Love and Capes is coming back! Find out how you can get a copy.
So, another year, another San Diego. Where will I be? What will I be doing? Why am I so tired already?
So, I’ll be at Booth 2000 along with Luke Daab almost all of the show. But I’ve also got some signings…
Under the Sails with Pop Culture Hero
In the most recent Cupid’s Arrows storyline, Rick and Lora got a couple together at a comic book convention. I used a bunch of my friends’ artwork to fill the convention floor with banners and advertisements. Here’s a link to the ones I used.
by Katie Cook
by Steve Conley
by John Gallagher
by Thom Zahler (hey, Jeff and Danielle appear in the story!)
by Emily S. Whitten, Ben Fisher and Michelle Ngyuen
by Lora Innes
Zoey and Ketchup
by John and Katie Gallagher
The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood
by Christy Blanch and Chris Carr
Robyn of Sherwood
by Paul D. Storrie and Rob Davis
by Paul D. Storrie and Kevin Caron
Astounding Space Thrills
by Steve Conley
The Bear from A.U.N.T.
by J. Robert Deans
By Chris Bailey
Comics and Friends
Aw Yeah Comics
Cards Comics and Collectibles
I’m not sharing details yet, but… yeah, I’m bringing Mark and Abby back. Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’m running another Clip Studio giveaway contest to promote the debut of Cupid’s Arrows over at Webtoon!
The awesome folks at Clip Studio have given me a copy of their Clip Studio Paint Pro software to give out! I love Clip Studio and use it almost every day. Long Distance, Time and Vine, and Warning Label, as well as the forthcoming Cupid’s Arrows were all drawn using it, as well as several of my My Little Pony covers, my Tsum Tsum cover. I couldn’t live without it, and I think you’ll like it, too.
So, I’m running a contest on Instagram. There are two ways to enter.
I’ve made easy-to-repost images of my projects. Pick your favorite and post it to your timeline, along with the hashtag #thomzclipstudio and BAM! You’re entered. (if you want to say why you like or picked that one, I’d certainly appreciate that too, but it’s not necessary.)
Post an image of your comic, along with the same #thomzclipstudio hashtag and then you’re entered, too.
The contest will run from now until 12:01AM Eastern Time, December 1, 2019. Then I’ll randomly select a winner from all the entries and contact you. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, too, so that I can message you.
Below are handy, Instagram-friendly images, along with direct links if that’s easier for you. Good luck!
Harlan Ellison died yesterday. He was my friend.
Harlan has a reputation for cantankerousness. It was well deserved. In the documentary about him, Dreams With Sharp Teeth, Robin Williams says that essentially, most people determine which fights are worth fighting, but to Harlan, every fight was worth fighting. I think that’s accurate. Honestly, I think there were only three kinds of people in his life. His best friends, his hated enemies, and people he hadn’t met yet.
But he was also kind and funny and generous. He walked Love and Capes into IDW... twice. The first time was a kindness. The second time, that’s just straight up crazy. But he could be crazy like that.
i feel like Harlan deserves to live on in stories. So here’s one of mine.
Roger Price, Bob Ingersoll and I were in LA and going to head over his house. After Comic-Con there were regular pilgrimages of comics people to see him. We were the afternoon shift, but he hadn’t eaten, so we started discussing lunch. Well Bob was, on the phone with him. Harlan asked what kind of food we’d like.
Trying to be helpful, I said “not seafood or Chinese.” I’m allergic to seafood, and the one time I’d had Chinese it didn’t sit well with me.
‘Then Bob and Harlan talk a little bit. “Zahler says not seafood or Chinese. He’s allergic to seafood. Uh huh. Yeah. I don’t know.” Then Bob turned around and handed me the phone. “Harlan wants to talk to you.”
Okay, I loved Harlan. But I’m not going to say the man didn’t intimidate me, too. I was afraid he might talk me into swallowing my own tongue, like Miggs in Silence of the Lambs.
Then it was a blur. I remember telling him about the last time I had Chinese food and that it just wasn’t great and I had it near Cleveland, not far from where he lived and...
...I handed the phone back to Bob “Were having Chinese.”
Then over at his house, we had great conversations, I sat in the most strangely comfortable wooden block chair. He read from one of his stories. And then the food came and we gathered in his kitchen. And then, Harlan Ellison, legend of the industry, man who wrote one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek (okay, you know what I mean), my favorite Twilight Zone and more, sat next to me through the whole meal, and guided me through the meal. He told me what everything was, made sure I was staying away from any seafood, and just played Virgil through the whole thing.
And yes, it was Goddamned delicious.
So much so that, when there was one piece of fried tofu left, I asked to have it in my polite midwestern way. But the late afternoon shift of visitors came in and he told the story of me and the Chinese food, except now I was more aggressive. When he told it again, I was virtually breaking my chopsticks into shivs, holding them to his throat lest I not have the last wonton.
His story was better.
Then a couple years later we were at his home and we decided to get dinner Harlan said “what about Thai?”
”I’ve never had it,” I said. “But let’s go.”
My condolences go to his friends, fans, and his wife Susan. The world was a much better and more interesting place with Harlan it and I’m going to miss him
When Free Comic Book Day started, I didn’t particpate. It didn’t seem like the kind of day for the pro user, as we Mac guys might say, to be in the way of the new people. Like, if you work at Baskin Robbins, stay out of the way of Free Scoop Day, right?
That all changed when I did a book for the event. Love and Capes #4 was my first FCBD book. John Gallagher was kind enough to share some great advice for me starting out. And, self-publishing, I was already ahead of the game convincing my boss. So, I took the flyer and did it.
Marc Bowker brought my out to Alter Ego Comics to do a signing that year. My first time in a shop for the event. And after that, it changed for me. I saw the draw of being a professional in the store, even if I didn’t have a book out that year. It was a special time where cartoonists are treated a little like rock stars, and they get to me a whole new world of fans and friends.
I did three more Love and Capes issues for FCBD. It was, hands down, the best promotion I ever did and it’s a huge part of the reason Love and Capes found an audience and I have the level of success that I do. And even though I haven’t done an issue since 2011, it’s still one of my favorite days of the year. I’ve done every one since (with the exception of my Godkids’ two unfortunately-scheduled First Communions… and even one of those I did a midnight event).
I used to have the goal of doing every state in the union for FCBD. I’ve doubled up on Ohio, Indiana, Texas and Delaware though, which means at this rate, if I want to hit that, I’ll probably need to be doing this until I’m 100.
I’m okay with that.
It's always nice to do a show in my hometown. I can sleep in my own bed, show off my city to new people, and I know where the best parking and food is. So I always like doing Wizard World Cleveland.
It's also nice being able to see friends I only see there, people I went to school with and used to work with. (I'm looking at you George and Dave.)
I didn't do any panels this time, so I managed to log the whole show at my table, which was nice. My brain kicked into overdrive about my new Kickst… wait, I can't talk about that yet. Never mind. Anyway, it's sometimes boring behind the table. But boring is where your brain starts to think of new things. These days, it's so easy to program your entire day with content on your phone (and don't think I'm not mainlining The Adventure Zone right now) that we forget the value of letting our brain rev for a few cycles.
I even wrote a couple scenes of something else I can't talk about, too.
Sales were decent, and I picked up more stuff at the show than I do at others because I could just toss it in the car. And, for the third time this post, I can't say what, because they're gifts for people. I was disappointed there was no Captain America shield for sale at this show. I want one because who knows when Hydra will attack, and I'd rather not have to try to fit it in a suitcase. And I don't think I can just strap it on my back and get on a plane. Can I?
After the show ended, I actually headed to the Jack Casino where the Wonder Woman slot machine was very kind to me. The blackjack tables less so, but still fun.
And before the show, at the advice of my friend Dee, I went to the Cleveland Public Library and saw the Superman exhibit they have there, which was very nice.
It's one of those truisms of life that we don't take advantage of the things nearest to us. Cleveland has a lot of awesome stuff, and I mostly only see it when someone's in from out of town. So it was great to have the opportunity to experience a little more of the city.