Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FINALLY!!


Don't let my artwork fool you. I don't live in a coffin and only come out at night to feed on the blood of the living.

I love Spring, I love sunshine and most importantly I love warm weather!! Especially sunny warm weather!!

I was very happy to wake up on my day off to find that it was bright and sunny out and to see the Yahoo weather forcast said it was going to be 50 degrees out today!! HURRAH!! After what felt like the longest (and most depressing) Winter I've ever experienced, it feels like to finally be able to enjoy a couple days of bright and sunny weather!!

Of course the day isn't entirely perfect, but it's a good way to officially kick March in the ass.

Summer classes at WAM

My list of summer classes is available:

July Workshops

The Art of the Cartoon 8 - 10 Years 07/06/2009 07/17/2009 M, Tu, W, Th, F from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, 10 Sessions 18

Comic Art 8 - 10 Years 07/20/2009 07/31/2009 M, Tu, W, Th, F from 10:00 AM to 12 N, 10 Sessions 18

August Workshop

Drawing For Animation 11 - 13 Years 08/03/2009 08/07/2009 M, Tu, W, Th, F from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, 5 Sessions 18

Pop Art Painting 11 - 13 Years 08/03/2009 08/07/2009 M, Tu, W, Th, F from 10:00 AM to 12 N, 5 Sessions 18

To register, click on the link below:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bid on Polly and Handgraves

To celebrate the release of my latest graphic novel The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves: A Sinister Aura this April, I have currently posted a copy of the book on E-Bay!! The winning bidder of the auction will receive a copy of the book SIGNED PERSONALLY to them as well as some Polly and Handgraves art.

To start bidding, click on the banner below:

Polly and Handgraves out this month!!

I'm still working on the second story and my hopes is for it to become a series. But in the meantime, you can purchase your copy by clicking on the cover.

Written and Illustrated by BRET M. HERHOLZ graytones by Rori Shapiro Lettered and edited by Peter Simeti

Loosely based on a true crime that occurred in Spencer, Massachusetts in 1889, "A Sinister Aura" is a mystery story in the tradition of Agatha Christie, brought to you by Spencer, MA native Bret M. Herholz (Diary of the Black Widow).

Heavy rains force Polly Plum and her valet Montgolfier Handgraves to seek lodging in a small town on their way back to Worcester, Massachusetts. Soon Polly discovers she has arrived on the night of young socialite Lionel Hampstead's apparent suicide. Guided by troubled dreams and haunted by Hampstead's spectre, Polly and Handgraves soon discover that there's something sinister lurking in the past of Hampstead himself and his bride to be, Ivy Proust.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Boston Comic Con cometh!!


Saturday and Sunday April 4-5 | 10am-5pm | Back Bay Events Center | 180 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA | $10

I will be on hand Sunday April 5th to sign copies of my books Diary of the Black Widow and The Spaghetti Strand Murder as well as doing sketches all day long. So if you're in the Boston area, come on out and see me sometime!! Get more information about the event or guest artists by clicking the image above!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bat-Man and the Joker: take two


A second attempt at my Bat-Man/Joker illustration I did earlier. I altered the Joker's jacket slightly giving him this patchwork design. It still retains that silent movie comedian meets Jack the Ripper.

But this time with a touch of Raggedy Ann doll from hell ;-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Curly Howard: Pet Detective??


Oh come on!! We know this is going to be awful!! And you think that Hollywood would have learned their lesson after Hanna-Barbera's The Robonic Stooges.

'Three Stooges' coming together at MGM

Wed Mar 25, 2009, 02:54 PM ET • Source: Hollywood Reporter

(WireImage.com/Sony Pictures)
Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk.

MGM and the Farrelly brothers are finally slapping together their high-profile cast for "The Three Stooges," a comedy project the filmmakers have been developing for years. Sean Penn is set to play Larry, and Jim Carrey is in negotiations to play Curly. Benicio del Toro is a rumored possibility for the brothers' taciturn leader, Moe.

The studio is looking to start production in the fall for a 2010 release slot.

The project was originally set up at Columbia, which produced the 1930s Stooges shorts. C3 Entertainment Inc., which holds the licensing rights to the Stooges brand, then sold the feature rights to Warner Bros. in 2001 for the Farrellys to write and produce the movie. Eventually, Warner Bros. let the rights lapse and MGM's Mary Parent scooped them up along with the Farrellys' continuing participation.

Peter and Bobby Farrelly wrote the script, which Bobby has referenced as "Dumb, Dumber & Dumbest," and will produce with Bradley Thomas and Charlie Wessler. Earl and Robert Benjamin of C3 will executive produce.

The film is not a biopic but a fictional treatment that maintains the Stooges' gleeful slap schtick updated for a modern milieu.

Originally constructed as four separate shorts, the feature screenplay has since been streamlined into a single narrative. Included in the story line is an opening that shows the Stooges as kids in an orphanage, a device that will require some "Benjamin Button"-style visual trickery to place the adult actors' heads on child actors' bodies.

The Stooges maintain remarkably global brand recognition, and their shorts, films and cartoons are still broadcast in 30 countries. The Farrelly brothers' latest comedy "The Heartbreak Kid" grossed $124 million worldwide.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Red Hood


Inspired by my previous illustration of the Joker and Bat-Man, I thought I would do a second illustration. This time I thought I would incorporate the Red Hood origin into the illustration a little more.

As I stated in my previous post, I had always kind of liked that origin. Especially the way it appeared in Detective Comics #168 The Man Behind the Red Hood (February 1951). They mention that's how the Joker became the Joker but they still leave the exact identity of the Joker a mystery.

And as much as I like both the Tim Burton Batman and the Killing Joke, I don't particularly like how they give him an identity like Jack Napier or the stand up comic name Joe. Although, Alan Moore does hint at the fact this might not really be a true origin of the Joker and just one of his delusions.

But still. I think the latest Batman film got it right by never revealing who the Joker was. It makes the character a little more dangerous to have that bit of mystery.

Let's put a smile on that face!


I had to get this Joker concept out of my head. Sort of a cross between Dark Knight and Nightmare Before Christmas in design and keeping along the same theme as my Sons of the Silent Age Bat-Man illustrations.

Which the first illustration of that series is now in the private collection of one Andy Fish.

I also wanted to add the whole Red Hood origin to the illustration because I always liked that origin for the Joker. But with the Red Hood as a remoreless killer and not the failed stand up comic from The Killing Joke.

But I thought Batman: Brave and the Bold put an interesting spin on the concept with their Owlman two parter.

Boston Comic Con

Do you like comic books? SURE YA DO!! I'm going to be taking part in Boston Comic Con again this year. So, why not come out and see me. And bring the kids. There are many toys and collectibles as well as people dressed as their favorite superhero to delight them!! Get their picture taken with one of the numerous Batmen walking around that day!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Polly and Handgraves

Richard Caldwell also wrote a really nice review for Polly and Handgraves as well. For those Spencerites out there, this is the graphic novel I wrote loosely based on the Hammond/Prouty Murder in 1899. It will be available in print next month. Read the review by clicking on the link below:

Spaghetti Strand Murder

Richard Caldwell wrote a really great review for The Spaghetti Strand Murder. Check it out by click on the cover below:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Adventures in Boston


I've never done St. Patty's Day in Boston. I know this may come as a shock to some but I've never had the urge to take part in St. Patty's Day. I've taken part in a couple St. Patty's Days down in Savannah when I was in college and that was about all the craziness I could require.

Believe it or not, Savannah Georgia has one of the largest St. Patty's Days celebration in the country. Which seems really strange in the deep south seeing that most of the people down there are about as Irish as I am.

Well, my cousin Jared invited me along to take part in St. Patty's Day. So, I figured what the hell. Have a couple pints of Guinness and see what it is all about.

We couldn't have planned it more perfectly. The parade was Sunday and most people were working, so the drunks weren't out in complete full force that night. It was still crazy but probably not as batshit crazy as it most likely was Sunday.

So, my cousin Jared, his girlfriend Alicia, his friend from Tulsa Cassandra, cousin Jonah (Jared's brother) and I took the train from Riverside Station and went into Boston.

Our adventures began when we got off the T at Commonwealth Ave. to drop Cassandra's bags off at her brother's place. We all popped into this dingy little bar around 4pm and have a little drink. I tend to be a bit adventurous and love to try new beers, so I saw that they had a tap for what looked like a English beer called Strongbow.

Yeah, I know having an English beer in an Irish celebration. I get the irony. Well, the irony was I didn't order an English beer. I ordered an English Hard Cider.

I was so disappointed. It was just awful. I hate hard cider, hard lemonades or any beerS with the words blueberry, cherry or cranberries on the label. YUCK!! I was so looking forward to a nice ale after our travels and to have that be the first flavor to invade my tastebuds was a bitter disappointment. Oh well.

I got a Guinness shortly after to clear the palette.

Well, around that time we were suddenly accosted by this tall drunken redneck from Kansas (or Kansas City) who sounded like Matthew McConaughey from Dazed and Confused suddenly wanted to make friends with us. The guy was loud, obnoxious and had really bad teeth. Everything you're looking for in drinking companionship.

Well, he was immediately taking a liking towards Cassandra because he liked her blue hair. He had walked away a couple times and we had hoped he found a new group to pester. No luck. He seemed to gravitate back towards us. Nice!!

Well, we had to take a quick jaunt down to Cassandra's brother's place. We thought he was going to stay with Jonah because he mentioned something about buying a pitcher of beer. Which of course caught Jonah's attention. I had no intention of staying because I wanted to hold off on drinking anymore until we met up with Jared's sister Jesslyn.

The four of us leave with Jonah up at the bar. Sure enough, our drunken yokel follows us. And we couldn't shake him. He followed us all the way to Cassandra's brother's place. And even asked me to open this bottle of Newcastle he had with him. I honestly had no intention of even touching the bottle. It's $200 if you're caught with an opened container. It didn't seem to bother my shitkicking friend. But I didn't feel like paying $200!!

Well, as we walked along he was getting louder and bipolar. Hitting on every girl that walked his way. I told one of the poor girls to run. And when people wouldn't wish him a Happy St. Patty's Day he would start getting aggressive and start following them yelling at them.

It was surreal. This is something I would expect to go through at 23. Not 33. We thought we might actually be rid of him when these two girls asked us where a tattoo shop was and he started following them. But like a drunken hillbilly homing pigeon, he seemed to find his way back to us.

Well, it was finally time to collect Jonah at the bar. Our gaggletoothed friend was trying to get Cassandra's number. So she gave it. 867-5309!! Ha ha!! Apparently, he was either too drunk to realize or he was just too stupid not to know about Tommy Tutone. I vote both drunk and stupid.

We got on the T and headed out towards meeting Jesslyn at Shennanigans. Apart from Jonah running down the escalator that only goes up. That was about all the excitement of the evening. The rest of the evening was pretty nice. Once we left Shennanigans we hit one more bar. Actually, I liked this bar a lot more than Shennanigans. Comfy seats. But I only had a water because I didn't want to get blasted that night. I knew I was going to be working today and besides the fact I don't like getting drunk anymore.

But if we do St. Patty's next year, we all agreed that we wanted to go there instead. Especially since it was right next to the entrance for the T.

Needless to say, I can't say my adventures in Boston last night WERE boring. Ha ha!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Woo-Town & Me :-)


It was a phrase I've been using for the past few years. When mentioning any events either on my blog here, my blog or Myspace, on Facebook or whenever I'm doing something for either stART on the Street, ARTSWorcester or a class I'm teaching at the Worcester Art Museum, I would refer to Worcester as Woo-Town.

Nobody else was at the time although I did get a few of my friends to start calling it Woo-Town. So, you can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe I am the author of that nickname for the grey slate Metropolis we all know and love as Worcester Massachusetts.

You can look up my blog on Myspace and I believe there are post going a couple years back where I refer to Worcester as Woo-Town. And I don't remember hearing it called that before me. If you wish to refute me on that, please send along your evidence.

But getting to the point, you can imagine my surprise and delight when I was flipping through Worcester Magazine yesterday and I saw a section of it referred to as Woo-Town.

Needless to say if I have started a trend and people are starting to refer to Worcester as Woo-Town, then I am very pleased to be a part of it. Even if I can't make a cent off the phrase, there is something somewhat satisfying about being part of something in a small way.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thom Yorke ROCKS!!

Thom Yorke has OFFICIALLY become the coolest person on the planet. Fresh off the wire on Yahoo.com:

When Radiohead refused to meet Miley Cyrus and Kanye West at the Grammy Awards last month, the starlet threatened to "ruin" them and the rapper refused to stand for their performance.

Now the In Rainbows band is fighting back.

Cyrus kicked off the feudin' during an appearance on the Johnjay and Rich radio show and rambled on for more than six minutes about how the band dissed her after she begged her manager to set up an introduction.

"I'm like, these are the people I really want to meet," she said. "I'd freak out. They're my rock gods. These are the only people that I would cry over…My manager asked and said, 'Miley's really obsessed. And they were like, 'We don't really do that.' "

She continued on in disbelief about the Thom Yorke band's lack of interest in meeting the Hannah Montana, admitting she was so disappointed about the diss, she left the show early.

"I left 'cause I was so upset," she said. "I wasn't going to watch. Stinkin' Radiohead! I'm gonna ruin them, I'm going to tell everyone."

The three-time Grammy winners responded by putting the teen in her place…
"When Miley grows up, she'll learn not to have such a sense of entitlement," the quintet said in a statement.

But the Radiohead beef buck doesn't stop there. During the taping for his episode of VH1's Storytellers, West complained that Yorke snubbed him as well.

"When he performed at the Grammys, I sat the f--k down," the rapper said.
The British "Creep" singer, already in full retaliation mode, concluded a blog post on the band's website with a wink and a nudge to both stars. "Wish us all a safe journey if you still like us and you're not one of those people I have managed to offend by doing nothing," Yorke writes.

Bring on the next round in these wars of words ('cause you know they're coming)!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Womag Billboard

I just found out yesterday my cover for Alice Faulkner was featured in Worcester Magazine's Billboard. Click on the link below to check out the short blurb they have online about it:

And be sure NOT to miss the latest installment of Zanzo Moxie by Veronica Hebard in this issue of Worcester Magazine. Collect 'em all!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Adventure of the Cardboard Box


Four or five years back now I attempted to adapt the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Cardboard Box as a graphic novel. This was probably going back to either 2004 or 2005 I attempted this. I probably got 15 or so pages into the project and I gave up tossing the pages I had completed into the files with countless other scripts and unfinished projects.

Having completed lettering Alice Faulkner about a month or so ago has made me want to do at least a couple more Sherlock Holmes graphic novels. And The Cardboard Box immediately sprang to mind. I always enjoyed the story because it was based on a true crime.

For those of you unfamilar with the world of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had based this particular tale on a case he had taken part in with his professor Dr. Joseph Bell while he was at Univesity. Someone had received a parcel with two severed ears and Dr. Bell deduced that the ears came from two seperate people.

For those of you who love those CSI style shows, this is the man you can thank for them. He basically helped established forensic science the way we know it now.

But I feel one of the things that hindered me from finishing the story was the fact that I had written the script as a movie script and not a comic book script. I think I had originally intended it as script for a movie or animation. Trying to layout panels and pages on the fly is not an easy task. It's nearly as problematic as trying to write a graphic novel without using a script.

It was something I use to attempt in High School drawing pages for graphic novels on xerox paper with Sharpie Markers. Yeah, I know how could working with those quality supplies EVER doom a professional project to failure. But in the end the project would become rambling (and a slight rip off of both Batman and Spawn) and it's ultimate fate was the dustbin.

So a few days ago I decided I may give the Carboard Box another try. I just finished reworking the script this morning before I headed out to teach my art classes.

This time I broke it down from page to page and panel to panel. Which brought the book out to around 80 pages. More given all the credit pages and any goodies I may or may not add at the end.

But it would be nice to create this book as a companion piece for Alice Faulkner. Since my previous Holmes project is based on pastiche. Although, very enjoyable pastiche.

Still, I thought it would be nice to tackle one of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

So, stay tuned brave readers.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Best Batman Brave and the Bold yet!!


I think the two part Owlman storyline for Batman: The Brave and the Bold has been my favorite episode yet!! Mainly because they finally introduced the Joker to the series.

What I really like about this series is it's heavily influenced by Dick (who probably should have gone by the name Richard) Sprang style of artwork. Years back, I would have probably hated a series like this. Mainly because of how movies like Batman Forever and Batman and Robin's went over the line of campy and really ruined the whole idea of doing a Batman movie until Christopher Nolan finally put the character back of the right track with Batman Begins.

But now I think there's plenty of room for a series that pays it's respect to the more campier style Batman stories of the 1950's and the early 1960's. Because they do it right. I like the fact that the new Batmoblie looks like a cross between the Lincoln Futura from the Adam West series and the one Tim Burton did for his two Batman movies (and even though his name appears as producer of Batman Forever, I don't consider that a Tim Burton film at all).

But if you haven't had the chance to see this weeks episode Game Over for Owlman! I think it will be repeated tonight on Cartoon Network after 6pm. And you can probably check it out on Youtube as well.

I actually really liked how they both designed the Joker and the voice for the Joker. It's exactly how I would imagine the character sounding in some of the stories drawn by Dick (giggle) Sprang.

And Diedrich Bader continues to impress me with his voice of Batman. I would have never in a million years pictured Oswald from the Drew Carey Show and Laurence (the guy with the mullet) from Office Space, doing a Batman voice that blows Christian Bale out of the water.

Although Jeremy Sisto who did Batman on Justice League: The New Frontier did a great job too.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Red Hood and Lew Moxon


I've never hidden the fact Batman was one of my favorite superheroes. Mostly because I feel that you can do so much with the character as far as stories are concerned outside the boudaries of current DC Continuity.

A good point is a recent episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold which used the concept of the parallel universe version of Batman called Owlman for a two part story. Owlman came from a Silver Age Justice League of America story which featured an evil version of the Justice League from another dimension called The Crime Syndicate.

Although, in the episode the team is called the Injustice Syndicate.

What's really great about the episode (and I'm going to ruin it for anyone who has not seen it) but the story features an alternate universe version of the Joker who is fighting crime as the Red Hood.

For those of you who are unfamilar with the Batman universe:

The Red Hood first appeared in Detective Comics #168 "The Man Behind the Red Hood." In the original continuity, the man later known as the Joker was a master criminal going by the alias of the Red Hood. His costume consisted of a large domed red helmet and a red cape. While attempting to rob a chemical plant, his men were dispatched and then he was suddenly cornerd on a catwalk by Batman. Left with no alternatives, he dove into a catch basin for the chemicals and swam to freedom, surviving because of a special breathing apparatus built into the helmet. The toxins in the vat permanently and grotesquely disfigured him, turning his hair green, his skin white and his lips red. Upon discovering this, he went insane, and became the Joker.

As a comic artist and writers, I've really wanted to do a graphic novel which would feature both the origin or the Joker as the Red Hood as well as Lew Moxon.

For those unfamiliar with Lew Moxon:

Sometime prior to their murder, Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife attend a costume party - to which Dr. Wayne wears a bat-like costume. Wayne is taken from the party, by gun-point, to meet racketeer and bank robber Lew Moxon. Moxon orders Dr. Wayne to remove a bullet from his shoulder. Wayne carries out the operation before overpowering Moxon and his men.

Moxon is arrested and sentenced to 10 years for armed robbery. As he is taken away he swears revenge on Thomas Wayne. Ten years later, a free Moxon informs Thomas Wayne that he will get someone else to extract that revenge (that someone being Joe Chill). It is suggested that Chill was told to leave young Bruce alive so as to provide an alibi for Moxon.

Years later Batman learns of Moxon's involvement in the murder of his parents, by which time Moxon is operating a Billboard blimp business. Batman's first attempt to convict Moxon for the murder of his parents fails, as Moxon is now suffering from amnesia and is able to pass a lie detector test. Batman determines that Moxon's blimp business must be a cover for illegal activities and continues to trail the gangster. Eventually, after uncovering Moxon's illegal activities, Batman confronts the criminal while wearing his father's costume (his own had been ripped during an earlier fight). On seeing Dr. Wayne's costume Moxon suddenly remembers what he had done. Thinking Batman was actually Thomas Wayne's ghost, Moxon panics and runs out into the street, where he is hit by a truck and killed.


I always felt the Lew Moxon character made the origin of Batman was much more interesting knowing that Joe Chill didn't act alone and he was actually on someone's payroll rather than just being a petty thug.

They did something similar to that for Batman Begins when they reintroduced Chill as Batman's parents murderer. Previously, the Tim Burton movies had created an origin which had the Joker murder Batman's parents. I suppose to give the film a full circle sort of feeling to it. But I never cared for it.

I think the whole Joe Chill thing is kind of bland. But the putting some sort of motive behind Chill's crime like what they did in Batman Begins or the Lew Moxon origin definitely gives Batman's origin much more depth.

But one of the things on my list to do is write a Batman graphic novel that would somehow involve both the Red Hood and Lew Moxon.

But the Red Hood would not be the namby pamby version from The Killing Joke. As much as I do like that graphic novel, the Red Hood would be a cold blooded killer and to that point Batman's key arch nemesis in my reimaging of the character.

Most of the most intersting Batman graphic novels don't fall anywhere in the current continuity of the Batman universe. So, even if it's just considered an Elseworld style story, that would be fine by me.

Promo's

I started putting together an ashcan to promote my upcoming Sherlock Holmes graphic novel at Boston Comic Con and Free Comic Book Day this year. It's not going to be anything fancy schmancy. Just something to get the word out and tell people where they can go to find out when the book will be released and whatnot.

For the freebee, I've created a couple of promo's. One for Undercoverfish and another to promote the books I already have out. Three of which I will be selling at the show (Peculiar Boy is currently sold out).

But here are the promo's I came up with:

Take an art class!!

Have a talented kid or a kid who enjoys art? Why not sign them up for an art class? Here's my current list of classes being offered for Spring and April Art Week at the Worcester Art Museum. And be sure to talk with your kid and make sure it's a class that would interest them:
Creative Cartooning 11 - 13 Years 03/19/2009 05/14/2009 Thursday from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, 8 Sessions 8
Art of the Samuri 8 - 10 Years 03/21/2009 05/16/2009 Saturday from 10:00 AM to 12 N, 8 Sessions 15
Comics on the Computer 14 - 17 Years 03/21/2009 05/16/2009 Saturday from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, 8 Sessions 13
Artful Architecture 11- 13 Years 04/21/2009 04/21/2009 Tuesday from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, 1 Session 17
In-flight Movie 11 - 13 Years 04/22/2009 04/22/2009 Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 12 N, 1 Session 18
In-flight Movie 8 - 10 Years 04/22/2009 04/22/2009 Wednesday from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, 1 Session 18
Animal Animation 11 - 13 Years 04/23/2009 04/23/2009 Thursday from 10:00 AM to 12 N, 1 Session 17
Animal Animation 5 - 7 Years 04/23/2009 04/23/2009 Thursday from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, 1 Session 18
Animal Animation 14 - 17 Years 04/24/2009 04/24/2009 Friday from 10:00 AM to 12 N, 1 Session 18

To sign up for a class today, log onto WAM's website by clicking on the link below: