We are happy to announce that we have comics legend and all around renaissance man Jim Steranko coming out for Free Comic Book Day 2018 at Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop!
With his core of comic book work being at Marvel from 1966-1970, the influences of Steranko’s style can still be felt today. Steranko’s art added graphic design, surrealism, pop art, psychedelia, and optic art while maintaining a cool-jazz hi-fi hipness. Known mostly for his groundbreaking work in Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD and continuing into his iconic storyline in Captain America 110-111 and 113, he later went on to redesign the X-Men logo during his two issues on the title, 50 and 51. He has also contributed numerous pieces of cover art that have been reimagined often over the past five decades.
So, why Jim Steranko?
- It’s been a bucket list item for me to have him in the shop for years. I’m obsessed with late 60’s and early 70’s Marvel. To an extent, I am a Marvel Zombie.
- In addition to his comic work, many other elements of Steranko’s life are fascinating. He was an escape artist, a magician. He developed the conceptual art and look for Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark in just four images. He is a comics historian, and was editor of FOOM (Friends Of Old Marvel) Magazine back in the 70’s, as well as publishing two books on the history of golden age comics. He is considered the preeminent cover artist for Shadow pulp novels. These are all pop culture things I care about and that have had numerous ramifications in my life.
- As Stan Lee gets older, it makes me realize how important it is to get to see these creators while we can. JIm has fascinating stories of working with Lee, Kirby and all the greats.
- Speaking of Kirby, Jack based many of his characters on real people, and his creation Mister Miracle was inspired by Steranko.
- From his background, he is a consummate showman, and this shows in his public appearances. You don’t just get an autograph, you get the full Steranko experience when you see him.
- Steranko will have two important covers coming out in April, a limited ‘sketch’ cover for Captain America #700 and the 1970’s variant on the upcoming Action Comics #1000. We will ensure we have stacks of these books for sale at cover price. I thought it would be cool to say you got Action #1000 featuring Superman signed by Steranko in Cleveland. I really like Captain America too.
- He called me “Amigo” in an email.
Jim will be around for all aspects of Free Comic Book Day this year, on both the midnight and day events on May 4th and 5th. He will be signing in the main FCBD room on Friday night from 10pm to 2am, then in the foyer next to the shop on Saturday from 10am to 7pm. This year’s art show theme will have a Steranko theme. We hope the Rust Belt Monsters can make it out for a Steranko inspired mural as well.
JIm charges $20 for a signature, but in true CNJ fashion we figured out a way to smooth that out. We have gotten copies of two of his best graphic novels for a great price. Captain America Marvel Masterworks volume three, which contains his full iconic storyline (including some of Kirby’s finest work on Cap as well), and X-Men Masterworks volume five, which contains both X-Men issues as well as additional material. These books both retail for $24.99 apiece and we’ll have them for only $10 each.
For the fans that want to go above and beyond, we are trying something new. We are hosting a “My Dinner With Steranko” event on Friday night from 7pm to 9pm at a nearby restaurant before FCBD kicks in at 10pm. This is a ticketed event, and there are only 25 openings.
Tickets cost $150, and for that you get:
- A SHIELD Omnibus Containing all of Jim’s Nick Fury work, including all of Kirby’s as well. (retail price $99.00)
- A copy of the aforementioned Captain America volume three Marvel Masterwork. (retail price $24.99)
- two signatures from JIm on any two items that you want. (retail price $40)
- Buffet dinner and non alcoholics drinks, tip included. (you’ve got to buy your own alcohol Amigo)
- Q-A with JIm conducted by me, as well as time for questions from attendees.
- Social time with Jim, before and after dinner.
- At the end, a group photo will be taken with everyone and Steranko. (Historically, no photos are allowed to by taken of him. This has been going on since his stage days and is part of the legend he has created. He rarely agrees to photos but in this case he said it was appropriate.) We will email you a copy of the photo post event.
I’ve never done something like this before, but suffice it to say that when you buy into it, you’re helping to finance his visit and therefore helping everyone else out on FCBD by helping to bring him here. Please contact the shop to buy a ticket if you’re interested, they’re on sale starting…now.
So there it is. We’re really big on finding ways for our older customers to enjoy their hobby through feelings of nostalgia, while also providing our newer customers with a chance to explore different parts of the culture and its rich history. I think we hit the mark on this decision and that it’s going to be a really memorable Free Comic Book Day.
(and a pretty cool one too)