Thank You Stan Lee:

Hello fans,


This week's newsletter will be a little different, as I would like to talk about the life and legacy of Stan Lee, and what he meant to me as a fan of comics as well as an comic creator.
As most of you know, we lost Marvel writer, publisher, editor-in-chief, and the public face of comics Stanley Martin Lieber yesterday at the age of 95. In the span of his 80-year career in comics, Stan Lee helped make the genre accessible to mainstream audiences in print, live action, animation, and most recently in film. Many of his most popular co-creations such as The X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Spider-Man, have been around for decades in the comic and on TV, but it wasn't until the first Spider-Man film in 2002 that the general public embraced the web-slinger as an iconic pop culture character on the level of DC heroes Superman and Batman. The same can definitely be said for most of the Avengers (save for The Hulk, who was probably the most well-known Marvel character to the mainstream with his early '80s live action series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno). I always joked that before the first Iron Man film was released in 2008, most non-comic fans would first think of the triathlon of the same name, or even the song of the same name before thinking of the armored hero.  Just as important though, is just how Mr. Lee made these characters attractive to the general public: He, along with artists such as Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, helped to create superheroes (and some supervillains) that were flawed just like everyday people. Spider-Man, for all his abilities, was still a young adult with not alot of money and lived with his aunt. The members of The X-Men (my personal favorite comic series he co-created), are ostracized by society because of their strange abilities, the same society they try to save, while there's a constant struggle between the X-Men's founder, telepath Charles Xavier, who believes society can eventually accept those who are different, and sometimes villain Magneto, who believes the opposite, and thinks mutants (the new super-powered race of humans they belong to) should rule over non-mutant humans. Who can't identify with stories and characters like that?


For me personally, I've always admired Stan Lee's consistent enthusiasm in both his work, and life in general. Pull up any Stan Lee interview, cartoon voiceover, or even the many cameos he's done in any of the Marvel movies, and you'll see what I mean. He had so much excitement in his voice whenever he spoke, that it never failed to bring a smile to my face every time I heard it. It was that alone that kept me drawing and writing from age 8 through today. I first heard his joyful voice on an episode of the 1980s cartoon Muppet Babies, as one of their many signature live-action cameos, and followed that voice through Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, and the little-known 1989 pilot for the first X-Men cartoon, as he was the narrator for both. While I was never lucky enough to meet him one-on-one or snap a photo with him (I missed a chance to have a Spider-Man drawing I did signed by him at a local hawaii comic shop at age 14, and then missed another appearance at age 21 during the release of the first Spider-Man movie), I did get to attend a short speaking engagement he did in Hollywood. The closest I got to a one-on-one encounter was actually a one-on-several hundred people during a San Diego Comic Con panel back in July 2006. At a panel for the then-upcoming Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game, I was able to ask him a question (I was the last in a long line of people to do so, and was almost turned away) about future Marvel Movie Cameos, which he replied that he would get his first speaking role cameo in Spider-Man 3 the following year.  I prefaced the question with how he inspired me to create my own character, of course. My only regret is not being able to snap a quick photo with him as he left the hall. If only I had a buddy with me at the time.
So Thank You Stan Lee, for shaping my life as a comic creator (as you did for many, many others), and sharing your infectious energy, and overall great attitude with the world. But most of all, thank you for just being you.


You will be missed, but your legacy will live on forever.


Awesome Con, Denver Pop Culture Con, and don't forget to VOTE!

Greetings fans!


Last week I got some big news: I was accepted as a vendor at next year's Denver Pop Culture Con Friday May 31st to Sunday June 2nd at the Colorado Convention Center. I will be a vendor in their Booktopia area specifically. This was on top of being confirmed for Artist Alley at another out-of-state show: Awesome Con in Washington DC, from Friday April 26th to Sunday April 28th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  After applying for four out of state shows over the summer (Emerald City Comic Con, Phoenix Fan Fusion, Awesome Con, and Denver Pop Culture Con), I wasn't sure which show, if any, that I'd end up accepted for, but I wanted to at least give it a shot. With being set for two out of the four shows, and waitlisted for one (Emerald City), I'm still waiting on a response from Phoenix. Because doing two out of state shows will be expensive due to shipping fees for my convention supplies and plane tickets, I may not exhibit at Phoenix Fan Fusion even if get accepted there, as I would need to pay for a hotel room and rent a car. While that's usually a cheaper scenario, because the show is a week before Denver's, it would put a heavy financial and physical burden on me, as Phoenix is a four-day event! Nonetheless, I am beyond excited for Carter Comics first foray into the nation's capitol and the mile-high city.

I also made the order for the first set of Cosmic Force trading cards early last week. 100 copies of the Sandra "Imagine" Winters trading card will be in the mail next tuesday. In addition, I began the story outline for Damn Tourists issue #5 called 'East Coast California. So far, the outline spans eight of what will be a thirty page book. Along with a trade paperback of DT (which will have the first four issues in one book) all three new projects will be ready for my 2019 conventions, starting with Wondercon Anahiem (still waiting for official confirmation, but I've been a small press vendor there for 5 years, so I SHOULD be a lock).


Lastly (but definitely not "leastly," haha) get out there and vote everyone! Doing your civic duty has always meant alot over the years, but nowhere near as important as the times we're living in right now. So vote this morning, during the day, or in the evening, but make sure you VOTE and get your voice heard!

Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

Happy Halloween from Carter Comics!

Greetings fans (and maybe some ghouls, witches and monsters)


I hope you all are having a great start to this spooky day! My apologies for the email blast day change, as I wanted to send this newsletter out with my Mongoose illustration game that I usually post on Mondays, but got moved to Wednesday for Halloween.  Even though my convention circuit finished two weeks ago, I still have some comic-related news: I attended the 8th annual LA Comic Con on Saturday. While I decided not to be behind a table in Artist Alley this year, I was in the "Alley" to visit friends of mine who I usually work shows with. Most were doing ok at that point of the event sales and crowds-wise, which is always good to hear. I've exhibited at the show myself three times previously, but I needed a break this year to finish new material. I may return to the show as a vendor next year.


The other Convention news just happened last night: I have been officially confirmed as an Artist Alley exhibitor for my first show on the east coast called "Awesome Con," taking place in Washington D.C.  My sister lives in Alexandria, Virginia, and offered me a place to stay during the convention. My goal is to have Damn Tourists issue 5 (whose story takes place in Florida) completed by the end of February to have something at least east-coast centric for the event. Also just announced is my application for San Diego Comic Fest Artist Alley next year that I just received and completed this morning. Hopefully I wind up snagging a table for 2019. Rounding out the conventions I applied to for 2019 are: Emerald City Comic Con (waitlisted), Phoenix Comic Con (applied, but no table confirmation yet), and Denver Comic Con (same as Phoenix). We'll see what happens with the rest of them.


Lastly, I just ordered my first set of Cosmic Force trading cards which should be in the mail in two weeks. One hundred copies of trading cards starting with my de-facto group leader Sandra "Imagine" Winters will arrive by early November.


That's all for this scary day. One more thing I will be adding here from now on: For those of you who haven't liked my Carter Comics facebook fan page, here's an incentive to do so. I do a live audio broadcast on that page every sunday evening at 7 PM Pacific Time called "Al's Audio Agenda." You can find it at:

facebook.com/cartercomics.


Have a safe Halloween everyone!


Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

First time teaching a drawing workshop at my last show of 2018!

Greetings fans and new subscribers!

Well, I have officially closed the book on this year's Carter Comics Convention Circuit, and it ended with an exciting opportunity at the 4th annual Comic Book Invasion at the City of Commerce Public Library this past Saturday. In addition to being an artist vendor with a handful of other talented creators, I also got to teach my very first 50-minute drawing workshop, where I taught kids how to create their own superhero by drawing the human body through shapes. It went very well, with a small but attentive audience present----some of whom already had their own ideas for superheroes. One kid had a character named "Crayola Man." I went through the process of first drawing the human head, then the full human body, stopping after adding head and body parts to explain how and why I draw them a certain way. It was an experience that I was initially nervous about due to the unknown number of kids/adults that would be there, but at the end of it, I felt really good about how everyone enjoyed my lessons.

As for the vendor hall part of the show, I made Carter Comics history by making sales there for the first time (3 to be exact) in my three years at this convention. In previous appearances, this became the first show where I didn't make a single sale (though the table was free, so the profit was not a big deal). It was a personal achievement more than anything else to break that two year streak. It was also great to see many of my artist vendor buddies that I've known for awhile through conventions----many of which I either had not seen in awhile, or weren't able to talk with much at larger conventions. I even got a photo with my table neighbor Michael Aushenker, who I met at my first Comic Book Invasion.

So, while the convention tour has ended for now, that doesn't mean I won't be busy. I'm currently working on art and stories for my fifth issue of "Damn Tourists," a trade paperback of said book, and a line of Cosmic Force trading cards. As a work/play balance, I will be traveling to Colorado in early December to spend time with family and friends for a few days.

That's it for this week. Before I forget, I will be at LA Comic Con this weekend as an attendee, strolling around Artist Alley to support my vendor buddies tabling at the show. I'll be there Saturday only for a few hours.

Good luck, and have a great week!

Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

Welcome new Monterey Park Artwalk subscribers! Artwalk thoughts and last show of the year:

Greetings fans, and welcome new subscribers from this past weekend's Monterey Park Artwalk! Thanks to you, the Artwalk staff, and fellow vendors, it was a fantastic second year for me with three times the customer interactions and sales than last year when I first did this event. It was a feeling of accomplishment given the threat of rain that was originally scheduled for at least a portion of the show, but luckily it never materialized, and all we got were some cloudy skies and some cooler weather (which I had no problem with, considering the scorching temperatures last year). A big thanks to fellow artist Bobby Timony for letting me borrow his canopy in case we got rained on, and another thanks to Javier Solorzano and family for helping me set up and take down said canopy. While it ultimately didn't end up protecting me and my work from the rain (which didn't get beyond a few stray drops), it did help to make my setup more professional next to the other canopy tents, which in turn drew alot more customers to my booth. Or maybe it was just my work itself. Who knows. All in all though, what could have been a literal washout of a show, ended up becoming a cloudy and cool success.


My next show this Saturday, will also be my last show for the year. I have done 16 shows since 2018 began (down from the 24 I did last year due to finances, exhaustion, and needing more time to produce more books), and show number 17 will be: Comic Book Invasion at the City of Commerce Public Library on Saturday, October 20th. Hours are from 10 am - 3 pm, and admission is absolutely FREE! In addition to selling my self-published books and original comic book art in the vendor hall, I am also scheduled to  host a drawing workshop primarily focused on creating your own superhero characters. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, but I will let you all know when it is.


As for the rest of the year and any 2019 shows, I will be attending LA Comic Con of Saturday October 27th to visit and support my fellow artist alley friends, working on my first batch of trading cards featuring all five members of the Cosmic Force, Damn Tourists issue 5: "East Coast California," and "Damn Tourists: The REALLY BIG BOOK," my name for the first trade paperback that will feature the first four issues starring our clueless travelers.  In regards to shows for next year, I am confirmed to be an artist vendor at Santa Clarita Comic and Toy Expo on February 24th, and at Comic Con Revolution in Ontario (California) on Saturday and Sunday, March 18th and 19th. I am still waiting for table confirmation on the following shows I applied to: Wondercon Anaheim March 29-31, a new show in Baldwin Hills called "Los Angeles Black Comic Con" on Saturday February 23rd, and my first east coast convention in Washington DC called "Awesome Con. As with all of my comic/artwork/convention/artwalk happenings, as soon as I know of any updates, you'll know.

Have a great week everyone!


Regards,


Allen Carter

Carter Comics

Just Imagine arrives in the mail, update on expanded role at Comic Invasion, and next projects!

Greetings fans!

Just getting over a sore throat (and thankfully nothing worse than that since I recently got my flu shot), but luckily that's where the bad news ends. I'm overjoyed to

say that not only was my second Cosmic force Prequel "Just Imagine" completed a week ago, but over the weekend my first 20-copy order of the book showed up in the mail a

week earlier than expected. I originally expected it to be shipped by the end of this week in time for my final show of the year Comic Invasion Saturday October 20th (more on that later), but now it will be ready for my second-to-last show at Monterey Park Artwalk and Geranium Festival this Saturday. I did a live unboxing on my Cosmic Force fan page at facebook.com/forcecosmic, and did quick summaries for each of the 12 pages documenting the early life of Sandra "Imagine" Winters, ending with her last night of a normal life before the "meteor shower incident." This new book will be on sale for $4.00 (like my first prequel "The Man with a Short Fuse") at this Saturday's Artwalk in Monterey Park, and like all of my books, I will be signing purchased copies of them.

Also as I mentioned in the first paragraph, I was offered a volunteering opportunity at next Saturday's Comic Invasion on October 20 (City of Commerce Public Library from 10 am to 3pm, free admission) in addition to my role as an artist vendor at the event. I will be the head of an artist workshop encouraging kids (and maybe some adults/parents) to create their own superheroes using live drawing demonstrations. While I've always been a little nervous about any type of public speaking, having it be art-related will really help me get out of my comfort zone and try some new challenges. I had some practice with this earlier in the year at my first panel, speaking along with four other artist friends of mine at May's Comic Con Revolution in Ontario (California). I'm nervous and excited for it, so we'll see how it turns out.

Lastly are my next comic projects coming down the pipe: My first batch of Cosmic Force trading cards (starting with de-facto leader Imagine and later the rest of the quintet), the long-awaited fifth issue of "Damn Tourists" titled "East Coast California," which will take place in Florida, my first Damn Tourists trade paperback (that will include the first four single issues of the humorous series in one book), my third Cosmic Force Prequel called "Doom and Gloom," documenting the early life of Bryan "Gloom" Snarski, his distant relationship with his uncle as a child, and the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of his parents, and finally (but not really), my seventh issue of the main "Cosmic Force" series, where are fivesome and reporter friend Shannon Lima have been captured by rogue government task force Operative Fifty-One, and have to either find some way to save themselves, or be saved by someone (or something) else.

The current plan is to have the trading cards, Damn Tourists issue 5, and the DT Trade completed in time for at least Wondercon next year, which is usually my biggest

show of the year. All other projects listed should be completed in time for the following year's spring shows at least.

Have a great week!

Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

A Transit Meeting, an Artwalk, a Newly Completed Comic, and a Comic Expo!

Welcome to the world of Carter Comics new fans!

For my existing subscribers, thank you for taking residence in my world since March of this year. As I wind down my convention/artwalk/comic shop circuit for 2018, it's been another exciting and unpredictable tour for Carter Comics, but more on that when the year is actually ending. I have four shows left (which I will mention later) on the calendar, but first, I shall give you my thoughts on this past weekend shows, and my first LA Metro community meeting. I'll go in chronological order starting with....


The LA Metro Noho to Pasadena and North San Fernando Valley BRT project community meeting:


Yes, it's a mouthful, but Los Angeles Metro wanted to ensure that it could 'kill two birds with one stone' and mention both transit projects, as they both will run in the San Fernando Valley , and both will connect with each other. The confirmed part of this plan is to create two 18 miles of BRT, or "bus rapid transit," which is anything from a dedicated busway like the Valley's existing Orange Line, to painted bus-only lanes on Wilshire blvd, to just Metro Rapid bus service. For the Noho to Pasadena route (the one I care about the most since it's my route to work in Glendale), there are two alignments being looked at: A street-running route from Noho through Downtown Burbank, Downtown Glendale, Eagle Rock, and Pasadena. The second route runs on the 134 Freeway and just serves Noho, the Burbank Media District, North Glendale, and Pasadena. This route is currently being used by the 501 express bus. I prefer a street-running route that looks as close as possible to the Orange Line BRT ( dedicated busway / street-median running bus lanes, station stops placed at least a mile apart, off-fare payment, and traffic signal priority), anything less will not make a difference in travel time or ridership, and I'll just go back to using the 501 express bus.


Reseda Rising Artwalk and Night Market: I have been a vendor at this show since it's inception back in June 2016, and have also exhibited at their smaller summer artwalks "Third Thursdays in Canoga Park back in the summer of 2013. This year's outdoor block party of a show was exciting as always, with vendors now taking over Sherman Way (a major surface street in the valley town of Reseda), a growth move from vendors being placed on the sidewalk for the first two years. Much like Open Arts and Music Festival Glendale, Reseda Rising Artwalk and Night Market successfully draws a local crowd that is genuinely excited to see all kind of hand made items, be they crafts, clothing fine art, or comic book art. People were spending alot too (at least for me, as I made slightly more sales that last year, though I didn't sell out of any books like last year). I also got to gets some friends in on the artwalk: My artist buddy Christie Shinn carpooled with me to table here for the first time and she loved it, along with my other buddy Andy Cogan who stopped by to show his support by helping me watch my table. Overall, I would definitely return to year four of this artwalk.


Santa Clarita Comic and Toy Expo: I have also been tabling at this show since it's beginnings back in March 2017. The Husband and wife team of Razmik and Lisa Simonian (who also own Kimzar Kollectables comic shop) host this small but still-growing local convention in the College of the Canyons gym facility twice a year: Spring and Fall. Toys and old comics are the main draw, with local creators a close second. I did the best showing crowd and saleswise since exhibiting there for the first time last March. It was not a large increase in sales, but enough of an upward swing to make me look forward to their next show. More importantly though, the mix of families and college students with the show's DJ and MC, make for an energetic experience. That's the main reason I do this show, regardless of how many people stop at my table, or how many items I sell.


Just Imagine: A Cosmic Force Prequel: This is the second title I finished this year after Cosmic Force issue 6 this past May. While this 12 page backstory into the early life of CF member Sandra "Imagine" Winters was originally supposed to be completed in a month's time, a challenging story to capsize and other life obligations got in the way to delay my  due date. On the plus side, the extra time helped to produce a better quality book, one that will be for sale at my last show of the year at City of Commerce Public Library. Speaking of which, I shall end this long but informative email blast with both a reminder of my remaining two convention / art show appearances.


Final show appearances for 2018:


Monterey Park Artwalk and Geranium Festival


Saturday October 13th


5 PM to 10 PM


Barnes Park


Admission is FREE!!


Comic Invasion


Saturday October 20th


City of Commerce Public Library


10 AM to 3 PM


Admission is also FREE!!


Have a great week!


Regards,


Allen Carter


Carter Comics



Train Trouble, and "Just Imagine" almost done.

Good morning fans!
Yes, those three things I mentioned in this email header all happened over the weekend. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first, and work our way up to the good: 


Metro Expo Line Train Breakdown: As some of you may or may not know, I am a frequent passenger on LA Metro (mostly rail, though I take an express bus to and from work). I do own a car, but after driving in LA for 13 years, my tolerance for traffic, finding parking, and inconsiderate/inattentive drivers has waned considerably. I only drive during late nights at work, grocery shopping trips, carpools, or transporting my displays to comic conventions or artwalks. Anyway, while enjoying a relaxing Saturday afternoon leaving lunch at Santa Monica, several passengers and I found ourselves stranded on the Metro Expo Line, a light rail line that connects Downtown Santa Monica with Downtown Los Angeles. The operator could not move our train in either direction, and we were stuck on the tracks far between to rail stations. The operator then exited the train without any explanation as to where he was going, leaving all of us wondering what we're going to do. 40 minutes later an empty train (probably sent from the rail yard near Santa Monica College) arrives to pick all of us up. There was once last challenge, however: transferring between two high-floor trains via railroad tracks. Everyone needed to use one train door which had small metal steps beneath it on the outside. Older passengers needed further assistance with a stepladder. Eventually we were all loaded onto the new train and headed back to Downtown LA, but it was a confusing and frustrating ordeal mostly due to the lack of communication between the operator and the passengers. As someone who for the most part enjoys Metro's service, and who hasn't been in a train breakdown before up until this point, I need to email them this week on the matter, as I would like for them to have better communication with passengers in situations like this.


Now the good stuff: "Just Imagine" has just finished (see what I did there) the digital coloring process last Friday night. All that is left before book orders are made is inserting dialogue. I'm looking at the end of this week to be completely finished and ready to order. 


As a final reminder, my next two shows are happening this weekend in Reseda and Santa Clarita. I will be attending an LA Metro Community Meeting down the street from my apartment at a local high school Saturday morning, then starting in the late afternoon that day until late afternoon Sunday, I will be at the following shows below:


Reseda Rising Artwalk and Night Market - Saturday, September 29th


18118 Sherman Way (Between Etiwanda and Lindley Avenues. Sherman Way will be CLOSED to traffic for the Artwalk)


5 PM to 10 PM


Admission FREE!


Santa Clarita Comic and Toy Expo - Sunday, September 30th


College of the Canyons


26455 Rockwell Canyon Road


10 AM to 5 PM


Admission is $5 online at santaclaritacomictoyexpo.com


Kids 10 and under are FREE!


Hope to see alot of you at one, or both shows this weekend!


Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

Welcome new subscribers from this past weekend's shows!

This past weekend's shows in Glendale and San Fernando were alot of fun. Truthfully, Open Arts and Music Festival Glendale was more fun for me than San Fernando Valley Comic Con this year. My second appearance at the Glendale Artwalk resulted in quite a bit of sales (though noticeably down from last year), but just as many people stopping by the booth to say hello and take a look at my work. On that note, something that I do want to tell all my fans is to never feel pressured to buy at an artwalk or convention whether you're at my table, or someone else's. The decision to purchase an item is all up to you. If you're unable to purchase something from me, or if something I have just isn't your cup of tea, that's ok, we all have our likes and dislikes. Just don't let that stop you from coming by the table and looking at art portfolios, sampling books, and just making small talk with me. It takes alot just to draw a customer (or customers) to a table with the many technological distractions we have these days, so I appreciate every one of you who stopped by my area, whether you purchased something, took a business card, signed up for this mailing list, or just talked with me for a few minutes while you browsed through my work. While San Fernando Valley Comic Con had less in the way of customer interactions or sales, I made the best of the situation by getting more work done on my "Just Imagine" Cosmic Force Prequel, recording a timelapse illustration for my next Mongoose Mondays in Motion, and talking shop with some longtime vendor friends of mine. Unfortunately there was some miscommunication regarding who was doing the hourly raffle, and another person took over for me at the last minute. That was fine with me, as he did a much better job as the emcee, and I could focus on my art projects and sales. 


In a nutshell, last weekend was a great, if not a little rusty return to the convention and art festival grind for me. Don't worry though, the grind will continue into the weekend of September 29th and 30, when I make my appearances at Reseda Rising Artwalk and Night Market (long name, but another FANTASTIC artwalk) Saturday night the 29th from 5-10 pm, and Santa Clarita Comic and Toy Expo Sunday the 30th from 10 am to 4 pm.  Also, I plan to have "Just Imagine" finished and ready to order by this coming Sunday!


Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

Productive and Fun Labor Day weekend!

 

Greetings fans!

I hope that all of you enjoyed the last holiday weekend of the summer. Perhaps you took some extra days off before or after Labor Day. Yours truly is in that camp, taking my family to the Jim Henson exhibit at Skirball Cultural Center. It was a first time for myself, my mother, and visiting sister from DC to take in that museum off the 405 freeway that I always said I would visit since moving here back in 2005 (Nearby Getty Center is next on the list). As the name suggests, this was a display of the great puppeteer and actor Jim Henson's work, starting from his early days operating puppets for late-night talk shows in the 1950's and '60s, to his groundbreaking work on "Sesame Street," "The Muppet Show," and "Fraggle Rock," and also is film work on not only his muppet-themed motion pictures, but grittier work like "Labyrinth" and "The Dark Crystal" films. My only knock on the exhibit was the absence of his work on the TV series "Dinosaurs," which premiered several years after his untimely death in 1990, but that could have been due to size limitations of the exhibit area, since the dinosaur creations were basically large costumes rather than marionette or hand puppets. In addition, we saw another piece of TV history as well a few hours before the exhibit. While most in a certain age group is familiar with the legendary 1980s miami-based sitcom "The Golden Girls," what some don't know (including myself and my family) is that the house used for exterior shots at the beginning of the show was located in Brentwood, California, rather than in a Florida city (though I later read that this was only the case in the show's first season. All other seasons used a replica of the Brentwood residence build on the Disney Orlando studio lot). 

Then there was the fantastic John Williams concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It was my third time at the venue (having seen James Taylor, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, and Christopher Cross there earlier in the summer), and it was yet again a great performance. Most of his signature compositions were played such as the "Indiana Jones," "E.T.," and "Star Wars", though I wished he had time to play the "Superman Main Title March," my personal favorite. Nonetheless, it was a great performance anyway. The best part was the special appearance of Steven Spielberg to introduce the E.T. and Indiana Jones pieces. Specifically before a piece from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was played along with a movie clip, it was first played without the music, then played live with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra to show just how important music score is to a film. Equally as important, as good as this show was, is being able to exit the arena in a reasonable amount of time. Having seats farther away from the exits during the previous two shows, this time I made sure to not only have a seat in a section closer to the exit row, but also an end seat on the section row I was at, giving me easier access to the bathroom and snack bar. All in all, it was a great way to end the summer concert season for me at the Bowl.

Lastly, this long weekend allowed me to finish three more pages of my "Just Imagine" prequel, with pages 7,8, and 9 now inked (page 7 was just colored) last night. The other two pages should be colored by the end of this week. Unfortunately, this book won't be ready in time for next weekend's Open Arts and Music Festival in Glendale, but should be ready for my other two shows at the end of the month. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Well, that's all the Carter Comics news for this past week and holiday weekend. Next week, I will be covering my attendee experience at Long Beach Comic Con this coming Sunday. I'll be stopping by artist alley to visit friends and eat BBQ next door at the waterfront. Until next tuesday!

 

Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

Hurricane Lane, Amazing Comic Con Aloha, Just Imagine and more!

 

Greetings fans!

Here's hoping your week wasn't as nerve-wracking as mine. As the first part of this email suggests, I was paying close attention to the weather back in my home state of Hawaii due to the presence of Hurricane Lane over the weekend. I believe it was the second hurricane of the season, but it made the closest and most dangerous approach in quite some time. Fortunately for the island chain, it did not make landfall on any island, but the Aloha State did not escape unscathed. Because the storm was so large, the outer rain bands with tropical storm force winds and storm surge brushed the Big Island of Hawaii (still recovering from Kilauea's eruption and lava flows) with some 30 inches of rain over a 24-hour period. The Island of Maui got slightly lesser rain amounts, but the high winds sparked up a serious fire in an industrial area. Oahu (my birth island) luckily got spared the worst of the storm as did Kauai, which was great news due to the recent fires on Oahu's Waianae Coast (where I grew up) that could have cause land and mudslides, and the Garden Isle of Kauai still in recovery mode from flooding several months ago.

In some comic related news on the islands, this major storm (which was at one point a category 5 hurricane) caused the Amazing Conventions Company to rightfully cancel their scheduled "Amazing Comic Con Aloha" convention that was to take place last weekend. It was an unfortunate situation for vendors and attendees who already paid the show's fees to be placed in (especially the participants from out of town), but in the end, a Comic Convention is merely a form of entertainment and should not override personal safety. For now, the convention has been rescheduled for next year. I mailed some books to my fellow Hawaii Comic Book Alliance members a week before the storm for them to sell at their exhibitor booth at the show, but with this cancellation, I'll have to contact them later in the week to see what they want to do with my books. I'll keep you all posted.

Lastly on the "Just Imagine" project front, I have completed gesture drawings and panels for pages 7-9, as well as panels and notes for the final three pages. Since this is the last week of August and my next show is September 15th, I am now not completely sure that this new Cosmic Force Prequel will be ready in time for the Glendale Artwalk, but if it isn't, I'll make sure to have it ready for my late September shows at Reseda Artwalk or the Santa Clarita Expo. To help draw in more customers, I will be doing live versions of my Mongoose Mondays in Motion games with the help of an easel and sketch pad. 

Speaking of the three M's, I will be trying out pop song timelapse illustrations of my game next week, so stay tuned. 

Have a great week, and an event greater Labor Day weekend!

Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

 

It's Power Morphicon time!

Greetings fans!

 

After a month-long gap between conventions, I returned to the con-grind (kind of) with an appearance at the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger celebration known as "Power Morphicon." The show took place last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center. As this is a show that's far out of my comfort zone due to my lack of Power Ranger knowledge and interest, the dangling carrot that enticed me to try out a vendor spot there was CAPS (Comic Arts Professional Society) offering free table space to members at their booth. As a member, I volunteered for a Noon-3 pm shift, and took only two sets of books with alot of sketching paper for Power Ranger commissions. This setup worked out fine for me, as we had two tables for four members to man throughout the three day show, and I didn't need that much space for my material. Since the fandom here was so specific, I didn't expect to sell too many of my books like other general conventions (I wound up not selling any), but I did do a sketch of the Red Ranger helmet for an attendee. Unfortunately, this was the only sale of anything I had in the two days I did the show (Saturday and Sunday). That's ok with me though, as the table was free, and I had some great conversations with both my fellow CAPS members, and the few attendees that stopped by our booth. 

 

Travelling back and forth to the convention was the other story. As some of you may or may not know, I've been no stranger to Anaheim since 2011 when I exhibited at what was then the Wizard World convention before Wondercon moved to the Anaheim Convention Center the following year, where it remains today. While Wondercon is my biggest show of the year, where I usually drive down there to stay at a nearby hotel over the course of the three-day event to stay close to the show in order to avoid parking headaches and fees, this relatively new, smaller, and genre-specific show didn't really call for a commitment that large. Adding to the fact that I was only appearing there for three hours on Saturday and Sunday with a merchandise setup so small I carried it in two Trader Joe's bags, I decided to forgo using my car and opted instead to Metro Rail, Metrolink, and Lyft-it to the convention.  For those of you new to the Los Angeles public transportation scene, this means that I took the Red Line Subway from my place in North Hollywood to Union Station in Downtown LA, then transferred to the Orange County Metrolink Commuter Train line from Union Station to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (a large commuter train and bus hub), and from there took a 2.6 mile lyft ride to the convention center.  Unfortunately since Metrolink only runs four trains on the weekends, and I left the convention at three (three hours before the last train of the day arrives), I instead used an LA Metro bus that picked me up a few blocks from Anaheim Convention Center (after a hearty lunch of pizza, pasta, and beers on two separate days), and took be back to Downtown LA, where I could reconnect with the subway at the 7th Street Metro Center Station.  While the ride back was long, and the lyft connection there from the commuter train added up in price, it was well worth it to avoid driving on the 5 Freeway, looking for, and paying for parking at ACC. I would gladly do it again under the same event circumstances.

 

Well, before I go for the week, I will leave you with my updated convention schedule for the rest of the year, and some other goodies. I recently got an email from a free convention I had done two years before that didn't result in very good crowds or sales, but had a very attentive and friendly staff. Turns out the panels and workshops got more attention than the vendor hall itself, so I signed up for one. We'll see what happens for me during year three. So without further adieu, are the last FIVE shows on the Carter Comics Convention Circuit, some photos from Power Morphicon, and of course, the latest Mongoose Movie Mondays in Motion illustration. This is an easy horror movie title (trust me). 

 

 

Saturday September 15th

Open Arts and Music Festival Glendale

216 N Brand Blvd (Between California and Wilson Avenues)

3 PM to 10 PM

FREE ADMISSON!

 

Sunday September 16th

San Fernando Valley Comic Convention

11128 Balboa Blvd. (Granada Pavilion)

10 AM to 4 PM

$5.00 for teenagers and grown-folk; kids 12 and under are FREE!

 

Saturday September 29th

Reseda Rising Artwalk and Night Market

18118 Sherman Way (Between Etiwanda and Lindley Avenues)

5 PM to 10 PM

FREE ADMISSION!

 

Sunday September 30th

Santa Clarita Comic and Toy Expo

26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd. (College of the Canyons)

10 AM to 5 PM

$5.00 for teens and grown-folk; kids 10 and under are FREE!

 

Saturday October 20th

Comic Book Invasion

5655 Jillson St. (City of Commerce Public Library)

10 AM to 3 PM

FREE ADMISSON!

 

 

Have a great week!

 

Regards,

 

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

LA Zoo Art Day over the weekend!

 

Greetings fans!

No, you didn't miss a convention appearance I did at the last minute (I would've told you that). LA Zoo Art Day was just a personal excursion with two artist friends sketching various animals in the facility. We even found our inner child both feeding the giraffes and riding the carousel. Side note: As much as I like '80s music, it seemed an odd fit to have "We Got the Beat" by The Go-Gos, and "Heaven" by Bryan Adams on a ride for kids growing up today. Perhaps they knew three thirty-somethings were coming that day. Anyways, onto the art: We did live sketching of a Gorilla, Zebra, and Giraffe, which I have attached with this email for your viewing pleasure.

Also of note is my completion of pages 4-6 of "Just Imagine, shipping 10 copies each of Damn Tourists issues 1 and 2 to Oahu to be sold at Amazing Comic Con Aloha next weekend (August 24-26) by other members of the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance. For this weekend, I will be representing another comic organization I'm apart of: The Comic Arts Professional Society (or C.A.P.S.) at the Power Morphicon Convention in Anaheim August 17-19. CAPS has a booth there that eight people can share in shifts. I will be taking a Noon to 3 PM shift on Saturday the 18th, and Sunday the 19th. Due to space limitations in sharing a table, I will have only one or two sets of books with me, along with paper for sketches of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (as that is what this con is celebrating, hence the Morphicon name). Before I go, I will leave you with a reminder of my remaining four shows of 2018 after Power Morphicon:

Open Arts and Music Festival Glendale - Saturday September 15th

216 N Brand Blvd (Alex Theatre) Main Artwalk will be on Brand between California and Wilson

3 PM to 10 PM

FREE ADMISSION!

San Fernando Valley Comic Con - Sunday September 16th

11128 Balboa Blvd (Granada Pavilion) On the corner of San Fernando Mission and Balboa

10 AM to 4 PM

General Admission is $5, Kids 12 and under FREE!

 

Reseda Rising Artwalk and Night Market - Saturday September 29th

(Artwalk located on Sherman Way between Etiwanda and Lindley Avenues). 

5 PM to 10 PM

FREE ADMISSION!

Santa Clarita Comic and Toy Expo - Sunday September 30th

26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd. (College of the Canyons)

10 AM to 5 PM

Admisson is $5, kids 10 and under are FREE!

 

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

Regards,

 

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

Holy Podcast Batman!

 

Greetings fans!

Hope you all are beating down the summer heat with a baseball bat. Speaking of bats (though it's the animal and not the object), as the title of this email suggests I was on a friend's podcast last thursday evening discussing the 1966 Batman: The Movie starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Hosted by good friend Kinte Ferguson and featuring two other uber-caped crusader fans, we were sent the movie several days beforehand to watch so we could discuss it on the podcast later. While I watched a few episodes of the Batman TV series is reruns as a kid, I only watched parts of the film (which was going on during the run of the live action TV series). As a kid, I didn't appreciate or really understand the campy humor, and was upset that it wasn't taking itself seriously. As an adult, I feel the complete opposite, and am completely entertained by the over-the-top performances in the film-----especially the villans (Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman). I was never a Batman fan, but I always respected the character and its story. However, I always enjoyed his rogues gallery-----unfortunately my favorite bat-villain Mr. Freeze was not included in this lineup. 

In other comic related news, my next Cosmic Force Prequel "Just Imagine" keeps rolling along, but will still be completed in time for my vendor appearance at Open Arts and Music Festival Glendale on Saturday September 15th, from 3-10 pm on Brand Blvd between California and Wilson avenues. However, before that, I will be representing CAPS (Comic Arts Professional Society) at the Power Morphicon Convention next Saturday and Sunday August 18th and 19th at Anaheim Convention Center (Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-5). I will have by books and art for sale at the show's CAPS booth just like I do at my usual comic conventions, as well as doing event themed sketches (as this is a show devoted strictly to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers). As a reminder, I will be winding down my convention appearances for the year at the remaining shows:

San Fernando Valley Comic Con -  Sunday September 16th from 10 am to 4 pm at Granada Pavilion

Reseda Rising Artwalk and Night Market - Saturday September 29th from 5 pm to 10 pm on Sherman Way between Etiwanda and Lindley avenues.

Santa Clarita Comic and Toy Expo - Sunday September 30th from 10 am to 5 pm at College of the Canyons.

Well, that's it for this week. For more Carter Comics news (and some personal Allen Carter news), you can tune into my FB Live Audio Broadcast Sunday evenings that I like to call "AL's AUDIO AGENDA."  Also for you online shoppers, my books are also available at the online store: http://www.indyplanet.us/carter-comics. In addition, customers who order physical copies of my books online can have them signed by me at any conventions or artwalks that I'm scheduled to appear at. Keep in mind, of course, that this highly depends on what area the convention is in, but I will post a reminder of this at least a month before any convention I'm doing in a particular city or state. So with that, you all have a great week and I'll see you back here in seven days!

Regards,

Allen Carter 

Carter Comics

Just Imagine Prequel progress, LA Black Comic Con 2019, and a few thoughts on how to improve Carter Comics:

Another hot and humid week unfortunately for Los Angeles, but as always, I don't let that stop me from progressing on my creative material, it just slows me down a bit. Speaking of progress, I am officially halfway finished with my 2nd Cosmic Force prequel "Just Imagine." For this 12 page story focusing on individual members of the team (Sandra "Imagine" Winters in this case), 6 pages have been illustrated so far. Pages 4-6 have been pencilled, and just need to be inked and colored to go along with pages 1-3. While the prequels will be shorter than my parent series, they still offer some challenges much like the larger books do. For this particular story, I'm digging into Sandra's childhood, which involves illustrations of her as a 7 year old in the mid-1960s. That of course, involves alot of google images research on hairstyles, attire, and furniture of the time. Don't get me wrong, it's fun research, but research nonetheless. Despite the new challenges along with balancing work, food, sleep, and other personal commitments, I still expect to have this story finished in time for my next confirmed show September 15th: Open Arts and Music Festival in Glendale.

Also on the convention/artwalk front: A new comic convention targeting primarily black comic book creators called "Los Angeles Black Comic Convention." The event will take place on February 23rd 2019 in the Baldwin Hills area (no specific venue or table prices have been confirmed yet). I threw my name in the hat to the organizer as a potential artist vendor, so we'll see what happens in the coming months.

Lastly, with this being my eighth year doing conventions, I'm starting to both look back at how far I've come since July 2010, and what I'd like to accomplish heading ever so closer toward my tenth year doing cons two years from now. One of the main things I want to improve on is better communication with my customers/fans. It is very important that I know what you want to see from me in terms of artwork and writing, al well as just getting to know me as a person beyond Allen Carter of Carter Comics. I think I've started in that direction with these newsletters, the mailing list that you all joined, Mongoose Mondays in Motion, and my recent weekly Facebook live audio broadcasts I like to call "Al's Audio Agenda." What I need to do more of though is occasionally ask for your feedback on things like my books, Mongoose Mondays in Motion, and so forth. So while I'm not a person that asks for alot of help, in this case I need it: Whenever you get a chance, I would appreciate it if you would give me feedback on any books you purchased from me, or if you play Mongoose Mondays in Motion, just let me know what you enjoy and what you don't enjoy. This could be in the form of an email to me, a facebook message, or by posting a review on: http://www.indyplanet.us/carter-comics. There's no way that I can get better unless I know what my fans want, so this is all for YOU! As always, Thanks in advance, and I hope you all have a great week!

Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

Just Imagine Prequel progress and Bowling:

Never thought those two things would go together, huh? Well they do in MY world!

 

Seriously though, I am happy to say that I got the ball rolling last week with my second 12-page Cosmic Force Prequel story "Just Imagine."  The first three pages have now been pencilled, inked, and colored. This story, like my first prequel "The Man with a Short Fuse," focuses on the early life of a single member of the Cosmic Force, taking place a full 24 hours before the "meteor shower incident" in Cosmic Force #1. While "Fuse" chronicled the rocky marriage of public defender Daniel Stafford (later code-named 'Fuse') and his then-wife, hotel manager Susan James, "Imagine" takes you back to the childhood days of former nurse Sandra Winters, who as her current codename Imagine states, had been a daydreamer since she was a child, much to the dismay of her regimented parents William and Dora, who were both doctors. Both her parents crushed her dreams of being a singer or dancer, due to those career's uncertain finances, and forced her into the medical field. Intrigued so far? Well, the rest of it should be finished by September, in time for my next confirmed show: Open Arts and Music Festival Glendale on Saturday September 15th.

As mentioned in the email headline, I also found time to hit a few pins (but mostly get gutter balls) at a local bowling alley for a friend and co-worker's birthday. It was great seeing her and other current and former co-worker's again, and the social experience more than made up for my poor bowling skills.

Well, that's about it for this week. My apologies if this newsletter is short, but that's the life of an indy creator: some weeks are busy, some not so busy. Before I go, I would like to ask those of you who purchased any issue of Damn Tourists to please post a review of the book when you get a chance at: http://www.indyplanet.us/carter-comics. It would really help me to get your feedback on what you like and may not like about that series, which has been my most popular at comic conventions. So stay cool during this extended heat wave here in Southern California and have a fantastic week!

 

 

Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

The Kings of Soft Rock at the Hollywood Bowl!

Greetings fans!

 

No sooner than the triple digit heat calms down, now we get that wonderful steamy, sticking, energy-draining humidity. I thought I left this in Hawaii 13 years ago. I mention this because the weather has affected progress on my 2nd Cosmic Force Prequel project "Just Imagine." I'm still shooting for a completion month of late August, but it will be slow-going due to uncomfortable working conditions. I'm also going to be submitting "Damn Tourists" for consignment at Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica, as well as mailing copies to the Hawaii Comic Book Alliance back on Oahu to sell at Amazing Comic Con Aloha in August. While I can't be there physically due to low finances, my books can at least have a presence there, and longtime friends and family in my home state can get a first look at my work since I moved away from the islands. Lastly in Carter Comics-related news, I am confirmed as an artist vendor at the second annual Open Arts and Music Festival in Glendale on Saturday September 15th. In addition to promoting and selling my work there, I will also be conducting a 30-minute demonstration on how to draw a figure of speech.

 

On the non-carter comics side of the news, I had another busy weekend which actually began on Thursday night with the fantastic 40th anniversary screening of Superman the Movie. It was a surreal experience to see a movie I've watched thousands of times in the comfort of my own home, finally in a movie theater. Since the film originally was released two years before I was born, I never got the chance to view it in all its cinematic glory. It was great watching it not only with friends from work, but a packed house os Superman fans, laughing and cheering along the way. There was even an appearance by surviving producer Ilya Salkind and actor Jack O'Halloran (who played Kryptonian villain Non in the film). Friday was a return to Los Tres Hermanos to hear and see my good friends Angel and Frankie rock the bar/restaurant again with funky r&b and latin covers (The Gap Band's "Outstanding" being the stand-out), and Sunday was a last-minute viewing of a play reading I was invited to by my good artist friend Donna.

 

But it was really all about Saturday night. As the title of this email states, "The Kings of Soft Rock" took over Hollywood Bowl that evening (as well as Friday night) with Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, and the headliner Michael McDonald, belting out their soothing, soulful, and sometimes hard-rocking classic tunes. Unlike James Taylor the month before, I wasn't alone this time, and took my mother as an early birthday present for her. As it was her first trip to the Bowl, she was initially in awe of the venue, and wasn't able to comprehend her enjoyment of the concert until the next day. The real treat of this show for me was the fact that all three artists are musically linked not just by the genre they produce, but by collaborating with one another on lyrics and vocals. Christopher Cross's 1980 hit "Ride Like the Wind" features Michael McDonald on backing vocals, which he also did here at the bowl. Then when it was McDonald's turn to take the stage, who would join him on his 1979 Doobie Brothers #1 hit "What a Fool Believes" than co-writer of the song Kenny Loggins. As for Loggins himself, he rocked the bowl as well with his own catalogue of big hits, ending of course with his two signature tunes the 1986 "Danger Zone" and the 1984 anthem "Footloose." My only regret is that Michael McDonald didn't come out a third time to sing backup on Loggins' 1982 hit "Heart to Heart."  Overall it was a fantastic show, and as you can probably tell by me noting the years these songs were released, I'm a soft rock nerd. Wanna fight about it?

 

So that was my end of week and weekend in a nut shell. This week I'll be continuing work on "Just Imagine," and I have a few surprises in mind when it comes to my Mongoose Mondays books. Definitely stay tuned for that. Enjoy your week!

 

Regards,

 

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

WAY too hot this weekend!

 

I think that most, if not all of you here, have experienced the first days of blazing summer heat. Dealing with it in Las Vegas two weeks ago during the comic convention first wasn't too bad, since I was mostly in the air conditioned convention center, or my cousin's air-conditioned house down the road for the four days I was in town. However, coming back to LA and dealing with it every day is an entirely different story. The intense 113 degree temperatures I experienced in both North Hollywood and Glendale on Friday set an unbearable tone for the weekend. As such, I didn't get much work done on my next Cosmic Force prequel "Just Imagine," outside of fixing up my first three comic pages to be Photoshop coloring ready. It was more about escaping the oven that was my apartment in the San Fernando Valley, and into a cool theater to watch 3 films between late friday night and sunday afternoon: Friday night was Incredibles 2 down the street at Laemmle Noho 7, Saturday afternoon was Ant-Man and the Wasp at Arclight Santa Monica (unfortunately, the coolest place there was not the Pier, or the theater, it was the sandwich shop a few blocks away who had their AC on FULL BLAST), and Sunday afternoon was the Mister Rogers documentary "Won't you be my Neighbor?".  All three films were excellent despite suffering residual effects from the outside heat, mostly fatigue. I used the rest of the time in front of two fans and a weak AC unit at home catching up on Netflix shows "Glow Season 2" "Luke Cage Season 2," and CW shows put on Netflix after their current seasons ended: "Supergirl Season 3 " and "The Flash Season 4," the latter of which I finished. Flash was much better this season, with a more refreshing, threatening, non-speedster villain. The other three shows I'm only a few episodes in and don't have a strong opinion on yet.

So that's all for this week. I will close with my anticipation for the 40th anniversary screening of Superman the Movie, playing at Alex Theatre near my job this thursday night at 7:30.  Have a great week everyone and try to stay cool!

Regards,

Allen Carter

Carter Comics

What's new with Carter Comics in 2018:

Yes, we're already three months into the year, and some of the new projects and techniques that I wanted to try out with Carter Comics are currently in progress. Others have yet to be used.........but they will be. Here's a quick list of what's new and what's kind-of-new at the ol' C.C. headquarters:

Cosmic Force #6: "Aftermath Part Two."  Following the completion of Damn Tourist #4 last February,  and the reminders of convention fans who purchased my previous 5 issues of the science-fiction/suspense series, this sixth issue will be finally finished at the end of April. Unfortunately, that won't be in time for my biggest show of the year Wondercon, but it will be ready for my May shows East LA C.A.P.E. and Comic Con Revolution. The reason for the delay was the same as for Damn Tourists #4: moving, personal issues, and two freelance projects. It will all be worth it though, as the ending of "Aftermath Part Two" will feature the biggest cliffhanger yet since our five meteor shower spectators-turned superhuman fugitives had their lives turned upside down by the five mysterious light sources: The individuals behind their two-year disappearance, strange abilities, and even stranger appearance, finally reveal themselves! 

Just Imagine: A Cosmic Force Prequel: The second of the five 12-page single character stories that I will be developing, this book will chronicle the early years of Sandra "Imagine" Winters' life, from demanding parents, to having a career forced onto her, all leading up to the final twenty four hours of her old existence before the "meteor shower incident" changed all that. This one should be completed by the end of April or early May.

Mongoose Mondays in Motion:  A much more interactive version of my three-year social media illustration game series, I am now recording my figure of speech sketches in time-lapse format, and they are completed in pencil only before they are uploaded to Facebook, twitter, and Instagram. Not only can fans try to name the figure of speech being displayed, but they can watch the creation of the drawing as well. I started this new version in February.

Damn Tourists #5: (No Story Title Yet)  I'm currently brainstorming possible names for the title of this issue, but the more important thing is that I know where I want to take my clueless travelers next: Florida. Driving in from the west coast after being chased out of Las Vegas, Nevada due to their unexpected good luck with casino games that drained the city's finances dry, our unknowingly obnoxious foursome enter the sunshine state and encounter theme parks, the everglades, the miami club scene, and finally, spring breakers in Ft. lauderdale. I'm shooting to have this one completed by the end of the year, or at the latest, in time for Wondercon 2019.

Exhibiting at more out-of-state comic book conventions:  I have done only one convention as an exhibitor back in June 2014: Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con. That needs to change, and soon. So, this June, I will be taking a short birthday vacation to Seattle. While I will primarily be there to relax and sightsee in a city that I've always wanted to visit for the last eight years, I will also be checking out the downtown convention center and surrounding areas, getting familiar with them, as the wildly successful Emerald City Comic Convention takes place at that site every March. And I may possibly try to exhibit at another out of state show this September in nearby Portland Oregon: Rose City Comic Con.

So, that's about it for all the Carter Comics happenings. I'm making it my mission this year to be very choosy when it comes to tabling at cons and art festivals, so I can have more time to complete new material, and at the same time, focus on shows that I either have been successful at previously, or new shows that I have a good feeling about. Check back here around late springtime for a report on how it pans out so far. Until then!

Carter Comics looking back at 2017 and looking ahead to 2018

Hello everyone!

The fact that I haven't had time to write here since the beginning of the year should definitely indicate just how busy my 2017 was. Now, I'm back here writing with just a week and a half left in the year. I guess now's a great time to look at how the last 12 months went for Carter Comics. I'll cover the good, the bad, and the just plain weird.

THE GOOD: Simply put, Carter Comics took everything to a whole new level this year. From the convention appearances to sales made to number of books sold to new artist contacts I met, I can clearly see an improvement on promoting and selling my work in 2017 compared with last year. Highlights of the year include an unexpected success at the new small Earth Realm Comic Con at Align Gallery in Highland Park,  breaking my all-time sales records at Wondercon Anaheim, then breaking it again at San Jose's Silicon Valley Comic Con, my first Free Comic Book Day at a legendary Culver City comic shop, and absolutely killing it in attracting crowds and making sales at both Glendale and Reseda outdoor artwalks. At the Earth Realm show in late winter, myself and a handful or artists set up shop in a tiny art gallery for three days braving heavy rains, a presidential inauguration, and a march protesting said inauguration.  These three adversities not only brought us closer together than we already were (figuratively and literally), but it eventually attracted the few people who braved the elements and other events to come see us. One man in particular, who was a family member of a 13-year old artist prodigy vending with us, purchased art and books from nearly every exhibitor at the show. The result for overcoming all those odds: 15 items sold and a $160 profit after paying just a $25 table fee for a three-day event. In the spring, my fourth appearance as a small press vendor saw me debut the often-delayed but finally completed 4th issue of Damn Tourists (completed at the end of February), and in addition, start a "buy issue 1 get issue 2" free deal with my Damn Tourists series. While the crowds in the small press area weren't nearly as consistently crowded as artist alley, the attendees that did wander into our area ate up both my 2 for 1 deal and Damn Tourists in general, purchasing full sets of the book series and selling out of issue 2. A few even purchased a full-set of my Cosmic Force series (five issues), and a few of my Mongoose Mondays books. The result of this new sales strategy: 42 books sold with a $217 profit, up from my last showing there in 2014 when sold 22 books and made a $122 profit. As mentioned previously, my very first showing at Silicon Valley Comic Con was even better. Here I sold out of issues 2,3, and 4 of Damn Tourists, and even picked up a custom print and t-shirt from my talented table neighbor. Also, thanks to a good friend of mine who I saw for the first time in five years, my all-time convention sales record was broken in just a month after Wondercon with 46 books sold and a $224 profit. In the late spring, I got to participate in my very first Free Comic Book Day, which is an event that takes place at multiple comic shops in California. I set up shop with some other artist friends of mine at the Comic Bug in Culver City. Despite car-trouble to and from the event, and nearby thunderstorms threatening our outdoor event, the show went very well. While I sold some books, the highlight of the show was getting to do free sketches for comic fans of all ages.  Finally, going into fall, were two shows that absolutely took me by surprise: Glendale Open Arts and Music Festival, and Reseda Rising Artwalk and Night Market. For the Glendale show, I had done a smaller 2-hour version of this outdoor art event the year prior on a Friday night on a sparsely populated side street, but this year's show could not have been more different: An 8-hour Saturday outdoor event which closed off a major Glendale Street anchored with numerous restaurants and shops. 8-ft tables with canopies and lights for the evening hours totaled just $15 each for vendors, but I qualified for an artist grant from the show promoter and wound up with a free table. The happy result was a show that drew in alot of attendees right off the street and in front of my table, and with lots of money to spend. I ended the night with 35 books sold and a $208 profit----the most that I had ever made at a one-day show. Reseda Artwalk sales were only less than Glendale because I sold most of my inventory at Glendale, and was unable to restock for the Reseda show that took place the very next week. That of course, meant that I sold out of whatever books I had left (Damn Tourists again), with a show tally of 22 books sold and a $136 profit, up from last year's show where I sold 9 books and made a $75 profit. Vendor spaces for both shows were $50 by the way.

THE BAD: Yes, like the old sitcom theme suggests, you have to take it with the good. You can only get better when you recognize your failures, and mine were at the following shows (four of which I made no sales at): The Hive Art Gallery show and Zinefest in downtown LA, which really didn't turn out to be the right fit for me, as attendees were not there looking for comics (or at least my comics), Comic Invasion at the City of Commerce Public Library was more of an interactive panel event then a proper comic convention, with the few attendees frequenting the panels more than the vendor hall. Also the hard-to-find location resulted in low attendance. The final San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention of 2017, a show I had done previously three times a year since 2014, unfortunately had a less-than-stellar December due mostly to the extensive wildfires in Santa Clarita, Sylmar, The 405 freeway/Sepulveda Pass, and of course Ventura. The diehards that did come by were mostly bin-diving for great deals on old comics. Announcing the hourly raffles was fun though. Stan Lee's LA Comic Con at the Los Angeles Convention Center (which I called "Stan Lee's Lookie-Loo Comic Con in response to a facebook post about how the show went for vendors), took a huge step back from the improvement it made in 2016 by in my opinion adding too many celebrities that commanded most of the attention and money of the attendees (After Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was announced, the fate of Artist Alley sales was sealed). Last year, which was the first year of the show's name change from Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo, showed alot of promise with a large Artist Alley far away from the celebrity stage, and some attendees that were willing to take a chance on new art and comics. That show in 2016 resulted in 16 books sold and a $136 profit. This show unfortunately drew a different type of crowd mainly there for brand name products, which resulted in the same number of books sold, but with a $90 profit (though I did get interviewed for a dailymotion video podcast, and got to spin the Price Is Right wheel, which was featured at the show).

THE JUST PLAIN WEIRD: Yeah, these shows were just random: PartyPunx at The Airliner Bar in Lincoln Heights combines a smaller version of a local artwalk via the Bar's back patio outside, with live local bands inside. It was an interesting collaboration, though I wasn't entirely sure how many bar patrons would be purchasing art or books after spending money on drinks. We got decent crowds and sales (vendor spaces were free), but the difficult part of the show was the hours: 9 PM - 2AM. Luckily I had some vendor friends helping me load my car in the wee hours of the morning after the show was over. A Geranium Festival and Artwalk? Yep, that happened in Monterey Park following the Commerce Comic Invasion show. With just a $15 table fee it wasn't much of a financial gamble, but the customer base was.........interesting. An older Japanese crowd (many of them speaking only Japanese) came by my table, but my lack of bilingual skills prevented any kind of conversation. I wound up with a few sales from other vendors which made up for it, but yeah, this show was just a little weird. Finally, while Comic Con Palm Springs was a decent three day show (being able to save on a hotel by staying at a friend's place helped, along with alot of last minute buyers), but this one interaction with a customer classifies it in the "weird" category:  A guy in his mid-20s came by my table, looked at my single pieces of comic book artwork, and said to me: "I don't get it."  I explained to him that they were comic book panels, but he still responded by scratching his head. I haven't had quite that kind of reaction to my work before or since.

PLANS FOR 2018: So, what does this mean for Carter Comics next year?  For one thing, being extremely picky when it comes to exhibiting at new shows (especially the smaller ones). No more appearing at the same show that occurs more than once a year. Instead, I will pick the time of year that I will be vending at that show. Also, look for a new book release schedule. Currently, I try to release one new book a year to debut at Wondercon, historically my biggest show of the year. Now, I want to increase that by releasing two new books a year, with the second book debuting at a fall show such as Bakersfield, or if I decide to give Stan Lee's LA Comic Con one more try. So for 2018, expect issue 6 of Cosmic Force at Wondercon, and my second Cosmic Force Prequel "Just Imagine," at the end of the summer ready for Bakersfield or LA Comic Con. Lastly (but not leastly. Yes, I'm making up a word),  I will be working on new monthly Mongoose Monday games via flash animations. Those will be done the 1st of the month starting in February. In the meantime, I will be taking a much-deserved rest from both my day job, conventions, and social media. So, thank you all who have supported me through likes, comments, social-media lurking and then telling me later in person that you've followed me and my work. No matter the method, it all means alot to me.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018!

Allen Carter
Carter Comics