Archive for the ‘Books by Kovaleski’ Category

The weather outside was frightful…

December 8, 2008

…but a good time was still had at the CD/book signing on Friday night. (And the weather wasn’t that frightful. It’s December. It’s the Northeast. Gotta deal with it.)

It was quite the week of shameless promotion what with papering our small town with posters, appearing in our local newspaper (my wife was in the newspaper twice on the same day – talk about shameless), culminating in an (yawn) early Friday morning appearance on our AM radio station. Then we got our blood drawn.

(What does that have to do with the signing? Nothing. But you’ve got to admit, the word “blood” sure made this boring recap seem more exciting for just a moment.)

Then came the moving of the books from home to Gallery 30, which in our paperless society, you would think should weight a little bit less.

There are two kinds of people I expected to come to the signing – people I know and people I don’t know, but all from our burg. What I didn’t expect was people I don’t know coming from a distance greater than one you’d walk on a December night in the Northeast…because, well, I’m just not that well-known. Yet Tim, who used to read Bo Nanas when it ran Sundays-only in the Washington Post, drove an hour to have me sign books for him. I was so thrilled that I had to give him one of the limited edition Bo Nanas buttons as a prize (which are limited because I didn’t get very many made).

Why not stop by…

November 30, 2008

…if you just happen to be in Gettysburg, PA this Friday night.


(You can check out my wife’s CD, “Piano Recital,” at Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes.)

Back of the book

November 5, 2008

A reader wrote me after he got his copy of the new book “APPEELING” and mentioned that he really like the second quote on the back cover. Here are both of the quotes:

“Bo Nanas has a unique perspective on human society, a view that offers ample opportunity for warped commentary of the satirical kind.”
– R.C. HARVEY, noted comics historian and critic

“My Uncle John draws pictures and then you laugh.”
– BRITTNEY, niece

Obviously I paired them up for maximum comedic output.

The first one is from a review Bob Harvey did of my first book “Monkey Meets World” for The Comics Buyer’s Guide.

The second quote is not a review of either book; it’s how my niece described me to a teacher, probably in Kindergarten.

Brittney’s was such a great quote that I’ve always remembered it and I’m thrilled that I finally got a chance to use it.

(By the way, she’s 19 years-old now.)

(BTW#2, I also used her name for the character of the pint-sized con man Brittney of the Squirrel Scouts.)

(BTW#3, she is also nothing like the pint-sized con man Brittney of the Squirrel Scouts…except for the blond part…and at one time, when she was younger, she was indeed “pint-sized.”)

SPX memories

October 7, 2008

Or more aptly titled, “SPX – what I can remember.”

With my half-o-table mate John Martz somewhere in the skies tween our country and his (you may not know this to look at him, but he’s Canadian), it’s time to do a rehash of the weekend. (Johnny will probably be doing the same on his site and – since he’s younger and more nimble of mind – doing a better job of recalling it.)

John Martz and another guy also with the name John

John Martz and another guy also with the name John

Saturday morning was a lot of getting-up-at-6:30, packing-the-car, breakfasting-on-Cliff-Bars-and-coffee-laced-with-zombified-dairy-product and driving-to-Bethesda. At the hotel, our box hauling was made almost completely painless by my wife’s red New York-style shopping/laundry cart. (It’s really the kind of thing you never see outside of NYC – and it hadn’t been used since her move from wilds of Brooklyn.) We split our half-o-table into a quarter-o-table each and squeezed our merch into 1.5 feet. I had brought my now out-of-print Bo Nanas comic strip collection “Monkey Meets World,” my “Jack N. Box” comic and a couple of mini comics – one Bo; the other Great Scott. (Unfortunately, my new Bo collection was – and still is – in shipping limbo.) Johnny brought some prints, original art and his fantastic books including his new one, a collection of warm-up drawings.

As with any event like this where you sit a lot and occasionally sell an item, there’s a lot of nothing punctuated by brief moments of something. Thus the narrative structure of this post will now deteriorate into random bullet points.

• To pass the time Johnny and I count what people are wearing. We pick specific items of clothing. I get non-baseball-cap hats. He gets mass-market-pop-culture t-shirts. Hats wins by a long shot.

• A person squats at an empty table and sells out all of their mini comics, making more money in an hour than I do all day.

• Johnny and I compare sketchbooks. His is filled with great drawings, most that could be collected in book form (and have – see above.) Mine is filled with hearts, rainbows and unicorns. (Not really, but mine is pretty unimpressive.)

• After the Ignatz Awards, we’re just too tired from a long day so we wuss out, go up to the hotel room and fall asleep watching a Mythbusters marathon. (Did they get the lead balloon to fly? Somebody please tell me!)

• Sunday morning the hostess at the Silver Diner seats us then immediately asks us to guess where she was last night. Before we can mutter “Uh…” she tells us that Saturday night was homecoming and that she got stuck in an elevator for 2 1/2 hours with nine other students (and an old lady) and that she had spent an hour and $40 on her hair and when they got finally got out it was this big…(holds hands up on either side of her head like she’s showing how large the fish was that got away.)

• I was told that my sales would be better but I’m “not enough of a cute girl.” (A point I could not argue.)

• The personification of commitment is a guy with an entire comic book page permanently displayed on his body as a tattooed sleeve.

• Another guy walked around in a yellow super hero suit of his own design. He strolled by a number of times so he seemed to be promoting something, but since SPX has very little in the way of super hero material (bordering on none), I’m not sure what he could have been promoting. (The first time he went by he had a trench coat over his get-up, which I thought was a subtle statement about the role of identity in our society. Or the lack of coat racks.)

All in all, it was a fun time. Good energy, got to meet some nice people, sell some stuff. Sign me up for a 2009 1/4 table.

Tune in tomorrow for the jam Johnny and I did after getting home on Sunday.

World’s shortest Q&A session

September 14, 2008

Charles Brubaker was nice enough to ask a question in the comments section and I figured I’d post it here in case you missed it.

Nice to see that you’re blogging. What have you been doing since Bo ended?


Thanks, Charles. I’m just hoping I don’t run out of stuff to say. (Meaning, stuff that would be interesting.)

What have I been doing…well, besides regular ol’ freelancing – working for MAD (another childhood dream come true), teaching college (both cartooning and “real art”), being the Humor Editor for Marian Heath Greeting Cards, working on some long-form comics, a bit of self-publishing, practicing my straight jacket escape…

Not a Toy Story rip-off (really)

September 14, 2008

In the summer of 1995 I was working on a yet another comic strip. It was about talking toys. That November the movie “Toy Story” came out and and I had to continually explain that I came up with this idea before the movie and that my concept is not like Toy Story and blah, blah, blah… And I’m still explaining to this day.

“Jack N. Box” is about four toys not in a kid’s bedroom, but out in a Krazy Kat-like nowhere-land. It’s basically about four different personalities and how they interact: Jack – a nice-guy jack-in-the-box, Bernice – a surly rag doll, Scott – an eager, kid-aged pull-toy and Haniball – an angry, angry ball. The comic strip got a bit of interest from one of the syndicates. I did some more strips for them but it didn’t go any further.

I really liked the characters and the concept, so when a colleague approached me about doing something for the monthly color comics insert of Editorial Humor (a Boston publication), I dusted off my fav. (You can see some samples here.) But, alas, that didn’t last very long.

I ended up doing a couple of “Jack” comic book short stories for a few friends’ compilations and found that it really worked better in a longer form. I’m working on a full-length “Jack” graphic novel now, but in the meantime, I’ve put together these shorter stories, weaving in some newer material, in a comic book that you can find here or at SPX or if you run into me on the street.