Blogs > Confessions of a 20-something Manchild

My name is Dave Herndon, ever since my homeworld of Gallifrey was time locked I've been just travelling the cosmos, then they invented comic books, and cartoons. Now I run this blog and talk about nerdy things whenever I can. No matter what happens, if you stoke me a clipper, I'll be back in time for breakfast.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Creative team for upcoming "Grumpy Cat" comic named

Dynamite Entertainment, following the wave of excitement generated from the May announcement of their upcoming Grumpy Cat comic book series, is pleased to announce the complete creative team for the upcoming first issue, scheduled for release in October. The series writers include Ben Fisher (Smuggling Spirits), Ben McCool (Captain America and the Korvac Saga), Royal McGraw (Detective Comics), and Elliott R. Serrano (Army of Darkness). The interior artists will be Ken Haeser (The Living Corpse) and Steve Uy (Avengers: The Initiative), who also contribute cover artwork alongside Rebekie Bennington (Doodle Jump), Agnes Garbowska (My Little Pony), and Tavis Maiden (The Konamis). Dynamite will also offer two special cover variants: a Blank Authentix edition, perfect for fans with artistic talent to personalize; and the first-ever "Create-Your-Own-Meme" edition that provide Grumpy Cat lovers an outlet for their own curmudgeonly witticisms.
 
Each of the contributing writers and artists has chimed in with their enthusiasm for the project:

Rebekie Bennington, artist: "When I first got the message about doing some art for Grumpy Cat, I didn't know if I could handle the pressure of being judged by the grumpiest cat on the internet... but then I realized that my own general grumpiness made me a perfect fit!"

Ben Fisher, writer: "Grumpy Cat has managed to transcend from meme to globally recognized personality with astonishing speed. Nearly anyone with Internet access knows that face, across all ages and nationalities. It's a huge honor to be given the opportunity to participate in her entrance into a new medium. Comic books are a natural fit for Grumpy Cat, along with her supporting cast of friends and family. I'm having a blast writing these great characters and developing their world. Also, Dynamite promised that if the books do well, they'll let me pitch the Chocolate Rain graphic novel."

Agnes Garbowska, artist: "I'm working on Grumpy Cat! I am so honoured that I can take part in capturing Grumpy Cat herself in comic book form. Currently, I am working on the covers for the comics. I wrapped up a cover for issue #1 and am working on a cover for the next issue. I am super excited to be a part of the Grumpy Cat team!"

Ken Haeser, artist: "I jumped at the chance to work on Grumpy Cat when Dynamite told me they were putting out a comic. How often do you get to work on something that is so universally known? Everyone knows Grumpy Cat! And hopefully it'll bring in a lot of non-comic readers to check it out. All I know is that it is going to be a lot of fun!"

Tavis Maiden, artist: "This is literally the first thing I've worked on that my kids think is cool. When I was tasked with capturing Grumpy Cat's likeness and personality for the covers, I was met with grueling deadlines, harsh criticism, and sweeping revisions... er, I mean, praise be to our Fluffy Overlord, may we never be good enough for her."

Ben McCool, writer: "Like millions worldwide, I've had countless chuckles over the past few years thanks to Grumpy Cat. I was lucky enough to attend the miserable moggy's official birthday party last year, and didn't think I could possibly trump it in terms of cat-related coolness. Little did I know I'd find myself in a position to write stories about Grumpy (along with Pokey, her eternally optimistic, happy-go-lucky brother -- shenanigans aplenty are an absolute guarantee)! I'm delighted to be part of such an exciting, fun-filled project, and can't wait for you all to read the madcap misadventures of Grumpy Cat."

Royal McGraw, writer: "Life isn't always roses. Sometimes it's the stuff you use to fertilize roses. Grumpy Cat has become an internet sensation because she's not afraid to voice the grumpy truth... and look adorable doing it. Personally, I'm thrilled to help Dynamite Entertainment bring Grumpy Cat to a brand new medium!"

Elliott R. Serrano, writer: "I'm really excited to be a member of Team Grumpy Cat! Ever since she gained fame on the 'internetz', Grumpy Cat was destined to join the pantheon of animal personalities that have captured our imagination. Grumpy Cat gets to say the things that we all think, yet are too polite to say. When writing Grumpy Cat, I had to get in touch with that part of myself that's not afraid to point out that while the cloud may have a silver lining, it's still raining. Let's face it, the reason we all love Grumpy Cat is because we each have a little Grumpy Cat inside of us."

Steve Uy, artist: "Cat memes have become a part of American culture, and there doesn't seem to be anything stopping it. One day, when it overcomes hot dogs and baseball, I'll be able to tell my grandchildren that I was a part of the very first cat meme book with Grumpy Cat, and they will look upon me with awe and respect, and shower me with more love than I need. That is why I'm a part of this book."

Grumpy Cat #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' August Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, corresponding to items shipping in October 2015. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Grumpy Cat with their local comic book retailers. Grumpy Cat will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

When readers attack... I just had to laugh

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Taylor man planning Toy Show for charity in Toledo

A trio of toy collectors are planning a toy show that will benefit schools and other charities.
Taylor resident Norm Stachulski, along with Monroe County resident Kris Ilstrup and Toledo resident Toby Borer are putting on the July 11 show at Trilby Park in Toledo, with a portion of the proceeds set to be donate to Toledo area schools.
“I was on the Taylor School Board,” Stachulski said, “and I see the need to give back when we can.”
The show will be open at 9 a.m. for early bird sales and 10 a.m. for regular shoppers. Admission is $6 for early entry and $3 for normal admission with children 12 and under free.
Advertised as the “My Old Toys,” toys, comics and collectibles show, it is the first show the friends have put together, but if it is successful they will plan more shows in different cities.
“The one thing we are sure of is that whatever city we’re in we’ll be donating to local schools,” Stachulski said.
Ilstrup and Borer have known each other since high school, both met Stachulski through collecting on Instagram and have become good friends who frequently go toy hunting together.
“We travel all over the tri-state area,” Ilstrup said. “We see a lot of people from our area at the shows we go to, but there aren’t other shows in the general area. That’s what we’re hoping to fix.”
Borer added that shows in Bowling Green, Ohio, and in Monroe, Wayne and Washtenaw counties are on the horizon if the initial Toledo show goes over well.
“The sky's the limit,” he said. “We want to do several a year.”
Trilby Park is at 3125 Shawnee Street, Toledo Ohio.

If you go:
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 11.
Where: Trilby Park Shelter House, 3125 Shawnee Street. Toledo, Oh
Price: $6 early, $3 regular

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Midway Sports & Entertainment impresses first time visitor

Go-Karts? Check.
Bumper cars? Check.
Mini golf? Check.
And the list just goes on and on from there. I'm not sure that Midway Sports & Entertainment could offer more and still be what it is.
Photos: Customers enjoy Midway Sports & Entertainment
Batting cages and water balloon fights aside, there are still more activities I haven't mentioned. This little hidden gem slipped through the cracks as I've gotten to know the Downriver area, and I'm surprised because this was right up my alley (sorry no bowling).
I hadn't driven a Go-Kart in probably 15 years, and I might have been a bit tall for these, but from the second I stepped foot into one, instantly I was 4-years-old again and sitting next to my dad as he drove me around the track.
Heading over to the batting cages, I hadn't hit a ball in probably 20 years, and after stepping in to take my chops, I still haven't. However I had a lot of fun trying.

Next up, mini golf. They offer two different 18-hole courses, both of which are difficult but not so challenging as to frustrate the player. It was perfect.
Now on to the newly improved bumper cars, which were updated recently to include a sound system and easier controls for the riders. These were always a favorite of mine as a child, and were the highlight of my night out at.
The cars were comfortable and super easy to drive. What I especially enjoyed, they seem to be radio controlled as well. If there aren't enough drivers on the course the other cars still move around and give you extra targets to bump into.
There is also a climbing wall, water balloon fighting game and much more that I didn't get a chance to try.
They don't call me the 20-Something Manchild (My personal blog at ManchildConfessions.com) for nothing, and this place brings the big kid in me right back out. (Though the 20-something part of that will soon go by the wayside as I decline into old age and turn the big 3-0 later this year.

Monday, May 11, 2015

James O’Barr talks growing up Downriver, new ‘Crow’ movie in advance of appearance at Motor City Comic Con

“The Crow” is an iconic comic book series.
The graphic novel compendium is the best selling independent black and white comic of all time, with more than 1.5 million units sold.
That’s common knowledge among comic book fans, and the wider pop culture purveyors of the world.
There have been four movies, with a fifth on the way, a television series, prose novels and tons of spin off comics.
What isn’t well know, much of the basis for the story, and some of the writing and art was completed Downriver.
Creator James O’Barr is often hailed as being from Detroit, but before he moved to the big city, he grew up in Taylor and later River Rouge.
First published in 1989 by Caliber Comics, the story for the original run was born out of personal anguish and never intended to be seen by others.
“It’s easy to be fearless when you don’t think anyone else will see it,” O’Barr said. “I had a personal loss and needed to find a way to deal with it that wasn’t self destructive. I decided to use the comics as a diary with no intentions of it ever being published.”
After sitting on the story for years, O’Barr decided to let the book be published by Gary Reed and his start-up company Caliber Comics.
At the time Reed was a comic shop owner and could assure the books would see shelf space in his stores at least.
“I figured it would be nice to see in book format,” O’Barr said. “Figured they were an independent publisher that would make a few thousand copies and that would be it.”
O’Barr called the book atypical for the general comic book audience.
“It’s not for a mass audience,” he said. “There’s no superheroes in it, it’s dark and broody, black and white. It took a while for it to find a comic audience, but it did well in record stores right away.
“It was amazing to go to a record store and see my comic and wonder how they even found out about it. The musicians latched onto it and it grew from there.”
From there, history was made.The book quickly gained popularity, and was being stocked in more than just Reed’s stores. It was in just about every comic shop in Michigan, and quickly spread to more record stores and other locations as well.
O’Barr got used to being a “rockstar” of sorts in the metro Detroit area, but didn’t realize how far the book had reached. Not long after the book came out he travelled to England and Germany, where he saw his book in stores across the pond as well.
“It was kind of surreal,” he said. “I was still centered in Detroit and didn’t think about having an impact anywhere else. I did resist the urge go in and say ‘hey I did that, that’s mine.’”
Eventually the book was translated into more than a dozen languages and sold worldwide.
Not long after the book started selling, Hollywood came calling.
“The ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’ movie was about to be released and it was going to make a ton of money,” he said. “Companies started buying up the rights to all the comics they could. I never expected it to get made.”
Not only was the movie made, but it was both a box office and critical success. It later spawned three sequels and a television series. O’Barr only worked on the first movie.
“I thought we made the movie we set out to make,” he said. “After that I didn’t want to be involved.”
That changed recently though. I new movie is being produced, and he’s involved as much as he can be like he was on the original. Due to contract negotiations there aren’t many details he can talk about, but he assures it will be a good movie.
“It’s not a remake of the Brandon Lee film,” he said. “It’s going right back to the source material. Everything is going amazingly well on it.”
O’Barr, who moved to Texas several years ago will be returning to the Motor City for the second year in a row as he is a featured guest at the Motor City Comic Con.
The show opens Friday at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
The show is open all weekend.
Friday 12:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday 10:30  a.m.  to  7:00  p.m. and Sunday, 10:30  a.m.  to  5:00  p.m.

Jean Michel Cousteau talks about invasive carp, diverting Great Lakes water

He was essentially raised underwater by his father Jacques Cousteau, and continues the same work today.
After a recent screening of his newest film “Ocean’s Secrets 3D” at the Henry Ford Museum’s IMAX theater, Jean Michel Cousteau took the time to meet with every person that attended the event.
PHOTOS: Jean Michel Cousteau at the Henry Ford
One of the topics he touched on during his time with the crowd was the invasion of the Asian Carp into the Great Lakes.
“As long as there is a way … to find food,” he said. “They’ll do it. It’s just like us, if you’re starving you’re going to go where you can feed yourself.”
He said that giving the species a new source of food would likely deter them from heading to the Great Lakes, provided it was easier to access than the food supply in the region.
“I think that’s what dictates them to move wherever they are,” he said.
Cousteau also spoke about the possibility of diverting Great Lakes water to other areas. He’s against it.
“I don’t think it needs to get to that,” he said. “Eighty percent of water we consume is wasted. Capture it and recycle it.”
The film will be playing at the theater at least through the end of the year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ComiqueCon, celebrating women in comics to debut in Dearborn

ComiqueCon is promising to be a celebration like every other, and like no other all at once.

It will be like thousands of other comic book conventions across the country in that it will be a huge celebration of the culture, it’s fans and creators.
It will be completely unique in that it is celebrating specifically the women in comics, the writers, artists, inkers and editors that create comics.
“We're thrilled to bring today's most talented ladies making comics together for this one-of-a-kind event. Women don't just read comics - they make excellent comics, too!” said ComiqueCon founder Chelsea Liddy. “I’ve been following geek culture for a long time. I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t already a convention like this. That shocked me that it hadn’t been done before.”
Liddy said she doesn’t want to focus on the negative aspect of online life, but the idea sprung out of “Gamer Gate,” late last fall. Gamergate was a sustained long term attack on several female video game creators. The attacks ranged from complaints about the quality of work to rape and death threats.
“Comics and gaming are so closely related,” she said. “ You see some of that negative stuff and you have to think about creating a space where we can be positive.”
The reasoning behind the convention, set for Nov. 7 at the Arab American National Museum, is to stop the relegation of women in comics that tends to happen at other conventions.
“Women are often on a ‘Women in Comics’ panel, but not always noticed otherwise,” Liddy said. “There is so much more that woman can talk about.”
After having the idea, Liddy went to the only comic shop --Green Brain Comics--  where she knew she’d be able to find help with her newfound task.
“If  Green Brain hadn’t been so supportive from the beginning,” she said, “this might not have happened.”
Co-owner of the store Katie Merritt knows what it’s like to be a woman in the industry. Having worked in and owned a store for more than 20 years, and keeping a close pulse on the community, her knowledge was key in getting ComiqueCon off the ground.
“When Chelsea came to us with the idea,” Merritt said, “I said ‘that sounds awesome.’ They came to us as consultants to support the show.”
Merritt along with her husband Dan, both Allen Park residents, have put on their own small press conventions in the past, serve on the committee for the Kids’ Read Comics event each year in Ann Arbor and also put on dozens of other events at the store each year.
“We have always been big proponents of making everyone feel welcome,” Katie said. “Comic books are just a medium to tell stories. No one says TV or a movie should be just for boys, or you can’t read this novel because of your gender.”
The show will be a one-day celebration, and has announced some top of the line talent for the inaugural show. One of the guests will be Dearborn native Mairghread Scott, who went into television production and also writes comics for Marvel and IDW. Scott was the first woman to author a Transformers comic last year.
Other top talent that has confirmed to be attending includes: Leila Abdelrazaq, graphic artist and author of Baddawi; Nancy Collins, author of Vampirella; Marguerite Dabaie, author of The Hookah Girl; Alex de Campi, author of Smoke/Ashes, Archie vs. Predator, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman and No Mercy; Nicole Georges, author of Calling Dr. Laura; Mikki Kendall, co-author of Swords of Sorrow.
Many of the talent coming is working on the new comic “Sword of Sorrows,” which is a six issue mini series produced by all women teams. Issue one was written by Gail Simone, who was unable to attend the convention this year.
The first issue of that mini series has a custom cover put out by Green Brain with art by Michigan resident Dave Acosta.
“All of the profit from that book will be donated back to convention,” Katie Merritt said.
Other planned events include a costume contest, artist VIP reception, discussion panels and a screening of the documentary “She Makes Comics.”
In an effort to help with the festival’s initial startup costs, ComiqueCon recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Tilt.com. The campaign will run through June 6 and includes numerous sponsorship levels. Sponsors who donate at the $25 level are eligible to receive the limited edition variant of Swords of Sorrow No. 1.
Other incentives include admission to ComiqueCon 2015, limited edition ComiqueCon 2015 buttons, and admission to a private meet and greet VIP reception on Nov. 6 with ComiqueCon artists and writers. To participate in the crowdfunding campaign, visit Comiquecon.com.
For more information on the convention, find the show at Comiquecon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @ComiqueCon