Tagged: Carmine Street Comics

Mindy Newell: Shopping For My New Comics Shop


So yesterday afternoon I turned on the TV to watch the live Global Citizen concert and caught one of my favorite artists, Yusuf Islam – formerly known as Cat Stevens – performing songs “Wild World” and, joined by Eddie Vedder, “Father and Son,” both from one of his best albums, 1970’s Tea for the Tillerman. I was singing along and getting back into my ‘60s groove when, all of a sudden, right as he started to sing another song, fucking MSNBC went to commercials!!!!

C’mon, are you kidding me? And to make it even more frustrating, the network did one of those “little boxes” so that you could see Mr. Islam singing, but you couldn’t hear him. AAAGH! Global Citizen’s mission is to end extreme poverty around the world, so I found it extremely disturbing and in incredibly bad taste to have a concert meant to raise awareness and encourage support interrupted by “come-on’s” and enticements to buy something.

I changed the channel.

I also went by my local comic book shop to pick up my “reads” and found the door covered with “To Rent” and “For Lease” signs. I didn’t bother parking. Now I have to search out a new place, one that’s close and easily accessible. I could go over to Forbidden Planet in Manhattan (where I believe my friend and fellow columnist Martha Thomases picks up her reads); it’s not far, and it’s in on of my favorite areas of the city, just south of Union Square on 13th and Broadway and it’s a really easy commute for me. I’m really tempted to start doing that, because Forbidden Planet has what I think is the best inventory anywhere – with Jim Hanley’s Universe, aka JHU Comic Books, on East 32nd running a very close second. Jim’s original store is on Staten Island, and it’s still there, on New Dorp Lane, but construction and traffic make that drive a nightmare.

Just did a search, and found Carmine Street Comics on Carmine Street in the West Village, which is even closer than Forbidden Planet, a few blocks south of Christopher Street, the first stop in Manhattan on the New Jersey PATH train. Really like their website – hmm, Carmine just doesn’t sell comics, its an “interactive” store with their community. They have a storefront studio with an Artist Space for illustrators and writers (though watching a writer at work can be pretty boring, if you ask me), plus podcasts, a video talk show, and a webseries. And for comics consumers they have a deal with ComiXology so that you can reserve comics weeks in advance and then pick them up at the store. This is a really interesting place. Definitely checking it out – next weekend, fer shur!! (And I have to talk to Martha about Carmine – I have a feeling she already knows about it.)

There’s 4:00 left in the Giants-Redskins game, Giants are up by 1 (27-26); I’m getting that sick feeling in my stomach I always get with my Big Blue. (Never an easy win with them, and they tend to beat themselves.) Washington has the ball, and is moving the ball down the field with their running game. Now the ‘skins are in field goal range and we are at the 2:00 minute warning. Fuck, fuck, fuck! Defensive line held them to a fourth down. But Washington just kicked a field goal. Now they are up by 2. 1:51 left. Fuck, fuck, fuck!

I gotta go watch this, guys.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Eli’s pass was intercepted.

Game over.

Ah, well. It’s a long season…

And next weekend, a visit to Carmine Street Comics. I think I’ll call Martha.

Joe Corallo: The King Still Rules!

Kirby Hero Initiative

This past Sunday, August 28th, was Jack Kirby’s birthday. He would have been 99 years old. If you’re the type of person that reads the columns on a comics and pop culture website like ComicMix, you probably don’t need me to tell you who he is. I linked to his Wikipedia page there just in case you don’t know. It’ll be our little secret.

Over the years Jack Kirby’s birthday has become an event. Kirby 4 Heroes is celebrated in comic shops across the county. It’s a fundraiser for the Hero Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to helping comic creators in need. The idea is that by using Jack Kirby’s birthday as an event date that the Hero Initiative will be able to get a bump in fundraising numbers. Seeing how they’ve been doing this for years now it must be working to some extent.

jack-kirby-pic-105717This year both myself and fellow columnist Martha Thomases dropped byNew York City’s Carmine Street Comics for Kirby 4 Heroes. They had artists throughout the day including Sean Von Gorman, Fabian Lelay, and Patrick J. Reilly doing sketches for customers as well as original artwork being raffled off from Gregory Benton.

When I first arrived I was talking with Patrick as well as Jon Gorga, the store owner and operator. Mostly just catching up. Not long into our conversation a young man came up to the register proclaiming that he has started working on comics himself as an artist paired up with a writer and asked for our advice. Well, technically he asked for any advice and we all just happened to be standing there.

Patrick started with some of the basics like thumbnailing the pages. The young man pulled out a small notebook showing the work he had done so far. He had started thumbnailing before he knew the term. We all thought that was promising.

Then he told us more about their plans.

The young man went on to discuss how the plan for this project was to produce and publish five graphic novels worth of material all as prequels to set up the main story. We were almost immediately blinded by all the red flags going up. At around this point Martha joined us.

Patrick helped to discourage this young man of that particular course of action by telling him about Story Bibles, which he had not heard of before. Those are the blueprints to a story that’s used in any medium. They can and should be referred to in order to keep the story and it’d characters consistent. Patrick also made an excellent point about working on long form ambitious projects like that and how easy it is to get burned out working on something like that or even just bored over time.

I followed that up with advice I’ve heard from Scott Snyder in the past, but I’m sure many other seasoned writers have given as well: approach comics and storytelling like this is the only shot you’re going to get at all this so you need to tell the absolute best story you have in you. In a situation like this one with someone having five prequels before the main story, you need look through everything you have, pick the best and most compelling story and do that like it’s the only one you’ll get to do. Unfortunately, more often than not that tends to be the case. You’re an incredibly lucky person if you get the opportunity to continue telling your story from there.

CarmineStreetMartha added advice she’s heard from Norman Mailer which is also something other experienced people in the story biz have shared for some time: kill your darlings. That is to say that you need to be open to cutting your most treasured moments in your literary works for the greater good of the piece. It might sound absurd at first, but it makes sense as you’re crafting a story if you’re open to it.

After we all got to give some advice and chat a bit more with him, he thanked us all and left. He was very polite and receptive. And to be perfectly honest with all of you, I’ve fallen into the same trappings of wanting to jump right into epic long-form storytelling. A lot of people do. Hopefully he’ll figure out some things along the way and find out if this is what he wants to be doing, though it was hard to not think of that famous Jack Kirby quote, “Comics will break your heart.” Or was that Charles Schulz?

It was nice to spend some time on Jack Kirby’s 99th birthday at a comic shop celebrating the life of one of the most celebrated comic book artists of all time while also meeting a new up and comer that wants to throw their hat in the ring and getting a chance to wish him luck. I bet he wasn’t the only newcomer that wandered into a comic shop this past Sunday either.

Just because Jack Kirby’s birthday has passed us by again doesn’t mean we can’t keep celebrating him though. If you didn’t donate to the Hero Initiative this past Sunday, consider giving here. It’s a good cause to help comic creators in need. The same people that shaped so many of our lives from a young age with their stories like the ones Jack Kirby crafted all those years ago or the ones that young man at Carmine Street Comics this past Sunday might end up crafting himself one day.

Molly Jackson: Saved By The Bell – Fun For All

Saved By The Bell
Last week I was browsing my way through one of my many NYC comic shops, Carmine Street Comics, when I spotted the Saved By The Bell graphic novel. This book is out from Roar Comics/Lion Forge and IDW, and written by Joelle Sellner, with art by Chynna Clugston Flores and Tim Fish. When they first announced it, I was more than excited. It was a huge piece of nostalgia for me.
It was short stories very Archie-esque based at Bayside High, featuring the original cast we all remember. Screech chasing Lisa, Zack and A.C. fighting over Kelly and everything else, and the gang banding together when someone needed them. The setting is updated, with better phones (bummer!) and the Internet even being featured in the story lines. Personally, I’m eagerly awaiting the beach club volume and the Kelly and Jessie disappear for most of it volume.
When I picked it up to buy, some of my friends teased me a little about it. It’s a kids (albeit marked for teens), licensed book from an old TV show. Piffle!
While not all licenses books are great, this one was exactly what I wanted. A fun read using some great characters I have warm fuzzy feelings about from my childhood. And frankly, what’s wrong with “kid” comics?
Way back when, almost all comics were all ages and were enjoyed by all ages. You could pick up and read Batman or Spider-Man no matter what age you are and still be entertained. The term “All Ages” now has the connotation of being for kids. As comics evolved and readers matured, a lot of franchises became too much for a younger reader to comprehend.
Well, that’s just bollocks. Pure and simple. Comics are entertainment. All ages comics are some of the most entertaining works on the shelf and shouldn’t be ignored. Don’t get me wrong; darker comics have their place in the industry. Just don’t ignore and belittle the fun stuff just because of the all ages label.
So all my ’80’s and ’90’s kids, go pick up Saved By The Bell. Read it, and then go share it with a kid. Or an adult. Or someone in-between.