Hey everyone, I’m finally on my trip across America, but I realized I totally forgot to tell you where you can read about my adventures! Whoops! Anyway, that comic is called Drawn Away, and can be found here. There are a few updates already, including an introduction, a prologue, and my first post from the road.
Speaking of on the road, since I am in Pennsylvania this weekend, I will be at Comic Geek Speak Super Show in Reading, PA. I don’t have a table, but I do have all three Moon Freight 3 books and the Gang From the Store collection, so if you’re interested in any of these, come find me and we can make it happen!
Hope to see you at the show! If not, I’ll talk to you soon!
On April 1, I’m going to do one of the most audacious things I’ve ever done: I’m getting in a car and spending the following few months touring America.
Why? I’ve lived in America my entire life, but I’ve seen very little of it. Heck, I’ve never spent more than two weeks at a time outside Connecticut. I want to see more, so I’m finally going to. I’m leaving Connecticut and driving all over. South, west, back north, back east, some of the places in the middle, big cities, small towns, touristy things… I want to see as much as I can. And I’m going to do a travel journal in comic form. The idea is in the rough phase right now, but I intend it for to be a combination travelogue, personal journal, and maybe even a series of interviews with people along the way. We’ll see. I’ve never done anything like this before, so we’re going to learn together. And yes, there will be more on this before I go.
How long will I be gone? The plan is “for a few months,” but what that means exactly is still a bit vague. I certainly can’t stay on the road forever, and even if I wanted to, I’m going to become an uncle for the first time this summer, so I’ll definitely be back in the northeast before then.
So yeah, that’s my audacious plan. I have never done anything like this before, and it’s going to be one heck of an adventure. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even see you on the road.
It is with a heavy heart that I have to write that my good friend David Kraus passed away last night. He was 49.
Like many people I know these days, I first met Dave at Buried Under Comics. He came in a few times with a friend of his, then started coming in on his own and quickly became a regular on Saturdays. Dave was a pop culture aficionado like few others I knew. He was a huge fan of old monster movies like Godzilla, Gamera, and the Universal monsters, as well as the more obscure ones. He loved the old Saturday-morning horror movie shows from back in the day, when local TV stations had their own hosts, like western Massachusetts’ Bob Macabre, who became a friend of his. He loved Gerry Anderson shows like Space: 1999, a love he shared with many people. He loved Silver Age comics and pulp characters like Hellboy. He would crack us up as he would tell us about some of the stranger terrible movies he knew of, especially one called The Sinful Dwarf. We always talked about watching that one someday as a group, and I’m sorry we never did.
Dave loved plenty of modern pop culture, too, and we had common ground in our love of Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and The Big Bang Theory. We were always quoting lines back and forth that only the two of us knew, sometimes to the confusion of others and the amusement of us.
That’s one thing about Dave. There was always plenty of laughter to be had when he was around, whether it was from popular culture, someone pranking someone else, or us skewering something ridiculous someone in our group had said or done.
Dave was also an incredibly generous man, whether he was spotting someone money for lunch or giving away DVDs in his collection. The first time we went to New York Comic Con as a group, he bought all our tickets. He was a generous man because it never occurred to him to act any other way.
And then there’s Kathy. One Saturday Dave started telling us about this woman he had started seeing. You could tell there was something special about her. She started visiting the store with him, too, and it was no surprise to any of us when they told us they were going to get married. They were exactly the right person for the other, they were crazy in love with one another, and they made each other so very, very happy. It’s not right that their time together was far too short.
People will often tell you that you don’t have to be a famous movie star or world-class surgeon to be an influence on people’s lives, and it’s true. Sometimes it’s the small things we do that can have the biggest impact on someone’s life, and that’s the case with Dave and me.
Dave really wanted to do a podcast about comic books and pop culture, so he came down to the comic store one day and asked if people would be interested. Of course we were, so a few weeks later Dave, myself, and our friends Scott, Marc, and Brian Kozicki (another friend we lost far too soon last summer) recorded the first episode of Nine Panel Nerds, a show that would grow to include three more members and last two years. More importantly, it gave us all a reason to get together every other Sunday night to record a show and hang out, helping our already friendly group grow even tighter.
But on top of that, people would recommend other podcasts to me after hearing NPN, so I started listening to those shows, then started talking with those podcasters and became friends with them – some of whom I now count as some of my best friends – and it’s all because of Dave. I can sincerely say that I would not have met some of the people I love most in this world had Dave not given me the opportunity to do so. Not a bad outcome from asking the simple question, “Would any of you be interested in recording a podcast?” I’m glad you did, Dave, and I’ll always thank you.
The last time I saw Dave was in November, the night of the grand opening of A Hero’s Legacy, the comic store that replaced Buried Under Comics. Everyone was in an incredibly good mood from the day, trading stories and laughing our heads off and promising to see each other again soon. Not long after, Dave was hospitalized.
Rest in Peace, Yog. I’ll watch a terrible monster movie in your honor tonight. I think you would have liked that.
Convention season may be over, but I have one more signing this year, and it’s this Saturday, at A Hero’s Legacy Comics and Collectibles. What is A Hero’s Legacy, you ask? Well, it’s one of the Dragonball series, but it’s also the name of the new comic book store that the business manager and store manager of Buried Under Comics recently opened at the site of Buried Under after the owner, Brian Kozicki, tragically passed away this summer. The store’s been open a few weeks now, but this is their grand opening celebration sale. I will be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and not only will I be selling the Gang From the Store and first two Moon Freight 3 books, but I will also be debuting the BRAND NEW Moon Freight 3 volume 3! Come on down, buy some stuff at the big sale, visit some of the other creators, and welcome a new comic book store to the world as we give Moon Freight 3 one last sendoff, since this is the last signing before Moon Freight 3 ends next week!
My last show of the year is this Saturday, ladies and gentlemen, and I will be heading up to Northampton, MA, for the Paint and Pixel Festival at the Northampton Center for the Arts. This show is only in it’s second year and is a brand-new show to me, and it looks really cool. Also, it’s in Northampton, which is always nice for a day trip. I will have the Moon Freight 3 books, the Gang From the Store book, and plenty of material for drawing sketch cards and anything else you might want me to draw for you. The show is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and only costs $5 for adults and $2 for children 6-12 years old, and free for children under 5! I hope you can make it and help wrap up the 2012 convention season in style!