Sunday, July 18, 2010

Commissions for the church!

I am opening up the door for commissions, or art-work-for-hire. I am doing this to try and raise additional funds for my church's building project. Single character pictures will be $20, scenes will be $35 and inking the picture will be another $5. All pictures will be on 11"X17" comic bristol board. If you want something smaller, email me at to discuss what you have in mind and to get a price.

The new sanctuary is needed to take our church from three services to one (for awhile, at least). The design will be most unique, incorporating an Ark (as in Noah) for an entrance way to children's classes and programs, video screens and sound on the outer portions of the building to provide announcements and service information, or to show a church service already in progress. The courtyard will combine the theme of the ark with the cross and baptism in a way that illustrates the scripture that I have never seen before. If things go according to schedule, the church will gather for their first worship in the new sanctuary in December of 2011! You can see the plans for the new church in this short video from the church

If you need to see some smaples of my art, go to my gallery at or to or to my facebook page- john tompkins.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dennis part of first Sunday Funnies stamp series

On July 16, the US Postal Service will release the first Sunday Funnies series. The stamps feature five famous strips: Beetle Baily, Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, Archie, and Dennis the Menace. Marcus Hamilton, who has been doing the daily panels for Dennis for over 15 years, is expected to be at special ceremony in Columbus, Ohio where there is the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
Here is the release from the USPS about the stamps:

The Sunday Funnies stamp pane honors Archie, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. The stamps will go on sale in July.

Dennis the Menace follows the antics of Dennis Mitchell, a good-hearted but mischievous little boy who is perpetually “5-ana-half” years old. His curiosity tests the patience of his loving parents and neighbors, guaranteeing that their lives are anything but dull. The comic debuted in March 1951 as a single-panel gag.

Offering an idealized portrait of American adolescence, Archie existed only in comic-book form before debuting in newspapers in 1946. A typical small-town teenager with a knack for goofing things up, 17-year-old Archie Andrews is often torn between haughty brunette Veronica Lodge and sweet, blonde Betty Cooper.

A military strip with universal appeal, Beetle Bailey first appeared in September 1950. Possibly the laziest man in the army, Private Beetle Bailey is an expert at sleeping and avoiding work. His chronic indolence antagonizes Sergeant Orville P. Snorkel, who is tough on his men but calls them “my boys.”

Garfield first waddled onto the comics page in June 1978. Self-centered and cynical, the crabby tabby hates Mondays and loves lasagna. He lives with Jon Arbuckle, a bumbling bachelor with a fatally flawed fashion sense, and Odie, a dopey but devoted dog.

Calvin and Hobbes explores the fantasy life of 6-year-old Calvin and his tiger pal, Hobbes. The inseparable friends ponder the mysteries of the world and test the fortitude of Calvin’s parents, who never know where their son’s imagination will take him. The strip ran from November 1985 to December 1995.

Marcus will be joined by Ron Ferdinand, the artist of the Sunday installment, and Scott Ketcham, Hank Ketcham's son. Also attending will be Mort Walker from Beetle Bailey, Jim Davis from Garfiled, Craig Boldman (a writer of Archie comics), and Nancy Silberkliet, the co-CEO of Archie Comics and the daughter-in-law of Archie Comics founder,Louis Silberkleit.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wonder Woman becoming less patriotic?

This blog isn't just about the Return of Mini-Con, it's also about other comics news people in the area might actually care about. So, for your consideration, Wonder Woman, one of the iconic female characters in comics is going through a costume change. This has happened before, but with efforts by Warner Bros. to make a Wonder Woman movie, some are wondering if the costume change isn't to make things easier for the movie, i.e. getting the comic Wonder Woman to look like the one people will see in the movie. Some people (such as the Washington Times) are even throwing out the idea that the suit is "less patriotic" to give more appeal to a global audience. The same idea was followed on GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, where the 'Joes were turned into an "international" force so it would supposedly do better in overseas release.
I saw the concept for the new costume and didn't get the impression the costume was un-patriotic as much as I figured the costume makes more sense for a super hero who is doing combat. The original outfit might be good for posters and beauty pageants but the new suit is more suited to stealth, combat, and being in the general public. Of course, this redesign looks very very very very similar to one a friend of mine, Kent, came up with some time ago. I can only hope that DC gives him proper credit for the re-design (although I doubt they will!).
Pictured is DC's announced re-design along with two proposed costume changes by Kent (the middle one was the most recent one from earlier this year). Do you think they are similar? Is it a coincidence? Why do you think DC would want to change the Amazon's costume? Do you like it or hate it?
I'd love to see some comments with this one!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In the news...

News coverage of the Return of Mini-Con was better this year than last, although no TV stations even called just to see what the buzz was about. I do send out a big thank you to Brian at the Union County weekly who had the first follow-up on the convention with a nice photo spread of pictures we had. Katie Oliver at the Observer had no guarantee on when her story would run, but it finally got into the July 4 paper!
In addition to these stories, I am grateful to Dave McDonald and to Ben Towle (look under June 26) and to the gang at Sketch Charlotte- more specifically Rich and Herc- for posting about the mini-con. Hopefully, if we go for year three, most of the folks from this year will be on board for next year, too!
Today's pics are scans of the stories as they ran in the respective papers. You can blow them up to get a closer gander or you can look them up on the web (although I believe the Observer requires you to at least register. I don't recall if they require a paid subscription.).

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crazy things happen at conventions!

Strange things can happen at a convention. One thing is the requests for sketches you get. Some of what I was asked to draw- a horse, a dragon, 2 Calvin & Hobbes cartoons, the tripods from War of the Worlds, Woody from Toy Story, a fairy, a mermaid, Bowser from Mario Kart and a baby version of Bowser! I heard the guys at Fite Klub had some odd requests like a child who asked for a picture of President Obama. "Alright," said the artist.
"Can you give him horns and a pitchfork, too?" asked the child.
After an uncomfortable pause, the artist said, "How about a super hero?"
Another little girl asked a Fite Klub artist for a picture of Justin Beiber! "How about a super hero?"

Another strange thing at conventions is some people can be discovered. It happened to Chrissie Zullo at the San Diego Con, and it sorta happened to my son, Landon this year. As I was doing a sketch of my own character the Sword, a mom asked Landon if he drew. He showed her some of the Toy Story pictures he had been working on and suddenly kids were asking him for sketches! Landon must have cranked out about eight pictures during the con- a star is born!