Monday, April 20, 2009

A Bit of History

I opened a local newspaper the other day, and had a "whoa!" moment when I thought I saw my old house pictured! Rapidly flipping through the paper again, I found the photo and saw the headline "Country Comfort in Lake Hiawatha, 1930's". Well, my last house was in Lake Hiawatha, and it was a Log Cabin as pictured, but I thought the Realtor told me the house went back to the 50's. They weren't sure, though, and to be honest, sometimes Realtors don't always want the buyer to have all the facts. :0)

Anyways... that sure looks like my old home, and if it's not, it's the same model. Compare the two photos. Mine had siding put over the original logs, but I did see them while doing some work on the outside. I also know that the fireplace was added later, so that's no worry. The triangular bits on the roof are similar, but switched, and the steps come down on the opposite side, but those could have been changed later, since I know work was done on both of those.

Chances are it's just a similar house, but it does look like a corner property like mine was, since there appears to be a vehicle in the background to the right. All in all, great fun for a history buff like myself, and exciting to see what my little Lake Cottage looked like once upon a time.

Times have changed though, considering the house was on Lake Shore drive, but there's no longer a lake! Originally, these properties were built as lake homes... cheap little vacation houses for people visiting the lake in the summertime. Later they became permanent homes, and fireplaces, furnaces, and other extras were built on and added. Honestly, considering New Jersey's harsh winters, it's a miracle any of the old log cabins are still standing!

Okay, so the photo is probably not my house, but what a nice surprise it was to see it in the newspaper. And speaking of history, I did find some interesting artifacts while digging in the garden! And old forged wrench and a quarter dating back to 1976! Won't the fine folks at Wyre Archeology be jealous of that! :0)

Addendum: Not only was this a former residence of mine, but the house was also featured in "Take Me Away From All This!!", a Knight and Day comic strip collection, as seen here:

Cheers, JOHN :0)

Thursday, April 16, 2009



I'm kind of upset about this, and want to share. If you're reading this, then chances are you already have our flagship book, Take me Away From All This!! It's a great book, and still our best seller, but the problem is that I'm not the one selling the book, or getting the meager profits!!

Some of you may remember the excitement of the book being published some time back by a company called PageFree Publishing. At the time, I was grateful to the company, but as time went on, I outgrew my need for them, and began self-pubishing my books. And to be honest, I didn't feel like I was getting honest royalty reports from them, and had seen others complaining about the company. I sent them a cease and desist notice some time back, which they acknowledged receiving.

As time passed, though, I kept seeing the book being offered for sale at ebay and at many online bookstores, and I emailed PageFree to stop selling the book. The problem is, they are a Print on Demand company, and so allow online booksellers the opportunity to list books that they do not actually have in inventory, and then print the books and ship them when ordered. Recently, I have seen more and more online sellers offering MY book, and I have actually heard from several people who say they bought the book, and I know for a fact that they didn't buy it from me.

I, and happyGlyphs Comics, are selling a new, improved and updated version, for a similar price as the old one. Cheaper, actually, since I charge less shipping, and the quality is actually better, as I've been told by a comic book shop owner. is the only other authorized seller of the book.

I ask, and urge, you to please let me know if you have bought the version in the last few years that says PageFree Publishing on it. If you are an online books seller, and you are receiving the book from PageFree, then you are an unwilling accomplace to a crime. I am being robbed. Probably not a lot of money, but every sale is important to me, for many reasons, and there is of course the sense of justice. PageFree has no right, and has had no right, to sell my book.

And for those of you looking to self publish, I urge extreme caution in dealing with any print on demand company that charges you to print your book. You cannot trust that you will be treated fairly or get accurate royalty statements. Maybe some are honest, but try to get references before working with anyone you don't know.... a good recommendation for any business transaction, I suppose.

I try to trust people first, and judge later by their actions... and unfortunately I get screwed for that. It's a shame that dishonesty is part of the business world, but what can you do?

I can, and will, pursue legal action if this goes on. I can also give the warning out to those who want to self publish, and I can also ask you all NOT to support thieves.

Take Me Away From All This!! is a great book. I want you to read it, and have a copy of your own to treasure always. But please... help support a starving artist instead of an (alleged) crook.

Thanks! JOHN :0)

PS Wanna know a secret? Besides having a bunch of new cartoons, and better quality, the second Edition of the book has an altered cover. There is a third stripe on the sock falling out of the laundry basket!! Shh... don't tell anyone! :0)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Guest Artist at the NJ Comic Book Show

So I was the guest Artist at the NJ Comic Book Show a week or so ago. I needed to practice my sales skills, but wish I was more prepared. It's been a long while since I went to a comic book show, as apposed to a convention or other type show, and I was kind of busy that weekend so only put a few hours into prepping.

IF I had more time to plan, I might have done better, but not by much. As it was, though, the economy and the crowd made it a difficult place for me to get the word out about HappyGlyph Comics. For one, the entire crowd at this show were looking for cheap, specific copies of old Marvel and DC superhero books. Those who came with lists to fill were an immediate write-off, and those only interested in superhero comics, and big name titles like X-men, were also hopeless to attract.

I had a tough day ahead of me, being the only apple in a crowd of oranges, but let me add that the host of the show, and many of the Dealers, were really nice, decent people. I made some new friends, and even ran into an old friend from way back. That helped a bit, but the economy was another brick wall I had to face.

The dealer next to me was offering some great books for only a quarter, even when people were telling him they'd pay a lot more for them, and some people were buying them up to sell elsewhere! Many dealers had dollar books or less, so even discounting my comics to a dollar was just chasing the market. (Please note in the top photo my hastily put together sign for dollar comics... you have to go with the flow!)

I did make some sales, though, even the bigger books, against all odds. Unfortunately, I ended up spending a lot myself on some great deals. :0) Quite a few browsers picked up the freebies I offered.... postcards and stickers, so I did get the word out, which is sometimes the most important thing. I definitely saw an increase in website hits, so the day was a success. :0)

Overall it was a fun day, even though everyone was moping about the economy, and rightly so. Still, for a small show, there was quite a crowd, especially in the early afternoon. It was also good practice for doing a comic-con. A comic-con, especially one like Baltimore or San Diego, will have a much bigger crowd of people looking for something different, and willing to give us independents a chance.

Experience is a great teacher, so I'm looking forward to getting out there again sometime! Cheers, JOHN :0)