Posts Tagged ‘CO2 Comics’

Comico and Elementals to be Resurrected!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

CO2 Comics publishers, Bill Cucinotta and Gerry Giovinco, have formally announced that they have incredibly reached an exclusive agreement with Andrew Rev and will be reviving the Comico imprint for a new line of full color comics that will include the ELEMENTALS title originally created by Bill Willingham. The new line is expected to be  available for distribution in the Direct Market this coming Fall.

Cucinotta and Giovinco were among the original founding partners of Comico the Comic Company. Comico began publishing black and white comic books in 1982 with the release of Comico Primer #1, an anthology comic that featured characters created by the original publishers.

1st five Comico Covers

Comico immediately added four new black and white features, AZ by Phil LaSorda, SKROG by Bill Cucinotta, SLAUGHTERMAN by Gerry Giovinco and GRENDEL by Matt Wagner.

Comico's 1st Color Books

In an effort to grow the fledgeling company, Comico scrapped their entire black and white line to concentrate on full color, creator-owned, comic books spearheaded by   MAGE by Matt Wagner, and EVANGELINE by Chuck Dixon and Judith Hunt soon to be followed by hugely successful ELEMENTALS by Bill Willingham, all published in 1984.

Comico quickly became a contender in the independent market throughout the 1980s and  as a pioneer of licensed properties began setting new standards with tiltles like ROBOTECH, STARBLAZERS, JOHNNY QUEST, SPACE GHOST, and GUMBY.

Comico for a brief period ranked third in the industry for monthly sales with a broad line of comics and graphic novels before making the fatal decision to enter the mass market, a move that would drive the company into bankruptcy leading to an eventual sale to Andrew Rev in 1990.

Along with the acquisition of Comico, Rev also bought the exclusive rights of the ELEMENTALS from Bill Willingham and has remained the sole owner of the title and characters since.

The revival of the Comico imprint by CO2 Comics will also resurrect the Elementals in the form of a 300 page full color Elementals Omnibus that will collect the first twelve issues and primary story arc of the series, accompanied by digital release of each individual issue.

Cucinotta and Giovinco, who both left the partnership before the demise of their former company, are excited to have the opportunity to steward the Comico brand in the direction it was always intended just in time to celebrate the thirty year anniversary of the title and Comico’s publication of their first color comic books.

“This would be a dream come true,” admits Giovinco, who confesses that this is nothing more than a cruel prank that he perpetrated since April Fools Day coincided with his weekly blog post that is launched each Tuesday morning.

“It would have been a bore not to act on April Fools Day,” he states, “but  you are still welcome to enjoy all of great comics at CO2 Comics, many of which are created by former Comico collaborators like Bill Anderson, Reggie Byers, Chris Kalnick, Mike Leeke, and Bernie Mireault.”

You can also enjoy several creator owned features that were originally published by Comico such as:

GAUNTLET by Neil Vokes and Rich Rankin

RIBIT by Frank Thorne

SKROG by Bill Cucinotta

SLAUGHTERMAN, by Gerry Giovinco

THE WORLD OF GINGER FOX by Michael Baron and Mitch O’Connell

VICTOR by Andrew Murphy

Along with many other great features by talented creators.

Happy April Fools Day!

Gerry Giovinco

*Sincerest apologies to Andrew Rev, Bill Willingham, Dynamite Entertainment and any comic fan or speculator who may have experienced palpitations due to this post that was solely intended for good fun.



There’s a Brave New World on Bergen Street

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Imagine walking into a comic shop and not seeing any comic books published by Marvel or DC. The shelves are void of Spider-Man, X-Men, Superman, Bat Man and Wonder Woman. With few exceptions, there are no superheroes, no men and women in tights and capes with bulging muscles and exploitive, break-back poses. The shelves are not overwhelmed with reboots of the same characters that we have been reading for the last seventy-five years. Seriously, how many times can you read a retelling Superman’s origin story before it gets old?

Imagine, instead, that what you find is shelf after shelf of unique and amazing comics that are created by an array of talented artists and writers that is always expanding. Comics are arranged by subject matter, social interest, artist and writer. There are comics for everybody; children, teens, adults, men and women, alike. Entire families can walk into the shop and discover comics that interest each member individually as they peruse the inviting corners of an elegantly and respectfully designed shrine of the comics medium, finding surprises at every turn.

Welcome to Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn, New York where co-owner, Tom Adams recently announced that the store will stop shelving most titles from Marvel and DC. Adams explained on Twitter that the decision, “Will enable us to better serve our customers. Strength of self contained, creator controlled comics will let us move away from double shipping, editorially driven, artist-swapping, inconsistent, tied into events/gimmicks comics. Trying to keep this a going concern/think long term.”

Bergen Street Comics will celebrate their fifth anniversary this spring. In their relatively short history they have firmly established themselves as a supporter of independent comics publishers and have hosted many creator signings and art shows including CO2 Comic’s own Steve Lafler as he toured promoting his graphic album Ménage à Bughouse.

Steve Lafler at Bergen Street Comics

Bergen Street Comics demonstrated their commitment to Independent publishers that night when they, on extremely short notice, opened their doors to Steve when his scheduled engagement at MoCCA was suddenly canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Their graciousness and hospitality exceeded our expectations and established an impressive standard of customer service that we will never forget.

The atmosphere at Bergen Street Comics will capture the attention of anyone the moment they walk through the door. This is a place that celebrates the comic medium as an art form. Framed, original comic art hangs on the rugged brick walls, displayed like fine art in a gallery. The fixtures, furniture and shelving all presented with a classic taste that invites their customers to respect and value the comics that they are about to buy.

It is not surprising that they would make this bold decision to no longer shelve Marvel and DC titles. Bergen Street Comics is a boutique that specializes in a gourmet product. They are the Starbucks of comic shops, refusing to sell a common blend of coffee that can be bought on any corner, watered down and stale from having sat in the pot too long.

People want to experience quality, variety and atmosphere. They want a special experience that they feel entitled to and they want to share that experience with others. Great comics deserve the opportunity to be presented this way, as a rich and robust medium that will tickle the taste-buds of the imagination leaving the reader wanting for more.

A store like Bergen Street Comics can offer some hope for comics in print, especially those that are produced with a particular aesthetic that extends to the entire package. Printed books can offer a viscerally tactile experience that cannot be equally matched digitally. Independent publishers that recognize this understand the power of producing a boutique worthy product and will be energized as more stores adopt the model that Bergen Street Comics has.

This is not the end of superhero comic books. There will always be a place where bland or bitter coffee is available for those with a less discerning tastes. But, Bergen Street Comics has demonstrated that finally it is time for a little Frappuccino with our comics in this brave, new world where superheroes no longer have to dominate the local comic shop.

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco



Checking the List?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Santa is not the only one with a checklist this Holiday Season!

The elves here at CO2 Comics have put together a special checklist that pays no attention to naughty or nice. The only quality on our list is exceptional!

If you are planning to impress a loved one who is enamored with great comics or just want to satisfy a desire to stock your own library full of must-have, beautifully packaged, independent,  graphic novels and other comic related merchandise, this is the checklist  for you!

COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection Volume 1 by David Anthony Kraft – 680 pages

Paperback  Edition – $34.99

Hard Cover Edition – $54.99

COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection Volume 2 by David Anthony Kraft – 688 pages

Paperback  Edition – $34.99

Hard Cover Edition – $54.99

“The Greatest Collection of Interviews in the History of Comic Books!” these are the first two volumes of an eleven volume set that compiles the entire 150 issue run of David Anthony Kraft’s celebrated Comics Interview Magazine. Featuring interviews with nearly one hundred comic book professionals and fans, many of which are legends in the industry, this volume has 680 black-and-white pages of incredible photos, illustrations and text that will dazzle your eyes and remind you, page after page, why comics are special to you. A must-have reference work for every comics library, collector and researcher COMICS INTERVIEW accesses the heart and soul of the comics industry which has given the world 70 years of comic book art, literature, and tradition.

If you love comics — you will love COMICS INTERVIEW: The Complete Collection!

Doggie Style – The Complete Dog Boy by Steve Lafler – 488 pages

Paperback  Edition – $29.99

Hard Cover Edition – $49.99

Imagine an enthusiastic, ambitious young artist of the 1980s who happens to have an enormous golden retriever head on a human body. Given to flights of fancy and the odd meditation on the truly mundane, this Dog Boy searches for meaning, all too often via a six pack of Rainer Ale pounders!

Steve Lafler sat down from 1882 to 1988 and drew nearly 500 pages of Dog Boy. Most of the time, he drew with no script, and in fact looked to emptying his mind before putting pencil to bristol board.

The entire results are collected here in in the 488 page omnibus, DOGGIE STYLE The Complete DOG BOY! Now you can pay witness to the genius that flowed from Steve’s streaming consciousness as he created one of the most truly independent comic works of all time!

NOTE: Content intended for MATURE readers.

HEAVEN And DEAD CITY Cover

Heaven and the Dead City by Raine Szramski – 64 pages

Paperback  Edition – $14.99

Hard Cover Edition – $24.99

There is nothing alive anymore in the Dead City – or is there? Two cities: one dead… …the other, vibrant and alive. But for Palus, the supposedly enlightened city of Zivvon was dead in a different way. Their intolerance of earth magick in favor of the intangible church-sanctioned magic of heaven weighed heavily on him. After all, Palus had been born a witch. Two cities: one beautiful and flourishing… …the other, not quite as dead as it would seem. Yaira knows this as well as anyone. It wasn’t safe to linger within the walls of Tac. Her mother had made that mistake and paid the price for it. Her father had warned her – Get in, get what we need and get out! But Yaira had inherited her mother’s curiosity. And now something in the Dead City was growing curious of her.

Ménage à BUGHOUSE by Steve Lafler – 408 pages

Paperback  Edition – $24.99

Hard Cover Edition – $39.99

Ménage à BUGHOUSE collects the funky jazz noir BUGHOUSE trilogy by Steve Lafler in one volume.

Tenor saxophone maestro, Jimmy Watts, leads his talented band of bugs from the swing era into the uncharted maelstrom of Bop. And as he and his band mates claw their way to the top of the jazz world, they must fight the temptation to be consumed by addiction to a substance known as “Bug Juice”.

NON by Chris Kalnick - 52 pages

Paperback Only – $14.99

This collection of the comic strip NON, The Transcendental Extraterrestrial by Chris Kalnick will tickle your soul. NON’s unique perspective of our humanity is a window through which we gain profound insight through the sheer simplicity of his observations. This little alien is a teacher and his thoughts are inspiring. NON’s epilog, A Sensory Neuron’s Quandary, will redefine life’s purpose for those seeking a pointed answer.

52 pages of powerfully, humorous, light-hearted introspection that is beautifully drawn by Kalnick will satisfy your need to be one with the universe but will have you begging for more NON adventures.

The Adventures of ROMA by John Workman – 98 pages

Paperback  Edition – $19.99

Hard Cover Edition – $29.99

This 98 page graphic novel is created by John Workman, whose extensive experience in the comic book field is evident in every panel. Workman introduces us to ROMA, a woman of mystery…even to herself… as she finds life, death , love, and perhaps mankind’s final redemption in this fantasy/science fiction graphic novel. ROMA is the story of a girl who is so much more than merely super-human!

Beautiful art, compelling story and haunting questions make ROMA irresistible.

Captain Obese Cover

The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese by Don Lomax – 108 pages

Paperback  Edition – $19.99

Hard Cover Edition – $29.99

The Heavy Adventures of CAPTAIN OBESE. Originally published by WARP GRAPHICS in the late 1980s. The comic has always been near and dear to Don’s heart since looking at CAPTAIN OBESE for him is like looking in a mirror. The comic collected some flack from the whining politically correct crowd back when it was first published but who other than a morbidly obese artist should depict a morbidly obese super hero? That was back in the days when everybody was thin. Today? CAPTAIN OBESE is the norm.

T-Shirts

Fans of CO2 Comics, brag about it to the world with  CO2 COMICS T-Shirt from District Lines-$15.99!

Retro COMICS INTERVIEW Logo or Platinum COMICS INTERVIEW Logo-$19.99 each!

Death Fatigue T’s- $19.99 each. The syndrome that is gripping the readers of comic books all across the nation. Is there no end to the carnage that is being brought upon our favorite heroes by the editorial staffs of the biggest publishers in the comic industry?

So check our list! Check it twice! Own great comics at a reasonable price!

Know that your support is a generous and appreciated gift to us and all the creators that present their work for FREE here on the CO2 Comics website every day and every second of the year for your enjoyment.

Your patronage of our product  is a wonderful thank you that will allow us to continue our mission to present great comics and support a growing list of creator owned projects where the creator receives seventy percent of the profit from every book sold.

Thanks for helping us change how the business of comics is done.

Gerry Giovinco



CO2 Comics Features Short Stories by John Workman

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

John Workman could not have a more suitable surname when it comes to making comics. He has done it all and for almost everybody. One healthy read of John’s Wikipedia bio and it is clear that his influence on comics is vast. Clearly he is an unsung hero of the comics industry, in part, because much of what he has done has been behind the scenes as an Art Director or in the production room.

Make no mistake about it, Workman is a Jack of all Trades when it comes to making comics. He has worn so many hats in his long career that it is hard to tag him with any single title. Writer, Penciler, Inker, Letterer, Colorist, Designer, Art Director, and Publisher are all roles that he has claimed professionally since he began in comics, working on fanzines as early as 1967.

Since then, John has left his indelible imprint throughout the industry, having worked for Archie Comics, Star*Reach, DC Comics, Heavy Metal, First Comics, Marvel Comics, Topps Comics, Image Comics, National Lampoon, Playboy Hamilton Publishing, Two Morrows, and Dark Horse. Unbelievably the list does not stop there and happily continues as CO2 Comics announces the presentation of two short stories by John Workman, “The Gold Mask” and “Revenge.”

The Gold Mask is a concept that had been percolating in Workman’s mind for years before realizing itself as an overview of much of his career’s work serving as an introduction to readers unfamiliar with his creative impact on Star*Reach and Heavy Metal.

John hopes the that the story would  be a sort of “visual encouragement” to those comic creators who are walking the same road that he had travelled in creating comics material and presenting it to the public.

Revenge,” also a brief study in the power the comics medium, has an interesting back story:

According to John, “the work began as one of the “June 2050″ stories in Heavy Metal. Dick Giordano had missed his deadline on the story that he and Jack Harris were doing, so… knowing that we needed to fill that page… I went home and wrote, pencilled, lettered, and inked this story and brought it in to the HM offices the next day. John Lennon had just been killed, and I used this as an opportunity to say something about his death. It was also a way of telling a somewhat complicated story by way of the comics form, a story that would be different if done in any other medium.”

comics_interview_vol_2Bill Cucinotta and Gerry Giovinco, publishers at CO2 Comics could not be happier than to have the opportunity to present these two short pieces by John Workman. John’s early work at Star*Reach and Heavy Metal were significant influences,  inspiring them to maintain a broader vision regarding quality, variety of subject matter and creators rights when they began publishing as Comico in the early 1980′s. That  vision that continues today with their new venture CO2 Comics that features serialized web comics, publishes, in book form, graphic novels and an eleven volume set of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection.

An interview with John Workman appears in the first volume of the COMICS INTERVIEW collection and highlights John’s pet peeve regarding the number of people involved in creating a page of comics. Workman prefers to do it all himself but he is ready to jump in a moments notice to take on any creative responsibility with the utmost ability.

It is that sensibility that proves, though may take many to create great comics, there is only one John Workman and now you can read his great short stories at CO2 Comics.

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco


Read Your Favorite Flash Based CO2 Comics on an iPad or iPhone!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

One of my biggest criticisms of Apple’s iPad (and the iPhone for that matter) was its inability to read Flash. This was particularly irksome to me since the CO2 Comics site depends on a Flash viewer to display all of the great comics that we have to offer. We use Flash primarily for its stability and it makes our viewer particularly compatible with motion comics like Bernie Mireault’s  The Jam Urban Adventure.

I was not in a hurry to get a tablet, especially one that could not read Flash. I knew that when I eventually bought one it most likely would be the iPad since I swear by my iMac, tote around an iPhone, and would want all to interact seemlessly on the old iCloud. But to me an iPad was just a big iPhone and I am completely happy sitting in front of my computer in my studio, surfing the net and reading webcomics on my 17″ monitor.

I’m not excited about the idea of buying a comic app to read on a device. I’d rather have the comic book whenever possible and there is so much free comic content on the web, I could read comics forever without spending a dime.

So tablets did not impress me. They are just another tekkie device attempting to flip over the consumer and shake every last shekel out of our already thinly worn pockets.

But hey, I’m an old fart. What do I know?

When an iPad mini migrated into our home to be used primarily by my wife and daughter (my son’s Macbook Pro is tattooed to him as is his iPhone) I squeamishly explored its browser capabilities, sadly confirming its inability to read Flash. This became an even bigger issue, however,  when my wife discovered she could not play Farmville, her favorite Flash based Facebook game.

Oh! The horrors!!

So I sat in front of my trusty iMac and explored. I quicky discovered a number of apps claiming to enable the iPad to be able to view Flash, all with varied reviews. iSwifter caught my attention. It was a cloud based server designed for games, that quicky translated your interaction back to your device. It was FREE! It could play Farmville! Surely it could handle the CO2 Comics viewer.

Well, the app was free…for fifteen minutes each day for a week after which it was $9.99 for unlimited usage.  After I got knocked off when my first fifteen minutes expired it was worth the ten bucks to me not to have to wait twenty-four hours to take another stab at experimenting with it. (Sucker!)

Sure enough, it worked as promised. It was fast. The images were clear. Farmville worked great. I could read all the comics on CO2 Comics with some minor snafus. It needs Wi-Fi and does not work at all on the iPhone. The CO2 Comics Flash viewer worked fine and it jumped nicely from page to page but the browser was locked into a horizontal view and I could not significantly change the size of the image. This forced me to have to center the comic viewer on the screen and scroll up and down. I could not control the scrolling action at all by touching the comic page in the viewer. I could only use the tiny available border visible on each side of the image. If I happened to accidentally touch a link, I was off to a different site. With a little practice I was navigating CO2 Comics like a pro and I was satisfied despite the quirks.

Screw Farmville! I can read CO2 Comics on an iPad!

I was happy until I sat down to write this post. I did some more research on the subject and came across this list of Alternative Browsers for the iPad compiled by Craig Nansen that appeared on a 2011 post on Wired Educator:

Diigo Browser (free) – Chrome-like, with annotation and offline reading (formerly iChromy)

iSWiFTER (Free)

Atomic Web Browser ($0.99) – Browse FullScreen w/ Download Manager & Dropbox

Cloud Browse ($2.99)

iCab Mobile (Web Browser) ($1.99)

Grazing Web Browser ($1.99)

Skyfire Web Browser ($4.99) and $2.99 for the iPhone.

Puffin Web Browser ($0.99)

Opera Mini Web browser (free)

After reading the reviews and the comments, the Puffin Web Browser, which was actually FREE, stood out as a viable option. I couldn’t argue with free so I downloaded the app to check it out.

Boy am I glad I did!

The comic reading experience in the Puffin Web Browser was great! So much better than iSwifter. I can’t believe I almost settled for something so mediocre. The thing I like most about Puffin is the ability to zoom in and out with no discretion. The images slide across the screen with a sweep of the finger. There are some artifacts in the images. They are more noticeable on black and white images and become more apparent, naturally, when the image is larger but they are not that big of a distraction from the reading experience, at least no more than the funky printing on the old newsprint comics.

One other plus about Puffin is that it does work without Wi-Fi enabled. It is slower on Verizon’s 3G network but it gets the job done if you have the patience to wait 5-10 seconds to turn a page.

Puffin is also available for the iPhone! So, being the curious goat that I am, I quickly downloaded the app to my iPhone. Sure enough, I can now read CO2 Comics on my cell as well, though my suspicions were confirmed. I just can’t seem to enjoy reading comics on a little cell phone screen. If I wanted to read comics that small I’d go buy some penny gum and read the comic adventures of Bazooka Joe. Unfortunately they no longer include those tiny printed gems with those crusty little pink and chewy bricks of gum. What’s next? Hostess cupcakes? ( I know. I know. Sad isn’t it?)

Reading CO2 Comics on the iPhone using Puffin Web Browser was pretty much just like reading them on the iPad except everything was smaller and it did move a bit slower. Buttons and links were harder to navigate because of their shrunken size and though I could zoom in and out just as easily, I needed to do it so much more often that it became a bore. I at least know now that if I ever need a comic fix all I have to do is pull out my iPhone but I’d much rather read comics on a tablet, laptop, or desktop if no printed comic book is available.

So there you have it. A resounding, YES! You can read and enjoy Flash based comics on the iPad and the iPhone! Next time you have the urge to drop 99¢ on a comics app in Comixology to read one comic on your tablet remember that there are over a thousand pages of great comics right here on CO2 Comics that are just one FREE app away.

And don’t worry, if you would really much rather have a printed book, we have them too! Just click on that cool ad blinking at the bottom of this page!

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco

Goodbye CBG

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The only newspapers that ever really mattered to comic book fans were The Daily Planet, The Daily Bugle and The Comics Buyer’s Guide. Of course, of the three only the CBG was real and now, after forty-two years and 1,699 issues, it is gone.

John Jackson Miller provides a broad perspective of the fanzine, turned, newspaper, turned magazine in this wonderfully documented blog piece, End of an era: Comics Buyer’s Guide, 1971-2013.

I was first introduced to the newspaper by my Comico and CO2 Comics publishing partner, Bill Cucinotta, in 1980. Bill worked at Fat Jack’s Comic Crypt in those days while he went to school at Philadelphia College of Art and teamed with me and the rest of the gang that published our own underground-ish, student newspaper DUCKWORK.

Then titled The Buyers Guide for Comic Fandom and generally referred to as TBG the weekly publication was a tabloid size newspaper like any weekly local paper you would find in your mailbox. The format and frequency established TBG for what it was, the voice of a community, and the periodical singlehandedly galvanized fandom into a comics community with a strong sense of identity.

Maggie & Don Thompson

Under the nurturing guidance of Don and Maggie Thompson, the newspaper was a welcoming vehicle for all to participate whether you were a fan, professional, retailer or distributor there was always a sense that all had an equal voice. To be included was to be accepted into the community.

When we began publishing as Comico, shortly before TBG changed its name to The Comics Buyers Guide or CBG it was always an exciting moment for us to see our full page ads appear in the large tabloid sized pages and to read reviews of our product even though our earliest comics received harsh criticism. We were where we wanted to be; included in the comics community!

This inclusion spread to our appearances at comic conventions across the country where we always felt welcomed due to this sense of community that was fostered by the congeniality of the Thompsons who could be found at most conventions and were happy to encourage and enlighten young, wide-eyed publishers like ourselves.

It was a sad day when Don Thompson passed away in 1994 because the comics community lost a pioneer, a friend and a mentor. A similar feeling of loss is being experienced now as CBG fades into history, a victim of modern technology and an ever changing market. The comic community communicates differently now, through social networks, blogs, podcasts and video but we cannot change our heritage that defined itself in the pages of a once glorious yet simple newspaper.

Bill and I want to express a heartfelt thank you and extend our most sincere well wishes to the staff and contributors of CBG especially Maggie Thompson as she continues to blog on her website and takes on a new role blogging for Comic Con International’s new Toucan blog.

R.I.P. CBG and thanks for the memories.

Gerry Giovinco

2013 Could be a Magical Year

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

It’s New Year’s Day 2013 and a lot of people are out there working on their New Year’s resolutions. Personally, when I hear the word resolution all I think of is dpi. (dots per inch for those of you who don’t dabble in pixels) I do, however, look at the New Year as a fresh slate and I make every effort to jump in, feet first, with a positive attitude and lots of ambition which uses up enough energy to have me exhausted by the end of week one.

This year, of course, has everyone staring down that infamous number “13″ as their triskaidekaphobia sets in, but after surviving the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan calendar, what do we have to worry about?

In truth the number 13, though widely considered unlucky, has a long history of mystical powers supported by astrological and geometric significance.

If you would enjoy having your eyes burned out of your head by green type on a black page you can read an otherwise fascinating and informative web page about the sacred powers of the number 13 as it refers to the Holy Grail on the site The Vessel of God. www.thevesselofgod.com/thirteen

The number 13 has worked for me over the years. My mother and daughter were both born on the 13th, my daughter actually on Friday the 13th!

The number 13 has also had a significant impact on CO2 Comics. I’ve written often about DUCKWORK the newspaper that Bill Cucinotta and I published while in college at the Philadelphia College of Art in 1980-1982. This is where we first became involved with Matt Wagner, Mike Leeke, Joe Williams, Tina Garcaeu, Joe Matt, and Dave Johnson, all Comico and/or CO2 Comics collaborators.

DUCKWORK had an office, a lowly, tiny room that we had, literally, abducted from the security guards who had previously used it as a locker room. The DUCKWORK office sat on the south side of the ARCO Building on the corner of Broad and Spruce and was on the 13th floor! Those of you that have been in high-rise buildings know that, for superstitious reasons, most buildings do not have a 13th floor. This made our scrawny, little DUCKWORK office all the more magical and exciting place to be every day.  To compound the mystique, the entire floor had been abandoned, relegated merely for storage, only two rooms saw human involvement, our office and the new security locker room. We were in No Man’s Land and we loved it!

Duckwork Covers 1-6

The elevator ride to the office was usually a hectic and congested adventure which I personally avoided each morning by using the stairs. My trek up each of those thirteen flights was compounded by the thirteen city blocks I would walk after being dropped off by my neighbor’s father, who worked near the Franklin Institute. I counted each flight with labored breath, diligently anticipating the last step leading to door that opened to the 13th floor! Needless to say, going down was a lot easier!

Life on the 13th floor with the DUCKWORK crowd was the highlight of my college career that led to many comics publishing experiences and a lifelong friendship with Bill Cucinotta, my partner here at CO2 Comics.

Yup! The number 13 works for me and I am looking forward to a great 2013. I hope you are too!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Gerry Giovinco

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and CO Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

The Holiday Season has begun and for many it also kicks off a shopping frenzy marked by two of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday, of course is the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers, enjoying the day off during a long weekend, line up in front of retail stores at ungodly hours so they can savagely storm the store for “doorbuster” deals. This has become a holiday tradition for many and usually results in flaring tempers, small riots and of course a lot of bargains for the not so faint of heart.

Cyber Monday is for civilized folks who have discovered that shopping online is the way to go. Perched in front of their computer, tablet or with cell phone in hand, they can shop for anything they want on the World Wide Web and have it shipped to their doorstep. Online retailers have taken note and offer their own deep discounts that Monday after Thanksgiving.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not the only days with creative monikers. Religion has supplied some of the most notable like Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Professional Football has given us Super Sunday, the busiest television day of the year where the world parties and gather’s around the tube to watch the Superbowl.

Let’s not forget Small Business Saturday, in this tough economic environment where small, local vendors are struggling to survive, Small Business Saturday is a wonderful reminder that they are out there and desperately need your business throughout the year. Small businesses, whether they are local or on the internet,  generally will offer you personalized customer service and genuine appreciation of your patronage. Remember that this group includes all those small press independent comic publishers and creators, your favorite web comics and your local comic shop!

Tuesday, however, has been earning its own nickname on the comic scene now for the last three years. Here at CO2 Comics, Tuesday is a big day!  We like to call it “C-O Tuesday!” It is the day that our weekly blog comes out pontificating on all aspects of the comics medium including history, technique, news and opinion. It is also a day when we take time to promote creators and projects that appear here on the CO2 Comics site.

Fans have discovered that CO2 Comics is a place they want bookmarked in their browser and to follow on facebook and twitter @co2comics. Updates are posted throughout the week as reminders for comics that are continually serialized on a weekly basis here but CO Tuesday has become our weekly kick-off and a chance to get into the heads of Bill Cucinotta and I as we direct the publishing duties of CO2 Comics.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, of course, are all about retailers getting their hands on your money. Hey, we’d like your money too, but at CO2 Comics you can read tons of great comics for FREE! In fact, we hope that you will enjoy what we offer so much that you would love to own some of it in beautifully bound books available in paperback and hardback editions. Each book is delivered directly to you hot off the press in immaculate condition!

Right now you have four great titles to choose from:

The huge first volume of an eleven volume set of David Anthony Kraft’s COMICS INTERVIEW the Complete Collection, an incredible 680 page collection of the greatest interviews in comic book history. Volume two is in it’s final production stages and will be released shortly.


HEAVEN And DEAD CITY Cover

Heaven and the Dead City by Raine Szramski – This gothic fantasy is a tale of two cities, one beautiful and flourishing… the other, not quite as dead as it would seem. Raine Szramski lavishly hand-paints each panel in her unique style that brings both cities to life with a Victorianesque, Deco quality that will absorb readers into this world of magic, mystery, and adventure! 64 pages.


The Heavy Adventures of CAPTAIN OBESE Cover

The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese! by Don Lomax - Finally collected in one handsome volume the adventures of Don Lomax’s favorite fat boy, originally published by WARP Graphics in the 1980′s, chronicles the amazing story of the world’s fattest super hero. Don Lomax is a long time veteran of adult comics, celebrated creator of Vietnam Journal and author of Marvel Comics’ The Nam. 108 pages.


Ménage à BUGHOUSE cover

Ménage à Bughouse by Steve Lafler – The highly acclaimed Bughouse trilogy of graphic novels, formerly published by Top Shelf Productions, comes together in one giant package! Bughouse, Baja, and Scalawag combine to paint a full picture of life as an improvisational jazz musician set in an obviously fictional world where all of the characters are insects living in early fifties era Manhattan. On their road to success, the members of the band are tempted by the music, sex, money and the ever addictive “bug juice.” Ménage à Bughouse is an authentic look at the lifestyle of musicians and the challenges they face in an effort to satisfy their desire to create incredible music. 408 pages.


Monkey and Bird… a Love Story by Joe Williams and Tina Garceau is another feature from the CO2 Comics site that has ventured into print as a mini comic, self published by the creators themselves! This tiny gem is lavishly colored, beautifully drawn, and  written with intelligent humor worthy of any inter-species relationship. It’s a small comic, 32 pages including cover and only 4″ x 5.5,” making it the perfect opportunity to support the “little guy.”

If you are already proud owners of these books ad still feel compelled to to support CO2 Comics with your hard earned cash you can purchase some of the slick Marvel and DC parody Death Fatigue T-shirts designed by Bill Cucinotta or a variety CO2 Swag available at our online store.

There are also handy little donation buttons on each comic page where you can choose to support the creators individually or toss a little coin the way of CO2 Comics in general. Here is an easy access donation button if you have the urge to contribute right now!

Enjoy the rest of the Holiday Season! Please be safe and responsible because we look forward to your visits and we want everyone to enter the new year happy and healthy.

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco

Remembering Joe Kubert

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Joe Kubert 1926-2012, photo copyright The Kubert School

The news that Joe Kubert had passed away caught me at just after I finished last week’s blog. I was tempted to dive in and rush a last minute tribute in an effort to be timely but I have too much respect for the man and all that he did for comics. I chose to digest the incredible loss to his family, his school and the entire the comics community so that I could write a memorial deserved of a man of his stature.

Whenever I think of Joe Kubert the first thing that comes to my mind is a cover image of Tarzan, knife in hand, battling a savagely maned lion that struck fear in my heart as a young comic reader. The ferocity of the glare in the lion’s eyes, the sinewy muscles of Tarzan, and the dynamic gesture of every appendage on the page (right down to Tarzan’s toes!) captivated my attention in a way that few comics did or could. Joe was capable of creating something primal on a page with lines so kinetic that the images leapt from the page into the deepest, darkest part of the imagination.

Click image to see more Kubert School Advertisements

The name Joe Kubert captured my imagination again with a simple ad  for The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art that ran in the back of every comic book in the late seventies. Though I couldn’t convince my parents to let me go to a school that promoted itself in a comic book, the idea of studying art for the purpose of  creating comics became my goal. A few years later, as a publisher at Comico, I was offering small scholarships to students at Joe’s school in Dover, NJ hoping to encourage the incredible young talent that was being cultivated there to want to work for Comico. The gesture paid off when we had the opportunity to work with Joe’s sons, Adam and Andy on our JONNY QUEST series.

Joe Kubert visited our modest offices at Comico once when we were first developing our relationship. Our Studio, as we called it, was half a duplex in the middle of blue-collared Norristown, PA. It was a humble creative space littered with art supplies, drawing boards, decrepit furniture and dated, orange shag wall-to-wall carpet. Joe loved it! There was a gleam in his eye as he looked around that space and at us young guys, full of enthusiasm about making comics. He told us stories of how he was reminded him of his early days, holed up in a small room with a bunch of other young writers and artists cramming out entire issues over night in a frantic effort to meet a deadline.

Joe was an infectiously dynamic person with a passion for comics that he was always excited to share and teach. He was the ultimate father figure that commanded respect and returned it when you earned it. That day he visited Comico, without intending to and unknowingly, he ordained us as professional comic creators with his glowing approval.

Similarly, Joe’s impact on the comic industry can never be measured. He has influenced and educated so many comic professionals that it would be impossible to imagine what the industry would have been like without him, his family, or his school.

Bill Cucinotta, the extended CO2 Comics family of creators, and I extend our very heartfelt condolences to the entire Kubert family and to everyone that loved and respected Joe Kubert, one of the very great men to have ever professed to making comics.

Gerry Giovinco

We at CO2 Comics have a long relationship with a former Kubert School student, Chris Kalnick, who worked as an inker on ROBOTECH when we published it as Comico. His comics NON the Transcendental Extraterrestrial and Depth Charge are regular features on the CO2 Comics site. At our request he has offered his own remarks regarding Joe Kubert:

Baker Mansion-Kubert School circa 1977.

It’s funny how sometimes you don’t realize how much someone has impacted your life until you hear of their passing.  This was definitely the case with me regarding Joe Kubert.

35 years ago, fresh on the heels of its groundbreaking first year class, I was one of the second year students who attended The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art.  The school was small compared to today’s incarnation.  There were something like 25-30 students returning from the first year, and Joe only accepted around 50 of us for its incoming second year class.  The students ran the spectrum from the intensely-focused-and disciplined-artist/storyteller to the recent goofy-high-school-graduate-not-really-knowing-what-the-hell-they-wanted. A lot of us fell in between.

I don’t need to expound on how amazing the school was, its atmosphere, its creative energy, etc… suffice to say, there was nothing like it at the time. Plenty has been written about the school over the years. Even if it wasn’t your intention, you were bound to learn some amount of craft there… not only from Joe and the teachers, but from the other students as well.  Everyone ate, drank, and breathed comic art.  The place swam in it. Those who were there know what I’m talking about.  Their life experience and their art is a little richer for it.

There are many more XQBs than I who have had longer, deeper, more extended relationships with Joe, and they have their stories to tell and their feelings to share.  My relationship with him was somewhat brief, but what I can tell you about Joe is that he was no-nonsense. He shot from the hip.  You knew if he liked something or felt it worked… and you knew if he didn’t.  He commanded respect, personal and professional.  My personal talks with him were few, but they definitely left an impression.  As I’m sure his conversations did with the majority of his students.  My last conversation with Joe is forever etched in my mind, for it was sad in nature. It was about my leaving the school, and Joe expressed his disappointment.  For a cartoonist… not an easy moment to shake.

Joe opened his unique school and by doing so, opened the doors for a tremendous amount of artists who may not have otherwise had the opportunity, support, and camaraderie to develop their craft.  If it wasn’t for Joe, I wouldn’t have developed my craft or the sense of identity that I have today.  I wouldn’t have made the professional friends I have now.  And my youngest daughter wouldn’t have grown up in my studio to become an accomplished young artist herself.  Joe passed away the day after my daughter left home to attend Ringling College of Art and Design as an illustration major.  The coincidence of it is not lost on me… and his legacy seems so much more poignant, his influence so much more obvious.

You are respected, Joe.  I know for a fact that you will be missed.  Thank you.

Chris Kalnick

BUGHOUSE Graphic Album NOW AVAILABLE

The Forecast Calls for Raine

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Rain Szramski photographed by Victoria Mock

It has been an exciting time here at CO2 Comics. With our release of the three graphic albums, Heaven and the Dead City, The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese! and Ménage à Bughouse, Bill Cucinotta and I have just published our first comics in print together since our days as partners at Comico the Comic Company where we launched the careers of quite a number of significant talents in the comic industry.

Bill Willingham, Matt Wagner, Chuck Dixon, Adam Hughes, Sam Kieth and the Kubert Brothers, top off the list of creators that had either their first or earliest works published by Comico.  Maybe we were just in the right place at the right time then, but I like to think that we have an eye for talent and an ability as publishers to create a trusting relationship with creators that gives us an opportunity to present their work.

The search for talent and exciting comic book properties to me is one of the most appealing part of publishing.  It is the thrill of the hunt. In last week’s blog I wrote about Steve Lafler’s tour promoting his CO2 Comics graphic album Ménage à Bughouse. While at his stop in Brooklyn, NY at Bergen Street Comics I participated in a candid discussion about how the thrill of the hunt was an essential motivator to comic book collectors and how this same motivation drives comic readers to search the web for new comics to experience and share. The thrill of the hunt is rewarded by the thrill of discovery.

The most desired prey in any hunt is that which has proven to be the most elusive. It is that which is the most difficult to obtain that  we search for with the greatest earnest. Big Foot, The Loch Ness Monster, The Holy Grail all captivate our collective imaginations for just this reason. Sometimes the object of our  hunt, deceptively lies right before our eyes, camouflaged by its obviousness.

see Raine Szramski on DeviantArt

We at CO2 Comics like to think that we have uncovered one of those gems with our publication of Raine Szramski’s Heaven and the Dead City. Ms. Szramski has lurked around the comics industry for some time now as an award winning fantasy illustrator and comic book artist but remains just a blip on the radar of most fans. Her fantastic illustrations that she paints in gouache and other mixed media are a wonder to behold. They can be viewed at her DeviantArt Gallery which is a must stop for any fan of faeries, wood nymphs, dragons and mystical heroes.

Raine also posts and incredibly fun and insightful blog titled Pre-Raphernalia, about the major players in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. It is adorned with photos, images and her own comics focusing on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the cast of true characters that surround them.  A cruse through the illustrations in this blog will delight you as you get to see the energy that exists in the pencil sketches of Raine’s drawings and comics.

Heaven And The Dead City NOW AVAILABLE!

When it Raines it pours and Ms. Szramski proves to be no exception. When it comes to blogging about her favorite topics she has a second blog titled The Watcher Tree where among other things she recounts how she came to be a part of our CO2 Comics collective.

Get your Copy Here!

Of course we are most fond of her work on Heaven and the Dead City which Raine writes, draws and hand paints in grey tones for your enjoyment right here at CO2 Comics.  We are sure that as each new reader experiences the thrill of discovery when they encounter Raine Szramski’s work online, they will undoubtedly want to cherish it by owning it in print, so we were quick to publish the first beautiful volume in both paperback and hardback editions!

Order you copy of HEAVEN ANd The DEAD CITY Here!

It is possible that Raine Szramski’s talents have been overlooked in what has been a comics industry dominated by men for far too long. Fortunately times are changing and the industry is suddenly blossoming with an audience of female readers and women creators that can provide a diversity to comics that had been missing. Raine Szramski is now in the right place at the right time. Our  official CO2 Comics forecast is that comic fans will be experiencing a lot of Raine in the future.

Speaking of the future, next week I plan to over indulge in a huge helping of Don Lomax’s fatty treat, The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese!

Celebrating Thirty Years of Comics History!

Gerry Giovinco



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