of the editors of the Magic Bullet along with their experiences being comic book creators.
14:40 The gabbers find Vito Delsante’s book FCHS and interview him on the spot. He gave us amazing advice! We also wish his friend and comic book writer and acclaimed photograher Seth Kushner a speedy recovery.
26:38 Ken and Dre return to the Comix Gab studios and reflect on what they saw and the lessons they learned at the Baltimore Comic Con. They share their reactions such how the felt about seeing Locust Moon’s Dream Another Dream for the first time.
Podcast ends with the band I Am A Tree’s song: Hanging on OkCupid.
Our most recent guest cartoonist and printmaker Mike Sgier’s artwork is in an exhibition of BYOPrint members at the American Sardine Bar in South Philly! STop by and check it out. The reception is Sept 6th!
Comix Gab Episode 12: Exclusive Interview with Cartoonist Mike Sgier!
Philadelphia based cartoonist and printmaker Mike Sgier joins us for an episode Comix Gab. Lend an ear to the exclusive interview!
(Don’t see the podcast player? Click Here.)
Mike introduces his comics. He talk about his comics series Cid & Francis and mentions different anthologies his work is appearing in such as Locust Moon’s Little Nemo book, Dream Another Dream and others such as Midwest based Rock Ink Roll.
Mike lists his favorite comic book shops and festivals in the United States. What would Mike’s super power be?
Mike does a lot of traditional print making and he describes the print collective BYOPrint that he’s a member of.
Mike gives advice to aspiring comic book creators. He lists his biggest creative influences in cartooning.
What books/graphic novels has Mike read recently? Why do so many cartoonists have names that are so hard to pronounce?
Mike Sgier reveals his social media preferences. He elaborates on his print making and shares what kind of art supplies he uses.
What are Mike’s future plans?
Song “Mama Said” by Flat Mary Road. Clip of song played in the podcast’s introduction and in full at the at the podcast’s completion.
Maryland’s Small Press Expo’s programing has been planned! Check it out!
Friends of the Comix Gab the organizers of the DC Zine Fest Dirk and Ariana interview on another podcast!
Previous published on theArtblog.org
[Dre reports from a Pennsylvania comic con, where she exhibited her own work and chatted with other comics artists, vendors, and enthusiasts. — the artblog editors]
The Great Allentown Comic Con, summer edition, took place July 12, 2014, right outside downtown Allentown at Merchants Square Mall, which is filled with a collection of unique shops that carry antiques, vintage pop culture memorabilia, comics, and collectable trains. A comics collector would have a good time at the Merchants Square Mall any time of the year, but one of the biggest draws to the place is the Great Allentown Comic Con. This smaller convention is held twice a year–in the summer, and for two days in the winter. At the show, one will find comic book creators, a handful of celebrities, and comic book vendors.
Before the doors opened, there was a long line of eager comic con fans waiting patiently. The environment at this show is inviting, cozy, and friendly. The showroom size is notably smaller than that of shows like Wizard World, and that can be very good for a one-day event.
Men and women of all ages, children, and whole families came dressed in costumes to do what is called costume play, or “cosplay” for short. When I interviewed them, many attendees reported that they felt very safe there and that the occasional public harassment of cosplayers was not present. There was an overall feeling of inclusiveness that created an accepting, safe, and at the same time wild atmosphere of diverse geekdom in which everyone could thrive.
The first costume I saw was a Klingon from Star Trek, played by a spirited older lady. Also present were five members of superhero team The Fantastic Four, including Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, The Human Torch, Crystal, and She-Hulk, all represented by cosplayers. Another interesting group of cosplayers included a Superman dad and his children, Supergirl and the Riddler.
When the doors opened and the first wave of guests arrived, it was game on! I met a slew of interesting customers and even had a chance to interact with some of my Instagram followers in person. What stole the show for me were the great cosplayers. With a venue that size, I was thoroughly impressed by the number and quality of the the costumes. From Mandalorian Mercs to Peter Griffin–it was fun to see people go to such lengths to pull off the perfect cosplay outfit, said exhibiting artist Alex Rivera, also known as the Playful Gorilla.
My table, where I exhibited comics, zines, and prints, was a great place to watch the parade of costumes walk by. I saw local Philly artist, Andrew Dyer, a man who focuses on wearable art inspired by an artist well-known to the Lehigh Valley: Mr. Imagination. Dyer is also well-known–for his outlandish costumes, which he wears on a regular basis. However, he didn’t appear in costume at the con due to his approach to summer comic conventions, which is to stay in comfortable garb due to anticipated excessive heat.
Dyer has been going to the Allentown con for over a decade now; he’s originally from Philadelphia, and went to the Baum School of Art in Allentown. When I asked him about his experience at the con, he said, “I had a wonderful time at the Great Allentown Comic Con! It was a really fun convention for comic readers and for families, too. I finally found Superman #317 there, and I’ve spent over two decades looking for that comic! I highly recommend going to it!”
I also encountered local, professional comic industry writer Bryan J.L. Glass, who currently works on the comic book Furious with the illustrator Victor Santos–who also collaborates with Glass on the series Mice Templar. While reminiscing about the comic con, Glass shared the following with me: “So many fans, old and new, making the trek to Allentown! It was so great to see the show expand so significantly this year!” I agreed that the event was much more popular than the first time I visited, which was in the summer of 2012.
Marc Lombardi, editor of local publishing company GrayHaven Comics, was also exhibiting his publishing company’s comic books at the show. He told me that the small convention remains one of his local favorites, but he had a few suggestions for the next time.
Lombardi on networking and meeting people: ”When I’m sitting behind the table, it’s [about] so much more than the number of books being sold…It’s more about meeting new fans and, especially, potential new contributors for GrayHaven…I think it was a great day, and hope to hear from many of the people I met as potential writers, artists, and cartoonists.”
About the convention’s crowds, Lombardi said: “… It was a bit hot and crazily crowded. I read online about how many people were bothered by the heat, and how the hour-long line to get into the show meant that they were in and out quicker than they intended…That hurts sales, and shows that big crowds aren’t always the goal for a con.”
About celebrities: “…While ‘Xander’ and the Power Rangers certainly brought some people to the show who otherwise may not have come, that didn’t translate to comic book fans and sales for people like me,” Lombardi said. “I would love to see the show in November make a return to focus on comics, and maybe bring in some bigger comic names rather than celebrities–but I also understand it’s a business decision on the part of the convention organizers.”
The next Great Allentown Comic Con will be held November 15-16, 2014, in the Allentown Merchants Mall at 1901 South 12th Street.
The Animal in his natural habitat. Thanks for capturing my reflected light! @deadwoodriver #silkscreen #screenprinting #art #greglabold #laboldmold #laboldbrothers #laboldmoldeculture #fashion #clothing #tshirt #print #printmaking #artorytheanimal #mushman #mannequin #mushroom #mushmanican
Comix Gab Episode 11: Greenies unite! A Powerful Range of Questions with Jason David Frank on Comix Gab!
The Comix Gab crew goes to the Wizard World Philly launch soiree and mingles with all of the finest celebrities. Amongst these pop culture superstars were David Boreanaz, Michael Rooker, and Lou Ferrigno. Most important of these folks, though, was the Green Ranger (and later White Ranger) himself, Mr. Jason David Frank (JDF). The Comix Gab team spent a precious moment with him in the VIP lounge talking about his favorite comics and being a hero to a multitude of generations.
(Don’t see the playlist? Click here.)
The inaugural question is posed by Dre to JDF: “What is it like to be a hero?” He reveals more about himself, such as his favorite comics…
JDF reveals his master plan for the remainder of the year. The future looks bright and green for JDF.
I Am A Tree’s “El Nerd Song” in full.
Adhering to the issue’s Western theme, the comic takes place in a wild west saloon, where our heroine Dre fends off a boorish cowboy. The catalyst for their confrontation? A table.
Written by Ken and illustrated by Dre, the comic is typically representative of the duo’s collective talents and sensibilities.
Magic Bullet #9 premieres July 20th at the SuperNoVa Comicon in Leesburg, Va. You can also find it at the Baltimore Comic Con, the Small Press Expo, and the New York Comic Con. If you are in the area for any of these events, go ahead and grab yourself a copy (or several!).
[Originaly published by artblog.org and written by the Comix Gab’s Dre]
[Dre visits a major comic convention, and reports what artists and fans alike had to say about the con’s structure and value. — the artblog editors]
Growing up, I remember fondly turning the glossy pages of Wizard. There, I found inspiration to become a creative professional. Today, the magazine is no longer, and the Wizard World brand concentrates solely on a traveling pop culture/comic convention.
When Wizard World Comic Con comes to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, as it did June 19-22, I can focus on nothing else. I got the opportunity to approach artists like Neal Adams and Bob Camp on site; there were a number of panels I was interested in attending; and I am always interested in checking out one of the best parts of the show: Artist Alley.
At the end of 2013, Wizard World hired well-known comics industry author, editor, and public speaker Danny Fingeroth to moderate panels at its shows around the country. Fingeroth also edited the instructional magazineWrite Now! I am very thankful that Wizard World is taking programing seriously and bringing it to the next level.
Fingeroth summed up his experience, saying, “Wizard World Philly was a whirlwind for me, since I moderated 15 panels in four days! It was great to hear all those smart, engaging people talk about so many different aspects of comics. Thanks to everybody who was on the panels—and in the super-enthusiastic audiences!”
A very busy illustrator, Mike Manley could be seen at his table reviewing and providing feedback to aspiring artists as they showed him their portfolios. He has a plethora of professional experience, is the man behindDraw! Magazine, and currently works on syndicated comic Judge Parker.
When I asked Manley to share his insights and thoughts on the show, he said, “This was the first big con I have been to in seven years, and a lot has changed with both the cons and myself in that time. I see more of it really being about Hollywood and the characters [and] the rise of cosplay, and what we would in the old days call geekdom is now popular culture. Geek culture is just popular culture now. I saw almost nobody with a comic, but everybody with a print. I think we have turned a corner.”
I saw local cartoonist rockstar Terry LaBan, who has a syndicated cartoon called Edge City in the funny papers. He was also scheduled to appear and speak at three panels at the con, such as “Indy Comix Creators Roundtable,” “The World of Syndicated Comics,” and “Jews and Comics”.
After the con, when I asked LaBan to reflect upon the show, he said, “Wizard World was all right. I enjoyed being on my three panels. I saw Pete Bagge for the first time in 20 years, which was awesome. Would I do it again? I would.”
Well-known cartoonist Peter Bagge was a special guest and flew in from Seattle. He is best known for his character Buddy Bradley, from his comic series Hate. Last year, a book Bagge wrote and illustrated, calledWoman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story (a biography of Margaret Sanger, a historical and political figure) was published. The book is fascinating, and I would highly recommend it.
I had the chance to see Bagge do a very detailed presentation about the book last year at the Small Press Expo in Maryland when he spoke at Locust Moon, a comics shop in University City. When he reflected upon his 2014 Wizard World Philly experience, he said to me, “Well, there were pretty much no other artists like myself there, though I was told they were trying to remedy that–by inviting me, for instance. Other than that, I had a fine time, was treated well, and made decent money.” I agree with Bagge and also hope that the future shows will feature more cartoonists.
Also in Artist Alley was cartoonist Bryan G. Brown, author of the martial arts-themed indie comic First Fight. Brown first exhibited at Wizard World Philly five years ago, so the con has a special place in his heart. After the show was over, he talked to me about his Wizard World experience, saying, “The turnout for this year’s show was the best I’ve ever experienced in the five years I’ve been doing this. The attendees were so patient and generous, and I was happy to interact with so many people who have a genuine love for art in all its different mediums. I wish I could say that the customer service among the staff could have the same level of passion.”
As I floated through the aisles, I spotted indie cartoonist Rafer Roberts, of Maryland’s Plastic Farm Press, at the Beyond Comics booth. He described his experience by saying, “I usually stay in my comfort zone of small-press and indie shows, but I had a lot of fun at Wizard World. I met a bunch of great people, artists, and fans, and generally had a blast!”
One of the after-parties was a free event called the “Creator Pro Am: Drink & Draw,” held at nearby venuePhilaMoca on Friday night. It was definitely one of my favorite highlights. There, the hosts held two separate challenges for writing and drawing, with some desirable prizes, including cash. I really felt an electrifying rush of energy to be in a room with so many creative minds at work. The hosts told jokes and asked trivia; musicians I like, such as Grimes, played sets.
I realized that Jackie Diferdinado, a lady whom I photographed earlier that day when she was dressed as the Marvel Comic’s hero The Wasp, won the writing contest at at Drink & Draw on Friday night. I have also seen her in different costumes at other shows before. After the convention, I asked her how she felt about winning the writing contest.
“I was beyond excited that I won, but also surprised,” Diferdinado said. “My forte when it comes to writing is more journalistic essay-type papers, not short stories…so I was very happy to win, but also very surprised.” Sharing her thoughts about this year’s show, she said, “I had an absolute blast at Wizard World Philly this year! I got to catch up with a bunch of people who I usually only see at conventions. I also got to debut three new costumes this year. I thought the guest list was excellent! I also enjoyed all of the new social media aspects of the convention, like the virtual scavenger hunt and the Frankly app contests [Frankly was one of this year’s comic con sponsors]. I actually won one of the Frankly app contests, and got to meet David Boreanaz, a TV star well-known for his role as Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer,and got his autograph, which was amazing! I just had a wonderful time this year.”
The showroom was spilling over with fans and costume players (usually abbreviated to the word “cosplayers“). The comic con was going at full force, and the surroundings streets were awash with all sorts of outlandish and wild characters in costume. The costumes portrayed a wide spectrum of characters, from Maurice Sendak’s character, Max, of Where the Wild Things Are, to Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four and even someone dressed up in a homemade Starship Enterprise ballgown.
The organizers of Wizard World Comic Con announced that next year’s Philly show will be May 7-10, and I look forward to it. I hope to see more indie cartoonists and original comic book creators. I remember seeing a few major comic book publishers at the show 10 years ago…can they be invited back? I did meet Jason David Frank, AKA the Green Ranger, and got some goodies from Artist Alley that I am very happy with. Overall, I loved my experience there and had a lot of fun!