Friday, February 22, 2008


BACK ISSUE #29 is the special "Mutants" issue which includes a Dave Cockrum cover. Since the book is solicited on the TwoMorrows website, I suppose it’s safe to say that the article that I’m writing for this issue has to do with John Byrne and Chris Claremont’s UNCANNY X-MEN. Thhaat’s right. I’m writing an article about some of the greatest comics ever made. In fact, it was Byrne and Terry Austin’s artwork on UNCANNY X-MEN that convinced me to seriously pursue a career as a comic book inker.

BACK ISSUE #29 is scheduled to be on sale in July.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Joey B!

Hey! It’s Joey B’s birthday today. Happy Birthday, Joe!

Above photo: From Joey B's trip to Costa Rica last May.


Friday, February 15, 2008

The old order changeth!

Dear members of P.I.C.,

Initially, "P.I.C." stood for "Perverts in College." After college, "P.I.C." became "Professionals in Careers."

However, times have changed. Looking back, a few members of P.I.C. realized that a new phrase should be selected for the "P.I.C." acronym.

So, after a majority vote by the seven P.I.C. elders, it has been decided that "P.I.C." now stands for "Professional Illustrators & Cartoonists." The new phrase seems more appropriate and relevant to our current careers and to our group as a whole.

Please keep updated to the goings on of P.I.C. at the P.I.C. News blog:

I pray that this e-mail finds you joyful and productive.

Al Nickerson


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A legend is born…

Above photo: A Polaroid of P.I.C. while living at Sloane House. (clockwise) Sean, Miguel, Al, Scan, and Pro as they pose with the infamous P.I.C. sign. School year 1986-1987.

Scan blogs about Rob Scheider, the film 52 PICK UP, and the origin of the infamous P.I.C sign...

…so I picked up the PIC and was on my way. I took it back to my dorms, hung it up and was trying my best to come up with the appropriately witty words to fill out the acronym of PIC. To this day I haven't done so.

Above cartoon: Scan’s cartoon of this famous moment in P.I.C. history.

Well, P.I.C. eventually did come up with a phrase to stand for the acronym of "P.I.C." which was "Perverts in College". And, as memory serves, Pro who came up with an acronym for post-college "P.I.C.": "Professionals in Careers". Yeah, I know, but we were all young and silly back then.

Above photo: Al with the P.I.C. sign. 1998.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


This Spring, you're in for a treat. P.I.C. friend and fellow Archie Comics employee, Paul Castiglia has a new comic coming out called MECHA MANGA BIBLE HEROES. Go check it out!


Monday, February 4, 2008

Free Speech, a Danish flag, and the CBLDF…

Above photo: Colleen Doran and a Danish flag at the 2006 New York Comic Con.

Two years ago, I signed a Danish flag. At the 2006 New York Comic Con, Colleen Doran (creator of A DISTANT SOIL) was asking comic book creators to sign a flag of Denmark in support of Free Speech. This was after the publication of Danish cartoons and the resulting violent reaction by Muslims around the world.

Colleen’s idea was to have comic book creators sign the flag, and than have the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund auction the flag to raise much-needed money for the charity. I contributed stories to John Gallagher and Sky Dog Comics’ MORE FUND COMICS and EVEN MORE FUND COMICS collections. So, I was happy to sign the Danish Flag when asked by Colleen.

Colleen’s efforts to promote awareness concerning Free Speech and Islam are very important. And I am quite happy with the results of so many comic book creator’s signing the flag in support of Free Speech (many include Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Kevin Smith, Joe Quesada, Todd McFarlane, John Romita, Jr., Kevin Nowlan, Kevin Eastman, Paul Gulacy, Kevin Maguire, Larry Marder, Shannon Denton, Walt Simonson, Terry Austin, Scott Hanna, Rags Morales, Erik Larsen, Chris Eliopolous, Bob Wayne, Paul Levitz, Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack, Carlos D’Anda, Joe Staton, Jim Salicrup, Carl Potts, Bill Sienkiewicz, Irwin Hasen, Jim Steranko, Mark Bagley, Frank Cho, Michael William Kaluta, John Lucas, Daniel Vozzo, Ale Garza, Garth Ennis, Esad Ribic, Mike Lilly, and Dean Yeagle).

Still, two years later, the flag hasn’t been auctioned off. Why? Beats me. So, I e-mailed the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to see what the deal was. Here’s what Greg Thompson (CBLDF Deputy Director) told me in response: "We are going to auction off the flag by the San Diego Comic Convention this year." That’s good news, of course. I’m praying that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund raises a lot of dough with the flag.

I absolutely support Free Speech. Free Speech is important to all of us. We all have the right to Free Speech… even cartoonists. If there are folks out in the world that don’t like that, than too bad for them.

Here’s some links about all of this from Colleen Doran’s blog:

"Support Denmark and the CBLDF"

"NYC Comic Con!!!"

"Danish Flag Signing event for CBLDF"

"Cartoons of Blasphemy Belong in A Museum" (including photos of creators signing the flag)

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Friday, February 1, 2008

P.I.C. art news!

Above: New artwork by Martin.

I am always happy to see any new artwork from Martin. So, I was pleased when Martin told me that he has added new pieces of artwork to his website.

Above: A new painting from Joey B.

Joey B has finished a new series of paintings. Yes, the handsome fellow in the above painting is me. If this painting looks familiar, you may recall Joey B creating a similar portrait of me years ago.

Above: Two panels from Mitch’s comic.

We all love Mitch (who likes to draw spooky things). So, I was saddened when he told me about a health issue from a couple of Christmases ago. In his autobiographical comic, Mitch recounts a personnel tragedy. Go and read Mitch’s comic.