Category Archives: General

Catching up

No telling what volume of “catching up” this is, but hi! Did ya miss me? Since my last posting, Brett and I were able to pop up to Arkansas for a visit to Mom and Dad. Dad’s doing much better, but he’s still got a long way to go to get his strength back. He seems pretty determined to do it—so that’s a good sign. Thank you all very much for all the prayers and good thoughts sent our way.

If you missed my tweet earlier, Tiny #2 is available digitally on Comixology and on IndyPlanet. If you’re a digital comic reader, how ‘bout checking out the second issue by me and the talented Deonna Herrold!

John Crowther, Barry Gregory, Me at the Infinity Toy and Comic Con.

I’ve done two comic shows since my last posting, both of which were heaps of fun. On March 4, I was a guest at the Infinity Toy and Comic Con in Orlando. On March 19th, I was a guest at the Melbourne Comic Con. You should check out both of these shows the next time they come around: lots of geeky fun!

I’ve also got a fun slate of show coming up, too! On April 23rd, I’ll be returning to the Daytona Beach Comic Con, the local show that features MORE comic books than the bigger shows locally. I’m not kidding. If you’re COMIC fan, this is the place to go!

On April 29, I’ll be a comic guest at FusionCon, in Safety Harbor, FL. It’ll be my first time there, so I’m very excited to be going.

On May 6, for FCBD (Free Comic Book Day) I’ll be appearing with my comic making pals, Barry and Jenni Gregory, and Thomas Florimonte and legendary comic artist Alex Saviuk at ACME SUPERSTORE in Longwood, one of the best local shops around!

On May 25-28, I’m a comic guest at MegaCon in Orlando. I’ll be in Artist Alley once again and Deonna will be joining me as we work to put Tiny #2 in your hands. Remember, we sold out of #1 at MegaCon last year! Hint hint

On July 19th, I’ll be a comic guest at the Orlando Collect-A-Con in Altemonte Springs, FL. Barry and Jenni will also be there, so you know it’s a fun show!

On July 20-23, I’m headed to San Diego. Would like to get on a panel or something, but nothing on that yet.

On Aug 5, Barry and I will be traveling up to Pikeville, KY to be comic guests at the first ever Pikeville Comic Con. It will be my first even comic guest appearance in the bluegrass state and I’m very much looking forward to it!

On Aug 11-13, WizardWorld will be in Orlando. I’ve been slated to be a comic guest there for over a year, but some of the leadership has changed and I haven’t heard from them in a bit. I’m keeping it on my calendar until I know otherwise.

Whew! That’s it so far. There’s one or two others that I’d like to get to, and of course, I’m always open to talking, so if you run a show or knows someone who does and you need a friendly comic writer type guest to compliment your A-list artist, holler at me!

Next time, an update on my comic projects!

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Happy New Year and looking ahead to 2017

cmcoloredHappy New Year everyone! I know some of you are ready to put 2016 behind you, but I’m ever the optimist so I’m anticipating 2017 to be a great year. I’ll add the obligatory “I can’t believe it’s 2017 already! Where has the time gone?”

I don’t have a lot of convention appearances lined up just yet, but one is fairly immediate. On Jan 19-20, I’ll be a guest at Auburndale City Con (near Lakeland, FL). The other shows I have lined up are: Daytona Beach Comic Convention on April 23, MegaCon in Orlando in May, Wizard Orlando in August. I’ll do something for FCBD (Free Comic Book Day) in May, but don’t have that hammered down yet. Wherever I end up, it’ll likely be with my pal Barry Gregory—three years running. Last year his lovely and talented wife, Jenni joined us, as did Thomas and Rene Florimonte. So, I’ll be somewhere, just not sure where yet. I hope to add a few more shows to the list, and I’ll be sure to let y’all know.

silverblade-cover-posterOn the family front, Brittany is starting 2017 off in LA as she seeks work there. I’m anxious to learn all that she’ll be getting to do this year and anticipate seeing her on the screen before the year is up! Brett will become a senior this year—OH MY!—and he’s becoming quite the young man. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my weekly (mostly) pleasures is my Friday night game session with Brett. Now that Brittany is in LA, she’s talked about joining us…if she can figure out the time difference. BJ’s still working hard on her Young Living business venture and we’re both pretty excited to see what’s in store for her there. If you haven’t “liked” her FB page yet, I’ll ask that you please go do it now: CLICK HERE!

I’m pretty excited about several things on the creative front. I’m working on two projects with long time friend and artist Dean Zachary. I’ll give you more as they develop, but a peek at them looks like: the first we’re calling SilverBlade and the high concept is Indiana Jones meets John Constantine. Joining me and Dean on SilverBlade is Barbara Kaalberg on inks and Thomas O’Connor on colors. You should see an image on this page somewhere. The second project Dean and I are working on is a revamp of Cat & Mouse, a series I did with the talented Mitch Byrd (and Steven Butler on some of the early issues) back in the late 80s/early 90s. Dean and I have made changes and updates, obviously, but the spirit will remain. The first story is about human trafficking, something I’m pretty passionate about. While Barb inked the image you see on this page, we’ve got another super-talented inker in mind to join us here, and the coloring is done by Kevin Gallegly.

Demon's Tails Ad

Demon’s Tails Ad

I can’t mention C&M without folks thinking about Demon. I’m excited to say that Paul Pelletier has agreed to reunite with me and produce a second Demon’s Tails mini-series. As I write, we’re still working on the story details, and—of course—the story will have to move at Paul’s pace, but I’m excited that we’re getting started on it. Thomas Florimonte has agreed to round out the reunited team as inker. So, yeah, I’m pretty excited about it. Long time pal Barry Gregory colored the image you see here, and we’re currently planning for it to be part of the Gallant Universe where Barry and Steven have just wrapped up their incredible John Aman, Amazing Man series. If you haven’t seen it, you need to check it out!

There’s nothing really specific that I can mention, but I’ve been talking to Barry about some pretty cool comic-related projects. I’m looking forward to more on that end. Sorry about being so mysterious about it. You know that you’ll be the first to know when I can talk about it…but the possibilities are pretty exciting.

Hope your year looks to be as exciting as mine. Happy New Year one and all!

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Election Fatigue

Man…do I have election fatigue like crazy. This has to be a most tiresome election process. Of course I won’t make the claims you can hear on television about (fill in the blank) thing is “the worst in the history of the U.S.” because…the people making those comments obviously don’t know that much about U.S. history.

I’ve personally had to back off of social media quite a bit and I’m anxious for the election to be over, because I miss my friends. FRIENDS!

I’m fairly certain that I’m not in the exclusive position of having friends on both sides of the political spectrum. The problem I have is that there are elements (on both sides) that are just downright hateful. I don’t mind so much when folks talk about the candidates. No, I don’t really like the really hateful comments about either of them (though admittedly, some of the memes can be funny), but I’d much rather read the comments about the candidates than about the supporters of the candidates. Because really, when that happens, it’s like one friend calling my other friend all those things. And it just makes me bristle.

On top of that, comments like “if you support this candidate, unfriend me now” make me think far less of the person writing that comment than the supporter they’re supposed talking about. It’s shocking to me because I find it hard to believe that I have friends who are that shallow minded. I mean, really. So this person “supports” this candidate. Does that really mean you don’t want anything to do with them? Really?

The worst part of it is—and I really wish people would give this strong consideration before getting diarrhea of the mouth—is that unless you have unfriended everyone who doesn’t think exactly as you do, then when you call supporters of the candidate “racist, baby-killing, homophobic, criminals,” you’re actually calling your friends that. And…I dunno. That just doesn’t strike me as very friendly.

I don’t really like either candidate; my vote is a vote against one rather than for one. But my vote is going to go to one of them, so when you make the nasty comments about anyone who votes for that candidate, you’re really saying that about me. And when you say those nasty things…I just gotta wonder if that’s really what you personally think about me after all.

I’m just ready for the election to be over so that my social media feeds can once again be about comic books, movies (Dr. Strange, anyone?), music, and family.

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Comparing worship services

Recently, thanks to the invitation of a good friend, I had the opportunity to attend a Catholic Church service for the first time in my life. I’ve been to weddings before that were held in a Catholic Church building, but that’s not the same. It both was and wasn’t what I expected. Lemme ‘splain…

First, it was very ritualistic. All jokes aside about how ritualistic Catholics are, the service was very much so. But I don’t mean that in a negative way; it’s just they do things just so. In fact, when I think about the Southern Baptist services I attend and have attended over the years, they’re almost ritualistic, too. We’re more informal about it, but we do the SAME thing week in and week out. If that isn’t “ritual,” I don’t know what is.

I expected to see the congregation at the Catholic Church a bit more dressed up than my church…but I guess down this way everyone attends church in “Florida casual.” Even at my church, it still feels awkward to me as I was raised to put on my “Sunday best” for church. The Catholic priests dressed far better than my own Baptist preacher, who often wears blue jeans with his shirt untucked.

The message by the priest was shorter than any Baptist preacher I’ve ever heard. It was short, but just as hard hitting and he pulled no punches (he talked about abortion!). While I much prefer our preaching; the Catholic message was poignant, just short. Our preacher comes across more as a teacher/lecturer. I quite like our pastor because he also doesn’t shy away from the tough subjects.

The biggest difference—and it was a stark difference, one I wouldn’t have even thought about had I not attended the service—is the reverential atmosphere at the Catholic Church. It felt like worship. Heck, in my church, the music often come across as a performance; our “worship band” actually uses dry ice to fog up the stage and 1980s style light rigs. I often feel like I’m at a rock concert (and I went to plenty of those in my younger days) and want to hold a lighter up over my head. They tell us to sing along with them and then blind me with lights in my eyes. Half of the time I have to sing “watermelon, watermelon” because I don’t know the words and then I can’t even see the screen to read them! (Okay, “half” may be an exaggeration, but you get what I’m saying) And when I can see the lead singer—I mean, the worship leader—he’s dressed for a concert, even wearing a hat in the sanctuary. I don’t know about you, but my mama taught me that you were to never wear a hat inside a building, and you sure as shooting don’t wear one in the house of God. Our lead singer should have been informed by the pastor (or at least one of the crew of them) that he can wear his stage vests, but he needs to take off the hat while performing in the sanctuary. More times that not, this video springs to mind when our worship band plays.

(in a note of fairness, and because probably one or two of my church pals may read this, the worship leader mentioned above is no longer at our church and the new one does not wear a hat)

All in all, my experience in the Catholic worship was a very positive and I’m thankful that my good pal, Doug Texter, invited me and my family to attend with him. I should have said “no,” though…because after I visited with him, he up and moved to a different state! 🙂

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Lake Collect-A-Con this Saturday!

Space Ghost endorses Demon's Tails!

Space Ghost endorses Demon’s Tails!

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 1, for one day only, you can find me and a host of other creative folks at Lake Collect-A-Con in Mt. Dora, Florida (for those unsure, it’s just north of Orlando, but still in driving distance).

This will be my second time to be a comic writer guest at the show and I’m looking forward to a fun show like I had the last time! [see the pic of Space Ghost endorsing my Demon’s Tails graphic novel!]

Good lineup of guests this year, too. The headliner, of course, is superstar and super nice guy, George Perez (hint to all you collectors: I’ll have copies of Genesis #0, that has a cover by George!).

Genesis #0 cover by George Perez

Genesis #0 cover by George Perez

Also there will be Rob Guillory, an artist I’ve never met but whose work I’m familiar with on Chew! I’m hoping to get the opportunity to say hi to him.

At a table beside me will be my good pal and comic creator Barry Gregory (Amazing Man) and his comic creating wife Jenni Gregory (Dreamwalker). We’ll all have books you can pick up and we’ll even sign them for you!

Parking is free, so get on up to Mt. Dory and pay us a visit!

Other shows in my immediate future include November 13 at the Daytona Beach Comic Con and November 20 at the Clermont Comic Con! Make your plans to come see me!

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Con Report: San Diego Comic Con 2016

Me with Hank Kanalz

Me with Hank Kanalz

Me with Kurtis Fujita, Larry Welch, and Diana Fujita.

Me with Kurtis Fujita, Larry Welch, and Diana Fujita.

I went to San Diego Comic Con last week for the first time since 1999. There’s far too much excitement to be contained in a single blog post (and too many pictures!)…but I’m going to do it anyway!

First, I had the opportunity to go thanks to Barry Gregory and Thomas Florimonte, my pals who also happen to be co-owners of the premier comic POD (Print on demand) company in the US, Ka-Blam! And I wouldn’t have been able to accompany them without the support of my fantastic boss, Noelani Cornell. I gotta admit, it’s pretty cool to actually be appreciated for my comic industry ties (instead of having to hide it at my previous university teaching positions).

Me with Alan Payne

Me with Alan Payne

Me and Ross Richie

Me and Ross Richie

Thomas and I left Wednesday morning of the convention and arrived at SD not long after lunch (I thought I was arriving much later, but that’s another story). Barry was there waiting on us and already all set up in the Indy Comic section. Wednesday was basically “attendees trying to get free and exclusive crap.” And some of the booths had it down to a science—the DC Comics booth moved people through like a ride a Universal!

Me with Jim Chadwick

Me with Jim Chadwick

Me with Dave Dorman

Me with Dave Dorman

Most people told me that I would be surprised at how “different” the show was. Maybe it was because of that, but it didn’t really strike me as that much different than 1999, only far bigger. Yeah, there were a lot of booths of things about which I had no clue (mostly tv shows) and all the madness that is Hall H was away from the convention floor—which is where I pretty much always spent my time anyway…so, to me, it was the same, but bigger…but it was MUCH bigger!

Me with Nat Gertler

Me with Nat Gertler

Me with UV Superfan Michael Novotny, Dave Olbrich, and Tom Mason.

Me with UV Superfan Michael Novotny, Dave Olbrich, and Tom Mason.

There were far too many people I caught up with to compile a complete list here, but some of those I got to see and catch up with included Ross Richie, Hank Kanalz, Bobbie Chase, Kurtis Fujita (and his lovely bride, Diana), Alan Payne, Scott Rosenberg, Dan Nakrosis, Larry Welch, and Bob Schreck. I saw a bunch of people I just got to say a quick “hello” to without catching up—and that was still cool: Joe Phillips, Julie Anne Wight, Dave Dorman, Tom Mason, Mickie Villa, Dave Olbrich, Nat Gertler, Marv Wolfman, Howard Chaykin, Aaron Lopresti, Darick Robertson, Terry Dodson, Robert Roach and I’m sure I’m leaving some out.

Me with Julie Anne Wight

Me with Julie Anne Wight

Mostly, I spent the show catching up with friends and hanging out at the Gallant table (where Barry debuted a cool new action figure!) and Mike Hefforn of Archblue’s table.

I also got to meet some cool indy comic creators I didn’t know before the show. In fact, we hung out a bit and had a fun time: Mike Heffron, James Heffron, Steve Bryant, and Chris Murrin. They even invited us to participate in their traditional end of con debriefing!

Steve Bryant, Chris Murrin, James Heffron, Me, Barry Gregory, Thomas Florimonte

Steve Bryant, Chris Murrin, James Heffron, Me, Barry Gregory, Thomas Florimonte

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One day left on the Tiny kickstarter

Frustrated Tiny from #2

Frustrated Tiny from #2

Okay everyone, this will be the last time you hear me tell you that you still have time to pledge for the Tiny Kickstarter. It ends tomorrow (Saturday) at 5pm! So, if you’re planning to get in on it, you’d better act fast. As of this writing, only the Jim Hall original piece of art is left for the big rewards. While we haven’t set any sort of stretch goal for it, we’d like to see 120 pledgers…not specifying a dollar or level amount.

And I mean real pledges. I have to add that because I’m surprised at the number of offers I’ve had from others running comic kickstarters to essentially game the system. Here’s a sample from one of the messages: “If we each pledge $1 or more towards each other’s campaign, it would give an increase to both our total backed amounts as well as number of backers.” Someone else added this: “This is completely within the rules of Kickstarter and very beneficial to us both.” I got about eight of these messages all total.

Tiny caught in Winter from #2

Tiny caught in Winter from #2

I ended up thanking them for the offer, but let them know I wanted “real” pledges.

I’m happy to say that Deonna is rocking right along with the second issue and everything is still on track! I’ve tossed some random art from her on this page for you to get a peek at!

We were also guests on Wayne’s Comics Podcast over on Major Spoilers. You can give it a listen here: Wayne’s Comics Podcast #234: Frank Martin, Roland Mann and Deonna Herrold.

For those of you in the NE Arkansas area, don’t forget to mark on your calendars that I will be a comic guest at the Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo in Paragould on July 9-10. Great family fun for all—come out and see me and all the other guests they’ve assembled! Find info on it here…and here.

Until next time!

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