A few of the 2,000-plus women seeking romance (novels) at the RT Booklovers convention in Las Vegas.
So, you think comic cons are wild? Try attending a romance novel convention—in Sin City!
The RT Booklovers 2016 convention in Las Vegas (April 12-17) was (surprise!) mostly attended by women—authors, booksellers and romance readers. Unlike comic cons, there were very few men.
NY Times Best-Selling Author Joanne Fluke shows off her Last Kiss tote bag at the RT Booklovers 2016 convention in Las Vegas.
And many of those men, but obviously not all—after all I was there—were there as eye candy: male models for the women to drool over.
John Lustig (Sketch by Carol Lay.)
—April 7-10, 2016: Emerald City Comicon, Northwest Press–Booth #1227.
During Emerald City, John will be moderating the “Disney Comics—Oh, Boy, These Are the Jokes” panel on Sunday, April 10 1:30-2-30 p.m. in room T302. Panelists are Georgia Ball, Amy Mebberson, James Silvani, Aaron Sparrow & Geoffrey Golden.
—April 12-17, 2016: RT Booklovers Convention, Last Kiss table in Club RT.
—July 21-24, 2016: Comic-Con International (San Diego)
Last Kiss art has appeared on magnets, mugs and much more. But can it cut it as…a quilt?
The original art as it appeared in FIRST KISS #20 (1961) by Vince Colletta. Click image to enlarge.
Thanks to the nimble fingers (and mind) of professional quilter Sue Bower, art from the Last Kiss archive has become a 44 x 45-inch piece of Americana wall art called “Dottie’s Lament.”
Completed in late January, “Dottie’s Lament” has already been accepted for competition in two prestigious, juried shows:
—The Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival (Feb. 25-28, 2016)
—MQX Quilt Festival—New England (April 6-9)
“The 2016 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival…has an entry category called ‘Mid Century Modern,’ said Sue. “Nothing says mid-century modern to me more than romance comics and Roy Lichtenstein’s art, as I grew up in the 60s.”
Happy Anniversary to me.
And to you too if you’ve been following Last Kiss since Jan. 19, 2009 when it first appeared on GoComics.
Of course, Last Kiss has been around in various forms for a lot longer than that. In fact, the first Last Kiss comic appeared in Comics Buyer’s Guide sometime back in 1996. (Holy Crud! Twenty years ago. Another anniversary!)
Most of the comics I did for Comics Buyer’s Guide were in black and white. But some of the later ones—this is from 2011—were done in color.
But it was moving to GoComics that transformed Last Kiss. Most importantly, it introduced my odd comic creation to a much wider—and more vocal—audience. And I had to up my game for that audience. Suddenly I was doing Last Kiss three times a week instead of only once a week. I mostly stopped coloring the series myself and turned the coloring over to Allen Freeman. (And later Diego Jourdan Pereira and others.)
And I have to say that my humor changed slowly over the years—becoming spicier and (I hope) more pointed.
It’s been a great seven years. (And a pretty cool 20 years as well.) Thanks for going along on the ride with me!
Like good sex, this book is almost free–for the moment!
As part of an insidious plot to get you all hooked on Last Kiss e-books, my most popular title is on sale for just $0.78! Clean out your penny jar and buy now!
Last Kiss creator John Lustig and wife/romance muse Shelagh Lustig gave a wide-ranging presentation about romance comics at the Nov. 21 Cartoonist Northwest meeting in Seattle.
The first romance comics—Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s Young Romance #1, 1947.
I wasn’t sure what to expect on Nov. 21 when I gave a multi-media presentation on romance comics. Would anyone be interested in such an offbeat subject?
But—I was surprised! We ended up with one of the largest crowds I’ve seen at Cartoonists Northwest in a long time!
Now I can be a little shy. So I’m grateful that my wife (and personal romance goddess) Shelagh Lustig acted as a co-presenter. I should’ve kissed her at the end—the perfect end to an evening about romance comics.
In addition to lots of beautiful romance art, I also showed off some oddball and funny romance panels and covers. I covered the beginning of the romance comic genre and theorized about why romance comics died. Then I talked about current attempts to re-introduce romance as a genre in comics.
Based on the number of audience questions, general enthusiasm and laughs, it seemed to go pretty well. Frankly, I’d love to polish it up a bit and give this talk again sometime. Maybe to another comics group. Or maybe even some romance novel fans!
Art by Dick Giordano
Art by Matt Baker
Once upon a time romance was an incredibly popular genre in comics. Indeed, romance played a key role in saving the comic book industry from financial ruin and bedroom boredom.
On Nov. 21, Last Kiss creator John Lustig will take us back to those days when the number of boys and girls reading comics were roughly equal and romance comics were hot—in more ways than one! Lustig will be the guest speaker at the Cartoonists Northwest (CNW) meeting in Seattle.
A CNW Golden Toonie winner and the writer of decades of humor comics (Last Kiss, Disney, Marvel, and Viz), Lustig is promising a funny and surprising sexy multimedia presentation filled with gorgeous art, beautiful women and outrageous situations.
Lustig will also talk about:
—his career and the funny way romance has shaped his work in comics and gotten him numerous licensing deals.
—how romance comics played a key role in early Marvel superhero comics.
—why romance comics went undercover in the 1970s—but rarely in the bedroom!
—how romance is starting to make a comeback in comics…and why it might matter to you.
DATE and TIME: Saturday, Nov. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Artist & Craftsman Supply
4350 8th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98105
(In the U. District about a block east of I-5)
This meeting is free and open to the public.
Free Parking until 7:30 p.m. at the parking lot across the street from Artist & Craftsman
Me and an unidentified fan who begged to have her photo taken with me. (Okay, maybe she didn’t actually beg. But I’m pretty sure one of us groveled and pleaded.)
I made barrels of money at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. Okay, they were small barrels. And they were mostly full with pennies and expired bus tokens. But still…I did okay.
More importantly, I had a wonderful time—both at the con and afterwards when I’d get together with my newlywed daughter Caitie, her hubby Mat and Mat’s family.
So, all and all, it was a great way to spend Halloween weekend.
A thousand thanks to Zan Christensen, publisher of Northwest Press, for offering me free space at his booth. Zan is one of the nicest guys in comics and his company publishes some amazing and innovative work by members of the LGBTQ community and those of us whose work is LGBTQ friendly. Check out his current Kickstarter.
You don’t have to dress up to be a Last Kiss fan—but it never hurts!
Zan Christensen hot dogs it at his Northwest Press booth.
For the first time ever, I’ll be at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. The show is Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2015 at the LA Convention Center. I’ll be signing at the big Northwest Press exhibit island–Booth 910 for hours and hours every day. Drop by. I’d love to see you!—John Lustig