Saturday, April 2, 2011

Episode #171 Part I: MegaCon 2011 Interviews!

I only did a handful of interviews at MegaCon. Honestly, I was a little nervous, since this was the first time I would be covering the convention with a digital audio recorder. I was satisfied with my initial efforts, but I hope that having some experience will help me improve next year.

I interviewed Derrick Fish on Friday, March 25, 2011, at his table in artists alley. I first met Derrick at Acme Comics' 24 Hour Comic Book Day Event last year. I sat directly to his left and got a close up look at his excellent comic book art. He self publishes his title, The Wellkeeper, first from his imprint Half Moose Media and now with HeadHunta' Studios.

On Saturday, March 26, 2011, I interview Thom Zahler, who originally self published his title Love And Capes, and now publishes it through IDW. The title is a superhero romantic comedy. Abby is in love with Mark, who also happens to be the superhero Crusader. Love And Capes is about life between super deeds, how a superhero and his normal girlfriend build a relationship in the face of the challenges a superhero career. Their story is told with a large helping of humor. If you're tired of all of the dark and grim superhero stories from most comic book publishers as I am from time to time, Love And Capes is a welcome change of pace, and returns fun to superhero comic books.

Sunday was the day I conducted most of my interviews. The first person I interviewed was Allen Bellman, artist for Marvel/Timely in the 1940's and 1950's. He began his comic book career at the age of 18 in 1942, for Stan Lee, who was about two years older than Allen. After his comic book career he went into business, and after retirement, photography. An article in his hometown newspaper began a new chapter in his life as he has begun attending comic book conventions.To learn more about Allen Bellman, go to his website,

Renee Witterstaetter heads Eva Ink Publishing (also here). Eva Ink publishes a series of comic book art books, and is also an artist group for the comic book professionals Renee represents as art agent, Eva Ink Artist Group. She is also a writer and colorist, and has served as editor at various comic book publishers. Renee was the assistant editor for Mike Carlin for the Superman titles during the 1990's when the four Superman titles had a tight continuity. Each month, the titles served as chapters of a larger story. She didn't find it difficult to keep things straight from title to title, because the creative staff were the best, and Mike Carlin did a masterful job of keeping it organized. Later that decade at Marvel, as a full editor, she brought John Byrne back to She Hulk, which he had started as writer and artist and then left. Working with John Byrne was a highlight of her career. To learn more about Renee, you can read her blog.

Terry Moore self published his iconic series, Strangers In Paradise, through his company, Abstract Studios. His wife Robin serves as publisher, and has handled the business side of his career since the mid 1990's. Several of his professional friends had the same arrangement, and it seemed to work well for them. Terry said that Robin takes care of all of the business arrangements, freeing him to handle the creative side. His second series, Echo is about to wrap up in May, and in July, his third series, Rachel Rising, will begin. It is a horror story about a girl who literally rises from the grave. In between, scheduled to be published in June is the first of a series of how to comic books, the first one being How To Draw Women. His plan is to publish a series of "how to draw" comic books and then collect them in a book.

Next episode: MegaCon 2011: The Crime Noir Panel!

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