The NECA: National Eighties Cartoon Association

Two posts ago, I posted a link and some images of a mashup of the NFL and Marvel Comics. Because I love that stuff. And I’ve got another one.

Vanilla BCN is a “graphic commando unit” from Spain. They’ve done work for Nike, Google, and Target. But as much as I love Target, I love the NBA more. And Vanilla BCN must too. They recently unveiled a set of designs combining NBA logos with 80’s cartoon franchises. As luck would have it, they managed to combine my favorite entry from each category: the Boston Celtics and the Ghostbusters.

Boston Celtics Ghostbusters by Vanilla BCN

Full disclosure, I am bothered by the relocation of my favorite sports team to such a rival city. But … it’s the Ghostbusters. I love the Ghostbusters. One of the greatest surprises of my time living in the NY/NJ area was when, on my way to a Tegan and Sara concert, I stumbled upon that glorious firehouse.

Ghostbusters Firehouse

So, I’ll let that one slide.

Other logos used the Cleveland Cavaliers. They used The Flintstones. You can see the whole set on their site, but there’s one more I want to show. Inspector Gadget is definitely a lanky dummy, but I’ll never forget the Seattle Supersonics. The first sports team I was really into.

Sonics Inspector Gadget

Paul Ryan 1949-2016

2016 is being a real sonofabitch. David Bowie, Lemmy, Dave Mirra, Harper Lee. And now comics artist Paul Ryan. Although I’ve enjoyed the work of all these people, Ryan is the only one I’ve ever met.

May 9, 2010 was Avengers Day. The event Siege had recently concluded and a new Avengers #1 was hitting stands. My local shop, That’s Entertainment, invited former Avengers artist Paul Ryan to meet fans, sign books, and draw. I won’t act like we had some grand relationship; our conversation consisted of small talk and a simple exchange.

“Could you do a sketch for me?”
“Sure, who would you like?”
“Who’s your favorite bad guy?”

And off he went.

Dr. Doom by Paul Ryan

The sketch is still one of my favorites.

As time goes on, the comics industry keeps losing more of its veterans. Except Stan Lee. Stan Lee will never die. (You hear me, God?!)

What I want to say is, make sure you recognize these people while you still can. Even if you don’t have something to get sign or want to buy anything from them, if you see someone whose work you appreciate at a convention, let them know. No one has ever regretted telling an artist they enjoy their work. And no artist can ever hear too much praise.

What if Marvel Rebranded the NFL?

I don’t often talk about sports on here, but like most people in the US, I enjoy a good football game. Not as much as the NBA, but I sure am glad that the NFL season has begun.

But I’m not here to talk about my Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. At least not without a comic book tie-in.

Graphic Designer Justin Kozisek recently rebranded each of the 32 NFL teams with a Marvel Comics mascot.

One of my favorites reintroduces the aforementioned Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots as the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Meet your New England Star Lords!

New England Patriots Star LordsInstead of being one of two pirate-related teams, Oakland gets a new face on its *AHEM* S.H.I.E.L.D. But don’t worry, he still has the eyepatch! Sure to still never win more than half their games, the Agents of Oakland!
Agents of Oakland RaidersI hate to disparage the fine city of Cleveland. No really. I’ve been there. It’s nice. But the Browns may have the worst mascot in all of sports. And I don’t care if they have a guy on a dog suit. They are a color. That’s worse than District 5. Somehow Kozisek managed to make their mascot more interesting, but still completely vague. It’s the Cleveland … Things!
Cleveland Browns ThingsThe whole set can be viewed on Kozisek’s website. He did a great job introducing some Marvel flair without losing the iconic nature of the current logos and uniforms.

Go Pats!

Bells’ Art Collection, Part 8

For the past few weeks, I’ve been showing off the sketches and commissions of comic art that I’ve collected at comic conventions over the past few years. Today is a little different.

Comic fandom is special in that you can own an original piece of art. You can’t do that with a book. No one owns the original copy of a song (though maybe a white label record is close). Comics are art, you can own the item that others only have a print or photo of.

A few years ago, at the Boston Comic Con I saw then X-Factor inker Pat Davidson. On his table he had a box of original pages for sale, as low as $20. I loved that entire series of X-Factor, so I thought I’d flip through. Conversation pages are typically more affordable than splashy action shots. But talky scenes are Peter David’s strong suit, so I knew I would find something good. And I found pages 7-8 from X-Factor #215.

Madrox Proposes to LaylaFor those that didn’t read the book, this was a marriage proposal that was years in the making. I had to have it. $50 for the spread. Every convention I flip through portfolios of pages, but this is the only time I’ve pulled the trigger. The penciled pages are too rich for my blood, but this is one piece I’ll always appreciate.

So next time you’re looking to buy some original art, remember the inkers. Their lack of popularity (in comparison to pencilers) may just help you get that piece you love without hitting your wallet as hard.

So that’s it. That’s everything I own. But with Worcester’s MASSive Con in June (and within walking distance from my house!) and Boston Con in July/August, I hope to more to show off soon.

– Bells

Bells’ Art Collection, Part 7

We did it! Or, I should say, I did it and maybe you saw some of this. Or this is your first time seeing my website. Or maybe you’re that weirdo that who searched for “symbiote and black cat have sex.”


Finishing off my showing off of my art collection, check out:

  • Tara Chace (from Queen & Country) by Mike Norton
  • A sketch from Tara McPherson
  • Thor by Sean “Cheeks” Galloway
  • Two-Face by Dennis Calero
  • The White Violin (from The Umbrella Academy) by Gabriel Bá
  • Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair by Emanuela Lupacchino
  • Wolverine by Ming Doyle
  • Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) by Franco Aureliani

Click to enhance. Enhance. Enhance.

Other posts of my art collection can be found by clicking the Bells’ Collection tag.

And the whole thing is on the Bells’ Kitchen Tumblr, tagged for easy access. I actually have two blogs there that update everyday: the strictly comics-based Bells’ Kitchen, and the more random bells214. Bells214 may be a Carly Rae Jepson song one day, followed by the Celtics, followed by a terrifying mushroom creature. Come on by. It’ll be fun.

Well this was the last of sketches, but next week I have one more related post. It’s comic art, but something different. You’ll see.


– Bells

Bells’ Art Collection, Part 6

Oh hey. Hi there. I’m not sure I’ve had seven posts in six weeks since I started writing for myself. Maybe ever. But I like showing this art off so …

This week I have:

  • Robin by Todd Nauck
  • Rogue by Melissa DeJesus
  • Sabretooth by Mark Brooks
  • Supergirl by Franco
  • Superman by World Wresting Entertainment Legend, Jerry “The King” Lawler
  • Tara Chace (from Queen & Country) by Leandro Fernandez
  • Tara Chace by Brian Hurtt
  • Tara Chace by Carla Speed McNeil

There’s one more Tara Chace sketch that you’ll see next week. God, I love and miss Queen and Country. I’m trying to get a sketch of Tara from each artist who worked on the book, but some have proven hard to track down.

Other posts of my art collection can be found here.

And the whole thing is on Tumblr.

Next week will be the end of my collection (and these posts), though I may have something related the week after that. Suspense.

– Bells

Bells’ Art Collection, Part 5

Don’t worry. I’m feeling a bit more vocal this week. We’re in the second half of the alphabet, but there is some great art coming up. My Tara Chace pieces, work from a WWE legend, and a big old beard. But that’s to come.

This week I have:

  • Molly Hayes (from Runaways) by Adrian Alphona
  • Nico Minoru (from Runaways) by Christina Strain
  • Niightcrawler by Skottie Young
  • Nomad by David Baldeon
  • Penny B (from Phonogram) by Jamie McKelvie
  • Rachel Summers by Hwan Cho
  • Raven by Franco Aureliani
  • Raven by Mike McKone

Other posts of my collection can be found here.

And the whole thing is on Tumblr.

Come back next week!

– Bells

Bells’ Art Collection, Part 4

My collection. Eight pieces. Seven weeks. Part four.

Old posts here.

Whole thing on Tumblr.

This week:

  • Joker by Lee Bermejo
  • Juggernaut by Declan Shalvey
  • Kabuki by David Mack
  • Loki by Olivier Coipel
  • Madame Masque by Annie Wu
  • Magneto by Leonard Kirk
  • Magneto by Alex Sanchez
  • Magneto by Walt Simonson

Click to embiggen.

See you next week. Same Bells place, same Bells channel.

Bells’ Art Collection, Part 3

Hello again. If you found this through Tumblr or Twitter or wherever, you probably know what you’re about to see. If you found me through a Google image search, welcome to the Kitchen. Each week I’m showing off eight pieces of comic book art I’ve collected over the years. No humble, just brag.

Previous posts in the series can be found here.

And those with no patience can see the whole collection on the Bells’ Kitchen Tumblr.

Featured this week:

  • Gambit by Mike Choi
  • Gronk (from Gronk [in a Rob Gronkowski jersey!]) by Katie Cook
  • Gus (from Sweet Tooth) by Jeff Lemire
  • Gwen Stacy by Tim Sale
  • The Hulk by Tim Sale
  • Jade (from Morning Glories) by Joe Eisma
  • Jamie Madrox, The Multiple Man by Dennis Calero
  • The Joker by Franco

Clicking any of the images will open a gallery, which also links to full-size images.

Some good stuff is coming next week, including another Joker, and one of my absolute favorite sketches, by Declan Shalvey

– Bells

Cannonball: New Mutant, Avenger … Parent?

I was surprised, but not shocked, to find that my friend Sam was going to be a father. The older I get, the more serious my friends’ relationships become. Some are married. Some have kids. So it goes.

Sam’s 32, though I’ve only known him for a few years. I met him in college. Grad school maybe. So that’s 2007-2008. He’s a responsible guy who everyone can count on, but still, a kid? I had some concerns. I know that he’ll be a great dad, but how’s his relationship with the mother? Hell, who is the mother? Did they plan this? Are they a good couple? Does she even deserve someone as good as my boy Sam?

Years ago, my friend Thom passed an ultrasound image around the office saying, “Look what I made.” The way I found out about Sam was more low-key; he didn’t even tell me himself. I found out online, when I saw this:

Cannonball, Smasher, and Their SonAVENGERS WORLD #17
• How did things get to be the way they are in the “Time Runs Out” story? Find out here in AVENGERS WORLD!
• Cannonball and Smasher face their greatest adventure yet…parenthood!
• Can the new parents survive an encounter with the SHI’AR IMPERIAL GUARD?

My friend Sam Guthrie. My boy Cannonball. New Mutant. X-Man. Avenger. Best guy.
Having a child with Smasher? The Imperial Guard Smasher? She and Sam are a couple? I always hoped Sam and Dani would have ended up together. I loved their chemistry last time I saw them together. And he did have that thing with Lila Cheney, though they may be too different to ever work it out.

So I had to do my research on this Smasher. Izzy. Isabel Kane. Formerly known as Isabel Dare (though no one can really say why). From Iowa. Was an astronomer until she found an Imperial Guardsman’s goggles in her family’s corn field.

IMG_0053So she’s family oriented. And she’s from the heartland. She can fly and she can kick some ass. So that’s a good foundation as far as compatibility goes.

She had a good heart. And was up for anything. But I barely knew her. And the next time I heard about her, she was bailing from a dinner with the Guthrie family. “Shi’ar stuff. … An obligation,” she says. So she has a sense to duty, but maybe a work/life imbalance. Hmm.

Art tries to tell us that love is all about grand gestures. So Sam called in few favors, followed his lady into space, and offered to save her ship from attack (and thus prove himself worthy of being the partner of a Smasher). But she wouldn’t hear it.

Cannonball and Smasher. Partners.Good on you, Izzy.

So, they cannonballed and smashed and of course saved the day. But there’s something scarier than space creatures the size of a Shi’ar ships. Parenthood.

IMG_0049IMG_0050Sam’s a good hero and a good man. Even Mentor of the Imperial Guard had to recognize this: “Sam Guthrie, Cannonball of Earth, you have earned the favor of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. You are a worthy partner for Smasher, and will being honor to your new family.” You’re goddamn right. But Izzy also proved herself Sam’s equal. They’re partners. They’re a team.

IMG_0052So yeah. I’m convinced. Izzy gets my approval. I haven’t known her long, but I already know that she’s good enough for my boy Sam. But now I wonder … is he good enough for her?

Artwork from Avengers #2 by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña, Avengers #5 by Jonathan Hickman and Adam Kubert, Avengers World #17 by Frank Barbiere and Marco Checchetto, and New Mutants #17 by Zeb Wells and Leonard Kirk.