Saturday, March 26, 2011

Written in spit - or - 9th Street

Many years ago, I found myself waiting for the train at the 9th Street PATH station. I think I was returning home to Jersey City from a day spent bumming around Manhattan. Idly looking about I noticed a dust covered box containing a closed-circuit security camera hanging from the ceiling. I stuck my finger in my mouth, swirled it around and reached up wrote ZONE on the side of the box, and did a quick head sketch. And then…

I sort of forgot about it.

Once in a while, I’d remember while passing through that station and look up to see if it was still there and for a very long time it was, I’m talking years. It got dustier and dustier but ZONE was still certainly discernible for anybody who looked up. Some times I’d wonder how long it had been since I’d created it and how long would these markings made with spit last?

Memory fades but I’m sure I pointed it out to one traveling companion or another through the years it was there.

Eventually, the 9th Street PATH station got modernized and the box containing the camera with ZONE written on the side was removed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How it comes together

This originally appeared as a stand alone page in issue #6 of THREAT! circa 1986.

It was meant to represent a notebook page, maybe something Henry or Ultra were putting together. At the time I had a notebook made of grid paper that I really enjoyed sketching in, it gave the work sort of a scientific feel.

This didn't work out so well when printed, I wanted the grid lines to bleed off the page but I was unsure of Fantagraphics printing process and the grid lines ended in a white margin. However, this page does illustrate how my sketches and ideas were being put together and turned into something else altogether. The running ZONE figure was from a sketchbook and you'll recognize it if you scroll down to the January 24, 2011 entry. The duo-shade "photo" was from another sketchbook page and is part of the February 20, 2011 entry.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


It's a ZONE world after all. This post features ZONE as interpreted by several artist friends. Setting the Way-Back Machine to sometime in the 80's, the first photo features my good friends Ed Farbarik and Carol Paulo. Carol is wearing a custom ZONE tee designed and drawn by Ed.

I met Ed in the tenth grade and he is more than partially responsible for me choosing cartooning as a career path. In high school he was know as Comic, because he always carried a few comic books with him along with a stack of typewriter paper upon which he was always sketching superheroes. (A quick aside) Ed worked in a local drugstore and also always carried several varieties of chewing gum with him. Some of the finest young ladies in our school knew him and I would be flabbergasted when they would approach us and say, "Comic, do you have any gum?"

Polaroid photo circa: the mid-80's
Ed created the ZONE tee with markers.

Next up from the mid-90's, ZONE as sculpted by that mad-scientist, Darren Auck. Darren and I have been friends since I met him in 1980, soon after I arrived in New Jersey to attend The Kubert School. Darren and I became fast friends with a shared madness for the unusual and bizarre, Darren promised me I could have his skull when he's done using it.

He is a toy collector and also a custom toy builder. I'll have to try and get a better photo of this some time but the ZONE in the foreground is a custom figure created from a plastic cowboy. It stands about 3 1/2" tall and was presented to me as a birthday present one morning in the Marvel Bullpen where we both worked in the mid-90's.

I created the ZONE head in the background out of an empty oatmeal container.

The figure in the foreground is one of my most favorite birthday presents ever.

The next piece is a recent addition to my collection, ZONE as drawn by the talented Chris Mooneyham. Chris is a 2010 graduate of The Kubert School, check out his recent work at:

Ink on Bristol, 2011

Hey Kids, send me your version of the toxic mutant-monster ZONE
and you can be featured on this very blog.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New comic book creations set artist on road to fame

Maybe I should have waited until August to post this one from the August 21, 1986 edition of the Parma Sun Post.

The Parma Sun Post was my hometown paper, it was delivered every Thursday. My dad knew one of the reporters and suggested that he do a story about me.

I was interviewed and photographed while I was visiting my parents. And, the sunglasses were not mine, nor was being photographed in them my idea, the photographer had brought them along for the shoot. This was my parents basement where I had set up a desk to work at while I was home.

That road to fame, I guess I took a wrong turn somewhere.