I’ve got my FallCon photos up at Flickr, finally. As usual, I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I wanted to. In fact, I completely forgot my camera on Saturday.
I picked Jason up at the airport on Friday, then we went to Famous Dave’s for dinner, and then headed late over to a shindig at Brent Schoonover’s place. It was nice to hang out with Brent and his Horrorwood cohort Brandon Terrell and their wives. They had a fire going and some great food in the garage. There were a few people I didn’t know, but after a while Martin Powell showed up and – after the premiere of Clone Wars was over – Grant did too.
Saturday morning we met Grant, Jess, Darla, Corbett, Jen, and Paul for breakfast at McDonald’s, then headed over to the fairgrounds to set up. This was FallCon’s first year in the grandstand and everyone I talked to hopes that it can become the con’s permanent location. Judging from the line to get in (it was still snaking around an hour after the con opened), there had to have been a record crowd there, but the space easily absorbed us all. There was even room for a reading area and a Mini-Comic Creation Station complete with copy machine.
I spent most of the day at my table on Saturday. Jason was on one side of me and we gave away preview books for the all new Kill All Monsters. On the other side of me was Jess Hickman, who showed me some concept art for the Cownt. If you haven’t heard me talk about the Cownt before, I’ll catch you up in another post and show you Jess’ art. It’s a fun concept and we’ve got a great team lined up for a Cownt comic. I was also giving away prints of Gav Spence’s interpretation of the Cownt and people loved them. If we can make the comic live up to the expectations set by Gav’s drawing, we’ll have a hit.
Sunday breakfast was at Perkins. A lot of the gang had been drawing commissions all night and slept through breakfast, but Otis Frampton and his wife Leigh showed up, so Jason and I had a great time getting to know them better. Otis has been working very hard and I’m excited to see the fruits of his labor. I’ve linked to his stuff enough here that you know how much I like his work.
We’d given away just about all of our previews and prints on Saturday, so I didn’t push them as hard on Sunday. Because of that I came home with some, but it was a slow, rainy day anyway and I was coming down with a cold. Neither of those helped my motivation.
I spent a lot of time away from the table on Sunday. I was good and only bought two things at the show: Essential Defenders, Volume 2 and an Adam Hughes Black Canary poster that Adam signed for me. Ten bucks total. Most of my wandering was just to see who was there and what they were up to.
I totally embarrassed myself in front of Dwayne McDuffie by gushing all over him about Milestone and how excited I am he’s bringing those characters back. He was so awesome and nice and gracious, but I felt like an idiot anyway. I thought I was beyond getting all ga-ga over creators, but apparently not. I should probably do a Milestone post at some point if I can figure out how to make it on-topic.
The best part of Sunday though was when I actually was at my table and we spent some time brainstorming ideas for the Cownt comic. I’ve got three, solid stories for it now and have finally nailed the tone I want them to have. All I’ve got to do is write them.
It was also great seeing so many friends again. My buddy was Charles was there sitting next to his hero Don Rosa. My brother-in-law (and Cownt co-creator) Dave showed up for a while. It’s always good talking to Sam Hiti and hearing how his projects are coming. And some other friends and family stopped by as well. My son David was as sick as I was, so he didn’t feel like coming, which was too bad. He would’ve had a blast.
If you’ve noticed that my blogging was pretty slack this week, I’m going to blame it on getting ready for FallCon. That’s not the whole truth, but it’s what I’m going to blame it on.
I’m on the way to the airport now to pick up Jason. Then tomorrow morning at 10:00, we’ll be all set up and ready to pass out free Kill All Monsters! ashcan previews, talk comics, and generally have a swell time. It should be a lot less humid than last year. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures.
And once again, if you’re in the area, please come on down and say hello. If you’re not, I’ll talk to you on Monday.
I’m back from an awesome trip to Nashville. I’ll try to say more about that in my LiveJournal, but it was very nice wedding, we did some great sight-seeing, and I got to see some old friends whom I’ve kept in contact with online, but haven’t seen in about five years.
No resting though. I’ve got an essay on Lancelot for an anthology that’s in need of a last polish and past deadline. And the Midwest Comic Book Association’s FallCon is coming up awfully fast. October 4th and 5th, to be precise.
Jason Copland’s flying down for it and we’ll be showing sneak peaks of the revised Kill All Monsters. That should be reason enough to come, but the MCBA is going nuts this year for FallCon’s 20th anniversary.
The MCBA is also passing out sketch cards with original art by past and present guests; big names as well as up-and-comers. There’s also going to be a wedding and who knows what else. Like I said, they’ve gone insane. Crazy enough to petition the City of Saint Paul to Proclaim the first day of FallCon as Midwest Comic Book Association Day. And the City, apparently, was cool enough to grant it.
So please come out. It’s going to be a fantastic event and an awesome time.
I love Stykman. It’s been a long time between issues, but in the most recent newsletter from aka Comics, creator/publisher Jonnie Allan explains that he had to drop Diamond as his distributor.
Truth be told, we allowed a certain distributor … to in a sense dictate how we would continue to publish our books. In their “wisdom,” they decided to no longer carry The Miscellaneous Adventures of STYKMAN™ in individual issue form, but rather distribute it solely in Trade Paper Back (TPB). In other words, if you wanted issues 4 and 5 you would have to purchase the TPB – Basically forcing fans and retailers alike who have already purchased issues 1-3 to buy them again. Although we begrudgingly played along for a little while, in the end we decided that was not the way we wanted to do things. All orders for our first TPB were cancelled by us and a departure from said distributor was made.
So what now? One thing is for sure, STYKMAN™ has not been thrown into the wood chipper, cast onto the firewood pile or gone the way of the dinosaur. In fact, the first licensed collectible is on its way from China and is now available for order. As for the comic series, our plans are to continue publishing STYKMAN™ in individual issue format collecting it in TPB once all issues have been produced and offered to our adoring fans like yourself. Our plans are to offer our title directly to you through our website and conventions, as well as alternative distribution methods.
More details are promised.
I’m mentioning this partly – like I said – because I love Stykman and I’m anxious for more comics about him. But I’m also mentioning it because – although I’ve always liked Jonnie Allan – I’m especially proud of him for making a bold move away from Diamond. Diamond’s the only distributor in the country for a lot of comics stores, so Jonnie’s automatically cutting out an enormous potential audience by making this decision. That he’s doing it because he believes it’s the right thing to do by his current readership is nothing short of stunning. I hope you’ll check out the website and order the first three issues. You won’t be sorry.
Why Cate Blanchett kind of sucked in Crystal Skull
…Cate Blanchett’s utter inability to have useful psychic abilities hurts the film more than a little. By this, I mean that if she’d actually been psychic, the film could have gotten rid of the useless ‘Mac’ character. Instead of a close friend betraying Indy to the Russians, the information they needed could have been plucked from Indy’s head. Instead of using a radar setup to follow Indy to the Valley of the Crystal Skull, Cate could have just followed their psychic traces.
Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai has announced a new pulp series titled THE ADVENTURES OF GABRIEL HUNT. Debuting next May, the novels will be issued once a month in true serial fashion, ghostwritten by several Hard Case authors under the nom de plume of Hunt himself, the globetrotting adventurer, with painted covers by Glen Orbik. “These books are for anyone who grew up reading H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs or watching Harrison Ford wield his bullwhip at the movies,” said Ardai. “We’re talking classic adventure fiction, complete with horses, snakes, shovels, pickaxes, torches, traps, bottomless pits, barroom brawls, jungles, jewels, and just about everything else that’s ever made your heart beat faster.”
Nim’s Island made me sad that there isn’t a real series of Alex Rover books to read. This is so made for me.
Well, I absolutely sucked at blogging while I was there. Here’s the link to my pictures though and tomorrow I’ll have four posts hitting the Newsarama blog about the better panels I went to. If you don’t want to check them out tomorrow, I’ll link to them from here at some point. I’m still catching up on ‘Net reading though, so it’ll be a while.
What I don’t say in the Newsarama posts is that I made some headway on getting some new work, came up with a brilliant idea for a comics series, and that Jess Hickman and I decided to work on something new. All in all, it was a fun, productive trip.
Like I said, I’m going to be at Wizard World Chicago next weekend. I’m even listed on the Who Is Coming page of the website under Artists Alley right after David Mack.
I don’t really have my own table and I won’t be selling anything, but when I’m not out collecting blog-material for Newsarama I’ll be hanging out with Jessica Hickman and Darla Ecklund at their table. So if you’re going to the show, please stop by and say hello.
Captain Carrot and the Final Ark was definitely an entertaining little series. Any plans to pick up on it’s mysterious ending? Didio hopes so, “Did we ever announce the Zatanna book?” The panel became confused. Did they just slip up? It was said something with Paul Dini and Zatanna was a possibility during the NY Comic Con panel but no, nothing had actually been announced. Didio needed to go hypothetical again, “If Zatanna had her own book, you might see something along those lines somewhere down the road. Just saying if.”
“You could be happy here. I could take care of you. I wouldn’t let anybody hurt… AAAH! NO, ET! NO!” *SPLURCH!*
The disclosure came at the end of the short, but extremely enjoyable, discussion (excerpts of which will be published here soon), when a writer from Suite101.com asked about [writer/director Andrew Stanton's (Finding Nemo, WALL-E)'s] next project, to which Stanton mentioned (not too loudly) ‘John Carter of Mars‘.
Doubting what I’m hearing, I interject, “What is that?” “JohnCarter of Mars“, Stanton replies. “You’re confirming John Carter? Are you serious?” At this point, I turn my tape recorder back on, “…say that on tape!”, I tell him. Stanton: “I am writing John Carter of Mars right now.” “Oh man, you just doubled my page views!“, I say. Everybody laughs.
I’m a big freaking Burn Notice geek, so I’m way tempted by the idea of continuing Michael Westen’s adventures via novels. These things are rarely as satisfying as watching the show, but I suspect that my curiosity may make me find out for myself this time. (Thanks to Double O Section for the heads up.)
Wizard World Chicago
I’ll be heading to WWChicago in another week. If my vacationing luck holds up like it has so far this year, I expect aliens to take over the convention center and hold us all hostage. But at least I’ll have Warren Ellis to keep me company. He’s making a rare convention appearance there this year.
Via his email newsletter:
I’m at the Chicago con next week, and I’ll be doing one of my marathon Q&A talks on the Friday night. Details:
The talk is actually at the convention center. We don’t have a room number — they’re actually going to be removing walls from adjoining rooms to make a monster hall that’ll seat 1500.
The room will open at 9PM. There will be a bar in this room, so people can get good and drunk before I go on.
I go on at 9.30PM. And we will just bullshit until they throw us out.
This is NOT a ticketed event. No-one is on the door, I’m told. First come, first seated.
As soon as I heard Ritchie’s name, my mind went to Jason Statham, whom I love, but think would be pretty awful for the role. Hugh Laurie would be a great – if obvious – choice though. What do you think?
I haven’t read it all the way through yet, but I’ve got Joe DeVito’s book Kong: King of Skull Island. There was nothing really wrong with the book to make me put it down, but I was trying to read it directly after the disappointing prequel novel, King Kong: The Island of the Skull and the Thoroughly Awesome Peter Jackson movie. The prequel novel burned me out on anything that wasn’t the movie and unfortunately, DeVito’s book fell into that category.
Of course it’s not news that Marvel would love to have Brad Pitt play Thor. I’m sure Marvel would love to have Brad Pitt play Batroc the Leaper if they could get him. What’s important about this no-brainer is that it’s made me realize that yes, someone like Brad Pitt would make a good Thor and that no, it doesn’t have to be a no-acting muscle-man in the role.
Super hero movies rule right now because they’re starring real actors and I’m confident that whoever they get to play Thor will be able to hold his own next to Robert Downey Jr., Ed Norton, and Samuel L. Jackson in the Avengers movie.
Mystery of the Crystal Skulls
The SciFi Channel’s currently running a documentary on the crystal skulls legends. Gotta set my TiVo. Looks like the next showings are tomorrow at 4:00 PM and May 28 at 10:00 AM. I’m assuming those are Eastern Times.
Why I’m not at all excited to see the Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon
Because Topless Robot is totally right that we don’t need more Jabba and Tatooine stories. I think Lucas is as tired of Star Wars as I am. I saw the trailer before Speed Racer and I was actually bored. I never thought I’d say that about Star Wars.
Seriously? Victor Garber is probably my favorite actor right now. He’s “sinnnnfully delicious.” (My undying love to you if you get that reference.) And it occurs to me that his daughter on Alias used to be married to Dreamy Noel, so… small world.
The Book of Lies Brad Meltzer’s new book will feature the search for two murder weapons: the gun that killed the father of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, and the item that Cain used to kill Abel. Sounds very, very cool.
Indiana Jones makes everything better, ad infinitum
My photos from MicroCon 2008 are up at Flickr. Click the image above to see the whole set.
It was a really fun, really busy show. We handed out lots of Jesse James vs. Machine Gun Kelly preorder coupons and a lot of folks had already heard about the book.
There were a lot of girls and women at the show. Not just people who’d been dragged there by their husbands or boyfriends, but exploring and enjoying the show either in groups or alone with no male accompaniment. The Minnesota conventions have always been family shows with lots of kids, but it was really, really cool to see so many solo girls and women.
I picked up a few sketches I’ll have to scan later. Paul Taylor (Wapsi Square) drew a Black Canary for me, Grant Gould did a great color sketch of the Lizard for my son David, and – also for David – The Batman Strikes! artist Christopher Jones sketched Killer Croc.
It was also interesting to learn that Darth Vader is a Grant Gould fan. I’m not surprised, but it was cool to see.