Thursday, August 20, 2015

Barcade Blackboards III

Yeesh, it's been a long time since I've posted more work from my day job as a bartender at Barcade (Jersey City and Chelsea). This year, I was invited by the owners to redo the blackboards at the Brooklyn and St. Marks locations in addition to the two where I pull the taps (with more to come!). I was quite excited about the expansion of my addition to the brand... too excited, actually. The hanging board near the bottom of the gallery is located at the original Brooklyn Barcade, opened in 2004. The day the bar opened, owner Paul Kermizian climbed up on a ladder and wrote, "Tonight only: Good Times!" on it. And thus it remained, for over a decade. When Paul and I were discussing my redoing the boards, he asked me to leave this particular one untouched, as it was an historical artifact for the Barcade chain.

And then I got to Brooklyn, took out the chalk... and forgot. I grabbed a ladder, climbed up with my trusty wet bar rag, and wiped out the Good Times, replacing it with Pinty's admonitions. The next morning, going through the e-mails with Paul, I re-read his edict, and felt my stomach drop to my ankles. I e-mailed him immediately, and while he wasn't happy, luckily for me, Paul's an accommodating (and forgiving) guy, and we worked out a compromise to bring back the message of the original board (if not the actual writing). 

Please note that all of the events listed below have come and gone! But download that Barcade app and check out the upcoming events at all locations. Mayhaps I'll even be the one filling your glass.

Jersey City sandwich board

light up sign hanging by the kitchen window at our Jersey City location

New Jersey's best brewery, if yez ask me. 

Two different Nosferatu from JC and Chelsea locations

Get it? Wolverine likes DuClaw. Because, claws. 

That's Charlie Brown, and his pal, "Lionel" (according to my boss, Drew)

Another mighty fine New Jersey brewery

This was the board I was asked to leave untouched. It was also the only thing I'd signed up till that point. Whoops.

The "new" version, approximating the original message. I'll still always be the guy who erased "Good Times!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Prince Street News: History on the Spinner Rack!

Hey! Back so soon! The new issue of BACK ISSUE! (#81) deals with a topic nearest and dearest to my geeky little heart: DC Comics' giant sized comics of the Bronze era, with a special focus on what is my all-time favorite comic book format: The DC 100 Page Super Spectacular!

For this episode, I redrew (painstakingly, if I may be allowed to add) two of my favorite covers from that format: Neal Adams' iconic wraparound for SUPERMAN #252 and Nick Cardy's somewhat less-iconic (but still keen) cover for BATMAN #254. Now, you may ask, what is the point of doing faithful (or at least as faithful as my talent will allow) recreations when I could just paste the actual cover into the strip? Because I wanted to, that's why! It's my damn comic strip, if I wanna use it as an excuse to do my own take on some of my favorite comic book covers, you can't stop me (and besides, the actual covers are reproduced elsewhere in the issue)!

There is an awful lot of Photoshop placement of actual covers in this strip, however. My rule of thumb for PSN is that if the panel depicts me holding a comic, I'll use the actual book rather than redraw it. In the past, I have actually redrawn covers for this purpose, but it turned out to be WAAAAY more effort than it was worth in the context of the strip. I also used the actual covers for the first two panels (the comics on the spinner rack are all cover dated July 1971, meaning that as a young'un, I perused all of these great old comics at the same time on the same rack! Swoon!).

Editor Michael Eury really outdid himself on this one. Full of historical background on not just the Super-Specs, but other (sadly short-lived) reprint series of the 1970s, BI! 81 had me digging through the longboxes and adding titles to my want list.

The next installment of PSN pops up in BACK ISSUE! #84, which focuses on Supergirl in the '70s. I'm especially excited about this issue because I also (with the fantastic help of a half a dozen great cartoonists) did the COVER for this one... stay tuned!

Actually, you can probably look at other stuff on the web between now and then, it's not out until October. It would be silly for you to keep your browser open to just this page for four months.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Prince Street News: The B and the B

It's been a while, but PRINCE STREET NEWS returns to BACK ISSUE! with Issue 80 (now on sale), a look at Green Lantern and the Flash in the Bronze Age of Comics. The strip deals with the fact that, despite a vast history and numerous media adaptations, neither character has ever quite permeated the general public's consciousness to the extent of the so-called DC Trinity (being Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman).
The long lag-time between the production of these strips and when they see print is unfortunately evident in this installment, as the footnote at the bottom of page one indicates that this was sent off before even an image from the CW's FLASH TV show hit the internet. Now the show's a big hit, and don't I look like an idiot for being cynical about its prospects!
The next PSN will appear in, hey, the next BACK ISSUE! So I'll see you again soon...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Prince Street News: Much More Fun

Huzzah, kidlets! The new BACK ISSUE! (#77) is a nostalgic look back (aren't they all?) of "When Comics Were Fun!" featuring a gallery by the great Fred Hembeck, one of comics' first professional fans, and a big inspiration to me and PRINCE STREET NEWS. This issue's installment mixes some lamentation with the acknowledgement that comics and the world have changed, and the stuff I loved in the 1970s probably wouldn't fly today. And that's okay. I guess.


There's probably some stuff in this strip that I should explain, but all I'll say is do a search on "Johnny DC" for an explanation as to the angry li'l fella at the end of the strip.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Barcade Blackboards II

Time for another round of Barcade blackboard drawings... I realized as I've been putting this together that I've yet to take any photos of my work at the new Manhattan location (where I can be found pulling the pints every Friday and every other Tuesday). That'll be in the next round. Huzzah! Burp.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Prince Street News: Dick Grayson: Fashion Victim!

Another too-long hiatus between episodes of PRINCE STREET NEWS, but it's back in the new BACK ISSUE!, spotlighting Batman's partners in crimefighting, including Batgirl, Man-Bat, Commissioner Gordon, and of course, Robin / Nightwing. This installment ponders the often unfortunate costumes that Mr. Richard Grayson has been saddled with over the past three quarters of a century, both in the comics and in media adaptations. This one is sure to ruffle some fanboy feathers, because there are certain creators in comics who are above reproach, and I reproach one of them.

And Hey! Look! It's the second PSN in a row that requires almost no exposition for the uninitiated!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Barcade Blackboards I

In August of 2013, I started pulling the craft beer taps at Barcade in Jersey City. In addition to bartending, I quickly asserted myself as the house blackboard artist, embellishing the kitchen specials and event signs, trying to add to the establishment's already strong identity. I love doing this stuff, and when a customer told me that he has a friend in London who has made a career out of going from pub to pub drawing their chalkboard signage for cash and pints, I suddenly flashed on a new dream career...

Anyway. Here's a sampling from the past six months. Expect more periodically. And go to Barcade, located in JC, Philly, Brooklyn, and soon, Manhattan, where I will also be making drinks and (hopefully) chalking the boards....