Category: Art

Cavalcade of Comics

Yesterday my wife and I drove up to Jacksonville to spend the day at the Cavalcade of Comics 2nd Annual Bennefit to fight Tourette’s Syndrome. Comic’s legend Don Perlin and his wife spearhead the event and this year looked to be even bigger and better.

The show had been moved to an elementary school because it had grown so large. Outside a children’s chorus was starting to line up, there were games for kids, people in costume, and the artists were setting up.

We headed into the artist’s room and the first person that we saw was Don Perlin. Don came over and thanked us for coming and for posting info about the benefit here at the ZONE. How cool is that?

Doralaya and I were checking out the art that was up for auction, and we ran into Robert Smith. Robert‘s an old buddy (and one of the guest artists) and he said that he wanted to do a Cobra piece for my gallery. Cool! The con hadn’t even officially started and things were already going great!

Jason Sobel was set up with Alex Saviuk, Bob Layton and Don Perlin. I met Jason at last year’s event and he did a Judge Dredd piece for me so I’ve kept an eye on his work. The sketches Jason was turning out yesterday were leaps and bounds ahead of last year. Keep an eye out for this guy!

Alex Saviuk is not only a great guy but also a very talented artist. Before he was even seated he had a list of eight or ten sketch requests. Bob Layton‘s list was swamped as well. Since I didn’t have a Stallone from either Alex or Bob, I asked if they’d put me on their lists. They agreed.

Doralya and I went back to check out more of the auction art. My prediction was that the Kubert “Sgt. Rock” would get the highest amount, but the piece with the most buzz was the Neal Adams’ Batman and Robin piece?! My favorites were a Wrightson pencil sketch called The Reaper and a print by Lee Ames called The Magician.

Doralya bought several raffle tickets then it was lunch outside with music from a middle school jazz band. As we settled down with some Mexican food we watched a karate presentation and several Jedi sword battles.
; ) The food was good and the jazz was even better.

When we went back into the artist’s room we hooked up with some fans and spent time sharing art and stories. Robert Smith came over and gave me my Cobra sketch!

Bob Layton‘s wife came over and asked if I would mind if Bob did my Stallone piece at home.

Bob was getting tons of requests and it’s take longer to draw Sly (for the first time) than Iron Man or Spider-Man for the 1,000th time. By doing my piece at home more fans would get a piece of art and the benefit would raise more money.

How could I argue? I told her that would be no problem.

I’m just excited to be getting a Stallone piece from Bob!

Robert Smith taught a wonderful session with little kids who want to be artists. While that was running I had a chance to speak with Ed Hall and thank him again for the Stallone piece he did for me last year. Ed was sitting with Dana Sumers [Politcal Cartoonist for the Orlando Sentinal] and Tom Armstrong [Marvin]. I asked Dana if he’d like to do a Stallone piece for my gallery. Tom said he’d give it a shot. I thanked him and headed back to catch the rest of Robert‘s sketch session.

After the session I headed over to put in my donation for my Bob Layton piece. Alex said that he’d also like to do my piece at home so I kicked in that donation as well.After a bit of visiting I headed back to get my Stallone piece from Dana Sumers. Dana said that after five or six false starts he came up with one that worked. I agreed with him; it does work! Dana said that Tom Armstrong also did a Sly drawing. As Tom was signing it for me, he added a little Marvin peeking over Sly. How cool is that?

The show was starting to wind down.

It’d been a great day. We made our way around and said our good-byes (and although it looks like Alex is begging us not to go, that’s just an illusion).

Then it was back on the road home.

Hopefully, the benefit made even more money than last year. It seemed to be better attended. I know that everyone I talked to had a super time and are planning to attend again next year.

I know, I’ll be there!

Bill "The Raytrix" Marimon

My buddy, Billy Ray [“The Raytrix”] Marimon dropped me an e-mail with his latest painting attached.

Yeah, that’s it… well, a small jpg of it anyway.

You can see a larger version of it by clicking on the picture or HERE.

You can also see more of Bill‘s work HERE at his website.

Bill‘s a talented artist and his prices are very reasonable. If you decide to visit his site, please tell him I sent you his way!


One last entry before the Hurricane

When I was a kid one of my favorite things about going to the movies was the Coming Attractions. For some reason I just loved [and still love] getting a preview of something really neat… and then the feeling of anticipation of just how cool it’s going to be.

Tonight as I was putting together my comic order, I came across this really cool-looking comic, Gravedigger.

The first thing that caught my eye was the cover by Rick Burchett. Rick‘s a very talented and under-rated artist whose work has appeared in Batman Adventures, Blackhawk, and many, many other comics.

Surprisingly, when you mention Rick‘s name the first thing that comes to my mind is the character Inigma that he created over twenty years ago for a fanzine. I’ve always liked Rick‘s art and I absolutely love what he’s doing with Gravedigger. The Lee Marvin-looking lead character and 60’s style design to the promo piece had me hooked.

Then I saw that the comic was created and written by Christopher Mills. I knew the name but couldn’t immediately place what Chris had written. A little web search and I quickly remembered that Chris had served as editor of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Danger for Techno Comics. Chris was also the creator and editor of the excellent crime fiction magazine, Noir. I was a fan of both of these series so I decided to dig a little deeper.

Then I found Chris’ webpage.

Surprisingly we have a lot in common. Chris also lives in Florida. He, too, is getting ready for a visit from another hurricane [I have to go in to open the shelter in seven hours — oh, what fun!], and he has a passion for old movies, crime fiction and comics.

I ended up spending a lot of time checking out his site. Not only are there cool previews of Gravedigger, and other comics that Chris has created, but he also has an interesting blog. [Any one who not only knows about Larry Cohen and Armand Assante‘s version of Mickey Spillane’s “I, the Jury” but wants it on dvd earns a spot on my Blogs to Read list!

As you can probably tell, I’m jazzed about Gravedigger. Check it out and if you feel the same way, then be sure and let your local comic shop know that you’ll want a copy. You might even want to drop Chris a line and let him know that you’re on board. If enough of us write, I’ll bet that Hurricane Jeanne won’t seem so bad!

New Sin City Collectibles

You all know how much I love Frank Miller’s Sin City.

I have all of the Sin City Graphic Novels and comics. My bookcase proudly displays my Marv bust by Randy Bowen… my “Death Row Marv” and my Sin City Marv “Black and White.” But you just know I want more Sin City

Well, more Sin City stuff is coming. Everyone knows about the movie, but you are going to be one of the first to hear about the new limited edition Marv statue. It’ll stand 12″ tall, over 13″ wide, 7″ deep and retail for $199.

Dynamic Forces is also going to put out a limited edition lithograph of Marv drawn by Sin City creator Frank Miller. It’ll retail for $19.99.

Hopefully these will just be the first of many new Sin City collectibles.

Well, what’d ya expect me to say… you know how much I love Sin City!

Cavalcade of Comics Benefit

On Saturday, October 9th, the 2nd annual Cavalcade of Comics‘ benefit to support the Tourette Syndrome Association will be held in Jacksonville, Florida.

I had a blast last year and am looking forward to more fun this time around.

Dick Giordano (DC Comics), Bob Layton (Marvel, Acclaim & Future Comics), Don Perlin (Marvel & Acclaim Comics), Alex Saviuk (Marvel), Howard Perlin (artist, caricatures & storyboards), Tom Armstrong (creator & artist, MARVIN), Don Edwing (MAD Magazine) , Ed Hall (political cartoonist), Robert Smith, Jr. (political cartoonist and caricatures) and Jason Sobol (comics artist & writer) are just a few of the artists who will be on hand sketching for fans.

There will be an auction of original rare comic and cartoon art, live music, entertainment, raffles, door prizes, and many other exciting events. Heck, Big John Beatty may even be there sketching and kickin things up a notch! Click HERE for full details.

And if you can make it, be sure and look me up. I’ll be the guy in the StalloneZone shirt looking to score more art for my Stallone Gallery!

Risso Batman Statue

I recommend Eduardo Risso‘s work every chance I get. Although best known for his art on the monthly crime comic 100 Bullets, Risso has also done outstanding work on Batman, Spider-Man, Cain, and other lesser known comics.

If Risso worked on it, then I say, “give it a look.”

See the cool looking Batman statue to the left. Yep, you guessed right. That baby is based on Eduardo Risso’s Batman.

It’s a limited edition statue which will stand nearly seven inches tall and be painted in a monochromatic black and white style [evoking the best of Risso‘s work]. This bad boy is going to be the first in a series of Batman statues.

Now want to hear the really cool thing? The retail price is just $45.00! I’ve already put in an order for mine. Click on the picture and you’ll get a larger view of the statue. Then If you’re going to want one, let your local comic shop know now!

Liam Sharpe & Conan

Liam Sharp is a really talented artist.  He’d love to draw Conan now that Dark Horse has started publishing new Conan stories.

Click on the picture above and get the full effect of Liam‘s Conan.

After seeing that don’t you agree that Liam should get his Conan assignment today?

C’mon, Dark Horse… it’s a “no-brainer!”

Tampa Con Report

On Saturday, August 7th my son Mike, John Beatty and I loaded into my “Jack Carter XG350” and headed to Tim Gordon’s Tampa Comic Book and Toy Convention. We try to make it to at least 2 of the three shows Tim puts on each year because they’re just_ that _much_ fun. And this show was no exception.

We decided that we’d get a good buffet breakfast before the show opened. As we sat down with our plates, in walked Alex Saviuk who was also in search of some morning nourishment. Alex usually attends Tim‘s Tampa shows and it’s always nice to see him. We finished eating and headed over to the convention. The doors hadn’t opened, but there was a huge line waiting. No doubt, the word is getting out about how much fun Tim‘s cons are.

Ethan Van Scriver was already set up. Ethan is one of the DC comics most popular artists and always shows up for Tim‘s conventions. The doors hadn’t even opened and Ethan was already working on sketches for fans. The guy is ALWAYS busy. John Higashi “turned me on” to Ethan‘s art a couple of years ago so that’s ANOTHER thing I owe to Johnny Star-Warz.

Alex Saviuk was set up. Next to Alex was Mark and Stephanie Heike from AC comics. Although I never get to spend much time with ’em, the Heikes always have something funny to say. Behind the Heikes was Miguel Insignares with a nice “Dawn of the Dead” trailer running on a loop next to the cool DOTD poster. That’s Tim Gordon and Miguel in the pic to the left… looking like they just stepped off the set of “Dawn of the Dead!”

Marc Maculay, an actor who has appeared in “Monster,” “The Punisher,” “Bad Boys” and many other movies was ready for the fans. Some small press artists were set up to our left. Mitch Hyman, creater of the ever-popular Bubba the Redneck Werewolf, Jesse “Cadre” Hansen, Michael “The Ciderview Project” and Austin Janowsky were all having a blast. Dick “Cracked” Kulpa was set up at his usual spot just as you entered the convention room.

Yeah baby, things were looking good.

When the doors opened, the convention room quickly filled. The room is really huge and so even though there were hundreds [and hundreds] of people coming in, there was never that claustrophobic feeling that some convention rooms produce.

Several fans came up to John for autographs or sketches. John has really been doing some cool sketches lately and the fans are definitely digging the tones and colors that he adds to them. I got pictures of some of them, but missed out on a few… one was a really nice Cap that John did for a fan’s Captain America themebook.

I had a chance to talk briefly with Randy Martin. Randy collects Edward Scissorhands. In fact it was Randy‘s Scissorhands sketches that inspired me to start my Stallone sketch theme. Randy‘s one of the good guys and so it was cool touching base with him.

Miguel Insignares remembered me from Atlanta Con and said that he still wanted to do a Stallone piece for my gallery when he gets some time. That’d be sweet. Miguel has been attached to some really cool projects and you just know that there’s more to come!

Marc Maculay [pictured above with Mike and me] noticed my StalloneZone t-shirt and asked me about it. We ended up having a nice conversation about movies, education, etc. Marc‘s been acting professionally for over twenty years and did it without having to relocate to New York or LA. It was ironic that he played a scene in “Monster” with Charlize Theron that Beatty had been telling me about just a week earlier. John had watched the movie and it really impresed him. The next day he was telling me about this particular scene and sure enough the actor involved was Marc! Now how often do we get to meet actors who’ve impressed us?
The costume contest was a hoot!

There were two divisions… kids and adults. The three kids that entered all won some convention cash and had a fun time. Then came the adults… I never quite know what to make of costumers at conventions. Sometimes they are so good, they look professional… but other times…

There were several outstanding costumes. I thought that Catwoman would take first or second, Wolverine would get whichever spot Catwoman missed and third place would go to… well, one of the others. I was so surprised when the guy who came in first won, that I didn’t even get a picture of him! At any rate, everyone enjoyed the costume contest… and I mean everyone. Even the artists stopped drawing to watch the action.

Then all too quickly it was time to go. The con ended at 4:00 and we still had to drive back to Daytona. We made sure to tell Tim what a great time we had and hit the road.

Tim‘s next show is November 14th.

As I’ve said, all of Tim‘s shows are great, but this one is going to be really special. NOEL NEILL [Paramount Movie Star, Popular Pin-Up for WWII GIs, and best known as Superman’s Girl – Lois Lane] will be a guest! Ethan Van Scriver, Jim Fren, and Rob Granito have also already agreed to appear!

Who knows, maybe we’ll see YOU there as well!

Not Your Father’s Ringo

Since many ZONErs are comic fans, you probably already know who Mike “Ringo” Wieringo is. For those of you who don’t…

Mike has worked for Marvel, DC and Image Comics. He also is co-creator of the Tellos comic series with writer Todd Dezago. Mike is currently teaming with writer Mark Waid on Marvel ComicsFantastic Four which continues to receive rave reviews.

What’s really cool, in addition to the comic work that Mike‘s doing, is that he has his own website. There you’ll find a bio, a gallery, and a bunch of other neat sections… but my favorite is Mike’s blog which he has been updating regularly of late.

I’m about to drop him a line and let him know how much I’m enjoying his art updates. Check out his site and you may want to do the same!

A Peek at Peak

Bob Peak. You may not know the name but I’d guarantee you know his work.

I just spent another session at his web site [always longer than intended]. I’ve seen most of his paintings many times before, but there’s just something about them that calls you back.

Peak was called the “Father of the modern movie poster” and I’ll bet that you’ll agree that at times his paintings were better than the movies they were promoting. Peak also did dozens of Time and TV Guide covers…US postage stamps… and examples of his paintings hang in the Smithsonian.

If you’d like to check out his work, click HERE. But don’t be surprised if you stay a little longer than anticipated.

July is Big Beatty Month

July looks to be a good month for Big John Beatty.

The first issue of the two issue story in Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtes is out now. Big John provided the inks over Rick Remender‘s pencils to Steve Murphy‘s story and Scott Cohn kicked in some beautiful tone work to top it all off!

I’d NEVER bought an issue of TMNT before and had it not been for the really nice job these guys did I would have let this issue sit as well. Heck, their work together is so nice, I’d have bought it even if Big J wasn’t my buddy and I wasn’t a fan of Rick‘s work. Check it out and you’ll become a fan too!

And if the issue of Tales of TMNT wasn’t enough, John has started his weekly blog. This time out he talks about Southern Comfort… and it ain’t what you’re thinking.

Finally, the Big B has started accepting commissions again. He took a few before Heroes Con and really enjoyed doing them.

Like I said, July looks to be a good month for Beatty… I wonder what August has in store…

Jason Pearson’s Redbird

Jason Pearson is one of the most popular comic artists working today. His Body Bags series is considered a classic example of what a writer/artist can do when left to his own creation.

I was fortunate enough to meet Jason at Heroes Con earlier this month and was even able to get a Stallone sketch from him. Jason had some of the pages for his new series, Redbird, on display… and man, did they look sweet!

You can read about Jason and Redbird by clicking on THIS LINK… and then we can meet back here tomorrow.

Rex Steele, Nazi Smasher

Rex Steele, Nazi Smasher just oozes cool.

Believe it or not, Rex Steele started out as a student film. Now it’s winning all kinds of awards and positive reviews. And for a good reason…

Everything about this project appears to be perfect from the animation to the story to the score! I’ll be watching for more news of the dvd release and hopefully a compilation of the comics.

Check out the trailer below and tell me you aren’t ready to jump on board the Rex Steele bandwagon. I know I am. Let me know what you think…

Rex Steele, Nazi Smasher rates an A

Heroes Con 2004 Report

Shelton Drum‘s Heroes Con 2004 was a blast.  I arrived at the Westin, [truly one of the finest and most reasonably priced hotels anywhere thanks to the Heroes Con rate] at 10:30AM on Friday. The show opened at 11 and I was anxious to get in.


As we were unloading the car I saw Cully Hamner and Casey Jones who were also getting ready to head over.

Big John Beatty was able to get me a guest pass since I was helping him with his art and thanks to Shelton, my son, Mike and I were able to get right in. John‘s table was next to tables occupied by Craig Hamilton, Neil Vokes, Michael Avon Oeming, Arron Lopestri and Andy Smith. We were in good company.


Mike and I took a quick trip around the con to get our bearings and ran into several fans including Steven Lee [who was wearing a StalloneZone t-shirt! Thanks Steven!], James Howell, Hal, Robert Jewell, Kwan, The ComicDude and others. I saw that Tony Harris was setting up and took him a StalloneZone shirt since I ran out before he completed my sketch at AtlantaCon. Gus Vasquez told me that he’d have my Stallone piece on Saturday.

I then made my way to Jason Pearson‘s table. Only two other people were ahead of me so I felt pretty confident that I’d get a sketch if Jason didn’t mind drawing Stallone. Jason was running late, but luckily “The Big Man” had his portable dvd player and entertained us with a history channel dvd on comics. Jason arrived and when it was my turn I asked him about doing a Stallone piece. Jason said that he wasn’t real good at likenesses, but I explained that I wanted HIS take on Sly. He said he’d give it a try and that I should bring back my reference material at the end of the day since he wanted to work on it in his hotel room. Cool!

Next was Michael Avon Oeming‘s table. I picked up his sketchbook [a bargain at five bucks]. Michael had already turned out a couple of cool sketches and I asked if I could get on his list. He said that he wasn’t real good at likenesses [where had I heard that before?] and I told him that I wanted HIS take on Sly. He looked at my portfolio of Stallone sketches and said he’d like to give “Nighthawks” a shot and that I should check back in an hour or so.

Then it was back to Beatty‘s table where he was working on a Punisher commission. Craig Hamilton had arrived with his lovely lady,and he was sketching. Craig‘s amazing. Not only is he a super talented artist, but he puts a lot of thought into his work. For each of his convention sketches Craig draws roughs and really thinks about the character. Not just what the character looks like or what kind of costume he/she wears, but how they would sit or stand and what kind of attitude they would project. I loved hearing Craig talk to fans and having the opportunity to watch him sketch all weekend. Craig has a broad knowledge and appreciation for all types of art. You just know I had to ask to get on his list! Craig said that he’d like to draw Sly from “Oscar” since he has a real affinity for the time period [and he really liked the movie]!

As Friday was winding down I picked up my sketch from Michael Avon Oeming who did a great job [and I think that it does look like Sly] and dropped off my reference material for Jason Pearson.

Several of us, actually about 20, had decided to walk over to Uno’s for dinner. My wife and two sons, Big Beatty, James Howell, Steven Lee, Robert Jewell, Gary McGee, Jason WalkerGary and Big Beatty… and believe it or not Gary was wilder. It was about 10:30 when we finished up with dinner so it was back to the hotel for a little visiting and then to the room for some sleep. and others made the trip. Because our group was so large it took a while for them to get us in and even then we were split into two groups. And of course my group was the rowdy one thanks to

As the con was gettting ready to open on Saturday I found myself in line for some breakfast at the concession stand with Michael Avon Oeming. He said that he met several StalloneZone fans on Friday [they saw him working on the Sly sketch]. Michael offered to buy me breakfast! I thanked him, and instead offered to buy his breakfast! As it ended up, we both bought our own eats, but what a cool guy. I’d heard good things about Michael and he lived up to his rep of being “one of the good guys.”

I spent Saturday alternating between Beatty‘s table and walking around the show to talk to fans and pros. I was able to spend a bit of time with or at least say hi to Kelsey Shannon [Beatty‘s son!], Cully Hamner, Brian Stelfreeze, Jeff Parker, Adam Hughes and Allison Sohn, Phil Noto, Tony Harris, Eric Powell, Casey Jones, Tommy Lee Edwards and so many others.

Gus Vasquez was able to get me my sketch before he had to fly out to the set of Sin City! He gave me two characters [Rocky nailing Clubber Lang] and it was definitely worth the wait

Neil Vokes and I had fun conversations about movies [horror flicks, re-makes, B-movies], comics, and more. Neil is a cool guy and I had a blast hanging with him. Neil’s project The Wicked West has the tagline “What would happen if Josey Wales rode into Salem’s Lot”… it’s a great concept and the art is right on. It’s going to rock! In the meantime you might want to check out Neil’s Parliment of Justice [with Michael Avon Oeming] or Black Forest. It was also cool to see Neil‘s apppreciation for other artists. Neil keeps a sketchbook and was excited when Eric Powell contributed a killer piece! [Michael Oeming also keeps a Lord of the Rings sketchbook from other artists!]

I checked in with Jason Pearson. He had sketched out my Stallone piece and had decided to do Rocky hitting the meat. It was looking great. The big beefy Rocky punching the beef! LOL!

Dinner Saturday night was at Fuel for some pizza or subs. This time it was Beatty, James Howell, Steven Lee, Hal and others. After dinner we headed back to the hotel and spent an hour or so in the lobby talking with fans and pros. Then a bunch of us headed up to James and Hal‘s room to look at their portfolios and latest acquisitions.

On Sunday Jason had my Stallone piece ready. Several people came up to me and told me it was done and looked great. When I picked it up I saw that they were right. Jason Pearson is such a talented guy.

Craig Hamilton was not going to be able to get to my piece before the end of the show. He offered to do a take home piece but part of the joy of Craig‘s work is watching his process so I decided to wait… I may be able to up to DragonCon later this year.

As you can see from this picture Craig and Big Beatty hit it off pretty well!

I had been by Tommy Lee Edwards‘ table. He was doing some really cool sketches and I hoped that I’d be able to get on his list. Luckily he could fit me in. Tommy and I talked about which character he would do… he wasn’t sure and so I suggested Jack Carter if he couldn’t decide on one. I went back to Beatty’s table and told him I had the hook-up with Tommy.

Beatty was stoked. He’s a big Tommy Lee fan and so we walked over. It turns out that Tommy likes Beatty‘s work as well. We all talked for a bit and then Tommy said I should check back in a little while. When I did, I found that Tommy had started to do Deke from “Nighthawks” but then remembered that I suggested Jack Carter and so he changed it to Carter. Man, I can’t tell you how much I love this piece. The energy and colors and… just look at it! Beautiful!

The auction was a lot of fun. So many artists donated work to help support the con. Some of the highlights included Phil Noto‘s painting of “The Bride” from “Kill Bill,” Brian Stelfreeze‘s painting of Mary Jane, Mike Wieringo‘s huge Fantastic Four piece, Craig Hamilton‘s Fairey [done in crayon — you’d have to see it to belive how nice it was!], Alison Sohn‘s Harliquinn, and many others.

Believe it or not Big Beatty was even recruited to serve as one of the auctioneers with Tim Townsend!

As you can probably tell, if you’ve read this far, it was another great show.  We make Heroes Con part of our annua; family vacation — it’s that much fun. If you haven’t ever attended you should give it some thought. Next year Heroes will be on June 24-26, 2005.

Maybe I’ll see you there!