Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Halloween Legion™ is in the new Kids' Comic Con Anthology comic book!

Excited to announce that The Halloween Legion™ is in the new Kids' Comic Con Anthology comic book 

“The KCC Comics Funhouse is first-and-foremost a celebration of comics for kids and a way to offer children safe and engaging entertainment,” -Alex Simmons, KCC organizer 

THE HALLOWEEN LEGION™ (co-owned by myself and Martin Powell) are grateful to be a part of the book and hope all the kids enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Success: Being Trendy vs. Respecting Experience

Why does it seem to me that being trendy and hip has eclipsed the importance of knowledge, respect, and experience?

I was watching an episode of Modern Family. In Season 3 Episode 5: Hit and Run, there is a scene where Jay is trying to sell a product to a very young client who comically has just fired is own Father. The young client tells Jay to 'Wow' him but either lacks the ability to explain what he's looking for, or simply doesn't know what he wants. He offers no direction, speaking to Jay in mostly adjectives and half sentences. And I thought to myself, "I've been in that meeting! I've had people use adjectives like "WOW" and even sound effects to replace an intelligent conversation addressing the actual details that needed to be discussed.

This is a conversation that keeps coming up among the creatives I know. There is an overwhelming need to be hip and trendy these days. I understand that youth and pop culture are always in demand but each year it continues to overshadow intelligent conversation and experience more and more. There is a lack of respect (if not complete disregard) for learning.

And then I thought.. wait, this must be happening to more people than I thought.

At 34, (not sure if I would be considered part of the young generation or the old school but probably somewhere in-between) -I realized maybe I should just address it and see what everyone else thinks?

So why does it seem that we can't learn and listen to those who are experienced?

When I bring up this conversation usually 1 of 2 things are said.

1- The first is that they agree, and often have a story to tell me worthy of being adapted into an episode of Mad Men.
2- They completely disagree and the disagreement usually follows with an insult, such as don't be a 'hater' or saying I'm becoming an old complainer.
Perhaps I am getting old or complaining, and I can accept that, but I would like to have an intelligent conversation about it. So let me state my opinion here.

In my opinion the most successful products happen when knowledge, respect, and experience are present. These are the true success stories. I can think of companies I admire that started out small and I feel became successful due to these traits, such as Pixar and Apple. But instead of discussing those companies, let me give you a personal example of someone with these traits that I admire and demonstrates my point.

I know a creative business woman, let's call her Sally. Sally worked at a company that was failing. The companies numbers where so bad there was talk of downsizing the company to about half the employees.

Sally wouldn't be considered hip or trendy but Sally is smart, very experienced and willing to take intelligent risks... even if these risks didn't comply with what was popular in the industry at the time. She is also very detail orientated, direct, and intelligent - traits that I admire greatly, however some people wrongly interpret as unpopular or uncooperative (which was never the case).

Although Sally was often referred to as 'ancient' or 'set in her ways', Sally ended up contributing to a specific product the same year the company had been talking of downsizing.

This one product was so successful from her contribution that it helped bring the company back to success itself. The product was successful because it was led by smart and innovative people who where experienced. People who know when to listen, when to take initiative, and they know not to listen to the hype.

However even after the proven success of this project, Sally was let go because her quality standards were deemed to be too high and future projects were taken over by less experienced, less-skilled hip and trendy people. The bottom line is that this company has not had any big successes since.

So in conclusion.. or perhaps just as a hopeful optimistic ending to my thoughts:

The fight between what is popular vs. experience seems to be happening more and more. 
But I can say, from my own experience (if you will ;) ), that I find its best to listen to those who have experience around you.

Instead of it being a struggle, we should respectively see that one affects the other. 
The biggest successes, blockbuster hits, and the greatest prominent creative ideas occur when time and research are invested in it is intelligently discussed. 

So please take the time for yourself and the people around you to learn from and respect one another.
It may bring you success you never even thought of.
And let me know your thoughts, I welcome them.

Monday, March 31, 2014

THE MUPPET CHARACTER ENCYCLOPEDIA! Signed by the great Craig Shemin!

Reading my personally signed copy of THE MUPPET CHARACTER ENCYCLOPEDIA by Craig Shemin!
It's a fantastic read, taking me back to some of my favorite Muppet memories including the 7-ft. tall talking carrot from The Muppet Show!
Pick up your copy today!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Medusa sketch

I've always loved mythology (but how could I not with a name like Diana!),
so I took a little break from my work today to do this quick sketch of Medusa.
Hope you all enjoy, don't stare too long! ;)

THE HALLOWEEN LEGION is nominated for the Rondo Award!

Martin Powell and I are thrilled that our HALLOWEEN LEGION™ has been nominated for the prestigious Rondo Award, as "Best Horror Comic" for 2013! The Halloween Legion thanks you all!

The Rondo Awards honor the best in classic horror creativity, research, and film preservation.

Congratulations to Terry BeattyMike MignolaSteve NilesCraig Yoe and many more, as well!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lois Lane Pin Up

Just for fun I decided to do a fun illustration of Lois Lane - drinking some coffee and being sassy, of course. :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

THE HALLOWEEN LEGION is nominated for the Stan Lee's Excelsior Award!

Our HALLOWEEN LEGION™, which has made the shortlist for Stan Lee's Excelsior Awards, is featured on the CBR site!!

It is also featured:

Co-creator Martin Powell and I wish to thank everyone who has supported The World's Weirdest Heroes!

The Halloween Legion™ Martin Powell and Diana Leto

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Halloween Legion at NYCC!

Just finishing up a wonderful 2013 NYCC with a few pics on my blog. 

It was a fantastically exciting and amazing Comic Con this year!

It started with an inspirational panel entitled "Creatively Energizing Your Students With Comic Books And The Arts" with fellow panelists Alex Simmons, Bonnie Erickson, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Louis Mitchell, Mike Lopez, Noel MacNeal, and Paul Castiglia
What an incredible bunch of people! It was truly an honor to be on the same panel with them and to be able to speak with the audience about how to engage children in the arts. I spoke a bit about things how The Halloween Legion™ inspires me with its positive messages. My partner on The Halloween Legion, co-owner and writer Martin Powell unfortunately could not attend NYCC but he was there in Halloween spirit. 
I was very grateful to be able to contribute and answer everyones questions. If I did miss you after the panel, please feel free to contact me here.

I was humbled by the moment and will never forget it. 
Here is a photo of us all on the panel.

Here we all are after the panel sharing a few heartfelt laughs. 

The next day was my drawing workshop at the Kids Comic Con Family Room.
Alex Simmons and Mike Lopez created some really great events and it was an honor to be a part of their wonderful curriculum this year at NYCC. 

My good friend, and fellow amazing artist!, Steve Price, helped me out during the drawing workshop and kindly took this cool pic of my session on the NYCC banner. 

For my drawing workshop I showed how to draw your favorite Halloween characters using simple shapes like circles, squares, and rectangles. And just for fun, I created my own Witch's costume for The Halloween Legion occasion!

Here I am with Lauren Marchisotto at NYCC, who had a fantastic steampunk costume on! Thanks to Noel MacNeal for the awesome pic!

It was a great drawing session and some of the kids drew amazing illustrations of Autumn the Cat! If your reading this and you or your kids drew some of the characters please email me, I would love to post them to the Halloween Legion fan page on Facebook! 

On Sunday, I had a signing session at the Dark Horse Comics Booth to sign THE HALLOWEEN LEGION graphic novel. Here a few pics of the signing. It was a lot of fun!

It was a really great event! So many wonderful kids, and adults who are kids at heart, approached me and talked about hoe they really loved the characters! I hope I was able to answer any and all questions everyone had about THE HALLOWEEN LEGION but if not please feel free to contact me or Martin Powell (co-owner and writer) here or on our blogs. We will be happy to answer your questions and continue Halloween through out the year! 

Happy Halloween and see you all next NYCC!
The Halloween Legion™ Martin Powell and Diana Leto