Friday, May 20, 2016

Crypticon Preview Q&A w/ C.D. Poe

Crypticon is right around the corner, so lets preview Seattle's horror convention with a Q&A with one of the awesome artists at this year's show, C.D. Poe! To be honest, this was one of my favorite interviews, not only because C.D. Poe is a good friend and one of our favorite artists at the #ComicBookSwapMeet every year, but because his art is so unique and creepily beautiful! He also gave some really great enthusiastic responses! Check it out. Share it. Come say hi at Crypticon, and go show C.D. Poe some love on his social media outlets at and You can also buy art from his shop at

TheSteveStrout: For those unfamiliar with your art, how would you best describe your style?

C.D. Poe: It's hard to describe my style. I hear from folks repeatedly that it’s "unique". I assume that's a good thing. I can tell you what things I dig and, as a result, influence me. I love myths and legends, epic fantasy stories, comics and anime, and horror movies. I’m also a big fan of both classic and contemporary pin-up artwork. The likes of Gil Elvgren, Earl Moran, Olivia, and Luis Royo, to name a few, leave their mark on my work. I like to think all of those things churn around in the dark recesses of my cranium and help shape what you see.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Comic Book Swap Meet Recap

The Comic Book Swap Meet, our mini con here on the Olympic Peninsula, has come and gone. We did some good things and had a lot of fun. Gathered up a bunch of food for the food bank. Raised some money for the Humane Society too. I would have liked to had seen more cosplayers, but overall, it was an absolute success! Thanks for all the support, and I look forward to doing it again, hopefully in the fall.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Pretty Good Week: Civil War and more...

I just got in this evening after a pro wrestling event, and got to thinking how busy I've been and how I missed you all. I figured I better post and say hello.

Not a bad week. The dust has cleared from the Comic Book Swap Meet last week. We raised some money for the local Humane Society, and filled a couple boxes of food for the food bank! I'd call that a success. 

I was also honored to be interviewed by Chuck Anderson from the Sci Fi Monkeys website (and writer at Alucard Press). It was kind of cool to be on the interviewee for once. That should be live soon, hopefully. You know I'm gonna share it here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Comic Book Swap Meet Info...

With the Comic Book Swap Meet right around the corner, I figured it's probably a great idea to share some info about the show!

The Comic Book Swap meet (#ComicBookSwapMeet ) is our local "Mini Comic Con" we produce here on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State with the help of our team at, and sponsors Anime Kat, Whistle Stop Toys, and DiGee Ink Tattoo Shop, all great local businesses on the peninsula.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Emerald City Comic Con Recap

This took a little longer than planned, but I was down for a couple days. I'd been feeling under the weather all weekend at ECCC, but I toughed it out, followed by an immediate trip to the ER when I got back home. As much as I love Emerald City Comic Con, and consider it my local convention, I swear it's bad luck for me. A few years ago, I got robbed immediately before (If ya dont remember that lovely story, check it out HERE). Another year, I had heart issues. This year, more medical stuff. But enough about me!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Emerald City Comic Con Preview: Q&A with Greg Smith

Hope you've enjoyed the Emerald City comic Con preview Q&A's. This last one before ECCC is a good one. We got in a chat with Greg Smith, the writer of one of the hottest graphic novels on the market today, Junior Braves Of The Apocalypse (Oni Press) Be sure to stop by the Oni booth at ECCC if you're attending and grab a copy to get signed, as this will be a rare occurrence that all the creators of Junior Braves will be in the same place at the same time. I'm bringing my copy. Enjoy the interview and learning more about the book!

TheSteveStrout: Let's get right to it and have you tell us about Junior Braves. Can you summarize what it's about?

Greg Smith: Short  - The Goonies meet The Walking Dead.

Long - Junior Braves of the Apocalypse Book 1: A Brave is Brave, by writers Greg Smith and Michael Tanner, and artist Zach Lehner is brought to you by Oni Press, Portland’s premier independent comic book publisher.

Junior Braves of the Apocalypse follows the young scouts of Tribe 65, returning from a camping trip to find swarms of bloodthirsty zombies have overrun their town, bringing death and destruction everywhere they go. With their families missing and their homes destroyed, these plucky kids must use of all their scouting talents, combined smarts, and teamwork to survive the end of the world. Junior Braves of the Apocalypse Book 1: A Brave is Brave is the beginning of an exciting new young adult graphic novel series that is one part Goonies and one part The Walking Dead. Full of zombies, adventure and handy tips for wilderness survival!

TheSteveStrout: I've gotten through the first part of the story, where (spoiler alert) the kids are being sent off to camp from their different backgrounds. So far I'm getting a really "80s horror" film vibe, with the kids gathering in time for it to "hit the fan"...Was it your intention to have the "movie" feel?

Greg Smith: It is awesome that you felt that! Mike and I really love that time frame and genre. We grew up watching stuff like the Monster Squad (Mike’s Favorite) and being general “80’s Horror Kids” so creating a horror story for kids made sense. Pacing wise we wanted to set up so you knew just enough about each kid to form an opinion get your feels ready for “hit the fan” moments.

TheSteveStrout: Junior Braves is one of the hottest selling indie selling graphic novels right now. Has the success opened any other doors for you and your team?

Greg Smith: It has been an interesting year, for three unknowns in comics to be so welcomed it is amazing. I can’t say it hasn’t come without a lot of door knocking and ground work prior. That is what is paying off, the name recognition is amazing. Having a publisher email you after seeing your book in a Barnes & Noble and tell you that they want to talk next time they see you is a great feeling! All the doors we knocked at in the past have opened a smidge for us in the wake of this past success. As anyone working in self-promotion knows there is no rest, there are no free lunches, and hustler never stops.

It great to be approached by stores, libraries, and schools to do visits and talk to readers. If you asked any of us 4 years ago we wouldn’t think that would be real.
The most surreal is that last year we were the back cover of the Free Comic Book Day offering from Oni Press. This year we are the Free Comic Book Day offering. That is crazy pants!

TheSteveStrout: Oni is one of the top up and coming publishers out there with popular titles like Invader Zim, Madman, and Scott Pilgrim and so many more. I'd assume it's pretty humbling (and rad too) to have your series in such company?

Greg Smith: It amazes me every day. I feel lucky to call these creators my family. But it is not just the creators that we are in line with in Previews; it’s the people that make these titles possible. They are honestly the best! I am lucky to call them my Oni Family! They make sure things happen.

TheSteveStrout: I personally love a good zombie story, and Junior Braves is wonderfully written, with excellent art filling the pages. I figure it was a no brainer for Oni Press to pick up the book. Was it a fast process getting it published? Howd that come to fruition?

Greg Smith: First off thank you! We are all glad that you like it! As for the process, well that was a process. We started this back in 2008 so it has been about 8 years in the making. A lot of things have happened to move this book out that were needed to make it the book you all have in your hands. Where to start, the whys or the hows? I think I will start with the how it happened and then go into the whys.

The initial idea came from a text message while I was laid up with back injury to Mike after watching movies with my Dad. Mike happened to be in the right car with the right guy who loved the idea.

Why did it take so long? The easy answer is it’s our first graphic novel. The long answer is that when we saw how amazing the art that Zach was producing and then he wanted to wash it green (all art and green wash was by hand) we said take your time. This all added 2 years on top of the 2 years we had into this. Then that put us into the lettering and overall calendar of projects and we slid due to production. Was it frustrating yes. Was it worth the wait, yes!

TheSteveStrout: We mentioned the popularity of the book. In a past conversation you mention it's on it's 3rd printing? 

Greg Smith: This has been the craziest part of the whole thing. The book keeps selling out. I suppose that is great problem to have. I thank Librarians and Teachers for finding this book and loving it! They have nominated and made it one of the 2016 YALSA Reluctant Reader Picks!

TheSteveStrout: You also mentioned it will be an on going series. What can you tell us about that?

Greg Smith: We have been working on creating a world for readers to get wrapped up in and take a hike with us. The series is 5 books and is a step up series. It follows the formula that J.K. Rowling laid out with the Harry Potter books, that as the readers grow the characters will grow. The stories will mature and the characters will face challenges and learn lessons that are appropriate for the age that books a geared to. There will be new characters and for the people who have been wondering, yes there will be girls! Mike and I have had all 5 books outlined for the past 5 years. Currently Zach is drawing Book 2 and Mike and writing Book 3.

TheSteveStrout: Your appearing at Emerald City Comic Con next weekend? What table can you be found at?

Greg Smith: Emerald City Comic Con is going to be a treat for people if they have a copy of the book already or want to pick one up because Mike, Zach, and I will all be there! This is rare as we all live across the US. Mike is in LA, Zach is in Chicago, and I am here in the Pacific Northwest. We honestly only see each other in person three times a year. We will be taking over a majority of the O Row in Artist Alley O-3A, O-3B, and O-4A. We will have books and merch! If you come buy a book get a cool Zombie Backpack and a Zombie Attack Photo!

TheSteveStrout: Are there any special Junior Braves "happenings" (like panels or signings in the publishers booth)

Greg Smith: For happenings there will be singings at the Oni Press Booth #216 4/9 at 10:30-11:30 and a “Monster Battle!” on 4/9 where Zach Lehner (Junior Braves Artist) will be in an all-out art battle with 4 other Oni Press artist. Free Comics will be given to all attendees of the battle! Rumor also has it that all attendees will be part of live Podcast event for "Pages of All Ages/Out of the Fridge" so come one show and be part of another!

TheSteveStrout: What are you looking forward to at ECCC?

Greg Smith: Honestly seeing people I don’t get to see on the regular. Don’t take that as other the creators. I am talking about the person that DM’s me on Twitter or on Facebook. The person that follows me Instagram and then tells me they like Zombies, survival, horror movies, or just digs cools stuff. I am looking forward to making those real life connections and breaking that digital wall. 

TheSteveStrout: You'll also be hitting the Comic Book Swap Meet at the end of the month. How will your approach to that show differ from the big show in ECCC?

Greg Smith: Honestly I am not slowing my roll. I am bringing the same “A Game” I just won’t have Mike and Zach. My thing is to make it an experience for each person. I have been super fortunate in my life to have people make my day, the least I can do is pay that forward. When I come out to the Comic Book Swap Meet people are getting the full experience and then some! We are doing photos, getting swag, and having a time!

TheSteveStrout: Your wife will also be vending at the Comic Book Swap Meet. Care to plug her venture here? What is she going to be offering?

Greg Smith: My wife Anne is the proprietor of “SweetGyrl Designs” She deals in 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s Collectables and Toys AKA Random Fandom for Girls and Guys. She has retro fun for everyone. I am going to have provide a link to her Etsy shop as me trying to talk about it does none of it justice. Go find her at

She also has a background in graphic design and created all the merch and the Junior Braves website –
Greg and Anne

TheSteveStrout:  for readers not making any upcoming cons, where can we find a copy of Junior Braves of The Apocalypse?

Greg Smith: If you can’t make it to a con People can find their local comic shops at or If their shop doesn't have it, it's available for retailers to order with this Diamond order code: MAR151456. It is also at Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and Amazon! Lot’s of options!

TheSteveStrout: You have any other projects in the works?

Greg Smith: I am currently working on a few projects -
I am working on new comic pitches with my writing partner Mike Tanner.
I am working on a podcast called Around Seattle focusing on just about anything and everything in and around Seattle and it’s surrounding communities with my friend Nick Lindsey.
I am working on few comic and story ideas with artist Meescha Dare.
Lastly I am working on a few of my own poetry and prose pieces. 
For future announcements all of these please keep dibs on me @thatamazingtwit or @juniorbraves65 on Twitter and THATAMAZINGTWIT on Instagram.

Hey friends! As always , thanks for eading and showing support for this site. Don't forget to come find me at ECCC. I should have some buttons for ya!!! Don't forget, if you want to cover a genre convention in your area for , get in touch and lets make it happen! -Steve!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Pretty Good Week: Why so much Batman v Superman Hate?

Hopefully you all checked out the Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) preview interviews with the legendary Tim Sale and fantastic indie creator, Ryan Fisher...if not, you know where to find them. Who is going to be at ECCC? Let us know on Twitter @thestevestrout or on Facebook in the Comic Book Swap Meet group..

The week was good and productive, with the interviews mentioned and preparation for ECCC. I also checked out the much awaited Batman v Superman movie this past week. Though it had it's flaws, in my opinion, being a tad long and kinda of poorly scripted, the cast was brilliant. Everyone nailed their roles. I was very nervous about Affleck as Bats/Bruce Wayne, but he laid those doubts right to rest. I look forward to seeing what DC has in store for us on the big screen, after recent let downs...This movie is not deserving of all the hate it's been getting...Have you seen it? What are your thoughts?

The Comic Book Swap Meet is coming together well...I know you were wondering...Im really excited about our guests (subject to change....of course), including Ryan Fisher, the creator of Torchlight Lullaby... Greg Smith, the writer of the Oni Press title Junior Braves Of The Apocalypse... And guest of honor Mark Rahner, of Rotten, Twilight Zone, Vampirella fame and so many more. He's also known as a film critic, cast memeber of the BJ Shea Geek Nation Podcast, and radio host...Last but not least, Scott Adams, the artist and writer of the indie series, Sukotto. Watch for a special announcement from Scott and about a special show pass were working on!

How about that Walking Dead cliffhanger??

Don't forget to come find me at ECCC. I should have some buttons for ya!!! Don't forget, if you want to cover a genre convention in your area for , get in touch and lets make it happen!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Emerald City Comic Con Preview: Q&A with Ryan Fisher

Hope you enjoyed the Tim Sale Q&A, and if you missed it, check it out HERE. It was quite an honor that a legend like Mr. Sale took the time for a quick chat. I'm pretty sure you'll like this next Q&A in the ECCC preview series. We had a nice little chat about Seattle artist Ryan Fisher, about his newly released graphic novel, Torchlight Lullaby. This book was more than deserving of the highly successful boost it recieved from its crowdfunding campaign. Read on and if you're at Emerald City Comic Con this year, stop by Ryan's table (M-08) and take a look. These words do it no justice. TheSteveStrout: You have a couple cons coming up including ECCC, one of the biggest and best in North America, and the Comic Book Swap Meet, a mini con ran by ...How will your approach at the shows vary from the big to small show? Ryan Fisher: Good question. To be honest I have done many small shows in the past but my hunch is this. With ECCC it's a very hectic experience. People running to see panels, photo shoots with celebs, various artists, meet with friends etc. for someone in artist alley I tend to get those brief windows of time people have between events, so our exchanges are often shorter. Granted they get to see a ton more stuff so chances are really good they'll find something they dig, and for some folks that might be my stuff.
With a small show everyone through the door will check out everything, so there's a potential to reach out to folks who on the surface may not have been fans at say ECCC. Plus for those that are fans we can spend much longer hanging out and talking shop. Not sure what sales look like at a small show, but I look forward to spending the day talking to a lot of people that really love comics. TheSteveStrout: Is this your first time in the ECCC artist alley? Ryan Fisher: No this will be my 7th time in ECCC artist alley.
TheSteveStrout: You will be promoting Torchlight Lullaby, your self published graphic novel. Can you give readers a quick summary of Torchlight Lullaby? Ryan Fisher: Torchlight Lullaby is a story about a little girl named Ella and her stuffed mouse Winchell. Ella becomes trapped inside her dreams, where they unwittingly create an opening between the two worlds. As the darkness of her nightmares begins invading her waking world, Ella and Winchell embark on a journey to find a way out. Forced to cope with her greatest fears, Ella must face what she's been running from and close the door between the worlds forever. TheSteveStrout: What inspired this story? Ryan Fisher: Torchlight Lullaby is a story I starting working on at night to distract myself from the grief I was feeling from losing my father. It started as a coping method but evolved into a story I loved and had to tell.
So I did. smile emoticon
TheSteveStrout: How does your creative process work? Did you have a script first, or characters developed, and write based on those? Ryan Fisher: For Torchlight I started first with a basic idea of character personalties. No drawings or anything, just basic archetypes and how they'd interact. Then I outlined the story, fleshed it out with dialogue over a series of edits. Penciled the book out and the read it against the script for flow. Then I inked and colored it.
TheSteveStrout: The published collection came together with the help of a highly successful crowd funding campaign which we shared a while back at the site. Did that exceed your expectations? Ryan Fisher: Man, I still can't believe how much the Kickstarter took off. I was and am still incredibly surprised and grateful for all of the people that chose to invest in this project. Because so many people chose to back the book I was actually able to make a better product in the end. I improved the paper stock, added embossing to the hardcover, an anti-scratch coating and even a ribbon bookmark (god I've always loved those things.) Kickstarter was very kind to me and I can't wait to get people their books. TheSteveStrout: What do you hope to achieve on your convention tour? Ryan Fisher: Sell books, man. If I'm gonna be honest that's by far the end goal. I'm now sitting on a thousand of these bad boys in my tiny apartment. Aside from that though, I hope to get the book into the hands of people that will really dig it. For the people that take the time to visit with me at a show I want to do what I can to stand out as a highlight for them and let them know how much I appreciate it. Plus I get to travel to some new cities and meet a ton of new people which is always awesome.
TheSteveStrout: Tell us a bit about your art background, and any other projects you've worked on? Ryan Fisher: I've been a cartoonist for 7 years now. Torchlight Lullaby is my first graphic novel but before that I worked on two webcomic strips, Gin and Comics and Sometime After. Outside of cartooning I have a BA in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Seattle TheSteveStrout: I mentioned the successful crowd funding campaign for Torchlight Lullaby. These campaigns have helped a lot of great creators share their art with the world. What advice would you offer to someone considering a campaign to publish, etc...? Ryan Fisher: The biggest piece of advise I would offer anyone looking to fund a comic printing through Kickstarter is to understand that people are investing in you as much as your book. Yes it needs to be good looking and yes it needs to have a good hook or plot idea, but at the end of the day, you also have to reach them. They can't hold the book, they can't flip through it. There's no reviews. So in the end if they are gonna lay down their hard earned cash they have to trust you to deliver the best book you can and that you are the kind of person they want to support. Be friendly, be appreciate and be genuine. TheSteveStrout: Thanks for the chat, Ryan. Where can one find Torchlight Lullaby if not making any upcoming shows? Is there anything else you care to add or plug? Ryan Fisher: If you can't make it out to ECCC or the Comic Swap meet held by yourself, there's two more local places you can catch me in May. For FCBD ( I think that's May 7th this year) I'll be at Subspace Comics in Lynnwood, Washington. I'll have books and prints to sell as well as doing sketches to help support Brian and Amy and their awesome shop.
There's also an event I'm super stoked for and that's the launch party of Torchlight at the Comics Dungeon on May 14th. Scott and crew have been kind enough to open up their store to me to kick this book off right. Again I'll have the book and prints as well as doing sketches, plus I'll have an exclusive launch party print that I'll be giving away for free as my thanks for showing up and saying hi.
Right now you can pre-order the book through:
And after May 14th it will be available on
Or you can come out and see me at ECCC or the Comic Book Swap Meet and get one of the first copies.
Thanks for checking out this Q&A. We're really getting amped up for Emerald City Comic Con! Be sure to swing by Ryan Fisher's table and grab one of the first copies of Torchlight Lullaby...and tell him we sent ya!! Ryan will be at table M-08 all weekend... Check back in the next few days for our Q&A with the writer of the Oni Press book, Junior Braves Of The Apocolypse, Greg Smith, and our guest post/ Sakura Con photo gallery from Haylee Troncone by clicking HERE

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Guest Post: Haylee Troncone's Sakura Con 2016 Photo Gallery

Our friend Haylee Troncone, a great cosplayer in her own right, shared a gallery of some awesome cosplays from last weekends Sakura Con in Seattle! Have a look, share, and be sure to follow Haylee Troncone Cosplay to see all her latest cosplay and geekiness! Thanks, Haylee!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Emerald City Comic Con Preview: Q&A with Tim Sale

We're doing a series of Q&A's with some Emeralc City Comic Con guest creators, and we're honored to kick it off with this quick interview with legendary artist of acclaimed titles such as Batman: The Long Halloween, The Dark Victory, and Daredevil, Yellow, the award winning Tim Sale...enjoy and share! See you at ECCC!

TheSteveStrout: What are you currently working on, and what will you be promoting this year at Emerald City Comic Con?

Tim Sale:  I'm in the early stages of a creator owned series, too early to say more about it, other than I am really jazzed. Doing covers here and there, and soon to be drawing some Batman ones (yay!), and working away at my commission list, which always gives me much pleasure.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Update time...

We've been kinda quiet here at, but all for good reason. It's convention season!! We're getting prepared to cover a few conventions, and setting up our own little con. 

This weekend I will be hitting Creation Entertainment's Supernatural convention in Seattle, so you can expect a report on that, and I will also be tweeting all weekend from the show, so make sure to be following @thestevestrout on Twitter.

We will also be doing a series of Q&A's with some of the guest comic creators for Emerald City Comic Con over the coming weeks leading up to ECCC, so stay tuned!

I mentioned our own con, here's some details on that. If your in the area, we'd love to see ya there! We have some great guests and vendors lined up, and if we have enough interest, we'll do a cosplay contest too!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Guest Post: Gallifrey One recap with Jen Irwin aka Lady Scarlett

I attended my very first Gallifrey One (a HUGE fan run Doctor Who convention) this month, and it was an amazing experience.
Thursday for what everyone was calling “Lobbycon” I wandered around and traded ribbons (my first time at a convention that had ribbon trading) which was a lot of fun. Then we all walked/drove over to In-N-Out Burger for the In-N-Out run, that was just insane, so many people but was also really fun (and good food!).

Monday, February 29, 2016

Cool Projects #5

Sorry it's been a bit quiet here. We're gearing up for convention season, while producing our own little con here in Western Washington, the Comic Book Swap Meet. The Comic Book Swap Meet takes place April 30th in Chimacum, Wa. Check it out and spread the word about the Comic Book Swap Meet and tag it with " #ComicBookSwapMeet ".

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pretty Good Week

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, away from all media and internet, you've been subjected to all the hype for the Deadpool movie. I try not to buy in to that stuff, and not being overly familiar with the character, I didn't set high expectations. Well, 3 Deadpool screenings later, I'm a fan.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Comic Book Swap Meet Announcements!!!

It's official! The date for the next Comic Book Swap Meet mini-con will be April 30th in Chimacum, Wa! We already announced our first comic guest in the creator of Sukotto, Scott Adams. Check out for more info on the series, and be on the lookout for a fun announcement from Sukotto and about a special show promotion!

Ready for our next guest anouncement?

We welcome Ryan Fisher to the Comic Book Swap Meet on April 30th. Our second guest, is another amazing indie creator whose series Torchlight Lullaby has been getting rave reviews with us (HERE) and abroad. He recently ran one of the most successful crowd funding campaigns to publish the entire collected series.