This is one of my favorite stories in this year’s BOO! Awesome stuff. Get your preorder on!
I’m very pleased to announce the digital-only BOO!Halloween Stories 2014 from Monkeybrain Comics, a followup to last year’s four-part BOO! series (still available for only 99 cents each!). Behind a luscious cover by Rusty Shackles, you’ve got eleven spooky stories and eerie illustrations from that huge cavalcade of creators listed above - all for only $1.99! Two measly bucks for 64+ pages of story and art, and all of it lookin’ this good! Plus you got a chance to win an original page of art, yow!
You can pre-order your copy of BOO! Halloween Stories right now over at Comixology! Don’t miss out!
Hey, there I am! Right smack dab in a list filled with super-talented comic people. Ken Lowery and I return to Texas for another tale of rock-n-roll rabble rousers Johnny and June Valentine as they meet up with one guy who you really don’t want to cross, historically-speaking.
The story stands alone, but it’s also a prequel to our last one, “The Night The Dead Rocked Texas,” which you can find in BOO! #2 released last year.
BOO! Volume 2 also features superior stories from Chris Sims, Andy Hirsch, Benito Cereno, Jordan Witt, Manning Krull, and a whole bunch of other very talented folks. Give it a shot, why don’t you?
BOO! v2 IS COMING, Y’ALL! Get your pre-order on now! Get into the spirit of the holiday and read the BOO!tacular goodness on Oct. 29!
John Buscema (December 11, 1927 – January 10, 2002) circa 1975.
Statistically speaking, if you were a Marvel fan during the Silver or Bronze age, you probably owned a lot of John’s work: he averaged three books a month for a decade-long period — including over 200 issues of Conan and Savage Sword of Conan alone — and contributed to nearly every Marvel title at some point or another, either as regular artist or doing fill-ins.
John was also big on teaching, briefly running the John Buscema Art School in the mid-1970s, until the grueling 6—mile commute made it too difficult, and collaborated with Stan Lee on ‘How To Draw Comics the Marvel Way’, a rare early comics how-to tome first published in 1978 that has gone through 33 printings, the latest being in 2007.
Even well into the modern era, John continued to contribute, being the first artist to draw She-Hulk in 1980, had a nearly fifty-issue run on the Avengers in the 1980s, and was the initial artist on Wolverine’s ongoing monthly solo series for its first year. John did work with the Punisher in the 1990s, including one of the most bizarre comics ever: Archie Meets the Punisher, in 1994.
With a list of credits beginning in 1948 that span nearly every genre and include comics adaptations of films Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Wizard of Oz, and Labyrinth, John probably has the most colorful portfolio of any comics artist: he’s a guy who drew Kiss in their comics debut in 1977, St. Francis of Assisi in a Marvel-published biography in 1980, and Superman and Spider-Man’s second crossover in 1981.
John passed away in 2002, and was buried with an artist’s pen in his hand. Buscema’s talent and passion for comic art never wavered, on the clock or off, with friends and family saying he would even draw on the back of his finished comics pages.
" This guy used to eat, sleep and breathe drawing. It didn’t matter what was going on around him. He would get bored with it and start sketching. … He just couldn’t stop drawing. [His back-of-board sketches were] better than some of the stuff that he did on the front. … He’d get a spark of inspiration and turn the page over and draw whatever was in his skull. "
— Sal Buscema, Marvel artist and John’s brother
I still have my well-worn and decades old copy of How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way. Buscema’s storytelling skills were next level.
Last month on Twitter, Benito Cereno issued the challenge to assemble a seven-member, all-female Justice League. He ended up getting a lot of responses and several pretty spiffy drawings as a result, and after much delay, I present mine. I made the decision to draw them out as a team to see how they’d all look together, and yep, that’s a team all right. (Also? Unfortunately and unintentionally overly Caucasian and very blue-eyed brunette-y.) I’ve begun referring to them in my head as the Seven Lady Army (or 7LA), and have had a modified version of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” stuck in my head for two weeks, so I’m glad to finally move past that.
Here’s the line-up:
Wonder Woman - You don’t just put Wonder Woman on an all-female Justice League, you build around her. When Grant Morrison assembled the heavy hitters for his famous run on JLA back in the day, he equated them all to members of the Greek pantheon of Gods. In his league, WW was Hera. In mine, she’s the Zeus.
Big Barda - Another no-brainer pick. Barda is the Ares of the team. I drew a somewhat modified version of what I like to call “Barda’s Battlin’ Buick” gear, scratching an artistic itch I’ve had since I drew Barda in her “Battlin’ Itsy Bitsy Bikini” look a few years ago.
Black Canary - The street level fighter who can easily hang with the heavy hitters. The Athena of the team, as she was the goddess of law and justice, strategic warfare and strategy.
Zatanna - I briefly considered giving this spot to Traci 13, but she didn’t make as much sense in the team dynamic. In relation to the Pantheon, Zatanna is the Hephaestus, using spells and conjuring like the Greek god forged weapons and tools.
Mary Marvel - She actually gets her abilities from the Gods, so Artemis seems like a good parallel.
Elasti-Girl - She’s here because I love me some Doom Patrol. An Olympic gold medal athlete-turned-actress, she’s the Hermes of the group.
Sidenote: Look, I anticipate flack for drawing her in high heels, but A) I was keeping with the silver age look, because I love it and B) It makes me laugh that someone that can grow hundreds of feet tall would wear heels on top of it. I did however give her pants/leggings because, come on.
Talia al Ghul - How’s that for a left field choice? I originally had Katana in this spot, but after I shared Cereno’s tweet with my friend Rider, he threw Talia’s name out there. And then it was a done deal. She’s the Hades analog on the team, herself a ruler of an underworld. Can you imagine what sort of global crisis would necessitate Talia joining forces with a bunch of do-gooders like these? And what sort of constant conflicts that would cause? Man alive, someone start writing this hypothetical line-up already.
Last week I mentioned that I’m working on a group shot for my version of Benito Cereno’s All-Female Seven-Member Justice League Thought Experiment, and so I figured why not tease one other member before the full reveal this week (again, I’m slow). Like Wonder Woman, she’s another obvious choice, particularly when you consider my affinity for Black Canary (Exhibits one, two and three). But what am I going to do? NOT have her on the team because she makes too much sense? Now that’s just crazy talk.
I’m taking part in Benito Cereno’s All-Female Justice League Thought Experiment™ but as I’m slow and potentially dumb (I decided to do a group shot instead of headshots, because I hate my free time apparently?), it’s not ready yet. Here’s the first member, the obvious choice when assembling your Lady Powerhouses in one united assemblage of kickassery. Anyway, more to come. So hey, while your waiting for me to get past my whole slow-and-dumb thing, check out some of the other lineups, including some truly great entries from Doc Shaner, Kris Anka and Wilfredo Torres among others.
Having finished the project I’ve been slugging away at all summer, I borrowed a quote from my daughter to mark the occasion.
Hey! This is an important update to the 2014 Kevin Church Birthday Fundraiser To Help Kids To Read Good! Please read and donate! Thank you!
Okay, we’ve had two days of me begging for money and you ogling the art and it’s time to kick things up a notch with more art, this time featuring Rocket Raccoon and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, as rendered by Calamity Jon Morris.
These two excellent pieces (which will be raffled off individually) join a page of original Superman comic book art by Stuart Immonen and Josef Rubenstein, an all-new sketch of Superman by Stuart (done with Copic markers on Stillman and Birn Zeta series extra heavyweight 270gsm plate finish 8.5” x 11”) and a 9”x12” commission by Tom Fowler (no art direction, you pick the character, he does the rest) as prizes in the 2014 Kevin Church Birthday Fundraiser To Help Kids To Read Good.
So, how does the 2014 Kevin Church Birthday Fundraiser To Help Kids To Read Good work?
All you have to do to qualify for a chance to win is donate $5 or more to one of the charities featured below before 11:59PM on August 18 and then forward your receipt to email@example.com after you’ve donated. You can choose any of these projects, or all of them. I don’t care. If you want to make a note during your donation that it’s for my birthday fundraiser, that would be nice, but it’s not at all necessary.
Winners will be chosen on the evening of Tuesday, August 19 and announced later in the week (We might be videoing the raffle portion, maybe? I need to talk to some people.)
Now, for the charities we’re raising money for this year.
This is a local nonprofit I heartily endorse
Horizons for Homeless Children is, as their website explains, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young homeless children and their families by ensuring that they are prepared for school success. They do terrific work in the local area and I’ve donated what I can to them in the past.
I also like these projects on DonorsChoose.org:
Check This Out! at Frances J Warren Elementary School in Tuscon, AZ, serving underprivileged kids in a very poor district with a wide variety books to help them discover how great reading can be. As of 8 on Saturday morning, this had $421 to go.
Notebooks for Writing at Mosaic Prep Academy in New York City, giving kids access to the very basics that will help them start creating worlds for themselves. As of 8 on Saturday morning, this had $833 to go.
More Books For Our Classroom Library in Gautier, MS, offering up literary options that will engage kids and let them learn how great reading can be. As of 8 on Saturday morning, this had $677 to go.
Creating a Classroom of Readers and Writers at James Bilhartz Junior Elementary School in Dallas, TX, helping fourth-graders get the basics to help them organize, read and write about library books. As of 8 on Saturday morning, this had $837 to go.
Developing a True Multicultural Perspective through Literature in Atlanta, GA, teaching teens about the world at large through works that offer alternative perspectives on our world. As of 8 on Saturday morning, this had $930 to go.
Please note: if you are a comics creator who would like to donate a book or original art or a commission or something to this effort, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to get some more incentives in place for donations.
I just threw in for this and I think you guys should consider it too. What a great idea! And I realize by spreading the word I’m affecting my own odds of getting my hands on some Stuart Immonen original art, but hey, I like competition. So let’s pony up for a good cause, people!