Comic Book People Photo Book

Jackie Estrada (not to be confused with Jackie Estacado, the wielder of The Darkness), is a longtime comics insider and she currently has a Kickstarter project on the go, with the aim of releasing a book filled with candid shots of comics pros in the ’70s and ’80s. Imagine famed creators before cynicism took its toll! Imagine the fashion! Imagine Alan Moore’s mighty beard looking exactly the same!

Jackie Estrada’s Kickstarter-Funded Comic Book People Provides Unique Peek at Industry’s Greats

Longtime comics industry insider Jackie Estrada is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund her book Comic Book People: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s. The book offers a unique peek at the early days of comics conventions before they were big pop culture events, when the giants of the industry mingled casually with their peers and fans.

The high-quality hardcover coffeetable book will feature some 600 candid photos of comics creators taken in the 1970s and 1980s, along with commentary and anecdotes about each person.

According to Estrada, the book combines two of her lifelong passions: comics and photography. She has been a comics fan since the 1960s and has been to every San Diego Comic-Con, as well as to numerous other comics, science fiction, and similar fan events over the last four decades. Her involvement in comics has included editing publications for Comic-Con, serving as the administrator of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards since 1990, serving as president of Friends of Lulu, and being the co-publisher of Exhibit A Press, which produces her husband Batton Lash’s Supernatural Law graphic novels. Exhibit A will publish Comic Book People as well.

Estrada’s passion for photography also goes back to the 1960s, when she learned to shoot and develop film in college. In the mid-1970s she began serious study of photography and became part of the local San Diego photography scene.

Her photos of comics creators have appeared in numerous books and publications, from Paul Levitz’s 75 Years of DC Comics and Julius Schwartz’s autobiography Man of Two Worlds to Alter Ego and Comics Buyer’s Guide. Most prominently, dozens of her photos were used in Dark Horse’s Comics: Between the Panels and in Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends. Most recently, her photos could be seen in the PBS special on the history of superheroes.

“I had the opportunity for thousands of my negatives to be digitized in high-quality scans, and I thought this would be the perfect time to put together a book,” says Estrada. “To make it manageable, I’m focusing on shots from the 1970s and 1980s. But it’s still going to be hard to narrow the choices down.”

The book is projected to be 160 pages, with mostly black-and-white images but a 16-page color section. Estrada’s goal is to raise $18,000 to cover the costs of design, production, printing, shipping, distribution, and backer rewards.

The candid photos depict not only Golden and Silver Age comic book greats and mainstream creators of the period but also publishers and editors, underground and alternative cartoonists, big-name fans, comic strip cartoonists, animation directors and voice actors, science fiction and fantasy authors, and movie and TV celebrities.

Among the premiums being offered to Kickstarter backers (and the backer levels are all named after fictional photographers in comic books and comic strips, such as Peter Parker and Vicki Vale) are postcards of images from the book, a 16-month calendar, and a rare 1986 Comic-Con poster featuring a collage of Jackie’s pictures.

The Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Note: The cover image is a mock-up; some of the photos may change.

Comic Book People D1.indd

Lots of Comic-Con News

As the pop culture madness of San Diego Comic-Con starts winding down for another year, there’s far too much to talk about, but here’s a few interesting tidbits.

Apart from Captain America’s snazzy costume (the one he’ll wear in next year’s The Avengers film) 4 posters were on display, spotlight Cap, Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye, all sporting slightly tweaked versions inspired by their comic counterparts as seen in The Ultimates.

Oni Press’ popular Western/ supernatural series from Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt is getting a 6 episode TV mini-series.

Solomon Grundy is The Penguin’s secret weapon,a nd Talia al Ghul appears in the Batman: Arkham City game.

MacGyver gets a comic (!) next year from Image.

Red Hulk gets up to mischief in the curiously titled Hulk of Arabia.

DC’s relaunch in September is not far away and they’ve released a whole bunch of new images, including 8 text-free pages from Justice League #1, pics from the Superman books and more (including The Flash’s fancy new costume and Mr. Terrific).

Plastic Man and Starro at Comic Con

I’ve been to the biggest English language pop culture event that is San Diego Comic-Con for the last 2 years. I met lots of great people, spent a lot of money and had a blast. I won’t be going this year because well, it isn’t cheap to fly there and stay for a week. It’s only a fortnight away, and the schedule has been announced, as have the exclusives, such as these 2 beauties from Mattel. The Plastic Man figures comes in a box shaped like him. He also has interchangeable stretchy arms and other accessories, and has sunglasses that can actually be worn by non-mallebale buyers. The figure will be available at Mattel’s site after the Con, but not for us Aussies and New Zealanders. Bummer.

Also available at the Con is a Starro figure, the kind of villain (huge evil starfish) that only comic book writers of the ’60s could concoct. The packaging is a nod to the classic Starro/JLA debut cover and features the voice of Kevin Conroy, ie, the animated Batman. The video makes it look cooler.

Comic Con-Test

Budding film-makers and fanboys or girl, sit up and pay attention! If you want to be a special correspondent at Comic-Con that is. Press release from Dark Horse below. 

Beginning today, G4 and Dark Horse Comics are kicking off a search for the ultimate Comic-Con fan who will receive the opportunity of a lifetime — the chance to appear in G4’s special coverage of the year’s most buzzed about convention. One lucky winner will be selected as a “Special Correspondent” to G4 and join “Attack of the Show” hosts Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira, as well as Comic Book Expert Blair Butler on the show floor. Dark Horse, one of the largest comic book publishers, with titles like HellboyStar WarsUmbrella AcademyBuffy the Vampire Slayer, and Alien will also welcome the winner as their “official guest,” granting access to their special events and more. To enter, fans are encouraged to create a video that demonstrates their pop culture knowledge and on-camera abilities, and submit to the official website. The “Con-Test” kicks off Friday, May 15, 2009, and closes at 11:59PM on June 22, 2009. 

Once again, G4 will present special coverage of Comic-Con 2009 direct from the show floor. Last year’s attendance broke all records, topping 160,000 people and solidifying Comic-Con as the one of the biggest pop culture conventions in the world. G4 and Dark Horse Comics will bring one lucky fan to the heart of it all and put them in the spotlight at this massive event devoted to comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, movies, video games, TV and more. G4’s Kevin Pereira and Blair Butler will announce the winner live on “Attack of the Show” on June 29.

“Comic Con International has become the ultimate pop culture gathering for fans of almost any medium,” said Dark Horse President, Mike Richardson. “What better way to reward our fans than with a chance to appear on the ultimate pop culture television show with our creators and top talent. The winner of this contest is sure to have the time of their life!”

“G4 viewers are huge fans of Dark Horse Comics and Comic-Con is the perfect opportunity for us to team up,” said Neal Tiles, President, G4. “Comic-con is a major event for our audience and we are excited to reward the hard and true comic book fans with a chance to experience the phenomenon in person.” 

Contest details:
*Fans must submit a video that demonstrates their knowledge and love of pop culture.
* Submission dates: May 15, 2009 – June 22, 2009.
* Winner will receive airfare and accommodations for themselves and 1 guest to Comic Con ’09
Winner will have an opportunity to act as “Special Correspondent” for G4 and appear on air.
* Winner and guest will each receive a Dark Horse grab bag valued at $600.
* Winner and guest will be given special access to all Dark Horse related events and signings.

Contestants will be judged on overall knowledge of all things pop culture, creativity and on-screen charisma demonstrated in their videos. G4 and Dark Horse Comics want to find the ultimate pop culture fanatic and stand-out personality who deserves this special Comic-Con opportunity. Videos must be at least 30 seconds in length and no longer than 10 minutes.

Go here for official contest rules and to submit videos.


Well, I’ve arrived safey at Naruto, I mean, Narita airport in Tokyo, after a 10 hour flight from Perth. It wasn’t really that bad. I spoke to a guy who just sold his Mt Hawthorn house for a cool $1.2 million and divides his time between the US, Perth and Japan. The youngest millionaire I’ve ever met. Infact, the only one. I managed to get some sleep during the flight and every time I woke up a different movie was showing. I thought I’d struggle to kill 6 hours at Narita, but so far, so good. I have my Starbucks, so I’m a happy man. There a number of us Aussies looking lost, so we just follow each other, like a group of brain-hungry zombies. Everyone at the airport speaks English and is very nice. I even had a free taste of scotch from a duty free shop. I’ll sleep well tonight!

I also saw a guy raeding the Buffy spin-off, Fray TPB and met another guy who once met my fave Superman actor, Christopher Reeve backstage when he was doing a play. Thank you Lord. I see the signs! I’ve managed to meet and have a few laughs with fellow passengers and hopefully I’ll make more on the way to LA, the finally, San Diego for Comic-Con.

The adventure continues…

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