Thursday, December 25, 2014

Comics and Christmas

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today as Christmas day winds down, I hope that you all had a great day, filled with warmth, joy and family. 

     But don't forget about your comics because that's an important part of any collector's life.  I  know I'm going to relax, now that I'm home and go through a few stacks of Archie, Batman, Spiderman and a whole lot more.  So one last time...Happy Holidays to everyone out there.

     Take care and adopt (and hug) a comic book today.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Box of Comics and Signing

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I bought an old box of comics yesterday and of course I let my friends pick through it to see if there was anything they might need.  I picked out a few things for myself and had a great time just sifting through books with my buddies.

     Of course, it is that season of giving, so what else could I enjoy doing.  My advice to all of you readers, do something nice for the comic readers on your gift list this season.

     Also, I'll be appearing tomorrow, Dec. 13, at Mentor Barnes and Noble (located in Great Lakes Mall parking lot) signing Mr. Jingeling books and giving away FREE coloring pages for the young kids in your family.  See you there from Noon till 3 or 4pm. 

     Take care and adopt (but keep some for yourself) a comic book today!

Monday, December 8, 2014


     Hello everyone, hope all is well.  I've been having computer troubles lately which have kept me from blogging a lot recently.  Heroes have had troubles with computers.  ok at Ultron-5, the new Avengers movie bad guy.  Isn't he just a computer turned robot?  And Arsenal, from Avengers Annual #9 was a great story (you've gotta find this one and read it) that started as a computer program and ended up bonding with the persona and memories of Tony Stark's dead mother.

     Yes, there's more than one computer gone wrong story, but there's nothing wrong with holding a good old fashioned comic in your hand and giving it a try.  No computer glitch can stop that kind of enjoyment.

     Wednesday, Dec. 10, I'll be at Comics and Friends from 2-7pm (located at Mentor Great Lakes mall, Mentor) right next to Macy's with my cover artist, David Russell.  Our new book, Galaxy Clan II, a great kid's sci-fi adventure novel best for ages 8-12.  Stop by and say hello.  Also, this Saturday, Dec. 13, I'll be at Mentor Barnes and Noble signing a Mr. Jingeling book, "How Mr. Jingeling Saved Christmas."  I'll be there from Noon-3pm.  There will be FREE coloring pages as a handout to the children.  stop by and say hello.

     Take care and adopt a (non-computer, paper) comic today!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


     Hello everyone, hope all is well.  This past week I went to a friend's funeral.  Don Sheppard was a fellow church member of mine, a lunch buddy and the 2nd man across the Remagen Bridge during the Battle of the Bulge.  I asked him the importance of being second, which got him in more than a few papers.

     "I was just trying to duck bullets and stay in one piece." 

     It's a humble line, but many millions like him did more than humble things which allow us 70 years later to enjoy freedom to celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving.  I also give thanks to guys like Don that made this country free enough to enjoy trivial things (but  not to me) like hobbies and collecting and...comic books.

     I will remember Don and already have a picture of him and my wife hanging in my den.  Also, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there reading this and stop by the Great Lakes Mall this Saturday, Nov. 29 at Comics and Friends and chat between Noon and 5 o'clock, say hello and maybe pick up my new book..."My Favorite Super Teams."

     Take care and adopt a comic (and hug and say hello to your own friend,  like my Don) today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taste in Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  This past weekend my brother Terry, stopped by for a two day visit and of course we stayed up late every night looking through...comics.

     I must say that we differ in our tastes, for he still likes the old stuff from when we were kids, as I do.  But he draws the line somewhere around the mid 1980's with his reading habits, while I become more discerning about my comic collecting from that time forward.  As Terry says, "Tastes change."  But I prefer to keep an open mind with my collecting.

     And maybe that's the key to really appreciating all sorts of comics...make sure that you do appreciate all different types of comics.  Not just super hero comics, but try romance, westerns, sci-fi, funny animal comics...all sorts.

     And remember to keep an open mind concerning your reading...tastes.

     Take care and adopt a comic (all different kinds) book today!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cold Comics a "Haven."

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I guess with all of the snow coming down, I should mention a comic about Captain Cold or Mr. Freeze.  Well I'm not.  But I am going to mention a Batman story that takes place in the snow.

     The tale concerns a violent man who had so many urges of anger that he found peace living in the mountains in a cabin by himself near the wildlife that he came to love as friends and soothing medicine to him.  But when crooks (and Batman) enter his domain, violence occurs which sets this man mountain off on a tirade once the bad guys kills one of the small woodland creatures for no reason.

     But the gentle giant goes berserk, hurting most of the bad guys, but dies in the process.  He tells Batman that he is happy to die since his anger will now be gone for good.  He indeed passes away with all of his furry friends surrounding him.  R. L. Stevenson is quoted from his verses about the hunter home from the hill at stories end.

     Writer Len Wein said recently that this was his favorite of all the Batman tales he wrote.  And with one of my favorite Bat-Artists, Don Newton supplying the art, this story of a violent man who took the name "Haven," is indeed a haven for someone who needs the warmth of a good, well-told  story.

     Take care and adopt a copy of Detective #314 (for the story I just described) today!  I have 2 copies myself.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Comic Cramps

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I've recently been talking about the large comic book collection I acquired.  Well I've finally sorted through all of them and started selling some, while trading a portion of the rest to friends.  But here's the major problem.  I kept too many for myself!  That's right, my collection just took a major hit...on the plus side!

     But where to put all of these four-color darlings of mine?  I've created new spaces for the brand new boxes.  But where did I create the space?  Straight up baby, it's the only direction left to me in my man cave (really it's the Bat cave).  Yes, I'm getting CRAMPED BY COMICS!

     My advice to everyone out there collecting comics (or anything for that matter) is to make sure you have the space, before you join the race...for completion of a collection that is.  Because remember, it's a jungle out there.  Actually not out there, but in my room where I sometimes feel like I need a machete to hack my way through the comic book jungle undergrowth.

     So yes, my den is so cramped that I can't swing a cat (woman) comic around in my room without hitting a five foot tall stack of comic boxes.  Help!

     Take care and adopt a comic book (but not too many at a time) today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Orson Welles Play and Comic Tie-in

     Hello everyone, hope all is well.  Thursday, October 30th, (that's tomorrow) I'll be portraying Orson Welles at Barnes and Noble in the Great Lakes Mall (next to Max and Irma's) from 7-8pm.  I'll discuss the Martian radio hoax (it will be the 76 anniversary) and re-create parts of the original broadcast.  Hope you can make it and it's FREE!

     Back in the 1970's, Marvel Comics had a sequel to the H.G. Wells classic.  But this time they didn't perish from the common bacteria and cold germs that we Earthlings are used to.  Nope, this time they came back with some Zync Oxide and kicked our butts.  It was also an early art vehicle for Kent's own P. Craig Russell.

     Take car and adopt a (Martian) comic book today!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cosplay Show and Orson Coming

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Over the weekend, I attended as the main guest, the N.E. Geek Expo 2014.  It was part gaming, part comics but mainly Cosplay.  Over a thousand people attended and I, along with my publisher and my cover artist, Tim and David, had a blast for eight straight hours.  I gave a lecture and parts of it wound up in the Ashtabula Beacon newspaper.  I met some new friends too and all of them were dressed up equal to the event.

     Also for those who might not realize what time of year it is, I will be lecturing on Orson Welles and his "Martian Hoax," actually recreating some of the War of the Worlds radio segments, all dressed up as Orson Welles.  This event will take place on Thursday night, October 30th, at the Great Lakes Mall, Barnes and Noble from 7-8pm.  It is FREE and open to the public and everyone should have a great time.  See you then.

     Take care and adopt a comic book (about Cosplay, Halloween or Orson) today!          

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finally, Kirby Gets Due

     After years of lawsuits, Disney, who owns Marvel Comics, finally decided to make the Kirby estate an offer to head off a trip to the Supreme Court.  The financial offer was not disclosed.

     I read the transcripts of the lower court hearings.  The lawyers for Marvel made everything seem like Jack, that as a freelancer who literally created or at least co-created every early character at Marvel, was nothing more than a pair of hands that dragged a pencil across a piece of paper on company demands.

     Yet the salaried "company" man, who worked out the stories with Jack, was none other than Stan Lee, who was on payroll and should not have been rewarded in anything other than his weekly paycheck, until his promotions kicked in, was rewarded with a contract about 15 years ago that gave him a deal that (according to the AP story) has benefitted him with over a hundred million dollars.

     Being a writer myself, I understand the unfairness of the "Work-for Hire" contract that most freelancers are forced to sign, so I'm happy for the family of Jack and Roz Kirby to finally get their financial recognition.  Oh, there's been recognition, especially after all of the hit Marvel movies lately have started with the credits, "Created by Stan lee and Jack Kirby."  But that line put absolutely no bread on the Kirby table at night.  So yes, it's good that the Kirby's are finally receiving the financial end of all those accolades. 

     Now you might say, "Jack and Roz have passed away, how does that help them?"  Well from the beginning, Jack stated over and over, that this legal battle was to leave a financial legacy to his grandkids and it has.  So it seems that one of Jack's heroic characters has won the day yet again.  Only this time the heroic character was...himself.

     Take care and read a (Jack Kirby) comic today!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

FF, Daredevil and Batman

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Both Fantastic Four as well as Daredevil came out yesterday and let me tell you, these are two great comics from Marvel that you've GOT to start picking up.  In both cases the art is pretty good but the writing is GREAT!

     Now that's my picks over at the House of idea,  but over at DC, do whatever you can to keep up with Batman.  More good writing and art.  But steer clear of Detective Comics, Batman's other title, it's not up to the quality levels of the other Caped Crusader comic.

     And if it's not sold out already, pick up the Weekly Thanos mini-series, and when it's all over, see if you don't think that it's another good one.  Man, the good comics coming out every month are really piling up.

     Take care and adopt a comic (any of the four I just mentioned) book today!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mini-Series and Appearance

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I'm still trying to plow through that giant collection I got hold of a few weeks back and as I'm sorting I find myself looking through mini- series that go together and I'm stopping every two minutes with, "Hmm, I guess it wouldn't take me THAT long to read this four parter.  Do that more than a few times and nothing gets done all day.  So when assessing a collection, put yourself in a mean mood, ready to ignore the past, your childhood and nostalgia, you'll get books sorted a lot faster, believe me.

     Plus I just wanted to mention that I will be appearing this Saturday (Oct.11) at the Great Lakes Mall Barnes and Noble from Noon till 3pm.  I'll be showing off some of my Star Wars knick knacks on National Star Wars Reader day.  I'll also be telling some behind the scenes movie trivia on the subject and the Star Wars connection to comic books and jack Kirby in particular.  Hope to see you Saturday.

     Take care and adopt a (Star Wars) comic book today.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sorting Comics, Sorting Life

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  As you know, I recently received about 12,000 comic books.  It took a friend of mine and myself, three whole days to go through it all.   First we went through the whole 50 boxes to see what was contained within.  We knew before we bought the collection, but needed to know what each particular box held.

     Then came the "pulling the wheat from the chaff."  Some of the books were worth a little bit of money, but most were headed for the 25cent bin (at best).  Then came putting all the mini-series together and last but not least...What do I want to keep out of this for myself?"

     Of course in the middle of this all, I've had personal appearances, parades that I've been part of and still more coming up.  But for now, check out the next few days worth of blogs and check out my new personal facebook and business face book, the Bystander, E-Comics Gazette, for stuff that I'm doing.

     Take care and adopt a comic book (but not 12,000 all at once) today!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Signing and Comics Everywhere

     Hi everyone hope all is well.  Guess what, yes another new book I've written, "Chasers, Inc." is making it's debut this Saturday, the 13th.  This is a new spooky, adventure novel and will makes its breakout at the Author Expo 2014, at the Willoughby Hills Community Center from 11am-3pm.  Located at 35400 Chardon Rd (right off the corner of Rt. 91 and 6), I'll be chatting with everyone who stops by so pick up a new and exciting book, or just stop and say hi.  Hope to see you then.

     Also I still have those dozens of comic boxes I just picked up last week and as soon as my signing is over, I'm going to tell you how to handle a big collection like that. 

     So take care and adopt (one of my new novels) and a comic book today.

Monday, September 8, 2014

12,000 Comics, Whew!

     Hello everyone, hope all is well.  Just last week, I bought my buddies comic collection.  He did keep several boxes for himself as his core collection, but I got the bulk of it and boy were they a lot of comics, 12,000 in total.

     I had the next door kids carry them into the house for me, then got a friend to transport them to his house where we could go through them and sort, which we did for three straight days.  Even though I had or even have most of them, it was so much fun looking through all of those comics gathered in one central place.  over the next few blogs, I'll be telling you more about how I divided them up.

     Also, I'll be appearing at the Author Expo 2014 located at the Willoughby Hills Community Center, this Saturday, September, 13th from 11am-3pm.  35400 Chardon Road in Willoughby Hills is the address, so look for me as I'm debuting new novel of adventure, Chasers, Inc.

     Take care and adopt a comic book (collection) today.

Friday, August 29, 2014

End of August, New Signings

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  With this recent heat, I've been stuck in the house.  But that leaves me to read a lot of comics and boy did I ever.  I recently picked up some great reprint books on comic strips from the 1940s and 50s, Rip Kirby, Buz Sawyer and Johnny Hazard to name a few.  Great Stuff.

     I also have a few more lectures and book signings going on very soon.  next week, Saturday, Sept. 6th, I'll be at the Totky Memorial Library in Ashtabula from 12 noon-4pm.  I'll be speaking on comics, writing and my career as well as selling and signing some of my books.

     The following week I'll be at the Willoughby Hills community center from 11am-3pm, Saturday, Sept. 13th, selling my new book which will debut  that day, "Chasers, Inc."  It's the tale of a team of supernatural hunters that track down everything mysterious.  It's just the type of book that will go well for an early Halloween.

     Take care and remember to adopt a comic book today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tired...But Not of Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I've been doing a lot of lecturing and personal appearances lately, all on the subject of comics.  Most of them have been six hour sign and talks.  After one such talk I almost lost my voice.  After three such talks in close proximity of one another, I had to stay on the couch for two days resting. 

     But the best medicine for resting up from wearing myself out talking comics?  That would be reading stacks and stacks of more comics.  Call it the "hair of the dog" if you will.  But I just know one thing for sure.  I might get tired from time to time...but never of comics.

     Take care and adopt a comic book today

Monday, August 4, 2014

"Marvel"-ing at Barnes and Noble

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Boy, I thought I was busy on National Batman day and DC day, But Marvel day at the Great Lakes Mall Barnes and Noble made the other two appearances seem like a tea party.  There was about 60+ people there all wanting stories about Marvel comics and the Guardians of the Galaxy.  Luckily, I was friends (before he passed away) with the co-creator of the Guardians...Gene Colan.  So I had plenty of stories on the origins of the new movie.
     The biggest draw of laughter from the crowd was at my vocal impersonation of Stan Lee as I told stories of the old days of Marvel Comics from the many things I'd read and stories I had heard from Neal Adams, Gene Colan, George Tuska (another friend), and many others.  I guess when I was very young, I was at the right place at the right time to have knowledge of those great talents.

     And many thanks to B & N manager, Chad and all of the employees who made this a wonderful three day experience for me.  I had a great time and I hope they get a chance to read this blog (but only after I send them all a thank you card).

     Take care and adopt a comic book (from Barnes and Noble) today.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Marvel at Barnes and Noble

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  As I write this it is early Saturday morning around 1am.  So that means later today (August 2nd) from Noon -3 or 4pm I'll be signing autographs at the Mentor, Great Lakes Mall Barnes and Noble and showing off my collection of Marvel knick-knacks from my personal collection.  The last two appearances I made were lots of fun and pretty big crowds gathered around to check out the items from my Batman and DC collection, so this should be no different.

     So stop by and say hi and I'll relate some of the stories I've picked up along the way of that thing I call "life" as it pertains to all things marvel.

     Take care and adopt a (Marvel) comic book today.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What a Bat!

     Hello everyone, hope all is well.  Yesterday did I ever have a great day filled with Batman stuff.  I was SUPPOSED to talk about Batman and show off some of my Batman collection.  But so many people showed up that I was at Barnes and Noble in Mentor, closer to six whole hours.  I started to lose my voice after awhile, but it was a lot of fun and all of the people who stopped by to talk seemed to be enjoying themselves.

     NOW, I've got to do it all over again as I will be at Barnes and Noble Saturday, July 26th, to talk about DC comics, so I'll have a lot of Superman, Justice League stuff to show off.  I'll be there from Noon to 3pm, but I'm guessing that I'll be there till at least 4pm.  See you then.

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

National Batman Day, Wednesday

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today, Wednesday, July 23, 2014, I'll be at Barnes and Noble at Mentor Ohio, in Great Lakes Mall signing autographs and talking about Batman's 75th anniversary.  I'll also be displaying items from my Batman collection.  Look for me from Noon till 3pm.  We'll have a great Bat Chat.

     Take care and adopt a comic book today. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Batman and Barnes and Noble

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I just want to let everyone know that Barnes and Noble bookstores in Mentor (as well as all of their stores around the country) are having a series of Pop Culture Days over the next month. 
     This upcoming Wednesday, July, 23, 2014 will be Batman Day.  Of course the store asked if I could greet people at the Mentor, Great Lakes Mall facility.  I will be there from Noon till 3pm.  I'll be showing off items from my personal collection and talking about Batman and his 75th anniversary.

     On Saturday, July 26th, I'll be at the same Barnes and Noble talking about almost 80 years of DC Comics.  As usual, I'll be bringing many of the items from my personal collection concerning DC Comics.  And I've got plenty.  Noon to 3pm on Saturday as well.

     Marvel Comics gets the Chris treatment at B and N books at the Great Lakes Mall Saturday, August 2nd.  The same deal applies, items from my personal collection and a talk about the history of Marvel Comics.  Also Noon-3pm.

     Can't wait to see all of you there.  I'll be signing autographs and giving a few free handouts to the crowd.  See you there.

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Me and Commisioner Gordon?as kid,

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I'm seeing my sister this week.  We're going to talk some family business and maybe chat a bit about cool stuff.  We've never been that close as kids,  but we're there now as adults. 

     This is sort of the way that Batman interacts with Gordon, they get together every so often, talk a little and part ways until the next time, only I don't swoop out the window.  Hmmmm, yet another connection I have to The Caped Crusader.  Now if I can only get Tamara to grow a mustache and smoke a pipe!

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Heartfelt Magazines

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Yesterday was the third anniversary of my first set of heart attacks as well as my first heart operation.  I'm still receiving lots of care but the best care are the comics that came in today.

     You see, I like to read about the history of comics.  Today three of them came in on the same day.  Alter Ego, Back Issue and (which I've written for) The Kirby Collector.  Back issue was about Batman related titles in the Bronze Age...Yahoo!

     Which goes to show (for me anyway) that comics and comic magazines are the best medicine.

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Why Batman?

     Hello everyone, hope all is well.  I said after the month of March that I'd return to the subject of Batman and I am since I've been going through some of his comics reminding me of how great he is.

     You see, I think Batman's great because he wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider, he wasn't rocketed to Earth from a distant planet, he wasn't given a powerful green ring by a dying alien.

     No, he was born a natural birth, grew up, witnessed a terrible tragedy and was reborn into something different, different but still human.  He thinks, he acts, he cries, he defends, he avenges, he protects, he withstands, he perseveres, he smiles, he scowls, he loves, he denies himself, he saves, he stands victorious, he loses, he wins, and... he hurts, just like the rest of us.  Because above all else...he's human, again, just like the rest of us.

     And I'm betting that each and every one of us has felt or done at least one of those actions in our lives.  In my mind that means that we all have at least a little Batman in all of us.  Again, because we're human.

     Take care and adopt a (Batman) comic today.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Birthday and Comics

     Hello everyone, hope all is well.  Yesterday, June 22nd, (a day which will live in infamy, whoops, wrong infamy) was my birthday and I went to the comic shop and bought a few things for myself and the store owner even picked out a present for me, very nice of him.

     There was a surprise cake for me at a church meeting and some other friends who made the day special.  And to think, it all sort of started with comics.  There was also a great Cleveland Browns shirt in my size that will be cherished.  I think I'll extend my birthday celebration for the rest of the week (with some comics as well) and enjoy myself and get rested and let the strength of Batman flow back through me.

     Take care and don't forget to adopt a (birthday) comic book today.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Brave and Bold #100

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I'm still fighting some health problems and it's slowing down my amount of recent blogs.  I'm reminded of the Batman team-up book, The Brave and the Bold.  In issue 100 of that comic, Batman is shot in the chest with the bullet lodged near his heart.  He employs help to allow him to catch the sniper.  Now I have not been shot, but my heart has been acting up again and I've had to employ help ( in this case, friends and editors, not Robin, Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Black Canary) to get some completion towards some of my projects.

     Well I'm still plugging away and I've got some new projects coming out as well as some more signings coming up at the end of the summer.  So I'll keep hanging in there, just like Batman.

     Take care and remember to adopt a comic book today.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Back...and Writing Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I haven't blogged in a while due to the fact that I've been recovering from all of my book signings.  I recently have signed up for more, but that's a few weeks away, so in the meantime, I'm writing a bunch of comics as well as reading a bunch as well.

     Now recently I've been reading two great comics from Marvel.  Both Fantastic Four as well as Daredevil.  Both have interesting storylines going (I don't want to give any plotlines away) and I guess that has to do with the two superior writers the comics have directing them...James Robinson and Mark Waid.  Both of these scribes have proven themselves over the years and are doing so yet once again.  Try out these two new comics, I'm guessing you'll like them as much as I have been.

     Take care and remember to adopt a comic book today

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tiring Convention

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I'm not well right now since I signed autographs last Sunday for seven straight hours.  Throw in a half hour panel discussion where I entertained the crowd as both panel guest and moderator at the same time.  (they had no moderator)

(Jumping up) "Now let's welcome our three guests!"
(Racing to sit down) "Thank you Chris."
(Jumping back up) "It's been a pleasure, Chris."
Racing to sit down) "The pleasure is all, mine, Chris."

     But there was a lot of fun and many fans showed up, picking up copies of not only the two new books Bystander Publishing Group has produced, but plugged all of the holes they had in their "written by Chris Lambert" collection.  A lot of costumes were on display also as I got hugs from giant Pokeman bunnies, among others.  Some I knew while others were just friendly strangers.  But these things happen at Comicons.  This was a very well done show and quite packed people wise.  Can't wait until next year, even though I'm real worn out today

     Take car and remember to adopt a comic book today.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Speakers, Saucers and Signings

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  This upcoming Sunday, May 25th, is the day of the Lake Effect Comic Con. held inside the Atlas theater at Great Lakes Mall.  I'll be inside, signing copies of my two new books, "Saucers" and "The Speaker."  Both are action/adventure novels with a little spookiness thrown in.  Stop by and see me anytime from 10am-5pm.  Between 3:30 and 4pm though, I'll be in a panel discussion during that time so if you don't see me at my table, hang around, I'll be back shortly.

     I hope to see you there.  So take care and remember to adopt a comic book today!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Resting and Meetings

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  After spending an entire day signing autographs last week, then finishing a new book I've written for the comic con on May 25th, then going to some anniversary parties and graduation parties this weekend, I'm bushed.  But I'm rested now (after spending some time reading some old comics) and ready to go to a News-Herald bloggers meeting tomorrow where I'll meet my new blogger editor.  And I finally saw some sun peek out around Cleveland.  So I guess everything is going great!

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What I've Been Doing

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  The last few weeks I've been getting ready for free comic day.  Then, once the big geek national holiday hit, I had my multiple signings that took quite a lot out of me.  I spent two days resting up I was so drained.  But it was so much fun talking to the large crowds around me and re-meeting my friend Jeremy Freeman (ex-inker of Deadpool).  Also I was happy to see that co-guest, Tom Batiuk (Crankshaft, Funky Winkerbean) remembered me from a signing we did long ago and was quite honored that he gave me a fine compliment about the crowds and fan base that gathered around me.

     After resting awhile, I researched more Orson Welles documents since it was his 99th (had he lived) birthday on the 6th.  Now I'm finishing up another adventure novel for the comic book convention being held at the Atlas Theater on May 25th.  I don't like to keep bringing the same books to conventions, even if they are only three weeks apart.  I guess I'll rest in June.

     Take care and remember to adopt a comic book today.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Comic Minus an Actor

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Does anyone remember the Roger Rabbit movie from some years back?  Well there were some comics released from that movie too.  And it seems that Bob Hoskins, the main actor from that film died yesterday.

     Well Bob had another comic book/movie tie-in.  He played the studio head in Hollywoodland, the film that was a mild bio-pic of actor George Reeves (portrayed by Ben Affleck) who played in the Superman television series.  We'll miss you Bob.

     Don't forget my two new books debuting on free comic day (Sat. May 3rd) at Comics and friends at the Great Lakes Mall from Noon-Three pm.  Then from 4pm-7pm at Comic Heaven later the same day.  Hope to see you.

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Comic Hero Debuts

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  As I've stated earlier in the week, I have a new novel, "Saucers," about aliens helping Germany during and after WWII.  But I also have a new comic magazine, "I-Qube, Hero in a Box," coming out this Saturday also.  I'll be at Comics and Friends in the Great Lakes Mall from Noon to 3pm.  I'll be appearing with Tom Batiuk of Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean fame as well as Jeremy Freeman of Deadpool fame.  From 4pm to 7pm, I'll be at Comic Heaven on Robinhood Drive in Willoughby.

     So hope to see you at one place or another. 

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Signings and "Saucers"

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today I'm talking about my new novel, "Saucers" (During WWII, did Hitler have the best scientists or just the best help?).  This will be a WWII and post-WWII sci-fi action book sporting a knockout cover of Hitler and an alien by my friend, David Russell.  Check out my May 1st edition of my website, E-Comics Gazette for more pictures and info.  Hint: Will men from Mars, help Hitler finally win?

     The book will debut May 3rd, 2014, free comic day.  I will be appearing and signing copies at Comics and Friends at the Great Lakes Mall, in Mentor, Ohio that day, from Noon until 3:00pm.  There, I will be appearing with an old friend, Jeremy Cooper, inker from Deadpool and also someone who I've done some signings with in the past...Tom Batiuk fro Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft.   Later, from 4pm until 7pm the same day, I'll be signing copies at Comic Heaven, located on Robinhood Dr. in Willoughby, Ohio.  Hope to see all of you at one place or another on Free Comic Day.

     Take care and adopt a comic book today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blessed by Comics

     Hi everyone, I hope all is well.  Within the last week I was given a gift from the world of comics.  You see, I recently wrote an obituary of a fine gentleman (Bud Jones) who wrote "Hagar the Horrible" and before that, created and wrote "Mr. Abernathy," a fine esoteric strip from the 1950s an 60s.

     Within a week I heard from the family of Mr. Jones.  His four sons had given me a present of an original, one of a kind, comic strip from 1963.  This is not only a very rare gift, but an appreciated one as well, more than I can convey in a mere blog.  But I am happy and proud his sons and their brother-in-law, Chuck, chose to honor me in this fashion.

     But this isn't the first time I have been so honored.  In my past associations with all things comics and comic related, I've met and become friends with artist supreme, Gene Colon, who always treated me like a neighbor and pal.  George Tuska, a great Iron Man artist, sent me presents of artwork because he thought I deserved such a thing for Christmas.  Greeting Cards would always come from Dan Spiegle, artist of "Lost in Space" as well as my own favorite Blackhawk.
     The great Neal Adams befriended me as well as Sea Devils artist, Russ Heath.  And let's not forget Mark Evanier who always stopped at conventions to offer me a chair and to compare diabetes notes with me.  There are more, but you get the drift.  By becoming part of the comic book and comic strip world, I have been befriended by the greats and the near greats, something I would have never imagined happening when I picked up my first comic book way back when.  I guess looking back at my life within my favorite hobby, I guess I've been blessed.

     Take care (especially Chip, Jeff, Chris, Doug and Chuck) and adopt a comic book or strip today. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today I just want to wish everyone a very happy Easter.  I got to talk to my Dad for quite a while today and was overjoyed that he was feeling up to a long conversation on music and...COMICS!

     One of my favorite comics from around this time of year is the treasury sized edition of "THE BIBLE," put out by DC in the mid 1970's.  Great art by Nestor Redondo, who also worked on Rima, the Jungle Girl,  Great book overall.

     Well make sure you have a nice holiday and...

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Friends with No Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I've been too busy to blog for awhile, but I hope to make up for it now.  In the old days, I would try to explain the rapture to my non-comic reading friends that I received when a great new comic book hit the stands.  But most of my pleas fell on deaf ears.  So I kept to my own world and my own people.

     Now this has nothing to do with all of the popularity of the blockbuster movies out right now that are connected to comics, but just plain friendship and new technology.  I bumped into an old dear friend of mine at the Wickliffe post office and he mentioned to me that he had finally got the hang of reading and following blogs and was following my writings from the News-Herald blog site.  But he was dismayed to see I had not blogged recently.  Well here I am and a great shout out to my dear non-comic reading friend...Bruce.  Many thanks.

     Take care and adopt a comic book (this means you, Bruce) today.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Bat Anniversary Post

.     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  In this last day of March (the last day of the month of Batman's 75th anniversary) I want to advise you all of a great place to get some forgotten Batman stories, the ones from the 1950's.

     Many of the great mystery and detective stories came from those same 50's stories and many of them were reprinted in those wonderful Batman annuals and 25 cent Eighty page Giants from the 1960s.  DC Comics has recently reprinted the first seven annuals and they all contain those good whodunnits that I still love to this day.

     But I will be talking some more about the Batman anniversary when May arrives since that was the month marked on (Batman's first appearance) Detective #27.  And of course next spring I'll be talking about The Caped Crusader since that will be the 75th anniversary of Batman #1.

     But for now, take care and adopt a comic book today.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Batman in Newspapers

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  With the month of Batman winding down (it never really will for me) I wanted to talk about Batman's newspaper adventures.  Yes, the Caped Crusader spent three years in the "funnies" from 1943-1946.  These strips have been reprinted in a Dark Horse company collection some years back, but out tomorrow is a new collection, reprinting Batman strips from 1966 on.

     The second Batman try in the papers resulted from the popularity of the then red-hot television show.  Personally, I can't wait to see these as I could not collect the strip back in the day due to my young age, but on the other hand, I was far from being born during the 1943 run of strips.

     But I was around and adult enough to collect the 1990 run of Batman newspaper strips based on the popularity of that first Batman/Michael Keaton flic.  Now that run, albeit short, is in my collection and I'm only missing two story lines.  But check out the new collection due out tomorrow.  It'll be another missing piece found from the many facets of Batman over the years.

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Batman Gets "Sidetracked"

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today's headline actually has a double meaning.  The character doesn't really get sidetracked, but instead gets the front page of the News-Herald SIDETRACKS section, not to mention a blurb on the front page of the whole darned paper.  The occasion...the article I wrote about my favorite comic book character's 75th anniversary.  Of course, many thanks to Mark M, the editor who ran the piece and tweaked it making it better.

     But more on Batman this month, so take care and adopt a comic book today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Early Batman

     Hi Everyone, hope all is well.  Today and through the rest of March, I'll be talking about Batman and his 75th anniversary.  I was introduced to the Caped Crusader through my father who bought me a copy of his comic book in the early 1960s.  Batman and Robin of course were fighting aliens on the cover, but that was okay with me.  Hey all kids like monsters, so indeed I started spending my allowance on Batman comics, only to be astonished that there were so many other different kinds of comics and heroes.

     Then, a few years later, in the school library, I ran across a reprint book of old comics from the 1940s.  It had the first Joker story from Batman #1, 1940.  That's when I realized that Batman did more than fight monsters and aliens, he was also a tough guy.  And I thought that was pretty interesting also.  Then came other types of Batman.  But more on that later.

     Take care and adopt a (Batman) comic today.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

It's Batman Month

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  This March is Batman month, since 75 years ago this month, Batman debuted in the pages of Detective Comics #27, May, 1939.  But before you think I can't backtrack 75 years worth of months, remember that comics are post-dated two months in the future for longer shelf life, so in effect a book dated May, was released in March,

     So for the rest of the month I'll be dropping tidbits about the Caped Crusader.  There's the different phases he went through and I'll drop an outline on all of you in the next blog.  So hang in there and get ready to be overwhelmed with Bat trivia.

     Take care and adopt a (Batman) comic book today.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Blind Superheroes

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today I'm talking about blind superheroes.  Why, you might ask?  Because I just came back from the eye doctor and had drops put in my eye and of course, I can't see a thing.

     There were really only two blind heroes, Daredevil from Marvel Comics and the Golden Age hero, Dr. Mid-Nite from DC Comics and who also belonged to the Justice Society of America which was a forerunner to the Justice League.

     Now Dr. Mid-Nite could only see at night or with the aid of his very dark goggles as he fought crime.  He also carried Blackout bombs with him to blind the bad guys while he saw perfectly  through all the dense smoke.  He also had a cool mascot that fought crime with him...Hooty, the owl.

     Now Daredevil was truly blind, not just during the day like Dr. Mid-Nite.  But DD overcame his problem as he was blessed with (by the same radioactive accident that took AWAY his sight) a strange radar sense, meaning that in effect he could "see" better than you or I.

     So take care and adopt a comic book today, if you can see or find one that is.

     PS:  The rest of the month...Batman talk and tidbits for his 75th anniversary.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gravity Movie, Gravity Girl

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Boy did the Movie, "Gravity" take home a lot of awards at the Oscars Sunday.  But there is a super powered girl that has control over gravity also, her name is Light Lass.  She first appeared as the brother of Lightning Lad from the Legion of Super heroes.  When she thought her brother died, she took his place in the Legion, but when he returned to life (in the comics, don't they all?)  the sister dropped the "ning" part of her name and went with a newly discovered power over what Sir Isaac Newton discovered, by making things light instead of heavy.  Only in the comics I guess.

     Take care and adopt a (very light) comic book today.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Movie Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  With the Oscars right around the corner I thought I'd wax nostalgic about some of the old Dell Comics that I read as a kid.  You see Dell had the comic book license on many of the television shows as well as many movies.  Usually adaptations were published as part of the Four Color Series of comics.

     Some of my favorites were FC #1213 (Mysterious Island) and FC#1234 (Phantom Planet) because in both cases I saw and loved the pair of these movies.  I also liked the comic adaptations of "Fantastic Voyage" and "Around the World Under the Sea."  But I couldn't find what category they were listed under.  I do know where they are in MY collection of comics and can read them anytime I want.  Well, go Oscars!

     Take care and adopt a (movie) comic book today.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Two Great Writers...Gone

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today I have a sad posting.  Within the last day I've learned of two great  writers that have passed away with both having connections to the comics.  First off was Harold Ramis, the brilliant writer/actor behind those great movies, "Ghostbusters," "Meatballs," "Stripes" and more.  The connection to my favorite hobby?  Both First Comics and Now Comics released adaptations of the comedy movie, "Ghostbusters.'

     Next, on a more personal level, Alexander "Bud" Jones Jr. passed away.  Now he might not be as recognized as Ramis, but he probably was more read by readers on a daily basis.  You see, "Bud," after co-creating the daily comic strip, "Mr. Abernathy," in the 1950's, met and became friends with Dik Browne, the creator of the great comic strip, "Hagar the Horrible."  For many years, "Bud" has been writing the Hagar strip and my connection to "Bud" is what exactly?  In his obituary, "Bud," who lettered in sports in Euclid Shore High School, was survived (among many) by friend and brother-in-law, Charles Hill.  Chuck is a friend of mine from church.  I tried to arrange an interview for this blog with "Bud" through Chuck and his wife Sue.  But "Bud" was too busy writing Hagar and other projects to do an interview, so I never met the man.

     But I enjoy the fact that I've enjoyed the work of Ramis and thrilled at the fact that I was this close to meeting a man who was "in the trenches" writing a strip seven days a week for over two decades.  As a writer myself, it's that everyday work that I enjoy, even if no one reads it,  it's exercising your talent, your gift, the way Ramis did in the movies, the way "Bud" did every day of his life.

     Take care and watch a Ramis movie and read a Hagar strip today.  That way you remember both men and their talent.  PS: and adopt a comic too.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bleak and Bleaker in Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Yesterday I was watching some daytime television cop dramas, and I've noticed that many of these have plots that try to out do each other in the "gore" category, with more blood, more outlandish ways of killing victims ect.  And the problem is...the comics have been doing that for quite a while.

     Now I'm not saying we should all go back to our grandfather's comics, but please, I'm waiting for a good action comic with some mystery, good writing, decent plot AND a happy ending.  But I guess that with comics mirroring society nowadays, if I were looking for a comic like that, I'd have to go to my local comic shop and have them direct me to their...fantasy section of comics.

     Take care and adopt a (happy-ending) comic book today.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Beatles in Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Well today I've spent several hours enjoying the 50th anniversary of the Beatles in America and on the Ed Sullivan show.  Now we know the Fab Four was great in many different fields, but did the Mersey Beat Moptops ever become the Fab Four-Colors?

     Yes, as they came to America, Dell Comics, the company who published Walt Disney Comics and all of those characters, put out a Beatle one-shot.  Later, The Beatles met members of the Fantastic Four (the Fab Four of comics) with the Thing even wearing a Beatle wig.  In 1968, a one-shot "Yellow Submarine comic (complete with poster) came out and it was great, in fact I still have mine.

     In early 1970, Batman (in issue #222) saw four English musicians leaving a cemetery and Batman says to Robin, "One of them is dead, the clues are on this album cover."  Of course this was in direct answer to the "Paul is dead" rumor from late 1969.  Marvel Comics even created a magazine devoted to the life story of the Beatles, drawn by a very young George Perez.

     So yes, The Beatles were big in records, movies, television and yeah, yeah, yeah... even in comics.

     Take care and adopt a (Beatles) comic today

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Comics and the Cold

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  I can't believe how darn cold it keeps getting.  Well, the cold is good for comics since I'd rather have a cold comic collection than one discovered in an attic or basement.  Those types have problems of their own, while plain dry cold seems to protect the paper quality.  Maybe that's why many of my old comics that my Mom made me keep in the garage over the winter months stayed perfect.

     On a similar subject, concerning the cold, the Batman had a villain named, "Mr. Freeze."  But that was not his original name.  That name was borrowed from an icy bad guy from the late 1950's in a tale entitled, "The Fantastic Mr. Freeze."  This story was from Blachawk #117, but from BEFORE the Bat villain made his debut.  But that Mr. Freeze never caught on like Batman's bad guy, so the editors ditched the Blackhawk bad guy and grafted the name onto the cold hearted villain from Batman, #121, "The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero."  So basically, Mr. Zero becomes Mr. Freeze.  If only all the comic book conundrums could be solved so easily.  Well, gotta go and turn up the thermostat, it's (Mr.) freezing in my house.

     Take care and adopt a (warm) comic today!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bowl Dud and Comics

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Last night I watched the Super Bowl and boy, what a Dud!  That's when I began in my mind to see if I could equate it to an event in comics.

     Well, the Marvel Comics, Contest of Champions series over twenty years ago certainly comes to mind and that was sort of a "Super" event but turned out to be as much a dud as last nights game.  Then I thought of another comic that had high expectations and laughed to myself when I thought of Dazzler, the disco hero.  What a hoot.  And what's more, they even tried to retro her and reinvent her as a mutant (Well that was certainly supposed to make her viable as an X-Man, don't you think?) and all the surrounding hoopla.  But that didn't help either.

     Well, at least the food and the company at the party I went to was great...more than I can say about either Dazzler OR the game.

     Take care and adopt a (good) comic book today!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Comics, My Worlds

     Hi everyone, hope all is well.  Today, as the new year has been underway for a few weeks now, I've been thinking about my favorite hobby, my favorite world.  And it is indeed like a different world to me.

      In my world of comics, I'm not at the grocery store or the post office or the gas station.  No, instead I'm on a different planet fighting large monsters, saving strange civilizations (or reading about civilizations being saved).  Other times, I'm in dark alleys waiting for evil men to emerge from the shadows and my gun, or the someone's gun I'm reading about, is always at the ready, hidden within the fold of a trench coat.

     Most of the time, the people in my worlds fly through the air, capes streaming behind them as they save the day, and always in the nick of time.  In my worlds, good is always rewarded; evil always punished.  And what's more, all of my worlds are exciting and tell me where "the end" is, so I can put down "That World" and begin my search for yet another world.

     My point is, if I'm writing a comic or a novel, these worlds are accessible to me with the mere touch of an "ON" button on my computer and a brush of a keystroke...the white, blank screen facing me, giving me a passport to another place, another dimension, another cluster of worlds.  And if I'm reading comics or novels, the passageway to these other worlds are open to me not with the travel aid of a car, airplane or spaceship...but with the mere turn of the printed page.

     So if your world is getting to be a bit hectic, take a few minutes per week to visit one of my worlds.  Stop by a bookstore, a library or a comic book shop and gain entrance to worlds where adventure and heroism occurs almost every other paragraph or every few panels.  I know I do, every time I pick up one of my purchases, I've already reached one of my worlds, worlds that are shouting to me with their colorful covers..."Come on in and read me!"  That's when I know I'm there.

     Take care and adopt a comic or novel (any comic, any novel) today.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bursting Pipes/Dying Comics

     Hi everyone, hope you're all warm and safe.  Well, finally someone was affected by the Arctic Vortex that I know.  My friend's garage had three burst pipes last week (two cold and one hot water pipe) and it was exactly where he stored his comics.  The room was sprayed for hours while he was at work.  Ten Thousand comics were affected.  Luckily, all were covered in plastic bags, but because of the condensation from the steam, he had to take every comic out of its protective bag and wipe the moisture from the book before the comic wrinkled.

     He thinks he saved all the comics, but I'm going to start a fund to replace all the bags and boards which by themselves might cost almost a thousand bucks.  Well, I hope all of you had a less hectic week as far as your hobbies go.

     Take care and adopt a (water-free) comic book today.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Boxes,Bags, Comics and New Year

     Hi everyone, hope your new year is doing fine so far.  Personally, I stayed up late and read Twilight Zone comics from my collection while watching episodes from the Sy-Fy channel marathon.  After that, I've been spending the last few days re-bagging some of my best comics (don't want dusty old bags to make my babies looking yuchhy) and rearranging exactly what is in each of my comic boxes.  My next task?  I've got to make the labels on my comic boxes slightly bigger so as to read and identify them easier.

     So what have all of you been doing for the new year as well as your comic collections?  Taking good care of them I hope. 

     Take care and adopt a comic book today.