Archive for May, 2008
This is a page out of the April 1990 100-page Cracked Comedy Classics special issue filled entirely with the art of Jack Davis. Remember Peter Gunn? He was a cool TV detective played by Craig Stevens during that time in the late ’50s and early ’60s when there were several detective shows that combines gritty crime stories backed by cool jazz. The theme to Peter Gunn was composed by Henry Mancini. It was very popular, and I think the single reached No. 1 on the charts. A feat equaled by only one other TV theme: “Miami Vice.”
Don’t ask me where I’ve been. I don’t know. That is to say, I don’t know why it’s been so long since I last posted (May 3). A lot’s happened since then, not necessarily to me, but my brother, Dave, celebrated his 41st birthday May 16 and my sister Maria (note the absense of commas, that’s because I have another sister) celebrated her 39th birthday May 20. My other sister, Charlene, (commas needed here–language arts is fun!) turned 33 March 4. There, now my siblings’ ages are on the Web. Big deal. They don’t read my blog anyway. (Or do they?)
I’ve been busy with work, I guess, and mowing the grass, and going to church small group and helping write some things for my church. And I actually got to the movies a couple of weeks ago. Debbie and I went to Kent to see “Iron Man.” Very cool movie. I’m not good at movies reviews, but I can tell you I really liked it. I thought it was better than the first Fantastic Four movie and way better than “Hulk.” Another Hulk movie is coming out this summer. It’s called “The Incredible Hulk.” I saw the preview. I’m not sure if I’m going to like it. I liked the movie Iron Man because the hero looked real, even in CGI. The movie Hulk looks fake. My favorite comic book hero is Captain America. I’m looking forward to his movie coming out in a couple of years, “The First Avenger: Captain America” I think is the working title. Due out in ‘11, I think. I’m just typing here, no research. You can check it out yourself when you have time, if you have time. I don’t have time. I’ve had some coffee, can you tell? I’m rambling, that’s how I can tell.
OK, I’m going to have an EGD down-the-throat diagnostic test on June 2 to see if I have an ulcer. I got sick at small group about three weeks ago. Well, I didn’t actually get sick at home where we meet for small group, but I started to feel sick after eating Mexican food. When I got home, everything let loose. First from the mouth, then the other end. I had diarrhea for the next couple of days, so I went to my doctor. Dr. Smith thought by the way I described certain things that it sounded like I had an ulcer. He sent me to a specialist, Dr. Gusz, who also said it could be an ulcer. He didn’t think I had food poisoning. This was just after the big Chipotle fiasco. He said sometimes food just hits us the wrong way.
It’s funny, Smith and Gusz both had “throw-up stories.” Nice. Is it like a contest? Who threw up the most? Or the most recently? Or the longest? If this a contest? Remember the story sequence in “Stand By Me” about the pie-eating contest? Gross, but funny.
(Above is the back cover of a special issue of Cracked (April 1990) that was 100 pages of Jack Davis. Cool.)
I took a trip to Pittsburgh last Saturday to meet a couple college friends at the comic book convention. My buddy Sean Steighner lives in nearby Cabot, Pa., and my buddy Mike Bocianowski lives in Erie, Pa., not so nearby. We attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the mid-1980s, so it was like a mini-reunion. Sean and I were at the convention as fans; Mike was there as an artist and publisher.
Mike has a series of comic books and graphic novels he is writing, drawing and publishing out of his boyhood home on Winslow Drive (I love that name. It sounds so Ozzie and Harriet.) The books center on dragon-like creatures called Yets! because they have no name … as of yet! One of Mike’s first characters was based on a grouchy guy who used to go outside in his boxers and yell at the neighbor kids. The character’s name is Chuck the Ugly American. Mike has been drawing Chuck as long as I’ve known him.
Through his Yets! books, Mike has developed his style of G-rated storytelling firmly bolstered by his clean, whimsical drawing style reminiscent of the wonderful Walts: Kelly and Disney (can I put Kelly before Disney? Why not!) In addition to his books, Mike teaches drawing, animation and comic book production and is certified to serve residencies anywhere in Pennsylvania. His Web site is www.artistmb.com.
In addition to having some laughs with Mike and Sean, I had a chance to buy some comic books (see samples above), not only at the convention but also at two local shops in the area (we were actually in Monroeville, a suburb of Pittsburgh). I also did some people watching. You haven’t seen freaks and geeks until you’ve been to a major comic book convention.
I had a chance to briefly speak to Al Feldstein, the former editor of Mad magazine and an artist for EC (Tales from the Crypt, etc.) before that. He told me that for years Jack Davis was ashamed of his work in horror comics until EC’s 50th anniversary and he joined other alumni at a convention.