This month I set up another display in the Hernando Public Library in my hometown of Hernando, MS. It’s in the west lobby entrance off of Commerce Street. They have two display cases that they let locals decorate- one large one (on the right in the photo above) and one smaller one (on the left). Normally the display lasts for a month, but mine gets to stay up for two months- January and February. My wife Nicki and I have done several other displays since we’ve gotten married- Star Wars, Harry Potter, hockey, the Batman TV show’s 50th anniversary, DC Comics, and a comics/live action themed one. They’ve always goten a positive reaction from visitors and we always have a lot of fun putting them up.
This new one is a mix of animation art (original painted cels, background art, animation drawings, character sheets, storyboards, animation bible) and original comic book and comic strip art (pages, covers, and pencil roughs) taken from my collection. I’ve been collection animation art for a few years now, and comic art since the ’90s. I really wished I had started sooner.
I added some of my toys, statues, books, and DVDs related to the animation art, too. I like to include books in the displays- not only because it’s a library, but because I love books! I’ve got several on animation and making comics. Hopefully folks will want to “check out” some themselves.
On the left side of the big case I mostly have Batman art from “Batman: The Animated Series” (BTAS) and “Batman Beyond“, along with a Hulk cel and background. The left photo shows a “Batman Beyond” pencil drawing and painted animation cel from that series.
I also have some comic book production art (top center and bottom left and right). The “Batman Beyond” art (top right) shows the pencil drawing and painted cel.
On the shelf below above my BTAS Batmobile are two storyboards from “Batman: The Animated Series“. They are hand drawn and you can see where they used post-it notes to replace a previous drawing that needed to be changed for a shot.
This show is one of my all time favorites. It was heavily influenced by the early 1940’s Fleischer Superman cartoons, and in turn heavily influenced other animation after it. In it’s second season it was re-titled “The Adventures of Batman & Robin“and later “The New Batman Adventures“, and spun off movies, games, and other series such as “Superman: The Animated Series“, “Justice League“, “Justice League Unlimited “, and “Batman Beyond“.
I have two Batman maquettes on display, along with a BTAS show bible (which is a reference document with information on a television series’ characters, settings, designs, and other elements) and a Warner Bros. animation art book. It’s a favorite of mine, and has one of the coolest covers!
The Harley Quinn maquette is probably one of my favorite collectibles. I had a couple kids walk by while I was setting up and ask me if I would GIVE them the Harley statue. “Uh, NO!!!” I’ve gotten to meet both of Harley’s creators– artist Bruce Timm and writer Paul Dini, at the San Diego Comic Con and have an original Harley drawing by Bruce.
At the center of the bottom shelf is a cel and a background from the animated “Beetlejuice” cartoon featuring the ghost with the most himself. The hand painted cel is on a separate layer from the painted background. I found out recently at the Memphis Comic Expo that my table neighbor, artist Kyle Baker, is a big animated Beetlejuice fan!
To the left and right of the color cel are original animation pencil drawings, and to the side of those (on the side walls) and below it are character model sheets. Traditional hand drawn animation is usually done at 24 frames per second– which means for every second of animation/movement an animator has to pencil 24 drawings! A lead animator will do the most dramatic poses, and then the go-between/fill-in artists draw the frames in-between to create the illusion of movement in the cartoon.
Model sheets help when many artists are involved in the making of an animated film to help maintain continuity in characters from scene to scene. The one on the left is a head character study showing different facial expressions by Beetlejuice, and the one in the bottom of the picture on the right is a character and prop sheet.
I’ve got a few Beetlejuice kids meal toys and my DVD copies of the series 3 seasons and Halloween special. I’ve been a big Beetlejuice fan for years, and occasionally cosplay as him. I even proposed to my wife dressed as him!
The middle shelf above Beetlejuice has some Filmation “The Ghost Busters/Ghostbusters” items. There’s the original live action “The Ghost Busters” TV show on DVD on the left, and the “Ghostbusters” cartoon series on the right. The three animation cels in the back are of Tracy the gorilla, who was played in the live action TV show by actor and Hollywood historian Bob Burns (that’s a sketch card of Tracy on the left that I drew).
Fun fact- Bob, who is listed as Tracy The Gorrilla’s trainer in the TV show, is not only famous for monkeying around, but he and his wife Kathy have a HUGE collection of Hollywood memorabilia which includes the King Kong stop motion armature puppet from the original black and white movie. They also have a cameo in Peter Jackson’s remake of “King Kong“, and are in the DVD special features with the Kong puppet. Check out his book “It Came From Bob’s Basement” or the documentary “Beast Wishes: The Bob and Kathy Burns Movie“.
Jake Kong Jr. and Eddie Spencer Jr. (who’s with Tracy in the center cel) are the sons of the original Ghost Busters from the live action TV series (starring F-Troop co-stars Forrest Tucker as Kong and Larry Storch as Spencer), and Tracy worked with their fathers. Tracy wore a propeller beanie cap (and other hats) on the show, and wore more of a Fedora in the cartoon. The live action show had an old jalopy, and the cartoon show had a flying car. The cartoon “Ghostbusters” is responsible for the “Real” in the animated series “The Real Ghostbusters“.
The story behind the different “Ghost Busters/Ghostbusters/Real Ghostbusters“..? Well, as I’ve heard it- first came the live action show “The Ghost Busters” by Filmation in 1975 with Spencer, Tracy, and Kong, then the 1984 Columbia Pictures live action movie “Ghostbusters” we all know with Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston (which Columbia ended up paying Filmation $$$ to license the name). After that movie was a hit and Columbia didn’t go with Filmation for an animated series (Columbia went with DiC instead), Filmation then developed “Ghostbusters” in 1986 based off their old TV show. This prompted Columbia to name their cartoon show “The Real Ghostbusters” (1986-1992) to distinguish it from the Filmation series. That show was followed up in 1997 by “Extreme Ghostbusters“. We’ve also had the “Ghostbusters II” movie sequel in 1989, the recent 2016 live action movie reboot, plus several video games and comics. The Filmation live action and animated series are pretty much unknown to most folks thanks to their short runs and the popularity of the Columbia Pictures Ghostbusters franchise, but growing up it was my Ghostbusters.
Across the entry hall in the smaller display case I have original comic pages and the final printed comics they were created for. The top shelf is “The Waiting Place” art by Mike Norton (left), and “Jane’s World” (right) by Paige Braddock. The “Jane’s World” comic I got from Paige at a National Cartoonists Society meeting in Georgia, and I won the original cover art at the same SEC/NCS show. Paige worked with Charles “Sparky” Schulz– creator of “Peanuts“.
I did an art trade with Mike for the art while he was living in Memphis back in the ’90s. He asked me what I would charge to do a head sculpt of one of TWP characters. I asked if he would trade the original cover art to TWP #3. He wasn’t sure where that art was, but said if he ever found it he would give it to me and asked if I’d like to have two pages of my choosing instead. I said sure and picked 2 hockey pages from that issue.
A few years later we were both attending Comic Geek Speak‘s 300th episode celebration in Reading, PA . They had set us up next to each other and there waiting for me on my table was the cover art I had asked for! I have a few other art pieces by Mike, but these are my favorites.
The bottom shelf has (left) “How To Make Webcomics” book, an original comic page from “Harley Quinn” (featuring J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter), (right) an animated Batman comic page (by Joe Staton and Terry Beatty), “Making Comics” book (by Scott McCloud), and along the bottom are pencil layouts for Greg Cravens “The Buckets” syndicated comic strip and some of my drawing tools.
I like that you can see some of the red color hold lines on the Batman page. It’s done by the inker to show the colorist where an area of color should be different from the area next to it (usually for shading), but without inking it in black. Sometimes a color hold will be a black area that is done as a different color for effect.
In the middle of the bottom shelf is a copy of DC Comic’s “Alpha Centurion Special #1” and an original comic page from that issue by artist Dean Zachary (and inker Pam Eklund). Dean’s a friend and another local Memphis artist. Nicki and I have gotten lots of art from him over the years, including one comic page featuring Batman and Oracle. The ink work on this one is really nice, and you can see how much bigger the original comic pages are drawn when next to the final printed comic book. I really wanted to showcase the quality of hand drawn art that goes behind making comics and animation, and I hope this display gets people to appreciating those artists’ hard work and talent.
Our library is very comics friendly, has had comic creators and authors do guest speaking, and we’ve donated comics/trade paper backs/graphic novels to them over the years. If you’re in the area or don’t mind making the short drive from Memphis, Southaven, or Olive Branch, MS I hope you can check out the display and our local library. If you do stop by- don’t forget to stop by “The Dip” (Velvet Cream) or Area 51 Ice Cream afterwards for a bite to eat! 😉
First Regional Library (Hernando)
370 West Commerce
Hernando, MS 38632
(662) 429-4439 phone
Well, my wife Nicki and I woke up to a bit of a surprise this morning…SNOW DAY!
For some folks up north our “snow storms” would be considered flurries, but here 1″ of snow or more can be a “Snowmageddon” and practically shut down areas around the mid-south. What little snow we get usually melts, then freezes, and then has more snow fall on top of it. It can be pretty treacherous, and Memphis drivers aren’t all that good when the streets are dry.
Just the slightest hint of snow in the weather forecast can have folks around here freak out and descend like ravenous locusts on the local grocery stores, desperately searching for milk and bread- because apparently none of us can survive a snow day here without them. I have never understood it. We can go for a week or more in good weather without them, but store shelves can be emptied almost immediately by this snow induced phenomenon. Luckily for me I did my grocery shopping yesterday on the way home from work before any of the weather hit and when they still thought we’d just get light flurries.
I grew up in northern Utah for several years. There we would have 1′-2′ of snow at a time instead of the inch or two we’d occasionally get here. When my family moved back to Memphis and I had my first snow day home from school I didn’t know what that was- or why. “A snow day? Wait- they are going to close the school because of ‘snow’..?!!” For four years in elementary school back in Utah I used to walk three blocks to school, in three feet of snow, uphill- both ways! Blew my 10 year old mind that something like a “snow day” could happen. In the southern school district’s defense, we could walk to our neighborhood schools and didn’t have to ride school buses. There are a lot of rural areas around us and the buses have to travel down a lot of two lane country roads. Those are some of the first to freeze over and stay frozen. To me snowy weather and school closings seemed to happen a lot more then than it does now, but then again I’ve never had kids and I’m no meteorologist.
As a kid I loved comics, and would spend my $1 a week allowance on them at the local 7/11 out in Bartlett, TN (a suburb of Memphis). The first one I bought there was a copy of “The Amazing Spiderman” #171. Back in the “olden days” new comics were still $.25-.30 cents each, and you could find some older ones for a dime or so around town if you were lucky. Today $.25, $.50. or $1.00 comic bins can be found at some comic retailers and conventions, and if you’re willing to do some long box diving you might come up with some back issues needed to fill in a run, or discover an overlooked key issue worth more than it’s marked.
Occasionally some stores didn’t return older books and you could find some of the ones you missed there. My mom and I would find comics at yard sales, too. Many of my early comics never had covers (retailers would send the covers as returns instead of the whole book and toss out the old comics, or so they were supposed to…). It didn’t matter, those cover-less, well read, and sometimes ragged comics were still just as enjoyable to me as a new one off the newstands. This was waaaaaaaaaaay back before comic shops, the internet, and digital comics. There were a few trade paperbacks here and there, but mostly origin and/or best of collections. If you missed a single issue it could be years before you could locate it. The first comic I ever remember reading was “Marvel Team-Up” #4, which was a two part story that began in MTU #3– which I didn’t buy a copy of until I was well into my late thirties or early forties. Found it at a small comic show in Cape Girardeau, MO.
Like the MTU issues, it was several years before I ever found the Nova issue (#12 by by Marv Wolfman, Sal Buscema, and Frank Giacoia) that was the first part of the Spidey #171 Photon story (by Len Wein, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito). Had it happen again not too long after with a second issue of a three part story with the Green Goblin. Thankfully that one didn’t take as long to run across as Nova #12 or MTU #3 and I found it several months later on a spinner rack at a 7/11 across town.
You were truly at the mercy of whatever the spinner rack or newstands were stocked with.
Some were filled with more Marvel Comics (like at my first 7/11), some with more DC Comics (like the one I later found at a convenience store across from Graceland), and others with Archie, Harvey Comics, and other publishers.
One of my favorite places to shop as a kid was a used bookstore in downtown Memphis called The Paperback Shack. Towards the back of the store the shop had a few huge cardboard boxes that were overflowing with back issues. ALL were 10 for $1.00..! After my parents divorced, my mom would take my sisters and me there from time to time. We’d walk around the outdoor Mid-America Mall (now the Main Street Mall), visit some of her old co-workers, and have lunch at our favorite burger joint that looked like an old trolley car. It was a big family outing for us to ride the bus there and back, and I would always come home with a HUGE stack of comics for a buck or two- instead of just a few when I would “buy off the rack” at a convenience store.
After my parents split up, money for things like allowances was a bit hard to come by. Even before the divorce my family wasn’t well off, and I always had odd jobs like mowing lawns, shoveling snow, cleaning parking lots, selling night-crawlers (large earthworms for fishing), and such to make extra money for toys, model kits, and eventually comics. (A friend and I would get free lunches at Taco Time once a week for cleaning the parking lot, and we would dine out on a wooden deck up in a tree in the front parking lot- I loved that!)
One such odd job I did happened while living with my mom in Memphis after the divorce- and it was most lucrative during the winter months if it snowed or when it was rainy. Sometimes my mom would send me to the grocery store to pick up whatever items we were out of at the time. She had just learned to drive and was terrified of driving in snow and icy or wet conditions. We had a few really steep hills that could be scary in dry weather. The store was just a couple blocks away, and we had a fold-up shopping cart I could use to haul it all back in. I would walk up and down our street and ask if any neighbors would need anything. Mostly it was bread and/or milk (again- they are essential to surviving snow in the south) or maybe eggs, butter, or soup. We had several older neighbors that would have had a hard time getting out in bad weather, especially in snow and ice. Usually they would tell me to keep the change or give me an extra dollar. Enough neighbors tip you that way and it was a nice bit of loot for comics..! Now some grocery stores will deliver, but back then you really couldn’t call up your local store and have them bring your winter survival necessities- well, at least not in our neighborhood. You definitely couldn’t order it on-line!
After doing my shopping at the grocery store and before heading back home, I would stop in at the Rexall drug store next to it and hit the comic spinner rack and spend all of my delivery earnings. I might also buy a candy bar or package of Now-And-Laters to enjoy later while reading those new comics. I loved playing in the snow as a kid, but I grew to love comics more. When your parents go through a messy divorce, those kind of good memories are gold to a young kid and stick with you for life. We may not have had iPads, internet, or video games then, but I don’t think I would have traded those snow days and the memories of them for anything.
Hope you’re having a great snow day. Earlier my wife and I took a walk around the neighborhood and let the cats play out back. Now that we’re back inside I’m going to enjoy a hot cup of coffee (or two), draw some sketchcovers, look at a few new art books I got in the mail this week, and read a few comics- I’m waaaaaaay behind.
Stay safe and warm, and happy comics reading to you!
PS- thanks to all the hospital staff, police, fire, road and electrical crews, media, convenience and grocery store employees, delivery drivers, mail/UPS/FedEx, and all the others who braved the roads (and other drivers) to do their jobs today and all the other bad weather days and holidays..!
Last weekend my wife Nicki and I were up in Nashville, TN for a Nashville Predators hockey game. They were playing the Winnipeg Jets on “Black Friday“, and won the game 5-1. Always a much more enjoyable road trip to SMASHVILLE when the Preds win.
While Nicki was taking shots of the Predators’ pregame on-ice warm ups downstairs, I was hanging out in the lobby watching Mark Howard and Terry “Crispy” Crisp do the pregame show on Fox Sports South.
I joined in with some fans and a couple of the Nashville Predators Energy Team girls. The guy in the middle with the ballcap on came down from Winnipeg for the game. He said he hadn’t thought about ever visiting Nashville until he saw the past NHL All Star Game Weekend in Nashville (I still need to do a blog post about that trip). After watching that on TV he said he needed to come see the town for himself. We all were on TV behind Mark and Crispy. That was the first time I’ve gotten to do that and it was a lot of fun.
Normally we head up on a Saturday morning, catch the game, spend the night, and drive back early Sunday afternoon. We have our usual spots to shop and eat while we’re up for a game (Rick’s Comic City, McNamara’s Irish Pub, Sports Seasons) and we visited a couple of them when we hit town Friday afternoon. Since this was a holiday weekend and the Preds were playing on a Friday night, we decided to stay an extra day and play tourists on Saturday.
When we got up on Saturday we were going to just grab some breakfast at the hotel, but decided to try someplace new. Nicki did a quick online search for places around town and found Yeast Nashville, which wasn’t too far from downtown. We left the airport area and headed north yeast, uh- north east. (805 Woodland St #300, Nashville, TN 37206)
I’m so glad we skipped the hotel breakfast offerings and ate here. The kolaches were warm and delicious, and the coffee was outstanding. They had a great selection of other breakfast pastries, but we each tried the sausage & cheese ones. I also had a cream cheese kolache and Nicki had a cinnamon apple one. Our breakfast hit the spot on a chilly late November morning, and we headed on into the downtown area which a quick drive up the road and over the river.
We had some time to kill so we walked down Broadway to the Cumberland River, took a few pics of it, the “Bat-Building“, Nissan Stadium (where the Tennessee Titans play), and then walked back up the other side towards Bridgestone Arena and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had time to do is visit Hatch Show Print. It’s an historic letterpress shop that’s been around Nashville since 1879. It was founded by brothers Charles and Herbert Hatch (as “CR and HH Hatch“) after their printmaker father William H. Hatch (who ran a print shop in Prescott, Wisconsin) moved his family to Nashville four years prior. They started off printing for traveling ministers, circuses, minstrel shows, vaudeville acts, and carnivals, but became famous for printing posters for country music and rock performers such as Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Elvis, and many others. You can find out more about their long history here- hatchshowprint.com/history/hatch
Letterpress printing (technique of relief printing using a printingpress by which many copies are produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper) is a process that began in the middle 1400’s by Johannes Gutenberg. Much of the printing we see today is done as offset printing or digital printing, but Hatch continues to not only do things the “old fashioned” way, but uses many of the original hand carved type fonts and images from the original shop as well as many of the old presses. One is so old that it originally ran on steam about 100 years ago!
The shop has had a few previous locations, including one on Broadway which backed up to the historic Ryman Auditorium– the previous home of the Grand Ole Opry, but is now is a division of the Country Music Hall of Fame and located in the building as the hall of fame.
It’s just a block or so away from Broadway off Demonbreun between 4th Street and 5th Street and is located next to the new convention center and the Bridgestone Arena (where the Preds play and where the visitors center is located).
I started screenprinting about 30 years ago, and have been involved in all sorts of silkscreen, offset, and digital printing– comic books, art prints, CD covers, stickers, tees, jackets, and more over the years. I always love visiting other print shops and this was the first time for me to experience one as unique as Hatch. I’ve never done any letterpress printing like Hatch does. The closest I’ve ever come to doing any printing like this was an art project in the 7th grade where we cut out images using Styrofoam trays, painted them with acrylic paint, and then pressed them onto colored paper to transfer the paint.
Nicki and I walked around the shop for a bit, then headed up to the Country Music Hall of Fame gift shop to kill some time until our tour group was scheduled to meet in front of Hatch around 2:00’ish.
About a dozen of us met up outside the shop and then were lead onto the actual print shop floor by one of our guides. We passed a couple old presses out in the retail shop on our way into the print shop space.
I couldn’t help but wonder what iconic images and famous names had been printed on them…
Lots of varied types of posters covered the walls, and several current print runs were sitting around the shop in drying racks. Towards the back of the shop were several racks which were the home of the hand-carved wooden and linoleum blocks used for printing. Not only did several blocks shelved there date back to the early beginnings of the shop, but the shelves themselves were made of used wooden printing plates from years ago.
We had two very knowledgeable tour guides and printing instructors. Both work in the print shop. The two wooden plates they are holding above were used to print posters for the Hoover/FDR presidential election of 1932.
Each of those wooden blocks were hand carved (in reverse) and then used to print posters like the one above. The presses in the shop all have a lot of mileage on them. The press on the back right in the photo above is one that originally ran on steam, but was converted to use electricity and still runs today- pretty amazing..!
It was great to actually hold some of the lettering blocks, and see the hand-carved individual fonts up close. Since each is made by hand, and since some wear and/or aging can occur, each letter has slight differences from the other letters like it. This can create a unique look for this type of printing.
They only print up to 3 colors, and each poster has to dry between colors. This one was printed using yellow, cyan blue, and a magenta red. The inks can be mixed to be made more transparent, and can create additional colors by overlaying them on top of each other (yellow+blue=green, etc.). Traditional offset printing is done using 4 color process (CMYK or cyan/magenta/yellow/black). The manual screenprinting press I run at work can do up to 6 colors on a garment, and we also have an 8 color automatic press. Any of our 4 color process jobs are usually done on the auto to keep them more uniform in color. When I was partners in a shop back in the ’90s we had 6 color and 8 color manual presses and did a lot of process and simulated process jobs on tees, as well as printing some 1 color stickers on a table top press.
We got to ask a lot of questions while in the print shop, and learned some terminology like “furniture”. Then it was time to head back to the classroom on the other side of the retail space where we got to learn more about Hatch’s history.
They had lots more of their posters covering the walls of the classroom, and showed us examples of some of their earlier work and some of their more iconic posters like the Elvis one above (which I’ve owned a copy of before).
One of my favorite posters on the wall was this Space Ghost one. Noticed it almost immediately after we walked in.
Some of the other really cool posters were the two separate posters that created one image when put together- like this Ringo Starr poster that was for two separate dates/shows.
One of the really interesting things they shared with us was how they create photos plates for printing. Once done in-house using a photo, a dot pattern sheet, and a dark room, they now have this process outsourced. I’ve had to do something similar when I first started out in screenprinting back before we had scanners, personal computers, and Photoshop. Yeah, that was a long time ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth…
For me the coolest part of the classroom section of the tour was getting to print our own 8″x10″ mini-poster.
They had pre-printed two of the colors for us, so we inked up the red plate with a roller, placed our paper down, then ran the roller over it towards us in one direction.
And, “VIOLA!”- instant art print!
There’s my wife Nicki with her finished print. I know I print for a living and shouldn’t have had as much fun as I did, but I got a real kick out of trying something different for the first time. Will have to frame one of our prints to put up in our house.
Once we were done with the classroom the tour was over. We signed their guestbook and headed back out into the retail shop.
There were lots of great posters to choose from, but I ended up purchasing a magnet, button, and a hardback book on the history of Hatch Show Print. If you ever get the chance to take this tour I highly recommend it! Tickets are $15ea for adults, and $10ea for kids, and private group tours are available, too. You can reserve a tour on-line.
After Hatch we walked around the Country Music Hall of Fame lobby, did a little more shopping in the gift shop, grabbed a drink, and listened to some live music while we took a second to uploaded a few pics to Twitter and Facebook. We decided we’d do the Hall of Fame tour another time and headed back outdoors to explore downtown some more. Saw lots of street musicians (this one had his cat with him- no way I could do that with Lex), walked through the candy shop, and just kinda people watched.
Oh, and speaking of people watching– we saw Jesus walking down Broadway..!
One of my shopping bags was starting to tear so we dropped off our recent purchases to our car, then headed up the street for dinner at Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant (500 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219). We met a couple of Boston Bruins fans while waiting for our table and had a good time talking hockey and Nashville with them. Once inside the place it was pretty packed and the wait for our food was a bit long, which they told us it might be for the fried chicken. We went ahead and ordered some fried pickles and those kept us fed until our dinner arrived- which actually was quite good.
After dinner we walked past Printers Alley and around the corner back to Broadway. Printers Alley is more like Bourbon Street or Beale Street these days, but at one time was a haven for numerous printing companies in Nashville. The printers are gone, but the name remains.
Back on Broadway I took several shots of the numerous neon signs above the bars and shops- including the Tin Roof which is one of the previous locations for Hatch. It was getting darker and colder so we hiked up the street to our car. On the way back to our hotel we did a bit more shopping. The next morning we checked out of our hotel, drove around the corner to Panera Bread for a quick breakfast and coffee, then did a bit more shopping before we left town.
We enjoyed getting another chance to be tourists in Nashville again, and hope to be back up there soon. GO PREDS!
Hatch Show Print
224 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
(Additional photos in this blog by Nicki Workman)
Sorry I haven’t been updating lately. I’ve been busy with the day job, trying to get used to the time change, and doing a little decompression after the election. I’ve got some convention pics and other things I’ve done over the summer to share with you. Will start getting those up this week before Thanksgiving, and will do more after the turkey break. Will be sharing some new art on my LinWorkman.com site, too. I do try and keep my HGWT Facebook page and Twitter account updated, so if you’re following those you know I’ve been staying busy. If you don’t follow them, I do encourage you to. I post upcoming event info, pics from my trips, and other geeky stuff.
Hope your summer has gone well. I’ve kinda felt like 2016 has been kicking a lot of us in the butt, so this latest HGWT toon is dedicated to 2016. Just over a month left to go…goodbye and good riddance!
As some of you may know I’m a HUGE Batman fan, and this year the TV show and I both turn 50 years old! My wife bought the show on DVD for my last birthday, and I’ve loved watching it in my own Batcave. As a kid I saw a bit of it when it originally aired, and later I would rush home from school to catch the reruns in the afternoon. When the ’89 movie came out they showed the reruns again. A couple years ago I saw a cable channel showing them before the BluRay/DVDs were released.
I was asked by head librarian Heather Lawson to do another display in the lobby of the First Regional Library in Hernando, MS, so I raided my Batcave collection earlier this month to do a display celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ’60s Batman TV show.
My wife Nicki and I have done several different displays over the past few years including DC Comics, comics/superhero movies, hockey, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.
We love our local library. They promote comics and have author signings. The John Jackson Miller and Daniel Wallace signings had appearances by 501st members. They have meeting spaces upstairs for local groups, and change out the lobby display cases quite often.
I love listening to people comment on our displays as we’re setting them up. I usually have a couple folks stop and either ask questions or tell me about items they have in their collections. We also have a lot of kids “ooh” and “ahh” and exclaim, “AWESOME!” as they walk by.
We’ve donated a lot of books and comics to the library- we had to after moving in together. I really need to go through all my VHS tapes, records, CDs, and DVDs to see what we have duplicates we still have that we can donate, as well as more comics. I still have several long boxes I need to go through. I have a lot of folks ask what they can do with comics they no longer want and can’t get any real money for from comic shops. I always tell them to donate them to their local libraries, or do like my friend Bob Bretall does- hand them out to kids on Halloween!
The library has two display cases in the west lobby entrance- one large one, and one smaller one (as well as a couple for promotional posters and flyers). I wish I had display cases with sliding glass fronts!
The larger case is divided into a left and right side. This was the left side…
…and this was the right side.
These are some of my favorite new Batman ’66 items- character busts. Hoping we get a few more. Would love an Eartha Kitt Catwoman, a King Tut, and a couple others. The Mego-styled Figures Toy Company’s 8″ figures are pretty batastic, too.
Oh, behind them are some sketchcovers I drew done in Copic markers. There’s also a Batgirl cover and an Egghead one I did on display which you can see featured a few photos down. I love drawing sketchcovers!
There have been lots of recent action figures- everything from the Mattel 6″ figures and Figures Toy Company’s 8″ ones. to the 12″ Hot Toys deluxe collector dolls, the the 18″ quarter scale Neca figures (the large ones above). In the left photo there’s a 12″ album from the ’60s with some of the Mattel figures. On the right there’s more Mattel figures with a Bat-computer, a Hallmark Batman ornament, Batman credit card, and a framed 20th Anniversary print.
Mattel also released a Barbie Catwoman and a Ken Batman– I have both of mine on display at the library. Wish they would do Robin and Batgirl dolls as well. Speaking of Robin, on top of the Mattel Batusi figure box that’s a signed resin replica Robin batarang autographed by Burt Ward/Robin himself.
I got it signed at AdventureCon in Knoxville, TN several years back. He was signing for donations to his Great Dane dog rescue. Over the years I’ve also met Adam West/Batman, Yvonne Craig/Batgirl, and Julie Newmar/Catwoman from the TV show.
On the right side of the large display case I added a lot of books, comics, and DVDs of the TV show and ’60s Batman movie. Since it’s a display in a library I like to have books in with the toys, movies, and other collectibles. Most of the books here are signed copies. Have my copies of the TV series and ’66 movie DVDs and BluRays, and VHS tapes, plus the soundtrack. There’s a small framed Batman movie poster in the bottom photo, and lots of Batmobiles- which is what I like to collect most. The large kiddie car in the bottom pic I picked up this past year at a small local toy car show. On this side I also have a couple older mug/cups, vinyl banks, and more ornaments.
The Catwoman statue on the left is a resin model kit I put together and painted a few years back. Picked up this awesome garage kit at Wonderfest in Louisville, KY. On the right in front of the vinyl Batman hand-puppet is the bat-collectible that started it all for me. I picked out that Batman figure for my 3rd birthday cake. I have a lot of bat-memorabilia I love and that are special to me, but if I had to pick one collectible to keep that would be it hands down.
The alarm clock in the middle is something I’ve always wanted since I was a kid. A friend had one and it would wake us up in the mornings when I would spend the night at his house. Unfortunately mine doesn’t talk anymore, but I hope to get it working again someday. The Joker is an older PEZ candy dispenser, and there is an older bat-ring, button, and bat-logo from a cake pan set I had as a kid. I also like collecting View Master reels The ones above are from a Catwoman episode.
The sign above is a replica made by Lee “The Batfan” Johnson. I have a matching Joker to go along with the suction-cup Batman below it. The blue and black Ideal Bat-helmet is one of my prize possessions. Another item I wanted as a kid but didn’t acquire until a few years ago. The squirt-gun on the right is an item that cracked me up the first time I saw it and I knew I had to have one. It’s just too weird to not have one in my collection.
On the opposite wall across from the big display is the smaller display. I put a lot of my smaller Batmobiles and other bat-vehicles in this one.
These two figures are my Hot Toys Adam West Batman and Burt Ward Robin. There are Eaglemoss bat-vehicles in the stacked plastic cases with them on the top shelf.
Those are a couple of Batman and Robin records, plus some Corgi, Corgi Jr., Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Avon, and Funko bat-vehicles on the middle shelf. Picked up the metal Batmobile sign at Hobby Lobby recently.
Along the bottom shelf there are a few larger plastic toy Batmobiles and Batboat, a Batmobile model kit, 45 record, lenticular Green Hornet disc, Pocket Heroes figures, buttons, slot cars, “Batman Meet The Green Hornet” trade paperback, and an awesome new George Barris car book- “King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris“
The plastic Batman face in the left photo above is part of the superhero cake pan set that the oval logo goes along with. There’s a Superman face and shield as well. The photo on the right features many of my Corgi Jr. vehicles. They are Hot Wheels size in scale.
This is my Batcave studio at home. That’s where I sit and draw, update my blog, surf the net, or just watch some TV.
This side is where most of my Batmobiles are displayed, and that big white shelf by the closet is where most of my ’60s Batman merch is displayed at home. My wife Nicki and I built all of my shelves, bookcases, cabinets, and workspace. It’s my Man-Cave, and a great place to sit and geek-out or actually get some work done.
There are still a couple items I’d like to have- one big one especially..! 😉
Hope you can stop by our great hometown library and see a portion of my guano. It’ll be on display through the end of August.
First Regional Library- Hernando