Category: Con Report

RIP: Jim Ivey

I got the call last night.  It wasn’t unexpected. Jim had been ill for quite some time and the night before had been admitted to the hospital.  Jim Ivey passed away last night.  He was 97 years old.

Jim was born James (but preferred the much less formal, Jim) Burnett Ivey on April 15, 1925 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Jim attended the University of Louisville, George Washington University, the National Art School in D.C. and also took correspondence courses through the Landon School of Illustration and Cartooning.  Jim served as a US Navy submariner from 1943 to 1946.

After the war, Jim was a Reid Fellowship recipient to study political cartooning in Europe.  Jim worked in the editorial art department for the Washington Star and the St. Petersburg Times before accepting an editorial cartoonist position at the San Francisco Examiner where he remained from 1959 – 1966.  Jim then worked as a freelance artist until 1970 when he accepted a cartoonist position with the Orlando Sentinel (where he stayed until 1977).

In 1967, Jim opened The Cartoon Museum using items from his own collection.  The Cartoon Museum sold all forms of original art including political cartoons, comic book art, newspaper strips, and more.  In addition, The Cartoon Museum branched out to include collectibles of all types.  Jim also began publishing a quarterly titled cARToon.  In addition Jim continued to work as a freelance artist and artist on the syndicated Thoughts of Man comic panel!

In 1974, Jim along with Charlie Roberts, Richard Kravitz, Rob Word, and Neil Austin started the annual OrlandoCon convention which celebrated comic books and comic art.  Jim was joined by Bill Black and Mike Kott to keep OrlandoCon going as an annual event through 1996, Each year the OrlandoCon guest of honor received a gold brick called the Ignatz Award named in honor of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. (The brick was a sign of affection!)  Each year there was also a charity auction to benefit the Milt Gross Fund of the National Cartoonists Society (Jim Ivey was a member and regional Chairman).

 In 1977, Jim went back to freelance work.  From 1978 to 1983 Jim was an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida where he taught a course on the Art of Cartooning.

Jim was also an author.  His books include U.S. History in Cartoons The Civil War through WW II, Roy Crane’s Wash Tubbs, the First Adventure Comic Strip (co-authored with Gordon Campbell) and Cartoons I Liked.  Jim’s essays could often be found in Hogan’s Alley, the Comics Journal, World of Comic Art and other sources.  Jim was an a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists and the National Cartoonists Society.  He was the National Cartoonists Society T-Square award recipient in 1979.

I met Jim in 1977.  My buddy, John Beatty and I began driving from Daytona to Jim’s Cartoon Museum each week to pick up new comics and hang out with Jim.  Before long our visits began to include marathon poker games.  Jim loved to play cards (or gamble on most anything).  Oh, the times we had.  When I moved to Orlando in 1980 to attend the University of Central Florida, my trips to The Cartoon Museum changed from weekly to almost daily visits.  Hanging out with Jim in the Cartoon Museum was a magical time.  You never knew who or what might come though the door.  I meet so many wonderful people (collectors, artists, writers and more) because of Jim.

Jim closed The Cartoon Museum in 1981.  A year or so later he opened again in a new location.  In the 1990s when  Jim was ready to semi-retire he opened a used book store.  Jim finally did retire around 20 or so years ago.  I’m proud to say that we continued to stay in touch (Jim didn’t use a computer, so it was phone or snail mail).  Twice a year, I would organize a get-together with Jim’s Cartoon Museum and OrlandoCon friends who could attend.  We’d celebrate Jim’s birthday and Christmas for Jim at a local breakfast spot.  The get-togethers would turn into three hour marathons of laughter and fond memories.  Jim enjoyed these times as much as those of us who could attend.

I’ve been in contact with the regular group to let them know of Jim’s passing.  We’re planning a celebration of Jim’s life get-together.  It will probably be  one day during the last weekend of September (that weekend was the traditional date of OrlandoCon).  If you’re interested in attending or want more details as we work things out, e-mail me.

Jim was my oldest friend.  I treasure the hours we spent hanging out together.  He was an original and will be missed but never forgotten.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Jim’s family and friends.

RIP: Tim Sale

Tim Sale died yesterday at the age of 66.  No cause of death was given.

Tim Sale is best known for his collaborations with writer Jeph Loeb.  A few of the series that they created for DC include: Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory, Superman for All Seasons and Catwoman: When in Rome.  For Marvel Comics, the duo created Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray and Captain America: White.

Mr. Sale is also known for his work with Darwyn Cooke on Superman: Confidential, Grendel with Matt Wagner and Deathblow with Jim Lee.  Any comic that Tim Sale worked on was worth picking up because of Sale’s unique spin on characters.  Tim Sale won an Eisner Award in 1999 in the “Best Artist/Penciller/Inker” category.  Tim Sale also provided art for the television series Heroes.

I was fortunate to meet Tim Sale a few times at conventions over the years.  In 2011, Tim Sale did a wonderful sketch for me at MegaCon. Tim said that he wanted to do Rocky from the first movie.  He chose to draw Rocky the loan collector who worked for his friend Gazzo.  Tim Sale also added his turtles Cuff and Link. My buddy, John Higashi was responsible for making it happen.  Thanks to John Higashi, I also attended a dinner with Tim Sale and other artists.

Tim Sale was an amazing artist.  By all accounts he was a kind and gracious man.  The number of news organizations reporting his passing and remembrances from people around the world is testimony to his impact.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tim Sale’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: George Pérez

George Pérez

We all knew the day would come.  Especially since December 7, 2021.  That’s when George Perez announced that he had surgically inoperable Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.  Although offered other options George said,

“… after weighing all the variables and assessing just how much of my remaining days would be eaten up by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I’ve opted to just let nature take its course and I will enjoy whatever time I have left as fully as possible with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, friends and my fans.”

And that is what he did,

George Perez passed away yesterday the result of his pancreatic cancer.  He was 67.  The announcement on his Facebook page read:

George passed away yesterday, peacefully at home with his wife of 490 months and family by his side. He was not in pain and knew he was very, very loved.

We are all very much grieving but, at the same time, we are so incredibly grateful for the joy he brought to our lives. To know George was to love him; and he loved back. Fiercely and with his whole heart. The world is a lot less vibrant today without him in it.

He loved all of you. He loved hearing your posts and seeing the drawings you sent and the tributes you made. He was deeply proud to have brought so much joy to so many.

Everyone knows George’s legacy as a creator. His art, characters and stories will be revered for years to come. But, as towering as that legacy is, it pales in comparison to the legacy of the man George was. George’s true legacy is his kindness. It’s the love he had for bringing others joy – and I hope you all carry that with you always.
Today is Free Comic Book Day. A day George absolutely loved and a fitting day to remember his contributions to comics and to our lives. I hope you’ll enjoy your day today with him in mind. He would have loved that.

Please keep his wife Carol in your thoughts and again, I thank you for respecting her privacy. I remain available through the contact on the page.

George’s memorial service will take place at MEGACON Orlando at 6pm on Sunday, May 22nd. It will be open to all. Details to follow.

We will miss him always.

George Perez entered comics as an assistant to Rich Buckler in the early 1970s.  He quickly graduated to penciling his own series.  It didn’t take long for George Perez to become a fan favorite.  Throughout his career George Perez worked on some of the most popular comic series published: The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, The Justice League of America, The New Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superman, The Infinity Gauntlet, to name just a few.  Whatever George Perez worked on was worth the price of admission.

Evidence of George Perez’s importance and impact to comics is the number of places his death is quickly being reported.  Sadly, often when we lose comic creators, the only place their passing is noted is comic-related websites.  George Perez’s passing has shown up already in The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Daily News, TMZ and The Daily Mail (England) to name just a few of the mainstream publications. 

George Perez won numerous fan favorite awards of the course of his career.  Here are some of them…

  • 1979: Eagle Award for his role in creating the Best Continued Story for Avengers #167–168 and 170–177.
  • 1980: Eagle Award for Best Comic book Cover for Avengers #185. 
  • 1983: Inkpot Award
  • 1983: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Artist
  • 1984: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Comic Book Story:  “The Judas Contract” in Tales of the Teen Titans #42–44 and Annual #3
  • 1985: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Artist
  • 1985: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Cover Artist
  • 1985: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Comic Book Story:  “Beyond the Silent Night” in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7
  • 1985: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Limited Series: Crisis on Infinite Earths (with Marv Wolfman)
  • 1985: Named as one of the honorees in DC’s 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great.
  • 1985: Jack Kirby Award for Best Finite Series for Crisis on Infinite Earths (with Marv Wolfman)
  • 1986: Jack Kirby Award for Best Finite Series for Crisis on Infinite Earths (with Marv Wolfman)
  • 1986: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Cover Artist
  • 1986: Eagle Award for Favorite Pencil Artist in 1986.
  • 1987: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Penciler
  • 1987: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Cover Artist
  • 1989: Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Awards – Favorite Comic Book Story:  “A Lonely Place of Dying” in Batman #440–442 and The New Titans #60–61 
  • 2022: Inkwell Awards Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA) for his lifetime achievement in inking

George Perez was not only one of the most popular artists to ever work in comics, he was one of the nicest.  I first became aware of his art on The Avengers.  Then I went back and found his earlier work.  Following George Perez was easy, because word of his art on a new comic always spread quickly.

I was fortunate to spend time with George Perez at a comic convention in 1980 or 81.  My best friend, John Beatty was inking George on Justice League and was also a guest at the show.  Sitting with John and George was great.  George was wonderful with each fan that came up.  He listened and smiled and exchanged stories.  George had as much fun (if not more) than the fans. 

After the show, George invited John and I to have a bite to eat and hang out.  George drew more sketches as we talked.  I’ve never seen an artist more at ease while drawing.  At one point he even was lying on his back and drawing!

When George Perez announced that he had cancer and most likely only 6 months or so to live, he continued to interact with fans and enjoy the time he had left.  What a great human spirit!  It was an honor to meet George Perez not only because he was a legendary artist, but also because of the great human being we came to know.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to George Perez’s family, friends and fans.

Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find Giant-Size Charlotte MiniCon – This Weekend!

This weekend I’ll be at the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find Giant-Size Charlotte MiniCon.  The convention is put on by Shelton Drum and his team (the same folks behind HeroesCon).  This will be the first big gathering that I’ve attended in over a year and a half.  I feel good about going, since the following will be required:

After much consideration, paying close attention to state and local guidelines, and in an effort to make our event safe and enjoyable for everyone in attendance, we will be requiring masks, as well as proof of an authorized Covid-19 vaccination, or a valid negative test result within 72 hours of entry. (Rapid tests and at-home tests are OKAY! You can also show proof of vaccination on a smart phone, with a photo, or a print-out copy of your vaccination card.)

While there won’t be a Drink & Draw on Friday Night, multiple panels running hourly or a Saturday Night Art Auction (all staples of HeroesCon), I am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones and maybe getting a new Stallone sketch (or two) for my collection.  If you’re in the area, come on by and have some fun!

The Daytona Beach Comic Book Convention Returns in September!

The Daytona Beach Comic Book Convention will return but at new location on September 18 and 19, 2021. It will now be held at the Tommy Lawrence Arena at the Volusia County Fair Grounds, 3150 E New York Ave, DeLand, Florida 32724.

In addition to new comic books, magazines, pulps, underground comix, original art, toys, action figures, POPs, Disney, and other collectibles for sale, fans will be able to meet comic book artists, writers, and creators. Guests include: Pat Broderick, Bill Black, Sergio Cariello, Jeff Whiting, Javier Lugo, Steve Conley and more to come.  There will even be a small press expo area!

If you can make it, I hope to see you there!

Giant-Size Charlotte Mini-Con is Coming on November 6th and 7th!

I was extremely happy to read that Shelton Drum, the man behind Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find and HeroesCon, announced that there would be a Giant-Size Charlotte Mini-Con on November 6th and 7th.  Here’s the lowdown:

Coming to the Charlotte Convention Center:

Saturday, November 6: 10AM-6PM and Sunday, November 7: 10AM-4PM.

This show will feature 80,000 Sq Ft of the BEST COMIC BOOK DEALERS in the country, as well as a curated Artist Alley hosting some of the industry’s greatest!

This event will be a Comic-Book Collector’s DREAM!! A room FILLED with comic books from every generation of the medium!

This show is a “GIANT-SIZE” version of our long-running CHARLOTTE MINI-CON, and we will not be hosting panels or additional programming during this event. We will return with incredible panels and additional programming for the 40th Anniversary Heroes Convention, returning next June 2022.

The GIANT-SIZE CHARLOTTE MINI-CON is all about the COMIC-BOOKS! We hope you will join us for this GIANT-SIZE “old-school” Comic-Convention!

There are TWO TICKET OPTIONS for the Giant-Size Charlotte Mini-Con:

$10.00* – SATURDAY (includes BONUS SUNDAY admission!)

$5.00* – SUNDAY ONLY

KIDS 18 & UNDER = FREE (must register for ticket)

*Tickets are non-refundable

If you purchased a ticket for the 2020 or 2021 Heroes Convention before April of 2021, your HeroesCon ticket will automatically get you into both days of the GIANT-SIZE CHARLOTTE MINI-CON as an extra added bonus! You will NOT need to purchase an additional ticket for the Giant-Size Charlotte Mini-Con, this event is included with your existing HeroesCon 2022 ticket!

We appreciate your continued support over the past year and hope that you will come out and enjoy this exciting bonus event!

It is awesome that Shelton is giving free admission to those of us who had purchased tickets to HeroesCon 2020 or 2021 since those shows had to be cancelled due to Covid.

I’m looking forward to the GIANT-SIZE CHARLOTTE MINI-CON.  It will be great to see old friends and meet new ones.

“The Last Days of American Crime” Trailer is Here! (Plus the 17 Year Journey to Make It)

Below we have the trailer to The Last Days of American Crime.  If the title sounds familiar it could be because I’ve been talking about The Last Days of American Crime for almost 17 years.  Yep, 17 years.  I’ll explain after the trailer.

As a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez), a career criminal who was never able to hit the big score, teams up with famous gangster progeny Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt), and black market hacker Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster), to commit the heist of the century and the last crime in American history before the signal goes off. Based on the Radical Publishing graphic novel created by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, The Last Days of American Crime is directed by Olivier Megaton, written by Karl Gajdusek, produced by Jesse Berger, p.g.a., Jason Michael Berman, p.g.a., and Barry Levine, with Sharlto Copley also co-starring.

Watch The Last Days of American Crime on Netflix June 5

Okay.  Let me tell you about those 17 years…

Way back in November of 2003, I posted Meet Rick Remender.  Rick was a comic writer and artist I met through my buddy, John Beatty.  John was inking Rick’s pencils on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Rick also had an idea for a comic mini-series he called The Last Days of American Crime.  I loved the art, title and idea for the story.

In 2007, I met Rick at HeroesCon.  Not only did I get hang with him for a bit, Rick also did a Stallone sketch for my collection.  Rick said that The Last Days of American Crime was still in the works. Rick had so many projects going (Fear Agent, Sea of Red, and Strange Girl just to name three) that I had started to think that he’d never get to it.

In March of 2009, I posted the art above and the news that  “The Last Days of American Crime” would premiere later that year in a three issue [48 pages each] mini-series with art by Greg Tocchini.  Yea!  The wait was nearly over.  And how about Greg Tocchini’s art!

In April 2009, we got a look at Tocchini’s The Last Days of American Crime preview cover made for Comic-Con.

In August 2009, ran a 17 page preview of The Last Days of American Crime.

In September 2009, gave us another preview.  The anticipation was building…

In November 2009, the news was Sam Worthington had signed on to produce and star in a big screen adaptation of Rick Remender’s The Last Days of American Crime.  Wow!  We’d probably see The Last Days of American Crime movie in a year or so, right?

In December 2009, we got another preview of The Last Days of American Crime mini-series.

In September 2010, I posted The Not So Last Days of American Crime. Rick had announced that he had ideas for more tales set in the same The Last Days of American Crime universe!

And now nearly 17 years after that first post and almost ten years after my final post about The Last Days of American Crime we have a trailer for the movie.  How long until someone starts calling Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini overnight sensations?

HeroesCon 2019 – Craig’s Report

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a week since HeroesCon 2019 kicked off.  We’ve been going to the show for decades and it’s always a treat.  Here are the highlights…

I went to the show hoping…

My first stop was Richard Cox’s table.  My buddy, Little John had told me that Richard’s list filled up on Thursday night.  I thought LJ was messing with me and it turns out he was.  I was able to get on Richard’s list.

I was also able to get on Pan Quinn’s and Dan Panosian’s lists.  Matthew Childers’ had my sketch ready and also shared some cover commissions that he was doing for fans.  Little John had ordered a cool one to add to his Search for Superman theme.  Matthew also was working on a Batman & Godzilla cover.  Inspired pairing, that one!

I met Shane Douberly for the first time and commissioned a Rocky head sketch from him.  I then spent the bulk of the day visiting with old / new friends and walking the convention floor.  My sketch commissions were set up, so the pressure was off.

Little John and his wife Patricia, along with my better half, Doralya, and son Chris headed over to the Red Ginger for a great hibachi dinner.  LJ repeated his feat of draining the saki sprayed from the bottle.  Luckily, there were no college kids at our table this year to try to replicate this feat.

After dinner we headed over to the HeroesCon Drink and Draw for charity.  LJ and Patricia scored a few very nice pieces.  Chris Flick created 3 sketch cards for the charity.  LJ picked up two and I scored the other (Stallone from Expendables).  Yeah, Chris knows what I like.


Because of flight issues (detailed at ME’s blog), Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones weren’t able to arrive until Saturday.  So ME was my first stop.  I was able to meet Mark Evanier and get his autograph in my Kirby hardcover.  I also attended a panel that ME moderated.  The panel featured my best bud, John Beatty along with Mike Royer and Klaus Janson.  The panel was informative and it was nice to see so many people there to hear inkers talk about their craft.

Today was art pick-up day.  Richard Cox had a great Rocky (III) painting waiting for me.  Dan Panosian’s piece was ready as well (Rocky II).  Dan’s sketches are second to none. (By the way, Dan was turning all of the proceeds of his head sketch commissions over to the Heroes Initiative charity.)  When I picked up my sketch, I also purchased Dan’s second sketch book.  Pat Quinn created a very cool Jack Carter sketch for me.  Chris Visions was still working through his sketch list but assured me it would be ready by Sunday.

Hainanu Saulque goes by the name Nooligan.  I’d never met him before, but after seeing his Rocky: Once and Future Champ print, I knew he was an artist I wanted to meet.  Nooligan is an amazing artist with a unique style.  We spoke about Stallone, films, comics and more for the better part of an hour.  I usually don’t buy prints, but I purchased both Nooligan’s Rocky and John Wick prints.  Hopefully some day I’ll get a Nooligan original for my Stallone art collection.  Meeting Nooligan was a definite HeroesCon highlight this year.

Dinner that evening was at the Redeye Diner with my wife, son, Little John & Patricia, Richard Cox and his wife.  My only regret about eating at the Redeye Diner is that we only made it there once this trip.  Great atmosphere and food.

Our next stop was the HeroesCon Art Auction.  LJ showed a lot of restraint purchasing just one piece — a painting by Josh Greathouse.  I made it most of the way through the auction but called it a night before it was over since we were heading home early Sunday.

I proud to say that I was able to complete all of the things I had hoped to get done.  It was great meeting Mark Evanier after following his blog daily for nearly 20 years.  I was happy that my son Chris joined me at the show on Saturday.  Comics aren’t his thing, but he had fun at the panel (he’s known John Beatty his whole life) and art auction.

It was great seeing old friends and meeting new.  The art on display was, as always, jaw-dropping.  I need to give a special shout out to Casey Jones.  His art book was filled with page after page of beautiful art ranging from sketches to inked pieces to published pages.

I’ll be posting my art pick-ups in the coming weeks.

A few years ago, we began going to Charlotte on Thursday night to meet with friends before the show starts on Friday.  Sadly, we usually cut out before the show ends on Sunday.  Little John has convinced me that we need to stay for the full experience.  Starting next year, that will be the plan.  Let the countdown begin!

HeroesCon 2016 / Z-View

HeroesCon 2016 was, as are all HeroesCons, a blast.  Read on and I’m sure you’ll agree.

The Pre-Show:

Doralya and I left Thursday morning.  Several of our friends were going up early and so we decided to meet them for dinner the night before the show.  We met at Merts Heart and Soul.  By we, I mean Doralya, John Beatty, Little John and his bride Patricia, Mike Cross, Richard Cox and his wife.  The food was good, but the company was even better.

The Convention Hotels:

This was the first year that we stayed at two hotels.  Usually we can either be found at the Westin or the Hampton Inn Charlotte – Uptown.  This year, depending on the night we could be found at either.  When we decided to go up early the Westin (our main hotel that we had already booked for the con) couldn’t fit us in.  Thankfully, the Hampton came through.


  • Hung with John Beatty at his table on and off throughout the con.  Joined by Doralya, Little John & Patricia and Mike Cross while John sketched in his room on Friday.  A lot of laughs.
  • Went to the start of the HeroesCon auction.  Saw a lot of nice art.  Happy that Little John won a few pieces!  It was cool seeing DMC from RUN DMC take the podium and get the crowd rocking.
  • Even cooler meeting DMC in the hotel gift shop later that night.  What a nice celeb!  Very gracious and willing to pose for photos.


  • Picked up HeroesCon Black Panther by Brian Stelffreeze t-shirts for me, John Higashi, The James and one of his friends.
  • Picked up sketches from Mike Torrance: 1] Jack Carter and Lono from 100 Bullets, 2] Jack Carter and Marv from Sin City, 3] The Specialist Card, 4] Capone (Sly as Frank Nitti) Card and two Sly Artist’s Choice Cards.  Mike came through like a champ and selected Rocky from Creed and Judge Dredd for the Artist’s choice cards.
  • Picked up Jack Carter sketch from Uko Smith.  Iconic.  Second year in a row for an Uko piece!
  • Picked up Jack Carter and Lono piece from Megan Levens.  First time commission from Megan but will not be the last.
  • Picked up Bullet to the Head mugshot by Dave Wachter.  The HeroesCon/Dave Wachter sketch streak stays alive.
  • Picked up Rocky sketch by Shamus Murphy.  Dug it so much, I went back for a bigger sketch by Shamus and he came through with Sly as Jack Carter.
  • Saw Casey Jones, who was drawing for Heroes Initiative, and was able to serve as the middle man to get John Higashi the Audrey Hepburn piece he wanted.
  • Commissioned and got a head sketch from Joe Delgatta.  I love Joe’s art and the Cobra sketch he did for me is a real highlight!
  • Met Reid Beaman and got a Jack Carter sketch from him.
  • Met (after many mail commissions) Thomas Boatwright and got a Rocky and Apollo watercolor sketch from him.
  • After hearing Little John talk about a sketch he got of Gargoyle on Batman on a Gargoyle all weekend, I got Chris Flick to do a Rocky with arms raised in victory on a gargoyle.


  • Danniel Warren Johnson – my Space Mullet trade.  So happy for his success!
  • Eric Bonhomme – his pinup in my The Package trade
  • Vanessa Del Rey – my Hit 1955 and Hit 1957 trades
  • James Harren – my Rumble 1 and 2 trades
  • Jason LaTour – his new sketchbook, my Noche Roja hardcover, my Southern Bastards 1 hardcover, and my HeroesCon 2016 Southern Bastards print.


  • The Inkwell Awards (and keeping with tradition, LittleJohn312 and Patricia joined me — or did I join them?) were fun. It is always great to see deserving artists receive recognition.  It’s even better when Steranko is the keynote speaker!
  • Went to the Drink & Draw at Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday.  Got a Chris Flick Sly from Rhinestone sketch.
  • Crime Panel – Joe Rauch talked crime/noir comics, tv and movies with Justin Greenwood (The Fuse), John Lees (And Then Emily was Gone), Rich Tommaso (Dark Corridor), Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (High Crimes).

The biggest surprise is that we only ate at Fuel once. It was good to keep that tradition alive, but not over do it.

In closing:

HeroesCon this year was huge. The wider aisles made movement easier. There were also additional sections this year with chairs and tables for con guests to sit, eat and visit.

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is always a fun part of the show. I won’t try to list them all because invariably I would leave some out.

This year I was able to talk Doralya into coming into the show on Sunday. We walked the floor and met a lot of artists (new and old friends).

Thanks to Shelton and his crew for another great HeroesCon — see everyone next year!

HeroesCon Fever!

Yeah, I’ve got con fever.  Or con fevah, as my good buddy, John Beatty calls it.

If all goes as planned, the fever [or fevah, if you prefer] will break tomorrow when Doralya and I load up the Jack Carter mobile Queen’s Kia Soul and head for Charlotte to attend HeroesCon 2016.

We’re going in a day early to make the most of the weekend.  We plan to meet up with friends [Little John and Patricia, others?] for dinner and catching up.

Friday through Sunday will be non-stop fun.  Look at the guest list, artist’s alley and the schedule of events! I’ve pre-arranged for some Stallone sketches for pick-up and will be on the lookout for others to add to the collection.  I’ve packed my books ready to be autographed, made the list of artists to see and haven’t forgotten the HeroesCon shirts I have to pick up for John Higashi and The James Howell.  Higashi has a sketch mission for me as well.

HeroesCon has been a Zablo family tradition since my sons were kids and it is always a blast.  If you’re able to make it, come on down.  I’ll be the guy getting the Stallone sketches.

Saturday at MegaCon Report

Saturday I spent the day hanging out with my best bud, John Beatty at MegaCon.  John was a guest of the show along with Mike Zeck and a gazillion big name comic artists, animators, actors (sci-fi, horror, anime,tv, movie), tattoo artists, cosplay folks, gaming people, crafts people, and fans of all of the above. Thousands and thousands of fans were in attendance.

Because I was there for just one day and knew I wouldn’t have time to commission any artists, my goal was to touch base with friends I seldom see, check out artist alley and hang out with Big Beatty.  All three goals were accomplished.

I was able to at least say “hi” to Mike Zeck, Michael Golden, Hoyt Silva, Manny Aguilera, Gene Gonzalez, Jason Walker, Jason Solbol, “The” James Howell, John Higashi, Steve “Born to Be Alive” Martinez (who we hadn’t seen in over 25 years), Mike Kott and I’m sure a few others I’ve forgotten to mention.

That’s Mike Zeck getting a photo with a fan and getting photo-bombed by John Beatty.

Neal Adams came over to say “Hi” to Zeck and Beatty.  I looked up and suddenly Neal Adams was there.  For those that don’t know, Neal Adams is one of the living legends of comics.  Over the years, because of all the shows I have attended, I’ve met a lot of famous artists but I’d never met Neal Adams.

Anyway, I was sitting behind the table next to Beatty and as Neal spoke to Zeck and Beatty he would look over at me.  I know Neal was thinking, “Who is this guy?  I guess I should know him.”  As Neal got ready to leave I stood up with the intent to just say that I was a fan of his art, but truth be told I became tongue-tied as Neal reached out to shake my hand.  What I hoped to be, “Nice to meet you Mr. Adams” turned into something like, “I’m not an artist – I’m just a friend of John’s – I’m a big fan of your work, Mr. Adams.”  Definitely a fanboy moment.

The guy above was making the rounds and looked so much like The Beast I had to snap a photo.  He said the only thing not real was the “blue” and his choppers.  Yikes!

I did pick up a few things at the show… Manny Aguilera was set up in artist alley and he did a cool sketch of a scene with Sly from Lords of Flatbush that he surprised me with.  Josh Hood was sketching for fans and had copies of We Can Never Go Home.  I picked up a copy.  (Check it out and maybe you will as well.)  I also bought two prints: Rocky Balboa vs Apollo Creed fight poster by Brian Hoang (for me) and a Predator print for my nephew.  I also got to check out some of the Frank Miller originals that were on display.  The rest of the time was spent hanging with Big Beatty who had Zeck on one side and J. O’Barr (from The Crow fame) on the other.

All in all, it was a fun day… and I’m glad it was just one day.

Big Beatty, Mitch Hyman and the Infinity Toy and Comic Show

I spent the day yesterday with my buddy, John Beatty at the Infinity Toy and Comic Show in Orlando, Florida.  When Big John wasn’t selling prints of his art or signing autographs for fans, much of the day was spent conversing with Mitch Hyman [in the photo above].  I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much.

The Infinity Toy and Comic Show had a nice turnout and some surprisingly great cosplayers [for such a small show].  The show was big enough that it took up three hotel meeting rooms — and that may have been the biggest downside.  I generally prefer one room for shows and my guess is most folks do as well.  That aside (and it is a small quibble), the Infinity Toy and Comic Show made for a fun day.  Of course hanging with Beatty and Hyman didn’t hurt either.

MegaCon 2015 Report

Yesterday was a good day.  I spent it hanging out at MegaCon with my best bud, John Beatty.  That’s John in the photo above trying out some Star Man shades.

MegaCon started out as a comic book convention but has morphed into a comic book / celebrity / cosplay convention that gets bigger and bigger with each new year.  Reportedly 30,000 people came through the doors yesterday.

My goals for the show were to get Darwyn Cooke to sign two Parker novels, pick up Chuck Dixon’s Winter World novel, try to get sketches from a few artists, meet Lee Weeks and hang out with Big Beatty.  I had Friday and Saturday budgeted to get everything done.

The drive to Orlando went smoothly.  Big J and I loaded up and headed to the convention.  We had a couple of hours before the show opened which gave us additional time to catch up.  I walked the convention floor (which was HUGE) to get the lay of the land.

Justin Orr was there, but hadn’t brought sketchbooks — he’s doing a Kickstarter for a new huge sketchbook later this year — and he wasn’t able to take sketch requests.  Jason Walker was just getting to his table.  I set up a sketch with Elliott Fernandez. I got to speak with Gene Gonzales, Joe Pekar and Frank aka The Voice of MegaCon briefly.  Mitch Hyman gave me a couple DVDs (one for Beatty) of his movie, Bubba the Redneck Werewolf.  I got Darwyn Cooke to sign my two Stark novels and picked up Chuck Dixon’s Winter World novel.  Everything I planned to do over the course of two days was done in one!

I then spent the rest of the day hanging with Big John and Lee Weeks (who is such an amazing talent and cool guy who even does magic tricks).  John Higashi invited Beatty and I to join him, Jason Walker and James Howell for dinner at Logan Steak House after the show and we did.  It was a great meal with friends I don’t get to see near enough.

I drove Beatty back to his motel and decided to avoid the morning traffic and head home.  MegaCon 2015 goes into the books as the year I was able to get everything done in one good day.