Comics, Palooza-style and Texas-fried!

Comics, Palooza-style and Texas-fried!

This past weekend, I went to Houston for Comicpalooza! (I think the exclamation mark is required.)It was my first time at the show, and my first trip back to Texas in a couple of years.

First, I was shocked to learn that the Houston Astros would be moving to the American League. What’s up with that?

But, oh yeah, comics!

The show went pretty well. Right now, I’m hurting when it comes to conventions. Not so much because of my insane travel schedule, although that does factor in sometimes, but because I’m nearlyout of stock on everything. As I type this I have one, count ’em, one, copy of the second Love and Capes collection left. None of the first, none of the third. Success is awesome, except for the part where I don’t have stuff to sell.

Of course everything is being reprinted right now and I’ll have them for Comic-Con. Why, they’re in Previews right now, along with the first new issue of 2012! Order codes for the collections are JUN12 0385, JUN12 0386 and JUN12 0387 respectively. And the new issue is JUN12 0384. End of commercial, back to talking about what I sell.

With less hard stock, I’m trying to do more commissions and sketches at my table. The show didn’t disappoint, and I got a bunch of really interesting requests. The 1940’s Martian Manhunter… yeah, I never heard of him either… Squirrel Girl, Marilyn Monroe, superheroes as Tiny Toons, Scud the Disposable Assassin, and Power Girl. All fun choices.

I also did a panel at the show, Gender Representation in Comics. Characters, obviously. I was on the panel with artist Michelle Dilecki and Rod Thornton. It was one of the best panels I’ve ever been on. I get a lot of "breaking in" panels and a fair number of "digital comics" panels, but this was a pretty sharp topic, and there was a lot to talk about.

Plus, as most people who know me are aware, there’s a little bit of frustrated stand up comic in me. I kind of love talking in front of a microphone.And judging by audience reaction, apparently I can be funny from time to time.

Big thanks to Kevin Travers for creating it and for asking me to be on it.

It also brought people over to my booth, more people ever from any single panel I’ve done. So it definitely touched a chord. Hopefully I’ll get to do more of those.

The show also had a live event charity auction which asked me to participate. Because of some booth conversations, I was inspired to draw a pic of The Marvel Family, or the Shazam Family or whatever DC is calling them now. I miss this iteration of these characters, and I wish there was a place for them to exist.

The final piece went for $75, which isn’t bad. The auction raised over $4000 for the Ronald McDonald House. As noted philosopher B.A. Barracus once said "You gotta do it for the kids."

I was lucky enough to be sitting next to David Marquez, currently of Ultimate Spider-Man, and the lovely Tara, who were excellent booth neighbors for the entire show. It’s great meeting new people at these shows, even better when they’re actually nice people you want to see again. And, being freelance and working alone in a studio,I miss that art shop talk that I get when I’m sitting next to a good an interesting artist like David.

And two big shout outs. First, the always-delightful Jesse Jackson. We’ve been friends for over ten years (odd, since we’re obviously only in our early twenties) and I’ve been lucky enough to see him three times in the last year. It’s always fun to hang out with him, and he’s a great confidant, assistant, aide-de-camp and trusted friend.

The other is Alex Johnson, who arranged to bring me down to Houston for the show. Alex and his wife were on the Love and Capes wedding cover, and has been a fan ever since. Now he’s a friend, too, and the trip wouldn’t have been possible without him. Thank you so much, Alex.

I had a great time, and I hope I getthe chance to come back.

For those of you playing "Where in the World is Thom Zahler?", I’ll briefly be in Denver for a wedding next week, and then I’ll be at HeroesCon in Charlotte at the end of June. Hope to see you there!


About the Author

Man's man, ladies' man, man about town. Friend to small children and animals. The greatest criminal mind of our time. Occasional cartoonist and writer. Also, very tall.


  1. We loved having you at the Live Art event, and we’d love to have you back next time! Thank you for coming to Houston!

    • I’d love to come back. Hopefully we can make that happen!

  2. Hi Thom,
    It was great to meet you. The Tiny Toons piece you did for our youngest daughter’s friend was wonderful. I am wondering how I can keep it instead of giving it away. 🙂 Come back to Houston!

  3. Thom,

    It was really nice making an “e-” friend into a “real” friend. I’m glad you had a good time and a successful trip. Pencil the next one in, but bring more stuff to sell. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Comics A.M. | Industry’s digital inroads; exploiting new comics formats | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

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