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Friday, February 26, 2010

Radio Interview available for Download!

Shout it out!

Hey folks, if you missed my radio interview on "Where Monsters Dwell," check it out on the link below. We talk comics, film, Jackie Chan, Marvel, DC, Topps, upcoming books for the mainstream, the Olympics...hockey in Texas! You name it!

Episode #89 is available for download!

On a personal note, I had a blast. :-) And I even tried to enunciate... without a Texan accent.. yeah, right! LOL. Give it a listen ya'll!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Golden, Texeira and Witterstaetter at "Comic Book Marketplace," Feb. 27th!

For Immediate Release:
February 23, 2010
Note: Artwork Attached

Golden and Texeira Hit the Mark at the "Comic Book Marketplace"
New Art Books Available/ Visionaries Panel Planned

New York, NY-- There is no venue quite like the Big Apple, and with the weather getting a bit chilly out there, here's the perfect chance to warm up, grab your own bite of what the city has to offer, and meet some of your favorite comic book creators in town for this unique one day event, all at the same time!

Mike Carbo’s New York Comic Book Marketplace is set for Saturday, February 27th, from 11am to 7pm, at the Penn Plaza Pavilion, 401 7th Ave at 33rd St, New York City! Admission is only $10 for the day, and the show is sure to feature lots of dealers selling comics, toys, DVD's and more. We already hear that some of our favorites will be there, including Shelton Drum of Heroes Aren't Hard to Find, and our friends at Motor City Comics as well!

The guest list is something any 3-day show would be proud to boast, with the likes of Michael Golden, Mark Texeira, Ilya Salkind, Matthew Clark, Herb Trimpe, David Roya, Steve Mannion, Gene Colan, Bob Wiacek, Rodney Ramos, Rudy Nebres, Chris Claremont, Renee Witterstaetter, Bill Sienkiewicz, Khary Randolph, Danny Fingeroth, Trevor Von Eeden, Larry Hama, Cliff Chiang, Sean Chen, Jim Starlin, Dick Ayers, James H. Williams III, Irwin Hasen, Guy Dorian, Ian Dorian, Dan Slott, Billy Tucci, Jim Salicrup and Janet Jackson!

Michael Golden and Mark Texeira will also have copies of their respective art books from Vanguard Productions available, "Excess: The Art of Michael Golden" and "Tex: The Art of Mark Texeira" as well as their sketchbooks from Eva Ink Publishing, "Michael Golden's Heroes and Villains, and "Tex: Babes and Brawn." Also inquire about numerous prints, and limited sketching as the day allows--so get there EARLY!

In addition, Michael Golden, Bill Sienkiewicz and James H. Williams III will be on the "Visionaries" panel slated for 1:00-1:45, moderated by writer/publisher Renee Witterstaetter.


For more information on this and future shows, visit: http://www.nycbm.com/

For more information on Michael Golden and Mark Texeira, visit: www.evaink.com

The Case of Dr. Who's Possessed Neck Warmer

Alas, I have not been a avid watcher of Dr. Who. I know. Forgive me in advance!

But I did find this story fun, nevertheless. :-)

Having been the victim of boots that seem to shrink and grow for no accountable reason. Gloves and socks that disappear and reappear seemingly at will, and cel phones that call people I really have no interest in talking with and at the most inopportune times, I can relate.

In this case... Communication my friends. It's all about the communication. And a little about making lemonade out of lemons. Oh...And a little about possessed scarves. :-)
The Mysterious Scarf of Dr. Who

When Tom Baker was introduced as Dr. Who in 1974, the costume designer contacted a knitter named Begonia Pope to provide him a scarf. He gave her an armload of different yarns and sent her on her way. Begonia returned with a twenty foot scarf.

Despite the misunderstanding, that the designer simply wanted Begonia to choose a colour and knit a scarf instead of using all the yarn, the icon scarf stayed and was first seen in episode “Robot”.

Over the years, the scarf went through sizing changes as well as color changes without explanation. Costume designer James Acheson was quoted as saying, “it was so completely bizarre, for weeks the scarf would be fine, and then all of a sudden, one day we would come in to work and it would have shrunk three feet. We couldn’t explain it.”

Though the crew was wary of giving too much credit to the strange happenings with the scarf, Tom Baker began complaining that the scarf would become uncommonly clingy and often caught tightly around this throat. At this point both cast and crew couldn’t ignore the behavior of the scarf even if they couldn’t explain it and decided to retire the well known accessory.

Some of the more superstitious crew members went to question Begonia Pope, the women who knit the scarf, but neighbors had claimed she had not been seen for almost seven months and her leaving was quite abrupt as her home was intact, though covered in a thick layer of dust.

In 2005 the strange scarf was auctioned off to Richard Cohen from Long Island. He was more than happy to answer questions about the scarf and has admitted to wearing around a few times but denies having worn it after the first three months. He appeared upset when questions about the odd happenings with the scarf were brought up however. He denied noticing anything out of the ordinary and quickly changed the subject.

(The above was taken off an internet blog site. Can't find the link right now. I didn't write it or report it. But interesting nonetheless.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Radio Interview Set for February 24th!

Renee Witterstaetter on "Where Monsters Dwell" Radio Broadcast

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
8:30pm - 9:30pm


Renee Witterstaetter will be on the radio show "Where Monsters Dwell" this Wednesday night, February 24th at 8:30 pm. EST. Join Renee as she talks publishing, writing, traveling, new book projects she is currently writing for the mainstream, the "Creator Chronicles" DVD series, as well as up coming trade shows.... and ....of course COMICS!


Click 'listen to CHSR'. Click on the blue 'here'. The station streams on the internet 24/7. The show starts at 9:30 (AST)/ 8:30 (EST) on Wednesday night.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Heart is from the Heart. Happy Valentine's Day WEEK! Heck, why not YEAR!

Hi All--

Hoping you had a wonderful day with your loved one and friends. My nostalgia for Valentine's Day always comes from remembering the glue, glitter and paper envelopes I made in grade school--complete with our names to put on the room wall-- and the one day when everyone in our little class exchanged carefully chosen little Valentines to distribute.... oh and those little candy fortune telling hearts. :-)  And I always remembered Mom's delight, too,  when Dad came home with one of those gigantic heart shaped boxes of candy, usually with bows galore on top! She would always eat just one piece a day, making it last...making her feel a bit special every time she opened the big heart and picked the piece for that day, I'm sure.  I admire her will power, thinking back on those times. LOL

Now, Valentine's Day for me doesn't have to happen on any given day. I try to not give into the commercialism too much-- we don't need Hallmark to tell us how to feel or when to buy a card, but it's not bad to be reminded of things, times and people we should be grateful for. So, with that in mind, I enjoy expressing the sentiment of the day. In fact, sometimes, it's nice to even save that special dinner for a few days after Feb 14th--the restaurants are less crowded, less expensive and more intimate.  It's doesn't HAVE to happen on Feb. 14th! The sentiment can be the same. 

A big day for me too is usually Feb. 15th when I scour the stores looking for the biggest chocolate heart I can find to send my Mom (like the one My Dad use to give her those many years ago... but since his death in 1992, I've been buying them for her). I made that trek today in fact, searching 6 different drug stores until I found the heart I was looking for! :-) It will go into the mail tomorrow. A post Valentine's Day surprise.  She still eats just ONE piece a day...

I am always somewhat bemused by the holiday's origins though. It makes you wonder what current events today will be turned into a festival 1,000 years from now.  LOL.  

Anyway, I'm busy eating chocolate right now.. I'll get back with you later. In the meantime, have a wonderful Valentine's Day WEEK-- and for fun....some interesting facts:


Origins of Valentine's Day:

Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. 

So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailor's daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial — which probably occurred around 270 A.D — others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. 

The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. The Roman 'lottery' system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February — Valentine's Day — should be a day for romance. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America.

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)

Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".


Read more of the interesting history at: 

Wishing you all happiness and wonderful Valentine's Day YEAR! :-)


Friday, February 12, 2010

How to be a Miserable Artist!

My facebook friend, and real-life friend, Cully Hamner posted this on his wall, and I thought it was food for thought for all my artist friends. :-) Tell what you think? --R.


(Thanks to Rafael Albuquerque)

How To Feel Miserable As An Artist

(Or What Not To Do-- Underline Any That Currently Apply)

1. Constantly compare yourself to other artists.
2. Talk to your family about what you do and expect them to cheer you on.
3. Base the success of your entire career on one project.
4. Stick with what you know.
5. Undervalue your expertise.
6. Let money dictate what you do.
7. Bow to societal pressures.
8. Only do work that your family would love.
9. Do whatever the client/gallery owner/patron/investor asks.
10. Set unachievable/overwhelming goals. To be accomplished by tomorrow.

So, I ask you, fellow artists: Any of those sound familiar?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Review of "Tex: The Art of Mark Texeira" on Weekly Book Buzz!

Hi Everyone-- Below is a review of my just released book on Mark Texeira. :-) Give it a read. This book is available in book stores, but you can also order it from me directly, or pick it up at one of my appearances this year, while supplies last.


"Tex: The Art of Mark Texeira"
by: Renee Witterstaetter and Mark Texeira

Like a lot of comic book fans, I first took note of Mark Texeira when we worked on the revamped Ghost Rider title for Marvel Comics in the early 1990s. Texeira’s bold, heavy style seemed a perfect match for this new and more terrifying version of Ghost Rider. Since then, “Tex” has cemented his place among the best artists in comics, leaving an indelible impression on every title he has worked on.

Vanguard’s collection traces Texeira’s roots from growing up in New York and attending the prestigious Art & Design High School in Manhattan, to his career as one of the premiere comic book artists and illustrators of the last twenty years. Throughout the book, Texeira comments on his life and career, giving readers an insight into how he has developed as an artist, and his incredible work ethic. Mark also discusses growing up in a tough Bronx neighborhood where gangs were prevalent and butting heads with his father who didn’t think that an artists was a suitable profession.

While Ghost Rider may have catapulted him to stardom, fame didn’t come overnight. Texeira was assisting Rich Buckler on Spider-Man Vs. Superman in the late 1970s and got his break with Marvel doing an adaptation of “Buckaroo Banzai” in the mid-1980s. But it’s all about the art isn’t it and Vanguard has included an incredible collection of Texeira’s work. Interior pages, covers, sketches, full color oil paintings, and private commissions…many of them never published previously. In particular there are wonderful oil paintings of Thor, Vampirella, and the Black Cat; incredible watercolor illustrations of Batman and Wonder Woman; and Texeira’s take on Frank Frazetta’s “Death Dealer”. It’s simply a superb collection of one of the best, and one of my favorite artists. Grade A

Read more here: