November 2012

Hey guys — just had a great week subbing again for Whitney Matheson at Pop Candy!  Here’s all the posts I did in once easy-to-find place, day by day!


zack smith drive

Early Buzz!

Alison Bechdel

Special Guest Essay by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Charles Brownstein!

kirk hammett metallica

Gift Suggestions from Mondo’s Justin Ishmael, The Four Horsemen, and Mark Rein of Epic Games (GEARS OF WAR!)


Boy Meets World

Early Buzz!


TV Critic Alan Sepinwall talks his new book THE REVOLUTION WAS TELEVISED, which talks with the stars and creators of THE SOPRANOS, LOST and more!

Hulk Beats the Devil

CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL and SUNNYSIDE author Glen David Gold discusses the thrills and perils of collecting original comic book art!


Special Super-Sized Early Buzz (Nearly 50 Items!) with a special guest-logo by teen cartoonist Emma Capps!


“How to Write a Comic Book” — I team up with Chris Roberson (Monkeybrain Comics, MASKS, MEMORIAL) to show would-be writers the resources that can help them!

Lev Grossman

“Two Grown Men and a Seven-Year-Old Discuss ADVENTURE TIME:” THE MAGICIANS author and TIME magazine writer Lev Grossman (and his daughter Lily) chat with me about our obsession with Cartoon Network’s hit show!



Early Buzz with EXCLUSIVE News about some bizarre-sounding KFC cookies!


Turner Classic Movies’ Robert Osborne chats with me about his favorite holiday films!


My friend Chris Shy chats about his new graphic novel THE NORTH END OF THE WORLD, about the famed photographer of Native Americans, Edward Curtis — and his own journey to tribal lands to research the book!


Early Buzz: A 'Regular Show' Exclusive

Last Early Buzz — with an exclusive preview clip of Cartoon Network’s REGULAR SHOW and a special award for SHERLOCK’s Benedict Cumberbatch!

Dean Haspiel

Emmy-Winning Cartoonist Dean Haspiel talks his Trip City comics salon and his efforts at Hurricane Sandy relief!

Alamo Draft House: Summer of 1982

And finally — I talk with people from the Alamo Drafthouse and the Carolina Theatre of Durham about our favorite years in film!


Click the Pic to see the Super-Sized Version!


Click to see the full version — and visit!

From Newsarama: I provided readers with our pick for US President  and even got the candidate endorsed by Ed Brubaker and Neil Gaiman!  Who did we pick?

The answer…WILL SHOCK  YOU!

Good news!  I’ve been asked back to guest at Pop Candy again for the week of Nov.26!  For convenience’s (and self-promotion’s) sake, here’s a post grouping all my posts for last week into one big turbo-post.



Guest-blogging introduction!

Early Buzz!


Jeffrey Brown Guest Logo!

First-Person Videos of Discontinued Amuesment Park Rides from Disney World, Cedar Point and More!

Interview with the Actors of the Audiobook of Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL!


Early Buzz!

pc guest logo

Guest Logo by Lucy Knisley!


John Hodgman Talks His Love of Comics’  Legion of Super-Heroes!

small in the saddle

Jeffrey Brown Talks About His Favorite Weird Children’s Book, SMALL IN THE SADDLE!



Halloween Early Buzz!


Guest Logo by SAGA’s Fiona Staples!


Crazy Halloween Specials You Can View Online!


JG Quintel of Cartoon Network’s REGULAR SHOW names his favorite 1980s pop culture!


SUPERNATURAL’s Writers Reveal What Scares Them!


buffy the vampire slayer

Post-Halloween Early Buzz!


OWLY Guest Logo by Andy Runton!


UNBORED and SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS Author Joshua Glenn Talks About MATTHEW LOONEY and Gahan Wilson!

Help Out Indy Bookstore Books of Wonder!

Interview with the Head of The Movie Spoiler and Moviepooper!


Interview with He-Man Contest Winner Daniel Benedict on Castle Grayskullman!


ADVENTURE TIME Creator Pendleton Ward Talks the 1980s!


Last Early Buzz!

Pop Candy by Bone's Jeff Smith

Last Guest Logo: ALL-NEW Bone Illustration by Jeff Smith!


The Carolina Theatre’s Jim Carl Shares His Amazing Movie Ad Collection!

Shout! Factory presents 'All in the Family'

Shout! Factory’s Brian Blum Talks Making DVD Sets!

'Get A Life' Complete Series

SIMPSONS Writer David Mirkin Talks About Making GET A LIFE with Chris Elliott!

Patton Oswalt, Halloween Ready

Patton Oswalt, Brad Meltzer, Jodi Picoult and More Recommend Children’s Books to New Mother Whitney Matheson!

'The Stars Below' by Zack Smith

My Goodbye Post, with More Links!

Ladies Love James

My last Early Buzz, super-sized as I go out in a BLAZE OF GLORY!

Pop Candy by Bone's Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith of BONE fame does a special Pop Candy guest logo!


I talk to Jim Carl of the Carolina Theatre of Durham about his amazing collection of classic movie ads!

Shout! Factory presents 'All in the Family'

Shout! Factory DVD Producer Brian Blum talks how they put their DVD sets together and make special features!

'Get A Life' Complete Series

Simpsons Writer David Mirkin talks Co-Creating GET A LIFE with Chris Elliott and More!

Patton Oswalt, Halloween Ready

Super-Sized Post with Patton Oswalt, Jodi Picoult, Brad Meltzer, Kate DiCamillo and more recommending children’s books for new mother Whitney Matheson!

'The Stars Below' by Zack Smith

And finally, my goodbye with more shilling for my comic THE STARS BELOW!

Here’s the next-to-last batch of my Pop Candy posts — I’ll do another post after this with Friday, and then one with every single post compiled.


buffy the vampire slayer

Post-Halloween Early Buzz!


Special guest logo from OWLY’s Andy Runton!

Help Save Children’s Bookstore Books of Wonder!


An interview with Daniel Benedict, winner of the “Create a He-Man Figure” contest with his character Castle Grayskullman!

A talk with the head of and! 

An interview with ADVENTURE TIME creator Pendleton Ward about his favorite 1980s pop culture!

Click on each to see the full version!







“Here is the quintessential New York survivor’s story, told with warmth, humor and vibrancy.  And there’s even a chase scene.”

-Junot Díaz (Drown, This is How You Lose Her, Pulitzer Prize Winner, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)

Hey readers — my first published comic, THE STARS BELOW with artist Rich Ellis, is now out from Monkeybrain Comics!

You can buy it here for just 99 cents!

Buy it during the month of November, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Hero Initiative!

Here’s an interview with me and Rich on the ComiXologist Podcast!

And here’s what people are saying…

“This is terrific! It’s like the best wordless picture books I used to love as a kid!  The artwork…is amazingly good.”

-David Small (Caldecott Medal Winner; National Book Award Finalist, Stitches)

“THE STARS BELOW is the best single-issue comic I’ve read in months. REALLY great. Check it out!”

-Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Daredevil,

“Read Zack Smith’s beautiful comic story THE STARS BELOW. You’ll get warm fuzzies. And love a bird.”

-Brad Meltzer (The Tenth Justice, Identity Crisis, History Channel’s Brad Meltzer’s DECODED)

“‘The Stars Below’ by Zack Smith and Rich Ellis – simply lovely. Favorite book of the week.”

-Bryan Q. MIller (Batgirl, Smallville)

“You did a GREAT job. A++

-Kevin Church (The Loneliest Astronauts)

“Great job, guys!”

-Gabriel Hardman (Thunderbolts, Planet of the Apes)

“A wonderfully little story about birds, the world, and seeking new heights & new discoveries. I loved this, the art is great. Cheap, fun, totally worth it.
“Rating: BUY

-Aaron Meyers, Two-Headed Geek Comicast

“It’s well-done. I’m impressed with creators that can do wordless stories without confusing or boring the audience, and I’m particularly taken with the panels where the bird gets stars in its eyes. There’s even a chase scene!”

-Johanna Draper-Carlson, Comics Worth Reading

“I had a feeling that I would really enjoy this comic. I was not wrong, as this wordless story from Zack Smith and Rich Ellis was at times a fun little adventure and other times very poignant, and a nice little story about how even the littlest of guys can strive for more, and how sometimes there is a little wonder just around the corner for each of us. Ellis’ art fit perfect for the story, as his cast was very emotive (very necessary for a wordless story) and he did a really great job of selling some of the points that readers needed to reach for a bit more.

“Altogether, this is about as much as you could possibly want from a $0.99 comic, and something that I’d be glad to share with audiences both young and old. Highly recommended from yours truly, and it’s a lovely little tale that is better experienced than written about.

“Final Verdict: 9.0 – Buy”

-David Harper at Multiversity Comics

“I want to thank Zack Smith, Rich Ellis, and Monkeybrain Comics for making this available. It is charming from cover to cover and a feast for the eyes and imagination [...].

“The artist, Rich Ellis, is the artist on Chris Roberson’s MEMORIAL for IDW. According to writer, Zack Smith, Ellis knocked this thing out as a fresh graduate from art school and before working on MEMORIAL. It is an impressive early effort by a strong talent. Smith, himself, has crafted a unique vision here that stands strong as an independent work in a crowded marketplace of super-heroes.

Monkeybrain is making this comic available digitally for only 99¢ at this link. At that price, everyone out there should buy a copy. And, hey, why not buy one for your nephew and niece as well. This is good for all ages and is excellent.”

-Keith Howell, AICN Comics

“The Stars Below (link)
“This one-shot written by Zack Smith and drawn by Rich Ellis (of IDW’s Memorial) is probably the strangest of the bunch this week. Not that it’s particularly gruesome or preposterous, but the story it tells is something not often seen in the realm of comics. The Stars Below follows a pigeon (not a Disney-esque talking pigeon, just a normal pigeon) who gets kicked into a planetarium where it sees the stars for the first time. Since the urban canopy of New York prevents him from seeing the stars, he sets out to perch on the tallest building he can find to get a glimpse of the real thing.

In a medium of capes, guns, boobs, gore and spells, finding a comic that’s simply about a bird trying to fly to the top of a building may seem ‘quaint,’ but the story really picks up when a falcon attempts to make the pigeon his lunch. Smith’s story is some classic story-telling fun and Ellis is able to capture a great deal of emotion in a pigeon’s face, even without spoken dialogue or a single thought balloon.”

-Andrew Leslie, Freakin’ Awesome Network

” A beautifully illustrated fable that is sure to a spark a sense of wonder in children and adults alike,The Stars Below is a brief but worthy chapter in the annuls of Great Animal Comics and undoubtedly the first (maybe the last?) to make a hero out of a Pigeon.

Grade: A.”

-Matt Sargeson, Weekly Comic Book Review

Once again, you can buy the book here!


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