Archive for ralph consentino

odds and ends

Posted in odds and ends, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

As is likely clear from my weekly trolling of all our local thrift stores, one big vice that I have is books. I love books. Love to own ’em, love to have ’em, and I really love ¬†fancy-pants special editions of my favorites books, comics, and stories.

Behold one fancy collection that I will have to somehow live my life without owning:

The Bone 20th Anniversary Full Color One Volume Collector’s Box Set. It comes with an art print signed by Bone creator Jeff Smith. It comes with three pewter figures of the Bone cousins. It comes with a 22k gold-plated recreation of Phoney Bone’s gold coins. It comes with a facsimile of Bone #1 in black and white. It comes with a DVD documentary.

Oh, it also comes with one of my favorite comic stories ever, in hardcover with a beautiful new coloring job… presented in a handsome red case.

Cost: $350 dollars… although Cartoon Books is offering a version for $1,000 dollars wherein Smith will draw and Hammaker will watercolor a sketch for you. I honestly prefer Bone in B&W as that is how I originally encountered the story, but you cannot argue with how beautiful Steve Hammaker’s work is. Plus, I LOVE that Phoney Bone coin.

Alas and alack… I think I’ll probably use that money to feed and clothe my children. I will content myself with the original One Volume edition, which proudly sits on the shelves of both my classroom and my own private collection.


I was excited to read Horribly Heartbroken at Hogwarts this week, a sort-of travelogue by cartoonist Lucy Knisley and her studio mate Laura Renick-Reinhart.

I’ve become a fan of Knisley’s work in the past year, especially her contribution to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign. It inspired me to write my own comic in response!

HHH found its’ beginnings in a rather unique fashion- Knisley and Renick-Reinhart opened a Kickstarter project to fund a trip to Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure, with the goal of visiting the new Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida. The deal was this: if the readers would fund their trip, they’d get to read the comic about the trip. The ladies’ project was a resounding success- they asked for $2,500 dollars… they got over $7,000. Had I been in a position to donate at the time, I certainly would have… but I’ve contented myself with resting on other’s laurels and buying a PDF of the comic after the fact.

As far as the comic pertains to the more lofty stated goal of the strip (connecting their recent break-up woes with significant others to their love of Harry Potter), I thought HHH missed the mark. There are some interesting swipes at the thesis; in particular, I liked the observation Lucy makes about dealing with her logical-thinking ex-boyfriend versus her more emotional travel companion. Still, by and large the “heartbroken” stuff felt shoehorned into the comic and wasn’t my favorite part of the 25 page book.

From the perspective of a travelogue, I enjoyed Horribly Heartbroken at Hogwarts immensely. Part of the goal of this project seemed to be glorying in all things Potter and the authors carry that off with style. I, for one would jump at the chance to pay for Knisley and Renick-Reinhart to take another trip in the future, if it means more comics like this. Ladies, if you’re ever interested in a sequel, I will gladly fund your trip to visit the places in England and Scotland where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Download the comic for $3 dollars!


Finally, I wanted to share this with all of you. A few months ago, I told you all about my son Elliot’s love of Ralph Consentino’s Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight, to the point where he has the book memorized and will quote it for you in odd places. I got in touch with Ralph and he generously sent Elliot a lovely drawing of the Dark Knight himself.

Ellen is the manager of an art gallery/framing studio and she decided to have both Ralph’s drawing and my own sketch framed… and here’s the result:

A beautiful job, if I do say so myself. I wanted to thank Ralph again here on the blog- it was a genuine thrill for Elliot… and myself!

elliot still has many enemies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 7, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Some of you might remember this sketchbook post from last July wherein I drew Elliot in the tub saying what I thought was a strange non-sequitur

which I quickly remembered to be a line from the Batman picture book Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight by Ralph Consentino.

When I realized Mr. Consentino had a website, I dropped him a line with the comic to let him know how much Elliot loved his book and Ralph offered to draw Elliot something for being a super-Batfan. This was a very gracious of Ralph and Elliot decided to ask for a Batman sketch.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, look what showed up on our doorstep last week:

Ralph, if you’re reading this, I want to say thanks. Elliot went ballistic when he saw that you “wrote him a letter” and we’re in the process of getting the sketch framed to hang in his room.

Mr. Consentino has a new website that you should all check out. You should also pick up his books. Besides Batman, he’s illustrated Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel and a forthcoming Wonder Woman picture book. They make great gifts for young readers.

sketchbook: elliot’s enemies

Posted in sketchbook with tags , , on July 6, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

This isn’t going to turn into The Family Circus or anything but my oldest son Elliot has reached the age where he’s running around saying all sorts of awesome 2 year old-type things. Since I’m off for the summer, I’ve been drawing them into my sketchbook, and I’m going to share some of them this week.

Some context: I was giving Elliot a bath and he started talking to me about how he has no friends. “I have no friends,” he says… which is a total falsehood, EVERYBODY is friends with Elliot. From the kids at the park on through to the lady who works at the deli counter at the supermarket, he’s beloved by everyone.

I point this out to him and he says, solemn as I’ve ever seen him say anything:

I could NOT stop laughing. As though we have ninjas perched in the trees outside our house waiting to pounce on this little toddler!

After about a day, I figured out where Elliot picked up this strange point of view:

Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight by Ralph Consentino is a book I picked up for Elliot about a year ago. It’s a kid-friendly retelling of the origin of Batman and Elliot LOVES it.There’s a lot more design and love put into this book than there are in most mass market superhero kids books, and we’ve read it together about a million times since I bought it for him. I actually drew another comic about the book awhile back, when Elliot was just starting to broaden his vocabulary:

Anyhow, there’s a page toward the end of the book that begins “I have many enemies…” and then goes on to list some of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. That’s where Elliot picked up the phrase.

Mr. Consentino’s website can be found here and you should totally check it out. He’s just released a Superman storybook in the same vein and is working on a follow-up featuring Wonder Woman. Wonderful books for young people that introduce them to superheroes and comics very early.