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GUESTS

Thomas Yeates

THOMAS YEATES is an award-winning comic book illustrator who has worked for most of the major comic publishers and was one of the first graduates of the prestigious Joe Kubert School.  He is best known for illustrating The Saga of The Swamp Thing for DC, Tarzan, John Carter, Zorro and for his current dream job illustrating Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant Sunday newspaper strip.  In the past, he drew Timespirits and Universe X specials for Marvel. Later he drew Groo Meets Conan with Sergio Aragones, Louis L’Amour’s Law of the Desert Born, and illustrated lots of legends and mythology. 

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JOE DEVITO

JOE DEVITO (b. 1957) has been painting, sculpting and writing professionally for well over 40 years. He has illustrated hundreds of science fiction and fantasy book and magazine covers, painted several notable posters, numerous trading cards for the major comic book and gaming houses, and created concept and character design for the film and television industries. His art and stories are associated with many of Pop Culture’s most recognizable icons such as King Kong, Tarzan, Doc Savage, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, MAD magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman.

     In 3-D, DeVito’s sculpted work includes the official 100th Anniversary statue of Tarzan of the Apes for the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate, Doc Savage vs. Giant Python and The Hogarth Tarzan for Graphitti Designs, The Cooper Kong for the Merian C. Cooper Estate, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman for DC Comics and Chronicle Books’ Masterpiece Editions, and several other notable characters including a John Carter of Mars coin for Buddy Saunder’s epic book, The Martian Legion: In Quest of Xonthron. 

 

     An avid writer, Joe is also the co-author (with Brad Strickland) of five published books, which he also illustrated. The first, based on Joe’s original Skull Island prequel/sequel novella, was KONG: King of Skull Island (DH Press), followed by Merian C. Cooper’s KING KONG (St. Martin’s Griffin). The third was a very Limited Edition hardcover King Kong of Skull Island published by DeVito ArtWorks (the first under its own imprint). King Kong of Skull Island covers the origins of the Kongs and the human civilization on Skull Island and the building of the Great Wall. It was also the first publication of the aforementioned novella, Skull Island, which follows the rise of the young Kong to become the island’s King. In 2019 the LE book was split into a two-part paperback version for the mass market: King Kong of Skull Island Part One: Exodus and King Kong of Skull Island Part Two: The Wall–these comprise the most comprehensive Kong history to date.

DeVito is the founder of DeVito ArtWorks, LLC, an artist-driven trans-media studio dedicated to the creation and development of multi-faceted properties including King Kong of Skull Island, War Eagles, and the Primordials. DeVito ArtWorks is exclusively represented by World Builder Entertainment.

Development of DeVito ArtWorks’ King Kong of Skull Island IP, created in partnership with the Merian C. Cooper Estate, includes BOOM! Studio's highly successful comic book series Kong of Skull Island, which led to various special issues delving into events along the Kong timeline, including a six-issue series Kong on the Planet of the Apes in association with 20th Century Fox. A cinematic King Kong of Skull Island VR game from Raw Thrills was followed in August of ’22 with the announcement of a King Kong of Skull Island–based live-action TV series from Disney+. 2023 saw an all-new King Kong of Skull Island comic book series from Dynamite Entertainment and scheduled for Fall ‘23 is the release of an action-adventure game for PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and PC from GameMill Entertainment.

 

     Joe also continues painting covers for the Wild Adventures saga (written by Will Murray), featuring Doc Savage, Tarzan, The Shadow, Pat Savage, and King Kong–– including King Kong vs. Tarzan, the first-ever authorized meeting of these iconic characters, and The Spider. DeVito continues to work on his newest creation in words and images, a faction world of truly epic proportions titled The Primordials. 

www.kongskullisland.com

www.jdevito.com

FB: Kong of Skull Island

FB: DeVito ArtWorks

Instagram at: http://www.instagram.com/kingkong_skullisland/

THE BLOG at: www.kingkongskullisland.com

Twitter at: www.twitter.com/KingKongofSI

Anthony Tollin

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ANTHONY TOLLIN began his professional comics career in 1973 at Warren (as assistant editor of VAMPIRELLA, EERIE and FAMOUS MONSTERS) and also worked for Tony Isabella at Marvel before beginning his 20-year career at DC Comics the following year. After serving as DC's head proofreader and a staff artist, Tollin became assistant production manager-color coordinator, overseeing all color work and reproduction at DC. In 1981, Anthony went freelance as a colorist under exclusive contract and over the next dozen years colored half the DC covers and such legendary series as SUPERMAN, GREEN LANTERN, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, AMBUSH BUG, INFINITY INC., WARLORD, THE SHADOW STRIKES, DOC SAVAGE, FLASH GORDON and THE PHANTOM, while also co-coloring the BATMAN and NEW TEEN TITANS titles with his late wife, Adrienne Roy. Tollin also colored MICKEY MOUSE and DONALD DUCK for Disney Comics and NATIONAL LAMPOON's Sunday newspaper parody, co-authored THE SHADOW SCRAPBOOK with creator Walter Gibson, and authored over 70 old-time radio historical books for the Smithsonian Institution and Radio Spirits, while also scripting the WHEN RADIO WAS syndicated series (hosted by Stan Freberg), broadcasting histories narrated by Walter Cronkite and serving as historical consultant of MARTIAN MANIA, hosted by AVATAR's James Cameron. More recently, Tollin was editor-publisher of Sanctum Books' classic pulp reprints of THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, THE SPIDER, BLACK BAT and other classic pulp characters.

Buddy Saunders

We are proud to welcome back Buddy Saunders from MyComicShop.com this year! Saunders started out in the world of fanzines. As part of the "Texas Trio" (with Larry Herndon and Howard Keltner) Saunders published the fanzine Star-Studded Comics from 1963–1972. It featured early work by George R. R. MartinGrass GreenJim StarlinRoy ThomasSam GraingerAlan WeissDave CockrumMike VosburgBiljo White, and Keltner, among others, and featured the early appearances of Dr. Weird, Xal-Kor, Wildman and The Eye. Saunders' cover for its second issue won an Alley Award in the amateur division in 1963. In addition, during this period Saunders was a regular contributor (as an artist) to the seminal comic book fanzine Rocket's Blast Comicollector.

 

Saunders operated his own mail order service starting in 1961. He owned and operated Lone Star Comics, a chain of seven Texas comic book stores founded in 1977. With the sale of the Lone Star comic book store chain in 2013, Mr. Saunders and his family now operate the online Lone Star Comics, www.mycomicshop.com

 

As a writer, he co-authored A Voice and Bitter Weeping with Howard Waldrop, later expanded into the 1974 novel The Texas-Israeli War: 1999, as well as Time and Variance, with Waldrop and Steven Utley. Saunders' story "Back to the Stone Age'" was nominated for a Nebula Award for Best Short Storyin 1976. Saunders' recent work includes two novels based on the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Martian Legion (2014) and Tarzan and the Cannibal King (2017).

 

Buddy will be previewing our upcoming OAF Legends statue, and there will be a reading selection from his upcoming book. He will also be buying collections on the exhibit floor. We want to also thank him for sponsoring the show!

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THE ORIGINAL OAFS

We are pleased to say that all four founding members of the Oklahoma Alliance of Fandoms will be with us at OAFCon 2023! We are proud to present these OAF Legends as guests at this year's OAFCon, and to provide you with bride biographies of each!

 

Steven Fears

"I began my love of comics with the first Uncle Scrooge comic that I ever got (and still have) #11, September-November 1955. I was probably 7 years old at the time. After that, I read comics on and off for many years, but I discovered the collecting urge when I started reading Superman, Walt Disneyʼs Comics & Stories, the DC war comics, Flash, the Atlas/Marvel monster (Continued on back) 

 

In the late 1950s and early 1960s I probably looked for the next issues of my favorite comics. I even got a subscription to The Flash and Green Lantern comics and Mystery in Space. I bought most of the DC war comics—particularly Our Army at War, G.I. Combat, All American Men of War, Star Spangled War Stories, and Our Fighting Forces. Then it was on to The Flash, Green Lantern, Mystery in Space, Strange Adventures, The Brave and The Bold, Showcase, Hawkman, and so on. Then the Fantastic Four came out and The Amazing Spiderman. The Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks started coming out. I met Paul McSpadden, I think in 1963 or so because he liked the ERB books, too.

 

We discovered Fandom and fanzines. Started corresponding with Larry Herndon. We published our own fanzine: Mastermind. We met some other fans and collectors. I got to go to a meeting of the Texas Trio at Larryʼs house where I met Buddy Saunders, L.L. Simpson, and Howard Keltner. Loved the fanzine of Star-Studded Comics! Started getting the Rocketʼs Blast. Discovered ECs. Met Robert Brown when I was working at a Kirklandʼs Drug Store where Hattie was working in the daytime. She is Robertʼs wife. I had accidentally left a copy of an EC magazine there, and she told me her husband had some ECs! I think I was 16 at the time: probably the summer of 1964!

 

Met John Wooley through Paul who had met John up in Chelsea, Oklahoma. John and I were college roommates. Weʼve all been friends since then. Weʼve all been collectors since those days. Put out a couple of fanzines and underground newspapers. 

 

Went to our first convention in Dallas (65?). Weʼve been collecting since then and never stopped. We also met Bruce Shults, Matt Curtis, Bart Bush, and David Smith in the next few years. I did take a sort of break from collecting for a few years, but I did keep up with comics and related stuff. I got back into collecting seriously in the early 1980s. Still bought comics off the stands and racks and then the comic shops started appearing. I got serious with the DC war comics in the 1990s and fell in with the Big Five Collectors and helped with information for the Big Five Guide. I wrote a couple of articles for Overstreet Gold and Silver; later did a couple of things for Comicbook Marketplace. Went to my first Comic-Con in I think 1995.

 

Havenʼt been the same since. I even completed the DC war comics collection. Got them all!

 

At some of the Big Five Dinners, I got to meet some of my comic book idols: Russ Heath, Mort Drucker, Joe Kubert, Ric Estrada, Sam Glanzman, Carmine Infantino, and many others. Got in touch with another writer, Richard J. Arndt, and we wrote a book together: Our Artists at War in 2022. Weʼre working on another one now.

 

Then there was OAF: The Oklahoma Alliance of Fans. I believe me, Robert, Paul, and John, and maybe Lee Whittlesey, Bruce Shults, Matt Curtis, Bart Bush, and David Smith sort of got together and decided to form a club. According to OAF #1, we formed the alliance on Saturday, March 18, 1967. Iʼm a little fuzzy on who might have been there. Paul was the first president of OAF. We had our ups—and our downs (famous issue #6!). Bart Bush came on board and set the course straight.

 

There were quite a few years of no issues of OAF—the newsletter or fanzine. Then a decade or two ago, our late friend Bart started having the OAF Cons. Thank goodness! It moved to Norman, Oklahoma, and in honor of Bart—who was the driving force for those “old fashioned” conventions—weʼve been getting together with old friends ever since! That has been the best fun!

 

I also had a career as a high school art teacher for 29 years in Oklahoma City Public Schools. I also was a wrestling coach for 17 years (go figure). That was also quite a ride for those years.

 

Iʼm married (third time is the charm) to the love of my life--Sharon. She had two children from her first marriage, but I feel that they are my own. We have five grandchildren and one great grandchild at this time. We love being in those roles! They give meaning to everything in our lives. What with teaching, collecting, traveling, the people Iʼve met, and everyday life, weʼve had a good life in spite of some of the events that inevitably happen.

 

And Iʼm not quite done with collecting--yet!"

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Paul McSpadden

"I have been fortunately married to my wife Connie for 49+ years, and she has blessed us with two sons, John Christian and James Matthew.  Recently retiring from my 50+ years with the federal government, working primarily with Head Start programs and a stint with the Office for Civil Rights. Below are a few of the comics-related incursions I've made over the years:

 

-Began reading comics when I was young (probably 6-7 years old), and continue to do so on a semi regular basis.

-Along with Steve Fears (and assistance from John Wooley), published two issues of the fanzine MASTERMIND, between 1964-1966.  Also contributed to a number of fanzines between 1964-1969, many of which probably deserved the moniker 'crudzines'.

-Guest Coordinator for Dallas Fantasy Fair, 1979-1994.

-Served comics industry as Administrator of the Harvey Awards for 25 years in Dallas, New York City, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

-Credited contributions of comics-related publications included:

-Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, by Robert M. Overstreet, 1972

-Mickey and the Gang, edited by David Gerstein, Gemstone, 2005

-Will Eisner’s Hawk of the Seas, Will Eisner, Kitchen Sink Press, 1986

-Carl Barks Library, Vol. VIII , Another Rainbow, 1983

-Harvey Kurtzman, by Bill Schelly, Fantagraphics, 2015

-Walt and Skeezix, 1925 &1926, by Frank O. King, Drawn & Quarterly Books, 2007

 

Over the years, my collecting interests have expanded to include Disneyana (generally from the '30's/'40's), a smattering of dime novels, a fairly broad selection of older science fiction books,  misc. Americana (such as Thomas Nast cartoons from the late1800's issues of 'Harper's Weekly'), a handful of radio premiums and lots of older 'stuff'." 

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John Wooley 

    JOHN WOOLEY is a writer, novelist, and pop-culture historian whose work includes the graphic novels THE TWILIGHT AVENGER and THE MIRACLE SQUAD (Pulp 2.0 Press) and, with James Vance, the introductions for BOB POWELL'S COMPLETE JET POWERS and BOB POWELL'S COMPLETE CAVE GIRL (Kitchen Sink Press/Dark Horse Books). In 2016, two of his story synopses were expanded into full-length ALLEY OOP comic-strip adventures by Jack and Carole Bender.

   Bold Venture Press's HOMICIDE HIGHBALL: THE LOST DAN TURNER SCRIPT contains Wooley's never-before-seen 1980s-set draft of what became the Wooley-penned made-for-TV movie DAN TURNER: HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE (1990), starring Marc Singer and Tracy Scoggins. His novel OLD FEARS, written with Ron Wolfe, was optioned for the movies by Wes Craven, whom Wooley wrote about in the critically acclaimed biography WES CRAVEN: A MAN AND HIS NIGHTMARES (Wiley & Sons). Most recently, OLD FEARS has been under a multi-year option by Sony PicturesTelevision. His newest fiction is the Cleansing trilogy from Babylon Books, a trio of 1930s-set horror novels written with his longtime friend, Robert A. Brown.

Wooley's other comic-book credits include his adaptation of Edward D. Wood Jr.'s PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE, followed by a new three-issue miniseries, PLAN NINE: THIRTY YEARS LATER, as well as his DAN TURNER: HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE, all from Malibu Graphics. Hewrote several stories for the famed horror comic DEATH RATTLE, for Kitchen Sink Press, which also hired him to do a couple of tales in GRATEFUL DEAD COMIX. Wooley also scripted Upshot Graphics’ UNCANNY MAN-FROG comics, with his MIRACLE SQUAD and TWILIGHT AVENGER artist, Terry Tidwell. He is also known for working with fellow comic-book author and film historian Michael H. Price on THE BIG BOOK OF BIKER FLICKS and the long-running FORGOTTEN HORRORS series of B-movie-history books, for which he and Price also do a regular podcast.

He is the co-host, co-producer, and co-writer of RSU TV's FILM NOIR THEATRE, now in its eighth season.

Wooley broke into professional writing more than 50 years ago with a script for Warren Publishing's EERIE, for which he was paid $25. He eventually worked his way up to $50 before UncleSam called him to active duty, which included a year-long stint on a helicopter carrier in the waters of Viet Nam.

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Robert Brown ​

     Although Robert A. Brown got a relatively late start as a novelist, he’s been celebrating and

enjoying escapist literature for the greater part of his life. His love of the arcane and unusual shines through every page of his latest horror novels: SEVENTH SENSE, SATAN’S SWINE, and SINISTER SERPENT.

Published by Babylon Books and known as the Cleansingtrilogy, these tales – written with his longtime friend John Wooley – have earned praise from both critics and readers for their vivid evocation of the best of the weird-pulp literature of the 1930s. John Locke, for instance, author of THE THING’S

INCREDIBLE! THE SECRET ORIGINS OF WEIRD TALES, calls it “A great read!,” while Michael H. Price, creator of the FORGOTTEN HORRORS series of books, feels that “THE CLEANSING will bear mentioning in the same breath with Lovecraft and Robert Bloch and Robert E. Howard.” And the noted movie-memorabilia dealer and publisher Bruce Hershenson says, “It’s like entering a time machine and reading a great pulp magazine from the 1930s.”

    Prior to becoming a novelist, Brown spent most of his working life as a reading specialist and principal in the Oklahoma City public school system. During that time, he also became internationally known as a major collector of movie paper, pulp magazines, old radio shows, and other pop-culture memorabilia. He was a founder of the Oklahoma Alliance of Fans, a group of collectors with interests in nostalgia and collecting, and he edited, published, and wrote for several issues of that fraternal group’s newsletter. During his years as a professional educator, he also penned a number of nonfiction pieces for various publications, specializing in the era of the Great Depression. One of those stories, a look at the movie cowboy Tom Mix, was commissioned by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

During the trading-card boom of the 1990s, Brown supplied the art and text for two sets of pulp-related card sets for Kitchen Sink Press, both of which are now collector’s items.

The lead character in the Cleaning trilogy – not coincidentally named Robert A. Brown – also

appears in stories published in SHERLOCK HOLMES: STRANGER THAN FICTION (Belanger Books) and CHRISTMAS TAPESTRY (Babylon Books). Brown and Wooley are currently working on a new Brown trilogy, this one set in pre-World War II Washington, D.C.

AN INCOMPLETE SUMMARY OF MY COLLECTING LIFE ! !

By Robert A. Brown

 

    FIRST,, I STILL COLLECT, it keeps life interesting.  This week for example I got a beautiful 25 cent fractional currency, tiny paper bill from the late 1800’s .  I have a small collection of these little REAL paper money bills for 5 cents to fifty cents.     I also got some eight new books [my first collecting love] and a Roman coin [433 BC] and a tiny “Pirate” coin, this last with skepticism.

 

   Like a lot of you I started by collecting books, soon had “book finders” locating and quoting me on rare World War One Aviation books and books on Airships.  

 

    While this was going on, I was developing a love for EC comics, using classified advertisements in a Science Fiction digest [OTHER WORLDS] I reconnected with a former fellow collector and dealer in EC’s and I got ALL THE EC’S I COLLECT OR WANTED, and I still have them. Complete runs of the science fiction comics, the war comics and the new direction comics. During this time I met Steve Fears and “rejoined” comic fandom and with John Wooley and Paul McSpadden we started OAF as a club and began putting on conventions, all in order to get more  ‘stuff’!

 

    I branched out into Walt Kelly art comics,  Animal Comics (etc.)   the   J. Marsh Tarzans, Lulu, Tubby, Uncle Scrooge . I picked up along this road, a complete set of Terry and the Pirates, a complete set of the Buster Brown give-away comics, and too many other titles to mess with here. No Super Hero’s, this took years of course but I have them still. OAF helped a lot with mini-cons and then national conventions.

 

     I fell in love with full page,  color, Sunday comic pages and have a complete run of every year of Raymond’s  “FLASH GORDON”  ALL OF THEM.  Hundreds of Foster’s TARZAN Sunday pages, along with all the early Hogarth, most of the Prince Val pages, and others.  Have all the Spirit sections. These are fun but take up a lot of room, I could only afford some ten newspaper page size albums

 

  I collect movie paper and won’t go into that, but I have a world class collection. I also collect store signs for pulp magazines, have some great ones. I collect depression era premiums given away, or sold very cheap {one thin dime} to kids, have two huge glass display cases full of these, some the only ones know to be out there. The first mail I ever got was a set of the Cheerios Disney little give away comics when I was five.

 

   I have the helmets of ALL the major combatants of WW2.

 

   I grew up with “OLD TIME RADIO” have over 6300 CD’s of the old shows and continue to get them.

 

   I have two walls full of Big Little Books, an original wood store rack for “Map Back” paperbacks, have hundreds that won’t fit in the now full store rack.

 

     I also collect vintage Brass Trains, which are masterpieces of the modelers art.  I have lots of WW2 and WW1 recruiting or bond posters.

 

     OAF slowed and kind of died out after the 1990’s but Bart Bush picked up the club and starting with our 40th anniversary we again put on OAF CONS.  After about five of these I had a period of very bad health and he continued by himself until his death. The conventions continue with the help of Peter Purin and Buddy Saunders. The old OAF can never return, too many of us are old and so many are gone, but Peter is giving it a good shot and I for one am behind him, the new OAF CONS are great conventions.     

 

     I am stopping here, there are at least another fifty areas I collect in, there are decades of fandom not touched upon , but this is more than enough to give you an idea of a life time spent collecting and in fandom. After I retired John Wooley and I teamed up to write and we have some five volumes on Amazon at this time.  I love to write and I love working with John, we are in the middle of a new trilogy and I think you all would like it.

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