(Wait a sec. SPACE is based in Columbus, OH. Now I understand how the universe works.)
I have a five-year-old fan that I’ve posted about here. While throwing together a last-minute Care package of books and videos for his parents, I did an even more last-minute drawing for their son.
And it was framed and put up on his wall.
And it couldn’t please me more.
A friend sent me this message on Facebook about her 5 year-old son:
“(My son)’s bed time story tonight? Jack N. Box. Twice. With a mini tantrum when I said not 3 times. He says he’s the dog.”
I’ve never had anyone throw a “fan tantrum” before. I guess this is what the Beatles felt like.
Sure, I got back from NYC just about 45 minutes ago (or so it seems) and I ‘ll back this weekend for MoCCA – Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival. (According to the poster above, we’ll all be sharing space with various sea creatures.) I’ll be at table 230 with various books – Bo Nanas, Jack N. Box, and my new Great Scott one (which I’ll have for purchase online when I get back…I promise.)
I had a great time Saturday at Free Comic Book Day at Comix Connection. I had really been impressed by their store (and their staff) when I stumbled in for the first time a few months ago, looking for a Hellboy comic for my class. So I dropped them a line and asked about doing something and, voila.
I got there just before 10:00 and the joint was hopping. And there were a lot of families with kids, which was great since comic book stores can be a bit fanboy-centric. I was there for four hours, meeting people, drawing on Bo prints I was giving away…until I ran out. Then I drew on these odd cover sheets that the printer put around each and every copy of my Jack N. Box comic book (a pain to take off.)
It was pretty wonderful and I can’t wait to do it again. Thanks to Bill and Ned and their staff (Jared, Josh Jim and anyone else I’m forgetting) for having me.
Oh, did I mention that I did some shopping there? Well, I certainly did.
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.)
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.
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.