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Webcomic alert: Boulet goes shopping [Apr. 17th, 2014|02:00 pm]


A new comic by French cartoonist Boulet is always worth noting, and this one about the horror of buying new clothes is no exception, from the dread of buying underwear from snotty sales girls to the doomed perfection of new shows.

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Two Things U Have NOT Yet Seen Today [Apr. 17th, 2014|01:09 pm]

ONE: A Kitteh with a Top Hat!

TWO: A Hedgie on a skateboard! (You’re quite welcome!)

Both images via Reddit.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Hedgie Madness, kittehs
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The Asbury Park Comicon was a hit [Apr. 17th, 2014|01:30 pm]

Whew so many events going on it is hard to keep track. Last weekend’s Asbury Park Comicon seems to have been a cracking good time, based on all the blog and FB posts we’ve seen about it. We’ve been hoping to go to the show every year, but this time two cons in a row left The Beat conned out. I believe Torsten is working on his own report, but co-show runner Cliff Galbraith was kind enough to send along some photos and talk about the show’s move to a new venue AND two days. Would it hold up? What do you think? Take it away, Cliff.


It was a really incredible weekend. We had the the first nice weekend at the beach — the comic gods were smiling on us once again.  In fact, it kind of blew my mind and it’s got us really pumped up about our show 6/14 (the New York Comic Fest in Westchester). At times we had ticket lines around the block and had to add people to help keep things moving. The fans were really great and it was cool how they were able to talk to a lot of the creators we had, like J.H. Williams and Steranko. Chris Claremont was holding court and being really terrific with the people there to see him. Were we nervous about going to two days? Of course — there’s a lot more moving parts. But we’re glad we did it because it really worked out all the way around and it really sets us up for June when we have the show with Steranko, Sienkiewiecz, Denny O’Neil, Scott Snyder and Mark Waid.


One thing that caught me off guard, in a good way, was that Claremont originally was just supposed to be there on Saturday. But that night we had a dinner that was secretly in honor of Denis Kitchen, who we wanted to thank for everything he’s done for the creative community and comics in general. We had a whole bunch of people there and I guess Chris had a good time because he decided to stay a second day! So there he was Sunday, with more fans out the door. Also, J.H. Williams III blogged last week that Asbury Park might be his only show of the year.


And that dinner was a hit. Jon B. Cooke presented Denis with the award and he was completely taken by surprise. It was really lively with Steranko, Mark Schultz, Annie Nocenti, Don McGregor, Peter Bagge, my partners Robert Bruce and Dan Greenfield, Ming Chen, Michael Zapcic. All there. I don’t want to leave anyone out but Dean Haspiel, Gregory Benton and Christa Cassano were there from Hang Dai Studio in Brooklyn. Bob Camp, David Spurlock, Robert Sikoryak. John Holmstrom showed up. Jim Salicrup, Ellen Abramowitz, Tim Truman, Todd Klein, John Workman, Carl and Nancy Gropper, too. 

At the same time, we had Kathleen Hannah’s The Julie Ruin and Screaming Females show over at the Asbury Lanes, so guys like JH Williams and Box Brown were over there at our after-party. We had a lot going on and I think we’re moving towards being a much larger festival with bands and other activities — maybe like a mini SXSW of comics. We leased the park across from the hotel and filled it with food trucks and cars like the Batmobile and Ghost Busters Ecto 1, but next year I see the addition of a ferris wheel and a stage for bands. I want to involve the whole City of Asbury Park. 


And the best part was the mood was fantastic over the two days — everyone was stoked. We had packed panels with Claremont and Steranko, Williams was a hit, plus Robert Sikoryak’s Carousel got a lot of people talking. The Comic Book Men panel was standing room only. The dealers said they did really well and the artists and writers were getting a lot of shmoozing and commissions in. The cosplay contest was way bigger than last year. And we were pleasantly surprised when Dan DiDio showed up quietly on Sunday afternoon!

Even though we’re called a comicon, I really see this as Rob and I are throwing a party. We choose to invite the people we want to spend the weekend with. That’s how this started a few years ago and it’s how we’re going to keep it. It’s for people we enjoy being around and those we’d like to get to know. I remember when cons were a lot more fun and a lot less crowded — Asbury Park is a reset to a more sane time in con history. I was really starting to feel bad for kids who never got to experience the cons we got to go to. I’m not trying to change the con business, I’m just offering an alternative. The big cons are like Hollywood blockbusters, we’re more like the quirky little indie film that’ll touch your heart. 

Next up for the Crucial folks is the New York Comic Fest June 14th in White Plains, and in 2015, the East Coast Comicon at the Meadowlands(!).

Next year for sure.


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Salt Lake CIty Con expects 100,000 this weekend [Apr. 17th, 2014|12:30 pm]


Last fall’s very first Salt Lake City Con drew what is claimed to be 80,000 people, although when I first reported on it it was 50,000 tickets sold,—and the fire marshals came outin force. With that kind of smash, they are holding another one already, nicknamed FanX. And this time they are expecting an even huger crowd. :

Organizer Dan Farr is confident that Utah can support two comic book conventions a year. He predicts this week’s convention will draw 100,000 visitors, at least 20,000 more than last fall’s event, easily breaking the record for the biggest convention in Utah.

“I’m not worried about what happens this year. But as we move into next year, that is a question we need to ask and talk to a lot of fans about,” Farr said about whether his grand experiment of two comic cons in Salt Lake City per year will work. “One thing that fights against that is we do bring in a new cast of guests, and we do change it up. If you go to one event, the next one will be new again. We’ll keep it fresh.”

I share Farr’s lack of fear where two shows are concerned — it sounds like a big market. This edition includes tons and tons of nerdlebrities including various people you would know from the bridge of the Enterprise, being eaten by zombies or patrolling Mega City. Also, comic book people.

When I see attendance numbers going up, up, up I always get a little suspicious, so if there are any Beatniks on the ground, please send in reports. They have already sold 40,000 tickets however, so expect a BIG time.

The show runs three days, but opens today. No Sunday for this con because…well it is Utah.

In case you are wondering, there is a harassment policy on the website.

[Above photo via Josh Wartena.]

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Warren Ellis to revamp Dynamite’s Superpowers Universe [Apr. 17th, 2014|01:00 pm]

Well well, Dynamite is putting together quite a collection of creators, aren’t they? Here’s a big one: Warren Ellis will take over the Project Superpowers universe later this year. Just what that means isn’t entirely clear, but according to senior editor Joe Rybandt, Ellis will be given “carte blanche to reimagine these characters and this world.” A reboot revamp then.

Project Superpower, you may recall, is a relaunch of a bunch of public domain Golden Age superheroes originally revamped (in 2008) by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger. Among the heroes, the Black Terror, The Owl, the original Daredevil The F-Troops and so on. Dynamite has been publishing various mini-series since then, but this would seem to be a clean break from the last version.

Just imagine Warren Ellis writing something called The Black Terror—the possibilities are endless.

In a statement, Ellis wrote, “I’ve long been fascinated by the period in comics that produced these characters, and I’m very much looking forward to working out the strange, atmospheric take on the weird thriller that they inspired.  Also, it’s going to be a pleasure to finally do a job through the good offices of my old friend Nick Barrucci.”  

”I’ve wanted to work with Warren for many years, and have approached him more than a few times,” Dynamite CEO / Publisher Nick Barrucci added. “I can honestly say that when his schedule allowed for us to work together, I was speechless.  We’ve been waiting for the right creative vision to bring back Dynamite’s Superpowers Universe, and I can’t think of anyone better than Warren to do so.  I was elated that both came together.  He will make this series his own and will bring a larger audience to Dynamite’s Super Powers universe.  This is truly an honor to be working with him, as Warren elevates Dynamite to a new level.”

If you’ve been following Ellis’s mailing list, he’s been gallivanting all over the world on a bunch of secret projects, some of hem seemingly showbiz related. His novel Gun Machine is being developed for television, and his Wildstorm mini RED formed the basis of two films. Plus he has a new image series, Trees, coming out later this year, drawn by Jason Howard.

Dynamite sent along some art by Ross, Jae Lee and Steve Sadowski from previous versions of Project Superpowers.





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Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi… [Apr. 17th, 2014|10:02 am]

…you’re my only hope!


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: kitteh, Required Star Wars References
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designing seawigs [Apr. 17th, 2014|09:25 am]


Big congratulations to Lucy Yewman, age 6, for winning Moontrug's top prize for describing and drawing her own Seawig! This one's a corker! Keep an eye on Moontrug's website as she's always running good competitions.

I just remembered, for a dinner at the Bologna Book Fair last year, I designed this Draw-Your-Own-Seawig sheet for all the adults to draw at the table. But I can't remember if I posted it on my blog, so here it is, if you'd like to give Cliff a Seawig! You'll make this Rambling Isle very happy. WHAT can you pile on his head? Use drawing, magazine collage, whatever you like! Download the PDF here.

And I'd love to see yours! If you get a chance, tweet me your results (I'm @jabberworks), tag me on Instagram (jabberworks) or post them on my Facebook Author page.
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Nomming 101 [Apr. 17th, 2014|05:00 am]

Here’s a nice instructional video on how nine week old Welsh Corgeh Puppeh Mocha learned how to nom correctly. Notice how we get Constant Side Eye Action- she always stays locked in on the camera. Good eye to paw coordination, too. Yep, Mocha is destined for Greatness.

Katie S. sent this to us, and we thank her!

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Corgi, nomming, puppeh
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The Anticipation Of Ayra [Apr. 17th, 2014|02:44 am]

You can practically see/hear the wheels turning in her tiny noggin. “When’s the hoomin gonna feed me/scratch my belleh?” (She prefers both, simultaneously.)

And then after The Big Meal, comes The Bigger Snooze. Seeya, Ayra.

From Todd R.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: kitteh
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I Haz The Mouse [Apr. 17th, 2014|12:26 am]

[Caught 'em in the living room, he wuz plugged into some box. What U want me to do wit' him?]

Beautifu (1)

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: kitteh
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