Choosy Beggar Books

Coffee Drip

Posted in Art by mvblair on March 7, 2017

Cafetera 2017 (1)

She can’t help herself with the coffee, my wife. As in infant, her mom dipped a thumb into fresh-brew and let her suck on it. Since those early days in Costa Rica, my wife has been hooked. She decked out our kitchen in coffee paraphernalia and asked for a proper-sized painting, which I happily supplied considering freelance jobs are tough to come by these days. She went with the one in the middle.

Cafetera 2017 (4)

Cafetera 2017 (5)

Nostalgic Politic

Posted in Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous Comics by mvblair on February 5, 2017
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“Groo the Wanderer,” by Sergio Aragonés

My brother and I read  “Groo the Wanderer”for many years. While buying a “Barbie” comic with my daughter today, I felt nostalgic and grabbed a few yellowed Groo comics. Great stuff. It always gives me some genuine smiles.

The editor was Mark Evanier, a well-know writer himself. I looked him up on the ‘net and found that he is quite politically opinionated and unafraid to discuss his ideas. In addressing his criticisms of Trump, it occurred to me that perhaps one of the reasons he dislikes the new president is that Trump has, at best, a mocking and condescending toward Latin Americans. As the editor of various Groo titles over the years, Evanier is no doubt still close to Sergio Aragonés, the Spanish and Mexican author.

Where would we be without people like Aragonés, who have provided many of us with laughter for years? Where would we be without people like Sanchéz, who kept us dry by hot-tarring our roofs? Where would we be without people like Ramiréz, who has kept track of our blood pressure for years and stitched our cuts and helped us get healthy?

These people belong to our country and deserve to be here as much as my immigrant ancestors. To scapegoat them is a disservice to what makes this country great. Just as Aragonés’ contributions to comics have been invaluable, so have the contributions of immigrants from any number of countries. For this reason, attempts to wall them out, ban them, and otherwise minimize their potential contributions will have a detrimental impact on our quality of life, as well as theirs. Let’s say “no to the wall” and “no to the ban”

Lo, How the Meekly Have Fallen

Posted in Miscellaneous by mvblair on January 18, 2017
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Another little drawing from another number of years ago.

Alfonso Wong

Posted in International Comics, Miscellaneous by mvblair on January 13, 2017
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An original “Old Master Q” strip

The comics world lost a big star recently.

Born in China in 1925, Alfonso Wong worked in illustration before and after his move to Hong Kong in 1956. Sometime around 1960 or 1961, his beloved character Old Master Q took shape. Old Master Q turned into a comic strip with several repeating characters, including his two buddies, a foil, and a love interest.

Although some of the strips have words, many are wordless. The “Old Master Q” comic reads like the best pantomime strips, such as the original “Ferd’nand” and “The Little King.” There is always the set up, the reveal, and the reaction. The strips were seamless, with a quick buildup to the gag. They could take place in any country, any time.

As the years passed, Old Master Q became a marketing empire, especially in Hong Kong, but also extending to other areas of southeast Asia and other areas with large overseas Chinese populations. A namesake comic was printed monthly and Old Master Q began to appear on licensed products and in advertisements.

Sometime in the 1980’s, his son Joseph Wong took over. Unlike many strips that are continued after the creator’s retirement, Joseph Wong was an able heir. Alphonso Wong moved to California where he continued making art and no doubt stayed in touch with his characters. He died this month due to organ failure.

Check out more of Alphonso Wong’s work here: Old Master Q Comics. You certainly won’t regret it!

 

Penny for Your Thinker

Posted in "Midville High" Comics by mvblair on January 8, 2017
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Fun Fact: Most of Rodin’s statues, including “The Thinker,” can be found on multiple continents. There are dozens of castings of “The Thinker,” which was originally a part of another work, “The Gates of Hell.”

Midville High #1

Posted in "Midville High" Comics, Older "Midville High" and "Kyle & Barry" by mvblair on January 4, 2017

midville-high-1-previewWhen I started this site a number of years ago, I could not find a copy of Midville High #1. I finally found it and scanned it! While most people couldn’t care less, I am very excited.

The story holds up well and I like the pacing. The art is Michaelangeloesque, as always. Right, guys? Along with all the other comics you can check it out on the Books page or download it right here: Midville High #1. All the comics are in PDF format and can be downloaded to tablets and most e-readers.

I’ve got two more Midville High comics that I made about ten years ago but haven’t published. I suppose I should just put them up digitally. I certainly pine for the days when I would go to small press comic conventions and trade my comics with strangers and acquaintances. Somewhere along the way, a job and a family happily got in the way, but seeing this now twenty-year-old comic brings back good memories.

“Naturally Leathery Soles”

Posted in "Midville High" Comics, Older "Midville High" and "Kyle & Barry" by mvblair on January 3, 2017
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From 1999

Another Dayton Skyline

Posted in Art by mvblair on December 24, 2016
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Another city skyline, this time with watercolor on plastic