Monday, September 24, 2007

Interview with Chuck Haspel

EK Card and Comic Show (With Reptiles!) Morehead, KY

This what took place over the last weekend (September 22nd and 23rd) as Clint Basinger a comic artist and publisher of Backseat Drivers (Who I'd been emailing back and forth but was meeting for the first time, and I (Allen Freeman of Fan-Atic Press) drove from Owensboro, KY to Morehead, KY for the EK Card and Comic Show. Clint drive to Owensboro (He lives just outside Owensboro) and together we drove to Lexington. We went to Chuck Haspel's house where Chuck rents the downstairs of a nice house (1970’s?) in a nice neighborhood. Chuck and I had worked together on many commercial art projects over the years and comic books as he even helped me put out Slam Bang for a while. I'd not seen him since I moved to WA back in 1996. As we were following our MapQuest directions we were in his neighborhood and it said to go to the end of the road and take a left onto the road Chuck's house was on. We got to the end and the other road had no sign on it. But the house right there was the correct house number. So we called Chuck and he said, "Is there a old Cadillac parked out front." We said, "no". He said, "There is one in front of his house." We said, "Well it's not there now. " He said he come out front and look for us. We waited and no one came out from this house. Finally I called him back and we figure out that we needed to go around that corner and down a few more blocks, and then saw the correct house with the same house number as the one we were at. Oh, well.

--Left Chuck, right Clint.

He has two cats and no room for us to stay with him but we knew that and had planned to get a room at a hotel nearby. We saw his old west hand guns, and his shotgun and some of his art work here and there, under a pile of papers, against a wall, and some were on the wall. We also saw where he'd finally started working on the comic Captain Optimist #1 bringing back the character that we worked on (and put out 5 issues) back in the late 80's and early 90's. I take some photos and then we plan to all go see a movie.
--Chuck showing off his pistols.

Clint and I got a nice room at this place down not far from Chuck’s place. We got the room lined up then, with Chuck with us, go to see the movie 3:10 from Yuma. I’d seen it before but liked it so much I wanted to see it again.

--Boo, one of Chuck's cats

The movie was only $5 which was very cheap. Chuck loved it since he is a big Western movie fan (And Western History buff) and even owns 3 real pistols like the type from back in those days! With holsters! And Chuck owns a double barrel shotgun which he also keeps loaded…..(Another reason not to sleep over there.) Clint also liked the movie. Oh, and Chuck showed us his 3 guitars and even a ukulele someone had built for him.

---Captain Optimist (Chuck pencils/Allen inks)

We drop Chuck back at his house then go to our hotel as we are very tired. Clint and I talk comics and stuff till about 1:00am then decided we’d better get some sleep as we have to get up at 8:00 and get Chuck at 8:30am for the drive to Morehead, KY.

I’m shocked out of my sleep at 2:00am as there is a huge frat party going on right outside our door, to our right and above us. Seems we are in the middle of it. Super loud talking and laughing till about 3:00am….I kept thinking I’d stick my head out and tell them to get the hell out of here. But that would probably lead to the van getting smashed up. So that concluded my second night in a row with very little sleep.

Next morning we get Chuck and drive off to the show. Chuck assures us we don’t need the MapQuest page I’d printed out as he used to drive some delivery truck of some sort to that area all the time so he just tosses it down between the seats. We are still driving at 10:00am which is when the show starts. I asked if we missed the turn or something? Chuck says no as he is looking for exit 137. I then keep a watch on the mile markers and they go from 140 to 141 etc…and I mention that we must of passed 137 as the numbers are getting larger. Chuck agrees and we then drive another 8 miles trying to find a place to turnaround on this expressway. There is nothing. Finally a turnaround area but a policeman is right there having just pulled someone over…shit. So a few more miles and we see another turn around and illegally take it. Anyway we get to the show and it’s a nice new convention center. We go in and if you go to the right of the main table it’s the Card and Comic Show. If you go to the left it’s the Reptile Show! No kidding!

People are walking around in the comic show carrying snakes in containers they’d just bought at the Reptile Show! What a hoot! I can’t resist and go to the other side and take photos of the snakes, turtles, cats, toads, and other creatures for sale! That side is booming, hardly anyone is at the comic show. I see a guy with a flying squirrel on his arm, some people holding snakes, large tanks holding mice (Snake food I guess), and we see large snapping turtles and other interesting creatures. I'm also told there were some huge spiders on display and a python. One snake I saw had a price tag of $3000 on it.

---Allen tries out Clint's Cosmic Mustache

Meanwhile back at the comic/card show, I only sold some comics to Clint, Chuck and one other guy. But I did talk to a guy that says he has connections to getting stuff distributed internationally! Movies on DVD, and music CD’s for sure but he will look into books and comics.

---Clint's table

Clint on the other hand was doing OK and I saw him selling his comic series of 4 issues: Backseat Drivers. I read it all the night before and loved it. Very funny stuff. Strange but funny.

The event organizer had found a copy of Fright Night #12 and had me sign it. I donated a copy of Slam Bang to the event to be won from a drawing of the tickets sold but never hear them announce it. They do announce every 30 minutes about a snake they are giving away and pick a ticket and call out the winner. They do this at ear bleeding sound decibels all day long off and on.

--One of the many reptiles, this one cost $3000

We take Chuck back to his place in Lexington, KY, say good-bye, then drive to Frankfort, KY were I meet with a client and pick up some items to do art for another collector print. This time for Hygienists. So I now have all the dangerously sharp tools they use. I offer to give Clint a free cleaning but he just won't go for it so we drive off for Owensboro.

--Chuck's reptile mascot for next year's show. (Inks by AF)

=Allen 9-24-2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

Morgana X- The NOVEL is now OUT!

ALL NEW STORY! Yeah, baby, the Morgana X, 162 page novel (6" x 9") written by Christopher Moshier with a cover by me (Allen Freeman) is out at last! This tells an all new story about Morgana X including an origin! Finally! You thought you'd never see it? Well here it is. Morgana was created by me back around 1987 or so. With the help of Quinton Hoover providing the art for the comic books and with me doing the inking etc...we put out Morgana X for Cat's Paw Comics and later for Sky Comics. So she was in about 6 comics between 1987 and 1994. And finally here is her story! Chris has taken the best characters from the comics and added even more! A super space adventure of the sexiest, galaxy spanning, assassin ever! Oh, and that's not all. There is a 14 page comic story by Allen Freeman and Quinton Hoover from the Sky Comics Special #1 way back in 1994! Not enough? How about a 5 page art gallery of covers used and unused! Get this while it's hot!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Wow, it is September.....

I'm getting some great strips for Slam Bang #3 vol III. Most of them are true stories or just so darn good I'll have to use them anyway! Don't forget end of this month is the deadline. Be in the issue! Do some good. Hug a tree. Draw on a tree, and send it in.