Archive - March 2008
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March 31st, 2008
It's Opening Day of the 2008 Major League Baseball season!

It's also March 31st.

This site has been around long enough now for me to simply send you off to a pair of classic (i.e., old) entries that nicely cover both of those topics.

Go here to read a four page story drawn by none other than Jazzy John Romita recounting a landmark day in NY Yankee history...

...and go here to read my personal examination of the infamous Superman story, "The Night of March 31st", aka "The Great Boo Boo contest"!

And while it may go without saying, hey, just try and stop me:

March 28th, 2008
Let's be honest--are you wearying of reading what seems to be a never-ending avalanche of Hembeck interviews?

Well, relax.

Today you can simply LISTEN to one!

That's right--it's me talking, answering questions and running out some familiar (and some not so familiar) anecdotes for the fine folks over at Comic Geek Speak--turn the lights down low, let the cat out, and follow this link and settle in for approximately thirty minutes of, well, listen, and decide for yourself!

Enjoy, if possible!
March 26th, 2008
You'll find the following about mid-way through a thirty-one panel monolog freshly posted over at the Quick Stop Entertainment site...
To read more, go on over to the 104th episode of The Fred Hembeck Show!
March 23rd, 2008
A couple of things.



(Hey, I figured if I failed to note the occasion, I'd certainly come off with egg on my face, and surely, that wouldn't do on this of all days!...)

Secondly, there's the little matter of the current status of THE NEARLY COMPLETE ESSENTIAL HEMBECK OMNIBUS ARCHIVES, about which I've had several inquiries over the last few days.

Well, folks the short answer is, it ain't out yet. Believe me, if it were, you'd read about it here! Likely less than an hour after I finally get my hands on a copy I'll post the glorious news on the blog, so trust me--if you haven't read about it here, it ain't out!

WHEN will it be out?

Ah, now THAT'S a tougher question to answer. I've been told by the folks at Image that they're shooting for an April in-store release date (though I've been informed that the Amazon people aren't quite as optimistic and have it scheduled for late May). When EXACTLY in April they were hoping to let me know by week's end, but week's end has come and gone, and still no definitive word as of yet.

Wha hoppen, you ask?

Production delays. Turns out that the original plan to publish the book at an 8.5 by 11 size had to be scuttled, with things scaled down to a 7.75 by 10.25 inch size (which is still in the original proportions, significantly wider than the standard comic-book size dimensions you'd find on one of DC's SHOWCASE collections). So that's holding things up a bit.

I was hoping that the book would be out by the time the big ol' con in NY comes 'round, as I've already made plans to attend on Saturday, April 19th (along with wife Lynn, daughter Julie, and her young man, Alec, the latter two of which are threatening to dress up as Mario and Luigi for the occasion! Mama mia!...). I sorta figured I'd park myself behind the Image table for a while and make nice with the paying customers, but if I don't have a book to hawk, I suppose I'll just roam the floor aimlessly (I didn't shell out for my own table, y'see...). Either way, it should be fun, and maybe I'll see some of you there--and maybe I'll even have the aforementioned NEARLY COMPLETE ESSENTIAL HEMBECK ARCHIVES OMNIBUS on hand. We shall see (and if not, well, I'm also committed to help out at this year's MoCCA Art festival in June (again, on Saturday), so anybody in the NYC area with a burning desire to meet yours truly--or even just a simmering one--mark your calendars, as you'll have not one but TWO opportunities in the months ahead!)

So that's the latest. Once I learn more, I'll post the info here. In the meantime, go watch the extras on the just released DVD of "Enchanted"--hey, there are worse ways to waste your time, y'know!...
March 17th, 2008

My plans for today here at the O'Hembeck homestead are like those of any other St. Paddy's Day:

Get up, put on my Hulk tee shirt, drive around to as many of the half dozen various local Stewarts Shops as possible, go in, flash my Gamma-wear, and get myself the free ice cream cone offered to anyone sporting green (with no additional purchase necessary, lads and lassies!). Over the course of the day, I'll hit at least two Stewarts, maybe three--four if I'm REALLY craving the cream--and then I'll come home, put the two Irish music CDs I own into the CD player, hit the repeat button, and let 'em play over and over and over again (which sorta makes up for the fact that they never get aired any other day of the year...). At dinner time, I temporarily abandon my usual vegan/vegetarian diet (as I do on Thanksgiving) and sit down for our annual delicious corn beef and cabbage dinner, accompanied by a bottle of beer lifted from my once yearly six-pack purchase (a second one I'll save a fortnight to enjoy--with peanuts, natch--during the opening day game of the upcoming baseball season), and aye begorrah, THAT'S my day!

And no, just in case you're wondering, I DON'T chomp down a bowl of Lucky Charms--hey, let's not push things here, okay?
March 15th, 2008
Like most everyone else, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Dave Stevens recent passing. I never had the pleasure of meeting the man, or having any sort of personal interaction with him, but like most everyone else with any interest in comics art, I was a long-time admirer of his exemplary work. He will be missed.
March 11th, 2008
Yesterday was a pretty interesting day around here, even if I was mostly relegated to the sidelines.

It all started about a week earlier when my good buddy, Ron Marz, sent me an email alerting me to the fact that one of my very favorite current performers, Nellie McKay, was scheduled to play a 7 PM show in Albany's Egg venue on Monday, March 10th!

The potential two hour drive didn't put me off the notion, but the fact that I knew Lynn was slated for jury duty that very evening (starting at 5 o'clock) did. The odds of me finding my way up there without her expert guidance were not good, but luckily, daughter Julie jumped in and offered to accompany me, even though she hadn't shown much previous interest in McKay's music. Great, I thought --now it was time to check and see if any of my Capitol Area pals wanted to join us.

Turns out everyone was busy, which ultimately was for the best--I just KNEW there was something familiar about that date when Ron first informed me about the concert, even beyond my wife's civic duty. Luckily, before we forked over any money for tickets, Julie was reminded of the Family Planning Advocates Conference taking place that very day (also, wouldn't you know it, in Albany--AND in The Egg!), a field trip she'd signed up for earlier while doing some volunteer work at the local Planned Parenthood offices. So, she needed one car to get the bus at 7 AM, and wouldn't return until after 8 in the evening, while Lynn needed car number two to get herself to court. Meaning, whoa Nellie--maybe next time.

But what really turned out to be interesting was who Julie saw and who Julie didn't see in her day-long jaunt into political activism: Nellie McKay was the conference's featured guest performer and put on an hour show for the gathering during the mid-afternoon (her show in the Egg later that evening being no mere coincidence, apparently), impressing Julie mightily with her performance.

And as for who Julie DIDN'T see?

Governor Eliot Spitzer.

For reasons then unclear, New York's Chief Executive had to duck out of giving his scheduled opening remarks, which disappointed many in the crowd--Julie told me that, driving up to Albany, several of the women on the bus were effusive in their praise of the N. Y. Gov for his stands on women's issues.

I'm not sure what was said on the ride back home, but I'm betting some opinions may've been, shall we say, modified?...

Julie returned about as stoked up as I've ever seen her, full of a cautious idealism for the political process despite practically witnessing a scandal unfold right under her nose!

And Lynn? She was chosen to be a member of a jury, so I'll have to wait until the trial's conclusion to get all the details about her adventures--she's expecting it to wrap up in another evening, two tops.

As for me, well, I spent the day split between lettering a new strip you'll all see in a few days and transferring three of my Soupy Sales LPs ("Spy With A Pie", "Bag of Soup", and ""Still Soupy After All These Years") from vinyl to CD with this nifty little device Lynn gave me for Christmas (also, the two record set, "2nd Honeymoon by Deaf School"), all the while watching the Eliot Spitzer saga unfold on the tube following a 1-1 spring training Mets/Red Sox contest!

Julie Hembeck--bystander to history! What a day!
March 9th, 2008
Getting onto the Internet earlier, one of the first places I headed for was Tom Spurgeon's The Comics Reporter page, if for no other reason so as to set up a link for you people to read my responses (as well as those of several other fine folks) to this week's Five For Friday survey (name five things that should be absolutes in the DC universe), only to discover that leading off the page was his week's featured interview and it was with (uh huh) ME!

Hey, it's not like I wasn't there when Tom and I spoke, but I wasn't aware that it was going to be posted today, okay? But it has, so look out friends--here's the link:

The Comics Reporter interviews Fred Hembeck

Actually, truth be told, this was our second go at a Q&A--like some sort of verbal vampire speaking into a mirror, my voice simply didn't register the first time Tom and I spoke, something he insists has never happened to him before! So, exactly a week after our initial chat, Tom was nice enough to give it another go, and while we covered a lot of the same ground, there were some comments lost to the ether forever (not the least of which was some small speculation concerning a potential addition to Marvel's Ultimate line, ULTIMATE FRED HEMBECK! On the plus side, though, I was able to flesh out my Vinny Colletta story with some additional, jaw-dropping details, so I guess it's a wash...)

Thanks a whole bunch, Tom--I very much enjoyed my Tuesday afternoons with The Spurge, and miss 'em already! See you at the April NYC con--and don't worry, I'll have that elusive GEORGE FOSTER comic with me!
March 7th, 2008

For your joyous 55th, I present you with this link! Go friends, and check out my good buddy's blog! The gift of traffic? PRICELESS!

(Okay, so I AM cheap--sincere best wishes in any event, Rog--and feel better!)
March 6th, 2008
By the Hoary Host that is Hembeck, WHO for is that Across The Page?

Why, it's none other than

Dr. Strange and the Strangers!!
Click the pic for a better look, and go here for this week's magical eBay auction!

And thus ends, fellow novices, today's Strange interlude...
March 5th, 2008

It's me!!
Courtesy of the estimable David Allen Jones (aka Johnny Bacardi), doodled up in his Live Journal when, seeking comics oriented requests from his readers, my buddy (and part time wise guy) Roger Green suggested he take a shot at that well known cartoon character, Fred Hembeck! Only Dave eschewed the traditional squiggly kneed version and went instead for the realistic look, basing this portrait on some photos posted over on my MySpace page! Nice job, Mr. J--aside from a drawing my daughter Julie did a few years back (which, wouldn't you know it, somehow found its way into the still-upcoming NEARLY COMPLETE ESSENTIAL HEMBECK ARCHIVES OMNIBUS), this is the only other known attempt at capturing how yours truly actually looks! Hey, maybe I'll sneak it into Volume Two!...

(Oh, but just so everyone knows--I do NOT actually own a tee-shirt with a big Fred Head emblazoned on front! However, I DO have a shirt with a large reproduction of Mr. Bean's visage hanging in my closet, a gift from a good buddy. I will somewhat shamefacedly admit, though, I'm usually reluctant to actually leave the house and go out in public wearing it! Still, I HAVE found that, in the past, it 's a whole lot of fun to threaten to put it on just before one of Julie's friends--especially the boy types--comes by the house for the first time! "Hello there, young fella--I'm Julie's dad, and this? THIS is one of my true hero's, Mr. Bean!" Y'know, someday I'm actually gonna go through with that little scenario!

Either that, or get me a Cartoon Fred shirt!

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