Monday, May 31, 2010

Upcoming Show at the Dark World Gallery in Worcester MA!!


Two things. 1.) I can't believe we're almost out of May and 2.) I can't believe June 5th is almost here!!

I will be having my third solo show STRYCHNINE AND SPAGHETTI STRAND SLIPKNOTS: Artwork from the Arsenic Pen of Bret M. Herholz at Dark World Gallery on 179 Grafton Street in Worcester.

I had two shows prior. One at the much missed Foothills Theater in Worcester during their performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show back in 2006 and my second one at Mocha Maya's out in Shelburne Falls Ma. A really neat little coffeehouse in a really neat little town in Massachusetts.

The unique thing about Shelburne Falls is that you can enter town at the beginning of the Main Street and leave town once you get to the bridge at the end of the Main Street.

It's set up just like an old west town. I really love it!!

A couple months back Dark World Gallery asked me if I would be interested in doing a show there. Naturally I said yes. And now I can't believe it's almost here!!

Dark World is also a tattoo shop. Which even though I don't have any tattoo's or piercings myself (I'm a complete wuss when it comes to needles), I feel a certain connection to that community since my cousin Jared works as a piercer. Also, I've done quite a bit of design work for people requesting tattoos.

So, I'm all about doing a show at a tattoo shop. Hopefully, it means business for both of us.

I've got about 21 or more pieces going into the show. Some of which are the illustrations I've done over the past six or seven years. And some of it are comic pages from my short stories for Detour and graphic novels.

There will be an open reception on Saturday June 5th from 7pm till 10pm. So, I hope to see you all there. Check out Dark World Gallery's website by clicking on the link below:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bid on "Mystery Under the Quabbin" five illustration series






I created a series of illustrations titled Polly and Handgraves: Mystery Under The Quabbin to promote the next adventure I've been working on for Polly and Handgraves. Each of the illustrations I've incorporated a building from the towns lost when the Quabbin Reservoir was created.

What the towns have to do with the next story I'm going to to say. You'll just have to buy a copy of the book when it comes out. However, you can own the entire set by clicking on the link below and bidding today:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kitschy Art 2

Just finished up 16 new illustrations in four days for the Kitschy Crafty Craft Fair & Flea Market on Saturday and in the middle of that did an interview for J. Fatima Martins about my upcoming show at Dark World Gallery for Worceter Magazine yesterday. But here is the last set of illustrations for the show:










Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Popeye Blog


Let me set up the scene for you all. It's between 1978 and 1980. Within that stretch of time you could find me (roughly between the age of 3 to 5 years old) planted all glassy-eyed and slack-jacked in front of the television set on Saturday mornings watching Hanna-Barbera's The All-New Popeye Hour. Probably on CBS. It seemed like CBS had cornered the market on Saturday Morning Television during that time I could be wrong though but it doesn't matter.

I had mentioned it before, but between the ages of three and and five I was all about Popeye. I owned the lunchbox in the picture above. I think Popeye was probably the second character I learned to draw really well as a young lad. The very first was Fred Flintstone.

I loved the cartoon and I loved the movie starring Robin Williams. Even though I did not enjoy the HB incarnation of Popeye when I watched it years later, the movie still stands the test of time for me and I still love to watch it.




If you hate the character of Popeye it's most likely you were introduced to the later Famous Studio, King Feature or Hanna-Barbera versions of the one-eyed sailor. However, Famous Studio would periodically draw him with both eyes opened. It seems the thought of a toothless sailor with one of his eyes shut permanent wasn't cute enough for Famous Studios saccharine standards.

Like I said in my previous blog, I have always loved the Fleischer Studios version of Popeye. That one is still probably the best version of the character to date as far as animation is concerned.

But I've been introducing myself to the original EC Segar cartoons of Popeye and his Thimble Theater friends for the first time. And to be honest, as much as I love and adore the Fleischer animations, the original comic strips are even better than the animated Popeye.



The comics page today is a shell of what it used to be like as far as both the artwork and the stories they told are concerned. There were no real set rules in the original Popeye comics that we have today. There were no spinach and no Bluto or Brutus as he is sometimes referred to. There was no real formula to the storylines of the Popeye strips. None of the eat spinach to pound Bluto (or Brutus) to save Olive that we know Popeye for today.

The storylines are absurdly funny as I found in Fantagraphic Books first collection of the Popeye strips. And what I love most is the dialogue Popeye uses like "I'll lay ya's among the sweet pea's" and "I socked him permanent". Which most likely translates that he killed whoever he hit.

Two of my favorite strips from the first collection was one where Olive is trying to get Popeye to stop fighting so she makes him count to 1000 to calm him and not hit Johnny Doodle. Some dopey guy Olive was fancying over Popeye. Well, he goes the week and finally when everyone is sitting down to dinner Popeye finally gets to 1000 and hits Johnny Doodle.

The other cartoon I really liked was one where Popeye and his buddy Castor Oyle (Olive's brother) are going fishing and some big jerk starts paying tricks on Castor to ruin his time fishing so to get back Castor tells the guy that sneaking up behind Popeye and yelling BOO! and watch him run. The big jerk does just that and Popeye runs up to the guy hitting him in the face saying "I'll BOO ya! Blow me down I'll BOO ya!" which then Castor says to the guy smiling "I forgot to tell you which way he'd run, mister!"

Another great thing about Segar's art. If you're meant to hate a character he went out of his way to make the character look like someone you would love to punch ;-)

Reading the volume has made me appreciate both Popeye as well as how well Jules Feiffer. What amused me the most was reading the Sappo comic strips that went along with the regular Thimble Theater ones that had an artist named Mr. Splat who seemed very similar to the Mr. Geezil character from the movie who had an undying hatred for Wimpy. Both characters were constantly saying "PHOOEY!" after every sentence.

For the longest time I thought the movie was the origin of Popeye until I read the Fantagraphic collection of Popeye cartoons. It just shows what an enjoyable film Robert Altman produced and how true it was to the spirit of the original comics.

Again, for those of you who hate Popeye, you might have just been watching and reading the wrong things over the years. Pick up Fantagraphics coffee table collections of the original Segar cartoons.

If you don't like Popeye then... well... I think you might have issues ;-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kitschy Art

I'm trying to get about 17 new illustrations created in time for this weekend's Kitschy Crafty Craft Fair & Flea Market out in Holyoke MA. What I try to do with a lot of my shows is mix in my own characters with things that might catch people's attention. I'm going to try and create a few images to do with Western Massachusetts during the week. Here are the first four I finished today.



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kitschy Crafty Craft Fair & Flea Market

The Good, The Bad & The Crafty is a group out of Western Massachusetts I met a the Stitches, Needles N' Guns Alternative Craft Fair at Printer's Building in Worcester a couple months ago. They were promoting their group and very first show out in Holyoke Kitschy Crafty Craft Fair & Flea Market which is coming up at the end of the month.

Taking part in art shows and conventions is part of the business for us comic artists. If you don't promote your work, people don't buy your work. It's as simple as that. And people like Jim Lee and Bernie Wrightson are constantly doing the convention circuit.

It's a great way to connect with other artists and potential fans.

Well, there's two things I love. Checking out new venues and Western Massachusetts. I try and get out to Amherst and Northampton as much as humanly possible. They are just great places to hang out, get a bite to eat and get a drink at places like the Bishops Lounge, The Tunnel Bar and my brand new favorite place to go Wiggins Tavern located in the Northampton Hotel!!

But more about that some other time...

I'm looking forward to this show. It sounds very similar to the Stitches show seeing that it's being held in an old warehouse. I think that was one of the things I loved about that show was just the funkiness of the part of the Printers Building it was being held in. This show is being held in a warehouse out in Holyoke. So, already I'm excited about the show!!

According to the site, there's still some spaces available. So, if you're an artist or crafter and you would like to take part in the show, shoot them an e-mail at: thegoodthebadthecrafty@gmail.com.

It's a very relaxing drive and like I said Western Massachusetts is such a great place!! Hope to see you there May 29th!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

stART on the Street post show thoughts


I don't know if it's just great planning or just great luck but the crew that have put together stART on the Street seem to have nothing but great weather every year with their outdoor shows. Not just great weather but amazing weather!! Last Fall's show was beautiful out and this past Sunday's very first Spring Show was an absolutely banner day!!

And since I was wearing a jacket and my brand new $10 Panama Hat, I somehow managed NOT to get sunburned!! That was nice!! It seems like my nose and my ears are the places I hit hit hardest. Not this time around!!

But the show went very well for a first show. And this was after finding out that the show was taking place the same time as the Walk for Breast Cancer in Elm Park. Believe me, I'm not going to get angry at anyone who decided to take part in the walk instead of going to the stART show on Main Street.

Nevertheless, it was a pretty impressive first show in this location and hopefully they will do it again next year on Main Street. It seems like the perfect companion for the Park Avenue show in the Fall!!

It was good to see so many familiar faces at the show as well as meet a few new ones. I did pretty good sales-wise. It always strikes me funny what sells at the shows and what doesn't sell. I was actually surprised that the Addams Family Racing one didn't sell. But with any of that work, I can put it on E-Bay either on it's own or in the case of my Sherlock Holmes artwork, I can sell it with the graphic novel.

Well, another show out of the way in the tour. Next stop is a brand new art show happening out in Holyoke that I am really thrilled to be taking part in. More about that in my next blog.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New stART art: The Second Set

Here's the last five illustrations I have created for Sunday's stART on the Street event in Worcester:




New stART art!!

I've been spending the entire week working on new artwork to be available for stART on the Street this Sunday and I'm not done yet. I've got six or so more to go. But here's what I have done thus far:








Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Survival Guide to stART on the Street ;-)


Okay! I admit the title's a bit over dramatic. Just because stART is such a great event and a pleasure to take part in.

This whole thing started out because a couple friends of mine are taking part in stART on the Street for the very first time and asked some advice. I thought I would post an edited version of that on the blog for anyone who is also taking part in the event for the first time and is a little nervous:

1.) Bring plenty of money to make change. Lots of $1's and $5's in particular. I've found I go through those the most when I'm making change.

2.) You might want to consider selling your books without change. This will make the whole process of making change so much easier. You can go two ways with that. If your book sells for $12.95 you can sell it for $13 adding the signature as extra. Or you can sell it at a discount price just for the event. Kind of a Catch 22 because you're not getting as much for them but you might end up selling more of them.

3.)People love original artwork and prints. For the past year or so I've been selling pen and ink sketches on E-Bay for about $9.99! I had gotten the idea from Andy Fish who had gotten it from one of his students. The idea behind it is giving people the opportunity to own original artwork and not have to mortgage their first born doing so. I've had a lot of pieces that just never caught any interest in the auctions so I decided to sell them at the show and they sold!! Usually I've sold them at a discounted price from what I have sold through E-Bay. If you live around and about ole Woo-Town there's a place on Park Avenue called PIP right across the street from Peppercorns that does excellent work. You can tell them Bret recommended them to you because you were told they do excellent work on prints.

I usually make 10 prints total and sell them for about $5 a piece. Since PIP's is very affordable, you can easily make your profit back on the printing cost :-)

3.) Always be upbeat and courteous without looking like a used car salesman :-)

DON'T IGNORE PEOPLE WHO COME OVER TO LOOK AT YOUR WORK. You have to remember that the only way to make people interested in your work is to make them interested in you. Be engaging but at the same time you don't have to look like you're visiting the dentist office ;-)

The thing I constantly think every time someone meets me at a show is even if they don't particularly care for my work I want them to say "I met Bret Herholz at this show and he was really nice". Just because they may not care that much for your work, they might know someone who would be interested.

NEVER BE RUDE! Just because someone might not like your work or might say something that sounds very insulting DON'T BE INSULTING BACK!! Mainly because what you could see as an insult might not be an insult.

And if they are being insulting it's not going to help your work to be the same way. Because these people could turn around and start saying nasty things about you and spreading rumors about what a jerk you are.

Which may be completely false. But some people are just shallow enough to base their entire attitude about you on one bad comment you make or one appearance.

It's one of those being slow to anger and water off a duck's back sort of things.

4.)Don't be discouraged if you don't make the mega millions. Each year I've looked at it if I make back just as much or more than I did on the table then it's a good day.

Don't let a slow day your first time out discourage you from doing another stART show. It can be a mixed bag. I've had certain shows that were a complete bomb and then I've had shows that I've made a killing. So, never judge your experience on one show.

5.) Network! Have plenty of business cards printed up and use this opportunity to make connections with other artists and crafters at the show. It's always good to expand your social circle in the art community.

AND FINALLY...

6.) HAVE FUN!! stART is a great time!! Just have a blast chatting with the people and the other artists and crafters. stART on the Street has been a huge help to me for getting my work out there and I hope you both have a lot of success selling your books and artwork at the show. And I hope it's the first of many for you.

Incidentally, if you're given the opportunity to sneak off for a bite to eat, head on over to the Armsby Abbey for some food or a pint. Just be sure to check the chalkboard on how much alcohol by volume is in the beer your ordering. You don't want to be completely tanked when you go back to your table ;-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

stART on the Street: Spring Edition

Well, I'm getting all my last minute planning, drawing, sign-making, printing business cards and the usual nit-picky stuff out of the way before I take part in stART on the Street: Spring Edition which will be happening on Main Street this coming Sunday May 16th.

stART has become one of my favorite shows since I started taking part in them around September 2006. For me it's been a huge help in promoting my work and between stART, the shows at Borders and the Worcester Art Museum it's also been a huge help in connecting with other artists from the Worcester area.

Not only that, I have a lot of fun at the show!!

A couple years back stART did have a Spring Show at Beaver Brook Park which was great fun. This year they decided to do something similar to the Park Ave show but this time having it on North Main Street in Worcester.

I'm not entirely sure why they chose North Main Street instead of Park Ave but I think it's a good idea that they did. It helps to give the Spring show it's own identity by having it in a different location than the late Summer/early Fall show.

And I hope this becomes a yearly thing. Because it means not only do I NOT have to wait so long to take part in stART but I get to take part in it TWICE in the same year!!

Well, now I'm going to try and get ten or twenty new illustrations done in time to sell them at the show. It started out with me as a way to sell the artwork that wouldn't sell on my E-Bay Auctions. And I've practically sold out on all my leftover E-Bay art.

So now I have to create pieces JUST for the show. Which isn't a bad thing.

I will also be selling and signing copies of Diary of the Black Widow, The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves: A Sinister Aura and Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner.

I am completely sold out on Confessions of a Peculiar Boy... and Other Stories and The Spaghetti Strand Murder.

If you live around and about the Big Woo, the only places you can get copies of those two books is at Cormier Jewelers in Spencer, That's Entertainment in Worcester (although I think they're completely out of Spaghetti Strand Murder last I looked) and Borders Books and Music in Shrewsbury.

Or you can order your copy of either of those books on Amazon.com and I would be very happy to sign them for you the day of the show.

But Sunday promises to be a lot of fun and I hope to see all y'all there. Hopefully, I will be able to resist the temptation to want to scoot off to the Armsby Abbey and get a pint of one of their tasty beers during the show ;-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Pogo Special Birthday Special

I have a real soft spot for Pogo Possum and the rest of the inhabitants of the Okefenokee Swamp. It was the comic strip that first really got me interested in pen and ink artwork. I remember hours upon hours of practicing the way Walt Kelly would do ink the backgrounds in his comic strips as well as his character design.

Kelly started out as an artist for Disney before branching off and doing his own thing with comic books and newspaper strips. But you can see the Disney influence in his style. Especially with Pogo.

This was back in the days when the daily comics were an art form and you weren't trying to fit things into a panel the size of a postage stamp.

It was another comic my Dad got me into through his own love and enthusiasm for the strip. What we both loved the way Walt Kelly would mangle the English language to give his characters a certain "southern hospitality" in the way they talked.

Again, the charm of the strip was not in the punchline in the end but with the way the characters would talk with one another and the inventive words Kelly would create in the same tradition of Popeye and Krazy Kat.

Another artist I love is Chuck Jones. I have probably mentioned it in many of my previous blogs but I would probably go on record in saying that he is by far my favorite animator of all time. Granted not everything he did was a masterpiece. I never liked his Tom and Jerry. But with that said, his great animations outweigh his less successful ones.

So, you can imagine my delight finding out that two of my favorite artists worked together on a half hour animated special called The Pogo Special Birthday Special in 1969.

For years I had wanted to see it. There are only three Pogo animations in existence and I had only seen the claymation I Go Pogo back in the 1980's. Despite having actors like Jonathan Winters, Vincent Price and Arnold Stang, I never cared for it. It had it's moments but I just felt unsatisfied at the end.

I was finally able to get a copy of Kelly/Jones joint venture a couple years ago. I watched it knowing full well that Walt Kelly himself disliked the outcome of the project. It happens sometimes when you have two very distinct artists with two very distinct styles come together. It's not always a match made in heaven because both artists have very definite ideas of how they want it to look.

According to an interview with Disney artist Ward Kimball, in my battered and well-loved copy of Phi Beta Pogo, Kelly was livid how Chuck Jones changed the original script he had written really taking a lot of the teeth out of the story. And what bugged him even more is how Jones gave Miss Mam'selle Hepzibah a humanized face. Apparently when Kimball had dinner with Kelly at a restaurant and asked who okayed this change to the character, Kelly's face turned red and he bellowed, "Waiter! Bring me another bourbon!"

But with all that said, I liked it. Sure, for someone who loves the classic Pogo comic strips it's definitely a watered down version of Pogo. But it's a really enjoyable watered down version.

The Pogo strips were very satirical and loaded with political and environmental messages. A lot of which was a little too grown-up for a younger audience. So, the story written is a cute and a lot of fun.

And in Chuck Jones's defense, he actually sticks very close to the way the Pogo characters look in the comics than a great deal of comic strips adapted to animation.

I remember a Heathcliff and Dennis the Menace series from the 1980's that bore very little resemblance to their respective series's. COMPLETELY changing the character design to some of the incidental characters and adding characters that are nowhere to be found in the comic series.

The characters designs in the Pogo animation looked like the characters from the strip being published at that time and acted in a way that you would expect the characters to act.

What's also a great deal of fun watching the special is Walt Kelly and Chuck Jones practically voice every character with the exception of a few.

Kelly is relatively good doing the voices of PT Bridgeport, Albert Alligator and Howland Owl. Actually, while he's doing PT Bridgeport and Albert, I could have confused him for Mel Blanc. Who did a great deal of work for Chuck Jones both with Warner Brothers and some work with the cartoons he did for MGM.

Jones isn't as good as Kelly is voicing multiple characters. Although, I thought his voice seemed strangely suitable for Porkypine.

It should be said, Porky has always been a character I've felt kind of a kinship with. I think mostly because I can see a lot of my own personality in him. A bit prickly, a little bit of a loner but deep down very well meaning and appreciative of the people in my life who have been there for me.

Or something like that.

You also have the brilliant June Foray providing the voices of Pogo Possum and Mam'selle Hepzibah.

Although there are some weak spots in the animation, which I imagine was due to cost and you really could not do something Fantasia quality on a television program budget at that point in time. But compared to many cartoons being churned out at that time which were increasingly becoming blander and shoddier looking The Pogo Special Birthday Special is quite good and very stylishly done for that time as far as the art and animation is concerned.

If I have peaked your curiosity some thoughtful person was very kind to post the special on Youtube. Try and keep an opened mind watching it and look at it from an art appreciation perspective.



Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Sunday Funnies

Yesterday was my Dad's Birthday and I decided to pick him up three things he enjoyed. A six-pack of Genesee Beer was one of those things. And the other two were the collection of Popeye and Krazy Kat comic strips Fantagraphic Books put out.

These were two comics that both my Dad and myself love. With my Dad his Grandfather immigrated from West Prussia, so I think the faux German dialect amused him reading collections of the script growing up. He never really liked the character Popeye, however, until he saw the Robin Williams movie and gained an appreciation for the character from there.

Fantagraphic Books has done a terrific job re-releasing a great number of classic comic strips like Krazy Kat, Popeye and Pogo in these really gorgeously printed books. As much as they clean up the comics to make them legible, they leave a great deal of that smudgy inky beauty to the original artwork.

I think some of it because they can't help it and there's so much that technology can fix. But I would consider that to be a happy accident because I think leaving those blemishes enhances the work.

I was thumbing through both books yesterday. And there was just so much I loved about both the artwork and the stream-of-conscience style to the writing. What struck me most with the dailies, especially reading Popeye, was the lack of punchline.

This got me thinking about the whole thought process of comics. Where they were versus where they are now.

I suppose the best thing I can liken it to is sketch comedy. Sound weird? Well, let me explain. Through sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night Live, a great number of sketch comedy shows have gotten into two mindsets. 1.)The reoccurring character. 2.)The punchline.


Saturday Night Live
is probably the most notorious for the Reoccurring Character Syndrome (we'll call it RCS for short). You have this character (or characters) that one of the cast members has a character that shows up practically every week. For example Cheri Oteri's SIMMAH DOWN lady. I have to say, I really hate that character. Then again, I can't stand Cheri Oteri. She just runs right up my spine.

This mindset might have started with the whole concept of the variety shows from the 50's and 60's where you would have a lot of that.

Monty Python's Flying Circus is the only sketch comedy show I feel that ever got the whole concept of sketch comedy right. They never had punchlines and very rarely did they have reoccurring characters.

Kids in the Hall is another good example of sketch comedy done very well. And strangely produced by SNL's big cheese Lorne Michaels. Michaels has often stated that Python was his influence for SNL but I feel like he got closer to Python with KITH.

KITH did have reoccurring character. But they were able to pull it off because you felt like the characters weren't created to be a walking talking catchphrase.

Somehow all sketch comedy has fallen into the trappings that to be a sketch comedy show you need reoccurring characters and a punchline.

And comic strips have fallen into a somewhat similar trap.

Since the days of EC Segar and George Herriman newspaper comics have slowly overtime gotten into this mindset much like sketch comedy. But with the strips it's each strip has to be a self-contained story and each strip has to have a funny joke at the end.

If you have read a Garfield strip in the past 20 years, you will find the punchline is anything but funny.

Reading the old Popeye strips from 1929, I found that each daily strip did not have a distinct punchline to them. From my point of view, the strips were treated like a part of the ongoing story. There's not the feeling of a drumbeat from a stand-up comedy act going on in my head when I would get to the end of the strip.

And I liked that. The strips had funny lines. But they weren't placed right at the end. I mean, with Popeye's debut the line I thought was the funniest was panel three when Popeye remarks "Ja thinks I'm a cowboy?" after Olive's scheming and diminutive brother Castor asks Popeye if he's a sailor.

And a lot of those strips are like that. The funny lines are littered throughout the strips and not just relegated to the last panel.

Krazy Kat is very much like that too. There's not a really funny punchline at the end. But the humor is with the faux German sounding dialogue written. I loved reading that when I grew up. And not only that the backgrounds are so surreal and constantly changing.

Which is a no-no with comics nowadays. Everything has to be linear and make sense. Like a cat that eats lasagna and spouts mental dialogue is realistic ;-)

But something changed along the way. Both with the inventiveness of the writing and with the quality of art. I still believe the last really great comic strip was Calvin and Hobbes.

Although Liberty Meadows is a great strip too. But I don't know many people who read newspaper strips anymore. I had to explain to my class one time what a newspaper comic was. Some knew but most didn't because most of the kids parents don't get the paper.

I don't want to immediately say comic strips are a dying art form. But again. I don't know many people who read the newspaper anymore. I don't. It's much easier to log onto Yahoo in the morning and look at the headlines for free.

But I think the medium of comics will continue with the internet. It's easy to start up a web blog and publish your series.

A cynic would immediately scoff at that because it doesn't pay. But the fact of the matter is that there's an audience for everything. You just need to find that audience.

And with all the publishing options out there, you can then collect your stuff into a collection.

Personally, I would love to see comics return to that very free form style of the early days much like I would love to see sketch comedy take a more non-punchline non-reoccurring character route.

But I suppose old habits are hard to break.

Free Comic Book Day: The Day After...

This year was so much better than last year!! Just for the fact I was both healthy and I got out work around noontime so I was able to stay at the show longer.

And I made a few sales this year. Which can be difficult at a show like this and rightfully so. It is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY after all and a lot of people are there for the free books and sketches. Which I gladly supplied them with this year with some free copies of Attack of the Alterna Zombies as well as sketches of anything they asked me to do.

Strangest request of the day. Someone asked me to draw Squirtle from Pokemon. Yes! You read that right! Squirtle! It was the request the amused me the most. I think the kid (who was probably in his late teens or early twenties) was waiting for me to tell him to push off. But I had no intention of doing that. I just asked him to go find a picture of Squirtle for me to work with. The lads at T.E. were very prompt at picture of Squirtle.

So, I immediately started drawing the most demented picture of Squirtle I could think of. This one looks like it would not only spray you with water but also eat your flesh.

Another thing I love doing shows and conventions is getting to chat with the artists. Both the well known ones and the famous ones. This year TE had Mark McKenna appearing. He was really great!! Very nice guy. And he was able to back up what I have been telling my class about how difficult it is to draw Spider-Man's webbing.

Usually when we're doing a comic book project or some Pop Art Painting, I am certain to mention to them imagine trying to do the webbing in Spider-Man's costume for a whole comic book with 29 pages and roughly three to six panels per page.

Most of the time, my students eyes will widen and their jaws will drop.

But the advice Mark gave about drawing Spider-Man's webbing was great!! He said think that it's radiating from his chest. I'm going to have to remember that when I'm doing a Pop Art Painting Class.

But the first day of my book tour went really well and now it's onto stART on the Street: Spring Edition!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Strychnine & Spaghetti Strand Slipknots: Day One


Today also officially marks the first day of my book tour Strychnine & Spaghetti Strand Slipknots. A tour pretty much to promote my latest book Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner which was released December 2009!!

So, far the shows include Free Comic Book Day happening at That's Entertainment starting at 12noon for me, stART on the Street SPRING EDITION May 16th 11am - 5pm on North Main Street in Worcester MA, Kitschy Crafty Craft May 29th Fair & Flea Market at 460 Race St Holyoke MA from 11am-5pm and all leading up to STRYCHNINE & SPAGHETTI STRAND SLIPNOTS: Artwork from the arsenic pen of BRET M. HERHOLZ opening at Dark World Gallery June 5th located on 179 Grafton Street in Worcester. The show itself will run from June 5th till June 30th 2010!!

I will keep you all posted as more shows are added to the tour.

Free Comic Book Day

This is about my third or fourth year doing Free Comic Book Day at That's Entertainment. The year before last had been great. Last year was a disaster. Not That's Entertainment's fault, however. The boys and girls down at TE do an excellent job putting the shows together and always make it very comfortable for the artists and writers involved.

Last year I got smacked with the H1N1 earlier that week and I was still pretty wiped-out by Saturday afternoon when I arrived at the show. I was bad enough that day that even Andy Fish said I looked terrible when I went to work at the Art Museum that morning.

Everything seemed to be working against me that day as far as Free Comic Book Day was concerned between the flu and the fact I was working at the Museum till 2:30pm. So, I missed a great deal of the business that day and I just did not have the strength to do free sketches and all the other fun stuff that you look forward to as far as Free Comic Book Day is concerned.

I barely had the strength to sit up straight in my chair.

But this year I'm feeling much improved over last year, I have my various pencils and card stock packed. I have some Alterna Freebie's ready for the show as well. So, I'm set to go.

So, if you happen to be in proximity of Park Avenue in Worcester, MA stop on by That's Entertainment and check the event out from 10am on. TE has lined up some really fantastic artists and writers this year. I'll be rolling in right after I get out of work at noontime.

That's Entertainment is located on 244 Park Ave. Worcester, MA!! And if you get done there, why not swing out to the one in Fitchburg at 56 John Fitch Hwy!!