CHRIS YAMBAR - AMERICAN ARTIST, WRITER, PUBLISHER, SPEAKER - 1961 - 2021
On Sunday, November 18, 2007 America's newest superhero sensation, LIFE MAXX, will take flight during a mall-wide charity event at the Southern Park Mall, in Boardman, Ohio. "An Evening Of Giving" will allow holiday shoppers to get a head start on their gift list buying with lots of huge store discounts only available between 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM... AFTER THE MALL HAS CLOSED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. Shoppers who want to enjoy these money saving private shopping hours can do so by making a $10.00 donation at the door which goes directly to support the numerous local non profit organizations from the Mahoning Valley and The Simon Youth Foundation. One of the organizations that will benefit from this event is THE R.O.C.c.K. CHILDREN'S CHOIR and the A WAY WITH WORDS FOUNDATION, INC. whose young people will be performing selections from their newest 15 song CD release, "Compilation of Talent Donated for Cancer". The choir is made up entirely of children cancer survivors. For more information on this dynamite organization visit: www.awaywithwordsfoundation.com or www.lifemaxxhq.org
Look out citizens! During this event the R.O.C.c.K. CHOIR kids will be wearing their own LIFE MAXX super hero survivor gear complete with capes, masks, and LIFE MAXX T-shirts! Why? Because this is the night that the all new LIFE MAXX comic book will be released to the planet for the very first time! Award winning painter, writer, and LIFE MAXX co-creator CHRIS YAMBAR will be signing copies of this first edition printing for anyone making a minimum donation of $5.00 to the A WAY WITH WORDS FOUNDATION during this charity event. YAMBAR and the R.O.C.c.K. CHOIR will be located in front of MACY'S Department store. (Yes, he'll have plenty of BART SIMPSON comics on hand too!)
You won't want to miss out on this great night of giving, shopping, savings, and having super fun... to the MAXX! What a great way to kick off the holiday season.
The Southern Park Mall is located at 7401 Market Street in Boardman, Ohio.
"I can't think of a better place to unveil a new super hero comic for charity", LIFE MAXX creator, Chris Yambar announced from his secret lair, "The Mid-Ohio-Con is famous for being one of the most family oriented, fan friendly, and professionally run comics and entertainment conventions on the planet. Every year Roger Price and his staff go out of their way to host a unique charity opportunity for the crowd in attendance and this year will be no different. Behold, the first issue of LIFE MAXX!"
Although there will be over 100 comics and entertainment celebrities at this years Mid-Ohio-Con there will only be one place to get your signed copies of the 24 page first edition LIFE MAXX comic book: the joint booths of Chris Yambar and George Broderick Jr. (Booth #s 221 & 320). Comics will be available for a minimum donation of $5.00 per copy.
Fans will want to get a good look at the attractive Mid-Ohio-Con staff and security who will be sporting all new LIFE MAXX T-shirts during the show too. The official LIFE MAXX T-shirts and mugs will soon be available on the LIFE MAXX Head Quarters site sometime early after the first of the year.
What a great way to get a cool collectable and do some real good at the same time.
This years Mid-Ohio-Con will be held Saturday Nov. 24 (10 AM-6 PM) & Sunday Nov. 25 (10 AM-5 PM) at the Battelle Hall in the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on the Mid-Ohio-Con visit: www.midohiocon.com
For more information on the A Way With Words Foundation visit: www.awaywithwordsfoundation.com or www.lifemaxxhq.org
Wrap 2007 up right by taking an early bite out of the new year...on it's neck! Everyone loves an exclusive and this year Mid-Ohio-Con has got one that's sure to give you shivers in all the right places. Behold! It's the all new SUCKULINA - VAMPIRE TEMP coffee mug by creators Chris Yambar and George Broderick Jr. You're going to scream with delight when you see these bleached bone white 11 oz. ceramic mugs and their blood red wraparound design that features a smiling SUCKULINA, her logo, and the words, "MY JOB SUCKS!" Each of these mugs is printed with the a special 'pre-release' tag line that will separate it from all future firings making it an instant collectable.
In January 2008, MOONSTONE COMICS will stick it's neck out and publish the first 40 page issue of SUCKULINA - VAMPIRE TEMP which is sure to please horror and humor fans alike. Who is SUCKULINA? She's only the cutest Torture Princess in Hell's history! Her techniques are so smoking hot that there's a sign up list for fallen souls just praying to taste a lash from her unforgiving whip. Even Satan has to take a number to get his butt paddled. But, alas, poor SUCKULINA has grown bored with her wicked ways and is hungry for a career change. So, she's packed her sun block and has headed for the surface world where she has taken on the vocation of an average office temp worker. How long can even she last before yelling, "My Job Sucks!" at the top of her lungs? (Retailers and fans can order this book right now from the NOV.07 edition of PREVIEWS. It's found on page 296. Buy multiples!)
As we all know, Chris Yambar's work on Bongo'sSIMPSONS comic line keeps him more than busy making appearances across America.... but not too busy to make a special stadium appearance with the MAHONING VALLEY SCRAPPERS in Niles, Ohio for SIMPSONS DAY on August 26th, 2007. In addition to throwing out the games opening pitch (a textbook sinker), Chris spent plenty of time meeting and greeting diehard Simpsons fans and signing copies of his comic books during the first three innings of the game. Yambar encouraged fans to bring out any Simpsons items that they would like to have signed and as usual he ended up signing a lot of vintage Burger King Simpsons dolls on their butts too.
"What a thrill it is to team up with the MAHONING VALLEY SCRAPPERS again," stated Yambar who threw out an opening pitch back in 2000, "It's great to be a part of their success and be counted among their many fans. Wow! The SIMPSONS and the SCRAPPERS on the same bill. And I got to hang out with the team mascot too. Grrr! For this Youngstown boy it doesn't get better than that!" (Photo by Jordan)
Leave it to Bongo Comics to give you an all-new, full-color, super-sized, summer fun themed Simpsons comic book just in time so that you'll have something to read while waiting in line to see this years sure to be animated blockbuster: THE SIMPSONS MOVIE! Due out in May, this 48 pager will feature tons of fun-in-the-sun comics and a huge 25 page lead in story written by our own CHRIS YAMBAR entitled, 'Mid-Day on the Midway'.
"For as long as I can remember my folks always took the Yambar kids to the Canfield Fair", Chris explained,"That event always signaled the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year. We'd go wild! Eating everything fried and sugared, going to see the sideshows, riding the rides over and over again by ducking down, buying off colored T-shirts that we'd hide until we got home, making fun of the 4-H displays, seeing how many times we could get our names announced over the fairground speakers for being lost... we ruled! In this issue of SIMPSONS SUMMER SHINDIG #1, I get to relive those magic moments and go even further into villainy with Bart, Lisa, and just about everyone else who lives in Springfield. There's even a surplus war robot running amok after Professor Frink and Homer who's dressed in a makeshift pig suit. Just wait until you see the lineup at the Freak Show!"
You heard it here first people! Make sure that you pick up your copy of SIMPSONS SUMMER SHINDIG #1 before they are all sold out! Without a doubt it's a blue ribbon winner in every categories!
( Copyright 2007 Bongo Entertainment, Inc. The Simpsons are copyright & TM TCFFC. All rights reserved.)
How this item has remained under our radar for this long nobody knows. The year was 1994 and Yambar had just moved his infamous BANANA RODEO GALLERY from its original downtown Youngstown, Ohio, location to a huge second-story sprawl in Austintown, Ohio. There it joined Starship Comics and Big League Sports Cards, making the co-habitation a hotbed for lovers of all things pop culture and collectable. One of the gallery exhibitions held there featured the art of award-winning fantasy and comics illustrator P. Craig Russell. When the show had run its course, Yambar made the trip to Russell’s home to return the artwork and soon found himself posing for the artist. As it turned out, Russell was looking for someone stocky to photograph for storyboards he was working on with co-artist Michael T. Gilbert.
“I guess all of Russell’s friends in Kent, Ohio, were on the thin side,” Yambar joked. “I always figured that being a big strapping Slovak would pay off somewhere down the road. I just wish I’d have been asked to pose for Killer Croc or Bane instead of the Penguin. But hey! Batfans can’t be choosy!”
The results of that photo session can be found in the pages of DC Comics’ SHOWCASE ’94 #7 where writer Peter David pits the fowl foe against the second toughest man in Gotham City - James Gordon (who beats his ass). Proof that Yambar was the subject can be spotted throughout the story where the Bat-villain can be found without his classic pointy bird nose drawn in. Talk about results of the dreaded deadline doom! Luckily, this closet classic can still be found in the cheap section of your favorite comics shop, so make sure that you snag a copy and have Chris sign it for you when you catch him on the road. Make him show you his powerful calves, too. This boy has been working out!
BART SIMPSON’S HORROR SHOW #9 - We don’t normally list all the foreign reprints of Yambar’s Simpsons work, but this particular issue stands out as being something really special! This Variant Cover Edition from Germany not only reprints the contents of BART SIMPSON’S TREE HOUSE OF HORROR #10 but has a day-glo green cover image of Bart dressed as KISS bassist Gene Simmons …AND it has an ultra-limited print run of 666 copies worldwide. Talk about rare! These routinely sell at shows for $50 or more a pop. Happy hunting!
- “This special Monsters of Rock issue includes two stories co-written by Yambar with Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper (drawn by Bill Morrison & inked by Ken Wheaton), as well as a stories featuring Rob Zombie and Pat Boone (co-written by Morrison). ROCK ON, SPRINGFIELD!”
Look out ITSI KITSI fans! Recording artists SHISHO (the hardest working band in elementary school) are coming to the the pages of MEOW WOW! #2 making it their first comic book appearance anywhere. Talk about kid power - SHISHO has got it! The two sisters, Midge (age 6) and Vivian (age 9) and their musical mentor, the mysterious Professor PeuShu, are making waves all over the place. In 2004, the Pickerington, Ohio based band did a cover of the classic DEAD MILKMEN single, 'Punk Rock Girl' which landed them heavy rotation on the indie radio scene in Cleveland, Ohio and the distinction of being tagged with having crerated "one of the best new songs of 2004". This was followed by several original band tunes including "Get Behind Me Santa" in 2005 which landed the band a recording deal with the British label 'Filthy Little Angels'. The band decided to take the act live and were a big hit at this years Gratis Fest in Indiana. When MEOW WOW! creator CHRIS YAMBAR heard the band he flipped. "These kids have a tremendous energy level. I just love their abstract thinking and over-the-top creativity! When I heard the music on their myspace page I was completely knocked out! Adult bands struggle to get this free. With SHISHO it's all natural and refreshing. This band was doing everything musically that I was attempting to do with my MEOW WOW comicbooks. I just had to get them involved in the project." Soon YAMBAR and SHISHO came up with a story that had them meeting and rocking out with the lead character, ITSI KITSI-HAPPY ADVENTURE CAT. The story, drawn by indie comics legend, LEVI KRAUSE, is fast paced and turns the band into frogs at the end. "ITSI KITSI is all about the energy", YAMBAR continues, "The character is like a manic little H-Bomb on a sugar rush. All these kids needed were tails!" In addition to having the band sign copies of MEOW WOW! #2, special First Day Certification will be available to the first 100 fans and collectors who purchase a copy at the Mid-Ohio-Con on Sunday November 26 (12 to 3 pm). SHISHO will be CHRIS YAMBAR's special guests Thanksgiving weekend at the MID-OHIO-CON 'Ohio's Best Comic Book & Pop Culture Collector's Show' which will be held at Battelle Hall in the Greater Columbus Convention Center. For more information about the convention go to www.midohiocon.com For more information about SHISHO visit www.myspace.com/shisho . There's never a dull moment in this litterbox. The proof is in the purrrring!
You just can't go anywhere these days without running into fans of The Simpsons ! Who knew that a simple shopping binge on ebay would lead Bart Simpson Comics writer, Chris Yambar , right into a hive of elite NATO fighter pilots - and one of the coolest military finds anywhere. Cooler than the officially sanctioned Homer Simpson Astronaut Sperm Patch used by NASA a few years back? Yes. When Yambar spied the Ralphy Wiggum flight patch he bid on it immediately. When he asked the seller where he found such an unusual item he learned that it was an actual uniform patch designed for use by the heroic team of ENJJPT Class 06-06 who trained at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas from May 2005 until June 2006. As it turned out the pilots in the group were getting awfully bored with all of the standard skulls, eagles, and related power images that the other teams were designing for their uniforms and decided to do something different - very different. The result was an 'on model' image of Ralphy Wiggum sticking his head out from his fighter jet as he races through the sky uttering the words, "When I grow up, I wanna be a fighter pilot... or a caterpillar." How cool are the people at EURO-NATO JOINT JET PILOT TRAINING ? They are the absolute coolest! A month after the purchase the pilots shipped Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Yambar identical plaques featuring official uniform patches, a photo of the team, and the engraved words, "It tastes like...burning jet fuel." and the honor "To the Simpsons Team, Thanks for the Inspiration." Over the top behavior? Isn't that what air pilots do?! ENJJPT CLASS 06-06 we salute you!
Now, here's something that you don't see everyday listed on Ebay: YAMBAR 6th GRADE HOMEMADE COMIC. 1973. MAD BOMBER'S COMIC FAIR #3 (Vol.1) "This hand-made comic book (on notebook paper) from the 6th grade at Austintown Middle School features contributions from several people, all working for Chris. Created with pencil, magic marker, watercolor, and ink, its one page comics feature "MAD BOMBER" before he became "SUPER BOMBER" and then part of 'DOODIE (sic) and DITTO.' The Editor's Note identifies Chris as President of YAMBAR COMICS. Measures 10 ½" x 8 1/4" (including cover on watercolor paper). Includes 8 comics, 2 Pin-ups, Jokes, and MAD BOMBER CLUB NEWS. Only a handful of these were ever made. This may be the only surviving copy. A must-have for the die-hard Yambar fan!"
"Imagine my surprise," Yambar laughs. "First, to ever see one of these things again and second, to watch it go out for nearly $300 on an international auction block. Talk about a rush! Wow!"
Yambar explained how, at 11 years old, he and some of his classmates made and sold their own handmade comic books: "We were all big comics and MAD magazine readers and had the bug to make comics of our own. We'd go to the movies and see all the big special effects shows, build all the new monster models that came out at K-Mart, and collect weird crap from gum ball machines. We'd trade stuff with each other in class. We were junkies.
"I used to share my locker with this kid named Terry Wolf, who'd moved here from Cleveland. He was big-time into Planet of the Apes and King Kong anything. We hit it off from the start. He was the studious type, while I was in school primarily for the ice cream bars and adventure. So naturally I made him the VP of my comic book empire.
"Everyone who contributed to YAMBAR COMICS had to sign a lifetime contract and promise not to work for anyone else ever. I would write and design and draw. Terry would draw and color. The other guys would help assemble the pages and go out and sell them. They were tougher kids than we were. We'd make a master copy for each page and trace copies onto other paper using tape and a window as our light table. We didn't have access to copy centers or equipment back in those days, so everything was done by hand. Our numbering system was inventive, too. The Vol. # was based on the school year of the company. Sixth grade was our first year, so it was Vol. #1.The issue # was based on the actual copy sold during that year. It's hard to believe that with that type of logic I managed to stay drug free.
"The Mad Bomber character would just fly to the moon or run up to a mailbox and blow it up. I don't know why I thought that was funny. Maybe it's because I'm part Irish and part Slovak. Who can know. But it does figure that my first character would turn out to be a mysterious hairy terrorist with a hat. Terry gave him shoes and gloves. By the way, Terry went on to become a dentist.
"How Terry thought to hold onto this item for so many years and keep it in good shape is a mystery to me. I'm glad he did. We got together over breakfast a week after the bidding and had a good time talking about how powerful we were as a company. It felt good to flex.
"I asked the winning bidder, Tornado Toth, what he was thinking by bidding so much for this comic and he just smiled and said, "You had the drive and the focus way back then and knew that publishing comics was what you wanted to do. You didn't wait around. You did it. Now you're working with Bart Simpson and publishing your own characters. You're still doing YAMBAR COMICS!"
Toth plans to have the comic professionally graded and slabbed, a process that may place the book in permanent price guides. The comic sold during the month of October, 2005. We'll keep you posted.
Movie fans will be thrilled to know that copies of THE MR. BEAT SHOW, EL MUCHO GRANDE, and SUICIDE BLONDE comics will be easily detected in the comic shop scenes of the upcoming film, ‘HERO TOMORROW’ which is nearing completion under the direction of independent movie maker, Ted Sikora. Yambar had the opportunity to read a copy of the script earlier this year and put the film maker in contact with other self-publishing comic creators as well as have his own character properties included. “I think that the film has original creative drive and will develop a strong cult following when it is released for public viewing”, Yambar states, “It’s fashionably tragic, obsessively romantic, authentically hip, and perfectly twisted in all the right places. Sure to be a crowd pleaser!”
In February 2005, Yambar and the Mrs. appeared on the chilly set of HERO TOMORROW and worked as extras in the movie's soon-to-be-classic "dream sequence," which included an angry talking squid, a godlike sea captain reciting from an ancient book of wisdom, a group of beatnik musicians performing atop an antiques and oddities shop, and a less than tolerant dream-crowd packed into a theater of the mind. Wait until you see how adorable Maureen looks in her beret! Watch the scene closely as the ill-tempered squid drinks his coffee. Is that a MR. BEAT mug there in his tentacle? Vanity. Vanity!
To find out more about HERO TOMORROW visit the official site at http://www.swingingcane.com/.
And while we’re on the subject of Bart Simpson’s Tree House Of Horror, let’s also mention that Chris co-wrote a second story for said comic with legendary snake lord and rock icon Alice Cooper which was illustrated by none other than Bill Morrison! “There was nothing nightmarish about working with Alice,” Yambar joked. “In fact, he was an absolute dream to work with. Alice was incredibly story-driven and had a great plot idea from the very beginning. I just had to add some Simpsonized gore-meat on his story bones and punch up the banter. There were times during the creative process that we had to take a break because we were laughing ourselves to death. This is one twisted tale! Alice is not only one of the craziest monster guys on the planet, he’s also a very funny guy. Bill (Morrison) has also been a rabid Alice fan since the 1970s, so it was a double hip moment for him to be able to provide the art for this story. Y’know, it doesn’t get better than this!” Yet another great reason to pick up a copy of this creepy-cool Fall annual from our good friends over at Bongo Comics!”
The rumors were true! Chris Yambar and KISS bassist GENE SIMMONS teamed up and written a 15-page story for the 2004 BART SIMPSON’S TREE HOUSE OF HORROR comic (#10)! The story, was drawn by Bongo Comics Creative Director and Simpsons artist supreme, Bill Morrisonand included plenty of fire-breathing, monsters, space aliens, rock and roll, and the entire Simpsons family in tight fitting leather outfits. “Plotting this story with Gene was a breeze,” Yambar states. “All it took was one wild idea and the story wrote itself. Gene was really into the process. The great thing about writing for an issue of TREE HOUSE is that all of the stories are ‘off model’ and pure fantasy. Anything goes. So with that in mind, Gene and I hit the gas and drove the car right off the cliff!” Although Chris had met Simmons several times in the past due to his Pop Art painting and the inclusion of a KISS band parody in his FIRE-BREATHING POPE trade, it was the first time that the two had collaborated on a single creative project.
Simpsons comic fans flipped when they found out which other Monsters of Rock had thrown their hats into the ring for the issue! This is one Bongo Comics moment you don’t want to miss!
When INKWORKS releases the all new SIMPSONS MANIA premium trading cards later this year independent comics and pop art fans will be happy to find a special Chris Yambar chase card in the mix. As is the tradition with collector card sets there will be lots of hard to find bonus subsets including black light cards, Split Personality Fold' Em Cards, Packy Wacks, Treehouse of Horror Cards, and the exciting Bart Gallery where you'll find Yambar's graffiti punk image of everyone's favorite native Springfield son - Ralphy Wiggum. Chris will be joined in the subset by Peter Kuper, Sergio Aragones, Tony Bennett, Robbie Conal, Dan Brereton, Craig Bartlett, and Bill Morrison. "I love the fact that they let me create this image completely off model and crazy," Yambar states, "You get a pretty good idea of what its like to actually BE Ralphy Wiggum. On the other hand it might be a way to enjoy an acid blotter without the fear of getting arrested. Say 'NO' to drugs. Say 'YES' to a complete Simpsons Maniacard collection!" On sale globally soon!
When Chris and artist George Broderick, Jr., began collaborating on SUICIDE BLONDE in the pages of COMIC LIBRARY INTERNATIONAL #7 - BIG SPACE COMICS in 2001, they had no idea that it would be such a sci-fi cult favorite among fans of the genre or that a mere two years later CINESCAPE MAGAZINE would be awarding it honors as the BEST WRITTEN COMIC OF 2003! The magazine originally announced the win via an e-mail press release during the Summer, but made it more than official in issue # 74 when it published photos and a Q&A with Chris and the other winners of its annual contest.
“I was surprised to win CINESCAPE MAGAZINE’s award for the BEST COMIC WRITER OF 2003 , but I wasn’t surprised that it was with SUICIDE BLONDE,” Yambar stated. “George and I put a lot of thought and creative sweat into this title. The project was extremely personal for us and I think that it shows.
I’m glad that our efforts were taken more seriously than most of the bad/good girl comics out there today. Rather than be exploitative
George and I set out to create a character that was just as intelligent and individually empowered as she was beautiful to look at. We’ve had a flood of positive response to the character from female readers who are glad to see the direction of the series. Readers are catching a lot of the social and political commentary of SUICIDE BLONDE as well. I’m glad that some saw beyond the yummy chocolate coating and got to the delicious free prizes hidden inside. That alone was prize enough.”
Chris and George were further honored for their efforts by having SUICIDE BLONDE act as the official convention shirt mascot of the 2003 Mid-Ohio-Con where the two debuted the second half of the series to a very enthusiastic convention crowd.