Artist: Ryan Claytor -

Coin-Op Carnival

Nominated for 3 Awards

The Concept

Coin-Op Carnival, a 64-page print publication, is the only source for full-color, completely illustrated content documenting the history and stories surrounding electro-mechanical coin-operated amusement devices (pinball and pre-video arcade games manufactured prior to 1978). Each issue includes an interview with a game designer, in-depth game reviews, E.M. tech explained, product spotlights, comics, and more. Every page of the publication features new full-color illustrations from university professor and award-winning comics artist, Ryan Claytor. Articles written by both myself and Ryan Claytor.

The Evolution

We began by determining the length of the series (four issues), and the basic content in each issue. Our focus was to produce the most accessible and historically accurate publication possible.

Volume 1 focuses on the life and accomplishments of Wayne Neyens, the oldest living pinball designer. We had the good fortune of meeting and befriending Wayne through this process, and Ryan spent considerable time ensuring that the illustrations of the factory in the "Wayne Leaves Western" interstitial comic were as true-to-life as possible.

We each provided a game overview (Gottlieb's "Mystic Marvel" for my part, and Williams' "Space Pilot" for Ryan), and I produced a technical article about relays. Ryan added a product review documentary of the Musée Mécanique's Zelinsky Collection, housed on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

The research, editing, and illustration process took almost two years for the first volume.

The Tour

As part of the release, Ryan and I put together a release tour with 17 total stops (16 advertised), starting with Texas Pinball Festival in 2019, and culminating with Pinball Expo in Chicago later that year. Only two of the events had both Ryan and I present, for the rest either Ryan or I travelled and gave presentations on the creation of Volume #1.
Ryan and I were interviewed by many podcasts, periodicals, radio shows, and other publications.


We've received much praise for our initial volume, and there is great demand for the next issue in our four volume series. We sold through our initial 1,100 copy print-run before the end of our tour, requiring a second printing of another 1,000 copies. Coin-Op Carnival #1 is carried by two pinball supply houses and received national distribution through Diamond Comics, allowing comic shops throughout North America to carry Coin-Op Carnival #1.


  • 1st Place, Graphic Novel - S.P.A.C.E. Prize, 2019
  • Nominated for Favorite Pinball Publication, TWIPY Awards, 2019
  • Nominated for the Comic Book Industry "Ringo" Award - 2020

The Future

Ryan and I are currently working on Coin-Op Carnival #2. If you would like to learn more about the book, or purchase it upon release, please see the website at

Contact Me

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