Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Was the, "Roseanne," Revival Ever Going to End Well?

The newest version of, "Roseanne," is cancelled, and is anyone really surprised? Ever since it first began the, "Roseanne," revival was messy. Not the show itself, which was passably entertaining, but basically everything that made-up the show, e.g. the controversy over Roseanne Barr herself. Barr is an outspoken Trump supporter, which I find foolish, but you do you. The thing is, she supported him and would often say troubling, borderline-racist things. The company behind the revival of her show, ABC, would always encourage people to separate Roseanne the person from, "Roseanne," the television show, in some kind of hopes that would take potential heat off them.

The show was a huge hit thanks to a mixture of controversy, Trump-fans supporting it just because of Barr, and of course because it was passably entertaining (and yet the hilarious, "The Mick," gets cancelled, which pisses me off, but I digress). Roseanne didn't ever quit pushing the envelope in her personal life however, and what would have seemed inevitable happened, she finally went from being offensive-yet-getting-away-with-it to just outright tweeting racist shit.
Roseanne tweeted how a former advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarret, was the result of if the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes had a baby. So yeah, horribly offensive on a number of levels. It resulted in a lot of anger, got her show canceled by ABC quite quickly, and Barr has tried to blame being under the influence of Ambien, which the drug-maker helpfully pointed out isn't known to cause racism. Now Donald Trump himself is bitching about people being mad at Roseanne for exercising her freedom of speech--seeming to forget the hissy-fit he threw when NFL players expressed their opinions too by kneeling during the National Anthem, but when has Trump ever been logical?

This is all a mess and as I said at the beginning of my article, is anyone really surprised? Wasn't it just a matter of time before Roseanne Barr herself went too far and, "Roseanne," the show went down in flames? This wasn't ever going to end well, and the only thing about this whole shit-show that has shocked me is how people were surprised all this happened.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Television Tuesday: The Premiere of, "The Bachelorette," and Some Observations

Previously On...
I talked about the most recent season of the Bachelor/Bachelorette when it was running and shared an assortment of observations about it. That method seemed to work well for getting some thoughts across, so I reasoned I would do it again to share some recollections and opinions on last night's premiere.

Some Observations
Becca Makes a Great Bachelorette
I didn't really care for Arie last go-round, finding him boring and dull. Then he revealed he was actually the secret villain of the season, choosing Becca when it was down to her or Lauren B. then a few weeks later saying he changed his mind and wanted to be with Lauren. The break-up where he declared this was filmed and just utterly painful to witness as Arie talked about wanting to, "Explore the possibility," of he and Lauren and tried to be a, "Nice guy," and console Becca as he utterly broke her heart and didn't just leave as she kept asking him to do. As bland and surprisingly evil Arie was however, Becca is a delight. She's smart, funny, and personable. She's pretty, but not in a plastic or fake way, and otherwise is a solid human being the audience is cheering for--especially after what happened with Arie.
Colton seems like a genuine person.
The Men Already Fit Into Three Categories
The men we meet seem to pretty easily fit into three categories. There are the guys who will clearly be among the final ones Becca has to choose between, the men who will just kind of be there and totally unremarkable, and a couple of shit-stirrers who are sure to cause all sorts of drama. We've got really cool fellows such as Clay, Colton, Lincoln, Leo, Rickey, and Garret (oh wait, hmmm) dudes whose names I can't remember due to them barely making an impact, and then obvious idiots such as Jordan who seems like he can't wait to make an ass of himself picking fights with others. It'll be interesting to see just how these three various categories of guys all gel (or don't gel) together for sure.
Why Did The Chicken-Suit Guy Have to be Named David?
There are many people named David in the world. We aren't as common as, "John," but we seem to pop-up a lot. That said, when the dude who appeared in a chicken suit and squawked, "Bec-ca," revealed his name was David I just went, "Oh God Damnit." I mean, of course the guy with the weirdest idea had the same name as me, right? That said, Becca seemed to really enjoy talking with him and liked the guy, so maybe the chicken suit was the right call after all? Time will tell.
The, "This Season On," Teaser Revealed a Lot
At the end of the show they had a teaser of what to expect this season that seemed to show quite a lot. Like, we basically know which chunk of people will get far enough to go on the fancy trips and such now. It was kind of weird how much it felt like was revealed. I mean, plenty seemingly-wild things were left mysterious (those ambulances) but still, it was odd.

Premiere Conclusions (I Know That's A Bit of an Oxymoron)
Hopefully nothing like this happens this season
My overall thoughts on last night's premiere was that this already seems like a better season than the last one with Arie thanks to the Bachelor/Bacherloette actually being someone we root-for and like. The men who will be seeing if they have a spark with Becca and (we assume) will fall in love with her are a nice assortment of great guys and total tools. We have this season's seemingly off-the-wall-bonkers individual in the form of Jordan, and this strange commercialized and totally unrealistic take on romance I still inexplicably love watching will  hopefully be a grand time. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, this time Becca will get the happy ending she really seems to deserve.

Monday, May 28, 2018

I Loved the Dark Wit of, "I Hate You--You Just Don't Know it Yet"

I was recently able to acquire a digital copy of the upcoming original graphic novel, "I Hate You--You Just Don't Know it Yet." Published by the Germany-based Rotopol and written/illustrated by Nadine Redlich, it caught my eye with its quirky minimalist style as I of course love experimental comics. Having now read, "I Hate You--You Just Don't Know it Yet," I loved the cynical humor found within the book (that also has just a hint of heart).

"I Hate You--You Just Don't Know it Yet," is a twisted love-hate letter of sorts, written to an unspecified romantic partner, describing how they are self-obsessed, ugly, remind the writer (Redlich never specifies any names) of all sorts of hideous things, make the writer behave in ways they normally wouldn't, but it is clear they still have an affection for their partner even though if things go wrong in the relationship there will clearly be a lot of rage. Considering how many relationships have ups-and-downs it is entertaining to witness Redlich's writer-character discuss the mixture of feelings they have in regards to their partner, from evaluating their love's appearance to questioning the etiquette of farting in one another's presence.
Redlich's artwork tends to be minimalist-yet-expressive. Whether describing how her partner reminds her of a vase (then drawn as a toilet bowl), or using a drawing of a brick wall to illustrate the idea of personal boundaries, she only ever uses the color of a dark-red on otherwise bright-white space to create an attention-grabbing contrast. It works perfectly to get across her brutally-funny insights.

"I Hate You--You Just Don't Know it Yet," has a great dark wit that offers a biting commentary on the world's concepts of idealized or, "Perfect love." Love is of course never perfect, it is messy, nasty, and full of conflict as well as immeasurable joy. Nadine Redlich portrays this expertly and the result is a fantastic comic! I give this a glowing...
5 out of 5 stars.
You can pre-order a copy of, "I Hate You--You Just Don't Know it Yet," at Rotopol's website!

Note: A copy of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher for the purposes of review.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Today Was my Birthday. The World Has Changed a Lot in 30 Years

Today was my birthday. I have now lived three decades upon this planet. There are people old enough to vote now who stare at me in disbelief when I tell them about the 1990's ("Seriously, you had to sit there and listen to these horrible dial-up machine-sounds to connect to the internet, and you couldn't get phone-calls while using it unless you had two lines!") and early 2000's. I remember when the idea of drones flying around in the sky was unheard of outside of top-of-the-line military technology, now we have horny folk buying the devices at Walmart and then using them to peer into people's houses. In the era of my childhood cellular phones were bulky novelties and if we wanted to listen to our music on the go we needed a carrying-case for all of our tape cassettes or CDs.

We as a society were just starting the scratch the surface of the possibilities genetics held with the cloning of a sheep named Dolly seeming cutting-edge at the time when nowadays we can do absurdly complex things with stem cells. People who were gay couldn't get married in any state and could even be arrested for having sex until a shockingly recent time. Restaurants in most states still had smoking and non-smoking sections. It was a big deal our President lied about getting to third-base with an intern (which seems quaint now compared to Trump). I am only 30 and marvel at how much the world has changed both for the better and for the worse.

The world keeps changing in a variety of fascinating ways that both bring me joy and make me feel sorrow. I look forward to what future years hold, and it makes me happy I was able to find the love of my life (Samii) and have a wonderful son (Clarkson) all before I turned 30. That makes me feel accomplished, happy, and (as I just said) excited for the future!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Film and Funko Friday: "Making Fun--The Story of Funko"

I am of course a fan of movies and love a good documentary. I also enjoy Funko Pops a bunch. Therefore, when I heard the documentary, "Making Fun--The Story of Funko," would be coming to Netflix on May 24th, 2018, I was excited! Having now watched it I can say it is a great film that interestingly doesn't so much make an argument for being a fan of Funko Pops as it does the general joys of fandom.

About the first 30 minutes of its approximate hour-and-a-half running-time get spent detailing how the founders of Funko got the idea for the company, its bobble-head products (AKA, "Wacky Wobblers,"), and the eventual creation of the now massively-popular, "Pop," vinyl figures. After that however it segues more-so into talking with a range of fans from famous people to everyday folk who enjoy Funko products. An over-arching theme of community, nostalgia, and a love of fun is often discussed.
I quite enjoyed the movie but actually was most intrigued by the first third with its nuts-and-bolts of how Funko came about. I actually would have loved to learn even more about the intricacies of the company, how it actually acquired the various popular licenses they have, and stuff of that nature which might have bored other viewers but fascinates me as someone who enjoys learning about the minutiae of my hobbies.

That said, seeing the diversity of Funko fans, hearing folk talk about the joys of collecting, and witnessing such a cool community is a real treat and for sure warms even a heart as bitter and cynical as mine--like during a scene towards the end where two fans of Funko get married and as the person officiating talks about love the movie re-visits clips of the, "Funatics," we've met during the flick. It's a delightful movie and one anybody who enjoys a collecting-based hobby will find cool, whether they like Funko products or anything else!
4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Interview Time: Charles Forsman

Some Info About Charles Forsman
I have spoken a number of times about how I am a big fan of Charles Forsman and his works. "The End of the Fucking World," was a stellar comic, "Revenger," is pulpy fun, and, "Slasher," was one of my favorite mini-series of 2017 (with Forsman himself being a favorite writer-artist of last year as well). I reached-out to him back at the start of the year to inquire about doing an interview and over the months we engaged in a big back-and-forth I greatly enjoyed discussing comics, music, and life in general. You can check out the interview below!

The Interview
First off, thanks for agreeing to do an interview with me, Chuck. Would you mind telling my readers a little bit about yourself--who you are, what comics you've made?

Thanks for having me. I’m a 35 year old cartoonist from the North Eastern US. My comics include Celebrated Summer, TEOTFW, I am Not Okay With This, Revenger, Slasher and my current project AUTOMA.

At one time you had your own micro-comics publisher known as Oily Comics. You distributed some of your earliest works via that as well as other titles, correct? What made you want to be your own micro-publisher at the time?

Oily wasn’t all that thought out. I never expected it to become a thing. Oily began soon after I started releasing TEOTFW as mini comics. I was enjoying the experience of serializing and the lowered stakes of making such cheap little books so I asked some friends to join me. I soon found myself printing 5 mini comics a month for about 2 years. I burned out pretty quick. It was a lot of stapling. But really, I found myself with a choice. I really enjoy publishing, and production and shipping but I want to be a cartoonist. That is my main concern and I found my attention being pulled further and further from that. So I decided to end it. It more like faded actually.

I think the whole reason I began doing it was just that I was getting some attention for TEOTFW and I thought I could shine that light on cartoonists I liked and get them in front of new readers. That was the main goal.
"The End of the Fucking World," was the first thing by you I read back in the bygone days of 2013. I told you I haven't watched the adaptation on Netflix yet, and I apologize but my que is 100-titles deep. That said, how did the adaptation come about, and how satisfied were you with it?

Well, Jonathan Entwistle, the creator of the show picked up a few of the comics in 2012. He emailed me and said he would like to adapt it. Five or six years of ups and downs and anxiety later the thing is a show. It’s really a testament to Jon’s drive. I’m surprised he didn’t give up on it. But he made it happen along with a whole mountain of people it takes to make a TV show. I am extremely happy with it. And, look, from my end, it’s basically like winning the lottery. Just the thing actually getting made is a miracle. And then that fact that it’s genuinely a cool show and so many people have reacted to it positively is hard to fathom.

Looking at your drawing-style it seems capable of great variation. "TEOTFW," looks minimalist and almost cartoony, a stark contrast to something like, "Revenger," which is detailed in its brutality and, "Slasher," which also doesn't shy away from explicitly-rendered violence. What goes into you deciding what kind of artistic style you want to use for a book?

Yeah, I appreciate you calling me “capable.” HAHA. I actually don’t think I’m a great cartoonist. I’m okay but I don’t think I have too much natural god-given talent. I have minimal talent that I try to make work in as many different ways as possible. I used to get really hung up on not having a style to call my own. But I kind of learned to embrace that and become a bit of a chameleon. I enjoy drawing in different ways especially when I can adapt it to suit a story. Deciding on how I’m going to draw something depends on the feeling of it. Revenger was quite a shift because I wanted to do something with all these comics I was reading from the 80s and 90s. Marvel and DC stuff but also the stuff from the self-publishing “boom” from that time.

TEOTFW’s style came about as I wanted to try to strip my stuff way back so I could pump out paged quickly. I think for me that is important to move quickly. It’s harder to keep my focus if I laboring over each page.
I of course loved, "Slasher," and considered it one of my favorite mini-series of 2017, and it played a major role in your being one of my favorite writer-artists of 2017. Would you mind sharing how the idea for it came about?

Yeah, that one was spurred on by things I believe. I wanted to do a female killer story. For whatever reason female serial killers are not as prevalent as male killers. I also wanted to have a character where the violence was tied up with their sexuality. It’s a gruesome thing that some serial killers have. The other part was based on the real life case of Gypsy-May and DeeDee. There is a really great longform piece on them on Buzzfeed that I read a few years ago. If you don’t know about them, it was basically a mother and daughter living in a trailer but the mom was making her kid sick and convincing the world she had cancer and was like 10 years younger than she actually was. The story really stuck with me and I decided to put it with this other idea and see how it came out of me.

Before the killing starts in, "Slasher," I really felt bad for the main characters (or who we think they are). Christina comes across as someone desperately lonely and unsure how to handle her blood-based fetishes, and, "Josh," has an overbearing and emotionally abusive mother. Oftentimes in horror stories the focus is on the people fleeing the boogeyman, but here you actually try to really give us a sympathetic view of the, "monster," before they start acting monstrous. What made you want to flesh-out Christina so much so that we didn't just view her as a psychotic killer?

I can’t help it. It’s how I tell stories. Or at least it’s how I’ve figured out how to do it. I need to get into the character and make them feel real. So a lot of what I’m putting down it mapping out how they interact with the world. To me, that is the story. I’m not much of a plotter. I’m just more interested in depicting characters that feel true.
When I was reading, "Slasher," I felt like I could see it going in one direction before it very suddenly zigged where I thought it would zag. This is of course when (spoilers) we learn the so-called romance we've been witnessing is one big catfish. I thought the comic would have Christina meet Josh and either, A. Embark on a killing-spree as a couple or B. Have Josh be surprised she was actually acting out murders and not just doing some kind of weird role-play, resulting in his rejecting her. We of course got neither of those things and instead got a plot twist I use to describe the comic to friends when I say, "Slasher," is arguably about, "Why you should never catfish a serial killer." Did you have this big twist planned all along when you started the story or did it happen later on?

Honestly no I did not. But that’s okay. I had the whole thing mapped out in an outline but halfway through either due to boredom or anxiety I decided to make a left turn. It seemed like a good idea to me at the time and carried my enthusiasm the rest of the way. Part of me feels cowardly for doing it. Like I should have just stuck to my little poem I was working on. But it’s what I decided to do. This happens a lot to me. And it is what makes comics fun for me. Because It is just me and I’m not working with anyone else, I am free to do something like that. I enjoy it when it doesn’t go to plan and I like when it happens. With every step of the process I am tweaking and making changes. And I’m not a robot. Sometimes my mood can affect things in the story depending on how I’m feeling that day. But to me, that’s comics. It’s about setting up rules in the beginning and watching the characters try to stay within those rules and ultimately they end up breaking those rules.

You have made a number of comics featuring your character, "Revenger." I would say its tone is quite different from the disaffect youth in,  "TEOTFW," or the stark horror of, "Slasher." It reminds me of old grindhouse flicks or pulpy comics and when I read it, I feel like I'm enjoying a comic by someone who set out with the intention of having fun. You've done a number of series and one-shots with her, so am I correct in feeling like, "Revenger," is what you do when you feel a bit more like cutting-loose?

Yeah. It is me having fun. It is all of those things you’ve described but I think deep down it really is me getting out my frustrations with the world. She is the ultimate Social Justice Warrior. But she uses the tools of a fascist to kill fascists. So yeah, I’m having fun but I also want her to be a Dirty Harry for socialists.
Sometimes when I think of creators I associate them as doing much of their work with a particular publisher. That doesn't seem to apply to you, with you having done everything from your own micro-publishing, to working with indie publishers, having stuff come-out from Fantagraphics, and now you're doing a comic exclusively available to folk who back you on Patreon (which we'll discuss more in a second). What makes you choose whatever publisher (or lack thereof) that you do for certain projects, and why?

Well, I think when I was starting out I would see some cartoonists I admired jumping from publisher to publisher. I’ve never been one for being loyal to a certain house. Plus I came up self-publishing, and as you mentioned, I still do. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with different publishers. A big part of it is also because my books can be so different that I think it’s smart to have multiple publishers. There is so little money and opportunity in comics that I think it’s smarter for me to cast a wide net. That probably isn’t true for everyone but it works for me.

Like a number of talented creators you have a Patreon. Something I can't recall anyone else doing however is that you have a comic that people can only get by backing you on Patreon (or if a retailer backs you at a higher-level they can get some extra copies of the comic to sell at their store). What made you want to do this?

Well, I’ve been doing subscriptions for my comics since the Oily days. I think people like it. They like the regularity of getting a comic in the mail monthly (fingers crossed) and it keeps me motivated to hit that deadline every month. Patreon is just another way of doing a subscription. It really works for me. When I started floppies were dead for alternative comics. Fanta and D&Q had stopped printing any floppies. And the big publishers were giving book contracts for great big graphic novels. And that seemed to be the way the wind blew so I never thought much about serializing. But when I started TEOTFW I found that it was like a drug. I just love it. I love putting something out regularly and it helps when I get feedback during the process. It’s hard to be holed up in your room for years working on something. I mean, I love being alone but man I like telling a story in chapters and getting them out there.
I recently received my first issue of, "Automa," and loved it [since our starting the interview-process I've gotten issue #2 and #3 and they rocked too]! I get a really dark vibe from it like you've married a boxing movie and crime flick and thrown-in the complicated issue of our main character being an uncle to a newly-orphaned child. I had mixed feelings about the movie, "Drive," but loved certain elements of it, with your story making me think of the parts I liked in that movie, perhaps because it oozes a weird arty-and-gritty tone. It's just the first issue that has come out, but a lot is already happening. Can you tell me how many more issues you plan to make--if you have decided--and what readers can expect? Also, how can people who want to read, "Automa," get in on it?

Thanks, yeah. I am hesitant to say too much about AUTOMA in terms of the story because I want it to be a surprise. Right now, the rough plan is to have it be 18 chapters. It might be the biggest book I’ve made when it’s all said and done. It’s a much bigger story in terms of its timeline than any of my other comics. In my head, AUTOMA is my version of Manga. I want it to be breezy to read with good character iconography. But I’m limited by my abilities so it comes out not exactly how I envision it. And, jeez, first issues are hard. I second guesses so much stuff in that first issue. It’s touch because you have all these ideas in your head but once you start putting them down, you have a commitment. I always have to trick myself out of caring too much.

I am someone who loves music and sometimes, "Hear," a certain kind of music in my mind when I read books. Often when I flip-through your comics I either hear loud heavy-metal or weirdly tense electronic beats like something from Trent Reznor, depending on the title I'm enmeshed in. May I ask what kind of music you like and if you listen to music while working?

HAHA. This is great. Music has often been pretty important to me. And I have often listened to certain music when drawing comics. Celebrated Summer and TEOTFW were heavily influenced by Husker Du and I think I was listening to a lot of NIN when I started Slasher. It’s one of those things the readers can’t see or hear, but I do think it seeps into the work somehow.
This is probably as bland a question as you can get besides, “Where do your ideas come from?” but I am curious whom you would cite as an artistic influence, if anyone?

In comics, my biggest visual influences are E.C. Segar, Chester Brown, Frank Miller,
Klaus Janson, Charles Schulz, Jorge Zaffino, Paul Gulacy, George Herriman.

It seems like a decent amount of the time more independent-scene creators will do a project for a, “Big,” publisher. Do you have any interest in having a comic published with Image, or have you ever even considered dipping your toe into a superhero comic at Marvel or DC? I’ll be honest and tell you I’ve wondered what a Forsman-written Moon Knight might be like, or as fan-ficy as it might sound, what kind of scene we’d get if Frank Castle AKA the Punisher met the Revenger.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about it. But it’s still a weird thing. No one gets called a sell out anymore because artists need to get money where they can get it. But I think I would need to think about it long and hard. And there would have to be something that really pulls me to do it. Whether that’s working with someone I want to work with, I have a story I need to tell, maybe it’s freedom to do a book that I have control over and not something like taking on a regular series. I think there has to be a pretty good “why” for me to do something at Marvel or DC. But this changes daily. I’m sure if you ask me tomorrow I would just say, yeah, I want to do it.

As far as someone like Image, I actually did send a Revenger pitch to them through the normal submission channels. I knew it was a long shot not having and in over there. And as I expected I never heard anything back. I’m actually happy about that though. It made me do what I always do. Self publish. I’m often too impatient to wait around for someone to say ,”go.” You don’t get to draw comics waiting for someone to give you permission.
The television adaptation of, "TEOTFW.
Another cliche question, but we often read about how independent creators can struggle to, “Make it,” in regards to achieving a livable income where things like groceries, bills, etc. can be paid. How long did it take you to get to a point where you felt you could pursue comics as your main, “Job,” and not have to worry about going totally broke--or do you even feel you’re at that point?

Honestly, I still don’t feel that secure. Money is never stable when you work freelance. It comes and goes. My anxiety over it has lessened over the years. I left my last day job in 2011 and it was because I needed to move for unrelated reasons. I found myself jobless with no real prospects and that’s about the time I started doing TEOTFW. Sometimes flying without a net can be a good motivator. But I know that’s also a privileged position to hold. I don’t have kids or people relying on me or dire medical needs so it’s easier for me to to take that risk. I live fairly cheaply in a really small town. I think if I moved to New York City like I always dreamt of doing, I wouldn’t have many comics to show for it.

One thing that fascinates me besides the work a comic creator completes is the, “Graveyard,” of projects that they didn’t finish. Is your graveyard mostly barren with the majority of concepts you undertake reaching their conclusion or is it full of half-realized ideas or projects that found themselves at a dead-end? Would you be willing to tell us about some or any of these?

I have a few things like that. Teen Creeps is a series I began after TEOTFW. I did 4 chapters and gave up on it. I just had this feeling I couldn’t shake that I was doing the same thing I just did. So I ditched it. I have a book called Lena 4-ever about a girl who becomes a carnival stripper in the 1970s. I’m not sure why that one stalled out. I think I just put it aside intending to get back to it but just never have. I still like the idea so I may come back to it someday. I also did 2 issues of a comic called Luv Sucker. It was a teenage vampire book. Again, same thing. I just haven’t returned to it.
When you’re not makings comics what else do you like to do? Are you a video-gamer? Do you enjoy sports? Play any instruments?

I used to play guitar a lot but I haven’t picked it up in a few years. I always mean to because I find it relaxing.

Lately I’ve gotten back into video games. I was out of it since the Dreamcast died. But I’ve recently gotten into collecting NES games and playing them. But also a few modern games. I tend to gravitate to platformers though. Those are my favorites kinds of games. Metroid and Castlevania are just the best.

What is your favorite comic that you ever read?

Ha. This is what I call an impossible question.
Revenger fighting some homicidal clowns.
If you could adapt any other comic you’ve created so far into any other medium, which one would it be and in what form (movie, television show, cartoon)?

Revenger. I think it would just make a really cool show. When I started it, I sort of thought about it as being an ongoing thing so in my head seeing her story serialized on TV would be a good fit.

Do you have any other projects coming-up you can share some information about, or is, “Automa,” your main focus for now?

Right now, I’m all Automa all the time. I do mutter to myself that I’m going to do another issue of Snake Oil. Just a good old fashioned comic with a few random strips. I have some ideas so I might actually get that done sooner than later.

Concluding Thoughts
Thanks again to Charles Forsman for doing this big interview with me and being so open, honest, and interesting. I encourage everyone to visit his website and you can check-out his Patreon here!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Battlefield 5," Looks and Sounds Promising

Today the game, "Battlefield 5," was officially announced. Set during World War II it will have interesting changes to the usual gameplay and have zero loot boxes to buy for in-game advantages, instead favoring the ability to purchase cosmetic items. As someone who has always had a soft spot for the, "Battlefield," series (the awesome games as well as the weaker ones) I would say things look promising and sound good--at least on metaphorical paper. The only incidences of people seeming especially upset are the usual morons mad that women and black people happen to be in the game for so-called historical accuracy reasons (never-mind the major roles of women in front-line at times for the Soviet Union or how WWII was when America desegregated the military).

I don't play video-games nearly as much nowadays but this is a game I will for sure try to get some screen-time in with when it comes out in October. The single-player stories of, "Battlefield I," were great and hopefully we'll get more cool yarns here, and the multi-player antics of the, "Battlefield," games have always entertained me from the old days when I was playing, "Battlefield 1942," on my creaky PC to the shenanigans I got to on my ol' PS3 with the quality, "Battlefield 3." I'm assuming this will at least be a good time, if not a great one. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mike Wolfer is Running a Cool New Kickstarter!

Friend of the blog Mike Wolfer is running a new Kickstarter that looks really cool! Titled, "Fright and Delights," it is a collection of pin-up artwork that sounds fun. I reached-out to Mike to inquire what exactly made him want to do a new pin-up book and he told me:

"Frights & Delights is an all-new, full-color, pin-up book in the tradition of my previous Gallery of Terror/Horror/Monsters and Maximum Widow Exhibition books. You know how comics are these days, with all of the variant covers. And all of my books have variants, too, but unless you buy them all (and who can afford that), there's no one place where you can view all of the art in one sitting. So that's why I'm doing books like Frights & Delights. It gives everyone a chance to enjoy all of those various and sometimes obscure pieces of art, finally collected together in single volumes."

I also noticed the campaign has pledge levels/add-ons that allow folk to get goodies from all his other previous Kickstarter campaigns. I asked him if that was for folk who maybe missed previous campaigns and he responded:

"That's exactly the reason. Because of all of the recent, high-profile work I've done with American Mythology Productions, like Eternal Thirst of Dracula and The Land That Time Forgot, along with a few other projects that showcase my art, I've had a lot of new readers discovering my work and saying, "Wow- I've never seen your stuff before, but you've got a new fan." So I figured that since I have a huge body of work that's available in print, and since I don't have a website or mail order business, the easiest way to not only fund a new project but to offer all of those dozens and dozens of stories and series to people just discovering me is through Kickstarter. I also have a lot of people who are my super-backers, who back nearly everything that I crowdfund, but occasionally they'll miss one here or there. But once the campaign is over, that's it- You can't get many of the items or Stretch Goals again. So for old backers and new, I'm bringing back nearly all of the super-exclusive rewards from nearly all of my previous campaigns, including Stretch Goal items which were never offered anywhere else. It's like a great, catch-up or get-to-know-my-work kind of setting!"

I myself am always excited for new work from Mike Wolfer and will be backing the campaign for sure! You can find it on Kickstarter here.

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Cigarette Company Sent Me a Metal Mug for My Birthday-Month, So That's Weird

The mug and little card that opens to wish me a happy birthday
Not too long ago I made a post about the weird and now mostly-hidden world of cigarette advertising. I signed-up with Marlboro and was able to explore their odd website full of hyper-masculine, fetishistic love of cowboy imagery. They also started sending me coupons for packs and cartons that I give to a friend who smokes (they've tried in the past to quit, but struggle). The other day in the mail I got a little box from Marlboro and was confused as to what it could be. I opened it up to find I had been given a metal mug like the kind cowboys would have theoretically used, "On the range," in the past  plus a card wishing me a happy birthday.

The mug itself is pretty nice. A little paper about how to keep it good condition says it is dishwasher safe but shouldn't be microwaved. It just feels weird to get a present from a company that sends these to people basically saying, "Thanks for inhaling our product that kills you, enjoy this mug!" The way they made the mug look all old-timey with the metal design so that when using it I can theoretically feel like a, "Real," cowboy is another example of ingeniously twisted marketing for sure too.
The mug in its box.
I think I'll keep the mug because it'll be a good conversation piece when folk ask how I got it and I can tell them its strange history. That said, it still is bizarre and both at once a clever and insidious thing for a cigarette company such as Marlboro to do--"This big corporation cares enough about me to give me a present! I guess I'll keep smoking their brand until I develop cancer!" In all fairness though, it is a good quality mug. That doesn't make-up for the fact that cigarettes kill countless people and resulted in the eventual death of my Grandmother (who admittedly didn't smoke Marlboro, but yeah) despite her numerous attempts to quit--no matter how much big tobacco might wish it does--but yeah, the mug is nice. I'd rather have my Grandmother lived longer, though.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Rant-Reviews: All Indie Comics

Smaller Press, But Not Smaller Fun
I enjoy reading comics from the big two (Marvel and DC) as well as other larger comic-book publishers such as Image, IDW, Boom, Dyanmite--you know, all the, "Premier," publishers you find listed at the Previewsworld website or in Previews catalog. That said, I continue to have a great affinity for the smaller, "indie," comic-book publishers (and micro-press too). With that in mind I thought I'd discuss an assortment of works from publishers that might not be as known as the, "Big dogs," but still make some cool works.

Getting Indie With It!
Daygloayhole  #1
Published by Silver Sprocket (who also published the awesome, "No Better Words," book I loved), "Daygloayhole," is going to becoming out quarterly and collects this work of Ben Passmore as he published the comic over time. Set in the world after its end due to an unclear cataclysm, the idea of a post-apocalypse is actually more-so used as a metaphor to discuss concepts as wide-ranging as police brutality, concepts of family, the ethical and financial considerations of the commercialization of sex via pornography, and gentrification. It's a fascinatingly weird comic, prone to random asides and just as likely to make a deep statement about humanity as it is to tell a dirty joke or show some wanton violence. The comic will be coming-out quarterly so I have to wait until July to read more, which feels like a long time to have to be patient as I loved this quirky book. The wait will just make it even more fun once I get to read the next issue, right?
5 out of 5 stars.

Infinity 8 #2
I have a soft spot for the publisher Lion Forge. Part of this is because they are based in the Saint Louis region, and because I've seen them grow from a smaller publisher who I enjoyed speaking with previously, to a quite notable presence in the field of comics. The latest series, "Infinity 8," will have a number of comics set in its weird space-world with each three-issue arc self-contained, and I believe the 3rd issue is already out. I haven't been able to pick it up yet though, so I thought I'd discuss the second. Basically the first issue did a lot of introducing us to a universe of aliens and agents who keep order on spaceships. At the end of the first issue things went haywire and now we get to witness all kinds of madness and danger. The book has a real Euro-comic feel--in a good way--with a mixture of sharply striking artwork and enjoyably dry humor. Even if this issue is mostly one big action-scene it is a fun one, and I'm eager to get to the comic-shop and grab myself a copy of issue #3 as soon as possible.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Jazz Legend #1
SCOUT Comics makes a number of stellar books, from, "Stabbity Bunny," to upcoming release, "Zinnober." Their latest new series is, "Jazz Legend," and it is an interesting mesh of fantastical horror and hints of meta-ness. The comic seems to be about an amazing jazz performer but it becomes clear that he may in some ways be suffering from having his life be a story created by a writer who is himself amazed what he records comes true. At least, that is what I took from it, with other reviews online seeming pretty befuddled too by the story but loving the bizarre tone and imagery. Just how real some people are and how much they are surreal creations is unclear, but this has piqued my interest enough I for sure want to keep reading the book. It's confusing and messy, but I think intentionally so. Plus, it discusses Jazz, a beautiful artform, so that element alone makes this a keeper.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Wasted Space #1
VAULT is a newer publisher who has already been a solid job carving-out a name for themselves as putting-out interesting and surreal works. "Wasted Space," fits that bill for sure, featuring a wild mixture of ideas in a futuristic time full of space travel, religion, political intrigue, and "Fuq" bots. This is just a single issue--and a first one at that--so all these ideas at times threaten to make the story feel a bit overloaded and almost too packed with fun ideas. Thankfully things seem to balance out for the most part and by this issue's end we have a good handle on who the main characters are and what they'll be up to in future issues (taking down a corrupt politician abusing people's beliefs for his own gain seems to be the upcoming focus). It's a fun read and promising, I just hope it can deliver.
3 out of 5 stars.

Hidden Blood One-Shot
Amigo has been around for a bit and released a number of cool comics. This one-shot by the writer-artist known simply as, "Massacre," is a fun read in the style of an old-school grind-house flick. Focused on a former boxer named Clarice who has resorted to stripping since getting suspended due to her extreme methods of fighting, the book has the aforementioned strippers facing-off against a vampire, a Nazi-hunter confronted with evil robots, tons of nudity, heaping amounts of gore, and just enough knowing winks to the reader to make it clear the book is quite self-aware at its absurdity. The variety of corny plots sync-up and separate enough to make it clear care was put into the story no matter how silly it is, and Massacre's artwork is appropriately sexy or horrifying as the comic calls for it. Delightfully cheeky stuff.
5 out of 5 stars.

Galaktikon #6
Published by Albatross Funnybooks, the finale issue of this series comes from the talented Brendon Small (of "Home Movies," and "Metalocalypse," fame) where he has taken his musical albums that tell the story of flawed space-hero Galaktikon and has made it into a solidly interesting yarn about a how our idols often can be flawed and troubled jerks. It sounds depressing, but, "Galaktikon," was actually quite the darkly funny series and this final issue ends in a way that leaves the door open for more albums/comics as Galaktikon conquers some of his own personal demons and fells a longtime enemy, but still clearly needs a lot more personal growth before approaching anything resembling a functional adult. It's bleak-yet-fun stuff. I liked it a lot.
4 out of 5 stars.

There's Always Good Stuff Hiding Out There
If you ever find yourself getting tired of the kind of books put out by bigger publishers just remember there is always some good stuff hiding out there that you just might have to look a little bit for, checking out all the less-known publishers for some quality books. Also, I am aware how half the books I reviewed interestingly seemed to involve outer-space to some degree. I guess I know what I like!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Funko Friday: Princess Diana and the Upcoming Royal Wedding

The upcoming royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is less than 24 hours away and in a cool coincidence some Funko Pops featuring Princess Diana I ordered from CNS Toys arrived today. I am just old enough to remember when Princess Diana was still alive and how much we all loved her. I also remember that fateful night she sadly died in a limo crash whilst the driver was trying to evade the paparazzi. Having Funko Pops commeerating Princess Di is really neat, even if the Funko corporation maybe should have thought-through the questionable messaging of having their rarer variant labeled a, "Chase," seeing as how she passed. That aside, it is a really cool Funko Pop and I love the rarer red dress variant even more--hence it going in a hard-stack to keep it extra safe.

Thanks again to CNS Toys, and I want to remind readers of the blog that if they visit CNS Toys and make a purchase, they can use promo code TNR5 for 5% off. I appreciate CNS Toys giving me such a code to share with folk and hope it can assist other Funko-fans in getting their desired items!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Observation on Free Speech in Comics AKA Richard Meyer is a Moron

A classic piece by xkcd.
I have an observation on the concept of free speech in the field of comics. Basically, if the things you say within your comics, in regards to the comic industry, or when it comes to politics don't get you arrested and charged with a crime such as obscenity (like Mike Diana was) or locked-up in prison, you still are exercising your freedom of speech free as defined by the constitution. If your name is Richard Meyer and you say horrible and hateful things that result in the comic-book industry despising you to such a degree that a fine comic company such as Anarctic Press refuses to publish your book once made aware of your beliefs, that is fully within their rights as well. You haven't had your freedom of speech trampled on, you still are free of incarceration or being charged with any crimes. You aren't suffering for your beliefs in any way like say, Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar who has suffered horribly for critiquing the corrupt government.

Richard Meyer has said things that are homophobic, sexist, transphobic, and otherwise has proven himself to be extremely capable of blaming others for his failure to succeed in the field of comics, but shown he sucks at basically anything else--such as making good comics or behaving in manner similar to a decent human being. In other words, Meyer isn't being mistreated or persecuted. He's just mad he's getting called-out for being a dick and has rallied other hateful people to support him who like to blame any kind of diversity as making comics worse for...reasons (e.g. Comicsgate). Richard Meyer has the freedom of speech to be a horrible person, and everyone else has the right to choose not to give him any money. He isn't being arrested or locked-up, he's just a loudmouthed moron spreading hatred on the internet.

Monday, May 14, 2018

I Hope Everyone Had a Great Mother's Day Yesterday!

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day yesterday. Ours was mostly delightful as we celebrated Samii's second Mother's Day as Clarkson's Mom. I love my wife so much and am thankful everyday for someone as caring, sweet, and beautiful as her. She's a fantastic Mother and I look forward to honoring her further on future Mother's Days!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

This Kickstarter for, "Dragonstorm Volume 1," Looks Cool

I sometimes talk about Kickstarter campaigns that have caught my eye, and seeing as how I love comics it makes sense those are generally what I focus on. The creator of a new campaign named Jaydee Rosario reached-out to let me know he had just started a campaign to collect volume 1 of, "Dragonstorm." Jaydee actually first emailed me years ago back in 2012 when he was just starting, "Dragonstorm," and he has been working hard at the series since!  "Dragonstorm," is the story of a hero who has  to raise the granddaughter of his greatest enemy. Neither of them are excited about this but they need each other in order to survive.

Jaydee is the writer and the great-looking art is done by Craig Shepard with Michael Summers on colors. I'm also encouraged by the fact that the entire story is done and they just are doing the Kickstarter to raise funds for printing the comic--this isn't one of those cases where you'll be waiting months-to-years for them to finish the book. It has 33 days to go and already has raised over 500 dollars of the $1549  goal. I wish Jaydee, Craig, and Michael the best of luck and hope their comic get funded!
Check out the Kickstarter at this link!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Advance Review: Zinnober #1

I'm on a press list for the fantastic publisher known as SCOUT Comics and had the opportunity to read an advance copy of their upcoming comic, "Zinnober." The concept is one we've seen in some other forms, a world where dragons arrived and destroyed the Earth, leaving a small number of survivors. However, writer-artist  Ralf Singh and co-writer Thorsten Brochhaus put a new and unique spin on things I quite enjoyed. Things start simply enough--at the start of the issue we meet Claire and her mentor James as they try to save a dog left out as bait for the dragons.

They end-up rescuing another human and learn that there might be some way to fight against the dragons. In the process we also learn about a dragon-worshiping cult which seems harmless, but clearly has some issues, as a cliff-hanger of potential violence makes clear. I liked that, "Zinnober," does the storytelling technique of, "Show, don't tell." It could have spent pages of text explaining the back-story that dragons invaded Earth and people now live in fearful hiding, but instead the comic lets us figure that out as it portrays the ruined world.
Singh's artwork is great, expertly showing the destruction and the imposing nature of a dragon we see. The creature is large and scary enough it seems believable that a bunch of these could have wrecked the planet. Even though it is a big concept, the story keeps things pretty grounded, focusing on the human characters and their everyday struggles to survive. It results in a fantastical world with realistic characters, a blend I quite enjoyed.

"Zinnober #1," is a great start of a story. It's mysterious but tells us enough of what we need to know, has great artwork, and introduces plenty of strong and interesting characters. I'm excited to see what future issues hold for sure. I'd rate this a great 4 out of 5 stars. You still have time to tell your comic shop to hold a copy of, "Zinnober," when it comes out and I'd encourage you to do so, this is a fantastic read!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Special K Pastry Crisps Are My New Favorite Breakfast Snack

Special K recently introduced a new, "Bakery inspired," item that is just plain delicious. Called a, "Pastry Crisp," you can buy it in the flavors of strawberry, blueberry, or my favorite, brown sugar and cinnamon. There also is apparently a, "Cookies and Cream," as well as a ,"Red Velvet," flavor but I've been unable to find those, so I'll pretend they don't count. They taste kind of like a pop tart had a baby with a toaster strudel, but you don't actually toast them, they just already are crisp and fresh out of the package.

I'm not sure how Special K managed to make this new product as tasty as they did, but I and my wife love it! You don't have to wait for them to toast-up or worry about burning your mouth, you just pop open the package and then eat the two delicious Pastry Crisps contained within one wrapper--and then if you're still hankering, you have another! Pasty Crisps are my new favorite breakfast snack, although I do eat them at other times of the day as well! I encourage you to find these at your local store and give them a try as well, they're tasty.

Note: Special K in no way asked me write this or even contacted me--they don't even know I exist, most likley. I just felt like sharing my love for Pastry Crisps and will of course email them to let them know I wrote this.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Yeah, "Kanye West Let Us Down," Myself Included.

Kanye West way back in the, "College Dropout," days.
I read an article on Vulture so perfect for me it even ends with a quote from OutKast. It discusses how maybe we should have seen Kanye's sudden swerve into Trump-boosting and conservatism coming. Perhaps this isn't a time to joke he's, "Gone crazy," or dealing with drug issues, because making excuses just puts a band-aid on the bullet wound of truth, that Kanye West let us all down.

The "Us," in this situation is anyone who believed in Kanye despite his flaws. He was narcissistic, he was egotistical, he was impulsive, but goddamn he was (and probably still is despite all this) a genius. He created masterpieces of music even on his off-days. He spoke his mind, making it clear he felt so many marginalized people had been given a bum deal. The first song on his debut album, "The College Dropout," is titled "We don't care," and is all about how people expect minorities to struggle and fail, but he's going to speak-out against that. He talked about how rap music should quit all the homophobic-talk before it was more commonplace for rappers to realize it was wrong. He cared a little bit too much about himself, but he also clearly cared about others.
When Kanye said what we were all thinking.
He was political and said on national television what so many people were thinking during Hurricane Katrina, that George Bush did not in fact care about black people affected by the hurricane, or in general. Kanye spoke truth to power, whether he had some of that power or not. Then he suddenly did a swerve into stating a love for his, "Brother," Donald Trump and declared that in some way or fashion, "Slavery was a choice." Kanye was the scorn of so many people who are now suddenly quick to grab ahold of him as a token trophy. I remember the past years reading online people saying the most terrible things about him when he spoke out against Bush, or admittedly acted foolish and interrupted Taylor Swift getting an award (something she has never let go, though).

I am witnessing the same people who called him, "A dumb nigger," an, "Uppity nigger," and a, "Loudmouthed. nigger," (the N-word was almost always used) now acting like he's their best friend because he said nice things about our poor excuse for a President. These people who were so quick to drop the N-word about Kanye or black people in general now love him because he's inexplicably a big fan of Trump and conservatism. As the article by Vulture notes, how can the same man who rapped about the Government possibly purposely keeping black people poor and addicted to drugs in, 'Crack Music," now be Trump's BFF?
He really said this.
I still love Kanye's old music, and the message it imparted. I feel the same thrill and wonderment at the lyrics and production on my favorite tracks of his today. I listened to his music so much during times in my life from the end of high school to now when I'm a father that his music has been there more than a quarter of my life. His music meant so much to me, with only OutKast being beloved by me any bit more (at least until the more-recent arrival of the amazing Kendrick Lamar on the scene). We--no, let's be personal here--I, yes, I supported Kanye when he was up and when he was down, and he repays all the people who cared about him and supported him by doing whatever this thing is he's doing now. I don't know what happened to Kanye in the past month that resulted in this 180-degree turn in his entire thoughts and beliefs. I just know that Kanye West didn't just let, "Us," down. He let me down.

It may sound silly for me to be writing this, some person Kanye has never met or cared about acting like he would even care how I feel. When someone is with you so much of your life and means a lot to you however, it stings when the person you believed in utterly betrays everything you thought he held dear. I know Kanye West doesn't care how about my thoughts, just as all the people who once hated him and now supposedly love could care less about my opinion too. I just am aware how I and many others feel, and wanted to say it.
We were there for you when you needed us most, Kanye, your fans and supporters. We backed you up when you fought against powerful forces who we all knew were wrong, but few were willing to stand up to. We offered condolences when your mother died. We worried about you when you needed hospitalization. We always stood by your side. Then you suddenly got, "Red-pilled," and quit believing everything you stood for in favor of stating horribly incorrect alt-right ideas and sharing your love for a conman who will cast you aside once you're no longer useful as he has done to anyone else associated with his Presidency. I'll say it again, you let us down and you let me down. Out of all the times you did something questionable and came back from it, I don't know if you can do that this time, or if you'll even want to. I hope you enjoy your new, "Supporters," and new faux-friend, we'll see how long it lasts.

Television Tuesday: People Really Ought to Watch, "American Housewife."

There is a show on television that is absolutely hilarious. Called, "American Housewife," it follows a middle-class family in a more upscale neighborhood as they have various hilarious events unfold that assist them in both growing as people and giving us laughter. It has a delightful mixture of quirky-and-dark that reminds me of shows such as, "Bob's Burgers," and, "Everybody Loves Raymond." The characters are among some of the most easy-to-relate-to on television and I can't believe more people don't talk about Katie and Greg Otto (and their three kids Taylor, Oliver, and Anna-Kat).

In the midst of its second season, my wife and I discovered the show when it came on right after another program we watch, "Modern Family." While, "Modern Family," has been on for years and sometimes struggles to be as funny as it once was, "American Housewife," fires on all cylinders almost constantly. A third season has not yet been announced but Samii and I really hope it will be. The fantastic acting of Katy Mixon as the the mother is wonderful, with her observations about wealth inequality, fat-shaming (she is a bigger woman), and anything else always hitting the mark. Diedrich Bader is great as Greg as well, bringing just the right mixture of neurotic-and-fun.
Diedrich Bader and Katy Mixon as Greg and Katie.
Many of the plots on the show involve the family's children, with the eldest, Taylor, played by Meg Donnelly, as a testy high-schooler who loves her parents, but also finds them to be incredibly annoying in how they won't let her do whatever she wants. Middle-child Oliver (portrayed by Daniel DiMaggio) is often annoying--but intentionally so--as a status-obsessed young man who wants to grow up to be one of the rich people they always see in their town of Westport. Lastly is the youngest, Anna-Kat, played by Julia Butters, who is a bit of a wildcard in her mixture of sweetness yet also being obsessed with gory aspects of history and exotic pets (for a while the family had a pet pig named Hans Gruber). Anna-Kat seems like the kind of kid who will either grow up to be an interesting and nice adult, or a total sociopath--wondering which is part of the fun.

A great deal of humor in the show comes from normal everyday challenges and events that are made laugh-inducing thanks to the stellar core family cast as well as an assortment of strong supporting characters played by such great actors as Ali Wong and Carly Hughes(who portray friends of Katie) or George Hamilton as the family's rich-yet-also-in-deep-legal-trouble neighbor Spencer. Basically all the casting on the show is pitch-perfect and a major reason this program is so good.
Katy Mixon, Carly Hughes, and Ali Wong.
As I said earlier, "American Housewife," has not yet been renewed for a third season, but I really hope it will be, as Samii and I love watching it! As long as it can continue to be as hilarious as it is, "American Housewife," is a show you really ought to check out. Give it a viewing and the odds are pretty good you'll be cracking-up!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Toyman Show Continues to Delight!

Today I was able to go yet again to a Toyman show, and as always it was a really fun time.  For this show I arrived quite early and witnessed as vendors came and set-up. It was great how streamlined and easy the check-in process was for them and it was cool to watch an empty area fill-up with all kinds of toy-and-comic goodness. I had the opportunity to talk to Chris, "Toyman," McQuillen and he shared about how the first-ever show was in November of 1990 and it has been wonderful to watch it grow in size and popularity. We discussed how he is always working on getting more great guests, and thinking of ways for vendors and potential vendors to optimize their space, adding, "The more interested vendors we can fit here selling an even wider variety of things, the more fun it is for everyone!"

I myself had a stellar time at the show. I had to leave a bit early due to a family obligation that sprung-up but still got some great stuff before I left! I didn't acquire any comics on this visit but got a bunch of cool Funko Pops. I was able to trade an assortment of ones I brought with me for this superb assortment:
Also, I got this famous, "Breaking Bad," vehicle:
The Toyman Show continues to be a must-visit event if you're a fan of toys, comics, Funko Pops, Hot Wheels, or just looking at a ton of cool stuff from vendors while meeting neat celebrity guests. The next one will be July 8th and you can learn more at the website. It continues to be a spectacular deal at only $5 for entry starting at 9AM and $12 if you want to do the early-bird entry deal, which I always recommend as so much good stuff sells so fast! So yes, mark your calendars for July 8th, I know I have!