Baltimore Comic-Con is expanding, and this year marks their inaugural 3-day event which takes place on Friday-Sunday, September 5-7, 2014! Joining them in Baltimore‘s Inner Harbor for their 10th annual show are Jim Calafiore, Jo Chen, Mike Curtis, Denis Kitchen, and Joe Staton!
Jim Calafiore, whose early work was for the now-reformed Valiant Comics on titles like X-O Manowar and Armorines, has made a name for himself working extensively for the Big Two: DC and Marvel Comics. Calafiore had noteworthy runs at Marvel on titles such as Black Panther, Deadpool, Exiles, and Iron Man, and over at DC on Aquaman, Batgirl, Red Lanterns, and Secret Six. More recently, his successful Kickstarter effort, Leaving Megalopolis (with Gail Simone) has been published by Dark Horse Comics, he’s done interior work for Dynamite’s Red Sonja title, and he’s provided covers for Archer and Armstrong at Valiant.
Jo Chen (at the show Saturday and Sunday only!) was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and came to the US in 1994. Working professionally in the Asian comic book industry since age 18, her work in the U.S. comic book scene caught people’s attention with her art work for the Racer X mini-series from Wildstorm/DC Comics in 2000. From there, her artwork graced interiors and covers of titles like Fight For Tomorrow, The Demon, and Robin from DC Comics, Runaways, Taskmaster, and Thor from Marvel Comics, and her covers for Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer became the title’s trademark. Recently, her work has been seen on covers of DC Comics Presents: The Demon – Driven Out.
The Harvey Award-winning (and nominated again this year!) Denis Kitchen began his comics career as a self-published underground cartoonist (Mom’s Homemade Comics, 1969), but quickly became primarily a publisher. His Kitchen Sink Press for three decades published such legendary and diverse artists as Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, R. Crumb, Mark Schultz, Charles Burns, Al Capp, Scott McCloud, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell, Dave McKean, Howard Cruse, and countless others. Kitchen also founded the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and chaired it for eighteen years. A monograph of his cartoons, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, was recently published. Kitchen curates exhibitions, is an art agent, a literary agent, a comics historian and author (The Art of Harvey Kurtzman and a biography, Al Capp), and has recently brought back Kitchen Sink Books as an imprint of Dark Horse Comics with partner John Lind. This is Denis’s 5th appearance at Baltimore Comic-Con where he has a special connection: as the representative of the Kurtzman estate, he was responsible for bringing the annual Harvey Awards to us. Nominated for the same awards this year are Denis’s work on Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground from Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse Comics and Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary with Michael Schumacher from Bloomsbury.
Mike Curtis and Joe Staton are the writer and artist respectively of the Harvey Award-winning (and, like Denis above, nominated again this year!), Dick Tracy comic strip. Curtis, began working in comics in the 1980s for kids comics publisher Harvey Comics, writing for titles such as Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and New Kids on the Block. From there, he created Shanda the Panda for Mu Press and, later, Antarctic Press. He later went on to create the publishing house Shanda Fantasy Arts. Staton got his start in the comics industry in 1971 with publisher Charlton Comics, where he worked on E-Man, and went on to work for Warren and Marvel Comics as well. He moved to DC Comics to provide art duties on All Star Comics, Adventure Comics, and DC Special where he illustrated tales of the Justice Society of America, and on titles like Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Showcase, Metal Men, and Green Lantern. His career at DC Comics brought him to other titles too, like Millennium, Guy Gardner, The Huntress, and, most recently, Scooby Doo.