Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rest In Peace Mark “Bam Bam” McConnell

Rest In Peace Mark “Bam Bam” McConnell:

"BAM BAM" & Anton Fig video from Mark's Myspace Page

We were greatly saddened to hear the news of Mark’s Passing. He was truly a great guy. Most know him as Sebastian Bach’s former drummer “Bam Bam” to my family he was simply Mark. We actually met years ago when he toured with Baz and communicated via email and Facebook. He was a really good down to earth guy.Through out my illness he kept in touch with my wife and offered a lot of encouragement and support. He had a knack for reaching out at just the right time to say the things we needed to hear. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. 
The following was posted earlier on his Face Book Page. 

Mark passed at 9:42 this morning surrounded by family and close friends. We will miss him…he was precious to all of us and touched all our hearts deeply and profoundly. On behalf of our family thank you to all of you for your prayers and support. We will post more info when we’ve had a chance to catch our breaths.”

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Things Don't Always Go As Planned


That is how you might feel sometimes...... but you have to let the frustration become fuel for your fire to keep going. If not it will consume you. 

For the past couple of weeks I have had an idea burning in my skull for a new painting ... however getting what is up there to come on out, has not been so easy! In fact after looking at my color tests this morning I’m beginning to think selling a glass of water to a drowning man would be easier. No... Wait... that is putting it way too lightly...

I could just walk away and shelve the idea... right. Who would know? Who would care? Does it matter?

I would know and I care. 

So instead of letting the fire of frustration consume me, I have to choose to use it. 

Each set back is a new opportunity to learn what did not work. When I was little my dad told me a story about Thomas Edison. After about 1000 failures trying to invent the light bulb someone asked him why not give up? Especially since he had such poor results.

Edison's  response; 

 So as you make your way through the day consider this. Each misstep, each falter, every hindrance and stumble are just moments to ponder. So gather your resolve and remember what you really want to achieve.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is an Awesome way to share something your into with friends and family who may not normally read Comics. Be Sure to stop by your local comic book shop and say Hi tomorrow!

Don't know where your local shop is check out the Free Comic Book Day Website

Thomas Kinkade Remembered

This weekend May 5th and 6th Kathies Christmas and Collectibles in Camphill, Pennsylvania will be conducting their annual Spring Open house event. 
Kathies Spring Open House is always a wonderful opportunity to gather with fellow art enthusiasts and meet some of the Artists the gallery feature. In the past the event has playe host to artist such as Thomas Kinkade, Robert Finale to Mike Kupka and last year Thomas Kinkade's brother Patrick attended. I believe he is slated to be on hand again this year on Saturday only. 

Its hard to believe that almost a month has gone by since Artist Thomas Kinkade passed. This weekend May 5th Kathies Christmas and Collectibles  have decided to close thier gallery between 2pm and 3pm on Saturday (May 5) to host a Memorium service and is inviting everyone to come and share what Thomas Kinkade's work meant to them.

I am sure this will be a very moving event.

Click Here to read my Originial Post written on 4/7/2012 : Thomas Kinkade
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pittsburgh Comic Con Day 1

Artistic inspiration can be found anywhere. Last weekend my family and I took a road trip to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania so, as my wife put it “my son and I could let our ‘inner-geeks’ come out and play”. The destination on this trip was “The Pittsburgh Comic-Con” an annual event hosted by Mike and Renee George of the Pittsburg comic shop “Comics World”. The weekend was amazing and way too much information to post in one entry so here is the first of the series.

Our day began at 4:30 a.m as we packed the car to begin our 2 and half hour ride out to Monroeville convention center just outside of Pittsburgh. After several stops for some much needed coffee and then several more stops for restroom breaks because of the coffee breaks we pulled into the parking lot of the Double Tree convention Center. While we were picking up our VIP badges we were greeted by Renee George who gave us a rundown of the weekend events. You could feel the excitement in the air. The guest of honor at this year’s event was none other than Stan “The Man” Lee and one of the highlights for my son and me, was our opportunity to meet Stan and participate in a Q & A held later in the day on 4/21. I am not sure who was more excited me or my son. 

       The plan was we would first hang out in line with several hundred others and wait for Stan and to get his autograph and photo. I was a little nervous because I brought a Pencil Sketch I did of him. I got the idea to do the drawing while thinking of something unique for him to sign. This idea came to me on Tuesday night and I did not work on it until Thursday. As we waited for Stan to arrive I kept going back and forth on whether or not I actually wanted him to see it, let alone sign it. I kept envisioning him saying “oh this is nice, who is it?” If that were to happen I would die.  I mean we are talking about Stan Lee he has worked with some of the greatest comic book artists to ever pick up a pen and dip it into an inkwell. Inkwells he probably filled. Before I get too far let me explain…
            For those of you not familiar with the name Stan Lee, Lee in collaboration with a handful of Artists such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and John Romita among others is responsible for many of the most beloved Comic book characters we know today; Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men and list goes on and on. This wonderful cannon of work established Marvel Comics as one of the most recognizable comic publishers today. As Stan put it they are all “his children” and [he] “is extremely proud of them.” Stan began his career working at "Marvel" then known as Timely comics in 1939, as an office assistant doing menial tasks such as stocking paper and filling ink wells. His first foray into writing was as a “Text Filler” on Captain America Comics (#3) in 1941. He soon progressed from fill to full comics stories. By the end of that year, Stan was promoted to the role of Interim Editor, a position he held until early 1942 when he joined the Army to serve during World War II. Stan returned to Timely in 1945 and resumed his role as Editor and held the position until 1972 when he took the helm as publisher. 

           During the Q & A Stan related to us that his editorial days at Timely were filled with many ups and downs. He increasingly became frustrated with the flat undeveloped characters his publisher, Martin Goldman, insisted the public wanted. As Goldman put it, nobody wants to read about someone else’s problems let alone a superhero’s. By the end of the 1950’s tired of the rejection and lack of creative vision of his publisher, Stan was ready to call it quits. Stan confessed, it was during one of his almost nightly rants about turning in his notice that his wife Joanie gave him “the best piece of advice a wife could give her husband. Stan she said, if you want to quit so bad, why don’t you write a story the way you want? What’s the worst that could happen? You get fired, so what? You’re going to quit anyway go out on your terms.” So that is just what he did. Goldman wanted Stan to create a Superhero team to counter DC comics Justice League and this was the opportunity Stan was waiting for. Working with artist, Jack Kirby, Stan developed the Fantastic Four, a superhero team that came with emotional baggage and financial problems, they argued amongst themselves and one even hated being the hero who he was. The public loved it! With that one leap of faith, the momentum from flat, one-dimensional, cookie cutter knockoffs to living breathing three dimensional characters began.   

            You would think this success would have softened his publisher up to new out-of-the-box ideas. “’Fraid not!” exclaimed Stan. When Lee pitched the idea for Spider-Man , a teenage super hero with girl trouble, no money and a load of guilt on his back, Goldman just about laughed him out of his office. “Stan!” he said “You can’t call the hero Spiderman, people hate spiders and he definitely can’t be a teenager! Teenagers are just sidekicks for comedy relief.” Into the “NO-Bin” the idea went. Until a couple of months later when Stan was looking for something to fill up the last issue of Amazing Fantasy, a magazine they were getting ready to discontinue. Stan needed to get the story out of his system, and he knew the publishers were never interested or cared what you put in the books about to be discontinued. So he wrote the first and what he expected to be the only Spider-Man story to be filler, but he featured the character on the cover of Amazing Fantasy 15. Several months passed and Goldman got the circulation numbers for the book, “Hey Stan, remember that Spider-Man character we loved so much? I think we should give him his own book.”  Countless comics, cartoons, live action TV series and 3 major motion films with a 4th about to premier later this year ….Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s most recognizable superheroes.

            With each reminiscent tale of how things started you could see the gleam in Stan’s eyes, like a child recounting the gifts he opened on Christmas morning. You could tell each one holds a special place in his heart. Stan is an amazing 89 years young yet he is not ready to stop creating those moments, now at the helm of a new company P.O.W. (Purveyors of Wonder), Lee gave us the news of several new projects in the works. One he was extremely excited about was collaboration with 1812 Comics to produce “Romeo and Juliet: The War”. This is a beautiful graphic novel, being produced in a large coffee table format retells the familiar tale in a very new setting. Set in Space, the families Montague and Capulet are not mere men, but Super-humans who once were allies protecting their beloved empire Verona.  Now they are locked in a bitter war. The artwork in this book is stunning and the large format truly does justice to the overall work.

            So that is a little about Stan Lee oh and that little sketch I mentioned well…
Stan signing my sketch

I got the nerve to show it to him and he didn’t have to ask who it was… but you could have knocked me over with a feather when he said “Oh wow! Look at this.”

To be continued…
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