Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Flag Me Down cover released // New Jersey is The World Podcast interview talking Castle Dracula!...

 *****FLAG ME DOWN: The Story of Wildwood's Tramcar cover has been released******

I'm excited to announce that the cover of my next Wildwood New Jersey adventure, has been released!...

Unfortunately, I do not have a release date yet, in mind... it's currently pretty hard to determine where I'm at in my process with this graphic novel. I'm excited to say that it is challenging me to again play with the comics medium and push the boundaries of what's possible in a comics experience compared to any other medium... which, leads me to bring the production of this GN to an explorative front - letting myself make discoveries as I experiment with the writing and the drawing together.

Once I'm further along in this process and seeing sort of an "end of the road", I'll be more willing to share interior pages. I'm happy to say, I'm already excited to do that.

Hope you enjoy this cover.

Check out my interview on NEW JERSEY IS THE WORLD:

I sat down remotely for an interview with Mike D over at New Jersey is The World podcast and had an amazing time talking about 'Castle Dracula & Dungeon: Employee Handbook Illustrated'.

Listen to the show here.

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Returning to the George F. Boyer Museum in Wildwood this Summer!...

 Join us, as we return to the George F. Boyer museum in Wildwood, NJ for yet another, two-day signing event from 10-3pm on Wednesday, August 9th and Friday, August 11th!... I'll have a limited supply of books available and will limit the sale of one book per person.

I'll be announcing my last Wildwood-themed book at this event - so, stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Last summer: The time of my life and new beginnings ahead!

 Last summer's release of 'Castle Dracula & Dungeon: Employee Handbook Illustrated' was such an amazing experience... quite easily, the summer of my life. First, the release part at the George F. Boyer Museum in Wildwood, NJ was SUCH a success - we apparently had over 70 guests come through the doors to take part in celebrating this long-lost Wildwood dark ride's demise, twenty years ago. The museum said it was likely the biggest turn-out for a Wildwood book release yet.

One of the great surprises at the event, along with my family and friends who came out, was the involvement of Castle Dracula's co-creator, Angelo Nickels and my now fiancée, Kathleen Henry. Angelo came out of Suprise, as we were actually expecting his brother, John to make an appearance... but it just so happened that Angelo found his way to the museum a week prior to get a full inside scoop of the event we were throwing together... and let me tell you: It was a hit!..

Angelo was so gracious with his time and was willing to give stories to each of the residents of Wildwood and beyond -- Many of us couldn't help but to ask continuous questions on how things in the castle or dungeon boat ride were conceived, run or obtained. It was perfect for an Employee Handbook release party to have the boss himself there!

Another special person at this event is my now fiancée, who, at the time, I hadn't proposed to... yet. Katie was so gracious to help me collect the compensation for the comic book at the release party and looked quite amazing doing it. I'm so excited for our new partnership. I proposed to her at the great mid-century motel gem, The Pink Champagne Motel. A motel I had lovingly drawn in my last Wildwood adventure book, 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop.' 

Pals from my hometown, like Joseph Gourniak, a fellow artist whom I once shared a studio with, also came out for the fun!... My uncle Mike and aunt Annamarie made a surprise appearance, along with Wildwood personalities, Stella Star and Wildwood historian, Kirk Hastings - which, was so cool!

I had the fortune to meet fans of both 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop' and 'Mr. Fascination and the Fascination Machines' as well, at this release party. It was also a joy to get some loving feedback for books that took years to produce. I'm really proud that I got to have this amazing summer experience... you could say it had a hand in bringing me back to the east coast - for I'll be moving to New York City this coming May... and I'm pumped for a new chapter in my life!

Monday, May 16, 2022

Castle Dracula Memorial Day and Release Party Announced! - Summer 2022

 I'm happy to annouce that Wildwood Historical Society - George F. Boyer Museum and I have come to an agreement on our date for the Castle Dracula Memorial Day and release party - Confirmed for Saturday, August 13th, 2022 at the George F. Boyer Museum in Wildwood, from 12pm-3pm!..

Meet John Nickels, former builder, owner and operator of the ride, and get your copy of 'Castle Dracula & Dungeon: Employee Handbook Illustrated signed by both him and myself!..
Come dressed as a cast member and get 5$ off your Employee Handbook purchase!..
Join us as we commemorate this beloved dark ride!.. Proceeds benefit the Wildwood Historical Society.

Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Breaks & Dinner: A chapter break page from Castle Dracula & Dungeon: The Employee Handbook Illustrated

 Hey friends,

Here's a chapter break splash page from the up-coming Castle Dracula & Dungeon: The Employee Handbook Illustrated, which, will be my final Wildwood New Jersey-inspired project for at least the foreseeing future. 

This splash page depicts Harry's Corner, a still popular eatery on the boardwalk in Wildwood, at Cedar and the boardwalk. I gained information that this was indeed a popular spot for Castle Dracula & Dungeon cast members/employees and imagined this situation - As the cast members were told not to change (other than their robe) out of wardrobe/makeup while on their breaks... therefore, moments of hilarity insured. The cast members were just a little more vulnerable, but not quite enough.

More from this fun feature soon. Here's the half pencils, half inks (barely) page of said splash:

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Castle Dracula & Dungeon: Employee Handbook Illustrated - Promo Poster - Available in Wildwood NJ 2022!

 I'll be once again, spending my August summer month with a week in my favorite shore town, of Wildwood, New Jersey. Soon I'll be announcing what will be the Castle Dracula Memorial Day, where I'll be releasing 'Castle Dracula & Dungeon: Employee Handbook Illustrated' alongside of John Nickels the builder and owner of the long-remembered Wildwood "dark ride", Castle Dracula!.. 

This promo poster for the new Bombshell Comics release will be available and signed (Limited to 25!) at the event, come August 2022.

Date, place and time will be announced soon!

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Reflecting back... on my 2021 Wildwood days...

 Early September has me reflecting back to my mid-August summer,.. to sum it up: a bittersweet journey that touched my childhood so hard, I could feel the loved ones that I've lost in my family there, hanging out with me - as they were the ones to show me Wildwood.. and I like to believe, get to experience that magnificent time warp of a beach town again with me.

My first day driving in, I checked in to the Mango Motel, on E. Spicer.. In a great part of Wildwood it was, as I had accessibility to the Wildwood Museum and Zippy's Bikes, both on Pacific, the cross street, just steps from the Mango. 

Sadly, the Mango Motel wasn't illustrated in 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop', but the interior liner notes has a nod to the 1950's dream commercialuxe. Sadly, the Mango Motel's neon sign never lit the 5 nights I stayed, but it was so beautiful, it didn't need to be lit... A
common trait (come to find and write about) of Wildwood's motel signs.

Along with receiving the good news that the other comic book I was planning to release that week in Wildwood, officially made it to the Tributes and Traditions proprietor himself, Mr. Fascination - Randy Senna. Our night wouldn't come until that Saturday night, August 14th... but you know I had to get my fascination in!.. So I grabbed a sprite from his soda machine and started playing. The adventure had begun.

The first signing began that night, at the Doo Wop Preservation League's museum in Wildwood - a museum dedicated to the artifacts and signage surrounding the Doo Wop motel's history. It was the absolute perfect environment for our signing.. and the people who came were just as great.

One of them, being my childhood neighbor, who was so kind to come out and bring one of my late mother's best friends. 

Others included siblings of the motel builders, hardcore families of fans and even Stella Star herself - "the girl from Doo Wop city." ...It was great to know the books were beginning to go to great homes with people who love Wildwood's motel movement.

Of course, the signings wouldn't have felt the same without my editor, Kirk Hastings joining me on each of the signings... It was awesome to have him there to talk about the town's specifics - As Kirk grew up in Wildwood as a youngster and attended school there. Kirk even, come to find, lived in some of the houses that the Morey brothers built while the Moreys were building all the motels. It was great history to take in at each location. To see Kirk's book, 'Doo Wop Motels: architecture Treasures of The Wildwoods' go here.

Another stellar guest at the DWPL building, was my new friend, Dorothy Kulisek - who, for the last 15 years, has put her heart and soul in to The Wildwood Sun By The Sea newsletter there in The Wildwoods. Like me, she's a long time self-publisher. The newsletter of hers, is fantastically done... containing her own illustrations of Wildwood to photographs submitted by the families who helped shape Wildwood themselves as vacationers and property

A great joy I had, was meeting all the great folks who planned to be at the signings. Some of these people, knew their loved ones would be in the book. Two of them being, Robert Polis, the son of Theodore "Ted" Polis - the sign maker that pretty much started it all in Wildwood with the first neon sign business. His business would end up training some of the best sign men in Wildwood, including Serafino "Harry" Lanza. So, it was a great to meet the son and his grandson, who came with Robert.

At the signing where I met Robert, I also met Cool Scoops ice cream parlor proprietor, Paul Russo, who, was one of the funniest and kindest men I had met during my journey. Paul went above and beyond to promote 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop',.. I was and still am so grateful of his friendship. His Cool Scoops parlor is a must see for Wildwood nuts - as his collection of Wildwood history lines the walls of the parlor and the ice cream is just as great!..

It was also a pure joy to see my great aunt and uncle at the George F. Boyer Museum signing. As I hadn

't seen either of them in years. The George F. Boyer Museum brought out all my favorite friends and authors whom I met through the museum, which was so exciting. This included motel owners (who were 3rd generation) and nearly my age!.. So, it was thrilling to answer them with a "yes" after they'd ask if their own motels were in our graphic novel. 

By the time the George F. Boyer show went down on Sunday, I was beginning to realize that I was almost out of books... and there was one man who I needed to get a copy to - and that was Jack Morey. The son of one of the most prominent builders of the movement, Will Morey and nephew to the most prominent builder, Lou Morey. It was quite thrilling to drop off a copy to Jack at the Starlux motel.. and I can't wait to hear his feedback someday.

Nothing but pure history surrounded Kirk and I at the George F. Boyer Museum in Wildwood... We were greeted by many friends of the museum - Kirk got in to some wonderful conversation with the signing goers and I was happy to listen ^_^ Our graphic novel found some great new homes that day.. can't wait to return again next summer.

Here's a wonderful picture of two fans of Fascination with Mr. Fascination himself - Randy Senna!... Our release night was Saturday night, August 14th and it was a success in my eyes. We played Fascination late into the night and had several comic book cover-all games to celebrate, as Randy called it. They went really great. Other fans came in the days thereafter, and I was happy to greet them with a signed copy from Randy and Myself. Randy is a Wildwood icon... even if the town doesn't know it - he is... and I'm happy we put a fun comic book together. One, I'm really proud of. 

                                Here's to a great summer 2021 and a hopeful better one for next!..

Saturday, August 29, 2020

A wild (and important) time it is!!.. (and more from 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop')

A wild time it truly is.. 

Sometimes I question the relevancy of my work, well.. scratch that, a lot of the times I do.. because I spend so much time on it.. Projects are time killers and you hope, that when you're done with it, the world will be ready.. Focusing on a town like Wildwood, New Jersey, progressive for it's civil understandings, is/was a town of diversity, even back when a lot of towns in America were not..

Wildwood, a resort town once built of a fisherman's haven, has of course, gone through its stages of history - it's most important, were the impact of traveling music groups.. groups that even, would travel from the mid-west, where, conditions from which they were coming from, were probably substantially worse than Wildwood, New Jersey. A town of complete cultural acceptance, escape and reflection in the 1950's and 60's.. So much so, I find stories about prominent vocal music groups of the day refusing to leave the resort town in southern New Jersey.. and boy, the Motels are a living cartoon.. and so much fun to draw.

What's beautiful, is that the motels of Wildwood share a coined name for the music style that those artists expressed - and the same motels of Doo Wop housed many of those acts and patrons who were there to support the Doo Wop vocal groups in various clubs and venues in Wildwood, while on their vacation.

Nearly 1,000 photo references and two years in the making (so far).. 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop' is coming.. and I couldn't be happier to complete it with everything I have, for every reader to come.

Monday, February 03, 2020

More half and half pages from 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop'!..

2020 brings in my second year working on 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop' which, explores both sides of the genre - the music and the motels. At nearly 70 pages in length, and more than a dozen to go, I'm shooting for a release this summer, 2020.. but I'm being realistic with myself - it may just be that it's released in summer 2021.. We'll see..

Either way, here's more half and half from the 'Wildwood Days of Doo Wop'!..

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Even more half pencils/half inks from 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop' !..

One from 67' and one from 68' are both on my plate!..

Check out these two works in progress - as half pencils and half inks can only do justice!..

I'm normally drawing two to three comic pages at once for this next graphic novel feature and at this point, I've drawn over 100 motels.. and I'm not done yet!..

There really were so many of these motels (seems to be well over 300 at one point) in Wildwood,New Jersey when I was young, that I can't remember them all.. So, to discover new ones that no longer exist has been the most thrilling.

A dream project it is, with being a joy to produce and research this personally felt historic subject for nearly two years, I'm also planning on having a very special component to it (finger's crossed and more on that later). For now, enjoy these two pages as you are taken back to a special time and place via ink and pencil!.. More soon.. stay tuned and a happy new year to you!..

Thursday, November 14, 2019

More previews from 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop' graphic novel!..

The fun hasn't stopped with creating this venture, as I'm enjoying so much of the research with the reading I've done on the movement, and Wildwood's beautiful significance to Doo Wop vocal groups and the early artists (and architects) of rock n' roll. I'm very lucky to be creating this in 2018/19/20, as there's enough enjoyable and credible material to cite from. Plus, the architecture.. is such a fun thing to draw!..

Enjoy these previews of what's becoming a 70+ full-color monster of fun!.. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Promo from 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop' graphic novel!..

Here's a promotional piece I'm designing in conjunction with a few others, for the 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop' graphic novel. It's been a pleasure to learn about the various acts that made Wildwood such a diverse town for music. One of them, was of course, Philly born Bobby Rydell.

 I've had a blast going through his body of work and you can definitely tell he loved Wildwood, New Jersey in his music. He just recently, and in his seventies, performed in Wildwood again this September.

The most fun about making an architectural comic book, is finding the thematic cultural connection between the time period and the structure. Though this promo is more on the fictional end, the elements are still bound in the non-fiction - as the Cardinal Motel once had a rainbow in it's sign design (today it's more modern), Bobby Rydell's lyrics match it just right. Most certainly a Wildwood night bird, singing in the night as a cardinal bird might!..

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Half pencils/half inks from 'The Wildwood Days of Doo Wop'!.. // Seattle's Pinball Zine, Skill Shot Reviews 'Destroy Centaur'

Seattle's Pinball Zine, Skill shot (Issue #54 - June 2019) - http://www.skill-shot.com/ has given it's review of the latest Bombshell Comics release, 'Destroy Centaur' and overall, it's a nice review, calling it "a pleasantly strange comic book.." and that, "..if you're a fan of the pin, you will love Destroy Centaur!.." 

Pages from the Wildwood Days of Doo Wop continue to be produced.. I'm somewhere in the 40 pages range right now, and plan to go in to the 70's in page length and era of Doo Wop Architecture from Wildwood. The period of Doo Wop architecture doesn't really get going until 1956, but the movement goes strong all through the 1960's and Wildwood becomes filled with hundreds of these unique resort Motels that I cannot wait to share through my storytelling. 

Hotel Seipp eventually becomes The Tides Inn..

The book thus far, has been a journey of discovery and investigation. The research needed to fulfill the drawings AND the factual information worthy of being published can be tricky, and certainly, time consuming.. but I am having so much fun. Summer 2020 is my goal for a release date.. with more surprises to come.  Keep checking back when you can!..

The Flame Inn and The Binns Motor Inn were/are pre-Doo Wop architecture.