What If? Redux

“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we’ve passed the audition.”

Once again this year, I’ve submitted a comic book cover to the annual art show at Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop in Cleveland, Ohio– and you have a chance to donate to a good cause and win original art.

The theme of this year’s C&J art show is “What If?”, inspired by the Marvel/Disney+ series. (It also serves as an apt, if coincidental, bookend to my creative year, which started with an appearance in Cleveland Scene magazine’s annual Comics Issue; “Alternate Realities” was the theme.)

My entry imagines what it might have been like if Peter Jackson had been able to cast the Beatles in his Lord of the Rings movies. (For one thing, they’d have been a lot more fun!) It seemed like an obvious choice, given the excitement surrounding Jackson’s new documentary series The Beatles: Get Back.

Over one hundred covers are on display at C&J’s from Wednesday, December 15th through Sunday, December 19th. If you’re in northeastern Ohio, drop by the store, check out the artworks in person, and purchase raffle tickets at $1 each for a chance to win your favorites! (While you’re there, take advantage of the Holiday Sale: 50% off all back issues and 10% off everything else not already discounted.)

Winners will be drawn at 6PM on Sunday, December 19th, via Facebook Live. (You need not be watching in order to win, but it’s a lot of fun if you do.) All proceeds will benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank; each dollar raised enables the Food Bank to create four full meals for food-insecure families. Last year, proceeds from the art show helped create 20,360 meals, a new record for the event.

If you can’t make it to the shop in person, a gallery of all the artworks will be posted on the Carol & John’s Facebook page on Saturday, December 18th. Raffle tickets may then be purchased via credit card or PayPal on Sunday, December 19th by calling Carol and John’s at (216) 252-0606 between 12PM-5PM Eastern time. There will be one employee dedicated to processing phone orders for raffle tickets. (It might be my good pal Ben; be sure and say ‘hi.’)

Thanks, and happy holidays to all!

Some notes on the artwork:

Galadriel & Arwen’s banner reads “We Love The Hobbits!”, or at least I hope it does. (English-to-Elvish translation via Jens Hansen the Ringmaker.)

–The signs are based on the ones clutched by Beatles fans in the early years of Beatlemania. Legolas’s sign was inspired by a 1960s sign declaring “Elvis is dead! Long Live the Beatles!”, which was only a metaphor, since Elvis was very much alive at the time. Aragorn’s sign comes straight from his famous declaration in The Return of the King, though clearly he didn’t refer to Frodo, Sam, Merry & Pippin as “The Fab Four.” (But honestly, how awesome would it have been if he had? A: IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY AWESOME.)

–Paul McCartney is barefoot, but only (a) as a reference to the cover of Abbey Road and (b) to show off his hairy hobbit feet. He’s not dead, and has a new memoir out to prove it.

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