Memphis comic and fantasy convention this weekend

If you’re in the greater Memphis area this weekend, be sure to carve out some time to hit the Graceland Guest House for the Memphis comic and fantasy convention happening this weekend, November 16-19 (Friday through Sunday). Aside from being in the shadow of Elvis Presley’s house, there will be lots of comic geeky fun! It’s a great time to do some early Christmas shopping, too!

Obviously, I’ll be there with the new comic, Cat & Mouse #1, as well as a handful of other stuff I’ve written. Ask me about the deals I’ve got and I can set you up with some great deals—and autograph to your favorite Christmas gift recipient.

Another cool thing about this show is that my collaborator on C&M #1 Dean Zachary will also be there. So you can get both of us to sign your comic for one low-low price. (That’s FREE for the signatures, in case you didn’t know) Dean will have some original art from the issue, too, as well as other cool art.

My traveling co-hort, and man who can find a Waffle House just about anywhere, Jeff Whiting will be there, too. Jeff’s got some sweet The Tick stuff with him, as well as his creator-owned projects including Shanghai.

There will also be a gaggle of other creators, including the incredibly gifted artist Mitch Foust. His work needs to be viewed in person—so get there.

I’ll be on a couple of panels, too. On Friday (9pm), I’ll be on BREAK-IN STORIES with Dean, Jeff, and comic artist Joyce Chin (who I know, but she may not remember me as it was a looooong time ago!). We’ll be discussing how we each broke into the comic industry and offering tips for those who want to do it today.

Then on Sunday at 11am, Dean, Jeff and I will be talking about Independent Comics (for those who don’t know, Independent comics are basic all those comics NOT published by Marvel or DC) and strategies for doing them as well as taking questions from attendees.

SO, make your plans to attend and I’ll see you there!

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Con Report: ComiConway 2018

l-r: Jeff Whiting, Dean Zachary, Me, Mark Pellegrini

O.

M.

Geeeee!

Wow, but what a very cool show this is! I could probably write a novel as to what a good show it is, but I’ll stick to this blog post.

I traveled to Conway with my pal, fantastic inker, and indy comic creator Jeff Whiting. Jeff and I, due to our proximity, travel to a lot of shows together. It’s more economical and it’s just more fun to have a traveling buddy. Of course, since I own no cellphone, Jeff checks in places and tags me—but his camera takes the coolest images—will try to copy one here.

Part of creator row at ComiConway. l-r: Dean Zachary, Me(absent, but you can see C&M & TINY), Jeff Whiting, Howard Mackie.

Friday night was a meet and greet at the Faulkner County Library, the sponsor for the con. Free passes were given to those in the front of the line and all the guests had a chance to meet those in attendance. The show had a cool lineup, which included: Howard Mackie (who’s written over 100 comics!),   and Timothy Lim. Some non-comic celebrities included Andy Field, Mark Dodson, Travis Langley, and John Russo. Some of the guests I knew, several are now new friends!

Saturday was non-stop chatting with new fans. In fact, I talked so much that my throat was a little sore that night. It was fine the next day…and Sunday was more of the same.

Jimmy and Kara Dyer and their crew run a fantastic show. One of my favorite aspects of the show was the focus on comics. I mean, heck, I’m both a comic fan and a comic maker—I love comics. I like to see comic creators at a “COMIC” show…and tables full of boxes!

l-r; Dean Zachary, Jimmy Dyer, me, Kara Dyer, Howard Mackie, Jeff Whiting.

If you’re a fan of comics and you can reasonably make the annual ComiConway, you’ll be doing yourself a favor to go. If you create comics and are ever invited to this show, you’d better not say no.

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ComiConway this weekend!

If you’re in the Conway, Arkansas area this weekend, come see me as I’ll be a comics guest at ComiConway. The show has been going on for some years, but I couldn’t find the actual number–it’s been several, I know that. I’ve heard SO MANY great things about this show that I’m giddy to go—and incredibly honored to be one of the guests among so many awesome folks.

Don’t believe me, check out the list here: https://www.comiconway.com/guests

Obviously, I’ll have a bunch of my newer stuff for you to pick up–with Christmas just around the corner, signed graphic novels and comics make GREAT gifts. I’m also happy to sign anything of mine you already have–just bring it in. If you want or need a checklist, try this one: http://www.comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=2182

Among the guests will be my pal, artist and Cat & Mouse penciller, Dean Zachary (Sat and Sun only). His picture makes him look a bit like James Bond, doesn’t it? Ha. Dean is also a newlywed, so come wish him congratulations Hopefully, our tables will be beside one another so it’ll be easy to get your Cat & Mouse #1 copies signed! Additionally, he’ll have ORIGINAL PAGES from Cat & Mouse with him for sale—as well as, I’m sure, a lot of other very cool art. You can probably even get a rare original commission from him if you’re nice! Here’s a bunch of other stuff Dean has done–so bring stuff for him to sign, too! http://www.comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=1703

Jeff Whiting

Jeff Whiting

My traveling buddy is none other than the spectacular Jeff Whiting. Jeff used to do a bunch of inking for me “back in the day,” he even inked a bunch of Dean’s stuff, so be sure to bring those back issues to get both their signatures! Jeff has also worked on The Tick, and he has his creator owned books Shanghai and Extra-Terrestrial (in which I have a short comic work!). http://www.comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=4477

Other highlights are my friend rockin’ artist Timothy Lim, writer and former Marvel editor Howard Mackie, and long time inker Andrew Pepoy!

I haven’t seen a schedule yet, but they’ve asked me about panels, so I’m sure you can find me yakking about something comic related. But if not, you can swing by and say hello and we’ll talk comics!

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Wait…I have high blood pressure?

SO.

Seems I have high blood pressure. Not only that, I had no idea I had it. But apparently it was “go to the emergency room NOW” high. I know, right?

Sit back and let me tell you a story…

So, many of you already know my pa-in-law has been with us for nearly two months now. Long story short, he had to have an operation on his back; he couldn’t get it back home; one of the best doctors to perform the surgery he needed just happened to be located a few miles from us. So he came down to stay with us while he recovers. The recovery has taken longer than anticipated, but hey—it’s BACK surgery!

Anyway, one of the things the nurse told him he needed was a blood pressure monitor at the house. So, BJ got one for him. When it arrived—as we are wont to do when we get new gadgets like this, BJ went around checking everyone out (when my dad had to get his blood sugar tested—we all got our fingers poked that weekend! Ha). Everyone was pretty normal but mine came back at 196/127. Hmm. That seemed high. So we did it again. 191/126. Since it was so high, and I’d never experienced anything like that, and I FELT FINE, BJ told me to just go to bed. So I did.

Next morning, my reading was 176/117 (thereabouts—BJ has it all written down, I’m going on memory). We (we, meaning BJ) decided to call the doctor to make an appointment to get me checked out. We’d both hit the interwebs that morning and decided it sounded bad. Several places calling it the “silent killer.”

Once on the phone, they told her to check it again and it was about the same…and they said “get to the Emergency Room NOW.” I didn’t really want to go because I FELT FINE. But she assured me that it was not fine and if I let it go unchecked I could have a stroke or a heart attack.

We went to the ER.

I had a LOT of tests run. Doctor came in later and told me that “my pump and my filter” were both fine, and that was very important. They ran like eleven different blood tests, took an image of my chest (thought my heart might be enlarged—never said exactly why—but it was also fine). Slowly but surely my BP went down to around 127/89, still a bit high, but they gave me a prescription, told me to monitor it, AND to follow up with a doctor.

Since then, my bp has hovered around the 150/90 range with the daily meds. I’m monitoring it fairly regular during the day; have added a vitamin and walking and have an appointment with the doc scheduled.

So…yeah…that happened…

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I promise I’m not ignoring you

So, it would seem like I’ve been ignoring this space since Brett graduated from high school. While I confess to being absent from the page, I promise it isn’t intentional.

Let’s catch up!

So, yeah…Brett, my youngest, graduated from high school in May. >sniff< My baby and all that.

May also saw me and some very talented artists run the CAT & MOUSE #1 kickstarter. That was funded in two days thanks to some very generous support by some very cool people—many of you included!

June saw me working hard to get it all together: get the comic as well as all the other goodies (sticker, bookmark, trading card) printed. My good pals at Ka-Blam handled the fulfillment, taking a HUGE load off me and doing a TREMENDOUS job. If you’ve got a comic thing and you want it printed: hands down, go there! Tell them I sent you!

July and August I taught considerable overload at the university. In August, I had five (5!) classes (my “normal” load is two: one campus and one online every month). I pretty much only did that—and a few store signings trying to promote C&M #1.

In September, I still had four classes, but exhaustion was hitting me from the earlier months and I just wanted to rest when I wasn’t doing school stuff.

This month, I’m “down” to three classes and things SEEM to be getting back to something resembling normal.

We’re working on CAT & MOUSE #2, but that’s all in Dean’s hands for now. I’ve got several other comic things happening that I’ll just tease you about here and get more detailed as I get more:

I’m working on a CHAMPION AND MISS FURY mini-series with my longtime pal and stellar artist Jaxon Renick. Another spectacular artist and longtime friend Chuck Bordell has agreed to ink it! Jax has done some very cool sketches that I’m not quite ready to show you, but he’s working on the first issue as I type this.

I’m working on a sci-fi short with another longtime friend and super artist Henry Martinez. Without much art, we’ve already been approached at the possibility of the story being in a sci-fi anthology!

I’ve been talking to Paul Pelletier about a new DEMON mini-series…he’s just looking for a hole in his schedule as DC is keeping him very busy.

I’ll name drop some other artists, but it’s still a little early to talk about specifics with them: Alan McMillian, Willie Peppers, Mike Belcher, Mike Kooistra (new artist—you’re going to dig what we’re working on!), and Eagle are all folks I’m still in early stages of story with. Would love to see them all happen in 2019!

No, I haven’t been able to talk Deonna Herrold into more TINY or even something new—but I continue to try!

I’m also about 95% convinced to “bring back” Silverline as a more active indy participant. There have been some pretty cool folks offer to help me this time around, and I’ve dropped lines to writers and artists that I know and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. With the woes at Marvel and DC, this seems to be a good time for independent comics to come out with some good content! And, as I know a lot of really cool comic folks, it’d be fun to do that again.

So…yeah…now we’re caught up and hopefully I won’t be so absent.

Oh—and my hogs are stinkin’ up the football field this year. My WOO PIG has become WOE PIG!

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You2 are the one

You

are the one who was so anxious to enter the world that you put your mom on bedrest for two months before you were born.

You

are the one who arrived three weeks early despite the above.

You

are the one who peed on your sister the first time she tried to change your diaper.

You

are the one who, as soon as you learned to walk, ran and tackled your mom every time you ran to her.

You

are the one who had to have breathing treatments so frequently as a baby that we bought our own nebulizer to save money.

You

are the one who wants to beat his sister at everything you do…and often do!

You

are the one played with your army men anywhere and everywhere…and we have pictures to prove it.

You

are the one who, as Superman, wanted Batman (me) to wake you every morning.

You

are the one who started first grade a year early because all the teachers said you were ready…and now you can’t stand school. Thankfully—you graduated!

You

are the one who, when dodging balls thrown at him by his sister, smashed his head into a brick wall which necessitated a staple…which earned you the nickname of “metalhead.”

You

are the one who has made your own way: marching band, jazz band, symphonic band, and two senior superior ratings—where’d that come from?

You

are your momma’s wild thing—and yes, you make her heart sing!

You

are truly my son: the only one in your class to have read The Constitution by fifth grade and to not just know that Lincoln freed no slaves, but why he didn’t.

You

are truly my son: you’ve read more cool books and comic books than most of your friends…and you’re proud of your “geek” badge!

You

are the one who isn’t sure what he wants to do for the rest of his life…and that’s okay because you have the rest of your life to figure it out!

You

are the one who waited nearly a year to get his driver’s license, despite the fact that your mom and dad continued to encourage you to do so regularly!

You

are the one who is incredibly musically talented, despite your ability to recognize that fact (and yes, you can sing!)

You

are the one with whom I’m still close, despite so many of my friends telling me that would end at sixteen.

You

are my gaming buddy.

You

are the one who still loves me despite my parental errors.

You

are the one of whom I am incredibly proud for so many reasons. I hope you at least know some of them.

You

are my big helper.

You

are my buddy.

You

are my one and only son.

You

are the one that I love…

One, two, three!

 

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Cat & Mouse #1 Kickstarter is live!

Yep, you read that correctly. Cat & Mouse #1 has a kickstarter running…and I’m asking you to go check it out. Wait…you thought C&M #1 was published in 1989 by EFGraphics…and then in 1990 by Malibu’s Aircel. It was.

C&M #1 Vol 2

This is for Volume 2! A whole NEW thing. The link is:

A brief history for those interested: When I was at the University of Southern Mississippi in the middle 80s, I met Steven Butler, who became a lifelong friend. Steven was a super-talented artist and he and I swapped notes of rejection from assorted comic companies. He was trying to get work as an artist, me as a writer. So we decided to work together and do our own thing.

One of Steven’s roommates was the equally talented Mitch Byrd, and Steven recruited him (My other pals, Barry Gregory and Thomas Fortenberry were involved on the writing side). In trying to figure out what projects to do, Mitch had a four page piece he had penciled and Steven had inked. It was a crime/cop thing that featured a shadowy figure shoot at cat burglars as they leaped out of a window. I took that and used it as a springboard to come up with the story for the first issue of C&M, with some serious input from both Steven and Mitch. If you’ve read it, you know that I included a character by the name of Demon, a character who’d been with me in one form or another, since about 6th grade.

Cat & Mouse #1 Vol 1

Cat & Mouse ran for 18 issues once it found a home at Malibu. Mitch and I did a four issue Miss Fury mini-series after, but then we both went on to different projects (Mitch landed some nice work with DC comics, and I became an editor at Malibu).

C&M just kinda went away.

Until today. Actually, until about two years ago with another supremely talented artist asked me about it. Enter: Dean Zachary.

But because it’d been so many years, it didn’t make sense to me to just bring back the same characters from before (there’s some other stuff, too)…so the characters from Volume 2 are completely new characters with completely new backgrounds, etc. The spirit and mood and tone will all remain—and we’ll even get to see some of the supporting cast from volume 1, but there are a lot of new faces involved—which makes it very exciting.

Volume 1 began mostly about fighting corruption in the justice system. Volume 2 will deal with the very serious theme of human trafficking. It will remain a “General Audiences” book, but the theme will be a little heavier.

SO…yes, this is me asking. Please go check out the link and consider pledging—I really think you’ll like what you read. But if you can’t pledge, please consider sharing it to those in your social network—tell them you know me and you think they should plop down a few dollars to help us get #2 made!

Thanks!

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