Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Imagine That Newt is Orange...

...and then click over to
  • Bob McLeod's Rough Stuff site to read about this vintage Bissette/Totleben collaboration, our first painted Swamp Thing cover art.

  • Then, at your local comics shop or via
  • this link, pick up a copy immediately of Rough Stuff #4, featuring the interview with John Totleben and pencils section by yours truly.
  • George Khoury's interview with John is truly excellent reading, and (per usual for Rough Stuff) illustrated with some jaw-droppingly gorgeous reproductions of John's pencils for covers, story pages, pinups, concept drawings, etc. John's recollections about our Swamp Thing days are, also per usual, dead on the money right -- though I'll post some comments (in the way of additional info, in part since George asks John about my end of things more than once) later this week, as time permits. In any case, get your hands on Rough Stuff #4, and pronto!

    I'm speaking in Stowe, VT tonight at 5:30 at
  • The Helen Day Art Center; here's the particulars.
  • Maybe see one or two of you there? I'm working all this morning there at the art center with three groups of regional high school students (11th and 12th Grade) drawing comics -- fun, fun, fun! I dig these sessions, and some pretty lively comics come about as a result.

    Ya, I know, it's late notice. Heck, I've barely had time to post anything this week, and this bull run (between CCS workload and WRIF final prep) will continue thus into Friday. As time permits, though, I'll try to catch up.

    The Virginia Tech rampage is the fresh national horror; but this has had me wincing over the past week:

    One thing to keep in mind as you hear/read the increasingly bilious crap pouring out of President Bush's mouth this week: You know, if President Bush would just finance his war the way every other President in US history tends to -- within his annual budget -- instead of keeping it "off the table" with his bullshit sideline funding via emergency spending measures, he wouldn't have gotten himself into this dilemma. He alone is responsible for this, however much he stridently says otherwise. He is refusing to "fund the troops."

    The Congress is, at last, holding him and the Pentagon accountable (literally) for this war funding, and it's Bush's strategic burying/sidelining of the real cost of the war that led to this present showdown. The pork is a false issue -- the real issue is Bush, Cheney, et al set up this situation by never honestly funding this war, thus falsely cooking the annual books. It's Bush's own fucking fault -- however much he blisters the Democratic Party with his mounting rhetoric (and it was Republican votes that landed much of the pork attached to the war bill, BTW, so don't buy into that line of crap, either).

    OK, there's other stuff to get into.

    More later this week!

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    Saturday, February 24, 2007

    Inkslingers, Assemble!

    Compliments of curator Idoline Duke of
  • the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, VT
  • comes this tasty portrait from
  • this past Wednesday's VT cartoonists gatherum in Burlington.

  • From left to right, back row: Jeff Danziger, James Kochalka, and yours truly; front row: Harry Bliss, Ed Koren, James Sturm. A fine time was had by all, and the dinner afterworks (at the Pacific Rim eatery) was delish and great fun.

    Zombies Bios

    Here's the lineup of fellow American cartoonists I appear alongside in the upcoming Accent UK Zombies anthology. More info & images as May -- and the anthology's publication -- approaches!

    Daniel Bissette is a native Vermonter (b 1985) and has been drawing, writing and making music of one kind or another (drums, guitar, etc.) all life. His art appears in an Italian book on Lucio Fulci, onscreen in Lance Weiler's new feature film Head Trauma, on its companion alternative soundtrack CD Cursed, and his first self-published zine was Hot Chicks Take Huge Shits (2006). He lives in Brattleboro, VT, DJs for the local radio station, and he and his dad Steve jammed on a piece for the mini-comic Trees & Hills and Friends before re-teaming for this anthology.

    Chuck Forsman currently attends The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont where he researches how to sleep less and draw more. Visit
  • http://mcbuck.wordpress.com.

  • Jaci June is a student of the Center for Cartoon Studies, and a former resident of southern California. Comix for Jaci are what brains are for zombies: vital sustenance.

    Sean Morgan: Born a cowboy, raised a Creole, forever a Yankee. There's no button Mr. Morgan won't push. His artwork (including the monster cover/splash) graces the “Jersey Devil” minicomic packaged with the Heretic DVD release of The Last Broadcast.

    Bob Oxman was born in Ohio and raised in New Hampshire where he discovered his three loves: comic books, skateboarding, and beer. Bob started drawing comics in math class using graphing paper. At the University of California Santa Barbara, Bob and Mark Smith cofounded the Comic Book Creator’s Co-op, creating comics published in both campus newspapers and teaching a popular colloquium on graphic novels during their senior year. After college, Bob drifted through a series of uninspiring occupations (temping at a gel implants corporation, working for an insurance company, etc.), eventually moving back home to NH to attend classes at The Center for Cartoon Studies. Bob is currently hard at work on Smuttynose, a macabre retelling of the infamous Smuttynose Island, Maine axe murders of 1873, and he brews several fine beers featuring comic labels, as he works professionally in art crime prevention at the Hood Museum of Art for Dartmouth College.

    Against his wishes, Morgan Pielli was born in Connecticut. Here he began creating comics of dubious quality from the tender age of seven. At age twelve his cartoons began appearing in the school newspaper; and the tragic course he had set was clear. But in an unexpected moment of weakness, Morgan decided that a classical art education was needed. After four years of painting pictures of squares bigger than his head, Morgan physically pried a BFA from the cold unfeeling hands of Bard College president Leon Botstein. Dr. Botstein shook his fist and cursed Morgan, vowing to someday have his revenge.Currently Morgan resides in Vermont where he attends the Center for Cartoon Studies. His cartoons “The Dancing Paperclip of Tormented Souls” and “Morgan's Guide to a Fruitful Life” are read by several people world-wide and enjoyed by nearly as many. Morgan's work can be found at
  • http://morganpielli.rated-arr.net
  • if you're into that sort of thing.

    Jeremiah Piersol is a 2002 graduate of Art Center of College of Design, Pasadena , California (Bachelors of Fine Art). He is currently studying cartooning at The Center for Cartoon Studies, White River Junction, VT. His past endeavors including interning at the The Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA, and volunteer work at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA. and The Water Street Rescue Mission, Lancaster, PA; he was born in Lancaster. Jeremiah’s interests include Art in all forms, comics, quantum physics, paranormal research, post-modern theory, and popular culture.

    Denis St. John (b 1981) heralds from most of the United States (California, New Orleans, Washington D.C., the Midwest, etc.). Denis was a local children’s show host in Indiana and co-host for a midnight horror show, often playing the creature for the creature feature, alongside the very real and cranky Dr. Calamari. Denis is currently a student at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, and is trying to move on with his life after the glamour of children’s show host fame has faded.

    B.C. Sterrett was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. His ongoing comic strip "The Sweetest of Dreams" has been published by Young American Comics, in entertainment rags like Melting Music and The Salt Shaker, and various other school papers, zines, and newsletters. He acts as founder and current director of the Lost Media Archive Museum and Library, salvaging and saving forgotten and obsolete media formats. Previous host of the long running "Oddity Rock Radio Show" on KWCR, he and has produced and hosted various broadcasts of rare and unusual music throughout the years (i.e. "Outsider Music" on live365.com). He is currently a student at The Center For Cartoon Studies, in White River Junction, VT. Contact: bcsterrett@gmail.com

    BTW, speaking of Blair and his creative and archival endeavors, the January 13th Lost Media Archive Museum and Library event I noted
  • in my January 13th post on this blog (scroll down to that day's posting, just below the glowering Varnae art) yielded photos by Blair's friend Janean Parker,
  • which are posted online here -- check 'em out!

  • Check it all out, please, and savor the beauty of it all.

    Have a Great Saturday, One & All!

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    Thursday, February 22, 2007

    Road Trip!

    Last night's roadtrip with James Sturm to Burlington was a great one. The panel at the Firehouse Gallery wasn't heavily attended, but there were more asses in the seats in the audience than on the panel, which is all that matters sometimes. Those who were there really wanted to be there, and a good time was had by all.

    I'll tell ya about it tomorrow, when time is on my side.

    Today, though, it ain't -- off to teach my two sessions, road trip (my fourth trip north a-way up VT Interstate 89 this week) with the CCS students to the Helen Day Art Center to savor the VT cartoonists exhibition, dinner on Montpelier for all (on CCS's ticket, thankfully), then I drive north again to pick up Marge at the Burlington Airport after the students head home. She's been away all week, visiting our grandchildren in Texas -- then, barring air flight delays, the long drive home (again) from Burlington to home, sweet home.

    So, tomorrow, compadres, I'll write something of substance tomorrow. Today, I'm up, out and running! Have a great Thursday -- or at least an OK one...

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    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    No Time! No Time!

    Wednesday AM and no time -- so, feeble post today. Sorry.

    Today's post title is true, but prompted too by the ongoing interview I'm amid with Bryan Talbot, whose new graphic novel Alice in Sunderland is soon to appear. More on that later -- when this white rabbit has time.

    I've been working my way through notes on some of my old Swamp Thing pencils for the upcoming issue of Rough Stuff magazine ("S&M for Comics Pencillers"), prepping today and tomorrow's lectures for CCS, etc., all while making room for two trips north -- one today for
  • the Vermont cartoonists's panel in Burlington at the Firehouse Center for the Visual Arts -- all the info is here!
  • -- and for a CCS class trip up to
  • Stowe to visit the Helen Day Art Center and the "Fine Toon" VT cartooning show.

  • Whew; don't be surprised if I'm absent from here for a day or two, but I'll try to ensure that doesn't happen.

    Followup on an email query from 'anonymous': Alex Toth was indeed vetted by Heavy Metal art director John Workman to do 1941: The Illustrated Story. For more info, check out the TwoMorrow's zine Alter Ego #63, December 2006, edited as ever by Roy Thomas; it's Roy's Toth tribute issue, and John Workman's article "1941 And All That: Why the Graphic Novel Version of Steven Spielberg's 1979 Film Was Not Drawn by Alex Toth" (pp. 47-50) says it all.

    John, bless him, says the final published book was "brilliantly done by the young and wildly exuberant team of Rick Veitch and Steve Bissette," and notes the graphic novel did make a profit, which was news to me. FYI, Spielberg loathed what we'd done -- I still have a copy of his extremely negative letter to the HM folks in my files, which I reprinted in the letters page of SpiderBaby Comix -- but hey, maybe it's because we saw the truth about 1941 and laid it all out on the page for all to see!

    Have a great Wednesday, one and all --

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    Monday, February 19, 2007

    VT Cartoonists Descend on Burlington, Wednesday Night, 2/21!

    As promised, a follow up on this week's activities.

    Yo, big time in the big town (Vermont's only city!) this week -- Wednesday, to be exact!

    James Sturm and I are off to Burlington on the afternoon of February 21st for the Cartoonist’s Panel and Informal Public Cartoon/Comic Critique Session. The evening event will be moderated by James Sturm, Director of the Center for Cartoon Studies and cartoonist/graphic novelist; panelists will include Harry Bliss, Jeff Danziger, Ed Koren and yours truly.

    The panel discussion is during the dinner hour, 5:30 pm – 7 pm, followed by an informal public critique session from 7–7:30pm. All this for just $5 at the door; we'll be in the Lorraine B. Good Room at the Firehouse Center.

    This will be a special evening, so be there --
  • all the particulars are here, at the Firehouse Center for the Visual Arts site,
  • -- see you up on the second floor at 135 Church Street, next to City Hall in Burlington, VT, 05401.

    Contact info:

    Phone: 802-865-7166

    Contact: Melinda Johns

    Directions: The Firehouse Center for the Visual Arts is located in downtown Burlington next to City Hall on the Church Street Marketplace,
  • and here's a map for those of you not familiar with Burlington who are planning to come!

  • For further information, please contact Idoline Duke, 802-253-8538, Director of Exhibitions, Helen Day Art Center --
  • for more info, including the poop on the current Fine Toon: The Art of Vermont Cartoonists exhibit at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, click here!

  • Upcoming events linked to the exhibit (including my April 17th lecture at the gallery) are cited here.

  • More info tomorrow!

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