|Yup, it's Hembeck dot com!!
My name is Fred Hembeck, I'm a cartoonist by trade, and this here is my website!
Since the tail end of the seventies, I've had my work published professionally by such diverse firms as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Fantaco Enterprises, First Comics, Krause Publications, Fantagraphics Books, Eclipse Enterprises, Topps Comics, Two Morrows Publications, Archie Comics-the list isn't exactly endless, but well, you get the idea. You're probably thinking, this guy's sure had a lot of experience-either that, or he flat out can't hold onto a job!? Or maybe a little of both…
Y'see, it all started for me while I was failing to get any work as a straight adventure type comic book artist, fresh outta college. Attempting to maintain contact with former housemates while continuing to draw, I stumbled across a cartoony style I used to write illustrated letters to my college buddies. That's also where cartoon Fred sprang from-Rick, Steve and all the rest knew me as the bearded fellow with the hair parted down the middle of his head, so I came up with a simplified version of that look to fill my correspondence with. Who knew, a quarter century later, I'd still be utilizing the funny looking little guy as my alter ego? Maybe if I hadn't put him out there in front of the whole comics biz, he'd be long forgotten by now, but it wasn't to be. Rejected time and again in my quest to be the next Neal Adams, I tried to keep my spirits up by throwing together a couple of one page strips featuring Fred conducting comedic interviews with Spider-Man and the Flash in my new found big foot style, and sent them off to the leading fan publication of the day, " The Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom" (which has since morphed into the trade paper, " Comics Buyers Guide"). Much to my surprise, not only did head honcho Alan Light publish my unsolicited material, but it wound up becoming very popular in a very short time-- and not least ways, with the very folks who'd been giving me the thumbs down only months earlier!?! Well, that certainly was a welcome development, but it meant two things-I'd pretty much never draw realistically again (which probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise) and I'd always be known as the guy who appears in the comic books as himself (which sure ain't the easiest thing to explain at fancy dinner parties--luckily, I don't go to many fancy dinner parties…). Oh, I put Fred away for awhile, as well as his main vehicle, "Dateline:@#$?*", but I've gotten more comfortable with him in recent years, so you'll be seeing the little guy all over this website. I always prefer to speak directly to my audience, and for that, he's been quite handy. Think of him as our combination mascot/good luck charm/albatross-any and all of those will do. (… and he'd like to give a big shout out to Rick and Steve, wherever they may be today!!..)
I got into this business because of a life-long love of the comics medium-the story of which is told, coincidentally, in comics form over in the "Little Freddy" section of this site-but though a fair amount of my work in the past has concerned itself with this, ah, obsession, my intention is to offer up a lot of material on this webpage that can be enjoyed by what I can only characterize as the general public. Oh, my fellow funnybook enthusiasts will hopefully find my "Classic Cover Redos" section to their liking, and the over two dozen never before seen pages I provide the "Destroying A Universe: The Untold Story" area should be a revelation, but I think the rest of material found in our comics section will hold some entertainment value to fanatic and casual reader alike. In particular, let me point you to "KIDZ: Boffo's Last Stand". This ongoing magnum opus-and believe me, it does go on-- concerns a group of school kids and how a field trip to a local cable TV station leads to the ouster of the resident clown, leaving Boffo none too happy with his pint-sized replacements!! Keep coming back for this one, gang, as I hope to post new pages each and every week.
Fact is, I plan to add all sorts of material on a regular basis, which we'll list over in a separate section to make it easier for everyone to find out what's new. You'll find in-depth background data pertaining to each of our comics sections, and you'll also find the usual self-serving crap that's at just about every other personal website-bio, checklist, and the ever popular weblog (we call it "Fred Sez" here). I'm gonna try my best to make this stuff entertaining to someone else other than yours truly, but I guess you're the only ones who'll know if I've succeeded or not. I will mention that I do have a lotta interests besides comics. Okay, maybe not Russian novelists or quantum physics, but I am a big pop culturist. Music, from Abba to Zappa, Ian Anderson to Warren Zevon, --it's all likely to creep into the conversation (or is that more truthfully, "the monolog"?…). Soupy Sales, the New York Mets, Old Time radio, and of course, Spongebob Squarepants-all fodder for my observations! And inasmuch as I am myself a fodder, I may very well throw in some tales of daughter Julie's antics (oh yeah, she'll just love THAT idea!…). Unless, of course, her mother, the lovely and brainy Webmistress Lynn, who tirelessly provides all the tech work for this endeavor, prevents me from publicly embarrassing my only child. Checks and balances, I guess.
And speaking of checks, I realize there's only the slimmest of chances that I'm gonna get rich off this production, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out to our more well heeled cyber surfers that we do indeed sell artwork, both the already existing type as well as specially prepared commissions. Check our sales section and help put a few shekels in a kindly cartoonists' pocket-and remember, if you order before midnight tonight, well, I'll just haveta write you a note with my personal thanks!! Hey, it's the least I can do.
So go look around. Read something. Drop us a note. Have fun. And come back often!
Oh, and just in case any of the neighbors are reading this-or one of Julie's pals, a member of the Blue Thunderbolts soccer team, my plumber, or anyone else who "actually" knows me-yup, this is what I do! Crazy, huh? You may think it's sorta cool, you may think it's sorta geeky. Me, I've always thought it was sorta cool, but in a geeky way. Whatever it is, I can only hope it's entertaining and that we'll see you back here at Hembeck.com again soon!!!