Category Archives: Comic Books

Creating Comics Class at the Amherst Public Library

June 23rd, 2011, Amherst Public Library, 221 Spring Street (on the corner of Park Ave.)

Note: Even if you’ve taken this class before, you may want to come back again as you’ll be working with different people, and you’ll get new and different content during the class.

This is a great way to learn how to create comics, how to work with others, and why some comics come out the way they do. Taught by local artist and caricaturist Mike Leuszler, students learn to create manga and comics… by making comics. But there’s a twist or two.

Students will also learn a bit about comic publishing and comics history during the class, and have an enormous amount of fun despite that!

No drawing experience necessary.

Everyone who participates in the class will get a free print by Mike Leuszler. That’s me.

For more info or to register for the class, call 440-988-4230. Or, you can contact the Youth Services Director, Cheryl Ashton, at cashtonapl@yahoo.com.

Adam Talley’s Studio Chatter Podcast (with a Dash of Me)

Studio Chatter Logo

This is a heads up to let you know I barged in on Adam Talley’s Studio Chatter podcast yesterday. Clicking on the link will send you right to the episode. You can also right click and “Save Link As” to download the podcast.

Studio Chatter is about the business and process of creating art, with a sharp focus on comics and such. In this episode host Adam Talley answers listener mail and I step on his lines. Yeesh.

I’m kidding. Adam does a bang up job with the show, which you should check out if you have artistic aspirations. You can also check out the show’s page here to find out more about the show.

eBay ACEO / Sketch Card Sales

Just a quick note to let you know that I have several ACEO / Sketch Cards up for sale on ebay. They’re mostly comic book and pop culture characters, including Green Lantern (both Golden and Silver Age), Superman, Darth Vader, Yoda, The Wolfman, and Mario. To name a few.

The sales I have up right now all start at 99 cents for the minimum bid, and all have free shipping, in the US only.

All of the cards are original artworks and have not been, and probably will not be (at least for the foreseeable future) be reprinted.

My aim, at this point, is to post new sales of art, comic, and other stuff in the house, at least twice a week or so, but that may change once I get my computer back, and I can post all of my sales once a week.

Anyway, if you can’t, or don’t want to, buy, I’d appreciate you letting your online friends in on the sale.

Thank you so much.

Happy New Year. Back to Work!

Everyone who does content for the Internet seems to saying what a great year 2011 will be for them and that how they will kick 2010’s ass in some vague way or other. Instead of saying how they’re going to do, they’re making vague statements, metaphors and pronouncements while paving more road to hell with good intentions.

Sure, that’s normal human behavior at this time of year, but I’m going to go one better and give you an actual sneak peek at what’s coming up this year for me, instead of just saying what a swell year it will be.

Comfort Zone the Comic: I did a crappy (really, it was) little webcomic that kind of went way off course last year. I let it go for awhile, but this year, starting in January, I’m going to resolve the “story” of the last comic and bring it into a better storytelling format. It will be twice a week, but instead of three panels twice a week, it will be more of a comic-sized page, or an old time Sunday Comics sized strip, when strips took up 90% of a page. I want to create a comic to show off my real art and storytelling chops.

I don’t want to creatively masturbate three panels a day with week jokes.

Podcasts: Open Mike, Insert Foot is done. Finished. Out with a whimper. I have gotten everything out of that experience that I can get and it is time to move on to bigger and better things. Shows that are better prepared, less reliant on random callers and other people, and stuff that I’m more passionate about.

That Stupid Podcast premieres in January. The first episode sets up the concept and format, and from there, well, it gets stupid.  People are getting dumber and I’ll show you how, with a bit of observation and a pinch of comedy.

Before the Crisis is the working title for my comic book podcast. It will talk mostly about my life in comics, specifically focusing on the years before 1986, comics’ best year (in my lifetime). It will have a strong focus on different types of cultures in comics, the DC multiverse as it was in that time, and many other topics that you don’t hear on Major Spoilers or Word Balloon.  I’m hoping to launch this in the Spring.

Mike the Art Guy: Art, Internet, Business. I’m going to call upon my associates to share with me their experiences in art, Internet, and business. This show will be for working artists and Internet content providers. In between may be episodes that are more journal in nature, where I share my adventures and observations. Still finalizing the format, so look for more announcements about the final launch date in February or March.

I will also be ramping up production on my original artwork, prints, cards, caricatures, and other commission work, or as it’s known, my real job.

I’m not just pulling this stuff out of my butt, mind you. I’ve long ago planned everything out and documented it, so I can focus and keep on schedule with my various projects.

So with that all out in the open, and practically daring myself to fail, I want to take a moment to wish you all a productive and fun year, not just right now in January, but all year long.

Now get back to work.

Mike

A Halloween Comic

Zombie Comic Halloween 2010
Click to enlarge. Copyright 2010 Michael A. Leuszler

Milk, it does a body good.

Hey, all. I hope you have a scary fun Halloween. Since I’m way out in the country, I don’t expect to get a lot of trick or treaters here. Instead, I’ll probably put some artwork up on eBay today. And work on getting rid of all of these comics. Still. Sigh.

On Monday, November 1st, I’ll be doing another Open Mike, Insert Foot podcast recording LIVE. Come check it out and either join us in the chat room or call up. The more the merrier.

Is This Something I Should Do?

Fred Hembeck is probably known best as being a big-time comic book fan artist during the 70’s and 80’s, doing features for the Comics Buyer’s Guide, Marvel Age Magazine, and even in DC Comics.

Fred now does a lot of artwork that he sells on eBay. Here is a sample of an ACEO (Art Card or Sketch Card) recreation of the cover of the original X-men #1.

If you’re viewing that before the end of the auction, you’ll see other art card drawings, including some Legion of Superheroes characters.

It’s something I’m thinking about doing.

In the meantime, look forward to more ACEO eBay and other orignal art sales from me this week.

Mike

Adam West Bat ACEO by Jerimiah Witkowski Video

Holy video, Batmanz! Jerimiah Witkowski draws an Adam West Batman ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals) just for me! D’awwww!

Jerimiah does the Yeti-centric geek comic You, Me and Steve. You should give it a gander. And then check out some of his other videos on Ustream.

Jerms is on his way to being a hot shot webcomicker, so you might want to check his stuff out, so you can say, “I knew him when…”.

The Disney Business Model

disneyvault1

I was talking to someone on the phone the other day about the Disney Vault. The Disney Vault is a business technique where Disney only releases their major releases once every seven years. Seven years seems to be a good number. Not only is it the reverse of one dog year, but it allows a child to go from newborn to second grade (your mileage may vary), thus creating a market of hungry consumers for a product times 7. In another seven years, that market will hit puberty, lose interest in animated musicals, and show an interest in other things and people. But the loss of those consumers will be replaced by a bigger market of toddlers and young ‘uns ready to check out some Disney hidden (at least to them) treasures. The potential enthusiasm for such a product could have a potential to be at least 7, if not 700, times greater during a release, than if it were constantly available.

So why am I thinking about this particular business model?

I’m coming up on my fifth year of being a professional artist and some of my prints are getting to be that old, and have been available for that long. You see them at every show, every event, wherever I go. That may lead some people who have seen my work in the past to pass me by with a slight tinge of contempt bred by the familiarity of my previous work. “I’ve seen it before.”

webedgarallenpoe.png

Little Edgar A. Poe (Above) is getting close to 5 years old. Is it time to lock him up for a few years?

To make a long story shorter, if not short enough, I’d like to set a model where I release only so many items based on a particular image, based on a pre-established time frame. Like six months. And then the image goes back into the vault for, say for example, five years. I’m to old to wait seven years. I may be dead by then, but five might work, or even 4, working on a full leap year cycle.

So, to sum it up. I’m thinking about releasing my art images for six months, and then putting them out of circulation for 3 to 6 years, building up anticipation for said images to a degree that can’t be achieved by constant availability. This is similar to the Disney Vault Business model.

What do you think?

Please discuss.

John Carbonaro Dies

John Carbonaro, for the comics lay people out there, was the caretaker of one of the greatest groups of non mainstream superhero groups of the Silver Age (approximately 1954 – 1971), the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

John was a BTF (Big Time Fan) who rose to prominence in the world of comics by acquiring the rights to the super spy/hero group published by Tower Comics in the 60’s. Opinions on his stewardship of the property differ wildly from “overly protective” and “control freak” to “loving devotion to the property”.

After the suicide of creator/editor Wally Wood in the early 80’s, Carbonaro purchased the rights and has maintained stewardship until his death at age 58. He came very close on more than one occasion to striking gold with the group, in movies, in animation, and even at DC and Marvel. The THUNDER Agents adventures were last published in a series of DC Comics Archives hardcovers sereis, before the soon to be published new DC heroes was cancelled in 2000. There was one series of books, post Silver Age, published in the mid-80’s, with updated versions of the classic agents done by comics luminaries such as Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko, Jerry Ordway, and Ambush Bug creator Keith Giffen.

Comics and television writer Mark Evanier offers this piece on Caronaro.

Word is that JC made arrangements for an heir for the property. That could be one of the best or worst things to be in comics. I guess we’ll see.