Since launching FUNNY BOOK FANATIC at the end of November 2008, this blog has seen its fair share of comic book fans and comic book professionals stop by and give it a read. I work hard to make sure that readers feel like bookmarking my humble efforts here have something interesting to entertain themselves with for a few minutes.
I’ve always been a little bit surprised by the distance my work and efforts can travel and who can be effected. I remember during the early days of Malibu, we had a post office box instead of regular postal delivery. When I get around to part five or part six (or part seven) of the Secret Origins of Malibu Comics I’ll get around to explaining that. I remember (future Malibu Comics editor-in-chief) Chris Ulm and I were sitting at the kitchen table when (future Malibu marketing chief) Tom Mason walked in the door after a run to pick up the mail.
“I think we have our first fan letter,” Tom said, waiving a standard size envelope in his hand.
The fan letter was very complimentary on the release of Malibu’s first title, DARK WOLF. It had been mailed from Germany. I was stunned. We had put together this comic in California, by a writer in Oklahoma and an artist in Illinois, printed it in Wisconsin and shipped it to about two dozen U.S. and Canadian drop ship distribution points. So if the letter had come from Alaska, I would have expected it … but Germany? The world had suddenly gotten a lot smaller.
If you’re such a dedicated reader that you’ve read every post and you’ve read every comment, some of this material will already be familiar to you, but I promise a surprise or two.
Other than my former Malibu cronies, the first “celebrity” to stop by (and make his presence known) was master comic artist Klaus Janson. He was commenting on a small piece of information that I had gotten incorrect (gosh darn internet sources) regarding the first cover that he inked for Marvel Comics. This prompted inker Bob Almond to comment as well. We’re pretty sure that we’ve narrowed down the first Marvel cover inked by Klaus Janson as Jungle Action #12. Bob Almond wondered if there wasn’t a good database for this kind of info.
Klaus Janson even said that he would consider providing a “behind the scenes” story from his own experience for Funny Book Fanatic, but his schedule hasn’t allowed for it yet. I have to admit I really looking forward to the day that story hits my e-mail in-box.
After I posted my story about him, Prime / Batman / Metaphysique / Archie artist Norm Breyfogle stopped by as well. At the time, he couldn’t talk about his work for Archie Comics yet, but soon Funny Book Fanatic was able to run with that story as well.
Comic creator triple-threat Raffaele Ienco left a comment behind about his fond memories of odd Christmas-themed comics from his childhood, after I had done a yuletide post about working on a Malibu book called Santa Claws with superstar artist Mike Deodato Jr. Ienco recently had his graphic novel, DEVOID OF LIFE, which he wrote, pencilled, inked and colored, published by Image Comics.
Beau Smith has been here, checking out the 2nd String Character Hall of Fame. Joe Jusko wanted to be heard about my John Buscema tribute post … and then stuck around to comment a few more times. When I wrote my first Secret Origins of Malibu post, Trouble with Girls artist Tim Hamilton and Men In Black artist Sandy Carruthers both posted quick comments. Part Three of the Malibu Origins series got writer (and Ultraverse Founding Father) James Hudnall to chime in. And writer Peter B. Gillis let his voice be heard when I recently posted my tribute to artist extraordinaire Gene Day.
Longtime Marvel editor (and one of the most knowledgeable comic guys in the business) Tom Brevoort read one of my quiz questions and jumped right past the answer to reveal the blog from which I took the question. It was cool to know that Tom was checking out Funny Book Fanatic.
The best surprise I had in weeks happened just the other day when Mike Ploog‘s daughter Dee Dee left a comment behind regarding my end-of-the-year post regarding her father’s work on monster comics. She wrote,
“I just wanted to thank you for writing such great things about my dad. I love to read them all and think,wow, that’s my ‘Pop’! :) I’ve always thought he’s pretty amazing myself. I still giggle when I stand over his art board and watch his hand move across a blank piece of paper and, like magic, art appears!“
I wrote back that I didn’t write the story expecting to get anything. But I can’t think of a better example of what a great guy Brent Anderson is.
That’s my version of the story.
— Dave Olbrich (DWO) Mon. Mar. 9, 2009