Local artist spotlight: Zach Howard interview at DINK Denver

The Cape, Zach Howard

Zach Howard says to follow your passions instead of the expectations of others. Good advice from the Denver area professional illustrator who did just that. With over 17 years of experience, Howard has worked for Marvel, Disney, DC, Warner Bros., Image, IDW, Boom, Simon & Schuster, and Steve Jackson Games. Zach’s most popular projects are Wild Blue Yonder, Shaun of the Dead, Spiderman, X-Men, GI Joe, The Cape, and Batman. He has been nominated for an Eisner award, multiple Indie awards, and received an Amazon Book of the Month selection for Wild Blue Yonder. In addition to his professional work, Zach is passionate about supporting young artists and has dedicated much of his time to help nurture the next generation of creators.
Howard was a favorite at the recent DINK, the Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo Apr. 8-9, 2017. The second annual art expo had three floors at the beautifully restored McNichols Civic Center Building that brought together impressive and inspiring comic creators and graphic novelists.

Zach Howard
Colleen Bement: What inspires you to be a comic book artist/illustrator?
Zach Howard: I’m a comic book artists or illustrator; I don’t really care about the label. I invent stories and I draw them and either co-write or help develop with fellow writers. I create comic books, and nowadays I transfer them to other media. Movies, TV, video games, phone apps; things like that.
CB: So you’ve been doing this for 17 years. Have you done graphic novels or zines?
ZH: I started out doing gaming manuals because I couldn’t get hired in comic books. I just drew everything under the sun for gaming manuals for Steve Jackson Games. They got the rights, this is very early on in Hellboy before it got super popular, and they were looking to expand the IP, and Mignola chose me out of the artists under their stable to draw the comic book that went in the game resource manual (let me add that there were many to choose from), then after that, I did two image series and then I did Batman and then back to indie, so it was a weird way in, but most people have a weird way in this industry.

CB: What was that like?
ZH: Serendipity happens. However, you gotta be prepared for serendipity, otherwise, there’s nothing to be had, because you can’t perform when it comes around.

CB: Great quote!
ZH: A little wordy: It wouldn’t fit on a shirt!
People seem to enjoy thinking “I deserve this. I deserve that.” I get it – humans need to pad their egos so they can keep on keeping on. However, no one deserves anything. You have work. These same knuckleheads will then tell me, “You did an X-Men cover; you’re so lucky.” What luck? I spent years in an isolated life while working more than full-time to “make it.” I’ve spent countless hours working on my skill set to be able to perform at whatever level I’m at. Hard work is 95% of it – to capitalize on serendipity you have to earn it. But for the sake of their egos and apathy, people like to rely on luck; that’s like buying a lottery ticket for your retirement. You got to perform and opportunities happen. It doesn’t matter what field.

Zach Howard, 'Wild Blue Yonder'
CB: Do you have one of your pieces of work that really stands out as a favorite?
ZH: Wild Blue Yonder. My most popular book is The Cape by Joe Hill, but Shaun of the Dead is where I really got on people’s radar. That was right after quitting Batman when everybody said I was ruining my career, so they can all eat dicks!
CB: Do you have a favorite superhero?
ZH: Yeah, The Hulk. When I was a child, I can identify with the small puny little turd that wishes he could turn into a monster and fight. That was my childhood, so I always have identified with The Hulk.  It turns out that superheroes just work my shtick.  They left me so unhappy and unfulfilled to produce.   I worked so hard to get to a Batman title, I finally got to draw Batman, and when I got there, and I was like “So now what?”  I was unhappy, and I didn’t like most people was working with, or respect them, so that’s was tough to swallow.  However, it’s moments like that that tests the mettle of person. Put that mirror to your face and figure out who you really are.  What really makes you happy. Following your passions instead of the expectations of others. Putting in the work to succeed rather than looking for fortune in the footsteps of others.

Interview with stunning “iZombie” guest actress Veronika London

 

 

Actress Veronika London, photo credits to Kristine Cofsky.

Beautiful and talented actress Veronika London will make an appearance on the very popular “iZombie” May 23, 2017. Known for roles in “Lucifer” and films such as “Black Eve” and “Searching for Angels,” the Canadian actress is on the entertainment industry’s radar. London has already filled a spot on her bucket list with her photo shoot with Maxim magazine. Get to know this stunning star that will no doubt be getting a lot of screen time.

Colleen Bement: My readers would love to hear all about your experience on the set of “iZombie.”

 
Veronika London: I play Taryn the cute ordinary neighbor and ex-girlfriend of Finn (Robert Richard). It was a great set to work on. I am a huge fan of the show and of all the main actors involved.


CB: “Lucifer” is such a great show. You had a role in a season two episode. Tell your fans all about it.

 
VL: I play the love interest of Tom Ellis. We had a pretty fun sexy scene playing with hot wax. The cast and crew were so pleasant to work with.

CB: I’m going on my 5th tattoo so I’d love to hear about yours. Is it really written in binary code? How cool!

 
VL: Yes, it is binary code. My first year of University I took computer science, which I later switched to Marketing and Performing Arts. I’ve always been fascinated by binary code. My tattoo says “Desire.”

CB: Tell me about your experience as a host for Toro TV’s “Damage Control.”

 
VL: I found hosting to be very different than acting. I really enjoyed the fact that there was more freedom in being able to be myself and not following a script.

Actress Veronika London, photo credits to Kristine Cofsky.
CB: I read that you were raised in Toronto and born in Mexico City. How did you end up in Toronto?

 
VL: My dad traveled quite a bit for work which meant I moved around a lot growing up. I always loved Toronto and decided to stay there when I turned 18.

CB: So Maxim magazine called you a Canadian sex symbol in a sultry photo spread that set hearts and imagination ablaze. WOW! What was it like to shoot for Maxim?

 
VL: It was very humbling. I knew the photographer Jamie Watling who initially did the pitch for me to be featured in the magazine. I am always thankful for opportunities that come up that are on my bucket list.

Interview with the ‘Love and Rockets’ famed Hernandez Brothers

Hernandez Brothers spent the weekend with their fans at DINK, the Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo Apr. 8-9, 2017. This year’s guests honor are loved for expressing their ideas on race, gender, sexuality, social status, and religion back when it was not at all politically correct. They are the creators of the underground comic “Love and Rockets” that over the years has received accolades and garnered a huge fan following. They were joined by an impressive list of comic creators and graphic novelists that all gathered to celebrate comics and art. Jaime, Gilbert, and Mario were this year’s guests of honor and were presented with a prestigious DINKy Award for Legendary Comics during the big Saturday night ceremony. It was perfect timing as it happened to be the 35th anniversary of “Love and Rockets.”

 

Colleen Bement: What inspired you to be so brave to do “Love and Rockets,” and what inspires you now?

Jaime Hernandez: What inspired us then was we were dumb, and there was no one to tell us not to do it. We grew up on comics, and the older we got, comics were disappointing us. I was like, I don’t want to read these kinds of comics, so I guess I should do my own. So we did subjects that interested us that we were not seeing in comics or even TV or movies. That’s how that kind of got started. We were just saying I’m into this…I’m into that; different things. Basically, I had a forum to do my own stuff.

What inspires me now is that I’m still allowed to do it 35 years later, and I still have stories to tell. I’m happy that I’m can be supported for it. We just re-released “Love and Rockets” in magazine format, and it comes out more often; three times a year.

 

Gilbert Hernandez: Originally it was because I didn’t want to get a job. I didn’t have any career goals in mind, and I didn’t really see much in the future. I listened to punk rock too much to remind me. So since I had a background drawing comic books as a kid, I decided what the hell; I had nothing else to lose.

What’s kept me going all these years is such a strong fan base and I’m invited to conventions like this that are partly inspired by “Love and Rockets,” because we were there at the era of the modern indie comics. It’s sort of like writing a journal, doing the comics; you do it to keep sane: To keep my thoughts in order and my creativity in check.

Mario Hernandez: What originally got me interested was that we needed an outlet of some kind. We had all this creative energy and nobody had jobs; except for me. We were all janitors, and I became a carpenter. Then I thought, these guys need jobs, so let’s put this comic together and see what happens. It worked out. Total luck and timing.

All these young people, mostly. I live in a bubble where, when you’re an artist, you’re at home drawing all the time. You don’t know what’s going on in the outside with the fans. Unless you get out and meet them. It’s very inspiring that people are thinking oh boy, comics; they’re relevant, and I’m like yes, thank you.

Interview: ‘Grimm’ star Bitsie Tulloch chats wedding plans and nicknames

 

 

Bitsie Tulloch appeared at Denver’s 40th Anniversary of StarFest Convention this past Apr. 21-23, 2017. The actress appeared on stage with her very soon to be husband, David “Grimm” star David Giuntoli. Best known for playing Juliette and Eve on NBC’s hit series “Grimm,” this San Diego born actress grew up in Spain, Uruguay, and Argentina, then started her acting career with the role of R2-D2’s girlfriend. Other roles include “House,” “Cold Case,” “The West Wing,” and more. Tulloch took time out of her busy schedule to chat wedding plans and nicknames.

 

Colleen Bement: Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. So romantic! What can you tell your fans about your plans?

Bitsie Tulloch: Well honestly we’re not telling anyone when or where. We’re doing a very intimate wedding, and then we’re going to have a couple parties, but I can tell you it’s soon. I mean David’s bachelor party was this weekend, and my bachelorette is in a couple weeks, so we’re kind of winding down to when the wedding is. Honestly we’re going to take a little bit of a road trip afterword’s, but we haven’t quite decided on where we want to honeymoon; we were thinking it should be some place that neither of us have been to before; so like Iceland or someplace cool.

CB: I wanted to ask you about how character; how it changed. Was that difficult?

BT: It was challenging, but I actually felt pretty lucky, because the reality is that at a certain point, if you play a character year after year, it becomes kind of second hand and you get a little complacent. I kind of felt lucky that they really gave me three characters to play; if not four. You have sweet naive Juliet, then you have the Hexenbiest Juliette, then you have Eve, and then you have the sort of Evette, which was the last iteration. So every time it would be like, sometimes they wanted some Juliette creeping back into Eve, I was getting a lot of notes that no, that was too soft, make it more Eve. or more Juliette, so it was harder as an actress to figure out what exactly this sort of amalgamation means. The hardest one was going from Juliette to Eve because it was such a complete departure from the character. Then having to do all these scenes with my boyfriend, and I’m just cold and robotic. It was awesome. I feel really blessed. David Greenwald, one of the showrunners, was saying that he felt I could hand being thrown into a lot of different characters, so I was pleased that I could do that.

CB: How did you come up with that adorable name of Bitsie?

BT: Bitsie was my grandfather’s nickname. He was Walter Scott Tulloch and he was born in 1915 and his older sister Catherine, when was a baby, started saying itsy bitsy baby, so everybody started calling him Bitsie, so when I was born, he and I were really close; attached at the hip, and people started calling me Bitsie. But it’s sweet because my grandmother, her name is Elizabeth but she goes by Betty, but I’m named after both of them.

CB: Tell your fans about your very first movie “R2-D2: Beneath the Dome.”

BT: I was down in Australia and they were casting for it and somebody said why you don’t audition for the role of the girlfriend, and I did it and I thought it was really fun. I played R2-D2’s girlfriend, who he’s cheating on, and eventually impregnates, but it was really sweet because that thing had a big budget, I mean George Lucas was weighing in on it, and it was really funny. That was years before I even decided to start acting.

Bitsie Tulloch and David Giumtoli at StarFest Denver

CB: Do you have any geek tendencies?

BT: I would say I am a nerd. I was and still am very academic. I read a ton. I ready at least one or two books a week. I can read on an iPad, because I need to write on the side. I just finished this book by JD Vance called the “Hillbilly Elegy,” and now I’m reading “The Underground Railroad,” so I’m always reading. That’s kind of what’s nerdy about me. I’m a major bookworm.

Exclusive interview with ‘Supernatural’ guest actress Kara Royster

Kara Royster plays the role of one of the powerful hunter twins, Alicia Banes in this season of “Supernatural.” Out of Palm Beach Gardens, FL the lovely and talented actress is known for her roles in “Pretty Little Liars,” ‘K.C. Undercover,” and “Faking It.” Kara also happens to be a sought after makeup artist whose credits include multiple photo shoots and music videos. Get to know Kara as she took time out of her schedule to chat.

 

Kara Royster, photo credit to Brandon Showers

Colleen Bement: I love your character of Alicia Banes on this season’s “Supernatural.” I thought you were pretty badass in ‘Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox.’ What can you share with my avid SPN fans about life on the set?

Kara Royster: This episode fans really dives into the story of the twins and their mom and understand the makeup of the family. Kendrick and I had such a blast filming the last episode and were so excited to be returning, especially after reading the powerful script. This is a very intense episode and everyone really brought it! The cast and crew really love the show and are excited to be creating something awesome for the fans

CB: Tell your fans about your experience on “Pretty Little Liars?”

KR: Being on “Pretty Little Liars” was an absolute dream come true. I was a fan of the show for so many years so getting to jump into the story made me want to pinch myself. Then, as an actor, getting on set with a cast and crew who is so passionate about what they were creating, that’s when I knew I was dreaming haha. Also, to be part of a show run by such strong and amazing women on and off screen was so inspiring.  The drive of the show really stems from the fans; their dedication to these characters is what made the cast and crew so enthusiastic to create something amazing. I love Yvonne Phillips! She is so different from the “new love interests” we see a lot in TV, she is strong, confident and elegant (not to mention stylish), she will forever hold a special place in my heart.

CB: May I say that you’re just stunning! I read that you’re also a makeup artist. My readers would love to learn a make-up secret or two.

KR: Aww shucks! Thanks! Yes, I have been stealing my mom’s make-up since I could remember. I got to kind of sub major in makeup in high school, and then later had the opportunity to work on music videos and photo shoots. My top three tips are, 1: Always moisturize! It seems simple but makes a huge difference 2: Blend, blend, blend (then blend some more with a beauty blender) 3: Don’t be afraid to mix foundations to get that perfect shade and perfect finish.

CB: To get to know a little better, let me fire off quick few quick answer questions:

1.) Top two bands on your Spotify?

Beyoncé + Erika Jayne 

2.) Morning person or night owl?

Night owl

3.) Top two countries to visit on your bucket list?

Brazil+ Germany 

4.) Favorite superhero?

Spider-Man is my favorite superhero.  Actually, to be honest I prefer super villains, like Harley Quinn

Actor Paul Barton shares stories from latest ‘Supernatural’

Supernatural” fans finally got to see Joshua at the end of last week’s episode ‘The Future,’ and all though far too brief, actor Paul Barton has fun stories to tell about life on the set. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Barton recently moved to Vancouver and has had to give up his surfboard for skies and rock climbing gear. He’s known for TV series “No Tomorrow,” and “Squirrel Boys.” Get to know this talented up and coming actor.

Paul Barton, photo courtesy of Joanna DeGeneres

Colleen Bement: I sure liked you in the recent episode of “Supernatural.” I wish I could have seen more of you. What can you tell us about your experience on the set?

 
Paul Barton: I had a lot of fun. Although it was brief, the one thing I took away from it was how everyone from the cast and crew through to the wardrobe and admin department were incredibly warm and welcoming from the get go. Of course, it was raining in Vancouver the day I shot but it created no setbacks. The crew is probably well accustomed to it by now. Because it was a night shoot, I felt it really kind of added to the mood they were going for in that part of the episode. Amanda Tapping, the director, was great to work with. When I first walked out of my audition I couldn’t stop thinking that she looked so familiar, but I just couldn’t connect why. Then it came to me! “Stargate” – Samantha Carter. Haha. But she was cool. She was really easy to work with. The character I played actually appears in a previous season, so I when I was preparing for it. I really wanted to make sure I incorporated a lot of the elements that was originally brought to it by the talented actor that portrayed him originally. He delivered this really dynamic and interesting performance, so I was hoping to bring the same with my scenes. Amanda was then great at communicating what she was looking for while we were filming.

CB: Tell your fans about your upcoming role in the movie “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library,” as well as any other projects that you have in the works.

 
PB: Another great project I was fortunate to work on. I can’t really talk too much about the film without getting a slap on the wrist, but what I can say is that it is going to be really fun to watch. It’s a Nickelodeon production that was shot here in Vancouver and again a lovely bunch of cast and crew. Hopping on set, it was like an actor’s playground. There are so many fun and interesting characters on this production (including the role I played) and also a really great bunch of talented young actors starring in it.

Other than that, similar to many actors, I’m working on my own material. For myself, at this stage, I’m finding there is no shortage of opportunities up here, but there are also things I’d love to challenge myself with and certain roles and stories I’d love to tackle. So I have a couple of projects that should be done later on this year!

CB: Let’s get to know you better. Two questions:

-What’s hot on your music playlist?

 
PB: Haha. This is a tough question for me because it really depends on the day and my mood. I love a lot of music and love watching a lot of live music. But at the moment, if I could say one, I’m really liking some Tame Impala and I’ll always find myself coming back to listen to my good friends’ band The Holidays. I may be a little partial to Aussie music.

-What do you do in your downtime?

 
PB: So as I just hinted, I’m a fairly new resident to Vancouver. I’m originally from Sydney, Australia and moved to Vancouver about a year and a half ago for the purpose of building my acting career. I’ve always been very ‘outdoorsy.’ Whether it was surfing or playing soccer back home. So for me, I’m still discovering BC and with no surf close to Vancouver I’ve recently started to get into climbing and I have grand visions of climbing a rock face called the Chief (in Squamish BC) by the end of summer. But there is much great stuff to do outside in summer here and of course skiing in the winter. There is no real comparison of the Rockies to any mountains back home. On my down downtime, I love to keep immersed in the arts whether it’s theater, comedy or films. And you can give me a good book to read any day.

CB: Do you have any social causes close to your heart?

PB: There are a lot of social causes I’m a big supporter of. I have always held a strong belief in anything relating to social equality. I was very fortunate to have a solid upbringing and receive a good education and one thing that was drummed into me and resonated with me is to treat others with respect, and I firmly believe we should be able to live in a society where we all share equal rights. I’ve always held a really strong affinity towards animals. I’ve shared my life with a number of animals that I would consider part of my family so any cruelty towards animals hits a deep nerve with me. There are a number of organizations that I know of here, in the States and back home in Australia that work tirelessly to prevent the mistreatment of animals and I will always be a huge supporter of what they’re doing.

Colorado Springs Comic Con moves and adds ‘Firefly’s Sean Maher to guest list

20170503_223000New venue and new celebrities, Colorado Springs Comic Con has a lot to get excited about. This summer, the pop culture convention returns for its second year, and scores “Firefly” favorite Sean Maher as a guest. Just south of Denver about an hour drive, fans will be geeking out with over 90,000 square feet in the Colorado Springs Event Center Aug. 25-27, 2017. The event enjoyed a very successful inaugural year with a nice sized dealer’s room, artist area, and boasted some very popular guest. This year the list of celebs is impressive.

Heads up “The Walking Dead” fans because Colorado Springs Comic Con is hosting some great guests such as Eugene himself Josh McDermitt, fan favorite Scott Wilson, and Elizabeth Ludlow have all joined the party. The “Power Rangers” in town. Rangers such as RJ Cyler, Blake Foster, Catherine Sutherland, Hilary Shepard, Johnny Young Bosch, and Steve Cardenas will be on hand to meet their fans. The shiny list goes on with stars like Billy Dee Williams of “Star Wars,” “Chris Sarandon from the Nightmare Before Christmas, James Marsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, actress Joey Lauren Adams, and famed writer Timothy Zahn. Then there are the fabulous 80s flashbacks with Sam Jones, Steven Guttenberg, Judge Reinhold, Lou Diamond Phillips, Robert Romanus.

Ticket prices and more information can be found on the Colorado Springs Comic Con website.

Three day pass $75.00 for adults and $25.00 for kids
Friday only: $25.00, and $10.00 for kids
Saturday only $35.00 for adults, $15.00 for kids
Sunday only $30.00, $10.00 for kids
VIP is $129.99