Top Shelf Productions, founded in 1997, was there early on to contribute to the rise of graphic novels in the United States with such trailblazing titles as Blankets by Craig Thompson and From Hell by Eddie Campbell. When you think of Top Shelf, you think of quality, style, and reliability. Top Shelf was started by Brett Warnock and Chris Staros. When Top Shelf joined IDW as an imprint, Staros stayed on and Warnock retired. Well, Mr. Warnock is back with Kitchen Table Magazine, a food and wellness magazine, that taps into his extensive background as a publisher and art director. To learn more, check out the Kickstarter campaign, active until December 26, 2018, in support of a subscription drive right here.
Kitchen Table illustration by Jim Mahfood
Here’s a few words from Kitchen Table to best describe this new print and digital magazine:
KITCHEN TABLE MAGAZINE is a new print and digital publication that connects adventurous souls, curious cooks, and enthusiastic eaters with talented writers, artists, cartoonists, and photographers who explore not only the how-to’s of cooking, but the whys of eating. We’re at the trailhead of adventure, and would love to have you along every step of the way.
Brett Warnock indulging his passion at a local food truck in Portland, Oregon
We all eat. We all have our particular tastes and interests. Follow Kitchen Table to get a crisp, quirky, and unique perspective. Kitchen Table will share with you a lifelong passion, cultivated in the Pacific Northwest, to keep it fresh, sustainable, and just a little bit weird for good measure. Given Warnock’s special connection to comics, you’ll definitely find a good dose of illustrations here along with excellent writing, photography and design. Visit the Kickstarter campaign in support of a most welcome addition in helping you choose items related to food and overall wellness.
“Shake The Lake” is such an audacious work of comics with such an uninhibited and unflinching depiction of frenzied youth–it is truly a hell of a lot of fun and mesmerizing. These are a bunch of out-of-control kids, the sort you’ve seen in numerous teenploitation horror and summer movies. They all, at first, seem to lack any redeeming character but you get hooked into their little nefarious activities and you just can’t look away. But who ever heard of a graphic novel devoted to wakeboarding (think skateboarding on water)? Am I supposed to know about wakeboarding? That level of specificity is part of the subversive fun. You need to check out this wonderfully oddball badass series right here.
Cal in his element. It’s an endless summer, dude!
Of course, wakeboarding is important–especially for those in the wakeboarding scene, which all of these kids are totally into. And some people are fully aware of wakeboarding but to the other extreme like Zeke and Dalton, these two highly obnoxious park rangers hot on the trail of all fun-loving youth. Leave it to them and they will spoil everyone’s fun, particularly anything remotely hedonistic. Hey, it’s the summer and a bunch of young rebels are determined to make their mark. Cal is the lead instigator. He’s already 23, but it is still a life of beautiful teen summers for him and his fellow dreamers. If they could just stir things up at the ole marina, put on a wakeboarding festival to be remembered in their collective old age, then all this arrested development will have been worth it!
Brothers Zach and Machi Block’s script rings true. The Block brothers invest in their ragtag characters a level of integrity that lures you into wanting to know more about this subculture. The artwork by brother and sister team Diego and Andrea Lopez Mata are true to the Block vision bringing out all the crude and raw beauty of this motley crew of wakeboarding fanatics. If you go in not knowing a thing about wakeboarding, after reading this work, you’ll be glad to leave it to the experts and just enjoy the ride. Visit the “Shake The Lake” site right here.
Welcome to Vape Nation. Illustration by Henry Chamberlain.
Editor’s Note: Comics Grinder strives to cover all aspects of our culture, including the rising trend in vaping. Well, we’ve come a long way in a few years. Here is a guest column by Collin DeSoto on some things to be mindful of regarding good care and maintenance of your vaping device.
Guest column by Collin DeSoto
Every vaper knows the hassle of their device breaking or not performing well, especially if they don’t have a spare at hand. But there are steps you can take to make your vaping device last longer, ensuring that it’s not only working correctly when you need it but saving you money too.
While vaping is cheaper than smoking traditional cigarettes, no one wants to be left out of pocket when their latest investment stops working before they’ve barely had a chance to enjoy it. With the cost of a single vaping device potentially being in the hundreds of dollars, it pays to take care of it, ensuring it continues to work for months or even years.
Try out these seven tips for making your vaping device last longer:
Avoid a burnt or dry hit
You’ll know if you’ve had a burnt or dry hit – it’ll cause a terrible taste. A burnt hit can lead to the coils heating the wicking material, which not only produces a taste you want to avoid but can damage your device too, severely reducing its lifespan.
A dry hit is usually caused by vaping when there’s either no juice or too little juice to heat. Make sure you keep an eye on the amount of e-juice that’s in your device before you switch it on and as you use it. A burnt hit can also happen if you hold down the power button for too long, causing the coil to overheat.
Regularly clean your coil
A coil that’s covered in gunk not only affects the flavor of the vape but how your device functions too. To really increase the lifespan of your device, take the time to keep it clean every few days, with a particular focus on the coil – you’ll get a consistently better taste too.
Most devices will come with cleaning instructions and you can even purchase a cleaning kit, ensuring your device remains fresh –as long as you remember to use it frequently.
User lower levels of VG
When you choose an e-liquid, the base will be a combination of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG). You can get varied combinations to suit exactly what you’re looking for. Liquids that have a higher content of VG will result in a vape that feels smoother and thicker and produces more vapor.
While some vapers prefer high levels of VG, it can damage your device, reducing its lifespan and clogging up coils quicker. If you really want your device to last longer, try e-liquids that have higher levels of PG. Or if you want to stick to your current combination increase how frequently you clean your coils and choose a device that has larger coils to prevent gunk gathering.
Vape in short bursts
Having your device constantly turned on will damage it and lead to it overheating. If your aim is to increase the length of time before you need to pay up for another device, short bursts are the way to go.
Inhaling deeply or several times close together means the coil gets too hot and doesn’t have enough time to cool between vapes. Try to give the device a chance to cool between hits and take your finger off the power button.
Store it correctly
If you’ve gone through a few devices and you don’t usually give a thought about how they’re stored, it could be time to change your habits. Ideally, your vaporizer should be stored within a dry case that’s kept out of direct sunlight. Through proper storage, you can increase how long your device will last for.
Recharge your battery
How often do you recharge the battery on your vaporizer? You shouldn’t let it drain completely but you also shouldn’t let it overcharge either, so you need to keep an eye on your battery power as you vape to boost how long the battery will last.
Try to get into the habit of charging your battery every time you store your device.
Disconnect your cartomizer and battery
If you’re not going to be using your e-cig for an extended period of time, such as when you’re asleep, disconnect your cartomizer, the section that contains the coil and e-liquid, from the battery. Even when not in use, it can continue to drain the battery a little and through disconnecting you can increase the time between necessary charge, helping to make your vaping device last longer.
An adult style from the Marvel x Havaianas collection. Courtesy of brand.
Havaianas, the world’s favorite rubber flip flops, has combined forces with Marvel Comics to launch a new collection of flip flops, Marvel x Havaianas, featuring some of the world’s most iconic super heroes.
A Spider-Man adult style from the Marvel x Havaianas collection. Courtesy of brand.
This limited edition collection is Marvel’s first official flip flop collaboration and includes six unique men’s, women’s and kids’ styles. Some of pop culture’s greatest super heroes, including Captain America, Spider-Man and Iron Man, are highlighted in bright Havaianas colorways and designs as part of the collection. The diverse variety of styles and sizes offered allows Havaianas the opportunity to tap into and celebrate Marvel fans of all ages for the first time.
A Captain America & Iron Man adult style from the Marvel x Havaianas collection. Courtesy of brand.
The collection will launch tomorrow (March 30th) exclusively in Havaianas’ U.S. concept stores, as well as online at havaianas.com. The kids’ styles retail for $19, while the adult versions go from $26 to $30.
If you want an inspiring call to action, then listen to Stephanie Viskovich, a longtime cannabis activist who has formed The Viper’s Club, a political action committee with the goal of entirely decriminalizing cannabis in the United States. The eloquence and passion of Ms. Viskovich was appreciated by her audience at this year’s Hempfest in Seattle made up from all walks of life, young and old. Hempfest took place this year from August 14th through 16th at Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks.
Hempfest is a great tradition here in Seattle dating back to 1991. There has been change but there’s still a long road ahead. It is less than three years since the passing of I-502 and the so-called “legalization” of recreational cannabis. But, as Ms. Viskovich points out, you can still be charged if you are found to have more than an ounce in your possession.
“Echo,” by Jaume Plensa, the latest addition to the SAM sculpture garden, resides over Hempfest.
It is still a long road ahead to fully ending the prohibition of cannabis in the United States. Seattle Hempfest provides a vital role of educating the public and spurring them on to action with a peace-loving gathering that is part state fair, a music festival, and an old-fashioned BYOC cannabis garden. There is so much to cover on the subject of cannabis. Where to begin? The profound health benefits of CBD? How about the fact that our military veterans are still having trouble with obtaining medical cannabis? The list grows long very quickly. For this feature, I am doing my best to touch on various aspects of cannabis and highlight some exciting items.
New ways of engaging with cannabis are taking root. For a younger generation, there are more options. Some are happy to keep it old school with dry herbs. For others, it’s oils and waxes, cannabis in a more concentrated form. Walk down among the vendors and you’ll find various rigs for dabbing. There is the intense monster, The MiniNail, from Full Tilt Technologies. Or maybe you prefer something more sleek and high tech like The Prodigy from Spry.
The Atlas vaporizer from Vuber Technologies at Seattle Hempfest 2015
And then there’s the vapes! The popularity of vape pens, portable pen-like vaporizers, is undeniable. The Oxford Dictionary selected “vape” as its Word of the Year in 2014. Among the vape pen vendors at Hempfest this year, one that stands out is local company, Vuber Technologies. I had the opportunity to try out their Atlas vape, for wax and oil concentrates, and it totally works like a dream: very easy to use and it produces quality vape.
The vapors from the Vuber Atlas are light, smooth, and robust. A little goes a long way so all it takes it just a “dab” of wax applied near the coils. The Atlas has a dual-titanium coil heating element wrapped around a ceramic core that provides a flavorful experience. The battery is a sturdy 900 mAh solid-state. The Atlas comes with an additional atomizer, a mount for your pen, a container for wax, and a dabber. For an additional price, you can add a globe atomizer.
Tommy Chong at Seattle Hempfest 2015
Wander around some more and KASHI hemp clothing will catch your eye. Or maybe Gogo Pipes. Or how about meeting legendary comedic talent and activist Tommy Chong. And, once at Hempfest, you’ll also want to join the cannabis community in a significant way by getting the Leafly app. It’s true that one part of Hempfest is a trade show but it’s put together with plenty of authenticity. And it’s easy to take for granted all these various interests gathered together in a safe and supportive environment.
Plenty of music to enjoy at Hempfest, for sure. From the mellow acoustics of Jessica Domingo to the headbanging heavy metal of Jahai, there is a lineup here that holds its own with Bumbershoot. Seriously, Bumbershoot, the granddaddy of music festivals, would not turn its back on any of the performers at Hempfest.
Seattle Hempfest 2015
I end this feature where I began with thoughts on the road ahead. When Stephanie Viskovich invited her audience to visit the booth of legendary cannabis advocate Ed Rosenthal, I had to go over and pay a visit. I got Ed to autograph a card. And I promised to spread the word about The Viper’s Club. If you would like to help decriminalize cannabis, visit The Viper’s Club website right here. And, if you’re in Seattle, be sure to attend Canna Comedy Night all in support of The Viper’s Club at Laughs Comedy Spot on September 27th. Details are right here.
As Stephanie Viskovich states, the issue of cannabis comes down to a human rights issue. That simple fact is resonating with people all the more in the U.S. and around the world. So, if you’re new to all this, or if you have considered attending, be sure to visit Hempfest next year as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. Keep in mind that Hempfest costs over $1 million dollars a year to produce. Be sure to donate at the event and through annual memberships. Visit our friends at Seattle Hempfest right here.
Deluxe Darth Vader Adult Costume available at PureCostumes.com
Cosplay is for everyone at PureCostumes.com. It can be anytime and anywhere. If you feel like dressing up as Darth Vader, just go for it. I know I’d like to. And there’s so much more to find at this unique outlet for all kinds of costumes.
Steampunk Fantasy Adult Costume from California Costumes available at PureCostumes.com
Let’s say you’re into steampunk, PureCostumes.com has got you covered with the steampunk costumes by California Costumes. The key is in all the details and this year will see a bunch of new styles that are sure to please any steampunk enthusiast.
Pinky Pie Adult Costume available at PureCostumes.com
Keep browsing and you are bound to find something that strikes your fancy. Maybe you’re a fan of My Little Pony. Then check out all the options, from the youngest fans to adult fans, at PureCostumes.com.
Spider-Man costume available at PureCostumes.com
Or maybe you’re looking for something classic, like a Spider-Man costume. You can find it right here.
Minions costumes available at PureCostumes.com
With something for the whole family, PureCostumes is definitely your one-stop-shop. So, the next time you’re feeling like cosplay, go visit PureCostumes right here.
Men in hats. Will the trend continue? I believe it has reached what I lovingly call, “The Flip Flop Factor.” Something happened in 2011. It had been occurring more under the surface for many years. But, now, we’ve reached that tipping point where all bets are off and any guy, at anytime, could be considering wearing a hat. He’s seen enough cool dudes wear hats and he senses something’s in the air. Johnny Depp wears hats. It must be alright. “The Flip Flop Factor” comes into play in the fact that a lot of guys see this as an opportunity to flaunt a bit of their casual side at any given time or place. Just like flip flops are no longer an item to be found only on the beach or at the gym, hats on men are no longer just an item at a club. They are this new staple in fashion: a little annoying to some, a bit audacious to others, but definitely here to stay. Also, we reached the point this year where men’s hats, like flip flops, are being sold everywhere, along with a price drop for this type of sporty/retro hat, that makes them even more tempting and accessible.
You can see from these following photos of yours truly, that any bloke can look a little more interesting with a hat. And these bad boys didn’t set me back at all. All three of these hats were less or around twenty bucks. I bought them in 2011 at different times and different places. I think, with these three, I’ve got my set that I can just wear whenever. I have to say, it took me a while, like a lot of guys, to find hats that I liked. I was willing to spend a little more too but nothing seemed to speak to me. I wasn’t too keen on the ones made out of straw or paper. I’m more into something more solid, made of some kind of cloth. I was always aware of a high end men’s hat shop in town but only ventured in there once. Then, this year, I warmed up to the new boutique chain, Goorin Brothers. In time, I may find the finer quality hat I might still be longing for. Like flip flops, you can get the cheap, but still great, type or you an indulge your senses with something out of this world.
It’s very interesting to me how hats have come back. They went away, had become too attached to a bygone era, too associated with your dad or your grandfather, but now they are back. They are not part of the soul sucking routine of “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.” No, they are now a life-saver. As long as they’re not some lame version with flaps to cover your ears, you’re good. As long as they have style, that’s the kind of hat you want.
The balance on supply and demand and trend setting is just right at this time. Guys are fully aware that hats are hot. Retro is hot. Hats are retro. Hats are hot. Not everyone is going to wear them. There will always be a sense of style and of setting oneself apart from the slow and dull herd when donning a hat. You know the slow and dull herd, right? You see them every day of your life, waiting for the bus in the morning, shuffling along, or power walking, up and down, and down and up, the sidewalks as if they really are going anywhere. And then, out of that thick fog, emerges that guy in that hat. That guy with a little something special in his heart that keeps him moving and doesn’t let the petty stares from the ignorant or the smirks from the wanna-bes get him down. He’s the guy with the hat!
Like anything else that is cool, hats have always been around and have been worn by cool people, whether society gets it or not. You’ll find that hats were already back some years back and worn by artists, writers and any number of daredevils and nonconformists. They are a natural for cartoonists and those in the comics and entertainment industry. Big time comics writer Ed Brubaker, of “Captain America” fame among other works, is a long-time hat wearer. And the ultimate hat man in comics must be Seth, known for a body of work that pays homage to the past, as in “Palookaville,” a past with many more hats that we are ever likely to see again. But you never know.
When Ben Affleck grew out his hair, the entertainment press dubbed the hair covering his forehead, “man bangs.” They couldn’t just be bangs. And the same thing happens when a male celeb is seen with a bag. Instantly, that becomes a “man bag.” If it’s sandals on men, they become “man sandals” which doesn’t even make any sense. And it goes on. Just add “man” to about anything that has a guy treating himself to the finer things in life. “Manzilian,” anyone? Speaking for us guys, I believe we’re more than mere man skin.
Men will do whatever they want anyway. If we want to take care of ourselves, we will, because guys have evolved. That’s what leads us to an exciting new line of men’s skincare and grooming products, EvolutionMan.
The founder of EvolutionMan is Marco Berardini, a celebrity groomer whose clients include Patrick Dempsey, LeBron James and supermodel, Marissa Miller. His line of products are used by other celebrity groomers like Sonia Lee who gets stars like Neil Patrick Harris and Anthony Hopkins red carpet ready.
Visit the EvolutionMan Web site and you’ll find an assortment of skincare products to make you look and feel great. “Wash & Buff,” for instance, won the award for best face scrub in Men’s Health Magazine. And EvolutionMan products are packed with natural ingredients that make your skin more attractive and healthy.
Here at Comics Grinder, we’re all about style and taste. We just received a goodie bag from EvolutionMan and we thought we’d share with you what we found.
PURE BLING – We’ll start with the latest addition to the EvolutionMan line: nail polish for men. Again, no need to call this “man nail polish,” unless you really have to. With “Pure Bling,” a guy can test drive nail polish since this is simply a clear varnish, boosted with vitamins. All it does is provide a guy with more healthy and attractive nails. What could be better? I’ve found it to be just fine. My nails look and feel great and I have gotten compliments on them. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Maybe next time I’ll try a color.
CLEANSE & SHAVE, WASH & BUFF AND MOISTURE PROTECT — Yes, this could be your daily regimen. You “Cleanse & Shave” to get that close and refreshing shave. Follow this up with “Wash & Buff” to get rid of dead skin cells and reinvigorate your skin. And then complete the process with “Moisture Protect” to add moisture and protect yourself from UV rays with its SPF 20.
REVITALIZE EYE GEL – You could take things one step further and give your eyes a bit of a lift with “Revitalize Eye Gel.” Just a little dab under both eyes to give you a more refreshed look and up things in a more balanced and healthy place.
LIP BALM – And any guy should have some lip balm handy. Too many guys go around sporting dry and cracked skin in such a prominent place on the face.
That said, all guys should do themselves a favor and check out what EvolutionMan has to offer them. I am inspired by EvolutionMan and you guys will be too.
Comics Grinder is a place for all things fitting into a geek lifestyle and beyond. To that end, let’s talk snacks. Whatever your pop culture preference, there’s always room for some kind of treat while you’re reading, gaming, watching. As we kick into holiday season, consider your snack search to have struck gold with all the amazing goodies to be found at Dale and Thomas Popcorn. An impressive gift box, decked out in a Halloween theme, arrived at Comics Grinder headquarters to my utter joy and amazement. I immediately ripped open a bag marked, “Parmesan & Garlic Cheese Sticks.” Now, these things are not popcorn at all so I was a little confused but they were so delicious that I didn’t care. I could see myself enjoying these with a movie anytime.
Next, I went for “Hall of Fame Kettle Corn,” assuming this would be closer to a popcorn product and I was correct! Yes! These bad boys are quite tasty. I’d rank them up there with the best kettle corn. On the Dale and Thomas Popcorn Web site, they have a quote from the Today Show: “The Rolls Royce of Popcorn.” That’s a nice quote. And, I had to say right then, that I was very much in a holiday mood and found myself feeling a bit pampered.
Here’s where it gets interesting. I have to put my foot down and say that, by and large, my favorite of the whole “Spooktacular Halloween Gift Box” extravaganza was stuff with chocolate. There were two items that fell into this category. The first one: “Twice-As-Nice Chocolate DrizzleCorn.” That’s right, they chose to run the words “drizzle” and “corn” together to create the trademarked “DrizzleCorn.” Anyway, I was feeling the luxury all the more with that. It’s a nice blend of salty and sweet. Next up in the chocolate category is actually the one item that left me breathless: “Milk Chocolate Popsters.” Yes, indeed, they’re called “Popsters” and why not? That name says it all. Of all the chocolate covered delicacies out there, including strawberries, I believe that this caramel coated popcorn dipped in chocolate is an utter inspiration. Seriously, I highly recommend them. I don’t think you can order them separately but they’re part of some rather tantalizing gift packages available at the Dale and Thomas Popcorn Web site.