Friday, April 5, 2013

Five Star Comics at Tri-Con!

The Five Star Gang will be at the Tri-State Comic Convention, otherwise known as Tri-Con, this weekend, Saturday, April 6, 2013, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, West Virginia. Look for us at Table #15, next to the Dalek and TARDIS. Larry Blake will have original art and his own books for sale, Gary Gibeaut will have Mothman posters and postcards, and Terence Hanley will have his monsters and aliens coloring books for sale. In addition, you can buy the first two issues of Five Star Comics. We hope to see you there.

Text copyright 2013 Five Star Comics
Mothman poster art copyright 2013 Gary Gibeaut
Monsters from the Mountains Coloring Book cover art copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

Five Star Comics #3 Goes To Print

After many months in preparation, Five Star Comics #3 is finally going to print. This will be our biggest issue yet: five stories, seven creators, and 56 pages in all. Here's the lineup:
  • Dead Harrah: Zombie Detective by Gary Gibeaut
  • Kevin Cool by Larry Blake
  • Marvel Maid by Terence Hanley
  • The Amalga-Mates by Terence Hanley, Larry Blake, and Tim Corrigan
  • The Black Bat by Terence Hanley, with illustrations by Larry Blake and Matt Marshall
Gary Gibeaut's zombie detective, Dead Harrah, is the star of the cover story and lead feature, "The Case of the Dark Angel." Gary's cover:

Five Star Comics #3 will be available soon, we hope by the time of the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (S.P.A.C.E.), which takes place on April 13 and 14, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

By the way, the Five Star Comics main title design is by Seth Boring. Photoshop effects on Gary's Dead Harrah story are by Jason Roush.

Text copyright 2013 Five Star Comics
Art copyright 2013 Gary Gibeaut
The Five Star Comics logo is a trademark of Five Star Comics.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

2013 Convention Schedule for Five Star Comics

Five Star Comics will be at several conventions and festivals this year. Here is our schedule as the convention season begins:

Tri-State Comic Con-Tricon
Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington, West Virginia
Saturday, April 6, 2013
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo-S.P.A.C.E.
Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, Columbus, Ohio
Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, 2013
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ratha Con
Athens Community Center, Athens, Ohio
Saturday, May 11, 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

River City Comic Con
Lafayette Hotel, Marietta, Ohio
Sunday, July 28, 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mothman Festival
Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Saturday and Sunday in September
Dates and times to be announced

We hope to see you soon.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Comics Buyer's Guide Reviews Five Star Comics #2

Whitney Grace reviewed Five Star Comics #1 and #2 in Comics Buyer's Guide back in November. In last month's issue (the second to last issue of the magazine), Ray Sidman gave a little more space to Five Star Comics #2. He likes the expanded book (which went from 37 pages of stories and art in #1 to 46 pages in #2). "This issue includes five stories that range from decent to entertaining," Mr. Sidman writes, "with the best of them being 'Origin of The Black Bat' (due to its art and classic character) and 'The Case of the Nut Case' (with fun writing and a solid sense of humor)." That makes a thumbs up for two stories that have been a little neglected in reviews and letters of comment. Mr. Sidman concludes his review with these words:
The writing and art [on issue #2] aren't uniformly as satisfying as they could be, but the overall effect is an entertaining, pleasant reading experience. This small-press title is a good one, and promises more entertainment to come in #3.
We'll keep working towards a uniformly satisfying reading experience. And speaking of Five Star Comics #3, we're nearing completion on the book. Look for previews in the coming days!

Original text copyright 2013 Five Star Comics

Monday, December 3, 2012

Comics Buyer's Guide Reviews Five Star #1 & #2

Whitney Grace, a reviewer for Comics Buyer's Guide, has written about her impressions of Five Star Comics #1 and #2 in the magazine's November issue. Ms. Grace voices an opinion that seems common among comic book readers of today. "Original stories inspired by or updating the Golden Age adventures are welcome," she writes,  "especially their freedom from modern super-hero soap operas." In creating Five Star Comics, we wanted to avoid the cynicism, irony, extreme violence, nihilism, moral relativism, and moral depravity of modern day comics. If super soaps are part of that picture, we're glad we have avoided that, too. In any case, Ms. Grace concludes her review with this: "Five Star Comics has something going for it that many other independent comics lack." She doesn't say what that might be, but we hope it's good.

Original text copyright 2013 Five Star Comics

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tim Corrigan Retiring

Say It Ain't So, Tim!

Veteran small press cartoonist and Five Star creator Tim Corrigan has announced his retirement from drawing comic books. People throughout the world of small press have received the news with surprise, dismay, and sadness. Tim is a talented cartoonist and can always be counted on to issue funny and well drawn comics. We will miss him a lot. Tim's reasons for retiring are personal and professional and while we can understand, we wish it could be different. We wish Tim all good fortune and success in his endeavors.

Copyright 2012 Five Star Comics

Monday, November 19, 2012

Secret Origins

The Lost World of Cave Girl!
Part 2

This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of a banner year in the literature of fantasy and adventure. Nineteen twelve was particularly significant in the development of the little genre of lost worlds, a genre inhabited by Cave Girl and countless other fictional characters.

The lost world genre is no doubt named for Arthur Conan Doyle's novel, The Lost World, serialized in The Strand Magazine between April and November 1912 and published in hardback before the year was out. The Lost World set the pattern for all lost worlds to come: intrepid explorers (led in this case by Professor Challenger) mount an expedition to a hidden and almost inaccessible land where they find prehistoric creatures and strange races of men. We have all enjoyed books, movies, and TV shows that fit the pattern: King Kong (film, 1933), Robert Moore Williams' Jongor series (fiction, 1940-1951), The Valley of Gwangi (film, 1969) and Land of the Lost (television, 1974-1977) are just a few examples. Works as varied as Herland (1915), At the Mountains of Madness (1931), Lost Horizon (1933), The Island at the Top of the World (1974), Jurassic Park (1993), Lost (2004-2010), and Ka-Zar and the Savage Land (Marvel Comics) draw on the conventions of a genre pioneered in the original Lost World.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) may have been pioneer, but no writer exploited the lost worlds genre to a greater extent than Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950), nor in more ways. A restless jack-of-all-trades, Burroughs set off his writing career with a bang in 1912, first with John Carter of Mars, then with an even greater success, Tarzan of the Apes. The saga of John Carter began in February 1912 in the pages of The All-Story with a serial entitled "Under the Moons of Mars," later published in hardback as A Princess of Mars (1917). Although it's considered a work of planetary romance or science fantasy, the collected John Carter can be interpreted as another variation on the lost worlds genre, complete with strange creatures, varied races of men, and decaying civilizations. By Burroughs' time, of course, few options remained for locating lost worlds on Earth, a world that was mostly found. Whether he intended to or not, Burroughs expanded the possibilities of lost worlds by locating them in outer space. His Barsoom was a forerunner to the myriad lost worlds of science fiction.

Edgar Rice Burroughs completed his annus mirabilis with "Tarzan of the Apes," published in The All-Story in October 1912 and in a hardbound edition two years later. Eventually running to twenty-two volumes published in Burroughs' lifetime, the story of Tarzan brought together all the elements of the lost worlds genre: the modern man thrust into a primitive environment; conversely, the primitive man introduced into the modern world; preternaturally intelligent animals; races of men of every size, shape, color, description, and culture; lost cities; hidden valleys; forgotten civilizations; dinosaurs and other strange creatures; a hollow earth; and on and on. Tarzan remains one of the most recognizable characters the world over. The influence of Tarzan and his creator are incalculable, even today.

Three works--The Lost World, "Under the Moons of Mars," and "Tarzan of the Apes," all from 1912--brought together the pieces of the lost world genre. Everything that followed--including the comic book stories of Cave Girl--has been a variation on a theme composed a century ago by two authors, Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

To be continued . . .

Published in 1912, The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle has been adapted to the movies many times, and why not? After all, it brings together people and dinosaurs in a way the real world has never seen fit to do. Here's a paperback tie-in to the 1960 version, directed by Irwin Allen.
Before Frazetta, there was J. Allen St. John, and before him, Frank Schoonover. Great American illustrators have been drawn to the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and for good reason. Whatever he may have lacked in literary ability, Burroughs possessed a powerful and fertile imagination. 
Two covers with similar themes: From a distance, Tarzan looks upon a lost city. I don't know the artist for the first of these two covers, but Frank Frazetta, in his watercolor period, created the second. Frazetta will figure pretty prominently in the continued secret origin of Cave Girl.
Text copyright 2012 Five Star Comics