The star of the afternoon will be Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown, my longtime friend from Alabama, who charmed attendees at the 2008 Comic-Con International in San Diego, where her illustrious grandfather was honored with an Eisner Award posthumously and inducted into the Comics Hall of Fame. A couple of new manifestations of the Major’s legacy have surfaced of late, and Nicky is connected to both of them.
(1) First of all, the August 2009 issue of Alter Ego, the venerable comics magazine that was launched in 1961 and has been edited for the last 45 years by comics veteran Roy Thomas, features a long interview with Nicky as well as one with her uncle, Douglas Wheeler Nicholson, the Major’s son. Nicky will be signing copies of that issue of Alter-Ego from 3-5 Saturday afternoon at the gallery.
(2) Among the versatile Major’s many activities beyond the comics realm was writing pulp fiction, and an audio recording of his short story "The Road Without Turning" has been produced at BMA Audio, the recording studio handily located here in Berkshire County and expertly overseen by the team of Nicky and her husband Jason Brown. Copies of that spoken-word CD will be available for purchase next Saturday at the gallery.
(3) And what is my connection to all of this? Some of you may recall that I was commissioned to draw the portrait of the Major that adorns the aforementioned CD, and for that reason I’ve been invited to sit alongside Nicky on Saturday and autograph copies of the CD packaging for anyone who is interested. (I’ll also bring a few of my books along to sell.)
Booksignings (and CD signings) can be great occasions for chatting, so the entertainment value of the afternoon will be greatly enhanced if some of you who find yourselves in or around Pittsfield next weekend will come by the Storefront and keep us company during our non-signing intervals. (Facebook members can even RSVP in advance by going here.)
Next Year in Vertigo
DC Comics is officially announcing in today’s installment of Graphic Content: The Official Blog of Vertigo (Vertigo is DC’s line of "comics and books for mature readers") that next year will bring a special 15th anniversary re-issue of my 1995 graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby, which was published under DC’s now-inactive Paradox Press imprint the first time around.
For me this entails drawing brand-new cover art for the book, an assignment that will be taking up quite a bit of my time during the next few weeks.
It’s strange to think that fifteen years have passed since I completed that monster project, and also strange to be drawing Toland Polk again after a fifteen-year layoff. One needs to stay in practice for such things.
There’s more than one reason to drop by the Storefront Artist Project‘s gallery at 124 Fenn Street in Pittsfield next Saturday (August 22) between 3-5 in the afternoon.
Not only will you get to enjoy the Scott Hanna exhibit that is on view for the whole month of August, but you will get to meet the granddaughter of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, who founded DC Comics seven-decades-or-so ago.
You will also get to hang out with me, me, ME!!! (But more about that later.)