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Three's a good number!

As many of you may have noticed, I have a certain fondness for the number 3. I do not know why so don't even ask. BUT! It will all be explained (I think) in a new series I have planned for 2008. Why wait until 2008, you ask? Well, because I have 3 new graphic novels planned ahead of the new series for 2007! Yes, that's right...3 new graphic novels. Yes, 3. One will be a new 3 Geeks book (another 3) celebrating their 10th anniversary! Woo-hoo!!! One will be my illustrated novel, The List, which is, essentially, completed and slated for a big summer release. And the 3rd book I have planned for 2007 is an autobiographical book I've wanted to do for a long time. I, tentatively, have that book entitled, Masterpiece: An Artist's Journey. So, 2007 is looking to be a big year with a lot of 3s. There is also the possibility of a HUGE announcement coming very, very soon regarding the 3 Geeks that might also impact 2007. I will, of course, keep you all posted.

In other news and reviews... I finally had a chance to ctach up on my reading since returning from the SPX out in Bethesda, MD. I picked up quite a few new goodies there including a couple of real gems by Guy Delisle. He's a Quebec City cat who now resides in France. He works as an animation supervisor who is frequently sent to foreign lands to oversee the production on his employers (located in France) animated tv series. The lands he has been sent to include North Korea and China. I picked up two hardcovers about these travels. In the first book he details his few months spent in North Korea entitled "Pyongyang, A Journey In North Korea". To say that he's a "fish out of water" would be a massive understatement. This book is absolutely riveting! Especially considering the recent troubles we're all witnessing unfold in North Korea these days. Guy's first-hand accounts and observations he writes about show the complete absurdity of this nation and its backwards ways. The paranoia, propoganda and palpable fear is ever-present and Guy's, seemingly, "go with the flow" attitude is a wonder to behold. the way he plays with his "guides" and interpretors (really spies making sure he doesn't do anything untoward like photograph any trash. Seriously) by asking questions and often responding to their attempts to sway his beliefs with sarcasm is often laugh-out-loud hilarious. the reactions by his guides is priceless...their expressions rarely changing... Unflappable in their attitudes of the West. His tour of the Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il museums sums up this country's attitudes in a nutshell. Keyword "nut" in that last sentence. These people are completely insane...brainwashed beyond all hope. It seems impossible and yet, if we are to believe what Mr Delisle writes (and I for one do), the evidence he presents in this fascinating book leads us to no other possible conclusion. These people are nuts. His follow-up book, "Shenzhen, A Travelogue From China", pertains to his stay as an animation supervisor in neighboring China. Almost equally as fascinating but since China is not quite as screwed up as North Korea not quite. It's still a riveting and oft-times hilarious read, however. His interactions with the chinese people and their attempts to communicate had me laughing out loud. the meals he ate (with apparently no fear) are worth the cover price alone. The books are utterly engrossing, the art is fantastic, and I am now a devoted fan of any and all things Guy Delisle.

In other news... Some of you remember, and have been asking about, the article I wrtote a few weeks back in my friend Wayne's column about a mysterious mole I had removed from my chin. Well, the biopsy came back positive for "Basel-cell cancer". Not sure if I spelled that right. Anyways, it's a skin cancer but, apparently, a very docile one and very manageable. I'm told I have very little to worry about. And yet, I still worry. I'll be researching the heck out of this and getting more answers when I go back for a full-body exam in a few weeks. So, if anyone out there has any info for me I'd certainly appreciate it. Thanks.

Well, I'm off now to take my daughter to her 4K costume party. She's dressing as Rapunzel and her costume is pure laughter. These are the moments, my friends. I have learned to cherish them. Life is short. Word! R

SPX Summary

Just got back from the SPX (Small Press Expo) that's held annually in the lovely, and lively, Bethesda, MD. This con showcases the best of the small and independent presses and indy creators. They moved the show this year to a larger venue just a few miles up the road from the old location. I miss the intimate setting the old location had but I must say the new hotel/convention center was impressive. This was a massive, state-of-the-art Marriot Hotel located in White Flint, MD and nary a speck of dust was to be found...the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet was outstanding as well. And this little geek got his $28 bucks worth let me tell you! The SPX crew always puts on a great show and if you are at all interested, intrigued or like to see how the vagabond artists are all dressing these days, I highly recommend you attend this show. PLUS! There was some absolutely kick-ass goodies there. Here are but as few of the highlights I picked up/perused...

James Kochalka's newest installment of his absolutely hilarious SuperF***ers! There are very few artists in this industry who can write profanity with James' certain flair. His cursewords make me laugh hysterically. This may sound like an odd critique but I'm telling you, sometimes it just seems that writers add profanity for the sake of adding profanity. James does it with style! Not to mention that his take on teen Super-Heroes is drop-dead hilarious as well. This is James' best stuff to date. And I love the majority of his past efforts.

I also picked up a slew of books from Drawn and Quarterly. I always do. These guys consistently produce some of the finest books in the market––comics, graphic novels, books; all of the above. Their books fit all these genre descriptions. I usually stear clear of anthologies but their D&Q Showcase is absolutely incredible. They don't fill it up with a lot of garbage. They pick three quality, 20ish page stories by very promising new talents and, well, "showcase" them in a high-quality, prestige format graphic novel anthology. I read it and loved it. This is truly a book that showcases these three particular artists and makes me want to seek out their other works and look forward to their works in the future. Other pubs who do anthologies should take a good look at D&Qs template here.

Another interesting book I purchased was The Spindletons by Josh Johnson. This book was the eyecatcher of the show as Josh brilliantly packaged the hardcover version of his graphic novel in a gorgeous, hinged pine box (similar to a cigar box) that had the Spindletons logo branded into the boxes top. Inside the beautiful box was a limited edition signed print and limited signed hardcover version of his book. As I took my first quick lap around the show I was immediately drawn over to his table because of this beautiful book/box/limited print combo. It was $80 for the box set (perhaps a bit pricey for this show but will rock at bigger shows like Comic-Con, I'm sure) but I couldn't resist. I was also a bit peeved at Josh because I've been planning a Wine box set of my own which would be similar to what he has. A nice limited box set containing all my 3 Geeks issues and an original piece of art. I guess great minds think alike.

I have a whole slew of other goodies I picked up at the show but haven't had a chance to read them yet.

In other SPX news...My pal, and SPX roomie Wayne Beamer, now holds the title for world champ in the "most annoying snore" division! This title was previously held by my mother but Wayne has dethroned her. I simply cannot describe the unique nuances of Wayne-O's snoring. Not only does he have the usual rattling crescendo we've all heard at one time or another but he has these little gurgles and high-pitched squeaks worked in on occasion making his a truly eclectic symphony from the snotlocker! I always bring my earplugs on the road...had them for this show...didn't do me a bit of good with the Wayne-O! His decibal level not only attacks the ear it attacks and encompasses the entire body. His soundwaves enter through every pore in your body and, seemingly, assails your entire central nervous system. I had the plugs, pillows, and my arms wrapped around my head and still clearly heard every rattle, squeak, cough and nasal dripping sound. In the three nights we shared a room I probably got about 4 hours of solid sleep. And, amazingly, our other roommate, Rich Henn, said he slept like a baby. I hate them both.

'til next week! I'm going to get some friggin' sleep.

Word! R

My First Time!

I'm so nervous...This is my first time you know so I think I'm entitled. I'm losing my "Blog Cherry" today (nervous giggles inserted here)! This is my first Blog on my first website and I'm so excited. I hope I'm "up" for the task. Alright enough of the innuendos. I'm a smart cat and I get paid to write so this is a piece o' cake, man. But, honestly, I am a little nervous. This is a big deal. My first website! I hope you're all impressed because I sure am. Mike Rende is the talented chap who designed the site, put it all together, and patiently fielded the thousands of questions I had for him. For, although I am not a Luddite, I know virtually nothing about computers, websites, the internet or this newfangled device called the television set. So, thank you Mike, and if any of you out there need a website designed I can highly recommend Mike's services. Check him out at sitebymike.com.

So what's the dilly? you might be asking yourselves right now. What's Rich gonna have on his website makes it so special? Fair questions. Well, in my most humble opinion this is flat-out going to be the best website in the universe. Yes, it is true. I guarantee it. At the very least in the greater Shorewood, WI area. No doubt. At the very, very least the best website coming out of this household! GUARANTEED! On this website and in this blog you will be delighted and titillated with insights about today's pop culture, comics, movies etc. And I will also be filling you in on the many and varied things that I find interesting, disturbing, perplexing or arousing. And YES I will be providing these insights to you free of charge! Why? you are most likely asking yourselves...Why would he do this all for free? Because I am a super-nice guy. That's my super-power...Super-Niceness. What can I say, it's so true. So, please check in here at Geek Central once in awhile. I'll have lots of insights and advice. Gossip on fellow comic book people! Great deals on original art and back issues for sale. Announcements about upcoming shows I'll be attending like the SPX in Bethesda, MD October 13&14th. And announcements about my upcoming projects.

Let me tell you, this website is being launched now because 2007 is going to be a huge year for me and 3 Finger Prints. I'll be celebrating the 3 Geeks 10th anniversary in 2007 with an all-new 3 Geeks Graphic Novel that is going to be fantastic! I also have an illustrated novel in the can and am planning a summer release of that book--Its title is The List. And I'll be following that up with another graphic novel of an autobiographical nature about my personal journey as an artist. That one is tentatively titled, Masterpiece: An Artist's Journey.

OH! And I almost forgot about 2006! In addition to this website being officially launched I've got my latest 3 Geeks full-color, mini-comic, "Jim's Jerky" currently solicited in this month's (October) Previews catalogue for December shipping! If you haven't seen "Jim's Jerky" yet go find a copy. And if your local retailer doesn't carry it or the 3 Geeks you can order directly through this website after the very stern chastising you give your obviously impaired retailer friend.

So, the cherry's been burst. I feel so alive! And so tired. What's that all about? I need to lie down.

Until next week! Word! R

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