Wednesday, August 23, 2017

To Honor A King!

It's here!  Jack Kirby -- the King of Comics -- would've turned 100 years old on Monday, August 28, and fans here in Phoenix are planning a multi-dimensional three-day extravaganza to honor him.

At his zenith, Kirby drew five to eight pages a day, at his board for 10 to 12 hours, so we're celebrating his productivity in a special way.  On Saturday, August 26, four local artists will attempt the 24 Hour Comic Challenge -- they'll try drawing a 24 page comic book in 24 consecutive hours.  If that isn't hard enough, they'll pull a Kirby-inspired topic from a hat first, to use as inspiration for their story.  If you're in or around Phoenix, join us at Drawn to Comics in downtown Glendale to see the cartoonists in action, and answer Kirby trivia questions for prizes, including sketches from the artists themselves!  The festivities will start at 1 p.m. -- and everything will be recorded for a webseries we'll drop later this year.

Dig the artists' websites before you see them in action!

Then, on Monday, the 28th, ten comedians will roast Captain America -- Kirby's first, most famous creation -- at Monkey Pants Bar in Tempe, at 8 p.m.  The dais will feature some of the funniest people in the Valley . . . and Captain America himself!  Kirby fancied his drawing prowess as "performance."  He was a fan of cinema and pulp magazines, so a comedy show in his honor is as eclectic as the man himself.  A raffle -- featuring some pretty cool prizes, if I do say so myself -- will benefit the Hero Initiative, so your dollar bills.

Jack Kirby inspired a lot of people.  He created a legion of timeless characters and demonstrated a work ethic that sets a high standard for anyone writing or drawing comics today.  Honoring him is as humbling as it is fun, and I hope you'll join us, if not in person, then in the future, as we post pictures and videos from these events.  Happy birthday, Jack!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Appreciation Week, part 6

Appreciation Week concludes -- with pants!

This week, I've been thanking the people and places that have brought you Amazing Arizona Comics this summer.  Today, I'm thanking a venue that helps keep my drawing arm moving, and that will host an event at the end of August to celebrate comics culture in an unique way.

My latest whiteboard drawing: Sparky v. Monkey.

I'm talking about Monkey Pants Bar in Tempe.  I've recently begun drawing on their whiteboard biweekly, illustrating their monthly drink and event specials.  It's been a lot of fun.  Every job I've had, there's been a whiteboard to draw on, and I'm grateful to Monkey Pants for letting me keep the dry erase love alive.  In other news --

Fun Fact!  Did you know that Jack Kirby's birthday is at the end of August?  It's true!  Jack Kirby, the guy that co-wrote and drew many of the comics that founded the Marvel Universe, was born on August 28th exactly 100 years ago.  Cities around the country will celebrate, and Phoenix is no exception.

On Saturday, August 26, four of my fellow artists will attempt the 24 Hour Comic Challenge at Drawn to Comics, inspired by common themes in Kirby's work.  Then, on Monday the 28th, the Valley's funniest comedians will gather at Monkey Pants to roast Kirby's most important creation -- Captain America!  And, yes, Cap will be there to take his lumps!  It's gonna be fun, funny, and downright weird.  Much more info to come!

So, again, my thanks to Monkey Pants, for taking a risk on this li'l ol' artist and his kooky visions.  Sometimes that's an art in and of itself.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Appreciation Week, part 5

Welcome back to Appreciation Week, where I thank the people and places that have brought you Amazing Arizona Comics this summer!  Today's shout-out -- Wasted Ink Zine Distro at The Hive!

Wasted Ink Zine Distro is an amazing zine and minicomics shop, open during the weekends and on special events, in Central Phoenix's The Hive, an artists' co-op that also hosts Silent Flight Coffee, the Bees' Knees Boutique, and a sweet little gallery. WIZD has carried Amazing Arizona Comics since they opened over a year ago, and I'm very grateful.

Fun Fact!  Did you know I host a live, local late night talk show?  It's true!  It's called Phoenix Tonight, and new episodes are posted monthly on YouTube.  Yes, I deliver a monologue, perform comedy bits from my desk, and interview local celebrity guests!  I've had a few notable guests from the comic industry, from my self-publishing friends Birdie Birdashaw and Tommy Cannon, to published writers like Brian Augustyn, to local shop owners like Drew Sully and Ken Brown.  It's exciting to have this unique way to combine my love of comics with late night talk shows!

Taping Phoenix Tonight with Steve Rude

Well, the latest episode was filmed at The Hive just last week, and my first guest was none other than comics legend Steve Rude!  He answered my questions about the beginning of his career, his latest projects, and meeting Jack Kirby.  The episode will be posted on YouTube soon -- click the link above to subscribe now, so you can catch it as soon as it comes out!

Many thanks to Wasted Ink and The Hive for making that show happen.  If you're ever in Central Phoenix, grab a coffee, enjoy some art in their gallery, and shop!

Next: Pants!