- On 9 Aug | '2019
Greetings Loyal Airmen. It’s always good to be back in Hanger 27 after a exciting fun weekend at a new con. Last weekend Art Director Rob Davis and the Air Chief made our way to the Appalachian mountains of Eastern Kentucky to attend the third annual Pikeville Comic & Toy Convention. This all came about from our friendship with Pikeville local artist Michael Belcher who connected us with comic shop owner and con promoter Kent Leedy. It was Kent who extended the invitation to Airship 27 to come and be guest at the con. After a seven hour day on the road, we arrived in Pikeville on Thursday night. The following noon, we entered the UPIKE sports stadium and Rob began setting up our tables, banners and displays. Believe me Loyal Airmen, we brought lots of pulps and comics.
Once the tables were set up, we took our obligatory con shot of ourselves. Then the Air Chief proceeded to walk around the floor getting pictures of our new friend. Here’s one of artist Michael Belcher and his son Aiden, both wonderful comic talents. Not only is Michael an amazing writer/artist, Aiden has become a fantastic comic colorist.
We were thrilled to see the first issue of Michael’s new comic series, “Man in the Mask” was available and we happily swapped it for a few copies of our own “Mister Jigsaw – Man of a Thousand Parts.” Michael’s comics are available on-line at (www.IndyPlanet.com), you really should check them out. They are simply amazing.
Pikeville had so many great comics guests, you would bump into them anywhere you went. Above at left you have Rags Morales, Larry Hama and Mike Baron. At right, Ka-Blam’s very own Barry Gregory and Roland Man.
At one point, someone got a bunch of us together to snap the photo above, which you can pretty much describe at the Pikeville Wild Bunch. In front, left to right is Barry Gregory & Mike Baron, standing left to right is Jeff Whitting, Rob Davis, the Air Chief, Roland Man, Aiden Belcher and Michael Belcher. What a truly fun crew.
One of our biggest surprises came mid-afternoon on Sat. when we were asked if we sit on a panel with comics legend Jim Shooter, as yet another stellar guest at the show. Talk about your David and Goliath match up. Still, being a guest brings with it obligations that are only right and we agreed…with trepidation. We needn’t have worried one iota. Jim Shooter proved to be a really likeable gentlemen and sharing comic book memories was tons of fun. After the panel wrapped, he made a point of coming back to our tables with the Air Chief to meet Rob and learn more about Airship 27 Productions. He was honestly impressed and gave us a big thumbs for New Pulp.
Of course what’s a comic con without cos-players and Pikeville had its share of some great one. Our personal favorite was Mr. Freeze. That costume was simply astounding and all custom made by the fellow. Meanwhile promoter Kent Leedy had a chance to clown around with Marty McFly and Prof. Emmet Brown and the time-traveling DeLorean.
Another highlight of our trip was being able to hook up with the late Mark Justice’s wife, Norma Kay. Since Mark’s passing, Airship 27 has been continuing his weird western series, The Dead Sheriff and we debut volume # 3, “Holster Full of Death” at the show. So Norma and a three of friends hopped into a car and drove up from their home in Flatwoods Kentucky to see us. Rob and the Air Chief handed her the first copy off the presses.
When we realized several weeks earlier that artist Chris Rawding would not have the cover to this book ready in time for us to have at Pikeville, Rob went and did up an alternate cover and had the printer do up 15 copies. Then he did up a special sticker to identify these 15 as being part of the limited run with the cover above thus making them true pulp collectible copies. As we noted above, #1 of 15 went to Norma Kay while the Air Chief quickly snagged #2 of 15 for himself. That’s a pix of the inside page of our copy. Note, we did have a few left after the show and Rob will sell these at no extra charge to the first people who contact him. And keep in mind, there will only ever be 15 with his cover.
So upon our return from Pikeville, artist Chris Rawding finished and turned in his cover to The Dead Sheriff # 3, Holster Full of Death. See above to right. And now it is available for all at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle. Whereas the final icing on this cake, it thus became Airship 27 Productions’ # 200th title!! Not bad for a little pulp outfit run by two old comic pros. In eleven years we’ve produced 200 titles!! Now that’s something to be really proud of and we couldn’t have done it without everyone one of you Loyal Airmen who have supported us all along. We truly can’t thank you enough.
And that wraps this Flight Log, Loyal Airmen. Thanks ever for stopping by. See you next Friday.
Ron – Over & Out!