Comix Creator's Congratulations Part 3
Here's another round of great pieces that were done by some very cool comic creators, a bunch of us from the shop approached at SPX back in October to do a sketch to help celebrate the Store's 20th Anniversary this year.
First up is Robert Ullman, who is a freelance illustrator and independent comic creator I first met at the Baltimore Comic Con this year. To try to relate what I enjoy about his work, I'd say that if Bruce Timm channels Kirby in his work, and Darwyn Cooke channels Alex Toth, then Robert Ullman might be channeling Dave Stevens, and if you want evidence to this statement look at the women he draws!
At the show, I was in line to get James Jean to sign my Process Recess 2 book, but there was his table with all these cool little comics and cartoon pin-up drawings competing for my attention. So I had to stop by his stand, and I think I spent as much at Ullman's table as I did at the Top Shelf table, and that was where the bulk of my purchases at the show occurred! Ullman has an impressive list of artistic credentials for a variety of publications, such as Spin Magazine, Make, Richmond Magazine, Virginia Living, Nickelodeon, and The Washington City Paper. And somehow he still finds time in the day to make his own mini-comics, Atom-Bomb Bikini, Grand Gestures, Lunch-Hour Comix, and Old-Timey Hockey Tales. I enjoy his work a great deal (and not just because he draws the cutest, sexiest female cartoon pin-ups I've ever seen), and I appreciate the time he took to do a piece for us. I'd like to have some of his comics grace our counter, so if you see this Robert, let's figure something out!
Next then, is a sketch by Canadian creator, Jeff Lemire, whose Essex County books come highly recommended at the shop, and they're kind of old-timey hockey tales themselves! These tales are a trilogy that has two books currently available, with the third to be released in October of this year. The first book, Tales From the Farm, is the story of Lester, an orphaned 10-year-old, who is having trouble adjusting to life on his Uncle's farm. His relationship with his Uncle isn't an easy one, and out of his need for company, Lester befriends the town's gas station owner, a former damaged hockey star, named Jimmy Lebeuf. At first Lester is a little uncertain of Jimmy, but in no time the two enjoy a mutual escape from reality of in pretending to be super-heroes, defending the woods from Martian invaders, and enjoy a few pond hockey matches, of course. The second book, Ghost Stories, details the relationship of brothers Lou and Vince Lebeuf over a period of nearly seventy years. The eldest brother Lou, now a deaf and lonely man, wastes his final days on his farm mired in personal regret for the decisions he made years ago that tore his family apart. It's a sad tale of a broken man and the one thing he has left -his memories.
Lemire's debut graphic novel, Lost Dogs, is unfortunately out of print, but I think a couple of us guys were lucky enough to pick up copies form Jeff at the show. Hopefully this book will be back in print and readily available though in the future.
And that's tonight's installment... there's still more to come!