Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dave Stevens Interview Part III --from 1988 for the Rocketter Newsletter.

Go to Part I
Go to Part II (Scroll down a little)

This is Part III (of III)

Allen: Is there a chance we could print some of your commercial art samples in the Rocketpack Newsletter?

Dave: I could probably send you some copies of one or two, but a lot of that stuff I don't even have. A lot of people are real bad about sending a copy fo the finished job, I never see the stuff again. Unless it's something I specifically keep.

Allen: Do you make copies of your pencils before they are inked?

Dave: No, because I don't work methodically that way. I'll sketch oout one paneland then I'll start inking on it. Before it's even finished.

Allen: Do you do thumbnails?

Dave: Yeah, I think I've got some. But that stuff looks like caca. It's nothing.

Allen: We'd like to show a befoe and after. What you start with shown next to the final finished pages.

Dave: OK.

Allen: What would you say are the pros and cons of commercial art jobs.

Dave: The pros are the money and the good jobs coming from it. The cons are dealing with whims and tantrums of art directors and the clients who constantly change their minds. Nine times out of ten they don't know what they want, they just know it's not what you just gave them.

Allen: Do you give them a quote up front?

Dave: Always. I just throw out a figure. I think about the job, and about how much i don't want to do it then throw out the highest figute I can think of. If they go for it, I say, swell. If it's something distrustful to me I charge them an arm and a leg. Because, why do something that you're going to hate every minute of? If you're doing it for peanuts? If you're oging to have to put yourself through a lot of stress and strain, make it worth it.

Allen: If you had to sum up Dave Stevens as a person and artist what would you say about yourself?

Dave: (Makes sound) "Bronx Cheer."

Allen: At this starge in your live what are your top five priorities?

Dave: Just getting the work done that I've got laid out for the rest of the year. The biggest priority right now is finding an artist to take up the slack on the Rocketeer stuff. So I can jump off and do other things. But I shouldn't say that, I'll be deluged with samples. That's already happened.

Allen: Could you have someone at Comico go through them?

Dave: No, they have no idea what I'm looking for. A s matter of fact, one person I'm looking to give a same to is Rich Dannys. Just to see what he'll do.

Allen: Now, in the "Betty Pages" they are searching for her. I guess they eventually find her it it's possible?

Dave: I can't say anything about it.

Allen: Oh, you do know?

Dave: No, I wasn't a part of it. I'm just hoping that people will just leave her alone. Because she deserves her privacy. If people can't respect that then there's something wrong with them. I have no want to go to the trouble and I wouldn't advise it and I wouldn't tell anybody now to get in touch with her. I don't want her bothered.

Allen: Any word on when the "Betty Page Comics" will be released?

Dave: When everyone has had time to do their individual story. Right now it's kind of on the back burner. It's going to have four or five different artists. It's just a one-shot, just to see how it will go and if people like it.

Allen: Ten years down the road, where will you be in accordance with your goals?

Dave: Hopefully still alive. Hopefully still having all my limbs working. Well, I hope I still have my hair, my teeth, my eyesight....

Chuck: What about your goals?

Dave: Not to be leaving a puddle behind me when I'm that age. I have no idea because goals change.

Chuck: What types of music do you enjoy?

Dave: All kinds, everything. The only thing that I hate, cannot stand, is rap. I don't even classify it as music. And I don't like modern country. I like roots country, Hank Williams and Sons of the Pioneers, Bobs Wills, Etc...

Chuck: Any particular music you usually listen to?

Dave: Oh, I flip around a lot. I listen to a lot of jazz, a lot of big bands, a lot of early jazz. A lot of Patsy Cline and Crooners and Torch Songs, R&B, rock and roll. I probably listen to more rock-A-Billy than anything else. I've always dug that rock-a-billy thing. But generally I can listen to anything.

Chuck: Have you done any new Arora art?

Dave: There was a piece from a story I started a few years ago. But I never got back to it. But other than that, no. No reason to because ther's nothing being planned for the characgter. I may do a promo piece or a cover for something being re-packaged. I did a cover for Ray one, a compilation of old stuff by me and Bruce Jones. It's called "Space Vixens in 3-D" A homage to Russ Meyer.

Allen: I just saw Ron Goulart's Best Comic Artists Volume II and you are in it. You didn't know?

Dave: No.

Allen: They don't have to contact you? They used some ar tof yours, too.

Dave: I hope it was something good. They never did talk to me.

Allen: that black inside cover from @1 says "Nightmare at Large" on sale soon...

Dave: It orignally said: "on Sale in October."

Allen: There is a volkswagen down in the bottom right.

Dave: That piece of art was something I doctored. It was a piee kaluta had done for the New York Times Book Review, and I said gee, this owuld make a perfect eeaster for the net Rocketeer. So I just dorpped in a little Rocketter Figure. It was all perfect, very indicative of the story.

Allen: Chuck was just curious. He didn't think that were Volkswagons back then.

Dave: That was sonething I was hoping most people wouldn't notice. I wasn't going to make Mike Redraw it.

Chuck Could Kaluta give us any hair-raising stories about you if we bribed him?

Dave (Laughs) Probably, he'd tell you a lot of untrue ones!

Then end. Recorded and transcribed by Allen Freeman. Interview by Allen Freeman and Chuck Haspel, over the phone.  A few years later at Chicago Con, Chuck and I did get to meet Dave Stevens. We were sitting at a restaurant near the convention center and he walked in. We said hello as he passed us and yes, he was nice and remembered us. Around 2003, my first time at San Diego Comic Con, I found his booth and he was there! He remembered me and I got a photo of him. If I can locate it I'll add it here. I was there in 2004 and could not find him. 2005 I wasn't there. 2006 and 2007 I was there and didn't see him, if he was there....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It's been a few years ago but I posted up part I (Look back in this blog for it.) of a very rare interview with Dave Stevens the creator of the Rocketeer (among other fantastic comic work).

You can jump here to PART ONE

This is part II.

The Dave Stevens Interview (Part II) (From a phone interview with Allen Freeman and Chuck Haspel 1989.

Allen: I've heard you say before that you're more comfortable doing single illustrations.

Dave: Well, I just hate cramming ten panels to a page. It doesn't leave you any room for composition. Doing these jammed, crammed little things are really not where I'm at. I'd rather be able to stretch out and really go to town on a larger piece.

Allen: Maybe you could do a book in the size of 'RAW'.

Dave: No, actually it's gonna be sideways so it'll be wider than it is going to be tall. If that makes any sense.

Allen: It'll be a hardback and paperback?

Dave: Probably.

Allen: Can you give us an update on the Rocketeer movie?

Dave: Unfortunately no, because at this pint we still don't have a shooting schedule.

Allen: They haven't gotten to the stage of finding actors?

Dave: No names have been bandied.

Allen: Have they talked about a release date, or is that too far ahead?

Dave: No.

Allen: Who else is writing it?

Dave: Danny bilson and Paul DeMeo and William Dear with me sitting in. I think its a good script. It's the movie we all want to see.

Chuck: What's the latest on the upcoming Dave Stevens book?

Dave: There's several of them. I was telling Allen there are two coming, one I'll be doing with another artist and the other one I'll be doing myself. And there's going to be an "Art of" book that Graphitti's going to do.

Chuck: Can you give us any possible dates for release?

Dave: No, it's all just being planned right now. One of the two graphic novels, I'm going to start as soon as this next issue is taken care of, so probably by this summer I'll have some images I'll start letting out for people to see. But I'm going to be pretty tied up until late spring. I won't get a lot of time in on it yet. It's still in the development stages anyway. I'm still fiddling around with the characters. And the other graphic novel is a Rocketeer story. Just one big one instead of issue after issue of continued stuff.

Chuck: Does it run feast to famine?

Dave: It's always too much work. I've always got too much that I'm committed to in all different directions.

Chuck: Would you ever just make yourself take some time off just to get away from everything?

Dave: (Laughs). I'd like to, I intend to, but I've got to clear the boards first and unfortunately I'm committed to quite a bit of stuff here, in the upcoming year, I mean I give myself little rewards every now and then. I'll take a day off or something, that about it. there ain't gonna be no one week or two week holidays in Paris for a while.

Chuck: Have you ever thought of getting a stunt man to fill in for you? A stunt double.

Dave: He can sit here and pretend the's drawing just like I do.

Chuck: Any news on the legal scene with the goofballs at Marvel?

Dave: I'm not even thinking about it. I don't even give it a thought anymore. At this point it's not even worth talking about. To me it's just worthless, needless garbage.

Chuck: Are you just letting your lawyers handle it?

Dave: Right now nothing's happening. It's a stalemate. It's ridiculous. I just ca't treat it seriously anymore.

Chuck: what were your impressions of the Chicago Con for 1988? Your opinion of the convention circuit as a whole? Will you be back in 1989?

Dave: A whole year ago, huh? I liked it. The only thing I didn't like about it was there was a noticeable absence of females there. there were no women at this convention. They should have called it stag con. Nothing to look at. I mean I like to talk to women at conventions. Hey, I'm piggish.

Chuck: That sounds very normal.

Dave: Well, I just like lookin' at women, and talking to them, and there just weren't any. This Chicago Con was all boys. It was like a huge stag party but with no strippers.

Chuck: That's a shame because cChicago's got some great lookin' babes up there.

Dave: What? (Laughs) I was kind of disappointed. I've been to a few conventions, and most of the cons I go to, at least one-fifth or more are women, which is great. San Diego is the best convention to go to, if you want to yack it up with some great looking women. Get out there.

Chuck: We'll see what we can round up for you (in Chicago), Dave.

Dave: No, no, no (laughs). I do O.K.

Chuck: Maybe it'll be different in '89, you never can tell.

Dave: The convention itself was real nice. I liked it. It had a nice feel to it. Very professionally put together. It seemed to me like a very competently run show, which, you know, a lot of them are not so.

Chuck: What is your opinion of the convention circuit as a whole?

Dave: Well, see, I don't do the circuit. I'm probably one of the few people who would rather hang out with friends at home. I've only gone to maybe a half dozen, California, Chicago, New York, Dallas. they're all pretty much the same. SOme are more low-key than others, and some are more intense. It just depends on the show, what guests they're getting in, what kind of audience they're gonna shoot for, even what tie of year it is. Dallas is probably the most laid back of all the shows. San dDiego is probably the most high intensity, it's really a frenzied show, insane activity going on the whole time and doesn't stop for about a week. Because you have a trade show a few days before the convention, right up to the convention, the con itself, and it's just so huge. I don't know how many thousands of people come to that place over a four day period, but it's like sardines, it's so crowded. I've never seen a convention as large as San Diego, or as "chock-full" of professionals. I mean, the traveling medicine shows, the scene is a grind. I don't really enjoy having to do that for three or four days in a row, and come back home and drop. It's like a cultural shock of some kind. You go from relative solitude to being plunged into the middle of hundreds of people at one time all lined up wanting to talk to you. It's crazy. By the end of the day your ears are buzzing, your eyes are glazed, you're kind of staggering down to your room wondering why your hand is numb. I mean it's fun because I get to meet people that obviously like my work and I meet other people whose work I admire, and that is really the big reason for me to go, just to meet people whose work I've loved since I was a kid. And I like talking to people who have bought my work because there are times when I just want to go "ahhh," and toss in the towel and go on to something else and then I go to one of these shows and it reminds me that, hey, there is an audience out there that's sill expecting me to come through.

Chuck: this next question ties in to most of what you've already answered. Who and what are some of your favorite artists/books?

Dave: Current books?

Chuck: Doesn't have to be current.

Dave: I really like that work Mazzucchelli did with Miller, on Batman, Year one. That was really nice storytelling. I really liked it. I don't think I've seen anything else that he's done. I don't know if he's done anything lately.

Chuck: Not that I know of.

Dave: It had a European feel to it, and I really enjoy European work much, much more than American work. Because there's more of a classical sense to it, the history, the culture of things that just aren't here in American comics. They're not in evidence. The European stuff feels more true to the medium. A lot of the Europeans are just going completely off on their own, doing fabulously inventive work, and here, we seem to be stuck in a cookie cutter mentality. It's the sameness that bothers me here. The individuality of a lot of the work from Europe is what really gets me going. I mean everytime I go over there I immediately want to go out scouring the bookstores for stuff I haven't seen yet. Still, Mike Mignola is really doing some great work right now, Mark Schultz just keeps getting better, so there is some hope for more satisfying work here at home.

Chuck: Any old favorites like Alex Raymond?

Dave: Raymond was never one of my favorites. I liked his work, I admired it, but I never sat down and copied it. When I was a kid I went for Foster, I like Roy Krenkle. I still look to find Reed Crandle and those guys, the real heavy hitters. As far as anatomy and wild action, I still keep hoping Steranko is gonna do something again. I may be hoping till I die (Laughs).

Chuck: Is that our car in the comics journal Interview and can you elaborate on the recent changes you've made to it?

Dave: Actually I'm just about finished now. I was coming home from Warner Brothers on a Friday lunch hour on the 405 freeway back in September and I got involved in a three way game of tag, so to speak. I was trying to change lanes to get around this dump truck. It was in the slow lane, and this caddy came out of nowhere and just cut me off. I mean he wasn't going to let me in at all and I was doing 50. He must've been doing a good 70. So I jerked the wheel and hit my brakes and as I did that I had to go back into the lane I was in and the car in front of me suddenly slammed his brakes on (laughs), so I had to jerk it again. By that time I was back on the rear bumper of this dump truck and it was almost impact time. I jerked the wheel again and I could feel myself going up on two wheels and over. I was airborne for probably about 50 feet, and came down real hard about three times and finally spun back out into traffic again. Man, it was a mess. It was a messy accident. I could hear my car scream'n "Why'd you do this?" And I had just finished some work on it. I'd just put on a new manifold, new carb and really gotten it running perfect and what do I do? I take it out and wreck it.

Chuck: are you planning to revie it or is it salvegable at all?

Dave: Yeah, I wasn't sure for a while because I thought the frame was damaged too much to bother with, but it turns out the frame wasn't bent. It was mostly all body work. The cab had to be pounded back out. The whole right side had been flattened. It's taken a while. Right now they're painting it. We're yanking the front suspension and putting a Mustang front end on it so the ride'll be a lot more stable. The 40's are notorious for having a lousy front end. You get going at a good clip and it's just not real safe.

Chuck: Could you tell us what make and model the car is?

Dave: 1940 Ford Coupe (Deluxe), if it's not the most popular street rod (next to a deuce hi-boy) then it's probably second to like a '37 Chevy. There are a lot of them on the road.

Chuck: Apparently you weren't injured in the wreck at all.

Dave: Yeah, I screwed up my neck a lot and my shoulder some. I had some pretty bad headaches and I got cut up, but I walked away from it. And it's only because I was strapped in. You know, if I hadn't been wearing my belt I would have had my head shaved off.

Chuck: Sounds like you were very, very fortunate.

Dave: Oh yeah, yea, I got a guardian angel. No doubt about it.

Chuck: Are you going to roll and pleat the interior?

Dave: I've yanked the whole interior, repairing everything from the ground up. It's going to be better than it was, which is fine by me. There was a lot of stuff done wrong by a guy who owned it before me (laughs). I've got some great stories with that car. I'd hate to get rid of it because I'e been through so much with it. I blew up an engine in the desert with it, drove it down here from Idaho, I've had the rear axle welds break on me going down Ventura Boulevard, dug a trench 20 feet in the road, fried my gauges, broke shocks...Some amazing things.

Chuck: Sounds like you and your car have been through a lot together there.

Dave: That's what happens. You start messing around with old cars, trying to upgrade them or at least keep them running, and as all hot rodders will tell you: "Shit happens." You fix one thing and it seems like something else needs fixing right away. But you know, you couldn't give me a new car. I wouldn't take it. I would much rather putter around with something old and try and soup it up.

Chuck: Do you do some of the work yourself?

Dave: I do, I've learned on this car. This is my experience thus far. Everything I know I learned on the job. Just becaue it's broken and I have to fix it. But luckily I've got a lot of friends who have old cars, too, so we kind of get together, trade tricks on how to make it run better, what to do for 'em. It's just rial and error.
Chuck: Do you collect period pieces from the 30's?

Dave: Period pieces, like what?  Furniture stuff?

Chuck: Yeah.

Dave: Everything, I got it all (laughs). I got a house full of stuff and it's all crammed into a tiny little apartment. I'm looking to buy a house pretty quick here. Then I can spread out, plan to get everything situated where it should be, because right now I've got crate boxes pilled up all around me. I moved into this place three years ago from a house. I was just renting, and this place was too small then, and now it's impossible. When Kaluta comes out, he stays here, and this last time we really had trouble. He's in the living room, and I'm in the bedroom. We had to literally shift everything int the living room, and I"m in the bedroom. we had to literally shift everything in the living room around just to give him a spot to sleep. It's not good. I mean I've got file cabinets, drawing boards and everything in the kitchen table (laughs). I eat at my drawing board because there's no place else to sit.

More of Part II when I find time to type it! (Allen) July 14th, 2013.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Travis Shredd podcast interview!

My Slam Bang Media podcast had the guest Travis Shredd of the band Travis Shredd and the Good Ol' Homeboys. You can listen to two of their songs and hear Travis (aka: Eric Wilson) talk about the days of the band, and where he is now, and what he is doing. (Audio for events in Las Vegas!) He has a special announcement which ties into the music he did for Travis go and listen to it now!

You can hear some of their songs here: Travis MySpace.

And do a search for Travis Shredd on YouTube so see some of the videos they made to some of the songs.

Also check out and order their 3 CD's. Do it now, they are so funny and talented.

We had a mix up and I waited for Travis to call in and he was waiting for me to answer an email I didn't get. So I ended up talking with some callers instead, made that Episode 11. Meanwhile Travis was kind enough to answer my questions and send me the audio file of it. I used that to create the Episode 10 show with Travis. So check them all out.

Also you can hear the shows through iTunes, a free upload to your iPhone or iPod, or iPad by visiting iTunes, then doing a search for Slam Bang Media.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Night Shooting Photo Class

Introduction to Night Photography--Mark Holmes.
(Photo above shot while crossing the bridge.) Took a one time photo workshop last night in Coronado, CA. It was only 15 minutes or less from me as I shot down I-15 to the end of it, then north a short hop on I-5, then over this massively tall, winding bridge to the island of Coronado. What a beautiful place this is. I drove to the Ferry Landing and there were people walking around, sitting in outdoor cafe's, water, beach, pier....

I had about 45 minutes to take it in before I was to meet the Photographer putting on the class at 6:00pm. I got a few shots before the class started
I got my backpack full of gear and was carrying my tripod and sure enough right on time was Mark dressed all in black with a black cap on his head. There was one other girl waiting with her camera and tripod. Mark was very nice and mentioned that we both used the Nikon D300 and the same zoom lens (18-200 VR Nikkor) most of the time. The girl had a nice Canon camera. We waited for about 10 minutes for the other 4 to show up and one lady did finally make it, the others didn't. So the 4 of us walked down the beach area a bit and set up our tripods. It was already past the blue sky stage and quickly moving into the black night sky stage. I usually try and get shots during this blue before black time as that is the best for night shots. The shot above I took before the class. Mark knows a lot about cameras and settings. I think I do but I don't know all the f-stop equivalents and I rely on my meter too much, as I was to learn during this class. We learned that the light meter in the camera tends to under expose trying to make up for the lack of light in the scene. This makes things brighter than you want them to be. You have to adjust for this. Same is true when metering off snow in a winter scene. it wants to under expose to make up for all the lightness.

I did bring my shutter release cord that hooks into the front of my camera so I can take shots without shaking the camera. We shot some photos with the mirror locked in up position, also to keep the camera from shaking. I got most of his questions what f-stop would be best for the night shots. I said f-16. This gets a nice sharp shot and it closer to the sweet spot on most lenses. Some tend to not be as sharp in the wide open or very nearly closed positions. Better in the middle zones usually. Mark also noted that you get a nice "star" pattern coming off the highlights in the scene, the bright light from lights in the scene with f-16.
I also was correct in saying I shoot at ISO 200. 200 is my lowest setting mostly used for bright scenes but I knew since we had the tripods we could do long exposures and thus use any ISO setting so why not use the one that gives you the least noise. The Canon cameras can also go down to 100 ISO. One girl had a very expensive Canon but she had just bought it (so she said) and didn't know anything about it. She also didn't know how to set up her tripod. She was a beginner and admitted so. That's fine we all have to start someplace. Since the class was so small Mark had more time to deal with her issues than he normally would. The other girl was more experienced and had even taken some of Mark's other classes.

I had not shot very much night photography. Only a handful of times did I ever remember to bring my tripod with me. Two or three times I'd go out with a friend of mine Tim Jensen in Seattle and he was a master at it. He'd help me. I got some nice shots of the Tacoma bridge with him on one accession. Last 4th of July I read all about the settings to shoot fireworks and took my tripod and went to the Owensboro, KY (where I was living then) fireworks. I took a nice folding chair, set up my tripod. Followed all the things I'd read and it worked like a charm. My best fireworks shots ever. So it does pay to take notes. Oh, I just remembered that in 2009 I went up in the Space Needle (there on a visit) and took a short tripod and it fit just right on this ledge where I could shoot between some bars to get the skyline of Seattle from the top. I was there way too early and my son Dustin was with me. It took hours before the sun finally started going down. I got plenty of shots before, during and after the sun was down. Worked out great. I really just kept experimenting with different settings, didn't know as much about it as I do now, that's for sure.

We also played around with flash. I'd brought my SB-600 flash and Mark's flash he realized had been on stand-by so long (by mistake) that his batteries were down. So he just used my flash. He showed us some slow-sync flash, and 2nd-curtain flash. Most folks have someone stand in front of some great night scene. Then they blast the person with the flash. The background is all black. You have to manipulate the flash to take in the background as well as evenly light the subject. My little S90 Canon has a setting for this. You'll see it as a flash icon with a person, and the person icon has a star or building behind them. This is forcing the camera flash to do a slow sync to take in the surroundings. Try it if you haven't already. I'll have to experiment more with using my SB-600 as I've only been using it to shoot indoor events.

To see the full skyline stitched together from 6 shots go here: PANORAMA.

We did some fun slow exposure flash shots.....I drew the word PHOTO with a pen light and then posed next to it with my arms folded....all taken in one shot. Mark also tried it and did it the first try.

I can't wait to take another class with Mark!


Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween!

Yep, I went to Disneyland (10/23/10) for the first time. I'd been to Disneyworld two times. This was a blast. I Drove 1 hour north to Temecula, CA. Met up with my pal Dean LeCrone (star of stage and screen) and his son Paul and Paul's friend Troy. We hop in Dean's car and drive 1 hour north to Anaheim, CA, home of Disneyland. On the way there we recorded a funny little free-form podcast. SLAM BANG MEDIA.

We had to board a bus to take us from the parking lot to the park. We ride on the Toy Story bus from the Woody area.

To see all the photos I took and posted on Facebook go HERE.

I've been watching just about every season of WEEDS. Don't know why I'm hooked on this. Even got my wife watching it. We have Netflix and can use the wii to stream movies and shows onto our TV. Pretty cool. Someday I'll use the wii to play more games...who has the time?

I got a iMac a few weeks ago and I'm having some fun figuring out stuff. Lucky for me I don't get frazzled easily....I do have a book "iMac for Dummies" but so far haven't cracked it open yet. I've been figuring out how to do the simplest things...make a new's like the PC but turned on it's head. I've pretty much totally started doing all my photography work on it already, using Lightroom 3, and all the other Adobe programs....I even edited up some audio for my podcasts and some video. I'm starting to really like it. Especially the 27" screen. I like the fact the Mac is helping me correct my spelling even in this program! Makes me look smarter.

I'm looking forward to a workshop I signed up for Wednesday night (Nov 3rd) to help me with night shooting. I have to drive out to this island (Coronado) which I have been out to once before when Bonnie and went out exploring. I'm to get there at 6:00pm but I'm going early to catch some sunset shots. Seems the sunset starts about 5:45pm....or is it 6:15? Either way I'll get there on time. We will shoot night shots of buildings and models and use a tripod etc... I have two tripods yet rarely have them with me. This session could help me out, plus I'll meet some folks that like photography.

Still haven't started on the web site Will soon. Dean and I will team up and work together on some projects and help bring in clients, etc.... the site will showcase pretty much the stuff I have up at and add in cartooning and acting videos by Dean. Together we can do everything an ad agency can do, pretty much.

Also hoping to add up some new little videos to my YouTube account. Dean and I shot some funny footage at Disneyland that I need to edit up.

My podcast today has been moved from the usual 5:00pm EDT to 8:00pm EDT as I need a nap. Stayed up too late last night...should be asleep now to catch up. Call in:

The sun came back out after a few weeks of all white day it is in the mid 70's next day high 60's.....well, at least last night we went out to get something to eat and it was 60 degrees! I was not prepared. I had on shorts, short sleeve t-shirt....yikes!


Friday, October 22, 2010

It's About Time

This is the view from my patio a few weeks ago when the sun was still coming out. We got a few weeks of sunshine before late summer hit. They say here in San Diego the weather has seasons, like early summer, summer, late summer, etc....

We are now in late summer I guess. It is still in the high 60's so no worries. Nothing like it will be this winter back in KY I presume.

It's about time I added something here. How about a photo of a store window all decked out for Halloween? This is from the Mission Valley Mall where we like to hang out. The malls in San Diego are "open air" or no roof malls, which is fun. Especially when it is sunny out. We arrived here Sept 18th and it was bright and sunny for a few weeks, then it got hazy, and we haven't seen much of the sun for the last 2 weeks. We anticipate it will return eventually.

Here is the cover to my next issue of SLAM BANG, #6 vol III (or issue #46). Out early 2011.
Contributors so far: Dan Burke, Clint Basinger, Matt Feazell, Nathan Corrigan, and more!

I'm going to Disneyland with my pal Dean and his son Paul and his friend Troy. I'll be documenting the trip with photos and video.

My next comic con will be Stumptown Comics Festival in Portland, OR. It is in April.
Hope to see you there.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SPACE 2010 is the PLACE. Con Report of the 11th Show!

A small sampling of the comics I brought back from SPACE.

On the road to Columbus, Ohio (from Kentucky).

I went to the SPACE (Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo) for the 7th time last weekend April 24th and 25th in Columbus, OH, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. This was the first time Space has been at this location. The last few shows were at the Shriner Convention Center and that was one huge hall with all the tables in about 10 long rows. It was sort of too spacious and loud with all the noise bouncing off the hard floors and walls. Tables along the sides had lighting that didn't hit their tables. This year was like a welcome flashback to the years SPACE was in a Holiday Inn. This year was even better as that Holiday Inn was looking very old and going under some extreme work the last time the show was there. The Ramada Plaza was much more homey, as the tables were closer, the isles were roomy but not spaced extremely apart. This made the show seem more cosey to the fans and there was probably a lot more interaction between the fans and the creators than in the larger convention hall of the last few years.

My table (Fan-Atic Press) was just inside the entrance to the event. Next to me was my pal Clint Basinger who has made the trip with me to the last few shows. He has his own table sporting his excellent, highly creative comics and art under the company name, Cosmic Moustache Comics.

Here we see Dan Taylor holding my Slam Bang #5 vol III, which he contributed to. Dan does some fantastic mini-comics and art. His company is Weird Muse Productions.

Here is a look at 2 of his mini comics. (I plan on contributing to Time Warp Comix.)

One of the new, younger fans of Small Press. (Ben James)

Christina Wald is a frequent contributor to Slam Bang. She is a very busy illustrator in Cincinnati, OH, and the book The Little Red Bat just came out showing off her brilliant art. See her site HERE.

Here is your reward for reading this far. Click this link to watch the full 35 minute SPACE DOCUMENTARY! That's right. This was shot by Allen Freeman and Christopher Moshier in 2007 and edited (masterfully I should add) by Christopher Moshier in April 2010! In fact this was done right before SPACE 2010. I made 25 DVD's and handed them out around the convention. Let us know what you think of it HERE.

Adding some style to the show--- Joseph Morris of Torc Press. See his work HERE

Nathan Corrigan (Oldest son of Tim Corrigan) shows off his publishing empire! Gumshoe Comics! I purchased his book of sketches and you get one of the originals free with each purchase of the book. How crazy is that! I also bought his comic called Weird Comics Drawn Weridly, and it has some very strange and wonderful character drawings and comics in there. Well worth $3.00.

Plastic Farm, writer and artist Rafer Roberts with his better half.
I've seen him at every Space show I'm been to. I always buy his lastest books. You can too, right HERE.

Tim Corrigan of New Voice Media on the left, Matt Feazell famous creator of Cynicalman on the right! Send Tim $15 for a year subscription to his Tim Corrigan's Comics and Stories, a monthly comic book digest with color covers!

Find out about Cynicalman at Matt's site HERE. These are some of the most talented guys at SPACE each year. I come to this show particularly to visit with them and check out their newest books.

Eric Adams is a writer, illustrator and designer, best known as the creator and self-publisher of the comic book series LACKLUSTER WORLD and a partner / creative director with the Cincinnati-based TURNSTYLE CREATIVE. He hosted a panel I was on a year or so ago at SPACE, and did a fantastic job. I didn't have time to check out all of his books this year, but will catch up by checking out his SHOP online.

Bob Corby of Back Porch Comics is the mastermind behind the Space show. Thanks to him this is all possible! Thank you again this year Bob!

A completely shocked Larry Blake is checking out a copy of the stellar second issue of Strange Space Stories put out by Main Enterprises. Larry is a fantastic artist and can be reached only at: Larry Blake, 69360 St. Rt. 124, Reedsville, OH 45722. He has lots of great comics, write him and ask how you can buy them! Larry was also recently showcased in a beautiful hardcover KISS book about all the Kiss Fanzine editors and publishers over the years. He had a write up and a color photo in the book!

Jim Main of Main Enterprises poses with a black and white original portrait of himself, by Larry Blake. As soon as I walked into the show room, Jim returned 3 pages of my original artwork I'd sent him back in 1988. HA! True story! If I looked hard enough I'm sure I'd find some things I've got hidden of others works that got misplaced so no hard feelings. In fact we talked about putting out a top secret project that has been talked about for years. Catch Jim's books (and he has many of them!) HERE
Jim puts out the excellent Comic Fan. #6 is another thick issue full of reviews and articles for people that love comics!

Bruce Chrislip. Bruce could just be the most prolific small press creator that step foot into the SPACE show this year! I mean, come on....check out this bibliography of his work. He came over to my table (behind it actually) and showed me some super rare art and posters from the very early days of small press. Wow! He said he has a collection of over 900 mini-comics. I think that is what he said. I should have been taking notes. Bruce also helped out on the book about the Underground Comix of the 80's that just came out by Fantagrphics. He is also working on his own book about the early days of small press. Wow.

Here is Clint having his harty Hardees breakfast before the show on Saturday. He will tell you he ate all this, but I know he left one bite.

Clint and I saw that every table at Hardees had one of these on the wall next to it. We argued about what it could be. Clint thought it was an early phone device. I dissagreed, as it was too large to fit on your belt, and didn't seem to play any mp3's. He agreed when he realized there was no LED screen to view apps.

These were the billboards that were facing the parking lot when we arrived and left each day. I never knew that glass could be so comfortable, comment on the other one.

David Branstetter of Dim Light Graphics home of Straw Man. David is a member of the Comic Creators Alliance a group that meets once a week at the comic store The Comic Quest in Evansville, IN. Allen (me) and Clint Basinger are also members as well as about 10 to 15 others. Ask us about the comics this group has put out in the last few years.

About Straw Man: Straw Man is an independent comic about a guy that thinks he has super powers but doesn't. Is he crazy? Maybe. To get copies or email:

Ava Ann of She was selling alot of these head pieces, "antennae" at the show as I saw just about every lady and girl walking out with one.

Mike Indovina is the writer and illustrator of TIMELESS a web comic at: He recently collected these into a printed comic and he has lots of other comics such as; Satyr, Chimera and cards, shirts....I see him every year at SPACE and he just keeps adding to all the great products at his table. Check out his books! (Same link as above.)
Left to right; Tim Corrigan, Larry Blake and Allen Freeman (me). Tim has his wallet out so he must be making change! HA! Wait, now I can't say I took all of these photos. Ratz!

Mike Kitchen with Ultraist Studios. Spy Guy #1 (unlimited series) is a fantastic comic and everyone should see it! Really. I'm also reading his The Possum. Wait, this is by Blair Kitchen and it's from Possum Press. So, which one is in this photo? Either way they are both very talented writers and cartoonists, both comics are very, very good. Spy Guy even has a 16 page text Ultraist Manifesto! Can't wait to read that. (Update: Mike is the one in this photo. Blair was at the show but not around his table at this time.)

Matt Feazell is drawing in a sketch book.

Suzanne Baumann of Fridge-Magnet. She and Matt are from Hamtramck, MI.
Didn't get the info on this character but thought it was interesting.

Tony Goins of PANEL. A Columbus, OH group that put at PANEL the anthology. It's always very original and PANEL #15 has a movie theme and comes in a DVD case. Put out by Tony also just put out Downs #2. He is a great artist and writer. You have to check out his work.

Kassandra Heller, artist. See more of her work at

Randy Pare on the right. Contact him about his RKYV digital magazine. It is great.

Steve Peters of Awakening Comics.

Here is his character Sparky as Spider-Man (A request from me.). If you buy one of his books he would do up a cool color drawing of Sparky as anyone you wanted. Cool!

Blink Strips vol. 2 by Max Ink.
I have to have everything that Max works on and so will you when you get one look at his comics.

The blissful Kel M. Crum of with his Cornelia Catroons. Kel has an amazing singing voice as you'll hear when you watch the SPACE DOCUMENTARY listed above!

I'm still trying to locate all the info I was going to post here about the groups that are helping students learn to create comics and get scholarships in the graphic arts. The man and woman in costume above are models in some of their classes.

Space Prize 2009 Webcomics Category 1st Place: Introspective Comics Ryan Dow

Mini-Comics Short Story Category 1st Place: Aliens poop on Your Children, Chris Garrett.

General Category 1st Place: The Dreamer #1-5 IDW. Lora Innes-Artist Writer, Tom Waltz-Editor.

Space Anthology 2010 free at

I can't wait till Space 2011! Maybe I'll get out all the books I'd planned to have at Space with me this year. I'll start working on them now!

---Allen Freeman

All the photos I took at SPACE 2010 will be posted HERE eventually. Check it often. Once they are in this set on Flickr, you can download any image at any size, on up to the original.

More photos by Allen

Small Press Newsroom. Send your comic to get a review by me! See the blog here:

My photos of Space in 2004!
My photos of Space in 2007!
My photos of Space in 2008!
My photos on Flicker of Space in 2008!
My Space blog 2009!