Monday, May 29, 2006

05/29/06 - In Memorium: Alex Toth 1928-2006


How sadly appropriate for Memorial Day. Alex Toth is a name many of the younger readers of this blog won't recognize...that is a shame because his lean, illustrative, almost journalistic art style has influenced countless numbers of current "fan favorites". Mr. Toth passed away early Saturday morning, apparently working at his drawing table (an admirable work ethic for a man of 77 or 78!). Two of my favorite blogs have posts about the man and his art:
http://www.linesandcolors.com/2006/05/28/alex-toth/
http://drawn.ca/2006/05/28/alex-toth-1928-2006/

I encourage those of you who aren't familiar with him to study the work of an expert, if not master, of the comic art form. Regrettably, I never had the pleasure to meet and talk with him and feel saddened by the lost opportunity. Something to consider next time you go to a comic con and rush to stand in line to talk with today's "hot" artist while ignoring some of the industry's historic figures.

If anyone out there has any personal stories or just thoughts on how Alex Toth has affected their work; I for one, would love to read them....

Friday, May 12, 2006

Comic & Pop Culture Expo (CAPE) '06

Hey folks! I spent last weekend down in Dallas, TX as a guest at the 2nd annual Comic and Pop Culture Expo or 'CAPE' sponsored by Zeus Comics (www.zeuscomics.com/cape). They have it every year on Free Comic Book Day under a giant tent in their parking lot. This was my first show as a 'professional', so I was nervous and excited.

I drove 5 hours to St. Louis to hook up with my buddy Jeff Elden (www.exit126comic.com, www.velvetgoat.com) and the next morning we got up at 7 a.m. to make the 9-hour drive down to Dallas. Once there, we got situated and unloaded our stuff at the house of David Hopkins (www.antiherocomics.com) where he graciously hosted us. Christian Beranek (www.silentdevil.com) also crashed with us at casa de Hopkins

The show itself was on Saturday and it's estimated that around 6,000 folks showed up. I did some sketches in people's sketchbooks, which was pretty surreal, but cool at the same time. I had some posters of various 'Popped Culture' (www.poppedculture.net) comics printed, so I was selling those and some copies of Apex (www.apexdigest.com). I did okay and it was cool to hang out. Turns out the crazy-talented Bryan Hitch, artist on Marvel's 'Ultimates', sat right behind Jeff and I, so it was cool getting to hear him tell stories all day.

But the real fun was Saturday night at the Live Art Show. At The Metro Grill in Dallas, in the bar area, there were three plywood boards standing up on end and propped against the windows. The three featured artists, Jim Lujan (www.jimlujan.com), Andy Lee (www.findandy.com) and Brock Rizy (www.beeow.com) set up their stuff there and started to go to work as a local DJ spinned. Also set up were three small easels and a few sketchpads set up on a tarp-covered pool table where any other artists that happened to come in could go do their thing.

It was cool because at one point I was drawing on one of the pads and looked up and across from me also drawing was James O'Barr, creator of 'The Crow'. He later got up and did a larger piece. All of the art was auctioned off or sold throughout the night to help pay for the costs and any extra went to local area charities. It was such a cool atmosphere. No one asked for autographs or to do personal sketches, we were just all artists doing our things and having a good time.

I think something like this can happen in Lexington. However, I don't know any local DJs or anyone that does. That's where you guys come in. Know anyone that might be interested or know of any venues where we might be able to get that set up? Just post it here and we'll see what we can get done. Power to the people!

-Justin Stewart

Thursday, May 04, 2006

05/04/06 - Free Comic Book Day Saturday May 6th


Visit your local comic shop this Saturday for Free Comic Book Day on May 6th! We have five comic shops here in Lexington so there should be a store close to you. Encourage new readers to take advantage of this effort to grow the comic book readership.

Here is a link to a review of last year's event: the great curve