Updated weakly.

John P. has a PATREON. / King-Cat 77 is OUT.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

BIRD CITY USA PLUS ROCKS


A few weekends ago, I finally finished the work for The Hospital Suite, so I had a chance to have some fun.  On Saturday Stephanie and I went to our first meeting as members of the Badger Lapidary and Geological Society, followed by a fossil-hunting trip out to a few quarries in the Monroe, Wisconsin vicinity.  We found a lot of old animals, including our first "Trilo-bits" (but no complete specimens).  I figured I knew a good bit about Animals and Vegetables already, so it was time to learn some about Minerals.  We've been going out and rockhounding for a few months, but this was my first time doing so with people who knew what they were doing, so it was plenty educational.

Your 'umble narrator.

When we started fossil-hunting a few months ago, it was very surprising to me that one could walk up to an average, ordinary rock outcropping and find old animals sitting there that are millions of years old.

Bivalve clam, found in chert

Clockwise from top: Some kind of gastropod (snail), snail, galena (silvery mineral), sphalerite (black mineral)

A nice big chunk of rock featuring some lovely "fossil hash" (what rockhounds call a hodgepodge mix of various fossils all grouped together).  If you zoom in on the cephalopod hole in the lower left, you'll see it's filled with pyrite and sphalerite crystals.  Pretty cool.

Gastropod in matrix

Fossil hash consisting mostly of brachiopods


Then, that Sunday we finally got to attend the Sand Bluff Bird Observatory's annual Bird Fest.  Usually we're out of town that weekend, or just plain forget about it, or hear about it too late.  This time we made it.  It was great getting to be around a bunch of like-minded people, and to see these reclusive and somewhat small birds up close was remarkable.  It almost gave me the shakes I was so excited.

 White-eyed Vireo
(Vireo griseus)

Gray Catbird
(Dumatella carolinensis)

Brown-headed Cowbird (Female)
(Molothrus ater)

 Common Yellowthroat
(Geothlypis trichas)

Nashville Warbler
(Vermivora ruficapilla)

Western Palm Warbler
(Setophaga palmarum palmarum)

So all in all, a pretty good weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

APPLESEED CON


US Route 30, between Valparaiso and Fort Wayne

So, last weekend I drove out to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to attend the 2014 Appleseed Comic Con.  My buddies Jim Rugg, Ed Piskor, and Tom Scioli were attending, plus who were the Special Guests? None other than both PETE BAGGE and JIM STERANKO!  So I'm there.

The trip wasn't too bad, once I got out of Chicago.  I made it to Ft. Wayne early enough Friday afternoon to quickly hit all the comics shops in town.  I managed to pick up like ten 1970's Marvel Horror Comics that were on my list, and I was ridin' high.

Checked in to the hotel, and stayed up way too late talking about comics with Jim, Ed, and Tom, three hardcore comics enthusiasts.

Beautiful downtown Fort Wayne

Next day I got up early to set up for the show.  The Con was held in a gorgeous new Events Center, right in the heart of downtown.  Day One went well, met some cool people, including, for the first time-- Pete Bagge.  Then I lurked around the Steranko table a bit checking out all his cool old memorabilia (old Marvel black light posters from 1973 etc).  When I tried to take his picture he said "No Pictures!" and held up his hand.  The guy has class.

Managed to rustle up six or seven more comics I was looking for, and had lunch at the King Gyros next door.

Spit and a Half table, Northeast Indiana Stylee

Saturday crowds

The Great and Honorable Peter Bagge

Ed Piskor and his Hip Hop Family Tree

Jim Rugg and fan

Cool old Steranko Star Trek poster

That night we all went to dinner downtown and sat at a long table-- Steranko held court at one end, and Bagge at the other.  Two generations of Classic American Cartoonistes, wow.  Got out of there and went back to the room where we stayed up too late talking about comics again.

Fort Wayne Skyline


In Search of: BREAKFAST
"This is the idea we could have rolled with from the beginning!"

Downtown Post Office

Grand Wayne Center, home of the Appleseed Con

Tom and Jim share a knowing glance, Day Two

Jim with just some of his amazing and prodigious output
(I bought a copy of the Black-Lite Barbarianess poster!)

Tom never stopped working, all weekend-long

Day Two was slower than Day One, but that only meant I got to shoot the breeze with cartoonists more, and dig through more longboxes.  Afterwards, we all met up for a final calzone-fueled goodbye.  The Con Fatigue miraculously wore off, and I realized how much fun it was just hanging out with these guys.

Then, the road home...





Saturday, May 17, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY


Hi everyone,

Twenty-five years ago, on May 17, 1989, I drove over to the tiny little Kinko's copy shop at Golf and Roselle in Schaumburg, and printed 18 copies of my new zine, King-Cat Comics #1.  So happy birthday, King-Cat!

I just want to take a moment and thank everyone who's helped me through these 25 years-- all the friends, family, and readers that have made this possible.  I couldn't, and I wouldn't, have done it without you.

Today I'm in Fort Wayne, Indiana, standing behind my table at the Appleseed Con, an appropriate place to be all these years later, I think.  There are few things I love more than comics, and it's been a privilege to be a part of this world.  Thanks!

John P.

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(click images to enlarge)