Wednesday, August 14, 2019

GET PUBLISHED IN "STARSLAM RETURNS" AND GET A FREE DIGITAL COPY!


Hey friends! Its no secret that I am going to be launching a Kickstarter for a FOURTH Starslam book in a few days.  I am offering up something special for my artist friends out there if anyone is interested in taking on the task.

I will publish a pinup of any character in the STARSLAM universe in my new book that you can draw. And if yours gets picked to be put in the back of the book, I will send you a free digital copy of the book when it is released!

Its simple. Pick any character from the STARSLAM UNIVERSE (even STARSLAM herself) and do up a pinup of them. I need it around 300DPI, full color preferable and around 12" tall. Subject matter is of course mostly open. But if you have questions EMAIL ME HERE TO ASK

Deadline is SEPTEMBER 5th, 2019.

Thanks to those who are interested. Onward and upward! Let's kick some butt!!



Monday, August 12, 2019

25 Years Ago This Week... MY Woodstock Happened.


Lots of folks this week are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of WOODSTOCK that happened in Bethel, NY. For me, I am looking back fondly at my Woodstock... Woodstock 1994, that happened twenty-five years ago tonight as I type this.

I was a smidge too young to have been able to go. I was only 16. But I wanted to be there so bad! The lineup included bands I was way into even back then. Like Nine Inch Nails, Collective Soul, Rollins Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Greem Day, Primus, Metallica, Peter Gabriel and so many more. I was upset I wasn't able to go. At 16 I had just got my driver's license. For me to venture 20 miles out of town to visit a mall in Midland, Michigan was a major journey. There was no way I could drive from Michigan to Saugerties, NY for such an event.

However, I feel like I was "there" in a sense. I had taken the weekend off of work at McDonalds and I stayed peeled to MTV all weekend watching the coverage and footage. You couldn't see too much of the performances, as they were selling that as a PAY PER VIEW feed at the time. But later on I saw bootlegs of a lot of the performances. And I think most of them are readily available on youtube if you do a simple search. I watched well into the night every night and wished I was there. It really had an impact on me for some reason. I felt like it was a cultural thing I just had to take note of and be a part of.

Shortly after that weekend, they released a VHS and double CD of one song each from the major performers. I watched and listened to it over and over. I STILL have that double CD. No joke. Recently I missed out on an exclusive Record Store Day vinyl of Green Day's entire set from the show. I'll get it someday.

You can tell I was obsessed with it because in the comics I drew at the time, I drew a couple WOODSTOCK posters in the backgrounds and on t-shirts. So yeah, I was there... in a sense. Sorta. Kinda. Shut up. ;)

I wasn't into the lineup of bands that played at WOODSTOCK 99... and we all know the story of what happened there. I'm glad I did not go to that event. But I had hoped that for this year, the 50th/25th of Woodstock that they would announce a big show and the lineup would be killer. They did announce a show, but in my opinion, the lineup was total ass. I was very disappointed. Apparently so was everyone else because ticket sales just weren't there. So investors pulled out. They tried to save it, move it, but it wasn't happening. A couple weeks ago it was officially cancelled. Its a pity, but I completely get why.

Something happened in 1969 and even in 1994. Stuff that you cannot recreate. I remember Peter Gabriel saying at the show, "Twenty-five years ago, they believed you could change the world. To live their dreams. This is YOUR Woodstock. These are YOUR dreams." That line always stuck with me.

Well here I am, 25 years later. I'm a middle aged man. I still listen to those same bands and I have evolved myself as a person and my ideas in how I view the world. Some of my dreams have come true. Some didn't. But its been a hell of a ride. Sometimes the world seems darker than ever, especially when compared to 1994. But we strive on. We rock on. We live on. Forever young at heart.

This week I think I will dust off some of those CDs and relive the magic of that year and time. I will remember where I was mentally and how far I have come. Music is the best time travel machine there ever was. Because when I push play I am taken back again. Back where I belonged.

Peace.

-T

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Times Like These...

This has been a tough few days. Politics have me down. The shootings have me down. We had out own shooting scare here in Lansing the other night. We were out in the middle of it, not knowing what was truth and what was real. For real, a couple of domestic type of shootings happened. The next day some false alarms were revealed and everyone armchair quarterbacked us and people we know about buying into the hype and hysteria. Strangers and friends attacked me and my feelings about the situation and any opinions I shared about how I feel about guns. I'm sure you reading this have your own opinion and that is fine. I'm not here to ever debate or change your mind. I get loud online and have to backtrack, because I have friends that sit on all sides of issues. I’ve lost friends this year over everything going on. Everything isn’t pretty. It really has taken the wind out of my sails. I’ve been down and angry. Perhaps we all are...

I read this today and it helped me:


I’m trying folks. I’m trying to stop making sense of the insanity and just get through the day. I’m trying to stop focusing on the arguments that go nowhere and just keep my corner of the world happy. I’m trying not to be scared for my kids and their present and future. I’m trying to keep my head in the game of creating and keep moving. I’m finishing some major stuff right now. Commissions... and launching a new book next week. I’m trying hard to keep creating. Keep focused!

Kevin Smith is right. I gotta do it for those that can’t and to help people through who truly get what I’m doing. I know they are there waiting for me. I have to push through for them!



Saturday, July 27, 2019

Vintage TOY Memories

For you toy nerds, this will be a fun one.

I decided to run down some of my favorite toy lines from when I was a kid. Now, I will say up front there are a couple major toylines that everyone loves that I had none of. That being TRANSFORMERS and GI JOE. I wasn't into Transformers, although I do recall having a couple GOBOT toys from Mcd Happy Meals. And GI JOE I wasn't allowed to get into because it "promoted war and it was against our religion." So it goes.

But I don't say that to knock my parents at all. They bought me a shit-ton of toys when I was a kid. When I sometimes find old toys on con tables or in vintage antique toy magazines, I'm always remembering, "Wow I had that!" I had a lot of toys. (Thanks mom and dad) But I thought I would highlight some of my favorite toylines and give some of my memories about them:


Of course it all starts with KENNER's Star Wars toys with me. I was born in 78, so I didn't see STAR WARS until it came out on Betamax home video around 1982 or 83. But of course, I loved the movies. So as the movies came out on home video and I also read the kid's books and had the books on record covering the movies and the side fictions, I made my own stories up too with these figures. I still have around 16 of my original Star Wars figures too. Those were my BUZZ and WOODY of my life, I suppose. My favorite figure was my Endor Han Solo. I had the original Han Solo, but his head broke off the first day I had him. My mom tried to glue his head back on but it didn't work. So I had a headless Han Solo! I had a ton of the figures and the Falcon, Landspeeder and not much else vehicle-wise. Truly, the best of times.

In the 90s I had a complete set of the POWERS OF THE FORCE line. Now I just have the orange backs and some of the green ones of characters I like. I have a few random 40th anniversary, vintage collection, black series (small and large) and others. Its very piecemeal but I get what I enjoy.



While STAR WARS was in my life first, I discovered STAR TREK shortly after and it became my favorite thing, as many of you know. When I was a kid, TREK toys were severely lacking. I missed the 70s Megos but I did have a few of the MOTION PICTURE Mego figures. And I had all the ERTL Trek 3 figures. I had to make my own accessories out of cardboard. I had about 85% of all the episodes all dubbed onto Betamax compilations, and those were edited for TV. So when I got the DVDs later in life, I saw all these additional scenes. They still take me aback for a second when I see them now cause I saw those older tv versions over and over and over. They are drilled in there!


In 1987, TNG came out and I had all the Galoob figures and the aliens. I didn't have any of the vehicles and they teased playsets on the back of the packaging but they never came out. The toyline was cancelled before they released them! But I had them all and still have some of them loose. I had a few of the Playmates toys in the 90s but by then I was in my teens and into video games more and out of toys. But I do have a bunch in the box now. Not a complete collection by a longshot, but quite a few!


Probably the toyline I was most into and had the most of was He-Man. I think I had every figure up until She-Ra kinda took off. I had a lot of the vehicles and play sets too. Castle Greyskull and Snake Mountain. Attack Trak and Mashor... I had a ton of them. I loved the toyline a lot. Eventually when I grew up, my mom gave all my toys to a friend of hers for her young son. I wish I still had some of them, honestly. In the box, some of those are worth MAJOR money. Luckily they will be re-released next year. I think I might snag a couple for old time's sake. I do have one He-Man out of the box just for the shelf. Cause why not.


Of course I am a major Ghostbusters fan and I loved the REAL GHOSTBUSTERS cartoon. I had a lot of the major figures, ghosts and the Ecto-1. The last Christmas I had as a kid I got the Firehouse HQ. I didn't even know it was a thing but my parents bought it. Despite that there wasn't much to the toy, I loved that thing. I still have a couple of them. These are VERY expensive in the box. So I will have to work up to getting them. I'm sure the fever for them will only increase when the new GB movie comes out. One of my favorites of all time.


I was big into PEE WEE HERMAN as a kid too. I had everything you see in this pic above. But I don't have any of them anymore. I am not even sure what happened to them. Probably went to that same kid who got my He-Man toys. I miss these guys.


In the late 80s, a RAMBO cartoon came out and lasted maybe a season. But I had about 5 of the figures from it. Plus a helicopter and a playset. It was an awesome toyline! And I loved how they had his chest scars from FIRST BLOOD PART 2.


I don't talk about it much but in the 80s I got into WWF wrestling. I watched from around 1987 to like 1992. Then for a year or two around the WCW NITRO era. I had a bunch of the old bendable figures, the giant unbendable figures and then these stiff ones came out. I saved up allowance money to buy the ring and steel cage for the figures. Old skool wrestling is something I toss on while I am drawing once in a while. I can't get into modern wrestling. I've tried. Something about the cheese and innocence of the 80s storylines and characters I enjoyed a lot. 


The last official toyline I got into before I got serious into video games was TMNT. I had all the classic figures and the Turtle Van. I was way into the cartoon as well. But it slowly turned into the 90s and things like Nintendo and grunge music was turning my attention away from toys. I don't have any of these guys anymore. I wish I did.

So there you go. Just a quick run through memory lane from me. I wish I still had all these figures. Cause getting them again, complete in box will all cost major major money! But for now I watch youtube unboxers and collectors and also look at people's vintage toy collection pics and videos to remember and enjoy that I am not alone in how I feel. I have many toys that are opened for my kids to enjoy and I have a bunch hanging on their walls. But they don't really seem interested in action figures like I was. Its all ipads, youtube videos and video games. So maybe it is all dying out once we old fogies croak. And these in box toys can go to that great antique store in the sky... or a landfill with Atari games!

Luvs, T

Friday, July 12, 2019

Slurpees and Popsicles!

Hey friends! 
 
I have had a busy time as usual. Work, artwork, sleep, family, repeat. But I have been making some progress! 
 
I chatted with my STARSLAM 3 colorist to see if he is on board to color STARSLAM 4 and he is in! So there is good news once again. I will be sending him some pages pretty soon. Also I have been working very hard to get caught up with commissions. I just gotta letter a 5 pager and finish art on an 8 pager and then I am finally caught up. Although a couple other guys want me to do a few more story based ones. The money, is good, to be honest. I need to be paying off my stuff and making up for some of the purchases I have been doing lately.
 
To be honest, I've gone a bit overboard. I'm not in trouble, but just went a tad crazy on the pre-orders. So I am curbing it for the rest of the summer. No seriously! There is a CD/Vinyl show here in town tomorrow and I am not going. So its that serious! HA! 
 
I'm joking, kids. I'm all good. Just want to get my card paid back down before the holidays come around. Also I got the big show in Mt. Pleasant in October to save for. I've been working very hard to juggle everything. But the last month or so we've dealt with some depression and my oldest son came for a visit, so we did some spending. Its okay. Life is happening! It all good. Health is better too. I am lower in weight than I originally thought I would be. So that is always a good thing. 
 
The sad news is that I don't think me doing TWO Kickstarters in Aug/Sept is logical or doable. I'm just not that caught up yet. But I want to get STARSLAM 4 really rocking and then launch the Kickstarter for that. I think... I am not sure which way to go. I penciled some killer new pages for that comic this week. I can't wait for you all to see this thing! 
 
But the work on everything continues and the PATREON is nice and caught up all the way to November. I got 5 other stories for it beyond that in various stages of development. All references are pulled and things are happening. But I gotta get these commissions and STARSLAM 4 rolling more before I can focus on those. But to be good and far enough ahead on it is a great thing! I got the comics all scheduled all the way to September. I just need to word balloon and upload the comics beyond that. I need a nice couple quiet days of solid productivity to get it done. Here's hoping!
 
Last week my oldest son visited. We took the opportunity to take a photo of me with all three of my boys. I think its one of the best pics I've ever taken. (And I hate pics of me!) Here it is: 
 
 
 
Handsome group, don't ya think? I think so! I'm proud of all three of them. 
 
Anyway, just giving an update to say that I am working hard and being quiet because of the productivity. Believe me, soon you will all get sick of hearing from me! 
 
Till next time, stay cool, eat them slurpees and down those popsicles! 
 
--T

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Father's Day Week

Hey friends!

Father's Day weekend was awesome! I got to spend time with two of my little buggers and then I got some nice presents from everyone! D got me a SLIMER Pop and METROPOLIS complete on Blu-ray and a neat little pop up Beatles card. Her parents got me a large coffee table book on the making of RETURN OF THE JEDI. My oldest son got me this really cool metal STAR TREK display that I will hang in my collection. James and Scotty got me hand made cards and paintings. It was all very lovely. And I got to spend time with them over the weekend.




James laid on me while we watched Cars 3. Some nice cuddle time. I got Scotty some discs and James some candy. Scott also played a bit of an old Family Guy video game I got for him. That is a very old and frustrating game!

Speaking of video games, I got this:


Its been on my radar for a while to have one, so I got a Nintendo Switch! So far I have played MARIO ODYSSEY. I haven't plugged in ZELDA yet. I got a couple other games that are out that I want to get but I've been too busy to go out and get them. I guess this was a Father's Day treat for myself. Its been a rough go of things as of late. Needed a nice pick me up.

But don't think for a minute that I am just playing video games and ignoring my creative duties! I finished the VAMPIRELLA card set. Here's a look at some of them:


 In comic news: I've got about 15 pages on STARSLAM to ink. Here's a couple teaser images, no spoilers!



Plus also I got hired to do an 8 page horror comic for a nice dude. I gotta shoot pencils to him this week sometime so no video gaming until I finish that! But, I got a sore left thumb right now, so video gaming is off the table until that is healed. Just sore from biting my nails too much. Stupid me, but no biggie.

I also got some commissions that are overdue so I am not taking on anything else until these are done and out. I also shipped out all the books from LATE NIGHT SHORTS, so that is done. Just gotta finish a couple things for the bigger reward level people, as understanding and supportive as they always are! And then its my job to color all the completed PATREON stories... of which I am done and scanned in all the way to November, with a couple more in the pencil stage. I just want to get them all done and off my plate so I can finish these other things. So much to do. I feel guilty even getting a new movie or game system to distract me sometimes... but I know you need to take a break or else I go mad.

Coming up this fall are some great Switch games like Dragon Quest 11 (Where you can switch back and forth between regular modern and SUPER NINTENDO style graphics). Also a new LEGO STAR WARS game next year. A couple other ones I am forgetting too as I type this. But what is also coming out this fall is something I must get:


Look at that beauty! She's gonna cost a bit... like $500 but it should be out in November. This game and GALAGA are my two favorite arcade video games of all time. To have that in my kids' room along with all my toys might make me the biggest nerd... but perhaps the best dad ever! If I had this in my room as a kid? Oh man...

Not that my childhood wasn't great already, its just that now in this modern age we can get cheaper versions of these nostalgic things and I can share them with my boys. (But they gotta wait til daddy is done with them first!)

Thanks for reading!

--T

Monday, June 10, 2019

Solo Nerdity

Thanks for coming back, friends.

Been working solid for the last good while, so a vacation was needed. I did a big one last year and can't afford another this year. Not in money but mostly in time off. I had to plan my days off sparingly around things and not just use a whole week for myself. But that is okay. I try to take breaks where I can. My girl had this last weekend off and she went up north to a lake with her friend, leaving me from Friday til today (She will arrive later tonight). I figured I would take an extra day off myself to get some things done around the house that I need to do. Cleaning/organizing to actual production on art/writing that I need to catch up on. I've been so busy.

But first it was a day of play on Saturday as I went to Dearborn to see the STAR TREK EXHIBIT at the Henry Ford. I have a ton of pics on my Facebook and instagram. Instagram is HERE - But here are a few that I shot:






Believe me, I have a TON more on the Facebook and Instagram. It was deeply cool to see. I haven't been to the Henry Ford in over 20 years, so it was good to go back and see their collection again.

Afterward, I hit DEARBORN MUSIC for the first time and I lost my shit at how cool that place was. I walked out with a bag of vinyl, cds, patches and stickers. I also got a new coffee mug, necessary. Later in the weekend I hit disc traders for a few discs. Then Saturday night my friends Dean and Mjit came over for some much needed drunken fun and movies. I missed them. Overall, my kind of Saturday!

Sunday I did some administrative and online stuff, as well as cleaned the house. Today I have to do laundry. I'm up early every single day because my pattern is off. I miss my girl, a lot. I'm glad she got away for a sorely needed vacation but I never sleep well when she isn't here. Sometimes when you spend every day with someone you do wish for a few hours or even a day or two apart. I'm no picnic to spend time with either at times. But its good to know that the heart does grow fond and that being away from someone throws your patterns off. It means we miss and love each other too much. But hey, she will be back later tonight and life will return to normal. Back to work tomorrow with me. But at least I know she will be home waiting for me. :)

I feel bad that I have a ton to do art and writing-wise... and I didn't use much of the time doing those things. I read and watched STAR TREK. I guess I needed some days off too. I have the rest of today to get some things done... and hell, I'm up early enough today to make some real progress. But on three hours sleep, I don't think its going to go well. But I shall try.

Download the new episodes of the IDIOTHEAD MORNING SHOW wherever you get your podcasts. I talk in depth about the STAR TREK EXHIBIT, new movies and music and many other things. Now I'm off to hopefully make some progress. I'm hoping anyway.

Thanks for reading!
-T