Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year from the entire staff of Cartoon Flophouse!

More to come in 2011! EL GATO, CRIME MANGLER tpb in July, GREENBLATT THE GREAT! tpb in Oct. Plus Aushenker does a cover of YUCK anthology (New Zealand), a BART SIMPSON story, and a few more surprises in the works...not to mention PRICKLE (Gumby Comics) in the spring.

It's all good and made of wood in the hood, Malamud!

All the best in the year to come, enjoy New Year's Weekend!

Monday, December 27, 2010

"Who are you?" "You are No. 6."

Just for the hell of it, I rented a DVD with a couple of episodes of THE PRISONER, one of my favorite shows. There's no better program for late-night viewing. This show was meant for, like, 3 a.m. The episodes I saw again were two of the better ones:  "The Woman Who Was Death" and "Once Upon A Time." 

Like Warren Oates, another all-time favorite actor of mine, Patrick MacGoohan never got the monster fame and appreciation as many lesser actors have. But maybe that's for the best....

Oates and MacGoohan, they did their thing and they did it well. They were the kind of actors you discover, not the kind of actors that are shoved down your throat with marketing and hype. They were serious about their craft and they seemed reasonably humble. 

If Warren Oates had gotten too big, he might have become a flaccid self-caricature like Jack Nicholson, who started out great and got lazier with success. If Patrick MacGoohan had blown up, perhaps he would've turned into a crusty curmudgeon like Sean Connery, romancing women on screen young enough to be his granddaughter.

Perhaps it's sad that neither Oates nor MacGoohan became these epic leading men with a huge body of work. The trade off is that they did some stellar work that froze them in time while they were in their prime. They were the Beatles, burning out early with a finite yet terrific body of work, instead of becoming the Rolling Stones and continuing on and on and on for years and years well past their prime. I rather listen to the "White Album' over 'Steel Wheels' any day! :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

From Gumby's Mouth to Gavin's Eyes! (It's a comic book after all...)

Splendid morning today breakfasting with Pacific Palisades' beloved Honorary Mayor Gavin MacLeod at the soon-to-be-departed Village Pantry on Swarthmore Ave. He shared a lot of anecdotes about working with Blake Edwards, one of my all-time favorite directors for sure. I signed up a copy of "Gumby's Gang Starring Pokey" for his grandson Liam. Of course, I had to doodle a dress and tank top (with matching bonnet) on the half-naked chick the publisher absent-mindedly stuck on the back of this kiddie comic. Did that at the Whittier signing last week as well, it's kind of funny, actually....

Gavin is a class act, one of the warmest people I've met, in the Palisades and beyond. He has no pretentions and he's also quietly one of the most gifted comic actors to play in movies and in TV, and if you don't believe me, check out on of my favorite films, Edwards' "The Party" with Peter Sellers. He's pretty modest for a guy who has only played opposite some of the most legendary comic actors in Hollywood history, from Cary Grant to Peter Sellers to Mary Tyler Moore and his old buddy Ted Knight and many, many more. If you count the guests who've waltzed across the deck of the Love Boat, Gavin's probably shared scenes with just about every actor and actress of note. Gavin turns 80 on Feb. 28 and his energy, his buoyancy and his storytelling is always a thrill to be around.

The last week's worth of rain was a drag, especially since my sister Melody and her husband were visiting from England and it rained nonstop. They left Weds. night and did not get to see a lick of sunshine during their whole stay. As if they don't get enough of that in England....In any case, I was happy to hear that the brand new Laguna Beach Hi De Ho comics store came out of that mess unscathed. Ah, the power of comics....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Witty and Whittier: the GUMBY'S GANG STARRING POKEY machine barrels through GEEKS COMICS on Greenleaf!

SPECIAL THANKS TO KATHRYN RENTA for these dynamic, out-of-control photos!

Dateline: December 15, '10. Location: Geeks Comics, Uptown Whittier. Gumby comes to town.
Sal runs the Geeks store, and Gumby treated him like royalty. He knows where his bread is buttered!
Rafael Navarro (artist on the book) and myself, the writer, show up to promote the POKEY comic. If we look like we just woke up, that's an optical illusion. In fact, we're protecting the homestead from hecklers and haters. Raf is doing his lion roar to fend off attackers. (He watched a lot of THUNDERCATS as a youth and he has learned their best moves!)
Rafael Navarro's left-handed.

So am I! What of it? We southpaws have sharp claws (more THUNDERCATS allusions...)
Speaking of cats, ME-OW! Who says cartoonists do not have groupies? (Do girlfriends count?)
That's Suave Jav Hernandez. He stopped by to deliver my mission from S.H.I.E.L.D. If you don't know that stand for "Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-Enforcement Department," then YOU'RE A FOOL!!!!

Eventually, a crowd grew...
We found ourselves signing a few books.

More hecklers and haters. Raffles, turn on your Lion-O!

When we sign at Geeks, it's always an occasion.

This is where things took a weird turn, as Jav unleashed a laser camera (developed by S.H.I.E.L.D.) on me mid-signing. WHAT?! You thought I joke about this espionage stuff? Here, he hits me with a smile ray when I'm not in the mood to show my teeth. What an insidious device!
Some of our fans were embarrassed by the scantily clad women on the back of our comics, so I had to draw skirts and tops over them so the kids won't notice. Soon, those skirts and tops became nuns' habits and, before long, I ran out of ink. Greenblatt the Great! is a fun book, by a copy here!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RIP Blake Edwards, 88, director of PINK PANTHER films, THE PARTY

Sad but true, the great Blake Edwards is no longer walking the Earth among us. His work and his wit (and his wife, Julie Andrews!) will always be cherished!

Here's my behind-the-scenes look at THE PARTY starring Blake Edwards, one of my all-time favorite comedies:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

POKEY signing at GEEKS in Whittier on Weds., Dec. 15, 7 p.m. and GHOULA COMIX #1, Sun., Dec. 19, 2-5 p.m.

Artist Rafael Navarro and I will be signing our GUMBY'S GANG STARRING POKEY comic at Geeks comics in Whittier this Weds.

On Sunday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m., we're back at HI DE HO Comics in Santa Monica signing the GHOULA COMIX # 1 anthology (spirit world meets Los Angeles lore). Information here! I'll also have HOLY GHOST EL GATO for sale! (my other ghost-related comic...)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

THE MIGHTY THOR looks mighty cheesy....

Here's the official trailer, not far off from the leaked trailer from SDCC that I saw and did not dig a few months ago. This still does not remind me much of the Lee/Kirby MIGHTY THOR.

Oh, well, let's hope CAPTAIN AMERICA:FIRST AVENGER rocks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Gumby's Gang Starring Pokey" signing, tomorrow, Dec. 4, 2 p.m. at Hi De Ho Laguna and at the Comic Bug, Manhattan Beach, Weds., Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

Big signing for the book I created with artist Rafael Navarro in Laguna Beach tomorrow.

The second "Gumby's Gang Starring Pokey" comic book signing will take place at Hi De Ho Comics at the new Laguna Beach store. In addition to our books, plenty of Gumby, Blockheads and, oh, yeah, Pokey merchandise will be available, just in time for the holidays. Raf will be part of a big cartoonist group signing. Details at Hi De Ho's website. 

Rafael will also sign "Gumby's Gang Starring Pokey" at the Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

Rafael and I will sign "Pokey" at Geeks Comics in Uptown Whittier on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Go see artist Raf Navarro at Hi De Ho Laguna Beach this Sat. at 2 p.m.

I have to skip my own signing, as I'm suddenly called out of town. However, the signing will go on in Laguna Beach, and Rafael Navarro and Gumby will be there (and I'll astral project my aura over there with a pepperoni and onion pizza). Details here!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nov. 20, 2010: Hi De Ho Comics Goes Green in Santa Monica!

The new Hi De Ho Comics on Lincoln Blvd., November 20, 2010, 2 p.m.....

Over the weekend, Gumby triumphantly paid a visit to the new Hi De Ho Comics store at 1431 Lincoln Blvd. (just south of Santa Monica Boulevard).

The reason for this rare and privileged visit? Artist Rafael Navarro and the writer (me on right) debuted our new comic book, "GUMBY'S GANG # 1" starring Pokey, and celebrated the book's arival at comic-book shops nationwide this week.

Here's Raf and I minding the shop.

 Yes, Hi De Ho is the place to go for all Gumby and Pokey products, from our comics to the latest in Gumby fashions and bendy figures (yes, they've even got the Blockheads for all of you Goth Gumby fans...). 

Early in the signing, Raf and I were getting a little worried, staring at our watches, waiting for the big green guy to arrive....

....And he did not.......let us down! The big green guy showed up! No, not me, that OTHER big green guy.....GUMBY!

Then, Art Clokey's crazy creation hit the streets. Do you think we keep this guy around for his bright red eyes? Nah! We put him to work, and Gumby ushered fans into Hi De Ho's swank new bigger-than-ever location.

 He even did it sideways!

Here, Gumby makes customer Collin's day as he leads him in a re-enactment of Lewis and Clark discovering the Oregon Trail!
Gumby penciled some time into his busy schedule to hang out with Hi De Ho co-owner Bob (above) and Hi De Ho hombres Tony and Joe below. 

Here's Tony and Joe flanking Gumby (not as awful as it sounds...) That's Joe on the right, striking a Kool Mo Dee thoughtful rapper pose. Gumby's in the center. What's cool about Tony (uh....left) is that, like me, his favorite Clokey character is:

A stream of notables passed through. Below left, "Scarlet Fox" creator Phillip Victor came by to pick up a copy of "Gumby's Gang Starring Pokey."
My college buddy Renu (below right) also made a surprise visit to check out the action.....He walked away with a copy of my comic book "Silly Goose" and a newfound appreciation for men of clay such as Mr. G. Also seen on site: my ol' pal Larry Hummel (not to be confused with my comic book "Harry Lummel") showed up...although--and this is odd!---when ever Gumby appeared, Larry was nowhere to be seen, and vice versa. My thanks to LH for being there!
Cartoonist Bernyce Talley made an effort to say hello while in the store to do her weekly comics shopping. After some arm-twisting, she finally broke down and bought the "Pokey" book.

It was a good time had by all....We spent some quality time with Gumby....
....And we had a fun time pimpin' the new "Pokey" book and getting to know the brand-new Hi De Ho Santa Monica store. I've been going to the old location for decades, sometimes to buy, occasionally to sign comics, and since my recent move to Pacific Palisades, they've become my official neighborhood store. I'm glad they're back, bigger than ever. Go check out the new digs for yourself!
After the signing, being the manly-men creators that we are, we hit the streets of Santa Monica and went Swingin'....No, this isn't Raf and I trying to be Greg Kinnear and Willem DeFoe in Paul Schrader's "Auto Focus"....we went down the block to Swingers and got our dinner on!

Our thanks to the folks at Hi De Ho Comics for the warm welcome and good times!

See you on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m. when we, along with Gumby, return to the Laguna Beach Hi De Ho location for more "Pokey" action!

Friday, November 19, 2010

POKEY comics signing in Santa Monica tomorrow! Gumby to appear in "person"!

Bring your kids and cameras, folks. Artist Rafael Navarro and I are signing our GUMBY'S GANG STARRING POKEY comic book, in stores now!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

POKEY is coming! November 20, 2 PM in Santa Monica!

After a slow roll out at places such as San Diego Comic-Con, GUMBY'S GANG STARRING POKEY #1 will reach stores this coming week! 

Artist Rafael Navarro and I will sign copies at Hi De Ho's new comic book shop at 1431 Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m.

Gumby is rumored to make an appearance in the clay (not flesh). I'm hoping he doesn't blow off the signing, as he is a busy oblong-headed little green Plasticine boy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Man meets The Man Behind the Prickle

Ah, memories! Sweet comic-book world memories....

Behold! Two great geniuses of comics and cartoons. Here's Art Clokey and Stan Lee at the Shrine convention in Los Angeles (online it says May 2008 but I seem to remember it was early in the year, like January) when both were special guests.

It's worth repeating that we're getting closer to readying this guy's debut in comics for Feb. 2011. Below is artist Chris Grine's cover for the upcoming GUMBY'S GANG STARRING PRICKLE.

Ever wonder whether Prickle is a stegosaurus or a dragon? Well, Prickle wonders, too, and the question of his original ancestry leads him on a global journey in GUMBY'S GANG STARRING PRICKLE. 

Meanwhile, an impostor Prickle (the robot on the right) infiltrates Gumby's gang. And because of his nasal monotone, nobody notices for weeks....until the lasers shoot out of its eyes!

Keep an eye out for it, it's gonna be a fun one.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh, and if you don't believe me...

...Here are stills from old Tintin movies.

TINTIN motion picture: so far, so good....

I'm not exactly itching for a TINTIN trilogy of motion-capture, live/animated films. Tintin has been adapted to movies before in Europe and the results appear ridiculous. In general, I don't get very excited anymore when something I really enjoy in one medium is translated into another. Usually, I brace myself for disappointment, as it's hard for a movie to measure up to a book or comic.

But I suppose that with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, masters of young adult fantasy, acting as custodians of Herge's creations, it should be in pretty good hands. And from all appearances, so far, it is. 

Below are some of the first images surfacing online of the first Tintin movie, SECRET OF THE UNICORN, and the style seems to fit the Tintin aesthetic (thankfully, it doesn't resemble POLAR EXPRESS too much). Bravo, gentlemen! I'm looking forward to seeing the trailer based on these stills.

P.S. -- It'll be hard to say how a European-embraced property such as Tintin will fare at the U.S. box office, but it should be interesting seeing how the film's marketeers and talent go about educating Americans on the phenomenon of Tintin, a character as old as Popeye the Sailor! (circa 1929)