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Monday, June 28, 2010

Registered King Charles Cavalier Puppies Available!

All of you TV aficionados out there, I'm sure, remember Charlotte's cute little pup from "Sex and the City?"

You know the one, the little inquiring face keeping pace with Charlotte as she does her jogs around the NYC reservoir in Central Park, that little critter with the...well.. puppy dog eyes...that could melt any hard heart, and the character in the show that brings Charlotte out of her funk and depression with a litter of amazing little babies.

That's not surprising you know. People that have pets HAVE been shown to live longer and be a bit happier. I think it's because you are put in a position of doing something for a being other than yourself perhaps. And the unconditional love is such a bonus. I still remember the scene in the show when Charlotte totally forgets her own problems, as her dog gives birth to her little brood. :-)

When I was visiting my hometown in Texas a few months ago, my niece Rachel was having a bed-side vigil of her own.

Her King Charles Cavalier was having a difficult pregnancy herself, and had been in labor for some time, requiring constant monitoring as the time drew near. Every few minutes Rachel would go to check on the soon-to-be-mom, with great anticipation and hope that all the little babies would come out okay. One never knows. Anything could happen... but, Rachel, being a great Mom herself, was a perfect mid-wife. And the tense night ended happily.

Now, some months later, the little puppies are looking for a home. If you don't live near Rachel, it's okay, since the puppies can be safely shipped. So, if you are interested, take a look at these amazing pics above (that's my great-niece Natalie in the first one, by the way) and contact me at: evaink@aol.com. Even if you aren't interested... or think you aren't... I warn you that looking at those eyes may change your mind.

Also, if you are not familiar with King Charles Cavaliers, they really are amazing dogs. Beautiful, mild-tempered, quiet--i.e. not big barkers unless they sense a danger, great with kids, and perfect pups if you want one to sit with you and watch TV.... hey, I think I see a rerun of "Sex and the City" on just about now.

No time to waste! :-)


Friday, June 18, 2010

Eva Ink Euro Tour--May 2010--Thanks to all involved!

May 2010 brought with it another Eva Ink Artist Group Euro Tour! And to reprise the line-up of three years ago, I was happy to have two of my favorite guys, Michael Golden and Joe Jusko on board for the extravaganza once again. Linda, Joe's wonderful lady, came with us as well, and I'm SOOO glad she did. It was such a blast!

Stops this time included Paris, to visit Dynamo at his shop, The Netherlands and our friend Guido's place, Brussels with Hassan and his amazingly happy store, and finally an appearance with our friend Bart in Brussels as well.

Along the way, we met a ton of great fans, and ate way, way too much wonderful food. Thanks to everyone involved in this amazing tour, and we hope to see you again next year... I'm already working on the line-up!! As Guido says, I DO like to plan ahead! :-)

From top to bottom:Michael Golden in Paris; Linda and I at Hassan's store in Brussels. How did he know I LOVE yellow roses; Guido, being "direct." If you know someone from Holland, you know what I mean! :-); David Bourham, Michael Golden, Michael Derny, myself, Joe Jusko and Linda Kirsche in Paris; Dynamo and Michael Golden in Paris; Myself with pals Joe , Linda and Michael on the beautiful canal in Brugge.

Thanks again to all our friends in Europe for your hospitality and good company! I miss you all already and always look forward to our next adventure! :-)


Wizard World Philly in Photos! 2010!

Just back from an amazing Wizard World Philly! The show was packed! And my crew and myself were certainly busy. This year I had Michael Golden and Mark Texeira in tow as part of Eva Ink Artist Group. And, I don't think we had a dull moment.

Also a great time to see old friends and hang out a bit. Philly really is a city with some fantastic restaurants... not to mention the history with the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall just around the corner. Next time I'm going to stay an extra day and be a tourist I think!

In the meantime, Scoop just posted some photos at:


Note, all photos taken by DJ Michael Solof! Wonderful job! (Above, Michael Golden, Billy Tucci, Brett Spiner, The Batmobile, and Patrick Stewart.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Golden and Jusko Interview-- The Artist's Perspective!

While on tour in France, Brussels and The Netherlands in May 2010, Joe Jusko and Michael Golden sat down for a casual conversation with reporters in Brussels, talking about their influences, their approach and life as an illustrator.

The Interview is in French, but easily translatable on line. I found it interesting to sit there and listen to both Joe and Michael talk about their ideas and how they got started in the business of being an artist. Very different ideas, from two guys who are both very successful at what they do.

Plus, they are both just darn nice guys!


Here's the link:



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Ode to Jimmy Dean: My Favorite Sausage Recipe!

When I was growing up in Texas, there was NOT a shortage of fat in our food. If it was healthy, the idea was to fry it to make it less so. The sooner the better! No time to waste!

Chicken: Fry it!
Hamburger meat: Bread it, pound it, fry it and call it Chicken Fried Steak.
Corn meal: Mix it with milk, onions and salt, make it into balls, fry it, and call it Hushpuppies.
Green Tomatoes: bread and yeah... fry it!
AND, If you made bacon, save the fat in a container, because you might need to FRY something later, or at least make Sawmill Gravy.

You get the idea. And well, the results are PRETTY darn awesome.

Plus if you add a few trips to the gym in between, it's okay to indulge every now and then, I think. :-)

So, in honor of the late Jimmy Dean who just left this world-- Country singer, songwriter, and breakfast sausage king-- here is one of my favorite recipes from my Childhood: Sausage Balls!!

The recipe's ingredients are as simple as simple can be: baking mix, cheese and....you guessed it....SAUSAGE!

Now, I had thought for some time that my Mom invented this recipe as I had watched her many a time whip it up in the kitchen without the benefit of written word to guide her-- most often for holidays or for card night, or for a Tupperware party-- like some magical kitchen wizard she just seemed to know how to concoct this little tasty miracle straight from her culinary mind.

Guess what? Turns out she didn't.

It was originally ON the box of Bisquick baking mix--itself a Southern staple, in case you don't know. And when I googled just now for some pics of Sausage Balls just on a whim, I was surprised with hundreds of photos of this beloved, albeit it fatty, treat.

Over the year's I've made this myself more times than I can remember, and find that it's still a favorite at parties. One of my friends even likes it on Valentine's Day in lieu of Chocolates. :-) And I usually double the recipe to make sure I have plenty of leftovers. They are good cold or hot, and fantastic well....for Breakfast.

Regardless, Mom's always taste the best. :-)

So here ya go. I'll share it with you all. And thank you Jimmy Dean for your amazing sausage (and your music too!).


* 2 cups Bisquick
* 1 pound sausage
* 10 oz. pack of shredded cheese (or just shred your own from a block of cheddar)


Put everything in the bowl and mix. This is easiest to do with your hands though it feels pretty yucky at this stage. But it's the same way as if mixing meatloaf, and there really is NO other way.

Roll the mixture into balls, a little smaller than golf balls.

Place the sausage balls on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, depending. The Bisquick balls should be lightly browned with the meat cooked through.

If you have any left over (which is rare), then store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They can be reheated in the oven or the microwave. Eat hot or cold...assuming there are any leftovers!



Monday, June 14, 2010

R.I.P. Al Williamson--Another Illustration Great Passes... my thoughts.

When I was fresh out of college with a degree in English and Journalism, my first full time job was doing the public relations, photography and artist relations for a now past and much lamented convention called "The Dallas Fantasy Faire." Being very young and oh-so-green, it was a platform through which I was able to get my footing not only in the world of convention organization, and long hours in a darkroom wrist deep in chemicals, but ultimately in publishing, as my connections from that show led to my first job in New York City at DC Comics.

It was also a venue that introduced me to several of my life-long friends like Jim Salicrup, Art Adams, Mike Kaluta, David Spurlock, the late Dave Stevens, Bob Burden, Keith Wilson, John Romita, Jr., and many many more!

It was also the place where I met many of the greats in comics for the first time, and ultimately instilled in me a love for the medium that would become my work for the next twenty + years-- people like Stan Lee, and... Al Williamson.

I can't claim to have known Al well at all. Although, I can claim to have met this marvelous and inventive illustrator via the DFF, and thoroughly enjoyed every occasion. In the years that passed, after those days in the late 80's, I would see him at the Marvel Offices from time to time when I was an editor there, and he always was genuine and nice and funny. It was always a bright day when Al stepped into the office. And everyone felt that way. The Editor-in-chief would even beam at having Al in the building, and that was always well...kinda cute to see the boss being a fan and all. :-)

I wasn't surprised that Al instilled that in folks really. When I first met him all those years ago, working with the talent at the DFF, he was just that-- a gentleman and a professional. Al was certainly not one of those guys we had to hound to get to panels on time, or wonder if he was going to get on the plane to begin with. He just did. If he said he was going to do something. There was no doubt that he would. It's something called 'honor' right?

From my first meeting with Mr. Williamson and as my knowledge of comics grew, I became aware of his place in the industry as well, and the fact that he has influenced so many generations that followed. That's no surprise either.

Williamson was a superb storyteller.

I remember, as one of my fondest memories, sitting in my friends studio on 6th Street (also an artist), at 2 a.m., in a dimly lit room surrounded by comics by Frazetta and such, flipping through the original "Flash Gordon" comic books-- all dog-eared and worn with numerous perusals from his childhood on, and listening to him explain to me with unabashed boy-ish glee-- though in his 50's--just WHY Williamson was SOO damn good! Something I already knew of course. :-) But the endearing enthusiasm he had for Al's work, as with many other illustration professionals is certainly not an uncommon thread.

I think it's the norm.

In fact, if you don't know who Al Williamson is, then go and "google'" or something and find out right now. You are missing out, my friend!! And it's a shame.

After Frank Frazetta died a few weeks ago, myself as well as some of my friends were kinda shocked to find out that some folks didn't know of Frank and/or his influence in not only comics, but film etc. Some of them were even other artists! Younger generations, but still!! Please! Learn about who has come before, people. It shows you your roots. This industry just didn't spring up yesterday. Alot of people have paved the way in fantasy art and illustration, including getting us to where we are now with artist's rights.

I was even more dismayed, and disappointed, while in Europe last month to have an art history teacher tell me to my face that the study of Fantasy art was not considered a "legitimate" study. I tried to set him straight. Rest assured.

If something inspires, influences, generates an emotion, creates a response, then it is art of the highest form to me. I don't need any more art exhibitions with ladders draped in Christmas lights....

We need more Frazetta's and more Williamson's in this world.

Years after meeting Al, later in my publishing career with my company Eva Ink Publishing, one of the properties I REALLY wanted was to be able to reprint the "Flash Gordon" comics. I tried. And tried. Via King Features and numerous negotiations... It didn't come to be... But, I'm happy to say that in recent years the books have been published in retrospectives regardless.

Anything that honors a great creator such as Al Williamson is alright by me.

As a final aside, folks, I know in Al's case, he had been out of the public eye due to illness for some time... But in the case of our creators from all generations, that have influenced countless artists to follow, and progressed the medium that we love-- let them know that their work meant something to you. I'm talking about guys like Nick Cardy, Joe Sinnott, Russ Heath, Neal Adams, Michael Kaluta! You know the ones!

And although they were/are just doing a job, as M. Golden always likes to say-- i.e. putting food on the table, paying the rent, making deadlines, or making sure the kids shoes don't have holes--I for one want to let those creators know that we notice that they also BOTHERED to instill in their work something else-- something unique, something genuine...certainly something that had the potential to stay in a little kid's imagination like a germinating seed, long after reading a simple newsprint comic--in same cases inspiring careers, in others dreams-- in short, creating something magical.

I'm ALL for more magic in the world. Thanks Al, for leaving us with an abundance...



With that in mind, my friend David Spurlock of Vanguard Productions knew Al as a friend, and also published some of Al's work... he can say it better than I... and below a few remarks from David to share.


J David Spurlock More on AL WILLIAMSON
I met Al Williamson in Dallas, where I was working as an illustrator, in the early 80s as Al visited regularly for the Dallas Fantasy Fair. In 1984, I made my first trip to New York--all that way, by car, to see Cream founder, Jack Bruce perform (Jack hadn't played Dallas since the 1973 West Bruce... & Laing tour). The schedule was tight as my second daughter, Jessica, was due to be born soon. But I thought I had just enough time to visit one visual artist--who would it be? Out of so many in and near New York, I chose to go out of our way to visit Al Williamson up in the Pocono mountain town of Honesdale PA. Al was still penciling regularly at the time and doing the STAR WARS strip.

At the time, he was working on both, a sequence of Thomas Yeates' TIMESPIRITS and the story RELIC for EPIC magazine. I said, "Al, you know, now that Roy (Krenkel) is gone, you are the king of the other-worldly Franklin Boothian cities." Al said, "Oh, Roy is the king." I repeated myself "Now that Roy is gone..." He thanked me for the complement and said "I've been thinking about Roy a lot on this one (the comics story RELIC)." He showed me all kinds of things. This was when he had the guest-house studio before moving to the studio he rented from HIGHLIGHTS magazine in town. We had a great long visit (the first of many, many visits and lunches, lots of Birch Beer--a specialty rootbeer).

Before long I was home for Jessica's birth. Ten years later I moved to the New York area and I would get to occasionally take Jessica with me to visit Al. They were very fond of each other. He even joked about the idea of Jessica and his youngest son Victor becoming a couple. After our talk that first visit of Roy Krenkel's influence on Al's architecture etc., Al added a dedication to Roy on the last page of the story RELIC.

Attached is a piece Al did for me of my character THE SPACE COWBOY. I did the digital color -- great honor working with the master. I created THE SPACE COWBOY very much as an homage to Al and his "Fleagle Gang" of friends including Krenkel, Wood and Frazetta. All SPACE COWBOY material is dedicated to them but this issue was also dedicated to my Space Babies, Sunshine & Jessica. I think this is actually Al's last comic book cover ever. He did the Al Williamson Adventures around the same time but that was a book--not a comicbook (so this is perhaps his last comic book cover. --R.)


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Charlotte is for Lovers--Of Fine Art at Heroes Con

One of my favorite shows of the year by far! Always a great time with old friends. :-)

Charlotte, N.C
. -- The favorite show of both pros and fans alike is happening earlier in June this year--next weekend in fact--which just means the fun is happening sooner this year as well! And if that were not enough, the convention will be debuting a new gallery show on Friday AND continuing it's world-famous art auction on Saturday.

As usual, this show features includes the likes of artist/writer Michael Golden, fine art painter Mark Texeira, illustrator Steve Scott and Eva Ink friends like Robin Dale co-producer of the "Creator Chronicles" documentary series and amazing painter Joe Jusko.

In addition to an outstanding artist alley and exhibitor list, Heroes this year will also be debuting a gallery show in connection with the convention, with a Friday night reception open to the public.

"Super! The Fine Art of Comics," which had a continuing run from April 28-June 6th at "Twenty-Two Gallery" in Charlotte will have a closing reception on Friday June 4th, starting at 7 p.m. and going until late! Pieces will still be available for final purchase at this time and includes works by Michael Golden, Mark Texeira, Steve Scott, Mark Bagley, Mark Brooks, Chris Brunner, Eric Canete, Steve Ditko, Steve Epting, Ron Garney, Randy Green, Sanford Greene, Cully Hamner, Tony Harris, Adam Hughes, Georges Jeanty, Casey Jones, Joe Jusko, Jack Kirby, Jason Latour, Ton Lyle, Jonboy Meyers, Jason Pearson, Brandon Peterson, Budd Root, Stephane Roux, Andy Smith, Brian Stelfreeze, Karl Story, Dexter Vines and Chrissie Zullo.

For more information on the gallery show, visit www.gallerytwentytwo.com or e-mail twenty-two@carolina.rr.com

Heroes Charlotte will be taking place June 4-6 at the Charlotte Convention. Other guests attending the show include Tim Sale, Mike Mignola, Frank Cho, Bill Willingham, and many more. For more information visit wwww.heroesonline.com

And don't forget the Heroes Con famous auction, taking place this year on Saturday night! Coupled with the show at Gallery Twenty-Two, this next weekend proves to be a real double-whammy for appreciators of sequential art!

For more information on Eva Ink Artists, appearances and commissions, contact: evaink@aol.com