C-C MI O
The OFFICIAL Magazine of Comic-Con, WonderCon, and APE!
2 3 -2 6 , 2
COMIC-CON: T H E
An exclusive look at the new pictorial history published by Chronicle Books! PLUS WonderCon • Chabon & Fraction Gail Simone • Comic-Con A to Z
FREE Take one!
When: July 23–26, 2009 (Preview Night: July 22) Exhibit Hall Hours: Wed., July 22: 6:00 to 9:00 PM (Preview Night) Thu., July 23: 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM * Fri., July 24: 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM * Sat., July 25: 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM * Sun., July 26: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Badge Pick-Up Hours: Wed., July 22: 3:00 to 8:00 PM (4-day memberships ONLY) Thu., July 23: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Fri., July 24: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sat., July 25: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sun., July 26: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
*Additional nighttime events and programming run until after midnight.
Single-day badges can only be picked up the day they’re to be used.
Where: San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 Comic-Con’s official headquarters hotel is the Marriott Hotel and Marina, next to the Convention Center. Additional gaming rooms, nighttime film screenings, and the Con Hospitality Suite are all at the Marriott. Memberships: No onsite membership badges will be sold. For available membership information, visit www.comic-con.org and see the “Membership Availability” chart on that page.
THERE WILL BE NO ONSITE REGISTRATION FOR: ATTENDEES • PRESS • PROFESSIONALS • VOLUNTEERS • Programming and events All event and program rooms have limited capacity as set by the Fire Marshal. Even though a badge is needed to get into all events, it does not guarantee access to any event if the venue has reached its capacity limit. Rooms are not cleared between events. If an event or program interests you, we recommend you get there early. • No smoking! No smoking is allowed in the Convention Center or at any Convention event at any time and in any location. You are welcome to step outside to smoke, but please be considerate of others when you do. This policy is in place not only for the comfort of attendees but also to comply with San Diego city ordinances prohibiting smoking at public events. Please comply with this policy; noncompliance may result in being ejected from the convention. The Convention Center has designated smoking areas outside indicated by the presence of canister ashtrays. • Always wear your badge and hang on to it! You will need your badge to attend any ComicCon function, including attending nighttime events, visiting the Con Hospitality Suite, or going to Convention-sponsored parties. If you’re asked to show your badge, please do so. Your name and contact information are encoded in your barcode. Do not let anyone scan your barcode unless you want that person to have your mailing address. Please do not give away your badge to people outside the Convention Center when you leave Comic-Con. You may think you’re doing someone a favor, but it is not hard for anyone to figure out how to scan your badge and get your mailing address. Hold on to your badge!
• No paging! Arrange a time and place to meet at the end of the day or if you get separated. Please keep in mind that there will be no personal pages over the P.A. system. You can leave messages on the message area of the Information Board in the Main Lobby, Hall C— just be sure to tell your friends to check there. Otherwise, the best way to stay in touch with friends and family is with cell phones. • Costumes with weapons No functional weapons are allowed at ComicCon International. Simulated or costume weapons are allowed as a part of your costume subject to prior approval by security and compliance with the following: All costume weapons must be inspected at the security station in Lobby E. All costume weapons must conform to state and federal law. Projectile costume weapons must be rendered inoperable. Costume swords will be tied to your costume in such a way that they can’t be drawn. After each person’s costume weapon has been checked, it is tagged by security and you will be given a wristband to wear to designates that your weapons have been checked. Security will escort you to the security station for inspection if your costume weapon is not tagged. If you do not want to have your costume weapons inspected or tagged, or you are not willing to comply with the foregoing, please do not bring your costume weapons.
• Leave your pets at home The Convention Center will not allow animals into the building, except for service animals. • Handcarts, trolleys Please be aware that handcarts, trolleys, and oversized strollers are not allowed on the Exhibit Hall floor. • Be respectful of room rules, especially when it comes to recording No video or audio recording of the images on the screens is allowed at movie and television studio presentations. Each program and presentation has its own rules when it comes to what can and cannot be photographed or recorded. Please abide by those rules when they are stated. These rules also apply to recording via cell phones that contain cameras and video recorders. • Silence all cell phones and pagers Please turn your cell phones and pagers off or to vibrate when you’re in programming and event rooms. If you must take or make a call, please step outside. • Reselling, reusing or transferring a Comic-Con membership is strictly prohibited Badges and memberships are nontransferable. If you have purchased a membership and cannot attend Comic-Con 2009 you must apply for a refund by June 19, 2009. Refund requests must be received in writing by June 19, 2009 to: Comic-Con Refund Request P. O. Box 128458, San Diego, CA 92112 Comic-Con reserves the right to change its cancellation, refund and exchange policy at any time without notice.
In this issue
Board of Directors President: John Rogers Secretary: Mary Sturhann Treasurer: Mark Yturralde VP, Events: Robin Donlan VP, Operations: William Pittman Directors at Large: Frank Alison, Ned Cato Jr., Dan Davis, Craig Fellows, Eugene Henderson, Martin Jaquish, Lee Oeth, Chris Sturhann Executive Director: Fae Desmond Director of Marketing and Public Relations: David Glanzer Director of Print and Publications: Gary Sassaman Director of Programming: Eddie Ibrahim HR/Office Manager: Sue Lord Talent Relations Manager: Maija Gates Guest Relations: Janet Goggins Exhibits: Director of Operations: Justin Dutta Exhibits: Sales: Rod Mojica Exhibits: Registration: Sam Wallace Professional Registration: Heather Lampron, Anna-Marie Villegas
Line Control/Room Access Coordinator: Adam Neese Office Staff: Patty Campuzano, Ruben Mendez, Glenda Moreno, Colleen O’Connell
Contributing Editors David Glanzer
Contributing Writers Peter Coogan, Jackie Estrada, Tommy Goldbach, Martin Jaquish Special Thanks Michael Chabon, John Cornett,
Matt Fraction, Laureen Minnich, Gail Simone
Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009 Issue Published by San Diego Comic-Con International. All material, unless otherwise noted, is © 2009 Comic-Con International and may not be reproduced without permission. All other artwork is ™ & © 2009 by respective owners. Printed in Canada.
Assistants to the Executive Director: Lisa Moreau, Matt Souza
Assistant to the Director of Programming: Tommy Goldbach
Gary Sassaman Fae Desmond, Jackie Estrada,
Eisner Awards Administrator: Jackie Estrada
Assistants to the Director of Marketing and PR: Damien Cabaza, Marco Adames, Christopher Jansen
Comic-Con and the Comic-Con logo are Reg. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Comic-Con International P. O. Box 128458 San Diego, CA 92112-8458
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 619-414-1022 Comic-Con Hotline: 619-491-2475
Events: Anime: John Davenport, Josh Ritter At-Show Newsletter: Chris Sturhann Films: Steve Brown, Josh Glaser Games: Ken Kendall Masquerade: Martin Jaquish Technical Services: Tristan Gates Exhibits: Art Auction/Artists’ Alley: Clydene Nee Art Show: LaFrance Bragg Autograph Area: Katherine Morrison Convention Services: Taerie Bryant Exhibit Floor Manager: Andy Manzi Operations: Archivist: Eugene Henderson Disabled Services: William Curtis Hospitality Suite: Mikee Ritter Logistics: Dan Davis Materials Chief/Blood Drive: Craig Fellows Registration: Frank Alison, John Smith Volunteers: Luigi Diaz, Jennifer Maturo Information: Bruce Frankle 2 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
COMIC-CON Other STUFF
4 CONnotations WonderCon 2009 10 APE 2009
Comic-Con’s Mission Statement San Diego Comic-Con International is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.
On the cover:
Sergio Aragonés art for the new book Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans & Friends! Colored by Tom Luth Art ©2009 Sergio Aragonés
Chabon/Fraction photo by Tom Deleon; Exhibit Hall and Convention Center photos by Kevin Green
BE A SUPERHERO! Make a difference in life at Comic-Con! THE ROBERT A. HEINLEIN BLOOD DRIVE Visionary science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein started the ball rolling in 1977 at Comic-Con. Heinlein suffered from a rare blood disorder and asked that a blood drive be started to help this most worthy cause, giving his autograph to those who donated blood. In the past 32 years, the San Diego Blood Bank has collected over 7,500 pints of blood at Comic-Con, with over 1,000 pints alone in 2008. Giving blood is easy and takes only about 45 minutes. Visit the Blood Drive booth upstairs in the Sails Pavilion near the Freebie Tables to sign up! ROBERT A. HEINLEIN
ENTER TO WIN this one-of-a-kind
HONDA ELEMENT! AUTOGRAPHED BY
Contributions benefit the San Diego Blood Bank. Purchase your tickets now and help the San Diego Blood Bank secure funds for the refurbishment of one of the aging bloodmobiles.
SUGGESTED DONATION: $5 PER ENTRY
For rules and online entries, visit sandiegobloodbank.org or call 619-400-8176.
To enter by mail, send this coupon with your donation to: SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK P. O. Box 639003 San Diego, CA 92163-9003
SPECIAL THANKS Cricket Communications DF Graphix Mission Valley Honda
Amount enclosed $___________for _____entries. Name_________________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________
Day phone___________________Evening phone_______________________ E-mail_________________________________________________________ VISA
Card expiration date______________________________________________ Card number____________________________________________________ Signature_______________________________________________________
San Diego Comic-Con APE Alternative Press Expo
[news and notes from the wonderful world of Comic-Con International]
WonderCon 2009: Boldly Going . . . Behind the walls of Moscone Center South in San Francisco the weekend of February 28 through March 1, all those bad thoughts about the economy disappeared. Instead, people flowed into the building to experience WonderCon 2009, leaving behind their cares and woes to be a part of one of the best comics and popular arts conventions in the country. Once again, WonderCon experienced substantial growth with 34,000 attendees at this year’s event, up over last year’s 29,000. Those in attendance had an amazing time, with a largerthan-ever Exhibit Hall, additional programming rooms, and some of comics’ most talented writers and artists on hand. With many publishers and companies taking part, WonderCon’s programming slate was packed with comics-oriented presentations, spotlight panels, and special events (see the Michael Chabon/Matt Fraction excerpt starting on page 11 for just a sample). Hollywood came to San Francisco for WonderCon, with presentations featuring cast members from Watchmen, Terminator Salvation, Alien Trespass, 9, and an exclusive look at the new Star Trek movie, with the only convention appearance of director J. J. Abrams and stars Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), and Zoe Saldana (Uhura). On Sunday, cast members from Chuck, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the new series Harpers Island all joined in on the fun. The best way to experience WonderCon, of course, is to be there, but if you weren’t able to make it this year, there are always pictures. Enjoy the photo essay over the next five pages and make a point to join us next year, for the 24th annual WonderCon.
4 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
WonderCon’s giant Exhibit Hall (above); J. J. Abrams (left) brought Star Trek to its only convention appearance at WonderCon, along with (below) stars Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, and Zachary Quinto.
Exhibit Hall photo by Tom Deleon; Abrams, Star Trek cast photos by Albert L. Ortega.
The Big Show
(Top row, left to right): The area around the Moscone Center was all decked out with these stunning Star Trek banners featuring Eric Bana as Nero (pictured) and Chris Pine as Captain Kirk; CAPCOM was just one of the videogame companies exhibiting at WonderCon. (Second row): Waiting in the opening line was part of the fun at WonderCon, as many attendees took the time to get that first look at the all-important Program Book. (Bottom row, left to right): Bumblebee from Transformers was just one of many popular hall costumes at WonderCon; WonderConâ€™s Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive took place Friday and Saturday with 87 donors giving 97 pints of lifegiving blood. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Line, Bumblee and Blood Drive photos by Tom Deleon; banner and CAPCOM photos by Gary Sassaman.
Spring 2009 â€˘ Comic-Con Magazine 5
(Top row): Jim Lee (All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder) interviewed Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) at the latter’s Spotlight panel. (Second row, left to right): Some of comics’ finest creators appeared at WonderCon, including James Robinson (Superman), Wendy Pini (Elfquest), Aaron Lopresti (Wonder Woman), and Ed Brubaker (Captain America). (Third row, left to right): Special guest Dave Johnson (100 Bullets covers) was interviewed by Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!); Alex Robinson (Too Cool to be Forgotten), Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother), Gary Friedrich (Sgt. Fury), and Trina Robbins (GoGirl!), were all part of the WonderCon fun. (Bottom row, left to right): Stan Sakai draws his samurai bunny, Usagi Yojimbo; his character is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009; Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragonés (Groo) take a moment out from signing at the Dark Horse booth.
6 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Johnson/Chaykin photo by Barry Brown; Evanier/Aragonés photo by Gary Sassaman; all other photos by Tom Deleon.
WonderCon Around the Show
(Top row): Father and son bond over a live-action R2D2 unit, proving once again that Star Wars is timeless. (Second row, left to right): Kids take time out to sit down and draw up a storm at the Sakura of America booth in the Exhibit Hall; Katie Cook showed how to “Draw Star Wars at WonderCon” in one of the many Sunday panels. (Bottom row, left to right): Creature Features host and Bay Area TV legend John Stanley was among many panelists who saluted the late Bob Wilkins, another Bay Area TV legend, who passed away on January 7 of this year. Wilkins and Stanley have been part of the WonderCon program schedule and have signed autographs in the Exhibit Hall for a number of years; the Dochter-man is in: Starship Smackdown’s Darren Dochterman mans the “big board” of pairings as panelists and audience members alike whittle down the hilarious match-ups of movie, TV, and comic book starships in this fan-favorite program, which appears at both WonderCon and Comic-Con International each year; Star Wars star Mark Hamill was just one of many celebrities who signed autographs in the Exhibit Hall during the WonderCon weekend. Other stars included Carrie Fisher, Adam West, Adam Baldwin, Erin Gray, Ray Park, Gigi Edgley, David Franklin, Chase Masterson, and many more.
R2D2, Katie Cook photos by Barry Brown; kids drawing photo by Gary Sassaman; all other photos by Tom Deleon.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 7
Movies and Television
(Top row, left to right): Watchmen cast members Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, director Zack Snyder, Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, and co-creator Dave Gibbons were on the WonderCon big stage just a week before the movie debuted. An exclusive IMAX screening of the film was shown at the Metreon on Friday night with many lucky WonderCon attendees in the audience. (Second row, left to right): Cast members from Terminator Salvation: Bryce Dallas Howard, Moon Bloodgood, Anton Yelchin, Common, and director McG also visited WonderCon. (Third row, left to right): Will Arnett and Henry Winkler treated Friday WonderCon attendees to the first look at their new animated TV series, Sit Down, Shut Up; Elijah Wood talked about the animated epic 9; Academy Award-nominee Virginia Madsen was part of a panel showcasing the new animated Wonder Woman movie. (Bottom row, left to right): Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles stars Shirley Manson and Summer Glau, with executive producer Josh Friedman, were a big part of the Sunday TV panels; Chuck brought out its big guns for their Sunday panel at WonderCon: stars Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Zachary Levi, and Adam Baldwin were joined by creators and executive producers Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz. Both shows showcased exclusive clip reels featuring scenes from upcoming episodes of the fanfavorite series.
8 Comic-Con Magazine â€˘ Spring 2009
Sarah Connor Chronicles photo by Barry Brown; Chuck photo by Tina Gill; Madsen photo by Tom Deleon; all other photos by Albert L. Ortega.
WonderCon Masquerade WonderCon’s fifth annual Masquerade attracted an audience of over 2,400 to the Esplanade Ballroom and featured 28 entries, totaling 62 costumes crossing the stage. Two giant video screens gave all in the audience great close-up views of the many clever and impressive costumes, and the line for seating started forming over two hours before show time. The Master of Ceremonies was twotime Hugo-winning artist and writer Phil Foglio, and trophy judges included Josh Kushins of Lucasfilm, film and TV actress Chase Masterson, and award-winning convention costumer Johanna Mead as workmanship judge.
Best in Show: “Cobra Takes Over WonderCon by Maximum Pwnage,” (4) worn by Christophe Tang, Daniel & David Proctor, Louis Stokes, Chris Ting, Ryan Vindum, and Nikki Costa. Made by Christophe Tang, Daniel & David Proctor, and Nikki Costa. Best Re-creation: “Godzilla,” (5) made and worn by Gabe McIntosh. Judges’ Choice: “Best Friends Forever,” made and worn by Mette Hedin and Bryan Little. Best Workmanship: “Predator: Bad Blood,” worn by George Frangadakis. Made by Pete Mander and George Frangadakis. Best Presentation: “Star Trek: NKOTB,” (1) worn and made by Cordelia Willis, Kelly Lima, Carolyn Staehle, Nina Kempf, and Angie Clough. Best Novice: “Gotham Girls,” worn by Georgianna, Emma, and Sarah. Made by Georgianna Kobyluch. Honorable Mention for workmanship & presentation: “Lung Zi,” made and worn by Tom Rodriguez, Jr. Honorable Mention for excellent use of materials: “Zira, Planet of the Apes,” made and worn by Jessica Rotich.
COMPANY SPONSORED PRIZES DC Comics presented a special limited edition DC Direct collectible to their favorite DC entry: “Teen Titans,” (3) worn by Carla Stockel, Sammy Claman, Linda Nance, Brandon Gibson, Crystal Zamora, and Josh Maruda. Made by Carla Stockel and Sammy Klaman. Lucasfilm presented a collection of special Star Wars collectibles from the Lucasfilm Archives to the best Star Wars entry “Jedi, Jawa, and R2X5,” (2) worn by Anna and Basil Simmons. Made by Jen Medrano, Anna, Basil, and Steve Simmons. Century Guild presented $100 cash to the best entry inspired by Art Nouveau or fantasy to “Night Blooming Flower,” an original design made and worn by Julia Nolan.
Photos by Tom Deleon.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 9
CONnotations WonderCon Games Thank you gamers! In 2009, WonderCon Games had its best year ever. Attendance in the gaming area alone doubled from the previous year, with 600 gamers playing all weekend long. Young gamers we taught five years ago returned to help teach and play games. For the first time ever there was tournament play. Tournaments included:
MAGIC THE GATHERING: Jesse Lopez from “Thou Shalt Game” ran the packed Magic games. Friday’s Main Event: Alara block sealed deck: Sam Cho, San Francisco, won a framed and signed artist print. Saturday’s Main Event: Free Entry Legacy: Noah Smith, San Jose, won 10 packs of Italian Language Legends Booster packs. Sealed Deck event: Anonymous, 1st place, won framed signed artist print. Sunday’s Main Event: Free Entry Vintage: Dillion Jolliffe, San Jose, won Library of Alexandria. Sealed Deck Event: Travis Leslie, Lake Elsinore, won a framed artist print.
HEROCLIX: Nhat Pham from the “Bay Area Clix League” ran the full WC ’09 Heroclix Championship Events all weekend. The champion was Tuan and the fellowship winner was Raymond.
VERSUS: Sean ‘Baldman’ Marinelli from “The Cardboard Gangsters” ran Versus events on Saturday.
APE Returns to San Francisco October 17–18! One of the country’s most popular and vibrant alternative comics shows returns to its San Francisco home, The Concourse Exhibition Center, for another two big days of fall fun this October. APE, the Alternative Press Expo, rolls into the city by the bay on October 17 and 18, 2009. Having switched to the fall in 2008, APE proved to be a big hit with the comics-loving people of San Francisco no matter what time of year. APE 2009 is shaping up to be another crowd pleaser, with five major guests having signed on as of press time:
(writer/artist, A Child’s Life)
Phoebe Gloeckner is best known for her 2002 illustrated novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl and her comics collection A Child’s Life. Gloeckner is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. She is currently completing a novel for which she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
(writer/artist, Billy Dogma)
Native New Yorker Dean Haspiel is the creator of Billy Dogma and the webcomix collective ACTI-VATE. Dean has drawn for Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse Comics, including Pulitzer Prize– winning Michael Chabon’s The Escapist, and is best known for his collaborations with Harvey Pekar on The Quitter and American Splendor. Recently, Dean drew The Alcoholic, an original graphic novel collaboration with author Jonathan 10 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Ames and, Mo & Jo: Fighting Together Forever, a Toon Book collaboration with underground comix legend Jay Lynch for Raw Jr. Dean currently edits Next-Door Neighbor for SMITHmag.net and produces Street Code, a semi-autobiographical webcomic for Zudacomics.com.
(writer/artist, Supernatural Law)
Batton Lash is the creator, writer and artist of the long-running series Supernatural Law (AKA Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre), which appears in comic books, trade paperbacks, and a twice-weekly webcomic (www.supernaturallaw. com). He also writes and draws Mavis, featuring Wolff & Byrd’s intrepid secretary. Lash is the writer of Archie: Freshman Year for Archie Comics and this summer’s crossover “event” for Bongo Comics featuring The Simpsons and Radioactive Man. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Lash now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jackie Estrada, and their two cats.
(writer/artist, Bottomless Belly Button)
Dash Shaw was born in Los Angeles, in 1983. He made numerous comics and zines while a BFA student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Since graduating, he’s done the surreal family comedy Bottomless Belly Button, pub-
lished by Fantagraphics Books last year, and the Eisner-nominated telepathy comedy BodyWorld, which can be read in its entirety online at www. dashshaw.com, and which will be published in book form by Pantheon Books next year. He is also a regular contributor to the quarterly comics anthology Mome and an occasional animator and painter. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
(writer/artist, BONE, RASL)
Born and raised in the American midwest, Jeff Smith learned about cartooning from reading comic strips and comic books and watching animation on TV. In 1991, he launched a company called Cartoon Books to publish his comic book BONE, a comedy/adventure about three lost cousins from Boneville. Against all odds, the small company flourished, building a reputation for quality stories and artwork. Winning numerous awards and legions of fans all over the world, BONE also appeared as a full-color edition, published by Scholastic Press’s Graphix imprint. Smith’s latest work includes his new self-published series, RASL. Jeff lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Vijaya Iyer. Visit www.comic-con.org/ape for updated details about the show, including the Exhibitor Application and additional guests. WonderCon games photo by Tom Deleon.
CHABON FRACTION MATT
When WonderCon special guest Matt Fraction first approached the programming staff about having a discussion with Pulitzer Prize–winning author (and big time comics fan) Michael Chabon as one of his panels at the event, they naturally jumped at the chance. Fraction is one of the most popular writers in comics today, with his work on Uncanny X-Men (moving comics’ most popular superteam to WonderCon’s home city of San Francisco) and Invincible Iron Man gaining new fans each month. Chabon wrote the decades-spanning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, among his many other works. The novel was set in the Golden Age of Comics and won over comic fans everywhere. Here’s Michael and Matt, talking about comics, fiction, and the importance of fandom. Matt Fraction: I’m Matt Fraction and I write Uncanny X-Men and Invincible Iron Man and a book called Casanova.
Chabon: Well, we’re going to talk about the Casanova/ Kavalier and Clay crossover that we had planned. We thought we’d just like spitball a few ideas up here.
Michael Chabon: I’m Michael Chabon and I read Immortal Iron Fist and Casanova and that’s why I’m here today, because I just leapt at the opportunity to be able to hang out with one of my favorite comics writers ever, and that’s Matt Fraction.
Fraction: I want to talk about the making of Kavalier and Clay, because I know you talked to a lot of guys who were there [in the Golden Age of Comics].
Fraction: The Pulitzer Prize–winning author. Just in case anyone’s not certain of his resume. What are we doing? Photos by Tom Deleon.
Chabon: Not enough. I didn’t know that many at that time. It would have been much easier for me now or after I finished the book. Then I started meeting all of those guys. Sadly so many of them—since the book came out in 2000—we’ve lost so many of the great Golden Age guys. But I only could get to Stan Lee,
Will Eisner, and Gil Kane at the time. Actually it was when Eisner was here, when WonderCon was still in Oakland, and he sat down in a room with me for a little more than an hour. Ann, his wife, was there and he didn’t have the faintest idea who I was. I had written him a letter. I knew somebody who knew somebody that knew him. And he very kindly agreed to talk to me. And I think Ann was partly there just in case I turned out to be some kind of stalker, fanboy, you know whatever, with a beef about something. But I think he was a little disarmed because the stuff I wanted to know was what kind of shoes did you wear in 1939? Did you smoke cigarettes? What Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 11
Michael Chabon AND Matt Fraction brand of cigarettes did you smoke? What kind of music did you listen to when you were working? Was the radio on? Were there people around? How did it work when you were selling comics? Eisner was such an unusual and interesting case—especially for his time—because he was both an artist and a businessman, who hired and fired other writers and artists. He still had this incredible recall of the mechanics of the comic book business at the time and how many months it would take before you would actually find out how well a title was doing. And they would get these yellow sheets that would show the sales figures. He was great. He gave me so much that I could use. And the same was true with Stan Lee when I talked to him on the phone. I have since met him but I had never met him at the time. And well, if you’ve seen him talk you know he likes to talk and tell stories and he just went off. I [asked him] what was the best cheap date? “Cheap dates, cheap dates . . .” and then you know he started thinking. [He said the best cheap date] had to be the top of a double-decker bus going up Fifth Avenue. It cost a nickel to get on the bus. They had these open top double-decker buses in New York City and you could sit up there, your arm around your date and just watch the buildings going by.
of someone’s going to write a real book about us, you know what I mean. Chabon: I tried. Fraction: I liked it a lot. So at that point [Kavalier and Clay] came and then the two volumes of McSweeney’s? Chabon: Yeah. There are two different volumes of short stories I edited. I asked writers who are known for working in genre areas, like Stephen King, China Mieville, Neil Gaiman, and many others. And then writers who are not known at all for working in genre, who don’t have that kind of reputation at all, and asked them all to sort of move toward the middle in a way, trying to find that border area. Rick Moody, for example, wrote one of the best things he’s ever written, this really cool sort of Philip K. Dick [story] with
Fraction: I love doing shows, because I like being able to say thank you, ultimately, to the people who are paying my paycheck. It seems quite literally the least I can do. And that’s all you look for is just a couple minutes to talk to somebody whose work has affected you, being on the other side of the table. But those are amazing discussions to have, “what did you smoke when you drew?” That’s incredible. Chabon: That’s what I needed, because I had to recreate this whole world. The real reason I wanted to write that novel is not because I love comics and not because I grew up loving comics, it was because I always wanted to live in New York City in 1939 and go to the World’s Fair and be a part of that world. I needed to find a way into it that felt kind of fresh and that nobody had ever done before and also that meant something to me, and that was the world of comic books. But the other element was definitely that it was not an obvious idea. I saw an interview with Will Eisner a couple of years after the book came out where he said after I got up and left he turned to his wife and said “That guy’s in trouble. Who’s going to tell him?” And speaking of saying thank you, I have to say that the people who bought that book right away, who went out and talked about it and told other friends to buy it, were overwhelmingly comic book fans. So thank you. You put the book out there. Fraction: In the days before it came and people knew it was coming, it was like he’s writing about us. Like finally. There was an actual anticipation 12 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
multiple conflicting versions of reality, and he really got into it. Sherman Alexi, who’s a really great writer of more mainstream fiction and short stories, wrote a zombie story. He’s a Native American and he wrote this story about “Zombie Custer,” cavalry zombie guys fighting Indians. Fraction: So, the book comes out and you’ve gone from sort of dipping your toe in the water to just cannon-balling in it, all in between Kavalier and Clay and McSweeney’s and have now sort of become genre. And you’ve written essays about it. and my only question is why is Cormac McCarthy allowed to ride that road and somehow his westerns aren’t westerns. It’s literary fiction that happens to take place in the Old West. Chabon: With cowboy characters who shoot each other. Fraction: With all the troves and standards.
Chabon: And scalping. That’s really true and that is very common still. I do think things have changed. I don’t take credit for that. I think I’m just part of this sort of overarching cultural moment starting with those who are about my age. I was born in 1963. Quentin Tarantino was born in ’63, Del Toro was born in ’63. I think if you grew up when pop art was sort of an avant-garde movement that people were sort of jokingly, ironically, taking genre stuff seriously. But if that was your starting point, then you came of age through the introduction of the VCR, when all of movie history and television history essentially became available at your fingertips. But there was a time when to be a fan—and I think ultimately that’s really what it is for me—more than genre, it’s much more about fandom. I think fandom and being a fan is this sort of primary, cultural mode of our time and certainly for me. And what I’ve really been doing in my work is just trying to allow my fan nature to just have free reign in no matter what I’m working on. But it used to take a lot more work. I mean the idea of a convention back in the day was like we don’t know who each other are. We never get to see each other. We had no way of contacting each other. We’re these lonely souls. It can still be that way a little bit. My family and I had dinner with Matt and his wife and kid the other night and we started talking about the new British Dr. Who, the great David Tennant. And it was like we didn’t have anybody else to [talk to], it was like starving prisoners or something. We just had been let out and let’s talk about the Cybermen. Of course we all know what that’s like, that moment when you encounter someone who’s totally into something that you’re totally into and you don’t get a chance to talk about it too much. I think to have come of age as the sort of great mechanisms of fandom became completely instantaneous and ubiquitous has been a really thrilling, exciting thing. Like Marx Brothers movies: there was a time when the Marx Brothers movies were not available. You could never see them. They weren’t on television. There was some kind of legal dispute and so they couldn’t be shown. There was just this one book, it was called Why a Duck? and it was like a photo novella. Fraction: My dad had that book. There was a guy named Richard J. Anobile who published a line of those, with stills from movies. If you wanted to see Psycho pre-VCR you had to buy the book. Chabon: Exactly, exactly. That’s what I’m talking about. So I think there’s just been this sense of exhilaration, a mounting sense of interconnectedness where you can find and meet people, because that’s ultimately what fandom is about. Fraction: We moved around constantly and the first day of school every time I would wear my
WonderCon Watchmen shirt because it was flying colors. I was flying my flag like looking, does anybody else [get it]. First day of school and it was always a bummer day. “What’s that?” ‘Nothing.’ I’m a fan of using buttons, just being on a subway train or something and you see somebody with a button. Chabon: That reminds me, when you said wearing a button, we were talking the other night about when I went in and made a pitch when the Fantastic Four movie was still in development hell. This was back before it finally emerged with Galactus as a giant cloud. I went into pitch, I was living in L.A. I’m like, “I love the Fantastic Four. I’m going to go in and talk to them.” And I went in and I had my little Four symbol, a cloisonné pin on the lapel of my denim jacket. I’m like “this is so exciting. I need to impress these people of what a passionate fan I am. I’m going to grab my Fantastic Four number 44 and put it my bag and I’ll just whip it out and they’ll see what a huge fan I am.” And I went and sat down and there’s these executives and producers sitting across from me and their eyes just went right to the pin and I could just see [them think],”‘what a goober.” It was just such a bad move. They were asking why are you here, why do you want to do this? And I was trying to explain and they were [responding] this is crazy, we can’t believe the level of insane passionate fandom that’s out there for this title. We actually have writers coming in here, pitching us on this project and they bring their comic books with them to the meeting. And I was “Okay . . . I’m just going to zip this back up again.” So it can be costly—at least at a certain point in time—to fly the flag.
envy my own kids who were here, but I think they’re so bored they all left the room. But you know there’s so much cool stuff out there now. There’s so much more cool stuff than there used to be.
my fault. I’m not shaking my fist at Chris Claremont or whomever, it’s me. I dropped the ball there. I missed a beat. This makes no sense. I didn’t pull this off and I get really worked up about it.
Fraction: And easier to find.
Chabon: Do you think it’s fan fiction in a sense? I mean except that you’re getting paid to do it.
Chabon: And it’s easier to find. And I think it’s partly because you know we are taking over. And the people who are pitching the material and the people who are listening to the pitches that are going to be writing the checks all grew up reading Chris Claremont. Do you want to talk about the X-Men book you’re working on? Here’s a subject for you . . . assuming charge of a sacred trust. I wrote a Sherlock Holmes novel called The Final Solution, although I didn’t identify the character as Sherlock Holmes. I just called him the Old Man because he’s a very old man. I know
Chabon: There is that urge to take what you love and be true to it but also make it your own and put your own imprint on it and put your own self into it. I mean that’s what I was talking about with the Holmes book. The first thing I ever wrote, ever in my whole life, was a Sherlock Holmes story that was told by Dr. Watson that was how he met Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. So I had kind of already done that a long time ago.
Fraction: Now this is really the question I’ve been dying to ask, has there been backlash? Are there phone calls that don’t get returned? Are there Christmas cards that don’t show up? Chabon: It’s funny, but the bias is still really strong. I do think it’s weakening, and part of this generational thing is that people who are 45 and younger are increasingly becoming the editors of mainstream magazines, the editors of even book reviews. The people who work at a magazine like Entertainment Weekly, clearly all those people are fans. So we have agents and operatives out there who are increasingly starting to control the levers. Fraction: It’s like we’re taking over. It creeps out and pokes up in little ways, whether it’s comic book stuff on The OC or a show like Yo Gabba Gabba. You see this kind of ’70s and ’80s Hip-Hop culture and remix culture and we’re starting to take over. The old guys are leaving. Chabon: Yeah they’re dying. It’s a cool thing that old guys do. I’m going to do it eventually myself. It’s definitely true. Something is changing. I often so
Fraction: I think it’s fiction by a fan. I think fan fiction exists to find radical newness, not inappropriate newness. Furry, inappropriate, slashy newness that Gene Roddenberry never, ever, ever, ever, would have thought of. You know that’s tough, I don’t know. It seems to be there’s a reason why we love the Sherlock Holmes books and that people still read them. And there’s a formula at play that ultimately we sign up for. People want to read the X-Men because they are sworn to protect a world that loathes and despises them. The machine is kind of the machine, it’s never not going to be a car but you can do stuff with it. You can take it new places.
a lot of people have asked me if I didn’t identify him because of copyright or was I just trying to use subterfuge, but in fact Sherlock Holmes is public domain and there was no reason why I couldn’t identify him. But as soon as I tried to use the name Sherlock Holmes this huge weight [came on me]. I’m a big Holmes lover, so I know a lot about the canon and the lure of Holmes and all that kind of stuff. I just found that kind of paralyzing, like it was a brand name that sort of sealed off the character, that I couldn’t get inside. Fraction: I have to operate in a sort of state of panic. It feels to me—to use a trashy cultural reference—like when Wile E. Coyote runs off the cliff and he’s fine until he looks down. I can’t be too reflective or too analytical about it. I don’t read the stuff once it comes out. Once it’s lettered and I proof the last lettering draft that tends to be the last time I read anything. I can’t go back and look at stuff because I get in my head inescapably. And just because you’re a fan your whole life you start to read it like you blew it here, you blew it here but it’s
Fraction:When you make your own X-Men comics as a kid or your own Spider-Man stuff you would never have the—I don’t know if authority is the right word, but I’ll say privilege—of being able to say I think we need to take this piece off the board. I think we need to move them to San Francisco. I think it’s time to leave the mansion. Now I can’t say that when whoever writes the book after me comes in they’re not all going back to New York. But while I’m on it they’re here because it was important to me. A friend of mine always used to tell us about his toy collection “I have this still in the box. I have that in the box.” And none of us ever believed him until we went to his house and he opened up his closet. And as a child he wouldn’t open his toys. And I think we’ve all encountered comic creators on runs on books that we’ve all loved that feel like they’re afraid to take the toy out of the box. And I think that is ultimately a disservice to the characters, and to anyone who would read it, being afraid to actually take the toys out of the box. Michael and Matt talked about a whole lot of stuff in this great panel. For a longer transcript, visit www.comic-con.org/common/wc09_chabon_ fraction.php
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 13
EXCLUSIVE BOOK EXCERPT! ®
C-C MI O
2009 marks the 40th Comic-Con in San Diego. Started in 1970 by an enthusiastic band of comics, science fiction, and movie fans, the annual convention has grown to become the country’s largest comics and popular arts event. Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends is a massive art and photo collection, showcasing over 620 images from the 40-year history of Comic-Con. Most of the art has not been seen since its initial publication in Comic-Con’s program and souvenir books, and the majority of the 2 3 -2 6 , 2 photos have never been seen outside of the Comic-Con archives. In addition to the treasure trove of art and photos, this 208-page, 9 x 12” full-color hardbound pictorial history contains a decade-by-decade look at the show. Numerous special articles explore the Masquerade, the Comic Book Expo, WonderCon, the Alternative Press Expo, Comic-Con’s T-shirts, the Eisner Awards, and much more. There are articles and photos focusing on some of the most important writers and artists who have been Comic-Con favorites over the years, including Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Ray Bradbury (who also provided the foreword for the book), Forry Ackerman, Dave Stevens, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, and more. Each chapter ends with a comprehensive list of first-time guests who attended in each decade, and the book’s vast appendices contain a complete list of Eisner, Inkpot, Bob Clampett, Bill Finger, and Russ Manning award recipients. Sprinkled throughout the book are quotes and observations from leading professionals in comics, movies, and television, commenting on their own experiences at the show. The whole package is capped off with an amazing new full-color wraparound cover by one of Comic-Con’s favorite special guests: Sergio Aragonés. Masterfully colored by Tom Luth, the cover alone will provide hours of viewing pleasure! Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends was produced by Comic-Con and designed and published by Chronicle Books of San Francisco, one of the world’s leading publishers of pop culture and art and photography books. It will premiere at Comic-Con 2009, July 23–26, and copies will be on sale at the show. This first print run is limited, so you’ll want to get your copy onsite at the event. A special pre-ordering system will be set up with a limited number of copies available to pre-registered attendees to pick up onsite (books will not be mailed out; you must attend Comic-Con to get these advance copies; books will also be on sale at the Comic-Con Boutique booth). A few sample spreads from the book adorn the next three pages. See the ad on page 18 for more info and check www.comic-con. org for full details on pre-ordering as we get closer to the show.
Cover artist Sergio Aragonés at WonderCon with a mock-up of the book’s cover.
14 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Top: dinosaur art © 2009 John Pound; Superman © 2009 DC Comics; program book cover © 2009 Jack Kirby Estate; Bottom: New Gods, Mister Miracle, Forever People © 2009 DC Comics; Silver Surfer, Capt. America © 2009 Marvel Characters, Inc.; Kirby photos by Jackie Estrada.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 15
16 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Top right: Sheena © 2009 Galaxy Publishing , Inc. art © 2009 Dave Stevens Estate, Captain Victory © 2009 Jack Kirby Estate; 1982 art © 2009 George Pérez; The Foozle © 2009 Marshall Rogers Estate, Raul the Cat © 2009 Howard Chaykin. Bottom left: Superman Family © 2009 DC Comics; Usagi Yojimbo © 2009 Stan Sakai; Green Lantern © 2009 DC Comics; Bottom left: Love & Rockets ™ & © 2009 Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez; The Spirit ® is a registered trademark of Will Eisner Studios, Inc.; Captain America ™ & © 2009 Marvel Characters, Inc.; Con-Fessions © 2009 Charlie Novinski and Lon Roberts.
Top left: art © 2009 Rick Geary; right: art © 2009 Frank Miller; Bottom left: The Spirit ® is a registered trademark of Will Eisner Studios, Inc.; Legion of Superheroes © 2009 DC Comics; Batton Lash, Richard Butner photos by Jackie Estrada.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 17
40 Years of Art! 40 Years of Photos! 40 Years of History! 40 Years of Fun!
Since 1970, when a small group of comic book, science fiction and movie lovers organized the first show, Comic-Con International has been the place to check out the latest comic creations and connect with legion of fans. Comic-Con documents this cultural phenomenon. Lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photos and images from the Comic-Con archives, this new book includes quotes, anecdotes, and profiles of luminaries, making for a veritable who’s who of the entertainment world.
• 208 Pages • 9 x 12” Hardcover filled with color and black & white art and photos • Stunning wraparound cover by Sergio Aragonés • Foreword by Ray Bradbury • $40.00
World Premiere: Comic-Con International Available at the Comic-Con Boutique Booth
T H E
SIMONE Gail Simone has quickly risen to the top of the comic writers’ ranks.
Starting with her Comic Book Resources web column “You’ll All Be Sorry,” Simone went on to write for Bongo, Marvel, and then settled in nicely at DC Comics, with a long run on Birds of Prey, making the characters of Oracle (Barbara Gordon), Black Canary (Dinah Lance), and Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) her own. After stints on Action Comics, Gen13, The All-New Atom, and Welcome to Tranquilty, Simone took over one of the crown jewels of the DC crown, Wonder Woman. As you can see by this interview, Gail grabbed the keys to the Invisible Plane and took off, undaunted by the almost 70-year history of comics’ most famous heroine. CCM: Let’s talk about “Gail Simone: the Early Years.” Were you a comics fan as a kid? Gail: Oh, yeah, I had a very rural upbringing and was raised on a farm in a teeny little coastal town in Oregon. We didn’t get television reception and we didn’t travel, so reading was the way to see other places, and that was one of the most compelling things in those stories to me, the ability to escape to Riverdale, or Gotham City, or Duckburg, or Themyscira for a while. We used to pick up stacks of worn, tattered comics at garage sales, and you know, I still think that might be the best possible introduction to comics for children, that big stack of books so used you could just roll a couple up and stick them in your pocket to read later. Let the adults worry about slabbing and grading. Kids should be reading comics without worrying if they spill applesauce on them. CCM: You kind of backed into writing comics, starting with some web columns and moving on to the Simpsons. Has this been a surprise for you, or something you consciously set out to achieve? Gail: I kind of set out not to achieve it, really. When I was first offered a webcolumn, I wrote to the few pro writer friends I had and essentially asked them to talk me out of it. I just didn’t feel that I was meant to be a writer—I had glamorized that notion, and those people, so much. And when the column became a success, and editors started offering me work, I was very resistant at first. Partly it may have been fear of disappointment, but there was definitely a thought that I would be taking work away from “real” writers. At the time, I was a full-time hairdresser with a salon of my own, and the idea of a total career switch midstream like that seemed more fantasy than possibility. Wonder Woman © 2009 DC Comics
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 19
Gail Simone Eventually some pro friends, particularly the great Scott Shaw!, got fed up and pushed me to try, for which I’m eternally grateful. I love it, and I wouldn’t trade back for anything. Telling stories is a terrifically thrilling and slightly sordid occupation. I love the reaction when someone asks what I do for a living and I tell them I write comics . . . there’s often this lovely mix of nostalgia and discomfort! CCM: You’re one of the few women writing mainstream superhero comics, and part of the only team of women doing a monthly superhero title (with artist Nicola Scott on Secret Six). What attracts you to the superhero genre? Gail: I used to have a longer answer to this, something about how I find the concepts so endearingly insane . . . I mean, if you divorce everything you know about, say, Batman, and just reduce it to its utterly unreal elements, you have a story of a man who revenges the death of his parents by dressing up as a flying rodent who has a vaguely Fight Club relationship with any number of disfigured psychopaths. We’re used to it, we’re sort of immune to the insanity of a story like that, to the point where 70 years of stories featuring Batman aren’t enough, we still want more each month. But recently, I’ve rethought this a bit, and I think women who read superhero comics like the same diversity of things that African American readers and gay readers and transgendered readers and Asian readers and Caucasian readers like. I think the lines of female readers I talk to aren’t necessarily looking for some secret, Da Vinci code–protected content, they want to know what’s going on in Wonder Woman’s head this month, or how the X-Men are going to defeat Magneto. If you look at the people who have chosen this genre, this oddball cape mythology, I would stack them up against the creators in any other medium. Sure, film has David Lynch and Stephen Chow and music has Tom Waits and Yo Yo Ma, but we have Grant Morrison and the Kubert family and Jeff Smith and Ethan Van Sciver and Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker, and a hundred other people who are as good as creative talent gets, and they all find something new and interesting to say every time they’re up at bat. That’s kind of thrilling to be part of. CCM: Your work with Nicola Scott goes back to an impressive run on Birds of Prey, and the two of you obviously have a lot of fun on whatever you’re doing. What makes a great collaboration between writer and artist?
20 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Gail: From my side, I want to say it’s pure dumb luck. I’ve just been ridiculously fortunate in the people I’ve gotten to work with, and they’re obviously above my pay grade. Nicola Scott, Michael Golden, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Neil Googe, Aaron Lopresti, and the other artists I’ve worked with are going to make any writer look brilliant. But for them, for the artists I enjoy working with the most, I think it’s purely a matter of personal pride. An artist like Nicola Scott, she simply won’t accept any page that she feels doesn’t meet her standards, so she draws and she sketches and she redraws and resketches, and in the end, she simply has a higher standard, and it shows. Nicola and I are particularly simpatico in that we don’t shock and we like things that are a wee bit disturbing. And particularly with a great artist, you don’t want to hand them a subpar script. You don’t want them wasting their love and devotion to their craft and talent on something less than it could be. CCM: With Wonder Woman you’re writing one of the most famous comic characters of all time. How do you deal with the almost 70-year history of THE most recognized superheroine in comics? Gail: I think this is a little bit like asking, “How do you deal with the horsepower of a Ferrari?” I really don’t find the mythology to be some sort of great speed bump. It’s more the opposite, that looking through her history is entering this tremendously compelling alternate history of the world, where the fate of a culture is written in the footprints of combat-trained kangaroos. Seriously, the early WW stuff in particular is so full of ridiculously addled and wonderful invention that it’s completely irresistible. My tribute to all that stuff shows up in little ways, like her albino gorilla bodyguards. Wonder Woman can be many, many things, but I like her best when her stories are right on the verge of going completely over the abyss of reason. She can be many things Spider-Man and Batman can’t be, but one thing she should never be is stuffy and humorless. CCM: With Secret Six you’re taking a bunch of DC’s second-tier “conflicted villains” (for lack of a better term) and molding them into a heroic team. Why this bunch of characters (because let’s face it, it’s kind of a motley crew), and what does each one bring to the table (or page)? Gail: I don’t think of them as heroic at all. What occasionally happens is that each of them finds a line they believe they won’t cross. But it’s still a team of thieves, killers, and perverts, bless their horrid little hearts! Each represents a particular species of villainous thought.
Scandal has the closest thing to a regular conscience. I actually like her better than most of the clawed “heroes” who kill as much as or more than the villains, with no thought of the lives they’re taking. Scandal at least has doubts. Catman has functioned as a P.O.V. character to some degree, he wants to think of himself as a bystander. He’s holding out this sad little hope of maybe someday achieving some kind of greatness. When he does commit to something, look out, because everyone underestimates him. Ragdoll represents complete, unbridled selfishness. He does what he does because it makes him happy or achieves a goal. That said, occasionally rising to help his teammates may be the first time in his entire spoiled life that he’s been selfless, and if he were a more thoughtful character, that might give him some pause. Deadshot represents the opposite. He is the man who doesn’t care. He doesn’t care if he lives or dies, really, and that means he especially doesn’t care if you live or die. Bane signifies the “honorable” villain, the man with a rigid code. His code of conduct is more restrained than most superheroes. It’s just that it is very much at odds with polite society. And Jeannette is a stone cold psychopath. She finds pain amusing, and she finds death amusing. CCM: You’ve written Superman on a regular basis in Action Comics, and now you’re doing Wonder Woman. Any desire to tackle Batman? Gail: Oh, absolutely. I want to write Batman as an adventurer again. I got to write him in JLA, where I thought of him as the ultimate tactician, but in his solo stories, I’d really like to get him out of Gotham and into some exotic locales. I’ve been offered several things in the Bat-universe but haven’t found the exact right project yet. It’s not that DC hasn’t offered, they’ve been great about letting me infect the icons. CCM: Are they any other characters you’d really like to write? Gail: I do feel that I have some fun Spider-Man stories in me at some point, and Batman, again, is someone I’m dying to write. I’d like to redeem my two-part story by writing some really good Teen Titans issues someday. And I love the pulp stuff, would love to write more Spirit, or some Tarzan, or Avengers, or the Shadow. I adore those worlds. CCM: Is there any desire on your part to do something that doesn’t include superheroes, maybe something more personal, something creator-owned?
The Comic-Con Interview Gail: Everything I write is personal. I know my veteran writer friends are always advising me to not think of the characters as my own, but I find that I really can’t write any other way. It’s to the point where I have genuine and longlasting separation anxiety when I leave a book. I still miss the Deadpool cast, I miss writing the Simpsons. For a book like Birds of Prey, that I wrote for 50–plus issues, it’s really sort of agonizing and it doesn’t seem to go away. But yeah, I’m taking that plunge this year and hoping to get out my first fully creator-owned book since Killer Princesses, which I co-created with the great Lea Hernandez several years ago. I have plenty of concepts, but one in particular that I’m excited about, a crime fantasy.
interest to comics fans. I essentially created an entire world of places and characters, just a massive amount of work. Then one day I hear the company is in trouble and a week or so later, all the e-mail addresses of my contacts there are discontinued. It’s all amicable, they were great to work with, and this sequence of events was totally out of their control, but it’s still a bit sad. I’ve written some Tomb Raider animation, and I’m in talks to work on some special content for a very popular MMRPG that should be great fun. We’re all video game players in my house.
and most vicious editor. You have to look at your work with the gimlet eye of an Ebenezer Scrooge. You have to exorcise the crap and dead weight and cliché in your material and be far less kind about it than even the meanest editor at DC or Marvel, because believe me, if you put out a book that you know is terrible, it will haunt you forever. If you have any sort of artistic integrity, it will follow you around like poison gas in the trenches. But most of all—and this cannot be overstated—you need to put out some completed work. Editors today simply won’t read your idea to revitalize the entire super-pet community in outline form, cold, at a convention. Not when there are people who have shown the fortitude and determination to CCM: You coprint something, wrote the story whether it be a for the recent webcomic, or Wonder Woman a column, or a animated movie, minicomic, or a and you’ve written self-published for animation book. It’s not just before with an that it’s easier episode of Justice for the editor to League Unlimited. visualize what you How is writing can do, it’s also for animation that it shows that different than you are seriouscomics? minded about your aspirations. We Gail: You have all have dozens to serve more of people come masters in up asking this animation, to Gail signing at the DC Comics booth at Comic-Con in 2008. question at every where I wouldn’t convention, and want it to be the truth is, the people who are going to make my full-time job, but there are really lovely CCM: What would you recommend to someone who it aren’t looking for a magic formula, they’re rewards, as well. You get to work with an entirely wanted to break into the industry as a writer? already working on some project. They have different group of brilliant people, and I find a webcomic, they have a blog, they have a hearing talented voice actors saying my dialogue Gail: I get asked this a lot, and I think the answer minicomic . . . they have business cards they to be really charming and delightful. Having is evolving a little bit. If you’re an artist, it’s okay can hand editors, or they have portfolios with Jeffrey Coombs brilliantly interpret my Question to show your influences heavily when you first start their scripts laid out as storyboards. They have dialogue in Justice League Unlimited is sheer out. An editor can see if you have talent beyond something to show. Because an editor can’t go by fangirl nirvana. I’ve been asked to do a lot more whatever, say, Jim Lee influence might be in your what is only in your head at this point. film and animation work but I’m very careful work. There really has never been so many ways to what I pick. I don’t feel that Hollywood is some I think for writers, it’s a little different. I think break in. There was a time, before the Internet, inevitable career step comic writers should all finding your own, personal voice is priority one. where if you wanted to make comics, you either aspire to, but I do enjoy it very much so far. There’s already a Brian Bendis, there is already had to have a publisher or become one yourself. a Grant Morrison, and if you present material to That time is long gone. If you have a voice and CCM: You’ve also written for some videogames, an editor that owes too much to those guys or any a vision, the industry needs you, so I absolutely haven’t you? other established writer, then you enter the industry encourage you to try. as tainted meat from the start. You have to find Gail: Well, I was working for a huge videogame your passion and build the method to express it that company on a massive project that was extremely belongs solely to you. time-consuming and was going to be of particular Next, you have to learn to be your own cruelest Photo by Scotty Oson.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 21
ADVICE, TIPS, & PERSONAL FAVES FROM ATTENDEES, PROS, & STAFF
Nobody knows Comic-Con like our longtime attendees, professionals, and staff. With 2009 marking the 40th big event for the country’s largest comics and popular arts convention, we present some of the top tips, advice, and favorite things to do from a cross-section of respected professionals and special guests, staff members and volunteers, and both recent and perennial attendees. Take it to the bank: whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a firsttime visitor, this info is solid gold! We asked three simple questions: 1. What’s your favorite thing to do at Comic-Con? (FAVE) 2. What are some of your top tips for attending Comic-Con? (TIP) 3. What bit of advice would you give a first-time attendee? (ADVICE) Some of the answers may surprise you! Here (presented in alphabetical order) are our favorite info-packed responses. LEW BERISH • Frisco, TX (4-year attendee) FAVE: Getting autographs. Comic-Con is a wealth of signatures. You have people in their prime and people who played those very memorable characters that have a special place in your heart. I’ve been able to collect a lot of autographs there. I love that many booths will have surprise guests signing that you just wander/blunder into. BRYON BAUER • Yucaipa, CA (18-year attendee) TIP: Visit Artists’ Alley to see new artists and creations. I got to meet Dave Stevens (The Rocketeer), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), and countless others before most people even knew about them. The next great artist and characters are here. And the best thing is you can get sketches and signatures. CHARLES BROWNSTEIN Executive Director Comic Book Legal Defense Fund ADVICE: There is so much to see and do at Comic-Con, so many people to meet, that sometimes a chance encounter can be even more memorable than racing upstairs to wait in line for that screening you have circled in your Events Guide. Walk into Comic-Con with open eyes, an open mind, and a good plan that leaves a healthy allowance for chance. You never know, that person browsing the long box next to you may be someone you’ve always wanted to meet. Max Allan Collins photo by Bamford Studios.
TIP: I love hosting the CBLDF’s Live Art events, because it’s great to see how so many different kinds of artists approach their work, starting from a blank page and ending with something fluid and masterful. It’s also really satisfying to see so many young artists in the crowd with their sketchbooks out following along on the big screen as the artists are working out their lines on the projector. JILLIAN BURCAR • Los Angeles, CA (3-year attendee) FAVE: I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the Comics Arts Conference. That was the moment I realized that it was possible to do the kind of critical work in comics that I’ve always wanted to do, and, ever since, it’s carried me around the country. I applied to a predoctoral fellowship in Gender and Animation at the Fisher Center at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and I actually got it! I never would have been brave enough to pursue my interest in comics as part of my academic scholarship without the Comics Arts Conference. So I will be forever indebted to Comic-Con International for the direction my Ph.D. has taken.
MAX ALLAN COLLINS Writer and filmmaker TIP: Keep your eyes open at all times. You never know when you’re walking alongside a celebrity. Last year, I found myself next to Robert Culp and struck up a polite, friendly conversation, which really warmed up when I told Mr. Culp how much I loved a movie he’d directed called Hickey & Boggs (I did not ask for an autograph). Later my wife Barb and son Nate and I were going up an escalator, and found ourselves right behind several cast members of RENO 911!, one of our favorites shows. Obvious as it sounds, politeness rules here, though I admit to losing it a little when I ran into the full cast of Mystery Science Theater on their way to a panel I hadn’t been able to get into. ADVICE: Make the Events Guide your Bible; go over the panels. Don’t just go for the Hollywood blockbuster–type stuff. And don’t miss out on the evening stuff— panels and movies and so on.
LINDSLEY & ALVI CHELINI Las Vegas, NV (8-year attendees) FAVE: My husband and I met at ComicCon in 2002 and were married in 2005. We have been attending Comic-Con for 8 years, and now celebrate it as our anniversary. Comic-Con is our once-ayear anniversary/vacation! TIP: Be open to meeting new people. You never know who you’ll meet!
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 23
MIMI CRUZ Comic Book Retailer Night Flight Comics Salt Lake City, UT
ANDREW FARAGO Curator Cartoon Art Museum San Francisco, CA
FAVE: My favorite event each year is the Eisner Awards ceremony on Friday night. It is your chance to not only dress up but also to see the top comic talent in attendance as everyone pulls together to celebrate the best of the best. Eisner Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada always ups the ante each year with countless memorable presenters, humor, and drama. It is a yearly event that I never miss.
FAVE: Catching up with old friends— many of whom I met at earlier Comic-Cons. Some of my best friends in comics are people that I first met at those giant group dinners that always happen when people are milling around outside waiting for friends. On the convention floor itself, my favorite part is meeting the artists and writers whose work I grew up reading. I’ve had some really great conversations over the years with folks like Will Eisner, Stan Lee, the Romitas, the Buscemas, Gene Colan, Walt Simonson, and dozens of my other childhood heroes, all at Comic-Con.
FAE DESMOND Executive Director of Comic-Con ADVICE: Make sure members of your family have a cell phone if you are going to let them go any place in the Convention Center without you. If you shop around you can buy a prepaid phone for about $20, and it will come in handy at other places, too—any place where they might get so sidetracked they forget to meet you at the appointed time. And make sure they turn it on! TIP: You can commission art from artists at Comic-Con, customized just for you, and it can be at a very reasonable price, depending on your request and who the artist is. Check out Artists’ Alley and the comics artists and fantasy illustrator areas in the Exhibit Hall. DAVID ECLIPS • Las Vegas, NV (1-year attendee) TIP: Right when Comic-Con has closed, IMMEDIATELY go online and buy the 4-day membership for the next year. [Editor’s note: you can also do this onsite; check your Events Guide for the location of the 2010 Pre-Registration booth.] And always buy the 4-day membership. It’s a huge benefit to go to Preview Night so you can formulate a game plan of what you want to see each day. JACKIE ESTRADA Eisner Awards Administrator (attendee at all 39 past Comic-Cons) FAVE: I rarely get a chance to go to programs, but I have a new favorite tradition: the “Buffy: Once More with Feeling” musical to close the show on Sunday. It’s nice to be able to end the hectic week with an hour of relaxation and bonding with an audience of fellow Buffy fans!
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JOE FERRARA Comic Book Retailer Atlantis Fantasyworld, Santa Cruz, CA FAVE: I absolutely won’t miss the “Quick Draw” and “Cartoon Voice Actor” panels. What a joy it is to see such talented people! TIP: Plan Ahead. I print out the programs for all four days in advance and pre-plan each day. When I get there I check for any last-minute changes. ADVICE: Go see the special guests. The “stuff” will always be there, but you will never forget meeting a comic creator or an author or an actor for the first time! SHAENON GARRITY Cartoonist/Editor Narbonic San Francisco, CA TIP: Spend plenty of time in the Small Press Area and Artists’ Alley. At any given time, there are dozens of major creators sitting at their tables. This is your chance to have one-on-one conversations with great cartoonists. In addition to getting sketches, consider commissioning original art. Many artists have very reasonable commission rates, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. DENISE GRIMES • Los Angeles, CA (5-year attendee) TIP: Make sure you have a list of all your friends’ phone numbers so you can call/text them with meet-up times. My friend prints up a list of all the
pertinent numbers (i.e. friends, hotels, restaurants) and we keep it in our badge sleeves. SAM JARVIS • San Diego, CA (9-year attendee) TIP: Throughout the year I save money from birthdays, holidays, begging relatives, and random summer jobs to have just enough money to buy almost anything (within reason). You never know what hidden treasures the Exhibit Hall holds. JAMES LUCAS JONES Editor-in-Chief Oni Press FAVE: I love to try and find a quiet corner in the lobby and eat a hot dog while just soaking in the Comic-Con ambiance. I love to watch all the people—both costumed and not—happily dart from the floor to their most anticipated panel of the weekend or to the Autograph Area where their childhood hero is signing. It’s great to be surrounded by a city’s worth of people devoted to all sorts of different pop culture niches. TIP: Don’t be afraid to spend time outside of the convention. Pop out for a trip to the Zoo or SeaWorld or take a walk through the famed Gaslamp Quarter. A step outside can give you an opportunity to escape the sensory overload and enjoy a different side of a grand metropolis. JENNIFER KING • Houston, TX (11-year attendee) FAVE: Every year since 2001, I have been a contestant in the Masquerade. I realized these things: by entering I get to (1) completely skip the line, (2) see all of the costumes up close, (3) get interviewed by really cool people like G-4, IFC, and Life magazine, and (4) entertain the coolest crowd anywhere! TIP: A little-known fact is that although the best seats for the Masquerade are in the main room and that many people wait all day in line for tickets and choice seats, you can also go to the overflow rooms or Sails Pavilion and not wait in line at all, or even go to the Sunday panel where they replay the recorded show.
GERMAIN LUSSIER • Monroe, NY (6-year attendee)
TERRY MOORE • Writer/Artist, Strangers in Paradise, Echo
ternational talent in the world into one gigantic room.
FAVE: My favorite thing to do at ComicCon is see some special footage that no one else is going to see for months. There’s nothing like being in that room when an exclusive trailer or a special TV scene is shown. And you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were one of the first people in the WORLD to see this. It’s a total thrill and the reason I go back year after year.
FAVE: I like watching the kids of all ages have a good time. Everybody’s there because they want to be. For four days, it’s the happiest place on earth. Disneyland can’t touch it.
TIP: For my fellow pros: Set some time aside and do something for yourself; go sit at a panel and be a fan and let others entertain you. No other show has such diverse and interesting panels.
ADVICE: Don’t ask artists to make that sketch request out “to eBay.”
ADVICE: Plan early in the year for hotels and tickets. Be polite to everyone and understand that each person is there to have a good time, so don’t judge people or be anything but respectful to each other. Embrace the wonderful fact that people with the same interests from all over the world are there to have a good time, meet their heroes, and get the stuff no one else can get. This is the place where we all are safe to let all our own freak flags fly, so keep it fun and revel in it.
HEIDI MacDONALD Long-time Comic-Con attendee and journalist (The Beat) FAVE: For me the best thing at ComicCon is a dinner with old friends I don’t see nearly enough. Good food and conversation with the great imaginations of the people who make comics is a wonderful experience I’m lucky to have. TIP: This year has some great guests from the entire history of comics—you can’t go wrong hitting one of their spotlight panels or stopping by their tables. Cartoonists are some of the most open, friendly creative types in the entertainment business, and at San Diego you have a rare chance to meet some of them in a fairly relaxed and genuine manner. ADVICE: There are a lot of movie stars and celebrities at Comic-Con and it’s fun and exciting to see a big movie presentation and hear big name stars speak, but try to get to see some of the people who create the comics behind the movies, and buy their work. RON LANG • Somewhere in America (3-year attendee) FAVE: One fun thing to do is to give yourself a Comic-Con tradition. I take down a copy of Absolute Hush every year and I carry it with me, getting new sketches from Jim Lee each year and trying to get the autographs of everyone involved in the creation of that book. It’s fun and it’s sort of like my own personal treasure hunt. This year I’ll be carrying a copy of Green Lantern: Rebirth, which I’ll be doing the same with. JULIA MILLER • Mobile, AL (2-year attendee) TIP: Talk to the people around you! You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have in line meeting people who are interested in some of the same things you are. And if you’re in line for the same panel you know you have at least one thing in common!
CHRIS MURRIN • Ocean City, NJ (8-year attendee) TIP: The lobby is your best friend. If you’re walking with a destination in mind, avoid heading down the center of the Exhibit Hall. Detour into the lobby, and you’ll bypass the bottlenecks inside the hall and end up at your destination a lot faster. JAIME MYERS • Phoenix, AZ (6-year attendee) TIP: What to bring? Company. Whether it be friends or family, Comic-Con is definitely something to be experienced if you have others along to share the fun and let loose with. My first time going I was 16 and alone; while it was still wicked fun, the following year when I went with a herd of friends was a huge improvement and was probably one of the greatest memories I’ll ever have.
JORDAN PLEIN • San Diego, CA (8-year attendee) FAVE: People watch! After a long day, one of my absolute favorite things to do is go to the Mezzanine where the Fan Tables are, get myself a slice of pizza, and look out through the windows down to the Exhibit Hall. You’d be surprised how relaxing it is, seeing all the different costumes, booths, and decorations that are sometimes missed when on the floor.
JENNIFER OBERG & FAMILY Spring Valley, CA (6-year attendees)
ANDY RUNTON Cartoonist, Owly
TIP: If you’re local, pack a cooler with things like sandwiches, fruit, drinks (and lots of ice, of course) and leave it in your car. Set aside an hour for lunch, and when it gets to that time, head back in that direction. We always park in one of the lots and take the free shuttle. This works out because it gets us away from the crowds for a little unwinding time, we eat and revamp our plans for the day, and it gives us that much needed second charge to get through the rest of the day.
FAVE: Spending time at the smaller booths and finding wonderful one-of-akind minicomics, plush toys, and original art. You get to talk with the artists and creators, see old friends, make new friends, and support what they do by buying things you won’t find anywhere else. I’m never disappointed, and I always come home with real treasures.
JIMMY PALMIOTTI Writer/Inker Jonah Hex, Power Girl
FAVE: Shop! I’ve found some incredible older Star Wars items and foreign items I never knew existed in the 30 or so years I’ve been attending.
FAVE: Getting to walk around the room and spend a little time with my favorite creators and friends from all over the world and especially meet the fans. Being in the business, I get to see only a few of these people during the year, but this show is unique in that it gathers one of the largest groups of in-
STEVE SANSWEET Director of Fan Relations, Lucasfilm
ADVICE: Take full advantage of Star Wars Friday, of course! Attend all the cool hour-long panels and don’t forget the annual “Star Wars Spectacular,” where there are always surprise announcements, guests, and/or clips. I hear the host is a decent dude . . . Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 25
GARY SASSAMAN Editor, Comic-Con Magazine TIP: The perfect ending to Comic-Con for me is Sunday’s “Starship Smackdown” panel, which features Mark Altman, Darren Dochterman, Steve Melching, and Robert Meyer Burnett (give or take a few participants) in the most hilarious fan discussion you’ve ever overheard, as they pair movie, TV, and comic book starships and personnel against each other and bracket the pairings down to a final winner. ADVICE: Go to something you’ve never visited before. I recommend the ComicCon International Independent Film Festival, which has a full four days of screenings, plus the Comic-Con Film School each day. You’re bound to see something amazing at this stand-alone festival within the convention. J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI Professional troublemaker; also writes a bit (Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, Changeling) FAVE: Let’s get real. A panel is done in an hour, maybe two. But exploring the Exhibit Hall can take days if done properly. Every few feet you see something new, something cool, something different, all the stuff you remember from when you were young, and naive, and hopeful. (You know, last week.) TIP: Bring a camera; there’s always things you’ll want to remember forever, much of it useful as blackmail. Be patient with the Comic-Con staff. They’re doing the best they can under war-zone conditions. ADVICE: Walk outside from time to time and change your focal distance: after a while, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed that you stop seeing what’s there. MARY STURHANN Secretary, Comic-Con Board of Directors ADVICE: Go to the ATM ahead of time! Going to the bank is even better, because you can bring small bills and quarters. The vendors will appreciate it. I have personally been planning to attend this Comic-Con since last year. I definitely have correct change! TIP: Park far away and use the shuttles! Comic-Con runs many shuttles. The farther away, the easier the parking and traffic congestion are when you leave. 26 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
JAMES STURM Director of The Center for Cartoon Studies FAVE: I am easily starstruck, and my favorite thing is to speak with fellow cartoonists. It’s an embarrassment of riches at Comic-Con: so many of the most talented creators are there. They are incredibly accessible to fans and fellow cartoonists. TIP: Pace yourself. It is easy to get overwhelmed at the Comic-Con. I make sure to get to the beach at least once (easily accessible by city bus) each year I go. Nothing relaxes and restores me like the ocean. CATHY UDOVICH • Long Beach, CA (12-year attendee) ADVICE: Don’t be afraid to make new friends. You will meet cool vendors in the Exhibit Hall, amazing artists and writers at panels, and fellow fans of all your favorite shows, films or comics. While standing in line or sitting in a panel, meet the people around you. Exchange e-mails or Facebook contacts. By the time you come back the next year, you’ll have a whole posse of friends to hook up with. MARV WOLFMAN Writer/Editor, New Teen Titans, Tomb of Dracula FAVE: Walking the floor in a complete daze. Where else can you see everything you love in one room? TIP: Get away every so often and sit down outside by the marina and take in the cool air and the beautiful ocean. Think about what you’d seen and done or you might not remember everything as you rush here and there trying to do it all. Remember, you can’t. There are more things going on here than you can possibly see. Instead of being frustrated by the panels you can’t get into, remember there are others you can and will probably enjoy, too. Take the time to marvel at how incredibly difficult it is to put on a convention that has over 125,000 attendees and to do it with so few problems.
The Must List
Essential advice and what to bring for your trip to Comic-Con International Whether you’re a first-time attendee or this is Comic-Con #40 for you, here’s some simple advice to help make your visit to America’s largest comics and popular arts convention even more enjoyable. Bring some essential items: COMFORTABLE SHOES (Need we say why?) SKETCHBOOK (Much handier for sketches and autographs than separate pieces of paper.) PENS (Not just something to write with, bring a Sharpie for autographs, quick sketches, etc.) MESSENGER BAG or BACKPACK (To store all those goodies you’ll pick up; remember, no rolling carts are allowed in the Exhibit Hall.) WATER (Stay hydrated! It’s not a race, but you’ll be walking a lot.) FOOD (Pack some quick snacks— granola bars, candy, etc.—and eat a big breakfast before you come to the show!) CASH (There are ATMs in the Convention Center, but sometimes they have the longest lines.) WANT LIST (Don’t forget that allimportant list of items—comics, books, original art, whatever—you’re looking for at the show.) CELL PHONE (Absolutely essential if you’re planning on meeting friends. And don’t forget that charger!) CAMERA (And an extra large memory card, batteries, and battery charger.) BUSINESS CARDS (In case you want to, you know, do some business!) POSTER TUBE and/or STURDY PLASTIC FOLDER (There are always free posters at the show, and you’ll want to get them home in pristine condition! Also handy for flyers, art, etc.; get something that can lay flat in your suitcase.) Do your homework Check the Comic-Con website (www.comic-con.org) beforehand for information on the Exhibit Hall and complete show schedules. You can find your favorite exhibitors along with their location on the floor and those must-attend programs you’ll want to see. Meeting friends and co-workers? Make a plan in advance on where to meet. Comic-Con does not page people. Use your cell phone to stay in touch.
See page 1 for more important information in the “Fast Facts” section. ANIME Comic-Con will again present three rooms dedicated to the very best in anime screenings throughout the entire four days of the event. As always, you can expect some old favorites, some surprises, and maybe even a premiere or two! More information, including a complete schedule, will be posted at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_anime.shtml as the event gets closer.
ARTISTS’ ALLEY Artists’ Alley gives Comic-Con attendees the chance to meet and greet some of their favorite creators, many of whom sell original art, sketches, and exclusive limited-edition prints and sketchbooks. Here’s a preliminary list—as of press time—of who will be in Artists’ Alley. Check www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_artalley.shtml for updates!
Every Comic-Con attendee knows you need a plan in place before you get to the San Diego Convention Center in order to see and experience everything the show has to offer. Here’s your first resource: a complete guide to ComicCon 2009 in a handy A to Z format (okay, minus a letter or two . . . we’re still thinking stuff up for the missing ones). Consider this your wakeup call to start planning, and consult WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG for frequently updated information as we get closer to the event. Ready? Let’s go! (Please note: All schedules and information listed with specific website addresses will also appear in the onsite Events Guide, available free to all Comic-Con attendees. Check that publication and the online listings for exact locations.)
Brent Anderson Terence Anthony R.C. Aradio Dominic Aradio Adam Archer Jon Ascher Robert Atkins Barry Barnes Hilary Barta Chris Batista Thomas Baxa William Scott Beaderstadt Den Beauvais Allen Bellman Anina Bennett Dan Berger Patrick Block Shelly Block Philip Bond Brian Bossin Spencer Brinkerhoff III Mark Brooks Stephanie Roux Steve Buccellato James Bukauskas Eric Caete Zander Cannon Sergio Cariello Adriano Carreon Tom Carroll Jacob Chabot Paul Chadwick Celine Chapus Bobby Chiu Scott Clark Katie Cook
Colleen Coover Joe Corroney Wes Craig Dave Crosland Cynthia Cummens Carlos D’Anda Paul Dale Sue Dawe Renae De Liz Brian Denham Otto Dieffenbach Ray Dillon Michael Dooney Mark Dos Santos Steve Ellis Robert Elrod Gabe Eltaeb Randy Emberlin Greg Espinoza Jason Felix Alyssa Fisher-Cohen Nathan Fox Franchesco! Otis Frampton Derek Fridolfs Richard Friend Dave Garcia Alex Garner Johnny Gerardy Chris Giarrusso Joel Gomez Joe Gonzalez Grant Gould Mark Gould Mick Gray Peter Gross Paul Guinan
Molly Hahn David Hahn Richard Peter Han R. M. Hanson Chachi Hernandez Gabe Hernandez Ben Herrera Thomas Hodges Sandra Hope Jackie Huang Mike Huddleston Mark Irwin Anson Jew Benton Jew Ben Jones Tristan Jones Brett Jubinville “JJ” Juvaun Kirby Scott Kolins Rich Koslowski Jason Kruse Richard Krzemien Andrew Kudelka Peter Kuper Peter Laird Steve Lavigne Jim Lawson Steward Lee Henry Liao Christian Licther Steve Lieber Ron Lim Steven Lisefski Julio E. Lozano Jim Mahfood Leah Mangue Larry Marder
Barbara Marker Randy Martinez Ruben Martinez Joey Mason Theresa Mather Bill Maus Meghan McMahon Lord L. Mesa John Meyers Danny Miki David Miller Bobby Milly Chris Moreno Jarrell Mosley Jeffrey Moy Philip Moy Sho Murase Stephen Murphy David Nakayama Todd Nauck Bosco Ng Nick Nix Eduardo Nunez Steven “Steve” Oatney Sergio Paez Dan Panosian Lucio Parrillo James Pascoe Kenneth Penders Andrew Pepoy Whilce Portacio Keith Quinn David Rabbitte Tariq Raheem Ron Randall Norm Rapmund Alex Ray
Bill Reinhold Roger Robinson David Ronzone Flora Ronzone Vaughn Ross Adrienne Roy Alex Ruiz Michael Ryan Stuart Sayger Gregg Schigiel Richard Schleifer Jason Seiler Brandon Shiflett Jarrod Shiflett Frank Silas Howard Simpson Cory Smith Cat Staggs Jessica Mae Stover Christina Strain Arthur Suydam Eric Talbot Philip Tan Bryan Tillman Anthony Tollin Tim Townsend Chris Trevas Francis Vallejo Denise Vasquez Emily Warren John Watkins-Chow Neil Winn Chuk Wojtkiewicz Thomas Yeates Brandon Young
ART SHOW Whether you’re looking for drawings, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, or even something more unusual, you’ll find an eclectic and beautiful selection of items in Comic-Con’s Art Show. Located in the Sails Pavilion upstairs at the Convention Center, the Art Show contains original works by both amateurs and professionals. It also displays the nominated books and comics for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and houses a special exhibit devoted to members of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame. Many of the original pieces displayed by artists are for sale by silent or voice auction. Some pieces are marked for quick sale. Bidder numbers and Art Show information can be obtained from the administration table inside the Art Show. You must be 18 or older and have legal identification to purchase artwork, and payments may be made with cash, check, or credit card. Information on entering the Art Show, including all necessary forms, is available at www.comic-con.org/cci/ cci_artshow.shtml. The deadline for entry before the convention is June 30. Samples of the art must be sent in along with the application and payment for display space. Walk-in reservations at the Art Show are on a first-come, first-served basis, if space is still available. Mail-in art is accepted according to the conditions stated in the Art Show rules. Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 29
Comic-Con A to Z AUTOGRAPH AREA Comic-Con’s Autograph Area is a fan-favorite destination each year. Located upstairs at the Convention Center in the Sails Pavilion, it is “signing central” for all four days of the event, where you can get autographs from movie stars, current and classic TV personalities, science fiction and fantasy authors, and comic book greats. The Autograph Area is your one-stop shop for signings, including sessions for some of Comic-Con’s special guests and other panel participants following their programs. As of press time, some of the celebrities confirmed for 2009 include the hosts of Attack of the Show, Nutopia Kim, Vernon Wells, and Larry Flash Jenkins, and Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax (Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett). Look for a complete schedule at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_autographs.shtml closer to the event and in the onsite Events Guide. (At left, Erin Gray greets a fan in the Autograph Area in 2008.)
BAG CHECK It’s 10:30 AM on Thursday and you’ve already purchased three giant statues and you’ve only begun to shop. What to do? Don’t worry, it’s the Comic-Con Bag Check to the rescue! Located in the main lobby near Hall A and Hall D, you can check those treasures until you’re ready to leave the building. There’s a $2.00 charge per bag. But don’t forget to grab them at the end of the day: items cannot be left overnight.
BLOOD DRIVE Comic-Con’s Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns for its 33rd big year in 2009. Our blood drive is the San Diego Blood Bank’s longest-running blood drive and has collected a staggering 7,538 pints of blood over the last 32 years. The Blood Drive opens at 10:00 AM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and at 11:00 AM on Sunday. Donating blood takes only about 45 minutes. Sign up at the Blood Drive Booth (upstairs in the Sails Pavilion near the Freebie Table). Everyone involved with the Blood Drive would like to thank Diamond Select Toys and Action Figure Xpress for their generous donations that made last year’s event Comic-Con’s most amazing success ever. We’d also like to thank all the exhibitors who donated so many fantastic raffle prizes for our daily drawings. Sergeant Major Jayme Winders of San Diego won a one-of-a-kind collectible Honda Element donated by the Honda Dealers of San Diego County. The vehicle included special Captain America graphics. And one lucky winner will win a car this year! (See the ad on page 3 for more details.) To all those who gave blood, we want to express the biggest thank you of all! You donated 1,070 pints of blood. The San Diego Blood Bank tells us more than 2,000 lives were saved because of your compassion and generosity. You can be a part of this year’s Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive. Take an hour or so out of your Comic-Con visit to help save a life! For more info visit www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_blood.shtml
CHILD CARE While there are a lot of wonderful comic books—and other things—for kids at Comic-Con, we all know a full day of long-box diving or panel watching isn’t exactly cut out for the little ones. If you’re a parent, don’t worry: Professional child care is available! KiddieCorp, a long-time presence at Comic-Con, is committed to providing your children with a comfortable, safe, and happy experience. They offer age-appropriate activities that include arts and crafts, group games, music and motion, board games, story time, dramatic play, and much more. KiddieCorp provides snacks and beverages, but parents must supply all meals, as well as diapers, baby formula, and a change of clothes. KiddieCorp’s hours coincide with Comic-Con’s Exhibit Hall schedule: Wednesday: 6:00 to 9:00 pm Thursday through Saturday: 9:30 am to 7:00 pm Sunday: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm KiddieCorp’s fees are also kind to your pocketbook: $9.00 per hour per child for children 6 months through age 2 and $7.00 per hour per child for children ages 3–12 for registrations received on or before June 24. Late (received after June 24) and onsite registration fees are $11.00 per hour per child for children 6 months through age 2 and $9.00 per hour per child for children ages 3–12 years. To enroll a young one in this program, you must complete a children’s program registration form and a consent form. You can obtain these forms through the Comic-Con office, on the Comic-Con website at www.comic-con.org/cci/ cci_child.shtml, or directly from KiddieCorp at 858-455-1718.You can also register online at www.kiddiecorp.com/ comickids.htm or send an email to: email@example.com.
COMICS ARTS CONFERENCE Is the Joker a psychopath? Can college prepare creators for careers in comics? Is the superhero a modern-day myth? Is it possible for a real person to become Batman, and how long would their superhero career last? These questions and many more will be debated—and maybe even answered—by comics scholars and professionals at this year’s Comics Arts Conference. The academic conference runs annually at both Comic-Con International and its sister show, WonderCon. Founded in 1992 by Dr. Randy Duncan—of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas—and Dr. Peter Coogan—who teaches at Washington University in St. Louis—the Comics Arts Conference brings scholars and profes30 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Erin Gray photo by Rudy Manahan; Blood Drive photo by Kira Olsson-Tapp; escalator photo by Kevin Green.
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL JULY 23 - 26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER sionals together to talk about comics with the public by breaking out of the ivory tower and holding sessions during two of the nation’s major comic book conventions. This year marks the CAC’s 18th annual conference at Comic-Con. The big news this year is the debut of the Institute for Comics Studies (ICS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the study, understanding, and appreciation of the comics medium. Institute director and CAC co-chair Peter Coogan, along with ICS board members from both the comics industry and the comics academy, will introduce the Institute and its mission to the world. Psychology professors Robin Rosenberg and Travis Langley will address the question of the Joker’s psychopathy with a helping hand from Steve Englehart, writer of the infamous “Joker fish” stories from the Bronze Age. Cartoonists Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine, Ben Templesmith of 30 Days of Night, and David Petersen from Mouse Guard will join student/cartoonists Nick Langley and Mark Head to discuss whether and how college can prepare creators for careers in the comics industry. The question of whether superheroes represent a modern-day mythology has been current at least since Stan Lee claimed they were back in the Silver Age. University of Melbourne media professor Angela Ndalnias draws on Umberto Eco’s famous analysis of Superman to argue the pro side, while W. Stephen Combs of Wittenberg University argues against, preferring to locate superheroes in the realm of folklore. And Trevor Strunk from New York University brings things back to Marvel’s Thor by laying out the connections between the superhero and his counterpart from Norse mythology. Dr. E. Paul Zehr, author of Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero, investigates whether it is scientifically possible for a human being to train to become Batman using his expertise in physiology and training in the martial arts of karate and Okinawan weapon. He presents a scientifically based analysis of what it would take to become the Dark Knight and how long Bruce Wayne could wear the cowl and cape. With the Comics Arts Conference, Comic-Con offers attendees a unique chance to get answers to puzzling questions from comics pros and comics Ph.D.’s at the nation’s longest-running annual academic conference on comics.
DISABLED SERVICES Comic-Con is dedicated to serving all of its attendees. The Disabled Services Department was established to offer a hand to visitors with special needs, including: • A rest area for the disabled, the elderly, expectant mothers, and parents with small infants • An enclosed nursing area for mothers with infants • Registration service for attendees with mobility issues • Cold storage of medications • Wheelchairs for loan in two- to three-hour increments on a first-come, first-served basis; all you need is an ID and a $20 cash deposit • American Sign Language interpreters for the deaf at large panels and the Masquerade • Special limited seating for large programming events and the Masquerade If you are an attendee with disabilities, Comic-Con wants to make your experience as fun and as entertaining as possible, but there are a few limitations on what can be provided. For example: • Programming rooms fill up quickly, and all seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so special seating may not be available if you wait until the last minute to get to the room. Please read your Events Guide and plan your day accordingly, keeping in mind the popularity of most events. • Special autograph sessions are always limited, so it is a good idea to make arrangements to have someone within your group save a spot for you in line. Keep in mind that Disabled Services cannot guarantee any seating, autographs, or giveaways. The Disabled Services team is here to help. By working together, we can make the convention experience enjoyable for everyone. Visit www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_dissvc.shtml for more details.
WILL EISNER COMIC INDUSTRY AWARDS
The slate of nominees for the 2009 Will Comic Industry Awards is filled with many newcomers to the ballot, from Canadian cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (writer and artist of the teen angst graphic novel Skim) to French biographer Emmanuel Guibert (Alan’s War) to graphic novelist Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), to artist Amy Reeder Hadley (penciller/inker and cover artist for Madame Xanadu). No one company or creator dominated this year’s nominations, which were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges: Amanda Emmert (owner of Muse Comics & Games in Missoula, MT), Mike Pawuk (teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga, Ohio County Public Library), John Shableski (Diamond Book Distributors sales manager), Ben Towle (graphic novelist and comics arts educator), and Andrew Wheeler (comics and manga reviewer at ComixMix.com). This year’s judges made a few changes to the ballot, resulting in a reduction in the number of categories from 29 to 26. They eliminated the Single Issue category, combined the Writer/Artist and Wrtier/Artist–Humor categories, CAC photo by Tom Gurnee; Convention Center photo by Kevin Green; Eisner Award photo by Tom Deleon.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 31
Comic-Con A to Z and dropped the Special Recognition category. Voting in one Eisner Awards category, Hall of Fame, is already completed. The judges chose the nominees earlier this year, and voting was conducted solely online, with voting ending on March 26. Ballots with this year’s nominees were sent out in mid-April to comics creators, editors, publishers, and retailers. A downloadable PDF of the ballot is available online, and a special website, www.eisnervote.com, has been set up for online voting. The results in all categories will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 24 at Comic-Con International. More information about the Eisner Awards can be found at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_main.shtml. (At right, the 2009 Eisner Award judges: Mike Pawuk, Ben Towle, Amanda Emmert, John Shabelski, and Andrew Wheeler.)
2009 Will eisner comic industry award nominees Best Short Story “Actual Size” by Chris Ware, in Kramers Ergot 7 (Buenaventura Press) “Chechen War, Chechen Women,” by Joe Sacco, in I Live Here (Pantheon) “Freaks,” by Laura Park, in Superior Showcase #3 (AdHouse) “Glenn Ganges in ‘Pulverize,’” by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2 (Fantagraphics) “Murder He Wrote,” by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #14 (Bongo) Best Continuing Series All Star Superman. by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC) Fables, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Niko Henrichon, Andrew Pepoy, and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC) Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz) Thor, by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and various (Marvel) Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse) Best Limited Series Groo: Hell on Earth, by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier (Dark Horse) Hellboy: The Crooked Man, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse) Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW) Omega the Unknown, by Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak, and Farel Dalrymple (Marvel) The Twelve, by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston (Marvel) Best New Series Air, by. G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker (Vertigo/DC) Echo, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio) Invincible Iron Man, by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca (Marvel) Madame Xanadu, by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend (Vertigo/DC) Unknown Soldier, by Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli (Vertigo/DC) Best Publication for Kids Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kibuishi (Scholastic Graphix) Cowa! by Akira Toriyama (Viz) Princess at Midnight, by Andi Watson (Image) Stinky, by Eleanor Davis (RAW Junior) Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC) Best Publication for Teens/Tweens Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins Children’s Books) Crogan’s Vengeance, by Chris Schweizer (Oni) 32 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
The Good Neighbors, Book 1: Kin, by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Scholastic Graphix) Rapunzel’s Revenge, by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury Children’s Books) Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books) Best Humor Publication Arsenic Lullaby Pulp Edition No. Zero, by Douglas Paszkiewicz (Arsenic Lullaby) Chumble Spuzz, by Ethan Nicolle (SLG) Herbie Archives, by “Shane O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse) Petey and Pussy, by John Kerschbaum (Fantagraphics) Wondermark: Beards of Our Forefathers, by David Malki (Dark Horse) Best Anthology An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, vol. 2, edited by Ivan Brunetti (Yale University Press) Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry (Houghton Mifflin) Comic Book Tattoo: Narrative Art Inspired by the Lyrics and Music of Tori Amos, edited by Rantz Hoseley (Image) Kramers Ergot 7, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press) MySpace Dark Horse Presents, edited by Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn (Dark Horse) Best Digital Comic Bodyworld, by Dash Shaw, www.dashshaw.com Finder, by Carla Speed McNeil, www.shadowlinecomics.com/webcomics/#/finder/ The Lady’s Murder, by Eliza Frye, http://theladysmurder.elizafrye.com Speak No Evil: Melancholy of a Space Mexican, by Elan Trinidad, www.theoryofeverythingcomics.com/SNE/ Vs., by Alexis Sottile & Joe Infurnari, www.smithmag.net/nextdoorneighbor/2008/12/08/story-18/ Best Reality-Based Work Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second) Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story, by Frederik Peeters (Houghton Mifflin) Fishtown, by Kevin Colden (IDW) A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child, by Rick Geary (NBM) What It Is, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly) Best Graphic Album—New Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second) Paul Goes Fishing, by Michel Rabagliati (Drawn & Quarterly) Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books) Swallow Me Whole, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf) Three Shadows, by Cyril Pedrosa (First Second) Photo by Jackie Estrada.
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL JULY 23 - 26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER Best Graphic Album—Reprint Berlin Book 2: City of Smoke, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly) Hellboy Library Edition, vols. 1 and 2, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse) Sam & Max Surfin’ the Highway anniversary edition HC, by Steve Purcell (Telltale Games) Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by Joshua W. Cotter (AdHouse) The Umbrella Academy, vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite deluxe edition, by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist Lynda Barry, What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly) Eddie Campbell, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (First Second) Enrico Casarosa, The Venice Chronicles (Ateliér Fio/AdHouse) Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window) Jill Thompson, Magic Trixie, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips The Complete Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray (IDW) Explainers, by Jules Feiffer (Fantagraphics) Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books) Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles (IDW) Willie & Joe, by Bill Mauldin (Fantagraphics)
Best Cover Artist Gabrial Bá, Casanova (Image); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse) Jo Chen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity (Dark Horse); Runaways (Marvel) Amy Reeder Hadley, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC) James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse) Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Grendel: Behold the Devil (Dark Horse)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon) Creepy Archives, by various (Dark Horse) Elektra Omnibus, by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz (Marvel) Good-Bye, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly) Herbie Archives, by “Shane O’Shea” (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse) Best U.S. Edition of International Material Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second) Gus and His Gang, by Chris Blain (First Second) The Last Musketeer, by Jason (Fantagraphics) The Rabbi’s Cat 2, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon) Tamara Drewe, by Posy Simmonds (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin) Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan Cat Eyed Boy, by Kazuo Umezu (Viz) Dororo, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical) Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz) The Quest for the Missing Girl, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon) Solanin, by Inio Asano (Viz) Best Writer Joe Hill, Locke & Key (IDW) J. Michael Straczynski, Thor, The Twelve (Marvel) Mariko Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books) Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC) Bill Willingham, Fables, House of Mystery (Vertigo/DC) Best Writer/Artist Ricky Geary, A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child (NBM); J. Edgar Hoover (Hill & Wang) Emmanuel Guibert, Alan’s War (First Second) Jason Lutes, Berlin (Drawn & Quarterly) Cyril Pedrosa, Three Shadows (First Second) Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf) Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library (Acme) Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse) Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC) Olivier Coipel/Mark Morales, Thor (Marvel) Guy Davis, BPRD (Dark Horse) Amy Reeder Hadley/Richard Friend, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC) Jillian Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)
Best Coloring Steve Hamaker, Bone: Ghost Circles, Bone: Treasure Hunters (Scholastic Graphix) Trish Mulvihill, Joker (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC) Val Staples, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon) Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien: The Drowning, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, The Unbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Body Bags (Image); Captain America: White (Marvel) Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme) Best Lettering Faryl Dalrymple, Omega: The Unknown (Marvel) Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules! (Renaissance) Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window) Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf) Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme) Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland (www.comicbookresources.com) The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics) The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon and Jordan Raphael (www.comicsreporter.com) Comics Comics, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel (www.comicscomicsmag.com) (PictureBox) Best Comics-Related Book Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, by Todd DePastino (Norton) Brush with Passion: The Art and Life of Dave Stevens, edited by Arnie and Cathy Fenner (Underwood) Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second) Kirby: King of Comics, by Mark Evanier (Abrams) The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hajdu (Picador/Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Best Publication Design Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! designed by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon) Comic Book Tattoo, designed by Tom Muller, art direction by Rantz Hoseley (Image) Hellboy Library Editions, designed by Cary Grazzini and Mike Mignola (Dark Horse) What It Is, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly) Willie and Joe, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)
WILL EISNER SPIRIT OF COMICS RETAILER AWARD The late Will Eisner’s dedication to the comic medium led him to ask Comic-Con to help create this award, acknowledging the important role of comic book retailers as the vital link between the creator and the consumer. First begun in 1993, the award has been bestowed on 25 storeowners over the past 16 years. This year’s award recipient will be announced during the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards on Friday night, July 24. Last year’s recipient was Brave New World Comics of Newhall, CA, owned by Atom! and Portlyn Freeman. Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 33
Comic-Con A to Z EVENTS GUIDE
Comic-Con’s onsite Events Guide is given free to each attendee while supplies last. It’s the official schedule of the entire show, encompassing Programming, Autograph signings, Games, Anime, and Film screenings (including the Comic-Con International Film Festival). It also lists all the exhibitors and contains a special section highlighting events and signings at booths in the Exhibit Hall. This giant publication also features maps and info to help make your visit to Comic-Con—and downtown San Diego—more complete. Look for it with your Souvenir Book and goody bag when you pick up your membership badge!
For some, Comic-Con’s incredible wealth of exclusive items is the Holy Grail of the show. Here’s your first look at eleven of the July event’s exclusive items. Check www.comic-con.org for more info and exclusive coverage of the 2009 exclusive items, as we get closer to the show. 1. EE Exclusive Dexter (The Dark Defender) 7” Action Figure Entertainment Earth; Limited Edition Size: TBD; Price: TBD 2. Terminator T2: Judgment Day Minimates 4-Pack AFX /Action Figure Xpress; Limited Edition Size: 2,000 sets; Price: $20 Ahnuld shrinks down in this boxed set containing Sarah Connor, Terminator, Miles Dyson, and a Scorched Endoskeleton! 3. Darth Vader Helmet/PINK edition (charity benefit) Gentle Giant Studios; Limited Edition Size: TBD; Price: $60 For every sale, Gentle Giant will donate $6.00 (up to $10,000) toward finding a cure for breast cancer. 4. 2009 Comic-Con Exclusive Silver Astronaut Snoopy figurine Peanuts; Limited Edition Size: 400 pieces; Price: TBD We’re celebrating Snoopy’s 40 years with the US Space Program.
5. Little Big Planet SackBoy Comic-Con Edition Mezco; Limited Edition Size: TBD; Price: TBD With eight points of articulation, this SackBoy features an exclusive Comic-Con International logo shirt. 6. Locke & Key “Ghost Key” IDW; Limited Edition Size: 500; Price: $20 From the pages of Locke & Key, a one-of-a-kind 3” Ghost Key inside its own velvet drawstring pouch. Locke & Key creator Joe Hill will be on hand to sign the bag’s hangtag.
7. 501st Clone Trooper Super Stylized Vinyl Bobblehead 6” Figure Funko; Limited Edition Size: 1,000 pieces; Price: $20
8. Crimson Cobra Commander 12” Figure—G.I. Joe Sideshow Collectibles; Limited Edition Size: TBD; Price: $99.99 Pre-orders for can be made at SideshowCollectibles.com and available for pick-up at Comic-Con in the Sideshow booth! 9. DC Universe Classics Wonder Twins 2-pack Mattel; Limited Edition Size: TBD; Price: TBD Available ONLY as an exclusive gift with purchase at Comic-Con: the Wonder Twins’ mischievous monkey, Gleek! 10. 25th Anniversary Soundwave Special Edition Hasbro; Limited Edition Size: TBD; Price: Approx. $49.99 The Transformers’ Soundwave makes a retro-comeback for Comic-Con in honor of the brand’s 25th Anniversary.
11. Big Rollin’ Rascal (Throwback Edition) Scott Tolleson; Limited Edition Size: 50 pieces; Price: $45 This 5” tall, polyresin Throwback Edition is a great companion piece to last year’s Throwback Edition of Tricycle Terror.
5 34 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL JULY 23 - 26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER
EXHIBIT HALL (Open Wednesday night, 6:00–9:00 PM; Thursday–Saturday: 9:30 AM–7:00 PM, Sunday: 9:30 AM–5:00 PM) Comic-Con’s giant Exhibit Hall comprises over 460,000 square feet of comics and pop culture shoppers’ paradise. Taking up Halls A through G of the San Diego Convention Center, the exhibitors include the leading comics publishers in the U.S. and elsewhere, manga and anime companies, book publishers, movie studios, TV networks, toy companies, artists and illustrators, and much more. Check www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_exhib.shtml for updated information before the show. Here is the complete list of exhibitors, small press publishers, and fan tables as of press time. (See Artists’ Alley on page 29 for a preliminary list of who will be in that area at Comic-Con 2009.) EXHIBITORS
A & G Comics A-1 Comics, Inc AAA Anime/Yamato USA ABC Abismo/Nerve Bomb Abrams Abstract Studios, Inc Academy of Art University Kei Acedera ACME ACME Archives Limited Action Figure Authority Action Figure Xpress Activision/Blizzard Neal Adams Transcontinuity Adhesive Comics/Too Much Coffee Man Adult Swim Adventure Retail/Atlas Games/ Steve Jackson/Cthulhiana Corner After Dark Films AiT/Planet Lar Albert Moy Artwork Alcatraz High Comix Alex Horley Art Jason Shawn Alexander Alexrossart.com Alien Entertainment Company All Star Auctions Allen Spiegel Fine Arts Altair 4 Collectibles Christian Alzmann Studios AMC Anchor Bay/Manga Angelwear Animation Magazine Anime Depot/King Roach Enterprises, Inc. Anime Link Anime One Stop Shop Anime Palace Anime Pavilion AnimeEd.com AnimeHot Antarctic Press Anthony’s Comicbook Art Anti-Ballistic Pixelations The Antidote Trust Ape Entertainment Applehead Factory Sergio Aragonés Arcana Comics Archaia Studios Press Arsenic Lullaby Publishing The Art Institute Art of Tae Young Choi Art Squared Publishing—Joe Bluhm Art! Bruno Werneck and Sam Aquino Photo by Kevin Green.
Artbox Entertainment ASIFA—Hollywood Aspen MLT, Inc. Asylum Press/Girls and Corpses Atom Atomic Art and Music Attaboy/Hi-Fructose Automatic Pictures Avatar Press, Inc. Baby Tattoo Books Badali Jewelry Bakshi Productions, Inc. Bare Bones Studios The Baritonios BBC Bean Leaf Press The Behemoth/NewGrounds BeKyoot Beloved by Divine Hammer Ryan Benjamin/Sean “Cheeks” Galloway Bennett Black Lite Jeremy Bernstein/J.J. Villard Simone Bianchi Art Big City Comics LLC Big World Big Wow Art The Bijou Bill Cole Enterprises, Inc. BIM Cards Black Cat Comics Blam! Ventures, LLC Blank Label Comics, LLC Bleeding Edge, Inc. Blick Art Materials Blind Ferret Entertainment Bliss on Tap/God the Dyslexic Dog The Blood Factory Bloodfire Studios Blue Dream Studios The Blvd Studio Bobcat Publishing Bongo Comics Group Boom! Studios Bored Inc. Brand Fury Brandstudio Press Brian Rood Art Brian’s Toys Broadsword Comics Wardell Brown Brute Force Leather Tom Bryski BSD Studios Bud Plant & Hutchison Books Bud Plant Comic Art Buenaventura Press Bunky Brothers James Burks Matt Busch
Jim Calafiore/Mike McKone California Comics California Hot Shots Capcom Entertainment, Inc. Cardboard Spaceship Cards & Comics Central Carnal Comics/Mu Press Carpe Diem Cartoon Art Museum Cartoon Books Cartoon Passion Cartoonists Across America Tommy Castillo & Nigel Sade Century Guild Century Media/Nuclear Blast CGC (Certified Guaranty Company) Chessex Manufacturing Chimera Publishing Bobby Chin Choice Collectibles Choo Choo Clan Publishing Chronicle Books Cine-East Cinequest.com Ciruelo-Fantasy Art Club Stripes Coastline Comics Cobblestone Books Collectible Insurance Services, LLC Collectors Universe and Anime Comedy/Ghetto Comics Comic Base/Atomic Avenue Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Comic Collector Shop The Comic Cellar Comic Gallery Comic Heaven Comic Images Comic Madness Comic Relief Comic-Central.com Comicraft Comic-Con International Boutique Comicage Ent Comics Buyer’s Guide Comics-N-Stuff Comicstore.com/Spidey’s Web Conduct Happiness Conrad Eschenberg Original Comic Art The Contact Lens Store Coollines Artwork Crazy Cat Collectibles Creative Impulse Entertainment Critical Mass Media Group Crusade Fine Arts, Ltd./ Billy Tucci Crystal Caste CS Moore Studio
D3Publisher Dabel Brothers Publishing Dale Roberts Comics Dan Bois Graphics Dark Horse Comics, Inc. David Haug Comics David’s Doodles David CPL Man Walt Davis/FM Designs Dayfree Press DC Comics Deep Blue Louie Del Carmen/ Octavio Rodriguez Del Rey/Lucas Books Derek Art/Derek Yaniger Design Studio Press The Devil’s Candy Store Devil’s Due Publishing Dial R Studios Diamond Comic Distributors Diamond Select Toys Digitalarttutorials Dinicartoons/Art of Laurie B The Diversity Foundation DK Publishing Dke Toys Donato Arts Donnachada Daly Don’t Eat Any Bugs Productions Draconis Art DrawerBoxes by The Collection Drawer Co Drawn and Quarterly Dumbrella E-Ville Press/Derekmonster/ Rose & Isabel Echobasetoys eFX Inc 8Fish Electronic Arts Elephantmen/Comicraft Craig Elliott Gallery Emily the Strange Emotes by Evergrow Empire Magazine Enchanted Wood Endless World Jason Engle Entertainment Earth Epic Proportions Every Picture Tells a Story Exhibit A Press Exotic Fashions Factory X Famous Monsters of Filmland LLC Fanfare/Ponent Mon Fantagraphics Books Fantasia Toyz/Tempting Toys
Fantasy Flight Games Fantom Studios Fat Rabbit Farm Fewdio Film Cells LTD Film School Confidential First Second Books 501st Legion Flag Studios (formerly Qi Cartoon) Fleet Street Scandal Flesk Publications Flight Comics/Gallery Nucleus/ Liquid City Forward Press Fox Home Entertainment Freedom of Teach.com Friends of Ed Full Moon Features The Fun Machine Fun Toys Funcore Funimation Entertainment Funko Fusion Publishing Future US Fuzzy Balls Apparel FX International, LLC G4 Television Galaxy Press Gama-Go GameRave Gaming Collection & Toys Gargamel Rick Geary Genesis West/Mike Thibodeaux Gentle Giant Studios Gianni Illustration Gianni, Keegan, & Schultz Giant Robot Gifts By Small Fry Girls Drawin Girls Fred Glogower/Paper Gallery Go Daddy O’s Comic Book Hideout Goblin Fish Press Golden State Sports Graham Crackers Comics Graphic Collectibles Graphitti Designs Grasshut Greentea Design Inc H. Harris Toys Hachette Book Group USA/ Yen Press Halfpixel Hallmark Cards, Inc. Halo-8 Inc Gary Ham/Scott Tolleson Haminal/ Marishi/Japan Ai Happy Pencil Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 35
Comic-Con A to Z Hard Eight Harley Yee Rare Comics Harper Collins Publishers Hasbro Inc. Hasbro Toy Shop Hash Inc. Haunted Memories Changing Portraits Haven Distributors HBO/True Blood Heavy Metal Rich Henn—Zoomies/ Club 408 Graphics Heritage Auction Gallery Hermes Press The Hero Initiative Heroes Heroes & Dragons Heroes West Coast Heroic Fine Art Gallery Highgradecomics.com Highlander Films Higuera-Rodriguez-Wickline Hill’s of Comics and Cards Samuel Hiti/La Luz Comics HK Holbein, Inc. HobbyLink Japan Hollow Moon Studios Hollywood Book & Poster Co Holzheimer’s Honeck Sculpture Josh Howard Martin Hsu and Deb Aoki Huckleberry Toys Adam Hughes & Allison Sohn Humerus LLC Hungry Tiger Press/ Eric Shanower I-Mockery Productions LLC Ichigear.com IDW Publishing Illusive Arts Entertainment/ Catastrophic Comics Illustrated Books Image Comics Imagi Studios Impact Books Imperial Quartermaster Collectibles Imperium Comics Indican Pictures Ink Pen Mutations Press Insight Editions Insight Studios Iron Fish (For Mercy/ Rolling Thunder) J-List/JAST USA Jamie Graham LLC Janesko Fine Art LLC Javier Guzman Art Jay Company Comics Jay’s Junque/John P. Suarez JC Collectibles Jeff Egli’s Iguana Graphix JHV Associates Jones Bones JPNToys.com Julios NonSport Depot Jun Planning USA Inc. Juniors Jupiter Press—Mitch Foust, Dean Zachani, Jim Hall Just Toyz K and J Non-Sports Cards Kaiju Big Battle Karsten Haas Kartoon Studio Keenspot Entertainment Kelly’s Heroes Sherrilyn Kenyon Khepri Comics/Khepri.com
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Kidrobot, Inc KillerPumpkins Killer Tomatoes Entertainment Hye Jung Kim & Justin Ridge Kingdom of Loathing Kinokuniya Bookstore Kleeman and Mike Linda Knight Komikwerks, LLC Konami Digital Entertainment Kookie Enterprises Kotobukiya Kozik Last Gasp LAVA Punch Lee’s Comics Lego Systems, Inc Steve Leialoha Leith Adams Movie Posters Lewis Gallery Lightspeed Fine Art, Inc. Mike Lilly Studios Linsner.com Lionsgate Little Cartoons/Ragnar Todd Lockwood Jose Lopez Aaron Lopresti/Terry Dodson Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art Lost In The Dark Press Loter, Inc. Lovecraft LucasArts Lucasfilm Mad Creator Productions Maddox Productions Maerkle Press Major Comics Rik Maki Mammoth Art Supply Man of Action LLC Margaret Weiss Productions, Ltd. Mark’s Non-Sports Cards Marvel Entertainment, Inc. The Massage Booth Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics Mattel Inc. McFarland Company, Inc. Publishers Tara McPherson Media-Blasters Angel Medina Art Mega64 Merit International LLC Metropolis Collectibles Mezco Toys MGM MGM/Fox Home Entertainment Mile High Comics Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls Mimoco MINDstyle Mindzeye Studios Miramax Films Monogram Monster Milk and Co-operative Moomooch Clothing Monte Moore Morbidly Adorable Creations Patrick Morgan Mostly Signs Motor City Comics Inc Mouse Knight MP Collectibles Mr Toast Munky King Murphy Art Books MVP Myriad Publications Mysterious Galaxy
Namco Bandai Games America Inc. Namco Networks America, Inc. National Cartoonists Society NBM NCsoft West Neat Stuff Collectibles NECA Neko Press New England Comics, Inc. New Force Comics NFR Nichibei Anime Nickelodeon Terese Nielsen & Dave Seeley 910 CMX Ninth Circle Studios NIS America Inc./Rosen Queen Company Nostalgic Investments Novaris Entertainment Nuclear Comics & Skate Mitch O’Connell October Toys Official Pix Offworld Designs, Inc One Stop Hobby Shop Onell Design Onesickindividual Oni Press Orbital Harvest Organic Hobby, Inc Outlaw Entertainment LLC Overture Films Ozone Productions, LTD P.M.B.Q. Studios Jason Palmer Studios Inc Papercutz Paradigm Shift Paramount Dan Parent PCB Productions Peanuts Pendragon Costumes Penguin Group (USA) Penguin Young Readers Group Penny Arcade Phil Davis Books and Treasures Rochelle Heagh Phister Phour Nyne/Nar Pin-Up World Art Pink Godzilla LLC Playground Maniacs Bill Plympton Pokemon USA Inc Poketo Mark Poole Artist Popfun Merchandising, LLC Popular Naughty Portland Studios Poster Pop Inc Posterparty.com Eric Powell Pretty Ugly LLC/Ugly Doll Prism Comics Privateer Press Profiles in History The Prop Store of London Protech Products Pure Pwnage PVP—Scott Kurtz Quantum Mechanix Inc Radical Publishing Tony Raiola RAK Graphics Random House Inc./ Del Rey Books Rankinstein Ravenwing Wearable Art
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FAN GROUP TABLES
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FILM FESTIVAL More properly known as the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival (or CCI-IFF), this popular programming track continues to present the best in genre-related filmmaking. The juried event, which consists of films in seven categories—action/adventure, animation, comics-oriented, documentary, humor, horror, and science fiction/fantasy—will culminate in trophies and prizes given out at a ceremony on Sunday, July 26. The Festival will run all four days, with the popular “Comic-Con Film School” preceding it. This year’s celebrity judges are:
Beth Accomando Beth Accomando has been the KPBS film critic for 20 years and is the author of the blog Cinema Junkie (www.kpbs.org/cinemajunkie). She edited three sequels to The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. She’s president of the San Diego Film Critics Society and director of Film School Confidential: A Showcase of San Diego and Tijuana Filmmakers. She covers independent and international cinema for National Public Radio and Public Radio International. She’s received numerous Society of Professional Journalist Awards and San Diego Press Club Awards as well as 11 southwestern area Emmy Awards. She’s been attending Comic-Con for almost 30 years.
Mark A. Altman is currently a writer/producer on the hit ABC television show Castle. His films include the award-winning comedy classic Free Enterprise, starring Emmy Award winners Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) and William Shatner (Star Trek, Boston Legal), for which he was awarded the Best New Writer award at the AFI International Film Festival by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), where the film was also honored as Best Picture. Altman has written and produced numerous other popular genre films, including Dimension Films’ adaptation of the bestselling video game DOA: Dead Or Alive. Altman is also the founder and former publisher of Geek Monthly magazine, the leading magazine devoted to popular culture and all things geek chic. He has spoken at myriad industry events and conventions, including ShowBiz Expo in Hollywood and the Variety/Final Draft Screenwriters Panel at the Cannes Film Festival, and he has been a juror at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival in Barcelona, Spain.
Marc Bernardin has, in his 13 years as an editor for Entertainment Weekly magazine, worked on hundreds of stories and written nearly a thousand reviews—of movies, TV shows, books, comics, DVDs, videogames, websites, CDs—almost everything under the sun. In his increasingly sparse free time, he also writes comic books with his longtime bestie, Adam Freeman: The Highwaymen and Push for WildStorm, Genius for Top Cow, and Monster Attack Network for AiT/Planet Lar (soon to be a major motion picture from Disney). Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 37
Comic-Con A to Z FILMS Helping you stay up all night, Comic-Con’s film screenings will take place at both the Convention Center and the official headquarters hotel, the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. Pre-registered 4-day attendees will have a jump on everyone else by getting a sneak peek at the complete films schedule online, closer to the event. Staying up late to watch movies with some of your newest friends is a Comic-Con tradition!
FREEBIE TABLES One of the best parts of any convention: free stuff! Comic-Con has it by the bag-load, starting at the giant Freebie Tables located in the Sails Pavilion upstairs, beginning on Thursday, July 23. And of course many companies give out items at their booths in the Exhibit Hall, too. (At left, just some of the totally free swag from Comic-Con 2008!)
GAMES You can always count on hours upon hours of games at Comic-Con! The Convention Center’s Mezzanine level is devoted to games all four days of the event, and the gaming room at the headquarters hotel, the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, offers action into the wee hours of the night. The preliminary tournament schedule for Comic-Con 2009 includes Pokemon CCG, Magic CCG, Konami Yu-Gi-Oh! and Bluedragon, Bandai Dragonball and Battlespirits tournaments, and the San Diego Tekken group annual video game tournaments. Look for a complete schedule closer to the event at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_gaming.shtml
GUESTS The 40th annual Comic-Con brings together another incredibly diverse list of special guests literally from around the world. In addition to individuals from comics, science fiction and fantasy, and animation, this year Comic-Con helps celebrate its 40th show by inviting back some of the people instrumental in the success of the event over the years. (See page 42 for a complete list.) NEW!=Added since last issue.
SERGIO ARAGONES Cartoonist Groo, MAD
MAD magazine’s longest-running cartoonist and the creator of that popular dim-witted barbarian Groo, Sergio Aragonés is one of Comic-Con’s most popular guests. Sergio recently helped revive the DC Western hero Bat Lash in a new miniseries, and he wrote a run of Will Eisner’s The Spirit with frequent collaborator and fellow Comic-Con guest Mark Evanier. Sergio and Mark’s Groo: Hell on Earth has been nominated for a 2009 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series.
NICOLA CUTI Writer/editor/ co-creator, E-Man
Nicola Cuti worked as a comic writer, artist, and editor for DC, Marvel, Charlton, and Warren in the 1970s and 1980s. His best-known comics creation is E-Man, co-created with artist Joe Staton. Nick later worked in animation as a background designer, including work on Conan, Gargoyles, and Starship Troopers. For the past decade, Nick has been developing a live-action series, Captain Cosmos, the Last STARveyer, a science fiction/science fact adventure program for children.
steve epting Artist, Captain America, Avengers
With a career stretching back to First Comics, Steve Epting made his name with Marvel fans everywhere with a 50-issue run on Avengers in the early ’90s. With stints at both Marvel (X-Men titles), DC (Aquaman), and CrossGen (the Eisner-nominated El Cazador), Steve returned to Marvel to embark on his first collaboration with writer Ed Brubaker on Captain America, in what is shaping up to be one of the all-time great runs in the character’s history.
38 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Kevin J. Anderson is the international bestselling author of nearly 100 books, with 20 million copies in print. He and Brian Herbert have co-authored 12 Dune novels. Anderson has also written the SF epic “Saga of Seven Suns” and two novels set in the DC Universe: Last Days Of Krypton and Enemies & KEVIN J. ANDERSON Allies. He has written comics for DC, Marvel, Dark Author, Dune novels, Horse, IDW, and WildStorm. Saga of Seven Suns
GENE COLAN Artist, Daredevil, Tomb of Dracula
KeVin eastman Co-creator, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
mark Evanier Writer, Kirby: King of Comics
One of the greatest artists of the Silver Age of Comics, Gene Colan is best known for his work for Marvel on titles such as Daredevil, Iron Man, Captain America, and Tomb of Dracula. His work includes Batman and Wonder Woman for DC, and he was recently the subject of a career-spanning art show at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco.
Born in Portland, ME in 1962—and already a Jack Kirby fan—Kevin Eastman’s first drawing was on the house walls. First published cartoon was in Clay Geerdes Comics Wave; first published comic: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with co-creator Peter Laird); first magazine purchased: Heavy Metal (and still acting publisher). Currently lives in Los Angeles with Pamela, two kids named Shane and Peter (also Kirby fans), as well as eight dogs. Coming off a big year with his Jack Kirby biography, Kirby: King of Comics, being a smash hit (and nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book), Mark Evanier has also co-written The Spirit with Sergio Aragonés for DC Comics and blogs on a daily basis at his famous online outpost newsfromme.com. Mark will be drawing on his vast knowledge of comics history for the many panels he’s sure to be moderating. Swag photo by Mary Sturhann; games photo by Tom Gurnee.
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL JULY 23 - 26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER
JUNE FORAY Voice actress, Rocky and Bullwinkle
One of the animated film world’s most beloved voice actors returns to Comic-Con to help celebrate its 40th anniversary. June Foray is best known for her work on Jay Ward’s The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, where she brought Nastasha and Rocket J. Squirrel to memorable life. Her long and varied career has included voice work for Disney (Lucifer the Cat in Cinderella), Warner Bros. (Granny, the owner of Tweety and Sylvester), and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cindy Lou Who).
Gary gianni Artist, The Shadow, Prince Valiant
Gary Gianni’s comic work includes The Shadow, Indiana Jones, and Tom Strong, and he received a 1997 Eisner Award for Best Short Story (“Heroes,” in Batman Black & White #4, written by Archie Goodwin). Gianni has painted illustrations for volumes featuring Robert E. Howard’s characters Solomon Kane and Conan and has illustrated Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road and Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He draws the syndicated newspaper strip Prince Valiant.
RUSS HEATH Artist, Sgt. Rock, The Haunted Tank
JAMES JEAN Artist/illustrator, Fables covers
One of comics’ most respected artists, Russ Heath is most famous for his amazing work on war series such as Sgt. Rock and The Haunted Tank. Heath’s other work includes war stories for EC Comics, westerns for Atlas/Marvel, and penciling “Little Annie Fanny” for Harvey Kurtzman and Playboy. Heath was a Comic-Con Inkpot Award recipient in 1997. Immediately upon graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 2001, James Jean became a regular cover artist for DC/Vertigo Comics. His covers have won him five consecutive Eisner awards and three consecutive Harvey Awards for Best Cover Artist. This exposure led him to create work for clients such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Nike, Target, and Prada. Since 2007, he has stopped illustrating in favor of personal paintings, book projects, and gallery shows.
Denis Kitchen began his career in 1968 as a self-published underground cartoonist. In 1969 he started his pioneer publishing company, Kitchen Sink Press. For 30 years he published classic and underground artists alike, including Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Milton Caniff, R. Crumb, Scott McCloud, Mark Schultz, Alan Moore and many others. In 1986 he founded and for 18 years oversaw the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Recently he has been DENIS KITCHEN a literary agent to both prominent and upcoming talent, Cartoonist/publisher, Art of Harvey Kurtzman authored books and returned to the drawing board.
JIM LEE Artist, All Star Batman and Robin
Acclaimed comic book illustrator Jim Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1964. Today, Lee is the creative director of WildStorm Studios (which he founded in 1992) and the penciller for many of DC Comics’ bestselling comic book and graphic novels, including All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder; Batman: Hush; and Superman: For Tomorrow. He also serves as the executive creative director for the upcoming DC Universe Online videogame.
RAMONA FRADON Artist, Aquaman, Metamorpho
One of the few women artists drawing superheroes in the Silver Age of Comics, Ramona Fradon had a long stint on Aquaman and co-created (with writer Bob Haney) Metamorpho. Fradon took over the syndicated comic strip Brenda Starr from creator Dale Messick in 1980 and continued it until 1995. In 2006, she was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Hall of Fame.
jimmy gownley Writer/artist, Amelia Rules!
Jimmy Gownley began creating comics at 15 when he self-published his first series, Shades of Gray Comics and Stories. In 2001 Jimmy created the allages series Amelia Rules!, which has been featured in Scholastic book clubs and fairs and was the first graphic novel chosen by Children’s Book of the Month Club. Gownley has been nominated for seven Eisner Awards. He is also co-founder of Kids Love Comics, which promotes comics as a valuable tool for literacy.
BRIAN HERBERT Author, Dune novels
Brian Herbert, the son of Frank Herbert, is the author of 25 books. He has won literary honors and has been nominated for the highest awards in science fiction. In 2003, he published Dreamer of Dune, the Hugo Award–nominated biography of his father. Since 1999, Brian has written 12 Dune series novels with Kevin J. Anderson that have been major international bestsellers. In 2004, Brian published The Forgotten Heroes, a powerful tribute to the U.S. Merchant Marine.
kazu kibuishi Writer/artist/editor, Flight
Kazu Kibuishi is the editor and art director of the Flight comics anthology series, published by Villard Books. He is also the creator of Amulet (Scholastic), Daisy Kutter (Viper Comics), and Copper (a webcomic also being published in book form by Scholastic). Kazu is currently working on the second book in the Amulet series, is due out later this year. He lives and works alongside his wife Amy in Alhambra, California.
HOPE LARSON Writer/artist, Gray Horses, Chiggers
Hope Larson is the author and illustrator of several graphic novels, including Gray Horses (Oni Press) and Chiggers (ginee seo books/Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Aladdin MIX). Her short stories have been featured in the New York Times and several anthologies, notably the Flight series and Image Comics’ Comic Book Tattoo. Larson has been nominated for awards in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and she is the recipient of a 2006 Ignatz Award and a 2007 Eisner Award.
Dwayne McDuffie is the co-creator animated TV series Static Shock and a founder and co-owner of Milestone Media, the most successful black-owned comic book company in history. In television, he was a writer/producer for Warner Brothers’ Justice League Unlimited and is currently the story editor of Cartoon Network’s Ben 10: Alien Force. He also dwayne mcduffie writes the Justice League of America comic for Writer, Justice League, DC. Dwayne is a multiple Emmy and Eisner Award Static Shock nominee and won the 2003 Humanitas Prize. Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 39
Comic-Con A to Z
doug moench Writer, Master of Kung Fu, Batman
fabio moon Artist, 5, Sugar Shock
Writer Doug Moench is best known for his work on Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu and Moon Knight (which he co-created with artist Don Perlin), and DC’s Batman titles. Moench’s masterful portrayal of Shang-Chi—in over 100 issues with artists Paul Gulacy, Mike Zeck, and Gene Day—brought James Bond–like movies to paper in the ’70s and ’80s. Moench moved to DC Comics in the ’80s, where he wrote a long (100+ issues) run on Batman.
The Eisner Award–winning Brazilian artist (2008 Best Anthology, 5, and Best Digital Comic, Sugarshock!, written by Joss Whedon) is a firsttime Comic-Con guest. His other work includes the 2006 Eisner-nominated work De:TALES, which he collaborated on with his twin brother, Umbrella Academy artist Gabriel Bá.
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s six-volume graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim (Oni Press) has earned considerable acclaim since its 2004 debut. He has won numerous awards, including Harvey, Joe Shuster, and Doug Wright Awards, as well as nominations for an Eisner Award and the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award. The Scott Pilgrim series is also being adapted to a feature film, bryan lee o’malley from Universal Pictures, by writer/director Edgar Writer/artist, Wright (Shaun of the Dead). Scott Pilgrim
david petersen Writer/artist, Mouse Guard
mike royer Artist/inker, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World
LEW SAYRE SCHWARTZ Artist, Batman
David Petersen was the 2007 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award recipient, and in 2008 he won Eisner Awards for Best Publication for Kids (Mouse Guard Fall 1152 and Winter 1152) and Best Graphic Album—Reprint (Mouse Guard Fall 1152 hardcover). He received his BFA in printmaking from Eastern Michigan University, where he met his wife Julia. They continue to reside in Michigan with their dog, Autumn.
Mike Royer started his career in the late 1960s as an assistant to Russ Manning on the Tarzan and Star Wars syndicated strips. Royer was one of Jack Kirby’s best inkers, working with the King on series such as New Gods, The Demon, Kamandi, and many more. From 1979 until 2000, Royer worked as an artist for Walt Disney’s Consumer Product/ Licensing division and the Disney Store. Lew Sayre Schwartz created about 120 Batman stories for Batman and Detective Comics in the mid1950s, all uncredited (until recently) as one of Bob Kane’s ghost artists. But Schwartz’s art style stood out for fans. He also worked on syndicated comic strips such as Brick Bradford and Secret Agent X-9. He left comics in 1953 and helped form a company that produced many short films for Sesame Street. In 2002, he wrote a comics adaptation of Moby Dick, illustrated by Dick Giordano.
40 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Golden Age comic artist Sheldon Moldoff started his career at National Periodical Publications (DC) as a letterer and background artist for Batman co-creator Bob Kane. Moldoff worked on the earliest version of Hawkman and became the primary cover artist for such titles as All American (including the first appearance of Green Lantern) and Flash. In 1953 he became one of Bob Kane’s primary ghost artists on sheldon moldoff the Batman titles, ultimately penciling and inking Artist, Batman, over 5,000 pages into the mid-1960s. Detective Comics
PATRICK OLIPHANT Political Cartoonist
Political cartoonist Patrick Oliphant was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1935 and began cartooning professionally in 1955. He moved to the U.S. in 1964 to become the cartoonist for the Denver Post and worked for the Washington Star from 1975 until it folded in 1981. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1967, Oliphant is the recipient of numerous cartooning awards (nationally and internationally). Oliphant lives in Santa Fe, NM and is represented by Susan Conway Gallery in Santa Fe.
STEPHAN PASTIS Cartoonist, Pearls Before Swine
Although Stephan Pastis always wanted to be a cartoonist, he worked as a full-time litigation attorney in San Francisco from 1993 to 2002. His syndicated comic strip Pearls Before Swine debuted in 50 newspapers in 2002 and now appears in over 550 newspapers around the world. There have been 12 collected Pearls books, as well as Pearls desk calendars, wall calendars, greeting cards, and stuffed animals. Pastis recently wrote a screenplay for feature film based on the strip.
Golden Age comic book artist and syndicated cartoonist Jerry Robinson is one of the true pioneers of the comic industry. His early work on Batman helped make the character one of the most popular in comics. Most recently, he created the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Writing and helped put together a major exhibit, “The Superhero: The jerry robinson Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938–1950,” which Artist/comics historian, is at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles Batman through August 9.
stan sakai Writer/artist, Usagi Yojimbo
Stan Sakai’s creation, Usagi Yojimbo, is the story of a samurai rabbit in a feudal Japan populated by anthropomorphic animals. Usagi first appeared in Albedo Comics #2 in 1984, and in 2009 the series celebrates its 25th anniversary in print. Stan’s art has been exhibited worldwide, including a current exhibition at San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. His awards include an Inkpot, multiple Eisners, a Harvey, and a National Cartoonist Society Comic Book Division Award.
bill sienkiewicz Writer/artist, Stray Toasters
Bill Sienkiewicz’s long career in comics includes work at Marvel (Moon Knight, The New Mutants) and DC (Superman: Day of Doom). He gained an international reputation and cult status for his work on Frank Miller’s Elektra: Assassin and his own Stray Toasters. Sienkiewicz won a 1987 Kirby Award (the precursor to the Eisner Awards) for Best Artist for Elektra: Assassin and a 2004 Eisner Award for Best Anthology for his role in Sandman: Endless Nights, written by Neil Gaiman.
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL JULY 23 - 26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER
GAIL SIMONE Writer, Wonder Woman, Secret Six
Gail Simone began writing as a columnist for comicbookresources.com, producing the comics parody column “You’ll All Be Sorry,” and she has since had fan favorite runs on such books at Deadpool, Agent X, Birds of Prey, Gen13, and the creator-owned Welcome To Tranquility. She currently writes Wonder Woman, Secret Six, and other special projects for DC Comics. Simone has also written for animation, including Justice League Unlimited. See the interview on page 19.
LEONARD STARR Cartoonist, Mary Perkins On Stage
Leonard Starr is best known for his creation Mary Perkins On Stage. The strip, which began in 1957 and ran until 1979, chronicled the life of actress Mary Perkins as she went from small town beauty queen to international star. In 1979, Starr relaunched Little Orphan Annie as Annie, which he worked on until his retirement in 2000. His long career includes comic book work at Timely, EC, and DC, and animation work in series such as Thundercats.
J. Michael Straczynski has worked in television, comics and, most recently, motion pictures. In comics, he is known for The Amazing Spider-Man, The Twelve, Thor, and Silver Surfer: Requiem. He is nominated for the 2009 Best Writer Eisner Award. In movies, he is known for Changeling and such upcoming films as World War Z, Ninja Assassin, a forthcoming reinterpretation of Forbidden Planet, and more he will discuss at Comic-Con.
Richard Thompson’s syndicated comic strip Cul De Sac is about a preschool girl named Alice Otterloop and her suburban life. Thompson’s other work includes Richard Poor’s Almanac, which is published in The Washington Post Style section each week. His illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, and The Atlantic Monthly, and he’s a recipient of the National richard thompson Cartoonists Society’s magazine and book illustration Cartoonist, and newspaper illustration awards. Cul De Sac
Lewis Trondheim has earned an international following as one of the most inventive, versatile, and prolific comics creators. His work has won numerous awards, including the Angoulême prize for best series for The Spiffy Adventures of McConey. He also co-created the titanic fantasy epic Dungeon with Joann Sfar. In 2006, Trondheim was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, one of the most prestigious awards in European comics.
Creator of Ladron de Bagdad (Bagdad Thief), one of the most famous Mexican comic books of the Golden Age, comics artist Ramon Valdiosera started his career in 1940 and started the Mexican comics syndicate United Artists in 1942. He is a Mexican comics pioneer. In 2008, he founded his comic book school, Escuela de Arte Secuencial in Mexico City ramon valdiosero and is working to open a Mexican Comic Book Art berman, Mexican Museum at the school. comics pioneer
Best known for his stunning prints based on the Lord of the Rings series, science fiction and fantasy artist Jerry VanderStelt also creates art for book jackets, toy packaging, video games, and even pinball machines. VanderStelt has produced official Lord of the Rings art for New Line Cinema and various jerry vanderstelt projects for other clients, including Lucasfilm and publishers Ace, Roc, Pocket, and Scholastic Books. Artist/illustrator, Lord of the Rings
Charles Vess began his career in the 1970s drawing titles for DC, Dark Horse, and Marvel such as Swamp Thing, The Sandman, and Spider-Man. The illustrated novel Stardust (DC/Vertigo)—written by Neil Gaiman—was made into a movie starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfieffer, and Claire Danes. His 2009 projects include Blueberry Girl, written by Gaiman, and Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess, a hardcover retrospective of his career published by Dark Horse.
J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI Writer, Thor
lewis trondheim Writer/artist, McConey, Dungeon
Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received a Xeric Grant for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks. Since then he has won the Printz Award and an Eisner Award for American Born Chinese. His next book, The Eternal Smile (co-created with Derek Kirk Kim), will be in stores in May. Gene lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his lovely wife gene yang Writer/artist, American and children and teaches at a Roman Catholic high Born Chinese school.
charles vess Artist, Stardust
Leinil francis yu Artist, Secret Invasion
One of comics’ most exciting artists, Leinil Yu is currently drawing the bestselling book in the industry, Marvel’s Secret Invasion, written by Brian Michael Bendis. His dynamic style has graced such titles as Uncanny X-Men, Ultimate Hulk/Wolverine, and New Avengers for Marvel, and Superman: Birthright for DC. This will be his first appearance at Comic-Con as a special guest, so we’re really hoping he doesn’t turn out to be a Skrull.
JUST ADDED As of PRESS TIME! • Michael Allred, writer/artist: Madman, Red Rocket 7. Courtesy Image
• Darick Robertson, artist: Transmetropolitan, The Boys.
• Brom, artist/illustrator: book covers (Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore, E.R. Burroughs). Courtesy Spectrum/Donato Arts
• Seth, writer/artist: Palookaville, Wimbledon Green, George Sprott (1894-1975). Courtesy Drawn & Quarterly
• Geoff Johns, writer: The Flash: Rebirth, Green Lantern, Blackest Night.
• Landry Walker, writer: Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Little Gloomy. Courtesy SLG Publishing
• Eric Jones, writer: Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Little Gloomy. Courtesy SLG Publishing • Francis Manapul, artist: Adventure Comics. Legion Of Super-Heroes.
• Bill Willingham, writer: of Fables and the upcoming Peter & Max: A Fables Novel; co-writer Jack of Fables, House of Mystery.
We regret to announce that POSY SIMMONDS, originally scheduled to appear at Comic-Con, is unable to attend this year. Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 41
Comic-Con A to Z C-C MI O
2 3 -2 6 , 2
40th ANNIVERSARY GUESTS Throughout the history of Comic-Con, many people have been involved with the convention and have contributed to the show’s success. For the 40th Comic-Con, we’ve invited back some of these people to help us celebrate this momentous anniversary.
Richard Alf helped finance the first Comic-Con and was the first treasurer. He served as co-chair with Bill Lund in 1971 and as co-chair with Mike Towry in 1972. His store, Comic Kingdom on University Avenue in Hillcrest, was a mecca for comics fans, and he was a major presence in the dealers’ room in the 1970s. Barry Alfonso was in the original group of fans who started ComicCon. He served as secretary in 1970 and as publicity director from 1971 through 1975. Jack Kirby immortalized Barry as “Witchboy” in DC’s The Demon and as “Barri-Boy” in the “San Diego Five-String Mob” in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. Maeheah Alzmann served on the Comic-Con committee as the banquet/meal functions coordinator from 1976 to 1983 and again in 1986. She was also secretary/treasurer in 1983 and treasurer in 1984. Greg Bear was in the original group of fans who organized the first San Diego Golden State Comic-Con in 1970 and worked on the convention staff for the first few years, serving as “sci-fi coordinator.” He has gone on to be a bestselling science fiction author (Blood Music, Darwin’s Radio). Richard Butner was Comic-Con’s chairman in 1975, then became the first executive vice president of the incorporated nonprofit organization in 1976; he held that position until 1982. Dave Clark belonged to a group of horror film fans who helped start Comic-Con in 1970 and worked on the original committee. Other members of that group included Greg Bear, Roger Freedman, John Pound, Bill Richardson, and Scott Shaw! Roger Freedman was a member of the first Comic-Con committee in 1970 and one of the “San Diego Five-String Mob.” Roger served as auctioneer for fund-raising events at the show, but he is best remembered as “Dr. Raoul Duke,” leader of the All Human Orchestra, which performed parody songs at the Masquerade each year. Mike Friedrich was one of the handful of professionals (at the time a writer for DC) who appeared at the first San Diego Comic-Con in 1970. The founder of Star*Reach publications and a co-founder of WonderCon, Mike has attended nearly every Comic-Con since then. Rick Geary has been contributing art to Comic-Con’s publications since the 1970s. He designed the popular toucan logo in the early 1980s. The award-winning cartoonist produced other graphics for Comic-Con and Comic Book Expo and in 2008 redesigned Comic-Con’s Inkpot Award. Lance (aka Larry) Geeck served as executive vice-president of Comic-Con in 1983 and 1984 and took over as president (from Shel Dorf) in 1985. Jack Katz is the highly regarded writer/artist of the epic series The First Kingdom. A regular guest at Comic-Con in the 1970s and 1980s, Jack came up with the idea of doing a fund-raising art auction in 1976, a Comic-Con tradition that continued through the years. Ken Krueger was the first chair of Comic-Con. As owner of a bookstore and part of science fiction’s “first fandom,” he was the elder statesman of the group of fans who started the show. He also published underground comix featuring work by committee members Scott Shaw!, John Pound, and Dave Stevens. Bill Lund was on the first Comic-Con committee and served as cochair in 1971, 1972, and 1973 then was sole chair in 1974. Bill was immortalized by Jack Kirby as part of the “San Diego Five-String Mob” in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. Lee Marrs (writer/artist of Pudge, Girl Blimp) was part of the underground comix contingent that became a mainstay of Comic-Con in the 1970s and into the 1980s. She has been to nearly every ComicCon and has served as an Eisner Awards judge.
42 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
David Scroggy was programming coordinator for Comic-Con in 1977 and 1979 and was the first coordinator for the Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive in 1977. He was director of Comic Book Expo (ComicCon’s trade show) from 1986 to 1993. He is now vice president for product development at Dark Horse. Scott Shaw! was in the small group of fans who started Comic-Con in 1970, and he provided cartoons and art for flyers, badges, and publications. Jack Kirby included him as part of “San Diego’s Five-String Mob.” Shaw! performed with the All-Human Orchestra, was the MC of the Inkpot Awards for several years, and has been presenting his fanfavorite “Oddball Comics” slide show for decades. Mark Stadler handled publicity for Comic-Con in 1980, 1981, and 1988; was co-films coordinator in 1982–1984 and 1986; and was information coordinator in 1986 and 1987. He served on the board of directors as vice president for publications/marketing in 1988 and secretary from 1990 to 1993. Brinke Stevens (aka Charlene Brinkman) wowed audiences at the Masquerade in the 1970s with her choreographed dances. She served as Masquerade coordinator in 1976–1978. She is best known as a scream queen and has appeared in more than 100 films. William Stout is one of those rare pros who has been to every single Comic-Con. The award-winning painter and film designer has produced dozens of pieces for the Souvenir Book, along with the 1991 cover. His murals of prehistoric life are on view at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Janet Tait held numerous positions on the Comic-Con committee and board of directors in the 1980s and 1990s, including films coordinator (1984, 1985, 1992), programming coordinator (1986–1988), vice president of programming (1988–1990), publicity coordinator (1989, 1990), and publications co-coordinator (1994–1999). She also chaired ConFusion, a one-time event held in 1991, and started the Comic-Con website in the mid-90s. Jim Valentino was a member of the Comic-Con committee in the late 1970s and contributed cartoons and drawings for flyers and progress reports. In 1979 he was co-editor (with George Olshevsky) of the only tabloid-newspaper-format Souvenir Book. He went on to become one of the founding five of Image Comics and is currently head of Shadowline Studios. SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT In 1987, a private party was held to celebrate Jack Kirby’s 70th birthday. At that party, the idea began for a band of comics pros and celebrities who would write and perform at the next year’s Comic-Con. Sure enough, 1988 saw the debut of Seduction of the Innocent, a band that played after the Inkpot Awards banquet that year. The group made repeat appearances over the years at Comic-Con and at WonderCon. John “Chris” Christensen is a musician, composer, and recording artist whose credits go back to the 1960s. In addition to producing the Seduction of the Innocent CD, Chris composed and produced a CD with artist Mark Schultz, Songs from the Xenozoic Age. Max Allan Collins is a bestselling author (Nate Heller series, Quarry series) and comic book writer (Ms. Tree, Batman, Road to Perdition) who also scripted the Dick Tracy newspaper strip from 1977 to 1993. A jack of all trades, he’s also a filmmaker and has fronted rock bands. Miguel Ferrer, the drummer in Seduction, is the well-known film and TV actor. His credits include Robocop, Traffic, The Stand, The Night Flier, Twin Peaks, and the role of Dr. Garret Macy on Crossing Jordan. He comes by his musical talent from mom Rosemary Clooney and his acting talent from dad José Ferrer. Steve Leialoha, Seduction’s bassist, is a longtime comic book inker who has been to every San Diego Comic-Con. He’s been the regular inker on Vertigo/DC’s Fables since its inception and has received numerous Eisner Awards for his work on that title. Bill Mumy is often remembered as “Will Robinson” on Lost in Space. Mumy has appeared in dozens of films and on hundreds of TV shows and he is a prolific voice actor. As a musician he was half of the noveltyrecording duo Barnes & Barnes, and recorded solo and with his band, The Jenerators. He’s also scripted numerous comic books.
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL JULY 23 - 26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER
HOSPITALITY SUITE Your little oasis away from the crowds at Comic-Con, the Hospitality Suite can be found at the headquarters hotel, the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. The suite offers munchies, soft drinks, and a quiet place to chill, relax, and meet new friends. Hours and exact location will be posted in the onsite Events Guide.
HOTELS Hotels at Comic-Con International are always hot commodities and fill up well in advance of July. That said, room inventory is constantly monitored for availability and updated frequently. To find out if rooms are available at your favorite hotel, check www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_hotel.shtml or call the Comic-Con Travel and Housing Desk at 1-877-55-COMIC. If you are outside the U.S., call 212-532-1660. Comic-Con’s headquarters hotel for 2009 is the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, right next door to the Convention Center. Here you’ll find Comic-Con’s Hospitality Suite, nighttime games, and film screenings, as well as Starbucks and three great restaurants for meetings or dinners with friends. In the evenings you can always grab a quick pizza in the lobby by the Starbucks and head on up to watch films or game with no waiting for room service or in a restaurant line.
INKPOT AWARDS Comic-Con’s own Inkpot Awards are given to individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom services, among others. The award was initiated in 1974 and has been an important part of Comic-Con ever since. Each year, individuals from among the show’s special guests are chosen to receive the award. Most Inkpots are presented at the individual guest’s “Spotlight” panel. If you’re a fan of the recipients, you’ll want to be there when we give out the award and show your appreciation.
LINES There are lots of lines at Comic-Con, especially to get into the programming rooms upstairs and in Hall H. Those rooms have pre-planned line configurations. If you wonder where to go and how to line up for a specific program room, please consult the color section in the center of your onsite Events Guide. It contains a map that shows where the rooms are and how to line up for them. Please note that getting into the correct line is not a guarantee of getting in the room. All rooms have seating capacity limits as set by the Fire Marshal, and when a room is closed due to being full, it’s closed.
MASQUERADE This will be not only Comic-Con’s 40th convention but also the 35th Comic-Con Masquerade, a special show indeed! The Masquerade has come a long way since it started out many decades ago as a simple costume party, evolving into a bigger and flashier stage-extravaganza drawing giant audiences. Why title it a Masquerade instead of simply a costume contest? Because contestants bring their artfully crafted costumed personas to life in elaborate and clever presentations of drama, humor, surprises, simulated battles, and even choreographed song and dance. Costuming is an integral part of the popular arts, from movies, comics, and fantasy art to computer games, stage shows, toy collectibles and more. For this significant presence in so many of the arts, and for being an art in itself, Comic-Con once again brings forth for its big Saturday night show of impressive craftsmanship, beauty and spectacle. And besides, let’s face it: it’s fun! Comic-Con’s Masquerade is staged in the style of a talent competition, with a Master of Ceremonies, a panel of guest judges, impressive trophies and cash awards, a large raised stage with theater-style lighting, and four giant highdefinition video screens providing great close-up views. An audience of 4,200 always fills the Convention Center’s Ballroom 20 to capacity, with even more people watching the show on large video screens elsewhere in the building. Some entries are solo, while others are groups with a shared theme. Many will be re-creations from comics, movies, TV, anime, and games, but some completely original designs will be presented as well. All genres are welcome, but no purchased costumes are allowed, as it is a contest of creativity and craftsmanship, not shopping ability. Our Masters of Ceremonies will once again be the very entertaining award-winning artists and writers Phil and Kaja Foglio of Studio Foglio. Impressive commemorative Comic-Con trophies will be presented in categories of Best in Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Most Humorous, Best Presentation, Most Beautiful, Best Novice, and Best Young Fan. HBO’s True Blood is once again proud to be the official sponsor of the Masquerade. In addition, the following companies and organizations will be presenting their own awards to outstanding costumes: • Frank And Son Collectible Show, of the City of Industry, California, will present to the entry they deem the audience favorite a prize of $1,000 cash, plus an impressive trophy. • DC Comics representatives will present $300 cash to the finest costumed entry portraying a DC Comics character or characters. • Lucasfilm Ltd. will reward the best Star Wars costumers with fabulous items from their Licensing Archives. The finest entries from the Star Wars galaxy will be selected by a Lucasfilm representative to receive special limited-edition collectibles. Marriott photo by Gary Sassaman; Masquerade photo by Daniel Sakow.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 43
Comic-Con A to Z
• Century Guild will present to the costume they select as best portraying elements of Art Nouveau or fantasy, the winner’s choice of either $200 cash or up to $500 credit for fine art at their Exhibit Hall booth. • Comic Gallery of San Diego will present $150 cash to their favorite entry and $100 cash to their favorite Young Fan costumer. • Anime Pavilion will present to their favorite anime costumes in the show $150 booth credit for their first choice, $50 credit for runner-up, and $40 credit to the best Young Fan entry. • AgentSakur9 Entertainment, dedicated to providing the best coverage and highest quality images of cosplay and costuming, will bestow $200 cash and a trophy for Most Outstanding Entry. • Lynn Perry of DarkestDesires.org will award $175 cash to the best costume entry inspired by horror or other dark genres, such as vampires, demons, creatures of the night, creepy alien monsters, and so on. • The Costume Designers Guild, IATSE Local 892, representing costume designers and other costume professionals in film and television, will present to the entry they deem their favorite a unique CDG Masquerade Award statue, a subscription to the Costume Designer magazine, and a guided “Behind the Scenes” visit for two people to a Hollywood costume house. More prizes may be added as the convention approaches. Check www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_masq.shtml for updated information.
MASQUERADE FAST FACTS
Above: Photos from last year’s Masquerade; Phil & Kaja Foglio. 44 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
When and where: Saturday 8:30 pm in Ballroom 20 of the Convention Center. Doors will open at 7:45 for audience seating (but the line will start forming much earlier). Running time is about 3 hours. Tickets are required for ballroom seating and are given out free beginning at 4:30 to people waiting in line, until all have been distributed. Can’t get a ticket? Don’t like big crowds? Returning late from dinner? No problem! There will be overflow seating in the Sails Pavilion and other areas, where the show will be simulcast on large screens. Check the onsite Events Guide for locations. Professionals participating in programs at Comic-Con and press may get their tickets before Saturday afternoon at the Masquerade Desk. Reserved seating is available for special guests of the convention and for the disabled. No flash photography is allowed, and all photos and video taken must be for nonprofit, personal use only! Flash photography will be permitted only in the Photo Area outside the Ballroom, where contestants pose after their presentations. Photographers wishing a reserved spot in that area should write to the Masquerade Coordinator, as spaces fill up quickly. Want to participate? It’s free for anyone with a Comic-Con membership, but contestants must obtain a copy of the rules and should submit an entry form as soon as possible. There is a limit on the number of entries, and last year all spots were filled a month and a half before the convention. For complete information, rules, and an entry form, visit www.comiccon.org/cci/cci_masq.shtml or request the information be sent to you by writing to the Masquerade Coordinator in care of Comic-Con, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please type “Masquerade” in the subject line of your e-mail. Masquerade photos by Daniel Sakow.
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL JULY 23 - 26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER NIGHTTIME Comic-Con keeps on rockin’ after the Exhibit Hall closes at 7:00 each evening! Programming, anime, gaming, film screenings, and other events continue well into the night, with several big events planned for the weekend. On Thursday night, it’s the return of the Star Wars Fan Film Awards; on Friday night, it’s the comic book industry’s version of the Oscars: the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards; and on Saturday night, it’s the gala Comic-Con Masquerade. Check www.comic-con.org and the onsite Events Guide for complete details on these and other nighttime events!
Each day of the show, Comic-Con produces an Onsite Newsletter, including updated program info, added autograph signings, and more. The Saturday and Sunday editions also include the Eisner Awards results and the Masquerade winners list. Look for the Onsite Newsletter at various locations throughout the Convention Center, including by each set of doors to Halls A-G in the main lobby, upstairs in the Sails Pavilion, and the top of the escalator near Ballroom 20.
PARKING AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Parking can be one of the most challenging aspects of coming to Comic-Con, but a little knowledge ahead of time will help. While Comic-Con itself has no control over the parking situation in downtown San Diego, our advice is simple: Come early and be prepared with a map of parking locations, so you don’t have to spend your time driving in circles trying to find another lot if your first choice is full. Better yet, park outside of downtown and utilize public transportation, including the San Diego Trolley. For updated information on parking and public transportation to and from Comic-Con, visit www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_park.shtml and/or www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_trans.shtml See page 48 for a preliminary parking and shuttle bus route map.
PORTFOLIO REVIEW Many companies use Comic-Con to look for new talent. The Portfolio Review area in the Sails Pavilion offers an opportunity for attendees to get an honest evaluation of their work, and in some cases, to interview for actual jobs. (Please note: you cannot schedule a review session in advance. All registration takes place onsite and is usually on a first-come, first-served basis.) In addition to the upstairs area, some companies conduct portfolio reviews at their booths in the Exhibit Hall. Check www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_portrev.shtml for more details on the Portfolio Review area.
Press registration for Comic-Con 2009 is available online from April 7 until June 8. There will be no onsite registration for press this year.
PREVIEW NIGHT Like the opening night of a Broadway play, Comic-Con’s Preview Night is one of the most exciting experiences a fan can have at the show! This year’s Preview Night is Wednesday, July 22, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, and is open to those lucky— and smart!—individuals who registered in time for four-day memberships, including professionals. If you’re a four-day, pre-registered member, you can also pick up your badge on Wednesday without attending Preview Night; that way, you’ll be all set to go first thing Thursday morning!
Professional registration for Comic-Con 2009 was available online from March 15 until May 5. There will be no onsite registration for pros this year.
PROGRAMMING With more than 400 events over all four days, Comic-Con’s program slate is the largest in the nation. Programs include major comics publisher presentations, “Spotlight” panels featuring all the special guests, and the greatest number of events geared toward the entire spectrum of comics of any convention. Hall H features major movie studio programs, and TV networks give presentations that showcase favorite and new shows. (Comic-Con has a tradition of premiering network shows months before they first air, with past examples including Lost, Heroes, Chuck, Pushing Daisies, Reaper, and many more.) As of press time, the Programming Department is talking to comics publishers, major Hollywood movie studios and television networks, anime/manga, and action figure and gaming companies to offer the most comprehensive—and mind-blowing!—roster of events at any pop culture show. As mentioned way back in the section on letter “C,” the Comics Arts Conference will return for four big days of academic study of the wonderful world of comics. And remember—at Comic-Con, that world includes all aspects of comics: superhero comics from the Golden Age to the Silver Age to now, independent and alternative titles, graphic novels of all types, manga, European comics, webcomics, editorial cartoons, comic strips, and more! In addition, the Programming schedule will feature panels and events devoted to some of this year’s special themes Exhibit Hall photo by Kevin Green.
Important Information Regarding Programs and Autographs at Comic-Con All event and program rooms have limited capacity as set by the Fire Marshal. Even though your badge is needed to get into all events, YOUR BADGE DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOU ACCESS TO ANY EVENT IF IT HAS REACHED ITS CAPACITY. We do not clear rooms between events. Most autograph signings are of a limited nature. Your badge does not guarantee autographs at any event.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 45
Comic-Con A to Z (see the Themes entry starting at the bottom of this page). Plans for nighttime “big events” are in motion as well (see the Nighttime entry on the previous page). The complete Programming schedule will be posted on www.comic-con.org ten days to two weeks prior to the show. It’s a good idea to print that schedule in advance out so you can highlight your “must-see” panels and events. The complete schedule will also be provided in the onsite Events Guide and will be updated daily on signs outside of all the Programming rooms.
REGISTRATION/MEMBERSHIPS/BADGE PICK-UP As of press time, all memberships for Comic-Con 2009—both four-day and one-day—were close to being sold out. Check the Membership Availability chart at www.comic-con.org for available memberships. No onsite membership badges will be sold. If memberships are still available, you are strongly urged to register online immediately at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_reg.shtml because we do sell out fast. Check the website after Comic-Con for registration for next year’s event. PLEASE NOTE: Badges will NOT be mailed out in advance. All pre-registered badges will be available for pickup at Attendee Pre-Registration in the San Diego Convention Center’s Sails Pavilion (Upper Level). 4-day memberships are available beginning Wednesday, July 22; single-day memberships are available for pick-up only on the same day they are used (i.e. Thursday’s badge is available for pick-up on Thursday only, etc.). BADGES AND MEMBERSHIPS ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE. Reselling, reusing or transferring a Comic-Con membership is strictly prohibited. If you have purchased a membership and cannot attend Comic-Con 2009 you must apply for a refund by June 19, 2009. Refund requests must be received in writing by June 19, 2009 to: Comic-Con Refund Request P. O. Box 128458, San Diego, CA 92112-8458 Comic-Con reserves the right to change its cancellation, refund and exchange policy at any time without notice.
SHUTTLE BUS Most of the Comic-Con official hotels in the downtown area are on or near Comic-Con’s shuttle bus route. Some hotels are only on the route during the evening hours, so please check your schedule closely. This is a free service to all Comic-Con attendees. See the preliminary map on page 48 of this issue. An updated map and schedule will be available prior to the show at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_trans.shtml
SOUVENIR BOOK This giant trade paperback is given free to all attendees (while supplies last) and features biographical information on all of the special guests, articles and art dedicated to this year’s special themes and anniversary celebrations, and background information on the Eisners and other awards. This year’s annual edition (number 40) will also include a special extended section on the history of Comic-Con. And for the first time, the entire book will be in FULL COLOR!
THEMES Each year Comic-Con celebrates a number of anniversaries and special themes related to comics and the popular arts. Some of these themes become part of the Programming schedule, while others are reserved for the Souvenir Book, where pros and fans alike contribute articles and art about these special topics. Here’s what we’re celebrating this year:
75th Anniversary of the Great Adventure Comic Strips
Imagine this: Terry and the Pirates by Milton Caniff, Mandrake the Magician by Lee Falk and Phil Davis, Red Barry by Will Gould, and Alex Raymond’s three great strips Flash Gordon, Secret Agent X-9, and Jungle Jim all started in 1934—along with Al Capp’s Li’l Abner, too! Some of these strips are currently being reprinted in definitive versions in what has become the golden age of comic strip reprints, and these classics are being rediscovered by a whole new audience.
50th Anniversary of Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
Many comic fans recognize Hal Jordan as the one, true Green Lantern since he first donned the ring in Showcase #22, published in 1959. Co-created by writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane, along with legendary DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz, Green Lantern—revamped from the original Golden Age hero of the same name—went on to become one of comics’ most popular superhero characters, spawning many titles including the current Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps.
46 Comic-Con Magazine • Spring 2009
Convention Center photo by Tom Gurnee; Legion of Super-Heroes, Green Lantern © 2009 DC Comics.
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL JULY 23 - 26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER 50th Anniversary of Rocky and Bullwinkle It’s hard to believe it’s the 50th anniversary of America’s most beloved moose and squirrel, Rocky and Bullwinkle. Famed voice actress June Foray (Rocky and Natasha) will be attending this year’s Comic-Con as a special guest.
25th Anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
25 years ago Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman created Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Besides becoming a pop culture phenomenon, the Turtles spawned a revolution in comics selfpublishing. Now, 25 years later, it’s apparent these Turtles will live forever!
25th Anniversary of Usagi Yojimbo Stan Sakai’s rabbit ronin has entertained comic fans for 25 years! With over 120 issues and more than 20 collections in print, Usagi Yojimbo (pictured at right) continues to enthrall readers of all ages. Stan will be on hand as a special guest to help celebrate this momentous anniversary.
Comic-Con #40 Okay, technically it’s not our 40th anniversary—that would actually be in 2010. But it is the 40th annual convention, making Comic-Con International (first known as San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con and then as San Diego ComicCon) the longest continually running comic convention in the country (if not the world). In addition to the brand new Chronicle Books publication debuting at Comic-Con (see page 14 for details), you can expect a series of panels about Comic-Con over the years, from the early days in the 1970s all the way up to 2009. They say it’s our birthday, and we’re gonna have a good time!
Volunteer Registration is closed for 2009. If new volunteer positions open up for 2009 we will post information on our website at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_vol.shtml Information about volunteering for 2010 will be available on our website in the fall. There will be no onsite volunteer registration.
No functional weapons are allowed at Comic-Con International. Simulated or costume weapons are allowed as a part of your costume subject to prior approval by security and compliance with the following: All costume weapons must be inspected at the security station in Lobby E. All costume weapons must conform to state and federal law. Projectile costume weapons must be rendered inoperable. Costume swords will be tied to your costume in such a way that they can’t be drawn. After each person’s costume weapon has been checked, it is tagged by security and you will be given a wristband to wear to designate that your weapons have been checked. Security will escort you to the security station for inspection if your costume weapon is not tagged. If you do not want to have your costume weapons inspected or tagged, or you are not willing to comply with the foregoing, please do not bring your costume weapons.
We can’t tell you too many times: www.comic-con.org is your one-stop source for up-to-the-minute news on the big event, including schedules, registration, exhibitors, and more (plus info on our sister shows WonderCon and APE, the Alternative Press Expo). The site also includes extended content, such as the transcript of the Michael Chabon/Matt Fraction panel from WonderCon 2009, a portion of which appears starting on page 10. Best of all, it’s there when you want it, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Visit it now and bookmark it for further reference for those really lonely nights on the Internet when you’re up at 2:00 am and have nothing to read . . .
YOU We’ve said it before, we’re say it again: “Y” stands for You, because we couldn’t do Comic-Con with out you, whether you’re an attendee, an exhibitor, a professional, a volunteer, a Board/Committee mem ber, an office staff worker, a Klingon, or a Stormtrooper. Comic-Con has existed, grown, and thrived for 39 years because of you. is still the sound you’ll be making starting Monday, July 27. Remember: you can sleep when you get home. Enjoy Comic-Con 2009! Usagi Yojimbo © 2009 Stan Sakai; Toucan logo art by Rick Geary; Exhibit Hall photo by Kevin Green.
Spring 2009 • Comic-Con Magazine 47
Comic-Con Shuttle Bus Route Map
Comic-Con 2009 Shuttle Bus Service PINK ROUTE 1. Embassy Suites 2. Cruise Ship/ Lane Field Parking Lot 3. Holiday Inn on the Bay 4. County Admin. Bldg. 5. Hampton Inn Downtown 6. Manchester Grand Hyatt
GREEN ROUTE 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Doubletree Downtown Best Western Sheraton Suites Courtyard by Marriott Ivy Hotel
BLUE ROUTE 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
Westin Horton Plaza The Bristol The Sofia Hotel Westgate Hotel US Grant Hotel Westin San Diego One American Plaza/ Train Depot 19. W Hotel
ORANGE ROUTE 20. Ralphs Grocery Store 21. Tailgate/ MTS Parking Lot 22. Padres Parkade 23. Park It On Market
HOTELS AFTER 6:30PM *24. Marriott Gaslamp *25. Omni Hotel *26. Hilton Gaslamp *27. Horton Grand *28. Mariott Hotel and Marina *29. Hard Rock Hotel *30. Hotel Solamar *31. Hilton San Diego Bayfront *Note: Service from 6:30 PM to 3:00 AM only, every 20-30 minutes 48 Comic-Con Magazine â€˘ Spring 2009
32. Sheraton Harbor Island (East Tower)
P1. 6th & K Parkade 6th Ave. & K St.
33. Sheraton Harbor Island (West Tower)
P2. 5 Star Parking Lots Pacific Hwy. & Broadway (3 corners)
34. San Diego Convention Center
For updated information and a complete Shuttle Bus Schedule visit
www.comic-con.org closer to the event.
P3. 5 Star Parking Lot 2nd Ave. & J St. P4. County Admin. Bldg. SAT/SUN ONLY Pacific Hwy. & Grape St. P5. Park It On Market 7th Ave. & Market St. P6. Ace Parking 7th Ave. & E. St. P7. Padres Parking 14th Ave. & K. St.
S E V A F L A N RSO E P & , F S F P I A T T , S E & C I , V S D A PRO , S E E D N E T FROM AT
S R E D I S IN
E D I U G 2 E G A P N O STARTING
San Diego Comic-Con International P. O. Box 128458 San Diego, CA 92112-8458
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