Cranboyz Online

A place for the members of the Cranboyz to share stories about Comic Books, Conventions and Artwork!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Remembering Adam

Adam and I were kindred spirits, no other way about it. And since this is the Cranboyz blog, what better ways to illustrate it than our love for comics.

I met Adam on the way to a small comic con in Buffalo Shane had invited me to. I'd heard about Adam but had never met him. He seemed quiet at first, which is what a lot of people thought when they met him, of course, over time that image would seem comically incorrect!

After that first show we started chatting on email, at first it was just months of "Simpsons" quotes, then we finally progressed to having an actual conversation. Soon thereafter we all went to Pittsburgh for a con, Adam to meet his favorite artist, Howard Porter and me to meet pro wrestler Mick Foley.

We quickly learned that our obsessive personalities were well matched when the rest of the crew wasn't heading to the con until later but Adam and I decided we wanted to be there as bright and early as possible. So at six in the morning we wandered over to the Monroeville Expomart to wait in line to meet our heroes. At that show a lot of the crew was heading back after one day but Adam and I stayed over one more night. That night was the first time we really talked about our lives both in and out of comics. We watched a hockey game at the local Max and Erma's, I'm not a big hockey fan but I'm a sports fan, another thing Adam and I would talk about incessantly.

In Adam, I found someone I could talk about some of the more obscure and artsy comics. He gave me my first copy of "From Hell" to read, I got him to read "Transmetropolitan." We liked the heavier, Vertigo-type stuff, written by those damned British writers. And, of course, we loved to quote those books and random moments to our endless amusement and possibly to everyone else's annoyance :)

There was nothing we liked referencing more than Grant Morrison and Chris Weston's "The Filth." "The Filth" is an aquired taste, to be sure, with an overtly sexual and crazy science fiction story. Most people gave up on "The Filth" but we loved it, especially bringing up the book's communist monkey assasin, Dmitri-9.

This story probably won't make any sense but I can't stop laughing about it to this day. At my old job I had all the time in the world to email Adam as we both trudged along at our office gigs. An email would start on one topic and within a few responses would venture off to any unexpected tangent. In this case somehow we started talking about Fraggle Rock and I mentioned the old adage from the show that "a doozer that doesn't becomes a Fraggle." Adam responded that he didn't know what it meant because to him it needed a verb, a doozer that doesn't DO WHAT becomes a Fraggle? So he suggested his version would be 'a doozer that doesn't READ THE FILTH becomes a Fraggle.' I didn't stop laughing that day and I found the email again before I left my old job and was cleaning out my old email files. And I laughed just as hard that time. That's what Adam could do, pull a reference out of NOWHERE that was so funny.

I know sometimes people thought we were being smug or condescending but, really, we just enjoyed obscure jokes and loved making the most obscure possible references as often as possible. We were just being funny. Sure, we knew it annoyed people sometimes but, well, we were just entertaining ourselves. We spent so much time together and had all the same interests, we understood that we only made sense to one another. And, of course, sometimes we enjoyed that part of it too :)

And Adam loved super heroes, like we all do. He took the piss out of them a lot and he'd lost interest in the current product but anytime we were out, comics and super heroes came up. The con circuit had worn him out a bit and it wasn't as much fun for him as he wanted it to be, he struggled with anxiety at shows and the lack of sleep and cramped quarters didn't help. But he knew we wanted him to go and tried to keep his interest, even when it was getting too expensive and too much for him.

Every con I go to now, I'll want Adam to be there too. That's never going to change.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thanks, Adam!

As the years go by, we will all continue to remember JLAdam with every story we tell, every convention we attend and every sketch we get. But there is one thing that will always, ALWAYS remind me of Adam. And that is Starman.

Back when I was in college, I was starting to branch out into the DC Universe more and more because I was enjoying how DC was telling stories dealing with the legacies left by their golden- and silver-age heroes. No title dealt more with this topic than Starman, by James Robinson and Tony Harris. It is still one of my absolute favorite series, and I doubt if I would have even tried it if Adam hadn't given me his copies of the first two trades. Later, at Mid-Ohio Con in 2002, Adam commissioned for me this sketch of Starman from Darryl Banks.

A year later, after many chats about the series, Adam commissioned me to do this sketch in his sketchbook, based on the storyarc entitled "Sand and Stars" where Jack Knight crosses paths and teams up with the Golden Age Sandman, Wesley Dodds. This arc was a favorite of both of ours, and I was nervous as hell to do it for him because I didn't want to screw it up. However, I was very happy with how it turned out, and I like to think that he was also. I've looked at this sketch many times over the past week and a half, and although it still makes me sad to realize Adam is gone, it also makes me remember our shared love for this series.

Thanks for everything, Adam. You are missed more than you can imagine.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This past week we lost our very good friend, Adam Hauenstein. Adam and I have been friends for over 15 years. Like most of us, we met through Land of Cran Comics.
Adam has been a valued friend and card-carrying member of the Cranboyz. Due to his love for the Morrison/Porter run on JLA, he started a JLA themed Sketchbook and became JLAdam.

Adam loved to joke and have fun, no matter where we were. Movies, comic book store, The Rock, Conventions, they were all made dramatically more entertaining by JLAdam.

A quick gag, a posed photo, or a phone call to Dave's comic book store in Florida, Adam was eager to lay the groundwork, regardless of how long it would take to pay off.

Even starting a Blog, under a friends nick name, knowing that we all knew it was him, he never admitted it. Not once. He always claimed to know nothing about it.
Adam was the mastermind behind my Titans sketchbook. When I was about to undergo surgery, he contacted Darrylax, Andy and Popa and they presented me with a brand new sketchbook with a sketch by Darryl.
I owe Adam Thanks for all he has done for me and put up with. He is greatly missed and will be remembered, always.
God Bless Adam Hauenstein. The Man, The Myth, The Legend.

"The League Needs More Thinkers."