Report From Comikaze

Bill Nelson Reports Some High Strangeness at the Recent Comic Event

Last weekends Comikazie was to say the least quite interesting. The convention promoters boasted fifty thousand people in attendance. Well, yes, they were able attract a lot people to the convention center, but I don’t think it was close to that number. The people that did come were an army of looky loos. It was mostly kids in elaborate and clever costumes playfully mugging for camera phones. Many of them liked viewing the vintage collectibles, but had no money to buy them. So for us at the Oddball Books booth, it was a little on the slow side. However, we had a plentiful supply of bud lights, rum cokes and cheez-its as well as Maria, Barbara and the Coop Devil Girls as company.

Bill at Comikazie

Stan Lee cologne

Sadly, I didn’t manage to get anything signed or meet the legendary creator of Spiderman. Because Stan Lee is getting up there in years, he was only there for a few hours a day and sixty bucks for his signature was a major factor in motivating me NOT to stand in his signing line. However, I did pop by is his perfume booth. Gez, you can smell like a comic dealer or worse a ninety year old man…….

barris hot rod

What can I say….. The George Barris coolish-ghoulish MASTERPIECE on display!

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson who played the character Oscar Goldman in both the Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman television series was so happy to see his doll when I brought it to him for his signature that I thought he was going to start cradling it.


A pretty good Moriticia, but lousy Gomez.

 nichelle nichols

Funny, when I met Nichelle Nichols she didn’t look like that….

I only got to one panel discussion. It was on the Grindhouse Film Festival hosted by Eric Caidin owner of The Hollywood Book and Poster Shop. It’s a monthly 60s- 80’s exploitation film fest at the New Beverly theatre. They show tons of rare over the top, blood and guts flics, mostly from 35 mm film prints and many from the Quentin Tarantino collection. For more information and to get on their email list, check out Eric’s web site.

Posted by Bill Nelson

Gilbert Hernandez – “How I Got Started In Comics”

Gilbert Hernandez Discusses the Comics and Artists Who Influenced Him

Love and Rockets Brothers At Skylight Book Shop in Hollywood!


DSC_1035 Gil and Marble bookBeloved cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez (LOVE & ROCKETS) launched his new D+Q graphic novel MARBLE SEASON, at Skylight Bookshop in Hollywood to a packed room of his fans and comic readers. Hernandez presented a fascinating slide show “From Funnybooks to Graphic Novels” featuring the comics of his childhood.  In addition, there was a question and answer session with fans and a book signing. (Some signed copies may still be available at Skylight).  The silver age comics he read as a child not only influenced MARBLE SEASON, but also set the course for Gilbert, as well as his brothers Jaime and Mario, to become the legendary comics creators they are today.

Marble Season is his first graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly

MARBLE SEASON is the first ever semi-autobiographical novel by acclaimed cartoonist 200px-LoveAndRockets31Gilbert Hernandez of Love & Rockets, and is also his first graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly. Meet Huey. He’s the middle child of a big family, growing up in a California suburb in the 1960s. He stages Captain America plays in the backyard and treasures his older brother’s comic-book collection almost as much as his approval. Set against the golden age of the American dream and the silver age of comics, MARBLE SEASON is a subtle and deft rumination on the redemptive and timeless power of storytelling and world-building in childhood.

“Perhaps no other current creators of comics recognize (or vividly remember) the ways actual kids think, talk, or even stand and walk as accurately as the Hernandez brothers, and no other comics artists so delicately intertwine moments of childhood trauma with the goofy logic that otherwise sustains kids when they begin to sense that they live in an irrational world.”—from the afterword by Corey Creekmur

“Gilbert Hernandez is one of the great craftsmen of modern comics.”—New York Times

Praise for Palomar: “These deeply influential tales, a sort of Archie-comics-meets-Marquez melange of complicated pan-American inter-relationships, are a comix epic.”—Time

Praise for Gilbert Hernandez: “He…[should]…be considered one of the greatest American storytellers. It’s so hard to do funny, tragic, local and epic, and he does all simultaneously, and with great aplomb.”—Junot Diaz, Los Angeles TIMES

Click here to see video on youtube.

Click here to go to Skylight Books to get a signed copy.

Or watch the embedded video below:


Gabrielle Bell at Skylight Books

Alternative Cartoonist and Graphic Novelist Gabrielle Bell reads from 4 of her recent stories at Skylight Books.

Gabrielle Bell was born in Britain but raised in California.  Now living in Brooklyn, NY, she came to Hollywood to promote her new book “The Voyeurs.”  The pretty, lanky, and somewhat shy Ms. Bell presented a slide show of four wonderful, funny stories that have either appeared in her new book or in recent comic collections. When asked about who inspired her, she answered that Joe Frank was a big influence on her.  Most of us who lived in California the last few decades feel the same way: the brilliant Joe Frank touched all of us in his absolutely genius way.  Gabrielle’s charming, thoughtful stories will also touch you. And make you laugh!  Check at Skylight Books, they may still have a few copies of her new book signed, give them a call.  If you missed the event, no problem, Big Fun Video was there to film it for us, just click on the window below!  Thanks Gabrielle for a great fun evening!

Watch full screen on youtube: or click on window below.

New Yorker Cartoonist Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine Presentation at Skylight Books

Popular graphic artist and New Yorker cartoonist Adrian Tomine came to Hollywood recently and gave a funny slide show of his work that has appeared in the New Yorker magazine.  He also discussed how he got started as a cartoonist with New Yorker and his struggles with balancing work and having time for his new daughter.  After the slide show and questions he signed books, a few copies may still be available at Skylight Books, give them a call to verify.  Big Fun Video was on hand to tape the event, click below to watch the entire slide show, complete with the questions and answers segment.

Watch direct on youtube:

or click on window below for embedded version.

The Day I Met Stan Lee – Part 2

The Day I Met Stan Lee – Part 2

by Bill Nelson

Many fans dressed up in elaborate costumes. The zany outfits ranged from zombie looking dorks in white face-paint and ripped T-shirts to Batman wan-a-be’s in full-blown body armor. They all seemed to be having a ball hamming it up and mugging for photo-ops. Rather than a convention all about buying and selling comic books, these events have morphed into giant Halloween swap meet parties

Stan Lee arrived around noon and the line to get his signature was nearly two hundred people. At fifty five bucks to get his autograph, I don’t think he will die in dire poverty. After waiting almost an hour in line, it was finally my turn to meet the legendary super-hero writer. I got up to the booth and handed my ticket to his helper and then presented my prize piece.

Stan took my thirty year old photocopy and with his black sharpie proceeded to boldly sign his name…

…..covering up the late Jack Kirby’s autograph!

Well, I would like to think that he’s getting old and can’t see very well, but there’s also part of me that wonders if it was not Stan’s way of telling Jack that he’s still number #1.

-Bill Nelson

Alert!  Alert!  Stan Lee is coming to COMIKAZE at the Los Angeles Convention Center on September 15-16th.  Guests include Todd McFarlane, Elvira and many more.  If you have a signed piece you would like Stan to sign his name on top of, bring it along!,,.Holy smokin’ pen, Batman, I waz just kidding!

The Day I Met Stan Lee by Bill Nelson

The Day I Met Stan Lee

Part 1

by Bill Nelson

All Photos by Bill Nelson

 Yesterday, I went to my first comic con in many many years. It’s really incredible to see how different these conventions have become. Back then, when I was a kid, it was just a combination of chubby teens and geeky looking adults with wish lists, roaming around a room full of dealers, trying to fill out their favorite super hero collections. Also, there would be a few artists peppered among the tables signing their work or doing sketches. I remember once when I was eight years old and I begged my father to take me to meet the legendary artist Jack Kirby. Jack was signing color copies of covers from many of the comics he had drawn over the years. The copies were matted on thick black card stock, which made it really stand out . I think he wanted four or five dollars at the time and I was more than willing to turn over all of my allowance for one of the nifty pieces. But, it was so hard to pick just one because I was such a fan his early work. After many moments of pre-pubescent pondering, I picked my favorite, The Fantastic Four number one.

The comic shin-dig this weekend was called the Comikaze Expo and was held in the Downtown Los Angeles Convention Center. What spurred my interest in attending was learning that Stan Lee, the co-creator of The Fantastic Four as well as many other classic Marvel titles, was going to be making an appearance. After thirty years I still had that autographed memento signed by Kirby, and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it make a nice addition to have Stan’s signature as well.

Man-oh-man, conventions have grown and mutated from a room full of comic book readers & dealers into a new era of Sci-Fi & Horror fandom. The hall was jammed packed with all sorts of vendors selling weird clothing, people gaming and even dudes getting tattoos. There were some TV & Movie celebrities signing autographs including Ernest Borgnine, Tippi Hedrin and the Horror Hostess Elvira.

End of Part 1.


-Bill Nelson