Friday, April 18, 2014

Creature Comforts From Home III: Nick Landime

So, after getting hooked on books like Evilman Saves The World, Mr. Nightmare's Wonderful World, and Dark Cloud: The Game from Moonstone Books; and then, finding cool webcomics like You'll Have That, I discovered that both my hometown and the Twin Cities were creative hubs for artists.

Zach Miller, creator of Joe and Monkey, from my hometown!

DC Comics artists Pat Gleason, Doug Mahnke and Tom Nguyen, just a few of the Twin Cities residents.

Batman: Gotham Adventures, Justice League Adventures, Justice League Unlimited AdventuresThe Batman Strikes!, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and Dr. Blink, Superhero Shrink penciller Christopher Jones is a Twin City native. He also is part of the annual Fourth of July weekend CONvergence.

Anthony Anmph Hary, The Midnight Raider creator and guessed it - Twin Cities native.

Star Trek artist Gordon Purcell...

Same with Bob Lipski, creator of Uptown Girl.

My buddy, Bill Halliar, got me interested in independent, creator-owned, self-published comics. There's a lot more hard work and creativity involved in publishing your own comic book. Bill introduced me to The Tick by Ben Edlund and Scud: The Disposable Assassin. I wasn't able to follow Scud, but I did enjoy The Tick.

It was in Rochester, through my friends Mark and Susan Lundberg, Michael Hutchison and Josh Lynsen that I got introduced to Shooting Star Comics. Michael Produced a few stories through Shooting Star; and then, launched Metro Med, a combination Chicago Hope/ER for super-heroes. It's a brilliant concept. He worked with artist Phil Meadows on that for awhile. There were a lot of great characters that were introduced in the Shooting Star Comics Anthologies. Scott McCulliar's Golden Hornet; Yankee Doodle; Aym Geronimo; Bedbug; and Erik Burnham's Nick Landime. He's been working on Ghostbusters at IDW; but, he created an interesting character named Nick Landime. Say the name all together, real fast to get the joke.

May, 2005, was when Burnham's Nick Landime Versus The World Crime League was released by Shooting Star Comics. What starts out as a simple misunderstanding involving a cable bill for the bar that Nick runs escalates quickly into hilarity. It's like that episode of the Flintstone's where Fred is recruited as a spy. It's a pretty basic theme: average Joe stumbles into some large plot and continues to stumble his way through, until he fumbles his way out, foiling the bad guys - mostly dim-witting them, rather than out-witting them. Burnham throws in a couple of cool cameos and makes the story very Bond-esque. It's so nice that he goes classic with the cameo rather than choosing another iteration.

This is side-splitting, milk-snorting out your nose funny. Naturally, I have three copies. Two of the three autographed by Erik.

Nick Landime Versus The World Crime League
Most guys I know dream of being a comic book creator. They have dreams of becoming the next Todd McFarlane, George Perez, Alex Ross or Jim Lee. Whoever is the hottest, rock star artist, that's who they want to be. If their dreams are more modest, they want to make a living off comics. I'd like to be a comic book writer. I don't know how realistic that dream is.

The reality is that it is not easy to self-publish. A lot of the creator-owned comics I brought on this trip published maybe one or two issues at most. But that first or second issue was worth it.

Nick Landime Versus The World Crime League is one of my creature comforts from home for a good laugh and an excellent Sean Connery and Donald Pleasance cameo.

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