Winter Highs & Lows

Vt Monster Guide Tour Finale This Weekend in Tyrant’s Nest; Irving Tripp R.I.P.; Pix & Linx for the 1st Snow



Photos: ©2009 Marjory Bissette, shot yesterday AM 12/9/09 of the woods behind our house in midland VT. We’re all shoveled out this morning!          


We got 9-10 inches of snow yesterday in about six hours, then it slowed to almost nothing; the predicted sleet and rain followed, but by then I was home from my teaching day and both cars were safely in the garage.

The roads were indeed treacherous, and as the work that went into getting the car up our steep (paved) driveway proved, the snow wasn’t so much like butter as it was like bacon fat smeared on the tarmac: really slippery stuff under the whiter layers.

Now, that was a snowstorm! And winter is here at last!


I was aching to post here yesterday, but the system was down; nothing would load. Whether it was weather-related or otherwise, it added up to my finishing writing work about 5:30 and just shutting everything down for the evening.

So here’s a double-whammy: what I had prepared for yesterday, and today’s post.


* Little Lulu artist Irving Tripp passed away on November 27th.

Though it might not be apparent by the nature of my own comics work, I was a lifelong fan and devotee of Tripp‘s comics work, and like most comics readers of my generation the marvelous collaboration between Tripp and writer John Stanley on Little Lulu marked me and my imagination for life.

  • I wrote about my great abiding affection for Stanley and Tripp‘s work on the Center for Cartoon Studies Schulz Library blog — here’s the link — and if you follow the comments posted to my review, you’ll see the December 8th post from Bill Tripp, Irving‘s son.

    Bill writes, “My Dad, Irving Tripp passed away on Nov. 27, 2009 in Haines City, Fl.”

    Bill, our hearts go out to you and your loved ones, and know that your father’s work touched us all — and is reaching a new generation today, thanks to the Little Lulu reprint volumes.

  • Here’s‘s notice,
  • and Florida newspaper The obituary; I’ve not seen anything else online about this, so thought it necessary to bring this to your attention this morning.
  • Irving‘s comics (four) colored our days and nights, our waking play time and our dreams and nightmares — here’s to Irving Tripp, and to Irving‘s family and friends, with much love.


    * Final 2009 Vermont Monster Guide Signing Events This Weekend!

    ChampVMGcolorproofYep, the 2009 Vermonster tour is at an end this Saturday and Sunday — and what a grand and glorious tour it’s been.

    Sweet, though, to end the Vermont leg of this tour in my old stomping grounds: Wilmington, Vermont, where I wrote, drew and published S.R. Bissette’s Tyrant® in its four-issue run.

    In fact, Joe and I will be speaking at one of my all-time favorite bookstores — Bartleby’s Books — which still pretty new in Wilmington as I was working on Tyrant, and which fearlessly tracked down even the most obscure paleontological books and texts for me during the process.

    Furthermore, we’ll be speaking at the brand-new Bartleby’s Books — in what was at that time the alternative book store/natural food store/spiritual & meditation center/community gathering place Klara Simpla.

    I in fact rented drawing studio space on the second floor of the Klara Simpla building for about a year (!), back in the late 1980s; it was a wonderful creative space, full of good vibes and great people, and I couldn’t be happier about going back to celebrate the opening of the new Bartleby’s in the Klara Simpla building. I feel a strong connection to the town, the store, and that power place, so this will be grand fun.

    * Saturday, December 12th, 7 PM:

    Bartleby'sBooksThe Grand Finale of the Vermont 2009 Tour!

    Joe & Steve will be at Bartleby Books in their new location (what used to be the beloved Klara Simpla, right on Main Street; Faye is no doubt smiling on this new life for the old building!) on 17 West Main Street, Route 9, in Wilmington, VT – we hope to see you there!

  • Here’s their website and information;
  • note that they’ve moved this past month from 6 Main Street to 17 West Main Street.
  • Call (802) 464-5425 for directions and/or more information; this is our final home-state Vermont Monster Guide event of 2009!



    Barnes&Noble* Sunday, December 13th, 3 PM:

    As part of the December 13th WGBY and Barnes & Noble Children’s Day Book Fair fundraiser event, Stephen R. Bissette will be signing (a sketch in every book!) The Vermont Monster Guide, Saga of the Swamp Thing hardcover, the just-published paperback edition of Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman and more at the Holyoke MA Barnes & Noble (next to the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside) — 7 Holyoke Street, Holyoke, MA 01040; Phone: (413) 532-1786, FAX: (413) 532-1973.

    As of this writing, it looks like I’ll be doing a monster drawing demo up on the 2nd floor of the store; bring your kids, come prepared to learn to draw some (mild) monsters!

    This annual fundraiser helps support WGBY while providing a great day of children’s activities and author signings to families throughout Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Participating Barnes & Noble stores include those in Holyoke, Hadley, and Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Enfield, Connecticut. Confirmed participating authors/illustrators to date include Shelly Rotner, Diane deGroat, Jeff Mack, Ruth Sanderson, Kevin Markey, Laura Jacques, Coleen Paratore, Ralph Masiello, and John Gurney.

    In addition to a line-up of children’s authors, illustrators, and costume characters, both the Enfield and Holyoke stores will be hosting Polar Express Parties!

    Supporters of WGBY will be invited to do their holiday shopping at Barnes & Noble. By presenting a special voucher at the cash registers, a percentage of their purchase will be donated to support their local public television station.

  • Here’s the WGBY PBS website.
  • Click this link for more info on the Holyoke MA Barnes & Noble events calendar, directions, etc.
  • ______


    * Related News from the North: Diamond offers Vermont Monster Guide & New Dead; Rue Morgue Change of the Guard

    I’ve received two emails from friends in Canada, and want to share them here –

    * Bob Heer writes, “While doing the usual look-through [Diamond] Previews for upcoming Kirby and Ditko stuff, I noticed that both The New Dead and Vermont Monster Guide are being offered to comic shops, among the various horror mags like Fangoria and Rue Morgue. Thought you might want to know for people who prefer that to mail order. They’re on page 292 of the December Previews, DEC091124 for The New Dead and DEC091126 for Vermont Monster Guide.”

    Duly noted, Bob, and thanks! Reckon I’ll be in some comic shops in 2010, then, after all. In the meantime, before you order, I’ll check in with my pal John Rovnak at – maybe we can offer one-of-a-kind signed bookplates for these books; news, links to follow, if that happens.

    Though I won’t be selling The New Dead here via the SpiderBaby Store, I will note that you can buy your copy of Vermont Monster Guide — signed and personalized by both Joe Citro and I! — from here.

  • Bop on over to the SpiderBaby Store page and place your order – Joe and I have also signed copies of the Vermont Ghost Guide, available signed and personalized exclusively from here.
  • NewDeadUScover
    The New Dead will be in bookstores everywhere in February 2010 from St. Martin’s Press, and features my latest short story “Copper.” Keep an eye out for it!


    RueMorgue83.cvr* The other news from the north:

    Jovanka Vuckovic is no longer editor-in-chief of Rue Morgue Magazine. Publisher Rod Gudino describes the circumstances of her departure as being ‘difficult.’ The new editor-in-chief is Dave Alexander, former managing editor and freelance writer.”

    Here’s a direct quote from the editorial in the new December 2009 issue of Rue Morgue:

    Dave [Alexander] comes to his new post with the departure of Jovanka Vuckovic, who has gone on her way to motherhood, among other things. Speaking frankly, Jovanka‘s departure from her post was not entirely smooth, hence this editorial, but it bears saying that it was a change that was needed internally. That said, Jovanka‘s tenure as Editor-in-Chief produced a lot of great issues and personal memories over four years, and we wish her the very best.”

    Having had my own ‘difficult’ time with Jovanka and Rue Morgue — which I wrote about on the original Myrant blog back in 2005 (see links below) — I must say I’m not feeling too many pangs of grief, and look forward to where David Alexander might take the magazine, which I’ve stuck with as a reader despite my ill treatment as a potential contributor.

    Since Rue Morgue is being frank, it’s high time I was, too. It was Rue Morgue and Jovanka that took me on a merry freelancer sleigh (slay?) ride back in 2004-2005, and you can read the whole exchange in my archived essay. Here’s the links — and no, I never received either comp copies of the issue my review appeared in, nor was I ever paid for that publication of my work, nor did the promised subscription (in lieu of payment) ever honored, nor was there ever an apology issued.

    Welcome to the wacky world of freelancing, folks.

    This account of my experience with Jovanka and Rue Morgue magazine was originally published on Myrant, December 10-11, 2005. So, see, it’s the anniversary of that posting. Funny ol’ world we’re in, in’t it?

    At the time, being a gentleman, I chose not to name either the magazine or the editor.

    I now feel no such restraint or concern; it’s been over five years, after all.

    The comments posted to these are worth reading, including, “Having worked in the magazine industry for several years, I can’t tell you how true this rings. Thanks for posting!”

  • Here’s Part 1: “Fun With Freelance: How Not to Break In to the Horror Magazine Market: Part One — Being a Chronology of Some Length, Concerning That Which Did Not “Work Out,” to the Loss of Only the Author, Punctuated with Some Fits of Humour and Passages of Slight Sorrow, and Ending Without Resolution, Save for Dissolution.”
  • And Part 2: “Fun With Freelance: How Not to Break In to the Horror Magazine Market: Part Two — Being a Chronology of Some Woe, Concerning That Which Was Not Deemed Fit to “Entertain” or “Enlighten,” and That Which Was, But Was Not Paid For, Thus Published to the Loss of Only the Author, Sweetened as it were with Some Flights of Pique and Passages of Moribund Musings, and Ending As Promised Without Proper Resolution, Save for the Usual Niggardly Dissolution.”
  • Enjoy.


    Discussion (4) ¬

    1. Sam Kujava

      I just picked up the latest LITTLE LULU reprint book from Dark Horse when the news came of
      Irving Tripp’s passing. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t even know the artist was still alive.
      John Stanley’s wonderful stories get the lion’s share of the adulation, but the writer couldn’t
      have accomplished as much as he did without the solid drawing and on-model characters
      that Tripp brought to their timeless work.
      Irving Tripp’s art has, and will, live on to entertain new generations of kids, and kids-at-heart.

    2. srbissette
    3. srbissette

      Sweet Irving Tripp eulogy from Fred Hembeck (Dec. 11, 2009 post):

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