All The News
This month he will be a guest speaker at the Science, Technology, & Energy Program (STEP) Conference in Albany. "I'm looking forward to talking about two of my workshops, 'Sci-Tech Heroes' and 'Bronx Community Crime Scene Investigation (BCCSI),'" he says. "But I'm more excited about the presentations that will be made by four of the BCCSI students.
How much and how clearly they share their knowledge and experience will be a direct reflection of how well the program is working. And that's what really counts." More on this in the coming
St. Christophers' Academy -- Art of Making Comics. Simmons lead a 9 week professional development workshop in using comics to help engage students in their academic studies. He then supported the teachers in a 10 week workshop series with their students.
Bronx Community College -- Simmons developed an interdisciplinary, science based workshop series. The theme is a 100 year old forensic murder mystery. He is currently leading the workshop in conjunction with 3 science teachers.December 23rd, 2011
Simmons is developing and leading an exciting interactive, mock forensic science investigation for students attending Bronx Community College's Science & Technology Entry Program. "It's an original mystery involving outdoor crime scenes, lab work, history and problem solving challenges." Simmons says. "And the whole concept in created in collaboration with professors in the Science division of the college."
December 4th, 2011
Reading of Simmons' original Sherlock Holmes play Dec. 4th!
October 31, 2011
Simmons' Art of Making Comics workshops series has many branches, and they're getting a a workout this semester. He's conducting How To seminars for teacher at a school system in Westchester, NY. He's also developing a collaborative comics and science series for students at Bronx Community College. And if that is not enough, our "man on the Move" is planning programs for an elementary school and NJC University project in New Jersey.
Halloween High Adventure!
In between all this creative arts play, Simmons has launched a new BLACKJACK web comic series, Blackjack: Heart of Evil with mega artist, John Jennings. Check it out and spread the word! www.BlackjackAdventures.com
Nov. 5, 2011
Simmons' fans -- and the very curious -- can catch him when he appears at:
Pulp Adventure Con
10AM - 5PM
Ramada Inn, Bordentown, NJ
November 10, 2011
Simmons will join Eric Battle, J Crute, Jamar Nicholas, Joe Illidge, and others on the
"Dark as Ink - A Black Popular Culture panel
Time: 6 to 8 PM
Skidmore College, in Saratoga, Springs
Oct. -- Nov. 2011
Joe Staton, Chris Giarrusso, Mark Mariano and others have already donated their comic art to the Lenox Hill Breast Cancer Center, as part of a Comics Against Cancer movement! How about you?
Pulp Adventure Con poster
October 2nd, 2011
The Christopher Barron’s Live Life Foundation is gearing up for their third year of bring commix & creative arts to almost 100 children in a Paterson NJ school. And of course, I’m rolling out with them. This fall, we’ll be meeting with teachers and administrators to collaborate on, and improve, our programs. As always, out goal is to make the workshops even more fun, exciting, and educational when we start up at the beginning of 2012. Naturally we look forward to working with our previous supporters, Canson Paper Products and Archie Comics, as well as a few new friends already asking, "What can we do?" So keep your eyes and ears open, because the plenty more on the way, in the coming months.
September 28th, 2011
Simmons, Archie, & Ronald Mcdonald Take On Cancer
(New York, NY) – Archie Comics, the leading mass market comic book company in the world and the home to Archie, Betty and Veronica, Jughead, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats announced today plans for a special, 70th anniversary issue of ARCHIE that will see all profits from sale going to Ronald McDonald House® New York, which provides temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families.
As noted in The Associated Press, Washington Post, Forbes and ABC News, Archie #625 will cap off a year-long celebration of Archie Comics’ 70th anniversary and put a spotlight on a charity that is close to the heart of everyone at the company.
"Over the last few years my wife Penny and I have become very close with the team at Ronald McDonald House New York and familiar with the amazing, personal work they do, day-in and day-out,” said Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “We here at Archie have always believed in philanthropy and in helping those in need, especially children. The Ronald McDonald House team members are awe-inspiring, and we’re honored to be able to do anything that helps their sterling organization and its families."
"It's been an honor and an extreme pleasure to have Archie Comics join our family," said William T. Sullivan, president & CEO of Ronald McDonald House New York. "Since they've adopted our mission to support families battling cancer, their presence has been an inspiration in our Playroom, hallways, and within our hearts."
The special issue, written by noted educator Alex Simmons and veteran Archie artist Dan Parent, reveals that a friend of Archie and the gang has a family member with cancer, and because of treatment, may have to move. The Archies then band together to provide help for their friend and get them a spot at the Ronald McDonald House, so they won’t have to leave Riverdale.
ABOUT ARCHIE COMICS
Archie Comics is the leading mass market comic book publisher in the world and the home to a wide array of the most popular humor, action-adventure and superhero characters in entertainment, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Reggie, Kevin Keller, Josie and the Pussycats, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, the Mighty Crusaders, Super Duck, Lil’ Jinx and many more. Archie Comics have sold almost 2 billion comics worldwide and are published around the world in a number of languages. In addition to comics, Archie characters have been featured prominently in animation, television, film and music in various popular incarnations.
ABOUT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE NEW YORK
Ronald McDonald House New York provides temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families in a strong, supportive and caring environment which encourages and nurtures the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems. Ronald McDonald House New York is the largest facility of its type in the world. The House can accommodate 84 families, and it is filled to capacity almost every night. The House’s location in Manhattan, in close proximity to 13 major cancer treatment centers, draws children and families from across the country and the world, as well as from the metropolitan New York City area. Since its founding, more than 25,000 families have stayed at Ronald McDonald House New York. For more information, visit www.rmh-newyork.org.
KIDS' COMIC CON supporter Topshelf Comix asked that I send out the news that...
August 22nd, 2011
Simmons Wows Web Show
August 6th, 2011
EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
SIMMONS TELLS ALL
Blackjack writer/creator captured and made to talk...and talk... and talk! Naturally. Check out the interro ... Uh, I mean in depth interview here: http://thebrooklyndame.blogspot.com/
Coming to a city ... near me! BLACKJACK KNIGHTS! It's a fun-filled, nouveau/retro evening of artists wine, old time radio and film clips, wine, passionate talk about characters and cultures of color in the 30s and 40s, wine, chit-chat, wine, fundraising, wine and ... oh yes, cheese.
When: Aug. 4th.. Time: 6-9pm.
Where: Pearl Studios, 519 8th Ave, btwn West 35th and 36th Street. More, I mean mo' info later.
July 3, 2011
Okay, I’m not Paul Revere, nor the Pony Express, or Western Union. And thus I am a bit late with an update on the Blackjack Attack bulletin. Sorry. The problem was resolved 48 hours after the initial attack, due to the genius and unrelenting efforts of my web master, Black Knight Publishing and one of the web host technicians (did not get permission to use his name).
So zip line over to www.BlackjackAdventures.com and see the wonder of it all. And if you’re looking for a conscientious web designer/master, I can recommend Steven with no reservations.
June 23rd, 2011
Not in the literal sense, with guns blazing, or in the literary sense with slanderous words. The web site went down over 24 hours ago because hackers uploaded a DDS (Distributed Denial of Service) worm on to the domain's host web site. The host company has techs on it, but no idea how long this will last. So, eager and curious fans of Blackjack, please be patient. He will prevail.June 22nd, 2011
Foundation brings comic book inspirations to school
The Glen Rock-based Christopher Barron Live Life Foundation recenlty held the first of six weekly comic book writing workshops - "Christopher's Comic Book Inspirations" - at Peterson's school 21 for a second year in a row. To read more, please click here to view the articleJune 6th, 2011
Archie writer Alex Simmons paid a visit to an elementary school in Paramus, NJ, as part of their Comic Book Fair day (a special fundraising program from a division of Archie Comics). Simmons spent the day conducting workshops with the Kindergarten through 4th grade classes.
"There were a whole lot of them, and only one of me, and we had a great time!" Simmons said. "All of the children were eager to learn how we create comics professionally ... and they wasted no time once I gave them the go ahead to create and draw their own original characters."
The event took place inside the library, and in the corridor just next to it. Before he left, Simmons offered students a chance to send him their finished artwork (if they wanted) so he could post them in the Art Gallery on his Kids' Comic Con web site.
"One other element that made the day so successful," Simmons said, "was the welcoming, energetic, and cooperative presence of the school librarian, Marie Creste, and a team of teachers who were obviously there for the children. Good people do good things, and the kids win. Works for me."
June 3rd, 2011
Writer Alex Simmons Took Creativity and Archie to Philly School.
Alex Simmons was honored to be a guest of the Art Sanctuary’s annual Celebrating Black Writers Festival. The event gave him a chance to meet a host of talented African-American authors and illustrators from all over the country, and to be present when the gathering gave brilliant author, J. California Cooper a Life Time Achievement Award.
The Art Sanctuary also arranged for the artists to visit local schools, giving Simmons a chance to work with a class at the E. M. Stanton Elementary School.
“The kids were great," Simmons said, "and I especially enjoyed watching their imaginations take off as they created their own original characters and storylines.
And working with them was made easier by the fact that they’d already studied the creative writing process with their teacher."
One of the co-sponsors of the workshops, BlackSci-fi.com, made it possible for Simmons to give every child a set of two series he wrote for Archie Comics, his OBAMA/PALIN 2 part tale CAMPAIGN PAIN (in Archie 616 & 617), plus 5 of the 6 issues of his NEW KIDS OFF THE WALL mini series (which spanned several Archie titles).
On Saturday, June 4th, Simmons was part of a panel on Writing for Graphic Novels, Comic Books and Cartoons, along with fellow comic book professionals Eric Battle, Jerry Craft, and N. Steven Harris. The panel was moderated by BlackSc-fi co-founder Maurice Waters, and held on the campus of Temple University, as part of an all day book fair.
"The panel was great," Simmons said, "we not only talked about our individual creative processes, we also shared various techniques writers and illustrators use in approaching someone else’s project and licensed properties. Through Q & A we were able to give some participants tips on developing their own books."
One of the high points for Simmons was seeing the exuberant faces on kids and adults when they learned that a black person was working on Archie stories.
"It’s not their fault Simmons said. "Not that companies should be running ads saying, "Yes we hire black folks.’ Or that black artists should have to wear t-shirts and flashing neon caps declaring every project … although that might be fun. But when a property has been viewed one way for decades, then it will come as a surprise to the audience. To learn otherwise"
Simmons also commented about how media (comics and mainstream) handle it. “Again, I’m not saying sirens have to go off when we get the gigs, but normal coverage of industry activities, or artists updates, or new series debuts could include pictures or interviews where the ethic origin would simply be part of the experience.”
Simmons added that when he wrote the Chuck Clayton mini series (later released as a graphic novel), the African –American media could have released a story saying something like, “Many of us have been fans of Archie for years, now there even more to enjoy and share with our kids.”
Simmons said he understands hype and how not all news is big news. But he feels that spreading good news serves everyone. “Rich or poor, people of color are part of society. And our children knowing that we are out there building, inventing, and creating will inspire them to do the same. Imaginative and productive citizens are useful ones – and that’s good for everybody, everywhere.”
Simmons was honored to take his creating comics workshop to kids at the E. M. Stanton Elementary School in Philadelphia. He also left them with sets of 2 of his stories for Archie Comics.
June 2nd, 2011
Simmons is Part of Art Sanctuary's 27th Annual Celebration of Black Writing
Friday, JUNE 3rd
Alex Simmons will be a guest artist creating comic art with the children of the Edwin M. Stanton School, in Philadelphia.
Saturday, JUNE 4th
Alex Simmons, Eric Battle, Jerry Craft, N. Steven Harris will be part of a panel talking about the Graphic Novel medium at the Art Sanctuary.
Simmons will also be part of their all day book fair. So come meet greet and have him autograph some of the many Archie Comics, and other books, he's written.
For more info go to
March 23, 2011
"Alex and the Kids' Comic Con Road Show had a great day of fun and games with the kids at Ronald McDonald House. It was all comics and drawing comics, and talking about comics and ... oh yes, comic artists. "We had a blast!" Take a look.
NJ Family Starts Comic Book Art Workshop In Son's Name
February 8th, 2011
Bronx Community College Educators and U.S. Embassy Kickoff African Arts Festival in Senegal
View Part 1 | View Part 2
February 8th, 2011
Comics Reclaimed for Kids by Kids and Educators
February 2nd, 2011
Back to School and off to Brazil
February 2nd, 2011
President Obama and Sarah Palin meet Archie Andrews