Get Your Own Parody Comic Book Portrait!

Artist Billy Penn (Hot Shot & Mighty Girl, Savage Dragon) is currently running a special on Parody Comic Book Portraits! Click the advertisement below to enlarge.

Parody Comic Book Portraits by Billy Penn

For Father’s Day 2009, my wife commissioned Billy to draw a parody comic book cover featuring me. Billy created the brilliant homage to Flash #123 (Sept. 1961) you see in the upper left-hand corner of the ad above. For the complete story on that commission, check out the original post on ONCE UPON A GEEK.

Billy does amazing work and is super-nice! I highly recommend his parody comic book portraits, whether it’s for yourself or a friend!




Doctor Fate Fan Art by Thuddleston and AlexMax

Today we’re looking at some fan-created art of Doctor Fate!  In case you weren’t aware, Doctor Fate is one of my all-time favorite superheroes!  Click here to view my other Doctor Fate related posts.

First up we have two fantastic images of Doctor Fate by Terry Huddleston (Thuddleston on deviantART).  I LOVE this pop-art style!  The good Doctor’s helmet always looks cool, but Terry makes it especially awesome!

Doctor Fate by Thuddleston

Doctor Fate by Thuddleston

Terry has done more fantastic head-shots and full-body poses of various Marvel and DC characters. Click here for Terry’s DC head-shots and click here for his DC full-body poses. So cool!

Next up we have Doctor Fate by Alessandro (AlexMax on deviantART).

Doctor Fate by AlexMax

I love the stylized look! As seen below, this is actually just one section of a larger drawing featuring seven members of the Justice Society.  Click the image to enlarge.  Click here to be taken to Alessandro’s deviantART page for an even closer look at this spectacular piece.

Justice Society of America by AlexMax

See below for the other JSA group shot Alessandro drew. Click the image to enlarge. Click here to be taken to Alessandro’s deviantART page for an even closer look at this gorgeous piece.

Justice Society of America by AlexMan

My thanks to Dan from the It’s a Dan’s World blog for leading me to Terry Huddleston’s work.  My thanks to Frank Lee Delano for leading me to Alessandro’s work. Check out Frank’s Power of the Atom blog for a great Hawkman by Alessandro, then follow the links for four more cool pieces by the same artist! Finally, check out Firestorm Fan today as I’ve got artwork of Firestorm by Terry Huddleston and Killer Frost by Alessandro!


Happy 48th Birthday Doctor Who!

Doctor Who

To help celebrate the 48th birthday of Doctor Who, below we’re featuring the trailer for the upcoming Christmas special!  It looks sooooo good!

I can’t wait for Christmas!  I’m so excited, I won’t be able to sleep a wink on Christmas Eve!

Click here if you are unable to view the embedded video above.


Support ACE KILROY the webcomic!

Today we’re featuring a fantastic new project that needs your support!  My good buddy Rob Kelly, from The Aquaman Shrine, has started a new daily webcomic called ACE KILROY!  The strip is a wonderful amalgamation of Indiana Jones-style pulp and the old Universal Monsters.

Ace Kilroy by Rob Kelly and Dan O'Connor


Each day Rob and his artistic partner Dan O’Connor serve up another installment of Ace’s adventures. This week, Ace has been given the mission of tracking down the real-life Dracula, before the Nazis can get their dastardly mitts on him.  If that wasn’t cool enough, the briefing of the mission is being given by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt himself!  FDR talking about Nazis and Dracula… heck yeah!  Just like a newspaper comic, this webcomic features a new black & white strip each day and a triple-sized color strip on Sunday!  Click here to read ACE KILROY!  Once there, click “Archive” above the strip to read the series from the beginning.


ACE KILROY is a real labor of love for Rob and Dan.  There is an expense in time and money associated with producing these strips.  Therefore, they’ve put ACE KILROY on Kickstarter in hopes of raising funds for the following purposes: 1) keep the strip from losing money for the next couple months; 2) raise enough money to start collecting the strips in trade paperback form; and 3) get the word out through online and print ads.  I truly believe in this project and their reasons for doing some minor fundraising.  I’ve made a pledge myself and urge you to do the same.  You can pledge as much as you want, or as little as $5.  Kickstarter uses Amazon for pledge transactions, so it’s super-easy and reliable.  Check out the video below for more details on the ACE KILROY Kickstarter effort.  Click here to pledge a donation to ACE KILROY!

Wasn’t that an awesome video?!?!?! So, are you interested in reading a daily dose of an Indiana Jones-like hero duke it out with Nazis, Dracula, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon?  If so, then support ACE KILROY on Kickstarter!  Or if you’re just a good soul who wants to support two massively-talented creators fulfill their dream, then support ACE KILROY on Kickstarter!   It’s only on Kickstarter for a limited time, so don’t delay!

Ace Kilroy by Rob Kelly and Dan O'Connor

If donating isn’t an option for you right now, please consider promoting ACE KILROY to others through whatever social media channels possible.  Support ACE KILROY!


Where The Heck Has Shag Been?!?!

Once Upon a GeekAs you read this, you’re probably thinking, ONCE UPON A GEEK? I remember that old site. Hasn’t it been dead for months?”  That’s pretty much true, but I’m back!

From 2008 through 2010, ONCE UPON A GEEK featured a new post every weekday.  Sure I missed a few days here and there, but for the most part you could find some new geeky missive here five times a week.  It was an absolute blast! Running this blog provided me with opportunities I never would have had otherwise.  I met numerous people through this site which led to things like: blog crossovers, podcast guest appearances, complimentary products for review, and interviews with comic creators such as Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn (the creators of Blue Devil and Amethyst).

I’m one of those bloggers that closely watches the hits to my sites. With my background in Marketing, I find the viewer statistics fascinating. ONCE UPON A GEEK far exceeded my expectations! When I was posting regularly, we typically got around 1,500 hits per day. We just recently passed one million hits overall! That’s right, ONE MILLION HITS! Insane!


Towards the end of 2010, I was feeling burned out. I’d become something of a slave to this site. I absolutely loved writing about all things geeky and the relationships I’d built, but I was wearing myself out. I have a family, so the only time I have to blog is late at night. I was surviving on approximately 4 hours of sleep a night (often only 3 hours). I’d stopped watching TV, rarely read comics (which is what I was primarily blogging about), and had practically given up on novels. I missed unwinding. I missed enjoying my hobbies.

I knew the answer. If you stop loving something, stop doing it. It’s a no brainer. Unfortunately, I hadn’t stopped loving it, I was just tired. So in the beginning of 2011, I cut back the number of posts. I originally had planned to post once a week. That fell apart around June and I’ve rarely posted since then. While I haven’t posted in recent months, I still love ONCE UPON A GEEK. I’m very proud of the content here and often have new ideas for posts.


If I haven’t been blogging here at ONCE UPON A GEEK, where have I been?  Well, somehow I’ve managed to keep myself plugged into the interwebs over the past year. Below are some places you may have found me:


Going forward, I’m gonna do my best to post here from time to time. I can’t promise any amount of frequency, but I’ll be around. It may only be once a month, but I’ll be sure to keep the heart pumping at ONCE UPON A GEEK. Personally, I hate checking a site every day when the content is rarely updated.  I’d much rather be notified when there is a new post.  If you’re like me, then I recommend the following ways to have ONCE UPON A GEEK content delivered directly to you:

It feels pretty good to be back!  Thanks for stopping by and checking on ONCE UPON A GEEK!  Feel free to drop a comment and say HOWDY (you might need to scroll WAY down to find the comments – I gotta fix that)!  Talk with you soon!


Why We Need Superheroes

Today we’re presenting another very special blog entry by my wife, The Irrepressible Gena! Just a little background for you, my wife is not a geek. She’s a wonderful (and gorgeous) normal person. Without further ado, The Irrepressible Gena…

I’ve never actually understood my husband’s hobby. For years, he has been collecting superhero figurines and reading comic books. I think since he was at least 10 years old. I’ve never been able to figure out what draws people to stories about Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Firestorm (my husband’s favorite character). Is it the costumes? Or the powers they have? What is it….

I was surfing channels on TV last night, when it hit me. One bad news story after another. News shows talked about the Casey Anthony trial. The “love child” of John Edwards. A missing child in a far away state. Sexual predator arrested in Florida. More and more sad, depressing stories. I turned off the TV and decided we do need superheroes.

My parents were my “superheroes.” But not everyone is so lucky. Caylee Anthony. Michael David and Alexander Tyler Smith. Paul, Luke, Mary, Noah and John Yates. I am sure you recognize the name Caylee Anthony since the trial is going on now. Do you remember Susan Smith? She killed her two sons by driving her car into a lake. Andrea Yates killed her five children because they couldn’t be “saved.” You get the idea.

Your parents are supposed to be your role models. Give you unconditional love. If your parents aren’t the ones who teach you right from wrong, then you turn to others. So, maybe superheroes aren’t so bad. Everyone needs a good role model.

So bring on the superhero movies….Captain America, Green Lantern, Spider-man.

The Irrepressible Gena


Listen Up: Girls Gone Geek, Views Anniversary, and Doctor Who

Listen up folks!  I recently appeared on three, count ‘em THREE, geeky podcasts.  Be sure to give each of these episodes a try and support these podcasts!

Girls Gone Geek


Each month a group of us geeks get together to chat about comic books.  Our “Geek Lunch” consists of: Vanessa G. & E. Peterman (from Girls-Gone-Geek), C.T. (from Nerd Lunch), Choco Taco (life-long comic reader with uncanny foresight), David (the career student writing his thesis on comics), Lindsey (the cosplaying comic shop clerk), and myself.  This is a really great group of people and we have a blast during these lunches.  This time around, the Girls Gone Geek decided to record our ramblings and release them as their very first podcast!  The ladies did a phenomenal job editing down our chit-chat into an hour of solid comic talk.  Great job you geeky girls, and thanks for inviting me to your first of many podcasts!  Click here to visit Girls Gone Geek where you can download the podcast.



Views from the Longbox


Next up, Michael Bailey and I celebrated the fourth anniversary of Views from the Longbox with a “very special episode”!  No, Alan Thicke doesn’t show up and teach some important life lesson.  Instead, we celebrated by taking questions from you, the listener!  Click here to visit Views from the Longbox where you can download the podcast.


The Unique Geek Doctor Who Special


A collection of The Unique Geek contributors got together to discuss the most recent episodes of Doctor Who! Ed, Leigh, Aaron, Ron, Patrick, and myself had a great time discussing our favorite Timelord.  Click here to visit The Unique Geek page where you can download this podcast.

Now get listening!



Precocious Princess: The Superheroine

My five year old daughter, we call her the Precocious Princess here, loves to dress up.  Absolutely loves it!  Whenever we’re in a store, she wants to try on all the costumes.  After swapping superhero in-store-costume stories with my buddies C.T. from Nerd Lunch and Terry, I was inspired.  When the Princess and I next visited Wal-Mart, I had my cell phone camera ready.  Enjoy!

The Precocious Princess as Captain America

The Precocious Princess as Spider-Man

The Precocious Princess as Thor

Absolutely adorable! To see her in an Iron Man mask a last year, click here.


Listen Up: The Unique Geeks talk TV

The Unique Geek

Recently Jon, Serv, Cary, Ed, and me got together and ran down, previewed, reviewed, and generally rambled about the most recent, yet to come, and future television season(s).  Check it out over on THE UNIQUE GEEK!

Now get listening!


Bring on Your Questions for Views Fourth Anniversary

Michael Bailey and I will soon record the Views from the Longbox Fourth Anniversary special!  To celebrate we’re turning the subject matter over to the listeners.  Feel free to ask us any comic book or geek related question!  Bring on your fanboy questions! You want us to debate who is stronger, Hulk or Superman? Want us to argue which of the 2099 titles was the worst?  Think you can stump us with a trivia question?  Wonder what our favorite jawbreaker color is?  Wanna know whether to buy Ragu or Prego Spaghetti sauce?  C’mon, bring on the questions!!!

Views from the Longbox

You may submit your questions via the Views from the Longbox message board at Forum for Geeks, leave a comment here, or send questions to michael@viewsfromthelongbox.com.  If you send an e-mail, be sure to put “Fourth Anniversary Question” in the subject line.

Once the anniversary podcast is published, I’ll be sure to let you know!  We look forward to hearing your questions!

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