Thursday, June 23, 2011

Evil Farm Children and Gerry Alvarez grease up Ottawa's Clocktower Brew Pub June 25

Local Ottawa surf/punkabilly/garage-rock deviants Evil Farm Children will be capping off a very busy month with a hometown show on June 25 at the Clocktower Brew Pub, along with a very special guest: Canadian garage rock icon Gerry Alvarez, with The Gerry Alvarez Odyssey (

Alvarez, one of the founding members of the legendary 1980s Montreal garage band The Gruesomes, will be performing songs from his latest mid-60s Revolver-era Beatles inspired CD, “Omega Tea Time” (now available on Ricochet Sound Recordings) with his latest solo project, The Gerry Alvarez Odyssey.

Evil Farm Children will be fresh from a series of out-of-town shows throughout the month of June, including shows in Toronto and Hamilton, and a showcase at the prestigious NXNE Festival in Toronto on Friday, June 17 at Mitzi’s Sister on Queen Street.

Greasy, high-octane, nitro-driven rock and roll delivered live with a one two sucker punch.

Evil Farm Children w/ special guests The Gerry Alvarez Odyssey
9:00 PM
Saturday June 25
The Clocktower Brew Pub
575 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Monday, June 20, 2011

Down-home hospitality at Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo

Wonder Woman finds a home with Wonder Girl
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (June 17, 18, and 19, 2011) proved to be a busy and fun show for me and Ronn Sutton (Honey West, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Fear Agent). We were both kept busy talking, doing commissions and talking about comics, TV and movie to the many fans who passed our tables. And a lot came by!

"The convention was terrific," Ronn agrees, saying, "We were seated in guest area. We each had a table to ourselves and in a bit of terrific synchronicity, Leonard Kirk was seated next to us and David Ross right across from us. Other comics guests included Neal Adams, Michael Golden, Tim Sale, Mike Mignola, Joe Jusko, etc. I had a nice conversation with Bo Hampton, whose work I've always liked. I was pleased to find out he knew some of my art, too. Movie star guests included William Shatner, Jonathan Frakes, Doug Bradley (Pinhead). Guest George Romero had to cancel out until next year."

Calgary luggage handlers
It was our first time attending this comic-con, and our first time in Calgary. We had an inkling that it was going to be an interesting weekend when we got off the plane at the Calgary airport and saw cool model displays at the baggage pick-up featuring realistic dinosaurs ripping up luggage.

Ronn comments about Calgary, "It was funny to see all the police officers walking around wearing cowboy hats as part of their uniform. There were sculptures everywhere. Not abstract stuff either. Lots of sculptures of lifesized cowboys on horses, etc. Great park benches supported with a wagon wheel on each end. I was surprised at the number of large art galleries and performance/dance theatres. Calgary is a big money town (oil)."

As for the show, we heard that the crowd was around 35,000. Maybe it was because it was Father's Day weekend, or maybe it was just Calgary, but  there were lots of families (parents and kids) at the show, including a little Wonder Girl who bought a piece of my Wonder Woman art.

Gil is pleased with his Zatanna art
I did many commissions, like female heroines Zatanna and Batgirl. But I also did some fun animal-themed ones like Super-Monkey, My Little Pony (in high-heeled shoes) and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Darren displays his mighty shield
Ronn and I signed lots of souvenir books, but one of the oddest requests for me was to sign a Captain America shield that also boasted (real) celebrities like Jonathan Frakes. It's going to look great handing on the wall. 

Ronn says, "The con staff were just terrific. They were constantly coming around handing out bottles of water to guests and bringing food." This was a relief but also very strategic, because it kept us at our tables!

Leonard Kirk and Liana K.
We went out to dinner after the show with friends and fellow comics pros Leonard Kirk (X-Factor), Dave Ross (Star Wars) and Dave's wife Judi. "Saturday night Judi wanted to go to Vietnamese restaurant," Ronn says. "What a comical time. The staff didn't have a clue what they were doing. Everybody was missing half their cutlery, and after they prepared our table half of us had plates and half didn't, including Dave Ross who got a saucer instead. The waiter came to table with dish he identified as "pork chops," which in fact was Judi's order of lemongrass chicken. Man, what a place. The food was good, though. We had a fun time. When we exited we noticed the name of the place was the 'T & A' Restaurant."

Speaking of which, there were plenty of fetching women dressed in costume at the comic-con, including TV personality Liana K., who scandalized Calgary police with her "faux nude" sci-fi gaming character costume.

Our ride back to the airport on Sunday night was also memorable. The convention was kind enough to provide a shuttle service for us -- and that turned out to be an adventure.

Ronn Sutton on the limo bus
"We're taken to the bus and the driver is there," Ronn recalls. "He's dressed in black cowboy hat and black tailored formal cowboy suit looking like a cross between Ronnie Hawkins and Santa Claus, with a big white beard and long white hair and huge rings on every finger. He ushers us on to bus. Holy cow! It's a limo inside!  There are long couches, mirrored ceiling, a bar, hardwood floors, and blaring sound system. We sit almost half an hour because he's waiting for more people. Finally he says they've called for a smaller car to take us. As we get off bus, actors Adrienne Barbeau and John Amplas (Dawn of the Dead) show up. So it's back on the bus and he takes us out to airport."

So Calgary put on quite a convention. Lots of down-home hospitality and great people. Thanks, Calgary!

-- Janet Hetherington

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sketchbook by Ronn Sutton ready for Calgary Entertainment Expo

With Calgary Entertainment Expo coming up June 17-19, Ronn Sutton (artist of Honey West, Elvira, Fear Agent and more) has put together a new souvenir sketchbook called EXCERPTS, featuring a wide variety of artwork.

Each copy of EXCERPTS will have an original art rough by Ronn bound into the sketchbook.

Ronn and I will also have comics and original art available at the show, and we will both be doing commissions. We're always happy to chat and discuss comics, movies and more. Free autographs.

Find us located at tables L09 and L10 at the BMO Centre. For more information on the Expo, visit its website.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Where to get your comics fix in Bermuda

Garan Madeiros and Ronn Sutton at the Comic Stop, Bermuda
Ronn Sutton and I went cruising in May on Holland America's Veendam ship from New York to Bermuda. This was a family cruise, with 14 of us on board. That assembly of relatives resulted in scenes straight out a Chevy Chase Vacation movie, including a land excursion that had us all wearing matching T-shirts sporting the logo "Grandma's Gang."  I intend to write all the insanity into an exaggerated comedy screenplay.

Logline: An 80-year-old matriarch books her entire bickering family on a week-long cruise where they are forced to spend quality time together on a ship full of old people.

Sea turtles at an aquarium in St. George's
I do want to say that there were fun times. The food was plentiful and delicious (surf 'n turf, lobster bisque, all-hours pizza for Ronn); we saw sea turtles; I won a karaoke trophy after getting wasted on champagne cocktails; we went on a glass-bottom boat ride; and Ronn and I got our comics fix at the COMIC STOP comic book store in Hamilton, Bermuda.

What was really amazing is that we had met the owner Garan Madeiros before in Toronto, and had actually gone out to dinner with him along with our friend, comic book artist Dave Ross. Garan, who attended the Joe Kubert school, is also the creator of the Contract comic book. I got ahold of copies of those at the store, and Ronn gave Garan an issue of Honey West.

Scenic and sunny Bermuda
Garan frequents Comic-Con in New York, but the best way to meet him is to drop in to the COMIC STOP in Bermuda at the Emporium Building, 69 Front Street, Hamilton.

Tell him Ronn and Janet say "hello"!

Friday, June 10, 2011

First look at Walking Dead season 2 photo, season 1 toys

Photo by Gene Page and Greg Nicotero © TWD Productions LLC. All rights reserved
This week AMC released a "first look" photo from season 2 of its critically acclaimed original drama, The Walking Dead, based on the popular comic book series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore.

The TV show is currently in production in the greater Atlanta area. The hit TV series' second season includes 13 episodes, and premieres this fall. 
Executive Producer/Writer/Director Frank Darabont says, "At this moment, I'm standing on a stretch of post-apocalypse interstate in Georgia, littered with abandoned cars and blessing my good luck to be reunited with our amazing cast, and our fantastic directors and crew. Across the board, there are none better. It's great to be shooting again. I think we've embarked on a great season."
For additional information and photos on The Walking Dead season two, visit

The AMC website also offers a "first look"at McFarlane Toys' Daryl, Zombie Walker and Zombie Biter action figures. McFarlane Toys is creating four action figures from season 1 of The Walking Dead, which will go on sale this November.