It's a Shortboxpalooza -- the MnCBA's redoubtable fuzzy spokesrodent is making his presence felt in a series of t-shirts...

...and a coloring book... benefit the all-volunteer run Spring and Fall Cons. The coloring book, featuring 32 smashing images to embellish as you see fit, will be launched via Kickstarter later in the year. The t-shirts should be available now. So as Shortbox would say, go nuts -- sartorially speaking.

The Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention (now in its 23rd year!) is only a (clutching) handful

of days away, and once again Rich will be bringing the full F&L weird menace experience (books, prints, portfolio plates, originals, jaundiced eye) to the dealer's room. Beyond our twisted take on the genre, you'll find dozens of purveyors of thousands of examples of the real thing, and a couple of nights worth of highly entertaining high stakes auctions.

Plus: many shows advertise "a surprise or two"; this one actually delivers. At once laid back and pulse pounding (and eminently affordable,) a weekend at Windy City is the perfect way to kick off the con season. Details are here.


SpringCon returns in a couple of months; this time, we're given to understand, to a new venue
with plenty of space for vendors, creators, programming, cosplaying, and most crucially, the F&L travelling flea circus!  We're commemorating the occasion with a contribution to the forthcoming MnCBA benefit coloring book, which we've herewith massaged into a quickie blurb:

Like, heavy...(hat tip to the immortal Steranko!)

It's been a couple of years since we've been able to personally foist our dubious wares on local fans, so we're excited to once again implore attendees to look for the dilapidated cardboard backdrop in the sky, in front of which will be found not only the tangible results of a decades-long collaboration, but the loveable geezers themselves as well.

Everything you need to know!

SprinCon 2024 will be held from 10am to 5pm on May 18th at the M Health Fairview Sports Center in Woodbury. Admission is $10; kids 9 and under get in free.

In the can't really get away with this anymore department, here's a cover Rich did for the American Comic Book Company's magazine catalog back in the late 70s/early 80's.

Reading is FUN-damental!

Hats off to the production person, whose two color version is about a thousand times more exciting than the original line art.


We have to admit we've always been pretty fond of our take on Wolverine from the second SQProductions X-Men portfolio (1983):

We recently heard from St. Louis fan Jim Perry, who told us he also really liked the image --  so much so that
as a junior in high school in 1986 he recreated it in acrylic and ink for art class:

He also mentioned that it was part of the reason he got into graphic design. Fast forward to today: Jim works in video production and editing, and he recently used AI to take our Wolverine scenario to another level:

This and other mind-blowing iterations of the scene can be found on Jim's Instagram post; here's the link.

Back in analog-land, and because nothing is forever except the cash outflow column in our financial ledger, we've now made available for purchase some classic F&L art from the deathless first issue of Barbi Twins Adventures. Have a look at the images below; details are here.


There's Barbie and there's Barbis -- we'll get to that in a minute.

With the coming of the blockbuster Barbie film, we rejoice at all things Barbie, and -- like the rest of the known universe -- absorb them into our very being.

1111111111111111111111111111111111111111It's Barbie Movie II: Pink Inferno! You're welcome, Hollywood!

The movie's Weird Barbie character was made available as a limited edition doll, and it sold out immediately. Since all roads lead to merchandising here at F&L World HQ, we were thinking maybe Weird Barbie has an even weirder sister...?

Let the cease and desist orders begin!

Speaking of all things Barbi(e)...

Topps' foray into comics publishing in the early to mid nineties was formidable, and also kind of all over the place. On the one hand, for example, there was Mignola's way good adaptation of Coppola's way less good Bram Stoker's Dracula.

On the other, there was this:

Update: This classic original now for sale!

The Barbi Twins were real life twin sisters, Playboy models and, for about ten seconds in 1995, comic book heroes. We'll save the story of our participation in The Barbi Twins Adventures for another time, but if you happen to have a copy of the first (and only) issue, and you've figured out what was going on there, maybe you'd be willing to explain it to us. We did enjoy portraying the (then figurative, now literal) hellscape that is NYC.

BOO(bs)! Update: This classic original now for sale!

That same year, Topps also published the Barbi Twins 16-Month Swimsuit Comic Art Calendar, which featured the work of such luminaries as Adam Hughes, Julie Bell and Joseph Linsner. We provided one of the Octobers.

So the bottom line, if you're willing to distort reality beyond recognizability -- and we are -- is that once again we were ahead of the curve, anticipating Barbi(e) fever years before the masses caught it!
Way back in 1995, our Barbi Twins imagery gave discerning esthetes a double-shot of Barbiosity. Or was it a quadruple shot? We'll leave that for the art historians of the future to decide.


Those irresistably lurid men's adventure magazine covers of the 50's-70's left their indelible mark on countless half-clad damsels, the clench-jawed caucasians who would rescue them, the Mothers of Invention and, of course, us.

Hell in camo heels!

We eventually created our own version, replete with sweaty captives and brutal babe-on-lizard violence. Pretty much a dream F&L scenario, and now the original (and five additional new pieces) are available here.


We were hoping against hope this whole artificial intelligence deal would turn out to be the next 3D television, but no such luck. If you're wondering what could possibly go wrong, cyberbrain-vs-humanity-wise, you haven't been exposed to enough pulp SF. Bad machines and their futuristically yet also somehow minimally clad victims were everywhere, and will be again we tell you! Absent the charming little outfits, of course -- because we can't have anything nice.

Luckily, you can brush up on the revolting ramifications of sentient silicon in a couple of weeks at the latest edition of the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention. Lurid (well, for 1930) depictions of janky robot behavior will fairly fly off the dealer tables, and as a bonus, Rich will be there to offer up the F&L version of our soon to be unending A.I. nightmare, plus other indispensible fantasy babe-related material. Think and spend freely while you can!

If the whole robots-take-over-the universe scenario is a bit too dystopian for your liking, we invite you to bask in the warm glow of our previous homepage. It's all puppies and picnics:


When they're not being waylaid by a globe-spanning contagion, DeCONgestant and Arcana are a couple of pretty neat little conventions. The former is mnstf's fall relaxacon (low key fannishness, no Stranger Things panel) and the latter is a convention of the dark fantastic (all-hallows-adjacent, sans Minions.)

They're teaming up this weekend (Oct.7-9) to offer a little sf, a little horror, and a bit of agreeably geekish discourse. Also some gaming, movies, consuite folderol, and snacks. And Blackula.

If you're up for a spot of pre-Halloween socializing, we invite you to join in -- everything you need to know is here and here.


Grab these while the grabbing's good, art fans!

They say timing is everything, and of course there are two kinds of it, with "bad" being the version we seem to lean toward. We've promised repeatedly over the last couple of years to put some new originals up for purchase, and have continuously failed to do so. "Sloth" is no excuse for anything, but that's what we're going with here. Anyway, it's become clear that everybody's disposable income is about to head straight into their gas tanks, and yet we've somehow concluded that now would be a dandy time to see if we can separate F&Ldom from their few remaining coppers. So if you're not intimidated by the looming economic abyss, you'll find nine new, totally fungible F&L artworks here.


Someone has to craft those eye-catching website home pages that say, "Hey, it's Halloween" or "Time to Put on Your Con Pants" or "Get Out Those Wallets, Kids", and here at F&L World HQ, that someone is Steve.

We've made reference to many of these designs when they appear via links on our News page, but as soon as a new home page goes up, the links to full size versions of the previous ones go away. Now, in the interest of home page and digital collage posterity, we've gathered Steve's favorite past home pages into one easily accessible archive -- and here it is.

F&L's longtime involvement with maximum rock 'n roll continues with our album cover for Midnite Hellion's latest, Kingdom Immortal.

We had a blast doing the art, and can confirm that the tunes shred most excellently. Look for MH to tour the US this summer with Anvil and White Wizzard. More info is here, and the videos for Phantomland and Speed Demon are here and here.

Our new art book Devil's Playground is flying off the makeshift shelving units at F&L World HQ with a speed unmatched by any of our previous opuses, and the DP Original Color Sketch offer is a big reason why.

Remember me?

As the above example should confirm, e
ach sketch is a fully realized, tightly rendered gem-like artifact that subtracts hours from our precious time left on this planet. Why do we do it? Like the t-shirt says:

Also, we plan to use many of these in a future collection of our work, so if you'd care to help us help you help us in that endeavour, head on over to our Books page for details.

Here at F&L World HQ, fantasy babe-centricity does not preclude frequent ventures back into the superhero abyss from which we came, as evidenced by this recent private commission...

And this one, for a Micronauts fan with a stunning collection of reimagined covers...

We love this kind of stuff, so if you find yourself in a commissioning mood, feel free to send us your pre-printed pages, your blank cover comics, your sketchbooks yearning to breathe free --- you get the idea. Get in touch anytime here.

If you're going to steal, steal from the best, right? Our latest homepage is one of our many tributes to / ripoffs from the greatest fantasy artist of the 20th century.

(We've also added a link to our previous home page (1/19/22), here. It's a killer -- and all ours.)


If you happen to find yourself in the Chicago area this coming weekend (May 6th through the 8th) and you're a fan of pulp and paperback art, head on over to the Westin Hotel just outside the City of Big Pork Shoulders in beautiful downtown Lombard for the Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention.

This edition of WCP&P celebrates the 100th anniversary of Fiction House, the publishers who brought you  Sheena,
The Spirit, and the immortal Planet Comics. There'll be pulp-centric movies, dealers, an auction, an art show, and knowledgeable fans (as well as a writer and publisher or three) immersing themselves rapturously in everybody's favorite civilization-undermining art form.

We don't call it new pulp art for nothing!

Rich will be dropping by with the F&L traveling fun show, a choice selection of our books, prints, t-shirts and original art, all lurid and disreputable enough to fit right in with the real deal.


Much like the old order, our mailing address changeth (yet again).

Send your hopes, dreams and most importantly, fungible assets to:

Fastner & Larson
c/o Steve Fastner
110 Main St. S.  Apt.1
Stillwater, MN  55082-5161

Present reality not withstanding, the new year puts us in mind of parties and partying -- subjects we can't fully do justice to without referencing those halcyon evenings of yore when bars were packed, new music was everywhere, and three-for-one beverages were an actual thing.

There were several years here on the frozen tundra when it was all just too good to pass up, and Rich didn't. And when he didn't, he often interfaced with his good friend, the John -- a living, breathing embodiment of over-the-top, cartoon-level good times.

So much so that Rich felt compelled to pay appropriate tribute with this one pager, from 1992.

[As mentioned above (5/29/22,) sometimes our previous homepage thumbnails no longer link to larger versions. In the case of this post's beauty, we neglected to even include the thumbnail -- so here it is, with a link to a larger version -- enjoy!]


One F&L News page glitch that may have you wondering if we have a small amount of brain damage is this: once we've uploaded one of Steve's meticulously designed new home pages, the thumbnails of his previous home page designs here on the News page cease to link to a larger, more resplendent version of same, but rather link, without any explanation, to the latest home page.

Here's an example. Click on that thumb and prepare to be disoriented!

If you scroll down (pack a lunch; it's a lengthy journey), you'll see there are many more such thumbs, all of which currently link to the present homepage. There's an explanation for why it's this way, and we don't blame you for not being particularly curious about what it is. We'll just say that we're preparing an update which collects all the thumbs in one place and links them to their full size versions. Then design students, home page historians and Steve will be able to marvel at Steve's intricate handiwork without squinting themselves into premature blindness.

Examples of how the new improved home page linkage will work are here, here and here.
(Thumbs further down will continue to link to the present home page, just to keep you wondering about our cognitive situation.)


The view from in front of the signature F&L cardboard backdrop (not available in stores) was that Fall Con XL 2021 was a resounding success, with fans and friends old and new stopping by to remind us that both our selves and our careers are still not dead.

While "touching" is not how we usually describe longtime Minneapolis comics fixture/z movie actor Joel Thingvall (except in reference to his stomach), it was undeniably great of him to dedicate his table space at the con to memorializing our pal, benefactor and one of the founding fathers of Minnesota comics fandom, Dave Mruz.

Joel's display chronicled Dave's decades long involvement with local comics, cartooning and fandom, including his contributions to the first Minnesota comic collectors club and cartoonist's league, the earliest local comic conventions, the comics fanzine Morpheus, and his editing and publishing ventures, the long-running cartoon/animation zines Mindrot and Animania. In the spirit of Dave's generosity, there were free copies of everything, including some of his favorite comics.

Steve and another Minnesota comics legend, Bob Selvig, at the Dave Mruz memorial table.

A tip of the F&L fedora to Joel and the great people behind Fall Con XL for helping to bring the Dave Mruz story to a new generation of comics fans.

FCXL 2021 also marked the spot where a new collection of imagery clawed its way up from the stygian depths of the F&L id.

As if things weren't hellish enough!

Devil's Playground presents the viewer with an all new assemblage of netherworldly nubiles, cavorting about in monochromatic disarray as if these were the end times -- because they probably are!

Drawings by Rich, paintings by Steve, scenarios inspired by 50s horror comics and a gaggle of our most demented commissioners -- DP truly is art at its most sulphurously irredeemable. We think you'll like it. We're almost certain you'll appreciate the opportunity to get in once again on one of our most popular special offers. Head on over to our Books page for the details.


Unfortunately, Rich won't be bringing the F&L experience to the Windy City Pulp and Paper Show this week. However, he's been allowed to roll his membership over to the show next spring. Fingers crossed that things will be looking up in Illinois by then.

We're getting ready to get our con on! Here's
hoping we don't pull a hamstring!

On a (tentatively) brighter note, Steve & Rich are still planning to have a table at Fall Con XL, the one day supersized State Fair Grandstand comics extravaganza. The all-volunteer staff is gearing up, the creator and vendor lists are up, and we look forward to seeing everyone there
on Saturday, September 25th.


Steve has a new update on his page titled In Search of the Lost Nightmare. Read it if you dare!


Please note -- our mailing address has changed:

As of immediately, please direct those handwritten esthetic observations, philosophical musings, mash notes and remuneration-related correspondence to our new USPS mailing address:

Fastner & Larson
c/o Steve Fastner
10664 10th Street CT N
Lake Elmo, MN  55042-9582

Our email addresses remain the same. (And remember, it's Lake Elmo, not Lake Cookie Monster.) Thank you.

Who better to deliver encouraging news these days than the girl who never fails to find a dark cloud behind every silver lining? At present it appears as though (all things being otherwise equal, God willing and the creek don't rise, etc.) a couple of long-delayed conventions -- somewhat modified, but with actual people in attendence -- will be happening in September.

Is that enough qualifiers for you? Bear with us as we maintain a Wednesdayesque level of scepticism for the time being.

Fall Con XL 2021 is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Minnesota State Fair grandstand. Details are understandably a bit sketchy at this point, but we're planning on being there. Look for our signature F&L cardboard backdrop (never imitated, never duplicated) in the sky.

If you're champing at the bit right now, the MCBF is hosting One Crazy Summer Con on Saturday, July 25, at the Mermaid Convention Center in Mounds View, MN.

All proceeds from the One Crazy Summer Con will go to funding Fall Con XL, which remains an entirely fan/volunteer run event.

Windy City Pulp & Paper is scheduled for Sept. 10-12, 2021 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown in Lombard, IL, just west of Chicago. Rich, assuming everything goes as planned, will be there with the entire F&L experience.

Dave Mruz: Cartoon Champion

The Minnesota comics community lost its most influential instigator on 12/20/20 when David Mruz departed this planet into the cartoon cosmos.

Dave was our good friend and, also known as the Sparkplug, was responsible for many comics firsts in the Twin Cities. He sparked the first comic book club in Minnesota: the MCFA, jump-started the first local comic book conventions, and found a storefront for the first Minneapolis comic book store: Comic City. He was also responsible for bringing Steve and Rich into the same orbit, but we won't hold that against him.

His good cheer and mega-enthusiasm for the four-color art form inspires us to this day.
Look! Up in the sky! It's SuperDave.

In the wayback machine department, the main image in our new home page was inspired by art we did for an American Comic Book Company catalogue cover in 1977.


A more innocent time, where an alien sorceress,
her trollish henchmen, and a luckless spaceman
could briefly coexist in the same image. Sigh.

Note the utter blasphemy that was our signature at the very dawn of our collaborative efforts.


Speaking of scientists, our crack team of uncredentialed professionals are collaborating like crazy, experimenting enthusiastically on their courageous "volunteers", and hoping against hope not to be brought up on charges. Godspeed, you plucky little madmen!

Dr. Thumbkin


Be careful what you sign up for, college kids!

And speaking of uncredentialed: even in these challenging times, some things never change. We here at F&L World HQ remain committed to churning out our usual assemblage of synapse-anihilating imagery.

We're all on the Devil's Carousel now. A recent private

Have you taken the pledge? Place your hand on your wallet and repeat after us...

We appreciate your continued interest in whatever this is, and remain ready to supply your F&L artbook, print, original art and decorative garment needs.

Achieve instant social distancing from women with one
of our unenlightened F&L t-shirts!

And speaking of garments, you may want to add another layer of protection from decent people with one of our thought-provoking 100% cotton F&L t-shirts. Details are here.

All shirts are size XL to make things as simple as possible for our Inventory Control Department, but cotton being what it is, we can confirm that a trip or two through your wash on the hot cycle will yield a reasonable facimile of size L.


Update: MSP FallCon 2020 has been cancelled. Details are here.

Windy City Pulp & Paper has been rescheduled to April 16-18, 2021. Details are here.

We fully intend to bring the F&L experience to both shows next year, as well as MSP SpringCon in 2021.

We'll pass along any scheduling news about the latter when we hear it.


Update: As you've probably heard by now, MSP SpringCon 2020 has been cancelled.

You can find the details here.

MSP FallCon is still scheduled for October; we'll absolutely be there, and we're looking forward to see you there as well!

Update: The Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention has been rescheduled to September
11-13, 2020.

Details are here.

Rich will definitely bring the F&L traveling flea circus to the rescheduled show in September. We hope you can make it!



All else being equal, epidemiologically speaking, we'll be seeing you at SpringCon 2020!

Mark it down on whatever it is you kids use for calendars these days: May 16th & 17th at
the Grandstand on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Over 200 guest creators, dozens of vendors, panels, demos, cosplay, a charity auction, and the kind of expert all-volunteer staff
whose brand of casually hip conviviality you can only find right here in Minnesota! We never miss it, and you shouldn't either!

SpringCon is the one to do when you're only doing one -- but we feel compelled to remind you that April in Chicago can be magical -- at least for fans of pulps and paperbacks, and the artwork that accompanies them...

We don't call it new pulp art for nothing!

Which is why we invite you to join up with Rich as he brings the F&L traveling fun show to the Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention, this coming April 17th through the19th, at the Westin hotel just outside the City of Big Pork Shoulders in beautiful downtown Lombard.

There'll be pulp-centric movies, dealers, an auction, an art show, and knowledgeable fans (as well as a writer and publisher or three) immersing themselves rapturously in everybody's favorite civilization-undermining art form.

Rich will have a choice selection of our books, prints, t-shirts and original art, all lurid and disreputable enough to fit right in with the real deal.

This brings the F&L itinerary to October, and the second annual mash-up of a couple of venerable local conventions, DeCONgestant and Arcana...

Plasmos rides and digests again!

We're guessing everybody's going to need a nice little relaxacon along about then, and here you'll be getting two helpings of nonchalant nerdery for the price of one. A little programming, a well-stocked con suite, some gaming, a few choice movies, and the opportunity to decompress with like-minded fans who just want three laid back days of retro scary SF-inspired fun. You'll find the particulars here.

Every so often here at F&L World HQ, something comes flying through the transom (or "arrives via email" for the analog challenged among you) that, as Steve puts it, "Pulls back the misty Dr. Martin's stained curtains of time."

The latest example being this ancient ink (!) and (yep!) Dr. Martin's drawing by Rich.

"Just like the total stranger who shows up at your door
one day with outstretched arms and shouts, 'Daddy!!!'"

We have art collector and F&L fan Todd Faulkner to thank for the jpeg. He wrote:

"You did a commission for me several years ago of Spidey and Morbius in a Warren-type haunted house which hangs in a place of honor on my wall.  I picked up an old piece a while back by Rich from another collector and I have been meaning to email you a shot of it for a while -- I thought Rich would get a kick out of it, so here it is, all the way from 1977!"

Rich doesn't remember doing this particular piece (or where he parked his car, for that matter) but guesses he might have created it to display at an early local convention (Minicon? Microcon?) art show. Subject matter-wise, what can we say? The song remains the same.

Minneapolis' inaugural GalaxyCon was a biggun in every way: acreage, guests, vendors, programming, attendance, money flying around -- we loved it.

Our booth at GalaxyCon. Steve stands ready to accept your insights/cash.

Extra table space = choice artifacts from our less than illustrious past.

Headbanging illustration at its very finest.

Still life with orange and airbrush artist. Mark Bode was our neighbor to the left.

We're not sure how they top last year, but we want to be there to watch them try. Here's hoping they make it back to the frozen tundra in 2020!


Steve & Rich will be at GalaxyCon Minneapolis 2019, which is coming your way November 8-10 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

After spending three days checking out the veritable constellation of top flight talent from every corner of the entertainment industry, you may find yourself (a) exhausted, and (2) entirely bereft of cash -- but that's okay! We'll be ready to stop eating convention center hot dogs long enough to bid you a hearty hello if you stop by! Look for the dilapidated cardboard F&L backdrop in the sky!


Attention, Eisner Award Committee, Mom & Dad, and anyone else who might want to get in touch:
please note our new email address!

For all inquiries, commercial, artistic and/or philosophical:

Our USPS address remains the same, and can be found on our Contact page.


If anyone were actually reading this, they'd probably be completely unsurprised to know that
in a couple of weeks we'll be heading over to the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul for the two glorious days that are MSP SpringCon 2019.

How about that Thanos guy?

Thanks to the continuing tireless efforts of the superlative all-volunteer Con staff, these bi-yearly
MCBA events (FallCon is equally essential!) have been and remain well-oiled machines of continuous delight. And if you've ever felt the full brunt of any big deal national show at any time in your con-going adventures, you know how trivially easy it is for that not to be the case.

The best deal in comics con-dom!

Therefore, we say to attendees past, present and future: whether you've just blown all your cash on the latest Watchmen deluxe edition featuring Alan Moore's vital fluids mixed in with the ink, or you're just toying with the idea of cosplaying Brie Larson on Twitter -- there's a place for you and free parking for your vehicle at Springcon!

And while you're there, we invite you to look for the dilapidated cardboard backdrop in the sky -- and follow it to the F&L table, where four decades of comics and fantasy monkey business will unspool raucously before your callow eyeballs.


Stay with us now: Arcana, the long-running Halloween-adjacent Convention of the Dark Fantastic, has always been undead (in its way)...but for a year (2018) it actually was dead -- and this year, it looks to return from the dead, as a programming track of MNStf's fall sf, fantasy and relaxation convention, Decongestant 4.

It's baaack...

Decongestant is scheduled for Sept 27–29, 2019 at the Hilton Bloomington. In its own words: "Decongestant 4 is a small science fiction and fantasy convention geared primarily towards relaxation. There will be good food, music, gaming, a teen room, a bit of programming, and whatever else you bring to it."

This amalgam puts us in mind of the dog with a guy's head in John Carpenter's remake of The Thing for some reason, but we're hoping it comes together, because we missed hanging with our fellow near-corpses last year. More info should be available at the above links as details are finalized.



In just two days, Steve & Rich will pack up the traveling fun show and return to the can't miss extravaganza that is MCBA Fall ComicCon.

This Saturday (October 6th) marks the 30th anniversary of our favorite one day show, and we intend to pull out all the stops, not only hot-dog-consumption-wise, but also in the F&L art, print and t-shirt vending department. You never know when the Attorney General might turn his attention to the disgraceful half-clad heroine epidemic, so look for the laughably archaic cardboard backdrop, and get that Barbi Twins Calendar signed before it's too late.

We're lucky enough to be among Fall ComicCon's featured guests this year, and we're returning the favor: our entire home page is a currently a lovingly crafted plug for the show (featuring the aforementioned Some Enchanted Evening!) We have no shame!

Big doings in the F&L publication department, which we can't speak of in detail just yet. Steve has been working on paintings for the project over the last several months, and let's just say it should bring bring our long, disreputable career around full circle. We'll let you know more when we do.
Big doings



You know how every so often you mosey over to Grandpa's recliner, just to see if he's still breathing? 

Similarly, it's not a bad idea to pay us a visit every now and again -- you never know when we'll be wandering around the grounds, demanding to speak to the Kaiser.

Even though we have this disheartening tendency to only update every three to nine months (a newly configured home page would be the tipoff that we've crawled out of the woodwork once again,) rest assured we're still busy behind the scenes with our various continuing contributions to the Decline of Western Civilization.

Meanwhile, although you may not have heard from us here lately, we stand ever ready to fulfill your ongoing F&L requests, whether they be for mechandise, art, or answers to the questions of life, the universe and everything.


The 30th anniversary of our nationally recognized, locally treasured institution, MSP ComicCon, is coming up this weekend (May 19th and 20th.)

Everything you need to know about this life-changing event is right here and also here.

As always, we'll happily affix our signatures to as many F&L items as you can horse over to our table, no purchase required. We'll have a couple of nice items in the charity auction, and we'll be drawing up an unholy storm right there in front of everybody (look for the near-unanimous expressions of disapproval.)

As a bonus for those of you who aren't afraid of being abused for your sartorial choices, we'll be debuting two new F&L t-shirts at the show!

Steve hangs out the latest in a long line of dirty laundry by F&L.

These 100% cotton, XL-only, fully screen printed counterpoints to whatever the nearest Bon Iver fan is wearing will have your parents wondering all over again just where it was they went so terribly wrong.

If you won't be joining us at the con but still crave the credibility boost only an F&L t-shirt can provide, please direct your attention to this page.


Alas, the merchandise gods giveth, and the merchandise gods taketh away, We're sorry to report that our popular Tricks & Treats Hardcover Special offer has to come to an end. We're sold out of the book, and publisher SQP has informed us that there are no more to be had from their warehouses, either.

Of course, if you can put your hands on a copy and want to send it to us, we'll be happy to personalize it with one of our original color sketches. Get in touch for details.


Jim Steranko's S.H.I.E.L.D covers were among the cleverest and most visually arresting of the 70's, and Steve's latest home page design is a tribute to one of our favorites.

Steve reveals here for the first time that the spy girl from our Lady Avengers painting (second from the left) is Nana Peel. The rest of these guys hail from various corners of the F&L and, of course, Marvel universes.


Here's Steve, on the saga of "Head's Up," a nice painting from our Aliens Tormenting Spacebabes period:

Alienmania strikes, circa 1979!

This painting was done in September 1979 for Bob Selvig, a local comics dealer who moved to California to work at the American Comic Book Company. This was a few weeks before we started working on the Marvel Super Heroes Portfolios for SQP.

I had a photo taken of the painting before I sent it to Bob, and that version appeared in our Little Black Book Vol.2.

A few years later, Bob contacted us and said the painting had gotten some water damage, mostly on the foreground girl's legs. I think Bob came up with the idea of painting the girl's legs as if she were wearing black leggings, and Rich added some details to a few other areas also.

Bob thought the retouched version was an improvement.

I saw the painting appear in an ad in Comic Book Price Guide for the American Comic Book Company some time later, but I can't recall which year, and I've been looking for that book ever since.

We titled it "Heads Up" for the book, but it's unofficial title is Penis Monster, which I came up with in a moment of inspiration.

We forgot to photograph the repaired version before sending it back out into the world (or maybe we did, but misplaced the film; it was 40 years ago -- we can't remember what we had for lunch yesterday.) So the reconstituted "Head's Up" has remained one of a handful of our images that we have no digital record of.

Then, just a few weeks ago, the most recent owner of the painting got in touch via email, to ask about the publishing history of the image, and included a jpeg.

Steve did some additional adjustments to that image in Photoshop:

Here's a side by side of the two versions. Yet another example of restorative magic by Surgical Steve!

If this tale of resurrection and rediscovery has piqued your interest in the art, it's currently being offered for your consideration on eBay.


These guys really do cram an entire weekend of high level con insanity into one glorious Fall plenty-of-free-parking Saturday. Admission is $9; advance tickets should be on sale even as we speak.

If you have any doubts about the extent or authenticity of the F&L empire, observe the cornucopia that is our table at SpringCon 2017.

Photo by Arcana bigwig/ace auctioneer Dwayne Olson. Thanks for making the F&L
experience look something akin to legitimate, Dwayne!
Note the tools of our trade scattered about the table like bolts of lightning from Zeus' forehead! We're regretfully taking the briefest of pauses from our never-ending commitment to the creative process to accomodate the camera-happy masses! Or this one guy! Isn't that the kind of dedication to what passes for craft in our world that you want to support by throwing money at it? Also, t-shirts are only $10!

Fallcon is October 7th this year, and we may be a bit more disoriented than usual by then, because a week earlier, we'll be in St. Paul at Arcana 47.

That's Steve's own hand there in the background,
after deft manipulation in Photoshop. (At least, we
hope it's after deft manipulation in Photoshop.)

William F. Nolan -- of Logan's Run fame -- will be GoH at this convocation of all things dark, omnious and off-kilter.

Steve will take part in a panel discussion on horror in the comics, and we'll be in the movie room on Saturday afternoon with a presentation on the horror comic work of one of our very favorite artists, Steve Ditko.


Speaking of the surreal, which you may not have realized we were, our Steve has an interesting update on what's happening with the still dead but apparently not entirely buried Salvador Dali on Steve's Page.


People are always asking us, "Hey, oldsters, is it really worth $75 plus shipping to avail ourselves of the original color interior sketch that's part and parcel of the Tricks & Treats Hardcover Special?" And our response is, of course it is, you callow youth!

Wednesday started out as a sketch in a lucky customer's T&T Hardcover
Special. Background collage effects added later by Steve in Photoshop.

Not only do you get a carefully crafted artifact of our four decade long collaboration, but there's a very good chance your sketch will end up a) in, or as the cover of, one of our books, b) as the main attraction in one of Steve's glorious F&L homepage collages (as with Wednesday, above,) or c) both. This is without question the most cost effective way to play a significant role in our continuing contribution to the Decline of Western Civilization.


A cursory examination (which is the only kind we have the attention span for these days) reveals that we haven't updated our Comics page for five years. We're surprised somebody isn't running a Bitcoin exchange out of it.

Some time ago we promised to put up some early stuff, and now that anyone who may have been interested has probably gone away, that time has come. Here's Rich's first published story for Charlton comics, from 1976.

His art wasn't exactly -- what's the word? -- good, but the script was. It was what probably got the unsolicited story submission accepted.

The script was by local writer, artist and fan Charlie Smith.

Cel from a Charlie Smith slide show (google it, youngsters!)

Charlie was an early member of the Minneapolis Comics & Fantasy Association, and a regular contributor of art and articles to its flagship publication, Wise Up!

Charlie Smith cover for Wise-Up!
#10, December 1974

He also provided literate commentary on the state of the comics industry in his dittozine (google!) Pan-Galactic Cornucopia (1978,) and in The Saturday Visitor (2000.)

Charlie channels his inner Crumb for
the cover of P-GC #2

Charlie continued to attend monthly meetings of the local Cartoonists' Society until earlier this year. He passed away in July.

Charlie Smith art, fanzines and
photo from the archives of
original Minneapolis fandom
sparkplug and longtime Smith
fellow traveller David Mruz.



The local SF convention Minicon goes way back, and Steve & Rich go quite a ways back with it.

From a modest (50 or so fans) gathering
on the U of M campus in 1968, Minicon grew into a monumental, annual 3,000 attendee Geekfest That Ate Easter Weekend.

The immortal Ken Fletcher captures the essence of
crazy Minneapolis Fandom

Commentary from Commies from Mars' Tim Boxell on Minicon 8

Our t-shirt design for Minicon 28 (now in color!)

It was wild and crazy fun while it lasted, which was close to thirty years (we were art show and con suite regulars, because free bheer!)

Then everybody calmed down, and Minicon became once again the smallish, fannish gathering it was probably always destined to be.

After the madness. Our Pratchett-inspired cover for the
Minicon 40 program book. Minicon Floundering
Father Jim Young was fan guest of honor.

Which is all by way of noting that we'll be back at Minicon 52, this April 14-16 at the Doubletree Bloomington. If you're attending, stop by our table in the dealer's room and say hi. To the extent that our remaining brain cells allow, we'll be ready to reminisce. Or join us in the film room for a viewing of our Trailer Park of Horror.


About a month later (May 20 & 21, to be exact,) we'll gird our drawing hands and ensconce ourselves in the Grandstand at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds (plenty of free parking!) for two days of MSP ComiCon madness.

The creator lineup at MSP ComiCon is always first rate, so it will come as no surprise that the likes of Keith Pollard, Joseph Linsner and Angel Medina will be there -- as well as a host of top notch young guns we're regrettably not familiar with because we haven't been able to afford comics for the last thirty years.

And that's another thing -- this is unquestionably the place to fill out your collection and, in fact, all your comic art needs. We always find items we had to pass on when they first came out at wonderfully realistic prices.

There's also a terrific original art show, a great auction, costumes galore, and enough panels and presentations to keep your brain occupied when you just have to rest your barking dogs. Which you will, because there's a lot to see, do, buy and generally absorb.

We're especially interested this year in the guest appearance of author/publisher Craig Yoe, who's responsible for three of our favorite coffee table books: The Art of Ditko, The Creativity of Ditko, and Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Joe Schuster. His entire body of work is well worth checking out, and we'd be surprised if he's anything less than a font of knowledge and a ton of fun in person.


Looking ahead to the season of the witch (Sept 29 - Oct 1, to be exact) we'll once again manifest ourselves in St Paul for Arcana 47, which continues against all odds to be not just a convention of the dark fantastic, but the Convention of the Dark Fantastic -- at least as far as at the Best Western Bandana Square is concerned. William F. Nolan (of Logan's Run and Trilogy of Terror fame, as well as countless works of fiction and scholarship) is the Guest of Honor. Steve once again produced a nifty poster for the show (visit the Arcana website to see the Land of the Giants version.)

The backdrop for this image has an appropriately Arcana-ish origin story.
Steve recently had the opportunity to collaborate with one of the great illustrators of the dark fantastic, Lee Brown Coye.

Coye's inspired, unsettling covers and interior drawings helped define the golden age of pulp horror. He won the World Fantasy Award for best illustrator twice.

Coye is no longer with us, but Arcana stalwart and collector of all things artfully bizarre Scott Wyatt had recently acquired one of his hard-to-find pencil drawings (on vellum, and apparently stored in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnalls' porch -- hence the somewhat disheveled appearance,) and he asked Steve to use it as the basis for a fully rendered painting.


The drawing was titled "The House on the End of Verndale Street," and was made into  scratchboard illustration for Hugh B. Cave's Maxon's Mistress.

Steve cleaned up the sketch in Photoshop, and turned it into a full-blown greyscale marker & airbrush painting.

(Gareth the undead bibliophile from our Book People painting

makes a guest appearance in the Arcana 47 flier version.)

Rich wanted to add an ectoplasmic F&L babe in the window, but Scott -- and this is unusual for him -- preferred not to have the piece thus defiled. We're going along with his wishes...for now...


Attention, material participants in all things F&L:
Sexy Dreams has arrived.

SQP's limited edition version is sold out, but you can obtain the exact same cover-to-cover coeterie of demented damsels in scurrilous situations directly from us.

Once again, Steve & Rich plumb the depths of their collective unconscious to serve up a plenteous potlach of poisonous pulchritude.

, as lasciviously limned by your creepyesque co-creators, are ogle-able old fiends and nuzzleworthy new nubiles. But have a care -- these girls bite.

Years in the making, and torn from the pages of today's headlines in some other, kinkier dimension, Sexy Dreams is a nightgowned nightmare in which your innocence and your fifteen dollars will be lost forever.


Although we said it couldn't be done and still aren't sure it can be, we're happy to present the sixth iteration of our severely limited (in print run, not magnificent flights of fancy,) highly coveted Pocket Pal series.

In case you've forgotten about Sexy Dreams already, Pocket Pal 6's covers shamelessly shill for the scintillating six-pager therein, which ties said volume together thematically. (If you like horror hostesses in general, there's seven of them for you!)

As always, PP6 showcases a hefty portion of Steve's ridiculously meticulous studies.


You'll find something old, something new, something borrowed, and something community standards types would definitely characterize as blue.

Ready to engage in commerce, or something? Details are on our Books page.

Although we love the hubbub, comraderie and being asked, "Can we see some identification?," we don't do many national conventions these days, do to the dearth of $150 round-trip flights and $75 hotel rooms. Yes, we can possibly be that old.

Nevertheless, if you happen to be in the Twin Cities for some ungodly reason, we can always be found at a couple of dandy local shows.

Creators from all over flock to the Fairgrounds in St. Paul for the MCBA's Spring and Fall Cons for the smartest, friendliest, and most supportive fans in the country.

Rich, Steve and comics historian, sparkplug and legend, Dave Mruz at FallCon 2015. Have you ever seen elderly gentlemen so rejuvinated by an event? Except maybe the Republican National Convention? Photo by Don Stenberg

Attendees, in turn, can expect artists. exhibitors and vendors as approachable as happy puppies with moneybelts. The conversation is easy, the deals are plentiful, and there's never a dull moment.

FallCon is October 8, 2016. Details are here. Stop by and watch us try to maintain our elder statesman facades while screaming at each other about characters nobody else remembers.

Before you get your standard Halloween on, you could do worse than revisit the roots of dark fantasy with a select group of dedicated horror aficionados at Arcana 46.

It's a cozy (what tomb isn't?) show, so there's plenty of time to grab a snack and a beverage, take in a guest panel, watch an obsuro film or three, and touch base with like-minded fans about your particular dark peccadilos. The auction on Saturday evening is not only highly entertaining, it's chockablock with ridiculous bargains. Like, books and dvds for a dollar. Many of them.

We'll be screening another clutch of rarely seen trailers in a follow-up to our semi-well-received review of SF and horror that influenced the twisted F&L psyche. This time, our focus will be on the disturbing, disquieting, often criminally overlooked films that -- years later -- still make us quake in fear. It should be a lot of laughs.

Arcana 46 is October 21-23, 2016, at the Best Western Hotel, Bandana Square, St. Paul, MN. More info is here.

PHou get your Halloween on, you could do worse than


Perhaps you're familiar with The Manster, a great 50s horror flick in which an American reporter in Japan wakes up one day to find an eye growing out of his shoulder. Gradually, the eye becomes a none-too-engaging miniature head. It keeps evolving, and eventually is able to separate itself from the host as a fully-formed creature, ready to run around wreaking havoc on its own.

Above and here: suggestive snippets from
the cover of F&L's latest

This has more or less been the trajectory of our Girl Trouble project, which started out as a b&w paean to some obscuro over-the-top horror comic covers, grew some extra eyes and claws in the fullness of time, and, thanks to the whim of the publishing gods, ultimately resolved itself (with much rending of garments) into two entirely distinct animals.

So the first book, reportedly coming our way this summer, will be a full color 48 page collection in the vein of Tricks & Treats. It features Steve's meticulous renditions of some of the original Girl Trouble images, as well as the fully painted 6 page story which inspired the project in the first place. And, as they say, a whole lot more.

The second book will be more in line with how Girl Trouble was originally envisioned: a 68 page black & white sketchbooky type deal. (Since it will showcase some of his fully rendered grayscale paintings, Steve prefers that we refer to this as the "artbook" format.) More details when we're sure SQP has survived the first book -- because publishing is ever a cruel mistress. Sneak peaks are here and here.


Our relationship with the X-Men goes all the way back to the Marvel portfolios of the eighties (see here and here, for a trip down memory lane) and we've been involved with some interesting private commissions along the way (like this.)

Steve's latest home page has him revisiting the always personable Sentinels, and  incorporates a recent commission we did depicting a "one minute later" adaptation of the revered Neal Adams cover for X-Men #57 (but sans Larry Trask, and in the airbrush style of the portfolios, natch...)


And here's the art in all its type-free glory.


Speaking of the X-Men: Steve has updated his page with news about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an important piece of comic art history. X-men collectors, get out your checkbooks!

If you're borderline pathological about your F&L completism, you may be aware of the Be An Interplanetary Spy series of gamebooks from the '80s, illustrated adventures wherein the reader/hero determined the course of the story by solving a series of video game-like visual puzzles.

Video games on paper -- the
ultimate dream!

Steve and Rich produced the cover and interior art for one of these (The Star Crystal, above,) and teamed up on the cover for another (Space Olympics.)

Steve doesn't need Rich! He
doesn't need anybody!

Steve turned out an additional eight covers for the series by himself, each, Rich grudgingly admits, a colorful little gem of design and execution in its own right.

Now, the enterprising folks at Crossfade Interactive want to bring the series to a whole new audience by redesigning the books for the digital age and releasing them for both Android and iOS.

The first book in the series, Find the Kirillian
, is being Kickstarted even as we speak, and from the looks of the demo, it's a worthy project indeed. Signed F&L prints are among the available rewards.


Here's our local convention schedule for 2016:

MSP ComicCon 2016 -- Saturday & Sunday, May 14 & 15, MN State fair Grandstand, St Paul. MN

Fall ComicCon 2016 -- Saturday, October  8, MN State Fair Education Building, St Paul, MN

Arcana 46 -- Friday - Sunday, October 21-23, Best Western Hotel, Bandana Square, St Paul, MN

You want minions? We got the Costco version of minions!

Although it doesn't look like it from this Fallcon 2014 photo -- wherein we take a brief break to explain one of our more salacious images to a confused Flaming Carrot fan -- we spend the majority of most conventions drawing our eyeballs out.

What would world domination be without
hem-caressing lackeys? We prefer never
to find out.

These sketches are from recent Fallcon or Springcon events here in the Twin
Cities. Note that, subject-matter-wise, the babes, bizarre situations and babes in bizarre situations for which we're known are welcome, but never mandatory. We run a big tent here at the F&L revival show.

Remember Thor vs. the Destroyer? What a
great battle! This particular scene never
happened, however...

Since he only has about four costumes committed to memory, Rich often
must ask for
reference material. Yes, he feels shame. Amazingly, most people have the appropriate samples on their person, or can obtain them straightaway. The future is safe in these youngsters' well-prepared hands!

The Hulk is one of the few characters Rich can
draw from memory. It's okay to feel a little sorry
for him (Rich, not the Hulk.)

After a discreet, emotionally charged (for us) exchange of funds, Rich lovingly crafts a pencil drawing in a sketchbook, or on our own special 8 1/2" X 11" cardstock, and Steve adds an additional layer of awesomeness with color pencil. We often spend two or three hours each on these, which is why we've never been seen driving new cars.

Even if commissioned art isn't your bag, we cordially invite you to swing by our table at any of three upcoming cons this year, and watch us try to torture it into existence for someone else. We can draw and talk simultaneously, so feel free to engage us in spirited banter.


Speaking of babes in bizarre situations, we're particularly jacked about next month's MSP ComicCon (May 14th & 15th at the Fairgrounds,) where Dawn's J.M. Linsner will be a featured guest. Fans, aspiring artists and pros alike will be crowding around his table, because, yes, the babes are hot...but also because any one of his works is a master class in composition, color and costume design.

Fall ComicCon (previously known as Fallcon) 2016 will take place at the Fairgrounds Education Building on Saturday, October 8th. Details to follow, but since it's never been anything less than great, we'd be fools to miss it. So we won't.

Arcana 46 will be October 21-23, and its Guest of Honor is Kathe Koja, about whom Wikipedia says, "
Koja's novels and short stories frequently concern characters who have been in some way marginalized by society, often focusing on the transcendence and/or disintegration which proceeds from this social isolation (as in The Cipher, Bad Brains, "Teratisms," The Blue Mirror, etc.). Koja won the Bram Stoker Award and the Locus Award for her first novel The Cipher, and a Deathrealm Award for Strange Angels. Koja is founding director of nerve, a Detroit-based immersive theatre company."

Arcana takes its dark art, literature, and history seriously, features knowledgeable netherworlders, and presents a Cthuluriffic auction on Saturday night. About the size of a smallish funeral, it would be the perfect tune-up for whatever you have in mind, Halloween-wise.


Just to follow up with additional minutiae from the World's Worst Comics saga, here's Rich's original cover idea.

Comics from Hell was a little too over the top for the folks who brought you Bizarre Sex.

Also, in the Brush with Greatness Department: enclosed with one of their communications, Kitchen Sink included an envelope with stats (remember those, old timers?) of some of their standard logos so we could create the "Pop Art Productions" version for the World's Worst covers...

Can there be any doubt that this is absolutely the closest Rich will ever come to comics immortality? No, no there can't.


Speaking of Hell, it's apparently frozen over: Steve has updated his page with news about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an important piece of comic art history. X-men collectors, get out your checkbooks!



Wondering about the other gents muscling their way into the above photo? In 1978, we had just started working with the Batman & Robin of independent publishing, Sal and Bob at SQ Productions. Our first painting for them was this cover

for issue 6 of their celebrated prozine Hot Stuf''. Is that a great logo or what? We still love it, even moreso because it was created 20 years before digital typesetting came along and made title design a comparative springtime walk
in the park on soft grass before global warming. If you've ever worked with Letraset, you know what we're talking about. Or just ask Bob (but keep your fingers away from his mouth.)

Our second painting for the boys, and the first done to their exacting specifications, was this poster

for the '78-'79 convention season. All four of us were among the 6,000 attendees (and able to swing a cat without hitting someone, if we wanted to and had brought one along!) at San Diego Comic-Con in '79. So if you were there, and suddenly felt a disreputable disturbance in the comic art force, that was probably why.

At any rate, the three guys in the photo are somewhere in this realistic depiction of hectic dealer-area hub-bub. Doesn't it make you want to wade in and haggle over a VG copy of Devil Dinosaur #3?

(Rich was thinking about putting actual, highly-detailed covers on the comics, until Steve threatened him with an X-acto knife.)


Speaking of conventions with an F&L warning on the label, we're morally obligated to remind you about two that will descend on the Twin Cities in about a month.

FallCon 2015 returns to the Education Building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Saint Paul on October 10. Foremost among the special guests this year is Ron Wilson, who started with Marvel in 1973 (!) and has
since done covers and stories featuring nearly all of their classic characters, including the Thing (teamed with everybody) in Marvel Two-In-One, and Marvel UK's Captain Britain. If you've ever wanted to hear authentic tales from the Bronze Age trenches, this would be your guy.

A fitting apéritif
for whatever Halloween hijinx you may be planning would most certainly be Arcana 45, which transpires October 23-25 at Bandana Square in Saint Paul. Special guests this year include The Dead Lands author Benjamin Percy, and award winning editor and author Catherine Lundoff. Steve & Rich will reprise their Trailer Park presentation from last year's Britcon, in which they'll show trailers from and discuss the unsavory B movies that forever twisted their youthful psyches.


Steve just got his beauteous contributor copies of Back Issue #83, which has an F&L cover and interview, and he insists we remind you to seek it out. Seek it out now. As always with Two Morrows publications, the presentation is first class...and we don't even sound all that much like doddering oldsters!


We do a fair number of Vampis and similarly much-beloved maidens for our Tricks & Treats Hardcover Special, but we also get quite a few requests for bodacious demoiselles of relatively obscure, marginal or bizarre origin. Which, as guys who can spend 20 minutes extolling the virtues of Barbara Steele in An Angel for Satan, we couldn't be happier about.

In 1990, Rich teamed with the late, great Bill Fugate to illustrate
Levy's Law creator James Schumeister's World's Worst Comics Awards for Kitchen Sink. The story took the form of an Academy Awards like program hosted by Siskel & Ebert-esque critics Jean-Paul Frommage and Robert Whitelump, and their comely Woo-Woo Award presenter, Berri (as depicted in all her sparkly-gowned splendor on the cover and interior page above.)

25 years later, Berri -- personable though she may be -- is probably remembered by about six people worldwide (two of whom are Jim and Rich,) so we were tickled when someone requested her as an T&T hc interior sketch. And check out Steve's expert handling of her evening wear! Woo-woo, indeed!


Steve's latest homepage design features our very first animated gif.  Wait for it...wait for it...there it is! Spooky!


We have 15 new originals
for your perusal (12 here, and one each here, here and here) -- including four with plenty of ersatz Egyptian hijinx going on, in case you're as big a fan of complete historical inaccuracy as we are.



First up: In case the economy really is improving and you're swimming in excess cash, we've added a bunch of new original art pieces (32 to be exact) to all four of our originals pages. Begin your fundage divestment process here.

Next, a few more teasers from our Girl Trouble project...

Observant viewers will note that, like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, this new collection appears to be morphing into something...better.

Originally designed to showcase B&W paintings and pencil art, the new book is currently shaping up as a perverse potpourri of color paintings and drawings, pencil art, and a duotoney six page story, all in the wildly popular Tricks & Treats format.

We'll keep you updated, but whatever form this thing ends up taking, you can be sure one aspect won't change...

Which would be, you know, the girl thing.


It's that time of year here in the frozen tundra, when a young person's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of comic conventions.

Here's our con schedule for 2015. Steve would like you to print this out and carry a copy in your wallet:

May 1-3, 2015, Friday, Saturday, Sunday -- Wizard World Minneapolis, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN

May 16-17, 2015, Saturday & Sunday -- MSP Comicon, State Fairgrounds Grandstand, St. Paul, MN

October 10, 2015, Saturday -- FallCON 2015 State Fairgrounds Education Building, St. Paul, MN

October 23-25, 2015, Friday, Saturday, Sunday -- Arcana, A Convention of the Dark Fantastic, Best Western Hotel, Bandana Square, St Paul, MN


We're looking forward to lowering the class quotient with our presence at not one, but two highly anticipated shows next month.

As you probably know, Wizard World throws a massive comics wingding every summer in Chicago. Over the years, they've brought shows to a number of other cities throughout the US, and in 2014, they arrived in our hometown, Minneapolis. This year, they were kind enough to invite us to appear, so we'll be packing up the F&L flea circus and heading over to the Convention Center for the first three days of May.

Together with our usual hefty sampling of F&L product, original art and all-around joie de vivre, we're also bringing as our guest Minneapolis' own Dave Mruz, sparkplug, nucleus and living legend of local fandom and comics history. Look for the big guy in the porkpie hat, engage him in casual conversation, and be astounded by the breadth, depth and minute detail of his comics and pop culture knowledge. Or ability to BS. We'll let you decide.

And feel free to stop by and say hello to us (probably in Artist Alley, in front of the lowest-tech backdrop you'll ever encounter) at your convenience. We'll be there (as the standup comedians say) all weekend.

May would be a good month to just hang out in the Twin Cities and soak up some Minnesota Nice. Before you realize what's happening, it'll be the 16th, and you'll find yourself at the Fairgrounds for our favorite con of the year...

MCBA's Springcon is now MSP Comicon, and as their nifty new website will attest, our favorite local con is reaching for even greater levels of sheer fantasticness.

Creators, dealers, exhibitors and comics fans of every stripe come from the four corners of the earth to attend the (no longer particularly) little convention that could, did and does!

We cordially invite you to bring any and all F&L stuff you may have accidently acquired over the years to our table for our invaluable (in the sense that they have no value) signatures. Plus -- as we're the most approachable humans on the planet -- you can engage Steve in a Q&A about the finer points of airbrushing, while trying not to stare as Rich attempts to simultaneously draw Captain America and consume a chili dog.


Steve's latest home page design incorporates one of four paintings we did for an unpublished c.1980 Fantastic Four art portfolio. The others featured Dr. Doom, the Fantasti-car, and the Skrulls (invading a Baxter Building rooftop black tie soir


Speaking of portfolios, the September 2015 number of Back Issue, from the fine folks at TwoMorrows, spotlights international heroes, and features an F&L cover and interview. The cover image is our painting of The X-Men vs. Alpha Flight at the Edmonton Mall, for the second X-Men portfolio.

All of TwoMorrows' publications are essential reading for comics and comic art fans, and right now, all digital editions are 15% off.


And speaking of interviews, the very excellent international online art magazine TAZ The Art Zine has a brief but insightful interview with us, and nice big images of some of our favorite work.

TAZ covers a wide range of art, artists and art happenings, and you could easily spend a couple of hours there. We encourage you to do so, and become, like, hip to what's going on in the wider, wilder world of illustration, sculpture, street art, photography, and more. (We highly recommend the NSFW area. Of course.)


Junk Robot has completed their F&L-inspired Damsels of Darkmyre mini collection! Have a look at the full set here!



Even geezers such as ourselves have a spring in our step when we head over to St. Paul for an MCBA convention;
we're not kidding when we say they've always been just the best. Complimentary tables. Lunch. The best volunteers on the planet.

Like a lot of creator-types, we've benefited many times over from Nick Post's generosity. He provided the vision and the follow-through for Springcon and Fallcon, and we were crushed to hear of his passing.

Fallcon happens this Saturday, and if you've ever enjoyed one of Nick's shows, you may want to don a Superman tee (Nick's favorite character) and head over to the Education Building at the Fairgrounds, where you'll find yourself among several thousand like-minded folk. There'll be a community memorial booth, and a silent auction in Nick's memory, with all proceeds going to set up a scholarship in the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's Comic Art program.

Earlier this year, word came down from Above (Sal & Bob at SQP) that it might be time for another compendium of never-before-seen F&L content. Contrary to what you may think if you've ever heard us talking about Bob behind his back, we take their suggestions very seriously, and so we're currently putting the finishing touches on our first all-new artbook since ZombieSexual.

We're tentatively calling this one, for reasons that should manifest themselves momentarily, Girl Trouble.

Inspired by some of the most over-the-top and hopefully entirely-copyright-free horror comics covers of the fifties, it's 64 pages of drawings by Rich, paintings by Steve, a new six page story, and lots and lots of gratuitous nudity. Bonus for you Spider-Woman fans: all of the anatomy is completely inaccurate!

We'll make our second annual pilgrimage to St. Paul on Oct.17 for Arcana 44...

...a cozy convention of all things altogether ooky. Pulp art is near and dear to our hearts, and this year's guest is publisher, historian, and long-time Shadow impersonator Anthony Tollin.

Tony's brain is a vast storehouse of arcane knowledge, and we've always found him way beyond eager to share its contents with anyone in the general vicinity. Plus, the Saturday night auction always offers at least a small clawful of jaw-dropping bargains.

Steve is borderline psychotic about having some aspect of each new post reflect the season and its major events, so our latest home page (collect them all) reflects the essential pagan-y Halloweeniness of the weeks to come.

If memory serves, this painting was created during our Eye-Dye t-shirt art period, when the guys with the money gently pointed us in the direction of elves, fairies, dragons, winged steeds, and similar uncharacteristically inoffensive subject matter. Steve has always excelled at rendering the moon, and look at how flat-out gorgeous this one is.


(Previous news can be found here.)



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