Tag Archive: San Diego Comic Con 2013


Today we’re going to have a bit of a time warp as I post something written by our roving photographer and some time writer, Craig Gordon. While I was off to see Neil Gaiman speak at Comic Con last year, he went off to do other things. This is what he did.
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Welcome to our panel this afternoon. Thank all of you for managing to attend a panel at 3:00 on Sunday.  I know it was difficult with all the last-minute sales in the dealer’s room.
To my left is the man himself, J. Michael Straczynski aka JMS or just Joe. We call him the old man of the studio in reference to the Old Man Of The Mountain, the legendary leader of assassins, because if that guy in the front row implies one more time that Joe is too old to write a love story he will have you killed. Really. If you doubt his ability to write a love story, just give him your mom’s phone number.
Next we have the multi-talented Patricia Tallman, possibly best known as Lyta Alexander from Babylon 5, who decided stunt work wasn’t risky enough so she agreed to be CEO of Studio JMS. A very brave woman indeed.
Next to Pat is Phil Smith, the production editor for Joe’s Comics who also runs his own web comic at http://www.fightinglioncomics.com and is apparently an awesome bartender. I intend to test that last part later.
Down at the end we have Bill “my name is harder to pronounce than Worcester sauce” Sienkiewicz.  Bill is an Eisner Award-winning artist and writer known for his unconventional comic book art often utilizing oil painting, collage, and mimeograph.  Joe plans to do some unconventional things with his comic line and Bill’s art is a part of that.
And I, your humble moderator, am a squirrely fanboy caught gushing over Pat earlier this week.
So, even though this is a spotlight on Sidekick, the newest comic in Joe’s Comics line, we’re going to talk about the line in general.  Because, based on circulation numbers, we know most of you haven’t read it.
If you are familiar with Joe’s stuff you know the focus is on the story.  No filler arcs.  No “let’s keep treading water until we come up with something.”  If there is no story to tell, there won’t be a comic.  But, and this is a good but, while there is a story there will be a comic every month.  What does that mean for you, the reader?  It means that each comic will come out in complete arcs.  Once they’ve told the stories for that comic, they’ll take a break and see if they come up with more stories.
Now let’s talk about the series themselves.
The launch title is Ten Grand.  This is the story of a hitman in love who is planning one last job before he retires.  So of course he dies.  And so does she.  That’s the beginning of the story.  Our hero makes a deal to stay on Earth helping people who have been screwed over by the supernatural and he hopes that if he does a good enough job he’ll end up in the same place as his lady-love.  This is a dark comic for mature readers about a guy trying to clean up a lifetime of bad deeds by helping others.
Releasing right now is Sidekick.  This is the story of the heroic duo The Cowl and Flyboy and just what happened in that cave when no one was watching.  Just kidding about that last part .. probably.  And at the beginning of the story, The Cowl is killed.  I think I’m sensing a trend in main characters dying in the first issue here.  After The Cowl is killed, Flyboy, the titular sidekick, is left to try to find his way in the world.  He’s too old to start working with a new hero and too young to be a hero on his own.  Then it turns out that nobody likes Flyboy because he’s an annoying brat who can’t land a punch(line).  And then it comes out that The Cowl actually faked his death just to get away from his pesky sidekick.  We have a woman in the audience saying she’s feeling a bit concerned about redemption for this character or if he will just be ground down.  Joe responds by telling her she shouldn’t worry – Flyboy will *definitely* be ground down until he snaps.  And then they’ll keep grinding him down just for fun.  This is the story of what you do when everything you thought you knew and thought you were comes unraveling around you.
Another comic coming soon is Alone.  We don’t get to hear much about the plot of this comic but this is why Bill is here.  The advantage to running your own comic line is getting to do whatever you want and one of those things is experimenting with layouts and designs that other publishers don’t want to risk.  They are going to break the visual mold with this comic.  Forget about the traditional comic paneling and anything you thought you knew about reading comics.  They will use whatever design their creative minds think fits the story best.
We also get small visuals previews of Protectors Inc, which thankfully will not be made into a movie by a certain couch-bouncing name because Joe feels it works better as a comic, and The Book Of Lost Souls, which had 6 issues published in 2005/2006 that I have in a box somewhere.  I’m happy to see a return of this latter book because I think this series had a lot of things it could explore.
We have someone asking if the Joe’s Comics line would be good for him considering that he has never read comics.  Why are you at San Diego Comic Con again?  But back to the question – definitely.  Because Joe is planning to break the mold with these series, it might be more appealing for someone without a huge background in comics because there is no expectation or standard to compare them to.  And, because each series is starting fresh and will be told in complete arcs, there aren’t decades of continuity, ret-cons, what-ifs, and crossovers to worry about.
Those people who wouldn’t let Phil throw those t-shirts to you are saying we only have a couple minutes left, so before we get kicked out let us tell you about one of the best parts of these comics!  Other than the stories of course.  Each first issue will have an audio reading available online.  And one of the vocal talents you can expect to be hearing is our very own Pat!  Like me, this may make you lose focus on the comic, though.
Alright, they’re kicking us out now.  I’d say we don’t care where you go but we really do.  Follow us downstairs for the final signing session of the con before you have to try to cram all those precious, precious treasures into your too small luggage.  And remember – the corp is your friend, trust the corp.
They made us say that last part.
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The Week in Preview

I know, I’m starting a day late this week… First there’s the obvious end of the year reason, which in my workplace means this week. There’s also the holidays. So, while there may be less writing this week. I do plan on their being more writing in the next two as I have them off of work.

But what’s going to happen this week?

Good question. This week I would like to get my opinion out the American remake of 47 Ronin. I also plan on showing you some more of my ever-expanding short story. I would also like to give you all a Comic Con guest post. There might also be a personal post or two in there…

So, there you have it. It’s less focused like a laser beam, but this is a busy week for me else wise. Next week will be more focused as I will have more time on my hands.

Until tomorrow!

Awesome Shiro cosplay. I really love Deadman Wonderland.

Awesome Shiro cosplay. I really love Deadman Wonderland.

It was time to listen to Neil Gaiman.

Oh, man… it was amazing. Listening to him talk about what it was like when he started writing. Hearing one of oldest friends ask him questions while he would answer them…

Really, you had to be there to have seen it. It was… I don’t think I have words.

I did manage to capture some video of the panel though… thankfully.

This made me very happy.

This made me very happy.

I didn’t realize that one of Neil’s earliest books was a biography of Duran Duran.

It was also pretty awesome to hear a bit about the new Sandman series.

The panel was capped off with some Q&A that I was unfortunate enough to not get to ask my question. Though… it is possible to ask him questions via his Tumblr. I would like to know what it was like for him as a starting out writer and what he did to market himself… because that’s where I am.

It meant so much for me to be there. I wish I could have talked to him.

Very nice Viera cosplay. I loved that someone did a Final Fantasy XI/XII cosplay.

Very nice Viera cosplay. I loved that someone did a Final Fantasy XI/XII cosplay.

But such is life.

After Neil Gaiman was the last panel for the con about bullying.

It was interesting to hear the panelists both share their bullying stories. It was also interesting to hear what they were proposing as a way to curb bullying. I was bullied a lot as a child and into high school. It’s something that can be mentally scarring, especially if you have a plentiful lack of positive reinforcement at home. I like the idea of educators being more aware and trying to promote anti-bullying. I also love the fact that Cartoon Network is now helping create a way for children to help other children that are bullying, without bringing bullying on themselves.

I applaud these efforts. Going to school is hard enough as it is. No one needs to be made to feel bad about themselves as they

In what looks like an almost epic "Fist of the North Star" face-off...

In what looks like an almost epic “Fist of the North Star” face-off…

start figuring out who they really are in the first place.

It was a great way to end Comic Con.

It was a very busy year and I have no idea how many miles I walked during that weekend. I’m contemplating buying a pedometer to give me an active count. I’m almost curious how much all that walking adds up to. However, it was worth it. Even if I didn’t make any major headway into networking, I did wind up learning a lot and having a great time. So, that made it entirely worth the effort.

…And there’s always next year.

Calling almost all supergirls.

Calling almost all supergirls.

I had a lot of plans of interesting things to see on Sunday… I really did. Unfortunately, I made the supreme sacrifice to see something that I had wanted to see for years. I sat through 2 panels that were of minimal interest for me so I could see Neil Gaiman.

And, man… it was so worth it.

First I sat through the X-Men panel. It was actually quite interesting… even though I don’t know much about X-Men. Not because I don’t like X-Men. I actually do like it, but I never wanted to start such an established series so far into it’s run. It’s kinda hard to go back and read all the early stuff when it’s largely out of print.

The panel opened with a trailer for “Agents of SHIELD” and “Avengers Assemble, Infinity”. I would say

Captain America and his 1940's pin-up cheerleader. (I'm not sure what she would be called, please fill me in if you do know.)

Captain America and his 1940’s pin-up cheerleader. (I’m not sure what she would be called, please fill me in if you do know.)

these are things to look out for, but being that it’s mid-November and “Agents of SHIELD” is already on TV, I’ll skip that.

They started by talking about new series that will be starting… namely the series, “Battle of the Atom”. There are a whole slew of new things that are coming out in November… so that I will cover here as it might still be of interest. Slated for November release is new stuff for: “Uncanny X-Force”, “Deadpool”, “X-Factor”, “X-Men” and “Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe”. “Amazing X-Men” will be starting as a new series this month.

They also talked about the latest “Wolverine” plot line asking what happens if Wolverine looses his healing factor. They insinuated a lot, but I’m not sure what exactly has come of it.

They ended with a Q&A session. There was a cute little kid who admonished the Spider-Man writers for being so mean to Peter Parker. I’m sure most of you out there can only imagine what it was like, but it was so incredibly

Fire Nation vs. Water Nation

Fire Nation vs. Water Nation

adorable.

After the X-Men panel was a panel for “Ben 10 Omniverse”.

Now, I’ll admit, I’m not a huge Ben 10 fan. I have seen the show, but it’s not really my cup of tea. It definitely caters more to a younger audience and does so pretty well.

They teased with a Ben 10 video game that’s slated for fall of this year, but wasn’t given a date at that point. It’s entirely likely that it might come out in time for Xmas sales, as that would be the most logical release date.

We also got to see a never before shown episode of Ben 10. It was kinda neat to see something before it had even hit the air. It’s something that I hadn’t experienced at Comic Con before. It was nice to feel like I got to see something first.

They also mentioned that there would be a Ben 10 app in the near future. My guess is that it was in the

Poison Ivy and the Riddler

Poison Ivy and the Riddler

early stages of coding and couldn’t say when it would be available. I would guess that it might be available some time in the next year.

There was another adorable moment where I little kid gave the guy who does the voice of Ben his toy omnitrix since he didn’t have one. It was one of those heartwarming adorable moments that I wish I had managed to capture on camera.

After the Ben 10 panel was the real reason I was in that room.

Quite possibly one of the most fabulous unicorns at Comic Con. I love this cosplay.

Quite possibly one of the most fabulous unicorns at Comic Con. I love this cosplay.

After the panel, we were free for the rest of the evening. Friday night was quite the bizarre evening. We wound up meeting a trans comic writer/artist. He was an amazing person to talk to. We spent quite a bit of time talking to him about all sorts of random things.

Afterwards, we were heading out to get dinner… somewhere. The crowd in the Gaslamp that night was… different. I’m not sure how to qualify it. There was an older gentleman who passed by me on the street who asked me, “Are those real?”

My only retort was, “Is what real?”

My only guess would be that he was referring to my breasts. I was mortified that anyone would think that was an OK question to ask a woman, particularly some stranger who you pass on the street. I also overheard a conversation another man was having talking about prostitutes.

"Yup yup yup yup yup uh-huh, uh-huh..."

“Yup yup yup yup yup uh-huh, uh-huh…”

It was genuinely strange.

We wound up getting sushi. It was good sushi, then we wound up at another bar across the street from the Hard Rock. I can’t quite remember the name, but I’m sure that someone out there might know.

The bar itself was pretty nice. Not a dive by any extent of the imagination. The drinks were fairly good. Even more weird was that there was a girl who first came by to tell me she liked what I was wearing and asked me if I was cosplaying any particular character.

I replied, “No, it’s just an outfit I threw together.”

She complimented my ability to throw together an outfit. Afterwards she asked if she could touch my boobs… and if her friends could as well.

I had no idea how to respond to this. Is this something that is commonly asked in San Diego bars? I do

Link playing the Ocarina of Time in the Gaslamp.

Link playing the Ocarina of Time in the Gaslamp.

acknowledge that they were quite drunk by the time they got there.

I said sure… but I was seriously weirded out. I did give consent, but that was a seriously strange situation to be in. It made me intensely uncomfortable.

Shortly afterwards, we decided to head back home for the evening. After all, tomorrow was going to be another somewhat early morning.

This was an amazing crossplay of the Riddler.

This was an amazing crossplay of the Riddler.

After the Titan panel, I stayed for the Neon Alley panel. There were some techinical difficulties that started during the Titan panel and persisted into the Neon Alley panel, forcing a late start. So, instead of just getting into the programming, they started off with some Q&A.

A lot of the news that they shared wasn’t much different from the information I heard about at the Viz Media Panel at San Diego Comic Con and at the Viz panel at Fanime.

Things that weren’t talked about at those panels were that Set 2 for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan was to be released on August 2, Set 18 for Bleach was released on September 10 and Set 2 for La Grange will be available this winter.

I did have quite a bit of downtime between the Neon Alley panel and the panel I was eagerly awating, 35 Years of Elf Quest.

In that time I did another turn around the dealers’ room. I visited the Viz booth. This year they were

A fabulous Chun Li.

A fabulous Chun Li.

doing this neat scavanger hunt through the dealers’ room. I also got to play a demo of the next Phoenix Wright game. This might be the game that makes me want to get a Nintendo 3Ds. It was fun to play and I loved playing it as much as the previous installments.

When it came to be about time to go to the Elf Quest panel we went in early enough to sit in on the panel before it. The panel was about Pongo. I had heard of Pongo, but I had never read them. It was neat to hear people talk about. It piqued my interest in the Pongo comics.

I was thrilled to see that there was an Elf Quest panel. It made so incredibly happy to hear about all things Elf Quest… because, yes, I’m that kinda nerd. I started reading Elf Quest back when I was in middle school. I fell in love with the story when I first read it. It was amazing for me to get the chance to meet Richard and Wendy Pini last year. They had

Cutter, Leetah and Pike.. oh my!

Cutter, Leetah and Pike.. oh my!

written a story that was more formative of my than I had realized.

The panel started out talking about Wendy Pini’s personal history. They talked about Elf Quest had started in Fantasy Quarterly. They formed their own company, Warp Graphics. She then moved to Hollywood for an Elf Quest movie. They still hope an Elf Quest movie will happen, to this day. I think that Elf Quest would make for a great series of movies. It also turns out that Johnny Galecki (of Roseanne and Big Bang Theory fame) is a huge fan of Elf Quest.

There is currently a 5 minute Elf Quest short movie online, you can watch it here. However, their information about their being an Elf Quest movie in development is outdated… unfortunately.

IMG_1322

Kokiri Link, FTW!

We Love Fine is also selling a line of Elf Quest t-shirts… They are really cute and I would love to have them all, except price woud preclude me from doing so. They are really neat looking shirts and perfect if your the same kind of nerd as I am when it comes to Elf Quest. Wendy’s personal artwork will be kept at Columbia University as well.

There are 2 artbooks coming out as well by Flesk. One will be an art of Elf Quest book and the other will be a book of Wendy’s art and may not necessarily be Elf Quest oriented. They both should be out in 2014.

The most exiciting and saddening part is that there is new Elf Quest. They will be released through Dark Horse. The first book will be starting something called Elf Quest: the Final Quest. And that’s where it’s sad. I hate to think that Elf Quest is ending. The series had meant so much to me. In many ways it was something that gave me the push to be a writer. While I’m glad there’s new Elf Quest (yay), I’m also sad that that’s it. I don’t know if they’re going to re-release the earlier editions of Elf Quest.