Spotlight: KSGeekMan (Ben AbuSaada)

Today’s Spotlight is on a fantastic artist, musician, and Star Wars collector.

Ben AbuSaada, or KSGeekMan, is an artist in the Kansas City region who freelances and also sketches for trading card giants Topps and Upper Deck Entertainment. You can catch him at local comic cons for his art but he’s also got an amazing collection of Hot Toys, ArtFX, and Hasbro figures, as well as a passion for comic books!

I came across Ben’s page on Instagram a few years ago and absolutely loved his art style and diverse Star Wars collection – “Geek Man” indeed! And once I found out that he was a fellow musician as well… needless to say, I knew he had to get a proper #LesDudisSpotlight! So let’s check out some of KSGeekMan’s work and a short Q&A with Ben himself at the end of this Spotlight:

Topps Star Wars

Ben officially draws sketch cards for Topps for many of their recent Star Wars lines: A New Hope Black & White, Masterwork 2018, The Last Jedi, Journey To The Last Jedi, Galactic Files, and the list goes on…

He also draws for the Topps Walking Dead line.

Upper Deck Cards

You can also see some of Ben’s recent work on Upper Deck’s Thor Ragnarok set. I think these cards look great in their own way and stand apart from Topps’ sketch cards. Check out this one he did of Odinson himself:

Prints, Commissions & Sketch Covers

You may be lucky enough to pull one of Ben’s cards in a pack. But if you can’t wait for that, you can always check out his Etsy store! There you might see a few AP’s (Artist Proof) but it’s also the best place to submit your commission request for a sketch card or comic book sketch cover… or to order yourself a Kansas City Comic Con Exclusive “Boba Fett Mandolorian Print” with remarque!

Just look at those possibilities!

My personal favorites are the ones I have in my own collection. One is a Rogue One K-2SO (non-Topps) B&W sketch card and the other is a 40th Anniversary Obi-Wan Kenobi sketch card.

And even though Ben excels at Star Wars/comic art, he surely isn’t limited to it! Just check out his Breaking Bad, Lord Of The Rings, and G.I. Joe cards!

Stories, Raffles & Giveaways

Lastly, Ben also runs all sorts of great deals across his social media platforms – from polls to giveaways to cheap raffles, you might find yourself gaining a few awesome pieces for your own collection! Vote for your favorite trilogy, score a free Black Series figure, or win a Hot Toys collectible for next to nothing!

And who knows? Maybe you’ll find that collectible you’ve been after for a year right on his Instagram store, @GeekFlagFly!

Let’s take a moment to get to know Ben!

Who or what inspired you to become an artist?
My grandfather was an artist, and my mom. Growing up, she always encouraged me in my creativity. She was great at inspiring me and pushing me to be better. More recently, artist Todd Aaron Smith befriended me and gave me tips and invested in my art journey. He’s a fantastic artist who worked on Batman The Animated Series in the 90’s.

Who is the biggest supporter of your work?
My wife. She has given me encouragement and freedom to pursue the side hustle, spending lots of evenings in the art studio.

Do you currently have a favorite comic book series?
I have been enjoying the Darth Vader series, Daredevil and Old Man Logan.

What helps you get the creative juices flowing?
I like perusing fellow artists on YouTube, Instagram and other social media outlets. Just seeing what others are doing inspires me.

If you could pick just one project/piece that you’re most proud of, what would it be?
That would have to be some of the cards I did for the Topps Masterwork series. I explored some different mediums and was super pleased with the results.

When you’re not drawing, what do you like to do?
I love singing and playing guitar. Watching my three daughters with my wife doing their various hobbies (volleyball, singing and theater).

Could you share any advice for aspiring creators out there?
One thing I applied to myself, accept criticism. Be sure to keep your skin thick. Seek out and receive valuable input from people doing exactly what you aspire to do. Be humble, don’t think you have it all figured out, and definitely don’t act like you have it all figured out. Find those one or two voices that you can trust and let them give you feedback. When something isn’t working, pause and come back to it later with fresh eyes.

That’s amazing, Ben. Thanks so much for sharing!


Where to follow KSGeekMan: Instagram || Etsy || Twitter || Facebook


Pink Kit Kats! (Valentine’s Day 2018)

Here in America we’ve seen the typical flavors for Kit Kat: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and even White Chocolate… but overseas, Nestlé has been experimenting with limited edition flavors such as matcha, cheesecake, soy sauce, sweet potato, and so much more! In fact, they’ve released over 300 flavors in the past 2 decades!

But 2018’s latest craze is the pink Kit Kat. The good news is that there are a few ways to get your hands on them: a bag of 12 mini raspberry Kit Kats, a 4-pack box of mini strawberry Kit Kats, and the highly sought-after Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby (the world’s first ruby cacao bean chocolate)… but the bad news is that today being Valentine’s Day, you probably won’t be able to find them in time for your sweetheart. 💔

If it’s any consolation, all varieties of the pink Kit Kat would break the bank:

This bag of 12 mini raspberry Kit Kats will cost you $12-15, which is at least a dollar per mini pack.

The 4-pack box of mini strawberry Kit Kats runs for $30-35, making each mini pack about $8.

And the pièce de résistance: a single stick of Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby is anywhere from $20-30! If you’re worried that one stick won’t be enough, there are 4-packs that go for about $80!

So now let’s go through the different types and flavors. At the end of this post, I’ll rate them and tell you which one was my favorite!

The mini raspberry Kit Kats were the cheapest so I started with those first. The texture is exactly what you would expect from Kit Kat, nothing different there. But the taste of raspberry was very prominent – a combination of sweet and tart, it was very berry! As you can see in the above picture, they have a slight graininess to them, almost like the seeds of a berry.

The mini strawberry Kit Kats were sweet as well, but less tart. I actually enjoyed these a lot and I even liked the color of them better. They were more convincing as a “pink” Kit Kat. But the packaging seemed more red:

Finally, the Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby. Debuting just a few weeks ago, it’s the first new natural chocolate to hit the market in 80 years. Swiss chocolatier Barry Callebaut developed this deep pink chocolate from the ruby cacao bean, which has a natural pink color. The taste was unique and had similarities to berries. I can see why this rare chocolate fetches such a high price!

Hershey, the U.S. distributor of Kit Kat, said that they have no current plans to bring this Kit Kat to the States. So your best luck is finding them online or possibly in a Japanese market!

So who won the Kit Kat shootout?

The three Kit Kats were all delicious and how can you go wrong with pink? But in ascending order, I’d rate them as (3) raspberry, (2) Sublime Ruby, and (1) strawberry!

Wherever you’re at and no matter what chocolate you receive today, I hope everyone has a happy Valentine’s Day!

Spotlight: CreeesArt (Creees HyunSung Lee)

Today’s Spotlight is on a great artist I’ve had the privilege of meeting many times at comic cons all over the area.

Creees HyunSung Lee, or CreeesArt, is a freelance comic artist with a background in cartooning from New York City’s School of Visual Arts, one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. With a successful Kickstarter campaign under his belt he was able to fully fund the printing of his own art book titled “Ribbit Ribbit”, a 36-page collection filled with his original pieces. In addition to that, Creees also accepts commissions online and at conventions – anything goes, from superheroes to TV shows.

(Creees worked on a Star Wars sketch cover for me recently that I’ll be adding to this post in a couple months)

Let’s check out some of his work and the short interview I had with him at the end of the Spotlight:


My first exposure to his work has become some of my favorites: Superhero/Pokémon crossovers! Batman & Zubat? Lady Thor & Zapdos? Wonder no more:

He’s done some chibi wall art & a new series of hilariously amazing Avengers Minions. I personally picked up one of these:

I love that you can enjoy his art as a comic book aficionado or even just starting out.


And as an aspiring Marvel/DC artist, Creees can handle all the moods: from the dark brooding nature of Logan or Batman on a gargoyle to the lighthearted, crass humor of Deadpool. And chances are you’re seeing today’s post because of my Instagram of a Spider-Man sketch card drawn by him (Creees was a sketch artist for 2016’s Upper Deck Marvel Annual trading cards).

You can also see his work come alive when you subscribe to his YouTube time-lapse sketches & Twitch live-stream drawings.

You can literally scroll for hours through Creees’ Instagram and gaze at his incredible art: Stranger Things… Walking Dead… Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… Star Wars

Even if you don’t know where to start when you see him at your next con, just take a business card. They’re already works of art:

But let’s hear from the man himself now!

Interview with CreeesArt

Who or what inspired you to become an artist?
I think as a child I always drew, but Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball Z) definitely was one of the first artists that inspired me. More recently in my college years and forward, Jim Lee, Kenneth Rocafort, Sean Murphy, and Matteo Scalera all had a huge impact in my art.

Who is the biggest supporter of your work?
My biggest supporter of my art was my late godmother. She passed away last year, but she has supported me since I was in sixth grade. Now, I’m just happy to have supporters. I don’t think I have a “biggest” supporter.

Do you currently have a favorite comic book series?
To be honest, I haven’t had much time to read any comics. But from what I’ve read, “Chrononauts” definitely is in my top five.

What helps you get the creative juices flowing?
The best way to get my creative juices flowing is to look at other artists’ work. Especially the ones that I look up to and try to learn from. If I see something really well done, it makes me want to try and create something similar.

If you could pick just one project/piece that you’re most proud of, what would it be?
I can’t say which piece/project I am most proud of… After drawing something, there’s always a part of me that finds something wrong or something that I don’t like about the drawing. It’s almost like a shield to ever becoming comfortable and makes me try to get better.

When you’re not drawing, what do you like to do?
When I’m not drawing, I usually go to the gym (because I’m sitting all day), play games (CS:GO or Rocket League), or just chill with friends.

Could you share any advice for aspiring creators out there?
For anybody looking to find a career as an artist, I think it is always important to work hard and believe in your art. Also, be open to get any and all criticisms from people. Being critical of your art will be the only way you get better.

Creees, thanks so much! Keep up the great work!


Where to follow CreeesArt: Instagram || Twitter || YouTube || Twitch

ComiCONN 2017 (Foxwoods Resort Casino)

ComiCONN proudly boasts being “A Show for the Fans by the Fans!”, but can you feel it when you attend?

Whether your interests lie in sci-fi/fantasy, comedy, or pop culture, ComiCONN has something for everybody! It was my first time attending this con and I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the guests & vendors to the venue itself (Foxwoods Resort Casino), it was packed with things to do, photo opportunities, and plenty of ways to throw away cash!

Primarily I was excited to attend this con because of their guests Paul Springer & Simon Williamson, both of whom I’ve never met. But the guest list goes on and on with cast members from Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Karate Kid, and V. Unfortunately Paul Springer (puppeteer for Ree-Yees in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi) had canceled just before the start of the con but I still got to meet Simon Williamson and plenty of others!

Also got to meet Mr. Timothy Zahn, who’s written many fine books, but one of the more popular ones today is Thrawn, a recent redone character from his work in the 90s. Grand Admiral Thrawn has been re-imagined for the Star Wars Rebels cartoon and he’s such a great antagonist. Since I missed my chance to see him at Star Wars Celebration, I was so glad I got my book, comic, and figures signed!

I was pleased to find that our initial entry into the show floor was fairly simple, as well as our first re-entry in the beginning of the day, but to get back in later in the day was a total nightmare. ComiCONN was quick to respond and fixed the re-entry issue the next day. If they didn’t, it would be Rhode Island Comic Con all over again (same company, actually).

But at least once you’re outside you can enjoy the show store and some more photo ops! (And of course all that the casino has to offer) Some of the additional photo ops included a Wonder Woman cosplayer on a prop horse riding off the success of the standalone film, the 501st Legion, and Speed Racer.

Even Speed Racer needed some cash for show exclusives! But by far the best ComiCONN exclusive was the exclusive G.I. Joe #241 with cover art by Ian Chase Nichols. I picked one up for $10 and got it signed by him for free at his booth:

The vendors on the show floor were very cool, with a lot of variety in products. Booths ranged from art to collectibles to freebies. I think one of my favorites was Foxwoods’ very own Cake By Franck. They normally have a state-of-the-art vending machine on the casino floor but it was shut down for repairs. Instead, they had a booth set up at the con on top of their retail store on the other side of the resort. They were serving up specialty geek treats for this weekend including, but not limited to, chocolate covered pretzel lightsabers, comic themed cupcakes & brownies, a chocolate throne from Game of Thrones, lemonade potion bottles, and a completely edible chocolate Millennium Falcon in 3.75″ scale!

How amazing! But as fun as that was, Sugar Factory takes the cake with jaw-dropping desserts & drinks. We had lunch here and we had a total blast with their Smoking Goblets. We realized that there are a few in our area but figured that with all the other places we could check out in NYC, we would never make the time to actually go to a Sugar Factory.

As our day started to wrap up, we made our way to Jason David Frank’s booth for his final signing of the day. After hearing about him being someone’s target at last month’s Phoenix Comicon, we were relieved to see he was still traveling to cons. Even though we saw him at multiple cons in the past, we only now made an effort to meet him.

JDF seemed like a fun guy who cares about his fans! But just before our turn, NBC Connecticut interviewed him for their ComiCONN news segment, where the anchor asked him about Adam West (who had passed away the night before, RIP). It was Jason’s first time hearing the news and was totally shaken up, so when he returned to his booth he wasn’t fully himself quite yet… You can tell by his smile in our photo. And also by the fact he signed my comic book: “To: John”!

Can you find us in his epic selfie?

On our way out, we got to say hi to Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin on Netflix’s Stranger Things, and also pose in the Byers living room:

And a con wouldn’t be a con without a couple of freebies! We got a few DC posters for Wonder Woman and Justice League!

All in all, it was a great con and the venue made it even more enjoyable. It was their first time at Foxwoods, but hopefully not their last. I loved that you can enjoy this midsize convention but also venture out into the casino & outlet mall during your down time. I’d like to see how they handled the change in re-entry since that was my only negative experience. Looking forward to their 9th next year!