Stray URLs from Comic Con Schwag

Okay, so here’s where I do the traditional “go-through-my-con-crud” and extract the pearls and throw out everything. It’s always fun for me. It’s better than my old technique — which was to packrat it all for years and never look at it again.

And it begins…

Design Studio Press has awesome books about concept design. Reminds me of Syd Mead stuff. Some of the books have a how-to flavor that is nifty. A bit expensive though.

Broccoli Books does a bunch of manga. They even have a blog. I quite like their cute hats, though I can’t see myself wearing one.

Anime Gamers USA has all things manga and anime, looks like. They do mail-order and have a store in L.A.

Donato Giancola does wonderful painting with fantasy and science fiction themes. Faramir at Osgiliath is particularly moving. And Inheritors of Earth has some interesting Blade Runner-esque stuff happening in it.

Marusan Toy has some cool giant robots, but they’re not cool enough to overcome a bad website hampered by too many levels and a clunky English vs. Japanese interface.

play is a (new?) magazine for videogames. I’m gonna sign up for my FREE 3-issue RISK-FREE NO OBLIGATION subscription and try it out.

Lynne Naylor has some cool sixties-style retro-art going on. I can’t remember when I picked up this postcard, but it’s nifty. Her site has more of her work, not exactly my taste, but it has a great look. I like this one in particular. Worth a look for those looking for cool art. Her work reminds me of something Joelle would use in a blog theme.

Stolle Art Studio has a really engaging website. I really like the straightforward presentation on their gallery page. Browsing through their gallery images is nifty. Here’s a rendering of Captain Caveman, and the girly art is engaging as well — some of it elegant, some of it has really great color schemes, though much of it is too skanky/Maxim-style for my own tastes. But I wish the girls featured some smiles. Something about girl-art looking sexy but not smiling turns me off. I really wanted to like more of these illustrations more than I did. Maybe next year there will be more engaging work.

Subculture Array had some neat jewelry at their booth at the Con, but I’m really turned off that the site, when I go there looks like a porn site. I just want to look at the jewelry. Oh, and also, their urls are way long and bum me out with their seeming impermanence. *whine*

Metal Box Comics seems like a one-person (Andy Chang) outfit with a free comic online: The Adventures of Sniffy. It seems to be a story about a cat, robots, a printer out of ink, and some cat print-outs. Seeing this makes me want to do my own comic. Probably online.

DC Direct has some cool and useless merchandise. I really like the action figures based on The Dark Knight Returns: Batman, Superman, Joker, and Robin.

The Machinist is a movie starring Christian Bale as a guy who has not slept in a year. The reviews call it an “existential horror film.” That description makes me not want to see it. It sneak previewed at the Con, but I missed it.

City of Heroes is a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) where you can be a superhero. Cool idea. I know Joe and Meg play it and like it. I sometimes feel guilty for not being into videogames anymore. Not that I ever really was. But I guess my addictive videogame is blogging. Heh.

Shocker Toys: Shockinis appears to be the copycat of another toy — Stikfas — generic toys you can customize into any kind of figure you want.

The Festering Season is a graphic novel with some great reviews. The sample pages are kind of cool, but I find myself feeling lukewarm about it.

Animation Trip presents computer graphic films, and have been doing it for more than 15 years. I think I remember attending “The Mind’s Eye” a long time ago.

Black Bolt Entertainment does comics. Their one-page website tells me nothing about whether or not I might want to read their comics.

If you want Peanuts-related stuff, check out

Big Red Hair features comics and robots. Heartbreakers is a series of science-fiction comic books and graphic novels by writer Anina Bennett and artist Paul Guinan.

“Mauga Productions” has no url I can find, but they claim to have “the world’s first hip hop based audio comic.” What the hell is an audio comic book?

Goats is an online comic. It’s moderately funny from doing some reading of random Goats strips. I’m not impressed by the strips but I like the random feature.

It’s a Chick Productions makes films. One is called Agent 15. The trailer is underwhelming.

Rose Madder is kind of a cute manga. Some funny comics and a good sense of humor. this one made me chuckle.

Xipster is some kind of make-an-animation and share it type thing. Their website says “With XIPSTER in your hands your creativity can run wild. Use XIPSTER to make outrageous movies and the send them to your friends. Soon you can controll the world..” though their mispelling of “control” does give me pause as to targeting teachers… “XIPSTER is the hottest new way to introduce animation into the classroom. Teachers everywhere are discovering XIPSTER’s power to energize the learning experience.” Supposedly I can make movies with the software. The movies are nifty. But what is this? Stop motion? Canned clips? The download is 38 Megabytes and Windows only. But I only found that out on the three-levels down download page. The idea seems neat, but I still have no idea what the idea is.

“Lobo and Risley” is a comic by Gibbs and Keri Rainock. And they do have a website at The description for this comic is “Lobo, A spazmastic zombie dog with a detachable brain, joins forces with Risley, a serious preteen circus pooper-scooper. Together, they are on a mission to protect fuzzy bunnies, obese unicorns and depressive griffins from the mad taxidermist Dr. Apollo.” It appears to have an excess of plot. But some of the drawings are rather nice.

Alcatraz High is a comic book by a native San Diegan Bobby Rubio (note to myself, interview him for SDB) — the art style is very nice. Apparently this guy went to Morse High School and now works at Nickelodeon Studios. Very professional look.

“Bliss on Tap Publishing” purportedly has a comic called “God The Dyslexic Dog” — their flyer is printed like a glossy comic book cover, and has some nice art but I can’t find any kind of website for them. The creator lives in Universal City and is named B. Paul Husband with an email address of paul.husband (at) Intriguing but frustrating. The title is good for a laugh. Though wasn’t that a Steven Wright gag?

Disney Comics was there in force. W.I.T.C.H is a very anime inspired looking comic about a group of teenage witches. Feh. The one interesting thing is a url for Accademia Disney Italy, where you can learn what it takes to be a freelancer for Disney Comics. They have a training location in Milan where artists are trained when Disney has a need.

Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones looks good. It comes out in October from Basic Books. The description from is wonderful: “Springing unheralded out of working-class Jewish immigrant neighborhoods in the depths of the Depression, these young men transformed an odd mix of geekdom, science fiction, and outsider yearnings into blue-eyed, chisel-nosed crime-fighters and adventurers who quickly captured the mainstream imagination. Within a few years their inventions were being read by 90% of American children and had spawned a new genre in movies, radio and TV that still dominates youth entertainment seventy years later.”

Spider-Man: the ’67 Collection is a 6-DVD collection of the original animated series. Well, in those days they just called them cartoons. The description on this postcard is: “All 52 episodes of Spider-Man’s original 1967 television series, now completely restored in full color and bursting with spectacular action!” Okay.

Remember Micronauts? is your source for names, parts listings, sticker sheets and news about Micronauts. The Space Warriors were super-cool toys. A few years ago when I was ebay-ing much more, I used to look for Micronauts. But the prices were, and are, way too high.

Fantagraphics does cool publishing. The coolest thing of late is a reprinting “The Complete Peanuts: Dailies & Sundays 1950-1952.” It looks really wonderful. Other stuff they do that looks cool are stuff by the Hernandez Brothers and their reprintings of Pogo and Krazy Kat.

Drawn Together is “Television’s First Animated Reality Show” and will be coming in October on Comedy Central. It looks utterly crass and tasteless. There’s a pseudo Betty Boop character flashing pixelated breasts; an orange Pokemon-ish character who appears to have an electric temper; a yellow Spongebob-meets-Stimpy character chugging a beer bong — loaded up by a pink pig in pants; an Elfquest-looking male character with a prominent package reading a magazine called “Dude’z Health”; and most prominently – two busty female characters – one black and sort of Josie and the Pussycats in a tiger-orange bikini — and one woman white and brunette in a green bathing suit and looking like some sort of evil Queen from a Disney film. Would it surprise you to know that they’re in a hot tub — making out? Feh. The last character is a male superhero oogling the girls. Bleagh. But I suppose we do live in a Reality TV world. :-

Burlyman Entertainment looks interesting. It looks like a company owned by Matrix creators The Wachowski Brothers. Geof Darrow does art on a comic called “Shaolin Cowboy” that looks like another hyper-violent goofy-fest. I love Geof’s work — but the gore sometimes even wears me out, and I’m a fan. There’s also a title called “The Matrix Comics” — an anthology that I looked at but decided against for now.

Life’s so Rad by Rad Comics is an online comic that comes out Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Looks like it’s worth another visit.

THX 1138 is being re-released and looks pretty nifty. I think this was actually covered on slashdot a few weeks ago.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is coming out September 17, 2004 and looks impressive. The first one is a minor cyberpunk classic. Not sure if this one will be as good. Again, worth watching out for. Oh, Go Fish Pictures is actually a sub-brand of DreamWorks – for anime stuff I guess. Interesting.

Oh, and here’s a snapping bracelet for Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid. Dare I look at the trailer? I dare, I dare. … Now I’ve looked. Wow, that looks BAAAAAAD. I saw pieces of the first Anaconda, and I thought that looked bad. At least that one had Jennifer Lopez. This one just has a girl who sort of reminds you of J.Lo. Whew.

There’s a soundtrack coming out for Freaks and Geeks. I’ll have to send these postcards to my sister. She digs that show.

If you can believe it, there’s more. But that’s for another time.

Good night!

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