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The Batty Batom Bullpen – Michael Gilbert

posted on March 6, 2017

The next cover that’s been revealed  in the Komix Korner cover gallery is a Starbuck Jones cover by the inimitable Michael T. Gilbert. I first met Michael and by extension Mr. Monster at a dinner at Craig Russell’s house way too long ago. He and Craig were working on the Elric books at the time, and along with getting an early look at some amazing Elric pages, Michael showed me some Mr. Monster repros that he had. There’s just something nuttily endearing about good old Doctor Strongfort Stearn and his monster dispatching alter ego. If you’ve never checked out Mr. Monster, you really should do yourself a favor. I guarantee it will be totally worth it.

For his Starbuck cover, Michael chose a Robinson Crusoe themed scene that’s reminiscent of so many fifties comics where the hero would get stranded in some exotic local far from civilization. And, as is often the case when you let others play with your toys, he added the Octo-Shark to the Starbuck Jones canon. As other covers are revealed, you’ll see how the Octo-Shark reappears to vex our hero. It’s one of the things that made this project the funnest.

Michael also holds court in each issue of Alter Ego as the interlocutor at Mr. Monster’s Comic Crypt and is always a fascinating read. His tale of his search for the long-ago creator of the first Mr. Monster is worth tracking down. And if you want to see Michael’s Starbuck cover, just go to the Gallery page and give it a click. You just might want to start saving up to bid on it and make it your own while at the same time helping the Lisa’s Legacy Fund in its battle against cancer.

The Batty Batom Bullpen – Joe Staton

posted on February 18, 2017

The first cover to be revealed in the Komix Korner cover gallery is the the work of none other than the inimitable Joe Staton. Joe’s work on E-Man for Charlton Comics was where he first made his stand. He went on to work on numerous characters for DC Comics, most notably Green Lantern. As I said in the intro to the Batom Bullpen, when I was looking for artists do create the Batom covers, I looked to people whose work I admired and Joe is certainly at the top of that list. I especially enjoyed the Batman Adventures work that he did which is why one of his pages has pride of place on my living room wall. Joe and I were at an Akron Comicon a few years back when I told him what I was doing and he agreed to do the first Starbuck Jones cover. Not only did he do a great cover, but he basically teed the project up for everyone else by also creating a Starbuck Jones style sheet and the Logo along with the other trade dress for the book. If I can ever repay him for that generous act, Joe has a chip from me that he can cash-in at any time.

These days Joe can be found doing marvelous work along with Mike Curtis on the Dick Tracy comic strip. As Joe has said, it’s the job he was born to do, and Tracy has never looked better. Joe and Mike are having fun playing with the almost inexhaustible Tracy canon . You should check it out.

And, if you want to check out Joe’s cool Starbuck Jones cover, just go to the Gallery section on this site and click on the cover to enlarge it and fully enjoy it’s majesty.

The Batty Batom Bullpen

posted on February 9, 2017

When I decided to introduce a home front story arc into Funky about his wife Holly completing their son Cory’s comic book collection while he was stationed in Afghanistan, I knew I wanted to show a bunch of the comic book covers in the Sunday strips. Since it was going to be several covers and since I didn’t care to get sued by either DC or Marvel Comics, I decided to use some superhero characters that I had created when I was in the fifth grade. It was obviously one of my more prolific periods because there were a lot of them, folks. And then I thought, and this is the second best part, why don’t I ask some of my favorite comic book artists to bring my characters to life by creating the covers for me? Why that idea is so crazy that it just might work… and it did! Spectacularly! The covers that resulted were simply amazing and ranged from the star spanning Starbuck Jones to the elusive and mysterious Blue Astra. I called them Batom Comics because that was what I had called my comic book company back in the sixth grade.

And now comes the best part. Heritage Auctions, the premier auction house in the world for this type of graphic art, has agreed to auction off all of the covers and donate the entirety of the proceeds to the Lisa’s Legacy Fund for Cancer Research created by University Hospitals in Cleveland. If you saw the covers when they ran in the Funky Sunday strips, then you know just how cool and beautiful they are, but if you somehow missed them (and what’s up with that?) you’re going to get a second chance. All of the covers have been cached on this website in a section that we’re calling the Komix Korner Gallery or just Gallery on the menu bar. Starting today, we’ll begin showing you the covers again one at a time so you have time to properly savor each one. We’ll be uncovering a new cover every two weeks until all of the covers created by the titanically talented twenty Batom Bullpenners stand revealed just prior to the Heritage’s auction that will be taking place on November 16th and 17th in Beverly Hills and online.

It’s a great feeling to think that those characters from way back when are going to make a real world contribution to the fight against cancer. To learn more about the Lisa’s Legacy Fund, go to Lisa’s Legacy on this site.

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