Thursday, August 18, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS! -- Happy birthday to two great people today, both of whom are firmly rooted in comics.

Christopher Allen, longtime contributor and editor of this site, and much like Steven Grant, one of my favourite comics critics.

Also celebrating today, Friend of Kochalka and James Kochalka Superstar bandmember Jason Cooley.

Have the happiest of birthdays, guys!


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

KOCHALKAHOLIC! -- Go check out my new blog KOCHALKAHOLIC, dedicated to the work of James Kochalka. Marvel at the weird, unplanned coincidence involving today's date.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Time, Flowing Like A Meme -- Roger Green posted this to his blog, and here I am taking the meme out for a spin.

1. Ten years ago: In August 1995, my wife and I were anticipating the November birth of our son, Aaron, and I was working as News Director for a Glens Falls radio station.

2. Five years ago: In August 2000, I had been working for one year as morning news guy at an Albany radio station, and working to put together a website called Comic Book Galaxy.

3. One year ago: The worst eight months of my adult life began. Things are better now, thanks.

4. Yesterday: Worked, fixed dinner for my kids, retired to my bedroom to read an advance preview of one of the better graphic novels of this year.

5. Today: Work, doubtlessly will fix dinner for the kids, and hopefully watch last night's Daily Show and Too Late with Adam Carolla before bedtime.

6. Tomorrow: Mmm, survey says "work." It's also the day before payday, so you can be sure little to no money will be spent on much of anything.

7. Five snacks I enjoy: Popcorn, toast and jam, trail mix, animal crackers (the good ones, as Roger noted), english muffin.

8. Five bands I know the lyrics of most of their songs: Beatles, Pink Floyd, James Kochalka Superstar, Tool, Peter Gabriel.

9. Five things I would do with $100,000,000: Start a comics company; select creators would be given a yearly stipend and asked to create whatever they want to, with no editorial interference whatsoever. Hire a full-time chef/nutritionist. Let my wife choose a house for our family. Hire a driver and buy the most tank-like vehicle possible for them to drive me around in. Buy Marvel and DC Comics and return all rights to all characters to their original creators.

10. Five locations I'd like to run away to: Montreal, Toronto, Oregon, Washington State, Northampton, Mass.

11. Five Bad Habits: My "intuitive" financial planning. Avoiding the doctor. Not reading enough. Forgetting people can't read my mind. Caffeine addiction.

12. Five things I like doing: Reading. Writing. Spending time with friends. Exploring new places. Watching my children grow.

13. Five TV shows I like: Extras. The Sopranos. 24. Boston Legal. 30 Days.

14. Famous People I'd like to meet, living or dead. John Lennon, Howard Zinn, Howard Stern, Bernard Krigstein, Gary Groth.

15. Biggest joys at the moment: My kids. Good work on Comic Book Galaxy. Allergies under control after an apocolyptic early summer.

16. Favorite toys: DVD player. New computer with CD burner. USS Catastrophe Shop.

17. Five people to tag: Logan, Shane, Chris, Fred, Rob.


The Thrill and Excitement of Comics -- It's truly astonishing to me that anyone would say they are "bored" with "comics" right now -- I was looking over the site, and here are some of the great comics that we've covered here at Comic Book Galaxy in our reviews and commentary sections since our relaunch in June:


And ALL-STAR SUPERMAN hasn't even come out yet. If you read comics and you're bored, dude, comics isn't the problem.

Nuff said, true believer!

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The Challenge -- The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents...

The 24 Hour Comic Book Challenge

Can you create a 24-page comic book in 24 continuous hours? Story,
script, finished art, lettering, paste-up, proofreading, everything?
The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center invites the public to join its
24-hour Comic Book Challenge, in which there are no prizes except the
pride of completing the not-quite-impossible. The Challenge takes
place from noon to noon, Saturday, August 27 to Sunday, August 28, and
is presented in conjunction with the Museum's new exhibit of Vermont
comic artists, Comic Art in the Green Mountains (August 5, 2005 -
February 5, 2006). For questions or registration, call 802-257-0124,
or send an e-mail to office AT brattleboromuseum DOT org. Registration is FREE.

For more information on how to participate, click here:


Comic Art in the Green Mountains

Comic Art in the Green Mountains (August 5, 2005 - February 5, 2006)
features five of Vermont's preeminent comic artists: Stephen R.
Bissette (Swamp Thing, S.R. Bissette's Tyrant), James Kochalka
(Sketchbook Diaries, Monkey vs. Robot), Frank Miller (The Dark Knight
Returns, Sin City), James Sturm (Above & Below, The Golem's Mighty
Swing), and Rick Veitch (Swamp Thing, The Dream Art of Rick Veitch).

Monday, August 15, 2005

Monday, Briefly -- Thanks to everyone who bought an item or items in the Mid-Summer Fundraising Sale. My wife and I packed and addressed dozens of packagaes yesterday, and this week we'll be shipping stuff out. Thanks also to everyone who linked to the sale, it's much appreciated.

I'm frankly in awe of the quality of today's update on Comic Book Galaxy proper. Two powerful and well-reasoned opinion columns (both of which incorporate reviews and/or previews) and a terrific review of a landmark comics work. Make sure you click over and spend part of your day with the Galaxy gang, they're doing good work.

I'm also thrilled with the job Chris Hunter has been doing since he accepted the Editor-in-Chief position here at the Galaxy. He's doing fantastic work, and I'm grateful to have the site in such talented hands. Thanks, Chris.

Didn't get a lot of comics reading done over the weekend -- Saturday was spent with the family in Albany, at Earthworld Comics, at the New York State Museum, and finally at the Spectrum Theater to see a great documentary called March of the Penguins. Between the stunning bottom-of-the-world footage and the sardonic narration of Morgan Freeman, you really can't go wrong. But the real appeal of the movie lies in the dramatic story of the penguins themselves. When you see the genuine drama that their mating cycle entails -- for example, standing up in the same place for four months without eating in order to protect an egg at 50 to 100 degrees below zero in brutal wind and snowstorms -- well, come on. Those little birds are tough. Seriously, it's 80 wonderful minutes of film. if it's playing anywhere near you, check it out.

I did manage to read some comics yesterday, though -- some of The Complete Crumb Comics Volume 17, which has some of my favourite Crumb stories in it, as well as stuff I'd never read before -- and I even talked my wife into reading John Porcellino's forthcoming Perfect Example, which she liked, especially John P.'s story of the pain of a high school crush.

If I know what comics women would like to read, why doesn't the comics industry?

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