Sunday, November 29, 2015

New Comics, New Prints, New T-shirts = NEW YEAR

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest,
 Well depending on when I can get back this next month and half is gonna be some of the busiest time of the year for the kid.
Now the BIG 500 is always been a big deal for me because it gave me the chance to get my art work out to an audience that I hadn't had access to for a long time (if ever). Being able to make work and sell it appealed to me like nothing else and getting appreciation for the work that I had done even more so.

SO when this shows comes around I feel obligated to really bring my best work forward. But over the last year things and self perception of my work the art has changed how I look presenting my work now. The biggest difference is that I am mounting prints to the wooden panels rather than original pieces of scratchboard this time. It was pointed out to me that I wasn't thinking big enough to really make any money if I kept selling the original artwork and didn't have anything to show later on when I get another show -solo or otherwise.

With that in mind I took images that I ripped out during this inktober last month and adopted some of the better images I had rendered and put them to scratchboard and clayboard with color.

This way if a piece sold I still would retain that original with a much higher price and the reproduction would sell for the lesser price of what has been selling for the last couple of years. Maximizing the selling potential for me and allowing at the same time to be able to increase my prices for my work without any hangups (even if the pieces are the same size).

I've had a number of friends telling me and saying that I need to up my pricing on the artwork. I agree with most of it but it seemed to me that if I brought it up to fast it would turn off potential buyers. But the sense I have currently is that most art collectors and the way they are buying the work don't seem to have those issues as they once did in years past. The internet and society have changed the landscape how artwork is bought, traded and sold.
A artist has to adapt to this ever changing world.

The color work is something that is new to the work as well. Now I have in the past played around with the idea of adding color to some of the work but this time around I

decided to make it even more predominate in the work. Now some of this new work is mono chromatic in nature but there are shades that when scraping off the top layers of ink.
So I guess when you think about it time will tell.

I have been taking the color images that I have been doing and transposing those images to the t-shirt stuff I have gotten into of late. It's been fun but we'll see if I have a few more images to post before the end of the year. Checkout the tees up for sale here.

AND AS YOU WOULD HAVE IT.. the comics!
As I have now managed to get things worked out with Ka-blam Publishing for releasing my comic books on the web store like they should have instead of holding my books hostage so no one could ever see them.
At least that's the way I saw it. Bogus stuff but if there was going to be legal ramifications for not filling out some paper work I would be the sole individual to deal with it not Ka-blam.
Regardless of that the comics are now making me itch for getting the rest of Corrax the Seeker back out there and make a combination omnibus of Johnny Vega and Corrax the Seeker into one book. And possibly even the newer version of Corrax because he needed a revamping.  I still have a love for that beaked headed hero.

The biggest issue that I have right now is the fact that the holidays cause some real issues with me getting any kind of response from them. The only one that I have had is that they received my w9 form. But nothing else. And of course this came around the time that Thanksgiving rolled around so I should have known better. But it is done and I do hope to have a link here soon for those older comic books and any new ones coming down the road.
My comic book dreams are never far from my mind. I love them dearly and owe so much to the comics that I collected as a child. Though in resent times finding a good comic to get behind and actually collect is a different thing all together.
I just want to give a medium something back that it has given me enjoyment and allowed me to expand my knowledge.

Issued out to me recently by one of my oldest friends about illustrating a wordless story much like Lynd Ward did back in the 1930's with a story I could get behind.  I had a year to plan for this and handing over a manuscript over at the beginning of 2017.
War of the Worlds by Edward Gorey
This image is from a illustrated version of the War of the Worlds by Edward Gorey from 1960.

Darkhorse edition of War of the Worlds
The story has been illustrated numberious times over the years by artists and always the classical version of Well's story.
War Machine by Alan Bennett© 2014
This time around the challenge that was issued to me was to adapt a story that I really liked.
I pick a story, a famous one too War of the Worlds. HOWEVER there would be a twist to this the story illustrated would be based upon the 1938 radio broadcast not 19th century story by H.G. Wells himself.
As far as I know no one has done that before.
SO I WILL BE doing some research on this topic.
Tripod by Alan Bennett ©2015

The tripods near Big Ben  Alan Bennett ©2013

I have downloaded the the CBS Radio recording of the War of the Worlds and listened to Orson Wells and the rest of the cast play out they're fictional alien invasion.

After listening to it I could see why there were so many people freaked out by it. And I can see/ hear the realism in the voices of the players.

It set a presentient that there would be warnings to general public that a faux broadcast would never totally be presented as the real thing. I think that this is where the other adaptions of this story differ.

And as always there are places for you to check out as well.

And of course I still have my comics that I have worked on here at Indyplanet.  I am still currently working on getting this link fix.
HOWEVER there are these books that I still need to add to the archive for Black Box Comix. And mind you there is website
and the facebook page 

The Website also has some new stuff added for the comic books featuring Corpse Cop.

 And with that this kid is outta of here I got work to do. 

 And that's it for the kid for now and I am outta of here.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, November 19, 2015

EUCON a day of the unexpected

Hey there sports fans, Al here with latest:
What can I say but but I'm up super early (5:50 AM) and I'm awake with some pre-show jitters.
The set up was super easy.
 There really isn't any reason for it but I think that there is a lot of factors that are making me feel nervous about today.
But I think that the biggest issue I've got is actually being back home.

There is a lot of emotion that is pent up in the kid here and I'm just starting to feel anxious about being here. There are a lot of old friends here and I feel like I'm gonna be under a microscope of whether or not I was right on what choices I've made moving away. Its kinda of unnerving because after years of being away what kinda of response will I get? I know these are irrational feelings but I'm still feeling them.

I know this area and I know these people. I'm not expecting a great amount of cash to change hands or someone wanting to do trades. I'm not really into doing that anymore. The last trade I did with another artist was for one of my comic books for a freaking holiday card! Because really I spent 4 months slaving away working Corpse Cop "Corpscile"
this other artist spent only a few hours making one design for hundreds of cards to be made.

Never again.

I was severely disgusted by this exchange. But that's my personal feelings about that. Eugene and the arts community is really a great group of supporting people. But trades with others don't pay the monthly bills. They just don't and the accompanying response from the artists is "I'm just like you man."

No, yer not. I haven't worked this hard for this long just to trade its the reason I moved away in the first place. Even my hostess whom I'm staying with (a successful artist here in Eugene) is feeling stuck. That  realization doesn't belly well for the community here. Especially for one whom I revere as my "art mom".

But the day hasn't started yet and the show is about Three and half hours away AND everything I just wrote could be absolute hog wash!

Early opening at 9:30 AM. Within the first 10 minutes I had my first sale which covered table fees right from the word "I buy one of each."
 So bizarre for me so I was already in heaven the show wasn't even a hour old. The prints took off the comics took off and even the buttons took off. I was happy that I had square there to help with this.

I was tabled next one of my old comic book partners from Eugene and my Pandora's Garage days, Daniel James Barton. He was surprised by the amount of work that I had produced and had out on the 8'x2' table space that we had. But then again I had to remind myself that Dan and I hadn't shared a table in about 5 years or so.

This time around it was nice to have a table with some breathing space. Nothing wrong with sharing a table with other comic book buddies (so all of you who are reading this, don't take offense because I would not be here at this place in time without your help and understanding and friendship. I thank you all!)
The flow of the crowds did not stop. There was always a constant flow of people coming through the doors that I had not seen before.
This kinda freaked me out. And when you thought (as a vendor) that it should be over and things calm down no it kept going till about 3:30 - 4 o'clock. It was nuts. Not once did I ever really sit down or step away from the table because you didn't know if you wouldn't be able to make it back.

Then more people began to stop by and talk about the work and how I go about the process of making the work on the scratchboard.  Other people stopped by and picked up more pieces of work from across the board but show itself was super chill.

By the time the show ended at 7 PM I was over the half way mark of where I wanted to be monetarily. It was a good night and hung out doing a little bit work and went out with a few old friends living in Eugene to celebrate.

Such a fantastic day. 

This day was unsure because of how many people came out the day before but typically as with every other show that I have been in Sunday typically are much slower and fewer participants (which after the day before I would be happy with!).  But again like the morning before I had another customer stop and make a sizable purchase. But unlike so many other people who usually step away from the table after the sales transaction has taken place he stayed around and asked a fair amount questions about work and compared my work to that of both Virgil Finlay
Copyright©Virgil Finlay
and Lynd Ward.
Copyright© Lynd Ward
That was high praise to these great artists.

He had told me that he was an art collector of original works. I gave him my business card and just stood there slightly dumbfounded. 

So I guess I just needed to keep doing what I have been doing for the last couple of years with a few tweeks here and there to make the living I've always wanted.

The day was filled with old friends stopping by between sales and passers by. The show came to an end and I packed it up and went out with a huge smile on my face. The Hometown came out and stood up!

So comes the PROS AND CONS of the show

CONS- go first this time round
1). A vendors Table packet could be used to help vendors know exactly where our tables were when loading in.

That's really it.


1). The ease of loading in and set up. Even without the table map and name plates on the tables in artists alley "the goonies" (the shows volunteers) were very helpful in showing where we all were. And all of them were very cool and calm even when they didn't know something. This was a great thing because when a lot volunteers don't know something they have had a tenancy to stress out and make getting to your table for set up stressful.
Thanks guys.

2). The P.A. Though at times sounded silly with the events they were talking about never over did it. Every event that was taking place was made clear. The music wasn't over the top either but you could tell that it was looped.

3). The temperature.  There have other places that I have been to where the temp was too cold or too hot. Well Goldie Locks  this was just right. The weather outside did get bad a few times with a downpour or two but inside it never was bad just good and comfortable.

4). The Cos Players.  Now in times past I've had huge problem with these guys because it was always about them never the vendors trying to sell work that might one day influence them to dress up like a character from you work. They were all very respectful and never impeded foot traffic along Artist Alley. And personally in my opinion they were all very tasteful and not over the top.

5). The crowd. You can never know what to expect with crowds but in this case everybody was nice and respectful. I didn't see anyone ever step out of line with the vendors even when there was a difference of opinion of a characters origin or some other topic. I did have one person want to try to get me to get back into roll playing but that was the extent of my dealing with a "booth barnacle".

6). The Vendors Now I know a few of these guys pretty well and been at several shows with the folkes from Portland but this was Eugene. A different kind of town and lot of these guys had never been there before. What I really noticed from them was a no animosity with anyone who was showing. At most shows there are always minor grumlings from some vendor that didn't get what they wanted or had an issue with another vendor. This time I didn't see or hear any prima donnas there.

7).  Table Placement of Artists Alley. Unlike so many other shows that I have been to the placement of the Artist has always taken second fiddle to big companies push their big ass products and the people who originated a lot cool ideas get pushed off to the side. Not so here. Professionals mixed with independent exhibitors were on the front lines as those doors opened. it was really cool. It felt like we finally got our just do.

So in the end I will say this. would I go back HELL YEAH! This of all the shows that I have done over the last 15 years was the best ran and most enjoyable show I have ever been to. I would definitely head back for this.

NOW there have been more help comments and new items to be incorporated in to the new prints
A small certificate to be added to each of the prints in the series of Richard Parker (and to any other print series from hereafter).
With this art collectors could in fact collect the work and know of the authenticity of the work and that it was a part of series not just a one off.
Behind the table banners. As Black Box has changed over the years to reflect the changes within the company a couple of strechy cloth banners need to be purchased for shows down the road. This will two things right off the top:

    1). Show off the name of the company. My old table cloth that I had designed years ago just ain't doing it anymore for the kid. And it was down below the waist line so when you had people stopping by they could see who you were.

   2). Having Banners will also separate me from the back ground movement of eye catching cos players and other movement that will grab a persons attention from me and the work.
This has always been on my mind but has always been pushed to the back because like all things cost of money but as it improves with sales I can more complete the table when I show.

  3). A tall stool/ Seat.  One of the biggest issue that if you are doing a solo table you need to be seen and tall stool/seat literally elevates you above the work at the table and your are able to save your feet from standing 8 hours a day on finished concrete. As a vendor and getting older this isn't as easy to do these days.

  4). Print series certificates. These are the notations on the back of the prints to let a person know that he or she isn't just buying a one off but a small history lesson to the piece and to let them know that it was part of series.

But most revealing comment that floored me was by Jason Martin of Zombie Tramp.  I had known Jason for couple years now and as he was talking to me and friend of mine Larry from Eugene he said when the topic of comic book art came up  

"When I look at your artwork Alan, I think of it as more fine art than comic book work. I mean you can see where it (the art style) comes from but it's more fine art."

 I was, needless to say, floored by that statement. I had heard from others something similar but not really quite as concise as the way Martin had described it. It hit me like a hammer and I realized that he was right.  For years I wanted to bring a comic adventure the magnitude that a European comic has.


Yes there will be color this time.

Last year I  was interviewed by a small local group to talk briefly about the comics I was doing as well as the art work and galleries I was getting into at the time.  You can check out the interview here.
 Yes, there are T-shirts Virginia and you can buy them at

It just seemed to me that I needed to stretch myself with different ways of getting my work out there and as  I was going through Facebook I saw the add and thought to take a look. I liked what I saw. The return isn't as great back to the artist but it does give a platform for you to show your work.

There are 7 types in stock currently but I am looking to increase this number with a few more color bits as well. But Black and White is always the way it will work for me.

And as always there are places for you to check out as well.

And of course I still have my comics that I have worked on here at Indyplanet.

And mind you there is website
and the facebook page 

The Website also has some new stuff added for the comic books featuring Corpse Cop.

 And with that this kid is outta of here I got work to do. 

 And that's it for the kid for now and I am outta of here.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

There are some things coming up

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest,

I had a interesting eye opening day this weekend. This was after a couple of days after my solo show came down.

It reads..
"Chris Haberman
Hi All: 

Just wanted to send a special note...IF you were able to pickup Saturday, you may have been informed that you are able to take MORE than 10 panels...IF you did, awesome, if not, super great, but wanted to make sure you knew this is an OPTION. 

This comes from the fact that we were planning on doing The Big 100 this elite form of the show, back to its roots...and this special list we have for this year is just that, The Big 500 Elite, which is what we are calling the folks that are invited to do more than 10 panels. Which is YOU. 

IF you like, you are approved to take 10-20 panels for the show.  This is based off your "amazing" sales record (like folks begging that you had more panels), super star status, commitment to the arts, amazing work and just your basic awesomeness in being part of this show - or really just all of the above!!  Some of you have been with the show for 8 years, since its origin...SO a special thank you for being here the whole time!!!

SO>..if you are still picking up panels, notice there is a star by your name....and you are invited to do more than 10.  That can be 12, 15, 17, 20, up to you..... IF not, OK too...but if you change your mind, you are welcome to do more, or pick up more if you finish the others, or whatever you want to do.....JUST know that the offer is there.  Panels are available at the gallery, OPEN Thurs-Sunday, NOON-6pm.   

Thanks again for being part of this show....your work is definitely the solid backbone that keeps this going, keeps the crowds coming and really excels the level of work which has given this show a special quality of diversity, integrity and excellence. 

Thank you always. This is definitely our best year yet, thank you for your involvement. 

Special hugs. "

FOR me that was kinda cool, considering that I have been putting myself under pressure to crank out great new work for people to look at and buy. I still have yet to hit that niche market that there could be a steady income coming in but I haven't hit it - yet.

MY biggest hold up for art hitting that market is myself. AS some others have pointed out to me I'm not thinking big enough for the work to get out there I am still stuck (kinda) like a big fish in a small pool mentality. There is a way for me to make more money while doing less work and I have yet to find that balancing point for myself just yet But I've got a feeling that it isn't to far off.

When you gotten used to successful shows in the past the question you have to ask yourself is how really successful was it? Is it because you sold everything you worked on but you have nothing like residual sales to support you as you make more original work.
And on top of that you have found that you attention to detail and mastery of technique have really outgrown the cost of what you were charging.

So what do you do?

Firstly you scan everything at a high resolution and make several copies of the work. And if you have a cloud of some kind save it there to. But watch out for cloudminers!

So now instead of constantly making and giving away work you can charge a higher price for original work and sell matted prints at the cost when you first stated selling art.

PLUS now you have copies and scans that you can manipulate for online sales for a fraction of the cost of the original.
I had been thinking only of art shows here in PDX not the the whole Nation and really potentially World wide.

That's changing.

With all the new on line sites that show case artwork for free like Storenvy and Big Cartel and of course Etsy with a little bit of cash you can get your stuff out there.

But there still is that nagging issue of the niche. Where do I fit? I'm still looking for that.

This should be a interesting time for me personally. Keep in mind that this show is taking place in my old home town of Eugene Oregon.  Now I don't know about you but heading back home is a bitter sweet thing. Years ago I had. Reached my wits end trying  to make it as an artist. Problem in Eugene is that it is filled with tons of talented artists that can't afford each others work and trades (as cool as they are) don't pay the bills. So like any artist I moved. It took years of pestering and nagging of friends and family to move forward. I did and haven't looked back since. I'm not going back because of family, I'm going because a friend of mine asked me too.
This is his show and I thought it would be cool to show off a little back to my friends who still live there.
Prints and the scratchboard has come into its own for me and it would be cool to show people my new work to a bunch of new viewers. I'm looking forward to it.


This is one of those things that I have been recently exposed to. The prints have proven that they do well for me so how do I expose others to more of my work? As it turns out on Etsy there has been a move of showcasing people's art work by reducing the size of the print (like the 8.5" x11" and reduce the physical size to 4" x6" size) and packaging a small number of them in a group if four to six images.
To me this it seems to be reminiscent of
Old trading cards but still maintaining quality of image and keeping its value.
They are not postcards however.


Some of the Current shirt selection

The TeePublic Banner for BBVA.
 Yes, there are T-shirts Virginia and you can buy them at

It just seemed to me that I needed to stretch myself with different ways of getting my work out there and as  I was going through Facebook I saw the add and thought to take a look. I liked what I saw. The return isn't as great back to the artist but it does give a platform for you to show your work.

There are 7 types in stock currently but I am looking to increase this number with a few more color bits as well. But Black and White is always the way it will work for me.

And as always there are places for you to check out as well.

And of course I still have my comics that I have worked on here at Indyplanet.

And mind you there is website
and the facebook page 

The Website also has some new stuff added for the comic books featuring Corpse Cop.

 And with that this kid is outta of here I got work to do. 

 And that's it for the kid for now and I am outta of here.

posted from Bloggeroid

posted from Bloggeroid