Looking forward to celebrating at Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena! See you there!
Looking forward to celebrating at Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena! See you there!
Our ice cream man looks like Vladimir Putin.
Oh, make no mistake, the cheerful gent who drives his tinkling dairy treat wagon thru our neighborhood every summer day is a fine fellow. He’s friendly, extremely courteous, and his truck is always well stocked with Bomb Pops, ice cream sandwiches and chilly confections molded in the shape of the most popular cartoon characters. But there’s no denying the chap is the spit and image of the famous Russian leader. Perhaps he’s some long-lost twin relative. Or maybe he actually IS Putin running a bizarre sideline business here in Burbank, CA. Unlikely we know, but stranger things have happened. Just as strange, in addition to frozen dainties, the fellow also sells old-fashioned non-PC playthings the likes of which haven’t seen the inside of a Toys R Us in decades. Perhaps they are still produced in Russia, which would explain how “Vlad” always has a full stock of them. I’m talking bow and arrow sets, cap guns and bombs, metal darts, and probably a few more destructive things hidden among the Fudgsicles. This delights Rashy no end, who is easily his best customer.
In other summer-related news, we seem to have completely lost track of our intern, Melodie D’Amour. Sometime after the Fourth of July Melodie grabbed a beach ball (and Super Rica’s piggy bank), announced she’d be “working at home” and we haven’t seen her since. As there have been unconfirmed reports of her running wild in Cabo San Lucas, we’ve come to understand that “working at home” is Melodie-speak for “On my boyfriend’s yacht”. We are currently interviewing for a new intern.
Seriously, if I’m going to have this swanky website, I really should update it more than once a year. Sorry about that.
And I’m also sorry for fans of our podcasts who have e-mailed, called, or accosted us on the street asking: “When is ‘Radio Rashy’ coming back?” Well, we’re working on that. Last year the site had some tech trouble and we’ve only now got things up and running again. The old episodes are there in the archives and we’ve added a couple new ones we recorded with legendary comics/TV/animation writer Mark Evanier just before the RR site went down. We’re looking into recording some new episodes, probably this fall. In the meantime you can keep up with Rashy, Super Rica and their doings here. The wonderful David Alvarez has agreed to document the actions of the podcast crew from time to time, so check back often to see what the monkeys and their pals are up to.
It’s been a crazy year since the last update. Lots of good things going on, lots of sorrow, too. Since last August we’ve said good-bye to my mom Patty, Misty’s grandma Pat, her cousin Tim and our dear friends, Carol Ann and Gordon. Just as heartbreaking, the loss of our beloved Boston pups, Deuce and Mugsy. The Boys were with us for six wonderful years. They were litter mates and so closely bonded that when Mugsy died in March, Deuce followed three months later in June. They left holes in our hearts that will never be filled. Still, we believe a house without dogs (or in Rashy’s case, a thylacine) is not a home, and we have adopted two new Bostons, Pixie and the Tank. They are awesome.
As I write this, it’s the middle of summer. Lazy days and hot nights. Swim time whenever we can wedge it in, and weekends either traveling (Cabo San Lucas, New York & Detroit so far) or at the movies taking in the latest billion dollar fiasco. Comic Con is over, Dodgers baseball is headed into the home stretch and the Lions pre-season is under way. I’m hard at work on many projects I can’t announce yet but will hopefully have some information to release soon, maybe around early October. Everything looks on target for release mid-2016 and on thru winter 2017. In what little time I have off, I do this…
Of course that doesn’t sit well with Rashy, who would prefer everyone spend their days keeping him entertained.
Misty is also working round the clock, creating a slew of new routines and illusions for a full slate of magic shows this fall and on into the holidays. I’ll post more about them the closer we get to her show dates. In the meantime you can follow the exploits of the magical Ms. Misty at her website: www.mistylee.com
Misty is also the first female medium in the history of Hollywood’s Magic Castle. Visitors can make reservations in advance for one of her haunting Houdini Seances. We’ve had a lot of friends up to the Castle lately. They seem to enjoy it more than Disneyland, and, having stood in line myself for an hour in 102 degree heat to get on Splash Mountain, I heartily agree. Besides, I love that there’s still one place in LA with a strict dress code. It only seems right that the Castle guests should be as formally attired as the magicians.
I guess I’d better wrap this up. I’m out of news and I just saw Rashy run through the house with an armload of water balloons. Our intern Melodie said she wanted to get some sunbathing in before she returned to her job of largely doing nothing, and it looks like Rashy is set on dampening her plans.
More soon, at least before next August. I promise.
It’s that time of July again. Time when a favored few leave the dark confines of the workaday world to trek to California and join with other like-minded souls in the spirit of fantasy and friendship. Their destination? Only the most exclusive address on the West Coast. If you don’t have a pass or know someone on the inside, you just aren’t getting in. Within its sequestered walls, artists, writers and performers mingle freely with industry bigwigs, while the rest of the world looks on dubiously, muttering: “What’s going on in there?” It’s a place for dressing in costume, for carefree revels, and for gleeful, hedonistoc indulgence. I am speaking of course, of the Bohemian Grove Encampment. But for those of you not attending that, there’s always good ol’ Comic Con. I’m only appearing on Saturday this year, so if you want to say hi or get something signed, please take note of the two places I’ll be that day:
I’m pleased and excited to take part in the BATMAN 75th ANNIVERSARY PANEL on Saturday, July 26th, 4:00 PM on room 6BCF. I’ll be on stage with a number of friends and fine folks from DC Comics and Warner Animation, talking about our favorite hero and answering most any Bat-related questions. Here’s the blurb fresh from the San Diego Comic Con website:
DC Entertainment: Batman 75th Anniversary
Throughout his 75-year history, the Dark Knight has become one of the most popular and widely recognized superheroes in the world. From comics to TV to movies to video games, the World’s Greatest Detective has permeated all entertainment mediums and beyond. Get a look at Batman’s rich history and what the future holds for this pop culture icon with industry titans Kevin Conroy, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Ralph Garman, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Peter Girardi, and some surprise guests!
Saturday July 26, 2014 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Almost immediately after the panel, 5:30 PM, to be exact, I’ll be signing at the DC COMICS BOOTH for an hour, until 6:30. If you want to get your copies of BLACK CANARY & ZATANNA – BLOODSPELL signed, bring them along as this is the ONLY signing I will be doing ANYWHERE this year. (Other things are welcome too of course, statues, DVDS, books, body parts, an oddly popular choice, it turns out). Later this summer I’m going into stealth mode to work on a few big projects, so this is the only con I’ll be hitting for the next couple of years or so.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in San Diego!
I have maybe three minutes as Deuce and Mugsy devour their dinners to set down a couple notes… BLACK CANARY & ZATANNA – BLOODSPELL arrived on shelves this past week. So far most folks seem to dig it. Joe Quinones’ beautiful artwork adds a lot of character and class to the story. BLOODSPELL was always intended to be a light-hearted romp and pretty much everyone has embraced the carefree tone of the book. Maybe someday I’ll write a darker tale, but my thought process was geared for fun when I started writing the book, what, gad! Eight years ago. If you want to check it out, I’m sure your local comics store has copies, or you can buy it on Amazon, ( www.amazon.com/Black-Canary-Zatanna-Paul-Dini/dp/1401210546/ref=pd_rhf_se_s_t_1 ) or download it at Comixology. *** Speaking of Zatanna (or like Zatanna) yes, I am that dork who insists on saying “Nepo emases!” when I enter the Magic Castle. If you’ve been there, you understand what that means. The looks I get from the staff are withering. I can’t even describe my wife’s reaction. Sorry folks, once a comic book geek… *** Up to my eyeballs in work this year, which is good. Unfortunately most of what I have coming out won’t be ready for another year , so I have to keep a lid on talking about it until then. Lots of stuff in the works, lots of different types of stuff. *** Misty and I saw GODZILLA. We loved it. *** Looking forward to Comic Con in a couple of months. I have nothing to announce, nothing to sign, nothing to promote and nothing to do except chat with friends by the pool and take my nephew to look at Star Wars stuff. Sweet. *** Pups are done eating and pawing at me to come play. So, it’s playtime.
Mother’s Day weekend 2103, I was at a fancy Manhattan restaurant with my mom, sharing caviar and quail eggs. We talked about family, about people we loved and lost, about my brother and sister-in-laws soon to be born twins and made plans to see each other at our upcoming family reunion in two months. We laughed a lot.
Mother’s Day weekend, 2014. I was in my mom’s bedroom in Carmel, sharing a bowl of saltless non-fat potato salad. We talked about family, about people we had loved and lost, about my brother and sister-in-laws just born twins, and made plans to see each other the next day. In a year beset by strokes, heart disease and most recently lung cancer, I couldn’t help but think how much had changed in our lives during the 365 days between Mother’s Days.
And yet, we were still together. That which was familiar, welcome and comfortable between us remained so. That which was new and sorrowful was acknowledged and put into perceptive. We still laughed a lot.
With any luck we’ll still be laughing next Mother’s Day.
Love you, mom.
Rughh…I hate being sick. Hey, join the rest of the world, Sneezy. Yakkin’ up green goo is not high on most people’s to do list. Growwl…when I’m sick I lope around the house half-in, half-out of a Detroit Lions hoodie, snarling like a badger and acting much less pleasant…I either eat too much or I don’t eat for days…had an orange jellybean a half hour ago, that’ll do me until Saturday…I stare at a half-finished script featuring one of my all-time favorite cartoon characters, and all I can think about is draining that full bottle of ZzzQuil…hibernation mode looming…cartoon character tells me to get head out of ass, power thru and finish script…sometimes the ability to will these creatures into reality more a curse than blessing…did I say that out loud? No, only wrote it. Good, I start to ramble out loud, people will lock me up. Postman brings unexpected delight…advance copies of the Black Canary/Zatanna GN. Joe’s artwork sparkles. Book is an incredibly nice package. Thank you, Joey Cavalieri, miracle worker. Just remembered, have to Fed Ex one to Mom ASAP…on go the pants, down go four or five Tylenol, lurch toward the door…wait, don’t have book…cartoon character hands it to me saying: “Lighten up, bitch. Life is good.” I fight the urge to vomit into its smiling face.
About fifteen years ago I was listening to a lot of Western music. That’s Western, before it mutated into Country/Western and finally just Country. Western to me was everything from Gene Autry and “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” to Western Swing as performed by Bob Wills, Milton Brown or Spade Cooley, to just any old ballad about doomed gunslingers and strawberry roans. Sadly the “Western” element has all but vanished from contemporary Country music, but all I had to do was toss in a CD by one of those artists, or catch a “Riders In The Sky” concert and I’d be back on the rhythm range once more, at least, in my imagination.
And it was out of those songs and my imagination that “Mutant, Texas” was born. I liked the idea of a weird little western town, too modern to be the old west, but not the contemporary west of Wal-Marts and NASCAR races. My off-beat pocket of never-was Texas would be a place where Buck Rogers collided with Roy Rogers. A place where amadillos talk and tequila planet women deliver 150 proof kisses. A concept not to everyone’s tastes to be sure, but an idea that amused me a lot. Enough anyway, to spark a four part mini-series, assorted short stories and the comic strip feature running on this site. If you’ve enjoyed the adventures of Ida Red, the Kiyotes and their various friends and foes in their published appearances in Oni and Dark Horse Comics, hopefully you’ll dig what David Alvarez, Antonio Alfaro and I have planned for them here. And if you’re new to Mutant, Texas, just click on the panel of the sneaky-looking coyote to your right and jump on in.
So I went to See’s Candy yesterday to get Easter goodies for my mom. I normally dread See’s at Easter week — imagine 400 moms, grannies, aunties and the random male or two (usually sent by a mom, granny or auntie) fighting like Tartars over the last box of Scotchmallow eggs. The last time I attempted it, I shoved through the throng far enough to grab a lone milk chocolate rabbit, threw a wadded-up twenty toward the young sales lady cowering behind the counter and ran. Did not stop for the customary free See’s sample, just ran.
Yesterday however, was much different. The crowd was down to an easily managable eighteen people, all more or less well behaved, and there were plenty of Scotchmallows, jelly beans and maple walnut eggs to go around.
As I was waiting for the sales lady (candy butcher? See’s girl? What is the appropriate term here?) to fix up a special boxed assortment for mom (one half Scotch Kisses, one half dark chocolate buttercreams, her favorite) I was joined on line by a rather imperious-looking nun who, judging by the many packets of nonpariel jelly eggs in her basket, was also doing her holiday shopping. Looking from the sales lady (I’ll stick with that) to the esteemed Sister, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities in their work attire. Both wore crisp long white garmets tastefully trimmed with black, almost identical in their respective modest styles. In fact, if it weren’t for the nun’s habit, I’d have thought the Sister was coming on to do her shift. “So here it is, Easter.” I said, looking from one woman to the other. “The busiest time of year. For both of you.” The sales lady was amused and laughed.
The nun, not so much.
I hate writing introductions.
I’ve written them before, and I’ll sometimes write them for friends, but for the most part, I don’t like doing them.
The only thing I hate writing more are witty remarks on birthday cards.
You know what I’m talking about. You’re dinking away in your office at one of several major cartoon studios, checking out something on line you shouldn’t during business hours when someone you remember vaguely nodding to a couple of times in the break room shows up with a Hallmark card for a co-worker you know even less, and then stands there while you wrack your brains to set down something more heartfelt and memorable than “Happy B-Day, Mushface, I hope it’s great.” Then out of guilt, you try to draw a little Spider-Man or Bugs Bunny head next to your signature because one of the artists drew a freakin’ gorgeous Supergirl on the lower half of the card, but your drawings never turn out as well as you planned, so you’re always left handing back the lame Mushface greeting and a blot that might be a really bad Donald Duck or a hideously off model Spongebob, but is by this point, just a blot.
Introduction, right. So this is my new on-line home where you can find out about what books, cartoons and other projects I have coming up. Also, it’s a place for me to set down frequent journal entries and to debut new comic strip content. I’ve always wanted to do a Sunday comics strip with my own creations, and now I have that forum. First up is a new Mutant, Texas series written by me and drawn by the insanely talented David Alvarez. It was supposed to run only two weeks, but we kept thinking up gags, so expect to see the Kiyotes and Ida Red and their antics on into the summer. Throughout the year we will be switching out the characters, so you can look for Polly the Witch around Halloween, Jingle Belle at Christmas, and Super Rica and Rashy probably any old time.
And now, before we go any further, it’s thank you time here at the ol’ PD.com. Hats off first to that rare raconteur, that sage of the business we call Show, that all around Good Joe and Lord High Mayor of Comic Con, Mark Evanier. You can follow Mark’s Hollywood/comics/TV adventures at his wonderful site: http://www.newsfromme.com It was Mark who, back at the dawn of the dot com era, had the foresight to snap up a number of domains in his slow to act friends names so they could someday have their very own true and officially named websites like this one right here. Thanks many times over, sir. We still owe you a dinner. Name the night.
I also must bow in gratitude while pointing out that this gorgeous looking site is the creation of the immensely talented artist, designer, photographer, comedian, writer and performer Kevin McShane. You may have seen him at comic conventions and on TV as his sometimes alter ego, Fake Stan Lee. When he’s not imitating the Will, the Way and the Wonder of comics, Kevin is busy with hundreds of projects of his own and you can find out about them here: http://kevinmcshane.org
Thanks in addition to the amazing Bizzaro who frequently stops in here to make sure things are running right, especially as our designated web mistress Melodie (more about her elsewhere on the site) is usually “on break.” You can learn more about Bizzaro and his fabulous feats here: http://www.smappdooda.com
And of course, none of this would have been possible without the help, encouragement, love, support and occassional butt-whuppin’ from my marvelous, magical Misty Lee. http://mistylee.com I love you baby. Okay, I’m getting off the computer now, five more minutes, I promise.
I guess that’s it, then. We’ll be upgrading, changing, adding and revising things for a while as we get up to speed, but for right now you can stop on by for regular cartoons, news and frequent journal pieces from me. And while it is true I hate writing introductions, I very much enjoyed bringing you this site.