COMIC-CON 2010 PHOTO ALBUM APE ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO 2010 50 YEARS OF FANTASTIC FOUR BIRTH OF COMICS FANDOM 1986: WHEN COMICS GREW UP 2011 EVENTS PREVIEW
WONDERCON SPECIAL GUEST
Walking WITH THE
HABIT NURSE JACKIE
WHEN WE’RE BAD...
BLOOD THE BORGIAS
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The cast of THE EXPENDABLES leaves the Hall H stage as a clip from the movie begins at Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 22, 2010.
WELCOME . . . to the first issue of Comic-Con Annual, the 2011 edition. Continuing the long tradition of publications at Comic-Con International, the Annual replaces Comic-Con Magazine. We envision this magazine to be the perfect kick-off to another exciting year of Comic-Con events, including WonderCon (April 1–3 at Moscone Center South in San Francisco, CA), Comic-Con International (July 21–24 at the San Diego Convention Center), and APE, the Alternative Press Expo (October 1–2 at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco). You’ll find it chock-full of information about our shows, plus exclusive content by some of the finest writers in the comics press, all in an upgraded publication. As always, visit www.comic-con.org for updated information on all three of our events, plus additional exclusive content.
SPLASH PAGE: RAY BRADBURY, COVER STORY, COMIC-CON BOOK
WONDERCON SPECIAL GUEST ROBERT KIRKMAN
WONDERCON 2011 PREVIEW
COMIC-CON 2010 PHOTO ALBUM
COMIC-CON 2011 PREVIEW
COME TOGETHER: THE BIRTH OF COMIC FANDOM
50 YEARS PAST AND STILL AT IT: FANTASTIC FOUR #1
1986: THE YEAR COMICS GREW UP
2011 WILL EISNER COMIC INDUSTRY AWARDS
2010 EISNER RETAILER AWARD RECIPIENT
APE 2010 ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO
2 DANS TALK ABOUT COMICS
THE MOMENT: JULY 24, 2010
ON THE COVER: ROBERT KIRKMAN BY MEGAN MACK ( No skunks were harmed in the taking of this photo.) 2
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
EDITOR/DESIGNER Gary Sassaman CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Fae Desmond, Jackie Estrada CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Peter Coogan, Jackie Estrada, Martin Jaquish, Douglas Lathrop, Dan Nadel, Bill Schelly, Douglas Wolk SPECIAL THANKS John Cornett, Robert Kirkman, Laureen Minich MISSION STATEMENT Comic-Con International: San Diego 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.
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COMIC-CON ANNUAL • 2011 EDITION Published by Comic-Con International San Diego. All material, unless otherwise noted, is © 2011 San Diego Comic Convention and may not be reproduced without permission. All other artwork is ™ & © 2011 by respective owners. Comic-Con and the Comic-Con logo are registered trademarks of San Diego Comic Convention. PRINTED IN CANADA. Comic-Con International P.O. Box 128458 San Diego, CA 92112-8458 WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG Photo by Henry Lee
RAY BRADBURY: COMIC-CON ICON
SplashPage NEWS & NOTES FROM THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL
ICON AWARD RECIPIENTS
FRANK MILLER • 2006
NEIL GAIMAN • 2007
SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS
RAY BRADBURY THEATER EPISODES *Give or take a few . . .with apologies to Mr. Bradbury if we missed anything!
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
RAY BRADBURY: COMIC-CON ICON Author Ray Bradbury is the latest recipient of Comic-Con’s Icon Award. The award was given to the legendary science fiction and fantasy writer in a special video presentation as part of The Scream Awards, telecast on the SPIKE cable network in October 2010. Bradbury—a frequent special guest at Comic-Con International, including the very first convention in 1970—is one of the world’s bestknown authors. With a career spanning over 60 years and more than 500 published works—novels, short stories, poems, and nonfiction pieces— the beloved writer continues to visit Comic-Con, including an appearance in 2010. Comic-Con’s Icon Award is presented to individuals or organizations who have been instrumental in bringing comics and/or the popular arts to a wider audience. Bradbury’s large body of work over the years has crossed over into all areas of pop culture, from comics to TV to film. He joins an impressive list of past Icon Award recipients, which includes Frank Miller (2006), Neil Gaiman (2007), George Lucas (2008), and Stan Lee (2009).
GEORGE LUCAS • 2008
STAN LEE • 2009
Miller, Gaiman photos by Albert L. Ortega; Lucas photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic
Every great cover has a story behind it. Here’s the evolution of Comic-Con’s 2010 Souvenir Book cover—celebrating DC Comics’ 75th anniversary and featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman—by Ivan Reis (insert), inked by Oclair Albert and colored by Alex Sinclair. From preliminary sketch to finished art, here’s how it all came together.
1. Ivan’s initial sketch quickly becomes . . . 2. full pencils! Ivan was a special guest at Comic-Con 2010 and was in the middle of his work on DC’s Brightest Day. 3. Oclair Albert inks the figures separately. 4. Colorist Alex Sinclair colors the figures separately and composites them according to Ivan’s sketch. 5. He also creates this stunning background. 6. The final cover with type. The art was also used for the official Comic-Con 2010 T-shirt.
6 4 Art © DC Comics; Ivan Reis photo by Chuk Gawlik
5 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
BOOK REPORT 2011 marks year 42 for Comic-Con International: San Diego. The longest continually running comics and popular arts convention in the country, the show has grown to be a pop culture phenomenon. Since 1970, the San Diego Comic-Con has been a must-attend event for comics fans from all over the world. The incredibly rich history of the show is celebrated in Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends, a beautiful hardcover coffeetable book. Published by Chronicle Books—one of the leading publishers of art, photography, and pop culture books in the world—in conjunction with ComicCon, this sumptuous 208-page history features an amazing assortment of exclusive art and photos, many of which have never been seen outside of the Comic-Con archives. Topped off by a wraparound cover by cartoonist Sergio Aragonés and with an introduction by dean of science fiction writers Ray Bradbury, this book is a veritable time capsule of ComicCon—and comics!—history. You can purchase your own copy by visiting www.comiccon.org. The price is $40, but when you buy it directly from Comic-Con, we pay your postage and sales tax. Visit the website for complete details, and order your copy today!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS President/CFO: John Rogers Secretary/Executive Assistant: Mary Sturhann Treasurer/Chief Technology Officer: Mark Yturralde VP/Administrator: Events: Robin Donlan VP/Administrator: Operations: William Pittman Directors At-Large: Frank Alison, Alan Campbell, Ned Cato Jr., Dan Davis, Craig Fellows, Eugene Henderson, Lee Oeth, Chris Sturhann Executive Director: Fae Desmond Director of Marketing & Public Relations: David Glanzer Director of Print and Publications: Gary Sassaman Director of Programming: Eddie Ibrahim Director of Talent Relations: Maija Gates HR/Office Manager: Sue Lord 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 Management Coordinator: Adam Neese Eisner Awards Administrator: Jackie Estrada
2011 CALENDAR IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER IN THE COMING YEAR
DEADLINE FOR COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL SUBMISSIONS
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COMIC-CON HOTEL RESERVATIONS OPEN
COMIC-CON SOUVENIR BOOK SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE
LAST DAY TO GET A FULL REFUND IF YOU CANCEL YOUR COMIC-CON HOTEL RESERVATION
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER
APE 2011 ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO SAN FRANCISCO
SEE PAGE 35 FOR DETAILS
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
PREVIEW NIGHT: JULY 20
WONDERCON 2011 SAN FRANCISCO
Assistants to the Executive Director: Lisa Moreau, Matt Souza Assistants to the Director of Marketing and PR: Damien Cabaza, Ben Eisenstein, Mike Stoltz Assistants to the Director of Programming: Tommy Goldbach, Christopher Jansen Assistant to the Director of Talent Relations: Joey Plaskett Exhibits Assistant: Alex Gentry Office Staff: Patty Castillo, Cecy Cordero, Ruben Mendez, Colleen O’Connell, Amy Ramirez, Glenda Lynn Vanetti 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: 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 Deaf and Disabled Services: William Curtis Hospitality Suite: Mikee Ritter Information: Bruce Frankle Logistics: Dan Davis Materials Chief/Blood Drive: Craig Fellows Registration: Frank Alison, John Smith Volunteers: Sue Lord, Jennifer Maturo, Marc Wilson
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THE WONDERCON SPECIAL GUEST INTERVIEW: ROBERT KIRKMAN
ROBERT KIRKMAN has quickly become one of the top writers in American comic books. Starting with his self-published co-creation Battle Pope (with artist Tony Moore) in 2000, Kirkman was quickly signed by Image Comics. In 2003, he launched Invincible, the story of the son of a superhero who inherits his father’s incredible powers. That same year The Walking Dead debuted, a tale of an apocalyptic event that caused much of the world’s population to turn into zombies. Both series are still running strong today, with their success aided and abetted by Kirkman’s artistic collaborators, Ryan Ottley on Invincible and Charlie Adlard on The Walking Dead. The latter won the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2010 and has been adapted to television by Kirkman, Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), and Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator, T2). The unprecedented success of the 6-episode first season on AMC—each succeeding episode went up in the ratings—resulted in an early renewal for 2011, with a 13-episode second season. Kirkman’s other work includes a number of series for Marvel Comics (including Marvel Zombies and Ultimate X-Men) and Image (The Astounding Wolf-Man, Haunt, Image United). In 2009 he became the first creator to be named an Image partner since the company’s inception in 1992. Since then he’s created his own imprint, Skybound, which not only features his creator-owned titles but comics by other creators, such as Witch Doctor by Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner. In 2011 Kirkman will debut his new book with Astounding Wolf-Man co-creator Jason Howard, Super Dinosaur. But it’s hard to imagine the coming year being any bigger or better than the incredible success 2010 was for Robert Kirkman. Comic-Con Annual interviewed Kirkman a few days after the final first-season episode of The Walking Dead premiered on AMC to record-breaking ratings. Both Kirkman and Invincible artist Ryan Ottley are special guests at WonderCon 2011 (see the article starting on page 14 for complete details about the event).
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Photo by Scott Garfield/AMC
[“THE WALKING DEAD . . . is essentially the zombie movie that never ends.”[ COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: Congratulations on the success of the show. It must be very gratifying for you to see the ratings go up each time. ROBERT KIRKMAN: It’s pretty awesome. CCI: We wanted to talk not only about the show but about your comics work, too . . . let’s start at the beginning. Were you a comics loving kid? RK: Yeah, absolutely. I mean I was definitely the kid that—I played some video games, but there were many an afternoon spent just laying on the floor reading comic books when I was young. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve comics, so, yeah. I’ve been big into comics since I was about 13. CCI: What were your favorites? RK: I think I started reading comics in 1990. So my favorites were things like X-Force and Todd MacFarlane’s Spider-Man and Erik Larsen’s run of Amazing Spider-Man and Jim Lee’s X-Men and all that kind of stuff. Peter David’s Incredible Hulk. I read the . . . I believe it was Howard Mackie who wrote the Ghost Rider stuff drawn by Mark Texeira. So all that Marvel stuff starting out was my favorite, and then I very quickly jumped over to Image Comics when all those guys formed that company. CCI: Looking back, was there a point where you decided you wanted to be in comics, you wanted to be a writer? RK: Yeah, it was very early on. I noticed that there were credits in the books and I thought to myself, “Hey, these are adults that are making these things and that’s probably a job for them and they make money doing this. That’s kind of amazing. I want to do that.” But I didn’t really want to be a writer. I wanted to be an artist. I actually wanted to be Erik Larsen, because Savage Dragon very quickly became my favorite comic book and I really wanted to just have a book that was successful that I could write and draw, so that was my goal. But I learned very
early in my career that I can’t draw very well, so I had to throw that out the window. CCI: Twenty years ago you’re reading Image comics . . . did you ever imagine that you’d be working with these guys? RK: No, no. When I was doing press when they made me an Image partner, I think I said “dream come true” a little more than I was comfortable with, but you know it definitely applies. I mean those guys leaving a big corporation and going out and being entrepreneurs and forming a cool independent comic book company and having it actually succeed and doing all the things that they did. I always looked up to those guys, and to have a seat at the table and be a part of Image Comics is extremely surreal. CCI: Invincible put you on the map as a comics creator. What do you think makes a great superhero book? RK: I think the same thing that makes a good superhero book makes a good book period, and that’s just keeping things interesting. Superhero comics in general are kind of awesome, just because the more ridiculous they are the better. The more you can have people playing catch around the circumference of the Earth and doing all kinds of wacky things that superheroes would be able to do, the more entertaining it is. But really, the key is just keeping things interesting and moving the story along at a good pace and keeping everyone engaged. That’s really all you need to do to make people come to the book. CCI: You’ve been doing both Invincible and The Walking Dead now for over eight years, and you’ve been very lucky in that you have both Ryan Ottley on Invincible and Charlie Adlard on Walking Dead as long-term collaborators. What do you think makes a great writer/artist team? RK: Communication is key, whether we’re discussing story or just kind of chatting. It’s good that Ryan Ottley and Charlie Adlard and myself—and also Jason Howard on my Astounding
Wolf-Man book—and most everyone I collaborate with, it’s very important that you get along. That’s almost essential, and it aids the way I write scripts and it makes you able to come up with a shorthand. If I know certain things that they like, I can say I’m looking for something big in scale, like that one movie that you liked, or something like that. So getting to know people is important, and also just knowing what they’re capable of and what they enjoy drawing, because if they’re having a good time working on the book then the pages are going to look that much better and readers are going to respond to it that much more. So it’s basically just keeping each other happy, I guess that’s the simplest way to put it. CCI: At this point after working so long with both of them, can you imagine doing either book without them? RK: Yeah, I can. I hate those guys. I dream of not doing a book with those guys. No, I mean it’s very bizarre. Sometimes I’ll catch myself saying that with Walking Dead I could go for 30 years, and as long as I’m having a good time and as long as I like what I’m doing and as long as readers like it, I’m going to keep going. And then I realize, well I hope Charlie wants to do that, too, because I can’t imagine doing this book without Charlie, and the same goes for Ryan. When I’m writing the books, I picture their art, and if either of those guys were to decide to leave those books, I don’t know what I would do. I certainly can’t imagine picturing someone else’s art when I’m writing those stories. CCI: The Walking Dead has been around for over eight years and you won the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series last year. Where did all this start for you? When did you get the idea that you wanted to do a zombie series? RK: I guess I was still working on Battle Pope at the time, and Invincible was debuting or we were working on it and it hadn’t debuted yet. And I just came up with the idea of doing something in the horror genre. I had always liked zombies, but one of the things that al-
ways bugged me about zombie movies was that they came to an end. It occurred to me that no one had ever really done something that was a continuing story of survival about all of these people living in this world and trying to survive day to day and how they would go about that and how doing that would affect them. And so I got the idea to do The Walking Dead, which was essentially the zombie movie that never ends. CCI: When I first picked the comic up I thought this was going to be a great zombie apocalypse story, and really it turns out to be a very dramatic character story. I’m especially blown away by the fact that “the Walking Dead” aren’t really the zombies, it’s the people that are involved that are still around. RK: Well, you would think that, “Oh he’s a comic book writer,” so The Walking Dead is going to be about action, it’s going to be about gore—I mean it’s a zombie thing, right? It’s going to be people getting eaten left and right and it’s just going to be a sick, disgusting book, and that’s just really not what I’m into. I mean, I love those movies, but what I key into is the character drama, and that’s the part that I’ve become invested in. The Walking Dead is very much just a character study and it’s about these people surviving and having relationships and it’s all about making the mundane interesting. I could do an entire issue where they just went out and searched for water, because that would be such a dangerous thing to do and because of everything that they’ve lived through already and because of all the interpersonal dynamics of the group and everything. An entire issue about them going out to get water could be completely entertaining. And COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
[ “Just because the zombies don’t fly in the comics, doesn’t mean the zombies can’t fly in the show.” [ so that’s what I focus on, the soap opera-y stuff. CCI: Watching the episode when Andrea had to say goodbye to her sister, Amy, I thought, “This reminds me of so many soap opera scenes.” It was one of the tensest moments I’ve seen in television in years, but it also one of the most touching. RK: I whole-heartedly believe that every great superhero comic is just a soap opera with some guys in tights beating up each other to keep the boys interested. Everyone is invested in Peter Parker’s love life and how things are going to go and what’s upsetting him right now. That was always the key of Marvel Comics—the thing that made them different was that their characters had real personal problems and the real day-to-day stuff did actually have a place in the books, and that’s all just soap opera stuff.
this issue or that kind of happened but not the way it looked on the cover. And sometimes that’s me just lying, because I’m trying to keep things interesting and I don’t want the readers to know what’s going to happen just by looking at the cover. Sometimes— two times in particular—it’s been because I changed my mind and decided not to force the story on the characters and allow them to do what they were meant to do. CCI: Do you find in writing the TV series and working with the writers that the same thing happens there? Are you the voice of reason and have to say, “You know Rick wouldn’t do that?”
be bored while they’re watching it. So I’m always the guy in there that’s going, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s kill a guy now . . . no one will expect that.”
CCI: You wrote the fourth episode of the TV series. What were the biggest differences between writing a comic script and writing a TV script?
CCI: And that’s why you took a detour to the CDC in the final episode.
RK: Most TV scripts are plotted in a room full of people, so that was probably the biggest difference. When I write the comic book series, I sit down and I write a few notes on paper and try and figure out what I’ll do on each page, and then I just sit down and open my document on my computer and go, “Page one, here’s what happens, page two here’s what happens,” and I just blow through it. I don’t stop to analyze anything. I don’t really second guess myself very much, and I just decide that I’m going to do something and then I do it, which is kind of fun and it’s neat doing that kind of stuff without a safety net and standing on your own two feet and doing everything by yourself. But when you’re doing it in TV, which is alien to me because I’ve never really done anything, it was very hard for me to discuss story stuff at first, out loud with people. It just feels silly sitting in a room with five other guys going, “Well, I think this guy should put an axe in this guy’s head and this should do this and blah, blah, blah.” I mean, it’s just not a conversation I have in my every day life, so it was really kind of bizarre to me. But over the first few days I was there, it got to be kind of awesome. It’s really a fun experience to watch these guys work and learn this new process, because you would see guys suggest something like, “Oh, what if this guy ate a carrot” and then you could watch that idea go all the way around the room with people adding to it and taking away and shooting things down and suggesting other things until it got back to the guy that suggested it, and he would go, “Yeah . . . I don’t like that idea.” And five minutes ago that was his idea! But it’s kind of like turning a story into tempered steel, which is the way I like to think about it, because they look at every single angle from every single scene and they think about how it’s going to affect later episodes and how it could play with episodes before it. It’s really just a labored but really neat process of going over every single thing. And then after
RK: Well yeah, that was something that Frank [Darabont] come up with, that he wanted to do, and thinking about it I was like, I didn’t do this in the comic book and I probably wouldn’t do this in the comic book, but the TV show and the comic book are two different things. I’ve seen some comic book fans that weren’t too thrilled with how that turned out,
CCI: When you’re writing a series like The Walking Dead, the characters sometimes take on a life of their own. Were there any big surprises that happened to you that you didn’t see coming when it came to particular characters? RK: There’s been numerous points over the course of the 80 or so issues where I’ve been trying to do something, I’ve been steering the plot towards something I had planned and I can’t force the characters to do what I want them to do for the plot’s sake. So I would just rewrite as I was going because as I was doing it I would realize Rick wouldn’t say that and that’s not how that would go and that’s not how this person would react and this is all just b-s. I can’t do this. So I would be forced to kind of think on the fly and let the characters do what I felt like they should be doing, as opposed to what I wanted them to be doing, and it did drastically alter some things here and there along the way. Every time that would happen, that surprised me. They’re pretty easy to spot. There’s a few times here and there where an issue would come out and the cover would be kind of nonsensical, like wait a minute, that didn’t happen in 10 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Kirkman on the set with producer/director Frank Darabont and actor Jon Bernthal.
RK: It’s very early on in the process right now and we’ve only done six episodes, so that kind of stuff hasn’t really happened. They’ve got the comics to use as a roadmap and they all seem to know the characters very well, so I haven’t had to step in and go, “Oh, let’s not do this.” If anything I’m not the voice of reason. I’m the guy coming in there going, “Hey, let’s kill Rick, that’d be cool right? Just because the zombies can’t fly in the comic doesn’t mean the zombies can’t fly in the show.” Let’s do something that people aren’t going to expect, because my main goal with the television show is to make it awesome. And I feel like if it follows the comic book too closely, a good portion of the TV viewers have actually read the comic book and I don’t want those people to
and I’ve seen other comic book fans that are like, “Oh, you should go to the CDC in the comic, that was really cool.” So everybody likes things to varying degrees, and I definitely don’t want to hinder the writers’ creative process on the show. When they come up with cool ideas, I definitely don’t want to be the guy sitting there going, “Well, you know guys, my comic book is law and if it’s not in the comic book then it’s not good,” because I don’t believe that to be the case. I think that there are any number of things they could do on the show that weren’t in the comic book that could actually make the show better. And there’s been cases of that already in the first season. I’m completely open to all the different changes that they’ve done in the show.
Photo by Scott Garfield/AMC
[“I would like to do this book long enough to have Carl make it to adulthood . . . if I don’t kill him in the next issue.” [ everything was plotted out and everybody agreed that they liked everything, I got to go off and write my script and add some stuff to it on my own when I was by myself working. And then after I did that, I turned the thing in and we went over it all again. So it’s a much more communal process and I loved it. I thought it was really cool. CCI: You’re working with both Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd and each of them have serious genre movie credentials. What’s it like working with both of them? RK: I learn something new every time I see those people. It’s really cool. Frank is a super talented director and just has an amazing body of work and is great at adapting things. I would get to sit with him and just talk about story and writing and different things like that and it was really cool. And then Gale has all kinds of great insight on moviemaking and how things are done. She’s just really on top of things and it’s cool seeing somebody that successful that’s still down to Earth. It’s just been a great experience working with both of them. CCI: Since season two won’t premiere until around Halloween again, do you have any idea what the schedule is like for 2011, and when do you start writing and filming? RK: We’re still nailing that down now. I think our plan is to debut in October
around Halloween at the latest. So we’re taking steps now to see if there’s any kind of wiggle room and if we can debut a little bit before then, but you know it’s a long process, and 13 episodes will be a little harder to do than the 6 episodes that we’ve already done. CCI: Do you have an ending in mind for both the comics and TV series? Do you know where this all ends? RK: I have an idea of how I would like to end it eventually, but we haven’t even really discussed that on the TV show, just because the TV show could go five seasons, it could go ten seasons, we don’t really know yet. So it’s not necessarily something we need to nail down, but we’ll probably be discussing how we might end it as we start planning out season two. But for the comic book series, yeah, I know how I would like to end it up, but I don’t plan on doing that any time soon. I really truly would like to pass 300 issues, and the whole goal is to see these characters change over time. I would like to do this book long enough to have Carl make it to adulthood and pretty old, if I don’t kill him next issue. And I don’t want to do that with any time jumps. I want to keep this series going for years and years. So I know how I might end it, but I don’t plan on getting there any time soon. I don’t have it pegged to a certain issue number. I’m not like, “Oh, #336— that’s where we’re ending it.”
Walking Dead art by Charlie Adlard; Invincible art by Ryan Ottley; Super Dinosaur art by Jason Howard Walking Dead © Robert Kirkman; Invincible © Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker; Super Dinosaur © Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard
CCI: Back in 2009 you delivered a controversial “mission statement” that explained why you left Marvel to do creator-owned books at Image and also touched on the need for comics for a younger audience. Two years later, how do you feel about that, and is Skybound, your new imprint for Image, going to fulfill some of that need for comics for a younger audience? RK: Actually we just announced a new book that I’m doing with Jason Howard called Super Dinosaur, which is very much aimed at all ages. So everyone from four years old to 100 should be able to enjoy it, and that’s something that I’ve had in the works pretty much since I did that message, my “online manifesto” or whatever anybody wants to call it. I’m excited that that’s finally coming out. Two years later I don’t know . . . I mean I feel like my message was validated. I think that we’ve got more people doing creator-owned books. I think that a lot of these books are doing a lot better than they had been. I feel like we’re starting to see a shift where readers are more open to new ideas and creator-owned books, and it seems like things like Morning Glories and Chew and Mark Millar’s books (Kick-Ass, Superior) are really catching on and much more so than it seemed like a few years ago. I think more people are going to do creator-owned books, and that’s very important. That’s still something that’s good for the industry, and I certainly
don’t take back anything that I said. I do wish that more people were doing younger reader-friendly books and that Marvel and DC were focusing on getting a new audience as opposed to servicing the audience we already have. But you know the market will change when it needs to, hopefully, and by doing my own all-ages book—if that’s successful—hopefully it will inspire others to do the same. CCI: The first Skybound book was Witch Doctor, which you announced at Comic-Con International back in July, and now you announced the second one in mid-December. Are there any more that you can talk about at this point? RK: We have a few things behind the scenes that we’re putting together, but right now our main focus is getting Witch Doctor and Super Dinosaur out and helping them reach as wide an audience as possible. We’re trying to remain small and be able to devote the time to our launches that we feel is necessary. We’ll be operating on that MO once Super Dinosaur and Witch Doctor are moving along and out, then we’ll start announcing more projects and getting those out. I think that too often people come out with a new line or they’re a new publisher and they just decide, “Hey, I’m going to do 10 books at once and hope they all catch on.” We really don’t want to do that. We want to kind of focus all
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[“I think the only thing that could make 2011 better than 2010 is if someone gave me the ability to fly.”[ of our efforts like a laser on each book individually, and once those things are on stable ground then we’ll move on to the next thing. CCI: Do you think the iPad and digital comics are the future of comics? RK: I think that they’re a big part of comics right now and I think that as we move into the digital age things like that will definitely be a big part of the comic book industry. I don’t know that the iPad is going to be it. It could be. I certainly like reading comics on there, and my comics through Comixology are doing pretty well on there. I think they’re a step to something bigger. I do feel like digital is the future and print is something that will be going away. I don’t think it’ll be going away in the next couple decades or so, but I do think that I’ll live to see a time when there are no longer printed things or they’ll
be printed as a “special collectors item” or something. But I think we’re moving into the future and everything will be digital eventually, and I think that iPads and iPhones and Kindles and all this stuff are really just kind of the first step to what we’ll eventually be seeing. CCI: You’re a special guest at WonderCon this year, and I know you were at Comic-Con last year. What do you like about appearing at conventions? RK: It’s a lot of fun. I think that it’s amazing to work in an industry where there are these events where we get to interact with the fans and talk directly to them at panels and do signings and shake hands and actually meet the people that support us and enjoy our work. It’s also kind of an awesome community thing, because I get to see guys like Ryan Ottley and Charlie Adlard, who I only really see at conventions. It’s good
for creators to get together and network and play in the future of comics and all that fun stuff. It’s really an awesome time. CCI: In this whole year, with The Walking Dead becoming such a huge hit on TV, what was the most amazing part for you? RK: I haven’t even had time to think about it really, just because everything has been so fast and I’ve been so busy and I’ve been doing so much traveling and everything. But sometimes I realize that I’m having a conversation with Gregory Nicotero [key special makeup effects supervisor], a guy that I’ve been watching on DVD commentaries for 15 years and who worked on Evil Dead 2, for God’s sake. So there are times like that where I’m like, “Oh, I’m having dinner with the guy that directed The Shawshank Redemption, this is bi-
zarre.” Or you know I’m at the Scream Awards and I’m avoiding Mickey Rourke because he’s terrifying. There’s been a long list of just really strange things that have come from having this show. The one thing that really kind of blew me away was getting the cover of Entertainment Weekly, just because I’ve been a subscriber to that magazine for years and it’s really the only magazine that I read regularly and I got a copy in the mail that had my name and address on it and my TV show on the cover. So that was pretty cool. CCI: Can you imagine 2011 being as amazing as 2010? RK: I don’t want to sell the year short but I think the only thing that could make 2011 better than 2010 is if somebody gave me the ability to fly.
A WALKING DEAD PRIMER THE STORY: The Walking Dead centers on Rick Grimes, a small-town deputy sheriff who wakes up from a coma to find that the world has been engulfed in some kind of zombie apocalypse. Grimes goes in search of his family (wife Lori and son Carl, pictured at left in an early piece of art by Tony Moore). The series runs roughly in real time, as Grimes reunites with his family and meets other survivors as they try to stay alive in a world in which the dead come back to life with a horrible appetite for human flesh. THE COMICS SERIES: Published by Image Comics, The Walking Dead started in 2003. Over 80 issues have been published so far, written and created by Robert Kirkman, drawn by Tony Moore (issues 1–6, covers 1–24) and Charlie Adlard (issue 7 to present, covers 25 to present), with graytones and cover colors by Cliff Rathburn. The story has been collected in 13 trade paperbacks (to date), featuring 6-issue story arcs in each book. The series won the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2010. THE TV SERIES: Season 1 (6 episodes) aired on AMC from October 31 to December 5 and is available on DVD. Season 2 (13 episodes) will debut in fall 2011. The series is executive-produced and developed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) and Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator, T2). Darabont also wrote and directed the first episode, “Days Gone By.” KEEP IN MIND: The Walking Dead is one long story, so it’s important to read it starting with the first issue. It’s as much a touching character study as it is a gory zombie story, but don’t get too fond of anyone. Kirkman is ruthless when it comes to killing off characters. Your favorite in one issue or TV episode may be gone in the next! 12 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Art by Tony Moore; Walking Dead © Robert Kirkman
© 2011 AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS COMPANY, LLC.
DISTRIBUTED BY ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. PACKAGE DESIGN © 2010 STARZ MEDIA, LLC.
Go to amcdead.com for your chance to win an iPad and The Complete First Season of AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD on Blu-ray. 3 grand prize winners will receive an iPad and THE WALKING DEAD: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray. 10 runners-up will receive a copy of THE WALKING DEAD: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray. * Contest is open from February 20 - March 20.
CELEBRATE 25 YEARS OF WONDERFUL CONVENTIONS! Your Spring Break just got better! WonderCon returns to Moscone Center South in San Francisco on April 1 through 3, just in time for a special getaway weekend for comics and pop culture fans the world over! Better still, our headquarters hotel, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, offers a special $129 WonderCon room rate (see below for information on how to reserve your room now). WonderCon 2011 will once again feature the complete comics convention experience, including an all-star lineup of comics superstar guests; exclusive comic company, movie studio, and television network programs; the Comics Arts Conference academic seminar; the Masquerade; anime; and games. Special nighttime programs will take place at both the convention center and the headquarters hotel. The giant Exhibit Hall showcases the very best in comic publishers, including DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Aspen, IDW, Boom!, Oni Press, SLG, Drawn and Quarterly, Top Shelf, and Archaia. In addition to a huge gathering of dealers from across the nation—selling everything from vintage comics books to graphic novels, original art, action figures, and movie memorabilia—the hall also features one of the best Artists’ Alleys in the country, as well as small press and autograph areas, plus video game companies. WonderCon’s program schedule
will also include workshops and screenings, in addition to the return of the “Creator Connection” event, a popular feature at last year’s APE, which pairs up writers and artists looking to collaborate on projects. WonderCon celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2011, with a quarter-century history of being one of the country’s best comics and popular arts conventions. The show was started in 1987 as the “Wonderful World of Comics Convention” by Bay Area retailers John Barrett, Bob Borden, and Rory Root, along with comics writer/agent Mike Friedrich. Mike continued with the event for 15 years with retailer Joe Field and program director Bryan Uhlenbrock. (The three are back this year to help celebrate the big anniversary.) The show was acquired in 2002 by Comic-Con International, and the following year it moved from Oakland to its current home at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. In 2010, WonderCon’s attendance grew to over 39,000. Be a part of this year’s 25th anniversary celebration at WonderCon 2011! SAVE MONEY by purchasing your badges in advance online at www.comic-con.org/wc or at select Bay Area comic shops. You’ll receive a barcode receipt that will speed you through onsite registration to pick up your badge and free WonderCon Program Book!
HEADQUARTERS HOTEL The beautiful San Francisco Marriott Marquis is once again the official headquarters hotel for WonderCon. Located just a few short blocks from Moscone Convention Center, the Marriott Marquis features special nighttime events, including games and the WonderCon Hospitality Suite, where you can grab snacks and meet and greet some of your fellow attendees. The hotel offers a special WonderCon room rate of $129 for 1 or 2 people in the room. (Each additional person is $20 per room per night. Maximum of four people per room.) You can get complete details—and reserve a room—by visiting www.comic-con.org/wc or calling Travel Planners at 800-221-3531 or 212-532-1660 (Mon.–Fri. 9:00 am – 7:00 pm, Eastern time). Reservations must be received no later than March 14 for best selection, though reservations will be accepted, based on availability, until the show dates. Make sure you mention you’re attending WonderCon to get the special rate!
WONDERCON GAMES WonderCon Games offers 17 titles to play for free during the convention, including Munchkin, Pirates, Magic, Heroclix, Versus, and many more. WonderCon also features an open gaming area with tables available to play any game you wish. Please bring your supplies or use ours. Sign in by noon to meet up with fellow players at 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00 pm. Players are already looking for head-to-head matches for Chaos System, Versus System, Bakugan Battle Brawlers, D&D Minis, HeroScape, Pokemon, and Yugioh! WonderCon will once again have separate sanctioned Magic Tournaments with material fees. Heroclix will also have separate tournaments with material fees. (About 98 percent of games remain free to all attendees; only the sanctioned tournament gaming has a materials fee.) Every participant receives prize support, and every winner receives even more, while supplies last. Pick up game play entries or bring your own products. Players who bring their own sealed decks may have them inspected by one of the sanctioned judges. The Gaming Department is always interested in hearing what you want to play. Just drop a line with your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any reasonable suggestion will be considered. Nighttime gaming will return this year! After the Exhibit Hall closes, WonderCon Games will continue at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Details will be posted as we get closer to the show at www.comic-con.org/wc. 14 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
VOLUNTEER! We couldn’t do it without you! Volunteering for WonderCon is a great way to meet fellow fans and get a free membership pass for the day you volunteer. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old, but no specific skills are needed. Best of all, you can register online! WonderCon 2011 Volunteer registration is now open online to new and returning volunteers! Visit www.comic-con.org/wc and click on the “Volunteers” button for complete details. Exhibit Hall photo by Barry Brown
MASQUERADE TAKES CENTER STAGE AT WONDERCON The WonderCon Masquerade returns as the big event for Saturday night in 2011. The costume competition takes place on the big stage in the Esplanade Ballroom at Moscone Center South, featuring costume re-creations from the world of pop culture and completely original designs from the clever imaginations of the event’s attendees. The WonderCon Masquerade is a must-see part of the annual convention, with theater-style lighting, enhanced sound, and large video screens displaying great close-up views. If you’ve crafted a costume, we encourage you to sign up and share your work on the stage and perhaps take home a trophy or other prize as well. Last year’s audience numbered over 2,200, as 31 entries crossed the stage, totaling 78 costumes in all. Showtime will be 8:30 pm Saturday, April 2. The event is free to participate in or to attend (while space is available); only a WonderCon badge valid for Saturday or a 3-day badge is needed. Entries must not have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained; they must be of original construction or show significant modification of preexisting materials. All genres are welcome, as are all levels of experience, from the novice to the seasoned convention costumer. Complete information and rules can be downloaded at www.comic-con.org/wc. A limited number of contestant slots are available, so interested costumers should sign up for a reserved spot in the show as soon as possible. The deadline for advance entry is March 16, 2011. Entries will also be accepted until 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 2, at WonderCon, unless all the contestant slots fill up before then. The Master of Ceremonies will again be the entertaining three-time Hugo Award–winning artist and writer Phil Foglio. Special WonderCon trophies and awards will be given out in a variety of categories by a panel of guest judges. For an up-to-date list of companies giving prizes, please check www.comic-con.org/wc.
WONDERCON’S 5th ANNUAL
COMICS ARTS CONFERENCE The Comics Arts Conference returns to WonderCon for its fifth big year of academic study. The current schedule of topics includes: • WonderCon special guest Seth will join Kate Dunley (University of Advancing Technology) to discuss the cartoonist’s career and how comics can be used as an act of preservation—both literally, as with Seth’s Doug Wright collections, and metaphorically in the “preservation” of fictional Canadian TV personality George Sprott. • “Herstorians” Trina Robbins and Jen Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazons) will cover gumshoe gals, spy-fi sheroes, and private dick chicks, from Miss Fury and Senorita Rio to Honey West and Modesty Blaise. They’re not the only ones digging into the past. Psychologists Robin Rosenberg (Psychology of Superheroes), Andrea Letamendi (UC San Diego), and Travis Langley (Henderson State University) will delve into the supervillain psyche to see how trauma drives villainy. • Comics are a full player in transmedia, moving into contemporary cinema and back to classic theater. Jason Tondro (University of California Riverside) will examine Chris Claremont’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest in the X-Men. Shylah Hamilton (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) will show how 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later serve as a template for the survival in periods of genocide and social unrest. Tanya Zuk (University of Arizona) will pit Kick Ass against Scott Pilgrim to answer the question, what leads a good comic astray in the heart of Hollywood? • Dyfrig Jones (Bangor University) and Jeff Barbanell (Arizona State University) will relate the success of current programs in Wales and the U.S. to teaching Photo by Barry Brown
with comics, and Carol Tilley (University of Illinois) will trace the efforts of DC Comics’ “Superman Good Books” campaign to encourage youngsters to “read a good book every month.” • The eternal struggle of art and freedom engages Fabio Luiz Carneiro Mourilhe Silva (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) and Jon Hogan (Syracuse University) who will examine cartoonist Henfil’s fight against the Brazilian military dictatorship. Amany Al-Sayyed (American University of Beirut) will explore how Persepolis is taught and read in Canadian, Lebanese, and Palestinian classrooms. Jose Alaniz (University of Washington) will bring it home with a discussion of the identity politics of the Mike Murdock storyline in Daredevil. • Schuyler Kerby (University of Central Florida) will examine how “queer space” underlies Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Rodney DeaVault (Simmons College) will present Marvel Girl/Dark Phoenix as a manifestation of the angel/monster dichotomy in representations of female power. Kane Anderson (UC Santa Barbara) will explores how Hard Heroes and Heroes & Villains parties unite fan and queer subcultures to appropriate superhero iconography and challenge the mainstream. The Comics Arts Conference is a full-fledged academic conference for scholars and professionals to talk about comics with the public, breaking out of the ivory tower by holding sessions during Comic-Con International: San Diego and WonderCon. The CAC was founded in 1992 by Randy Duncan (Henderson State University) and Peter Coogan (Washington University in St. Louis); Kate McClancy (Wake Forest University) joined as a co-chair in 2006. COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 15
SPECIAL GUESTS JASON AARON (writer, Scalped, Wolverine) Jason Aaron is an Eisner and Harvey nominated comic book writer whose work includes the critically acclaimed crime series Scalped for Vertigo and celebrated stints on Black Panther, Ghost Rider, and Wolverine: Weapon X for Marvel. He currently writes Wolverine, Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine, and Punisher Max, all for Marvel. SERGIO ARAGONÉS (cartoonist, Groo, MAD magazine) One of MAD magazine’s longest-running cartoonists and the creator of that popular dim-witted barbarian Groo, Sergio Aragonés latest work includes becoming a featured writer/artist in Bart Simpson Comics. A new book, MAD’s Greatest Artists: Sergio Aragonés: Five Decades of His Finest Works, celebrates Sergio’s long history with the humor magazine. BERKELEY BREATHED (syndicated cartoonist, Bloom County) Berkeley Breathed began drawing Bloom County, a political satire, for college newspapers in the early 1980s. Nationwide recognition came to Breathed with his creation of Opus, an insecure penguin who reflected the political conscience of America. When Bloom County ended, Breathed created Outland, which had a successful four-year run, after which Breathed started Opus, which ran until 2008. Bloom County Complete Library is currently being published by IDW. TONY DANIEL (writer/artist, Batman) Born and raised in the streets of South Chicago, a love for comics—and drawing them—kept young Tony Daniel out of trouble. By the age of 20 he was already a working professional in the comics community. His list of penciling credits contain such hits as X-Force, The Tenth, Teen Titans, and Batman, which he is also currently writing.
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MARK EVANIER (writer, Kirby: King of Comics) Mark Evanier has been writing professionally since 1969, when he apprenticed with the legendary Jack Kirby and also began writing comic book scripts for Disney. His own co-creations include The DNAgents, Crossfire, and Hollywood Superstars, along with collaborating since 1983 with cartoonist Sergio Aragonés on Groo the Wanderer, for which he won a couple of the industry’s coveted Eisner Awards. He’s the author of MAD Art, a history of MAD magazine, and Kirby, King of Comics, a book about his mentor that won two Harvey awards and an Eisner. Mark is currently writing, producing, and voicedirecting the third season of The Garfield Show. ADAM HUGHES (artist, Wonder Woman, Catwoman) Born on Cinco de Mayo during the Summer of Love, in Riverside, NJ, Adam escaped to Atlanta, Georgia in the early ’90s, when such things were possible. Starting his comics career in 1987, Adam has drawn for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Sideshow Collectibles, and many other companies. He has also done work for Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Joss Whedon’s Mutant Enemy Productions. BRIAN KEENE (author, The Rising, Ghoul) Brian Keene is the best-selling author of over 20 horror novels, including The Rising, Urban Gothic, Dead Sea, Dark Hollow, and Ghoul (currently in production for a film). His work in comics includes Dead of Night: Devil Slayer (for Marvel), Doom Patrol (for DC), and his ongoing series The Last Zombie (for Antarctic Press). A two-time Bram Stoker award winner, Keene’s work has been translated into over a dozen languages. He’s also written for the stage and radio. For more info, visit www. briankeene.com.
ROBERT KIRKMAN (writer, The Walking Dead, Invincible) Robert Kirkman is a New York Times bestselling author who maintains one prerogative in every undertaking: quality. It is Kirkman’s belief that good people who produce good writing and good ideas make comics people love. Kirkman is a partner at Image Comics, where he recently launched Skybound, an all-new imprint that provides a new generation of comic book creators with the opportunity to publish their original works. His bestselling series The Walking Dead has been adapted into a hit TV series by AMC, and his other books include Invincible, Haunt, and the upcoming Super Dinosaur. HOPE LARSON (writer/artist, Mercury, Chiggers) Hope Larson is the author of four graphic novels, including Mercury and Chiggers. Her short comics have been featured on the op-ed page of the New York Times and in several anthologies, notably Flight and Comic Book Tattoo. She’s currently hard at work on a graphic novel adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, which will be published in fall 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Larson has been nominated for cartooning awards in the U.S., Canada, and Europe and is the recipient of a 2006 Ignatz Award and a 2007 Eisner Award. BOB LAYTON (writer, artist, Iron Man, Deathmask) If you’ve seen the Iron Man movies, then you’re familiar with Bob Layton’s work. Bob reinvented the Iron Man comic (along with his creative partner David Michelinie), making it one of comics’ all-time bestselling series. He also revived the original X-Men characters with the hit series X-Factor. He was co-architect of the Valiant Comics Universe and then its editor-in-chief/ senior VP. Bob has turned his attentions to developing new properties for motion pictures and television, including The Helix, the sci-fi epic Colony (based on Bob’s web comic and upcoming graphic novel), and as creator/executive producer of Shambler and Deathmask (based on his Future Comics series).
PAUL LEVITZ (writer, Legion of Super-Heroes) Paul Levitz has been a comics fan (The Comic Reader, winner of two Best Fanzine Comic Art Fan Awards), editor (Batman), writer (Legion of SuperHeroes), and executive (38 years at DC, ending as president & publisher). He has received the Inkpot, Clampett Humanitarian, and ComicsPro Industry Appreciation awards and serves on the board of the CBLDF. His new book, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, has just been published by Taschen. He is currently writing Legion of Super-Heroes and Adventure Comics. JEREMY LOVE (writer/artist, Bayou) Jeremy Love is an award winning writer, illustrator and animator. His critically acclaimed serialized graphic novel, Bayou, from DC/Zuda was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic and won 5 Glyph Awards. Making his debut over a decade ago, Love has also worked on creator-owned projects for Dark Horse (Fierce, Shadow Rock), established properties like G.I. Joe, Batman, and Fraggle Rock, and various animated projects. FRANCIS MANAPUL (artist, The Flash, Superboy) Francis Manapul currently draws The Flash. His previous work for DC Comics included Adventure Comics, Superman/ Batman, and The Legion of Super-Heroes. His work has appeared in various publications from Aspen Comics, Editions Delcourt, Top Cow Productions, and Devils Due, just to name a few. Francis is also a TV presenter on SyFy’s Beast Legends, in which he and a team of scientists and adventurers travel the globe in search of scientific data to create mythical beasts. CARLA SPEED McNEIL (writer/artist, Finder) Writer/artist Carla Speed McNeil is best known for her award-winning science fiction series Finder. McNeil selfpublished Finder starting in 1996 and continues the series today on the web, where she moved it in 2005. In 2009, Finder won the Eisner Award for Best Webcomic. The series is currently being reissued by Dark Horse Comics in a series of graphic novels. McNeil is the re-
Robert Kirkman photo by Megan Mack; Francis Manapul photo by Joyce Wong; Amy Reeder photo by Anginet Page
Robert Kirkman photo by Megan Mack; Francis Manapul photo by Joyce Wong
WONDERCON 2011 PROGRAM BOOK
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 17
cipient of the Friends of Lulu Kim Yale Award for Best New Talent in 1997 and the Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent in 1998. TERRY MOORE (writer/artist, Echo, Strangers in Paradise) Terry Moore has been writing and drawing critically acclaimed comic books since 1993, beginning with his award-winning classic series Strangers in Paradise. Garnering numerous industry awards and published in 14 languages, Strangers in Paradise remains a fan favorite. Moore’s current ongoing series, Echo, has been widely acclaimed by both fans and professionals. Echo won the Harvey Award for best new series of 2009. Terry has recently enjoyed successful runs writing for Marvel’s Spiderman Loves Mary Jane and Runaways. RYAN OTTLEY (artist, Invincible) Ryan Ottley currently draws Invincible for Image Comics and has done so for the past seven years. His other work includes Superman/Batman Annual #1 for DC and such other Image books as Haunt 1–5 and the one-shots Death Grub and Sea Bear and Grizzly Shark, which doubtfully could ever be topped by another project, so he is considering quitting comics entirely and living off of Grizzly Shark money for the rest of his days. JOE QUESADA (chief creative office, Marvel Comics) Joe Quesada wears many creative hats, as both an acclaimed writer-artist and the chief creative officer for Marvel Entertainment. In this role, he is steward of such legendary characters as SpiderMan, X-Men, Incredible Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. Even with an entire publishing company to run, Quesada keeps
his creative hand moving. During his tenure, he’s completed Daredevil: Father, a story dedicated to his father, and illustrated Spider-Man: One More Day, changing the popular web-slinging hero forever. He’s recently completed the bookend to One More Day, One Moment in Time. FRANK QUITELY (artist, Batman and Robin) Frank Quitely spent the first three years of his career in the independently published anthology Electric Soup, followed by two years painting sci-fi strips for the popular UK anthology Judge Dredd Megazine. The next five years were mostly spent at DC, producing work for Paradox Press, Vertigo, DCU and WildStorm, including Flex Mentallo, Batman, JLA, and The Authority. After two years on New-X-Men at Marvel, he headed back to Vertigo for the creator-owned miniseries We3, followed by All Star Superman and Batman and Robin. He currently has several creatorowned projects in the pipeline. AMY REEDER (artist, Madame Xanadu, Batwoman) Amy Reeder is best known for her work on Vertigo’s Madame Xanadu, and she is currently drawing covers for Supergirl and interiors alongside J. H. Williams for DC Comics’ Batwoman series. Having gotten her start writing and drawing the graphic novel series Fool’s Gold for Tokyopop, Amy’s art is a fusion between Japanese and American comicking sensibilities. Amy was nominated for three Eisner Awards in 2009 for her work on Madame Xanadu: Best New Series, Best Artist, and Best Cover Artist. SETH (cartoonist, Palookaville) Seth is the cartoonist behind Paloo-
kaville, which in 2010 became an annual hardcover. His novels include It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken, Wimbledon Green, and the serialized story George Sprott (1894-1975), which originally appeared in the New York Times Magazine. As a book designer, Seth has worked on The Complete Peanuts, The John Stanley Library, and the twovolume series on Canadian cartoonist Doug Wright. As an illustrator, Seth has produced works for virtually all of the major Canadian and American magazines. His work frequently appears inside and on the cover of the New Yorker. BILL SIENKIEWICZ (artist, Elektra: Assassin, Stray Toasters) Boleslav (William) Bill Felix Robert Sienkiewicz (pronounced sin-KEV-itch) is an Eisner-winning, Emmy-nominated artist best known for his innovative redefinition of comic and graphic novel illustration and storytelling from 1980 onward, most notably with Marvel Comic’s Elektra: Assassin and his acclaimed graphic novel Stray Toasters. His work has garnered numerous accolades, most notably a 2004 Eisner Award for DC Comics’ The Sandman: Endless Nights, and 1995 and 1996 Emmy Award nominations for production and character design on the PBS children’s TV series Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? LEN WEIN (writer, DC Universe Legacies) Best known as the co-creator of Swamp Thing, Human Target, Wolverine, and the New X-Men, Len Wein has been editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, Disney Comics, and Top Cow Comics and was senior editor at DC Comics. He is noted for long runs writing almost every major character in the business. In TV, Len developed and story-edited the
award-winning War Planets: Shadow Raiders, and has scripted more than 60 animated shows, including an Emmy Award for Batman: The Animated Series. In 2008, Len was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Industry Hall of Fame. Len recently wrote DC Universe: Legacies, which celebrated DC’s 75th anniversary. F. PAUL WILSON (author, Repairman Jack series) F. Paul Wilson is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of 40-plus books and over 100 short stories spanning horror, adventure, medical thrillers, science fiction, and virtually everything between. More than 9 million copies of his books are in print in the U.S., and his work has been translated into 24 languages. He also has written for the stage, screen, and interactive media. His most recent novels are Ground Zero, Jack: Secret Vengeance, and the latest Repairman Jack thriller, Fatal Error. He currently resides at the Jersey Shore and at www.repairmanjack.com. MARV WOLFMAN (writer, Tomb of Dracula, New Teen Titans) Marv Wolfman has created more characters that have gone on to television, animation, movies and toys than any other comics creator since Stan Lee. Marv is the writer/creator of Blade, the Vampire Hunter, Bullseye (the prime villain in the 2003 movie Daredevil), and the New Teen Titans, which was a runaway hit show on the Cartoon Network. His nonfiction book Homeland, The Illustrated History of The State of Israel won the National Jewish Book Award. He is currently co-writing DC Universe Online Legends, a new biweekly series.
25th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL GUESTS WonderCon welcomes back three of the original members of the management team who ran the event in its first 15 years, from 1987 to 2001. Bay Area retailer Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff in Concord, CA) was the promotions manager and co-owner of the show. He’s also the creator of Free Comic Book Day. Writer and agent Mike Friedrich (Star*Reach) was co-owner of WonderCon along with Field for many years. Bryan Uhlenbrock was in charge of the programming schedule and special guests from 1987 to 2001. All three gentlemen will be back at WonderCon 2011 and will participate in a special program celebrating the 25th anniversary of the event. 18 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
BRYAN UHLENBROCK Bryan Uhlenbrock photo by Morgan Cowin
[ EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY, DON’T IT? [
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skottie young and eric shanower accept one of their two eisner awards for their wonderful wizard of oz series
spontaneous galactus sightings were prevalent at comic-con 2010
writer james robinson signing at the DC booth
green lantern stars RYAN REYNOLDS, MARK STRONG, AND BLAKE Lively sign at the wb booth
the cast of chuck takes a bow at the end of their panel
special guests stuart and kathryn immonen
image united! (l to r): robert kirkman, erik larsen, jim valentino, marc silvestri, and todd mcFARLANE
comic-con’s quick draw team: scott shaw!, william stout, and sergio aragones
will ferrell, “brad pitt,” and tina fey at the megamind panel
hold magazine at arms’ length; squint; move magazine rapidly back and forth: it makes them look like they’re running!
comics legend tom palmer was a firsttime guest at comic-con
OPPOSITE PAGE: (left column, top to bottom): JILL THOMPSON sketches during a CBLDF Master Class; an Ugly Doll greets a fan in the lobby; the Convention Center at dusk; HARRISON FORD at the Cowboys and Aliens panel; cartoonist and Comic-Con special guest KEITH KNIGHT with his greatest creation, his son; (right column, top to bottom): Supergirl gazes longingly at an Exhibit Hall display featuring her cousin Kal; cartoonist C. TYLER with her newly-minted Inkpot Award; the Convention Center lobby; DC Comics co-publisher JIM LEE with former publisher JENETTE KAHN at the DC 75th panel; actor RYAN REYNOLDS made a new friend at the Green Lantern movie panel COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 21
The exhibit hall on saturday afternoon, near the dc comics booth
part of the “battle” in the outdoor amphitheater, where the adrian empire holds live demonstrations
FRinge stars joshua jackson and anna torv listen to an audience member’s question
artist katie cook at the popular “how to draw star wars” hands-on workshop event on sunday
fan-favorites summer glau and morena baccarin backstage 22 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
bill finger award administrators mark evanier and jerry robinson flank 2010 recipient gary friedrich
roger robinson drawing at his artists’ alley table
the hunt for back issue comics continues at comic-Con . . . Bring that want list!
jeph loeb and g4’s blair butler stage an interview on odin’s throne in the marvel booth
Psych star dule hill dances away at the show’s panel
The Old West will never be the same.
Now available wherever books are sold.
bloom county’s berkeley breathed with his inkpot award
MARVEL’S Chief creative officer, Joe Quesada, at the marvel booth
BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY (SCOTT Pilgrim) At the oni press booth 24 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Dr. Rafael Medoff, neal adams, and stan lee talk about their new series of motion comics about the holocaust
jeannie schulz accepts the bob clampett humanitarian award from ruth clampett
david boreanaz and emily deschanel from bones
rick riodan, the author of the percy jackson series, in the autograph area
ANGElina jolie makes her second appearance at comic-con, this time discussing her film salt
darkseid came, saw, conquered, had a soft pretzel, and left
avengers assemble! the world got its first look at the avengers movie cast at comic-con 2010. L to r: robert downey jr. (iron man), clark gregg (s.h.i.e.l.d. agent phil coulson), scarlett johansson (black widow), chris hemsworth (thor), chris evans (captain america), samuel l. jackson (nick fury), jeremy renner (hawkeye), mark ruffalo (hulk), and director joss whedon
you know, those bags make cute dresses!
(l to r): Roger Langridge, Travis Hill and Alan Gladfelter signing at the boom! booth
dexter himself, michael c. hall, by the podium in ballroom 20
turf co-creators tommy lee edwards and jonathan ross at the image comics booth
you have to be in the masquerade audience to truly appreciate the colorful event
composer danny elfman made his first comic-con appearance
matt groening at the futurama panel
moderator Mark evanier talks with (l to r) special guests paul levitz, dennis oâ€™neil and neal adams during the â€œbatman: taking back the knightâ€? panel COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 25
the trolley is the perfect way to get to comic-con, whether you’re an attendee or costumed super villain
anna paquin and stephen moyer backstage before the true blood panel
former dc publisher jenette kahn accepts the inkpot award
everybody loves judy jetson! voice actress janet waldo is introduced at the cartoon voices panel
the cast of the big bang theory backstage in ballroom 20 26 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
karl urban, helen mirren, and bruce willis get ready to talk about their new film red
special guest jillian tamaki
joyce kaffel & paul levitz accept the eisner hall of fame award for her father, dc editor mort weisinger
30 days of night creator steve niles signing at the idw booth
TRON LEGACY CO-STARS GARRETT HedLUND, OLivia wilde, and jeff bridges backstage in hall h
writer brian michael bendis at his spotlight panel, where he received an inkpot award
“the minotaur,” winner of the masquerade’s best novice award, made and worn by ryan trippensee
KEVin smith, about to go on stage in hall h
writer, editor, and panel moderator mark waid
geoff johns signing at the dc booth 28 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
“viva las villians” was the best in show winner at the masquerade (see page 59 for another photo!)
you never know who you’ll meet in the autograph area including morgan fairchild!
true blood creator charlaine harris was also an inkpot recipient
backstage with the avengers (L to r): robert downey jr., chris evans, and scarlett johansson
Daniel Craig at the Cowboys and Aliens panel
movie poster artist drew struzan made his first-ever comic-con appearance
jill thompson accepts her eisner award from actor robert ben garant
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 29
there is no truth to the rumor that michael cera is the new captain america
dueling avatars at the masquerade!
director/author guillermo del toro signs in the autograph area
manga superstar moto hagio with her inkpot award
j.j. abrams and joss whedon before entertainment weekly’s “The Visionaries” panel in hall h
a happy crowd leaves the building after another busy day
Naya Rivera and Heather Morris at the Glee panel
three of the many colors of green lanterns
PHOTO CREDITS: PAGE 20: (Left column, top to bottom): Tina Gill, Barry Brown, Kevin Green, Albert L. Ortega, Barry Brown; (right column, top to bottom): Patrick Cristobal, Jessica Collett, Sergio Palacios, Rudy Manahan, Albert L. Ortega. PAGE 21: (1st row, L to R): Eric Olaef, Tony Amat, Kevin Green; (2nd row): Kevin Green, Albert L. Ortega, Tony Amat; (3rd row): Kevin Green, Kristian Dowling; (4th row): Tony Amat, Fritz Harmon, Kevin Green. PAGE 22: (1st row, L to R): Kevin Green, Tony Amat; (2nd row): Sergio Palacios, Albert L. Ortega, Scotty Oson; (3rd row): Kevin Green, Dale Ritter; (4th row): Austin Gorum, Tracy Matson, Tina Gill. PAGE 24: (1st row, L to R): Chuk Gawlik, Dale Ritter, Kristian Dowling; (2nd row): Barry Brown, Tony Amat, Barry Brown; (3rd row): Barry Brown, Daniel Sakow, Chuk Gawlik. PAGE 25: Top row: Albert L. Ortega; (2nd row, L to R): Eric Olaef, Johnakin Randolph, Brian Wong, Barry Brown; (3rd row): Johnakin Randolph, Eric Olaef, Jessica Collett; (4th row): Daniel Sakow. PAGE 26: (1st row, L to R): Scotty Oson, Austin Gorum, Tom Deleon; (2nd row): Austin Gorum, Patrick Yeung, Kevin Green, Barry Brown; (3rd row): Albert Ko, Albert L. Ortega, Daniel Sakow; (4th row): Austin Gorum, Scotty Oson. PAGE 28: (1st row, L to R): Albert L. Ortega, Daniel Sakow, Albert L. Ortega; (2nd row): Kevin Green, Rudy Manahan, Kira Olsson, Kevin Green; (3rd row): Kevin Green, Albert L. Ortega, Tom Deleon. PAGE 30: (1st row, L to R): Tina Gill, Albert L. Ortega, Kevin Green; (2nd row): Patrick Cristobal, Johnakin Randolph; (3rd row): Aaron Turkeltaub, Albert Ko, Albert L. Ortega; (4th row): Dale Ritter. 30 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
COMIC-CON’S ALL-STAR ATTENDEES TALK ABOUT THE SHOW INTERVIEWS AND PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS LATHROP
JOY and JOY
MORGAN JESKE FROM: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada ATTENDANCE RECORD: Second year in a row. WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN?: A Grant Morrison panel that I went to a couple days ago, a DC Focus panel, and all the Scott Pilgrim presence. WHAT HAVE YOU BOUGHT?: Several trades, some T-shirts. Usually when I come here, I make a point of going to the small press booths rather then the larger retailers because I can buy that stuff where I’m from. FAVORITE COMICS: I’m reading Batman and Robin right now largely for the artist and Grant Morrison. Casanova by Matt Fraction is another favorite. I like Ed Brubaker’s Criminal. There’s lots of stuff I like.
FROM: San Diego
FAVORITE PART OF COMIC-CON: The artist and writer spotlights where it’s just a moderator and that particular creator. In terms of me learning things about craft, I find those to be the best part of Comic-Con in general. And all the creators and access to them. Our hotel is full of a lot of my favorite creators, so we’ve just been bumping into people, which is great.
AWESOME NEW THING: For the first time in years we experienced the Masquerade and it was awesome; they should have all gotten awards, they worked hard. It was really awesome.
CAROL CONNOLLY FROM: Originally from Los Angeles but has lived in San Diego for 20 years. ATTENDANCE RECORD: 8 years. WHAT’D YOU SEE?: We got to see the Spartacus panel yesterday, which was very nice and we got to see Stan Lee before that, and there are tons more things that we would love to see. Mainly we go around and we’ve seen a lot of people from various TV shows like Star Trek: Next Generation, that kind of thing; we just wander around and spot things. Sometimes that’s almost more interesting than sitting down and actually doing something. But I do love the panels even if it’s something that maybe I didn’t think I was interested in, but it’s always interesting. WHAT’D YOU BUY?: Usually we buy Star Wars, that is our main concentration. In the past it has been the higher-end collectible figures and then it became the artwork, so we got to meet the artists and that was a huge thing. This year William Stout—who draws dinosaurs and Ice Age mammals—is a big thing for me. I got to meet him and talk to him. FAVORITE COMICS: Girlie ones like Archie, and Veronica, and the Donald Duck/Mickey Mouse kind. Since I’m 53, I watched the Batman show, so I bought a paperback book of the actual old Batman comics. FAVORITE PART OF COMIC-CON: Getting to meet and talk with artists or actors or just people that you’re sitting next to. People from all over the world come here and it’s very interesting because you get talking with people from different countries and that’s fun. 32 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
ATTENDANCE RECORD: 9 years for mom, almost 8 for daughter: “I was wobbling around with her in my belly.”
FAVORITE THINGS: I like the female superheroes and I love Avatar. I love that the character was disabled like me and I can go into my Avatar body and I can fly and have a dragon. LITTLE JOY CONCURS: And guess what? Yesterday at the Masquerade there was Avatar vs. Avatar because there’s two different Avatars. One’s a cartoon and one’s a movie. (She’s right! See page 30!) MOM ADDS: It was kind of neat for her to see kids up there on the stage with the costumes that they made on their own, and then they performed a skit too, so she was really impressed. I liked that it was motivation for the kids to be creative and do stuff. She’s an artist, she loves to do art. And I’m a Trekkie and into Star Wars and some sci-fi and I’m also a geek because I love the technology and everything. That’s why I come. FAVORITE PART OF COMIC-CON: What I like best is bringing my 13-year-old gamer son and my 7-year-old artist daughter and watching them have a wonderful four days, and enjoying myself too. And I love how disabledfriendly Comic-Con is. Very few places are so friendly to where we can move around, get accommodated, and really enjoy ourselves. LITTLE JOY AGREES: And we have lots of friends that go too. And we have lots of friends that work there.
NIS BOJAN (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) When you have a solid slate of panels that’s great, because you can sort of bounce back and forth between the floor and actually learning something. But the fact that Comic-Con sort of transcends television and movies and comics and games . . . I sort of like that through-line that goes through all of those things.
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL 2011: JULY 21–24 Each summer a whole new world awaits you at the San Diego Convention Center. Comics publishers, writers, and artists, movie and television studios, and exhibitors from around the globe are right this moment making plans and getting ready to see you at Comic-Con. Comic-Con Annual offers you a first look at the upcoming show, including bios and photos of the guests confirmed for 2011, information on themes and anniversaries, a preliminary hotel info, and news on how to be a part of events such as the Eisner Awards and the Masquerade. It all starts here with information about the largest comics and popular arts event of its kind in the world . . . but it doesn’t stop here! Please keep checking our website for updates and new information about Comic-Con International 2011 throughout the year. This information will be updated numerous times between now and when Comic-Con opens its doors on Wednesday, July 20 for Preview Night. Comic-Con offers the very best in exclusive comics, science fiction and fantasy, and movie and television guests and programs, games, anime, and of course, the world-famous giant Exhibit Hall. Bookmark www.comic-con.org for complete, up-to-date details as we count down to the biggest event of the summer!
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL 2011 BADGES
Comic-Con International 2011 has already seen unprecedented interest. As of press time, we are anticipating that 4-day badges have sold out and 1-day badges will be well on their way to being sold out. As in previous years, Comic-Con will be selling 4-day and 1-day badges that have been turned in for refunds by attendees who cannot attend. Check our website frequently for updates, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/comic_con for the most up-to-date registration information.
RESELLING, SHARING, OR TRANSFERRING A COMIC-CON BADGE OR COMPLIMENTARY PASS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you cannot attend Comic-Con 2011, you may request a refund by June 20, 2011, by e-mailing Comic-Con at email@example.com or by mailing your information to Comic-Con Refund Request, P.O. Box 128458, San Diego, CA 92112-8458. All refunds after June 20, 2011 are subject to approval and delay and may be refunded after Comic-Con 2011. All refunds requested after July 20, 2011 must be submitted on the Refund Consideration Form, which is available on the main registration page at www. comic-con.org.
THEMES AND ANNIVERSARIES
Each year, Comic-Con International celebrates special themes and anniversaries from throughout the many worlds of pop culture, including comics, science fiction and fantasy, film and television, just to mention a few. This year’s initial themes include:
COMIC FANDOM’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY (See the article on page 36!)
There have been comic book fans since the first copy of Funnies on Parade rolled off the presses in 1933. But something happened in 1961: a coalescence of fans, fanzines, and the rise of the Silver Age of Comics all combined to make comics fandom a force. Comic-Con is proud to present some of the founders of fandom, reuniting for this special celebration, including Richard and Pat Lupoff, Maggie Thompson, Roy Thomas, Richard Kyle, and historian Bill Schelly.
FANTASTIC FOUR’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY (See the article on page 40!) Fifty years ago Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Susan Storm, and Johnny Storm rode a rocket to the stars, and the rest is history. Co-creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby jumpstarted the Marvel Age of Comics with the first issue of Fantastic Four, and comics haven’t been the same since. (Art from Fantastic Four #558 by Comic-Con special guest Alan Davis.)
1986: THE YEAR COMICS GREW UP (See the article on page 44!)
TM & © 2011 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.
No matter how you look at it, 1986 was a watershed year for comics. Watchmen, Batman: The Dark Knight, and Maus all debuted, along with numerous other firsts (Dark Horse Comics, the CBLDF, and Slave Labor Graphics all premiered in 1986). Twenty-five years later, 1986 still resonates in comics as the year the industry took a major step forward.
You can be a part of Comic-Con’s 2011 themes and anniversaries. Visit www.comic-con.org and click on the “Souvenir Book” button for details on how to contribute art and articles based on our special celebrations! More themes and anniversaries may be added . . . check the website regularly. 34 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Photo by Henry Lee
COMIC-CON HOTEL RESERVATIONS OPEN MARCH 9 Hotel reservations for Comic-Con 2011 will open on March 9 at 9:00 am Pacific time. As everyone knows from the past few years, the discounted rate offered by Comic-Con on the rooms in our block means that they tend to sell out in the first hour. This year, Comic-Con, Travel Planners (our hotel reservation partner), and the hotels in our block have come up with a number of solutions that we think will help the reservation process: • There are more hotel rooms available than ever before. This year’s block includes multiple hotels, with many of them on the downtown/Mission Bay or Mission Valley Comic-Con Shuttle routes. Mission Valley hotels not serviced by the Comic-Con Shuttle may have the advantage of proximity to the San Diego MTS Trolley line or convenient bus routes to the trolley. Check www.sdcommute.com for more information on public transportation in San Diego. Leave your car behind and avoid the added cost and hassle of finding parking downtown.
• ONCE CONFIRMED, ALL HOTEL RESERVATIONS WILL REQUIRE A DEPOSIT OF AT LEAST ONE NIGHT’S ROOM AND TAX FOR EACH ROOM YOU BOOK. • Hotel reservation deposits are fully refundable until May 10, 2011. • From May 11 to June 8, 2011: a $100.00 cancellation fee will be charged. The cancellation fee will be deducted from your deposit. • Starting on June 9, 2011: ALL DEPOSITS ARE NONREFUNDABLE. Important note: We are offering a “sneak peek” at the hotels in our block and their rates and shuttle availability online at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_ hotel.php, but HOTEL RESERVATIONS DO NOT OPEN UNTIL MARCH 9, 2011 at 9:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET). You cannot request your hotel through the Comic-Con reservation service at these special rates until then. This information is presented early to allow you to be better prepared when the reservation process goes live on that day. As Comic-Con gets closer, hotel rooms do free up. We urge everyone who plans on making a hotel reservation for the event to keep checking the hotel page at www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_hotel.php for updated room availability. If you don’t get your first choice on March 9, 2011, check back later to see if the hotel you prefer is available. Please note that the hotel rates listed are subject to change.
WHEN RESERVATIONS OPEN ON MARCH 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM PT (12:00 PM ET): IMPORTANT INFORMATION (please read carefully) You will be able to access the reservation request form through the Comic-Con website. You can make up to 20 hotel choices in order of preference. If you choose to list only 1 or 2 hotels and these hotels are not available when your form is processed you may not get a hotel room for Comic-Con. You may also choose to be wait-listed at the time you make your reservation request, in case a room at your preferred hotel becomes available, but there is no guarantee that you will get a room. The more choices you make the better chance you have of getting a room for Comic-Con. A recap e-mail listing the hotel choices you submitted to Travel Planners will be sent to you within 48 hours; please review it to make sure it is correct and follow the directions on your e-mail if the information is incorrect. All reservation requests will be processed in date/time stamp order. Once you submit your request, it will be processed in order. Forms received within three seconds of each other are considered to have arrived at the same time and will be processed in a random order within that three-second grouping. You will get your reservation confirmation listing the hotel or hotels where you have reservations no later than March 15, 2011. If you are happy with your hotels, please follow the directions on your confirmation and go back online to pay the required deposit within 5 days of receiving your confirmation or your reservation will be cancelled. If you are not happy with your hotel and do not plan to confirm your reservation, please log on and cancel your reservation so another fan can have a chance at getting your room. All reservations require an advance deposit equal to at least one night’s room and tax. Deposits are required when you log back in to guarantee your reservation and must be submitted within 5 days of receiving your confirmation or you will lose your reservation and you will not have a hotel room for Comic-Con.
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS: Go to www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_hotel.php or call 1-877-55-COMIC (1-877-552-6642) or 212-5321660, Monday–Friday 9:00 am–7:00 pm Eastern time. Please do not call or fax prior to March 9, 2011, 9:00 am Pacific time. TO MAKE CHANGES: Changes must be made at www.comic-con.org/cci/ cci_hotel.php or by phone at 1-877-55-COMIC (1877-552-6642). Changes must be received 14 days prior to arrival; changes are on a by-request basis and are subject to availability/discretion of the hotel. TO CANCEL A RESERVATION: Cancellations must be made at www.comic-con.org/ cci/cci_hotel.php or by phone at 1-877-55-COMIC (1-877-552-6642). You must receive a cancellation number to ensure your reservations have been canceled. Cancellations must be received by May 10, 2011 to get a full refund of the deposit. Cancellations received beginning May 11 through June 8, 2011 will receive a refund less a $100.00 cancellation fee. After June 8, 2011 deposits are nonrefundable. Note: Hotel rates include an $8.00 per night reimbursement to Comic-Con to help defray shuttle and convention costs (this charge is subject to change). San Diego city blocks are small compared to other cities and take approximately 2–3 minutes to walk. You may find walking in the morning is a great way to explore San Diego and find new places for dinner or lunch or shopping. Responsibility and liability: Comic-Con International and/or its agents act only in the capacity as agents for customers in all matters pertaining to hotel accommodations and transportation whether by railroad, motor car, airplane or any other means, and as such are not responsible for any damage, expense, or inconvenience caused by train or plane arrivals or departures, or by any change of schedule or condition from any loss, injury, or damage to any person or property from any cause whatsoever. Baggage handling throughout the program is entirely at the owner’s risk. The customer agrees that show management and/or its agents shall not be held responsible in the event of any error or omission in any promotional material.
COMIC-CON HOTEL RESERVATIONS OPEN ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM Pacific time (12:00 PM Eastern time) COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 35
COMIC-CON 2011 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
COME TOGETHER gg
THE BIRTH OF COMICS FANDOM BY BILL SCHELLY
36 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Alter Ego © Roy Thomas; Comic Art © Don & Maggie Thompson; Xero © Richard A. and Pat Lupoff; characters © DC Comics
Fanzine editor and publisher BILJO WHITE presents artist/publisher RONN FOSS with an Alley Award in 1963; PAT and DICK LUPOFF as Mary and Captain Marvel at the World Science Fiction Convention in Pittsburgh, PA in 1960
Can it be that 50 years have passed since comics fandom as we know it began to coalesce into a recognizable phenomenon? Is it possible there was a time when there were no comic book stories, no fanzines, no price guides, no comic book conventions? The answer to these rhetorical questions is, of course, a resounding “Yes!” There was a time a half-century ago when fans of comic books and comic strips enjoyed their hobby mostly in solitude, having no way to connect with others of like mind. There was a time when teenagers and young adults were embarrassed to step up to the counter in their drug or candy store to pay for the latest issues of Superman, or Tales of Suspense, or Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories. We needed each other to reinforce our own appreciation of the wonderful four-color periodicals that the “mundane” public thought were only OPPOSITE (clockwise from upper right): Alter Ego #7 from 1964; writer/editor/publisher RICHARD KYLE; “father of fandom” DR. JERRY G. BAILS; Rocket’s Blast editor/publisher G.B. LOVE; Comic Art #6 from 1966; Xero #3 from 1961
for children. Lucky for us, some energetic, visionary folks figured out ways to express their enthusiasm in such a way that fans were brought together. It also took a sympathetic comic book editor to aid the cause. When legendary DC editor Julius Schwartz began printing full addresses of fans in the letter columns in The Flash, Justice League of America, Brave and Bold, and Green Lantern (among others), it was an act which changed the whole ball game. A college professor in Detroit, Michigan, and a college student in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, were able to contact fans to announce their new amateur magazine Alter Ego, which was published at the end of March 1961. So excited were Jerry G. Bails and Roy Thomas at the return of the Justice League of America, a new version of the erstwhile Justice Society of America from the Golden Age of comics, they teamed up to produce a magazine to spread their enthusiasm and generate support for the return of costumed heroes. It was Julie Schwartz (who came from science fiction fandom himself) who told Jerry that such amateur publications were called “fanzines,” a term coined in 1941 by Louis Russell Chauvenet. But Jerry and Roy weren’t the whole show, not by a long shot. There was another tributary to the rush-
Article © 2011 Bill Schelly; photos courtesy Bill Schelly and Maggie Thompson
ing river that comicdom would soon become: science fiction fandom. SF fans had been publishing their fanzines since the mid-1930s, and some of them carried a certain amount of comicsrelated material. After all, wasn’t Superman, the saga of an alien on earth, a science fiction concept? In September of 1960, two masqueraders at the 1960 World Science Fiction convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, discovered considerable interest among fellow fans in comic book characters of times gone by. Dick and Pat Lupoff entered the con’s costume competition dressed as Captain and Mary Marvel having no idea their appearance would generate such an enthusiastic response. They didn’t win—for in truth their costumes were rather makeshift—but if you judged by the size of the group of fans who gathered around them, you’d think they had. This seemed a good omen for the Lupoffs’ new fanzine, Xero, which featured an article titled “The Big Red Cheese” by Dick, nostalgically recalling Fawcett’s Marvel Family comic books. It was the first in the proposed series “All in Color for a Dime.” But another duo who happened to be at that same WorldCon would play a central part in both capturing and generating interest in the sequential art form. One was Don Thompson, about
to begin a career in journalism at the Cleveland Press; the other was Maggie Curtis, Don’s future spouse, and a freshman at Oberlin College. Later, a fan named Hal Lynch attested that “At the PittCon I met up with Don Thompson, who told me of his desire to start a comics fandom.” This was before the masquerade, totally independent of the Lupoffs—although the Lupoffs and the Thompsons were destined to become lifelong friends. To establish a focal point of sorts for this new fandom, Don and Maggie decided to publish a fanzine of their own. They called it Comic Art. Don described Comic Art as “a science fiction fanzine about comics,” though it wasn’t long after its debut (in the spring of 1961) that its effect was also felt among the strictly comics fans who had come out of the woodwork to buy Alter Ego. By the end of 1961, three issues of Alter Ego had been published, reaching hundreds of fans. It was Jerry Bails’s avowed goal to stir up interest and enlarge fandom. Soon he brought in such fans as aspiring artists Ronn Foss and Richard “Grass” Green, writers L. L. Simpson and Richard Kyle, a schoolteacher in Brooklyn named Phil Seuling, and a fan in Florida named G. B. Love. Love didn’t let his cerebral palsy stop him from publishing a club COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 37
DON and MAGGIE THOMPSON with ROY THOMAS in 1964
newsletter called The Rocket’s Blast before the year’s end. From that tiny acorn, a gigantic fanzine grew: The Rocket’s Blast-Comicollector, or RBCC, the premiere advertising fanzine of the ’60s. Other fans streamed in from other fandoms and subfandoms: the remnants of EC fandom, horror movie fandom (largely based around Forrest J Ackerman’s Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine), Edgar Rice Burroughs fandom, serial and old time radio fandoms—all, it seemed, were homes for fans who also loved comic books. As Dick Lupoff wrote in “ReBirth” (in Comic Art #1), “All of this activity means something, and unless I’m one very lousy inducer, it means that there is a great amount of interest in comic books, that it has been rolling along, usually unpublicized, showing through only occasionally in science fiction fandom and other peripheral areas of activity.” Once fans started to come together, the word spread like lightning, not just across the United States and Canada, but to Europe and around the world. Soon there were communications coming from Australia and South Africa, and it wouldn’t be long before Jerry Bails was able to assemble a list of some 1,683 fans who had been in touch with him in one way or another. That list appeared in Who’s Who in Comic Fandom, which appeared just before the first New York Comicon, which was held on July 27, 1964. In spring of 1964, Roy Thomas 38 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
became the sole editor and publisher of Alter Ego. He approached the task with great zeal, gathering contributions from the best artists and writers in fandom. With his background as an English teacher, Roy’s issues were just a little more literary, a little more intelligently written, and had an even more professional appearance than those of his predecessors. Alter Ego #7 (October 1964) featured a beautiful Marvel Family cover by Missourian Biljo White and Roy’s seminal piece on Captain Marvel comics titled “One Man’s Family.” After publishing two more issues of the fanzine, Roy received an offer to work at National Periodical Publications (now DC) from editor Mort Weisinger, who had seen a copy of Alter Ego #7. Thus, the fanzine (at least partly) led to Roy becoming the first prominent member of the fledgling fandom movement to vault into the ranks of the professionals. His tenure with Weisinger lasted just a matter of days, but his switch to assist Stan Lee with the writing of Marvel Comics lasted for fifteen years. In just a couple of years, Roy won the most votes in the Alley Awards as “Best Writer,” which is ironic because those fan awards had been established in 1961 by Jerry Bails at Thomas’s suggestion. Meanwhile, not only did the Lupoffs print more entries in the “All in Color for a Dime” series in Xero by a series of guest writers (Ted White, Don Thompson, Richard Kyle and, yes, Roy Thomas), but Dick Lupoff was the first to refer in print to the 1940s as
comics’ “Golden Age.” “All in Color for a Dime” was the first ongoing series to attempt to chronicle the history of comics, so it was eminently fitting that most of the articles were later collected into another first of its kind, a hardcover book from Arlington House in 1970. One of the central precepts of Don and Maggie’s Comic Art was the idea that comic strips and books could be taken seriously by adults. The best in comics was very good indeed, and the works of Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, Carl Barks, and Charles Schulz (to name a few) had genuine artistic merit. Richard Kyle also asserted that comics could be not only taken seriously by adults, but created for older audiences. Kyle had no more than an eighth-grade education, yet he became one of the most erudite writers about our hobby. Indeed, Kyle originated the terms graphic story and graphic novel in his Wonderworld fanzine in November 1964. He began popularizing the term on a wider scale in Bill Spicer’s Fantasy Illustrated #4 (1965) with a regular column called “Graphic Story
Review.” And there were the two entries he wrote for the “All in Color for a Dime” series in Xero. Sadly, Jerry Bails and Don Thompson are no longer with us to celebrate a half century of comics fandom. They are gone but certainly not forgotten, not by those who understand how pivotal their roles were Way Back When. We salute them and all the other “missing in action” pioneers of those early days. Maggie Thompson, of course, has been a mainstay at Krause Publications (Comics Buyers Guide) and ComicCon International before and since the passing of her husband in 1994. She continues to live and work in Wisconsin, though perhaps putting in a few less hours in the office than she did of old. Dick Lupoff continues to be an active writer of fantasy and science fiction, as well as of murder mysteries and other types of books. Pat, too, has thrived in a literary milieu, managing book purchases for more than one major bookstore in the Berkeley, California, area, where the Lupoffs make their home. Richard Kyle recently annotated his article “The Education of Victor Fox,” one of the two entries he wrote in the original “All in Color for a Dime” series, for its republication in the pages of the new Alter Ego magazine from TwoMorrows Publishing. And Roy, well—he continues to work in the comics field and somehow finds time to edit the modern incarnation of Alter Ego, which recently celebrated its 100th issue. His passion for chronicling the history of the Golden Age of comics remains undimmed. He and his wife Dann live on their rural spread in South Carolina, among a menagerie of birds and beasts. As for comics fandom, it’s bigger and stronger than ever, even if the ways we communicate are somewhat different. The heart of fandom—the love of sequential art in its myriad forms— beats as surely and strongly as ever.
is a noted fan historian, having written the Eisnernominated book The Golden Age of Comic Fandom (Hamster Press, 1995). His latest book, Founders of Comic Fandom (McFarland, 2009) contains ninety biographies of fans and pros who were instrumental in getting comicdom going in its early stages.
COMIC-CON 2011 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
FIFTY YEARS PAST AND STILL AT IT:
Fantastic Four #1 BY DAN NADEL
40 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Art TM & © 2011 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.
Important artworks arrive into the world in a bunch of different ways. Some are immediately noteworthy for what they are, in and of themselves, like The Beatles’ “White Album.” It was intended as art, hailed as great when it arrived, and remains a pretty timeless listen; retrospectively we can see that it set in motion decades of experimental pop, making it historically important as well. Other works, like, say “Rocket 88” by Ike Turner sounds good these days, but not so different than contemporaneous R&B. When Ike burned through that song he didn’t know it would be seen as a progenitor of modern rock ‘n roll. It’s a pretty good song, but it had an awesome historical effect. Fantastic Four #1 falls into this second category. It’s a comic book that, as an event, is exponentially more important than its contents. That’s the odd paradox of comics and other forms of once-disposable pop culture: they can contain seeds of ideas that have an effect far past their creators ever imagined. Fantastic Four #1 arrived on the newsstands in August 1961 with a November cover date. Its actual origin is a wonderfully kaleidoscopic tale buzzing with unverified facts, containing at least one genuine mystery, and embedded with some rather important creators, to boot. What we know begins (at least) in 1956. At the time, Martin Goodman’s Atlas Magazines Inc. was the distributor for his own line of publications (Timely, Atlas, Red Circle, and various other imprints that would eventually all merge into Marvel), and moving along about as well as could be expected in those post-boom years in the comic book industry. But in the summer of that year, Goodman decided to switch to American News Company for distribution, hoping for a wider reach. Six months later, American was bankrupt, and with American went Goodman’s ability to reach newsstands. All of a sudden he was a publisher with no way to actually sell his product. Casting about for another distributor, and with a backlog of paid-for stories, Goodman fired his staff, save longtime editor Stan 1 2 3
Lee, and within a month cut a deal with National Periodical Publications (now DC), which, via its Independent News Company division, distributed its own titles. But naturally National wasn’t going to make it easy on its competitor: they allowed Goodman just 8 titles per month—a steep slide from the scores of comics being published just a month earlier. Goodman and Lee decided to
Jack Kirby, meanwhile, arrived back in Lee’s office in late 1958, having come off an artistically successful but personally and financially bruising run with National. He’d created Challengers of the Unknown for National and also drawn the syndicated strip Skymasters of the Space Force, but a bitter contract dispute over the latter resulted
Art TM & © 2011 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.
stretch the terms and release 16 bimonthlies.1 Stan Lee cast about. He had his war comics and his westerns, his romances and kids’ comics, and by late 1958 he began the run of monster and sci-fi comics that have been justly acclaimed as freewheeling, anxietyridden works of cartooning. But he was dissatisfied and bored, unsure if he would even continue in the field.2
in his leaving the strip and National as well. Both titles mixed his love of high adventure and science, and both featured teams of heroes embroiled with space technology. He returned to Atlas, which was one of the lower-paying outfits in the business, out of sheer desperation. Luckily he was in good company. When his titles began rolling onto stands in 1959, they were accompanied
This paragraph is based on Jim Vadeboncoeur’s findings as described in “The Great Atlas Implosion,” The Jack Kirby Collector #18, 1998. Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon, Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book (Chicago Review Press, 2004). Gary Groth, “Jack Kirby: I’ve Never Done Anything Halfheartedly,” The Comics Journal Library: Jack Kirby (Fantagraphics, 1990).
Article © 2011 Dan Nadel
by stories drawn by Steve Ditko, and the two defined the raw, power-driven look that would come to typify Marvel in the 1960s. Gorgolla, Grottu, Orogo, and so many more monsters loomed like moving apocalypses in stark outlines against minimal backgrounds. These books were cranked out fast, with no time for the sleek, WASP-ish sci-fi of National. Urban, chaotic, and deeply absurd, these monster books were the run-up to the main event. What happened next is at least one mystery. Stan Lee says it was a golf game during which National’s Jack Liebowitz crowed to Atlas’s Martin Goodman about the great sales for superheroes (Goodman had canceled his superhero titles for the third time back in 1955) and for the team book Justice League of America in particular. But Liebowitz declared he never played golf, putting the lie to that myth. In later years, Kirby, angry at receiving so little credit, would claim: I came in [to the Marvel offices] and they were moving out the furniture, they were taking desks out—and I needed the work! I had a family and a house, and all of a sudden Marvel is coming apart. Stan Lee is sitting on a chair crying—he was just still out of his adolescence. I told him to stop crying. I says ‘Go in to Martin and tell him to stop moving the furniture out, and I’ll see that the books make money.’ And I came up with a whole raft of new books and all these books began to make money. Somehow they had faith in me. I knew I could do it, but I had to come up with fresh characters that nobody had seen before. I came up with the Fantastic Four, I came up with Thor. Whatever it took to sell a book.3 If we’re dealing with the Fantastic Four (as opposed to the monster books), Lee was then 38 years old, and, of course, while the company was indeed in peril, Kirby’s memories say more about the atmosphere around the place than the events themselves. That he would psychologically take it on himself to “save” Atlas makes sense given his reputation for loyalty, hard work, and Olympian speed. Kirby invented himself, sustained himself COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 41
and his family, and wouldn’t want to be held up by any perceived bungling around. Plus, he’d know Lee since the editor was just (a reportedly irritating) teenager. So a little exaggeration 30 years later makes a lot of sense. More likely, it seems, Goodman requested that Lee give the heroes a shot again, and, as Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon put it in their 2003 biography, Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, “In that dabbling, through a combination of luck and clever improvisation [Lee] and his artistic partner, Jack Kirby, hit upon a winning formula.” What says the most about this moment is the only surviving document of its creation: Stan Lee’s plot synopsis for FF #1, which was printed, with commentary from Roy Thomas, in Alter Ego Vol. 2, #2 (1998). Titled “The Fantastic Four July ’61 Schedule,” it’s a dense 2-page piece of prose that lays out the basic foundation of the group. Of course, there are valid arguments that Lee would not have gone to all the trouble had he not had a phone conversation with Kirby first, given that Lee was already using what came to be known as the “Marvel method” for the monster books—a quick discussion followed by a swift synopsis (or none at all) followed by artwork. And further along that argument, Kirby had just come off Challengers of the Unknown and might well have suggested something like it to Lee. We’ll never really know, and in any case, the synopsis is revealing for what was changed and what was kept. What Stan Lee brought in was human emotion and a taste for interpersonal drama—basically he had a flair for romance comics, and he brought that to science fiction. Immediately in the synopsis he’s suggesting that Ben Grimm have a crush on Sue Storm, who is a glamorous actress with a teenage brother. It’s soapy stuff, but throw in cosmic rays and the Mole Man and you have a unique combination. But when Kirby got hold of the synopsis, he brought it to life in unexpected and profoundly new ways. Rather than beginning with a quick team meeting and then the sci-fi origin story as Lee directed, Kirby starts with a pathos-laden example of tormented heroes in a suspicious environment. A smoke signal hangs in the air to summon the team. A shadowy figure, flare gun in hand, is framed by a window. The Thing bursts through a doorframe and, not yet 42 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Art TM & © 2011 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Marvel Comics house ad that appeared in the company’s May 1962 comic books.
speaking the street lingo of later issues, shouts, “Why must they build doorways so narrow?” just like a 1959 monster. Johnny Storm is first shown as an arrogant hot-rodder who accidentally melts jets, exclaiming “Why won’t they listen?” It’s only on page 8 that the four teammates convene, and on the following pages we learn how they came to be. First there is a stunning, largepaneled cosmic sequence and then a crash to earth. And in climbing from the ship’s wreckage each passenger is horrified by his (and her) transformations. This horror is amplified both by Lee’s melodramatic script and Kirby’s action-focused staging—like a fright film we watch as Johnny Storm, Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, and Johnny Storm each morph, their faces aghast. Few other artists could take readers from outer space to a crash site to sheer psychological terror in just a few pages. Kirby is not even at his best here, but the foundation he’s building with Lee was both shocking and sturdy. Fantastic Four #1 was slotted in as an anomalous 17th bimonthly title in 1961, and, according to Raphael and Spurgeon, “By 1962 it was clear that the superhero experiment had paid off. Fan letters were pouring into Lee’s tiny workspace at 655 Madison Avenue. The reaction to The Fantastic Four was overwhelmingly positive, and far stronger than for any other title in Stan’s lineup. He immediately got to work making room for more heroes.” But that came later. Let’s go back to issue #1. Why is this perhaps not an excellent comic book in and of itself?
It’s simply that Lee and Kirby aren’t yet on steady ground. The dialogue is stilted and undifferentiated, and the artwork, while excitingly composed, is as loose and nonspecific as in many of the monster books. In fact, this almost could have been a one-off story in Amazing Adventures or some other title. Plus the Mole Man, with his whiney outbursts, is not much of a villain. Both Lee and Kirby would make better work in the years to come, particularly with the mid-1960s Thor, among other titles. So it’s as an artifact and a seed that The Fantastic Four #1 is undeniably important. First, it created the template for the Marvel Universe, which in turn produced some notable comics and a tremendous amount of money. Second, it solidified a creative team that would continue to introduce paradigm shifts for another half-decade. Third, in the long term it would be the pillar on which Stan Lee made his name; sadly, in the 1980s, it became a part of the territory over which Kirby, easily the best comic book artist of the 20th century, would spend his retirement fighting. This fight, begun in a sense with Fantastic Four #1, simultaneously symbolizes the worst tendencies of the industry toward its artists and the fierce dignity of Kirby himself. And finally,
like so many other events in comics history, it created a veritable gold rush. One title successful? Let’s have another. And another after that. But this one counted, and counted in a way the imitators could never quite comprehend. It wasn’t the team aspect, or the actual powers: it was the dynamic between both character and creative personalities—and it was both of these dynamics that set the standard. These heroes could barely get through a fight without bickering, but they were lovable and multidimensional. Gnarled, unvarnished human emotion mixed with astounding feats in, well, New York City! And the men who created them were eccentric, seat-of-their-pants artists in and out of dialogue with each other. Out went the staid heroics and editorial dictates of National and in came a sense of now-ness that was unparalleled. It comes from Kirby’s immediacy and Lee’s jivey dialogue, so that never again would superheroes (or at least never again after National caught up with them) be so lofty and separate. These stories were happening now, being created now, and so they had to be read now. And even now we’re still talking about it. So something must’ve worked, right?
is the author of Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900–1969 and Art in Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures 1940–1980. He is also the publisher of PictureBox Inc. (www.pictureboxinc. com).
COMIC-CON 2011 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
1986: BY DOUGLAS WOLK
In 1986, Comic-Con wasn’t the tiny gathering of the faithful it had once been: there were around 6,500 attendees, and some pretty big names were on the guest list, including Stan Lee, Frank Miller, and Moebius. Still, it was far from the monolith it would eventually become, and comics were still very much a subcultural phenomenon. But there’s been a huge shift in comics over the past few decades, and in retrospect a lot of important aspects of the change happened in and around 1986. The three perennial bestsellers among American graphic novels—Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, and Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns—all appeared in some form that year. Those three books all sent out shock waves when they landed: They were so smart and elegant and cunningly designed that they put almost everything around them to shame. They were all rooted in comic books’ half-century history, and they swallowed that history up the way a whale swallows a school of fish. And they were each the kind of book that made sense as a single, squarebound volume—not to mention the kind of book that a devout fan could hand without wincing to somebody who was curious about comics but not an insider. Maus was the only one of the three that wasn’t a more grown-up take on a genre that already existed: Art Spiegelman’s interpretation of his father’s experiences as a Jew during the Holocaust used comics as a set of idioms to com44 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Batman: Dark Knight art by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley © DC Comics Article © 2011 Douglas Wolk
municate what words alone couldn’t, not as a set of conventions to subvert. The version of Maus that appeared in 1986 was actually only the first of two volumes of the story, subtitled My Father Bleeds History—the six chapters Spiegelman had serialized in his and Françoise Mouly’s groundbreaking art-comics anthology RAW starting in 1980. (Spiegelman had pushed to get his book into stores before the Don Bluth-directed animated film An American Tail, released in November 1986, could stake a claim to the idea of “cartoon stories of Jewish mice pursued by ravenous cats and eventually emigrating to America”). Maus had already generated a bit of buzz in the broader media even before it was published—Ken Tucker had praised the RAW incarnation of it in the New York Times in 1985—but it made an enormous impact immediately upon its release, discussed in the Times and Newsweek and Artforum and Rolling Stone. Batman: The Dark Knight (that was technically the title—“The Dark Knight Returns” was just the title of the first issue) couldn’t have been more different from Maus: it was gaudy, flashy, and loud. When it first appeared as four issues between February and June (the final issue ran a month late, unthinkable at the time), its selling point was its difference from the rest of its genre: It was distinctly not the Batman you’d read as a kid. The team of Miller and Janson was already a big deal from their run on Daredevil a few years earlier—and, in fact, the first few installments of
THE YEAR COMICS GREW UP
Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil storyline “Born Again” appeared in the same months as The Dark Knight. Miller’s hard-edged fantasia on Batman, though, was obviously a formal leap for him. It was in a new format—on extra-nice paper like Miller’s earlier Ronin, but with perfect-bound spines—and the early issues went into additional printings, unlike any other mainstream comic in memory. Miller’s cover for the first issue, with a leaping Batman silhouetted by a lightning bolt, was instantly iconic and immediately the subject of homages and parodies (the covers of Gnatrat: The Dark Gnat Returns and Cerebus #87, both published in 1986, riffed on it). A single-volume collection, bearing the title The Dark Knight Returns, came out in October or November. The New York Times Book Review’s Mordecai Richler didn’t care for it: “If this book is meant for kids, I doubt that they will be pleased. If it is aimed at adults, they are not the sort I want to drink with.” It was, in fact, basically aimed at adults—and they kept buying it. Miller also collaborated with Bill Sienkiewicz on two 1986 projects that were less instantly appealing but even more forward thinking: a Daredevil graphic novel (subtitled Love and War, but only on the inside of its first printing) and the crazed, frantically inventive Elektra: Assassin mini series. Alan Moore, meanwhile, was having an enormously productive year himself. By 1986, he was still basically unknown outside hardcore
comics circles but a star within them—one of the few writers whose name was a major selling point. That year also saw the continuation of his run on Swamp Thing, a glitchy handful of issues of Miracleman, the third The Ballad of Halo Jones serial with Ian Gibson in 2000 A.D., and a handful of other projects. (His two-part Superman story “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” appeared in Superman and Action Comics the same month as Watchmen #1, in fact—cover-dated September 1986.) By the end of the year, Titan Books had published paperback collections of D.R. & Quinch (with Alan Davis) and three volumes of Halo Jones, as well as Alan Moore’s Shocking Futures, an anthology of some of the brief twist-ending one-off stories he’d written for 2000 A.D. Watchmen, though, was the jewel in Moore’s crown at the time: advertised for months leading up to its release with a series of remarkable Dave Gibbons-drawn teasers, designed to look like nothing else on comic book stores’ racks, and an instant smash hit. The cover dates of its original twelve-issue serialization were September 1986 to October 1987; the paperback collection of the whole thing followed shortly after the final issue. It wasn’t long before the 1986 Maus/Dark Knight/Watchmen triumvirate assumed its place as the center of comics’ new, not-really-disreputable-anymore image; those three volumes were the stars of a 1988 Time article by Jay Cocks, whose inevitable title was “The Passing of Pow! and Blam!” Watchmen art by Dave Gibbons and John Higgins © DC Comics
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 45
But Maus and Watchmen and Dark Knight were far from the only interesting things that happened in 1986’s English-language comics, and they didn’t emerge from a void, either. It was a fertile moment—a year when the combination of comics’ aging audience, the economic possibilities opened up by the direct market, and creators who’d been pushing at the boundaries of their form for a while yielded a lot of work that was somewhere between “promising” and “great.” One of those forward-thinking creators was another Comic-Con guest in 1986: the autobiographical comics writer Harvey Pekar, who had some professional breakthroughs of his own that year. It was in 1986 that Pekar appeared on David Letterman’s show for the first time and the year that Doubleday published a trade paperback collection of stories from Pekar’s series American Splendor—a rare honor at the time. From the standpoint of 2011, there’s nothing terribly unusual about having issues of a serial comic book collected into a single volume. In 1986, it was very unusual. The Hernandez brothers’ Love & Rockets Book One—the volume later retitled Music for Mechanics—had appeared in October 1985; there had been four paperback volumes collecting Wendy and Richard Pini’s ElfQuest between 1981 and 1984; Titan was publishing occasional paperback reprints of stories from 2000 A.D., including those Alan Moore collections. And that was just about it. So Dave Sim’s brainstorm in 1986 changed the game: High Society, published by his own AardvarkVanaheim imprint in June, collected a 25-issue storyline from Cerebus into a 500-page paperback that’s been in print ever since. High Society was followed the next year by two more Cerebus “phone books,” and along with the ElfQuest and Love & Rockets books, it led the charge toward the idea that comics could appear first as serials, then as collections that could stay in print (and make money) indefinitely—and that’s an innovation that ended up totally transforming English-language comics, in part because they didn’t have to make money immediately if they could eventually turn a profit. 46 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
1986 was also the year that it became apparent that an ambitious, art-minded cartoonist could follow his or her personal muse in print and not immediately die of starvation. Daniel Clowes’ first series Lloyd Llewellyn debuted in April; the first issue of Chester Brown’s ongoing Yummy Fur series (reprinted from his minicomics of a few years earlier) appeared from Vortex at the end of the year; Chris Ware began serializing “Floyd Farland, Citizen of the Future” in The Daily Texan. Not everything that debuted in 1986 was quite so highbrow. The unexpected success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which had first appeared a couple of years earlier, had suggested that black-and-white comics were a fairly low-risk financial proposition. So the Turtles spawned a slew of 1986 parodies, beginning with January’s Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters #1, continuing with the likes of Naive Inter-Dimensional Commando Koalas, and sadly not quite ending with Boris the Bear Slaughters the Teenage Radioactive Black Belt Mutant Ninja Critters. This last was published by Dark Horse Comics, one of the many American comics companies brought into being in 1986 by the black-and-white boom, and one of only two that have survived to the present day. The other was SLG, aka Slave Labor Graphics, which joined the animals-with-swords fray: its first real success was Samurai Penguin. Meanwhile, the health of the independent-comics market yielded a handful of fascinating experiments, including Eric Shanower’s first Oz graphic novel, The Enchanted Apples of Oz (a creator/franchise combination that would finally find a broad audience almost a quarter of a century later), Stephen Murphy and Michael Zulli’s eco-fantasy The Puma Blues, and Howard Chaykin’s frantic, shortlived graphic-novel series Time2. At the same time, the mainstream superhero publishers were trying to start fresh. DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths had ended with the March 1986 issue; following Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” the company rebooted the Superman franchise with a six-issue miniseries, The Man of Steel. Marvel launched its ill-fated New Universe line: eight new monthly
From Maus I: A Survivor’s Story: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
titles set in their own separate continuity. Both publishers tried doing the sorts of comics they hadn’t attempted before—Dakota North, ’Mazing Man, Angel Love—with limited success. Still, there was a sense that something was ending in comics, even as something else was beginning. Maus and Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns were 1986’s watershed comics; after they appeared, everything in American comics had to scramble to try to catch up. But if there is a single comic book that exemplifies the spirit of the year, it’s probably Scott McCloud’s gigantic one-shot Destroy!!, cover-dated November 1986: his attempt to dump all
the stylized Kirbyesque ultraviolence out of his system at once. It’s a bombastic 32-page superhero fight scene, with a fake Comics Code seal on its cover that reads “No Redeeming Social Value.” It’s a terrific joke that seems to have come bubbling up from comics’ subconscious, a final out-ofcontrol binge of a funnybook before the medium tries to peel off some of its worn-out spandex and squeeze into a dignified jacket and tie. And it’s fully aware of how ridiculous it is: Destroy!! is the product of a subculture that’s realized for the first time that it’s actually going to have to grow up, and wants to—just not quite yet.
DOUGLAS WOLK is the author of Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean. He writes regularly about comics for Techland, the New York Times Book Review, and other publications. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Image from MAUS I: A SURVIVOR’S TALE/MY FATHER BLEEDS HISTORY by Art Spiegelman, copyright © 1973, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986 by Art Spiegelman. Reprinted by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Harper Voyager and William Morrow Congratulate
2011 Comic-Con Special Guests ®
Come Celebrate the New Harper Voyager Destination: Imagination VISIT BOOTH #1017 FOR GIVEAWAYS, AUTHOR SIGNINGS, AND MORE!
[JUST ADDED: PETER KUPER, PAUL LEVITZ, ETHAN and MALACHI NICOLLE, JERRY ROBINSON,
SPECIAL GUESTS SERGIO ARAGONÉS (cartoonist, Groo, MAD magazine) One of MAD magazine’s longestrunning cartoonists and the creator of that popular dim-witted barbarian Groo, Sergio Aragonés latest work includes becoming a featured writer/ artist in Bart Simpson Comics. A new book, MAD’s Greatest Artists: Sergio Aragonés: Five Decades of His Finest Works, celebrates Sergio’s long history with the humor magazine. ED BENES (artist, Justice League of America, Birds of Prey) Brazilian artist Ed Benes has been in the comic book industry for almost two decades. Over that time, he has worked on a wide variety of titles, including Gen13, X-Men, Supergirl, Superman, Batman, and Blackest Night: Titans. Perhaps best known for his breathtaking runs on Birds of Prey and Justice League of America, Ed is currently working on a top-secret new project. This is his first U.S. convention appearance. ANINA BENNETT (writer/editor, Heartbreakers, Boilerplate) Anina Bennett is the co-author (with her husband, Paul Guinan) of the steampunk sensation Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel and the forthcoming book Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention. She and Paul also created the Eisner-nominated science fiction series Heartbreakers, one of the first comics to feature clones and female action heroes. Anina is a recovering comic book editor, having previously shepherded titles such as Nexus, GrimJack, and Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor for First Comics and Dark Horse Comics.
48 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Year and The Beats (both with Harvey), and Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened. Her first (nearly) non-autobio comic, The Colombian Arts Council Grant, written with Ray Dobbins and illustrated by Mark Zingarelli, is due out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
JORDI BERNET (cartoonist, Torpedo 1936, Jonah Hex) Jordi Bernet was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1944. He published his first drawings at the age of 14 and his early work included action and adventure comics for British publishing houses such as Fleetway and Thompson. His other work includes collaborations with writers such as Dan Lacombe and Paul Foran (for Spirou), Torpedo 1936, and Clara de Noche, with writers Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Maicas. For DC Comics, Bernet draws Jonah Hex with writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey, and worked on The Spirit, Batman Black and White, and Solo.
CHESTER BROWN (writer/artist, Yummy Fur, Paying for It) Chester Brown was born in Montreal in 1960. In 1983 he began to self-publish Yummy Fur, which Vortex Comics began publishing in 1986. In the pages of Yummy Fur, Brown serialized Ed the Happy Clown, which was published as a cult-classic graphic novel in 1989 and went on to win several awards. Since 1991, Brown’s work has been published by Drawn & Quarterly. Subsequent works have included The Playboy, I Never Liked You, and Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography, which won two Harvey Awards. Brown’s next graphic novel is Paying for It, from D&Q this spring.
YVES “BALAK” BIGEREL (writer/artist, Lord of Burger) Born in 1979 in France, Yves Bigerel graduated from the Gobelins Animation School. He currently lives in Paris, where he works as a storyboard artist and 2D animator for various TV shows, video clips, and commercials and on the French comic book Lord of Burger (Glenat Publishing). His interest for digital storyboarding and sequential storytelling led him to share some thoughts and demonstrations on what “digital comics” could be. He’s working on various projects exploring this approach, doing master classes and public round tables, and focusing on new tools and narrative possibilities.
ERNIE CHAN (artist, Conan, Batman, Jonah Hex) In 1970, at the age of 30, Ernie Chan migrated to the United States from the Philippines. Ernie drew Batman, Claw, Sandman, Swamp Thing, Jonah Hex, and a multitude of covers for DC in the ’70s. At Marvel he drew Dracula, Dr. Strange, Daredevil, Doc Savage, Thor, Fantastic Four, Luke Cage, Hulk, and his favorite, Conan, which had a long run of some 25 years. Dabbling in computer games and animation in the ’90s lasted until he retired in 2002. He now enjoys attending comic conventions and tackling commissions from fans. Visit his website at www.erniechan. com.
JOYCE BRABNER (writer, Real War Stories, Our Cancer Year) Real War Stories, the first comic book Joyce Brabner ever published (outside of her work with her late husband Harvey Pekar on American Splendor) ended up in a federal court in Atlanta, when the U.S. Department of Defense decided it was a threat to national security. Her other works include Brought to Light (with Alan Moore), Activists!, Animal Rights Comics, Our Cancer
JO CHEN (artist, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Runaways) Jo Chen began illustrating and publishing professionally at age 14 in Asia before immigrating to the U.S. in 1994. She is best known for her work as the cover artist of Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, Runaways, and UDON/Capcom’s Street Fighter series and as the package artist of Xbox’s Fable I-III. She has also worked on WildStorm’s Racer X,
Dreamwave’s Darkminds Macropolis, and her own manga, The Other Side of the Mirror, published by Tokyopop. Currently, she’s working on covers for IDW’s Samurai’s Blood and a Dark Horse Hellboy-related miniseries, and she will be contributing to Buffy Season 9. SEYMOUR CHWAST (illustrator, graphic designer) Seymour Chwast is co-founder of Push Pin Studios and has been director of the Pushpin Group, where he has reintroduced classic graphic styles and transformed them into a contemporary vocabulary. His designs and illustrations have been used in advertising, animated films, and editorial, corporate, and environmental graphics. His work has been the subject of three books, including Seymour Chwast: The Left Handed Designer, and Seymour: The Obsessive Images of Seymour Chwast. He has lectured and exhibited worldwide and is in the Art Directors Hall of Fame. His graphic novel adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy was recently published by Bloomsbury USA. ALAN DAVIS (writer/artist, X-Men, Avengers Prime) Alan Davis began his career in comics by drawing Captain Britain for Marvel UK in 1981. Soon after came Marvelman for Warrior and DR & Quinch for 2000AD. His first published U.S. work was on Batman and the Outsiders, followed by Detective Comics before moving over to Marvel and co-creating Excalibur with Chris Claremont. His other work includes creating ClanDestine for Marvel UK, JLA: The Nail, runs on both X-Men and Uncanny XMen as both plotter and artist, and the recent Avengers Prime. Davis is currently writing and drawing three linked annuals for Marvel. DICK DeBARTOLO (writer, MAD magazine) Dick DeBartolo is a man of many hats, which may explain his severe hair loss. He’s MAD magazine’s Maddest Writer and holds the record for being in 406 consecutive issues. He’s written 10 original MAD paperbacks and one hardcover book, Good Days and Mad.
JEFF SMITH, and J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
GUINAN Joyce Farmer photo by Jody Hoy
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 49
RICHARD & PAT LUPOFF
STERANKO 50 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
THOMPSON Richard and Pat Lupoff photo by Ken Lupoff; Roy Thomas photo by Alan Waite
Dick’s also a gadget freak—as The Giz Wiz, he hosts a popular daily podcast along with Tech Guy Leo Laporte. Dick also appears on ABC’s World News Now showing useful and offbeat gadgets monthly. While working for MAD Dick also found time to write 40,000 silly Match Game questions for Mark Goodson Productions. TONY DeZUNIGA (artist, Jonah Hex, Conan the Barbarian) Tony DeZuniga started working for DC Comics in the early 1970s with Gothic Romances and designed two characters, Black Orchid and Jonah Hex. He also worked on almost all of DC’s characters, including Batman, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl. At Marvel he worked on Conan the Barbarian (inking John Buscema), Thor, Iron Man, Amazing Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, and The Punisher. Tony moved to SEGA in the early 1990s, as their conceptual designer, He returned to comics in 2006 with work on Jonah Hex and Aquaman. In 2010, Tony drew the Jonah Hex graphic novel—written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray—that tied into the movie. ERIC DROOKER (painter, graphic novelist, Flood, Howl) Eric Drooker is a painter and graphic novelist, born and raised in Manhattan. He’s the award-winning author of Flood! A Novel in Pictures, and Blood Song: A Silent Ballad. He designed the animation for the recent film Howl, a movie based on the epic poem by Allen Ginsberg, who collaborated with Drooker on the book Illuminated Poems and the new Howl: A Graphic Novel. His paintings appear often on covers of The New Yorker. For more info, visit www.Drooker.com. MARK EVANIER (writer, comics historian, Kirby: King of Comics) Mark Evanier has been writing professionally since 1969, when he apprenticed with the legendary Jack Kirby and also began writing comic book scripts for Disney. His own co-creations include The DNAgents, Crossfire, and Hollywood Superstars, along with collaborating since 1983 with cartoon-
ist Sergio Aragonés on Groo the Wanderer, for which he won a couple of the industry’s coveted Eisner Awards. He is the author of MAD Art, a history of MAD magazine and Kirby, King of Comics, a book about his mentor that won two Harvey awards and an Eisner. Mark is currently writing, producing, and voice-directing the third season of The Garfield Show. JOYCE FARMER (cartoonist, Wimmen’s Comix, Special Exits) Underground comix pioneer Joyce Farmer launched the comix series Tits & Clits with Lyn Chevli in 1972. The series took a subversive look at women’s bodies and sexuality and has been praised by scholars of comics culture for being a seminal building block in the genre. Joyce has contributed to many other comics, including Itchy Planet, Mama! Dramas, Wimmen’s Comix, Zero-Zero, and Best Comics of the Decade. Her latest graphic novel, Special Exits (Fantagraphics, 2010), was inspired by her years providing care for her parents and watching and helping them care for theirs. DAVID FINCH (artist, Ultimate X-Men, New Avengers, Batman: Dark Knight) David Finch began his comic book career at the age of 22 at Top Cow Productions, where he created Ascension and Aphrodite IX. In 2001 David moved to Marvel Comics, where his 15-issue run on Ultimate X-Men was an overnight success. His other Marvel work included Avengers, New Avengers, Moon Knight, and Ultimatum. In 2010 David made the transition from Marvel to DC Comics, with cover work on Brightest Day and Action Comics. He drew Batman: The Return (written by Grant Morrison) and is currently writing and pencilling the new series Batman: Dark Knight. DAVE GIBBONS (artist, Watchmen, Give Me Liberty) Dave Gibbons has worked in comics since 1973. Cutting his teeth on undergrounds and fanzines, he became a frequent contributor to Britain’s 2000AD, illustrating “Harlem Heroes” and “Dan
Dare” and co-creating “Rogue Trooper.” Since then, he has drawn and written for most comics publishers on both sides of the Atlantic. His work has encompassed Dr Who, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Predator, Aliens, the award-winning Watchmen with writer Alan Moore, and Give Me Liberty and Martha Washington Goes to War with Frank Miller. His semi-autobiographical The Originals won an Eisner Award in 2005. His recent work has involved consultancy on motion comics and game design. PAUL GUINAN (artist, Heartbreakers, Boilerplate) Multimedia artist Paul Guinan started out at First Comics, retouching the first manga translation published in the U.S., Lone Wolf and Cub. While at First, he co-created Cargonauts, a precursor to Firefly. Paul also co-created Chronos for DC and was lead background artist on the animated series Stan Lee’s Stripperella. With his wife, Anina Bennett, he created the groundbreaking science fiction series Heartbreakers. Paul’s art for their graphic novel Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate was nominated for an Eisner Award. Their most recent collaboration, Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, is a unique illustrated hardcover that’s been optioned by producer J. J. Abrams.
or work on Watchmen. In 2005 he was invited to return to the world of Watchmen to oversee the digital recoloring for the Absolute edition of the book. John has worked as an artist—and sometimes writer—on such diverse characters as Judge Dredd, Batman, and Jonah Hex. In 2009 the collected edition of John’s Razorjack was copublished with Com.X. John continues to work on a number of Razorjackrelated projects, including novels written by top SF writers, music and an art book novelization. For more info, visit www.turmoilcolour.com. JAMAL IGLE (artist, Supergirl, Tangent: Superman’s Reign) Starting at the tender age of 17, Jamal Yaseem Igle has worked his way up the ranks of the comics industry. He turned a six-month high school internship at DC Comics into a successful 18-year penciling career. He’s done just about everything from acting on the small screen to voiceovers for commercials, packaging children’s books, and drawing storyboards for Sony Animation. Currently Jamal is an exclusive artist for DC comics.
JONATHAN HICKMAN (writer, Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D.) Jonathan Hickman is the award-winning creator behind acclaimed series TransHuman, Pax Romana, and A Red Mass for Mars. Breaking into the industry in November of 2006, Jonathan garnered praise for his groundbreaking series The Nightly News, which earned an Eisner nomination for Best Limited Series. He is currently exclusive to Marvel Comics, where he writes such fan favorite titles as The Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Ultimate Thor. Jonathan currently resides in South Carolina with his wife, two sons, and a stuffed bear named Aegri Somnia.
JOËLLE JONES (artist, You Have Killed Me, Troublemaker) Oregon-based artist Joëlle Jones debuted in comics in 2006 with 12 Reasons Why I Love Her by Jamie S. Rich. Published by Oni Press, the book earned her a Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award nomination. She followed this with Rich’s crime graphic novel You Have Killed Me, a short story for Mike Allred’s Madman Atomic Comics, a Dr. Horrible one-shot with Zack Whedon, and two issues with Matt Wagner on Vertigo’s Madame Xanadu. Drawing Janet Evanovich’s Troublemaker for Dark Horse landed Jones on the New York Times bestseller List. Most recently, she drew a story in Ultimate Spider-Man #150 and co-created the teen-witch comedy Spell Checkers.
JOHN HIGGINS (writer/artist/colorist, Razorjack; colorist, Watchmen) John Higgins is best known for his col-
RICHARD KYLE (publisher, comics fandom pioneer) Richard Kyle, one of the founders of comics fandom, made his first fiction COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 51
sale in 1956. Kyle discovered comics fandom in 1961, and for the next 22 years he contributed articles, reviews, and criticism to comics fanzines. In 1964, he introduced the terms “graphic story” and “graphic novel.” Kyle’s own magazine, Graphic Story World, featured news, interviews, and graphic stories by Dan Spiegle and Alex Toth. That year he and Fred Patten introduced European comics albums to America. He published the first book identified as a “graphic novel,” George Metzger’s Beyond Time and Again. As editor of Argosy, he commissioned “Street Code,” Jack Kirby’s acclaimed graphic memoir of his youth. RICHARD A. AND PATRICIA LUPOFF (writers, fanzine pioneers) Pat and Dick Lupoff published the fanzine Xero between 1960 and 1962. It was one of the first fanzines to cover the comics field in detail. Their article series “All in Color for a Dime” led to a book of the same name and a second volume, The Comic Book Book. Richard A. Lupoff went on to a career as a mystery and science fiction writer. Several of his novels take place in the world of comic books and cartooning, including The Comic Book Killer and The Triune Man. Patricia Lupoff has had a career as a bookseller. PATRICK McDONNELL (cartoonist, Mutts) Cartoonist and author Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the award-winning Mutts comic strip. Syndicated since 1994, Mutts now appears in over 700 print newspapers worldwide and has its home on the web at muttscomics. com. McDonnell has received numerous awards for his art (including the NCS Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year) and international recognition for his promotion of animal protection. He has over 20 books in print. Patrick is a member of the national boards of directors for The Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals, and The Charles M. Schulz Museum. GRANT MORRISON (writer, All Star Superman, Batman Inc.) Grant Morrison is one of the most inventive and critically acclaimed writers 52 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
working in the comic medium, known for such titles as Batman: Arkham Asylum, JLA, X-Men, All-Star Superman and Batman, as well as his own creations The Invisibles, The Filth, Flex Mentallo, Seaguy, WE3, and Joe the Barbarian among others. Currently in year 5 of his epic Batman story showcased in Batman Incorporated, he will be launching The Multiversity in Summer 2011 and has more creator works in the pipeline. Random House will be releasing his first nonfiction work, Supergods, in July 2011. ALEX NIÑO (artist, Conan, Heavy Metal, God the Dyslexic Dog) Born in Tarlac, Philippines, Alex Niño is widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest Filipino illustrators. In the U.S., he did art for DC Comics, where he was co-creator of Captain Fear, Marvel (science fiction titles, Conan, Hulk), Gold Key (Korak), Warren (Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella), and Heavy Metal. He has worked in animation for Marvel Productions, Fox TV, Hanna-Barbera, SD Entertainment, and Walt Disney Features on such films as Mulan, and Atlantis. His latest projects include God the Dyslexic Dog, Dead Ahead, and The Art of Alex Nino. He is currently working on The World Without Us and his own graphic novels D’OS and The Co-Maker. BILL SCHELLY (comic fandom historian) Bill Schelly made his mark in comic fandom in the 1960s with his popular fanzine Sense of Wonder. He began researching the history of fandom in 1991, resulting in the Eisner-nominated book The Golden Age of Comic Fandom in 1995. Bill has been the associate editor of Alter Ego magazine from TwoMorrows Publishing since 1998. Schelly has authored two acclaimed biographies: Words of Wonder, the life of comic book writer Otto Binder; and Man of Rock, a biography of Joe Kubert. Bill’s tenth book of fandom history, Founders of Comic Fandom, debuted at Comic-Con in 2010. FRANK STACK (underground cartoonist, New Adven-
tures of Jesus, Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, Our Cancer Year) Frank Stack, aka Foolbert Sturgeon, was one of the earliest undergrounders, often said to be the first. He is also a serious painter and printmaker. As a member of the art faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia, he managed the art department gallery, served as chairman, and founded the Comics Collection at MU’s Ellis Library. Among his many publications are The New Adventures of Jesus, Dorman’s Doggie, and Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor series, including drawing the award-winning graphic novel Our Cancer Year. His current project is Kiss Me, Jesus!: the Passion Story Told by Mary Magdalene, scheduled to appear (in French only, so far) this summer. STERANKO (writer/artist/publisher, Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Prevue) Jim Steranko is one of the most controversial figures in pop culture, with a dozen successful careers to his credit: illustrator, magician, designer, musician, escape artist, historian. As the writer-artist of S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America, and X-Men, he generated 150 narrative innovations never seen previously in comics, then painted a multitude of posters and covers. As the editor/publisher of Prevue magazine, he penned more than 3 million words. As a filmmaker, he collaborated with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Coppola on some of their most popular movies. CAMERON STEWART (artist, Seaguy, Seven Soldiers; writer/ artist, Sin Titulo) Cameron Stewart is best known as illustrator of Batman & Robin, Seaguy, and Seven Soldiers: The Manhattan Guardian, with writer Grant Morrison. He also enjoyed an acclaimed run on Catwoman (written by Ed Brubaker) and illustrated the Eisner-nominated Vietnam War graphic novel The Other Side (written by Jason Aaron). As a writer/artist he created the webcomic series Sin Titulo, which was nominated for 2010 Harvey, Eagle and Shuster Awards and won the Eisner for Best Digital Comic. He also is the co-creator/
writer/artist of Assassin’s Creed: The Fall, with Karl Kerschl. DAVE STEWART (award-winning colorist) Dave Stewart began his career as a college design intern with Dark Horse comics. During that internship he tried out for an opening for a colorist guide painter. He was instead hired for a position as a computer separator, interpreting those painted guides. After five years with Dark Horse, he went freelance. He has received six Eisner and three Harvey awards for coloring. Current projects include Hellboy, BPRD, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Conan, Batwoman, Goon, and Witch Finder. MARK TATULLI (cartoonist, Heart of the City, Lio) Mark Tatulli is an internationally syndicated cartoonist, best known for his popular comic strips Heart of the City and Lio, which appear in 400 newspapers all over the world. Launched in 2006, Lio is a wordless strip about a weird little boy who nonchalantly lives in a bizarre world of monsters, giant robots, and aliens. Lio has twice been nominated for the National Cartoonists Society’s Best Comic Strip, winning in 2009. Lio was also nominated for Germany’s 2010 Max and Moritz award. ROY THOMAS (writer, editor, Alter Ego) Roy Thomas helped Jerry G. Bails found Alter Ego, the first real comic book fanzine. From 1965 to 1980 he wrote and edited for Stan Lee at Marvel (X-Men, Avengers, Invaders, Conan the Barbarian) and served as editor-inchief from 1972 to 1974. From 1980 to 1986 Roy wrote for DC, including titles he co-created such as All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. In 1999 Roy revived Alter Ego for TwoMorrows Publishing; its 100th issue appears in March 2011. In 2006 Alter Ego won the Eisner award for best comics-related periodical. Roy’s current projects include writing the 12-issue Conan: Road of Kings for Dark Horse, editing Alter Ego, and working with Stan Lee on the SpiderMan newspaper comic strip.
MAGGIE THOMPSON (fanzine pioneer; editor, Comics Buyers Guide) Don Thompson and Maggie Curtis met in 1957 at a picnic for science fiction fans and pros and found their pop culture tastes were compatible. Since both were active fans, it wasn’t surprising that they began producing their own fanzines. But theirs were devoted to comic books and the like, and they continued to publish after they married in 1962. While both also wrote a few comics, their primary activity in the field was producing material for fans, including Comic Art and Newfangles and, eventually, Comics Buyer’s Guide, which they edited from 1983 until Don’s death in 1994. Since then, Maggie has continued to edit CBG and produce other comics-oriented projects. PETER J. TOMASI (writer, Green Lantern Emerald Warriors, Batman and Robin) Peter J. Tomasi was for many years an editor with DC Comics, where he proudly helped usher in new eras for Green Lantern, Batman, and JSA. He is now writing comics and screenplays, and his recent work includes such DC titles as Brightest Day, Green Lantern Corps, Nightwing, The Outsiders, Batman: Blackest Night, Black Adam: The Dark Age, and the critically acclaimed creator-owned projects Light Brigade and The Mighty. His current books included Batman and Robin and Green Lantern Emerald Warriors. ASHLEY WOOD (artist/designer, Popbot, World War Robot) Australian artist, designer, and creative director Ashley Wood has worked in the fields of art, design, advertising, and comic books since 1990. The creator of Popbot, World War Robot, and Lore, Ashley has worked for nearly every major comic book company and now runs his own toy and publishing company ThreeA, with legendary HK toy maker Kim Fung. Ashley also heads up Australian production house 7174 with his writing partner and wife T.P. Louise. Together they have made the jump into Hollywood, with WWR, Popbot, and Lore all currently in production to be major motion pictures.
A VERITABLE “AUTHOR-PALOOZA!” Comic-Con International 2011 features an incredible gathering of fan-favorite authors, all in one place! Slated for this year’s event are:
PATRICIA BRIGGS (author, Mercy Thompson series)
Patricia Briggs has written 17 novels, beginning with traditional fantasy and then “shifting” into urban fantasy. Her Mercy Thompson series continues to grow in popularity with the release of each book. In the fall of 2010, Patricia made another foray into traditional fantasy when Ace published a rewritten version of her first book, Masques, and its neverbefore-published sequel, Wolfsbane, both of which landed spots on the New York Times bestsellers list for Mass Market Fiction. Patricia Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series. For more information visit www.patriciabriggs.com.
KIM HARRISON (author, The Hollows series)
Kim Harrison has published nine thrillers and contributed to five anthologies. The debut book in her Hollows series, Dead Witch Walking, was Romantic Times’ Best Fantasy novel in 2004 and PEARL’s (Paranormal Excellence Award for Romantic Literature) Best Science Fiction novel of 2004. PEARL also named Harrison Best New Author for that year. The Hollows series has since become a fixture on numerous national bestseller lists. In May 2009 Harrison expanded her fan base further with Once Dead, Twice Shy, the first book in her new series for young adults.
CHARLIE HUSTON (author, Hank Thompson series, Joe Pitt Casebooks)
Charlie Huston is the author of the bestseller The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, the Hank Thompson trilogy, the Joe Pitt Casebooks, The Shotgun Rule, and Sleepless. For Marvel Comics he relaunched Moon Knight, penned minis and one-shots based on Bullseye, Punisher, Deathlok, Man-Thing, and others, and is currently scripting Wolverine: The Best There Is. His novel Skinner will be published by Mulholland Books in 2012.
SHERRILYN KENYON (author, Dark-Hunter series, Lords of Avalon series)
In the past two years, Sherrilyn Kenyon has claimed the #1 spot on bestseller lists 14 times. With more than 23 million copies of her books in print in over 30 countries, her series include Dark-Hunter, The League, Lords of Avalon, and Chronicles of Nick. Since 2004, she has placed over 50 novels on the New York Times bestseller list and her manga is an international bestseller. Proclaimed by critics to be the preeminent voice in paranormal fiction, Kenyon continues to blaze new trails that blur traditional genre lines.
REBECCA MOESTA (author, Buffy and Jedi Knight novels) Rebecca Moesta (pronounced MESS-tuh) wanted to be an author since she was 12, and much of her writing focuses on teens. Her solo work includes novels in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Junior Jedi Knights series, short stories, nonfiction articles, and ghost writing. Moesta and husband Kevin J. Anderson are working with June Scobee Rodgers and the Challenger Centers for Space Science Education on a new adventure series for middle readers, Star Challengers (Catalyst Game Labs), to encourage students to consider careers in science and technology. CHRISTOPHER MOORE (author, A Dirty Job, You Suck)
Christopher Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 novels, including Lamb, A Dirty Job, You Suck, and Fool. Before publishing his first novel, Practical Demonkeeping, in 1992, he worked as a roofer, a grocery clerk, a hotel night auditor, an insurance broker, a waiter, a photographer, and a rock and roll DJ. Chris has drawn on all of these work experiences to create the characters in his books. When he’s not writing, Chris enjoys ocean kayaking, scuba diving, photography, and sumi-e ink painting.
SCOTT WESTERFELD (author, The Uglies series, Midnighters trilogy)
Scott Westerfeld is the author of 12 novels for young adults, including the Uglies series and the Midnighters trilogy, and 5 for adults. His books have won the Philip K. Dick Special Citation, the Aurealis Award, the Locus Award, the Victorian Premier’s Award, and his adult book The Risen Empire was named a NY Times Notable Book of the Year. His current series is Leviathan, a steampunk trilogy for teenagers set in an alternative World War I and illustrated by Keith Thompson. The third book in the Leviathan series, Goliath, will be published October 4, 2011.
Patricia Briggs photo by Mike Briggs; Kim Harrison photo by Kate Thornton; Charlie Huston photo by Ray Coco Smith; Sherrilyn Kenyon photo by Sheri Reno; Christopher Moore photo by Victoria Webb
COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 53
WILL EISNER COMIC INDUSTRY AWARDS The 23rd annual Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards, considered the “Oscars” of the comics industry, will be held during Comic-Con on Friday evening, July 22, at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. The nominees for the awards, which encompass more than two dozen categories, are chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, then voted on by professionals in the comics industry. This year’s judges are:
CATO NED CATO, JR. has been a member of the Comic-Con International Board of Directors for the past 15 years. Since starting as a volunteer in the early 1980s, he has worked in the ComicCon offices, has run the Small Press Area, and currently serves as an Exhibit Hall floor manager. Ned has also been part of the staffs for both WonderCon and APE, the Alternative Press Expo. A lifelong comics and pop culture fan (he likes to refer to himself as a second-generation geek), he has hosted podcasts under the Geek Roundtable banner and currently runs the website geekroundtable.com. KAREN GREEN is Columbia University’s Graphic Novels Librarian. Karen began her library’s comics and graphic novels collection in 2005. She works extensively with Columbia faculty in a wide range of disciplines to facilitate the use of comics in their courses and has curated a related exhibition, “Comics in the Curriculum.” She has also spoken at several campuses around the country, as well as to librarian groups, as an advocate for comics in an academic milieu. Karen writes the “Comic Adventures in Academia” column for ComiXology.com, which examines issues in comics librarianship, and has written about comics cataloging for 54 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. ANDREW HELFER spent over 20 years wearing a variety of editorial hats for DC Comics, editing such titles as Justice League and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and writing such titles as The Shadow. He later founded the DC imprint Paradox Press, producing a series of 17 graphic nonfiction “Big Books” on topics as diverse as Urban Legends, Conspiracy Theories, and Scandals. His Paradox Mystery and Fiction imprints introduced readers to both A History of Violence and Road to Perdition, two graphic novels later adapted into successful films. His interest in manga led to encouraging DC to publish the wordless adventures of a tiny dinosaur named Gon. After leaving DC, Andrew continued producing nonfiction comics, writing and editing a series of biographies that included Malcolm X and Ronald Reagan, among others. Currently, he is working on a new fiction comics project while raising (with his beautiful wife Jaimie) their new (and equally beautiful) daughter Emilia. RICH JOHNSON has been in just about all aspects of bookselling, from store
manager to buyer to publisher. As the first vice president of book trade sales for DC Comics, he took the forefront in establishing graphic novels in the bookstore and library markets. Under his watch, DC Comics achieved its first New York Times Bestseller with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Endless Nights. Most recently, Johnson served as cofounder and co-publishing director for Yen Press, a graphic novel and manga imprint for Hachette Book Group. He currently writes a column for the comic book industry website The Beat. He is also founder of Brick Road Media, LLC, a publishing consulting and packaging firm. He is the author of the graphic memoir My Father’s Eyes.
POWELL Submissions are currently being accepted in categories ranging from Best Short Story to Best Reality-Based Work to Best Painter; the deadline is March 4. Late in March the judges will meet in San Diego to go through the submissions and select the nominees that will be placed on the Eisner Awards ballot. The nominees will be voted on by professionals in the comic book industry, and the results will be announced at the gala awards ceremony at Comic-Con. More information about the Awards can be found at www.comic-con.org/cci.
CHRIS POWELL is the general manager and CRO of Lone Star Comics/ mycomicshop.com. He has been with Lone Star since 1990, holding positions ranging from sales to executive management. Chris was a founding board member of ComicsPRO, the Direct Market comic retailers’ organization, serves on the board of moderators for the Game Pro Symposium and the Advisory Board for the Game Store Resource Forum, and is a past president and current board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Awards photo by Tony Amat
2010 WILL EISNER SPIRIT OF COMICS RETAILER AWARD RECIPIENT Each year Comic-Con International honors retailers from around the globe with the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, named after the visionary creator of The Spirit. When Eisner approached Comic-Con about initiating the award in the early 1990s, he wanted it as a way to acknowledge the important role that comic retailers play in the industry, nurturing the relationship between creators and their readers. The Award is given out yearly to retailers who have done an outstanding job of supporting the comics medium in both the industry at large and their local community. (See the “Call for Nominations” ballot on the next page for a complete list of criteria for the award and the opportunity to nominate your choice for 2011. You can also nominate your favorite store online at www.comic-con. org.) The nominees for the award are selected by a committee of industry professionals and facilitated by retailer Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld, Santa Cruz, CA), a past recipient. The 2010 committee included Tate Ottati (Tate’s Comics & More, Ft. Lauderdale, FL and 2009’s award recipient), cartoonist Keith Knight (creator of The K Chronicles), Steve Stoughton (director of purchasing, Diamond Comics Distributors), writer/artist Carla Speed McNeil (creator of Finder), writer and former DC Comics president and publisher Paul Levitz (Legion of Super-Heroes, Adventure Comics), and retailer and former award recipient Libby Field (Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff, Concord, CA). The 2010 award recipient is Vault of Midnight of Ann Arbor, Michigan, owned by Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale. Comic-Con International: Tell us how you both got started in comics. Were you comics fans as kids? Curtis Sullivan: I started reading comics when I was 7 or 8 with a giant stack of Savage Sword of Conan. 56 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
1993 Gary Colobuono Moondog’s Chicago, IL Sean Scoffield & Steve Solomos The Beguiling Toronto, Canada Rory Root & Mike Patchen Comic Relief Berkeley & SF, CA
Steve Fodale: I think I was about 14 when I started reading comic books, mostly superhero titles. CCI: How did you both get into comics retailing? CS: I always had a “comic book room” in my house, and friends would tell me, “You should have a store.” At age 18 I got started on making it happen. SF: Curtis and I have been friends since first grade and have always worked together on many things. It was a natural progression. CCI: What does winning the Eisner Spirit Award mean to you as a retailer? We were totally blindsided by the nomination and absolutely floored that we won. We’re elated and humbled. It drives us to work even harder to make comics and every part of the medium accessible to everyone. CCI: How is Vault of Midnight involved in your local community? We do everything we possibly can to be involved with many different levels of the community. We host art shows, sponsor school and library events, sell locally made comics, run weekly board game events, and help with fundraising events for many local places. CCI: Someone walks into your store who has never read comics and is interested in getting started. What do you recommend? One of our favorite things to do is recommend comics to people. We try to find something for everyone. We start by asking what kind of movies and books they like (to get a feel for their genre of choice), and from there the options are endless! We read tons and tons of comics. Staying current with comics is essential to making good recommendations.
1994 Bill Liebowitiz Golden Apple Los Angeles, CA Leon Cowen & Michael Pandolfo Dr. Comics & Mr. Games Oakland, CA 1995 Joe Field Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff Concord, CA Kees Kousemaker Lambiek Amsterdam, Holland 1996 George Vlastaras Kings Comics Sydney, Australia
1999 Scott Thorne Star Clipper Comics & Games St. Louis, MO Greg Ketter DreamHaven Minneapolis, MN 2000 Patrick Shaughnessy Golden Age Collectables Vancouver, Canada 2001 Calum Johnston Strange Adventures Nova Scotia, Canada 2002 Nick Postilgione Source Comics & Games Falcon Heights, MN 2003 Alan & Marsha Giroux All About Books and Comics Phoenix, AZ 2004 Fran & Kevin McGarry ACME Comics & Collectibles Sioux City, IA
Joe & Dottie Ferrara Atlantis Fantasyworld Santa Cruz, CA
2005 Mimi Cruz & Alan Carroll Night Flight Comics Salt Lake City, UT
1997 Eric Kirsammer Chicago Comics Chicago, IL
2006 Richard Neal Zeus Comics Dallas, TX
Steve Snyder Central City Comics Columbus, OH
2007 Carr D’Angelo & Jud Meyers Earth-2 Comics Sherman Oaks, CA
Paul Howley That’s Entertainment Fitchburg & Worchester, MA 1998 Mark & Robert Hennessey Hi De Ho Comics Santa Monica, CA Gaston Dominquez & Ilia Carson Meltdown Comics & Collectibles Los Angeles, CA
2008 Atom! & Portlyn Freeman Brave New World Newhall, CA 2009 Tate & Amanda Ottati Tate’s Comics Fort Lauderdale, FL 2010 Curtis Sullivan & Steve Fodale
Vault of Midnight Ann Arbor, MI
2011 CALL FOR NOMINATIONS The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego, is given to an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large.
for nomination include: • Any retailer established in business for at least two years is eligible to be nominated. • Anyone—retailers, professionals, fans—may place a name in nomination. • A panel of industry judges selects a group of finalists to be subjected to an in-depth examination based on the award criteria. • Winners will be announced as part of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International on Friday, July 22, 2011. • Previous winners are not eligible for nomination.
for judging include: • Support of a wide variety of innovative material. Providing opportunities for creators’ material to reach buyers; stocking a diverse inventory. • Knowledge. Working to stay informed on retailing as well as on the comics field. • Community activity. Promoting comics to the community; maintaining relationships with schools and libraries; keeping active in social, business, and arts community organizations. • Quality of store image. Innovative display approaches; using store design creatively. • Adherence to standard ethical business practices.
2011 SPIRIT OF COMICS AWARD NOMINATING BALLOT I place the following name in nomination for the 2011 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. I understand that only retailers whose business has been established for at least two years are eligible for nomination and that any nominees found not to adhere to standard ethical business practices will be disqualified. PLEASE PRINT OR TYPE
Retailer’s Name_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Store Name____________________________________________________________________Store Phone #_________________________________________ Complete Store Address_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ PROVIDE BRIEF STATEMENTS ON HOW YOUR NOMINEE EXCELS IN EACH OF THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES. USE ADDITIONAL SHEETS IF NECESSARY.
Support of a wide variety of innovative material __________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Knowledge__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Community activity___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Quality of store image________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Additional comments__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
BALLOTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY APRIL 18, 2011 Mail to: Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, c/o Comic-Con International, P. O. Box 128458, San Diego, CA 92112 or fax to: 619-414-1022 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 57
Costumers Corner contestants from the waiting list are given slots until capacity is reached.
BEHIND THE SCENES FOR COSTUMERS:
8 HOURS TO SHOW TIME: Contestants take their turns rehearsing on the practice stage. Some contestants with complex costumes are already starting to get ready. Despite freight elevators and vans, some large items simply cannot be assembled elsewhere and transported and have to be built onsite. Some people will spend all day in the backstage rooms, having brought their own construction supplies, sewing machines, glue guns, and wig-styling gear.
COUNTDOWN TO THE SHOW by MARTIN JAQUISH COMIC-CON & WONDERCON MASQUERADE COORDINATOR
If you’ve been in the audience for one or more of the Comic-Con Masquerades, you’ve seen the costume presentations, the light saber battles, the giant robots, and the choreographed songs and dances. But have you wondered what goes on for the contestants to get them there, the process that you don’t see? What are the contestants doing while you are waiting in the Masquerade line for hours? How do they bring those big costumes or large set pieces to the convention when you can’t even find a place to park? Here is what they go through to provide you with a great show unlike any other. 6 MONTHS BEFORE THE SHOW: Many contestants have already signed up, and some have been working on their entry for months, doing research, designing, gathering materials, fabricating, and coordinating with friends if it’s a group entry. Some decide what they are going to do a year in advance. 2 MONTHS BEFORE THE SHOW: All the contestant slots are spoken for now. Group entrants are starting to practice their presentation, perhaps once or twice a week. Getting everyone together is especially tough if it’s a big group. Stage dimensions get marked out on garage floors or driveways so choreography can be worked out. Fabrics and other elements have to match, so often they’ve gone shopping together and had group sewing sessions. 1 MONTH BEFORE THE SHOW: Sometimes one or two groups fall apart around this time as a member has to cancel, an idea proves unfeasible, or creative differences occur. Many entrants create their own CDs using computer programs to make custom edited music sequences, effects, singing, and dialogue. Meanwhile, a few procrastinating 58 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
3 HOURS TO SHOW TIME:
contestants (and you know who you are) suddenly realize the convention is only weeks away and they had better finish their costume and submit a photo or forfeit their spot in the show. 3 DAYS BEFORE THE SHOW: Transporting large costumes, props, and set pieces from home to the convention can be tough, especially if you fly. Some contestants rent large vans or pack their cars so full they can’t see out the windows. Once the convention starts, special brief access to the loading dock and freight elevator gets those really big items to the top floor, where they are then stored in lockable rooms. A typical show has over 125 costumes in it, and getting them all into the backstage rooms on Saturday can be really tricky, so as many as possible are brought in earlier. 1 DAY TO THE SHOW: Most contestants have checked in at the Masquerade Desk and filled out their forms indicating what the Master of Ceremonies will say to introduce them, what the judges need to know, and sound and light cues for the tech crew. They turn in their music so it can be listened to and made sure it plays. Costumers are engaged in final touches or repairs, or practicing their choreography. 10 HOURS TO SHOW TIME: It’s Saturday morning, and that means the 10:30 orientation meeting in a room where a practice stage has been built matching the dimensions of the ballroom stage. The contestants are briefed as to where they have to be and when, enlightened about what to expect, and given tips for how to use the stage and get seen well by the multiple video cameras. Each entry meets with the tech crew to make sure their lighting needs, sound, and stage entry and exit plans are understood. As a few entries are no-show,
The backstage rooms start to buzz as most contestants are now present. Each is assigned a number, which is their appearance order on stage. Pipe-anddrape private dressing rooms are assigned, but since there are many more costumes than rooms, turns are taken. Work tables get covered with supplies and makeup, mirrors are set up around the rooms, and each year a couple of professional makeup artists donate their talents and supplies to help contestants look their best for the high-definition cameras that will be capturing close-ups for the giant screens. Backstage can become a hazardous place as giant wings, tails, faux weapons, and 10-foot tall robots intermingle. By 7:00 pm, everyone has reported backstage. Backstage helpers, called “den parents,” each supervise a handful of entries to make sure they are looked after and kept track of. A fully stocked repair kit is on hand to handle any last-minute broken costumes or props. 2 HOURS TO SHOW TIME: Despite the show being a tough competition for awards and money, many contestants help each other out, sharing supplies or skills or just encouragement. Paint, sewing needles, hairspray, spirit gum, and duct tape are freely given to those in need. Everyone wants a smooth show, and the friendships that are forged among the costumers can last for years. 1 HOUR TO SHOW TIME: All contestants are photographed by now and their pictures stapled to the judges’ sheets so that during the intermission they can easily recall which of the 40+ entries was which. The MC arrives to settle into a chair and read over every contestant sheet to check pronunciation as well as decode any questionable penmanship. Judges too, will start showing up now, sequestered in their own room. Only the workmanship judge looks at the costumes ahead of time, examining the details that are not visible on stage, and asking questions of fabrication, then reporting her opinions to the other judges at intermission. Photos by Daniel Sakow
15 MINUTES TO SHOW TIME: The first batch of contestants, usually numbers 1–10, are led down the backstage hall by the den parents to wait behind the stage. It’s a long walk, and some can’t see well through their masks or walk well on their stilts or big robot shoes. Some drink water out of straws, as they can’t bend; others are shaking with nervousness knowing they’ll soon be out in front of thousands of people. SHOW TIME! The stage is 4-feet high, which means contestants must go up stairs, although a wheelchair lift is made use of sometimes. As each entry is introduced by the MC, the staff makes sure the contestants get on the stage, and the moment they have been planning for all this time finally puts them in front of 4,000 people (plus 2,000 more watching in other rooms), blinding spotlights, blaring music, and hopefully, much applause when they are done. Meanwhile, those not due on stage for a while are watching the show in a backstage ready room on a projection screen. AFTER PRESENTATION: Contestants are led down the long hall, this time to the photo area, where a large gathering of camera hobbyists and press will take hundreds of photos in front of a backdrop. They are then escorted back to the ready room to watch the rest of the show as other contestants take their turn on the ballroom stage. INTERMISSION: Often called “halftime,” the contestants wait in the ready room as the judges are sequestered. Some costumers sit and relax and watch the movie previews occuring onstage, others socialize, and some pace around because their costumes don’t allow them to sit. Occasionally, the judges may ask to see a costume again, close up, to check on a detail. AWARDS GIVEN: After the judges give the list of winners to the show staff, names and numbers are called out, but no contestants are told exactly what they have won. Those to receive an award are led back to the stage. Afterward, if they are due more than one award, they are told, simply “Don’t go anywhere, you are not done yet,” so they don’t know for sure what they have won until it is announced. END OF SHOW: It’s about 11:30 pm, and the long day is over. While some contestants pose in the photo area again with their awards, a few head off in costume to the party in the Sails Pavilion, while others change out of their costumes, collecting all their things to head out in groups for late dinners, drinks, and mutual congratulations.
THE 37th ANNUAL
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? SEE PAGE 28!
COMIC-CON MASQUERADE Saturday night at Comic-Con is a unique evening of fun and spectacle as the stage lights brighten, the music swells, the spotlights focus center-stage, and the 4,000+ audience that’s lined up many hours in advance take their seats for the 37th annual Masquerade costume show. Comic-Con is a celebration of the popular arts, and costumes play a vital role in nearly all of them, from movies, TV, comic books, fantasy art, and Broadway shows to computer games, toy collectibles, and more. The Saturday night costume competition is for attendees to showcase their own amazing talents and creativity. It’s a night where you never know what will happen next, a show full of spectacle, beauty, awe, comedy, battles, song and dance, surprises, and of course many impressive and clever costumes. Not a dance or party as the name Masquerade might imply, the event is staged in the style of a talent competition, with a Master of Ceremonies, a panel of guest judges from costume-related fields, impressive trophies and cash awards, a large raised stage with theater-style lighting, and four giant high-definition video screens providing great close-up views gathered by multiple cameras. An audience of 4,200 fills the San Diego Convention Center’s large ballroom to capacity, and about 2,000 more people watch the show on large video screens in the nearby Sails Pavilion and a second ballroom Some entries feature solo costumes, others are groups with a shared theme. Many costumes are re-creations from film, anime, games, and comics, but some completely original designs are presented as well. All genres are welcome, but no purchased costumes are allowed, as this is a contest of creativity and craftsmanship, not shopping ability. The Masters of Ceremonies will once again be the entertaining award-winning artists and writers Phil and Kaja Foglio of Studio Foglio. Impressive Comic-Con awards, featuring our beautiful new Comic-Con Masquerade medallions, will be presented in categories of Best In Show, Judges’ Choice, Best ReCreation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Most Humorous, Most Beautiful, Best Novice, and Best Young Fan. In addition, many companies and organizations will be generously donating their own awards for outstanding costumes. Check www.comic-con.org for an up-to-date list of awards and prizes. COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 59
APE2010 A LOOK BACK AT THE ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO
In 2010, APE (the Alternative Press Expo) took the next step in its evolution, growing to occupy both sides of San Francisco’s Concourse Exhibition Center. The result was the long-time indie comics event’s best year ever, with over 5,500 attendees and more than 400 exhibitors. The special guest list alone was a who’s who of comics superstars: Lynda Barry, Daniel Clowes, Renée French, Megan Kelso, Rich Koslowski, Tommy Kovac, and Tony Millionaire. Both Barry and French debuted their new books at APE: Picture This, the sequel to Barry’s bestselling What It Is, and H Day, French’s new graphic novel. This page: 1: Daniel Clowes signing at the Drawn and Quarterly table. 2: The Art of Storytelling panel included (l to r) Tom Neely, Jen Wang, Lynda Barry, Megan Kelso, Renée French, and moderator Greg Means. 3: APE founder and SLG publisher Dan Vado interviewing Tommy Kovac. 4: The 3 Geeks creator Rich Koslowski and his daughter, artist Stella, who had her own minitable at the show. 5: The ebullient Lynda Barry. 6: Renée French. 7: Tony Millionaire. 8: Megan Kelso. 9. Shaenon K. Garrity and Andrew Farago getting ready for their workshop, “Write Funny!” Next page: 10: The greatly enlarged APE exhibit hall. 11: The Writers Old-Fashioned workshop, which concentrated on pacing in comics. 12: APE’s Comics Collaboration Connection, which paired up writers and artists looking for collaborators. 13: Cartoonist Shannon Wheeler at his “Gag Cartooning and the Single-Panel Comic” workshop.
6 60 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
9 Photos by Barry Brown
OCT. 1–2 AT THE CONCOURSE
11 Exhibit hall photo (top) by Gary Sassaman
13 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011 61
CARTOONIST. [ WALLY WOOD TO ME IS THE ROMANTIC IDEAL OF ADANIEL CLOWES [
DANS TALK ABOUT COMICS
APE 2010 featured a number of special guests, all representative of the very best in alternative and indy comics. Daniel Clowes, the creator of one of the most critically acclaimed graphic novels of 2010, Wilson, was one of them, and he sat down for an hourlong panel discussion with writer/ publisher/comics historian Dan Nadel (PictureBox publisher and author of Art Out of Time). “The purpose of this panel as described to me by Peggy Burns [Drawn and Quarterly’s associate publisher] was to have a nerdfest of sorts and really talk about comics.” Here’s an excerpt from Dan and Dan’s excellent panel from October 16, 2010. DAN NADEL: Dan, Al Capp [creator of Li’l Abner] or Ham Fisher [creator of Joe Palooka]? DANIEL CLOWES: You know I’ve always kind of been an Al Capp man, actually. I never quite understood the hatred for him, especially by people nowadays who weren’t a party to the whole thing . . . you know, his whole anti-hippy, angry old man. I actually enjoy that. I like the idea of this bitter old one-legged guy who’s the most successful cartoonist in the world and then he’s not quite that and he’s angry at the world. I mean to me that’s the greatest thing. So I’m with Al. DN: Wayne Boring or Curt Swan? DC: Oh, that’s a tough one. I like them both. Wayne Boring and Curt Swan both drew Superman in the ’50s and ’60s. To me Curt Swan as inked by George Klein is the most uninflected comic art there is. It’s the closest to looking like it has no style of any art 62 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
there is, which is a big plus in my book. I think we’re always trying to kind of get away from style and into this sort of pure iconography with no little tweaks in any direction, and to me Curt Swan and George Klein’s Superman has that. But Wayne Boring is just pretty awesome. He’s just kind of the wrong guy to draw Superman. Superman looks like he’s a big Italian thug. To me the greatest Superman of course is George Reeves in the Superman TV show, where he’s kind of a paunchy dad, and that’s not at all the way Wayne Boring’s is. He’s more of a thug.
DANIEL CLOWES (L) TALKS TO DAN NADEL AT APE 2010
DN: Now I know you have a horse in this race, but MAD or Cracked?
to do that, but they never read it, they never noticed. It was great.
DC: Well I’m not going to go on record as saying Cracked is better than MAD, but for a brief moment in 1985 under the editorship of Mort Todd, Cracked was slightly better than MAD. They were able to get Don Martin and they still had John Severin, who was for some reason doing amazing pen work every month. He was the most ill-suited artist ever for humor comics. He was a very, very funny guy [in real life], but on the page he was so deadly unfunny, which sort of made it funny on a meta level. But I have a soft spot for Cracked. I used to defend Cracked as a kid—it’s not that bad. [When I worked for Cracked] we used to do parodies of TV shows that we would watch on VHS like Ben Casey and shows that nobody knew, especially in 1980, shows that hadn’t been on in 30 years. We did a parody of the TV show The Millionaire—it was only on once, it was never rerun—expecting the publisher to say we really don’t want you
DN: Don Martin or Al Jaffee? DC: As a kid my dream was to go to MAD magazine’s address, which was—I just imagined—the nexus of all greatness in the world. And so when I was 18, I went to New York for the first time, and I took the subway and went to that address and I was sort of walking around there and I see this guy and I thought that guy has got to be Al Jaffee. He looked exactly the way he drew himself, and I actually went up and said, “Are you Al Jaffee?” And he did this whole, “What, how would you know?” I said, “You look just like the way you draw yourself,” and he signed a little autograph, and so I have a soft spot for Al Jaffee. But Don Martin is really an unsung genius I think. When I was 10 there could be nothing funnier than a Don Martin cartoon. I think that his book The Adventures of Captain Klutz is . . . it’s a masterpiece. It’s a graphic novel. It’s a long story.
DN: Wally Wood or Jack Kirby? DC: Wally Wood to me is the romantic ideal of a cartoonist. His career is so filled with these fanboy highs and then these dismal lows. The way he lived and died is so film noirishly romantic, I can’t find a better exemplar of that type of cartoonist. I find all the DC stuff that everybody now thinks is [Kirby’s] best stuff is really hard to read, but just his drawings, every panel is cool. I can just look at his panels over and over and be inspired endlessly. I actually like the ones Stan [Lee] wrote the best. Wood . . . would put everything into the page and really, really wanted to wow his ten fans that would write to him. That was before you had any idea how many people were actually reading his stuff. And just that love and dedication mixed with the neuropathic illness that causes you to sit at the board like that and focus on that stuff—there’s something very primal in his example. It’s a cautionary tale to some degree, but I love everything he did. Photo by Barry Brown
[ SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2:41 PM @ COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL [
BRADBURY MEETS HAGIO Shojo manga legend Moto Hagio made her first trip to the United States in 2010 to attend Comic-Con International as a special guest. Beyond doing her panel appearances—which included being presented an Inkpot Award, much to her surprise—the artist had one small request: she wanted to meet Ray Bradbury. She had produced a manga adaptation of the author’s “R Is for Rocket” short story and is a huge science fiction fan, considering Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein as major influences. On Saturday, July 24, Ms. Hagio got her wish. In a quiet pressroom not too far from the Comic-Con crowds, Hagio met Bradbury and presented her favorite author with a copy of her book A Drunken Dream and Other Stories. Comic-Con captured the moment—2:41 PM to be exact--—and it’s here for you to share now.
64 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2011
Photos by Barry Brown
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© 2011 The CW Television Network, LLC TM & © 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. “SMALLVILLE” and all related characters and elements are TM of and © DC Comics. SUPERMAN created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.