I was so happy and excited to be a guest at the Infinity Toy and Comic Con. My partner, NAKOMA DeMITRO, and I had set up for the convention the day before, so, when we arrived the next day, all we had to do was make a few adjustments and we were ready for the crowd. As I was making the adjustments, a lady leaned over to me and said, “Hello, stranger.” I looked up into the face of an old friend, HILLARIE STATON, wife of my buddy JOE STATON. JOE and I had created the super hero, E-Man, with JOE as the artist and with me as the writer. JOE had not made the early set-up and so was busy unpacking his material, but he did wave and I just had time for a brief hello before allowing him to get back to his duties.
JOE and I both worked for Charlton Comics during the early seventies. Charlton didn’t do superheroes at that time, not wanting to compete with the giants, DC Comics and Marvel, but one day GEORGE WILDMAN, the editor of the comics division, said to me he had convinced the publishers to try superheroes again and I should come up with one. My favorite superhero when I was a kid was Plastic-Man and so I devised a Plastic-Man type superhero, E-Man who had the power to change into any form of matter and energy. I asked for JOE as the artist because I liked his art style, especially on a series called Primus, and since Primus was ending, JOE would be looking for another series. Thus, our partnership was born and we remained friends over the years even though E-Man has had a spotty publishing history.
Shortly after taking our position behind our table, just below a huge latex banner with a youthful photo of me, our Starflake had arrived. ALICIA SAGE, who portrays our beloved character, was in complete costume and we surprised her because a drawing I had rendered of her, as the character, was on the badge in full color. She was thrilled and took the pose on the badge whenever people requested a picture with her. We also signed several badges, as well as the comics, magazines, and Starflake novels. Also on sale at our table were KEVIN GLOVER’S horror comics, The Monster Kids, Lady Frankenstein, Fractured Scary Tales, and a fascinating sequel to The Time Machine entitled Come Find Me.
As with every convention, the costumes ranged from colorful to outrageous, where children of all ages dressed as their favorite superhero/super villain and Lovcraftian creatures, which “defy description”, a literary device taken from the great Lovecraft himself.
JOE and HILLARIE were next to us, but across the way were two fascinating celebrities. One was JYOTI AMGE from American Horror Story. This delightful little lady is in the Guinness Book of World records as the smallest living woman at 2 feet 6 inches tall. Next to her was RANDY JONES the cowboy from the popular singing group, The Village People, who had such hit songs a “YMCA, “Macho Man,” and “In the Navy.” Being very friendly, RANDY came over to us to chat and even posed with us.
The Geek Cultural Congress interviewed me for a pod cast and then the next day JOE and I did a talk where DAVID KROLL interviewed us for the convention. We mostly talked about our creation, E-Man, but many members of the audience were young artists and writers and wanted to know how to get their work published. Such a question is too broad to answer simply and so I just told those aspiring writers to write, write, write, and get their work published anywhere they can, school newsletters, amateur magazines, wherever. Some might do well to gather stories and self publish them on CreateSpace in book form and there is always the Writer’s Digest, which prints the name and address of hundreds of magazine and book publishers.
We ended the convention with a Sushi Diner with the wonderful STATONS and now we look forward to our next convention in two weeks, The Space Coast Con, September 7-9. I hope to see you there.
To see all the pictures on our facebook page, click here!