Monday, February 1, 2016

It's ...WEBRUARY!

I love to draw -- my time in comics started out as a cartoonist -- but writing has kept me from sketching much in the last few weeks.

Enter Rob Bavington with the Webruary challenge. 29 days of Spider-Man related head sketches -- even *I* should be able to find time for that!



We're starting out with the Wall-Crawler himself. I really don't know where I'll go from here. (Lots of obvious choices, more than enough to fill the shortest month of the year, but that does tend to leave one with option paralysis!)

Feel free to hit me up with suggestions, I can use all the help I can get.

Meanwhile, I should be posting these over at my instagram account, so feel free to peek in there (I won't be posting the daily results on this blog, but I may share some here and there.)

WELCOME TO WEBRUARY!

--Erik

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A great moment from yesterday's signing.

So I was at Hot Comics yesterday, signing Ghostbusters #1. (It's an ongoing, by the way! Still spreading that word!)

Across from me, Brent Schoonover was signing Howling Commandos #4.

Now the stage is set.

You know how a not atypical situation in comics stores (at least as far as I've observed) is an excited son and an ambivalent mom? Here comes the reverse.

Emily, an 8th grader, was at the shop with her dad (who was NOT into geek stuff so much, though his wife, he said, was an avid gamer.) Emily was into Transformers -- she's about to give a speech about the evolution of Megatron for a class assignment -- and had just attended her first con last year.

She was aware of the Howling Commandos from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and bought all four issues, excited. Got 'em autographed by Brent and left happy.

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

An hour later I heard some guys, a little older, ripping on the Ultimate Spidey cartoon. I'm not going to bag on them for not liking it, it's not going to hit every target. But I did think of Emily; USM was responsible for getting a 12 year old interested in obscure Marvel characters and caused her to pick up comics she might otherwise not have.

Not the first time USM has proselytized characters! I met a 5 year old girl at C2E2 who shocked her parents by asking for a Doctor Strange sketch. ("How does she know Doctor Strange??" "Cartoons!")

If the cartoon spreads the love, man, that's such a great thing.

And I love seeing kids excited about comics.

In other news, I had a FANTASTIC time at the signing! The Twin Cities Ghostbusters were there, pizza was had, and it was an all around great time.

My thanks to Hot Comics for having me down, and to Brent for joining in!

--Erik

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

GHOSTBUSTERS INTERNATIONAL #1!!

It's here at last, the third volume of the ongoing saga of the Ghostbusters comic, monthly from IDW Publishing, editor Tom Waltz, art team Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado, and, of course, me!

(Can't forget Corin Howell's Haunted America variant covers!)

Anyways, the book is available TODAY at fine comic book shops everywhere, or via the Comixology digital comics app.

Please dig in, enjoy, and spread the word!

And if you enjoy, remember to preorder future issues -- that's the #1 way to ensure a comic's success!

For those in the Twin Cities, I'll be signing this (and anything else I wrote) from 3-8pm at Hot Comics & Collectibles in New Hope. The Twin Cities Ghostbusters should be there, too! Please, stop by and say hello!

Thanks, everyone!

-Erik

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

APPEARANCE! Hot Comics & Collectibles, New Hope, MN *UPDATED*




I'll be down at the Hot Comics & Collectibles in New Hope, MN, on Wednesday, January 27th, from 3-8pm to promote the first issue of GHOSTBUSTERS INTERNATIONAL! I'll be signing that, other Ghostbusters books, Back to the Future, TMNT, Scarlet Spider... if I've worked on it, I'll sign it!

(Maybe I'll do some sketching, we'll see if the mood strikes!)

Stop by and say hello!



Hot Comics & Collectibles
3532 Winnetka Ave, New Hope, MN 55427
3-8pm

UPDATE!

I'M NOT ALONE!

Also signing, my pal, local legend, and artist of Marvel's Howling Commandos: BRENT SCHOONOVER! He's there to sign Howling Commandos #4!

Also? The Twin Cities Ghostbusters will be there in all their epic glory!

COME SEE US ALL!

Descending on us from the past: THE DOWN SIDE (or that time I drew some webcomics!)

So way back in 2008 I had been running a revival of my old webcomic THE DOWN SIDE (which initially started as irregular message board postings in 2002.) 

I was posting them on my website homepage, enjoying the novelty of a blog template that made updating comic strips easy. 

Sadly, I was working a lot at the time - freelancing and holding down a regular job! - so the revival only lasted a few weeks, and most of that was me quickly sketching them out when I had downtime at the day job and lettering them on the computer before I started writing. 

Eventually I just ran out of gas with all the demands on my time (I didn't start with a big enough buffer and went 5 days a week... really, this kind of failure is a tale as old as time.)

Anyways last night, I found a cache of the old comics and decided to present some of them to you (so I'd have an easy blog today -- win/win!) This actually makes me want to do some new ones... when time presents itself.

But for now: TO THE COMICS! (Just click to make 'em bigger.)

In this first one, I predicted CIVIL WAR II:


Then there's this one, wherein one of the leads makes a deal with the devil in order to take over a comic shop (which, in a pun I'm still proud of, I had initially named The Merchant of Bendis)


I also had a lot of jokes with Ted, the unemployed Grim Reaper.


Honestly, I just enjoyed putting Ted in hats.

In any case, I'll return to the Down Side again one day. It was too much fun. (Though this time? I'll pick a more reasonable schedule........!)

Talk at ya soon, folks!

--Erik





Thursday, January 14, 2016

RIP, Alan Rickman.

I always enjoyed Alan Rickman's performances.

From the obvious picks, like the fun villainy of Die Hard's Hans Gruber or Robin Hood's Sheriff of Nottingham to the weird indie flicks like Blow Dry.

He was in Love Actually!

He was the voice of Marvin!

He was Ed! (...Okay, I admit, maybe I'm the only one who got a kick out of the January Man. But his first scene still makes me laugh.)

He was a world-weary angel in a Kevin Smith flick!

And of course, he was in the, y'know, boy wizard movies that the kids all love.

But the big one for me was Galaxy Quest. It was a comedy, and he was hilarious.

I rewatched it several times when getting ready to script the Galaxy Quest comic I wrote for IDW... and it always sucked me in. Mr. Rickman's delivery is bringing a smile to my face even now.

He was entertaining, and I will miss the performances he never got to share with us.

RIP.

Monday, January 11, 2016

What the Minnesota Vikings taught me (in an offhand way) and other updates....

In some ways, I'm a sports fan. I enjoy rooting for my home (Minnesota) teams; it's nice to hear they did well, but I'm not in fantasy leagues. I don't sweat a loss (or throw chairs out the window when one happens.) I will look for the scores, but don't often make a point to tune in.

I'm a wretched casual fan -- but by no means a fair-weather one.

I got into baseball first and foremost because I liked playing when I was a kid (I was never good, but I liked it.) The Twins winning the World Series in 1987 and 1991 did not hurt, either. I even have a signed (faded) Kirby Puckett ball... and have enjoyed several games at Target Field.

My little brother, the basketball lover has me peeking in at the Timberwolves scores every now and again.

I have a soft spot for hockey just by virtue of ... well, being from northern Minnesota. (It really can seep in like that.)

But football!

There are a lot of Vikings fans in my family, including both my dad (when they're winning, anyway) and my mom. My parents were often entertaining to watch  while they were watching games. In fact, I even learned things that way. For example: if there was a field goal by the opposing team 5 minutes into the first game of the year, Dad would likely toss something, proclaim the season over, and threaten to root for the Packers.

On the other hand, if the score was close, Mom would believe in the possibility of a win up until the final seconds.

Two different perspectives, and two lessons in how to approach life, just from watching my folks watch football. Patience, hope... and the cautionary tale of jumping to conclusions sometimes. Heh. (Sometimes a lesson is how not to behave!)

I watched the Minnesota Vikings play the Seattle Seahawks yesterday. I saw the Vikes hold off a solid team that had recently drubbed them. I saw a bit of bad luck at the end. That game was lost by one point; it could've just as easily been won by two. What I saw there was a loss -- not a defeat.

That's life. Sometimes you lose, and it's just an (un)lucky break.

I view a lot in life that same way -- and this just reinforces it.

Better luck next time, Vikings. You still got that division championship; build from there.

(And for God's sake people, cut Walsh some slack with your snark. You don't need that kind of bad karma.)

****

Another thing that happened on January 10, 2016: David Bowie passed away after a long (successfully hidden) battle with cancer. I don't know what kind of wizardry Bowie possessed to keep the world out of the loop on this for a year and a half... but I was as impressed with that, keeping a major secret in this digital world, as anything else he's done. What a trick to go out with.

(Eerily, my iPod brought up Bowie's "Golden Years" just moments before I read the news. What crazy timing...)

****

And I've managed another day at the gym. 4 workouts down, 13 to go.......

Talk at you again soon!

--Erik