THE JOE KUBERT MOST VALUABLE COLLEAGUE SCHOLARSHIP is a new gift from Joe’s friend and admirer, writer Clifford Meth. It is awarded to a student who takes pride in helping his/her fellow students. Each year, at this ceremony, Joe would stress the importance of networking with fellow alumni and future colleagues, and he demonstrated his concern for his fellow artists throughout his life. This gift is awarded in memory of Joe Kubert's abiding fraternal spirit.
THE GENE COLAN SCHOLARSHIP was established by writer Clifford Meth in memory of his friend Gene Colan and is co-judged by artist Mike Pascale, a Kubert School alum. Gene Colan is regarded as one of the most influential and beloved artists of Marvel's Silver Age. He worked for Marvel for 64 years—longer than anyone else to date—touching nearly every major Marvel character and defining many including Daredevil, Iron Man, Tomb of Dracula and Howard the Duck. In the last decade of his career, Marvel and Dark Horse ceased assigning inkers to Gene's work—his pencils were regarded as too perfect to cover with ink. This is the second year the GENE COLAN SCHOLARSHIP has been awarded and the award is presented for outstanding craftsmanship with a pencil.
THE DAVE and PATY COCKRUM SCHOLARSHIP was established in 2007 by Dave's widow Paty and his friend and collaborator Clifford Meth. Paty was a production artist at Marvel during the last years of the famed Marvel Bullpen, where she also penciled covers for Marvel's British magazines and such U.S. titles as The Amazing Spider-Man and Claws of the Cat. Her husband Dave, who passed away in 2006, is considered one of the greatest character designers Marvel ever had. His designs and creations for Marvel included Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus, Mystique, Thunderbird, Ms. Marvel, the Black Cat, the Starjammers and the Futurians, among others. Having trained under Murphy Anderson at DC, Dave spent most of his career at Marvel. The annual DAVE and PATY COCKRUM SCHOLARSHIP is awarded for creativity and outstanding story-telling ability.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
It seems trivial discussing anything seemingly comics-related amidst news of the tragedy in Boston today. My five-year-old daughter caught the story on television by accident. She failed to understand how anyone could hurt a two-year-old. I had no answers for her.
I write this because love conquers hate.
I was standing outside in the sunshine this morning before the terror attack in Boston, enjoying the new weather when Harlan Ellison phoned. My pal was calling to say yes, he'd be happy to sign comics for a new scholarship. Of course he would. Harlan's always there for his friends and for quite a few strangers, and he's spent a lifetime setting an example. He'll be 79 in May and his health has been lousy. That doesn't matter. He'd have been insulted if I hadn't asked.
Then Johnny Romita Sr. contacted me to say yes, of course he'd sign comics for a new scholarship. Of course he would. He was glad I asked. John's 83 now. He has his own problems, like everyone else, but he's never said no to anyone looking for help.
Stan Lee emailed me last night. "Of course," he said. Of course. Stan's 90 and everyone wants a piece of him. Of course.
Love conquers hate. That's why this 52-year-old still hangs around comics and comics people.
Something less than human plants bombs and blows up strangers and calls it a cause. The rest of us look around and say, "How can I help?" Cause enough.
We're here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is. And that's it.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
2) I learned to meet a deadlines and follow word-count parameters.
|With Joe & Adam Kubert at 2012 Scholarship Ceremony|
I invite your participation in this new scholarship, too. If you have any signed comics that you are willing to part with (even one), please send them to: Clifford Meth (attn: Kubert Scholarship), 179-9 Rt. 46 West, Rockaway, NJ 07866. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Donated items will be auctioned on Ebay under the account DaveCockrumEstate (which is currently in use to fund the Cockrum and Colan Awards).
Scholarships helped me and kept me going forward. I am delighted by the opportunity to maintain the circle of life.
Thank you in advance for your kind support.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Please click this link, visit the Kickstarter page that Mark has set up, watch his 60-second video and see if you don't agree.
|Mark McKenna brings that old-time rock-and-roll to his comic art.|
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I'm sure Michael--our own Valentine Michael Smith--will have plenty to talk about soon. Stay tuned.
Friday, February 8, 2013
I will be creating a NEW LIST of available items (books, comics, original comic art) and posting it here soon. These items will be available before going up for bid on Ebay or ComicLink or one of the other auction sites. These days, my charity work is limited to these scholarships. Wish I could do more for others but I am limited in resources.
Even if you are no longer a collector or comics or comic art, please share this blog with others on FaceBook or wherever you virtually hang out. Paty Cockrum sends her love to everyone. Gene's son Erik says hello. I say hello. And Saints Dave, Gene and Joe are looking down or sideways and giggling at how much fuss we continue to make about them.
My next book will be published under a pseudonym. Better writers than I have been forced to do the same. Life is difficult during the fall of Amerika. Gam zu l'tova.
Monday, August 13, 2012
I think it's fair to say that the legion of those who care--Joe Kubert's family, friends, fans, and indeed, the entire international body of gentlefolk who assemble as comics fandom who were sorely insulted by DC's insensitive treatment of this solemn moment--are owed an apology by whomever it is that now sits at the helm of DC Entertainment. The crass, classless, opportunistic "announcement" of Joe Kubert's death only added insult to those injured by Joe's passing. I dare say it's something that wouldn't have happened on Paul Levitz's watch.
Contrast the way DC announced Joe's death with the way the matter was handled by any of the industry's news sites. Scores of comics reporters and bloggers took time to offer tasteful words of tribute to Joe Kubert accompanied by carefully considered references to his historical significance. Tom Spurgeon--always a go-to source for accurate information, respect and style--offered a New York Times-worthy presentation of facts and analysis, dignifying Joe's more-than-impressive life and industry significance. Should DC have offered less?
Seriously: Someone at DC Entertainment owes us a huge apology.
May the family have no more sorrow. - CM
When someone advanced in years passes, people often toss the cliche, "They had a full life." With Joe Kubert, it was true.
Neal Adams once remarked to me that Joe had the three major pillars in place: He took care of his family, his business and his health.
I'll leave it for others to expound on Joe's pioneering art, his importance and longevity as comics royalty, his role as a the definitive comics-art instructor. Let me instead say this:
I knew Joe since I was a boy. We were neighbors and I didn't realize he was a legend until I got older. He didn't act like a legend -- not then, not ever. I'd run into him at my local supermarket. One time, shortly after ComicCon, Joe was on line with his shopping cart full of fruit and vegetables, waiting to pay for his groceries, so I snuck up behind him. "Isn't it strange," I said, "not having people waiting on line to see you?" Joe turned around and laughed.
By all accounts Joe was a regular guy, except he was better than everyone at most things and never let on. Joe was an exceptional family man, an exceptional artist and teacher, a keen businessman. His school in Dover, NJ, changed lives, provided careers for young artists for three decades and will continue to do so under the guidance of his sons, who he adored... Joe was still playing paddle-ball or handball into his mid-eighties, still creating exquisite art every day in his studio, grabbing your hand with that vice-like handshake of his when you entered, always a warm smile and a twinkle in his eye. I was so pleased to know him, to stop by the school whenever I was in the neighborhood, to be able to participate in the scholarship awards there each year, and to have Joe grace the charity projects I was running. He was just aces, this terrific guy who never seemed to age -- this big, wonderful, strong and excellent man. I was sure Joe Kubert would be around forever.
Joe was 85. Rest in peace old friend. You were sensational.
update (9:40 a.m. 8/13):
As always, Tom Spurgeon offers insightful, detailed coverage of those friends we have lost. Tom's article on Joe can be read here.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
John Coates, who is writing a book on Don Heck's life for TwoMorrow's Publishing, recently interviewed me regarding my brief relationship with Don. From that interview:
What was your overall relationship with Don? More than an agent? Friend? Confidant?
I was very close with Gray Morrow, Dave Cockrum, and Gene Colan but I was never close with Don. We were friends, but not what I'd call close. Towards the end of his life—after he called me and told me he was dying—I guess you could say we were closer. He asked me to help find someone who could take care of his dog. He was terribly concerned that he’d die and there would be no one there for the dog.
Did Don share any recollections about his time at Marvel? Not getting art returned?
Don had nothing negative to say about anything or anyone. He’d been trashed by Gary Groth and that miserable rag he publishes. Groth had manipulated Harlan Ellison into saying something disparaging about Don's abilities during an interview, but Don didn’t indicate that he held it against Harlan. He knew Harlan and I were friends—at least I presume that he knew that—but these types of things seemed beneath him. It wasn’t as if he was taking the high road; I think it was all just petty to him... He certainly had great affection for John Buscema, as John did for him. John told me he wanted to punch Groth in the mouth for what he did to Don.
Were you in communications with Don prior to his death?
One day Don phoned me. “I’m calling to say goodbye,” he said. “Goodbye?” I asked. “I have cancer,” said Don. “I’m not gonna make it.” I can still hear him saying it. And how do you respond to that? With some bullshit that everything’s going to be okay? I was stunned. He was only 66.
Were you involved in the estate post-death?
Not at all. I was just sad. I liked Don very much. He was humble and easy to get along with. He did what he said he was going to do and his commission work at the end of his life was as good as anything he’d done during his career. He was very much the craftsman. I didn’t see a lot of emotion in Don's artwork, like you’d see in, say, Gene Colan’s, but I s'pose comparing artists is as foolish as comparing schools of thought. As Stan Lee once told me, Don was reliable; you’d give him a job and know he’d get it done right and on time. There’s plenty to be said for reliability.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
“So now I’m Joseph?” I asked.
“Listen,” said Pep. “I dreamed I was engaged to an infant and—”
“An infant?” I repeated. My lower back’s been hurting, there’s a touch of arthritis in my knees, occasional indigestion, flatulence after Chinese food. What do I know? Maybe the hearing’s going, too.
“Yes,” said Peppi. “An infant.”
“Probably nothing worth seeing,” I deduced.
Peppi coughed lightly, one of his two gestures. “She looks at me, the mother, and she says, ‘My husband and I insist—we want you both to live here with us. Right away.’ Right away? But we’re not married yet, I tell her.”
“Geez, you’re old fashioned,” I said.
“In my dreams I’m old fashioned. In real life I’m a prude.” Peppi wiped his nose, his other gesture. “So where was I?”
“About to commit a felony with an infant,” I said. Gilgamesh dreamed of axes falling from the sky. Peppi Marchello dreams of carnal knowledge with a weanling. So this is what it’s like to be a rock star. Or maybe just a rock star from Long Island. I mean, even Caligula had boundaries. I’m wondering what laws I’m breaking just by listening to this.
“Anyway, all of the sudden she’s not an infant anymore,” says the maestro. “She’s a beautiful young woman. You know how dreams are.”
“Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet,” I wax.
“So I turn to Stefen, my son,” says Peppi, as if I didn’t know who Stefan was, “and I say to him, ‘Hey Stef—am I nuts or is this a beautiful woman?’ And he says, ‘You’re not nuts, Pop.’”
“Charles Manson walks into a room and says, ‘Is hot in here or am I crazy?’”
“Do you want to hear this or not?” Peppi asks, interrupting my interruption.
“Continue,” I said.
“So the next thing I know her old man walks in and he says, ‘Look—I want to show you something. And he leads me down a flight of stairs to this new bathroom with six toilets lined up next to each other. No stalls or dividers—just six toilets. I look at him and said, ‘What is this?’ and he says, ‘We’re expecting a lot of people.’ And I said, ‘Wait a minute—I can’t live like this.’ And he said, ‘We’re Jewish. This is our tradition.’ And I said, ‘Hold on buddy—you’re not the only Jewish guy I know. I’ve never seen this before.' But he insisted. So I was in the middle of this dilemma. That’s when I woke up.”
“And for this you need a Jew,” I lamented.
“I can’t figure out what it means,” said Peppi. “I mean first the infant, and then the six toilets.”
“Okay, so why six toilets?”
“I’m really bothered by the toilets,” said Peppi.
“Shiva means seven,” I explained. “You’re missing a toilet.”
“That’s weird,” said Peppi.
Friday, May 4, 2012
|Joe Kubert (center, top) and his students with Adam Kubert (bottom right)|
This afternoon, I was honored to participate again in the Scholarship Ceremony at the Joe Kubert School. Joe and his son, artist Adam Kubert, were both on hand to present students with cash awards for outstanding work--monies that we hope will help them in their training before they head off to work in the very competitive field of comic art.
From Joe Kubert:
"THE GENE COLAN SCHOLARSHIP was established by writer Clifford Meth in memory of his friend Gene Colan, who passed away last June. Gene is regarded as one of the most influential and beloved artists of Marvel's Silver Age. He worked for Marvel for 64 years--longer than anyone else to date--touching nearly every major Marvel character and defining many including Daredevil, Iron Man, Tomb of Dracula and Howard the Duck. In the last decade of his career, Marvel and Dark Horse stopped assigning inkers to Gene's work--his pencils were regarded as too perfect to cover up. This is the first time the GENE COLAN SCHOLARSHIP has been awarded and the award is presented for outstanding craftsmanship with a pencil."
"THE DAVE and PATY COCKRUM SCHOLARSHIP was established by Dave's widow Paty and their friend and collaborator Clifford Meth. Paty was a production artist at Marvel during the last years of the famed Marvel Bullpen, where she also did occasional pencils on Marvel's British magazines and such U.S. books as Amazing Spider-Man and Claws of the Cat. Her husband Dave Cockrum, who passed away in 2006, was considered by many the the greatest character designer Marvel had after Jack Kirby and John Romita. Cockrum's designs and creations for Marvel included Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus, Mystique, Thunderbird, Ms. Marvel, the Black Cat, Starjammers and the Futurians among others. Having trained under Murphy Anderson at DC, Dave spent most of his career at Marvel. The annual DAVE and PATY COCKRUM SCHOLARSHIP is awarded for creativity and outstanding story-telling ability."
Thursday, May 3, 2012
"Who wants a rat? Who wants a rat? Who wants a rat with a squeaky asshole?" Peppi chants while brother Mickey Marchello and John Gatto trade leads. Hands in the air, the audience climbs over itself in frenzied anticipation. Who by fire? Who by water? Who by a rat in their yellow teeth?
These were only the most important rock moments of my misspent youth, following, as I did, one of the least appreciated but most beloved bands of the '70s; a quintette of rare talent who were ignored by the little men careering in the industry but adored by legions of fans. So if you'd told me then, at age 17, that Peppi would one day pen a forward to one of my books--or that he'd ask me to write liner notes for a Good Rats LP--you could've knocked me over with a feather.
Of course I was drunk as a skunk back then so you could've knocked me over without telling me bupkes.
|Meth, Marchello and Manitoba protesting the removal of the letter M from the phone book.|
Message from the Good Rats' Newsletter below:
GOOD RATS RELEASE BLUE COLLAR RATS - ARCHIVES
Thank you, thank you, thank you fans for your continuous support. Some of you discovered us after the first Good Rats album in 1969, some after the Tasty album in 1974, some after the Ratcity album in 1976, some after the Rats To Riches album in 1978, some after the Great American album in 1981 etc. The point being that many of you have expressed to me how much enjoyment you've received from my music over the last 43 years. It's now my intention to get out both old songs of mine that were recorded but never released, and new songs I've written over the last few months. We are selling the Blue Collar Rats CD right now, a collection of archives with 20 songs on it, including my new song "Boom Boom." The players include the original Good Rats, as well as my son Gene Marchello, Bruce Kulick, Schuyler Deale, and other great musicians I've been fortunate enough to work with from 1974 to 1984. The CD has a terrific fold-out color poster, which I will be happy to personally autograph for you. It is also dedicated to the memory of my dear friend Jimmy Rainey
There are thousands of you on our e-mail list and Facebook. I sincerely hope you will continue to support me in the future as you have in the past. I hope you will find some of my new songs worthy of your support and help spread the word to others who you think will enjoy becoming new Good Rats fans. I call this a "chain CD strategy."
The Blue Collar Rats Archives CD with 20 songs is available now. You can place your order for the CD now thru my Uncle Rat Music, PO Box 585, St. James, NY 11780. Make payments to Uncle Rat Music, $15 for the 20 song CD plus $5 shipping and handling (total $20). Don't forget, if you want me to autograph the color foldout and have a specific message you want me to write, then include that with your order.
By the way, the first 100 orders will receive a free copy of CRIB DEATH and OTHER BEDTIME STORIES by my pal, author Clifford Meth. CRIB DEATH was Cliff's first collection before he began selling movies to Hollywood that were never made. Fifteen years ago I wrote the introduction to Cliff's book CONFLICTS OF DISINTEREST. Seriously twisted stuff. But you've all got to be a little twisted...
I've performed thru six decades. God willing, I hope to continue to play into my seventies. I cannot accomplish this without your support. Finally, a current study in the Harvard Medical Journal has absolutely proven that owning all new material written by Peppi Marchello will improve your sex life by 200%.
Let's all keep rockin' together!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
A man riding on a scooter open fired on the school at around 7:46 am as the students were arriving for the school day. Jonathan Sandler was the first one to be shot at short range. He was holding his 3-year-old son Gabriel in his arms. Gabriel was hit and fell to the ground and then Arieh, age 6, followed.
The gun then jammed, so the killer swiftly changed weapons and headed into the school. He grabbed Miriam Monsongo (age 7) and as she tried to escape, grasped her hair and shot her. Then, as she bled to death on the floor, he lifted up her head and fired two additional bullets.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
In 1972, Tull's now-classic "Thick As A Brick" had lyrics credited to fictitious child genius Gerald Bostock, whose parents supposedly lied about his age. The record was an instant number one Billboard charting LP and enjoyed worldwide success. Forty years later, what would Gerald Bostock (aged 50) be doing today? The anniversary “part two” album will examine the possible paths that precocious young Gerald might have taken, through alter-ego characters with song-section identities illustrating the hugely varied potential twists and turns of fate and opportunity. Says Ian, "As we baby-boomers look back on our own lives, we must often feel an occasional what-if' moment. Might we, like Gerald, have become instead preacher, soldier, down-and-out, shopkeeper or finance tycoon? And those of more tender years - the social media and internet generation - may choose to ponder well the myriad of chance possibilities ahead of them at every turn.”
For the first time since 1972, Anderson and fellow musicians John O'Hara (keyboards), David Goodier (bass), Florian Opahle (guitar) and Scott Hammond (drums)--along with guest performers--will take BRICK on the road to perform the album in its entirety. And part II of the show will see the new Tull also perform the sequel.
"Since 1972, the album has never been performed in its entirety although a few minutes of the material have been a regular repertoire staple in both Tull and Ian Anderson solo shows over the years," says Ian. "Now, scheduled for performance again in 2012, I will take the original album and this follow-up recording to a theatre near you.
"If someone had suggested that I might release a Prog concept album in the year 2012, I would have thought him seriously, dangerously even, off his trolley. But that is precisely what happened. A few years ago, Mike Andrews and Royston Eldridge, two ex-Chrysalis Records gents,pressed me to consider a follow-up to Thick As A Brick. I gave it some dutiful deliberation--for a couple of minutes--and politely declined. Nice idea, nice chaps but, after reflection, no-oooooo...
"Then, in 2010, a re-aquaintance with seventies Prog Rock vocalist-turned-record exec Derek Shulman--yes, he of Gentle Giant fame--restarted the old refrain. Yes, but... no, but, and finally--OK, I'll give it some more dutiful deliberation (four and a half minutes, this time) eventually produced, in February of 2011, the synopsis of the idea. Derek's enthusiasm and gauntlet-challenge plus two weeks of dedicated, fast and furious music and lyric writing combined to produce a flurry of material. And--blow me down with a Dodo's tail-feather--the whole thing was completed ready for scoring and arranging by the beginning of March.
"There were a couple of pieces prepared earlier which were bent into new shape and fitted into the scheme of things, so they too were popped into the bubbling saucepan. It was a little daunting to consider the impact--or perhaps lack of--which this release might have on old and new fans alike but I eventually decided that I would embark on this for my own benefit and enjoyment rather than trying to please anyone else at all.
"To find the balance of interesting musicality and more accessible content too was not the main issue. The conceptual and heavily lyrical nature of the beast, however, might be out of place in the attention span-deficit world which we seem to occupy these days. But, having toured in 2010 and 2011 in Italy, Latin America, Australia and other countries where passions run high, I decided that maybe the world--or our little corners of it--was, in fact, ready for a bit of more substantial and weightier fare. The era of professional media Prog-bashing seems to have given way to a more appreciative appraisal of the genre and newer bands such as Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree and Spock's Beard have possibly prompted a new and younger audience to re-examine the seventies originators' seminal albums too. So, it's not such a cold and lonely place after all.
"The elements of Folk, Classical and Jazz Music are still to be found in today's more Rock-oriented Progressive Rock. You will certainly find them subtly present in TAAB2 but along with a rather more acoustic feel than many of our peers, past and present. Not the only flute in town but... Actually, I played much more acoustic guitar than usual on this record having written most of the music on that instrument. But there are still sections conceived on the flute and sometimes--quite often, in fact--the lyric writing preceded all the melodies and harmonic structures. Starting with lyrics and then thinking of the music is not normally the way I work but it was here. A title, a few words or a verse or two and then the acoustic guitar was immediately to hand to conjure up a full song section out of the growing lyrics.
"Having a plan was important. Stories to tell made it all easier. The imagination-filled process of thinking how things might have turned out for the young and older Gerald kept me fascinated. Maybe you will be too. And maybe not. Ah, well --you can always go and watch The X Factor and the Eurovision Song Contest."
Monday, December 12, 2011
Were these pieces drawn by Gene Colan stolen or destroyed? Family members would like to know.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
The hard-rocking Hailstorm is a year old now, there’s continual web chatter regarding a Dictators reunion, and Ross “the Boss” Friedman is heading to South America for a number of shows. Ever the gentleman, Ross took a few moments to answer the important questions that everyone has been asking:
Cliff: A guy walks into a house of ill repute and says, “I want a punk girl.” And the Madame says, “We only have metal chicks.” Is this a problem?
Ross: House of ill repute? Never been to one! Hahaha! To me there’s only two types of music. What are they? Good and bad. To me, good is good, so there would be no difference in my mind. Besides, when the lights go out, who cares?
Cliff: Have you played South America before?
Ross: We played in Venezuela last summer in a baseball stadium.
Cliff: What are you listening to when you’re not playing music?
Ross: I tend to listen to my old favorites—classical, blues, old-school metal, punk and real country.
Cliff: With you on lead guitar, assemble the perfect band, dead or alive.
Ross: Great question. Hmmm… Geezer Butler on bass, John Bonham on drums, Jim Morrison doing lead vocals, and Jerry Lee Lewis on keyboards.
Cliff: And now the million-dollar question--You played with Andy Shernoff in May at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. What’s it going to take to get the rest of the Beatles back together?
Ross: Sad to say, the Dictators as we know them won’t play in the very near future. But the new band “Manitoba” will make its debut at The Don Hill Benefit at Irving Plaza on December 15.
Cliff: And what a show that will be. Salute!
I continue to get the occasional emails or queries in mid-conversation: “Have you heard from Harlan?” “So what’s with Harlan?” “Is is true that Harlan…?”
As if I’m my brother’s keeper. Which I guess I am.
But I prefer to leave all things Harlan for him to announce. He certainly has the outlets, between Rabbit Hole and his website. Besides, most of what the two of us discuss is fairly private.
I can tell you that when we spoke last week, Harlan was energized by his current projects and events. He talked about his “strong third act.”
So. Act Three:
“Possibly (he said, jocularly) the last chance to see Harlan alive performing his death defying life-story in the flesh.” Thus reads the flier I received on Friday inviting me to “An Evening with Harlan Ellison (Redux),” a reprise on his “public interview and rampant racontourage” at the Cinefamily Theatre last November, a sold-out event emcee’d by writer Josh Olson (another swell guy). The event, which any of you can attend, too—for the price of a ticket—is January 19, 2012, at 7:30pm at The Cinefamily Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036; phone: 323-655-2510.
Act Three also includes a number of book releases and revamps. The one I look forward to most is BUGF#CK: THE USELESS WIT & WISDOM OF HARLAN ELLISON (Spectrum Books and Edgeworks Abbey, $10), 123 pages of Harlan quotes which, if you’ve ever spoken with Harlan or read him or heard him speak, promises to be priceless. Mencken had nothing on my brother.
It doesn’t appear that YR. PAL HARLAN, the book of Harlan’s web posts and e-letters that I edited a few years ago, will be coming out any time soon. But, as with all things Harlan, we never say never.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Out of nowhere, I heard from a friend of Gene's today. He had some photos that he wanted to share. Among them was a photo he snapped of Gene working on the Star Wars art (commissioned by George Lucas Studios) which eventually went missing.
Monday, December 5, 2011
I am late to the party with this news but I just hung up with comic artist Joe Giella and wanted to share this immediately:
Joe had the following items stolen from his home:
* “Menace of the Man Missile”, pages 1 and 9. Pencils by Carmine Infantino.
* “Castle with Wall to Wall Danger” pages 7 and 8. Pencils by Carmine Infantino.
* Green Lantern/Green Arrow #107 cover. Pencils by Joe Staton.
Please re-post this notice to as many places possible. If you hear of this art being offered, please contact Detective John O'Connor, Nassau County Police Dept., Third Squad, phone: 516-573-6353.
Tony Isabella just advised me that this story was broken weeks ago (I must've been sleeping) but it never hurts to remind folks.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
“Sidekick was established by Clifford Meth, whose work on behalf of comics creators in need is well known,” said Jim Reeber, president of Aardwolf Publishing and Secretary of Sidekick. “By adding the weight of some of the industry’s most respected names to his own, I believe Cliff can help more people than ever before and do so more effectively.”
“I’ve spent the last three years working for well-known charities and non-profits,” said Meth, a former Executive V.P. of IDW Publishing and recent spokesman for Kars4Kids. “Regardless of the cause, the one thing that always irked me was how much money goes to the overhead of charitable organizations. While it may be legal to only give away a small portion of collected proceeds, I find it ethically unacceptable. The Sidekick Foundation will not have a paid Director nor full-time staff. Most work will be done by volunteers allowing the foundation to keep expenses to a minimum.”
Sidekick’s Board of Advisors includes Neal Adams, Harlan Ellison, Joe Sinnott, Tom Palmer, Herb Trimpe, and Morris Berger (former president of IDT Entertainment and chairman of IDW Publishing).
“I’m particularly proud to have Neal Adams and Harlan Ellison with us,” said Meth. “Neal laid the foundation for art returns and his work on behalf of Superman’s creators is legendary, while Harlan Ellison is a stalwart champion of creator’s rights. With friends like these in your corner, you can move mountains.”
Sidekick will debut at New York ComicCon on Sunday, October 16. Artist David Lloyd (“V for Vendetta”) will be drawing for Sidekick at the Cadence table #3153 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. In addition, Clifford Meth and writer Don McGregor will be selling donated art as well as items from the late Gene Colan and Dave Cockrum, among others. Future signings and events are planned from artists Michael Netzer and Bill Messner-Loebs,
For more information, visit http://www.thesidekickfoundation.org/
Thursday, September 1, 2011
The Yardbirds—first stop for three of Rock and Roll’s greatest guitar heroes—mixed blues and psychedelia into a unique soup that produced such classics as “For Your Love” and “Heart Full of Soul.” While noted for launching the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, it was Paul Samwell-Smith (bass), Keith Relf (singer/harmonica), Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar) and Jim McCarty (drums) who maintained the core. I plan to see Chris and Jim perform, along with new Yardbirds band members, on Wed., September 7, at BB Kings' in NY City (the Good Rats are opening). You can also catch the Yardbirds in a lot of other places through October.
Yesterday I caught up with Jim McCarty—far and away one of the most influential drummers of his time.
Meth: Is drumming work? It looks like work.
McCarty: (Laughs) I never really thought of it as work, Cliff. It’s not really hard work is it? The hard work is traveling around (laughs again). But I did once see an article about drummers having to be really fit. There was an experiment in England and they said Blondie’s drummer was as fit as a footballer. So I guess it’s work but being in a rhythm sorts of works itself.
Meth: You’ve been a Yardbird for what, 45 years? Did you think that was possible?
McCarty: I didn’t actually. At one point I worked for a stock broker in London and I was playing drums at night and on weekends. After a few weeks it was very tiring and I didn’t think it would last. I went to my boss and said, “I need to take a break. Can you keep the job open for me when the band folds up?” But it lasted a bit longer… I was going to become an actuary at the time. I was obviously destined not to do that but I always had a mathematical brain. It also helped with the songwriting, I think.
Meth: There was a bit of a break in there. How did you reform the group?
McCarty: We were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 but we didn’t get it together again until ‘95. I was playing in a blues band and we sort of built a place up. Jeff [Beck] and Paul [Samwell-Smith] would come and see the band but they didn’t sit in. Then Chris and I were approached by an agent and there was interest in putting the band back together. Jeff hasn’t played with us, nor has Jimmy [Page], but they’ve shown up at shows and played air guitar.
Meth: Air guitar. That's not work.
McCarty: Yes. [Laughs]
Meth: While you played musical guitar heroes, the core of the Yardbirds seemed to stay close knit. Who were you closest with?
McCarty: I suppose Keith and I were very close back then. Me and Keith and Chris were the steady members. But there was tension because it was very hectic having to work the whole time. We weren’t making any money. Even when we were signed, the LPs weren’t selling well and royalties were poor—all the money was on the road so were relentlessly working and that created tension. It was clear that Eric and Jeff were destined to be their own bosses—they were people who found it difficult to be in a band.
Meth: But there was some sense of fraternity wasn’t there? You were too young not to have that idealized dynamic.
McCarty: Well, we would go to our manager and have meetings. I remember that Eric was very unhappy about the way the band was going and didn’t like the idea of doing “For Your Love,” which the rest of us wanted to do. He thought that was selling out. We loved it but he only wanted to do blues. We tried to do bluesly singles like “Good Morning Little School Girl” but they weren’t commercial enough to be big hits and to get anywhere you had to have a single. Now the music industry has gone full circle. The LP market is dead again and it’s all about being on the road, but back then it was all about singles.
Meth: You contributed to the writing on some of those singles.
McCarty: Yes, most of the songs were team efforts. “Shapes of Things to Come” came from Keith and Paul and myself.
Meth: Well, while we're on shapes of things to come, are you disappointed with where music has gone? The death of rock culture—and for that matter, the virtual death of everything else?
McCarty: I tend to think positively about where we’re going and I try to reflect that in my songwriting. There’s a change coming but the change is for the good.
Meth: What do you see in evidence of that?
McCarty: I guess ecological things, especially in Europe. People trying to get by without using un-renewable fuels… I sort of do see a better world coming, a growing awareness and growing consciousness of other people. I think it will be alright.
(c) 2011 Clifford Meth
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
New York ComicCon has asked me to chair a tribute panel to Gene Colan at this year’s convention. As such, I spent the early part of this evening chatting with Johnny Romita Sr., Tom Palmer, Joe Sinnott, Roy Thomas and Don McGregor. Everyone loved Gene and has wonderful memories they’d be delighted to share—it’s really just a question of who will be coming to con. I’ve also reached out to Walter Simonson and David Lloyd, who I believe will have unique perspectives on Gene’s influence. Stay tuned.
Pictured: David Lloyd, Hank Magitz and Gene Colan at NY ComicCon 2010
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Dan Bertwell sent me the below letter and HERO assures me this is on the up and up. So I support these efforts and hope many of you will, too:
My name is Dan Bertwell and I am running two marathons within the first two weeks of October to raise money for the Hero Initiative. Comics were an escape for me when I was very young and I latched onto the X-Men, Colossus in particular, right away. I stopped collecting when I became a teenager (mostly for financial reasons) and got back into it while in my twenties. Soon after I returned I was saddened to hear that Dave Cockrum, who had created many of the characters and drawn many of the stories that I loved so much, had passed away. His family mentioned in his obituary that, rather than sending flowers, fans should make donations to the Hero Initiative. This was the first I’d heard of the charity.
The Hero Initiative is a non-profit with a very simple purpose: to assist comic creators in need. Like many people, I’ve seen the Hero table at various cons in the past few years, and I’ve donated some cash into the collection jars that they set up. Earlier this year I decided that I’d like to run another marathon but wanted this run to benefit others as well as myself. I decided to run for the Hero Initiative because I wanted to give back to the comic community.
The recent passing of Gene Colan cemented in my mind that I should run two marathons and dedicate them to Mr. ockrum and Mr. Colan and all of the creators that have brought so many great stories into my life. I’ll run the New Hampshire Marathon on October 1 and the Hartford Marathon on October 15 and I hope very much that anyone able to donate will do so by going to http://www.razoo.com/marathondan.
All told, between training and the races, I’m going to run somewhere between 500 and 600 miles. I hope that all that work can help out some creators in need.