Archive for June, 2008

Heroes Assemble!

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

It’s Monday, and HeroesCon 2008 has come and gone.

And we had FUN! And is FUN everything? Well, it’s a big part of it for me. Yes, it helps to make some dough for the outlay of expenses. And, we covered our bases in my mind. I figure how “successful” the show was will be a part of reports that will be popping up in the days ahead. We covered Josh’s ticket to the show, other travel expenses, and in my mind some of the other associated costs, so a big THUMBS UP for Heroescon. Keep in mind that we attended this show even before AB was around, so we DO have some love for this show. Like Chuck will mention in one of his podcasts, this show makes us all feel like family.

Here are some memories and thoughts in no particular order…

For a good recap, check out Chuck Moore’s Comic Related. He’s got video, photos and podcasts. Does Chuck ever sleep? (And he’s off to Chicago next!) By the way, I love the music that Chuck uses. Great job! And, it was a pleasure to meet you Chuck. (I’m listening to Chuck’s first cast as I type this, and I’m lovin’ it.) *While at lunch, I realized I should also point your nose in the direction of the Dollar Bin Guys, since I believe they have recorded ALL the panels. Should be some good listening in the weeks to come. Oh.. and we all already hit ISR, right?

Going into the show, I wanted to schedule a few dinners with people ahead of time, just so we had a plan. The first such outing included Josh Cotter with Stuart and Kathryn Immonen. When Josh asked me how I knew these fine people, well, that good ol’ internet. The M&Ms (as I thought of this AM) and I had sent some emails back and forth preshow about industry type stuff, and I thought it would be swell to take them to the Penguin, like I had been taken oh so many years ago. And you know what? They’re good people. Is it because they’re Canadian? Could be. I had a delightful time, and would stalk them at the show, due to their new, and lovely banner.

After that night of deep fried goodness, we headed back to the hotel and what would become the main “after show event”, which is partying in the hotel lobby. There were two main hotels for the show, the Westin and the Hilton. The Westin is nice, but those drink prices could sting. We hung around and talked with Tom Neely (actually, we did that earlier, now that I think about it.) and Jim Rugg, Mike Dawson, Pat Lewis, Tom Spurgeon, jeez, just about everybody was there, which made it difficult to actually leave and go to bed! One of the highlights during that nights talk was Jim Rugg asking what people thought was THE Jack Kirby comic. My take on that question is I guess if we had to put one in a rocket to shoot into space and someone said “We need a KIRBY!” what would you choose. Jim said it was this one I think (don’t have it in front of me.)

Tom said it was the Kamandi where he fought the big bat men. Jim then made the promise that he would have both comics to me before noon the next day so that I could decide which I thought was the KIRBY comic. (This meant that he knew he could find them in the dealer’s boxes and that the hunt was on!) Granted, I’m not a professional Kirby guy or anything, it was just a VERY neat thing that can happen at a show like this.

One of the other meals we had planned and I enjoyed was our Irish outing with Mike Dawson, Josh (he was EVERYWHERE!), Alex Robinson & Kristen Siebecker, Charlito and Mr. Phil from ISR and Dustin Harbin, the creative director of the show (In case you didn’t know). At one point during the dinner, I was crying from laughing so hard (See the first photo above.) The food was good, and I had a boxty for the first time.

But I know you don’t care about the food! You want the comics! Well, one of the neat things that came together at the last minute was the SUPERIOR SHOWCASE #3 signing that we had on Friday afternoon. Dustin thought it would be neat (and ended up being tight!) to have all four creators sit down and sign people’s copies of the comic. And it was fun! Granted, everyone was already within 15 feet of each other on the floor, but to have them at the table was special. In fact, the last comic that got sketched in was mine! I got three of the four cartoonists to do something! Can you guess who didn’t do something? Can you?

Haw! I’m just yankin’ Dustin’s chain. He’s BUSY at this show, and it was cool he took the time to do this signing thing. In case you don’t recognize them, that’s Roger, Jim, Dustin and Laura during the screaming throngs of fans!

The other cool thing I enjoyed watching at the show was Josh Cotter create his puking robot for the art auction. I’ve always been a fan of the auction, and have donated, created, and bought things for as long as I can remember. The thing I haven’t done is the LIVE ART, which I would find intimidating. But Josh… man, he created what I think is one of the best things ever created at the show.

This was a full size sheet of the illustration board they used with acrylic paint. He spent around 1.5 hours on it, and does it sing! Later that night, it would be one of the final pieces in the art auction that was loads of fun. I was second highest bidder, and lost to a Dad who bought it for his daughter. Man, it doesn’t get better than that! The girl stopped by on Sunday to meet Josh, but he had to take off to catch his flight. So, I put one of Josh’s stickers on the back, and wrote his name and HEROESCON 2008 on there to help everyone remember. What a cool thing to have hanging in your bedroom at such a young age!

I didn’t come away empty handed from the auction, though. I won a fantastic painting by Jason Latour of a skeleton dude with a gun. Later I found out that it was Jason’s THIRD painting, which makes me sick. He has some talent folks. The other piece of art that caught my eye was the original work of the Indie Island poster done by the uber-talented Scott Campbell. I was in it for a bit, but having not known that the piece was going to be in the show, I hadn’t “planned” to spend that type of money, and thus it went to an even better home.

Yes, Mr. Fancy Tux Wearing MC has got one fantastic piece of art to gaze at lovingly. But since he built Indie Island, it only make sense that he be able to gaze at it every day.

Like I mentioned above, Josh had to miss Sunday due to the plane, so our pal J Chris Campbell scooted on over and kept us company. We love the JCC, and we tickled each other’s fancies all day long. One of the highlights was him giving Chris Staros of Top Shelf a BOX FULL of newspapers from when Elvis died. It was crazy! (A note: Please ASK Chris if he wants such things before bringing them, though, as publishers tend to have enough stuff to lug away from these shows.)

And here’s one of last memories of the show… A nice lady is looking at all our goods on the table and ends up buying a set of JCC’s fantastic buttons. As we sit there and talk, she mentions that her son is sitting in Artist Alley and his room mate was in that book that had deer-guy on the cover. (I had some posters sitting on the other side of the table.) So, I think about the guest list, do the roomie connection, and yep, here I am talking to Paulo Rivera’s mother. For those who might not know, Paulo’s roomie was Reid Johnson, who did the Thrustman story in SUPERIOR. And who was the model for Thrustman? Paulo. So, we sit there and talk about her son, comics and other things when up walks Paulo’s dad. How cool is that? Both his parents are at the show. Ends up she’s from West Virginia (like me), but we’re both from different parts. And, I had seen his dad at the auction the night before, and wondered who he might have been, since he was hanging around a group of young cartoonists.

Anyway, I just enjoyed that moment, and it’s moments like that which makes Heroes special.

Other quick shout outs of things I’m glad happened:

– Finally talking with Frank Santoro. This guy is a WEALTH of comics knowledge. If I ever have a production or historical comic question, I know I can hit him up and more than likely get the right answer.

– Discovering Daniel at Steam Crow Press. I stumbled upon him by being mesmerized by his little Steam Crows. Well, actually, I SHOULD have been mesmerized by his booth display. Y’know.. the industrial smoke stacks!

– Talking shop with our pal Marc Nathan who will be rockin’ the world with his Baltimore Comicon in September.

– Hanging with and purchasing the goods from Duane Ballenger of WAPPIE fame. That man is a marketer! His way cool pencil case was a hit with Josh Cotter!

– Meeting the swell shop owners from Florida. There were TWO different shops that came up to me and introduced themselves and told me a bit about their stores. And can I say, WOW! They have it going on. I don’t have their cards in front of me, but I’ll be back to link them. Who knew Florida could be that cool. (OK. They are: Store 101 and A Comic Shop.)

– Chillin’ with Andrew Neal of Chapel Hill Comics fame. We tend to laugh at the same jokes.

– Meeting IndieIsland neighbors Derek Ballard and Tender Loving Empire and loving their stuff.

– Oh! And FINALLY getting a chance to visit the HEROES AREN’T HARD TO FIND store. What a store! Great selection, fantastic fixtures and genius storage!

Check out my photo set for other highlights from the show.

And finally, a BIG, BIG thanks to everyone who makes the show so enjoyable. Shelton, Dustin, all the staff and volunteers. I may not say it enough, but YOU make this show great, and I enjoy the hell out of it.

If I forgot to mention you in this report, it is because I suck. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat, trade or hang. Hopefully we’ll all see each other again next year.

I Need A HeroesCon! (2008 mix)

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Time has come! This week marks the start of HeroesCon 2008, with the biggest, baddest Indie Island to date. You will be there, won’t you?

The show is a fave among those who have been before. Kind of a little “Secret of the South.” And normally, I wouldn’t share a secret like this, but I want every exhibitor to have the best possible HeroesCon that they can.

I’ve been going for what seems like a decade. Every year holds a special memory. From eating dinner with Paul Smith, to winning a piece of original art in their auction, running around the hotel like a high schooler with J Chris, to sharing a cab with Paul Pope, James Jean, John Cassaday and FoodOne. And I’m sure this year will have just as fond memories.

Here’s what we have planned @ AdHouse Books, booth #623

The con debut of SUPERIOR SHOWCASE #3 with Jim Rugg, Laura Park, Dustin Harbin and Roger Langridge. To celebrate we’re going to have a little signing at 4:30 on Friday. You can stop by the booth, pick up the comic, and get all their autos right then and there.

And making his first ever Southern con appearance… Joshua Cotter, acclaimed creator of SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST. As you’ve seen in previous blog posts, the reviews for SKY have been nothing but incredible. Here is your chance to meet the man, and talk shop, get an auto or even a sketch. And don’t wait! Josh has to catch a plane back on Sunday, so he’ll only be at the show Friday and Saturday.

Limited edition bookmark and exlibris sets. We just created them this year, and aren’t bringing that many. If you want to check them out, just ask.

Oh! And yes, we’re saving some special things for the show! You know how we like our secret projects. Stop by and see what I’m talking about!

Art Auction! Every year we donate a piece of art that we’ve created or a special book or bag of books because we love the show that much. This year? Well, let’s just say it’s a pretty rare thing. I won’t tell you exactly what it is, but let’s say that it is #1 in the series, and it is sold out, and done by a previous guest of the show.

What to do at the show? Well, if you’re not sure, check out J Chris Campbell’s countdown. It has more than enough good suggestions. One thing we’d suggest is stopping by the Mike Wieringo Scholarship Fundraising table. As long time readers will know, we have a special place in our heart for Mike, so we will be donating some rare out of print and limited publications to the fund. We also hope to stop by there and possibly pick up a piece of art, if we can find the right one. For more info

Books I want to pick up at the show: I already have FREDDIE AND ME by Mike Dawson, but I think you should stop and check it out. There’s the TOO COOL book by Alex Robinson. I’d like to finally get FARTY PARTY by Julia Wertz. The new Jim Rugg stuff. Some tunes from the Tender Loving Empire people. Some minis from Sparkplug. And some stuff from all the cool people I know nothing about that will be there this year!

Oh.. and if we haven’t convince you enough, you can listen to creative director Dustin Harbin talk to Charlito over at the Indie Spinner Rack. (He’s near the beginning.)

OK. I better get back to work in preparing for the show. Hope to see you there!

Charlotte Convention Center
501 S. College St
Charlotte, NC 28202

1-day Pass: $10 per person
3-day Pass: $20 per person
Kids 12 & Under get in FREE!

Open to the Public:
Friday, June 20, 2008 : 11.00 am – 7.00 pm
Saturday, June 21, 2008 : 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Sunday, June 22, 2008 : 11.00 am – 6.00 pm

MoCCA + Other thoughts

Friday, June 13th, 2008

This is not really a MoCCA Art Fest report, like I’ve done in the past, just a few random thoughts about the festival and a few shout outs to the stuff I’ve been reviewing. And these shout outs are only the tip of the iceberg. I have a good many more that I haven’t gotten to yet.

If you haven’t seen all the photos I took, by golly, go forth and lookee. Granted, most of the photos are of things outside the MAF, but that’s OK in my book.

First off, my Skywiskers are gone. Shaved them today. While I enjoyed them, I found myself playing with them too much. And, they would stay moist with water and other liquid remnants.

Thanks to all who came out and patronized us. I think SKYSCRAPERS was received well, and the reviews coming in have been very positive. So, Josh should be proud.

When filling out the survey at the end of the show, I only really had two comments to make. Where were the trash cans? And keep the event at the Puck. I know keeping it at the Puck is a tough thing, but really, it DOES make the MAF special.

What was the book of the show? Well, for me, probably FREDDIE AND ME by Mike Dawson. It was the one I really wanted to get, and the first thing I read, and I think Mike did a great job with it. The publisher in me should say SKYSCRAPERS, and I DO say that, but as a fanboy, probably F&M… since I had already been living with SKY for a few weeks.

I did pick up some Finnish comics. I also bought the wife a Robert Goodin T-shirt. Oh… and that Rabid Rabbit White Album comic. I love the White Album, and the flip through looked good.

Granted, I did hold off on purchasing some things because I knew I would be seeing them in two weeks down in Charlotte at HeroesCon. And, it would be easier to drive the stuff home than fly it home, if that make sense.

Speaking of Heroes, have you seen the way cool countdown that friend JCC is doing? He’s getting me all colors of excited for the show. I think he is my long lost twin. The evil one.

But back to MoCCA… Here’s some stuff I was given, and thought should be shouted out:

Jason Loo dropped off a nice comic called AWOL’d along with a new sketchbook. As I told him in an email, I think he’s given me stuff before, because it does look familiar. The sketchbook is really nice because it not only has sketches, but some figure studies and comics. He gave me three chapers of AWOL’d, and I must admit I enjoyed the first and look forward to reading the rest.

Jorge Diaz dropped off two of his comics… Iron Horse Ghosts and Mustang Hops Hobo Detective. Of the two, I dug Mustang Hops more. It kind of reminded me of Gary Dumm and Joe Zabel’s comics a bit.

Lance Hansen surprised me with Hayseed #1. I say “surprised” because I didn’t know he was the guy who did Don’t Cry a few years ago. Don’t Cry was good, but I find Hayseed much more enjoyable. Quality funny strip work in FULL COLOR! Go check his site out, and if you like, by golly order some.

I also was going to talk about some talent who I’d like to work with in the future, but that may seem weird. I mean, what if things didn’t work out? So, let’s just say that I’ve already emailed two people to see what they might have in mind, and how we could possibly make things work. Who knows!

Other thoughts…

My stomach has been messed up most of this week. Making noise and stuff. Probably all that weird NYC food I ate!

I’ll be glad when we get rid of some of this heat. Or I should say I hope we get a chance to get rid of some of this heat!

Next week we’ll push the HeroesCon some more. I really am excited for that show. You are coming, aren’t you?

Go Vote! (Eisners, that is!)

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

For the Eisners! Voting Closes June 13, 2008! That’s this Friday!

You can vote online this year, which makes the whole process OH SO EASY!

Seriously, you can do the whole thing in less than five minutes. And, YOUR voice will be heard.

And, if you like any of the nominations we received this year, by golly, we’d appreciate your vote. (Fred, Jamie and James will be on hand at the event, so you know they’ll wax a wee poetic!)

Here’s what we received:

Fred Chao and his Johnny Hiro:
Best Single Issue or One-Shot: Johnny Hiro #1, by Fred Chao
Best New Series: Johnny Hiro, by Fred Chao (AdHouse)
Best Humor Publication: Johnny Hiro, by Fred Chao (AdHouse)
Best Writer/Artist—Humor: Fred Chao, Johnny Hiro (AdHouse)

We also received the following nominations as well:
Best Publication Design: Process Recess 2, designed by James Jean and Chris Pitzer (AdHouse)
Special Recognition: Jamie Tanner, The Aviary (writer/artist, AdHouse)

And we share a nomination with DC & Dark Horse in regards to:
Best Cover Artist: James Jean (Superior Showcase #2 & PR2)

So, this is your friendly reminder.


Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

And by “in” I mean today! June 11, 2008

And… if your store doesn’t carry it, by all means, feel free to purchase from ye House of Ad.

And… for those who would like to meet 4 out of the 5 creators, may we remind you that next week is

One of the BEST conventions on the east coast. We are SOOOOOO excited for this year. The guest list is INSANE.

For the best up to date information, by golly hit their site.

You can find us at Booth 623.  I’ll post a bit more next week about what we have planned. Until then, SHOWCASE IT UP!

Skyscrapers Reviews Too.

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Since the book has recently hit the shelves of your local bibliovendor, the reviews are starting to pop up. I’ll try and capture what I can find, and post here.

“This is one of the most accurate visions of childhood that I have ever seen, in any medium.”
– Timothy Callahan @ CBR via The Comics ReporterR via The Comics Reporter

“Cotter’s book is utterly gracious to all. It abandons reality in favor of truth, and the effect is cosmic.”
– Laurel Maury, LA Times

“Thankfully, while there’s enough pathos in these pages to give Chris Ware a run for the trauma crown, Cotter aims for balance by also depicting moments of joy — sometimes in fantastical passages that recall Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes.”
– Web Behrens, Playboy

“Joshua Cotter’s personalized tale of life in the American Heartland is an insightful look into the bleak trappings of a once fabled existence. For me, Cotter’s commentary takes the stand that this piece of Western civilization is a collapsing paradigm.”
– Thirteen Minutes

There’s a lot going on here, most of which defies conventional description… sometimes it’s dark comedy, sometimes it’s intensely uncomfortable tales of adolescence, and sometimes it’s just really, really odd. It wasn’t unusual to laugh out loud one page, nearly cry the next, and be intensely creeped out on the third.”
– Bill at Good Reads

Skyscrapers of the Midwest is that rare critical mass of dynamic art and storytelling. In the synthesis of these elements, Cotter manages to capture the wonders and horrors of childhood, which are perhaps far more entwined than we’d wish to remember. And like our own youth, each re-opening of the book uncovers new layers and connections just below the surface.”
– Brian Heater at the Daily Cross Hatch

“It’s a really, really excellent book.” – Chris Mautner at the P&P

 “Skyscrapers of the Midwest is a hidden gem of modern comics, and Cotter has the strength and subtlety to an artist with twice his experience. This may be, as Warren Ellis blurbed it, “one odd fucking book,” but it’s also one smart, touching and exciting fucking book, too. “ – Andrew Wheeler at the ComicMix

AdHouse @ MoCCA Art Fest

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

AdHouse Books will be exhibiting at MoCCA Art Fest at tables A31 & A32.

Creators who will be on hand:

Josh Cotter and his newly released SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST HC. (Josh will also have other goodies as well!)

Joey Weiser who will be promoting The Ride Home and other great comics.

Jamie Tanner (Sunday only) in support of the Eisner-nominated The Aviary.

We’ll also be debuting our ExLibris Limited edition set, which includes 4 bookmarks and 5 ExLibris stickers.

AND.. we’ll have the limited edition print SUPER A-OK ROBOT by Fred Chao, that is FREE with the purchase of issues #1-3. (while supplies last!)

Hope you can make it.