CHRIS YAMBAR - AMERICAN ARTIST, WRITER, PUBLISHER, SPEAKER - 1961 - 2021
On October 15, 2009 Chris Yambar and the estate of Layne Toth legally dissolved their ownership of the comic property Faith: Warrior Princess. The property, originally conceived by Layne and her Grandmother, LaDonna Morales, was developed by Yambar and artist Levi Krause into comic book form and published by Airwave Entertainment LLC., in 2005. Yambar received half ownership interest in the property as payment for his efforts. The first issue was released in English, Spanish and as a signed Tour Edition featuring a variant cover by Layne. In 2006, the comic was reissued through Teacher's Discovery as an 'easy spanish translation with glossary' and used to help public school students learn proper language skills. In 2007-2009, Faith: Warrior Princess was pitched to several animation studios via Yambar and his producer but the economic climate kept studios from inking the option papers. Personal and creative differences between the Yambar and Toth camps led Yambar to the conclusion that the partnership needed to be 'set free' and in October he gave his property half to the estate of Layne Toth at no cost.
"The Toths are great people. Layne is a true princess. Her work keeps getting better and better", Yambar stated from his Youngstown production office, "I tend to value personal relationships more than property so rather than lock up the character in a progressive stalemate I decided to simply gift the property back to the Toth estate without any strings. Faith: Warrior Princess is a solid Christian property with amazing development potential. I had a great time bringing this concept to the light of day. I wish the Toth estate every blessing and success as they take it into the future."
When asked if he would be willing to work on the project in the future Chris replied, "That is entirely up to Layne and her family. I'm never opposed to work for hire. I don't have to own everything I work on. As long as the property is used to reach people for Christ and Levi Krause is doing the artwork on what I write, then I'm interested. I encourage interested developers to contact the Toths at www.sisterscomics.com "
Popeye has been fighting to the finish and eating his spinach in newspapers, on television, on the silver screen, in comic books and on just about anything you can think of licensing since he first appeared in Elzie Segar’s THIMBLE THEATER comic strip in 1929. Although Popeye originally appeared as a rough-and-tumble secondary sailor character, ten years into the strip’s run he became its favorite son with readers of all ages. Since that time, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Wimpy, and Swee’ Pea have become international sensations and symbols of two-fisted fun and adventure.
This year everyone in Chester, Illinois, will be rolling out the spinach-green carpet on September 11-13 with its 30th annual Popeye Picnic celebration. It was here that EC Segar grew up and created the strip which was based on some of the city’s more colorful citizens. In addition to parades, games, historic lectures, costume contests, radio plays and the unveiling of the latest life-size granite character statue, the city will offer visitors an all-new POPEYE PICNIC comic book premium, the first such comic produced featuring Popeye and his pals in over 30 years.
The new POPEYE PICNIC comic premium was the brainchild of Chris Yambar and his company, PREMIUM POP, a division of CLI 2.0 (formerly known as Comic Library International). The premium features 32 pages of original material found nowhere else. Yambar, who wrote the issue, was joined by fellow artists George Broderick, Jr., and Ken Wheaton. Popeye newspaper strip creator Hy Eisman and comic book artist George Wildman contributed pin-ups for the project. The book not only allows the Popeye cast to attend the actual picnic celebration in Chester, it allows Popeye to travel back in history to meet his creator, the citizens who inspired Olive and Wimpy, and Rocky Feigle, the man who was the inspiration for Popeye himself.
“Popeye is a true American icon,” Yambar stated from his studio in Youngstown, Ohio. “Joining forces with the people of Chester to create a premium comic honoring the character and his birthplace was a natural. Coming up with a story line that allowed Popeye to celebrate his 80th birthday face-to-face with himself…that was supernatural!”
Finding the right talent to birth the project was no problem for the award-winning Yambar, who is recognized for his work on mainline titles such as Bart Simpson Comics, Radioactive Man, Mister Magoo and his own creation, Mr.Beat. He quickly enlisted the help of Pittsburgh, PA’s George Broderick, Jr., (Lost In Space, I Dream of Jeannie, Speed Racer, Munsters) and Rochester, NY’s Ken Wheaton (Futurama, Kolchak, Buckaroo Banzai), who are lifelong Popeye fans.
“George and Ken would have killed me if I had asked anyone else to draw this comic,” Yambar laughed. “Working on Popeye was their dream project. Thanks to the city of Chester, Illinois, and the kind people over at King Features Syndicate, that dream became a reality. It was an honor for all of us at Premium Pop to work on such a time-honored property as Popeye. What a benchmark way to begin our new premium comics division.”
On Friday, September 11, Eisman and Wildman will join Yambar, Broderick, Jr., and Wheaton (TEAM POPEYE) for a historic five-man POPEYE PICNIC comic signing from 4 to 6 PM at the Chester Library. The event will duplicate on Saturday, September 12, from 3 to 4:30 PM.
“There are not enough words in the English language to describe how thrilled we are with the new Popeye comic premium produced by Chris Yambar, George Broderick, Jr., and Ken Wheaton,” exclaimed Michael McClure, Chester’s Popeye Picnic Chairman from 2004-2008. “After an over-30-year hiatus, this is the first authentic and original use of the traditional Popeye character in printed comic form. The world of Popeye fans owes undying gratitude to Premium Pop for the opportunity to add this tremendously fun premium to their collections. Every comic enthusiast, whether a Popeye devotee or not, will want to own a copy.”
For more information about the Popeye Picnic celebration, visit www.popeyepicnic.com.
ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! To get your hands on a copy of this almost impossible to find historic Popeye comic premium send $5.00 per unsigned copy or $10 per signed copy + $5.00 Priority postage (for up to 6 copies mailed in the same packing in USA) to: Chris Yambar, Ohio One Building, Suite 337, 25 East Boardman Street, Youngstown, Ohio 44503 USA.
All books are bagged and boarded for your protection. Suppy is limited.
Outside USA add an additional $3.00 per single copy ordered. All international orders must be payable in US Funds only.
* Popeye the Sailor and all related characters are TM & copyright King Features Syndicate. All Rights Reserved. Popeye is the Registered Trademark of King Features Inc. & TM Hearst Holdings Inc.*
Chris Yambar, A Way With Words Foundation, and Cinemanix Productions are on the move to take Life Maxx to the next level with a mix of live action and animation. The creative team is putting the finishing touches on an action filled trailer to show investors interested in being a part of the next big phase of the world's first cancer survivor superhero. Yambar announced expansive plans to develop a series of DVD adventures with the character to be distributed to Children's Hospitals, schools, parents of cancer survivor young people, and those in the cancer fighting industry. "These Life Maxx adventures will be instructional, exciting, informative, and encouraging as well as big time fun for the whole family," Yambar explained, "There will be plenty of outer space, monsters, and alien encounters in addition to real life drama. Fans will love watching Life Maxx evolve as a superhero with new gadgets and gizmos to keep our planet safe from harm while at the same time keeping himself refreshed and ready to make sure he keeps winning his battle against cancer." Actor and model, Todd Stovall, will play the mighty Life Maxx in front of the camera and continue making public appearances dressed as the character. "In time," Yambar continued, "We're hoping to develope an army of Life Maxx characters who can travel to hospitals to visit young people battling cancer on the front lines. How cool would it be to look up and see YOUR superhero walking straight out of the comics and DVDs and right into the room you're resting in?!!" Yambar also announced that he and legendary comic artist George Broderick Jr. are beginning work on the second Life Maxx comic book which is slated to see print in early 2009. Watch this space for new updates and make sure you visit www.awaywithwordsfoundation.org
Wow! Has it really been 15 years since Mr. Beat first graced a gold rimmed coffee cup and began his infamous Caffeine Cult Society? Don't blink - it has! Fans are in for quite a treat as everyone's favorite man in black returns to comics in MR. BEAT: DIRECTOR'S CUP #1 . In addition to containing a slew of new material and a director's cut version of the rare Yambar & Krause collector's favorite, "Having an Artatak", the comic will feature an awesome front and back cover design by the king of all things cartoonish, twisted and sexy - MILTON KNIGHT. To make matters even crazier, Mr. Beat creator, Chris Yambar himself will appear as a supporting character. What will he do when he comes face to face with the evil Mister Bitter?!! Gulp. Fans will want to clear some shelf space for yet one more Mr. Beat collector's mug - this time featuring his adorable nephew, Bambeano Boy. The little darling has never appeared on any official Mr. Beat product ...until now! Watch this space for more details.
Artist Chris Yambar and Cinemanix Productions Create Partnership
“Mr. Beat,” “El Mucho Grande,” “Suicide Blonde” Headed for TV/Film
The comic book worlds of “Mr. Beat,” “El Mucho Grande,” “Suicide Blonde” and other character creations by internationally reknowned comic creator and pop artist Chris Yambar are making the leap off the pulp pages to the high def world of animation and live action films.
Chris Yambar and Cinemanix Productions have announced a partnership aimed at bringing Yambar’s well-known comic characters to TV and film via animation and live action projects. The Cinemanix Productions team of highly-skilled artisans and technical creatives have put the full-tilt power of their state of the art Motion Capture Stage, animation, and Visual Effects Production area to work developing Yambar’s characters into programs and features that will be marketed to TV, online interests, and the motion picture industry.
Cinemax Productions CEO Bryan Scibelli said that he has already found enthusiasm and interest within the industry for Yambar’s characters. "Chris Yambar is a one man idea factory," states producer Bryan Scibelli. "Typically, with any kind of animated story, any type of project you take to the big screen or into episodic cartoon animation, it all comes down to the story and writing first. What we're dealing with here are characters that have already lived in the print format and who are ready to literally walk out onto the animation stage and into the mainstream."
"Writing consistantly solid comedic material is exceptionally demanding but Chris has an uncanny ability to pull ideas and timing out of the air. Being insane helps out alot too," Scibelli continues ,"With Chris there are no shortages of memorable characters and licensable concepts. His work has great signature and yet broad appeal."
The artistic whirlwind known as Chris Yambar has painted more than 2,000 pop art images since 1987, while creating his own comics, including "The Mr. Beat Show," "El Mucho Grande-Wrestler For Hire," "The Fire-Breathing Pope," "Suicide Blonde," "Itsi Kitsi-Happy Adventure Cat," "Spells," "Life Maxx," "Misfits," "Buttler-Everyone's Favorite Impacted Pup," and "Suckulina-Vampire Temp." After additional caffeine, he has also written for several popular comic book titles, including "Bart Simpson Comics," "Elfquest," "Radioactive Man," "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Mister Magoo." In 1993 Yambar won Cinescape Magazine's award for Best Sci-Fi Comic Writer for "Suicide Blonde". That same year he co-produced a graphic novel adaptation of the lost 1910 horror movie classic, Edison's Frankenstein, with movie storyboard artist and illustrator, Robb Bihun to critical interest.
Yambar expressed his dreams for this next phase: "Seeing Bryan's people at Cinemanix bringing my characters to life is more than exciting for me as it would be for any comic creator. I’m thrilled that they want to keep the characters as 'on model' as their previous print designs and adventures. Knowing that they want my hand in the production mix is an opportunity that most never get. Did I mention that I'm jazzed? I'm jazzed!"
To get a sneak peak at some animation samples and links for the YouTube teasers for Spells, The Twerp & The Blue Baboon, and a CGI version of El Mucho Grande simply click here: cinemanix.com/news/yambar
On January 27th, 2008, Yambar appeared at Pittsburgh's historic South Side Works Theater for the world premiere of the off beat 1970s cop comedy thriller, A CLIP FULL OF VENGEANCE: THE LIFE OF DICK MONTANA (EPISODE 1) where he was joined by Director Thom Glunt, actors Adam Anderson, Anthony Bruno, Robin Hirst, and the crew for a rough cut viewing of the film. In addition to acting as Co-Executive Producer with The Sprocket Guild, he assisted Glunt in scouting locations, props, coffee, and even added voice overs for the twisted villain and master of disguise, Reginald X. Painstone, who in this episode looked like an innocent Catholic school girl with an exploding briefcase and a large frightened black man who eludes Montana and his rookie partner. It turns out that the villain can alter his appearance at will but cannot change his voice which sounds like a cave man with a sore throat. Really. In addition to being a SOLD OUT showing this film was the first NR (Not Rated) feature to play at the theater. Pretty cool for a Pittsburgh Art Institute student film! For a free download go to www.dickmontana.com Click on 'Get Movie Here'.
Yambar can be seen in the exploitation title, TORTURE TOYS, from Director Josh Maldonado and Doorway Productions. The film features a story about a group of killers who lure innocent victims into their torture traps and the hands of a mutated masked executioner. Yambar plays the jilted ex-boyfriend who follows his girlfriend into the creepy woods trying to convince her to leave her new found girl-fiend and give their love one more chance. He gets killed by the giant freak hiding in the woods with a pick ax. Blood spurts from his mouth as he dies. Total 'Yambar' screen time: under 5 minutes. He has more time on the films blooper reel than in the movie itself. Available exclusively from dvdempire.com in mid-October. NR rated for sex, drugs, violence, blooper outtakes.
Fans of Beat culture will want to get their hands on (JUGULAR WINE) Blair Murphy's WELCOME TO COOLSVILLE - a modern beat documentary film after it sees the final days of cutting and editing. It features interviews with surviving beats and survivors like David Amram, Baird Bryant, and Neal Cassady's son - John Cassady as well as modern beats like... well...YAMBAR & MR. BEAT. There's some wonderful musical and spoken word performance clips from the KerouacFests too. When the movie is ready to go 'on the road' there's a good chance that there will be a few Mr. Beat cartoons in it as well. We'll keep you posted, baby!
Mr. Beat, Yambar's most popular and enduring creation of unending coolness, proves once again that 'When you're hot - You're hot! And when you're smoking - You're put on a smoking hot guitar by Canada's legendary paint wizard: DON STRAUS !' Hockey fans the globe over will recognize and revere Straus as the man who designed and built the most advanced ice hockey goalie mask the world has ever seen. The imagery that Don painted on those masks forever changed the way art was showcased in this medium when his original 'shark' mask was voted the 'favorite mask of all time'. His images can be found on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Museum of Modern Art! Mr. Straus has also survived numerous years as the only Canadian painting helmets for the drivers and crews of NASCAR Racing. Drivers from hundreds of miles away would ship their gear to the great white north with no thought of expense to have them decorated in Don's signature style. You've even seen his art on the guitars of rocker Zakk Wylde. So, how did Canada's hottest living paint master get hooked up with America's hippest pop icon? Via the kind folks at Bully Hill Vineyards, of course! As it turns out the old myth of two degrees of separation was true so when Staus found out about Yambar and vise versa the real party got started. "I've been a big fan of Don's work for years. Besides being a Canadian natural treasure, he turned out to be a big pop art fan, a fellow KISS fan, and a big Mr Beat booster. Needless to say we hit it off immediately", Yambar explained. It took the boys a full four years to co-ordinate their tours of duty but they were finally able to cement the friendship at this years Paradise Comics convention in beautiful Toronto, Canada. There Chris presented Don with a blindingly colorful 'See-Thru' painting of a vintage Mickey and Minnie and Straus knocked Yambar's socks off with the amazing Mr. Beat ax of extreme louditude. The front featured the 'on the road' image of Mr. Beat with his mighty mug of high test amid a swirl of mocha flame while the back flipped to reveal an image of 'Bart Simmons' from the now infamous Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #10. "The guitar was the talk of the show. Everyone wanted to rock out on it." After dinner, the two rounded out the day with a spot of fresh grind from a coffee bar around the corner from Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant (where even more of Straus' work was on permanent display). "Poor Don was stunned when he got the bill for the two coffees and it totaled over $20", Yambar laughed, "He won't let me order a double espresso with a double shot of Kahlua and thick cream again that's for sure!" When asked about their meeting, Straus exclaimed he hadn't been that excited "since I won the $50 prize for best Christmas card design at my local shopping mall when I was 7." Eh? Now if only Yambar could actually play that Fender Squier Bullet guitar... (To see more of Don Straus' art visit: www.tontodesign.com)
When poet and musician BRENDA RIDER approached Chris Yambar and George Broderick, Jr., with the idea of developing a comic book for the A WAY WITH WORDS FOUNDATION, INC., that could reach today’s young people battling cancer, she came to the right place!
Imagine a superhero having to battle everything from the angry green aliens and killer robots to weirdo monster villain-types just to come home to his secret lair where he has to engage in a private battle with cancer.
“Normally you wouldn’t see this type of theme explored in a superhero comic. Children’s cancer just isn’t approached in this way,” Chris Yambar, the comic’s creator and writer, explained, “But that’s the whole point of LIFE MAXX. He doesn’t exhibit the victimized mindset that you’d expect to find with someone in his physical condition. Rather than concentrate on all the things that he can no longer do, LIFE MAXX focuses on all the things that he CAN do. That’s what makes him the ultimate hero, an overcomer. LIFE MAXX isn’t a cancer victim - he’s a cancer SURVIVOR!”
The first issue of LIFE MAXX focuses on the origin of the lead character where we see his progression from a promising teenage athlete, to his battle with cancer, and his eventual emergence as one of Earth’s greatest protectors. The issue also introduces CHEMO GIRL, a metaphorical character who explains the chemotherapy process to a young girl who is having second thoughts about starting her treatment.
“Every once in a while there are projects that come along that you just must set time aside for no matter how much work you have on the drawing board at the moment,” adds LIFE MAXX artist and co-designer, George Broderick, Jr., “This is one of those projects.”
“No matter what the circumstances may be, there’s hope in what we do,” stated Brenda Rider, the comic’s co-creator and herself a cancer survivor, “There are far worse things in life to be concerned with than cancer. Giving up is one of them.”
The LIFE MAXX comic is being created with an outreach emphasis on the youth cancer reader and their encouragement as well as for the parents and the medical professionals in the field who can use this product to help them adopt the LIFE MAXX SURVIVOR mentality.
In addition to the initial comic, A WAY WITH WORDS FOUNDATION, INC., will be launching a line of positive LIFE MAXX HQ products, entertainment, and an interactive website that can be accessed for additional information on the fight against children’s cancer. Watch this space for more details!