Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rick Brooks' The Fantastic Four

A very fun APA cover drawn by my long-time friend, publisher, novelist and cartoonist Rick Brooks. It really captures the fun of what should be (but often isn't) a pretty fun comic!

Also check out Rick's novel, Battle Lines Undrawn, receiving some great reviews you can read here on Amazon:
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Jules Verne's Paris in the Twentieth Century... one of the recent books I've read and one of the few Verne novels that has been faithfully translated into English.

Unfortunately, this early and heretofore unpublished novel, while making several good technological predictions, is repetitive, ultimately pessimistic and relentlessly depressing.

The image in the general public's mind of Verne (especially since the advent of Steampunk) is that he was an optimistic visionary, but his novels tend to display as much trepidation of technology as wonder. In this novel, technological pragmatism stamps out art, culture in general and - finally - the human spirit.

That's not cool.

Verne didn't live to see the day where, in many neighborhoods, you can't throw a stone without hitting an art gallery or an artist - artists that use crazy technology to create and promote their work. It's a future more complex than Verne envisioned.

You gotta love his attempts, though.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Truth is Stranger Than Science Fiction

The Olentangy River Road Barnes and Noble in Columbus, Ohio hasn't sold science fiction digests for many, many years.

Not Analog. Not Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Not Fantasy and Science Fiction. Month after month, year after year.

Because I'm incorrigibly optimistic, I occasionally ask a Barnes and Noble employee working at the Information desk about the policy. The answers I'm given are vague:

"Ask the person who orders the magazines - Curtis" - I've done that.

"All the magazine decisions are made at corporate headquarters."

"They don't sell here". Of course they don't. They're not on the shelf to sell. Besides, most of the seemingly thousands of magazine titles on the Barnes and Noble shelves don't "sell". They're returnable. They're still made available if a customer wants them, though.

I'm reminded of the story writer Mark Evanier told of finding no Disney comics on the rack of a comic book store. A paraphrase:

M. Evanier: "I don't see any Disney comics for sale in your store."
Store owner: "They don't sell here."
M. Evanier: "What happened to the ones you had before?"
Store owner: "We sold 'em."

My most recent discussion was with a gentleman in his early twenties (let's call him Bob) who asked if I ever get on the internet.

No, I can't, I'm too old and decrepit.

I was writing code, Bob,  while you were running around in your Transformers pajamas, slurping Cap'n Crunch. I had a website for my indie comics in '96 when you were listening to your older brother's "MMMBop" CD.

Bob then wondered if I know that I can read those magazines online. Yeah, I think I know that.

Although recent evidence points to readers retaining more memory of what they've read when it was read on paper as opposed to online (see the article "Print vs. Online" from this week's Slate, for example: ), there is, nonetheless, general agreement that the hard copy book, newspaper and magazine industries will eventually be servicing boutique markets.

In the meantime, the only reason Bob's morter store job exists is because of customers wishing to purchase text printed on paper.

Are Barnes and Noble employees encouraged to direct customers away from their stores?

Now that Borders Bookstore (which always carried all of the science fiction digests) has left the book seller landscape, it would be awesome if Barnes and Noble, which for all practical purposes has a monopoly on bookstores in central Ohio, would carry long-running magazines like these which are available nowhere else in the area.

Analog is, as of 2011, the longest running continuously published magazine of that genre, initially published in 1930 in the United States as the pulp magazine Astounding Stories.

It'd be cool if I could buy it at the Lennox.

If you live in the area and would like to purchase science fiction digests at the Olentangy River Road Barnes and Noble, give the company a call at 614-298-9516.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Squared Away

M.R. Neno Productions has taken the Square plunge.

If you see me or an MRNP representative in a coffee shop, at a con or just lounging in an alley and you wanna purchase comic books, we are now accepting MC, Visa, Discover and American Express payments.

We also still accept cold, hard cash, of course.
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Bernie Crowsheet Art

Indie cartoonist and Signifiers fan Bernie Crowsheet allowed me to choose a free piece of art by him at this year's Lake Effect Comic Con. Had to get this one!

Bernie will be releasing his own comic book soon. You can follow his blog, Super Awesome Comics, here:
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Darryl Banks, James Patrick and Michael Neno Signing at World's Greatest Comics

Join us at World’s Greatest Comics on Saturday, August 27th and meet Green Lantern artist Darryl Banks. Darryl will be appearing from 3 to 5 pm to sign the new DC RetroActive 1990’s: Green Lantern one-shot, featuring an all new story by Ron Marz, with art by Darryl.

Green Arrow writer James Patrick will be signing from 1 - 5 pm. I will, too, with a huge mess o' merchandise for sale, including original art, underwater cat paintings, copies of my new Lovey Dovey Puzzle Book Summer Special, prints, commissions, copies of The American Zig-Zag, Vol. 1, and more (including 45s and 78s I'll be giving away!).

Join us at 5858 Westerville Road, Westerville, Ohio.
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Atmospheric Little Wise Guys art by William Overgard

From Lev Gleason's Daredevil comic book.

As usual, click for a larger look.
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Little Wise Guys Pencil Studies

For a Little Wise Guys story I'll be submitting to Image. I love these characters and the way Norman Maurer portrayed them.
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More Nix Comics Quarterly #3 Pencils

The story is finished! I'll be posting a few color panels here soon.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tor Wants You!

My good friend Verl Holt Bond penciled this tribute to Joe Kubert's character and I tried my hand at inking it.
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More PulpFest 2011 Pics

Mega pulp fan Walker Martin.

Free is good. So's The Spider.

Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson, granddaughter of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson.

Publisher Stephen Haffner and book seller Mike Chomko preparing a presentation.

Anthony Tollin, Ed Hulse, Randy Cox and Will Murray on Walter B. Gibson and The Shadow.

Mary took the pics of these beautiful cakes.

Ed Hulse, looking through the good stuff.
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