Seattle has a great love for books, film, music, and comics–not necessarily in that order. In fact, all those passions are not mutually exclusive. With that in mind, welcome the new kid on the block, so to speak, The Grumpy Old Man’s Comics, Art & Collectibles. Alan LaMont hails from Rochester, New York and he recently relocated to Seattle and is open for business with a shop that combines his love for comics and for art in general. The Grumpy Old Man is located in the heart of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood on 1732 NW Market Street.
“A Kiss is Just a Kiss”
This video is a conversation with Alan LaMont, owner of The Grumpy Old Man’s Comics, Art & Collectibles. Alan chats about the store, Silver Age comics, and his new art show at the store opening on Feb 10, 2018 with a Valentine’s Day theme, “A Kiss is Just a Kiss.” Alan knows comics. He’s been a collector since the age of 4. His first big stash of comics put him through graduate school. If you are looking for some classic gems, or seek out some historical context to current titles, Alan has got you covered–along with one of the best comics subscriptions services around. Get your current single comics, graphic novels, and a nearly endless supply of comics collectibles from The Grump Old Man.
“A Kiss is Just a Kiss,” Grumpy Old Man’s February art show opens February 10, 2018. For more details, visit the Lamont Arts LLC Facebook page right here.
Inside the “Waxworks,” the 3-D arm of the Design department at Sideshow Collectibles
If you are into pop culture, and who isn’t, then one way or another you know about Sideshow Collectibles. Either you own some, know someone who does, or some other scenario. The fact is that this is the place that makes the premium items from the worlds of superheroes, fantasy, science fiction, and more. You know, replica figures of Indiana Jones, Darth Vader, Poison Ivy, you name it. What this new book makes clear is that items of this caliber are indeed worthy of praise and then some. Welcome to “Inside the Sideshow Studio: A Modern Renaissance Environment,” published by Insight Editions.
For me, personally, I’ve always enjoyed marveling over the various new figures on display at comics conventions. I’m not necessarily a hardcore collector type but, then again, I do find it hard to let go of things. After reading this book, I have a strong desire to just toss a bunch of stuff and make room for one really awesome figure to brighten up a space. Well, at least one. As you’ll see in this grand tour, all the employees at Sideshow Collectibles are encouraged to deck out their work stations and offices with items they hold dear. And, as many will happily tell you, they seem to do best with a certain amount of positive life-affirming clutter. Based upon what I see here, all this clutter is pretty cool and full of style.
Poison Ivy, Premium Format Figure, Sideshow Collectibles
No doubt, this book is an essential addition to whatever Sideshow Collectible item you may already own. And, if you happen to be pretty new to the whole scene, this book may inspire you. Not only is it a inside look at the fun factory but there’s a fair share of industry insights sprinkled about. Plus, there are numerous extras regarding a vast array of figures. You’ll find a number of inserts like the one above of Poison Ivy coming from different vantage points: graphic design, painting, sculpture, and so on. The book is a total treat.
“Inside the Sideshow Studio: A Modern Renaissance Environment” is a 128-page hardcover, all full-color photography, published by Insight Editions. For more details, visit our friends at Insight Editions right here.
Many people enjoy collecting pop culture figures. Some collectors will add an environment to showcase them. What if the sky’s the limit and you could go hog wild? Imagine, for instance, the Joker facing off with G.I. Joe. And have that in a realistic setting. Well, as kids, the sky was always the limit! Your characters didn’t have to obey any rules and you could have all sorts of battles that would never have taken place anywhere else. In that spirit, photographer Daniel Picard has let it roll with some inspired work with icons we all know and love.
Picard photographs 12-inch figures from Sideshow Collectibles, then does only what a skilled adult can do: create those sort of moments that kids around the globe conjure up just for the fun of it. These are to-scale environments with an uncannily realistic look.
Actor Simon Pegg provides a forward calling this collection, “a wonderful conversation piece.” Kevin Smith provides an afterword describing Picard’s work as a “salute to all the fun we had with our toys as kids.”
“Figure Fantasy: The Pop Culture Photography of Daniel Picard” is a 132-page hardcover, priced at $29.99 US, published by Insight Editions. For more details, and to purchase the book, visit our friends at Insight Editions right here.
Greg Koudoulian is a distinguished supporter and archivist of Comic-Con International in San Diego. His roots go back to the early years of Comic-Con. He has an impressive collection of rare memorabilia that has reached the level of museum quality. And Greg knows everyone.
If you are heading out to WonderCon, you will definitely want to set aside time for a very special panel discussion on the wonderful world of collecting comics. This panel is moderated by an important player in the world of comics and Comic-Con, Greg Koudoulian. Greg goes back to the beginning of the San Diego Comic-Con and has many friends to show for it. He started out as a film contributor for the early Comic-Cons and even went on to host is own mini-monthly cons in LA in the early ’70s.
It was in 2009 that an idea took hold that has been growing ever since. Shel Dorf, the leading founder of Comic-Con, was in hospital and did not have long to live. Greg, and a close group of friends, which included George Clayton Johnson, Richard Alf, William Clausen, Mike Towry, and Clatyon Moore, created The Shel Dorf Fan Club and Entourage. It was a beautiful gesture that pleased Shel very much and a wonderful way to say goodbye. Since 2009, the club has honored numerous talents in the industry with plans for much more to come, even an art museum. Then, early in 2012, SDCC co-founder Richard Alf passed away. This sad event has only spurred the Fan Club and friends to greater action. It is good to mention here that Richard Alf and Mike Towry were working on San Diego Comics Fest, a return to a more intimate event reminiscent of the early years of Comic-Con. And San Diego Comic Fest held its first annual event in 2012.
Through it all, Greg Koudoulian has remained a trusted, active, and much loved part of Comic-Con and its legacy. There are some special plans up ahead for the cartetaking of valuable archival material. While no formal announcements are ready to be made, it is what Greg is doing today that will lead to some exciting prospects for securing Comic-Con history in the future. One project is a documentary of the early San Diego Comic-Cons of the 1970s. The documentary has a working title of “Planet Cortez, A Legacy in Time.” The work involved is multi-layered: everything from digitizing a vast collection of material as well as creating essential new material.
When asked about his thoughts on the emergence of geek culture, specifically the evolution of the comics collecting culture, Greg is ready with an answer: “When Charles Kuralt, of CBS, went to Cherokee Books in Hollywood in 1973 and said that there might be a goldmine in your grandma’s attic, things went through the roof. When you’ve got Walter Cronkite endorsing your hobby on national television, that got it booming! The prices in the Overstreet Comics Price Guide began to inflate. For example, I bought ‘Superman #2’ in 1974, in fair condition for $125 and, a year later, sold it for $250. Around that time, Johnny Carson had on as a guest on ‘The Tonight Show’ someone who’d bought a copy of ‘Action Comics #1’ for $1,800. I was interviewed for the pilot to Tom Snyder’s ‘Tomorrow Show’ with my comics collection. And I managed to get a copy of ‘Action Comics #1’ lent to me to show but my interview never aired.”
And this leads us back to the WonderCon panel, “The Business & Hobby of Collecting Comics,” March 31, Sunday, 3:30-4:30 PM, Room 213AB. The panel will offer a variety of insights and stories to tell. Plus, stick around for some fun giveaways. Go to the Facebook page here. You can also call the hotline: 858-215-3659
Here are the details:
“The Business & Hobby of Collecting Comics,” March 31, Sunday, 3:30-4:30 PM, Room 213AB
From personal collections, working with museums and art galleries and even a little bit of hoarding, George Clayton Johnson, Barry Short, John Ellis, Eric Hoffman, Michael Hamersky, Alan Williams, and Dave Arshawsky are all fans and collectors of most things related to science fiction and comics. Collecting is a major industry these days; just watch the cable shows dedicated to it! Join moderator Greg Koudoulian to discuss how we can make sure that our histories and legacies are preserved for future generations, in both museums and art galleries and your own home!
George Clayton Johnson, wrote 8 original “Twilight Zone” stories and screenplays, wrote the first episode of “Star Trek” to be broadcast, and co-created “Ocean’s 11,” and “Logan’s Run.”
Barry Short, was a former Program Director for SDCC from 1982-86 and owner of 21st Century Comics from 1986-2003.
John Ellis, Partner in the Milton Caniff Estate, a Special Effects artist and writer.
Greg Koudoulian, Moderator, Early SDCC film program contributor, also produced first Mini Cons on the west coast in 1973-74 and a Collector too.
Eric Hoffman, Writer, Film Historian and collector of most SF Genre! Early SDCC film program contributor too.
MICHAEL HAMERSKY, Comics Dealer, blogger, and expert on the Comics Industry, past, present and future.
Alan Williams, former Comic Book store owner, Fanzine expert and writer.
Dave Arshawsky, Comic Book Artist, Toy designer, Sculptor, writer and Collector.