Robin Williams was a hero to me on so many levels. When I
was a child, he was my earliest comedic role model. When I was a teenager, he
was the dramatic conduit for my performing aspirations. And in my early
adulthood, he was my model for the man I wanted to be--an adult with the heart
of a child. In the movie "Popeye", Robin not only played my cartoon
hero to perfection, but his rendition informed the way I saw the character in
all other media. In the best possible way, Robin Williams was, is, and will
always be Popeye to me. And there can be no better icon for the man and his
place in my heart than that.
I've been more out of touch with updating my blog than
usual. As before, it's been a case of "nothing to talk about, so why make
a post?" But I've got a sufficient amount to share now. Let's get down to
I'm currently working on the next "Bodie Troll"
mini series. At present, the plan is for another four issues, though if I can
manage it, I'd like to stretch it out to five. There's no set release date yet,
but rest assured, this one will be worth the wait. I've finished drawing the next
issue (#1, in the technical sense). The cover's completed (see above), and I'm in the
process of scanning and coloring pages. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at page 1...
Also on my drawing board, I'm working on an eight page story
for a crime anthology called "UNLAWFUL GOOD". It's being spearheaded
and edited by my friend Heather Antos. If you haven't yet, you'll be hearing
plenty about this in the coming months, with a Kickstarter leading the way to
what will be a very fun comic full of a variety of talented artists and
writers. My own story is called "MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES." It's a
wordless story that draws inspiration from 1950's film noir movies and TV shows
(particularly my favorite detective show, "Peter Gunn"), and takes a
big visual cue from old 1950's cartoons, particularly those produced by the UPA Animation Studio. Like
most of my comic work, I wrote it (if you can consider a wordless story
written), drew it and colored it (it's black, white and grayscale, if that
counts as coloring), and I'm very excited to be working in this new style. You
can see the opening panel below...
I do as many shows as I can each year, and most are modest
sized and within driving distance. Well, I'm closing out this con season with
four bigguns that are a bit outside my usual travel area.
SAN DIEGO COMIC CON (July 24th-27th) : My second year
attending! I'll be doing some signing times at the National Cartoonists Society
booth, and at Red 5's booth (publisher of "Bodie Troll").
Unfortunately, those times haven't been confirmed yet. So this is more of
aheads up that I will be at the con,
and if you can find me, those are the places I'll be.
FAN EXPO TORONTO (August 28th-31st): For the second year in
a row, and my fourth appearance at one of their shows (they also put on Toronto
Comicon in March), I'll be in artist alley at my favorite con in my favorite
city! If all goes accordingly, you'll find me sitting between Julie Faulkner (creator
of "Promises Promises") and Jay Jacot (Creator of "The Tao of
BALTIMORE COMIC CON (September 5th-7th): This is a brand new
one for me, but one I've heard tremendous things about. I'll be in artist
alley, and more specifically, in the all-ages comic creators pavilion.
NEW YORK COMIC CON (October 10th-13th): This is the biggest
jump I've made for a con. NYCC is the second biggest show in North America, and
I will be set up in my own little pocket of artist alley. It's going to be a
heck of a trip, not to mention it falls just three days after my 40th birthday,
so I'll be celebrating in the big apple. It'll be an amazing way to wrap up my
con season, and to say goodbye to my 30's.
So that's where we are for now, kids. Other things are
bubbling below the surface that I can't talk about yet, but they're good. Oh,
they're good. Thanks for coming back after such a long absence. I hope to return
with more news a lot sooner than before!
At long last, the BODIE TROLL TRADE PAPERBACK is in stores!
The book turned out terrific, and the reaction of return readers and new ones alike
has been wonderful. If you haven't already, visit your local comic shop and grab
one while you can! The trade will be in constant circulation, so if your shop
says they're out of stock, have them connect with Diamond Distribution or Red 5
Comics, and I'm sure they can get more copies!
I unveiled the "Bodie" trade at Toronto Comicon at
the start of March. My next convention appearance is also in Canada, at The Sarnia Pop Culture Show this Sunday. It's only an hour and twenty minutes from
my home, and just over the border, so it's the perfect show for traveling. Not
to mention I'll be doing the show with some of my comic creator friends from
both sides of the border. Good times will commence, and the poutine will flow
But now, the BIG news...
Cartoonists Society has just released the nominees for their division awards, and
"Bodie Troll" has been nominated for best comic book of 2013! I'm
kinda speechless and gobsmacked about it--this is the biggest honor of my
career. There are only three nominees for this category--I'm up against the
great Sergio Aragones and his "Sergio Aragones Funnies" comic for
Bongo, and Chris Samnee, artist on Marvel's "Daredevil" comic. I
couldn't be in more esteemed company, and I couldn't be more proud to have
"Bodie Troll" recognized by the NCS! They'll announce the winner on
May 25th, so I'll let you know the results then!
Lots of stuff's been going on since my last post. It feels
like I've been backlogging everything so I'd have a more robust blog post, but
in truth, more stuff is happening all the time. Rather than have this post
split at the seams, Allow me to let a little out at a time so neither my post
or your mind explode from the wealth of awesome.
MSU COMICS FORUM
My first con of the year (and one of my favorites) lands
this Saturday on Michigan State University's campus. The MSU Comics Forum kicks
off tonight with cartoonist and special guest Stan Sakai(Usagi Yojimbo) giving
a presentation. Then tomorrow, artist alley opens up, and the rest of us comic
creators will display our creative wares. As I write this, I'm crossing my
fingers that a Fed Ex truck will be dropping off my shipment of the "Bodie
Troll" trade paperback (more on that later). But the odds are against me,
so I may not have it for the show. But I'll still have back issues of "Bodie",
new prints and original artwork for sale, and I'll be taking commissions during
the course of the show. Check this link out for all the info you'll need to
attend. Hope to see you there!
BODIE TROLL TRADE PAPERBACK
So you probably got the gist from above--The Bodie TPB is
late. It was due in stores last week. Besides "I'm sorry" and
"It'll be here soon", all I have to say about that is, I turned in
the material well ahead of deadline. Make of that what you will. I understand
Diamond (the sole distributor of every mainstream comic in print) is citing the
first couple weeks of March as an approximate release date. Keep harassing your
local comic shops until you get your copy. It's gonna be amazing, whenever it
Well, more specifically, Wimpy. I was contacted a week ago
by a printing company on the east coast. Turns out they got the license from
King Features Syndicate to do Wimpy merchandise. They saw my Popeye artwork
that I'd posted online, liked it, and asked me to tackle their first product, a
t-shirt featuring the hamburger glutton himself. Everything fell into place
after that, and within a week, the project was completed and approved by King
Features. I'm told the product will be up for sale in the next two weeks on
sites like Etsy, Ebay and Amazon. I'm not sure I can show the artwork at this
time, but as soon as the shirts are available, I'll link everyone to where they
can find them. I'm also told that Popeye himself may be next up for a t-shirt,
which they also want me to work on. Me working on officially licensed Popeye
merch--yes, five year old Jay, there is a Santa Claus.
I have a full listing of the conventions I've thus far
booked this season on my website, which you can view here (scroll to the bottom of the page). What isn't yet
listed online is, I'll be appearing at The Albuquerque Comic Expo in June, and San Diego Comic Con in July. There will most certainly be more added in the coming
months, so be sure to check back at my website to see what's coming.
One of the shows I'll be a guest at is also one of my
favorites--The Cherry Capital Comic Con in Traverse City, Michigan, which opens
Memorial Day weekend. They had me design their show's poster, which I decked
out with the cast from "Bodie Troll", while including the "Cherry"
vibe of Traverse City (the town is a MAJOR player in the cherry-related
products game, along with a whole other festival dedicated to it). Here's the
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY
On May 5th, I'll be returning to Green Brain Comics in
Dearborn, Michigan for this great annual event. This year, Green Brain and I
are doing something special--while they're already carrying Red 5's FCBD issue
(which includes a fun and creepy 12 page "Bodie Troll" story), they
also solicited a special cover for their stock of the issue, which I designed.
Check out the cover here:
One of the things I always have on hand at cons are prints
of my work. I've whipped up three new ones for this new season, one with Bodie,
and two of familiar comic characters. Check 'em out here:
I'll also have some of my older prints that still seem to
draw people in--Watchmoose (featuring the Rocky and Bullwinkle gang as
Watchmen) and "The Crew of Serenity" will be in good supply, as they
have for the past few years.
OTHER BODIE NEWS
I just finished up a new script for the next issue of
"Bodie Troll", and I hope to start drawing it next week. In this
issue, Bodie is being hunted by a tribal woman with a penchant for slaying
monsters. Can he outrun or reason with her, or will his adorable little pelt
hang from her belt? Guess you'll have to wait and see! I will, however, give
you a sneak peek at Bodie's pursuant--Hokum, last of the Kooghum.
That about covers everything for now. Like I said, there's
more happening every day, and I'll be sure to post again when the next news