Category Archives: Comics

Saga’s Lying Cat Pancake

Lying Cat Pancake

Lying Cat is a character from the comic book Saga, published by Image Comics. It’s a great ongoing book written by Brian K. Vaughan, with art by Fiona Staples. Definitely worthy of checking out – and I’m not lying! The “R” rating means it’s off limits for my kids, though they sure do love both cats AND pancakes! I submitted a photo of this pancake to the monthly fan art section of the Saga (unofficial) Facebook fan site.

To make the pancake, I whipped up some batter, added some blue dye, and filled up my wife’s cake decorating squeeze bottle. Start with the areas you would like to turn out the darkest, then just fill the rest in. If you think that’s cool, check out Jim’s Pancakes for some SERIOUSLY over-the-top pancakes. I need to take some pancake making lessons from this super cool dad!

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Doctor Who and Dalek Costumes

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The Cardboard Keep has toppled. It wasn’t due to poor construction, or even an enemy invasion. No, the Cardboard Keep was pillaged by my own two hands, as evidenced by the quantity of paper cuts.

A bit of background: It was last Friday, and I had just learned that my local comic book store was participating in Halloween ComicFest, which included a costume contest among other fun things. I was brainstorming costume ideas for the kids throughout the day, with no clear winners coming to mind. It was while I was on hold, buying movie tickets to the much anticipated Doctor Who 50th anniversary special event in 3D, that these two thoughts melded so beautifully in my mind. Indeed, the kids will go as the Doctor and a Dalek!

The Doctor was a piece of cake. I had already made the 4th Doctor’s scarf, and the rest of the outfit was easily pulled from our closets within minutes. What I didn’t have on hand was a stockpile of cardboard and other materials for the Dalek. If I was going to pull this off I had to make haste. I ransacked the place for materials: a metal pot lid, plastic easter eggs, a honey stick, a plastic serving spoon, a plastic bowl, a whisk, broken lamp parts, and a plastic salt and pepper shaker set.

Dalek partsFinally, the Cardboard Keep had to come down. I tried not to think of it as destruction, but more like a metamorphosis (try leaning on that analogy with a two and five-year-old). A lot of hot glue and the majority of my weekend later, and the costumes were complete.

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IMG_5693 IMG_5682We didn’t even make it into the store and someone stopped us for a picture, which made the kids as proud as peacocks. We’re anxiously waiting to hear who won!

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Farewell, Sweet Tooth!

The final issue of Sweet Tooth, by Jeff Lemire, hits the store shelves today. Sweet Tooth became my favorite monthly comic since I started getting back into them again as an adult over the last year or so. Last October I attended my very first convention, the New York Comic Con (NYCC), and there I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Lemire and get his autograph on my mighty wallet! I had previously promised to post a picture, so here it is. Isn’t he cute?

Sweet Tooth Wallet

Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, when I had heard that the Sweet Tooth adventure would be wrapping up, I fashioned some fan art from leftover Halloween candy as a small tribute. The kids loved it, of course, because they got to eat him. Here it is again.

Candy Sweet Tooth

Click here to read more on my Sweet Tooth candy art. The next project on the horizon for Lemire is a sci-fi love story called Trillium, which looks and sounds awesome. I’m excited to be on board from issue number one for a change, since I’ve been late to the game for a bunch of other great comics. In the meantime, I plan to catch up on Lemire’s collected Essex County comics, which I received as a Christmas present this year.

Farewell, Sweet Tooth! It’s been a great ride!

Santa and the Car-Toon Truck at AACA

We stopped in to see Santa during his visit at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) museum in Hershey. He ditched his usual sleigh for the day. Check out his new ride:

Santa's Ride

My kids must have sensed something was off when Santa arrived in an old convertible, without Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer gang, because today neither of them would sit on his lap, and usually they fight over who gets to go first.

It was my first time in the AACA museum, and unfortunately, with all the hubbub around Santa, I ended up having to rush through all of the exhibits. I’ll definitely be going back to more throughly explore the entire museum. If nothing else, I need to get another look at the 1920 Ford Model A “Car-Toon” Truck. The entire car is detailed with thousands of cartoons, comic book characters, and movie personalities, using brush and airbrush techniques. It’s fun and quite amazing to stare at it for a few moments and then begin to focus in on all of the dozens of characters. I only had a minute to see it, although I could easily have spent an hour or so soaking it all in.

Ford Car-toon Truck

Click here to find more images of the Car-Toon truck. What famous personalities or fictional characters can you spot? Go ahead and list them in the comments. I call Spock!

Bonus question: What is the make of Santa’s car?

Sweet Tooth

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and you’re still sitting on a pile of Halloween candy that is quickly going stale – what do you do? Art Project!

It actually all started back in October of 2011, when for the first time since I was a teenager, I began following monthly comics again. One of the side effects of being a dad is that it’s put me back in touch with my own inner child, and watching my kids grow up has made me nostalgic about my own childhood. Comic books were one of my major passions as a kid, and I’m lucky to still have my childhood comic book collection in my possession. I recently pulled out the ol’ comic book box to organize and properly store them so that they would still be around for my kids to inherit someday. Handling all those old issues was so fun and brought back such great memories, that after the project was finished, I ended up making a trek to the nearest comic book store, kids in tow, to start some new memories with little super guys of my own.

My childhood comic stash

One of my very favorite comics that I found this past year was Sweet Tooth, published by Vertigo and written by Jeff Lemire. I had picked it up on a suggestion from a comic book store employee who said that it was a good jumping on point. I immediately loved it, so I went back and read all the previous issues to get myself caught up.  I think that Sweet Tooth resonated with me not just because of the great art, character writing, and story, but that I had something in common with Sweet Tooth. I, too, was a lonely child, often lonely, whose dad was also a religious man. I just wasn’t a human/animal hybrid. A small difference.

Not long after I got back into reading comics, I got my sights on attending the New York Comic Con (NYCC). I came up with the plan to familiarize myself with the comic industry so that I would know who was who at NYCC.  One of the big differences that I’ve discovered about following comics as an adult versus a kid is that you start following the writers and artists just like you would follow your favorite childhood heroes. Sweet Tooth was my favorite book this year, and it’s no surprise that I also enjoyed reading some of Lemire’s other books, including Justice League Dark and Animal Man, and I’m looking forward to picking up his graphic novels, Essex County and The Underwater Welder. I was only able to attend NYCC for one day, but while there I was able to catch Jeff Lemire’s signing session. I asked him to sign my Mighty Wallet, because I had foolishly left my comics at home, and I ended up with a little Sweet Tooth of my own! It was a very cool way to put a cap on of my first full year following comics again.

Sweet Tooth will surely be the comic book I remember the most when I look back at this year’s experience of following comics again, not only because it was my favorite, but also since it is the only series that I’ll have read in its entirety this year. Plus, I actually got to briefly meet the creator. So where does the Halloween candy fit in? Well, Sweet Tooth’s story is sadly coming to an end, with the last issue hitting the newsstands in December. I was reflecting on all of this while staring at our massive pile of leftover Halloween candy when I had the idea to make this edible Sweet Tooth tribute. Candy would make a perfectly fitting medium, I thought, not to mention far easier for me to handle than an artist brush! We used Sweet Tarts, Twizzlers, Cow Tails, peanut butter cups, and caramels. Oh, and the Hershey bar (with almonds). My kids got to pitch in by helping unwrap the candy and squishing the caramels that were used to make the hair (yes, as you can imagine, that was indeed a sticky mess) and they even got to eat a little of the finished product. So there was my own short-lived homage to Sweet Tooth. Thank you Mr. Lemire for an incredible story, although one that’s not quite yet over, and for my own little personal Sweet Tooth to carry around with me!