There weren’t a ton of new comics on sale at Monsterpalooza. The emphasis was definitely on amazingly creative sculptures, models, props, special effects makeup, masks, and animatronics. But what there was, was high quality indeed, and beyond that there were a number of great artists who have worked in the comic book field selling sketches, prints and books of their art. After all, monsters and comics go together like chocolate and peanut butter!
George Brawn was there selling the first two volumes of his vampiric Untold Chronicles series Everdance and Blood Rites. You can check them out online at geobrawn.com.
Illustrator Chuck BB was on hand selling a number of books including Secret Skull, written by Steve Niles, and published by IDW that aims to bring the feel classic horror pulp to modern audiences. Chuck also illustrates the Black Metal inspired book called, unsurprisingly, Black Metal about a couple of teenaged brothers who confront the forces of evil written by Rick Spears and published by Oni.
William Stout was there selling a variety of art books, and sketchbooks and prints. He showed me the beautiful full color illustration of the Rocketeer he drew as a tribute to his former studio mate and friend the late great Dave Stevens. He also has a new cover and 8 page story written by Bruce Jones and published by Raw Studios coming out soon in Alien Worlds which I recall fondly from its first iteration from the 80′s by Pacific Comics, also written by Mr. Jones.
Multi-talented artist-writer-filmmaker L.J. Dopp had a wide variety of horror related prints for sale as well as several issues of Bluewater Productions Vincent Price Comics he did the covers for.
Fellow Bluewater alumni and Vincent Price comic cover illustrator Robert Aragon had issues of Vincent Price’s House of Horror for which he drew the covers as well as a variety of classic horror inspired prints.
RPG and cover artist E. M. Gist who’s done work for DC, Boom! and Radical had comic sized full color sketchbooks for sale full of horrific delights, as well as a number of exquisite prints.
Artist Pete Von Sholly showed me a couple of his wonderful illustrations honoring Stan Lee and Alan Moore from his forthcoming book The PS Book of Fabulous Fictioneers: A History of the Incredible from PS Publishing. His graphic novel Spinecrawler which he wrote and illustrated for IDW a couple of years back is very much worth tracking down as well.
Monsterverse was there selling issues two and three of Bela Lugosi’s Tales from the Grave (issue three featuring Terry Wolfinger’s beautifully evocative illustration of Lugosi that recalls the best of the Basil Gogos Famous Monsters covers), as well as issues of Flesh and Blood which has attracted praise from none other than Guillermo Del Toro.
Publisher editor and artist Kerry Gammill was in attendance. In case you missed it, Monsterverse has recently opened up submissions in a deal similar to the one structured by Image where if they accept your book, you pay a certain amount over cost (in this case $500.00) to carry the Monsterverse brand and have access to their distribution through Diamond. FYI, Kerry is the man who’ll be making the final decisions on who is selected.
West Coast Editor Sam F. Park was also fired up about a new venture he’s about to launch called Scratch Lightning Productions that aims to bring to horror films the same high quality he’s achieved at Monsterverse with many of the same talented individuals he’s worked with there. Look for a big formal announcement coming soon.
While not strictly comic related I would be remiss not to mention Skullastic’s clever and eye catching custom made notebooks. I had a hard time choosing between the Guys ‘n’ Robes great philosophers parody of Guns ‘n’ Roses (Appetite for Instruction) and the Motley Crue style umlauted Molecules cover. And 10% of the profits go to benefit the schools, which sorely need the help.
Also, I picked up the utterly charming book Growing Up With Monsters, heavily illustrated with hilarious caricatures by Jack Davis and Hermann Mejia, written in rhyme by Carla Laemmle and Daniel Kinske and featuring an introduction by Ray Bradbury. Carla Laemmle, for those who don’t know is the niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle. At 103 years old she is one of the last remaining links to the great silent horror movies, and the classic era era of Universal horror. She appeared in both the The Phantom of the Opera in 1925 and had the first line of spoken dialogue in Dracula in 1931. That book along with a serious autobiography, Among The Rugged Peaks, and other photos and memorabilia are all available online at www.laemmle.us Oh, and did I mention she’s in the upcoming horror film Mansion of Blood? Not too shabby for 103!
Finally, family friend, horror icon and all around good sport Kyra Schon was kind enough to pose with a copy of my comic The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade over dinner. A perfect way to end a perfectly horrific con for lovers of monsters and the darker side of life.
Postscript: As I write this the news is rife with the real life horrors of what happened today in Boston. It’s so ironic that the people involved in the horror community are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
David Blake Lucarelli is the writer/creator of the Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade, a four issue mini-series inspired by the real life incident of the Gorbals vampire and described by film director Joe Doughrity as “Buffy meets S.E.Hinton’s The Outsiders.” He thanks you in advance for your support in the Kickstarter campaign now underway.