Archive for the ‘comic book’ Category

It’s A Living

Becoming a professional writer has been a dream of mine for a long time.

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, that dream has come true.  The Examiner is a news website that hires locals to report on particular subjects of varying topics.  And you get to choose your topic.  One person might be a film examiner.  Another can be a Playstation 2 examiner.  I’m a little confused as to the specificity of some of the examiners.  Does the world really need semi-daily updates on hack ‘romance novels’ for vampire emo fetishists? Probably not.  But more power to you, whoever you are.  I’m sure you serve a purpose.

Currently I am the New Orleans Comic Book Examiner.  I’m still trying to find my voice on it.   We’re supposed to present our articles as Journalists would, rather than bloggers.  Which is fine, though I don’t really think it counts. To me, a blog is about your feelings and the things going on in your life.  When you’re speaking on a subject, even editorialized, it’s an article.   Then again, I’m no expert.  I have noticed some of the other writers don’t seem to adhere to this very well though.   And to some degree or another my ‘voice’ will have to come into play.  Particularly with reviews; 75% of it is opinion.

I’m looking forward to making this work.   I think it will be a lot of fun.


I Kill Giants

There are a lot of stigmas surrounding comics.   More often than not, people have pre-concieved notions about what and how a comics is.  They get this idea of superhero comics and bebcome dismissive.  They don’t understand that when you take away the “Super” dressing, and get to the heart of the “Hero”, what you have is a story about people.   In reading Joe Kelly’s I Kill Giants, I am reminded not only of what comics truly are, but what they can be.


I Kill Giants is the story of a precocious little girl named Barbara who spends her life preparing to hunt and kill Giants.  Her obsession is so singular that she blocks out everyone around her, from the mundanes that surround her in school to the family that loves her, despite their broken home.  But Barbara doesn’t care about people; Barabara just wants to kill Giants. Together with her legendary war hammer Covaleski, she plans to end the lives of Giants no matter how powerful.   And yet no one else seems concerned that the monster may come.  To them, she’s just a strange girl with a bizarre fascination with mythology.   Maybe she is.   And it seems that no one can get through the wall of calloused cynicism she’s built around her heart, until one day a new school psychologist and a new neighbor named Sophia walk into her life.  Combined with the arrival of a new school bully named Taylor, Barbara’s life is sent spiraling through a course of events that she may not survive, or even want to.

I won’t pretend I’m entirely certain what happended in the strictest sense of this story.   There is a stark contrast painted between the “real” world that Barbara is forced to tolerate and the magic world in which she lives.   In the end, it doesn’t matter.  The answer to that question is not nearly as important to Barbara’s story as you may first imagine.   On one level it appears to be the story of a child escaping into her imagination to avoid the harshness of her reality.  And yet at times it seems to be about her stuggle to slay the monsters which only she can see and defeat.   But it’s both… and it’s neither.

I won’t ruin the book by defining it.   But Barbara’s journey will enthrall you.  Her tortured, brilliant young mind will empathize with you.  Her fights with Giants will astound you.  And her plight will reduce you to tears.  And you will fear for Barbara, but don’t worry… she’s stronger than she thinks she is.

I Kill Giants is exemplary of the kind of complex writing that comics are capable of, and achieve more often than society believes.    It’s a story about life.  And a story about people.


Avenge This!

Thanks to Civil War and Secret Invasion there are more Avengers comics being published than there are Avengers fans.   … Well, that may be a slight exaggeration.

But the reality is that about half of the mainstream Marvel titles published are Avengers comics.   Theres:

  • New Avengers
  • Mighty Avengers
  • Dark Avengers
  • Avengers: The Initiative
  • Thunderbolts (well, tangentially anyway)
  • Captain America
  • Invinicible Iron Man
  • Amazing Spider-man
  • Dark Wolverine
  • Young Avengers
  • Ms Marvel
  • about a dozen different Dark Reign mini’s.

That’s a lot.   And I may be forgetting a few.  After Civil War, Avengers Initiative stood out by far as the best series of the bunch.  I think the quality has gone down slightly recently, in part because of the departure of the original characters on the book, and maybe even a little because the original creative team is gone.  That isn’t to say that Christos Gage isn’t doing a good job, but it just hadn’t felt like the same book for some time.

Since Secret Invasion, Dark Avengers has become the most talked about book in the line.  I would say that has a lot to do with the fact that this is Norman Osborn’s book.  Yes, he is in EVERY Marvel book these days, but this is the one that gives you the full scope of his megalomania.  And I kind of love it.

That said, I think Mighty Avengers is going to be the book to watch.  New Avengers has mostly felt impotent since Civil War.  That may be because Bendis is stretching himself thin with all the books he’s writing.  Or it could be because he created a team of Avengers where Power Man was the leader.   (I’m going with that last reason.)   And yes Dark Avengers are the new hotness, but I’m not sure where the book is really going, other than pissing off Marvel’s heroes.  

But Mighty!  This book will be a sleeper.   The purpose of Mighty has always been to show a more classic Avengers team.   Dan Slott has retained that concept for the most part.  There’s a Wasp, Stature (filling the Giant Man role), US Agent (basically Cap), the Vision, Hercules and Quicksilver.  And they even have Jarvis, the Alfred of the Marvel Universe.   But as cool as it is to have a classic Avengers during the bleakness of a post-invasion, Dark Reign era, that isn’t what the book is about.

Mighty is all about two words: Hank. Pym.

Just as Dark is Norman’s book, Hank is the star of the show here.   The team has reformed around him, and despite being a Founder, this is his first time leading them.  But what is truly fascinating is that I’m not sure if this is the story of Hank Pym’s redemption, or if it is hardcore evidence that he should never be a leader of men.

Pym isn’t really painted in a very good light here.  He’s just as unstable and driven as he ever was, or even more so.  Together with Spider-woman, he was one of the faces of the Invasion.   His imposter helped kill both one of his best friends, Bill Foster and his ex-wife Janet Van Dyne.  And now that Janet is dead, so are his chances of fixing his relationship with her, for apologizing for the way he mistreated her.  And so in lieu of Janet, he’s developing a relationship and possibly even a morbid fixation with her robot clone, Jocasta.  This is a man who is set to explode.  It’s just a matter of when.

But the series truly came together for me this past week, in Mighty Avengers #25.

MIGHTAVN25_COVIssue 25 is the first of a 2-part story called Mighty/Fantastic, pitting Hank’s nearly virgin team against Marvel’s First Family.   And it isn’t your typical mix- up/ heroes fight/ heroes team-up story.  Hank Pym and Reed Richards are officially squaring off.  

Without giving too much away, the story begins with Hank calling Reed to return a piece of technology which he co-invented with his friend Bill Foster.  When Foster died, his will left the device to Hank, but for reasons that don’t actually make sense, it went to The Thing instead.  Hank needs the device urgently, and would like it returned.   Simple enough request.   Except Reed tells him flat out “NO”.   From there it degrades into a battle of wits and insults where Reed tells Hank how he sucks and isn’t trustworthy.   Hank responds with his own criticisms, including how Reed created Clor/ Ragnarok and gave the Skrulls the keys to Earth.  What’s truly interesting here is that contrary to the norm, Hank is completely in the right.   When you get right down to it, Hank Pym’s only intentional mistake is beating his wife.  Which just makes him a dick.   Meanwhile Reed’s arrogance, for all the good he’s done, is entirely culpable for such tragedies as Clor, World War Hulk and the Secret Invasion.

And in fact, as the argument progresses, I got the sense that Reed’s speech has less  to do with Hank Pym’s mistakes than with Reed’s need to ignore his own.  In the end, two of the smartest men of the planet are fighting like a pair of 9 year olds over a swing set.  Surprisingly, Reed doesn’t bring up the whole wife-beating incident.  Instead he delivers an intellectual pimp-slap so devastating that both the Avengers and the FF are stunned into silence.   Hank’s response:

Dr. Richards?

Yes, Dr. Pym?

it’s on, bitch.

And indeed, it is on, like Donkey Kong in a marathon.  The scene is so awesome I wet myself, changed my pants and wet those too, just because I could.   Mighty #25 is far and away my favorite book of the week, amongst some seriously stiff competition.

For the first  time since it debuted, Mighty is no longer irrelevent.  Get on board now, because if Slott is going where I think he’s going with this, it will soon be the true stand out Avengers title on Marvel’s slate.  If only because Hank is bound to go insane at some point; possibly Giant-ing up and going Godzilla on NYC.  

Plus it’s the one place that you won’t see Norman Osborn in every issue.

A Love Letter to Fanboys

Fanboy: noun-  A geek; a fan of science fiction, comic books, or some specific element there-of.

fanboys-the-movie-star-wars (1)

I’m tempted to begin with a joke about Fanboys being made a long time ago, in a land far, far away.  Because sometimes it feels that way.

The story of getting the film Fanboys on to the movie screen is nearly as epic as the journey contained within.

Fanboys is the story of 5 high school friends who travel across America to steal a copy of Star Wars: the Phantom Menace before it is released; fulfilling the last wish of Linus who is dying of cancer.   Despite the heavy subject matter, Fanboys is a comedy which was prepared to celebrate the joys of geekdom and the reality of being a fanboy.  The film was originally set to be released in August of 2007.   The trailer had debuted months earlier, leaving geeks across America salivating at the thought of a film of their own.   Sadly the movie was pushed back for nearly a year.  And then even further.  And further.   And of course their were cuts and recuts of the film.  It seemed like the film would never  be released.  And when it was, the studios gave it so little advertising and so limited a release, it came and went like a phantom.  … I swear that wasn’t an Episode One pun.


It took me 2 and a half years to see Fanboys, oddly paralleling the wait that the characters– and indeed, all of us— felt for the coming of the newest Star Wars movies.   So was it worth it?

Yes, and no.    The film suffers from a lack of clear direction.  It doesn’t seem to know what kind of film it wants to be.   Is it a story of  best friends who reconnect before its too late?  Is it a road movie?   Pop culture comedy?  Geek-umentary?    The identity crisis can be distracting at times, as each scene feels fundamentally different from the next, making the quality of the movie a bit uneven.

I suspect that fact is due in large part to studio interference.   harvey Weinstein famously attempted to cut the story of Linus’ illness just before it’s final release, leading to fan protest and threats of boycotting Weinstein Company films.   I agree that scenes and elements of it needed to be cut, but that isn’t among them.  Linus’ story is the driving force (swear these aren’t puns) for the story.  And many of the scenes that address the illness are among the finest in the piece.    Rather than bring the story down, it brings a touch of humanity to it.   A comedy is a great thing, but if there is no heart in it, then it ultimately becomes irrelevent as soon as it leaves theatres (or DVD, I suppose).

I hate to say it, but what needed to be cut were the extraneous nerd elements and unnecessary cameos.  For instance, there was a scene which introduced Seth Rogen as the villainous Trekkie leader.  Now, I’m sure many a Star Wars fan has dreamed of roughing up some Trekkies (“That is a derogatory term.  The proper word is Trekker.”)— but the truth is the Trek/ Wars battle just feels cheap and amateur.  And while I dig Rogen, he wasn’t even mildly funny in any of his scenes.

Similarly the Harry Knowles scene feels weird. Harry Knowles is the creator of Ain’t It Cool News, and something of an web-media demigogue. He’s also notoriously over-weight and Hobbit like.  Here, he’s played by Ethan Suplee, who is a fantastic addition to any film, but appears much tougher than Knowles could ever hope to be.  Was Harry trained to fight at the Jean Claude Van Damme school of fake fighting?  The scene just doesn’t work.  Instead it feels like the filmmakers are kissing Harry’s rear in an attempt to get a favorable review.  Instead they make him violent and even more Hobbit-looking than ever.  These scenes could easily have been cut and abridged and it would have been better for it.

However, some of the cameos are great and not nearly as distracting.  The Star Wars cameos lend a bit of geek cred here, and even feel fitting.  Also, icons like Kevin Smith and even the SHAT himself feel a more natural fit.

And lastly, I take umbrage to the PG-13 rating.  This is another element that clearly is the result of studio interference.  When you strip away the cancer and the Fanboy dressing, it’s a road trip movie.  This is a genre that begs to be rated R.  And as you watch the movie, there are moments that were clearly intended to feature the gratuitous nudity that we all know and love.   By teasing the nudity and then neutering the shot, they’ve merely disappointed their audience.  I understand a desire to make a movie more available to a broader audience, but this is a movie set in 1998 and glorrifying scifi and comic book geeks— it’s target audience is clearly not the Jonas Brothers fan club.  And considering they basically tanked the film in advertising anyway, I don’t see the point.

Okay, so those are my —and I stress this— minor complaints.  So what did I like?  The casting for one.

Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Chris Marquette and Sam Huntington embody every brilliant facet of geekdom.  They never once made me ashamed to be a Fanboy.  And as I mentioned, many of the cameos were great, and hilarious.   But the real gem of this film was only in it for about half of the running time.    The movie is at its best when Kristen Bell is on screen.


Bell is, in my mind, the new Geek Goddess.  She’s Veronica Mars.  And there is no movie that cannot be made better by her presence.  I’ll even go a bit further. When George Lucas eventually remakes the original Star Wars trilogy — and don’t kid yourself, IT’S COMING— I think Bell should be the new Leia.   It’s not just that she wears the Slave Leia outfit better than anyone since Carrie Fisher.   There’s a scene wear she leans over in front of R2-D2 and says those famous words:

“Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”

And just for a second, I felt like I could have been back watching A New Hope.   Additionally, she gets some of the best lines and scenes in the movie.

The script was a bit of a mixed bag, but when it works, it really works.  The jokes are hit or miss, but that is to be expected.   But most of the elements are there for greatness.  And thats the real tragedy.  It could have been great.  It could have been a big hit.  All Fanboys needed was a little more attention, a little less interference and a lot more faith.  “{Don’t}tell me the odds.”

But it wasn’t perfect.  Even so, it was a love letter to Fanboys.  It’s the sort of praise that we deserve.  Sure, they made fun of Trekkers, but — look at those people.  It’s okay to be a nerd, or a geek or a Fanboy.  It doesn’t matter if you spend 2 years debating whether Luke had the unholy hots for his twin sister, which is sort of like being gay for yourself.  (He totally did, by the way.)  Maybe you’ve mapped out the Summers/ Grey family tree or know every episode of Doctor Who and which version of the Doctor starred in it.  You might even be obsessed with Kristen Bell.   It’s okay.   Fanboys is a film about living life on your terms, and not letting society tell you who to be.

It’s a good message.  And a film worth seeing.

All FLASH, No Substance


Ever since writer Mark Waid redefined the Flash in the early 90s, the fastest man alive has been one of DC Comics’ strongest franchises.   But ever since the departure of Waid’s spiritual successor on the series, Geoff Johns, DC has consistently stumbled in the handling of the Scarlet Speedster.   First they got rid of Wally West, replacing him with his younger cousin, Kid Flash, aka Bart Allen; giving a confusing new status quo and an ill-equiped writer.  Shortly thereafter they killed off Bart and brought back Wally as part of the JLA/JSA crossover, The Lightning Saga; a story so confusing, convoluted and just plain horrendous that I can’t even explain what happened.  Even the return of Mark Waid ended up much ado about nothing and only lasted a few issues.

It seems the latest incarnation of the Flash may be it’s last chance race for glory.  Enter Silver Age Flash Bary Allen to the rescue! (oh, and Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver)

Since the announcement of Flash Rebirth, I was certain that along with Johns’ other big story, Blackest Night, it would be one of the two biggest events of 2009.  After reading the first issue… I’m less sure.

There’s nothing technically wrong with Rebirth #1.  On the surface, all the makings of greatness are in place.  Van Sciver’s artwork is outstanding.  There are plenty of interesting developments including the return and deaths of a few Runners.  Johns’ characterization work is strong as usual.  So why is it all so… underwhelming?

I think the problem is the subject himself, Barry Allen.

When Johns and Van Sciver reinvigorated Hal Jordan with Green Lantern Rebirth, they redefined and redesigned the entire concept, expertly weaving through the complex continuity while adding depth and new dimensions to both the Lanterns and Jordan himself.  Ultimately they made you care that Jordan and the GL Corps were back rather than just giving you another typical hero reborn story.

Unfortunately, in this case, it seems as though Johns expects you to care simply because Barry is back.  You’re never truly given a reason why.   As the story’s title expresses, DC simply expects lighning to strike twice.  But Allen isn’t Hal Jordan.  He’s portrayed here as a kind of boring, whiny old man whose rigid beliefs seem almost anachronistic despite his claims that the world is finally catching up with him.    In the 20 years Allen was absent from comics, the argument for keeping him that way is that Barry Allen has always been more interesting as an unseen mentor and motivation for Wally West to be a better hero.   Lightning Strikes Twice seems to prove the point.   Not only is Barry kind of boring, but the story only seems to shine when he’s not there (which is a large portion of the issue).  Johns’ artificial attempts to add weight to Allen’s personality don’t quite work.   For instance, when the original Flash, Jay Garrick tells some of the younger heroes that “Barry Allen made me the Flash.”    Stargirl says what we’re all thinking.  “That doesn’t make any sense Jay.  You were the Flash decades before him.”    Garrick’s explanation makes even less sense than the original statement.

“Yeah well… he … uhhh… I was retired… and… he called me Mister… and we raced, sooooo… look my writer really digs the guy.  Give me a break, okay?” 

Another problem, albeit a minor one, is the way Allen is reintroduced as part of Final Crisis.  The fact is that Final Crisis was the biggest failure of an event comic in recent memory.  And bringing Barry back during the event was just another layer of unnecessary subplot that only served to complicate the story instead of adding to it.  Furthermore at the end of Final Crisis the entire multiverse is destroyed only to be brought back by Superman by a magic wishing machine (hey, I’m just reporting it, I didn’t write it).  Rebirth seems to take place shortly thereafter, and yet, the story begins with the entire world celebrating Barry’s return.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like a REALLY bad time to be throwing a party.

“We all just died!”  “Who cares?! Barry Allen is back!  WOOOOOO!”


I think one of the biggest problems is the question at the crux of the series.  Why is Barry back?  

One of DC’s biggest advantages over their competition is the sense of Legacy.  Heroes die, and are replaced.   Yet now we have dozens of Batmen, Wonder Women and even a planet full of Supermen and women.  Currently there are four men named Flash: Jay, Wally, Bart (also back from the dead recently) and Barry.   All it does is weaken the brand.  And in the end, it proves that Barry is only back because of the creative team’s fond childhood memories of him.  All the other three incarnations are far more interesting and at least two of them are faster.

I really hope that Johns pulls this off.  I love the idea of Rebirth.  I love Johns’ work.  But so far, he’s off to a slow start.

Why You’ll Love-Hate Watchmen

I don’t envy Zach Snyder.  No matter what he did, he was going to get it wrong in the eyes of one majority or another.

The problem is that there are three parties interested in a Watchmen film.  The comics fans want to see the beauty of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons comic brought to life frame for frame, syllable for syllable, a frakking giant squid and black freighter; because anything less would be sacrilege in the face of perhaps the most important comic in history.  The consumer audience wants to see another mindless, pretty, action-packed Superhero flick; the next Dark Knight if at all possible.  And the movie studio wants another Dark Knight cash cow as well, only cheaper, shorter and more efficient; and they don’t give a damn if Watchmen is anything like the book.

At least one of these groups will be disappointed, and as usual, it’s the fans.  Projects do not transfer from medium to medium organically.  Some comics just do not work in film form. Changes have to be made.  For the majority of these projects I judge them by their story-telling ability and their handling of the characters.  However with some books, such as Watchmen, that just isn’t enough.

The studio wants an action movie that will bring in millions of ticket sales.  And so does the public.  But Watchmen is not an action film.  Nor is it really about Superheroes.   It is for precisely that reason it is so beloved by it’s fans.  The essence of the story is about what makes us human, and what is the nature of good versus evil, and ultimately about whether power gives one the right to decide the fate of others.  And really, it’s about much more than that. It’s a very dense read with an incredible amount of subtext.  But honestly no one wants to see a movie about that. Movies are often a lazy medium, one where the audience doesn’t want to think.

Which leads us to writer Alan Moore’s opinion that Watchmen is unfilmable.  But honestly?  He’s wrong.  I went into the theatre having read and appreciated (though not loved) the book.  And what I saw met most of my expectations, and exceeded a few.

It isn’t the book.  But it is a decent adaptation that meets the majority of needs for all three groups, as long as you don’t go in with any expectations.   I think the majority of consumers will be disappointed in it without ever giving it a chance.  The film has been mis-marketed from the start.  Watchmen is much closer to The Usual Suspects than X-Men in content and subject matter.  There is sex and violence in it, but not nearly as much as the trailers imply.  And yes, for you purists, the ending was changed slightly.  No giant squid.  But honestly, it works.  In fact, it makes more sense than the giant squid does.  Yeah, I know I just lost loads of nerd-cred, but it’s true.  A film-maker’s job is to simplify and fully realize (emphasis on the first two syllables of the last word) any adaptation.  Snyder did just that.  And what’s more, he did a damn good job of it.

The only complaints I have are minimal.  Some of the music is atrocious.  As much as I love Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, the use of Leonard Cohen’s cover of it in the sex scene is so ridiculous that I went from sexual arousal to gut-busting laughter in the span of a second.   Likewise, the use of 99 Left Balloons at a key scene took me out of the film and made me feel like I was watching a romantic comedy.   Beyond that, the only problem areas occur because of the cinematography.  Watchmen’s style is meant to bring the comic to life.  It worked tremendously in 300, but here, there are a few scenes which feel cartoonish, particularly scenes with the Golden Age super-team, The Minutemen.  Not a huge problem, but it is a little distracting.

The bottom line is that Watchmen gets more right than it does wrong.  And like the book, it will merit multiple viewings to fully digest the menagerie of beauty and philosophy thrown at you, however precisely, like cogs in clockwork.  The bar previously set by The Dark Knight will probably not be exceeded here, in terms of revenue, style or fan response.  But honestly, I’m happier that way.  Watchmen couldn’t have been made any better by anyone else.  It is a tight, lean movie that moves at a decent pace despite it’s long run time and heavy psychological thoroughbred.  It works.

It’s not only filmable, it’s watchable.

MegaCon 2009

I’ve wanted to go to a comic book convention since I was all of 12 years old.  It took me 19 years to make it, but this weekend I attended Orlando’s own MEGA-CON.  

Having gone to my first, it has only whetted my appetite for bigger shows like Wizard World Los Angeles and the big daddy, San Diego Comic Con.  I had an awesome time.  

Admittedly Mega Con is a smaller show.  All the media attention was focused on WonderCon in San Francisco.  Even so, we had some serious action in Orlando.

img_0570I went Friday with the intention of getting a lot of signatures out of the way before everyone showed up over the next two days.  From the second I arrived at the Orlando Convention Center I felt at home.  People of every shape and size  were there in all manner of costume.  Final Fantasy finatics.  Comic book characters.  Even some idiot dressed like Beetlejuice.  (Good impression but I hate Beetlejuice.) There was a DeVry Institute Graduation next door to the convention.  I had to laugh as proud parents watched their babies withimg_0581 diplomas and tried to take pictures as Mega Man and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers walked by.

As I said, there were less people Friday, which allowed me to get some decent time in at the Con.   One of my favorite writers, Mark Waid, had a panel which I got to attend.   He made a lot of jokes and debuted material from his new company, Boom Studios.  He’ll be writing two new series:

  •  The Unknown is a new miniseries about the world’s greatest detective.  She’s dying, but refuses to shuffle off until she finds 0ur what happens when you die.
  •  Irredeemable is the story of the world’s greatest hero— who slowly becomes the world’s greatest villain.

 Both sound pretty amazing.  Afterwards I was able to get Mr. Waid’s signature on my copy of Kingdom Come #1.  I told him how much I loved his work over the years.  He thanked me and said “That’s great to hear.  At the end of the say I’m just a guy who got lucky enough to write comics for a living.”  And when I asked him about a career in editing, he even gave me his e-mail address and said if I ever move to LA he might be able to get me an internship.  That’s pretty amazing for how big a guy he is in the industry.


I got a bunch of great signatures, including Jimmy Cheungimg_0577,

Chuck Dixon, Greg Land and Tony Bedard (with whom I also had a great conversation).   I think the best thing about all this is that these guys were so great about it.  Very few of them had egos (although there were a couple assholes).

Unfortunately my experiences with the “celebrities” wasn’t as great.  Don’t get me wrong, they were nice.   Al Snow (WWE Superstar and Tough Enough host) is apparently a comics fan as well, and walked up behind me while I was bent over a comic stand.   And I had a decent conversation with Christy Hemme.  The problem is they wanted money for everything from a signature to a picture with them.   20 bucks!!  No offense, but if I pay twenty bucks to take a picture with  you, the picture will be of you on your knees sucking my cock. Tricia Helfer of BSGI don’t begrudge them making a living, but 20 dollars is way over the top.  Consequently I didn’t get pictures with any of them, including BattleStar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer.





DC UniverseI hadn’t intended to go on Saturday, but I found out DC and Marvel were doing panels.   I just made it to DC’s.  Even got to ask a question.  Dan Didio’s answer was a major Announcement.

  • Bruce Wayne’s situation will be addressed in Blackest Night #0

He also gave a little spoiler on the first issue of Flash Rebirth.

  • In the first issue a Runner dies.

Marvel’s panel later in the day wasn’t nearly as exciting.  Whereas EIC Dan Didio showed up and was flanked by some big names of DC, Marvel tossed a few artists at us, none of whom knew anything about what was going on, even in their own respective books.  After a while I got sick of being jerked around and walked out.

But it was on Saturday that I got my biggest surprise.  I waited in line for over an hour to get the signature of superstar artist Ethan Van Sciverimg_1658 (Green Lantern, Flash Rebirth).  As we got closer and closer to the front of the line, I realized he was doing free sketches for fans.

I can’t tell you how big a deal that is.  These sketches could be sold for a hundred dollars on ebay.  He is a big time artist in the business.

So when it came my turn, I asked if he could do Superboy Prime for me (let’s just say he’s an evil Superman).  He went straight to it without a word.img_0002  When all was said and done he’d given me this beautiful sketch as well as a signed poster and comic.  I was blown away by the man’s generosity.  I even felt a little guilty for not paying him something. 

Make no mistake though, I will not be selling this sketch.  I love it.  Iy’s going up on my wall.

Which brings me to Sunday when I went with my friend Alexandra.Alex It was her first time at a con as well.  Can you tell?  She went a litttttttle nuts what with all the Final Fantasy schwag around.  Yeppers, it was geek’s bonanza. She took pictures with all the pretty freaks, broke the heart of a poor little geek.  And informed me matter-of-factly that she could have well over a dozen boys like him, there, if she so wanted.

Good times.


I got my signature from comics legend George Perez and we moved on down to Marvel Cover Artist Brandon Peterson.  I just happened to have a 30th Anniversary issue of Uncanny X-Men which Peterson had worked on.  Not nearly as big a deal as I’m making it sound.  When I asked him to sign it, he accidently spilled Vitamin water all over it.  He apologized profusely, to which I said it was no big deal.img_0004  But he insisted on making up for it and asked us to come back in ten minutes.  When we did, he presented me with a copy of his sketchbook, including a sketch on the inside of Wolverine saying “Sorry Bub”.  And of course he signed it.

I carried the thing around for the next hour, despite the fact that I had a backpack on.  I just love it so much.  Again.  Not for sale!!!  

Alexandra and I left not more than an hour later for fear she would break her bank on Final Fantasy soundtracks.l_acdc3aed34b7445fbeab44bd315fedac

Over all it was a great experience, though I hadn’t realized how expensive these things are.  Next time I go, I’ll need to have cash to spend.

Fortunately, the FX show is in  two months!  Can’t wait.