Friday, December 21, 2007

We've Got Your Cool Gifts Right Here!

did you read the article in the Contra Costa Times on Wednesday about the growing popularity of comics compilations and graphic novels?

FLYING COLORS Comics & Other Cool Stuff features Contra Costa's deepest and widest selection of comics, graphic novels and related "cool stuff"---including action figures, busts, statues, posters, t-shirts and more.

The photo to the right shows some incredibly cool bargains available right now, including our Holiday Sportscards box featuring 20 packs of baseball, football and basketball cards along with a collector's guide and box for only $19.99. Check out the huge discounts on selected statues and busts (shown here).

Friday December 21 11am-7pm
Saturday December 22 11am-7pm
Sunday December 23 12noon-7pm
Monday December 24 11am-5pm
CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY Tuesday December 25

Open again
Wednesday December 26 11am-7pm
Thursday December 27 11am-7pm
Friday December 28 11am-8pm (It's NEW RELEASES' DAY!)



Thursday, December 20, 2007

New TV Ads now up on YouTube!

Check out our new TV ads, now posted at, by clicking HERE!

The ads were produced by the fine folks at Adams Digital Media. If you're looking to do a TV commercial for your business, I recommend their services.

On one of the ads, we borrowed some images from the very cool postcard book from Denis Kitchen Publishing called "READING COMICS". The postcard book makes a nice stocking stuffer (hint, hint). The other new TV spot features some young members of Flying Colors' Faithful. Thanks for "pitching" in and helping, everyone.



Saturday, December 15, 2007

I've Got a Forum!

As many of you know, for the last ten years, I've been moonlighting as a columnist for for a trade magazine called Comics & Gamer Retailer, published by the same fine folk who produce the venerable Comics Buyer's Guide.

Well, all good things must come to an end, and C&GR is doing just that. However, my publishers recently opened forums (fora?) for me and some of the magazine's other columnists. I want to invite you to Joe Field's Big Picture forum by clicking HERE!.

I'd love to get your feedback there.



Saturday, December 01, 2007

More from Renee Montoya's Dossier

Word has spread through the investigative comics' community that several facsimiles of Renee Montoya's (aka The Question) journal have been leaked to the public via sites like this one.

From what I've see online, there are some differences between the copies of the journal and the artifacts contained within the journal. And from what I've learned, this is NOT a publicity gimmick sponsored by DC Comics, but rather it's the careful dissemination of clues to a deepening mystery from writer Greg Rucka.

Want to get to the bottom of this? Then pick up 52 AFTERMATH: THE CRIME BIBLE issues 1 and 2 now at Flying Colors Comics.

There is always a Question remaining to be answered.



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Mystery and a Question

So what is this strange notebook I received yesterday?

Something is going on in the DC Universe...and this package has lots of clues.

If you'd like to see it, ask me when you visit the store next. New comics 7 other cool stuff hot the racks Thursday morning November 29.

Be here---and get into the mystery and the Question.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

At Flying Colors, we're taking a low-key approach to "Black Friday". Why?
Even as early as Halloween, we were already being bombarded with Christmas-themed commercials.

There's even "news" coverage of all the day-after Thanksgiving sales. They call it BLACK FRIDAY like it's some menacing creature we all have to face in some horrific way. It actually can be a real horror if you get caught up in the 4AM or 6AM mega-store openings.

There is another way.

Away from the crowded malls and corporate chain operations, you can enjoy your Thanksgiving with family. And you can sleep in on Friday.


There's time to shop later, in a more relaxed way.

At FLYING COLORS, we'll be closed to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday. We'll be open our regular hours on Friday from 11am-7pm.

No crazy 4AM, 5AM or 6AM opening hours for sales that are only good until 8AM or 9AM.

FLYING COLORS has New & Cool Stuff arriving several times a week...many items you just won't find at any of the mega-chain stores. Cool stuff you'll love to give---and those on your list will love to get.

And FLYING COLORS Team of Friendly Comics-Lovers will be here to help answer any questions you might have, while helping you find just what you want in a more relaxed atmosphere that will take the stress out of your holiday shopping.

2980 Treat Blvd at Oak Grove Rd

in the same center as a spacious Trader Joe's with lots of FREE and easy parking.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving--- and thank you for making FLYING COLORS a part of your life!



Monday, November 12, 2007

A League of Extraordinary Comics

At long last, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's LEAGUE OF EXTRA- ORDINARY GENTLEMEN: THE BLACK DOSSIER will make it into the store Wednesday November 14.
Please note: Veterans' Day does NOT cause a delay in the shipping of comics this week.

In addition, there are a host of fan-favorite titles hitting the racks this week, including:
All Star Superman #9
Avengers Initiative #7
Countdown to Final Crisis #24
Green Arrow/Black Canary #2
Mice Templar #2
Thor #4
World of Warcraft #1
World War Hulk #5

These and more than 100 other new titles will be here Wednesday!

And if that isn't enough, you can still get in on some great deals on back-issue comics. We've set up a separate section of back issues for just $1 each---or save even more by getting 15 for $10.

Be here!



Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Halloween craziness at FLYING COLORS!
This is the 20th Halloween we've been open here---and it's the first time I was coerced into costuming for the day. Just for the record, the last time I was in costume for Halloween was back in 1968. I might have been a pirate then, I can't was that long ago.

But since we've also been in the midst of the biggest back-issue BLOW-OUT in FlyCo history, and it's also New Releases' Day...well, let's just say it was a classic Triple Witching Hour.

Check out these pix from the day...visits by a wide array of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes...and a couple of villains, too.
Maybe the oddest costume choice came from long-time FlyCo Faithful Paul Klepacz...who dared to bring his FlyCoJoe mask. It was truly frightening!
We've blown out thousands and thousands of back issue comics here over the last week. Rest assured, this was an event to simply clear the decks, stir the pot, have some fun (at our expense) and to blow out some stock so we could refresh it in the days and weeks ahead.

FLYING COLORS is here for the long haul..and we hope you will be, too.

Thanks---and Halloween Peace!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Now that my web-guru Alan Alvaro has solved the Mystery of the Blog Drag, I can finally show you these pix from the recent GENESIS concerts Libby and I took in at the HP Pavilion in San Jose and Arco Arena in Sacramento.

These shows were a big deal for us as long-time fans of the world's most successful progressive rockers (and pop meisters).

Being the first live performances by GENESIS with Phil Collins in nearly 15 years, the shows were a big deal for fans all over the world, as the sold-out tour will attest (more than half million tickets sold!)
The stage set-up was brilliant---the sound system, especially in San Jose, was powerful and sparkling.

And the set list featured a strong mix of old ('70s) and newer ('90s) songs to satisfy everyone.



Friday, September 28, 2007

NOCTURNALS Event: Sat Sept 29th 1-4pm

The World Premier of Daniel Brereton's NOCTURNALS Volume One: Black Planet & Other Stories is Saturday September 29th from 1-4pm at FLYING COLORS Comics & Other Cool Stuff, 2980 Treat Blvd, Concord CA.

Need directions? Call us at 925-825-5410.

Making the event even sweeter, we've added a bonus to the premier of the NOCTURNALS' book. Get either a FREE copy of Dan Brereton's IMMORTAL IRON FIST Annual (with some art shown here) or get a FREE Nocturnals poster signed by artist Dan Brereton with the purchase of the NOCTURNALS Volume One hardcover.

(Bonus items will be available only while limited supplies last.)

See you Saturday!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

FlyCoJoe & Dan Brereton Look Back at the Early Days

The 19th Anniversary of the opening of FLYING COLORS Comics & Other Cool Stuff is upon us---and we're celebrating with a special event with artist Dan Brereton and the World Premier of NOCTURNALS Volume One: Black Planet & Other Stories, this Saturday September 29th from 1-4pm. I really hope you can join us.

Since Dan was one of our Flying Colors' Faithful all the way back to the beginning, I asked him to share some of his insights into those early days. I've added some art and photos to Dan's recollections, and I'll be interjecting the photo credits and a story or two of my own.

DAN:"I not only shopped at Joe's store, a big part of my career took wing there. I met Stan Lee there when Stan did a very exclusive appearance at Flying Colors just prior to an early WonderCon."

FlyCoJoe: Most FlyCo regulars know that every week we post all the New Releases and Staff Picks on two erasable white-boards. Back in '89, Dan was in the store at the time we were changing the New Releases' board ---and he did this special BLACK TERROR art. I hated erasing that one!
DAN:"Joe introduced me to people from Diamond in his store the month my first painted book, THE BLACK TERROR hit the stands. He made me feel like a real professional then. In fact, Joe treated me like a pro long before I'd ever been published, and he was very supportive of many local talents such as Jeff Johnson and Ken Hooper, who also shopped at FLYING COLORS."

FlyCoJoe:Dan did a number of official in-store signing events, starting with the debut of the BLACK TERROR series from Eclipse Comics in '89. Pretty regularly, though, when Dan would come in to get his weekly comics, he'd ask me for something to draw on. That's how I came to own some pretty unique Dan Brereton art, like this watercolor "sketch" of the Abomination enjoying a new HULK comic book.

DAN:"While I was illustrating the first Nocturnals graphic novel, Joe let me use his office to photograph two of his then employees, who modeled for a scene which appears in Nocturnals Black Planet #1."

FlyCoJoe: Here's another great example of Dan's watercolor art. After I became used to having Dan ask for something to draw on---and he'd use pens or sharpies of whatever markers we had laying around here, the idea hit us that maybe we should have a set of watercolors and a brush on hand, so Dan could really cut loose. This BATGIRL painting on a comic backer board is one of my favorites.

DAN:"Later, when I would come into his shop, Joe would be across the room selling a customer on my latest book, and then send the guy over to get a signature from me--- and I was only there to pick up the latest EIGHTBALL or something."

FlyCoJoe: This last photo was taken in 1990 when then Amazing Spider-Man artist, and soon to be Image Comics' founder Erik Larsen was at Flying Colors for a signing. Dan was there, too... he's on the right, Erik is in the center---and that long-haired guy on the left is an earlier model of FlyCoJoe.

That's our stroll down Memory Lane for today. I want to thank Dan for contributing to the history and the health of Flying COlors Comics & Other Cool Stuff.

Please accept my invitation to join us on Saturday September 29th from 1-4pm for the World Premier of Dan Brereton's NOCTURNALS Volume One: Black Planet & Other Stories.



Friday, September 14, 2007

Dan Brereton: The NOCTURNALS Interview

In yesterday’s View From Flying Colors, OLYMPIAN Publishing’s Tom Negovan set the stage for the return of Daniel Brereton’s NOCTURNALS, with a lavish and handsome hardcover volume soon to hit finer comic shops everywhere.

(Note to interested readers: NOCTURNALS Volume One: Black Planet and Other Stories is listed in the September issue of Diamond Previews with two distinct versions. The Regular Edition Hardcover is ordered with product codes SEP073871 at $29.99 and the Previews Exclusive Edition with an extra sketchbook section has a code of SEP073872 and retails for $39.99 Make sure your retailer reserves a copy or two for you!)

Now let’s talk with the artist --- Daniel Brereton--- as we discuss his work in comics and especially delve into his plans for the NOCTURNALS!

FlyCoJoe: Give us a little background on the NOCTURNALS. What’s the genesis of this series?

Dan Brereton: The NOCTURNALS came together in ‘92. At the time, I had a realization of wanting more out of my comics’ career than simply working on established characters. As much fun as it was illustrating stories with Batman and Superman, there were worlds I’d created myself that I wanted to delve into.

I’d already had a taste of this working with Jim Hudnall on THE PSYCHO. My sketchbooks were full of ideas and characters to play with. One of the most interesting was ‘Halloween Girl’, a young girl who lives in her own world of haunted toys and trick-or-treat costumes. Another was the Gunwitch, an undead gunfighter. I began to see this group of spooky heroes running around in a criminal and supernatural underworld. Then Doc Horror showed up in my sketchbooks--- and I knew I had a character to base a series on. He was mysterious and tough, a bit of a paradox, a lot haunted.

The story came together very rapidly after Doc arrived. The following year there were two publishers interested in NOCTURNALS, and I ended up going with Malibu’s Bravura line. The first mini-series was very well received, and was nominated for an Eisner.

FlyCoJoe: What were your inspirations for combining the genres of horror and
crime fiction?

Dan Brereton: I can’t explain it more than to say I love both--- and somehow they showed up in the same story and it worked for me. Raymond Chandler and H.P. Lovecraft are two authors I feel hugely inspired by. I could also say Ray Bradbury and Dashiell Hammet.

NOCTURNALS straddles both worlds comfortably. Crime fiction is stripped-down, hard-boiled storytelling in a world where the bad guy is as multi-faceted and compelling as the hero. In many stories, the protagonist is the bad guy. Horror is all about fear of the unknown, while being compelled to confront it. The idea that humans aren’t alone, that darkness is an abyss that holds logic-defying terror, is a big theme in NOCTURNALS. Doc Horror and his family of monsters live and face that darkness and they do it with a noir sensibility.

I’m only peripherally aware of this now being a big sub-genre in books and comics, but I swear I couldn’t name anything like NOCTURNALS in comics at the time.

FlyCoJoe: Among devotees of the series, which are the breakout characters from NOCTURNALS---and why?

Evening, (Halloween Girl) and the Gunwitch are the popular mainstays. It’s possible they captivate people in the same way they do for me: Evening is very much the kid we carry around in us: fascinated with the unknown, childlike in her imagination. She remains an innocent despite living in a world of monsters and criminals. The Gunwitch is pure laconic bad-ass, the nightmare in the closet on the side of the good guys. Still, there are many die-hard readers who zero-in on personal favorites within the group.

FlyCoJoe: Knowing you do much of your painting using photos you’ve taken, do
you have a cast in mind for a NOCTURNALS movie? Which actors would you
cast in the various roles?

Dan Brereton: I’m completely open about "dream casting" actors in a movie setting. I honestly don’t dwell on it… ah Hell, how about this: Kurt Russell, Monica Bellucci, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Viggo Mortensen… I’ll let you connect the dots.

FlyCoJoe: So....Natalie Portman as Doc Horror, Gary Oldman as Eve....

Dan Brereton: You aren't very good at connecting the dots, are you, Joe?

FlyCoJoe: Can you give us a little insight into this new hardcover edition called NOCTURNALS Volume One: Black Planet & Other Stories?

Dan Brereton: It’s beautiful. I have a printer’s advance copy sitting on the coffee table right now. This is the ultimate NOCTURNALS volume in terms of presentation and production values--- from the over-sized format, to the spider-web embossed end pages, to the faux leather, gold stamped cover. A lot of thought and talent went into the design and it really shows. The book looks like something you’d find in Doc Horror’s own library.

FlyCoJoe: Just a few days before you’ll be here at FLYING COLORS for the debut of the NOCTURNALS Volume One hardcover, there will be more of your work coming from Marvel Comics with the IMMORTAL IRON FIST Annual. How did that come about and what was it like working on that character?

Dan Brereton: Marvel Editor Warren Simons and I had been talking for a year about doing something together when the Iron Fist annual came up. Warren knows about the re-launch of NOCTURNALS and offered me work on the IMMORTAL IRON FIST ANNUAL partly because it was only a few months work, but mostly because he felt the pulp-era style of the sequences fit my style. I pounced on it.

I was a fan of the 70’s Iron Fist, but love the sort of vintage Orson Randall character. It was fun working in an imaginary period, what author Paul Malmont calls "the Pulp Era". I just finished reading his novel, "THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL" and was inspired. Writers Matt Fraction (CASANOVA) and Ed Brubaker (CAPTAIN AMERICA, DAREDEVIL, CRIMINAL) really nailed the feel of the pulp yarn.

FlyCoJoe: Besides your comics work, you’ve done illustrations for video games
and for CDs, like the ones you did for ROB ZOMBIE and TOTO. Any other Dan Brereton projects we can look forward to soon?

Dan Brereton: Before and since the IRON FIST annual, NOCTURNALS has taken up most of my time, which suits me fine. It’s like the dream project for me, to be able to come back to them.

I’m writing and illustrating BEASTS, a 32-page NOCTURNALS story for Volume II, bridging the first and second NOCTURNALS mini-series. Then there’s the expanded versions of the GUNWITCH miniseries to be colored by series artist Ted Naifeh and a Nocs story called SPECTRES, which will appear in Volume Three.

I should begin illustrating the new NOCTURNALS arc--- THE SINISTER PATH--- in the New Year. When I can squeeze it in, I‘ve been polishing the latest draft of UNDEADLY, a horror-action film I wrote with Jon Bresman we have in development now. I have a couple other projects in the comics’ pipeline I can’t announce yet, but I can say THE PSYCHO film continues its development at Universal, with Chris Morgan writing the screenplay.

FlyCoJoe: Thanks, Dan. We're really looking forward to seeing the book---and also looking forward to having you back to FLYING COLORS for our 19th Anniversary Event on Saturday September 29.

COMING SOON! A trip on the Way-Back Machine as we look at how the beginnings of Daniel Brereton's career and the opening of FLYING COLORS collided back in the late '80s. Incriminating photos may be included!

Until then----


Thursday, September 13, 2007

A NOCTURNALS Publishing Primer

An Interview with Tom Negovan of OLYMPIAN Publishing---

FLYING COLORS Comics & Other Cool Stuff welcomes artist DANIEL BRERETON for an exclusive signing Saturday September 29 from 1pm-4pm.

The event will be the premier of NOCTURNALS Volume One: Black Planet & Other Stories, a beautiful hardcover edition of Brereton’s first Nocturnals story arc. The publisher is Tom Negovan of OLYMPIAN Publishing and we wanted to get some background on his company, his association with Daniel Brereton and this new NOCTURNALS project.

FlyCoJoe: Before we get into talking about the NOCTURNALS hardcover, give us a quick rundown on OLYMPIAN Publishing. It’s a name that may not be familiar to comics’ connoisseurs, even many long-time of the retailers.

Tom Negovan: The first book that we put out was a monograph covering the Symbolist Art of Gail Potocki titled THE UNION OF HOPE AND SADNESS. Her art is very 19th century-looking stuff and fits in with the art sold by our parent company, Century Guild. Attendees of the San Diego Comic-Con might know that we bring the big Muchas and Art Nouveau art objects to that venue every year. Grant Morrison gave us a quote for the Potocki book, that said "Brilliant occult portraits from the underworld of the 21st century... More than just paintings, Gail conducts seances on canvas." I think that's a great observation.

Our 2008 schedule also includes GUSTAV KLIMT: INTIMATE ALCHEMY, a book on the drawings of Klimt that features lots of artwork that hasn't been seen since the 1920s. It’s a massive photography book on Art Nouveau; a book on the poster art and costume design of the Munich and Berlin Cabaret scene... all great stuff!

The other books we've released were actually meant as companion pieces to Nocturnals, but wound up coming out first: there is the small print run (only 800 copies) children's book A NOCTURNAL ALPHABET, and the first of a series of 1950s horror reprints, CHAMBER OF MYSTERY: WITCHCRAFT. Keep an eye on for updates.

FlyCoJoe: What’s the story on how you came to be the publisher for The NOCTURNALS hardcover?

Tom Negovan: I've been a huge Nocturnals fan for at least ten years. I remember how confusing it was to follow when things were coming out (the title bounced around to three publishers in that first decade) and how I would always ask the guys in the comic shop when more was supposed to be released and they were as in the dark as I was. Around four or five years ago I started seeing Dan at shows, and I would hound him with the same question and get the answer, "We're working on something..."

Fast forward to Wonder-Con 2006, and I finally get the straight answer: "the book is just too expensive to produce."

Think about it--- a fully painted comic with Dan painting full throttle for a year would only produce four issues? That's an extraordinary amount of work for not a lot of physical product, especially in this digital age. For a creator owned property, the payoff for a publisher would have to involve getting the rights to the characters as part of the deal since the money couldn't be made back on the physical comics alone, and I understand the business aspect of that. But as a fan, I hated to hear it!

The summer before, Charles Vess was sitting at the Century Guild table at the Eisners. When he didn't win the award he was up for, I thought, "why don't we sponsor some kind of Timelessness in Storytelling award, or something like that?" The idea was lingering in my head that I wanted to divert a portion of the profits from our parent company into something supportive of artists that fell outside of the standard "favorites" and it was SO formless that I was thinking of just an award.

When Dan said those words to me at Wonder-Con, I knew the answer. We would sponsor Dan (he likes to call it a patronage, like in the Middle Ages!) to create Nocturnals stories.

It's almost like getting a commission, except that we're allowed to print and share it! I feel like we're on to something really cool with this model. It has nothing to do with commerce, and everything to do with the stories themselves.

Any "wise business decisions" when discussing the Nocturnals are thrown out the window in favor of the Cool Factor. A forty foot banner at San Diego? No problem. Expensive paper stock and small "boutique" print runs? Check. Our only dedication is to realizing Dan's vision for these characters, and giving readers the highest quality product possible.

In short, I'm a huge fan of these characters and I’m willing to do anything necessary to get to read more of their adventures!

At this point, we've committed to three years of new stories. The three oversized hardcover volumes preceding the new series are meant as a gift to the existing fans as well as a jumping-on point for the new generation of readers who need to get ready for when the regular series begins. Each book follows a kind of "director's cut" approach, and includes all-new story material that rounds out the stories even further.

FlyCoJoe: The NOCTURNALS was originally slated for an October ’06 release. What caused the delay?

Tom Negovan: Since this is an article the whole industry will see, I won’t skirt or avoid the academic parts.

The main problem was technical. The materials for the first story, BLACK PLANET, were films that were thirteen years old and required some special handling. We went through the process--- or we thought--- of making sure all was well, as the films were at the same printer that had printed the ONI edition of the books, and then designed the new parts of the book around the existing material.

Everything seemed wholly on track---until the day before press time someone from the physical plant wanted to know where the materials were. You can't imagine how much this confused me, as I had been told all was well! The month ended with the printer firmly telling us that they were not as previously expressed in possession of the films to print the book, and that the material--- the only copy of films of the six issue story BLACK PLANET in the world, mind you--- was lost.

After many months and lots of melodrama Dan's lawyer got someone higher up at the printer to finally leave their desk and look for the films. From what I understand about three hours later they were found, safely filed... under "MADMAN".

We then took physical possession of the films, and began the costly process of rescanning them with the newest technology. This not only made the materials printable on modern equipment, but also ensured there would never again be an issue of losing the art. In a digital format, it's eminently preservable.

By this point we were into this with over nine months of dedicated labor, and many tens of thousands of dollars. There is no doubt in my mind that without a parent company to lean on, this would have bankrupted any other small publisher.

So we reached a point where everything was beautifully converted to a high resolution digital format, and could print the books overseas at the same place we print our fine art books. We also used the time created by the delays to tweak the design of the book. We upgraded the paper to the highest stock available, duplicated cobweb-embossed end-papers that I had seen in an 1890s book on dinosaurs, and prepared the materials for Volumes Two and Three ahead of schedule.

All of this cost so much more that we at one point decided to raise the cover price of the books $10 to offset the expenses. But in the final hour before solicitation, we remembered that this is not a commercial venture, and decided to keep the price low so that everyone could afford the book. I really believe that the quality of NOCTURNALS Volume One is comparable to books from other companies that are priced $60- $100---but our price is $29.99 for the regular edition and $39.99 for the edition with the extra sketchbook section. You'll feel the quality of the book when you physically get a copy in your hands, I'm certain.

Now, on to Volume Two!

FlyCOJoe: What else is in your publishing plans?

Tom Negovan:In the realm of comics, it's only Dan Brereton and 1950s horror---

The second volume in our CHAMBER OF MYSTERY series, VOODOO, is due out late fall. This one--- as well as the first volume, WITCHCRAFT, feature splash pages with the stunning Polychrome from NOCTURNALS as our "EC-style" hostess, and feature some of Dan's most detailed work.

NOCTURNALS Volume Two: THE DARK FOREVER AND OTHER STORIES features a brilliantly horrific all-new 32 page painted story that takes place immediately before The Dark Forever storyline. NOCTURNALS Volume Three will see the Gunwitch story drawn by Ted Naifeh (of Courtney Crumrin fame) which has to date only appeared in black and white presented in full color and an expanded version of the rare short story "Spectres". We don't have street dates for these yet, but they're not far away.

FlyCoJoe: Thanks for the inside scoop, Tom.

TOMORROW! The artist himself, DANIEL BRERETON, discusses NOCTURNALS, his inspiration for doing a horror epic tinged with "crime noir" elements, the IMMORTAL IRON FIST, his career and, you know, "other cool stuff."

Until then----


Monday, September 10, 2007

A Look at Stan the Man Lee's Living Spaces

The New York Times ran a cool little photo piece on the places Marvel Comics' Guru STAN LEE has lived in his long and illustrious lifetime. You can check it out HERE! Enjoy!

NOTE: New Releases' Day this week is Wednesday September 12, as tons of new comics & other cool stuff are coming your way.

See you soon!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Comics & Kings of Classic Rock!

Reminder: Monday's Labor Day holiday means a delay for New Releases' Day at FLYING COLORS to Thursday September 6.

Among the New Releases this week is the first issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA: The Chosen by David Morell (the creator of RAMBO!) and artist Mitch Breitweiser.

FLYING COLORS Open hours this week:
Wednesday September 5 from 11am-7pm
Thursday September 6 from 11am-8pm (New Releases' Day!)
Friday September 7 from 11am-7pm
Saturday September 8 from 11am-7pm
Sunday September 9 from 12 Noon - 7pm

See you soon, OK?

Meanwhile, in the music biz, I wanted to give a plug to two members of the ultra-talented and under-appreciated SPOCK's BEARD. Lead singer/drummer NICK D'VIRGILIO and bassist DAVE MEROS along with a few buddies from their years playing on the road in various rock bands, have formed a new band called KINGS OF CLASSIC ROCK.

They're looking to book gigs at corporate events, primarily, but don't let that stop you from enjoying the classic rock cover tunes on their MySpace page. I know if I had some big deal going and needed to book a super-professional and entertaining live band to play, the KINGS of CLASSIC ROCK would be at the top of the list.

Check out this promo clip!

Keep on Rockin'!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Would you like a little Catch-Up with that?

Lots to get caught up on here! I've had most of these images sitting on my desktop for better than a month, so please bear with me as I share some stories that might not qualify as "news", but certainly give you an idea of some of the things I've been up to lately.

First up, check out the sweet JH Williams III BATMAN "sketch" he did for me on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Yeah, I know that was back in early May, but here's what makes it "news". The original JH Williams art we were privileged to see on FCBD is now showing up in the pages of BATMAN. Check out issues #667-669 for a beautifully illustrated JH Williams' story, written by GRANT MORRISON. I made sure to place a strong order for this 3-part story, so check it out and feast your eyes on some of the best comics' art you'll see this year!

ITEM: In the photo to the left is a group of MBA students from UC-Davis' San Ramon extension. You may recognize Flying Colors' Faithful Jonathan Chan, production artist from IMAGE COMICS among the MBA students. The group was here at Flying Colors doing research on a comics-related MBA student project. Not that it surprised me, but Jonathan and his group scored a nice grade for their project, which was creating the business plan for a new (but fake) comics' publishing company. When they did their presentation, among several other presentations from other groups of MBA students, the only project anyone wanted to talk about was the one about comics!

SAN DIEGO SNAP SHOTS: The next bunch of photos, some definitely clearer than others, all were taken at last month's Comic-Con International:San Diego.

One of the highlights for me (and Libby) was the dinner we attended with a great group that included DC's VP-Sales Bob Wayne, Lone Star Comics general manager Chris Powell, writer Bill Willingham (FABLES among others), artist Mark Buckingham (also FABLES, among others) and several other great folks. Well, for some reason, I didn't get any pix of that dinner, but a couple of nights later, in lobby of the Hyatt hotel, we ran into Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham and some of their friends and colleagues---and since Jenny is a huge FABLES' fan, I took this shot of her and Libby with the FABLES' crew.

Here's a shot of retailers Atom! and Portlyn Freeman from Santa Clarita CA's Brave New World Comics. This shot was taken just after the dynamic duo had given a stellar presentation to a group of retailers on their success at building a community of comic fans in their store. Next time you're near Six Flags at Magic Mountain (I think it's still called that these days), stop by and see Atom! and Portlyn at Brave New World.

At the San Diego Con, I organized the track of retailer programming, under the auspices of ComicsPRO, the retailer trade group. The one program we did that was open to all convention attendees was "So You Want To Be a Comics Retailer?" Many dream of having their own comic book specialty store, so we wanted to lend our years of experience to those just exploring the opening of new stores.

I was aided and upstaged by a stellar group of retailing compatriots, including Nancy McCann from Comics Unlimited in Westminster CA, Joe Ferrara from Atlantis Fantasyworld in Santa Cruz CA, Derrick Taylor from Comic Oasis in Las Vegas NV and Dave Hawksworth, outside sales manager from Diamond Comic Distributors. We had close to 200 attendees at that seminar, so it's clear there are lots of folks interested in having their own shops. Dare to dream and work to make it reality!

OK, these last two shots are really blurry, I know. I had only a few hours to try to see the entire 500,000 square feet of the exhibit hall.

On Saturday of the con (the hugest, most crowded day of the event), I ran into the Warner Bros. set-up, with a signing by some of the cast members of the SMALLVILLE TV show. It just happens to be one of the favorite shows Libby and I follow, so in the madness and the crush of tons of people (and I do mean 'tons') trying to get close to the booth to get autographs and maybe a couple of seconds of time with the show's stars, there I was with my digital camera held high and snapping away.

What these fuzzy shots show are a single shot of Erica Durance (Lois Lane, yowza!)---and a shot of Erica with two of the other actors from the show. The blonde girl will be featured this season on SMALLVILLE as Supergirl (and she does look like a super girl!) and the impossibly good looking guy is the actor who plays Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.

OK, I've caught up. Now it's your turn. Send me your thoughts by clicking on the "comments" button. I'd love to hear from you!

Peace 'n' comics!


Monday, August 20, 2007

Live in Flying Colors: Cindy!

What a packed weekend!

Friday night was the Flying Colors after-hours event celebrating the comings and goings of our ever-fantastic staff.

On the "goings" side: Jenny is off to training with Southwest Airlines and Brian is off to run his family's business in Benicia. On the "comings" side: We have two new staff---Marty, who's been here for the last month or so and Jazmine, who is now in her third week! And Friday was Andy's birthday, too.

We had a comfortable crowd of 75 or so for the Friday evening event. Cindy performance wound up starting at about 9:30---and I'm happy to share with you one of her songs. This may have been the first time ever that comic-related statue boxes served as a lyrics' easel, but it worked. I hope you enjoy the song.

The party broke up around midnight (scheduled end was 10pm!), we did a little cleaning, and I wound up not getting to sleep until 3:30 am. That wouldn't have been so bad if Libby and I didn't have to leave the house at 7:30am to catch a plane from the San Francisco Airport on Saturday morning, so I got about three hours' shut-eye before our flight to Eugene Oregon.

The reason for the quick trip to Oregon was the recent passing of Libby's Uncle Frank Hart--- an amazing man with a very full life! We were there to take part in two memorial events for Frank---the first at the Hart home in Winston OR and the second, on Sunday, a public memorial tribute at WILDLIFE SAFARI, also in Winston.

Frank was the founder of WILDLIFE SAFARI, an amazing 700 acre drive-through spread of animals from around the world. Everything from rhinos and hippos, to turkey vultures, black bears, cheetahs, zebras and many animals with such exotic names I doubt I'd spell them correctly here. WILDLIFE SAFARI is one of the most successful breeding places for the African Cheetah, with more than 150 live births of Cheetah cubs over the last 30 years.

Frank was also a World War II hero, earning the prestigious Silver Star. He was also in charge of the American guards at the Nuremberg Nazi war trials!

All the accolades, accomplishments and history aside, Uncle Frank was a super nice gentleman, with a good laugh and broad smile who loved his family and took genuine interest in those around him.

If there's a small connection to the world of comics and pop culture in this post, here it is: Frank and his older brother, John (famous cowboy actor and the "other" LONE RANGER, who also appeared in the serial "Atom Man versus SUPERMAN") were, as young lads, inspired to a life of adventure by reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' TARZAN series, as well as Frank Buck's "Bring "em Back Alive".

I'm including a photo here of Libby with her Aunt Barbara---a wonderful and amazing lady, in my humble opinion. When Frank went on nearly 50 African safaris, Aunt Barbara was there for darn near all of 'em. She embraced Frank's vision of an animal conservancy in what was then a fairly remote part of Oregon.

It was an awe-inspiring weekend, full of laughter and marvelous stories. I want to send my best wishes to the entire Hart Family, with thanks for allowing me to be a part of the celebration of a truly magnificent life.



Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cool Deals and a Fun Time!

Everyone's invited to FLYING COLORS' after-hours event, Friday August 17 from 7:30-10PM. We'll be serving refreshments, snacks and cake.

We'll be celebrating the comings and goings among the ever-fantastic FLYING COLORS' staff, including Jenny leaving for her training with Southwest Airlines, Brian leaving to help out his family's business in Benicia, and it's Andy's birthday, too. Also it may be the first time for you to meet new FLYING COLORS' team members Marty and Jazmine.

Cindy will be performing on acoustic guitar and vocals. Her first set of mostly original songs will begin around 8:30PM.

There will be some COOL DEALS, too!

Hope to see you!


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Be Here for the Party!

Be here for our party saluting FLYING COLORS' Fabulous staff, FRIDAY August 17, from 7:30-10PM.

Cindy will be performing a live set of her own acoustic songs at about 8:30pm. We'll also have refreshments and snacks, along with some cool deals.

There are numerous comings and goings happening to the FLYING COLORS' staff...and this party will commemorate them all.

I hope you can join us!



Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Up, Up and Away!

Libby and I are off to San Diego, so I want to let you know about some of the New & Cool titles hitting the racks at FLYING COLORS on Wednesday July 25.

ALAN MOORE WILD WORLDS TP--- A compilation of Alan Moore's Wildstorm work!
ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #6 --- Frank Miller & Jim Lee! And you don't have to wait a year in between issues!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #542--- Does Spidey discover who the mastermind is behind the shooting of Aunt May? The answers lie within.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #5--- Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty deliver another great chapter in the 8th season of BUFFY!
HELLBOY DARKNESS CALLS #4--- Buy any HELLBOY or BPRD comic or trade paperback and be entered to win a limited edition Mike Mignola signed HELLBOY lithograph!
JOHN ROMITA AND ALL THAT JAZZ--- C'mon, this one's a no-brainer. John Romita art. Get it!
ONSLAUGHT REBORN #4--- by Rob Liefeld. Did I tell you there's a convention this week?
WALKING DEAD #39---More zombie drama from Robert Kirkman.
WOLVERINE #55 --- The last round of the fight between Wolvie and Sabretooth. And a surprise variant cover, too---for those of you who care about such things.

That's just the tip of the iceberg---so we hope to see you soon in FLYING COLORS!



Monday, July 23, 2007

See You in Sandy Eggo!

The huge Comic-Con International- San Diego starts Wednesday---and for the 22nd year in a row, I'll be there to see what's new in the world of comics and pop culture. And I'll be there to learn, so I can serve all the Flying Colors' Faithful even better upon my return.

In addition to trying to absorb all the massive amounts of new and cool stuff I'll see there, I will also be working behind the scenes, talking with many pros in the comics' biz, working to build an even better comic book industry.

I will be hosting one seminar that is open to the general ticket-buying public at Comic-Con and here's the info:

So You Want to Be a Comics Retailer? Friday July 28 from 4:30 pm-6:00pm in Room 2 (a larger space to accommodate all those interested!
Open to all Comic-Con attendees! With years of experience from ComicsPRO president Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff, Concord, CA), retailers Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld, Santa Cruz, CA); Nancy Trempe from (Comics Unlimited, Westminster, CA), Derrick Taylor (Comic Oasis, Las Vegas, NV) and Dave Hawksworth from Diamond Comic Distributors. Learn what it takes to make your dream of opening a great comic book store come true. An essential part of ComicsPRO’s mission is to grow the number of professional stores in the Direct Market and the response to this panel over the last few years has been a good start.

I will also be at the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, Friday night July 27 from 8pm 'til the cows come home. This year's event is hosted by my pal Bill Morrison (of Simpsons' and BONGO Comics' fame) and Jane Weidlin, the guitarist from the Go-Go's (yeah, we got the beat!).

I always run into current Flying Colors' Faithful, as well as folks who shopped here once upon a time. If you see me, be sure to re-introduce yourself and say hi!

As for what's happening in Flying Colors this week, we have tons of great stuff hitting the rack on Wednesday morning. Be here for it all!



Friday, July 13, 2007

Hurray for Julio Franco!

The New York Mets gave Julio Franco the boot yesterday.

And that makes me a little melancholy.

I realize this isn't the most earth-shattering news for any of my readers of "The View from Flying Colors", but it's big-time sad news for me.

You see, Julio Franco is nearly 49 years old---and until yesterday, was still on the roster of a Major League Baseball team, the first place New York Mets, to boot. But Julio's dismissal at the All-Star break isn't a huge surprise. After all, he was hitting an anemic .200 this season as the Mets' primary pinch-hitter. Not many major league players keep their jobs with an average that skirts the Mendoza line, but I have been rooting for Julio Franco to play forever.

Because at nearly 49 years young, Julio Franco was the closest major leaguer to my age (just a wee couple of years older, thankyaveddymuch).

I always dreamt of being a major league baseball player, ever since my dad and grandfather gave me the gift of the love of baseball when I was a toddler. I played Little League, I played baseball in junior high school... but never played high school ball. I picked up City League softball upon my graduation from college and have been playing every year for almost 30 years.

My Dad passed away almost nine years ago. In his later years, even when I was into my early 40s, Dad and I would watch baseball games at the Oakland Coliseum or on TV--- and he would lament to me about not making me throw left-handed when I was a kid learning to throw a baseball. "That way," he'd say, "you could still be a southpaw reliever in the majors because they pitch forever."

I remember, when I wasn't even 10 years old, Charlie Finley, then the owner of the Kansas City Athletics (and later our Oakland A's), pulled one of his stunts by activating 59 year-old Satchel Paige to pitch in a late season game. Satchel, who was one of the greatest Negro League pitchers of all time, still had it, and if I recall correctly, pitched a scoreless inning.

The hopefully temporary end of Julio Franco's career is perhaps even more meaningful than a one-time stunt, because Julio has been playing pro ball for something like 25 years now. Earlier this season, he became the oldest player ever to hit a home run in a major league game.

In a small way, Julio Franco has allowed me to live a bit vicariously through his long career.

I'm sure I speak for a more seasoned generation of baseball fans---and especially long-in-the-tooth wanna-be major league players--- when I say that I dearly hope another team picks up the contract of Julio Franco. As long as he's playing, even if it's just to warm the bench and occasionally pinch-hit, I feel I still have a tiny chance of being on the field myself.

I guess you can call me Joe "Field of Dreams".