By Beau Smith
I am no longer a hayseed from the hills of West Virginia. I am now an official sophisticated, urbane, highbrow of high society. I’m a regular Thurston Howell III.
On April 11th I conducted an afternoon walk-through at The Huntington Museum Of Art in my hometown of Huntington, West Virginia. The walk-through was of thirty-six chosen pieces of comic book art from my vast original art collection, a collection that I started in 1982.
I was pretty stoked to be able to give a personal tour and talk on the artwork. The art chosen represented original comic book art pages, covers, color guides, cover roughs, page layouts, model sheets and original comic strips. The idea was to give the public a chance to see as many of the various stages of creating a comic book. Many of the works on display were from some of the hundreds of comic books that I have written. Other pieces were from purchases I have made through the years and also pieces that were given to me by many of my artist friends in the business.
Just to give you a sampling idea of some of the artists who are on display:
Flint Henry, Graham Nolan, John Buscema, Ron Frenz, Sam Glanzman, Joyce Chin, Scot Eaton, Billy Tucci, Tim Harkins, Tim Truman, Gerald Forton, Gordon Purcell, Steve Bryant, Brad Gorby, Enrique Villagran, Eduardo Barreto, Dick Dillin, Don Heck, Tim Harkins, Kevin Conrad, Dan Davis, Mitch Byrd, Sergio Cariello and many more.
I was so pleased with the turn out for the walk-through. The folks that showed up ranged from ages 8 to 80. The exhibit area was filled and not one person tossed rotten fruit or vegetables at me. Unlike more than a few bars I’ve been in, there wasn’t any chicken wire set up to protect me from flying objects either.
I gave an introduction speech and then took the crowd through each piece of art and told them the stories behind them. Afterwards there was a question and answer session. I’ve gotta say, the questions asked were top notch and I hope my answers informed as well as entertained them.
The museum was also selling my book, No Guts No Glory: How To Market Yourself In Comics. I’m happy to say that quite a few were bought and I signed them all.
I also looked over portfolios and artwork that was brought in by some of the aspiring artists that came for the walk-through. I saw some very good work that might one day end up in a published comic book. (Or I might just steal. One eight year old boy had some great ideas. I Kid! I Kid!)
I’m happy to report that I was supported by many members of my family and friends at the walk-through. Without their support I would’ve never spent the last twenty-three years doing the kind of work I love to do.
I wish all of you Knuckleheads could’ve been there. You would’ve enjoyed it. The exhibit will be on display through May 30th,so there’s still a chance for you to take it all in. Maybe you’ll see me there.
By Jim Amash and Eric Nolen-Weathington
Cover Price: $26.95
On Sale Now.
If every you needed a textbook on how to draw and act like a true professional comic book artist, then this book is it. Informative, entertaining and educational, Sal Busemea shows you how to be a comic book artist with dignity and honor. The book is loaded and I mean LOADED with lots of photos and incredible art. The behind the scenes stories by Sal will be of great interest to anyone that reads or creates comic books. This is an extensive interview with Sal and we’re all richer for it. Make sure this book is on your Must Read list.
Back Issue #39
Editor Michael Eury
Cover Price: $6.95
On Sale Now
Let the real fun begin! This magazine brings you Peter Porker: The Amazing Spider-Ham, Ambush Bug, She-Hulk, Forbush Man, Reid Fleming-World’s Toughest Milkman and much more all between two brightly colored covers. This issue of Back Issue deals with all that is fun in comics and reminds you why they are nicknamed “Funny Books.” Issue #39 covers so much of humorous side of comic books. In these modern “gloom & doom” days of way too serious mainstream comics, Back Issue shows us that there was once a time when comedy ruled the four color pages. I have said many times that Two Morrows Publishing makes the history books of comics, well, I am right and this magazine proves it. What fun! Check this out and make Back Issue a regular on your pull list.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: Spyman #3
Harvey Comics, February 1967
For three glorious issues, Spyman went out of his way to kick the butt of crime and evil like no Harvey Comics super hero before him. He was a member of the U.S. covert group known as LIBERTY. He had a true hero’s name of Johnny Chance. He fought against an evil group with one of the best names in all of comics: Empire of Guerilla Assassination, Revenge and International Menace. Spyman was equipped with a “Electro Robot Hand” where each finger was a different tool or weapon. Like a Swiss Army knife he could also add extra fingers to inflict even more rough justice on bad guys. He wasn’t always the smartest hero on the block, but he more than made up for it with his sometimes cranky, no nonsense way of jaw busting. He did not suffer fools or those that broke the global law. This is a fun and manly cover in the fact that Spyman never hesitated to give a bad guy “the finger.” Did I mention that there were always a lot of hot 1960’s chicks in mini-skirts and go-go boots?
Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Zuleikha Robinson
London England sends us their best with the beautiful actress, Zuleikha Robinson. This exotic beauty is one tough cookie as the phrase goes. She started out as a regular on the X-Files spin-off The Lone Gunmen, but has really made a name for herself as the bodyguard with a body on LOST. Granted as of last week’s episode, her beautiful body was blown to bits, but that leaves her with maybe getting to star in her own TV series soon. I’d love for her to the lead in a series based on my comic book from IDW Publishing called Lost and Found. She’d be perfect.
I want to apologize for Busted Knuckles being so late. I have no excuses. Deadlines, work, family stuff and other such activities have caused my schedule to be a bit off track. I’ll try and be better. Always know that you can keep up with a shorter version of my doings on Facebook and Twitter as well as my official website, flyingfistranch.com.
I want to wish Chuck Dixon, Chris Ryall, Bobby Hickey and Amanda Conner all a Happy Birthday. They all had birthdays recently and were no doubt hopped up on cake and ice cream. That makes them even more dangerous.
Okay, time to get back to the grind called my life. See you soon, amigos.
The Flying Fist Ranch
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