Category: Humor

The Walking Dead – Pick Your Edition

If you’ve been searching for missing back issues to The Walking Dead, thinking about picking up the graphic novels, or looking for a great starting point to join in on this classic series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard; then wait no more.

The Walking Dead: Book One is a 304 page hardcover that reprints the first 12 issues. It’s a great bargain since prices for the original comics, if you can find them are through the roof. Of course, if you don’t want the hardcover edition, but still crave even more zombie action, you can take advantage of this special and get 4 trade paperbacks collecting the first 24 issues for just $32.23!

Price that low are to die [and reanimate] for!

Dan Curtis – Rest in Peace

Dan Curtis, best known as the creative force behind “Dark Shadows” died today at the age of 78. Curtis‘s career as a producer, writer, and director spanned five decades. Many would say that the high point of his career was in 1983 when he produced, directed and co-wrote the highly successful “Winds of War” mini-series starring Robert Mitchum. But I would argue that his work on “Dark Shadows” is what most folks will remember.

Curtis created a cult classic that was “must see tv” for the five years that it ran. Ok, ok, truth be told, it wasn’t until the second year and the addition of Jonathon Frid as Barnabus Collins that the series really took off; but boy did it! “Dark Shadows” spawned two feature films [not as good as the tv series], comic books, novels, trading cards, and more. Even now, as I think back at how all of my friends and I were “into” “Dark Shadows” I have to smile.

Curtis’s wife of 54 years died earlier this month. He is survived by his two daughters and a world of fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with them today.

Powell and Oeming on The Goon!

I’ve been singing the praises of Eric Powell’s The Goon for more than a couple of years now. If you like great art, comic books, monsters, mobsters, zombies, witches and lots of [sometimes sick] humor, then you ought to give this book a try.

It just keeps getting better and better.

Issue 16 is on the stands now. Of course it features the writing and art of Eric Powell and is a great jumping on point for those who’ve never read The Goon. Here’s a full look at the banner from the top of this point. Purty, ain’t it.

As an added bonus, Michael Avon Oeming provides the art for a Goon short adventure written by Tom Sniegoski. Frankie and the Goon decide to rescue a baby held for ransom by a horde of zombies!

I aboslutely love Oeming‘s art for this. Here’s a shot of Frankie and the Goon. Ya gotta love it. Here’s a reaction shot that is priceless. Of course you’d understand why I like it so much if you read the story.

So what are you waiting for? It’s available at your local comic shop now!

MegaCon: "I’m Not Wearing a @#$%# Costume!"

Here’s part one of my MegaCon report…

I arrived at the show early… early enough to be #2 in line. My good buddy, John Higashi had already claimed the #1 spot. We spent the time until the show opened looking at art, talking to other collectors as they arrived, playing “war” [at one point I had Higashi down to just two cards and he came back to take the lead… finally I begged for mercy and a stop to the madness].

When the show opened Higashi and I made a bee-line to Adam Hughes‘s table. Allison was trying to bring order to chaos. There was something like 22 dealers already in line before the doors opened. Higashi and I made the list as #1 and #2 for the “fan list.” We visited with Allison for a bit and then Higashi was off and I was in his wake… but before I scooted, I was able to set up a commission with Phil Noto!

Our next stop was Josh Middleton‘s table. Josh does great work, but it just wasn’t in the budget this time. Someday… I hope!

I then headed over to John Beatty and Alberto Ruiz‘s table. We were laughing and cutting up when James Howell walked by. I asked James if he wanted to take a walk around artist’s alley. He said, “Sure.”

So here we are strolling through artist’s alley. Talking to artists, checking out the folks in costumes, greeting other collector’s and just having a fun morning.

All of a sudden a guy steps in front of James and swings up his camera. James brings up his arms in a “What the heck are you doing gesture.” The guy lowers his camera and points at James. The guy then brings his camera up for a picture.

I’m looking at both of them wondering what the deal is when James suddenly yells, “I’m not in a @$%*%! costume.” Then it dawns on me. The guy thinks that James has come to the show dressed as Kevin Matchstick from Mage.

I bust out laughing which makes James turn a darker shade of red. James looks at me and says something to the effect of “He thought I was in a costume.” I’m fighting back the tears as I point to him and answer, “You are!”

Chuck Norris is a Bad Man

Chuck Norris is a real life tough guy. Of course, he also plays one in movies and on tv. Here are a few facts that show just how tough Chuck is:

* Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.

* Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

* Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.

If you want to see more Chuck Norris facts, then click HERE.

A [Kind of] Funny Con Story

Here’s a [kind of ]funny con story from an AtlantaCon in the early 80’s.

Bob McLeod, John Beatty and I drove up. Pat Broderick decided to fly in rather than face the madness of an 8 hour ride with Beatty and I.

The first day of the show and the artists set up. Beatty, Broderick and McLeod are all in a row. I’m hanging out with them when not visiting with Paul Gulacy. Anyway…

Up walks a fan and stops in front of Bob. [All artists have name cards on the tables.] The fan proceedes to tell Bob what a huge fan he is of Bob’s work. The fan inquires about the price of a sketch. Bob tells him the amount. The fan says that he wants several figures… all of the Micronauts. Bob calculates the cost and tells him. The fan says, “No problem.”

The fan asks Bob if he can ink it. Bob says, “Of course, but the cost would be more.” Bob tells him how much. The fan says, “I love your work. No problem.”

The fan then asks if Bob could color it. Bob says, “Of course, but the cost would be more.” Bob tells him how much. The fan says, “I love your work. No problem.” They agree on the final price. Bob tells the fan to check back at the end of the day and the fan goes off.

Bob is really happy to meet such a huge fan of his work. He says that he’s surprised that the fan wanted the Micronauts since he could have gone to Pat and gotten him to do it. [Pat was a fan fav for the Micronauts at the time.] Of course Beatty and I start teasing Pat and even Bob joins in [a little].

Bob starts on the Micronauts piece. Other fans come around, but Bob is being careful about taking on more sketches since he has so many figures to pencil, ink and color. As everyone probably knows, Bob gives fans a lot for their money and when he colors a piece — man, is it sweet.

So Bob’s working away… we’re still teasing Pat… more fans are being told that Bob’s sketch list is full the fan comes by periodically to check on the progress… it is looking soooo nice.

Late in the day the fan comes by and stands directly in front of Bob. Bob looks up and smiles. The fan doesn’t…

“Sir,” he says, “There has been a terrible mistake…” The fan goes on to say that he thought Bob was Pat Broderick. He’s sorry, but he won’t be wanting the sketch. The fan then moves down to Pat Broderick. He proceedes to tell Pat what a huge fan he is…

Of course Beatty, and I start teasing Bob… and Pat even joins in [a little].

Tampa Con Report

Hey Zoners… ok, I’m picking up the tale of our four middle-aged playas after they’ve
arrived at the show. If you want to read more tales of the trip then click HERE and
John “The Dude Abides” Beatty will fill you in.

Tim Gordon’s Tampa Comic Book and Toy Convention is the best one day show
that you’ll find anywhere. There are media guestscomic artistscostumers,independent filmmakers [with a continuously running screening room] , and
dozens and dozens of dealers.

Yes, that’s the look of fear that crossed Mark and Stephanie Heike‘s faces when
they discovered that the Mild Bunch [John “Johnny Star-Warz” HigashiJames
“The James” HowellJohn “The Dude Abides” Beatty, and yours truly] had arrived.

Larry Thomas, better known as “The Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld, had a table. He was selling autographed pictures and soup ladles for $20 a pop. I’m a huge Seinfeld fan.
I loved the series and thought “The Soup Nazi” episode was a riot. However, $20
bucks for an autographed picture? Five samoleons and I’m there, heck, I’d have
even bought a couple, but twenty of my hard-earned smack-a-toons for one?
No thanks.

So, I’m waiting for Pat Broderick to arrive and up walks Beatty. He says that every
time he tried to get a photo of “The Soup Nazi,” the “Nazi” turned or raised his hands
to insure that the picture wasn’t a good one. I laughed it off. Later Beatty came up to
say that he’d tried for a photo several more times, but each time the “Nazi” thwarted
his efforts. This, of course, makes me want to get a candid. I did, but as you can tell
from the full shotMr. Thomas did not seem to happy about it. If that’s the case, I’m
sorry, Mr. Thomas… and I really would have bought a couple of autographs had
they been cheaper!

Now the guy that I really was there to see was Pat Broderick. I’ve known Pat for
nearly 30 years! We first met at an OrlandoCon back in the 70’sPat‘s a great guy
and a heck of an artist. He and Beatty even teamed up on a couple of comic series
over the years! I was curious to see if Pat would be interested in doing a piece for my Stallone gallery. Lucky for me he was! I’ll post it later this weekend with my SZ update.
Higashi and Howell also set up sketches with Pat.

The next guy on our hit list was Karl Moline who was sharing a table with Randy
[Edward Scissorhands Collection] Martin
. While John Higashi and I set up sketches
with KarlThe James scooted over to arrange a take-home commission with Pablo Marcos.

Then it was over to the film room where we caught some of Joel D. Wynkoop‘s film
“Lost Faith.” Joel was at the show, and as you can see HERE has made a lot of films.
Joel is very approachable and obviously has a love of film. It might be cool if he and
Bill Black ever hook up for a project.

Beatty got that look in his eyes that said it was time for lunch. Howell said he was
ready for a bite too. Even Higashi said he’d eat [which is a rare thing for Johnny SW
to do at a show]. I wasn’t hungry, but said I’d join them for a Coke. We ended up in the hotel’s sport’s bar. As we were yacking away waiting for the food to arrive, the NY
 were on tv playing the Philadelphia EaglesHowell suddenly blurted out, “I’ve
got five bucks for anyone who’ll yell “Go Giants!”

I immediately yelled, “Go Giants! Go Giants!” and before I could collect my fiver, a
loud chorus of “Go Philly!” “Giants Suck” “Go Philly” erupted from behind me. I
turned to see probably 30 or 40 grown men [most of whom were wearing Eagles
jerseys] looking our way. Of course, this just made Beatty an instant Giants fan who
began to LOUDLY cheer for the Giants way and BOO the Eagles.

Two things saved us from the situation getting ugly. 1] Beatty‘s sandwich arrived and
2] Mrs. Pat Broderick came by the table to say, “Hi.”

After lunch we headed back to the show. Pat and Karl had finished my sketches.
They had [independently] decided to draw Deke from Nighthawks! And both did
really, really cool sketches. I’ll post them tomorrow with the SZ update.

I’d been wanting to get a sketch from Derrick Fish for a while. Luck was with me
because when I checked with Derrick, he had a spot on his sketch list open. 
completed my sketch trifecta by doing a really nice cartoon of Rocky
knocking out Dandy.

Soon it was time to say our goodbyes and load up the “Jack Carter” car for our trip
home. As we snaked our way around the con to say we were heading out, we made
sure to let the Heike‘s know that we’d see them at the next show in May!

Meeting a Legend, Sir!

Have you ever seen a better looking group of middle-aged playas?
Ok, ok. Maybe you have. But that’s what we looked like last Saturday night when we stopped over at Mike Zeck‘s on the first leg of our Tampa Con weekend. From left to right: John “Johnny Star-Warz” Higashi, Mike Zeck, James “The James” Howell, me, and John “Big” Beatty.

We stopped at Mike‘s house to pick up copies of his latest sketchbook to have on display at the Tampa show. Mike is one of the coolest, most down to earth guys you’d ever want to meet. Beatty and I have known Mike for nearly 30 years [yeesh!] and Higashi has known him for a couple. It was The James‘ first time meeting Mike. Normally The James is very cool about meeting artists… even big name artists. In fact, The James is friends with some of the best artists in the business… yet something came over him when he met Mike.

Here are a couple of brief exchanges that they had:

The James: Uh, Mr. Zeck it is a pleasure to meet you, sir. I… uh, I am a big, no huge, uh… fan of your work, Mr. Mike Zeck, sir.

MIke: Thank you. And please, call me Mike.

The James: Ok, I’ll do that Mr. Zeck.

Mike smiles as The James goes on.

The James: Uh, Mr. Mike Zeck, sir, I’d really like to purchase a copy of your sketchbook, sir, that is if you don’t mind and uh, if it isn’t too much trouble, sir.

Mike had just pulled out 15 copies which John Higashi had purchased for Tampa. Other copies were easily within reach.

Mike: No problem at all James. In fact, you can have one at the dealer discount.

The James: Uh, no sir, Mr. Mike Zeck, sir. I insist that I pay full retail price, sir, uh… that is if it’s okay with you, sir.

Mike shrugged his shoulders as The James forced a twenty into his hand.

The second exchange took place as we were leaving.

The James: “Wowee. It has been such a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Mike Zeck. I’ve admired you, I mean your work… you know, your art… for a long time. Uh, but don’t think I’m a stalker, sir. It’s just that, it’s just that, you know, sir, you’re THE MAN.”

Mike: Thanks, James. And please just call me Mike.

The James: Yes sir, I will Mr. Mike, sir.

The James then turned to leave, but quickly spun back around and said: “I really dig your shirt, sir!” and then he was out the door.

It was cool to see that even a middle-aged playa like The James can still break into fanboy mode.

10 Hints That You Might Be…

Here are 10 of 25 hints that you might be a redneck.

1. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.

2. You let your twelve-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.

3. You’ve been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

4. You think a woman who is “out of your league” bowls on a different night.

5. Jack Daniel’s makes your list of “most admired people.”

6. You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.

7. Anyone in your family ever died right after saying, “Hey y’all watch this.”

8. You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.

9. Your wife’s hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.

10. Your junior prom had a daycare.

Who Will Show Up Next?


I really don’t read comic strips much anymore. You would think that I still would since I love the form. It’s just as I got older, I just found myself reading fewer strips. One that I still take the time to check out is Blondie.

It’s hard to believe that Blondie celebrates it’s 75th anniversary on September 8th. What’s really cool is that many comic strip creators are joining in on the celebration by having their characters make appearances in the Blondie strip and vice versa.

Here Dagwood shows up to personally invite Garfield to the party. Rose gets her invite. BC has a subtle reference. Many characters decide to show up early for the party. The Wizard of Id plans to attend. Dick Tracy is on a case but takes time to make mention of the event! Mutts‘ invitation arrives as even more guests arrive early. Dagwood sends the Wizard of Id a gift. Beetle Bailey and Dagwood hang out playing poker. Mother Goose and Grim provide a witty set of directions to the Bumstread‘s. Dagwood drops off an invite for The Family Circus. The Wizard of Id decides on the perfect gift. Blondie shows up in Shoe‘s hangout. Even little Trixie is welcome. And of course there are many special guests showing up in recent Blondie strips.

If you like this kind of stuff, then keep your eyes peeled. The cross-overs will be going on for at least another week. [A special tip of the derby to Mark Evanier for pointing out all these great guest appearances!]

Mariahs’s Fake Abs – You Make the Call

Remember when I told you that I thought that Mariah Carey looked like she had painted on her abs for her 4th of July Macey’s performance?

I thought it was just a funny little item and was surprised when it was picked up here and a bunch of other places.

The July 25, 2005 issue of US Weekly even has the story in it’s This Minute You Want to Know About section.

The piece, Did Mariah Fake Her Six-Pack? brings everyone up to speed: “Sure, Mariah Carey‘s back on top of the charts, but who knew her stomach muscles were also making a comeback?” The author then asks a make-up expert and a rep for Mariah Carey to weigh in on the subject.

The make-up artist [Sally Blenkey-Tchasova, owner of one of the places that started the whole “spray-on” craze] was quoted as saying, “It looks like she was helped by make-up or air-brush tanning. Even if a woman is really ripped, abs are generally not that symmetrical.”

You’re probably as surprised as I am [meaning not very], that Mariah’s rep denies that the abs are fake without every really saying their not. “This is ridiculous. She has been eating right and working out for three hours a day. Mariah has never looked or felt better.

The picture to the right was taken about three weeks before the one at the top of this post. So, ZONErs… what do you think?