Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I couple of weeks ago I attended Wonderfest Hobby Expo in Louisville.  It's a show primarily for lovers of movie monsters and sci-fi to come together, particularly those who enjoy modelmaking.  The highlight for me, other than hanging with my pals, is seeing what the modelers have come up with for this year's show.  Here are my highlights:

 This is a close-up of a massive (3 feet in diameter) model of a Cylon Basestar.  Modelmaker Sean Corsini built this from scratch to match the miniature from the original "Battlestar Galactica" series.  Looks camera-ready to me!

Mr. Spock better check his workstation, as someone has taken this ray generator right off the Enterprise bridge!  That's what it looks like to me, anyway.  Here it is with its original owner - 
For more about this device, visit this posting by Gregory Schnitzer.

A life-size dewback was on display, complete with dirtified Sand Trooper and nearby jawa. 

There were no shortage of Star Wars models, and this Scout Trooper on a speeder bike looks ready to zoom off into the forest.

Star Wars, Trek, Aliens, Univeral Monsters...I was prepared for all of them.  But...Robert Shaw as Quint?  Kudos to this artist for originality in bringing one of the great screen characters to life.

More Jaws?!?  Yes, a large bronze sculpture of the Jaws trinity - Brody, Hooper and Quint inside a shark jaw.  This piece is by the amazing artist Bill Wieger.

A hand-sculpted Cap'n Crunch!

This modeler had a little fun.  Barbie and a Cylon on a future episode of "Dancing with the Stars."  Yes, that's the Sugar Corn Pops cowboy behind them!

This was my favorite model of all.  Supposedly a King Kong model combined with a different terrain and small characters to recreate this comic book cover as a diorama - 
The fact that someone would choose an issue of Tomahawk, a mostly forgotten series that ran for 20 years, is what really knocks me out.

While last year was a cosplay cornucopia, this year was sadly lacking.  That may be my own fault for coming on a Sunday.  I'm guessing Saturday was more populated.  I saw a Starfleet officer, maybe one Star Wars character and these two friendly folks above.

Have to leave you with a little cheesecake!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Ah, May, when the free comic books bloom again.  If you had asked me when the first Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) was, I'd have said five or six years ago.  Incredibly to my addled brain, on May 4th we had the 13th FCBD.  On Free Comic Book Day, publishers print up special issues which retailers then purchase at a reduced price to give away free to their customers.  This year a record 52 comics were offered. 

As a dad of young boys, I was glad to see a large chunk of those were comics truly aimed at kids.  Well-known names like Sesame Street, Snoopy, Smurfs, Tinkerbell and even Pippi Longstocking were represented.  My superhero-obsessed sons were naturally drawn to the comics promoting upcoming Batman and Hulk cartoons (which they're maybe a couple of years away from watching).  My five year old was especially interested in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which he's heard the kids talk about at school but thankfully has been alien to our DVR.

They like the old school cartoons, as you can see from their homemade shirts.  The Spider-Man shirt is just a screen grab from Google Images, but my pal Jim Alexander designed the Wonder Twins shirt for me.  Sadly, the printer ran out of ink before daddy could make a shirt.

FCBD has grown into quite the event.  Comic book shops will also have sales, costumed characters, creator appearances.  Some have all three, like my pals at Up Up and Away who reported having their best single day ever.  Here's my son Noah with Spidey and Black Cat.

Up Up and Away hosted "Walking Dead" co-creator Tony Moore, signing and doing sketch cards.  One fan had Tony sign this WLKG DED license plate.  Too cool!

Moore's wife, Kara, volunteered to do face painting for the kids.  Both of mine asked for Cap's shield on their cheeks.

After Up Up and Away, we trekked to Comic Book World in Florence for more fun and free comics.  I'm already thinking about what shirts to make for next year! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013


The April issue of Air Force Magazine featured a nice six page article on Milton Caniff.  The article was written by John T. Correll, former editor-in-chief to the publication.  They are generous in this digital age, as you can download the article here.
The recent continuity of the comic strip "Gasoline Alley" has characters Walt Wallet and Slim visiting the Comics Retirement Home.  There they are met by such comic strip luminaries as Hop Harrigan, Barney Google, Maggie & Jiggs and Annie.  "Alley" cartoonist Jim Scancarelli clearly has a love for these old strips and characters and it's nice to see them remembered.  The storyline began here and runs in the dailies.

It's of note to Caniffites as that's Hot Shot Charlie from "Terry" on the far left of the strip above.  Interestingly, Hot Shot appeared last year in "Dick Tracy", which I wrote about in the April 2012 news
A biography of "Li'l Abner" cartoonist Al Capp was released in March.  Comics historian and Caniff biographer R.C. Harvey wrote an insightful review for The Comics Journal.  That can be found here.

The April issue of Sci-Fi Magazine, the official magazine of the SyFy Channel, had a nice one page article on two Caniff-related TV shows.  There was a short-lived "Terry & the Pirates" series in 1953 (about 18 episodes) and the more familiar Steve Canyon series from 1958-59.  The article is by Jeff Berkwits, a freelance writer who specializes in science fiction.

The Library of American Comics has received two nominations for Eisner Awards.  The Eisners are the Oscars of the comics world and are presented annually at Comic-Con International in San Diego.  The nominations were both in the category of Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips:

■Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim, vol. 2, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/Library of American Comics)

■Percy Crosby’s Skippy, vol. 1, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (IDW/Library of American Comics)

Good luck to Dean and company this July 19th at the Eisner Awards!