Raw Fury: The Art of Mike Zeck
The gallery show featuring over 50 examples of my key original paintings, covers and other art is now underway at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. It opened on April 5 and will be displayed through August 10. This museum event, my appearance at the Big Wow ComicFest in May, the original art display at Big Wow, the limited edition gallery book, and the exclusive convention print at Big Wow are all a result of the efforts of long-time friend and art collector, Charles Costas. Here's some information about the Cartoon Art Museum show in Charles' own words...
"For 2014, instead of focusing on purchases, I wanted to focus a little more on how I could give back to this hobby after my many years of collecting. Starting April 5 at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco is an exhibit that is the culmination of many months of work as well as 28 years of collecting. The exhibit Raw Fury: The Art of Mike Zeck is the first retrospective on this artist who is best known for his work on Master of Kung Fu, Captain America, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars (including the creation of the Black Spidey costume), Kraven's Last Hunt, G.I. Joe, as well as the classic Punisher Limited Series which redefined the character and made him one of the most popular characters of the 1980's.
"For me, pulling together this exhibit was a thrill. Not only was it a way to celebrate the Punisher's 40th anniversary, but was a way of taking a look back as to why Mike Zeck became one of the most popular comic artists when I was growing up.
"It was hard to pick and choose the pieces to feature. There are over 50 original art pieces in the exhibit. Highlights include:
- All 5 painted Zeck and Zimelman covers from the Punisher series - these have never been seen all together since I first met Mike back in 1986.
- All of Zeck and Zimelman's classic Punisher posters as well as the painted cover to Return to Big Nothing
- All 6 covers to the Kraven's Last Hunt series that appeared across all the Spider-man titles
- The classic Cap vs. Wolverine cover from Captain America Annual #8
- The three most memorable covers from Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars including #1, #8 and #10!
- Some of Mike's classic G.I. Joe covers including G.I. Joe Yearbook #3.
"And there are many more classic pieces - including some vintage ones that have never been seen before!"
And you can click this link to visit the announcement page at the Cartoon Art Museum site.
A 64-page softcover book reproducing the art on display will be available for purchase at the museum. A variant cover hardbound edition will be available at the Big Wow show as an exclusive. The image below is not scanned from the book itself but I think represents the final design for the cover of the musuem edition.
Making plans for Big WOW ComicFest!
My next scheduled convention is the Big Wow ComicFest in San Jose, CA, May 17th and 18th. Plenty of plans underway for this event... a gallery of my original art at the show, a separate gallery of my original art on display at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, a limited edition gallery book, and a limited edition art print drawn exclusively for the convention. More info on those as the show draws closer.
Walking Dead #1 variant cover Artist Proofs
I did get a limited number of Artist Proof Editions of the Walking Dead #1 cover that was created for Wizard World Ohio during September of last year, both color and black & white cover editions. If you're not aware, Wizard has been producing exclusive variant cover editions of comics for each of their shows, each one by a different cover artist. Last year a number of Walking Dead variants were produced and featured cover art by me, Michael Golden, Arthur Suydam, Neal Adams, and others
My variant cover editions will be available at my show appearances this year and through Eva Ink Artist Group, while they last. Each one is signed and numbered AP #/100 (color artist proof edition) or BWAP #/100 (black and white artist proof edition). Limited to 100 copies each and priced at $100 per copy. Each book comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity. Email email@example.com for more information.
See you at Wizard World New Orleans!
Hope to see some of you in New Oleans this weekend. With all the travel I've done in and outside the US, this will be my first time setting foot in the Big Easy! Finally! Look for me along with Michael Golden at the Eva Ink Artist Group table.
See you at Wizard World Ohio!
Something of a special Wizard World weekend for me since I'm up to bat on the Walking Dead Variant Covers. All ticket holders get one which means I'll be signing a ton!! Look for me along with Michael Golden at the Eva Ink Artist Group table.
I THINK IT'S TIME TO DO A NYC CON!?!?
After all, it's been a good 20 years since my last one. I'll be at the Wizard World New York City Experience over the June 28-29-30 weekend. Ready (I think?) to mix it up with the NY posse again. More info about the convention at the Wizard World site or simply click the banner above.
As with the other couple of shows I attended over this past year, not planning to sketch at the show, nor do interviews or other things that tend to slow things down at the table. I hope to have a selection of pre-con sketches with me, whatever time allows. Also hoping to have some on-sale prints at this show. Plus some sketchbooks, Damned TPBs, and whatever else I can find. Bring your books! I'll be signing throughout the weekend and will hopefully get to everyone. There will be a small amount of free signatures and a fee beyond that, but not planning to put a limit on signatures (unless, of course, I see a couple of long boxes coming my way!).
I'll be with Renee Witterstaetter's Eva Ink Artist Group at this show. You can link to the Eva Ink blog HERE for more information and to find out which other artists will be at her tables. You can also email Renee directly if you have other questions about the appearance.
ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER CONVENTION!!
HeroesCon last year after a 20+ year absence, and now Toronto ComiCon this year after not having been there for a good 20 years as well. Toronto was a very frequent stop for me during the 80s and enjoyed it each and every time. Looking forward to seeing what has changed over the last few decades and maybe seeing a few familiar faces, I'm sure older and grayer like me.
Not planning to sketch at the show, nor do interviews or other things that might slow the signature line. Just planning to get to everyone's books if possible during the limited show hours on Saturday and Sunday. Like the Charlotte show, there will be a limit on free signatures, then a charge per signature after that. Not sure if the show runners might have some rules in place for managing lines, but I'll do my best to sign what you bring, time allowing.
Friends, fans, Facebook friends, Twitter followers,.. please come by to say "Hi" even if you don't have items for signatures. Who knows when I'll get back up that way? Toronto ComiCon website HERE for more info.
HEROESCON CHANGES YET STAYS THE SAME
I guess the impression I left HeroesCon with was how little had changed over all those years, other than the fact that it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Thirty years ago Shelton Drum, with the help of his parents, organized the first HeroesCon. There were a handful of guests (me included) and around 400 attendees. I had done mini-cons and store appearances for Shelton prior to the first HeroesCon, and was already aware that the 'family' that organized the show treated everyone that entered the doors, guest artists and attendees alike, as 'family'. That always made the trips to Charlotte stand out when compared to other shows.
Thirty years later it's still Shelton but his kids are helping now, and HeroesCon can now draw in something in the area of 15,000-20,000 attendees and fill up nearly half of the convention hall with industry guests. And while that's an amazing growth curve, the incredible thing is that the sense of 'family' that existed in the early years is still intact. Between Shelton's family, staff, and volunteers, there must have been at least a hundred or so friendly folks working hard to make sure guests and attendees had everything they needed or knew where they needed to be. The only difference today is I miss the intimate evenings out with Shelton and the other guests that were a staple of the early cons. The scale of the current HeroesCons makes that impossible.
I was signing books all weekend for fans both young and old. There was no longer a line on Sunday when I left the convention so I hopefully scribbled my name in everyone's books.
With my many year absence from conventions and with the incredibly long guest list at HeroesCon, a real highlight of the show was being able to chat with so many creators there who I haven't seen in ages. That and greet some other creators who I know of but hadn't yet met. Too many to list here and I'm sure I would leave someone out, but great to see everyone.
Joined some of the Eva Ink Artist Group (Renee Witterstaetter, Michael Golden, and Constance Katsafanas) for dinner Friday night. George Perez joined in as well. Good company and good food!
Different restaurant on Saturday and much bigger group. Fortunately someone came up with the idea of a group pic after dinner. Some of these fine folks are fellow pros, some are spouses, and some are our gracious hosts for that evening (thank you). The five seated in front are Teresa Davidson, Michael Golden, Joe Staton, Peter Roe, and Nick Cardy. The middle group are Renee Witterstaetter, Mike Zeck, Constance Katsafanas, Hilarie Staton, Candi Jones, and Marilyn Adams (just behind Candi). At back are Jim Clark, Ann Valeri, Scott Valeri, Roy Thomas (in front of Scott), Paul Levitz, Jim Amash, Neal Adams, and Marv Wolfman.
I always figured if I emerged from hibernation for a weekend it should be for HeroesCon. Thanks to Shelton and all the folks who make it the best true comics show in the land.
GOING TO HEROESCON... WAIT... WHAT!?!?
Haven't traveled to a convention since around the mid-90s, but I'll be coming out of hibernation weekend after next for Shelton Drum's HeroesCon.
During the 80s I was a frequent guest at Shelton's conventions and even his mini-cons which preceded HeroesCon. And why not?.. Heroes has always been one of the friendliest and fun comics shows for both attendees and guests. When key HeroesCon anniversary shows roll around, Shelton has always tried to reassemble the guests from the very first HeroesCon. There we are over there at right in the small pic. It was 1982 and pictured at the top row are Tony Wike, Shelton Drum, Sam Grainger, Butch Guice, and Pat Broderick. Bottom row... Mike Zeck, Romeo Tanghal, Marv Wolfman, and George Perez. This being the 30th anniversary, I figured I should get my butt back up to Charlotte and see some folks I haven't seen in decades. Unfortunately Sam Grainger died over 20 years ago, but the rest of us are still kicking around and causing trouble Just with slightly less pep than 30 years ago.
For those of you who have Tweeted or emailed about the appearance, I'll try to answer your questions here.
I plan to be at my table all day Saturday except for an afternoon break to sit on a panel with the other original guests from the first HeroesCon. Looking forward to that! It's possible that I'll be at my table for a few hours Friday afternoon and/or early Sunday, totally depending upon when I drive in on Friday and drive out on Sunday.
Dan Partouche, will be sitting with me to manage the table and help keep things moving signature-wise. Some of you may know that Dan arranges a CGC signing for me once a year which also includes a limited number of sketches on variant blank covers . That's a separate thing from our appearance at the show and I won't be sketching on any blank covers at HeroesCon. We may try to add some more CGC graded sketch covers to our schedule rather that wait a year between offers. You're welcome ask Dan more about it if that's where your interest lies. Meanwhile CGC will have an official presence at HeroesCon, so there will be an opportunity to get signatures for CGC books. That will be a separate and unique fee as opposed to the non-graded books.
I don't plan to sketch or take commission requests at the show. Nor do I foresee any time for interviews or other lengthy interruptions. I'd much rather put signatures on everyone's books if possible and acknowledge some faces I haven't seen in many years in the process. You folks whom I've not met, but have shared emails or tweets, come by and say "Hi".
I encourage you to bring books for signatures, but if the line gets long we'll probably have some limitations in place to keep it moving. What we're discussing is maybe 5 signatures free, with a fee for additional signatures. That will hopefully create an opportunity to collect some funds for a Hero Initiative donation. There would still need to be some sort of upper limit, but you're welcome to rejoin the line until I hopefully get everything signed for you.
I plan to have some copies of my sketchbook and some copies of Damned at the table. Also planning to bring complete pencil art from an 80 page Iron Man children's coloring and activity book. (see jpeg below) That would be the extent of the art I have to offer for sale, unless I find some of that rare free time to complete a pre-con sketch or two.
Looking forward to getting back to Charlotte and seeing some old and new faces. See you there.
OTHER COMICS CHECKLIST GALLERY COMPLETE
More scanning and more rearranging galleries this weekend. The OTHER COMICS galleries in the Checklist section all have content now. Deleted the Charlton Comics separate gallery and placed that stuff in with the Other Comics where it belongs. Also decided against separate galleries for things like trading cards. Very few of them anyway, and those can sit in the Miscellaneous Other Comics gallery or in cases like Topps cards, just include them in the Topps gallery. Some Fanzines scanning ahead of me, and I may finally get the Checklist section wrapped up.
A FEW MORE GALLERIES UPLOADED
Continuing to work on the 'Other Comics' Checklist galleries, but having to pay attention to a small coloring project at the same time. The Dark Horse gallery, with the few covers I produced for them, is active,.. the Editions Deesse gallery, with my limited edition Punisher portfolios, is active,.. and the Devil's Due gallery, with my G.I.Joe work that came some fifteen years after I ended my Joe covers at Marvel, is active as well. Clicking [HERE] will take you directly to the Devil's Due gallery.
BYRON PREISS PUBS GALLERY IS ACTIVE
Been scanning and working under the hood on my site this weekend. Hopefully not screwing up my links in the process! The scanning is part of an effort to make some progress with the 'Other Comics' section of the Checklist galleries. The Byron Preiss gallery is up today and I'll hopefully add more content to the Other Comics section soon.
Some people took my Feb. 15th post to mean I was doing some Captain America work for Marvel again. Not exactly. Disney Publishing was working on a storybook featuring Cap's origin. I was lending a "pencil revisions" hand with that. Not completely sure what's going on with that book at this point since some restructuring of projects placed that particular book back at the Marvel offices before the painting process was completed. Hopefully it will be completed and I will see a copy at some point?
To a much smaller extent, I contributed some pencil revisions to an X-Men origins project for Disney Publishing too.
And to a much larger extent, I contributed some finishing pencils for an 80-page Iron Man coloring and activity book for Disney. That one remains in the Disney offices, will be a black and white publication, is in the hands of an inker now, and is of course aimed at young readers. If I see printed copies of the Disney projects as they're released, I'll note it here on the site.
CAPTAIN AMERICA FOREVER!
Seems that way for me anyway. Since I drew the title some 30 years ago and a number of covers after that, a year hasn't gone by where I haven't drawn some Captain America commissions, or pinups, or recreations, or??? And now I find myself lending a hand on a book again.
I don't think I can say much about it at this point. One of many Cap projects prompted by the upcoming movie I imagine, and will cover the Captain America origin. It's undergoing a fair amount of modifications as it passes through the editorial and approvals process and that's where I come in.
I've been revising some figures, helping to bring some characters "on model", and anything else I can do to help. In the end it will be a digitally painted graphic novel and from the few examples I've seen of finished work, it should look really nice. I'll post more info when I can and will surely mention the book here when it's published. Anyway, that's what has been keeping me busy these past weeks. Into my fourth decade now of an on-again off-again relationship with Steve Rogers.
DC COMICS CHECKLIST GALLERIES ARE NOW ACTIVE
Some more scanning and some more gallery building equals some more progress in the Checklist Galleries. All of the DC Galleries have content now. Kind of time consuming, but still trying to find little pockets of time to keep moving forward on the checklist. Would like nothing better than to check that off the 'bucket list' this year. Hopefully back with more soon!
A LITTLE MORE GALLERY PROGRESS
All Marvel Checklist galleries have content now. At some point I'll get back in there and edit and item or two, but much more to look at today than yesterday. (Pictured below, from the Marvel Miscellaneous Gallery, is Nick Fury wearing Gucci for his appearance in the European fashion magazine, Arena.)
MORE GALLERIES UPDATED
The previous CHECKLIST gallery state was MARVEL 1, MARVEL 2, and a portion of MARVEL 3 completed. Those have been converted to the newer gallery format and I finished out MARVEL 3 while I was at it. Meaning that Punisher, Rom, and Secret Wars now have galleries where they didn't before. I'll more than likely stay within the Marvel universe and work on MARVEL 4 next.
Visit again in the next day or two as I'll surely have another update. I found a half dozen sketches I didn't realize I had here. All Captain America and done a few years ago. Totally forgot about them, but now that I ran across them, I'll prepare some eBay auctions and post the info here once I've done that.