Birthdays are jungle days

My birthday was last week and a couple of dear friends helped me celebrate with these awesome sketches. The one on top is by Jess Hickman and the bottom one is by Uko Smith. Obviously, they know what I like.

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Shazam and Sheena on DVD

My nerd heart is beating faster today knowing that Shazam! is coming to DVD on October 23. I haven’t seen it as an adult and I remember that it wasn’t at all faithful to the source material, but I have fond memories of watching this as a kid alongside The Secrets of Isis as part of the Shazam/Isis Hour or whatever it was called. Curious to see how it holds up. All 28 episodes will be available on a 3-disc set for $34.95.

I’ve never seen the early 2000s Sheena series starring Gena Lee Nolin, but the first couple of seasons of that are on DVD too through Warner Brothers’ Made-to-Order program at $39.95 per season. Someone will have to tell me if it’s worth getting.

Uko Smith draws a mean jungle team

Remember that project that Jess Hickman, Uko Smith, and I came up with after SpringCon last month? Well, Uko’s been doing some thinking about it too and it inspired him to draw this. I’ve started making some inquiries about how to pull off what we have in mind, so stayed tuned for more info.

In the meantime, if you wanna see more of Uko’s work, I can hook you up.

SpringCon and fur bikinis

If I wait until I download the pictures from my camera, my SpringCon report will never happen, so here are a couple I snagged with my iPod on Saturday. The one above is right before the show and David’s stapling his copies of Hulkasaurus. You can also see a Transformer (we make it fight Godzilla on the table) and the pile of candy the convention always has waiting for creators. That’s Darla Ecklund in the background, but more on her in a minute.

David sold three copies of his comic before the show even started (and he continued to outsell me the whole show). The first sale was to the awesome Sam Hiti. Sam is extremely supportive of young artists and for several years has had a protege or two at his table. They’ve left the nest now, but Sam’s enthusiasm for David and his book show that he still has a huge heart for kids who cartoon.

Saturday morning was very busy and the line to get into the show was enormous even a couple of hours after we opened. The crowd thinned out a little as the day progressed, but it never got small. There were always lots of people around and even when my table was slow, there was plenty of people-watching to do. Sunday’s line wasn’t quite as long, but it was still impressive and the show buzzed and hummed all weekend.

I sat between my friends Grant Gould and Darla Ecklund. Grant always draws a crowd to his table with his great Star Wars art and his awesome sketchbook covers. Darla had a great show too and was working on some samples for an upcoming pirate festival she’s going to in Wisconsin. She and a writer friend will have a table where Darla will sketch you as a pirate on a special card and her friend will write an excerpt from your “legend” on the back. It’s a cool idea and even though her friend wasn’t at SpringCon, I asked Darla to draw me.

I didn’t sell a ton of comics, but everything I had for actual sale was material that’s been out for a while. I did give away all of my Artist Alley preview ashcans, so that (and David’s experience with his book) made the show successful for me.

Well, that and that I met Bill Willingham without turning into a slackjawed fool. He signed the first two Fables collections for me and I think I managed to not be awkward as I pointed out that I wrote one of the review quotes on the back of Volume 2. He was awesome.

The only disappointment about the show was that Jessica Hickman couldn’t make it. One of her cats was ill and needed care, so Jess took care of that. But our friend Uko Smith, who drove in from Ohio, and I were able to catch up with her after the show on Sunday and grab some Mexican food. One of the things that always makes a show for me is sitting next to Jess and laughing as we brainstorm crazy ideas for future projects. We didn’t get to do that at the convention this year, but we sure did it at dinner. Jess, Uko, and I came up with a great idea with the working title Fur Bikini. That’s all I can say about it now, except that Jess went home afterwards and – inspired by the project – drew this.

And that’s all you need to know.

Writing update | Monsters killed; girl needs jungle

Just a quick writing update today. Last week I finished the first draft of the complete script for Kill All Monsters. Or for the first volume of Kill All Monsters, anyway. I’m not saying whether or not the Kill Team succeeds in its mission to take out all the monsters, but I will say that there’s definitely room for a sequel if the first book does well. That first book is a complete story though, with a definite end, and that end is now written. That’s a huge deal for me.

Our editor, James Powell is looking over the draft and there will be rewriting, but in the meantime, I’m able to move on to others things. I have four projects in the queue and the first is a short text story for a jungle girl anthology. I don’t want to say what it’s about yet, but I will say that the book’s editor sent me the above Alberto Vargas painting with a note that it reminded him of my story. And I can totally see why.