Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Introducing your hosts at the Atomic Junk Shop

We’d like to take a moment to introduce the proprietors of the Atomic Junk Shop. You may know some of us from other venues, but in case you don’t, here is a brief run-down (in alphabetical order):

My name is Toni Adams. Here’s a brief bio: Growing up in an inner city neighborhood, my parents kept me safe by encouraging my love of books. That encouragement led me to the world of Babysitters Club, Goosebumps, and romance books. I have a penchant for corny but fun stories. Stories that whisk me away to happiness. Books were just the gateway. I have so many different passions and interests that I am just a walking collective of fangirl screams. That  love of books extends on over to comics where I am currently a sucker for Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland and Jim Zub’s Wayward. The list can generally go on: movies, cats, dragons, cats, kdrams, cats, kpop, cats, and thai tea boba. Here’s to random writing but constant appreciation for the pop arts! Huzzah!

Hi everyone, I’m Greg Burgas. I wrote for Comics Should Be Good for slightly over 11 years, and in that time I managed to anger more than a few comics creators and many, many readers, as I’m alternately a DC shill, a Marvel shill, or someone who hates all DC and Marvel comics completely. I contain multitudes! I’m a stay-at-home dad in Chandler, Arizona, so I just might whinge about the heat here and there and also crow about the 75-degree temperatures in January. It’s just what we Arizonans do, people! I have two daughters, one of whom has a traumatic brain injury and the other of whom I’m deviously getting into comics, and I will often mention them in my rambling posts (I also blog about them at The Daughter Chronicles, in case you’re interested). I’ve been reading comics since 1988 and currently probably buy more comics than everyone else on this blog put together, because I always find so much cool stuff to get excited about. I’m not as pop culture savvy as some of our other contributors, but I think I’m a pretty decent writer, so I hope I can entertain all our readers going forward! I rarely tweet at @gregburgas, but there I am!

I’m the OTHER Greg, Greg Hatcher. I have been fascinated with action-adventure stories since the day Adam West took on Frank Gorshin for the first time in the 1966 premiere of Batman. Not too long afterward, I started trying to write my own. Started publishing them in 1979 — first at school, then in ‘zines, and finally in magazines and such for actual money. Not a lot of money, so I still have a day job, but it does finance my various hobbies and even the occasional date night with my bride. I have been writing professionally for one outlet or another since 1992: I was a contributing editor at WITH magazine for over a decade, then I did news for Comic Book Resources, followed by a weekly column there as one of the rotating features on the Comics Should Be Good! blog (alongside Mr. Burgas, above) that ran for a decade and change. Now I do this, partly because it’s fun and partly in the desperate hope that it hits big and we can all retire as millionaires. I also teach writing and cartooning in the classes offered as part of the YMCA’s Afterschool Arts Program in west Seattle for students in the 6th through the 12th grade; both groups do regular anthology zines as part of the program and occasionally you might see us tabling at a show somewhere here in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve loved the old hero pulps ever since I discovered the Doc Savage paperback reprints from Bantam Books in the 1970s and have contributed a number of stories to various ‘new pulp’ hero anthologies in recent years. Likewise a lifelong mystery fan, I have also written Nero Wolfe pastiches for the Wolfe Pack Gazette and several Sherlock Holmes adventures for the Airship 27 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective series. You can check all that stuff out here. I live in Burien, Washington, with my wife Julie, our cat Magdalene, and ten thousand books and comics. I call it a library but realistically it’s more like something out of an episode of Hoarders.

Hey! I’m Spencer Keane. I am the designated young-blood of the group here at Atomic Junk Shop. If you recognize my last name that is because I am the grandson of Bil Keane, the creator of The Family Circus comic strip, and the son of its current artist, Jeff Keane. My uncle is legendary Disney animator Glen Keane. So, now that you are aware of the looming tower of artistic talent that has cast a shadow over me my whole life, I get to talk about myself! I love a variety of geeky stuff like Star Wars, video games, tabletop miniatures and models, and all sorts of film and TV.  I have a B.A. in Writing for Film and TV and I am an aspiring writer focusing on creating my own animated shows. My desire to write for animated shows stems from my love of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network shows like Spongebob Squarepants, The Fairly Oddparents, and Samurai Jack. I am now a huge fan of many Adult Swim shows such as The Venture Bros., Rick and Morty, and other animated shows like the The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. I also hold firm to the belief that The Iron Giant is the single greatest animated movie ever made. I run a small commission painting business for tabletop miniatures and I currently work at a retro collectibles and toy store called The Big Kid, which is sure to provide me with endless content to write about! Being a 90’s kid / millennial I am happy to bring a different perspective to Atomic Junk Shop. So yes, you may have to read my disgruntled rantings on topics that didn’t exist in your “good ol’ days.” But for me, the Nintendo 64, LAN parties, Pokemon and the Backstreet Boys were my “good ol’ days.”

Jim MacQuarrie here. I’ve been drawing cartoons since I fell in love with Goofy at age 3, and have been getting paid for it since before Nixon resigned, which makes me pretty much the designated old fart here, though Hatcher does the “harrumph” better than I ever could. I’ve successfully avoided working for a living for about 40 years now; graphic design, cartooning, balloon animal twisting and other nonsensical pursuits beat the heck out of slinging burgers or digging ditches. I discovered comics at age 6 or 7, at the height of ’60s Batmania, when I spotted the Caped Crusader from TV on the spinner rack at the corner market (Justice League of America #44, if you must know), and have been reading them ever since (“hey kid, this ain’t a liberry!”). I started working in web stuff back around 1994, and have run a few websites to varying degrees of success; in 2000, I designed the iconic (and now discarded) CBR logo, and for the last 5 years, I’ve been a regular contributor to GeekDad.com. With my bride of 31 years, I co-write a lifestyle blog called Blue Collar, Black Tie. Terri and I have three grown children, we live in Pasadena, California, and teach archery together, arming children for the Zombie Apocalypse. As part of my freelance graphic design sideline, I have a hosting reseller account, so when Greg Hatcher said he was thinking about leaving his previous gig, I offered to host a site for him and whoever else wanted to come along. And here we are.

Travis Pelkie has been trying to convey to others his enthusiasm for pop culture junk for years, as shown in his avatar photo.  He’s trying to show his bemused grandparents there why the Hulk TV show was so cool to him at around age 3 or less (you do the math to figure out his age).  He’s written some columns about comics over at Comics Should Be Good in the past, and is now a co-founder of the Atomic Junk Shop.  While comics are his main interest, he also enjoys a wide range of culture junk like MST3K, The Venture Bros., sci-fi and mystery novels, music that the kids used to call indie, NPR weekend shows, and entirely too many puzzles in the paper.  He probably hasn’t seen that movie you’re talking about.  While he remains as adorable as in his avatar picture, he’s now hairy enough to cosplay as Alan Moore.  Luckily for you ladies, that means he’s single.  Also enjoys self-deprecating humor.  Didn’t realize that everyone else would be writing in the first person.  Contact him at atomicjunkshoptravis@outlook.com because he enjoys having a long email address.

Hi, folks! My name is John Trumbull, and I’ve been reading comic books since I was six. CBR/CSBG readers might remember me from The Line It Is Drawn, where I drew comic book related gags based on reader suggestions. I’ve written for BACK ISSUE magazine from TwoMorrows since 2012, where I’ve interviewed everyone from Neal Adams to Marv Wolfman. I also moderate the BI Facebook page, so I’ve seen fans at their best and their worst (mostly their best). I have a BFA in graphic design, I’m a graduate of the Kubert School, and I’m a freelance cartoonist who’s done jobs for DC Comics’ licensing department. I’m also a stand-up comic who’s performed at Carolines and the Broadway Comedy Club. I struck up a friendship with Greg Hatcher through CSBG, and he was nice enough to invite me to be a part of this new venture on AJS. Which is a good thing because, as I’m sure you’ll find out before too long, I can be an opinionated bastard.

I live in Parsippany, New Jersey with an ungodly number of comics, books, television, and movies. You can follow me on Twitter at @TrumbullComic.


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