I got some exciting mail from John Porcellino today — an official King-Cat Comix Fan Club membership card. Hand inscribed by John P himself to me. You too can get yours by supporting John’s work on King-Cat Comics and Stories and the Spit and a Half publishing imprint and distro on Patreon. I even get a serial number on that card. That number (as you can see above) is 191. What I want to know is why that number is not 5,191 or 36,191 or higher? I admit I felt like I was pretty late to the Patreon party. It took me a while to ‘get it’ I wasn’t quite sure how to interact with it. Once I added my (logged in) Patreon landing page to my daily reading it started to make sense. Oh look, I get new comics and messages from some of my favorite artists several times a week, and it’s all creative work I would not have access to without being a patron. I’m going to explore more creators on Patreon and support a few more. I’ll share them here.
Seth Kushner left us one year ago today. Some four months before his book Schmuck would finally be released to the world through Alternative Comics. An event that was to have taken place many months earlier, but was delayed due to his illness. I just found this piece on The New York Observer site that I had never seen before. Go read it: “Lost and Found: Seth Kushner—October 30, 1973 to May 17, 2015“
Unbelievable news today: first, this morning, that comic book artist and animator Darwyn Cooke had gone through a very serious battle with cancer; and then, this evening, that he was dead. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually properly met or talked to Darwyn, but we’ve stood very close to each other a couple of times at different events. I’ve been a huge admirer of his art since right when I got back into comics nearly a decade ago. His New Frontier was one of my gateways back into a form I had been so frustrated with when I stopped working full-time in comics in the late 90’s.
Darwyn was one of that odd group of comic makers that came in through the side door through animation work. There’s probably been at least a hundred others. That transition often works in the other direction. He was one of the few crazy people that stuck with it and made a whole bunch of really good comics and ultimately did more work for print than screen.
Cast in the light of recent events and revelations coming out of his frequent employer DC Comics certain of Darwyn Cooke’s better known works there seem even more revolutionary and downright subversive. It could be argued the he did more good in his depiction of female characters at that company than any other creator of his generation. Ironically much of this was done with more than a nod in the direction of mid-20th century cheesecake pinup art. Catwoman received the best makeover ever for such a long-running character from Cooke and Ed Brubaker. Wonder Woman got the best portrayal in her original costume she’s had since the 1940s… she was thick, she was hot, she was powerful and she could put Superman in his place in a way that I doubt we’ll see again anytime soon in a comic.
Darwyn Cooke revived Will Eisner’s The Spirit—a job I would wish on no cartoonist. It was an epic dozen issues that no other follower of Eisner has come near to. Cooke’s art was retro in the extreme, but with an intelligence, sense of humor and impeccable aesthetic that sets it apart. His comics storytelling skills are a masterclass. Vintage done right, with a nod and a wink and—if not an agenda, per se—than an awareness that was in the right place, and drew your attention to what should be obvious failings of most comics, that he could casually tear up and do it the right way. I wish I could read many more new comics by Darwyn Cooke than I will get to.
Malachi Ward will be doing a Bay Area Double Header this Saturday, May 14th from 7pm. He will be signing copies of his brand new books From Now On (Alternative Comics) and Island #7 (Image Comics) at Mission Comics in San Francisco at 1PM and at our home base in Cupertino from around 7pm. There will be food, drinks, sci-fi, and mayhem. Bring your pets, bring your animals who are not pets, bring the kids, bring the spouse, bring the live-in domestic relationship not quite defined yet unit, bring your robot best friend! Just show up and hang out with us for a mad science fiction double feature blah blah blah you know the rest of it thingee!
Zak Sally has been many things over the years… an artist, a musician, a publisher at La Mano 21, a printer, the cover model for Peter Bagge’s Hate, a roadie for Wow Cool… OK, that last one is probably not a big deal to very many people… except to me. Zak lugged Wow Cool down to San Jose from Berkeley and back in his van way the heck back in the early-mid 1990s for the very first Alternative Press Expo (APE). I’ve followed his various pursuits since from a distance: playing bass in Low, creating the Recidivist and Sammy The Mouse comics series, playing in The Hand… Now he is doing something that I would not hold much hope for most artists on, but I think Zak is the best man for the job. He is creating a graphic novel about Philip K. Dick. And that brings us back to Berkeley. Right when I first moved there in late 1993 I was reading the new edition of Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick by Lawrence Sutin. Much of Dick’s life was lived in Berkeley and it was a key into the deeper history of that city for me. I don’t remember what we all talked about on that trip up and down the bay, but it’s a safe bet that PK Dick featured prominently.
So, Zak needs your help to keep his modest studio rent covered so he can focus on and finish this book instead of having to muck about with freelance gigs. Go throw him a few bucks on Patreon. There are some very attractive higher tier rewards as well for you serious art patrons.
Today is Wednesday, May 11th and we have a ton of new books for you. We are now officially open until 7pm at the Cupertino shop; and, will start staying open until 8pm on Wednesdays in June. Recent issues of comics from the past year are now available in the store carefully arranged in alphabetical order. There are still several Free Comics Book day comics here. They will be rotated out in the free bin out front. The 50 Cent bin sale continues out front as well.
Brand new books this week include:
Birth Of Kitaro
Everything Is Teeth Graphic Memoir
Guardians Of The Louvre
Heavy Metal #280
Hip Hop Family Tree #9
Juxtapoz #185 Jun 2016
Kaijumax Season 2 #1
King Cat Comics And Stories #75
Pop Gun War Gn Vol 01 Gift by Farel Dalrymple
Prophet Earth War #4 (Of 6)
Scab County by Carlos Gonzalez
Something New Tales From Makeshift Bride
Steve Ditko Archives Hc Vol 06 Outer Limits
Why Would You Do That by Andrea Tsurumi
We are working on getting new books online in a quicker manner. Look for major additions to the online shop soon as we have just finished reorganizing our inventory and will soon add all that are missing.
That was quite a day. We are still recovering from our third Free Comic Book Day event at the Wow Cool Alternative Comics shop in Cupertino on Saturday. This was our biggest ever. More books, more people, more cookies and lemonade… More everything. We were very happy to have our neighbor Yancey Labat spend some time with us. He just happened to have done the awesome art on the DC Superhero Girls Free Comic Book Day special (and upcoming graphic novel) and he signed comics, drew sketches and answered questions from the most enthusiastic group of kids you ever saw for over three hours. It was non-stop fun from just before 10 in the morning until 7 at night. There is a small gallery of photos from the event up on our Facebook page. It was great seeing so many of our friends and neighbors. Best FCBD ever!
The Wow Cool® Alternative Comics store in Cupertino is having it’s third annual Free Comic Book Day event from 10am-7pm on Saturday, May 7th. There will be tons of free comics for kids and adults, arts and crafts activities for kids, a lemonade stand, a voter registration booth, and everything in the store will be 20% off. There will also be several bargain bins of manga and comics (including superhero stuff). We will also be having a sale in our online store WowCool.com
DC Super Hero Girls artist Yancey Labat will be doing sketches and signing copies of the brand new DC Super Hero Girls #1 FCBD Edition. Yancey has also created art for the Worst Case Scenario book series, How Many Jelly Beans, Deadpool, Iron Man, The Avengers, Wolverine, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Transformers, War Machine, Legion of Superheroes, X-Men, and Black Widow.
Wow Cool will be giving away hundreds of comic books including all the 2016 official FCBD Gold Books,most of the Silver Books, Several books from Free Comic Book Day 2015 that arrived too late for the event, a variety of indie comics published by Alternative Comics, several issues of the newspapers Pork and Intruder and much more. We are also the only South Bay store that will be giving away copies of Heady Meddle, published by Emily Nilsson and Sean Christensen of Gridlords, Tim Goodyear of Teenage Dinosaur, and Jack Hayden of Snakebomb Comix. The cover is by E*Rock and the inside pages are by Dylan Jones, Erik Nebel, Shanna Matuszak, Colburn Paluck, Mike Washburn, and Daria Tessler.
We are right off of the CA-85 Cupertino/Stevens Creek exit near the intersection with I-280. Look for the giant Paul & Eddie’s sign — we are in the same parking lot — way around the back of the Share World building. Our normal business hours are Tuesday-Saturday noon-6pm
We have added hundred of new books to our online and Cupertino stores. Here’s just a recent selection. Wow Cool has been doing a massive re-cataloging of our inventory — new and re-stocked items are being added every day. New books arrive every week. Please follow us on our facebook page to see new books as soon as they are posted to the online shop. You can also get a sense of what is new in the Cupertino store from this page that is auto-generated by Diamond (ooh, magic). Wow Cool is also glad to take your special orders and manage your subscriptions. Get in touch.