Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seeing Red for Christmas

Helping out in a pinch as he did last year, hue master Jason Millet colored this year's x-mas cd, though that's not what you're seeing here. I'm no photoshop wiz, but I had a little time later on and took a stab at my own version of the colors. In the printing we had trouble getting the title to "pop", so here's my take on the colors with 2 versions of the title. I love red, but in this case I think the white works better.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sleigh, Lady, Sleigh

Each year I draw the cover to a friend's Christmas cd. It's a musical compilation of obscure versions of x-mas classics and holiday novelty tunes. This year's cover was inspired by Bob Dylan's new Christmas album.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Last night I won a bottle of tequila in the raffle for Martha Gonzalez (see previous post). A tequila silver el Viejo Luis. I didn't find a description of the silver, but their website describes their tequila blanco thusly: "Honest, Natural, Vegetal, boasting soft floral aromas blended perfectly with hints of citrus, Mint, fresh herbs, tropical fruit and Pepper." Sounds yummy. I cant wait to "experience the difference." End of free plug.

There was a great turnout for the event, and I met a bunch of good people, including David Sandoval, who won my drawing in the raffle.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Light That Never Goes Out

The MARTHA GONZALEZ MEMORIAL COMMITTEE presents "The Light That Never Goes Out" Fundraiser Event being held on Sunday, Nov. 29th, 2009 (11/29/09) from 4pm - 1am at

Simone's Bar and Grill
960 W. 18th St.
Chicago 60608


DJ's and Live music will be provided by:
Jesse De La Peña
Steve Tang
Jimmy Muñoz
Richard Cantu

CASH BAR and GRILL with RAFFLE PRIZES (including art, event tickets, gift cards, etc...)
Raffle Tickets: a GIFT of $20 (entry guaranteed) for raffle tickets will go to the MARTHA GONZALEZ MEMORIAL REWARD FUND. The Raffle giveaway will occur between 4pm and 8pm.

25% of Simone’s Lab (Back Area Bar*) will be donated to the MGMR FUND.
*sales do not include Simone’s Front Area Bar

If you are interested in going to the fund-raiser, purchasing raffle tickets, or if you can not attend but would like to donate, please contact me at or at 312-636-9823.

Andrew Mitchell Kudelka

Come join me this Sunday. I've donated the following piece of original Gen-13 card art to the raffle. -Hilary

Monday, October 05, 2009

Stop, Thief!

Tonight, Monday October 5 -

Sonotheque - 1444 W. Chicago - 312.226.7600




6PM to 9PM --Film starts at 6:30

The Thief remains superior to most other propaganda films – the loss of dialogue in itself is an asset in toning down didacticism – and director Russell Rouse, experienced in the noir cycle (D.O.A. – 1950), imbues the film with the necessary elements of fear, persecution, alienation, and loneliness.”

- Robert Porfirio: ‘Film Noir – An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style’ – Edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Songpainting will be returning in February, adding Tony Fitzpatrick to the list of artists worth singing about.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Breaking Windy

Windy City is my favorite convention. It's small scaled and artist focused, run by Chris and Sal, the swell fellas of Around Comics. But I'm not really a convention guy. I seldom enjoy drawing on demand, and usually just tolerate the shows, not enjoying myself until the gatherings afterward. Saturday I woke up in a lousy mood and was an hour late for the show. I started to lose my voice right before speaking on an inking comics panel, and really lost it at the thumping disco at the after party...the entire day I felt like heading home. But then, miraculously, sitting at a lively, friendly neighborhood bar just a few short blocks away, I woke up. I had a great time talking with fellow cartoonists, sketching, and drinking good beer served with pretzels and good mustard. You gotta love Chicago, and you gotta make Windy City next year. I know I will.

Sharing a quiet moment with Mike Norton amidst the post-con disco din at John Barleycorn. Photo by Rachelle Rosenberg.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Windy City Comicon

See you at the con!

Everyone who went to the con last year had a ball.
Chris, Sal and the guys throw a great show.
Read all about this year's show, here

2009 WCCC Poster art by Skottie Young

Monday, September 07, 2009

Going into Labor Day

Spent Sunday at Union Pier in Michigan with friends. Something about this shot makes me look like a midget next to the apparently gigantic Ling Wang. Ah, perspective. Not much sun to be had at the beach. Note the albino like pallor of my legs.

Friday, September 04, 2009

When San Diego's Gaslamp was a gas

Now that Hollywood has taken over San Diego's Gaslamp district during Comicon, I thought some of you would enjoy this trip through the area's seedier, Grindhouse Row era--which was probably a hell of a lot more fun.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

An Italian Boy's Confession

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned.
I have been with a loose girl."
The priest asks, "Is that you, little Joey Pagano?"
"Yes, Father, it is."
"And who was the girl you were with?"
"I can't tell you, Father . I don't want to ruin her reputation."
"Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later
so you may as well tell me now. was it Tina Minetti?"
"I cannot say."
"Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?"

"I'll never tell."
"Was it Nina Cappelli?"
"I'm sorry, but I cannot name her."
"Was it Cathy Piriano?"
"My lips are sealed."
"Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?"
"Please, Father, I cannot tell you."
The priest sighs in frustration.
"You're very tight lipped, and I admire that.
But you've sinned and have to atone.
You cannot be an altar boy now for four months.
Now you go and behave yourself."

Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend,
Franco, slides over and whispers to him.
"What'd you get?"
"Four months vacation and five good leads."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney gloms Marvel

This is big. Bigger than a giant-size man-thing. Disney comics always keeps the original art, same policy that Fox set at Bongo with The Simpsons art. Marvel's stated policy has been that they own the art, and only return it as a gift. We'll see. Fred Hembeck sez, "I guess Howard can finally get rid of those silly pants now, huh?..."

Read an article on the deal's Eisner/Iger connection, here. Read writer Steven Grant's cogent thoughts on the purchase, here. And read a couple of Disney/Marvel limericks at Limerwrecks, here, and here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gene Ha

Had a fabulous time at Gene Ha's birthday bash on Saturday night. Gene and Lisa are charming and generous hosts. In fact, Gene was so generous that he was giving away his amazingly detailed original art to Top Ten. What a guy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zombie Love

Looking at that lousy drink'n'draw monster- zombie reminded me of this one, which I much prefer. I drew it for pal Brian Churrilla at a signing for his new Red 5 comic, We Kill Monsters. Brian had just given me a Staedtler marker brush-pen and so I used it to do the sketch. It's a nice brush, the same one I used for the drunk'n'drawn.

Drunk-n-Drawn, numero deux

Last night's half-baked boozy brushwork from the bar. Thanks to Jason Millet for the scan. Man, is that thing butt-ugly! At least the beer was good. (Click to enlarge--but why would you?)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Went to the local drink-n-draw last night. Pav Kovacic was kind enough to let me ink his nifty sketch of Flash Gordon. Pav works as an art director, but his sketchbook was full of some very cool drawings and comics--proving he's an artist first. A bar is not the ideal spot for nuanced inking, and I'm afraid I didn't do the classic cartoony face justice. (Click image to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I just noticed that I'm wearing the same damn shirt in the photos from the cons in both Chicago and San Diego. I swear to God that I washed it between shows!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Con Ed

Chicago Con was a long day, but a good one, ending with the usual
drinks at the Hyatt bar. We were hanging near the super suave
Billy Dee Williams, aka Lando Calrissian, who huddled in a corner,
back to the wall. Jason Latour ran the gauntlet and gave him a fist bump.

Above: Here I am talking to Chris Burnham, as Angel Medina wisely
ignores me. Below: After a long night of drinking I lean on the lovely
and talented Rachelle Rosenberg for support. And no, I didn't take a
picture of Billy Dee Williams.

The auction to benefit John Ostrander went well, but there was lots
of art still left to auction. For future online auction details, check out
the website Comix4Sight.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Benefit for John Ostrander

Mike Gold is holding a benefit auction for longtime friend and comics writer, John Ostrander, to help with John's medical expenses. The auction is this Saturday night, but you can also contribute directly at any time using the address at the bottom of the article on the situation, below. I urge you to help out in any way you can. Feel free to write to me about how you can help.

Hilary Barta

Chicago Comic-Con To Host John Ostrander Benefit

Veteran Comics Creator Fighting Blindness

An auction will be held at the Chicago Comic-Con (nee Wizard World Chicago) the evening of Saturday, August 8, 2009 to raise funds for comics veteran John Ostrander, who is undergoing a series of operations and medical treatments to fight off blindness.

A 27-year veteran of the comics field, Ostrander, has long been suffering from glaucoma. Recently, John underwent a series of operations that might have saved his remaining eyesight. Progress has been made but he faces considerably more treatment in the months ahead.

To help Ostrander cover his costs, a committee has been organized called Comix4Sight. Solicitations for the benefit auction have gone out, and the response from the comics community has been overwhelming.

“The cost of these John’s procedures has been astronomical, and are only partially covered by insurance. And by ‘partially,’ I’m being polite,” committee co-chairperson Mike Gold disclosed. “John has to go up to Boston repeatedly for treatment, and on two occasions thus far he had to spend a week there for the actual surgery.

“Like so many other Americans John is without sufficient medical coverage to cover these types of expenses; sadly, his insurance will expire in about a year,” Gold noted. “With the assistance of Peter Katz and Wizard Entertainment, Adriane Nash, Mike Raub and I have organized a benefit auction to raise funds for John’s medical expenses. We will be having this auction Saturday night at the Chicago Comic-Con to be held at the Rosemont Convention Center near O’Hare Field on August 6th through 9th.”

Original art, signed scripts, comics memorabilia, autographed books and similar items are being donated to the auction. “Within the first 24 hours we’ve received pledges of contributions including original art and signed books by Howard Chaykin, David Lloyd, Dave Sim, Norm Breyfogle, Dick Giordano, Dennis O’Neil, Hilary Barta, Kevin Van Hook, Mark Badger, Michael Davis, Rick Stasi, Paul Gulacy, Joe Landsdale, and, of course, John’s GrimJack collaborator Timothy Truman. We’re getting commitments every day,” committee co-chairperson Adriane Nash stated.

“We’ve set up a website – – that will be carrying updated information about both the benefit and the auction items,” Nash continued. “We’ll also be posting the results of the auction, and any items that came in too late for the benefit will be auctioned off at the site. We will donate any excess revenue to other comics professionals suffering from major vision issues or to The Hero Initiative.”

Monetary contributions would also be gratefully accepted by check or through PayPal at Individuals and corporations interested in making contributions should send them to:

Mike Gold and Adriane Nash
304 Main Avenue, #194
Norwalk, CT 06851

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Con Artist

Convention season is in full swing. I've barely
recovered from San Diego and this weekend
I'll be wandering around the Wizard Chicago
con. Saturday night I'll be at the benefit auction
for John Ostrander. I also heard that there's a
party at Chicago Comics that same night.
Just what is a social butterfly to do?

It's hard to grab a bite on the convention floor.
Above is a shot of me being accosted by a hungry
young lady at Comicon. (Photo by Andrew Kudelka)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Welcome Back

Just back from San Diego Comicon International. That's a mouthful,
and so is the con. An impossibly huge and crazy show. It was great to
be there, but it's also good to be home. The photo above is just as
fuzzy as I was after a few days. It was taken in Artist's Alley, and
I'm looking at the portfolio of good pal and fellow Chicagoan, Scott

Monday, July 27, 2009


Confined in convention hall maze
the show lasts five very long days
Plus nights blurred from drinking
I'm dazed and I'm blinking
When home I'll just lounge in a chaise

Back from the madness that is San Diego Comicon International.
It's far too crazy, crowded, and exhausting, but still a great place
to meet new friends in the comics biz and bump into old ones.
Favorite fanboy moments: meeting and talking with the gracious
and talented Ramona Fradon (below), the best Plastic Man
artist after Plastic Man's creator, Jack Cole. And meeting Berni
Wrightson and his lovely wife at the Creepy signing. One of my
favorite artists and a primary stylistic influence turns out to be a
swell guy. Be still, my beating heart.

Top 2 photos courtesy of Parka Blogs

Wednesday, May 13, 2009