Author: Craig Zablo

Jim & Mike & Cartoons I Liked

One of my highlight’s from MegaCon was getting to spend a bit of time with two old friends. That’s Jim Ivey on the left and Mike Kott on the right. I’ve known these guys for over 30 years. Jim is an award-winning political cartoonist and founder of the original Cartoon Museum. Mike is the founder and co-owner of The Intergalactic Trading Company. Together they [along with Bill Black] put on OrlandoCon, one of the best comic book conventions you’d find anywhere. I knew them because of their respective business enterprises, but we became friends over countless hands and hours playing cards. I only get to see these guys about once a year now. But when we do see each other, it’s like the years melt away.It’s hard to believe that I’m almost the age that Jim Ivey was when we first met! And speaking of Jim Ivey, he has a new book out called Cartoons That I Liked. It features some of his favorite cartoons from the thousands that he did over the years. It’s available as a or $3.00 pdf download or $9.95 for the actual book. You can even order one from Jim which will come autographed and with a sketch for $20.00. If you’re at all interested in political cartoons, then I’d appeciate it if you’d order a copy. The pdf is a steal at three bucks and getting the autographed copy at $20 is a bargain. If you order a copy from Jim, please tell him I sent you his way. Who knows, I may need some goodwill from him should we ever get into another poker game.

Dave Stevens – RIP

Dave Stevens, illustrator/comic book artist, died yesterday. Probably best known for creating The Rocketeer, Stevens was also known for his “good girl” art and love for Bettie Page. Stevens didn’t have a prolific output, but each piece he created was a beauty. Mark Evanier explains why and writes a worthy remembrance.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave Stevens‘ family, friends and fans.

The 4 Stooges

Since everyone here loves The Three Stooges [and don’t try to tease me by saying you don’t], I thought that you’d get a kick out of a clip of the only time that Larry, Curly, Moe and Shemp played a scene together. Mark Evanier explains here how this scene came about. Thanks to M.E. for the link and explanation.

Costumes or Wardrobe?

As we were waiting for MegaCon to officially start, we were surprised by the huge number of fans in costume. Men. women and children in all sizes and shapes were parading around in costumes adapted from characters in comics, cartoons, movies, video games, tv and perhaps outer space. At some point I noted that some of these folks weren’t in costume. My contention was that if they dressed this way daily, their attire would no longer be considered a costume, but instead wardrobe. Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, the remaining minutes until the show opened were spent debating whether or not an identified person was in costume or wardrobe.
I thought you might like to see some of the better costumes, so I took several photos. I was tempted to also take shots of folks that I felt were probably in wardrobe, but then thought better of it. So off we go with comments as needed… the photo above is dedicated to Judge Monty!

This photo cracks me up. You have a huge group of super heroes [and a couple of villains] just kind of hanging out and then this fella in the far left decides to dash across before the pictures were snapped. Maybe he was trying out for a place in their group since the Flash couldn’t make it. My guess is he wasn’t fast enough.

Here’s another group of heroes that I caught lounging around before heading out on the convention floor. The guy playing Nightwing must have Spidey-sense because he snapped into a pose without me saying I was going for a photo.

The guy in the photo above and the couple in the picture below may have something to do with the fact that I didn’t see anyone at the show who looked like a real Batman. Perhaps these three were in wardrobe and bumped him off!

The guy playing Ghost Rider was probably 6’6″ and looked more menacing in real life. Mr. Freeze was my favorite costume of the show. Look closely and you can see the glass head covering and the ice coming off his blaster. Indiana Jones made an appearance as well.

This is a photo of the design on a fan’s shirt. It’s done by the very popular artist, Alex Ross. I’d never seen the design before. Although I try to keep politics out of the ZONE [since I want to focus on fun stuff], you have to admit that the image quickly sums up the feelings of a lot of people in our country. Now back to more costumes…

Perhaps the guy in the middle is hoping for a try-out to join the Green Lantern Corps. Then again, maybe he’s a sidekick to the second Lantern.

Yeah, I know… Who Ya Gonna Call…

Three of the 300 showed up with a couple of their babes. Things were going well until, and I kid you not, a guy dressed up as Jesus was “attacked” by them for a photo op. Somehow I think the line, “Tonight we dine in Hell!” may come true for these “warriors.”

More on the show to come…

MegaCon

Friday and Saturday I was at MegaCon in Orlando. Florida. I had a good time seeing some old friends and meeting a few new ones. The crowd seemed much larger this year and the number of fans in costumes, especially good costumes was the biggest ever. As you can see Wonder Woman and Superman also made the trip to the show.

 

Dave Johnson signed and sketched in my copy of Drink and Draw. That’s Rev. Dave in the photo above. Darwyn Cooke signed my copy of his classic take on DC Heroes in The New Frontier. I was able to get a few sketches for my Stallone theme collectionRon Salas did a Rocky and Joe Peaker worked up a Deke from “Nighthawks.” I’ll post photos once I get them scanned. Chris Moreno was finishing up a humorous take on Freddy from “Cop Land” and Jason Walker still needed to add color to his very cool “Rambo” at the close of day two, so my buddy The James is going to pick them up for me today.

I’ll be back later to tell you more about the show.

MegaCon Bound

One more day and I’m MegaCon bound. I’ll be there on Friday and Saturday if all goes as planned. I’m really looking forward to hanging out with my bro, John Beatty and friends I don’t get to see nearly enough. My goal will be to have a great time, take some photos, discover some new artists, meet some old favorites, and get a few sketches. It’ll be a fun weekend… hope some of you can make it!

UFC and the Best Fighter

If Anderson Silva isn’t the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, then maybe Jon Fitch is. Yeah, I know. I’ll explain in a minute, but first let’s take a look at last night’s UFC highlights.

The main event had Anderson Silva going up against former PRIDE and two time Olympic wrestler, Dan Henderson. Henderson dropped 20 pounds to take on Silva, who has totally dominated his division. To Henderson’s credit, he won the first round. Silva came on strong to win by submission in the second after scoring on big knees and punches. I don’t see anyone out there who can beat Silva at this point. Unless he decides to go up a weight class [and why would he], he could be in for a long title run.

The upset of the night was Heath Herring over Cheick Kongo. Nobody expected [well, outside of Herring] the fight to go all three rounds or for Herring to win. The guys I watch the fights with usually bet a buck on each match. Someone is usually willing to take the underdog since it’s just a buck and once in a while you can even get 2-1 if you take the dog. Last night NO ONE wanted Herring. I ended up taking him on a 2-1 bet where I won if he lasted through the first round [Whoooo-hooo, I won 2 bucks] and a 5-1 bet for a win [Yipppeee-ki-yaaa, five more came into the till]. Herring won a split decision and actually looked better than ever doing it.

Jon Fitch won a tough match against Chris Wilson and extended his winning streak in the UFC to 8. Believe it or not, that ties the longest winning streak ever in the UFC, putting Fitch in the same strata as Royce Gracie. Who’d a thunk it? Ask anyone who the best UFC fighter is and you’ll hear: Anderson Silva, George St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, Rampage Jackson, Randy Couture, and many others before you’d hear Fitch’s name called out. Well, Jon Fitch needs to be in there because if he wins his next fight he owns the record.

He Ain’t Heavy…

I gotta admit that the Stepbrothers trailer made me chuckle even though you can see the jokes coming from a mile away. Maybe it’s because I can imagine Beatty and I playing the lead roles. And Big John knows which of the brothers that I’d be.
Before you watch, please know this is the mature audiences trailer.  If you’re offended by profanity or stupidity, then don’t click it.

Sketch Society

Yesterday, the February Sketch Society meeting was held. Although I’m not an artist, I enjoy hanging out with friends who are. Big John Beatty [in the corner] was there working on a really nice Doctor Strange commission. He also showed me progress on a Modok piece for a fan that really rocks. Rob Smith drove over and brought work with him. Rob travels the state, seems to know everyone and is always fun to hang with.

Sean Shaw [left] and Mark Dail [right] made the meeting. Both guys live in Daytona. It was a blast hanging out with everyone. There were a lot of laughs as the discussion ranged from art to politics to movies to… well, just about everything. The next meeting is scheduled for March 29th. More details will be posted as we get closer to the date. Hope you can make it!

So Who’s the Crybaby?

1. Brian’s Song (1971) – Yes.
2. Rudy (1993) – Nope.
3. Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Yep
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – Kind of.
5. The Natural (1984) – Never saw it.
6. Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Nope.
7. Shindler’s List (1993) – Nope.
8. Old Yeller (1957) – Yes.
9. The Pride of the Yankees (1942) – Nope.
10. Terms of Endearment (1983) – Never saw it.
11. The Iron Giant (1999) – Close…
12. Philadelphia (1993) – Nope.
13. Big Fish (2003) – Nope.
14. Million Dollar Baby (2004) – Yeah.
15. Life is Beautiful (1997) – Never saw it.
16. Love Actually (2003) – Never saw it.
17. Rocky (1976) – No, but when Mick dies in “Rocky III”…
18. The Pianist (2002) – Never saw it.
19. Mystic River (2003) – No.
20. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – No.

So, you’ve read the list. Who’s the bigger crybaby?