Craig “Old School” Blake

(CEO - High Evolution Studios, Writer/Artist - NGT; F-Man and F.U. [Freedom Unleashed])

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Description

Craig "Old School" Blake has been an artist all his life. Working professionally for decades, "Old School" has done everything from comic books to advertising campaigns, all while owning and operating his production company, High Evolution Studios, LLC. A mainstay of the national comic book convention circuit, "Old School” has become known as "The King of the Collage" for his works of pop culture’s greatest icons. As of summer 2015, "Old School" is the consistent top selling pop culture artist on Amazon.com. This position has been held for over a year. Currently, Blake has expanded his focus into comic con promotion as well, holding his own events while working with almost a dozen independent shows from New York to California.

"Old School" began his career in 1992 with the independent comic book "F­MAN", published by EXPRESS COMICS. After a few years of underground success, Craig switched his focus to learning film directing and editing at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and Full Sail University. Working in various freelance capacities for years, "Old School" started his own comic book company, "High Evolution Studios" in 2006. His first nationally released comic was the politically charged and controversial "F.U. ­ Freedom Unleashed". In 2007, Blake released an expanded 48 page version to much fanfare. During the early days of the social media boom, the timely issues and political subject matter gained Blake followers across America and in various countries.

In 2009, "Old School" redesigned his first comic character, and brought F­Man back in all new stories entitled "F­Man & The Next Dimension". For the next few years, Blake increased a national tour schedule of comic book and horror conventions. Two more issues of both "F.U." and "F­Man" were released, and an extensive catalog of licensed art prints was added. Presently, there are no new plans for "F.U.". "F­Man & The Next Dimension" is returning in 2016, with all new stories featuring various artists and covers by "Old School".

In 2012, the next High Evolution comic book was released, "N.G.T. (Ninjas, Guns & Tournaments)". The book was the first collaboration between Blake and writer Justin Machado. Endorsed by martial artists and film buffs alike, "N.G.T." is currently being optioned as a live action film. The original comic books have been reprinted more than three times. After the release of "N.G.T.", Blake felt the need to delve into his passion of film making and video production. The year 2012 also saw the debut of the company's ongoing YouTube web series "2 COOL 2 GEEK”, a pop culture series featuring an insider’s look into the convention industry and the people who make it all happen. "2 COOL 2 GEEK" is now entering it’s fourth season, with a full length film being released. It was around this time that Blake also realized a love for event promoting. This led to organizing, doing social media, and booking for various comic cons from around the country. As of the end of 2015, Blake now owns and operates two pop culture events, including the massive twenty three acre "Old School Festival", and co­promotes five other conventions.

By 2013, "Old School" was being contacted for projects outside the standard pop culture genre, and worked with Mosaic Interactive on "The Guardian & The Graduates" college campaigns. Doing multiple jobs, the campaign included commercial story boards, two 24 page comic book mailers and related public appearances. "Old School" then created three covers for Paul Manganaro's fantasy teen novels, "Johnny & The Magnificent I­MAN".

The biggest development of 2013 was Blake’s inclusion within all new art categories for the massive online store Amazon.com. Releasing a wave of merchandise from cell phone cases to calendars, "Old School" was quickly rated the top selling individual pop culture artist. This time period also began to see retail stores, including Verizon Wireless, carry "The Art Of Old School" merchandise. Currently, the "Art Of Old School" is still listed as an Amazon top seller, has merchandise in store fronts from coast to coast, is being used as tattoo flash in countless shops, and has artwork hanging in Northeast Art Galleries.

At the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, "Old School" announced his return to comic books with the Evolution series "Ed DIE", created and released a second web series entitled "Comic Con After Dark", and also announced a new distribution network for independent comic book creators.