Saturday, December 7, 2019

No. 824,376 in a Series

I was asked to contribute a piece to BEHIND BARS, a collection of stories about the drink slinger's life and lifestyle put together by my friend, Audrey Ryan. Audrey is one of the most amazing artists I've ever had the privilege to know, so I was humbled to be asked. As the only cartoonist contributor, my piece is an anomaly, but I hope it works. BEHIND BARS was published by Potatoe Press, a project by another great artist (and fellow bartender) pal of mine, Laura "Tornado" Byrne. Give both of these women some attention, won't ya? Cheers.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

More Dell Monster Superheroes!

In the mid 1960s, seemingly every comic book publisher rushed to take advantage of Batmania and get some superheroes on the stands, regardless of whether or not they had any experience in that genre. One of the more bizarre attempts was Dell Comics' FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA, and WEREWOLF, superhero / superspy versions of classic monsters made famous by Universal Studios. This series of faux-comic book covers (detail from an installment of Prince Street News in BACK ISSUE! #116) speculates as to what it might have looked like if Dell took on a few more characters from the classic horror oeuvre, The Bride of Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Comic Characters' Favorite Scary Movies

First I let you know what comic book and cartoon characters liked to listen to, then I gave hints on some of their favorite drinks, now I'm letting in on what some of their favorite scary movies might be! Again, some of them are obvious (depending on your level of geekdom), some less so. If any truly stump you, either GTS, or leave a comment below, I'll try to answer it.
This is a detail from the Monster Mash episode of Prince Street News as seen in BACK ISSUE! #115.

The She-Hulk Creature

Detail from the MONSTER MASH episode of PRINCE STREET NEWS from BACK ISSUE! #116, adapting the poster from the 1956 sci-fi movie, THE SHE-CREATURE to feature Marvel Comics' She-Hulk.

Cat People (Comic Book Version)

Detail from the MONSTER MASH episode of PRINCE STREET NEWS from BACK ISSUE! #116, adapting the poster from the 1942 classic, CAT PEOPLE to feature a host of feline comic book characters.

Night of the Living Dead (Comic Book Version)

Detail from the MONSTER MASH episode of PRINCE STREET NEWS from BACK ISSUE! #116, adapting the poster from George Romero's classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD to feature a host of departed comic book characters, including The Spectre, Spawn, Kid Eternity, Solomon Grundy, and more.

Prince Street News: Monster Mash!

I think my favorite issues of BACK ISSUE! are the annual Halloween editions. They certainly are the most fun for which to do Prince Street News. For this year's issue (#116, available now!), the theme is Superheroes vs. Monsters, something which happened a lot in the Bronze Age, as the Comics Code relaxed to allow vampires, ghouls, and zombies once again (take THAT, Wertham!).

This 31st installment of PSN is a mish-mash of monster / superhero themed gags, so I really had no choice but to call it "Monster Mash." Right? I mean, I know it's obvious and overused and that song is really annoying, but COME ON, WHAT ELSE WAS I GOING TO DO?!?!?

The movie poster parodies should be (mostly) obvious, while some of the jokes in the "Comic Characters' Favorite Scary Movies" segment might take a minute (as with my "Comic Characters' Favorite Musical Artists" strips). As for the Dell Comics covers, if you're unfamiliar with that publisher's Silver Age attempts to make superheroes out of Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman (or, Werewolf, the comic's vernacular), you are missing out on some campy goodness, my friends. Might I suggest you pick up Michael Eury's ridiculously entertaining HERO-A-GO-GO, which highlights these books and much more goofy and glorious pop culture of the Camp Era.

Next up in PSN: THE REPLACEMENTS! (No, it has nothing to do with football)

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Black Light Classifieds

It's ironic that I'm not a fan (at all) of Roy Lichtenstein because a lot of the work I do is basically his schtick. Shtick. Whatever. To wit, this is a small series of details from old comic book ads (mostly classifieds), colored in fluorescent marker for optimum viewing under black light. Offers void where prohibited.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Kalligrafonts stickers!

Hey! Are you on Instagram? What's that? You ARE? Well, then you should be following both of my accounts, Pops Gustav (there are a lot of posts of my stuff) and Kalligrafonts (not my first choice of name, but I had to take what was available and worked), highlighting my hand-lettering work. AND SPEAKING OF, here's a spankin' new set of Kalligrafonts stickers (featuring quotations from movies and TV shows I happen to love), which can be YOURS for the low, low price of five for $5 (mix and match), postage included! Paypal to, Venmo, checks, money order, cash, barter, whatever.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Prince Street News: Batmania '89

 The new BACK ISSUE! (#113) celebrates the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton's BATMAN (a movie of which I am not really a fan, even though I convinced myself at the time that it was worthy of the hype). In this installment of Prince Street News, the "real" Caped Crusader stops by Julie's Bar (that timeless tavern where comic book characters toss one back) to bask in his newfound cinematic success. This one doesn't need much explaining to the non-fanboys out there, particularly the final punchline. Ouch!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

R. Crumb's The Avengers

Part of a Prince Street News installment, "Alternate Alternate Realities," this faux-cover ponders the impossible outcome of legendary underground comix artist Robert Crumb working for Marvel in the 1960s. I had to keep it relatively clean for the magazine. Heh.

The Bootleg League of Many Countries

Based on the cover of Justice League of America #48, this part of a Prince Street News installment, "Alternate Alternate Realities" depicts a group of "super heros" (sic) as seen in various bootleg action figure incarnations (packages of grouped figures often mixed DC and Marvel heroes, hence the addition of Spider-Man into the League).

The Hulk prefers bold patterns to purple

Punk Supergirl

Hipster Spidey

What if Daredevil's dad were a wrestler instead of a boxer?

Jughead Jones... GREEN LANTERN!


Jonathan Kent... The Spectre!

After Jim Corrigan, Hal Jordan, and Crispus Allen, what if kindly old Pa Kent took up the mantle of the Spirit of Vengeance?


Based on the cover of THE AVENGERS #58 by John Buscema, this piece (part of a PRINCE STREET NEWS montage strip of Alternate Alternate Realities) posits a Marvel / Harvey Comics mashup in which Richie Rich (as Super Richie), Wendy the Good Little Witch, Hot Stuff the Little Devil, Stumbo the Giant, Jackie Jokers, and Sooper Hippie meet Casper the Friendly Ghost. I was gonna call this "Harvengers," but nah.

Prince Street News: Alternate Alternate Realities

The new BACK ISSUE! (#111) is out, and it's a doozy! A deep dive into Marvel and DC Comics alternate reality tales, covering Imaginary Stories, WHAT IF?, DC's Elseworlds, and much more. For this installment of PSN, I came up with a bunch of gags that are mostly costume-based (as I defensively admit at the bottom of the second page), like What If Matt (Daredevil) Murdock's father were a pro wrestler instead of a boxer? Just Imagine if Abin Sur's ring chose Jughead instead of Hal Jordan? And how about those Teen Titans and their damn cell phones?!? Okay, that last one is kind of lame (and the perspective is wonky, to boot!), but whattyagonnado.

I'm also going to post all of the separate elements from this strip as separate posts on this blog if anyone wants to save or share some higher res versions.

NEXT UP! We return to Julie's Bar, that timeless tavern for comic book characters, this time during the summer of 1989... can you guess what the topic of conversation is?