April 19, 2020

Hello again ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM fans (and curious onlookers). Like many of you out there, I am sheltered in place during this very frightening and extremely sad, Covid-19 global pandemic. I have tried to be productive with my extra downtime — moving forward with various ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM initiatives — and I’m here to fill you in on all the things going on at AFK headquarters in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey.

First the good news… The all-new, long-awaited, 24-page ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #12 is pretty much completed (I only need to get one final proofreading) — Now the bad news… Our printer is currently closed due to the health crisis. This means unfortunately AFK fans will have to wait just a little while longer — until things at the printer can get rolling again — to get their hands on the new issue. — Here’s a sneak peak at the front cover!

Front cover for the upcoming AFK#12. – Colors by Ziggy B!

I’m pretty happy with how AFK#12 turned-out — especially considering how wishy-washy I was at one point, trying to decide which direction to take the story. I am now confident that I made the right decisions along the way. I have to admit, drawing the issue also got off to a shaky start. I hadn’t produced a new issue in a while, and — those of you who do not draw, may not know — it can take some time to “get your hand back.” But I worked diligently at it, and I think the pages came out really solid.

Previous issue (AFK#11) Spoiler Warning! … The final page of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 revealed the return of ROCKJACK “The Rock-Control Guy” — who hadn’t been seen since our very first storyline — “Return of the Queen” — told in the pages of AFK#1-4. Besides our first ever, “return of a character,” the new issue also features the first appearances of not one, but two, all-new, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM characters — including one who I feel is destined for AFK super-stardom (did I hear someone say, “collectors’ item”?). AFK#12 is also filled with the kind of humor everyone expects from our heroes, ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR, and also has a pretty compelling cliffhanger ending – a staple of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM storylines in progress. Hopefully, when we can finally get it printed, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #12 will be worth the long wait between issues — and hopefully, you won’t have to wait so long for the next one.

Shortly after finishing AFK#12, I decided to keep things rolling and sat down to write ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #13 — from scratch. I kind of knew where I wanted to go with this one, and I also got very lucky at times, coming up with some really good material. The preliminary script only took me a couple of days, and I’m now in the editing process – breaking it down into pages and panels. I can then get started on the page layouts – that part of making a comic is a lot of fun.

As for the story… AFK#13 will wrap-up the “Try-out Issues” storyline — making it the first-ever, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM three-issue story arc (AFK trivia fans take note!). It’s also going to be the most action-packed AFK issue to date — which will make it much more challenging for me to draw. I like to conclude my storylines with biggest issues of the arc, and AFK#12 will continue that tradition, running about 28-pages.

So… Who will be the newest member of the GOOD GUYS? That question will finally be answered in AFK#13 — hopefully — before the end of 2020.

Since many families are stuck in their homes during this crisis, I thought this would be a good time to make ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM available for everyone to read – for FREE. You can now follow the adventures of ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR on webtoons – one of the leading digital comic book platforms in the world. WEBTOONS has an “episodic” approach to comics, so I’ve been breaking up ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM issues into segments of varying lengths, with each segment becoming an episode. As of this moment, Both AFK#1 and AFK#2 have been posted in their entirety — and I’ve been adding new episodes at least couple of times each week. It’s kind of a cool way to read ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM, which seems well suited for the way webtoons presents it’s content. You can check it out by clicking … HERE!

BTW.. You can also read ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM (issues #1-6 — with the rest coming soon) on Amazon’s digital platform – Comixology. And you can purchase the physical copies of AFK #1-11, at our AFK store right here on this website, as well as on our affiliated local comic shop – FUNNYBOOKS’ – all-new e-commerce platform which you can check out HERE.

Even with all the cool AFK news mentioned above, the thing I’m most excited to tell you about is working with our new ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM colorist, Lea Jean Badellas, whose coloring work is so outstanding. – She’s just what I’ve been looking for!

I became aware of Lea Jean’s work last summer, while checking-out Adam Wallenta’s PUNK TACO Hard Cover at Terrificon – my first time at this very cool annual comic con in Northern Connecticut. As I was looking through PUNK TACO – which would later go on to win the 2019 “Ringo Award” for “Best Kid’s Comic or Graphic Novel” — I could tell Lea was extremely well-skilled, and that her eye for color was just on another level. Her bold, colorful, and radient style was also right up my alley. — I was genuinely flattered when she agreed to color my pencils in ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM – I couldn’t believe she was even available. — I have to pat myself on the back just a little for this one… I was very patient, and also extremely picky in my long search for an interior colorist for ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM, and I know that I have found the right one in Lea Jean. I really hope I can keep Lea happy and interested in working with me for the long run, and that we can work together to color the entirety of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM — as well as what’s to come.

Speaking of which… I better get to work on the new stuff, before Lea catches up to me.

Thanks for reading! And stay safe. – Action Steve 

December 15, 2019

Ugh! Time flies when your making FUNNYBOOKS, and – once again – it’s been too long between blog posts and I’m really sorry about that. For more frequent updates please consider following us on our Instagram… action_figure_kingdom.

Follow ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM on Instagram for more frequent updates

Since our last post (back in July – yikes!), Ziggy and I took the ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM show on the road and have had some memorable and rewarding experiences at several east coast comic cons — GARDEN STATE COMIC FEST in Morristown New Jersey, TERRIFICON in  Connecticut, and — most recently — BALTIMORE COMIC CON in… well… Baltimore!

GARDEN STATE COMIC FEST is pretty much an annual July tradition for us, since it’s the closest “big” comic con to ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey. GSCF is the only comic con we know of to be held inside of a hockey rink, and we always have a “chill” time.

Our next stop was in August at TERRIFICON — at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Northern Connecticut — where we were invited to be part of the KIDS LOVE COMICS section of Artists’ Alley, alongside other like-minded creators of family-friendly Comics & Stuff (and for some reason, Russ Braun – who is known for his work on the adult-themed, “THE BOYS” series). It was our first TERRIFICON and we really enjoyed the INFINITY GAUNTLET-themed weekend (we even saw THANOS creator Jim Starlin “walk into a wall” when he tried to exit through a curtain that was just covering a wall, not a door). At night we hit the casino where I learned craps by watching Ziggy play. Maybe I’ll play next year — we are definitely hoping to go back!

This “life-sized” THANOS greeted us at the 2019 TERRIFICON

Action Steve (and Jet Jaguar- lol) at Terrificon

In early October, Ziggy and I spent a Thursday at the east coast’s biggest comic con, NEW YORK COMIC CON! We didn’t set up at NYCC, but we attended some professional panels in the morning, and then spent the rest of the day networking and just taking in the scene and having fun. After the con, we made our way over to the annual SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) ”reunion” — Ziggy is a graduate — for some refreshments. Thanks, SCAD!

Action Steve and Ziggy B. having fun at NYCC 2019.

Finally — in late October — Ziggy and I returned to the Baltimore Comic Con! The BCC is very well run and always a lot of fun. The organizers provide our amazing “KIDS LOVE COMICS” group a generous amount of space — complete with a workshop area — where I hosted a panel on ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM (and debuted the first incarnation of my “GOOD GUYS rap” – under protests from Ziggy). Over the course of the three-day con, we were able to introduce AFK to a bunch of new fans, and also had some returning fans, from previous Baltimore Comic Cons, looking to score more issues of AFK. If you ever get a chance to get to the Baltimore Comic Con, go for it. We really love it!

Action Steve hosted a “Meet the GOOD GUYS” panel at BCC2019!

We want to thank all of the convention organizers, fans, and our fellow creators for the great experiences we have had attending these comic cons — especially the members and of the “KIDS LOVE COMICS” group. Special thanks to Mark and Chris Mariano who keep the group together and pretty much run the workshop area. Also, special thanks to Franco, who took the time to do a really cool ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR cover for me! What a nice guy!

Thanks to Franco for this Amazing ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR “Fan Art.”

Now that “convention season” is over, it’s time to hunker down at the drawing table and get serious about ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #12 and ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM #2. More on those soon. — Also… Happy Birthday, Ziggy!

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

July 4, 2019

Greetings AFK fans! It’s me, “Action Steve,” and I’m back to tell you all about this year’s ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM FREE COMIC BOOK DAY issue…

When I was a kid, I always loved the games and activities I would find in Highlights Magazine, which I would find in various waiting rooms, like at the dentist. As I got older, I discovered and subscribed to Games Magazine — a then monthly magazine filled with crosswords, puzzles, and all kinds of original, inventive games and activities. I have great memories of these magazines, and I’ve wanted to produce a like-minded ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM-themed ACTIVITY COMIC for a while now. This year’s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY — already two months behind us — provided the perfect opportunity for just that.

Once again, FUNNYBOOKS — our affiliated Comic Shop in Lake Hiawatha, NJ — and ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM, teamed-up to produce an exclusive FREE, AFK comic book for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY — the first ever ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM Activity Comic (pictured above). The AFK ACTIVITY COMIC included ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM-inspired games, including a word find, connect the dots, a GENERAL ZOMBIE-themed maze, and more. The 12-pager (counting the covers) also included “how to draw” activities, and a “draw your own cover” feature. The comic was handed out for FREE to everyone who stopped by FUNNYBOOKS on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY.

If you missed FREE COMIC BOOK DAY at FUNNYBOOKS, don’t worry… The AFK ACTIVITY COMIC, is now available to check out — or download for FREE — along with our previous exclusive free comics, right here at actionfigurekingdom.com (under the “comics” tab). I really enjoy creating this type of stuff, so look for more ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM games, puzzles, and activities down the line.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

April 14, 2019

Greetings ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM Fans! AFK is BACK! — With a new, 24-page issue that kicks-off a new storyline (our fourth). Welcome to the Try-Outs!

It’s been over a year between AFK issues, due in part to a change in plans regarding the new AFK spin-off series, ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM. You see, ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM #1 was originally supposed to be ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11, but upon PICKLE KINGDOM’S completion in October (2018), the decision was made to make the BLOOD PICKLE storyline its own title, so it was now up to yours truly to produce AFK#11. Luckily, I had a little head start, as work on the first 12 pages of AFK#11 had already begun.

Actually, the first 12 pages of AFK#11 have appeared before — as the lead story in the AFK 2018 Free Comic Book Day Edition (handed out exclusively at our affiliated comic book store, FUNNYBOOKS, in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, on Free Comic Book Day last year).

The 12-pages — which introduced a Mexican speedster named RRRAPIDO to the AFK Universe (Free Comic Book Day was on Cinco De Mayo last year) was presented in the rough-sketch stage of the AFK process. Since then, those 12-pages have gone thru a bit of an overhaul — New panels have been added, and others have been moved around. I also rewrote a bunch of the dialogue, and I turned the rough sketches into finished pencils. So, even if you have the AFK Free Comic Book Day Comic from last year, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 will still provide you with a fresh AFK experience. As for the last 12 pages of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11, they are indeed all-new, never seen before pages!

A page from the 2018 AFK Free Comic Book Day issue on the left, compared to the new page from ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 on the right.

I’ve been thinking about producing a try-out storyline for a while now. I’ve always liked the concept, whether used in comics, animation, or movies. One memorable one for me is from the movie, Mystery Men (and more recently there was a good one in DEADPOOL 2). One of the most famous try-outs in comics was featured in DC’s ADVENTURE COMICS #247 (1958), featuring the Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes — also one of the most iconic comic book covers of all time. When I decided it was time to introduce some new characters to the ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM Universe, the try-out theme seemed like an engaging, endearing, (and efficient) way to accomplish that. The result is the first AFK storyline that pays homage to a classic comic book story device — The Try-Outs.

Now that ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM is on its way through double digits, I thought it was a great time to bring back a character we haven’t seen in a while. So, I reached all the way back to the debut AFK storyline, “Return of the Queen” (told in AFK#1-4), to borrow one of the “THREE ROYAL ELEMENTALS” for the try-outs. Who will it be? You’ll have to pick-up ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 (and read it all the way to the end) to find out!

Thank you for your interest in ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM! — I’ll be back soon to fill you in on our upcoming (potential) FREE COMIC BOOK DAY comic, and the next issues of both ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM and ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM.

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

November 11, 2018

AFK fans can now get their hands on the first issue of an all-new ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM spin-off series… ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM!

The newest adventure — starring ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR — was originally scheduled to be told in the pages of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 & #12, but as the first issue neared completion, the story began to take on a quality of its own, and the decision was made to make it its own title all together.

Ziggy designed this retro cover look for the All-New ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM #1

The 18-page ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM #1 is written and lettered by me (“Action” Steve), and illustrated by AFK cover-colorist (and frequent collaborator) Ziggy B. ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM teams the stars of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM — ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR — with Ziggy’s trademark character, BLOOD PICKLE, who you may remember from previous FREE COMIC BOOK DAY adventures (including one also called ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM which you can read for FREE at our “FREE READS” area at the bottom of the “comics” section — right here at actionfigurekingdom.com).

The “original” ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM FREE COMIC BOOK DAY EDITION was produced before ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR’s costume colors were even introduced!

Ziggy turned-in an outstanding job on this issue, and his engaging style is perfect for the somewhat silly nature the story I wrote for him — a fun-filled tale which also introduces a new character named WISH COMMANDER, and a new friend for TOMMY named KIRA, who brings her own MOONFOX action figure along for the adventure. Oh yeah… and there’s also a LAMP (but not the same lamp you got to know in the now-classic “ZOMBIE KINGDOM” storyline told in AFK#5 & AFK#6). One thing you’re sure to notice about the artwork is that ZIGGY’s AFK world is much more lush than the barren moonscapes usually found in an issue of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM, and ZIGGY inks his work, which really takes ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM artwork to a whole new level. You can see for yourself by picking up a copy at our affiliated comic shop —FUNNYBOOKS, in Lake Hiawatha New Jersey — or you can purchase one right here in our store at actionfigurekingdom.com, and we’ll mail it out to you!

So now… what about ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11? Well, it looks like that one’s back in my hands. Luckily I’ve already started on what was going to be ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #13 — after two issues by Ziggy — so AFK#13 will now be moved into the AFK#11 slot. I’ve written the 24-page script, and have already started finished-pencils on the first 12 pages, which were previewed in our 2018 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY issue — the one with RRRAPIDO (also in our FREE READS section).

I’ve also just completed the script to the 22-page ACTION PICKLE KINGDOM #2, and have handed it off to Ziggy. I have the feeling we will both be working thru the winter on these two issues. Hopefully, they will both be available in early 2019. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

July 28, 2018

I didn’t plan back-to-back posts about comic cons, but we (Me and that guy, ZIGGY, again) recently spent two days (July 7th & 8th) in Artists Alley at the GARDEN STATE COMIC FEST, which is held every summer at the Mennen Arena in Morristown, New Jersey — only 20 minutes away from ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM HEADQUARTERS! GSCF has a good balance of vendors and artists, and there are always great cosplayers. This year’s con seemed to be well-attended by fans, and because GSCF is so close to home, we see a lot of people we know. It’s always a lot of fun!

Silver-Age FLASH posing with the back cover of AFK#7 – featuring CLASSIC SPARKINATOR (one helped to inspire the other).

Throughout the weekend, ZIGGY and I did our best to capture the attention and interest of the con attendees, and to get our comics into readers’ hands. I was fortunate enough to find many new readers for ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM, and ZIGGY created new fans of his two creative endeavors, his comic book miniseries SIDEKICKED, and his OPERATION PAJAMA PANTS Hard Cover. ZIGGY has the advantage in sales because he does a free original dance with every purchase.

Comic cons are LONG! Luckily, ZIGGY & I are both artists, and we spend most of the time drawing. I’m not at the point where people are paying me to draw for them, so I just sketch whatever I’m feeling – always one of my original characters. Over the past several cons, I’ve been refining my convention sketch style. I’ve started inking my sketches and have even gotten into the whole Copic Marker coloring thing. It’s been a great feeling just drawing for FUN again! And I usually wind-up with some pretty solid sketches that I can turn into pin-ups, covers, or something else down the line.

Now that GARDEN STATE COMIC FEST is a wrap, we are turning our attention to our next comic con — the BALTIMORE COMIC CON (at the end of September) where ZIGGY and I will be included in the ALL-AGES / KIDS LOVE COMICS section of Artist’s Alley for the first time! This makes us happy! And, by the time BALTIMORE rolls around, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 — which is drawn by ZIGGY — will be on sale. — So get ready to see some new dance moves!

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

June 13, 2018

I just returned from KIDS CON NEW ENGLAND, in Nashua New Hampshire, and what a great experience it was!

We (me and AFK Cover colorist — and artist of the upcoming AFK#11 — Ziggy B) took the 4-hour drive from New Jersey on Saturday night to attend the one-day con on Sunday, and it was well worth the trip!

Me and Ziggy — A.K.A. Jake Soggy (it’s a long story)

KIDS CON NEW ENGLAND was unlike any comic book convention I have ever attended. The organizer of the event, Emily Drouin (the creator of the comic book series, “EPLIS,” who we met at last year’s Baltimore Comic Con) did an amazing job putting this together. There was a sizable vendors room, which was laid-out and set-up very nicely. There were kid-themed panels and activities from start to finish. You could have your face painted or get a balloon animal. The program handout was AMAZING (complete with kids activities like a word search featuring all of the attending artists’ creations). And the costume contest was kids-only (and was heartwarming to watch). The event (in its third year) was well organized, and very well attended, thanks to Emily’s hard work, thoughtfulness, and excellent promotional campaign.

Although I write ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM to appeal to fans of every age, it seems to be most successful with younger readers, which made this “kids-only” con perfect for AFK! At most comic cons I have to pick kids out of the crowd to come take a look at AFK, and I would estimate the ratio of adults to kids is to be AT LEAST 25:1. And at many cons, I am near a vendor who is selling non-kid-friendly material. This KIDS CON was different — Families and kids EVERYWHERE! The only adults were parents, vendors, KIDS CON staff (very helpful and always nice, BTW), and cosplayers. We need more cons like this one in this world, and ALL cons should feature a “kids area” for creators of kid-friendly material. We can’t wait to go back next year!

“Action” Steve enjoying KIDS CON!

May 15, 2018

Hope you didn’t miss one of the biggest days of the year for comic shops around the world, because FREE COMIC BOOK DAY (FCBD) 2018 is already in the books (you see what we did there?). The extravaganza — which takes place the 1st Saturday in May every year — is designed to get more comics into readers’ hands, and hopefully create some new fans!

Once again, we here at ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM HEADQUARTERS, produced a special, ALL-NEW, FREE edition of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! The ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2018 Edition was inspired by the realization that FREE COMIC BOOK DAY would fall on CINCO DE MAYO this year. The Mexico-themed celebration sparked the idea for an ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM FCBD storyline that was too good to pass up.

I came up with the character, RRRAPIDO, a while ago — A Latino character with speed powers (the three “R’s” indicate “rolling your “R’s”). He was one of a new wave of heroes I was working on who would all be introduced in a “try-out-themed” ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM storyline somewhere down the line. When I discovered the 2018 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY / CINCO DE MAYO connection, I started thinking about moving the try-out storyline to the top of the AFK schedule. I could introduce RRRAPIDO to the ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM Universe on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, and make him a hero specifically from Mexico. The more I thought about the synchronicity of the idea, the more I knew it had to be done.

I knew I was on to something when I came-up with the concept of presenting all of RRRAPIDO’S dialogue in the FCBD issue in Spanish, and utilizing ACROBOT as a translator throughout the story (the standard method used when a comic book character speaks another language, is to put English dialogue in parenthesis, which indicates it’s really another language). Having RRRAPIDO’s dialogue in actual Spanish, was more authentic, and combined with SPARKINATOR’s rudimentary understanding of the language, led to much of the issues humor. As a bonus, the “translation concept” is also somewhat educational — it certainly was for me! I was fortunate to have a friend in Mexico City who was willing to help me with all of my Spanish dialogue, and was also very pleasant to work with – Thank you Regina Sienra!

After writing the FCBD2018 script, and seeing I had a 12-page story on my hands, I realized I wouldn’t be able to finish the time-consuming finished pencils in time for a FCBD release. This is when I came-up with the idea to produce a “Sketch” edition instead. Besides being quicker to draw, the sketch version would also give AFK fans something different than a regular issue of AFK, and would also look pretty cool (the sketches always do). Thanks to this decision, I actually beat my deadline and had finished the 12-page story several weeks before FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. This is when AFK cover colorist — and the artist of the upcoming ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 — Ziggy B, and I, came-up with the crazy idea of adding some of his pages from AFK#11 to the AFKFCBD2018 Edition. Not only would this give everyone a preview of the very NEXT AFK issue, but it would also give us the opportunity to showcase the “ACTION FIGURE” element of AFK, since ZIGGY’s pages would feature the AFK kids playing with their action figures – while my story was all “KINGDOM.”

A “kids playing with their action figures” panel from the upcoming AFK#11, by Ziggy B.

Once we decided to include Ziggy’s pages we were back under deadline. Ziggy increased his pace (he had a lot of the penciling finished, but he still had most of the inking to do) and I began lettering his pages (luckily we work well together). The end result is our biggest FREE COMIC BOOK DAY issue ever — 24-pages if you include the covers — 12 sequential pages and a RRRAPIDO pin-up by me, and 6 sequential pages plus a pin-up (the cover to AFK#11) by Ziggy. Thanks to a quick turn around by our printer, we had the issue printed just in time for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY.  – ¡Y el resto es historia! (and the rest is history!).

If you didn’t get a copy of the AFKFCBD2018 CINCO DE MAYO SPECIAL (handed out at FUNNYBOOKS on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, see below*), you can now read the whole thing right here at actionfigurekingdom.com.Simply go to the “comics” tab and scroll to the bottom of our “FREE READS” section — where you will also find last year’s “4th-wall-breaching” FCBD issue.

While you may have to wait a while for the rest of the RRRAPIDO try-out storyline, (currently scheduled to continue in AFK#13), you will be able to continue Ziggy’s story this summer in ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11. More on that in the next blog.

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

*Did you know the creator of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM, Steve Conte (A.K.A. the guy writing this) also owns and operates a friendly little New Jersey comic shop named FUNNYBOOKS (funnyrama.com). The AFK FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2018 CINCO DE MAYO SPECIAL was offered as a FUNNYBOOKS exclusive on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY this year. A limited number of copies are still available.

March 3, 2018

Hello out there, AFK FANS! It’s March 2018 and I’m back to fill you in on everything going on at ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM headquarters!

I’m pretty excited about the upcoming ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11. It’s the first AFK issue illustrated by a guest artist — AFK cover colorist, ZIGGY B — and he’s doing a great job. ZIGGY is a talented artist and his style is very well suited for the sometimes-silly nature of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM. AFK#11 will introduce several new characters to the AFK Universe — including ZIGGY’S own creation, BLOOD PICKLE — and will also feature a new costume design for SPARKINATOR! AFK fans can watch Ziggy work LIVE on TWITCH TV every Tuesday night at 8pm at https://www.twitch.tv/fakemccoy. Pretty cool!

Panel one from the upcoming ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 — Guest-illustrated by AFK Cover colorist, ZIGGY B!

While ZIGGY works on AFK11, I’m busy working on the 2018 ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM FREE COMIC BOOK DAY SPECIAL — an all-new 12-pager set to introduce a new AFK hero on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, (Saturday May 5th / CINCO DE MAYO — And let’s just say this new character’s first appearance is appropriately timed for the annual Mexican celebration!). God willing, the AFK FCBD 2018 SPECIAL will be available for FREE at our affiliated local comic shop, FUNNYBOOKS Comics & Stuff (in Lake Hiawatha, NJ) on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, and then will join last year’s FCBD issue at our “FREE READS” section on the “COMICS” page at actionfigurekingdom.com.


My search for an interior colorist for AFK continues. I thought I had found the right person, but things fell through, so I am now looking at new options. The plan is to color the 40-page ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM storyline (from AFK#5 & #6) first — hopefully in time for HALLOWEEN 2018. Stay tuned.

Ziggy and I have committed to several upcoming comic cons this Spring. First up is the Kid’s Comic Con at Bronx Community College on Saturday, April 21st. I attended this last year and it was a lot of fun. The following week on April 27th, 28th & 29th, Ziggy and I will be spending the weekend in Artist’s Alley at EAST COAST COMIC CON, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, in Secaucus, NJ. I’ve heard good things about this con, and this will be my first time attending. If you are planning on going please look for us there.

Finally, with everything going on, I’ve decided it was time to take ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM out of its “grass roots” stage, and form an official company. ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM LLC was formed on February 12th, 2018 — my Mom’s 80th Birthday! Happy Birthday MOM! — Without her and my dad, ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR wouldn’t even exist.

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

MOM’s looking Greaty at 80!

January 28, 2018

“A powerful and gruesome archenemy from 30 years ago has resurfaced, and once again has his sights set on destroying the GOOD GUYS! Will even the combined might of two ACROBOTS and two SPARKINATORS be enough to defeat MISTER BLAST?”

Find out in the all-new, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #10 — Now on Sale!

In the comic biz, certain issues are known as “milestones.” Generally every 25 issues seems to trigger the milestone tag. But for a comic book adventure just starting out, hitting double-digits also qualifies! Another “milestone qualifier” is the content of the issue itself. There should be something special — more epic — than just a regular issue of the title. ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #10 definitely fits that bill!

Not only is AFK#10 the second-longest ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM issue ever — weighing in at a pleasing 32-pages (only the 48-Page, AFK#4 is lengthier) — but it also wraps-up “BLAST FROM THE PAST” — a four-issue story arc years in the making — and features two ACROBOTS and two SPARKINATORS in an epic battle against ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM’s most powerful BAD GUY, MISTER BLAST. AFK#10 also continues the evolution of AFK’s “real-world” framing sequence, which sets ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM apart from other superhero stories. In AFK#9, the “kids playing with their action figures” scenes were shuffled-in throughout the issue — Instead of being presented in multi-page sequences, usually at the beginning or end of an issue — and this continues in AFK#10.

ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #10 also represents a new beginning for AFK. Now that I have TEN issues completed — enough of a head-start for two graphic novels already — I am exploring ways to take AFK out of its grass roots stage, and to a wider audience, by contacting agents, specific publishers, and even some comic shops, and looking at some digital options. I’ve also lined-up several convention appearances for spring and summer 2018. Meanwhile, I’m working with some colorists to produce the first, full-color, AFK story, and I’ve returned to writing new material, including the script to ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11, the first AFK adventure to be drawn by a guest artist — AFK cover colorist, Ziggy B. I’ve handed Ziggy the script, and he’s already working on it. I can’t wait to see his pages!

For me, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #10 also represents a personal accomplishment. The “BLAST FROM THE PAST” storyline is something I planned a while ago, and seeing the whole thing in print is very rewarding (and also somehow surreal). Reaching double-digits is like getting to the end of long race — or more like the end of the first leg of a longer race, because there are still many ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM stories to tell. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve