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AN ASTOUNDING ASSORTMENT OF AMAZING ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR ALL ATTENDEES! ITEM! Welcome to the first and only printed edition of COMIC-CON MAGAZINE for 2010! Don’t worry . . . we’ll still be doing our usual three issues per year, but the other two issues will appear exclusively online! We’ve already tested the waters with our Fall 2009 issue, dubbed “The Photo Issue,” which you can read, download, and page through by firing up the web browser and taking a stroll over to WWW.COMIC-CON. ORG/COMMON/CC_MAGAZINE.SHTML. Why are we going the World Wide Web route? Well, we’re tired of killing trees; we’re all about the green these days as everybody should be! With a print run of 200,000 copies, that’s a lot of trees. And hey . . . we’re starting to think that whole “Internet” thing may actually catch on! ITEM! “The Writers Issue” of COMIC-CON MAGAZINE, which you hold in your hot little hands right now, contains feature articles on some of the most popular writers working in comics today! WONDERCON special guest GEOFF JOHNS is wrapping up Blackest Night, the DC Universe– spanning mini-series that included all the big guns that company has to offer and more Green Lanterns than you can shake a stick at! See the exclusive interview with him starting on page 6! And COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL special guests BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS and MATT FRACTION are rebuilding the Marvel U. with Brian’s return of Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man to the Avengers and Matt’s take on the Thunder God. We listened in on a conversation between the two writers and now you can be that proverbial fly on the wall, too, starting on page 24! ITEM! There’s even more wordly writer wisdom in this issue! We asked our special guests who spend their days tap-tap-tapping away at keyboards spinning wonderful stories to answer two questions: What are you reading these days and what one tip would you give to an aspiring writer? Their answers— from the likes of PETER S. BEAGLE, KURT BUSIEK, CHRIS CLAREMONT, MARK EVANIER, GEOFF JOHNS, PAUL LEVITZ, LARRY MARDER, CARLA SPEED McNEIL, CHINA MIEVILLE, JIMMY PALMIOTTI, DOUGLAS E. RICHARDS, JAMES STURM, C. TYLER, and even actor (and now comics creator!) MICHAEL CHIKLIS—will surprise

SOAPBOX If you’re having a bit of déjà vu all over again with this trippy-skippy stroll down Memory Lane, the answer is “Yes!” We’re offering an homage to the Marvel Bullpen Bulletins page of the ’60s and ’70s! Those memorable monthly missives were started by the one and only STAN “THE MAN” LEE, back in the days when he was pretty much Marvel’s only writer, editor, and chief cook and bottle-washer! Stan redefined the way comics were promoted back then, offering an irreverent, fun, and informative look at the company and its writers and artists, and the Bullpen Bulletins page quickly became the stuff of comics legend. Comic-Con is pleased to announce that Stan will be a special guest at the 2010 show. Yep . . . we know he’s been at pretty much every CCI over the past decade or so, but this is the first time in a long time he’s come as our guest! Oh, and did you know that Stan was also the recipient of Comic-Con’s Icon Award in 2009 as part of the Scream Awards as shown on the Spike TV network? Can we get a great, big “EXCELSIOR?” you! “On the Nightstand” starts on page 30; “The Tip Sheet” begins on page 34. And don’t thank us! We did it just for YOU! ITEM! While we’re still working on our guest lists for both WONDERCON in April and COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL in July, we want to point out two amazing new additions to each of those already incredible rosters (that’s FOUR NEW GUESTS total if you’re math challenged like we are)! Comics legend JOE KUBERT is coming to WONDERCON and joining him is one of his superstar artist sons, ADAM KUBERT! Joe last ventured to the Wonder-filled event in San Francisco in 2003 and Adam has never been a guest at the show before. Over on the COMIC-CON side, two stupendous superstars have signed on for the July event! CHARLAINE HARRIS, the author of the beloved Sookie Stackhouse novels, which spawned the hit HBO TV series TRUE BLOOD, is now a special guest. And international comics legend MILO MANARA is also coming to COMIC-CON! One of the most popular comic artists in Italy and Europe—not to mention worldwide!—Mr. Manara is a first-time ever guest at the show! ITEM! COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL’S SOUVENIR BOOK is just one of the highly collectible items con-goers can get at the big event, but

best of all, this book is FREE to attendees! This year’s book will once again be in glorious full-color. We’re currently working on the contents of this massive trade paperback, but one of the major themes for 2010 is the 75th anniversary of DC COMICS! That’s right, the home of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman has been around for three-quarters of a century! See page 41 for more info on our special programming and Souvenir Book themes and how YOU can contribute!

THE COMPREHENSIVE COMIC-CON CHECKLIST! Hey, True Believers! Here’s a schedule of our publications for the year ahead. MARCH: COMIC-CON MAGAZINE: The Writers Issue (you’re reading it now!). APRIL 2-4: WONDERCON PROGRAM BOOK with an exclusive brand-new cover by special guest ETHAN VAN SCIVER featuring the Flash and Green Lantern (sneak peek on the back cover of this issue)! MAY: COMIC-CON MAGAZINE: The big countdown to Comic-Con issue! (Online Exclusive) JULY 22–25: COMIC-CON SOUVENIR BOOK and EVENTS GUIDE. OCTOBER 16–17: APE PROGRAM BOOK. NOVEMBER: COMIC-CON MAGAZINE: The Photo Issue! (Online Exclusive)


In this issue Board of Directors President: John Rogers Secretary: Mary Sturhann Treasurer: Mark Yturralde VP, Events: Robin Donlan VP, Operations: William Pittman Directors at Large: Frank Alison, Ned Cato Jr., Dan Davis, Craig Fellows, Eugene Henderson, James Jira, Lee Oeth, Chris Sturhann Executive Director: Fae Desmond Director of Marketing and Public Relations: David Glanzer Director of Print and Publications: Gary Sassaman Director of Programming: Eddie Ibrahim Talent Relations Manager: Maija Gates


johns 6 GEOFF INTERVIEW jimmy palmiotti’s

12 writing tips

14 wondercon


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

24 Bendis-Fraction conversation

Eisner Awards Administrator: Jackie Estrada Assistants to the Executive Director: Lisa Moreau, Matt Souza Assistants to the Director of Marketing and PR: Damien Cabaza, Christopher Jansen, Evi Lipinski Assistant to the Director of Programming: Tommy Goldbach Line Management Coordinator: Adam Neese Office Staff: Patty Castillo, Ruben Mendez, Leslie Figueroa, Colleen O’Connell, Glenda Lynn Valentin Events: Anime: John Davenport, Josh Ritter At-Show Newsletter: Chris Sturhann Films: Steve Brown, Josh Glaser







eisner spirit

Editor/Designer Gary Sassaman Contributing Editors Fae Desmond, Jackie Estrada Contributing Writers Peter Coogan, Jackie Estrada, Martin Jaquish Special Thanks Brian Michael Bendis, John Cornett, Tim Dillon, Matt Fraction, Geoff Johns, Laureen Minich, Jimmy Palmiotti, Adam Philips Comic-Con Magazine Winter 2010 Edition Published by Comic-Con International San Diego. All material, unless otherwise noted, is © 2010 San Diego Comic Convention, Inc. and may not be reproduced without permission. All other artwork is ™ & © 2010 by respective owners. Comic-Con and the Comic-Con logo are Registered Trademarks of San Diego Comic Convention, Inc.

Comic-Con International P. O. Box 128458 San Diego, CA 92112-8458 Email:

38 retailer award

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 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 2 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Comic-Con’s Mission Statement San Diego Comic-Con International is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.

On the cover:

It’s The Writers Issue! What are you hanging around here for? Go read it!


As You’ve Never Seen It Before…

“Young has done an incredible job of transforming the words that I have written into beautiful images. The characters and sett ing are very close to what I was imagining while writing the series.” —Stephenie Meyer

It’s time to get sucked in — March 16, 2010

San Diego Comic-Con APE Alternative Press Expo



Alternative Press Expo comes back to San Francisco October 16 & 17!

CLOWES It seems like APE 2009 was just a few weeks ago! The popular indie and alternative comics show has become a must-attend event on the convention calendar. But it’s not too early to start planning for the 2010 show! In fact, an incredible roster of special guests is already starting to come together. Coming back to San Francisco on October 16 and 17, 2010 at the Concourse Exhibition Center, APE offers comics fans an event focused on creativity and devoted to the output of indie cartoonists, artists, and publishers doing the thing they love most. APE’s 2010 confirmed special guests as of press time are: 4 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Lynda Barry

(writer/artist, Ernie Pook’s Comeek, What It Is) Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher and has found they are all very much alike. She has been at the forefront of alternative comics as the inimitable creator behind the syndicated strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, and is the author of the bestselling and Eisner Award–winning What It Is. Her other work includes One! Hundred! Demons!; The! Greatest! of! Marlys!; Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel; and Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! In Fall 2010, Drawn & Quarterly will publish the follow-up to What It Is,

barry titled Picture This: The Nearsighted Monkey Book. Lynda teaches a writing workshop called “Writing the Unthinkable” in cities across the country. She lives with her husband, Kevin Kawula, in rural Wisconsin, where they have a native plant nursery.

Daniel Clowes

(writer/artist, Ghost World, Eightball, Wilson) Daniel Clowes is the cartoonist of Ghost World, David Boring, Ice Haven, Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, Caricature, and 20th Century Eightball, collected from his seminal comic book series Eightball. In Spring 2010, Drawn & Quarterly will publish Wilson, the Art © 2010 Daniel Clowes and Lynda Barry

CONnotations Rich Koslowski

KOSLOWSKI company’s first book with Clowes, and his first original graphic novel. Clowes is a regular cover artist for the New Yorker and an illustrator/designer of many books, movie posters, and magazines. He is the only cartoonist to be the recipient of multiple Harvey, Eisner, and Ignatz Awards as well as the distinct honor of an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for Ghost World.

(writer/artist, The 3 Geeks, The King) Rich Koslowski is best known for his fan-friendly comic book series The 3 Geeks (later Geeksville), which received three Eisner Award nominations. He also wrote and illustrated the much-lauded graphic novel Three Fingers in 2002 (published by Top Shelf Productions), which won the coveted Ignatz Award for Outstanding Graphic Novel and was named as one of the “500 Essential Graphic Novels” in the book of the same name in 2008. Other publications include The King (2005), The List (2007), and Weapon Omega (Marvel 2008). In May 2010 his newest graphic novel (written by J. D. Arnold), BB Wolf And The 3 L.P.s, will be released.


Tony Millionaire

(writer/artist, Maakies, Sock Monkey) Tony Millionaire was born in Boston and grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He writes and draws the ongoing adventures of Sock Monkey, published by Dark Horse Comics since 1998. Tony is the creator of the syndicated comic strip Maakies, which has been collected by Fantagraphics, who also published his graphic novel Billy Hazelnuts. Maakies has been adapted to the small screen as

The Drinky Crow Show for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. More guests will be announced as we get closer to the event. Follow us on Twitter (, or check the website ( for updates and become a fan of our new Facebook page at (search for Comic-Con International)!

Comic-Con’s 40th Anniversary Book Now On Sale Online! Comic-Con International: San Diego celebrated its 40th annual show in 2009, making it the longest continuously run comics and popular arts event in the United States. Founded in 1970 by a group of comics, movie, and science fiction/fantasy enthusiasts, the show has gone on to become the industry standard. Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends celebrates the long history of the show in a beautiful hardcover coffeetable book. Published by Chronicle Books—one of the leading publishers of art, photography, and pop culture books in the world—this sumptuous 208-page history features an incredible assortment of art and photos, many of which have never been seen outside of the Comic-Con archives. Topped off by an amazing wraparound cover by cartoonist Sergio Aragonés and with an introduction by the dean of science fiction writers, Ray Bradbury, this book is a veritable time capsule of comics history. You can purchase your own copy of this instant collector’s item by visiting The price is $40, but when you buy it direct from Comic-Con, we pay your postage and sales tax. Visit the website for complete details, and order your copy today! Art © 2010 Sergio Aragonés

Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 5

Art by Ivan Reis from Blackest Night #6 TM & © 2010 DC Comics


WonderCon GUEST S P O T L I G H T

DC’s go-to guy for universe– shattering events talks about Blackest Nights, Brightest Days, Secret Origins, and the emotional spectrum. WonderCon special guest Geoff Johns is one of the most popular writers working in mainstream comics. His Blackest Night, DC’s big event series for 2009/2010, is wrapping up, with the final issue appearing in late March, just before WonderCon. Johns’ take on the big universe-spanning stories he’s been involved in, plus what comes next with a series of original graphic novels and the resurrection of Barry Allen as the Flash, are just a couple of things touched on in this exclusive interview, which was conducted in late January. CCM: What’s the secret origin of Geoff Johns? GJ: The secret origin of Geoff Johns, wow. I was born in Detroit, grew up in Grosse Pointe and Clarkston in Michigan. But when I was really young my brother and I found this old box of comic books in my grandma’s attic that belonged to my uncle and we just tore through them. We loved going over there because we’d go up in the attic and just go through the comics. And I just started to love those characters. I eventually discovered that there was a comic shop up in Traverse City, which is way up north in Michigan. One summer my brother and I and my family went up there and all we did was buy old comics and read old comics. And I started collecting them and I gravitated towards DC and later Vertigo. And I actually used to draw all the time. I got into comics and then I got more into film and I went to college and then moved out to L.A. I worked for Richard Donner. I’ve told this story many times but I cold-called his office because he’s my favorite director. He did Superman and The Goonies and all those great films. They transferred me around when I called. I was looking for an internship and nobody wanted to talk to me, to this kid. And then Donner picked up the phone by accident and he said “hello” in this real deep voice. Art ™ & © 2010 DC Comics

I said yeah I’m looking for an internship and he put the phone down and I heard him yell, “someone get this kid an internship,” and everyone picked the phone up at the same time. So he said can you come in tomorrow because someone quit today, and I said sure. I went to the office and I’m sitting there copying scripts and they have X-Men in development and I’m looking at all the X-Men stuff and I was really excited about that. I was an intern there for probably about two months and then I got hired as what was called a runner, which is essentially a production assistant, but I just delivered stuff all day long. I got hired as Donner’s assistant. I went to New York and we shot a film called Conspiracy Theory. That’s where I met some DC people—Eddie Berganza, specifically—and that’s when I started to get back into comics. They had come to the set because it was a Warner Brothers film. (Eddie) invited me to DC Comics and I went there for a tour on one of my days off and met a bunch of people and really had an amazing time. And he said if you have any ideas to pitch us, let me know. About a year later I pitched DC Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. to an editor there named Chuck Kim, who later became a writer on Heroes. He liked it and put it through the system and it got approved. I started doing that and I thought I was going to [write comics] on the side and then I met David Goyer and James Robinson, who were working on JSA. And James had taken a look at Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. and I owe him a lot—him and Mike Carlin—for helping to shepherd me into the business. James asked if I wanted to co-write JSA and I started to get more and more into comics. I’d worked for Donner for four years and I had been writing comics for two, and comics started to take over full time. CCM: Over the years you’ve written many, many books for DC including Blackest Night. Where does

an idea like Blackest Night start for you? Did it start just as a story arc for Green Lantern? GJ: It started way back when on Green Lantern Rebirth. I remember pacing back and forth in my office and thinking I was missing a piece of the Rebirth story. I couldn’t wrap my head around how I could write a Green Lantern book about a guy who killed all these people and then comes back to life and gets a second chance. It was going to be a book about redemption and I didn’t want to write a book about redemption. I wanted to write a Green Lantern title because Green Lantern’s not a book about redemption. It’s a book about overcoming fears. So I thought the whole concept of Rebirth had to be overcoming fear. I kept thinking about Parallax, and at that point I decided it’s going to be some kind of fear-based entity. And I suddenly started to try and tie emotions with the powers. If green is courage and will, then yellow is fear. It made sense that yellow was fear. I thought there’s that moment where Hal Jordan goes into the power battery in Emerald Twilight and he comes out with white hair and he’s all nuts. The white hair to me was always kind of a trigger of fear. You get scared and you get a streak of white in your hair. And it all kind of came together. It was the yellow impurity in the power battery that had never really been explained or touched upon. I thought it could be a living entity of fear and that it had been imprisoned. I started to come up with the idea that we give off this energy and the idea is that these power batteries can collect energy from all sentient beings. In life there’s an emotional spectrum and there are all these powers. We’re not just life forms, we actually have emotional resonance with the universe and we give off these emotions. You can walk in a room and tell somebody’s angry because they give off that vibe. I thought you can collect all these powers and I would slowly introduce these other colors and the emotional spectrum, with the Red Lanterns and Blue Lanterns and everything else, and pulling the Star Sapphires in and creating this celestial core. And I thought if there’s a big conflict between emotions, what’s the one thing that can destroy emotion? Death is something that cancels everything out. It doesn’t have emotion, it just is. It happens no matter if you’re happy, sad, or angry. I thought the ultimate battle between these core emotions and death itself would be the Blackest Night. I came up with the concept of the black rings raising the dead because I thought these things would feed on emotion. I just got the scene of black rings plunging into graveyards all across Earth and I thought it was a pretty visceral scene. That’s kind of where the idea developed, but it was always about an analyzation of emotion because I’ve had Sinestro say a couple times that Green Lantern can deal with fear but all the other emotions are like everybody else. We struggle with everything. And Hal Jordan is somebody who buries his emotions. The Guardians do it to such an extent that they became completely distant from humanity. And when we bury our emotions, it always will end up tearing us apart from the inside or affecting our lives in other ways. So it just Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 7

WonderCon guest spotlight became an analogy and a story about confronting your emotions head on because that’s what Green Lantern really is. It’s all about confronting and overcoming fear and I thought we’ll tackle that on all levels. And we are all (filled with) emotions. Some days we’re Red Lanterns, some days we’re Blue Lanterns, some days we’re Sinestro. It changes and I think that’s why those symbols—you see them all over the place at Comic-Con—because people can relate to that. And it’s something I’m really happy with with those characters. I think those characters have taken off because they’re fun and they’re different and they’re relatable. Even though they’re aliens, they’re still relatable. But anyway, that’s where the idea generated. For me it resonates personally because it deals with a lot of things like emotion and death and fear. I think fear holds a lot of people back. I think it’s important to face your fears and overcome your fears because fear is not real. It’s a survival instinct, but a lot of the stuff that we’re afraid of isn’t life or death. CCM: But you’d just come out of Infinite Crisis and 52. Were you up for doing another epic story like this? GJ: Well, Infinite Crisis was kind of me being thrown into the deep end and learning how to do these crossovers and how it works. That was a great experience, and Eddie and I looked back on that and saw the things that worked and things that didn’t and things that were challenges. When Blackest Night came up, I like this kind of stuff so I didn’t have any hesitation because it was an event. I really enjoyed it so I’m going to do another one in probably 2011, though it’ll be a different kind of event just like Blackest Night was different from 52 and Brightest Day. Brightest Day is an event, but it’s a cool event because it’s contained and it’s big and it’s character driven. It doesn’t require the same amount of coordination and scheduling like Blackest Night or Infinite Crisis did. I moved to New York for three and a half months to insure that we were as connected and as tied in as possible [on Blackest Night] because I think the devil is in the details. One of the things I really wanted to do with Blackest Night was to do the build-up in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. Do the series and then do the aftermath and be involved with the next level or the next story that happens after this and how does it affect everything. The whole concept of Brightest Day I think right now is a little esoteric and vague and I think people just think—mistakenly so—it’s a call to arms to shiny, bright, colorful superhero comics and that’s not necessarily what we’re doing. Some of it is but what “brightest” actually means will become clear at the end of Blackest Night. 8 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

CCM: You’ve been dealing with the “Secret Origins” and “Rebirths” of a number of DC’s biggest characters including Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern. What’s it like working on these iconic characters and how important is it to maintain the details of their histories while updating and adding to their origins for a new audience? GJ: You have to find a balance. There are certain things in Green Lantern Secret Origin that have been around since he was created and there are certain things that are brand-new. I try and look at what resonates emotionally and what’s visceral to people when they think of Green Lantern. You know . . . he’s got to charge that ring. He’s got to say the oath and he’s got to be there when Abin Sur crashes in the desert. There are certain things that have to happen. I decided to incorporate Hector Hammond into Hal’s origin. I thought he was a good counterpoint to who Hal Jordan was, as Hal Jordan is kind of this extraverted over-the-top guy and Hector Hammond’s much more an introvert and intellectual. I thought they played off each other nice. And then bringing in Sinestro as Hal’s trainer, which was introduced in both Emerald Dawn series way back when. But there are other things that obviously I changed from certain interpretations. I think it’s all a creative choice. For me I always read everything and do my research first and then I kind of make an aesthetic choice of what I want to keep due to his character. It’s more about his character than anything else. CCM: Is there a Flash Secret Origin coming up in that title? GJ: Yes, there is. I will be doing the Flash Secret Origin. He’s never had a secret origin book. You forget as a fan who’s read comics for years and years and you say they just did Green Lantern Secret Origin. Well, Emerald Dawn was like back in the mid -80s I think, 25 years ago now. This is obviously for people today. I think sometimes people forget that there is a new generation coming in and this stuff has to be for a new generation. To a lot of people Hal Jordan is the new Green Lantern, and Barry Allen will be the new Flash. But with Green Lantern Secret Origin, it’s a book now and that book actually outsells the other GL trades because you look at it if you’re in a bookstore or whatever and that’s the first one you’ll pick up because it looks like that’s the first volume. That’s why I want to do a Flash Secret Origin because I like those origin stories. I think they’re timeless and I also think that the Flash Secret Origin will be one of those books that you can hand to anybody. CCM: With Superman Secret Origin we see a really strong influence of the Richard Donner films in the books. GJ: It’s obvious with Donner being my mentor that I hold his vision of Superman in high regard. His

films were my favorite movies of all time and he captured the essence of Superman, and it hasn’t been captured quite right since then. Gary Frank obviously is channeling that as well. But part of the thing I miss is I love the humor in the Daily Planet. Every time we were at the Daily Planet in the films it was always fun and in the comics it’s not always fun. So I wanted to try to bring some levity and some humor into that environment. I particularly like what Gary Frank has done with Lois Lane, because she’s fun and strong, sexy, witty, really intelligent, cynical as hell to start with. And our take on the Daily Planet is that it’s dilapidated like most newspapers. You know it’s struggling right now. What I wanted to do was kind of turn the dial back. The Daily Planet is the greatest newspaper in Metropolis, but let’s see what it was like before, let’s see what it was like when they couldn’t afford the power to keep the globe turning so it got rusted shut and there’s pigeons all over it, and nobody knows Jimmy Olsen’s name and Lois Lane can’t get a front page article to save her life. You’ll see a lot of influence from the films, but beneath it it’s a new story. It’s a new emotional story and I wanted to just kind of again dial it back a little bit and see how Metropolis became this wonderful city, how the Daily Planet grew, how Lois Lane grew, how Jimmy Olsen grew. CCM: One of your 2010 projects is a Batman original graphic novel drawn by Gary Frank. You haven’t written very many Batman stories. What’s it like working on the character, and what is going to be different about your and Gary’s take on Batman? GJ: I’ve written Batman here and there but I’ve never gotten to write a Batman story. I love working with Gary Frank, and he’s one of those few collaborators that you want to chain yourself to forever because when we talk and work together it clicks and I’m really happy with the product. I’ve really been fortunate to work with Gary on all this stuff, and Batman is something that we’re both excited about because we’re fans of the character but we’ve never worked on a big Batman project. Batman: Earth One is going back and looking at really the beginnings of Batman and a different take on Batman. It’s a little early to get into exactly how it’s different. It’s still Batman, it’s still Gotham City. We’re just going to take a different look at it and again it’s going to be all about emotions. It’s going to be about how you overcome loss. Bruce Wayne copes with it very, very differently than most people. I want to explore Jim Gordon and Batman’s relationship in a different way and how that comes together and what that means. Alfred’s actually very different because of the emotional resonance that we’re going for with Bruce and the aftermath of his parents’ death. And

WonderCon guest spotlight

Gary Frank’s interpretation of the Caped Crusader of Batman: Earth One.

we’re looking at that in a very different way with what Alfred is and where he comes from and what he represents to Bruce. CCM: Do you think original graphic novels are the future of comics? GJ: I think it’s an outlet of comics. I think a lot of people want to say the future is all digital or it’s all graphic novels. I think it’s a lot of different things. I think if the market wants original graphic novel series, we’ll find out. I feel really privileged to be a part of the launch with J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis on Superman: Earth One. I’m really excited about being a part of a new publishing model, and we’ll see how it goes and hopefully it does very well and they can keep doing them. I don’t think DC is going to suddenly say we’re only going to publish graphic novels. You look at comics and there’s always going to be comic shops because they’re collectibles. People want those issues. There’ll be single issues, but I think as digital grows and as the bookstores continue to grow —which they have immensely—you’ll see all these different outlets. And there will be changes to the content and to the way it’s delivered, but we’ll probably have a lot of different models of comic books I think. CCM: You’ve written a number of scripts for the Smallville TV show, including ones that brought both the Legion of Super-Heroes and the JSA to the small screen. What’s it like translating those characters to another medium?

10 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

GJ: That’s probably one of my greatest thrills and greatest goals all around: getting the DC Universe out to the mass public. The Legion of Super-Heroes is in one episode of Smallville and suddenly 3 million people know who they are, which is probably more than did before. And the same thing for Dr. Fate and Stargirl and Hawkman and the concept of the Justice Society of America. But this is just one of many opportunities for DC in 2010 with the Green Lantern and Jonah Hex films, with all this stuff that they’ve got in the pipeline.

get a chance to enjoy yourself at WonderCon. And San Francisco is a great city. I always love going down to Fisherman’s Wharf and getting a crab sandwich.

CCM: Are you involved with the Green Lantern film?

CCM: Artist you haven’t worked with but most want to?

GJ: I am. I’ve been consulting on the film.

GJ: Steve McNiven.

CCM: IMDb also mentions you in connection with both a Flash and Shazam movie. Are you involved with those?

CCM: Favorite comic book?

GJ: Yeah, I wrote the story for the Flash film and I’m a producer on that and the same thing with the Shazam movie. I’m hoping the Flash is going to be a film that will move ahead pretty soon. The great thing about Green Lantern is that it opens the door for every other DC character out there. I’d love to see a Wonder Woman film. I hope that that happens. I think she’s a fantastic character that people already know and want to see. But you know it’s hopefully just the beginning of what DC’s going to do. They’ve got the characters, they’ve got that treasure box.

CCM: Let’s do both. Right now?

CCM: What’s it like owning your own comic book store (Earth-2 Comics in Northridge, CA)? GJ: It’s one of the best things in the world because obviously I love comics and I always wanted to own a store. But I love going in there and just talking to everybody and learning more about the retail business. What it does is it informs me as a writer and with working for DC Comics how I can better help support the retail business because it’s a very important business. Obviously it’s what keeps us alive in publishing these books. Carr D’Angelo and Jud Meyers–who run the store and co-own it with me— are incredible retailers and very active in the community and very smart about how the business works. And DC has a long history of trying to work with the retailers and helping the retailers and if I can help in any way then I like to do that. That’s really what my main goal is, to learn the business from every angle. It’s important for me because I love this business and I love comics and these characters and I want to see this business continue to thrive. CCM: What do you like best about doing conventions like WonderCon?

CCM: We’re going to steal a round from Dan Didio’s DC Nation panel playbook and do a little lightning round here to end the interview. Let’s start with favorite DC hero you have yet to write? GJ: Well, I guess Batman, but since I’m writing Batman, Wonder Woman.

GJ: Favorite comic book right now or ever?

GJ: I really enjoyed Straczynski’s Thor run. I thought it was fantastic. CCM: And ever? GJ: Probably The Flash because I own every single issue. I mean, that’s a massive run. The story I probably go back and read the most is The Golden Age by James Robinson. That book made me love those characters. I don’t know if I would have jumped on the JSA if I hadn’t read that book. CCM: What’s your favorite TV show? GJ: Dexter. CCM: Superboy Prime, love him or hate him? GJ: Love him. He needs love, the poor kid. He needs all the love he can get. CCM: Have we seen the last of him? GJ: For a while. CCM: And finally, which ring color are you? GJ: Green. CCM: You’re green? GJ: Yeah, no doubt. No fear, that’s how you have to live life. An extended version of this interview is available on our website. Look for the link to the Geoff Johns Interview on the Magazine page at .

GJ: Well, I like WonderCon because it feels like a big convention but it’s manageable, it’s more intimate. You get to spend more time with the fans and it’s more relaxing but it’s still a big convention. You Art ™ & © 2010 DC Comics

geoff Johns: the company he keeps Comics are a collaborative medium and Geoff Johns, like a lot of writers, has found a group of artists with which he works best. We asked Geoff to comment on some of his more recent collaborators and what they bring to the page. CCM: What makes a great writer/artist team? GJ: Synergy. You look at Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely or Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. There’s just synergy and there’s not a lot of teams like that that work together consistently. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon are another one of my favorite pairings, both on Preacher and Punisher. I love when those two work together, it’s just magic for me. The same thing goes for Loeb and Sale and Morrison and Quitely. I look at what I’ve done with Gary Frank. We click creatively. And the same thing can be said for myself and Ivan Reis, from Green Lantern into Blackest Night. 1

CCM: Let’s run down some of your collaborators and ask what they contribute each time you work together. Let’s start with your fellow WonderCon guest Ethan Van Sciver, who you’ve done Green Lantern Rebirth and Flash Rebirth with, and who just finished a brand new piece of art featuring Flash and Green Lantern for the WonderCon Program Book cover. 1 GJ: Ethan’s a mad genius. He’s the kind of guy that gets deeper and deeper into the mythology and the character. His art really is reflective of his personality. He’s so detail-oriented and he gets so in-depth on things. He’s incredibly meticulous. I’ve probably created more characters and concepts with Ethan— between Sinestro Corps and Rebirth in the Green Lantern world—than anybody else. We kind of grew up together too. We started on the Flash: Iron Heights one-shot and then we continued on Green Lantern Rebirth and Sinestro Corps and Flash Rebirth. He’s somebody that I love working with and really, he’s insane. He’s insane in the best way possible, but he’s insane.


CCM: Blackest Night artist Ivan Reis. 2 GJ: I started working with Ivan back on a miniseries called The Vision in, I think 2002 or 2003, and I just knew he was going to be amazing. He had an amazing style, kind of an Alan Davis/Neal Adams look with his own insanity laced in. Nobody can touch Ivan in terms of epic superheroes, especially if you look at the schedule he keeps and the amount of art he does per year and the quality to it. There’s no one who can compare to Ivan. I think he owns the superhero epic. CCM: Green Lantern artist Doug Mahnke.


3 GJ: Green Lantern 50 will be out by now and it’s an amazing issue. It’s the best issue we’ve had since I think 43, our first issue. He’s much like Ivan in that he’s epic and big, but he has kind of a real grittiness to his art, even though it’s clean superhero art. There’s a power behind it and an energy behind it that’s raw. Like there’s something in there that’s visceral and primal, but it’s some of the cleanest art you’ll ever see. I think what he does with his imagination—and you’ve seen it on Superman Beyond and Green Lantern—what he pulls out and how far he pushes it, is beyond what people think. Every second his pencil’s touching that page his mind just must be working at 100 mph. CCM: Adventure Comics and upcoming Flash artist Francis Manapul.


4 GJ: Francis is probably one of the most emotional artists I work with. That Superboy story (in Adventure Comics) was all built on emotion, but for me, very open, clean, and pure emotion. I’ve loved his work on the Flash so far. It’s breathtaking because it’s clean and modern and it’s all about speed and color but it’s still about character. At the core Francis is all about character. You see a close-up shot of Wonder Girl and her eyes say everything. If you notice, I don’t do any narration on Francis’ work because it doesn’t need it. It’s much like Gary Frank because I have to pull the narration out because their emotions resonate so much my words get in the way. CCM: And that’s the next one, Superman Secret Origin artist Gary Frank. 5 GJ: Gary Frank is far and away one of the best artists, draftsmen, and storytellers in the business. I talk with Gary a lot and we talk about the emotional content of the scene and where the characters are going and what they’re thinking or feeling. The details of their internal journeys are so important to Gary. He focuses so much on character and conveying that emotion and what that character’s going through every time. You can see it on the page when he lays it out. He’s very conscious of what’s important and integral to the scene. He doesn’t just do a shot because it’s cool, he does it because it’s important to the story from the character’s point of view. He draws the best Superman of this generation by far. I don’t think anyone can touch him. The only other Superman artist I think that is in the same league is Curt Swan.


Art ™ & © 2010 DC Comics

Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 11

WonderCon guest spotlight jimmy palmiotti’s top ten tips for aspiring writers

Writers Jimmy Palmiotti (l) and Justin Gray (r) flank movie legend Wes Craven. The duo co-wrote the graphic novel The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning.

One of the nicest and well-liked creators in comics, Jimmy Palmiotti started his career in the industry as an inker. Best known for his collaborations with artist Joe Quesada (before his Marvel editor-in-chief days) on titles such as Daredevil and their co-creations Painkiller Jane, and Ash, Palmiotti was one of the hardest working inkers in the business. His inkwork graced numerous titles, including frequent team-ups with artist Paul Gulacy (Catwoman, Legends of the Dark Knight, Master of Kung Fu). But these days you’re more likely to find Jimmy slaving away at a keyboard and not the drawing board. His writing work with co-writer Justin Gray includes a long list of titles such as DC’s Jonah Hex, Power Girl, Hawkman, Supergirl, Terra, and Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, and the WildStorm titles 21 Down, Friday the 13th, and Prototype. Somehow, Jimmy still finds time to ink the occasional story or miniseries, such as the recent The War That Time Forgot. Here are his top ten tips for aspiring writers. 1 1. Travel the world, meet new people and listen to them. There are a million stories out there that haven’t been told yet. 2 2. Get to know the artist working on your script, his or her strengths, weaknesses, and what they enjoy drawing. It will make for a better end

product. When we first pitched Jonah Hex to DC, we had an artist attached that later told me he couldn’t draw horses. Yeah . . . horses. 3. Work with an editor you trust and one that isn’t trying to sell you on his or her ideas. Most editors are great people, but they sometimes 3 forget their job. Listen to other writers; when they say an editor is good, it’s because the person usually is.    4 4. Read your dialogue out loud or with a friend. This gives you a good ear for what works and doesn’t work and it’s fun as well!    5. Get your facts right, then you can build on them. If a story is taking place somewhere you have never been . . . well, dig in and investigate 5 and read all you can about that place. If you can’t, start writing what you know . . . then get out there and investigate.   6. Stop trying to impress and get to the point. This is a visual medium. Let the art tell the story as well. 6   7. Don’t marry the first person that likes you. I know this isn’t writing advice, but ask any writer and he or she will have a story to tell about 7 this. The other thing is treat your audience with respect. Never talk down to them. And last, when you meet your fans, understand that that particular minute or so is the only time you may have with them, so be polite, encouraging, and look them in the eyes when they are speaking to you. It’s all about respect.   8 8. Stop talking about your ideas and start writing them. There are those that do and those that don’t. Loose lips sink ships, and I believe the more you talk about ideas, the more people inadvertently take them and make them their own. (You know who you are.)   9 9. Fall in love with your characters and make them come alive. Empathize and understand them, and when they react to a situation, remember it’s how they would react, not you. This works when writing villains as well. Get into their head and try to understand their goals, no matter how twisted they may be. It makes for a better villain.   10 1 Answer these two questions for each and every character: What do they want and what do they fear. If you can do this simple exercise, you will be that much closer to writing and understanding your characters and it will come across on the printed page. 

MORE wRITING TIPS FROM WONDERCON & COMIC-CON GUESTS ON PAGES 34 & 35! 12 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

WonderCon 2010 Start Spring Off Right with the Return of WonderCon!

WonderCon 2010

Moscone Center South 747 Howard St., San Francisco

Dates and Hours: Friday, April 2: 12:00–7:00 pm* Saturday, April 3: 10:00 am–7:00 pm* Sunday, April 4: 11:00 am–5:00 pm *Nighttime programming on Friday and Saturday nights continues after 7:00 pm. The WonderCon Masquerade is Sat., April 3 at 8:30 pm in the Esplanade Ballroom.

Membership prices: Adult 3-Day: $30.00 Advance/$40.00 Onsite Junior/Senior* 3-Day: $15.00 Advance/$20.00 Onsite Adult Single-Day (Fri. or Sat. ONLY): $12.00 Advance/$15.00 Onsite Jr/Sr Single Day (Fri. or Sat. ONLY): $6.00 Advance/$8.00 Onsite Adult Sunday: $10.00 Advance and Onsite WonderCon—one of the country’s best comics conventions—is being held April 2–4 at Moscone Center South in San Francisco. WonderCon 2010 offers the perfect Spring Break getaway over the long Easter holiday weekend, and it’s made even better with the special WonderCon room rate at our headquarters hotel, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Book a room at this fabulous hotel—located just a short walk from Moscone Center South—at the super low rate of only $109/ night (single/double occupancy; see the next page for details). This year WonderCon will also host an evening game room and a convention hospitality suite open to all attendees at our headquarters hotel (just be sure to bring your badge for entry!). See the sidebar article on page 15 for more info on these great new additions to the WonderCon experience!     An amazing roster of special guests from the worlds of comics and science fiction/fantasy will be a major highlight for fans at WonderCon 2010. The guest list includes comics legends Murphy Anderson, Sergio Aragonés, and Joe Kubert along with some of the superstars of today’s most popular comics, including Frank Cho, Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, Colleen Doran, David Finch, Adam Hughes, Geoff Johns, Robert Kirkman, Adam Kubert, Jimmy Palmiotti, Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver, and Judd Winick. In addition, science fiction/fantasy authors Peter S. Beagle and Tim Powers join the event, along with WonderCon moderator supreme—and comics historian and writer—Mark Evanier. As a special bonus, pop culture icon Stan Freberg and his wife, Hunter, 14 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

are scheduled for the show, marking their first WonderCon appearance. And comics publisher IDW brings actor/producer/writer Michael Chiklis to the event for his first-ever appearance, introducing his new comic book series. (For more information on all of the special guests who have confirmed to-date, please see the article starting on page 18.)   WonderCon provides a complete comics convention experience, including a giant Exhibit Hall with one of the best Artists’ Alleys in the country, plus autograph, small press, and fan table areas. Companies from all over converge on San Francisco to be a part of this show, including such major comic publishers as DC Comics, Dark Horse, IDW, Image, and Oni Press, plus dealers selling comic books, original art, books, movie memorabilia, action figures, and much more. (A complete list of exhibitors is on page 16.) Programming features spotlights on all WonderCon’s special guests, plus comic publisher presentations, movie and TV panels and previews, and other panels on a wide range of comics and pop culture topics. Saturday night’s Masquerade is growing to Comic-Con size, and anime and games are offered throughout the weekend. WonderCon 2009 saw another increase in attendance, growing to 34,000 fans, yet it still has the intimate feeling of a fan-run comics convention. Be a part of the Wonder in 2010, as Northern California’s premiere comics and popular arts event moves to a prime spot during Spring Break on Easter weekend! Check for breaking news on special guests, programs, and exhibitors. Plus follow us on Twitter at for info on all three of our events!

Junior/Senior Sunday: $5.00 Advance and Onsite Children 11 and under free with an adult paid membership. *Juniors: 12-17 years old. *Seniors: 60 and up. Active military pays the Jr/Sr price. This offer does not extend to dependents.

ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE Save money! Purchase your memberships now online at

Bay area residents, check

for a comic shop near you that sells advance memberships!

BREAKING NEWS! New Blackest Night Figures at WonderCon! As of press time, WonderCon has learned that DC Comics and Graphitti Designs will be offering two new Blackest Night action figures that will premiere at the event. While the actual identity of the figures and their designs are top secret, we can tell you that this pair continues the set that was introduced—and sold out!—at ComicCon International San Diego last summer. Check for more details as we get closer to the event!

april 2–4


Nighttime Games Added to Full Schedule at WonderCon!

Headquarters hotel offers amazing room rate!

The big news for 2010 is that for the first time ever there will be nighttime gaming at WonderCon! As soon as the Exhibit Hall closes at 7:00 pm, head over to the nighttime games room at our headquarters hotel, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Check

WonderCon is pleased to announce that Travel Planners will be handling all WonderCon hotel reservations for 2010. The beautiful San Francisco Marriott Marquis will once again be the headquarters hotel for WonderCon. The hotel is just a few short blocks up Fourth Street, within easy walking distance of Moscone Center South. And this year, WonderCon adds a con hospitality suite and a gaming room at nights at the Marriott!

for the exact location and hours of the nighttime games room.

WonderCon Games in Room 106

Gamers! You made suggestions about WonderCon Games and we listened! The Games area will now have a separate entrance, outside of the Exhibit Hall. This will make for smoother and quieter game play. WonderCon Games offers 17 different game titles to play for free during the convention. The free games to play will include 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 own supplies and come on down! Sign in by 12:00 pm 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 Marvel Edition, Pokemon, and Yugioh! WonderCon will once again have separate Sanctioned Magic Tournaments with material fees. Heroclix will also have separate tournaments with material fees. Further details will be available on the website as we get closer to the show.   About 98% of games at WonderCon 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 sanctioned DCI judges at Thou Shalt Game Entertainment will be running the Sanctioned Sealed Deck Magic Events. The WonderCon Games Department is always interested in hearing what you want to play. Drop them a line with your suggestions at Any reasonable suggestion will be considered.

San Francisco Marriott Marquis

Hotel reservations are now open at: or you can call Travel Planners at 1-800-221-3531

or 1-212-532-1660

Monday–Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Eastern time

or mail to: Travel Planners, 381 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 Room rates for 2010: $109.00 for 1 or 2 people in the room

Each additional person is $20 per room per night. Maximum of four people per room. • Single: 1 person/1 bed—$109 • Double: 2 people/1 bed—$109 • Twin: 2 people/2 beds—$109 • Triple: 3 people/2 beds—$129 • Quad: 4 people/2 beds—$149 Reservations Cut-off Date Reservations must be received no later than March 15, 2010 for best selection, though reservations will be accepted, based on availability, until show date. Deposit Policy: Reservations by Internet will be accepted with a credit card guarantee only.  Reservations by mail or phone will be accepted with a credit card guarantee or check deposit for 1 night room and tax, payable to Travel Planners, Inc. All mailed requests and deposit checks must be received at Travel Planners by February 5, 2010. After this date, a credit card is required.  Reservations and changes are subject to hotel availability. If you do not receive confirmation from Travel Planners within 5 days of booking, please call 800-221-3531. Cancellations should be made through Travel Planners until 3 days prior to your arrival. After this time, contact your hotel directly. Responsibility and Liability: WonderCon and 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, plane arrivals or motor car 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 owners 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.

New for 2010: WonderCon Adds Nighttime Events at the Marriott! WonderCon 2010 branches out from the Moscone Convention Center and adds two exciting new nighttime rooms at our headquarters hotel, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis: the WonderCon Hospitality Suite and the Nighttime Games Room (see the sidebar at left for details about games). Enjoy our hospitality at the WonderCon Hospitality Suite at the Marriott! The suite will be open Friday and Saturday evenings and is a great place for you to hang out, mingle, and even network with your fellow WonderCon attendees. Discuss the events of the day and what you saw in programming, or show your new best friends the cool purchases you made in the giant Exhibit Hall! Light snacks and beverages will be available throughout the evening, while supplies last. Check the website at for complete details, including the schedule for the room.

SAVE MONEY! Register online now at Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 15

WonderCon 2010 EXHIBIT HALL This is the WonderCon 2010 Exhibitor listing as of press time. For updated information visit www.


(Names in bold are WonderCon 2010 Special Guests.)


A & G Comics A-1 Comics ABCTOY4ME Academy of Art University All Discount Comics Altair 4 Collectibles Christian Alzmann Studios Anatomy Angry Penguin Anime Palace AnimeHot Anthony’s Comicbook Art Anti-Authority Clothing/Retro Outlaw Armor-Geddon LLC Art of Laurie B!/Orbital Harvest Aspen MLT Inc Asylum Press/Girls and Corpses Avatar Press Avitech Graphics Inc Badali Jewelry Specialties Inc Peter S. Beagle BeKyoot Bioroid Studios/Pen 2 Paper Black Gold Comics & Graphics Blind Ferret Entertainment Bliss on Tap BOOM! Studios Bud Plant & Hutchison Books Bud Plant Comic Art Bunnywarez California Hot Shots Pascal Campion CAPCOM Entertainment Inc Cards and Comics Central Cartoon Art Museum Century Guild CGC (Certified Guaranty Co., LLC) Bernard Chang/Sean Chen Choice Collectibles CJ Collectibles Clockwork-Inc CM Enterprises/Clark Tale Illustration Cobblestone Books Collectors Universe and Anime Color Ink Books Comic Book Legal Defense Fund The Comic Cellar Comic Collector Shop Comic Madness Comic Mylars The Comic Outpost Comic Relief The Comic Shop Comic Wise Comicage Entertainment Conduct Happiness Coollines Artwork Cosmic Debris/Emily the Strange Craigmore Creations Creations by Boutique OC Cre8tivemarks Curious Things

---------------D/E/F---------------Dante’s Inferno/EA Dark Horse Comics David’s Doodles DC Comics Gaetano De Agostino Diamond Comic Distributors Inc Double Fine Productions Dragatomi EE Morris Presents Craig Elliot Gallery Endless World

Evil Cheerleaders & Vamp E-Ville/Derekmonster/Rose & Isabel Fang FantAsia Toyz/Tempting Toys Fat Rabbit Farm Five and Diamond/Blamo Toys Flesk Publications 4th Dimension Entertainment FST Pulp Fugitive Toys


G4 Media Productions LLC Geek Chic Ghostbot Inc Girls Drawin’ Girls GoDaddyO’s Comic Book Hideout Golden State Sports Graham Crackers Comics Graphitti Designs Halo-8 Inc Travis Hanson/Bean Leaf Press Harley Yee Rare Comics Hash Inc. Haunted Memories Herbert Properties LLC Hermes Press Hero Initiative Heroes Heroic Fine Art Gallery Hilary’s Vanity Hollywood Joe’s Memorabillia Holzheimer’s Distribution Comics Huckleberry Toys Humerous Hungry Tiger Idream Comics I Heart Guts The IBCT LLC IDW Publishing Illustrated Books Image Comics Imperial Quartermaster Collectibles Indican Pictures Infinite Conception Phase LLC Innex Inc


Jason Palmer Studios Inc Jay Company Comics The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon Art and Graphic Art Jones Bones Eric Joyner Julian Meyer’s Cryptid & Budiono Art Jupiter Mining Company Just Toyz The Karbon Kids Keenspot Entertainment/ Blatant Comics Khepri Comics/ Kif’s Collectibles Kirby Krackle Music John Knight Linda Knight KOALA Express Krazy Comix Kuso Designer Toys LLC Last Gasp Leftovers Lounge Legendary Costume Works Lightspeed Fine Art Inc. The Lillian Todaro Collections Lionsgate The Looking Glass Wars Lords of Chaos Lost World Productions LOTER, Inc Lulubell Toys

---------------M/N/O---------------Magboo Major Comics Mark’s Non-Sport Cards

16 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Massive Black/ Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics Julian Meyer, Joko Budiono, Nicolas Villarreal Fabian Molina Monte Moore Moot Kyle Morales Morpheus Prototypes Mostly Signs Mr Toast National Press Comics Neat Stuff Collectibles/ Mike Carbonaro NG Things/Modondi Nickelodeon David A Novak Nuclear Comics ONESICKINDIVIDUAL Oni Press

--------------P/Q/R--------------P.M.B.Q. Studios Pendragon Costumes Phantom Comics Phil Davis Books & Treasures Pixologic Inc Rochelle Phister Prism Comics Private Collector The Public Zoo Dale Quick Humberto Ramos, Francisco Herrera, & Rabia Ray Storch Comics The Reason You Came Redbeard’s Book Den Reel Art Inc Rocket World Rodriguez Toys

---------------S/T/U---------------Saber Forge San Francisco Bay Area Intl. Children’s Film Festival Steve Schanes Scott Eader Gallery Scrap Pictures Senti/Skelanimals/Bubble Pets Sketch Maven Slaughter Lane Games SLG Publishing Snuggbuds Sofawolf Press Soundtrack Movie Memorabilia Spicy Brown SQP Inc Squid Kids Steam Crow Press/Monster Commute Stewart Comgraph Stormbringers Streamline Illustration William Stout Stuart Ng Books Studio Foglio Suarez and Moy Original Art Suicide Girls Sumofish Super Fun World Super-Con/Treasures of Youth Superworld Symbiote Studios Taraba Illustration Art LLC Templar Arizona/ Something Positive Terry’s Comics Things From Another World Times Forgotten Torpedo Comics Totally Wired Droids Toyslogic Triad Toys Tribbles Purring Tribbles/ Giant Microbes

Triptych Books Troma Entertainment Inc Ubisoft UCC Distributing Inc

---------------V/W--------------Van Eaton Galleries Lauren Venell Viking Warrior Visual You Inc. VIZ Media Voodoo Baby Wacom Technology Weatherly Studios Whatever.... Willow Jewelry WonderCon Boutique World’s Best Comics

---------------X/Y/Z---------------X-Sanguin LLC Yes Anime, Inc Zerofriends Zeum: San Francisco’s Children’s Museum


A. T. Comics Kei Acedera Arthur Adams Alexandrias Belly Dance Sergio Aragonés Art of Casey Storm Atomic Bear Press Bard Sculpture Studio Barry Barnes Beanworld Press Inc Greg Beda Christopher Bennett Black Sheep Comics Josep Blas William Brent Dan Brereton Brick by Brick Spencer Brinkerhoff III Danny Bulandi Bumperboy J Scott Campbell Chamanvision Ernie Chan Travis Charest Charlotte with A Kay Joyce Chin Bobby Chiu Frank Cho Justin Chung Cinematic Comics Amanda Conner Jana Cook Cool Jerk, Intl. Coollines Artwork Dan Cooney Art Corrosive Comics Shawn Crystal Dark Dreams Walt Davis/FM Designs Dentcomics Camilla d’Errico d’Errico Studios Ltd. Tony DeZuniga Otto Diefenbach Donnachada Daly Colleen Doran Nick Dragotta Dave Dwonch ECV Press Rahsan Ekedal Josh Ellingson Steve Englehart David Finch Peter Forystek Stan Freberg & Hunter Freberg Freakout Wings Chris Giarusso Al Gordon Mick Gray Mike Gray, Pencil For Hire

Justin Greenwood Erika Harm Hawk Graphics John Heebink heyDanger Laurel Anne Hill Tom Hodges Adam Hughes Hyperbooster’s Studio Integrity Comics Jane’s World Jelter Art Dave Johnson Kat Girl Studio/Lost Graphics Kid Beowulf Chong Kim Keith Knight: Gentleman Cartoonist Knumbskull Records Rich Koslowski Thierry Lafontaine Alvin Lee Ron Lim Little Carbon Robot Paul Marquis Henry Martin dba Cerealand Comics Mahoten Productions Larry Marder Ruben Martinez Ted McKeever Megamoth Studio Lord L. Mesa Monstark Studios Sho Murase Myth-Tickle Nanamation Alex Nino One Sketchy Character Jimmy Palmiotti Dan Parent Lark Pien-Little Bird Books Jeff Prechtel Studio Andy Ristaino RalphCo Comics Real Gone Girl Studios Rebel Studios Stuart Sayger Scary Art Comics 16th and Mission Comix Jason Seiler Jim Silke Elle Skinner Jack Stepp Stitchmind Artworks Story Board Studio Jofximus Super Real Graphics Super Searnold, Inc Trained Eye Graphics/Barry Barnes Ultraist Studios/Possum Press Ethan Van Sciver Matt Wagner Warp Graphics, Inc Wendy & Richard Pini George Webber DJ Welch David Williams Chris Wisnia Rae Wood Studios Woolbuddy Shadowbugs Writer’s Old Fashioned Dean Yeagle Thomas Yeates Illustrator Jonathan Zajdman

Cuppa T Books Deathwish Comics Diablo Productions Earthbound Comics Emonic Fam Books/Juggernaut Promotions Fat Free Comics Paul Friedrich Ganerda’s Business Heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy Highway 62 Press Keno’s Lair (Islands in the Sky) Lazy Bones Studios Brittney Lee Steve Leialoha Karen Luk and Karen Krajenbrink Lunasea Studios Matt Delight Ltd Merkabah Museum of Lost Wonder No Halo Optic Lionel Ordaz Phour Nyne Studios Piximix Play With Knives Plotless Comics Poseur Ink Puna Press Trina Robbins S G Comics Sadhaka Studio Scrapbook Manifesto 17 Machine Studios Shades of Shadow Concepts Inc Stephen Silver Sturdy Comics Suspense Magazine Third Option Press Tiny Kitten Teeth Uncommon Comics Ben Walker & Co. Whirlwhim Wildcard Ink/Gumby Comics Kevin Wood Wrodents


Browncoats California Browncoats East Bay Star Wars Fan Club 501st Legion Jericho Kansas Inc Primitive Screwheads Theatre Co. Racebending Rebel Legion-Endor Base San Francisco Fan Force

Abismo/Nerve Bomb The Antidote Trust Big Dog Ink Binary Winter Press Black Swan Press Bobcat Publishing Brady Comics Butcher Brand Christian Comic Arts Society


(Company names are in italics) AJW Celebrity Services Bushwacker Luke Bobby Clark Creatures At Large Denise Crosby Ellen Dubin Lou Ferrigno Richard Hatch Heroes for Hire: Erin Gray, Richard Herd, William Katt, Kathy Najimy, Missi Pyle, Rekha Sharma, Marina Sirtis, Helen Slater, Shawnee Smith, Tony Todd Virginia Hey/Farscape Honky Tonk Man Herbert Jefferson Jr. Living Legends Ltd: Kathy Garver, Jon Provost, Charlotte Stewart Noel Neill Larry Thomas Virgil


april 2–4


Costumers: It’s Your night at the Sixth Annual WonderCon Masquerade! The popular arts celebrated at WonderCon— comics, movies, graphic novels, TV, video games, anime, music, and more—all feature memorable characters in costume. In recognition of the importance— and fun!—of costuming, WonderCon again presents its Saturday night Masquerade costume competition. The big show takes place on stage, featuring theater-style lighting, enhanced sound, and large video screens displaying great close-up views. The costumes include re-creations from the genres listed above, plus original designs from the clever imaginations of attendees. If you’ve crafted a costume, we encourage you to sign up and show off your work and perhaps take home a trophy or prize! Last year’s Masquerade audience numbered 2,400, and fans lined up well before the doors opened to see the show’s amazing and entertaining creations. Showtime will be 8:30 pm Saturday in the Esplanade Ballroom. The event is free to all WonderCon attendees—either as participants or an audience members—with a 3-day or Saturday badge. Doors will open for audience seating at 8:00 pm, and the event will run approximately two hours. Costumes must not have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained and must be of original construction or show significant modification of pre-existing materials. All genres are welcome, as are all levels of experience, from the novice to the seasoned convention costumer. Some entries will be solo; others take the stage in groups with a shared theme. Complete information and rules are available at, and will also be available at WonderCon. A limited number of contestant slots are available, so interested costumers should obtain the rules and sign up in advance. The deadline for entry is 2:00 pm Saturday, April 3, unless the Masquerade fills up before then. If you have questions please e-mail with “WonderCon Masquerade” in the subject line. The Master of Ceremonies will again be the very entertaining two-time Hugo Award-winning artist and writer Phil Foglio. For many years, Phil and his wife Kaja have created, published, and contributed to a variety of comics, art, and games in the science fiction and fantasy genres through their company Studio Foglio. Special WonderCon trophies will be awarded in a variety of categories by a panel of guest judges.

(Above) Teen Titans won the award from DC Comics for their favorite entry; (right) Godzilla (Gabe McIntosh) graciously accepts his award for Best Re-creation.

In addition to those awards, the following companies will be presenting their own prizes to winners they select: Frank & Son Collectible Show of the City of Industry, California, “the first & last stop for all your collectible needs,” will present a $500 cash prize for what they deem the audience favorite. Century Guild, the company offering “the finest art of three centuries,” will present $100 cash to the entry they select as best portraying the elements of Fantasy or Art Nouveau. DC Comics will bestow a very special DC Direct Collectible item to what they deem as the best recreation of a DC Comics character or characters. Lucasfilm Ltd. will present a special Star Wars prize, selected from the Lucasfilm Licensing Archives, to what they choose as the best costume entry from the Star Wars universe.





Murphy Anderson

(artist, Hawkman, Adam Strange) One of comics’ most respected inkers, Murphy Anderson is also known for his stunning pencils on Hawkman and Atomic Knights. His clean, precise inking style made him a natural for pencillers such as Carmine Infantino (Adam Strange) and Curt Swan (Superman). Anderson’s long career in comics—dating back to the Golden Age—includes the Buck Rogers syndicated comic strip and a long stint producing PS, the Preventive Maintenance magazine for the U.S. Army.

Sergio Aragonés

(cartoonist, Groo, MAD magazine) One of MAD magazine’s longest-running cartoonists (Al Jaffee holds the record) and the creator of that popular dim-witted barbarian Groo, Sergio Aragonés is one of WonderCon’s most popular guests. Sergio recently helped revive the DC Western hero Bat Lash in a new miniseries and co-wrote Will Eisner’s The Spirit with frequent collaborator and fellow WonderCon guest Mark Evanier. Most recently, the man some call the world’s fastest cartoonist ventured into the popular world of The Simpsons, becoming a regular featured writer/artist in Bart Simpson Comics.

PETER S. BEAGLE (author, The Last

Unicorn, A Fine and Private Place) Peter S. Beagle’s extraordinary body of work— including A Fine And Private Place, The Last Unicorn, Tamsin, and the award-winning “Two Hearts”—has made him an American fantasy


18 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010




legend. He also wrote the animated versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Last Unicorn, plus the fan-favorite “Sarek” episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Starting in April 2010, IDW Publishing will release a six-issue adaptation of The Last Unicorn, to be followed by an adaptation of A Fine and Private Place.


(actor, producer The Shield; creator, Pantheon) Michael Chiklis, best known for his portrayal of Detective Vic Mackey on the groundbreaking television drama The Shield, is venturing into the world of comic books. Chiklis, along with Anny Simon Beck and Marc Andreyko, is launching Pantheon, a dark and stylized story of ancient Greek gods returning to a ravaged, chaotic near-future Earth, where they battle for the fate of mankind. The five-issue series pits Zeus’s fellow gods against Titans in an epic battle of good verses evil and debuts from IDW in Spring 2010. Chiklis is also known for his roles as Ben Grimm, the Thing, in the Fantastic Four movies, and his starring roles in the TV series The Commish and Daddio.

Frank Cho (artist, Liberty Meadows, Mighty

Avengers, Jungle Girl) Award-winning cartoonist Frank Cho started his comics career with the syndicated comic strip Liberty Meadows. He eventually took his popular strip to the comic book format, published by Image Comics. He has also produced work for Marvel Comics, including New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, and Hulk, and Dynamite Entertainment’s Jungle Girl.




Amanda Conner (artist, Power Girl, Supergirl in Wednesday Comics) Amanda Conner’s comics career started at Marvel and Archie in the late ’80s. In the 1990s she worked for Claypool Comics on Soulsearchers and Company and for Harris on Vampirella. She’s best known as the current penciller on DC’s Power Girl, co-written by fellow WonderCon special guest Jimmy Palmiotti (with Justin Gray). She also illustrated the Supergirl feature in Wednesday Comics, featuring Krypto the Super Dog and Streaky the Super Cat. Darwyn Cooke (writer/artist, DC: The

New Frontier, Parker: Hunter) Writer/artist Darwyn Cooke is known for his award-winning work at DC Comics, including Will Eisner’s The Spirit, Catwoman, and DC: The New Frontier, which was turned into an animated movie in 2008. His current project is a series of graphic novels published by IDW based on Richard Stark’s legendary Parker books. The first, The Hunter, premiered at Comic-Con in 2009, while the second, an adaptation of The Man with the Getaway Face, will debut in 2010.

Colleen Doran (writer/artist, A Distant Soil; artist, Sandman, Orbiter) Colleen Doran is an illustrator, film conceptual artist, cartoonist, and writer whose published works number in the hundreds. She has illustrated the works of Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Warren Ellis, Anne Rice, J. Michael Straczynski, Peter David, and Tori Amos. Her credits include Sandman, Wonder Woman, A Distant Soil, Legion of Superheroes, Teen Titans, Walt

finch Michael Chiklis photo by Gilles Toucas

april 2–4

hunter freberg

stan freberg

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Tori Amos: Comic Book Tattoo, and many more.

Mark Evanier (writer/comics historian, Groo, Kirby: King of Comics) Comics, animation, TV, and blog writer Mark Evanier comes back to WonderCon to host a bevy of panels for comics-loving fans of all ages. Known for his work with Jack Kirby (his art book Kirby: King of Comics won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book) and Sergio Aragonés (he does something on Groo, but no one is quite certain what it is), Evanier brings his incredible wealth of knowledge of comics and pop culture to light every day on his blog at

David Finch (artist, Moon Knight,

Ultimatum) A fan-favorite artist known primarily for his work at Marvel, David Finch started his comics career at Top Cow on Cyberforce. He went on to illustrate The New Avengers at Marvel, along with the relaunch of Moon Knight and the Ultimate Universe-changing event series Ultimatum, written by Jeph Loeb. He’s also done album cover art for the band Disturbed and concept art for films, including Watchmen. In 2010, he’s the cover artist for DC’s new biweekly series Brightest Day.

Hunter Freberg (humorist, enter-

tainer, media personality) Hunter Freberg has been a correspondent on KRON-TV (San Francisco), KNBC-TV (Los Angeles), WJBK-TV (Detroit), and CNN, an-

adam kubert Greg Rucka photo © Linnea Osterberg

joe kubert



swering viewers’ questions from around the country. Her commentaries have been syndicated on over 300 radio stations across the country and she has served as co-host for ABC Talkradio. Her no-nonsense, breezy, on-target style has even taken center stage at The Improv in Los Angeles.

Stan Freberg (author, humorist, satirist,

voice-over actor) Stan Freberg is one of America’s best-loved humorists, known worldwide as an award-winning composer, lyricist, singer, actor, writer, and director. His albums and CDs have sold millions, reaching multiple generations of fans. His many awards include four Emmys, a Grammy, the Venice Film Festival’s Grand Prix, and 21 Clios (the Oscar of Advertising). Freberg has been inducted into The Radio Hall of Fame and The Animation Hall of Fame and has a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Adam Hughes (artist, Wonder Woman,

Catwoman) Born on Cinco de Mayo during the Summer of Love, in Riverside, New Jersey, Adam escaped to Atlanta 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.

Geoff Johns (writer, Blackest Night, Green Lantern, Flash) The mastermind behind this year’s biggest comics event, Blackest Night, is DC’s go-to guy for re-





launching their heroes. Geoff Johns brought back Hal Jordan (Green Lantern Rebirth), Barry Allen (Flash Rebirth), and Conner Kent (Superboy in Adventure Comics) and is currently telling the tale of Superman: Secret Origin. His other work includes long popular runs on Hawkman, Teen Titans, and Justice Society of America.

Robert Kirkman (writer, Invincible,

The Walking Dead, Haunt) Robert Kirkman’s comics writing career started with the self-published Battle Pope. The success of that series caught the eye of Image Comics, and soon after Kirkman created Invincible and The Walking Dead for that publisher, both of which continue to be hit series, along with The Astounding Wolf-Man. Kirkman also produced work for Marvel, most notably Ultimate X-Men and the original Marvel Zombies series. In 2008, he was named a partner at Image and is working on a new series, Haunt, with Image co-founder Todd McFarlane.

Adam Kubert (artist, Amazing Spider-

Man: The List) Adam Kubert began his comics career at the ripe old age of twelve as a letterer. After earning a degree in medical illustration, Adam chose to ultimately pursue comics and enrolled at The Joe Kubert School. Adam’s body of work includes Wolverine, Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Superman, and Ghost Rider, along with launching Marvel’s mega-popular Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four titles. After a short stint at DC, Adam has recently returned to his roots at Marvel. He currently teaches with his father, Joe,


Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 19



and brother, Andy, at The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art located in Dover, New Jersey.

Joe Kubert (writer/artist, Dong Xoai,

Vietnam 1965; educator, The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art) Joe Kubert has worked in comics since the beginning of the business. In his 70-plus years of working in the medium he has produced countless stories for countless characters, including DC Comics’ Hawkman, Tarzan, Enemy Ace, Sgt. Rock, Batman, and the Flash as well as creating his own characters: Abraham Stone and the heroic caveman Tor. His list of accomplishments is lengthy: penciler, inker, letterer, colorist, one of the creators of 3D comic books, newspaper strip cartoonist, school founder and teacher, correspondence course developer, author, artist, and editor. His graphic novel Fax from Sarajevo won both the Eisner and Harvey Awards for Best Graphic Album–New in 1997. Joe lives and works in New Jersey.

Jimmy Palmiotti (writer, Jonah Hex,

Power Girl, Last Resort) After years of being one of comics’ top inkers, Jimmy Palmiotti has added writer to his résumé. The co-founder of Event Comics and Marvel Knights, Jimmy now chronicles the adventures (along with writing partner Justin Gray) of Jonah Hex (soon to be a major motion picture) and Power Girl for DC, and the zombie horror/thriller The Last Resort for by IDW. His co-creation (with Joe Quesada), Painkiller Jane, was a TV series on Sci Fi in 2007.

Tim Powers (science fiction and fantasy

author, Last Call, Declare) Tim Powers was born in Buffalo, NY, on Leap Year Day in 1952, but he has lived in southern California since 1959. Powers’ first two novels, The Skies Discrowned and Epitaph in Rust, were both published in 1976. His subsequent novels include The Drawing of the Dark, The Anubis Gates (winner of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award and the Prix Apollo), Dinner at Deviant’s


van sciver


Palace (winner of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award), On Stranger Tides, The Stress of Her Regard, Last Call (winner of the World Fantasy Award), Expiration Date, Earthquake Weather, Declare (winner of the World Fantasy Award), and Three Days to Never. Powers has taught at the Clarion Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop at Michigan State University six times and has cotaught the Writers of the Future Workshop three times with Algis Budrys.

Porno, Kevin Smith is back at WonderCon for the first time in over four years! In addition to his movie work, Smith has returned to comics with back-to-back Batman miniseries for DC Comics: Batman: Cacophony, and Batman: Widening Gyre, and a new Green Hornet series for Dynamite Entertainment. Smith’s Q&A sessions always pack them in wherever he appears; look for another rollicking panel at WonderCon!

GREG RUCKA (writer, Action Comics,

tern Rebirth, Flash Rebirth) Not many artists can say they were present at the rebirth of a character, but Ethan Van Sciver teamed with writer (and fellow WonderCon special guest) Geoff Johns to relaunch two of comics most popular heroes: Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Barry Allen (The Flash). Coming off the recent Flash Rebirth miniseries, Van Sciver is one of the most popular artists working in comics today. He is also the illustrator of the WonderCon Program Book cover and the official WonderCon T-shirt.

Detective Comics) Author Greg Rucka made his mark in the mystery genre with his Atticus Kodiak novels before adding comics writer to his resume. Since then he has had notable runs on 52, Gotham Central, and Wonder Woman at DC, Wolverine at Marvel, and his own creations, Queen & Country and Whiteout, at Oni Press. Since 1999 Rucka and his works have been nominated for 17 Eisner Awards and have won 3. He currently writes Action Comics and Detective Comics for DC and Stumptown for Oni. His latest Atticus Kodiak novel is Walking Dead. Greg resides in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, author Jennifer Van Meter, and their two children.

Gail Simone (writer, Wonder Woman, Secret

Six) A multiple award-winning, critically acclaimed writer of comics and animation, Gail Simone began writing as a columnist for, producing the comics parody column “You’ll All Be Sorry.” She has since had fan-favorite runs as the writer on such series as Deadpool, Agent X, Birds of Prey, Gen13, and the creator-owned Welcome To Tranquility. She currently writes Wonder Woman, Secret Six, and the revived Birds of Prey, along with other special projects for DC Comics. Simone has also written for animation, including Justice League Unlimited and Tomb Raider, and is currently working on film and game projects.

kevin smith (writer/director, Chasing Amy;

writer, Batman: Widening Gyre, Green Hornet) The popular writer/director of such films as Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Zack and Miri Make a

Ethan Van Sciver (artist, Green Lan-

Judd Winick (writer, Batman, Justice

League: Generation Lost) With a writing career that runs the gamut from Barry Ween: Boy Genius to the Dark Knight, Judd Winick has brought an incredible assortment of comic characters to vivid life. From his touching true-life graphic novel Pedro and Me to his current work for DC on Batman, Winick has been a fan-favorite writer for many years, including popular stints on Green Arrow, The Outsiders, and Green Lantern. His work also includes the animated series The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, which ran for three years on Cartoon Network. Check for updated information on additional special guests, exhibitors, the complete programming, anime, and games schedules, and much more! If you’re at WonderCon 2010, consult your Program Book and the signs outside of each room for updated schedule info.

SAVE MONEY! Register online now at 20 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Kevin Smith photo by Tom Gurnee

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WonderCon 2010 Comics Arts Conference Returns to WonderCon for its Fourth Big Year! Why do we love manga? What is the “Dorothy Syndrome?” Who was the “Holiday Killer” in Batman: The Long Halloween? Can Batman teach biology? Do comics have rhythm? If you want answers to these questions and more, then you need to attend the Comics Arts Conference, a full-fledged academic conference that takes place each year at both WonderCon and ComicCon International: San Diego. Founded in 1992 by Randy Duncan (communications professor at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas) and Peter Coogan (who teaches American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis), the Comics Arts Conference brings scholars and professionals together to talk about comics with the public by breaking out of the ivory tower and holding sessions during two of the nation’s major comic book conventions. This year marks the CAC’s fourth year at Wonder Con and its eighteenth at Comic-Con International. This year’s WonderCon CAC events focus on manga and female characters, readers, and writers, starting with San Francisco native and comics legend Trina Robbins’ talk on “The Dorothy Syndrome” in shojo manga, in which a young girl is magically transported into another world and has an adventure there, paralleling the mythic hero’s journey. Manga cartoonist and film-studies professor Lien Fan Shen of the University of Utah and the author of the Taiwanese shojo manga I Will Be Your Paradise, along with other award-winning manga, reflects on the production process, reveals her struggles with the publisher, and examines the negotiations of a manga artist with her “queer” identity and Taiwanese identity over the past ten years. Moving from creators to readers, June M.

Madeley from the University of New Brunswick, explores the gender, fan, and reading practices of female American manga fans. Closing out the manga focus, Andrew Shaner of Pennsylvania State University examines the way anime and manga such as Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Metropolis foreshadowed the real-world urban social and technological upheavals experienced by Japan and the world as a whole. The female focus of the conference recurs in CAC favorite Jennifer K. Stuller’s talk based on her new book Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, as she explains how the female hero in modern mythology has broken through the boys’ club barrier of tradition and reveals the pivotal role of high-heeled, costumed, and kick-ass crimefighters in popular culture. Stuller presents a lively history of these warrior women through video clips, slides, and readings from her book, with a question-and-answer session and signing to follow. Poet Jeannine Hall Gailey investigates how superheroines from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Lara Croft have appeared in poetry by women, and how female poets use those icons to talk about cultural influence, body image, and the role of women as victims, villainesses, and heroines in comic books. But we haven’t left the boys out. Steve Higgins of Lewis and Clark Community College tries to decipher the ambiguous conclusion to Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman: The Long Halloween by explicating popular theories regarding the identity of the killer called Holiday. Dyfrig Jones from Bangor University in Wales examines the mystery of the relationship between the superhero and the state—why do superheroes like Green Arrow, Iron Man, and Miracleman choose to exercise political, and what does it mean for democracy? Psychologist

VOLUNTEER FOR WONDERCON! Make friends, have fun, and get in FREE! We couldn’t do WonderCon without you! Volunteering for the event 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 2010 Volunteer registration is open to new and returning volunteers online now! Visit for details on how to volunteer and register online.

22 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Robin Rosenberg, who wowed San Diego Comic-Con attendees last year with her panel “Is the Joker a Psychopath?,” returns to the CAC with Batman scribe Steve Englehart to explore the way comic book writers and fans make meaning of superhero origin stories. Speaking of making meaning, can Batman teach biology? Carquinez Middle School science teacher Lisa Vizcarra presents a curriculum for the biology classroom based on the book Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero by neuroscience professor E. Paul Zehr. And what was underground comix artist Rory Hayes up to? Comics publisher and novelist Jarett Kobek attempts to answer this question through the examination of Fantagraphics Where Demented Wented and Hayes’ corpus of work. The CAC scholars take on two more questions. First up, are “silent” comics musical? Côme Martin of the Université Paris Sorbonne deciphers the way a “musical” rhythm is imparted to silent comics through panel size and layout. Lastly, how can the Grand Comics Database contribute to your research? GCD member Henry Andrews explores ways to use the matchless data of the database in academic research, and he seeks contributions from attendees on how to make the database even more useful to researchers. Whether you’re a fan, scholar, creator, or just along for the ride at WonderCon, the Comics Arts Conference offers you a chance to experience comics analysis and history and learn something along the way. See the next online-only edition of Comic-Con Magazine—available in May—for a rundown of the CAC programs at Comic-Con International San Diego!




Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction are two of the best-selling writers in comics. Bendis is celebrating his tenth year as a Marvel writer and has contributed greatly to that publisher’s’Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe. In addition, his creator-owned project, Powers (drawn and co-created by Mike Oeming) has found a home at Icon. Matt Fraction has carved out his own niche in the Marvel U., with Uncanny X-Men and Iron Man, and he’s about to tackle the God of Thunder, Thor. Since the two writers live in the same city, we asked them to get together and have a conversation and allow us—including YOU—to be a fly on the wall. Here’s what they had to say.

Brian: The funny thing is Matt and I have had an inordinate amount of family dinners together this week so we’re running out of stuff to talk about. Matt: Talk about your class actually. Let’s start with that. Brian: I’m teaching here at Portland State. I’m teaching a writing class so I feel very empowered as a writer lately. It’s been very good for me personally on top of just a lot of fun to do, but I’m teaching a college course on writing graphic novels. I literally have students from all walks of life, some of who are already published, some of who are desperately trying to create their graphic novel. We’re looking at documentaries, we’ve got guest lecturers, we’re going through Scott McCloud’s work, we’re going through Will Eisner’s work. It’s been very good. Matt: I know from stalking each other the way we do that this has clearly had an energizing effect on you. Your fundamentals have been refreshed and you kind of have a fire about you

when you talk about this stuff, which is really fascinating to me. Brian: It’s focused me in a great way and it’s actually very good timing as we’re doing this interview. Siege is done and we’re embarking on Marvel’s Heroic Age (see the sidebar article on page 28), which to me almost feels like—even though I’m still writing The Avengers—I’m taking over The Avengers from another writer. My brain kind of feels that way too. So it’s a good feeling and something I hope a lot of our peers get during their careers. It feels like good timing to feel so focused. And also the kids are teaching me as much as I’m teaching them. It’s like Dead Poets Society for nerds. They’re all captains. We’re seizing the day. Matt, you’re in the middle of a giant Iron Man storyline that is only broken up into trades because there’s convenient places to do so. It’s a very, very large story, not dissimilar from the length and intensity of my Daredevil run. Matt: Yeah, it was me looking at you on Daredevil and Ed Brubaker on Captain America, which are like runs for the ages, if you

Siege cover art by Olivier Coipel and Mark Morales. TM & © 2010 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

FCONVERSATION RACTION know what I mean. And as time goes on when people talk about how do you do these single characters in long runs, you guys are going to be spoken of. So those are definitely models. Brian: I’m excited for you and I feel the nervous energy even when we’re having dinner. I feel the nervous energy as you begin to cook what hopefully will be a long run on Thor as well. I also know what it feels like: oh you did it on Iron Man and now can you do it on Thor? Can you do it again? And I’ve been there because when I went from Daredevil to Avengers I was like can I do it again? Now people have gone from expecting almost nothing from you to everything. So that’s an eye opener that never goes away. Matt: I’m trying to outrace myself, that’s what I feel like. I feel creatively, whatever I was able to do on Iron Man, whatever I take away from that experience, that is where the bar is on Thor now. So in this one Thor loses the hammer and gets stupid. I’m just going to start redoing all the Iron Man stories in Thor and see if anybody notices. Brian: It’s like a different genre completely, writing Thor and Iron Man. Are you coming at the work in a different way? Matt: Between X-Men and Iron Man, and now Thor, each one is such a wildly different animal. It’s a lot like cross training. Running a mile isn’t the same as swimming a lap. So each one is just kind of a unique experience on its own. And when I get sort of stuck or just kind of unsatisfied with the way one is going, there’s plenty of stuff to do on the other. Brian: Right, exactly. Matt: It keeps things hopping. And especially too when you’re dealing with big ensemble books versus single character books, it’s completely different. You might as well be wearing different clothes when you write them, they’re such different jobs. Now going

forward, especially where Avengers is at as we’re speaking, balance that with something more mono-focused like Ultimate Spider-Man. Tell me what the shape and size of your Avengers hat is compared to the shape and size of your Spidey hat. Brian: Well, I hire neighborhood kids to write The Avengers for me so I haven’t really looked at that book in a couple years. Matt: Lots of typos, lots of typos . . . Brian: The point I was making is it’s funny to me when people look at comics as a genre and superheroes as a genre unto itself. Here you are writing Thor and Iron Man and even though they’re related in a way, those two books couldn’t be more different in type and tone and yet they’re considered the same. It’s a little maddening actually. I felt the same when I was writing Ultimate Spider-Man and The Avengers at the same time, which I’ve been doing for a while. Yeah it doesn’t even feel like it’s the same medium to me. I mean a whole different part of my brain’s being used. And they both have Spider-Man in them. But they’re just completely—to me—different and it’s odd to me. It’s also the relationship those books have to most of their audience is completely different too. And I’m excited for you to feel that as well. You’re going back to Casanova. I think you getting back to creator-owned work while you’re doing work for hire is going to be a fantastic explosion in your brain, much like teaching has been for me. I think you’re going to find them rubbing up against each other as often as they do and servicing different parts of your brain as often as they do to be a very great writing experience for you. So people who ask

how do you write so much or why do you write so much, [my response is] I kind of have to and only when you’re doing both do you realize yeah, I have to. I have to have a book where I’m not allowed to swear and have to come up with creative ways not to do that and at the same time it’s great that I have a book where I can swear and that’s unfettered by any rule. Matt: Yeah, you don’t have to call anybody, you don’t have to vet anything, you can just do whatever crazy thought comes into your mind; you can blow the entire cast up and start over. Having that freedom is invigorating. Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 25

We joked about this the other day, but I know how I sit and I’m watching Blue’s Clues with my kid but really I’m writing. I’m problem solving in my head. I’m ruining a dinner because I’m staring at the wall trying to resolve a story problem that I can’t stop thinking about but am not physically typing. There’s definitely times when stuff just has to come to a boil on the stove and you’re not actually writing. But I kind of don’t know what to do with myself. If I’ve got stuff figured, if stuff is cooked and ready to be typed, I can only not type it for maybe a day or so before I just get antsy. I don’t know what else to do but write. A perfect example of this: I was in the shower and came up in my head with the conversation that Pepper and Tony have where we reveal his memory loss is so profound he doesn’t remember who Happy Hogan is. And the idea of Tony asking Pepper, “Who’s Happy?” just really hit me. I was like, oh, that’s the scene. And I was in the shower and I was afraid I was going to forget it so I wrote it on the window—we had a shower at the time with a window looking out into the backyard which was super awesome for the neighbors. But it was fogged up so I wrote on the fog on the glass, “Who’s Happy?” just so I didn’t forget. So the next time my wife took a shower and it steamed up she saw written on the window, like a suicide note, “Who’s happy?” And I had to explain, I’m perfectly happy. I’m delighted with my life. Brian: That’s funny. That’s very funny. Matt: I’ve really always wanted to pick your brain about this. I’ve gotten into note cards and I have notebooks and I tend to gather stuff on paper and then transfer it to file. It’s almost sculptural where I need to be able to physically move stuff and rearrange things. It’s a very sloppy process I have to get my outlines into shape. But just kind of generally to feel my way through a story, I need to kind of place stuff and I need to be able to see the entire game board, do you know what I mean? Tell me how you plot this stuff out. Tell me how you go from, “Oh, hey . . . I want to do a story where the Avengers get together because all the supervillains break out of The Raft.” How do you turn that notion into a script? Brian: The good news is for me is that it’s always different. We have a lot of writer friends and people that we know who have almost a format that they hold to. And I think that any sort of format for me would have been the death of me careerwise about four years ago because I write too much stuff for it all to have the same flavor or to all be coming from the same place. So basically, I’m a big asker of why. Why are we telling this story? Sometimes it could be anything as simple as an image in my head that I have to get rid of by writing a story for it, or the characters themselves have dictated an arc that allows me to tell a story. That idea then sends me down a road of concepts and subjects, but I always kind of know where I’m going and what the point is, but I allow the char-

26 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

acters to dictate stuff too. Not the character as far as characterization, but the character’s actions and their desires dictate to me not only entire set pieces but just the tone of the story. And that’s been a very good road for me. Sometimes people hear this and they think that because I don’t beat out everything to death with note cards and such that I’m writing by the seat of my pants. It’s absolutely not the case. What I’m doing is I’m allowing the characters to breathe true life, hopefully, or as close as you can get to it. And then from there I go in and I start beating out what just happened and make something from it. I feel that I’m becoming more and more intuitive and more and more confident in my ability to know the shape of things as I go. And even though you had your ending locked, you go the opposite way and then you come up with some great spin or twist and you surprise yourself and you allow the characters to find you. Matt: I’ll feel like this scene has to be these guys talking to each other on two and a half, three pages, that’s it. And even if I get into the writing and like the copy, this could go on for more, this conversation wants to be bigger. I don’t quite have the confidence to just trust the character. I still feel the compulsion of this has to end on page 22 and it’s got to end with an “Ahhh!” otherwise no one’s coming back. I don’t have the courage to let things quite breathe as organically as I think they want to breathe. But I’m getting there. I’m finding myself becoming more and more intuitive. The more you do, the more confidence in your abilities you get. Brian: I also think it comes from where your mind’s at, certainly at any day of the week. There are some days where I’m just more interested in Peter Parker and MJ’s relationships than I am in Peter Parker hitting anything. And then another day I’ll wake up and go I want to write the greatest ninja story that ever lived and have nothing but swords and ninjas with the same amount of passion. So the good news is that if you kind of stay ahead of the curve with deadlines, as you and I both try to do, you allow yourself to follow whatever road your brain’s on that day. You’re not forcing yourself to write what has to be written today. You know . . . “I woke up in an Iron Man mood but I went to sleep in a Thor mood.” You kind of let the musical winds take you. That’s a big part of it too. I think what you witnessed where you weren’t sure what was happening is that you were pretty sure I was writing Avengers and then you turn around and I was writing Powers and you’re not sure what happened. “How did you get into Powers mode?” It’s hard to describe to people sometimes. Matt: It’s like seeing you with the confidence of knowing this is going to work. This is the story and I’m going to find it. I remember you sent me the Luke and Jessica break-up issue in script form when you had finished it, where they have the fight over the phone. And I wrote you back with, god that’s such a gut punch. It just hurts your stomach to read. And you asked me what’s wrong with it. I said it’s sad because

people are getting a divorce or they’re separating and I care about these characters. And I feel if it was up to me I’d be like all right that conversation has to happen over five pages. Brian: You know what? I didn’t block that issue out for just that. Matt: Yeah, exactly and it shows. Brian: If it wasn’t interesting, I’d gut it. Sometimes I write whole damn things and I go no, this was done about three pages ago and then I just cut it out. Because I am a big believer in “get in late, get out early.” Matt: That’s the best thing too, when you’re really plugged in, it’s when your instincts take over as a writer. Brian: We were talking earlier about the class I’m teaching. I’ve reread all of Will Eisner’s books and all of Scott McCloud’s books and I just reread Story by Robert McKee and all those books that have very, very important rules that should be held to. And some of them have stuff that I go, yeah I don’t necessarily totally agree with that or I see that that’s a good answer to that writing problem but it’s not the only answer to that writing problem. I think that’s why we like comics so much in that every once in a while comics allow a playwright’s soul to pop out and allow that story to be told that way because that’s what it needs. With comics, though they do have sisterly rules to film and television, it’s not the same. And I think we should embrace that more often than we do. That we don’t have to do it just because it’d look cool in a movie like that. Matt: I remember one of the biggest sort of editorial go-rounds I had with Axel [Alonso] on X-Men was about a particular issue where I kept trying to work a fight scene into it and he just kept saying but it’s interesting enough, it doesn’t need the fight scene. But it’s X-Men, shouldn’t it be there? He’s like, no, you’ve got it, quit it. Brian: You get it into your head. You can doubt your instinct. You know the sort of mediocre commonalities, the null sort of perception of what comics are, can get into your head. And the “bang,” “sock,” “pow” can get into it. You just sort of forget that there’s this incredibly potent, incredibly rich soil and you can grow anything. And if that’s a play, it’s a play, if it’s a fight scene, it’s a fight scene. It’s versatile enough that it can take on whatever, you just have to have the guts to do it, to stand up and get it done. By the way, I would like to point out that I just said that about an X-Men comic book, and how pretentious is that? What I like about your writing and what I like about comic writing in general is a juxtaposition of tone and ideas. You’ll do the dark conspiracy and then turn the page and something genuinely funny

will happen. I think we both agree we don’t see enough of that or are always amazed when even the silliest of books don’t take that chance. It’s not even that big of a chance, it’s just to have the author surprise themselves by allowing that. This is a Mel Brooks lesson. I remember years ago he was on a late night show and he was talking about his philosophy of comedy. You take something that’s smooth and you put it right up against something jagged and you rub them up against each other. And then if you do that, whether you’re writing a drama or a comedy, you’ll never go wrong. Something interesting will always happen. It’s always the juxtaposition of the completely opposite of flavors. That is something I’ll do, if this issue was dark the next issue will be the funniest issue I’ve ever written. And I see you do that, I see a lot of our favorite writers do that and that excites me to no end. Some books you know what their flavor is and it’s almost like you’ll never be surprised because you always know it’s going to be that flavor and I kind of would rather be surprised. When I read your X-Men I really don’t know where you’re going.

placed by another tension and that’s the “What do we do now?” And you start making goals for yourself because you didn’t even think you’d get this far. I know we both definitely feel that, that this is much farther then I thought I was going to get to go. Now what? Matt: It’s sort of like you never plan for the day after the zombie movie. What do we do on day two? I don’t know what to do. Brian: And that’s what happens. Every time we get a little box of trade books and I open it up. And my wife pointed out to me, I never do that awkward moment where they go “The book is here!” like from Back to the Future when George McFly opens up his box of books and shows his book and tells his kids, “You know kids, there’s nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it.” I never do that. I look at it briefly, I rumble something and I throw it under a table.

Matt: I did that. I had a Punisher bit where he made a reference to Russell Johnson, the guy that played the professor on Gilligan’s Island. And it wasn’t about oh, ha-ha funny Punisher, but it was a metaphor for him explaining whatever it was he was trying to explain. But there was something that made the idea of a guy who just walks around and kills people as he sees fit more horrifying to share the banal stuff of daily life, the dumb stuff. That somehow made the Punisher more frightening to me. Brian: What are your unsung goals now? What are you trying to get? Because now this is what I’ve found: once you get the book, you get to keep the book, then you go under contract. So the tension of looking for work is eased. And it gets of course re-

Brian: Yeah, that is very surreal. Actually my morning was like this because I got a half an issue of Daredevil from Klaus Janson and then I got pages from Alan Davis, and you’re like what the hell is going on? Because it used to be us and our pals putting on a show. Matt: Yeah we used to put on a show in a barn and now John Romita Jr. calls you on the phone and you poop your pants a little bit.

Matt: Neither do I so that works out well. I got that once in an interview and it struck me as really odd, “Why is everybody funny in your book?” I like funny. Do you not laugh throughout your life day to day? Even in the worst day of my life I still remember the funny things that happened. Maybe that’s just the way my mind works, maybe that’s the way my friends are, but I laugh every day about something. Brian: I agree with you. Humor is what you get the most comments on from readers and it’s more about them worrying that you’re not taking the characters seriously. I had Bucky/Cap make a joke in The Avengers and the joke wasn’t the joke he told, but that everyone else in the room just stared at him because they never heard him tell a joke before. And then he kind of didn’t know how to react to them not reacting to the joke. And that’s what it was about. But in the meantime I got quite a few people upset by the scene. You don’t know anybody who doesn’t tell jokes, who tried to tell a joke and tanked it? You’ve not seen that?

with each other but you’ve been dotting I’s and crossing T’s on the new Avengers 1 and I’ve been dotting I’s and crossing T’s on Iron Man 25 and it’s both inordinately difficult because it’s different now. It’s clearly a thing that’s tapping into the fact that we’re in a big “what kind of place now?” going forward. But I suspect though you meant more career kind of way. For me I feel like I know all these amazing people now. I’m friends with people I used to be—and still am—fans of. Like John Romita Jr. doing the Free Comic Book Day issue of Iron Man and Thor. You know the first issue of X-Men I ever bought he drew.

Brian: But for me it was Alex Maleev and David Mack and Mike Oeming, and we all grew up together and we all kind of made it together and we’re still making books together. But now there’s this other element of our life that is what the hell? Like there’s Klaus Janson Daredevil pages and they’re going to have my name on it. That seems weird to me. Matt: Get a time machine and go back and tell 10-year-old me it all turns out okay. Brian: How was your last San Diego experience?

Matt: And I’m done. Brian: No, I go “Now what?” Great, that happened, now what do I do? So that is definitely where I’m at. I’ve been thrilled that Marvel kind of put the flag in the sand for Heroic Age for us because I think it got us to label it as the end of a decade. It feels like starting something new. Matt: This is the unspoken subtext of this editorial retreat we’re about to go into: now what? That is the perfect way to articulate that. Brian: But see I loved it because made me feel like what now . . . do something. Even though I’m still on The Avengers I’m writing it like I’m just taking it over for the first time. Matt: We’ve been talking about this for the last week

Iron Man and Thor art by John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson. TM & © 2010 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

Matt: My career trajectory is never more clear to me than it is at San Diego. The San Diego I remember is no longer accessible to me. It’s overwhelming and it’s fantastic. Marvel had me up on the stage surrounded by the Iron Man armors and signing for a streaming line of people. It was crazy, it was berserk, but I remember when I could not get a nickel for a cup of coffee at this show. And that was the San Diego in my head. What about you? Brian: I did a one-day [appearance] a couple of years ago, I think it was for Halo or something. But I used to go all the time, when me and David Mack and Mike Oeming were at Caliber or Image and we were up and coming. We used to bring books to the show and it literally was if we do not sell these books we have no way home. There was a couple years where that was absolutely the case. If I don’t sell you this copy of Jinx I don’t know how I’m getting back to Cleveland. So coming as a guest is much better, it’s much more relaxing. Matt: This is my first year being a guest. I went to WonderCon as a guest last year and that was pretty trippy as this will be, I’m sure. You can go walk the comics stuff and see all the

Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 27

retailers you know. I got to flip through the entirety of Kamandi 8 and 9 with their covers last year because I was with a friend who knew a guy who knew a guy who was a big Jack Kirby collector and the guy had both entire issues, all the original art and the covers at his booth. And they pulled me back and were like oh sure, have a look. And I got to sit there and hold Kamandi 8 and 9 in my lap and read through them. Only at San Diego, kids. For me the magic is at the far ends of the Exhibit Hall, the far left or the far right. Exactly like my politics. Brian: There’s some quiet magic going on there. There are some really great books that have been created this year and they’re just sitting there dying to talk to you. And that’s probably the best time you could have. And to my comic book brothers and sisters may I say to you, yes, there are “Hollywood weasels” walking up and down that Artists’ Alley. Don’t give in to it. I worry about our brothers and sisters who are not as protected as we are. We have lawyers and agents and such. But there are guys out there making big promises and I just want them to be safe. Because there are some great San Diego stories. We sold Powers at San Diego Comic-Con to Sony right there on the terrace, outside by the boats.

Sony bought it before issue 2 hit the stands. That’s my suggestion to the fans: don’t leave Artists’ Alley. And my suggestion to Artists’ Alley is don’t believe everything you’re told. Have you got any big announcements for San Diego? Matt: Actually we should have the new Casanova 1 out for San Diego. Brian: Me and Alex [Maleev] are going to be debuting our new Icon book at San Diego. And by saying it here in this interview I’m locking it in and guaranteeing that has to happen. Matt: San Diego’s going to be the first show I do after the new baby, so I’m going to be a particular brand of exhausted. Brian: And you’re going to have that funky smell that all new dads have. Matt: I’m going to have the funky new dad smell. I’ll have the new dad weight. I’ll have a nice 30 pounds of cereal right around the middle. I’ll have a beard.

Brian: I’m bringing my family. My daughter has become Comic-Con obsessed. She loves it. She is excited about San Diego. I’m very excited about that. Take my daughter to work day is going to be at San Diego Comic-Con. That’s going to be cool. Matt: To sort of circle back around to an earlier question, what is there to do now? We should tell our own stories. We should do so just as an exercise, just to keep loose, to keep excited, to keep invested in the art form. It’s sort of like even if you work at a restaurant you still have to cook your own dinner when you go home. I feel like I should be taking advantage of that and as I’m finding what my work tempo is and how much work I can handle, I can manage this. I can easily manage this. So I’m looking at getting more creator-owned stuff going on. Not because of any particular dissatisfaction doing superhero stuff but just because I’m already doing superhero stuff and you know you can’t live on bread alone. An extended version of this interview is available on our website. Look for the link to the Bendis-Fraction Conversation on the Magazine page at

Brian: Yeah totally. We’re in the reconstruction business and that’s a shift. It’s very, very cool, but seems to make the villains and the antagonists much more interesting too. So there you go. It’s been a lot of time since you’ve seen a comic like that and it’s a big writing challenge for us in a good way. Matt: And you know this is what I think, back to you on Avengers 1 and me on Iron Man 25, this is the first time Tony Stark has had a coherent conversation in eight months. Brian: I’ve been on Avengers since 2004, and believe it or not, I have never had Tony Stark and Thor have a conversation.

Brian: The main Marvel books coming out of Siege are going to be called “The Heroic Age” and The Avengers and Thor and Cap and Iron Man and Fantastic Four are going to have a brighter tone, but only in contrast to the darker villains. It’s a very interesting proposal for us as writers because it’s been very conspiratorial over the last few years and now there’s an air of hope and writing hope and defend-

28 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

ing hope and creating hope. And instead of deconstructing superheroes because it’s very fun to do, we’re actually holding them up and saying don’t we wish we had heroes like this and wouldn’t that be great? Matt: It’s much harder to build than it is to take apart, and now it’s about the build. We’ve been in the taking apart business for a long time.

Matt: Right, right, they’ve never said anything to each other. I’ve only had Iron Man and Captain America say quite crappy things to each other, kind of them fighting each other. Brian: That’s what I want to talk about as we look forward and we have these new writing challenges Even when we start this Heroic Age, I could probably stop writing The Avengers now. I’ve done it but then at the same time it’s like I don’t think I’m done yet, you know? It doesn’t feel done. It feels like I have more stuff to do.

Heroic Age art by Jim Cheung TM & © 2010 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Special Guests


Nightstand Sometimes you can find out a lot about a writer by what he or she is reading. ComicCon Magazine asked WonderCon and ComicCon 2010 special guests what’s resting on their nightstand these days and exactly what they like about the comics and books they’re currently reading. Here’s how they responded.

Peter S. Beagle


from the best and I’ve been looking at the comics to try and determine what made them so good. Aside from being wildly imaginative—especially at that time—they strike universal chords with the reader. It taps into what people want to be able to do, not what they can’t. They touch on what’s noble and righteous in the human spirit as well.

Author, The Last Unicorn, A Fine and Private Place

Chris Claremont

At the moment I’ve actually been reading a biography of Gypsy Rose Lee, called Stripping Gypsy, because I remember her from my childhood and because I met her son once, who was then working for his father, Otto Preminger.

H. G. Wells, The History of the World. Because it pays to know something about the world one writes about. Plus, I’m playing around with a concept set in Edwardian England, and he is the most consummate of English voices of that time. (Yes, that H. G. Wells. He was a respected historian. And fornicator. Wikipedia Rebecca West.) And I can’t wait to read Louise Simonson’s X-Factor Forever and PowerPack. She always has the best take on character and makes books that are just so much fun to read. 

Kurt Busiek

Writer, Trinity, Marvels, Conan Currently on the nightstand: Comics: Irredeemable by Waid & Krause, Fables by Willingham & Buckingham, Grandville by Bryan Talbot, Incognito by Brubaker & Phillips, Chew by Layman & Guillory, Battlefields: The Tankies by Ennis & Ezquerra. Books: Little, Big by John Crowley, First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher, Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance, edited by George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, Muse And Reverie by Charles de Lint, American Fantastic Tales, edited by Peter Straub, Treason’s Shore by Sherwood Smith

Michael Chiklis

Actor/producer The Shield; writer, Pantheon from IDW Recently I’ve been taking a look back at some of Stan Lee’s early work from Marvel with the eyes of a student. You might as well learn 30 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Writer, X-Men Forever, X-Women

Mark Evanier

Writer, Groo, Kirby: King of Comics We seem to have a current gusher of books about comedy (like George Carlin’s autobiography), so lately I’ve been working my way through them. I’ve also been enjoying collections of great newspaper strips like Elzie Segar’s Popeye, Jack Kent’s King Aroo, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, and many others that are a special joy to have in one place and to be able to read without 24 hours between chapters.

Geoff Johns

Writer, Blackest Night, Flash Rebirth, Superman Secret Origin, Green Lantern Magazines? When the Apple iPad is out I’ll probably read 30 of them. I can’t wait for digital subscriptions. Though I did just renew my subscription to MAD magazine, mainly for my favorite feature in there: Planet Tad— criminally overlooked by everyone. In the

Paul Levitz

Writer, The Legion of Super-Heroes Just finished the run of House of Mystery by Matt Sturges, Bill Willingham, and an army of collaborators, preparing for a 4-page assignment for #25—a fun twist on the old premises, and in Arthur C. Clarke’s old Tales from the White Hart tradition, too.  In books, (I’m) alternating between binge-reading C. J. Sansom (start with Winter in Madrid, which is beautifully constructed, then his medieval mysteries) and NESFA’s (New England Science Fiction Association) Complete Roger Zelazny, my favorite SF author, particularly for building fantastic worlds around larger-than-life premises, a trick that’s so fundamentally worth studying for comics.

comic arena, I’m mostly picking up writers and artists I enjoy like Grant Morrison, Steve McNiven, Andy Diggle, Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction’s Iron Man, Mark Millar’s Wolverine. The Walking Dead is still a great book, [also] Olivier Coipel, Sweet Tooth, and J. Michael Straczynski, among many others.

Larry Marder

Writer/artist, Beanworld The most exciting recent discovery for me has to be Theo Ellsworth’s Capacity. I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t go to comics shops on any sort of regular basis nowadays. I tend to pick up comics and graphic novels at conventions but I will automatically read anything by Jeff Smith, Hope Larsen, Sergio Aragonés, James Kochalka, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Carla Speed McNeil, and Rick Veitch that finds its way into my hands. I’m also very impressed by the Jesse Marsh Tarzan archives. I like Erik Larsen’s stuff, particularly the “Next Issue” series. As far as books go I’ve almost exclusively read nonfiction for the last decade or so. I really enjoy the work of Rich Cohen (Tough Jews, The Avengers), Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food), and Mark Kurlansky (Cod, Salt, Food of a Younger Land).

China Miéville

Author, The City & the City, Perdido Steet Station I’m a very tardy comics reader—there are just too many good ones—so I’m both late to lots of parties, and I miss a lot. I’ve finally been catching up late in one big gulp with Marvel’s Civil War and its aftermath. I’ve been enjoying it, in particular because it underscores in big thick bloody lines what everyone with any sense has always known: that Iron Man is an utterly despicable little fascist. I took a bit of time to get The Umbrella Academy. I read the first story a while ago and felt a bit meh, but my bad. I tried again, and it totally won me over, and I’m really loving the second volume, art and dialogue. I don’t normally love autobiography or how-to-write guides, but I keep coming back to Lynda Barry’s combination of the two, What It Is, and I think only in part because of its use of an octopus as a metaphor. It’s also a beautiful object, beautifully produced. My favorite comic of the year, and I’m only a little way in, is Joe Sacco’s Footnotes in Gaza. I love his ongoing project of graphic

Carla Speed McNeil Writer/artist, Finder

These are the things I look forward to: Night School by Svetlana Chmakova. Svet’s best known for Dramacon from Tokyopop, but holy god, Night School is a huge leap forward for her. It’s a supernatural conspiracy that takes place in and around a school for demons and shapeshifters and witches and whatever else happens by. She makes the conventions of manga work for her, rather than just throwing them in because they’re fun to draw. It’s just as engaging as her lighter work, but much more deeply plotted. Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell. Where has this comic been all my life? Tom makes episodic plots look easy. Seriously—telling a big story in small chunks that are satisfying in themselves but build on each other. And he’s a wonderful world-builder, keeps handmade mythology, sociology, architecture, history, all the parts moving at the same time like Cirque du Soleil. His art keeps getting better and better, which is always cool for process junkies like me. Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton, who has the best comic timing in the whole wide world. She also draws the hell out of a peevish Wonder Woman on occasion. I’d read Wonder Woman if she drew it. Girl Genius by Phil Foglio. Still more fun than a self-pedaled merry-go-round. What’s not to love about a fantasy world run entirely by mad scientists? Family Man by Dylan Meconis. Beautifully illustrated, intricately plotted. Everybody needs to give Dylan more money for this webcomic so she can update it more than once a week. Freakangels by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield, because I always wanted to do my own version of Village of the Damned and Ellis beat me to it, the bastard. The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion by Edward Gorey. Recently returned to print. Incontinently funny. Echo by Terry Moore. I still drool over the way Terry draws hair. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers by Craig Yoe for sheer madness. Boody Rogers’ comics are crazy the way modern webcomics are crazy, and mostly better drawn. The Poetic Edda by Benjamin Thorpe and The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir, because I hated history in school and have been making friends with it ever since. I can only conclude that my light reading must consist entirely of cookbooks at this point, because I can’t think of a thing I’m reading that isn’t heavy as all get-out. I do have a killer recipe for peas with bacon, though.

Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 31

reportage, his commitment to justice in Palestine, and, as a long-term fan of monochrome pen-&-ink work, I passionately love his use of crosshatching—always my favorite graphic technique. The nuances he gets out of overlapping lines is astonishing. (Bookwise) I’m reading the ferocious and brilliant Combined and Uneven Apocalypse, by Evan Calder Williams, a radical rumination on a whole bunch of monster films, ends-ofthe-world, falling profit rates, neoliberalism, and more. I’m enjoying Mark Charan Newton’s City of Ruin, a gloomy fantasy in a magically fecund ice age, Nina Power’s dose of feminist sal-volatil One-Dimensional Woman, and I vociferously recommend the debut novel Children of the Sun, by Max Schaefer (full disclosure: he’s a good friend, but truly honestly I think the book’s fantastic). 

Jimmy Palmiotti

Writer, Jonah Hex, Power Girl, The Last Resort

personal favorite. I am hoping one day this is translated, but until then I am actually learning Spanish using the Rosetta stone program. Yes, I want to read it that bad and it will make our e-mailing back and forth make a little bit more sense. Last, I have the Luba hardcover by the amazing Gilbert Hernandez published by my pals at Fantagraphics. Gilbert and Jaime are my personal heroes, with the amazing amount of great work they put out on a regular basis and on a side note, I collect their original art as well. Hey, what other medium can you not only admire someone’s work but also actually buy a piece for yourself? Not many I tell you. One of the greatest pleasures for me working in comics is showing up at Comic-Con and getting to meet all these wonderful people in person. I can’t tell you how lucky and blessed I feel to be part of all this. As far as monthly comics, I try to buy the trades when they are collected. Trust me, the future of this business will be trade books.

Douglas E. Richards

The book on my desk at the moment is The Rocketeer Deluxe, The Complete Adventures, a collection of the wonderful Dave Stevens series that features not only every single page of that character ever to see print but a ton of extras, and I mean a ton. It’s one of the finest collections out today and the crew at IDW did a fantastic job gathering up the material from Dave’s collection, family and friends. Another book by my table is the hardcover collection 50 Anos de Vinetas:, The Work of Jordi Bernet. This Spanish collection features over 300 pages of Jordi’s amazing award-winning art through the years all the way up to his current work on Jonah Hex, which is my

Author, The Prometheus Project series Although I feel like a dinosaur for admitting this, what I’ve currently been reading isn’t anything even remotely current. For the past three months I’ve been rereading old SF favorites; books, stories, and novellas I haven’t read in years or decades, wondering if they are now hopelessly out of date or if my increased sophistication will diminish their appeal. I’m happy to report that my answer to both of these questions is an emphatic “no.” In my view, the works I’ve just revisited hold up spectacularly well. Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity (1955) is an adventure story I

loved as a kid, but as an adult I see it clearly as the brilliant and thought-provoking social/ political commentary that it is and appreciate it even more. Piers Anthony’s Macroscope (1969) continues to dazzle and expand the mind. I found A. E. Van Vogt’s short story “Resurrection” (1948) just as impossibly fun and compelling to read as I did when I was ten. Mike Resnick’s Ivory (1988) still drew me in instantly and was as fun and unique as anything I’ve read, and his novella Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge (1994), a modern masterpiece, is still a brilliant commentary on the human condition. And as for the last of the past gems I’ve just finished rereading, my enthusiasm for Dan Simmons’ Hyperion (1989) and The Fall Of Hyperion (1990), and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (1985) and Ender’s Shadow (1999), has not diminished in the least. So while this recent exercise exposes me for the dinosaur that I am, for the past three months I’ve been a very happy dinosaur, delighted by the memories of years past and quite impressed with the good taste in science fiction demonstrated by numerous younger versions of myself.

C. Tyler

Writer/artist, You’ll Never Know Book One: A Good and Decent Man; Late Bloomer The Nancy Series: Nancy’s Pets, Nancy Eats Food, Nancy Dreams & Schemes, Bums, Beatniks and Hippies, and How Sluggo Survives by Ernie Bushmiller from Kitchen Sink Press; Our Fathers’ War by Tom Mathews; Battle: The Story of the Bulge by John Toland; Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

James Sturm

Writer/artist, James Sturm’s America I just finished Feed by MT Anderson. It’s a futuristic coming-of-age story that reminds me of a Young Audience Brave New World (with a touch of Catcher in the Rye). Currently I am reading Lorrie Moore’s latest, A Gate at the Stairs, and a biography of the American photographer Dorthea Lange who created the iconic “Migrant Mother” photo. The last year I’ve read a lot of comics especially with my kids. My daughters love Moomin, Sardine, Little Lulu, The Secret Science Club, and Amelia Rules. There seems to be a lot of great comics being published for kids right now. I really enjoyed George Sprott, Monsters, Masterpiece Comics, and The Photographer. I also read Posy Simmond’s work for the first time and loved both Tamara Drew and Gemma Bovary. I also followed Joe Lambert’s work via his blog. He works right down the street from my studio here in White River Junction. Almost everything he does is poetic. I was also really impressed by the Xeric Award–winning book by Erroyn Franklin, Another Glorious Day at the Nothing Factory, which will likely fly under most people›s radar. Not a graphic novel in the traditional sense but it’s worth seeking out since it packs a powerful emotional punch. 32 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Art © 2010 James Sturm

The Tip Sheet

WONDERCON AND COMIC-CON SPECIAL GUESTS OFFER ADVICE TO ASPIRING WRITERS The 2010 special guest lists for WonderCon and Comic-Con International encompass an incredible array of comics and science fiction writers, representing a wealth and variety of knowledge. Comic-Con Magazine asked them for the one crucial tip they’d give to an aspiring writer.

Peter S. Beagle Author, The Last Unicorn, A Fine and Private Place

Invest in a comfortable pad for the chair in which you work. Because—as I always tell anyone who says they want to be a writer—so much of becoming a writer is simply applying butt to seat of chair and staying there, no matter what. You simply have to put in your time, no matter how frustrating it sometimes gets or how long it takes to make progress.

Kurt Busiek Writer, Trinity, Marvels, Conan

Write. All the advice in the world, all the how-to books, all the classes, they’ll help, sure, but none of them will teach you as much as writing will. Write your own stuff, experiment, see what works for you and what doesn’t, and find your own voice. Write and finish things, because if you spend all your time coming up with great beginnings but you peter out and don’t finish the job, you’ll have lots of practice at beginnings, but none at endings. Finish even stories you don’t like any more. Finishing them might help you find something good in them, and hey, it’ll give you a chance to practice revising. But write, write more, and keep writing. There’s no such thing as perfect, but practice makes better. And on the subject of breaking in, see breaking_in_without_rules.php for my thoughts on the subject.

Michael Chiklis Actor/producer, The Shield; creator, Pantheon from IDW Publishing

Well, to be wildly imaginative for one. And think in terms of universal themes. Presumably you want your work to reach a large audience, so think of things we all want out of life. And get personal! The more your work reflects your own hopes, dreams or desires, the more likely it will ring true to the reader.

Chris Claremont Writer, X-Men Forever, X-Women

Read, read, read. Everything. I don’t mean just comics or graphic novels. Read about the world, about things that don’t interest you, about people and places you are unfamiliar with. Broaden your horizon. You will discover worlds you never knew existed.

Geoff Johns Writer, Blackest Night, Flash Rebirth, Superman Secret Origin, Green Lantern Stop thinking about writing and write.

Paul Levitz Writer, The Legion of Super-Heroes

Don’t think of yourself as an aspiring comics writer—be an aspiring writer. Before you’re done, you’ll write in many media and genres if you’re successful at feeding yourself writing, so start out thinking that way, reading and preparing yourself across a range of subjects and forms, and be easy as the road takes you places you never expected to go.

Larry Marder Writer/artist, Beanworld

I like Joseph Campbell’s advice to “follow your own bliss.” Only you can figure out what that actually means in your life. Follow that sense of joy to the place it takes you that is all your own. That’s when and where you find your voice. And once found, say what you have to say loudly and clearly. Speak from the heart concisely and persistently even when it seems like the world is ignoring you. If you really have something worth paying attention to, someone will eventually hear you. And when they do, they will have reason to listen to your unique voice. That’s what worked for me anyway. 34 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Michael Chiklis photo by Gilles Toucas

The Tip Sheet


Carla Speed McNeil Writer/artist, Finder

Take some actual writing classes in school. Read books that aren’t comics and aren’t about comics. Please. Let some air in. Here’s the only writing book I’ve ever bought that did me any good: Plot And Structure by James Scott Bell. If you’re good at coming up with cool ideas and engaging characters but can’t think what the hell to do with them, try this. It clarified a lot of problems I had with creating a plot on which to string my cool ideas.

China Miéville Author, The City & the City, Perdido Street Station

If you want to write a novel, don’t try to stare at it head-on. It is Gorgon: If you meet its gaze it will turn you to stone. Countless wonderful books get not written—a more intransigent state of affairs than not getting written, by far—this way. Instead, I recommend writing a book behind your own back. Frontload as much organization as you can—way more than you think is necessary, certainly more than you want to—plan the whole thing out in detail. Characters, setting, story, in deep detail, so you have an overall arc, an outline of at least a short paragraph for each chapter, what’ll happen in it, who’s going to do what in it, and where you need to be by the chapter’s end. Estimate the book’s overall length, very roughly. (In words. Stop thinking in pages, please: in the modern world of font-profusion, let alone the explosion of e-books, it is totally unhelpful to keep saying “I wrote 10 pages today.” Ten pages in, what, 8 pt. Courier? 17 pt. Centaur? Ten iPhone-screen’s worth? I implore you to think in terms of numbers of words, not “pages.”) Take a good long time over this—a good few weeks. Then, when it’s done, forget it. Don’t look at it. That way, when you’ve finished, you’ll have a book-plan, which, paradoxically, will allow you to ignore the terrifying book-ness of the book. Because all you need to focus on is the chapter you’re on, and you know what has to happen there, because you’ve planned it, and it’s right in front of you. Forget about the rest of it, just focus on trying to write, say, 500 words (or whatever) on a writing day, and thinking just about the chapter you’re in, and getting to the end of it. If you don’t do that, everything you write you’ll be thinking of in terms of “Adding To The Novel,” and that’s way too intimidating, so there’s every possibility you’ll stall.

Douglas E. Richards Author, The Prometheus Project series

The single most often quoted writing tip in history is, “Write what you know.” While this might be great advice if you’re a special forces weapons expert or a high-profile criminal prosecutor, if your area of expertise isn’t all that interesting to you or to anyone else (e.g. laminated metal hinge designer), this probably isn’t a good idea. I would modify this to, “Write about what you have a passion to write about, without regard for the rest of the known universe.” If you’re passionate about a topic, don’t talk yourself out of it because something in the same vein has already been done. How many different vampire and dragon novels have been written in the past hundred years? Yet there is always room for one more—as long as you tell a compelling, well-written story. Worried about the other extreme—that what you’re passionate about writing is unlike anything else out there? Worried that everyone is looking for the next vampire novel and not your journey into unexplored territory? Don’t be. Yours could be the very breath of fresh air that starts the next big trend. After all, when Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, it was unexplored territory. The obstacles to achieving external measures of success as a writer are truly enormous, so write what you love to write, work tirelessly to find your audience, and let the chips fall where they may. By being true to yourself, you’ll love what you’re writing and achieve a high level of satisfaction, regardless of any external measures of success that may or may not come your way.

James Sturm Writer/artist/educator, James Sturm’s America

Having co-founded a cartooning school, The Center for Cartoon Studies, this is something I’ve though about quite a bit and what I have come up with is this: if you want to be a cartoonist you have to make comics. It sounds simple but from my experience of working with aspiring cartoonists, they can spend more time thinking about making comics, starting comics, researching comics, drawing pin-ups, or writing scripts than actually making a comic that has a beginning, middle, and end. Even if that comic is four panels long and your ambition is to create graphic novels or a comic book series, you have to start somewhere. Finished works are the rungs of a ladder that allows a creator to scale greater creative heights. Most people never finish a comic because they are afraid of falling short of their goal—the idealized comic in their head. 

C. Tyler Writer/artist, You’ll Never Know Book One: A Good and Decent Man; Late Bloomer Never go with your first draft.

Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 35


Martin Jaquish

BY Comic-Con/WonderCon Masquerade Coordinator

WHAT’S HOT IN CONVENTION COSTUMING So you’ve seen the many folks in costumes walking around the convention . . . maybe you’ve attended a Masquerade and seen the elaborate presentations. You’ve decided it looks like fun and you’re thinking: why not get into the spirit yourself? If you have a favorite movie, book, character, or period of history, you may already know what your costume will be. But if you are undecided or overwhelmed by choices, read on. Like fashion in the real world, certain types of costumes at conventions are classic, others have their time of fame and then fade, and others are fresh and growing in popularity each year.

Movie and TV Re-creations Costumes derived from science fiction and fantasy were the very first convention costumes decades ago and still tend to be the most common today. For most costumers of this sort, accuracy is its own reward, and many will pour over photos and research articles that reveal the original materials used and methods of construction before they even start. Certain plastic armor parts can be bought online, but that’s a no-no for competitions. Many casual watchers of the latter Star Wars movies don’t realize that the “Clone Trooper” armor is a computer-effect; thus fans who want to make their own have to figure out how to turn something that only existed virtually into something real.

Comic Book Re-creations With so many varied heroes and villains, there is a costume for every taste and level of complexity, but it’s advisable to match your body type to the costume. In recent years foam is an acceptable means to beef up muscles or enhance your chest, and more people are airbrushing on muscle lines. It’s become almost a necessity lately to have plastic fabrication skills to make a head-turning Batman, Iron Man, or anything with simulated armor. Last year in the Comic-Con Masquerade a prize-winning (and very large) Hulk was crafted of soft-sculpture foam, a construction method increasing in use (shown in photo above).

Animation-based For Japanese Animation, what began decades ago as simple costumes of limited recognition gradually evolved into an amazing and large assortment of impressive outfits. Since these costumes come from animated drawings, the materials and details are up to the costumer to figure out how to translate them into reality. For many anime costumes, it’s not just what’s on your body that counts, and often a highly oversized weapon or a styled wig of unusual hair is a must-have to be complete. Other 36 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Master of Ceremonies Phil Foglio with the Hulk at the 2009 Comic-Con Masquerade. The costume garnered Michael Passaretti an Honorable Mention for Re-Creation.

animation sources, such as Disney movies, have inspired groups of 15-20 friends to bring to life large groups of Disney characters. Warner Brothers cartoon characters are also commonly represented.

Video Games & Toys Few people anticipated several years ago that games would become a prolific source of costumes. Again, there’s a challenge to make a working costume out of something imaginary, but usually these are easier to make than anime costumes—unless you are creating the monster that the game-player is shooting at. A few years back some clever costumers brought Star Wars LEGO characters to life.

Steampunk This is the most recent genre to arise, only a few years old and thus has a certain fresh excitement to it. The name can be confusing, but basically it’s taking the technology and clothing style of the steam-powered era and adding an advancedtechnology twist to it. Think Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs. These costumes tend to be all originals, as costumers take Victorian or earlier clothing styles and fasten together found objects to create imaginary scientific devices, “futuristic” weapons, and so on.

Original Creations Original creations are always in style, they provide great creative freedom, and if you do them right,

people will smile and want a closer look. One Masquerade contestant brought a load of large plastic garden boulders to the backstage rooms and the staff watched skeptically as he started cutting and fastening them. To our surprise, he created a prize-winning 8-foot tall “rock golem” that lumbered onto the stage to big applause. Wings have been popular of late, as has the use of electronics and other special effects.

HistorY, Broadway, and Other Inspirations History is full of great attire, from ancient to modern, although examples of these styles are usually limited at conventions. Broadway shows may not have the large exposure that movies do, yet the musical Wicked has inspired no less than four entries in the Masquerade in the past two years. A group re-creation of the Disneyland ride “It’s a Small World” was a unique and warmly received presentation last year, and the Comic-Con 2009 Best of Show Masquerade prize went to a group re-creating 1896 Art Nouveau paintings of Alphonse Mucha (see page 48 for a photo). If you want to be sure to get noticed, follow the costumer rule of thumb: “Do it first, do it best, or do it differently (than what’s been done before).” But if your costume brings you a fun experience, that’s the true test, and whatever it is, you’ve done it right. See you in costume! Photo by Len Briggs

will eisner spirit of comics retailer award 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, Will envisioned it as a way to acknowledge the important role that comic retailers play in the industry and how they nurture 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 2010. You can also nominate your favorite store online at www. 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. This year’s committee included Ted Adams of IDW Publishing; Atom! Freeman and his wife Portlyn, whose Brave New World store in Newhall, CA was the 2008 award recipient; Mike Kunkel (Herobear and the Kid); Dan Manser (from Diamond Comics Distributors); and David Petersen (Mouse Guard). The 2009 award recipient is Tate’s Comics of Lauderhill, Florida, owned by Tate and Amanda Ottati. Tate talked to Comic-Con Magazine about winning the award and their retail business. Tell us how Tate Ottati got started in comics. Were you a comics fan as a kid? I started out with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, getting whatever I could from my local comic book store. Within a year of starting my collection, I saved up enough money to buy TMNT number 1. I think it was about $135 at the time. After that I was hooked. I would go to the comic shop every Friday and pick up a variety of the new comics. How did you get into comics retailing? There were some comics in my growing collection that I was not “into” anymore, maybe about 150 books. I took them over to one of the local comic shops to see what I could sell them for. They offered me $50, which I felt was way less than they were worth. The owner of that shop was nice enough to suggest to me, as a 15-year-old kid, that I try selling them at a small comics show that was coming up. I gave the show a try, but instead of selling the books I brought, I ended up buying even more comic books! My collection kept growing and at one point I had so many books that it filled up my parent’s dining room. Around that same time, I invested in some Marvel stock while also “playing” the stock market game in my high 38 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Tate Ottati behind the counter at his store.

school economics class. I ended up doing very well in the “game” as well as in the real-life stock market! Lucky for me, I sold my Marvel stock at its alltime high. That original Marvel seed-money helped to open my first store. With the help of my father, Tony Ottati, I opened the doors to Tate’s Comics, Inc. in March 1993. What does winning the Eisner Spirit Award mean to you as a retailer? Winning the Eisner Retailer Award is a great honor. It is really the only award given to comic retailers and is the highest achievement I can hope for as a business. Being recognized as one of the best comic book stores in the world is something I have always strived for. I hope that it helps people find out about us and that they’ll make a point to visit when in South Florida! How is Tate’s Comics involved in your local community? We hold twice yearly art shows in our gallery that are open to anyone and everyone living in South Florida. Those usually have nearly 200 participants. The community really comes out for that one and

the opening nights are really crazy! Other events such as our free Japanese snack tastings and occasional in-store signings also get the community involved in our world. Someone walks into your store who has never read comics and is interested in getting started. What do you recommend? It really depends on what they are interested in. It’s best to feel them out and see what would be most appealing to their personal tastes. Lately, I’ve been really into Fables, so I’d be likely to recommend that series to almost anyone!

2010 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:

for judging 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.

• 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.

• 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 23, 2010. • Previous winners are not eligible for nomination.

Nominate your favorite store online at: or mail or fax this page.

2010 SPIRIT OF COMICS AWARD NOMINATING BALLOT I place the following name in nomination for the 2010 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 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 16, 2010 • 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 Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 39

COMIC-CON 2010: get ready for the big show!


Comic-Con International experienced capacity crowds in 2009, with all memberships selling out months before the convention began. In 2009 we also added a huge new meeting room at the fabulous Hilton San Diego Bayfront, making even more programs available for attendees. This year’s event—July 22–25 at the San Diego Convention Center—has an amazing lineup of special guests already confirmed (see the next page for details) and more to come as we get closer to the show. The Exhibit Hall is full for 2010 and will have a few surprises of its own when it opens on Preview Night July 21. The next issue of Comic-Con Magazine (an online-only edition that will debut in May) will feature more info about the Exhibit Hall and its exhibitors. Additional information about Comic-Con’s Masquerade, the Eisner Awards, and volunteering for the event is available on page 48 of this publication. For other info—including both the 2010 Art Show and Comic-Con International Film Festival Rules and Entry Forms—please visit our website at In 2009, Preview Night exceeded building and registration capacity. To ensure that Comic-Con will be able to register every person who attends on Wednesday night and not have to turn anyone away, the number of badges has been set at the 2008 attendance figure. We know this has caused a lot of concern for people who would like to register early on Wednesday but who do not attend Preview Night. We are working on a solution for you. Please sign up to follow us on Twitter (, or check the website ( for updates. Comic-Con 2010 has already seen unprecedented interest. Four-day memberships sold out in November, and both Friday and Saturday single-day memberships are also gone. As of press time, some single-day memberships were still available but going fast. Please check the website for membership availability. As we did last year, Comic-Con will be selling 4-day and single-day memberships that have been turned in for refunds by attendees who have cancelled. The

best way to find out about these sales is to follow us on Twitter at comic_con. Sales of available memberships will begin closer to the event. Reselling, reusing, or transferring a Comic-Con 4-day or 1-day membership is strictly prohibited. Badges and memberships are nontransferable. If you have purchased a 4-day or 1-day membership and cannot attend Comic-Con 2010, you must apply for a refund by June 21, 2010. Refund requests must be received in writing by June 21, 2010 at:

Comic-Con Refund Request P. O. Box 128458, San Diego, CA 92112-8458 Comic-Con reserves the right to change its cancellation, refund, and exchange policy at any time without notice.

The best way to lock in your four-day membership—with or without Preview Night—is to purchase your 2011 membership onsite at Comic-Con 2010. Memberships for 2011 will be available at Comic-Con upstairs in the Sails Pavilion registration area at self-registration kiosks. Look for them onsite July 22–25. Comic-Con hotel reservations open on Thursday, March 18, at 9:00 am Pacific time. See the complete list of hotels on pages 46–47 for more information, and consult page 45 for important information on reserving your room when reservations open. Please note that the hotel room rates listed on these pages are subject to change.    Bookmark for breaking news on special guests, programs, and exhibitors!

Comic-Con Special Themes and Anniversaries Each year, Comic-Con produces a special Souvenir Book that commemorates the event. Last year’s book, with an incredible Rick Geary cover celebrating Comic-Con’s own 40th anniversary, was a huge, full-color trade paperback featuring bios and photos of all of the guests, plus special articles and art created in tribute to Comic-Con’s themes and anniversary celebrations. Best of all, each year the Souvenir Book is given free to all attendees (while supplies last), along with the separate show schedule magazine, the Events Guide. 2010’s Souvenir Book will be in full color. As in previous years, Comic-Con is soliciting articles and artwork from professionals and fans alike, based on the anniversaries and themes Comic-Con is celebrating this year (see below for a current listing). This is your chance to submit something for consideration in the book.* This year’s themes and anniversaries include: • The Year of the Writer • 75th Anniversary of DC Comics Other themes and anniversaries will be added. Check the website for details. The deadline for contributions is April 19, 2010. All art should be in color for this year’s book. For more information on the themes and anniversaries, how to contribute, and file formats and technical information, please visit *Due to space limitations, not all submissions can be featured in the book. Submitting an article or piece of art is not a guarantee that it will appear in the Souvenir Book.

Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 41




Comic-Con once again is proud to present a gathering of special guests from around the world, including writers and artists from comic books, newspaper comics, graphic novels, alternative comics, and the worlds of science fiction and fantasy. Guests added since the last online-only edition of Comic-Con Magazine are indicated by “New!” Visit and bookmark for updates on additional guests!

Sergio Aragonés (cartoonist, Groo, MAD magazine) One of MAD magazine’s longest-running cartoonists (only Al Jaffee has been around longer) and the creator of dim-witted barbarian Groo, Sergio Aragonés is one of comics’ most popular creators. Most recently, the man some call the world’s fastest cartoonist ventured into the popular world of The Simpsons, becoming a regular featured writer/artist in Bart Simpson Comics.

Brian Michael Bendis (writer, Ultimate Spider-Man, Siege, Powers) Brian Michael Bendis is an award-winning comics creator (including five Eisner Awards) and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. He is currently helming a renaissance for Marvel’s popular Avengers franchise by writing every issue of the New Avengers and Dark Avengers titles, along with the wildly successful “event” projects House Of M, Secret War, Secret Invasion, and the upcoming Siege. Brian is one of the premiere architects of Marvel Comics’ Ultimate line, having written every issue of Ultimate SpiderMan since its best-selling launch in 1999. His other projects include the Eisner award-winning


42 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010




Powers (with artist/co-creator Mike Oeming). He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Alisa, his gorgeous daughters Olivia and Sabrina, and his dogs Lucky and Buster.

Berkeley Breathed (syndicated cartoonist, Bloom County, Opus) Berkeley Breathed began drawing Bloom County, a political satire, for college newspapers in the early 1980s. The racy cartoons, often focusing on swinging lawyer Steve Dallas and an unnamed elderly woman, gained a cult following and soon became syndicated. Nationwide recognition came to Breathed with his creation of Opus, an insecure penguin who reflected the political conscience of America. Opus became a pop culture icon with dolls, cartoons, action figures, telephones, and books all dedicated to him. Breathed furthered his fame with his subsequent creation of Bill the Cat—a drug-addicted, alcohol-chugging, chainsmoking rocker. When Bloom County ended, Breathed created Outland, where Opus, Bill, and several other characters resurfaced in a utopia-like world. Outland had a successful four-year run, after which Breathed started Opus, a new strip featuring Opus, Bill, and other characters, which ran until 2008. Bloom County Complete Library is currently being published by IDW.

Kurt Busiek (writer, Marvels, Astro City) Kurt Busiek has been writing comics professionally since three days before he graduated from college in 1982, when he sold a “Tales of the Green Lantern Corps” backup story that appeared in Green Lantern #162. Since then, he’s worked on just about everything from Action Comics to Zot!, including runs on Avengers, Superman, Conan and others, and has cocreated Thunderbolts, Shockrockets, Arrowsmith, and




more. He is perhaps best known for his work on the multiple-award-winning Marvels and Astro City.

Chris Claremont (writer, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Forever) Chris Claremont has encountered more success than most writers ever dream of. Although known for his work on Marvel Comics’ X-Men series, he has written other seminal characters such as Batman and Superman, originated several creatorowned series, is published throughout the world in many different languages, and has written nine novels. His work has touched millions. His initial unbroken 17-year run on Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men is the stuff of industry legend. The story arc “Dark Phoenix,” with its radical treatment of the story’s central character, paved the way for the reinterpretation of superhero mythos throughout the comics industry. Current projects include the ongoing Marvel series X-Men Forever, X-Women (drawn by renowned Italian artist Milo Manara), the young adult novel Wild Blood, a contemporary urban dark fantasy, and the screenplay Hunter’s Moon.

Mark Evanier (writer, comics historian, Groo the Wanderer, Kirby: King of Comics) Comics, animation, TV, and blog-writer Mark Evanier is known for his work with Jack Kirby (his art book Kirby: King of Comics won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book) and Sergio Aragonés (he does something on Groo, but no one is quite certain what it is). Evanier brings his incredible wealth of knowledge of comics and pop culture to light each and every day on his blog at, and will once again moderate and host a plethora of panels at Comic-Con.





Matt Fraction (writer, Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men) Matt Fraction is one of the hottest writers working in comics. His first big hit was Casanova for Image Comics, drawn by Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon. From there, he went to work for Marvel on such titles as Immortal Iron Fist and Punisher War Journal. His Invincible Iron Man title with artist Salvador Larroca won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best New Series. Fraction also writes the flagship X-title, Uncanny X-Men.

Nicholas Gurewitch (cartoonist, The Perry Bible Fellowship) The cartoonist behind the Eisner and Harvey awardwinning online strip The Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch started his career in the Syracuse University newspaper The Daily Orange. In addition to being featured online, PBF appeared in newspapers, magazines, and other school papers. The strip ended in 2008 but remains an online favorite. Dark Horse has published two extremely popular collections, The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories and The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack. Recently Gurewitch contributed to Marvel Comics’ Strange Tales title, featuring popular Marvel heroes in stories by indie cartoonists.

charlaine harris (author, Sookie Stackhouse novels; creator, True Blood ) New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. She now lives in southern Arkansas with her husband and three dogs. Their children are out of the nest. In her years as a published writer, she’s written four series and two stand-alones, plus numerous short stories. Charlaine is an avid reader of genre literature, and she is deeply involved in the life of the small town where she lives. In addition to her work, Charlaine is the past senior warden of St. James Episcopal Church, a former board member of Mystery Writers of America, a past board member of Sisters in Crime, a member of the American Crime Writers League, and past president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. She spends her “spare” time reading, spending time with her family, traveling, and going to the movies.



Keith Knight (syndicated cartoonist, The Knight Life, the K Chronicles, (th)ink) Keith Knight is one of the most prolific cartoonists in the country. He is the creator of three comic strips: The Knight Life, a nationally syndicated autobiographical daily; (th)ink, a sociopolitical single panel of ethnic concern; and his signature strip, the K Chronicles, winner of the 2007 Harvey Award for Best Comic Strip. A frequent contributor to MAD magazine, Knight offers a potent combination of highbrow and lowbrow humor. His subjects include racism, police brutality, war, mimes, and bacon. With one foot underground and the other in the mainstream, his work has caused more than a few ripples across the media spectrum. He is celebrating the first collection of his daily strip, The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain’t Dead, and his latest (th)ink collection.

Jim Lee (artist, All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder) Acclaimed comic book illustrator Jim Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1964. Today, he is the creative director of WildStorm Studios (which he founded in 1992) and the penciller for many of DC Comics’ bestselling comic book and graphic novels, including All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder, Batman: Hush, and Superman: For Tomorrow. He also serves as the executive creative director for the upcoming DC Universe Online videogame. In his spare time, Jim enjoys a good laugh or two.

Stan Lee (writer, editor, co-creator, Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk) Stan “the Man” Lee’s influence over comic books is incalculable. His co-creations Spider-Man, X-Men and Iron Man have been monster movie hits, helping




make Marvel Comics the leader of the comic book industry. Some of Stan’s other great co-creations, such as Hulk, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil have sequels on the way, while Thor, Avengers, and Silver Surfer, plus many others, are now in development. In 2008, President Bush presented Stan a Medal of the Arts, lauding his amazing career. Stan is currently developing movie and TV projects with his company POW! Entertainment while still proudly cherishing the title Chairman Emeritus of Marvel. Lee was awarded the 2009 Comic-Con Icon Award.

Paul Levitz (writer, editor, publisher, Legion of Super-Heroes) Paul Levitz entered comics in 1971 as editor of The Comic Reader, the first comics newszine, which won two Best Fanzine Comic Art Fan Awards. He has received the Inkpot Award and the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award and serves on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund board. Levitz is known for his writing, including an acclaimed run on the Legion of Super-Heroes, a series to which he’s returned. On staff from 1973, Levitz was DC’s youngest editor ever, ultimately became publisher in 1989 and president and publisher from 2002 to 2009. He is now primarily writing. A San Diego Comic-Con attendee since 1974, this will be his first time as a guest.

Milo Manara (artist, Click, Indian Summer, X-Women) Italian Milo Manara (born September 12, 1945) is one of the world’s greatest comic book artists. In the 1970s he became famous with works such as Lo Scimmiotto (The Ape), presented in Alterlinus, and H.P. e Giuseppe Bergman (H.P. and Giuseppe Bergman), serialized from 1978. Following this, Manara went on to publish an uninterrupted series of international successes: L’uomo di carta (The Paper Man), L’uomo delle nevi (The Snowman), Il gioco (Click), Il profumo dell’invisibile (Butterscotch), Candid Camera (Hidden Camera), and Kamasutra (Manara’s Kama Sutra). His career has also been influenced by his encounters with other great artists such as Pratt, Fellini, Almodóvar, Besson, Jorodowsky, and Cerami. With Pratt, Manara created such works as Tutto ricominciò con Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 43




un’estate indiana (Indian Summer) and El gaucho; with Fellini, Viaggio a Tulum (Trip to Tulum), and Il viaggio di G. Mastorna detto Fernet; with Almodóvar, the book Seduzioni, and with Luc Besson the television campaign for Chanel n. 5; as well as the very recent 46 in collaboration with the GP motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi, and Pandora with texts by Vincenzo Cerami. At present he is at work on the third book in the Borgia series written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and on the Marvel graphic novel X-Women, written by legendary X-Men author Chris Claremont.

Larry Marder (writer/artist, Beanworld) Larry Marder’s Beanworld has delighted readers from grade school to grad school for more than a generation, earning him a spot on the New York Times’ Graphic Books Best Sellers List. Marder’s Tales of the Beanworld, a most peculiar comic book experience, was first released in 1985 by Eclipse Comics; 21 issues were published until 1993. Marder returned to creating Beanworld full time in 2007. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife, Cory, and their two cats, Olive and Chipper.

Carla Speed McNeil (writer/artist, Finder; artist, Queen & Country, Bad Houses) Writer/artist Carla Speed McNeil is best known for her award-winning science fiction series Finder. McNeil self-published Finder starting in 1996 and continues the series today on the web, where she moved in 2005. In 2009, Finder won the Eisner Award for Best Webcomic. McNeil’s other work includes illustrating a story arc for Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country and co-creator of a new Vertigo series, Bad Houses, with writer Sarah Ryan. In addition to her Eisner Award, McNeil is also the recipient of the Friends of Lulu Kim Yale Award for Best New Talent in 1997 and the Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent in 1998.

China Miéville (author, The City & the City, Perdido Street Station) China Miéville is the New York Times bestselling author of Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council, and several other works. He has won a number of awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke 44 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010




Award and the British Fantasy Award twice each. His latest novel, The City & the City, was named one of the top 10 books of the year in 2009 by His new book, Kraken, will be published in June 2010.

and regional publications, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, The Onion, The New York Times, and on the cover of The New Yorker.

Robert M. Overstreet

A Good & Decent Man) C. Tyler is an award winning autobiographical comic book artist/writer whose work R. Crumb describes as having “the extremely rare quality of genuine, authentic heart. Hers are the only comics that ever brought me to the verge of tears.” Her stories first appeared in Weirdo in 1987 and numerous publications over the years, most recently the Yale anthologies and Kramer’s Ergot #7. She has been nominated for Harvey, Eisner, and Ignatz Awards and was listed as one of the Top 100 Cartoonists of the 20th Century. She has three solo books, The Job Thing (1993), Late Bloomer (2005), and You’ll Never Know: A Good & Decent Man (2009).

(author, comics historian, The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide) Author Robert M. Overstreet discovered the EC line of comics in 1952. After joining fandom groups, he wrote to collectors looking to buy their collections. He found only one taker, but the spark was lit. A coin collector as well as a comics enthusiast, he wondered when comic books would have their own “red book” price guide. He continued collecting through the 1960s, eventually networking with dealers and other collectors to the point that he thought something had to be done to document the field he loved. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide—now celebrating its 40th anniversary—was born.

Douglas E. Richards (author, The Prometheus Project series) Douglas E. Richards is the author of the children’s science fiction thrillers The Prometheus Project–Trapped and The Prometheus Project—Captured for kids ages 9 to 13. These books, driven by accurate science, have been passionately praised by kids, called perfect for middle grades” by Teaching PreK-8 Magazine, and endorsed by the California Department of Education, the AAAS, the UK’s Association for Science Education, and many others. Douglas, a former biotechnology executive, has a master’s degree in molecular biology and writes science pieces for National Geographic KIDS, an award-winning magazine read by millions.

James Sturm (cartoonist/educator, James Sturm’s America) James Sturm is a cartoonist whose graphic novels include Market Day (Spring 2010), James Sturm’s America, Adventures in Cartooning, Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, and The Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules. James is the co-founder and director of The Center for Cartoon Studies, a two-year cartooning school in the storied railroad town of White River Junction, Vermont. In 1991 James co-founded the Seattle weekly The Stranger. His comics, writing, and illustrations have appeared in scores of national

C. Tyler (artist/writer, You’ll Never Know:

Al Wiesner (writer/artist/creator, Shaloman) When Al Wiesner was a kid growing up in Philadelphia during the Golden Age of Comics, he realized that there were no comic books created with a Jewish theme, even though many comic book artists were Jewish, including the creators of Superman and Batman. After many years of searching for a Jewish comic book hero, Wiesner decided to create his own. Shaloman was born in 1985 as an inspiration for Jewish children, with the purpose to entertain as well as educate them. Wiesner’s “Kosher Crusader” jumps into action with the call of “OiVay,” mixing humor and action. There are currently 38 issues of Shaloman, which combine to tell the character’s story in four volumes. Al is the writer, illustrator, colorist, and publisher of these books. His background includes having been a draftsman in the Air Force during the Korean War. Since this issue went to press, a number of new guests have been added to the Comic-Con 2010 roster, including Neal Adams and his sons Jason, Joel, and Josh, Peter Bagge, Howard Cruse, Dave Dorman, Tanya Huff, Denny O’Neill, Jerry Robinson, Steve Rude, and Drew Struzan. Check for updated information!

Please visit

for updated Comic-Con 2010 hotel information.

Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 45

Please visit

for updated Comic-Con 2010 hotel information.

46 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Please visit

for updated Comic-Con 2010 hotel information.

Winter 2010 • Comic-Con Magazine 47

comic-con international 2010 Friday Night’s big event:

The Will Eisner comic industry awards What will win Best Graphic Album of the year? How about Best Continuing Series? Who will get the trophy for Best Writer/Artist? What surprise celebrities will be on hand to give out the awards? All will be revealed at the 22nd annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards on Friday night, July 23, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The Eisner Awards, considered the “Oscars” of the comics industry, will be given out in more than two dozen categories in the gala event at the Indigo Ballroom in San Diego’s newest downtown hotel, which is just a short walk south of the San Diego Convention Center. The awards moved to this venue in 2009, and both attendees and VIPs have raved about the new, elegant locale. The doors will open for VIP seating at 7:30 pm, and general seating will open at 8:15, with the festivities starting at 8:30. Attendees can expect to see celebrity presenters from the worlds of comic books, graphic novels, TV, and films. In addition to the Eisners, the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing will be presented, as well as Comic-Con’s own special awards: the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, and the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. This is one of the must-see events of Comic-Con—mark it down on your schedule now!

saturday Night’s big event:

The comic-con masquerade

Where do you see the largest collection of costumes at the convention? Where do you see them presented with drama, humor, spectacle, song and dance, surprising twists, and amazing originality? No, we aren’t talking about the films, books, posters, and action figures, although there are plenty to be seen there. We mean real costumes! While you can see many folks in costumes strolling through the Exhibit Hall, it’s at the Masquerade, the Saturday evening costume competition, where costumers bring out their best creations and elaborately present them to a giant audience in a show unlike any other. In 2009 a total of 150 contestants crossed the stage, showing off incredible costumes re-created from comic books, movies, video games, anime, fantasy art—even Broadway shows and theme parks—plus never-before-seen original designs from the imagination. This year’s show will be Comic-Con’s 36th Masquerade, and as usual it will be set on the convention’s largest stage, equipped with

2009’s Masquerade Best in Show Trophy went to Mucha’s The Seasons, a re-creation from Alphonse Marie Mucha’s paintings.

theater-style lighting and sound, with giant highdefinition video screens overhead so that everyone in the Convention Center’s 4,200-seat Ballroom 20 will get great up-close viewing. The show will be projected live to other rooms to accommodate an overflow audience. Once again the Master of Ceremonies will be the entertaining and talented artist and writer Phil Foglio of Studio Foglio. Showtime will be 8:30 pm on Saturday, July 24. More information, including rules, entry form, and a full list of award categories and company

prizes, can be found at All the 2009 contestant spots filled up by early May, so we strongly suggest downloading a copy of the Masquerade Rules and Entry Form now or writing to the Masquerade Coordinator at (please type “ComicCon Masquerade” in the subject line). It’s time to start working on that great costume idea. The stage has been set for you!

Volunteer for COMIC-COn 2010! We want you back! Comic-Con encourages those loyal volunteers who completed assignments at any time in the last two years to sign up as soon as possible. Volunteer status will be verified before final confirmation is sent.

Please note that Comic-Con Volunteer registration is CLOSED for NEW volunteers. Returning volunteers can still register online, but space is limited so visit right now! We hope to see you in 2010. 48 Comic-Con Magazine • Winter 2010

Photo by Kevin Green






San Diego Comic-Con International P. O. Box 128458 San Diego, CA 92112-8458




Comic-Con Magazine - Winter 2010  

Comic-Con Magazine - Winter 2010. The Winter 2010 "Writers Issue" edition of Comic-Con Magazine, your source for information on the comics a...

Comic-Con Magazine - Winter 2010  

Comic-Con Magazine - Winter 2010. The Winter 2010 "Writers Issue" edition of Comic-Con Magazine, your source for information on the comics a...