Saturday, July 26, 2014

Official "Blake Bell" Facebook Page up w/ exclusive content!


Okay, there's so many things going on this year that I need to get my collective "Blake Bell Awareness" act together and start acting like a writer! To help facilitate that, I've debuted the official "Blake Bell - Writer" page on Facebook. You can "like" it here: https://www.facebook.com/blakebellwriter.

Today, I've just added a series of images for my "Steve Ditko Archives" series, which also includes exclusive commentary on the volumes. (This includes the cover for the upcoming volume five in the series, well into production now!)

Last night, I added the same for my four main books, and we'll continue in this vein, as well as offer glimpses into past, current and upcoming projects, so see you there at https://www.facebook.com/blakebellwriter.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Memories of Dick Ayers

90 years is a good life. And so is being able to make a living at what you love to do for most of that life.

Dick Ayers, the artist most famous for his contributions to the Silver Age of Marvel Comics (inking Jack Kirby, and a 10-year run penciling Nick Fury), passed away yesterday. (Read more about his career here.)

We've lost not just a member of our community, and an important ambassador for the medium's history, but we also lost a gentleman and, more importantly, a husband and life partner to his lovely wife, Lindy.

Lindy is the source from which my personal association with Dick was fostered. My first book, I Have To Live With This Guy!, told the tales of the spouses/partners of comic-book greats and, given Dick's long and multifaceted career, I was ecstatic when Lindy and Dick agreed to be part of the process.


Thanks to my Secret History Of Marvel Comics co-author, Dr. Michael J. Vassallo, I had the pleasure of visiting the Ayers' home on two occasions in late 2001/2002. They lived near by Doc V. and the first visit (in Nov '01) was really a visit to Dick and his home studio...

 

One of the memories of this visit that is seared into my brain is something you don't see in this picture. Just before you walk into this room, on the wall to the left, is a letter from DC Comics to Dick. It was a formal acknowledgement of his role in the creation of the character, Scalphunter, who first appeared in the 1977 comic book, Weird Western Tales #39.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

X-mas Special! My three 2013 books for $99 (incl. shipping)

Looking for the Holy Trinity of Christmas gifts? How about a special on all three of my 2013 books for only $99...which includes shipping within Canada and the U.S.!

Yes, that's The Secret History of Marvel Comics, Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 4, and Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives vol. 2. That's a $145 value for less than a c-note. Each book has a cover price of $40 each, but you can have them all for about 60% of the cover price (when you factor in the shipping costs).

Just email me at ditko37@rogers.com to order via Paypal and you will receive a copy of each signed by me (plus my co-author, Dr. Michael J. Vassallo for The SHoMC), very well packed to survive the journey.

And there's more! Add the following older books of mine for 50% off each (only $5 more for shipping for each two added):
  • Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko
  • Unknown Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 2
  • Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 3
  • Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives vol. 2
Here's all you need to know about my three 2013 books...

The Secret History of Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics is home to such legendary super-heroes as Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, all of whom have spun box office gold in the 21st century. But Marvel Comics has a secret history hidden in the shadows of these well-known franchises.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Top 10 Bill Everett Covers" Feature for Wednesday's Heroes

As if I haven't written enough these days, here's another 2000+ words on one of my favorite artists, Bill Everett!

Craig Rogers runs the "Wednesday's Heroes" website and he commissioned me to write an installment for his "Top 10 Covers" feature, in light of the release last month of my book, Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 2.

I first caught wind of the "Top 10 Covers" feature when I saw Tom Field do the same for Gene Colan, and was interested myself in what I'd label as Everett's ten best covers, not too much how I'd ever be able to order them ten through to one.

Blessedly, Everett was great from start to finish in his career, so there's representation from 1939 up to the year of his passing in 1973.


Leave your feedback below, or at the Wednesday's Heroes site, about my 10 and how it may compare to your choices!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Steve Ditko Archives vol. 4 web launch

The official release of "Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 4" is imminent and Fantagraphics has gone "global" with its web launch for the book. Lots of different ways to get a sneak peek of the book.

If you can't wait to get the book, you can order it from me directly. I have 10 copies that I will sign for you, and include a one-of-50 signed and number, limited edition, tipped-in plate. The cost is $50, which includes shipping anywhere within Canada and the U.S. (send monies via Paypal to my ditko37@rogers.com address).

If you just want the plain jane version and can wait another 4 weeks or so, you can order it from Amazon at this link.

What's the scoop on this volume? Five years before Steve Ditko began work on his now legendary co-creations for Marvel Comics, the Amazing Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, he was producing some of his best work in near anonymity for Charlton Comics.

Like its predecessors, this volume features over 200 meticulously restored full-color pages of Ditko in his early prime - stories that have never seen a proper reprinting until now, thrilling stories of suspense, mystery, haunted houses, and unsuspecting victims all delineated in Ditko’s wildly idiosyncratic, masterful style. Here's a video preview of the book...


This fourth volume ranks as the best in the Steve Ditko Archives series to date thanks in large part to the inspiration Ditko took from comics derived from the classic host-narrated radio shows, which gave an extra oomph to his creepy yarns. Moreover, comics such as This Magazine Is Haunted and Tales of the Mysterious Traveler bore witness to a veritable explosion in Ditko’s ingenuity in terms of manipulating the traditional comic-book page layout. This new level of excellence also manifested itself in his work on other books, such as Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, Out of This World, Strange Suspense Stories, and Unusual Tales, all of which are amply represented in this volume.

More sneak peek links:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

"Secret History Of Marvel Comics" are in da (my) house!

Co-Authors Blake Bell and Dr. Michael J. Vassallo give man-birth to a weighty tome.
Okay, they are in Michael's house, here in upstate New York City, but it's not often in life when you have that opportunity to hold a book, for the first time, that you've written. Last night was one of those, to date, nine times with the arrival of advance copies of our "The Secret History Of Marvel Comics". (Today, I get to hold a copy of "Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 4".)

I'm down here in NYC for "The Secret History Of Marvel Comics" Official Book Release Event in New York City (tonight at 7pm, hosted by the Society Of Illustrators, at 128 E 63rd St., between Park and Lexington Ave). I'll also have a very limited number of copies available of the Ditko Archives vol. 4 for sale at the event. This will be your first chance to get signed copies of both books, weeks before they hit stores.

Other reasons why you should come out to the event tonight:

1) We'll be joined by artists Al Jaffee and Stan Goldberg to discuss their memories of working for Martin Goodman during the halcyon days of Marvel Comics in the 1940s and 50s!

2) Attendees will receive a signed, limited edition, tipped-in plate for the book.

3) Come and see the unveiling of the "Martin Goodman Exhibit!" Get a first hand look at all those Martin Goodman publications, from the 1930s to the 1950s, up close and personal!

4) The cost of admission also gives you access to an exclusive signing session and catered reception afterwards (with cash bar).

"The Secret History Of Marvel Comics" also has a YouTube channel featuring me and Michael J. Vassallo discussing the secrets behind the book in a 10-part video series. Plus, we'll continue to add more videos throughout the next two months.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bill Everett Archives Contest! Pick Your Favourite Cover!

"Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives vol. 2" is making its way through bookstores and through the digital stores like Comixology, but you can win a copy of both volumes in our "Pick Your Favourite Bill Everett Cover Contest!"

Our friends over at the website, Wednesday's Heroes, run a feature called "Top Ten Covers" where, you guessed it, they feature the top ten covers of a particular artist with commentary by writers like yours truly.

I'll be doing up such a feature for Bill Everett, but here's where you can help, and snag yourself a copy of both volumes in the Archives series.

Simply tell us what is your favourite Bill Everett cover, and why it's your favourite, either in the Comments Section below, or on my personal Facebook page, or like my Bill Everett Facebook Page and post it there.

If yours is the same as mine (which I won't reveal until I post my entire list on the Wednesday's Heroes site), you'll be eligible to win both volumes. If more than one person picks my favourite, all those who did will be entered in a random draw and the winner will announced here on my site.

Got it? Here's a helpful start. Click on THIS LINK at comics.org to view 345 different Bill Everett covers. Feel feel to post the title name and issue number, as well as a link to the cover (or, if on Facebook, just post the cover). The only "catch" is that the first cover you post, that's the one that gets considered for the contest. Now...GO! (Contest ends Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 11:59pm.)