Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Episode # 225 - February 26th, 2008

Hey, we're sorry.... this episode is no longer posted online. But you can see it in the third Kyle's B&B
book collection "Kyle's Bed & Breakfast: Hot Off the Griddle".   (This is the first Kyle's B&B book
to feature FULL COLOR episodes!). By the way, if you prefer Kyle's B&B in black & white,
there is also a special black & white edition available of the third book, too!

Both are easily available to order on Amazon.  Just click on either of the banner links below to get there!


Additionally, if you want to see the strip from the very beginning, you can order the first two book collections,
"Kyle's Bed & Breakfast" and "Kyle's Bed & Breakfast: A Second Bowl of Serial".
Both are also easily available from Amazon by clicking on the banner links below:




One more thing: if you're not already a fan of Kyle's B&B on Facebook, well.... you really ought to
be! It's a great way to keep up with the B&B guys between episodes, and get all sorts of fun pics
and interesting tidbits that don't make it here to the B&B website. Just click on the banner link
below, and click on "Like" when you get there. Don't be left out in the cold!


 Also, to follow Kyle's B&B on TWITTER, just click here:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Snowfall in Northport
















Northport, (and most of the northeastern USA), got hit with a significant snowfall yesterday. It's been a relatively snow-free winter, so this was probably long overdue. I was able to get out and take some pics in the village. The pic above is in the village park, the gazebo still lit up with Christmas lights, (something tells me they're going to leave those up all year long!). Please click to view it larger.

You may recall seeing that very scene in several Kyle's B&B episodes, (minus the snow & lights). One that comes to mind is Kyle & Breyer walking through the park as leaves are falling, discussing Breyer's job situation, and them passing by the gazebo in the final panel.

Oh, and if you're wondering why there was no Readers' Forum Friday posting yesterday, that's because I've decided to move the Readers' Forum to Tuesdays... specifically, every other Tuesday, to fill the void on the weeks when there's no new episode of the comic strip. Does that mean it needs a new name? ( Readers' Talkback Tuesday? Umm... maybe not). Any suggestions?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Readers' Forum Friday

Bill K. of a “small town in Missouri”, (his description!), writes with the following inquiry:

“Greg, I know you obviously have a love for superhero comic books, and that you’ve mentioned a number of times in Kyle’s episodes how some of the guys are comic book fans. I wanted to ask what comic books and comic book artists were your favorite and most influential when you were growing up?”.

Wow, got a few hours? LOL. Seriously, this could take a while to answer. It may end up being the entire column this week, and that still wouldn’t cover everything. I’ll try to be brief.

As a kid, it was pretty much DC comics that held my attention. Marvel would come a bit later. My first real favorites were the Justice League, and the various solo books of the members, (Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, etc). There were a couple of years in the 70s when the penciller of the JLA, Dick Dillin, was being inked by Dick Giordano, and those books are gorgeous, my first real “swoon” moment with comic books. (OK, that’s arguable… perhaps it was Curt Swan who first really grabbed my attention). In any case, I would soon discover, thanks to DC’s penchant for reprinting 1960s comics in the 1970s, (and also, thanks to a used comic book store nearby my house when I was about 13 years old), the Teen Titans books of the 60s, with the amazing Nick Cardy’s lush illustrations. And then, of course, Nick Cardy was also doing tons of covers for almost every DC book back then, (including my beloved JLA, pictured at left). Something about his art had the most indefinable charisma to it. It still floors me.

This all lead up to what ended up becoming, possibly, my favorite comic book of all time… the Legion of Super-Heroes. That incredible teen-aged team, (23 members strong!), from the 30th century. At that point they were being drawn by Mike Grell, in what for me was the perfect marriage of artist and subject matter.
















Grell, also famous for some of his skimpy Legion costume designs, including what has probably become the most famously homo-erotic super-hero costume of all time, Cosmic Boy’s “barely there” 1970s, um… I don’t know quite how to describe it. Perhaps it’s better to just show you:
















I later discovered that Mike Grell had been preceded as artist of the Legion by the spectacular Dave Cockrum, (thanks to that used comic book store, I got to collect almost all of his back issues!). Now, this man was a visionary. Not only did he revamp and revive the Legion when they were really on life support, but the many costumes he created have become the template on which the Legion still bases their looks today. His art was dynamic, involving, incredible. Here’s just one sample:












I recently purchased the DC Archive Editions Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 10, which features all of Dave Cockrum’s Legion work in one high-quality volume. Here’s what it looks like:

It’s positively awesome to watch this artist come into his own during the course of all the issues contained in this volume. I highly recommend it, (and the volume after it, too, which contains Mike Grell’s first year or so on the book, which may be my favorite of all his work).

OK, being that I’ve now used up almost all of the space for this week’s Readers’ Forum, I’d better wrap up. I didn’t even get to mention Neal Adams, George Perez, and several others. And then… when I began reading Marvel Comics, a whole new set of favorites, including the late, great, John Buscema, who lived out here on Long Island, too. I was so fortunate to meet and speak with him several times when I was first trying to break into the comic book industry, myself. What a friendly, kind-hearted great man, and great artist, too.

Well, I hope that answered your question, Bill! And I promise, next week, I’ll answer lots of other readers’ questions!

And before I go, one more parting glimpse of the magnificent Dave Cockrum's work. Dave passed away in late 2006. I never got the chance to meet him and thank him for the great work he did, and for inspiring me with his visionary talent. I hope he's up there, somewhere, watching now.


















UPDATE: Writer/publisher Clifford Meth wrote to let me know he is in charge of selling off Dave Cockrum's personal comic book collection. (Clifford was largely responsible for helping Dave to get a financial settlement from Marvel towards the end of his life, when he was in a serious health & financial crisis. And also organized a fund-raiser involving a bunch of other big names in comics, to help Dave at that time). Proceeds are going to Dave's widow, Paty. Please click here to get more details, and to see the large trove of classic titles available.

B&B seein’ ya’!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Episode # 224 - February 12th, 2008

Hey, we're sorry.... this episode is no longer posted online. But you can see it in the third Kyle's B&B
book collection "Kyle's Bed & Breakfast: Hot Off the Griddle".   (This is the first Kyle's B&B book
to feature FULL COLOR episodes!). By the way, if you prefer Kyle's B&B in black & white,
there is also a special black & white edition available of the third book, too!

Both are easily available to order on Amazon.  Just click on either of the banner links below to get there!


Additionally, if you want to see the strip from the very beginning, you can order the first two book collections,
"Kyle's Bed & Breakfast" and "Kyle's Bed & Breakfast: A Second Bowl of Serial".
Both are also easily available from Amazon by clicking on the banner links below:




One more thing: if you're not already a fan of Kyle's B&B on Facebook, well.... you really ought to
be! It's a great way to keep up with the B&B guys between episodes, and get all sorts of fun pics
and interesting tidbits that don't make it here to the B&B website. Just click on the banner link
below, and click on "Like" when you get there. Don't be left out in the cold!


 Also, to follow Kyle's B&B on TWITTER, just click here:






And while you're at it, break out the champagne, or the sparkling cider, or whatever... put on your party hats... and dance around your apartment in your craziest underwear... because .... this is it!!! (What... Lincoln's birthday?)

Well, yeah, that...but it's also the official debut of Kyle's B&B in FULL COLOR!!!

What do you think?

And don't worry... if you prefer the black & white version of the strip, that's here too. Just scroll down a bit, and you can click on the black & white version if that's your preference.

Also, be sure to check out the latest feature here at the B&B website.... Readers' Forum Friday, (see the 2 posts below). It's where readers get to write in & have their say, and ask me all kinds of questions about the strip, (no matter how whacky you might think your question is. I like those kinds of questions! Well, usually...). Scroll down after you read this new episode, and maybe you'll have a question for this coming Friday's edition!


Friday, February 08, 2008

Readers' Forum Friday

















Jean-Pierre and Breyer?

Strangely enough, these two guys have a lot of things in common. They’re both tall, dark-haired, well-built, handsome guys. They both have brown eyes. They both have hairy chests. They both are not originally from the USA. In fact, they both come from countries where French is spoken widely. They both used to live at the B&B, and they don’t anymore. However, they both live nearby, and they both visit the B&B quite frequently. Wow, all these things in common! Yet… what’s the one thing that they definitely don’t have in common? (Hang on, I’ll get to that in a minute! First, though, some comments & questions from you, the readers!).

Jim from Florida, (the Sunshine State!), is curious how Dave is doing at his computer tech job at Lance’s firm. Well, looks like he’s hanging in there so far, Jim… as we saw in the recent Christmas episode, he’s still there and appears to be holding his own. I hope to get back to that soon, actually… there is a storyline coming up which will feature Dave in a prominent role.

Speaking of the Christmas episode, there have been multiple requests to show more of Steve, the Angel, who seems to arrive around Christmas time each year. And also, Jeanne from Pittsburgh, PA, would like to know the status of Steve’s own comic strip, An Angel’s Story. I’m afraid that’s still up in the air, Jeanne. The truth is, Kyle’s B&B is tremendously involving for me. Especially now with the strip going full color, (starting this coming Tuesday!). I’d love to be able to do An Angel’s Story, too, but practically speaking, it doesn’t seem possible at the present time. If I’m going to do it, I want to do it right, and give it the time it deserves to present a quality strip. Otherwise, there’s just no point. Am I saying it’s over for good? No. I would really like to get back to it at some time in the future. Just not right now. But I hope to, someday soon. I’ll keep you posted!

I enjoyed Stevie G’s recent comments on the blog about the various “ice skating moments” throughout the history of Kyle’s B&B episodes. Yes, I suppose I am a fan of the sport, (does that make me an “ice queen”?). Then, of course… as I’ve detailed on some other blog posts, I’m a big fan of several winter sports. And I’ve done a lot of skiing and skating throughout my life, (as well as watching on TV!). So, yes, I suppose you can expect to see more ice skating moments in episodes to come!

Lonnie from Ohio, (the Buckeye state. Ha! I think I’m going to do this with every state!), wants to know how I felt about last weekend’s Super Bowl win by the Giants. OK, well… this is a little complicated. First of all, despite my being from New York, I am a major fan of the New England Patriots. And not just because I travel to Vermont all the time. My friends Glenn & Pete, who live here on Long Island, are season ticket-holders for the Patriots, and travel up to Foxboro, MA, for many of the home games. Through the years, they’ve had some spectacular Super Bowl parties, and I’ve come to be a fan of Brady & co. as they’ve racked up their number of victories. But then…. I am from New York. I love how the Giants rose up from their underdog status this year. I was absolutely enthralled by their win against Green Bay, played in –3 degree weather! So, coming into this Super Bowl, I was a fan of both teams, and would’ve been happy with either of them winning. Although, I have to say, I was leaning more towards the Giants, improbable as their winning seemed. I guess I love the underdog! In any case, it was an amazing game, and I was thrilled with the results, (as well as a bit saddened for Brady & the boys. They’d come so far this year, in their quest for an undefeated season!). But then… there’a always next year to look forward to!

Jess from Washington asks a question which caught me completely off guard. He would like to know which guys at the B&B, (including the surrounding neighborhood guys), are cut, and which are uncut? (i.e., circumcised and uncircumcised). Oh, Jess… you really want me to do this, huh? I have to be honest… it’s not something I have actually considered for most of the characters in the comic strip In fact, there are only two characters I can say for sure what their… circumcision status is. And that would be, (drumroll, please!)…. Jean-Pierre and Breyer! Yes, yes… that’s the thing those two guys don’t have in common. It was established in a recent episode that Breyer is, indeed, circumcised. And Jean-Pierre? He is not, although, the reason why I know that is a bit more complicated. Suffice to say, it was written into the script for a strip that ended up not being used. But it is established, as far as I’m concerned. As for the rest of the guys? Well, I suppose you’ll just have to stay tuned. Perhaps that info will “pop up” at some point. (Ouch!). However, I wouldn’t hold your breath for an episode where the guys are standing around in the shower discussing their various circumcisions, or lack thereof. One more thought… I suppose it would be safe to assume that Richard is circumcised, too, as he is of the Jewish faith, and that’s pretty standard practice.

Several readers want to know what Kyle has against hockey player names! (as seen in the final panel of Episode # 223, Kyle puts one condition on Breyer’s naming of the Siberian Husky: “No hockey player names!”). OK, I don’t believe this is because Kyle has anything against hockey players, (he is dating one, remember?), or against hockey in general. I think this is about his fear that Breyer might pick an obscure, difficult-to-pronounce hockey player name just to make the Husky “unique”. But truthfully, I’m sure there are plenty of very suitable hockey player names that would satisfy both Breyer and Kyle. I actually like Gretsky as a name, myself! So perhaps the “no hockey player names” edict is not set in stone. Stay tuned!

Speaking of the Siberian Husky, reader-submitted name suggestions for the Siberian Husky continue to pour in! Here are some more from the past week, received by e-mail and in the blog comments:

Skye, from Paul
Blue, also from Paul, as well as Michael, (and several others, as you’ll see below)
Wolf, from DW
Hunter, from Spark, (actually, Spark’s not a bad one, either, Spark!)
Kodi, from ?
Boomer, also from ? (Boomer is my brother’s yellow lab’s name!).
Loopy, from Angelo
White Wang, also from Angelo
Timberwolf, from Sean
Ice Cream, from MN Dave, (Minnesota Dave?)
Winger, from ?
Rusty, from Nelson
Snowballing, from Carles
Turtle, from Paul

Timbo in Arizona, aka Canyonman, suggests Nanook, which is Inuit Eskimo for cute, kind. (and Phatchick96 concurs that it’s a good name!).

Rachel suggests “Smitten”, (she points out it was how Kyle described his feelings towards the Sibe in the first panel of Episode # 223. Good one, Rachel!).

Carlos sent me a whole bunch: Moose, Patch, Vanilla, Wolfgang, Fang, Harry, and the growing-in-popularity Blue.

Kate protests the ban on hockey player names, pointing out that her own dog, Simon, is named after hockey player Chris Simon, (Kate, I hope my explanation above was helpful! And I’m not ruling out Gretsky, or other possible hockey-player name suggestions, too).

Terry from Australia points out that there is an Aussie tradition where they would call a white dog Blackie, but with those Siberian Husky blue eyes, he would be called Red.
He also suggests Wolf or Blue.

An anonymous reader suggests Harvey, in homage to two very famous gay people: deceased political groundbreaker Harvey Milk, and the very much alive Harvey Fierstein.

Jilly makes the very hilarious, and appropriate suggestions of either “Captain” or Tennille”.

Finally, a rather brilliant suggestion from Paul V….. “London”. After Jack London, of course, writer of what may be the most famous wolf/dog story ever, White Fang. (One clarification, though… the Siberian Husky at Kyle’s B&B is NOT a wolf-dog hybrid. He is 100% Siberian Husky. They look a whole lot like wolves, probably more than any other dog, but they are NOT wolves. As much as I love wolves, I don’t think it would be a smart idea to have one as a pet, running around in the B&B!).

Well, that’s all for now. Come back here on Tuesday, for the official debut of Kyle’s B&B in color!

B&B seein’ ya’!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Readers' Forum Friday

Naming the Husky!

Wow, I had no idea how many dog lovers, (or dog name lovers), there are who read the comic strip! I've been inundated with e-mails this past week with name suggestions for the new Siberian Husky. Which is so sweet... the snow dog seems to have captured a lot of folks' hearts!

I actually already had several names picked out, and even had some of my friends vote on which ones they liked. (And of course, my friends then passed along to me their own name suggestions! More to consider!). So, I'm going to share some with you now, a mixed bag of name suggestions that were e-mailed to me by readers, that were posted on the blog comments board, and that my friends here on Long Island suggested. Some highly imaginative, some a bit unexpected, some downright bizarre... but all greatly appreciated! (If you did send me one, and I happened to leave yours out here, I apologize... I've been trying to keep track of all these names, but I may have not saved all of the e-mails sent).

  • "Kudo" from Ken
  • "Minnesota" from Dave
  • "Wolfgang" from Allan
  • "Snowcone" from both Melissa and Eric
  • "Sergei", also from Eric
  • "Fjord" from Kevin
  • "Bear" from Leihzel
  • "Tangerine" from Gerry (this one I don't quite get!)
  • "Lobo" from Charlie
  • "Neo" from Ben
  • "Nikita" from ?
  • "Polar" from Tom
  • "Gilgamesh" from Erin
  • "Snowflake" from Griffin
  • "Ice Cube", also from Griffin
  • "Tundra", also from Griffin
  • "Romeo" from Andy
  • "Valentino", also from Andy
  • "Blanket", also, jokingly, from Andy, (I think I'll let Michael Jackson keep that one, Andy!)
  • "Elio" from ?
  • "Nitro" from Glenn
  • "Blizzard" from Pete
  • "Avalanche" from Michael
  • "Teemu" from Anne, (this is Norwegian... what it means, though, I'm not sure)
  • "Snowball" from George
  • "Nevada" from Steven
  • "Jinx" from Louis
  • "Gleek" from Isaac (perhaps if he was a Siberian Husky from another planet!)
  • "Jordan" from Jordan (OK, that's one way of getting yourself into the comic strip!)
  • "Pepper" from NH
  • "Leif" from Shelly
  • "Whitman" from Peter (I considered this myself, as a tribute to the poet whose hometown I happen to live in. Lots of things around here are named after Whitman. Walt Whitman High School, the Walt Whitman Mall, Walt Whitman Road, etc etc)
  • "Bosley" from ?
  • "Morgan Fairchild" from Tommy, (maybe if he were a drag queen Siberian Husky")
  • "Dakota" from Jonelle
And, in a rather bizarre series of suggestions, the following three:
  • "Pizza" from Jimmy
  • "Lasagne" from ? (UPDATE: This one was also sent by Teresa, from below. Thanks for pointing that out to me, Teresa. Kinda hard keeping track of all these names!)
  • "Manicotti" from Teresa
I'm not sure where the Italian food connection is coming from, but being partially Italian myself, (25%!), I can appreciate it!

Well, that is all for now. If you happen to have a name suggestion of your own, feel free to post it on the comments board, or e-mail it to me at kylesbnb@aol.com

And thank you to everyone for all of your kind words and comments... it's always a pleasure to hear from you. Have a great weekend!
All three Kyle's B&B books are now in stock & available at Amazon ... makes the perfect gift for just about anyone ! Click on the links below to get your copies today!!!