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!