Category Archives: Pizza

Review: PIZZA MAN: THE SUPREME COLLECTION by Damien Shanahan

PIZZA MAN: THE SUPREME COLLECTION by Damien Shanahan

PIZZA MAN: THE SUPREME COLLECTION by Damien Shanahan

Those of us who seriously follow the comics medium are always mindful of homegrown stuff. There’s a select group of us rooting for the indie cartoonist making it happen against all odds. As a cartoonist, I have a few more layers of empathy. I don’t need a work to fit any particular theme or agenda. I just need it to grab me. In the case of the book we have before us, I sense a kindred spirit right away. Damien Shanahan created a character in his youth and developed that character and his world. In the process, Damien Shanahan grew as a person, an artist, and so on. Sort of like Woody, from Toy Store, Pizza Man sat on a shelf for a while. But then Damien Shanahan got a craving for pizza again and the cheese was, once again, bubbling hot. The crust was crispy too. And it all led to “Pizza Man: The Supreme Collection.”

Opening story: "Comic Conned!"

Opening story: “Comic Conned!”

Shanahan has done a lot of smart things with his Pizza Man over the years and that is reflected in the book. He knows how to keep it fresh. He begins the book with a new story that showcases his current art and writing skills. He knows how to bring the reader in. He kicks off with an informative introduction and also provides further explanation at the start of each section. He knows how to keep it moving. I think Shanahan does a great job of presenting his older work in the best light. And he knows when to share in the fun. There are some awesome pieces here with other artists drawing Pizza Man and the gang.

From "Viva Las Pizza," art by Chris Wahl

From “Viva Las Pizza,” art by Chris Wahl

Pizza Man brings to mind Flaming Carrot and other parodies of the superhero genre. There have been parodies for as long as there have been superheroes. Funny thing is that even your most unconventional superhero is liable to get complacent and start to act too much like a traditional superhero. In that regard, Shanahan demonstrates a keen sense of humor and dedication to remain as weird as possible. I really enjoyed the new work that begins this book. He has Pizza Man and his sidekick, Mozzarella, posted at a booth at a comic book convention. These guys aren’t creators. They’re fictional characters. They have no vested interest in being at a comic book convention. So, whatever onlookers have to say to them, it really doesn’t mean a thing to them. If only it could be that easy for cartoonists.

In the course of all his adventures, we don’t dwell too much on how Pizza Man became Pizza Man. It’s nothing as dramatic as surviving some freak accident at a pizza parlor or escaping from some pizza planet. He just is what he is. That’s what I like most about Pizza Man. Shanahan seems to be comfortable to keep things simple while also playing up the absurdity of being a superhero. This is just the sort of vibe that a lot of comic book publishers find very appealing. And that should bode well for the future of Pizza Man.

I’m sure this book will be fun for both fans of superheroes and fans of superhero parodies. It will be of keen interest too for anyone interested in the storytelling process as Shanahan does a great job of documenting his creative journey. This collection was the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. You’ll want to seek it out as it becomes more available.

Keep up with Damien Shanahan and Pizza Man right here.

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Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Damien Shanahan, Pizza, Pizza Man

Travel Review: Hotel Hotel Hostel in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood

If you are visiting Seattle, then the perfect place to start your adventure is at Hotel Hotel Hostel in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. I had the privilege of having Hotel Hotel host my 24-Hour Comics Day drawing marathon this past weekend. Under these special circumstances, I found myself with the opportunity to review the hostel and share with you my observations. The hostel is for visitors outside of Seattle. For Seattle locals, there is the PizzaBar located adjacent to the hostel. If you are in Fremont, you will find it as it commands a prime spot within a building that is also home to other local favorite boutiques and shops.

Nancy, co-owner of the Hotel Hotel Hostel with her husband, Lee

Nancy, co-owner of the Hotel Hotel Hostel with her husband, Lee

Nancy, co-owner of the hostel with her husband, Lee, was a great guide and hostess. I witnessed her firsthand joking and making everyone feel welcome. She has a gift for meeting each task with grace and a friendly smile. Both Lee and Nancy love to travel and meet new people so they are a natural together in their hostel business.

Hotel Hotel is what you would call a boutique hostel in that it has gone that extra mile to create a welcoming and comfortable environment. Many hostels can be found in that category. It’s just a way of saying that you’re in very good hands.

Private room with bath

Private room with bath

Hotel Hotel is, at the end of the day, a hostel which means it’s affordable, centrally located, and convenient for the traveller not only on a budget but with an eye for something different.

Hotel Hotel Computer Station

Hotel Hotel Computer Station

Keep in mind that location is everything. If you choose Hotel Hotel, you are in a very fun and active area. You could spend your whole time just in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. You are also right next to a fast and easy bus ride into Seattle.

I had a private room and bath and it is a spacious space with an upbeat and stylish layout: leather couch, king bed, nightstands, added lights, chair with ottoman, bookcase, fresh towels. All in all, it has the nice look and feel of a boutique hotel room.

I found the recreation room and kitchen to be ample and easily accessible. Along with the free Wi-Fi, you’ll notice that, at the stairs in a commons area, there is one tablet available for the use of guests. That can come in very handy and it is not something you can expect at just any hostel.

Complimentary breakfast

Complimentary breakfast

And what a nice complimentary breakfast all spread out for guests to enjoy! A great way to start the day.

How about that Fremont Troll?

How about that Fremont Troll?

Another great feature that Hotel Hotel offers its guests is a free walking tour of the Fremont neighborhood. It is your chance to have Megan, who is in charge of tours, to give you an in depth look at what was once a logging town that went on to become “the center of the universe.” There’s a lot to this story with plenty of local scenery, art, and landmarks to provide a fascinating journey. Have you wondered about Fremont’s curiously offbeat fixtures like those naked cyclists, or that huge statue of Vladimir Lenin? Or how about the Fremont Troll? Well, find out on this tour.

HotelHotel PizzaBar

HotelHotel PizzaBar

Ah, and getting back to the PizzaBar. This is a relatively new addition to Hotel Hotel and it’s a fun addition to Fremont’s night life. It is a perfect spot to settle in with friends, have some pizza and beer, play a game of pool, and check out whatever else is going on: a movie, a Seahawks game, a special open mic event.

Pizza at HotelHotel PizzaBar!

Pizza at HotelHotel PizzaBar!

As an avid traveller and adventurer, I was very impressed with the quality and care that Hotel Hotel provides. It is part of City Hostel Seattle, located in downtown Seattle. Both hostels are perfect places to stay and start your own Seattle adventure.

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Filed under 24 Hour Comics Day, Comics, Food, Fremont, Hostels, Hotel Hotel Hostel, Pizza, Seattle, The Fremont Troll, Travel