C-C MI O
The OFFICIAL Magazine of Comic-Con, WonderCon, and APE!
2 3 -2 6 , 2
THE PHOTO ISSUE
APE 2008 • WONDERCON 2009 • COMIC-CON 2009 FREE!
Comic-Con: It’s Still About Comics and More
Comic-Con International 2008 was the 39th event for the convention, the longest-running comics and popular arts show in the United States. If you were there, you know what it was like, and if you weren’t—well, it’s almost impossible to describe. But the one complaint we’ve heard repeatedly, more so this year than in previous years, is that Comic-Con isn’t about comics anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. The world of comics at Comic-Con is not just concentrated in the Exhibit Hall, but let’s look there first. In addition to a large contingent of retailers selling all things comics (comic books, graphic novels, manga, original art, and much more), the Exhibit Hall is home to the largest gathering of comics publishers in the country. From DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, and Viz, to Fantagraphics, SLG, Top Shelf, Drawn and Quarterly, and dozens more, Comic-Con has just about every major comics publisher present and accounted for in its massive Exhibit Hall, and most of these publishers choose the event to offer previews and news of upcoming events. In addition, the Independent Publishers’ Pavilion and Small Press Area feature independent and self-published comics, while the expanding book publishing section highlights graphic novels and their creators. But the Exhibit Hall is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to comics at Comic-Con. This year’s show had 57 special guests, invited specifically to the show to showcase their talents and be presented in programs. Of those guests, 40 were comics creators. An additional 5 of the 57 were fiction authors whose work has been—or is about to be—adapted to the comics medium. The special guest list for 2008 was an incredibly diverse one, celebrating many facets of the comic medium. One of those facets was editorial cartoons, with Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonists Steve Breen, Mike Peters, and Signe Wilkinson, each featured in their own Spotlight panel and then together in a program about editorial cartooning. Comic-Con showcased alternative/literary cartoonists Lynda Barry, Kim Deitch, Rutu Modan, Wendy Pini, Adrian Tomine, and Jim Woodring alongside mainstream comics creators Howard Chaykin, Bryan Hitch, Geoff Johns, JG Jones, J. Michael Straczynski, Ethan Van Sciver, Len Wein, and Bernie Wrightson. We were proud to salute the career of Archie Comics editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick, a man who works on some of the most popular comics
in the world and has been with the same company for 50 years. And we finally got one of Mad’s maddest cartoonists as a guest: Al Jaffee received standing ovations at every one of the programs in which he participated. In fact, Comic-Con’s program schedule for 2008 comprised over 450 total events over the four days, with 244.5 hours of that schedule devoted to comics programming, compared to 100 hours of Hollywood (movies, television, and animation) programming. In addition, Comic-Con continues its commitment to comics by hosting and underwriting the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. Considered the comic industry’s Academy Awards, the gala ceremony is prominently featured in a major program each year. We’re not going to deny the fact that over the past few years Hollywood has put an increasing importance on having a presence at Comic-Con. That’s because the entertainment industry—including videogame companies and book publishers—regard the Comic-Con attendees as a great barometer for what will be the “next big thing.” Comic-Con offers a venue in which these companies can get immediate feedback on their products. And the Hollywood presence brings people who may have never considered attending a comic convention before. While they’re at the show, they may buy that comic they remember from their childhood or that graphic novel that inspired the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The simple fact of the matter is, if one new person buys a comic at Comic-Con or later seeks out a comic shop to make a purchase, we’ve been successful. Comic-Con’s mission statement includes this phrase, which is paramount to our organization’s goal: “dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular artforms.” We’ve operated with this one truth in mind for almost 40 years: Comics are cool. They always have been— it’s just taken a while for the rest of the country to catch up to us. They’re a bona fide artform, a medium with a rich and vibrant history of storytelling that influences every other medium out there. Hollywood proves that with the movies and TV shows it chooses to make and present to us. As we head into our 40th Comic-Con in 2009, we can assure you of one thing: First and foremost, Comic-Con has always been about comics, and it always will be. Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 1
In this issue
We wrap up Comic-Con 2008 with a 24-page photo review.
Board of Directors President: John Rogers Secretary: Mary Sturhann Treasurer: Mark Yturralde VP, Events: Robin Donlan VP, Operations: William Pittman Directors at Large: Frank Alison, Ned Cato Jr., Dan Davis, Craig Fellows, Eugene Henderson, Martin Jaquish, Lee Oeth, Chris Sturhann Executive Director: Fae Desmond
Brad Meltzer, Chip Kidd, Paul Feig, Whitney Matheson, David Goyer, and Scott Brick talk about their favorite topic in
Across Every Medium
this issue’s EXCLUSIVE panel excerpt.
It’s NEVER too early . . .
46 Comic-Con 2009: The 40th Event
JULY 23—26 • SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER
5 CONnotations: APE 2008 and WonderCon 2009 42 Volunteer Spotlight 43 What I’m Reading: Comics 44 What I’m Reading: Manga 45 What I’m Reading: Science Fiction 48 Comic-Con 2009 Multipurpose Form
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. 2 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
Director of Marketing and Public Relations: David Glanzer Director of Print and Publications: Gary Sassaman Director of Programming: Eddie Ibrahim HR/Office Manager: Sue Lord Talent Relations Manager: Maija Gates Guest Relations: Janet Goggins Exhibits: Director of Operations: Justin Dutta Exhibits: Sales: Rod Mojica Exhibits: Registration: Sam Wallace Professional Registration: Heather Lampron, Anna-Marie Villegas 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, Marco Adames Assistants to the Director of Programming: Tommy Goldbach, Adam Neese Office Staff: Patty Campuzano, Ruben Mendez, Glenda Moreno, Colleen O’Connell Events: Anime: John Davenport, Josh Ritter At-Show Newsletter: Chris Sturhann Films: Steve Brown, Josh Glaser Games: Ken Kendall Masquerade: Martin Jaquish Technical Services: Tristan Gates Exhibits: Art Auction/Artists’ Alley: Clydene Nee Art Show: LaFrance Bragg Autograph Area: Katherine Morrison Convention Services: Taerie Bryant Exhibit Floor Manager: Andy Manzi Operations: Archivist: Eugene Henderson Disabled Services: William Curtis Hospitality Suite: Mikee Ritter Logistics: Dan Davis Materials Chief/Blood Drive: Craig Fellows Registration: Frank Allison, John Smith Volunteers: Luigi Diaz, Jennifer Maturo Information: Bruce Frankle Photo: David Sakow.
Editor/Designer Gary Sassaman
Contributing Editors Fae Desmond, Jackie Estrada, David Glanzer Contributors Charles Brownstein, Andrew Farago,
Contributors Charles Brownstein (“What I’m Reading”, page 43) is the Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which has been defending the First Amendment rights of the comics medium for over 20 years. Brownstein is also an occasional author. His most recent books are the Eisner Award winning interview book Eisner/Miller, which he moderated and co-edited, and Put The Book Back On The Shelf, A Belle & Sebastian Anthology, to which he contributed the story “Beautiful” with artist Dave Crosland. Brownstein lives and works in New York City.
Craig Fellows, Martin Jaquish, Pam Noles Special Thanks Peggy Burns, John Cornett, Atom! Freeman, Glen Isip, Brad Meltzer, Stephen Vrattos Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008 Issue Published by San Diego Comic-Con International. All material, unless otherwise noted, is © 2008 Comic-Con International and may not be reproduced without permission. All other artwork is ™ & © 2008 by respective owners. Printed in Canada. Comic-Con and the Comic-Con logo are Reg. U.S. Pat. and Tm. Off.
Comic-Con International P. O. Box 128458 San Diego, CA 92112-8458
www.comic-con.org Email: email@example.com Fax: 619-414-1022 Comic-Con Hotline: 619-491-2475
Andrew Farago is the Curator and Gallery Manager of San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. He has curated and installed over 50 exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, on subjects including Spider-Man, Disney concept artist Mary Blair, Peanuts and many exhibitions featuring the artists of the San Francisco Bay Area. Farago is a regular contributor to The Comics Reporter, The Comics Journal and Animation World Network, and currently writes and draws a weekly webcomic, The Chronicles of William Bazillion (www.williambazillion. com).
Pam Noles, who contributed her science fiction and fantasy reviews for “What I’m Reading” on page 45, has been a volunteer on Comic-Con’s guest relations team for many years. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.
Special thanks to the amazing team of photographers who documented Comic-Con 2008 for this special photo issue. Tom Deleon and Albert L. Ortega Marissa Amat, Tony Amat, Len Briggs, Barry Brown, Chuk Gawlik, Austin Gorum, Kevin Green,Tom Gurnee, Robb Johnson, Albert Ko, Art Lee, Johnakin Randolph, Rudy Manahan, Tracy Matson, Goldie MacNeil, Scotty Oson, Sergio Palacios, John Salgado, Daniel Sakow, and Brian Wong
Mark Your Calendars for 2009! Early Feb.: Comic-Con Magazine Winter 2009 issue
On the cover:
Top tier (l to r): MAD’s Al Jaffee; Frank Miller at The Spirit panel; Wolverine creator Len Wein with Hugh Jackman. Middle tier: A scene from the Masquerade; a photographer mid-escalator; cartoonist Lynda Barry signs at the Drawn & Quarterly booth. Bottom tier: The Convention Center at twilight; a cosplayer in the Sails Pavilion. For a complete list of photo credits, see page 39. Pam Noles photo by Marc Campos.
Feb. 27-Mar. 1: WonderCon • Moscone Center South, San Francisco Early May: Comic-Con Magazine Spring 2009 issue July 23-26: Comic-Con International • San Diego Convention Center Preview Night: July 22 Early Oct.: Comic-Con Magazine Fall 2009 issue Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 3
San Diego Comic-Con APE Alternative Press Expo
[news and notes from the wonderful world of Comic-Con International]
APE Gets Ready for Its Fall Debut! APE, the Alternative Press Expo, a Bay Area comics tradition, returns to the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco on Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2. These dates mark the first time APE is occurring in the fall, and if the sell-out of all exhibitor tables by late August is any indication, it’s going to be an amazing show! APE is one of the country’s largest gatherings of the best in indie and alternative comics, offering a venue for exhibitors ranging from small self-publishers to such larger publishers as SLG, Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, Oni Press, Top Shelf, IDW, and many more. It offers a huge selection of graphic novels, ’zines, art books, prints, original art, and comics of every size and shape. You can’t walk through the giant APE Exhibit Hall and not be inspired to either open your wallet and buy cool stuff or go home and hunker down and create some of your own. It’s that kind of show. The special guest list for APE 2008 includes Jessica Abel (La Perdida), Paige Braddock (Jane’s World), Megan Kelso (The Squirrel Mother), Matt Madden (99 Ways to Tell a
Art © 2008 Paige Braddock.
Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 5
CON notations APE Alternative Press Expo Story), Ethan Nicolle (Chumble Spuzz, courtesy of SLG Publishing), and Chris Ware (The ACME Novelty Library)—see the sidebar for more details. As always, APE will be filled to the rafters with a whole slew of other amazing artists, writers, and creators. APE is also well known for what happens after the show closes each day, with numerous parties, gallery openings, signings, and the always-stellar San Francisco nightlife. Plus, it’s Halloween weekend in one of the country’s most beautiful and exciting cities. How cool is that?! Check www.comic-con. org/ape for updated details on the event, including a complete list of exhibitors and the programming schedule as the show gets closer.
SPECIAL GUESTS Jessica Abel (cartoonist/writer, La Perdida) Jessica Abel’s previously published works include Soundtrack and Mirror, Window, two collections gathering stories and drawings from her comic book Artbabe. Abel won both the Harvey and Lulu awards for “Best New Talent” in 1997; La Perdida won the 2002 “Best New Series” Harvey Award. Abel’s Young Adult novel Carmina is forthcoming from HarperCollins; she recently collaborated with Gabriel Soria and Warren Pleece on Life Sucks, from First Second; and she has created with her husband, the cartoonist Matt Madden, a textbook about making comics. She lives in Brooklyn with Madden and their baby daughter, Aldara. Paige Braddock (writer/artist, Jane’s World) Paige Braddock graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in graphic design and illustration. She worked as an illustrator for several newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and The Atlanta Constitution. Paige created Jane’s World while working as an illustrator for the Chicago Tribune. In 2006 the book received an Eisner nomination for best humor title. Currently, Paige lives in Northern California, where she does double duty as creator of Jane’s World and creative director for Charles Schulz’s (Peanuts) studio in Santa Rosa. Megan Kelso (writer/artist, The Squirrel Mother) Megan Kelso was born in 1968 in Seattle, Washington where she lived on and off for 33 years. Then she moved to Brooklyn, New York with her husband. She’s been drawing comics for 11 years and plans to continue doing so until she is an old, old lady. Her books include Girlhero, Queen of the Black Black, Scheherazade: Stories of Love, Treachery, Mothers, and Monsters, and The Squirrel Mother. Matt Madden (writer/artist, 99 Ways to Tell a Story) Matt Madden started his comics career producing minicomics before going on to tackle longer works. His graphic novels include Black Candy and A Fine Mess. In addition to their “greatest collaboration,” their new baby girl Aldara, Madden and wife Jessica Abel collaborated on a comics textbook, Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, that came out in June, and they edited the 2008 volume of the “Best American Comics” series, published in September by Houghton Mifflin.
APE • Alternative Press Expo Saturday, Nov. 1, 11 Sunday, Nov. 2, 11
to 6 PM
Concourse Exhibition Center 620 7th St., San Francisco, CA 94103 Memberships: $10 single day/$15 both days; available only at the door Free admission with your 2008 Comic-Con International San Diego Attendee badge Free admission for qualified retailers 6 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
Ethan Nicolle (writer/artist, Chumble Spuzz) Cartoonist Ethan Nicolle’s work features those lovable reprobates Gunther and Klem, whose stories are collected in Chumble Spuzz volumes one (“Kill the Devil”), and two (“Pigeon Man” and “Death Sings the Blues”). Nicolle lives in Portland, Oregon in an attic and tells us he’s one of those “little head, big body” type of guys. Courtesy SLG Publishing
Chris Ware (writer/artist, Jimmy Corrigan—The Smartest Kid on Earth) Chris Ware is the author of Jimmy Corrigan—The Smartest Kid on Earth and the annual progenitor of the amateur periodical The ACME Novelty Library. An irregular contributor to The New Yorker and The Virginia Quarterly Review, Mr. Ware was the first cartoonist chosen to regularly serialize an ongoing story in The New York Times Magazine in 2005–2006. The ACME Novelty Library #19 will be published later this fall.
Art © 2008 Chris Ware.
WonderCon Returns to San Francisco Feb. 27—March 1, 2009! Coming off its biggest and most successful year ever, WonderCon is gearing up for its 23rd year as a Bay Area tradition. The comics and popular arts convention returns to Moscone Center South for another three-day weekend run on February 27 through March 1. Close to 30,000 people attended the show in 2008, and 2009 promises to be another incredible convention experience for fans from all over! As of press time details are still being worked out, but you can count on a few WonderCon mainstays: a huge Exhibit Hall filled with some of the coolest stuff in the world; a large and comprehensive programming schedule featuring presentations from the very
best in comics (including the Comics Arts Conference for a second year in San Francisco) and from Hollywood movie studios and TV networks; gaming; anime screenings; and special nighttime events such as the WonderCon Masquerade in its fifth big year, plus much, much more (including a very popular Comic-Con 2008 “musical” event that will be a crowd-pleasing end in San Francisco, too). WonderCon 2009 memberships will be available online in December. Check www.comic-con.org for details and to register! Check www.comic-con.org/wc for more details about WonderCon 2009, including special guest updates, plus the complete programming schedule and a list of exhibitors as we get closer to the event.
Scheduled to appear at WonderCon 2009 (more to be added!)
(writer/artist, Groo, MAD,) MAD magazine’s longest-running cartoonist and the creator of that popular dim-witted barbarian Groo, Sergio Aragonés is one of WonderCon’s most popular guests.
ror comics at Marvel, including Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Monster of Frankenstein, and his co-creation, Ghost Rider.
(writer, comics historian) Coming off a big year with his Jack Kirby biography, Kirby: King of Comics, being a smash hit, writer Mark Evanier also co-writes The Spirit with Sergio Aragonés for DC Comics and blogs on a daily basis at his famous online outpost newsfromme.com.
(artist, All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder) Jim Lee’s dynamic and exciting storytelling has reinvigorated Batman and Superman with his recent work on both characters, including the ongoing All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder.
(writer, Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men) Matt Fraction is one of the hottest writers working in comics. This year, he’s launched the new Invincible Iron Man title with artist Salvador LaRocca, and he’s helped the Uncanny X-Men move to their new hometown: San Francisco.
(writer, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandoes, Ghost Rider) Known best for his incredible Sgt. Fury stories for Marvel Comics in the ’60s and ’70s, Gary Friedrich did double duty writing both superhero and hor-
(artist, Wonder Woman) Teaming up with writer Gail Simone to illustrate Wonder Woman, artist Aaron Lopresti brings new life to one of DC’s signature characters. Lopresti’s 15-year career in comics has included popular stints on such titles as Ms. Marvel, New X-Men, and Incredible Hulk for Marvel Comics.
(writer/artist, Elfquest) 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of Elfquest, one of comics’ most popular selfpublished titles. Over the years Wendy and Richard Pini’s book has been published by Warp Graphics (the Pini’s company), and Marvel and DC. Pini’s vivid characterizations of the Wolfriders have made Elfquest a fan-favorite for over 30 years.
(writer/cartoonist, comics historian) One of the pioneer cartoonists in Underground comix, Trina Robbins was also one of the first female creators in that wild and wooly area of the comics medium. A longtime Bay Area resident, Robbins is also the author of numerous historical books about comics, including The Great Women Cartoonists and From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women’s Comics from Teens to Zines.
(writer/artist, Box Ofﬁce Poison) Eisner Award winner Alex Robinson burst on the scene with Box Office Poison, first serialized in comic book form and collected in a graphic novel by Top Shelf. He’s since produced two more original graphic novels, Tricked, and his latest, Too Cool to be Forgotten.
(writer/artist, Usagi Yojimbo) The rabbit samurai Usagi Yojimbo celebrates his 25th anniversary in 2009. Stan Sakai’s been telling the tales of his hero since 1984, all the while aiding and abetting his friends Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier as Groo the Wanderer’s letterer. Sakai is a three-time Eisner Award winner.
Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 7
If a picture is worth one thousand words, we have quite a lot to say . . .
COMIC-CON 2008: THE PHOTO ISSUE
Fall 2008 â€˘ Comic-Con Magazine 9
COMIC-CON 2 0 0 8
Here’s a side of Comic-Con only staff and exhibitors get to see: the set-up. After the banners are hung from the ceiling (with care), and the booths are constructed, the exhibitors move in to set up their displays, everything from comics to a giant Bartman in a bag (to keep it in that pristine mint condition, no doubt). The Exhibit Hall takes almost four full days to set up in time for Wednesday’s Preview Night.
10 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
Photo: S. Palacios.
COMIC-CON 2 0 0 8 1
1. The doors swing open for the first time on Preview Night. 2. Writer/artist Paul Chadwick (Concrete) at his Artistsâ€™ Alley table. 3. Collectors hunt for treasure in the Golden and Silver Age Pavilion. 4. A mezzanine view of the center portion of the Exhibit Hall, including the Oni Press, DC Comics, and Sideshow Collectibles booths.
The Exhibit Hall 2
1. Mattel’s Masters of the Universe booth was a big hit. 2. Another of the “must-see” booths in Comic-Con’s Exhibit Hall: Warner Bros.’ “Owl Ship” from the upcoming Watchmen film.
3. Some of the incredible life-sized statues depicting characters from Star Wars: Clone Wars in the Lucasfilm Pavilion. 4. A look through the other-worldy SCI FI Channel booth.
1. Trust us: The Exhibit Hall does end at some point on either end. 2. Capturing the perfect picture at the DC Direct display. 3. Something called “The Dharma Initiative” was recruiting at this booth, but it was kind of lost on us . . . 4. We’re not sure which comic book she was looking for, but it looks like she found it. 5. Hey . . . who’s a Marvel fan in this booth?
Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 13
1. Kind of like Times Square on a Saturday night, isnâ€™t it? 2. Father and son pause to play a game. 3. Where do they get all those wonderful toys?
4. Once again, gaming proved popular to all ages at Comic-Con. 5. Simpsons creator Matt Groening rescued Bartman from the bag at the Bongo Comics booth (see page 10). 6. One of many life-sized Iron Man figures around the Hall.
Fall 2008 â€˘ Comic-Con Magazine 14
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THE WORLD OF COMICS 1
1. A quartet of comic legends (l to r): Russ Heath (DC’s war comics), Larry Lieber (Spider-Man syndicated comic strip artist), Jerry Robinson (Batman), and Al Feldstein (writer/artist/editor EC Comics) on the Golden and Silver Age panel. 2. Artist Becky Cloonan (Demo, American Virgin) sketches at the DC booth. 3. Comics’ visionary writer Grant Morrison (All Star Superman, Final Crisis) and bestselling author Deepak Chopra discuss the spirit of the superhero. 4. At just one of the many academic sessions at the Comics Arts Conference, scholar Ben Saunders discusses the essence of Superman’s appeal in a session celebrating the hero’s 70th anniversary.
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1. What’s a Comic-Con without a Cup o’ Joe? Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada at his yearly signature panel. 2. Artist Mike Royer (inker, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World books) signs a page of original art for a fan. 3. Jazzy John Romita Jr. talks to fans at the Marvel booth. 4. Writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier), announcing plans for his new series based on Richard Stark’s classic series of Parker novels, at the IDW booth. 5. Rising star Nicola Scott (Birds of Prey, Secret Six) sketches for a fan at the DC booth. 6. Superstar writer Gail Simone (Wonder Woman, Secret Six) joined Scott at the DC booth.
7. Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons talks about his new book, Watching the Watchmen.
7 Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 17
1. Syndicated cartoonist Keith Knight (The K Chronicles) at his table. 2. Bob the Angry Flower writer/artist Stephen Notley at his table, too. 3. Jerry Robinson signing at the DC booth on Preview Night. 4. Inker Danny Miki, artist David Finch, and writer Jeph Loeb at the Marvel booth. The trio will team for Ultimatum, the next chapter in the Ultimate Universe, in November. 5. Three 30 Days of Night creators sign at the IDW booth (l to r): writer/creator Steve Niles, writer Tom Waltz, and artist Ben Templesmith. 6. Keith Giffen (Ambush Bug), Judd Winick (Green Arrow and Black Canary) and DC executive editor Dan Didio at the DC Nation panel.
18 Comic-Con Magazine â€˘ Fall 2008
At the Quick Draw! panel, artists 1. Scott Shaw! (Captain Carrot, Oddball Comics), 2. Sergio Aragonés (Groo the Wanderer), and 3. Mike Peters (Mother Goose and Grimm) are put through their paces by 4. host/moderator Mark Evanier (right, with microphone) and Comic-Con special guest Len Wein. At one point Evanier asked Shaw to draw over 50 Hanna-Barbera characters, which Scott knocked out in just a few minutes. The strange contraption each cartoonist is drawing on is called an “Elmo,” which is hooked up to a video projector. Each artist’s work is projected onto a large screen while they draw, allowing the audience to see them work every step of the way.
5. Comics superstar Jim Lee (All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder), once again donated the Art Auction’s top selling piece, this one featuring Batman and his arch-nemesis the Joker. 6. Jim at work during the Art Auction, where you could actually sit and watch him draw. 7. Jim’s final piece. The pretzel seen in #6 was not up for bid, nor was the dipping sauce that came with it.
6 Art © 2008 DC Comics.
7 Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 19
COMIC-CON 2 0 0 8 1. Eddie Campbell talks about his new graphic novel, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard.
2. Writer Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Action Comics) at his spotlight panel. 3. Author Connie Willis (The Winds of Marble Arch, Doomsday Book) talks to fans in the Exhibit Hall. 4. Editorial cartoonist Steve Breen (San Diego Union Tribune) draws during his panel. 5. Cartoonist Signe Wilkinson (Philadelphia Daily News) speaks as part of Comic-Con’s editorial cartoons special theme. 6. Writer J. Michael Straczynski (Thor, The Brave and the Bold) smiles at a fan’s question. 7. Publishing legend James Warren (Creepy, Famous Monsters of Filmland) greets his fans at a rare convention appearance.
20 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
1. Fantasy author Jim Butcher talks about his work on the popular Codex Alera and Dresden Files series.
5. Regarded as the “dean of Canadian science fiction writers,” Robert J. Sawyer’s work includes Minescan and Rollback.
2. Howard Chaykin celebrated the 25th anniversary of his seminal comic series, American Flagg! at the show this year.
6. Writer/artist Keith Giffen talks about the return of Ambush Bug and his other work—including 52—for DC Comics.
3. Archie Comics editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick was an Inkpot Award recipient in honor of his 50 continuous years working with the forever young comics superstar.
7. Artist Dean Yeagle reveals his tricks for illustrating the female figure in this live drawing demo featuring his signature character, Mandy.
4. Jim Starlin talks about his long career in comics, including the cosmic Captain Marvel, Warlock, and his recent Death of the New Gods.
8. Cartoonist Lynda Barry drew huge crowds each time she signed at the Drawn and Quarterly booth. Her new book, What It Is, is both an art book and a guide to the creative process.
Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 21
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Given to Comic-Con special guests for achievement in their respective fields.
Other 2008 Recipients: Kyle Baker, Kim Deitch, Victor Gorelick, Todd Klein, Tite Kubo, and Connie Willis. Paul Levitz accepting for Al Plastino
Mike W. Barr 22 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
EXCLUSIVE PANEL EXCERPT!
SCREENWRITERS! AUTHORS! BLOGGERS! tell us why they love
comic books! turn the page to read
COMICS: ACROSS EVERY MEDIUM!
chip kidd whitney matheson
BRAD MELTZER paul feig
Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 23
The brainchild of comics and fiction writer Brad Meltzer (Justice League of America, The Book of Lies), “Comics Across Every Medium” was a panel discussion held on Saturday, July 26, at Comic-Con. Meltzer likened it to a “21st Century Breakfast Club,” where a group of like-minded people (read “geeks”) get together and talk about the thing they love most—comics— and how it’s influenced their work and how they, in turn, have promoted comics to a larger audience. Brad was joined on the panel by writer/producer/director Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks, The Office), writer/director David Goyer (Batman Begins, the Blade movies), designer/ author Chip Kidd (Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, The Learners), entertainment journalist Whitney Matheson (USA Today’s Pop Candy blog), and moderator Scott Brick, an award-winning audio book reader and narrator.
I have a lot of freedom and I can write about the things that I’m passionate about. I started writing about them more and more and people really responded to that. And so now I write about them just as much as I write about film or music or everything else.
Scott Brick (SB): Our agenda for today is to talk about how we represent comic books in other media, how we take one artform and spread it out into others. I’d like to start by throwing it open to everybody to talk about how comics first began influencing your work. At the beginning of every panel when people start talking about themselves it reminds me of those old JLA stories from the ’60s, by Gardner Fox, where they would meet a new hero and there’d be a lull in the action and somebody would say, “While we wait for our arch nemesis to show up, I might as well tell you my secret origin. This is why I became a superhero.” Everybody tell me what your superpower is and when you realized comics were an influence on your work. Whitney Matheson (WM): I actually didn’t start reading comics until I was older, (when) I was out of college and I moved to Chicago, which I think is an amazing city to discover comics because there are tons of great artists there and great comic book shops. There’s one particular shop called Quimby’s where I used to go. That’s where I really started reading them and really getting into them. I’m very fortunate (in my job) in that 24 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
Paul Feig (PF): I came to comic books late but comics really influenced me. My next-door neighbors gave my father a big stack of really old comic books that I think probably would be worth about a million dollars right now. I started reading and the first thing I took off was a Superman Bizarro story and it scared the hell out of me. And it just terrified me because the artwork was so cool but scary. I actually grew up very much with Peanuts and B.C. And those were my comics. I could not go to sleep without a Peanuts book to read every night for years and years and years of my life. But I was always afraid of comics because they were about these big muscular guys who looked like the guys who might beat me up if I was in school. And only later did I realize that these were actually about cool guys and good guys and really went full force into comics when the artwork sort of changed over and things got a little more into the way that they look now. And now I just devour them. David Goyer (DG): I grew up in Michigan, the son of a single mom. I remember she was getting her Ph.D and going to night school and there was a local comic book shop called the “Eye Of Agamotto,” which was named after Dr. Strange’s amulet. And she used to park us, my brother and I, there while she was in night school, with a bag of McDonald’s. And the guy at the comic shop would babysit us and we started reading and I got hooked and started writing letters to the editors. I’m just fortunate enough now to make my living in a kind of semi-connected medium. Chip Kidd (CK): I fell under the spell of comics very early on. I was 2 when the Adam West Batman TV show came on. It just hooked me immediately and I was
DAVID GOYER so taken with it. And I never got over it. All my friends sort of moved on to Happy Days, but I didn’t, I stayed loyal to Batman. And eventually I studied graphic design and got a job at Random House designing book covers for a real publisher, Knopf Publishing. And every now and then I’d be asked, “You love comics, how have comics influenced your book cover designs?” Until one interviewer pointed out, “You usually separate out the type from the image so that they’re not layered over each other and isn’t that sort of like a comics panel.” And it was like “bing,” yeah, it is. It’s like if you take the cover for All the Pretty Horses [which Kidd designed], the type is in basically a caption thing at the top and then the image of the horse’s mane and they’re completely separate, just like the way type and image is separate in a comics panel. Brad Meltzer (BM): I also got hooked very early on. I remember I was 8 years old and my father had brought home the Detective Comics with the Marshall Rogers cover with the laughing fish, where the Joker’s holding two laughing fish as guns and the two fish have the Joker’s face. And it scared the crap out of me. I mean I was terrified. In fact, so terrified I wouldn’t read it. I didn’t read it for years. I just was like that’s the one I’m scared of. I’ll put that right over there. But the other comic my dad brought home was Justice League of America #150, and it was my gateway drug. I mean, “Here kid, the first one’s free, you know where to come for the rest,” and I was hooked. I just remembering opening that big splash page and I saw all the Justice League members in this big key prison and they’re each in their own little keys and they were all trapped and I was like, “Oh my God, how are they going to get out? I don’t know. Let me turn this page and see.” You know, we’ve answered this question about comics and maybe this is more about why we’re all geeks, but I will just say for myself I love this stuff. I breathe it. I mean in the novel world I don’t really always feel as comfortable in my skin
paul feig because I’m scared and it’s hard and I really have to work at it, but in comics to me, it’s like a walrus. The walrus is the most lumbering animal on the planet. Did you ever see a walrus when it’s out of water? But when it goes in the water it’s just perfect. It’s elegant. And that to me is how I feel in the comic world. That’s my whole life. When my third novel came out, I got hired to write Green Arrow and I had always put comic references in all my novels. And all of my novels are set up like comic books. And I realized that I didn’t even think about it. Same very much like you, Chip, I mean I didn’t realize it. You know you read 40,000 comics where you read 22 pages and a cliffhanger, eventually you learn how to paint the fence. It’s always just been a part of who I am. It’s just what I love. SB: Your next book [The Book of Lies] though is actually specifically about comics. BM: My next novel is . . . here’s the pitch: Chapter 4 of Genesis, Cain kills Abel. It is the world’s most famous murder but the Bible (never talks) about one key detail, that’s the murder weapon that Cain uses to kill his brother. The murder weapon is unknown to this day. In 1932, a man named Mitchell Siegel is shot in the chest and killed. And while mourning the death of his father, his young son Jerry creates a bulletproof man that he names Superman. And the murder weapon, this is true, from that murder is lost to this day. So the question is what do these two murders, thousands of years apart, one that gives the world’s worst villain in Cain, and one that gives us the world’s greatest hero in Superman, possibly have to do with each other. And if that doesn’t qualify you for geekdom, I don’t know what does. But let me speak about this because I actually would like to hear this from everyone else. My second novel that I ever pitched was a Cain and Abel story, 11 years ago. And my editor at the time said don’t do it, you’re doing legal thrillers. They want you to be John Grisham, go do
brad meltzer that. And I was too scared to argue with him and so I never did. But the world has changed. I mean look around. We joked and we said we’re going to have no one at this panel because no one likes geek stuff like we do and we have a packed room. The world is changing. I think like it’s kind of easier for us to be geeks now. SB: Paul, you did Freaks and Geeks. I mean you were so far ahead of the curve, do you feel kind of vindicated?
BRAD MELTZER “ . . . all of my novels are set up like comic books. You read 40,000 comics where you read 22 pages and a cliffhanger, eventually you learn how to paint the fence.” PF: I’d feel more vindicated if we were still on the air. There’s so much stuff presented in the media about the cool people which the industry terms “fantasy fulfillment,” which means you watch it because you are not as happy with your life. You know, “I want to live through those people.” But my feeling is I want to tell the stories of the people that I knew and the people that are most of the world. To me a geek is just somebody who has something they love and they love it so much that they don’t care if other people go, “You’re nuts for liking that.” And that’s what brings us all here. That’s why I’ve been coming here for 15 years. I just love coming to ComicCon because I find it so endearing that everybody here is very positive and into what they’re doing and people can wear costumes and all that and nobody else
scott brick is going like, “Oh, look at that idiot.” It’s great. We’re all here because we love this stuff and we love each other for loving it. And you know the difference between being a geek back when I was growing up and now, we didn’t have the Internet. You had these interests but you were in a small town—I grew up in Michigan also— and you’d walk around going, “Am I the only one that likes this?” Then you’d find two other guys who were kind of into science fiction or something, so you had this little group. What’s great about the Internet now is you can go online and you go, “Oh my God, I’m not this freak.” Look at all the people out there who like this stuff. Geek is such a freeing word now because we’re all geeks, you know. It just depends what we’re geeky about. DG: I brought my wife down and she’s never been at Comic-Con before and we were walking across the street to the Convention Center and she was asking me how it was different now than 10 years ago. And I said, “Well, we won.” And the crazy thing now is that it’s cool to be a geek. You know, The Hollywood Reporter has a Comic-Con special and Entertainment Weekly has a Comic-Con article, and it’s become just this crazy, parallel world. SB: Whitney, writing for USA Today, you’re pushing what’s popular in pop culture. Was there ever any kind of resistance (from your editors) to you really wanting to write about comics? WM: Luckily, not really. I have the freedom to be here and to be writing what I like and I have all the support from readers and there really hasn’t been resistance. There’s been a lot of trust, which is really cool. I’m here this year and I’m handing out “Pop Candy,” a comic that has been drawn by readers of my blog, which is really cool. It’s gone from me writing a little bit about comics into a community of all of us who really love comics and everybody kind of making art together, which I just think is what it’s all about. Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 25
CK: In the late ’90s, I was able to sort of help Pantheon get back into the comics game after publishing Maus in the late ’80s. Chris Ware is one of my best friends and Dan Clowes is a very good friend, and I basically went to the editor-in-chief and said, “I think we should start doing this again.” And he said, “Well, okay, what?” And I said there’s this guy Chris Ware and he’s completing a massive novel called Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and I think we should publish it. It’s the Ulysses of comics. So it’s really been about educating our sales force and people in editorial and what Whitney has to do with her editors. USA Today is arguably the largest newspaper in the country, so that’s a massive undertaking to convince people that we can do these comics and there’s an audience for them and people will like them and reviewers will like them and people will buy them. SB: I think the more people talk about their love for comics, the more it’s becoming accepted. Obviously, this panel is evidence of that. But you guys are talking about how you find out that you’re both comic lovers and it’s almost clandestine at first. It’s almost like, “Oh my God, there is another one!” CK: Well, for me it was like coming out all over again. SB: But 10 years ago that’s the way it was. David, you could talk about this in Hollywood. You go into a pitch meeting, you’re almost always going to find another comic lover across the table. 26 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
DG: The difference in Hollywood now is that every studio wants an executive who is the official comic book guy, because Hollywood follows money. The comic book movies are making a lot of money and it’s just funny now that that [love of comics] wouldn’t have been a selling tool if you were trying to get a job at a studio you know a decade ago. But now it’s a big deal. Question from the audience: Why do you think that Americans only tend to turn to comic books for superheroes? If you look historically, funnies and romance and other genres are categories in the comic book world and places like Japan, but in the United States it almost entirely just means superheroes. CK: Do you know this publisher called Fantagraphics? I don’t mean to be insulting, seriously, but they traffic in just about everything but [superheroes] and do it extremely well. Or Drawn & Quarterly? All of these people have booths downstairs which I totally urge you to check out because it’s comic books about the relationships between normal people and have nothing to do with superheroes. BM: I’ll give you my answer, at least my theory. If you look at the comic books and comic strips that were popular in the Great Depression, they were Flash Gordon, they were Tarzan. They were characters that were designed to transport you elsewhere, to the 25th century, to the jungle, because no one wanted to be here. It was called the Great
Depression for a reason. And then in 1938 as World War II was encroaching on our shores, a character named Superman takes off. And why? Because we’re scared and we’re terrified. And if you look, after 9/11, the first popular movie that came out was Spider-Man. And we were once again a country that was terrified and we were scared. We weren’t supermen any more. We were Peter Parker. We were teenagers. I think as Americans we want to help people and do right, but we were scared inside. This is just my little psychobabble theory, but I think we get not the heroes that we want, we get the heroes we need. I think the reason all these superhero movies are still doing well is I think we’re just a country that’s scared and looking for heroes. That’s why I think all these things at this convention work, but again that’s my theory. Question from the audience: Could you talk a little bit about the tension that exists between the benefits of having comic books become so popular and so mainstream and still this desire to hold on to the subversive heart of comics, the thing that maybe drew a lot of us to the genre. DG: I think underground comics are [subversive]. It’s funny, kind of, it sort of addresses both your question and the last one, which is it’s kind of the selfperpetuating thing because the superhero things work so well visually on screen that that is drawing more people to that genre more. But that’s why I really love all the underground comics and the ones that are slightly more about relationships and such.
Audience member: Do you have any recommendations, any titles? DG: There was one thing called Blankets [by Craig Thompson] that was out a few years ago that I loved. It was just very gentle but it was like watching a beautiful little movie at your own speed. Also, they were saying only superhero movies get made or things like that, but you know Persepolis, which is a great, great graphic novel, got made into a great movie, and got a lot of acclaim. It’s not like Warner Brothers is dying to make seven more Persepolis movies. There’s obviously a big superhero movies genre now, but there’s also a kind of mini-genre for the Harvey Pekar film and Persepolis and all those things. That’s something that didn’t exist five years ago, either. CK: It was our company that sort of snatched up Persepolis in French and sort of figured out that it was going to be great and we published it in English and we were very privileged to do so. In terms of this whole subversive thing, there are so many comics being published now that if you want subversion you can find it. It’s not too hard. Question from the audience: You’ve been touching on this already, but I would like to be more direct about it. When I graduated from high school in the early ’70s, comic books were not acceptable. They were seen as being childish. Our society has undergone a change since then. Graphic novels are now acceptable. Why has this change taken place?
CK: I think my theory is, again, it’s this new cliché of the perfect storm. First of all you’ve got to get some graphic novels, as they are now known, that are really truly great and truly masterpieces. I would count Maus among them. I would count Jimmy Corrigan among them. So these things come out from a major publisher. They get reviewed. That’s very, very important.
whitney matheson “It’s gone from me writing a little bit about comics into a community of all of us who really love comics and everybody kind of making art together, which I just think is what it’s all about.” DG: And also they’re not just available in the comic book stores any more. CK: Well, yes, that’s the other thing. We get them into Barnes & Noble and Borders and all of that. And it’s bringing them to a whole new audience. But you can’t just bring it to the new audience. When the audience gets it they have to get a truly amazing experience when they read it. And I think that there’s been
enough of this happening consistently that it’s changed things. BM: I’ll give you my second psychobabble theory. Brian Vaughan was telling me that he was watching the Sex Pistols DVD and they were talking about the first Sex Pistols concert. And everyone that was at the concert all went and started their own bands. They were so influenced by this one band that they all started their own bands. Maybe it was Watchmen and maybe it was Dark Knight and maybe it was Maus and maybe it was Jimmy Corrigan, but we read that and we said oh my gosh I want to do something. I want to do something now. It was like it was that concert that we all went to and said I’m going to do that. Time magazine listed the greatest novels of the 20th Century and Watchmen is on there. That matters. And not just because it’s cool and we can say, “See, dad, it’s not a waste of money.” But because I feel like it really influenced us, I mean all of us. And you know that was a long time ago that book came out. And I see Dave Gibbons today and realize, oh my gosh, we were kids when that came out, but now all of us are in creative spots and that’s why we get our little agenda because we were influenced when we were kids. SB: I want to thank everybody who’s up here on the panel. I want to say thank you specifically, obviously for them pushing comics, but for all of you, it’s important that everybody push comics in your own daily lives because if we do, worldwide domination is just one step away. Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 27
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Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 1
1. From The Spirit movie, actor Gabriel Macht, producer Deborah Del Prete, and writer/director Frank Miller at the Eisner Awards.The Spirit was the official title sponsor of this yearâ€™s event. Miller also gave the ceremonyâ€™s keynote address. 2. Writer Brad Meltzer accepts his award for Best Single Issue from actor Samuel L. Jackson.
3. Bill Finger Award winner Larry Lieber is flanked by Mark Evanier and Jerry Robinson, the chairpersons of the award. 4. Len Wein with his Will Eisner Hall of Fame award.
2008 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Best Short Story: “Mr. Wonderful,” by Dan Clowes, serialized in New York Times Sunday Magazine Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): Justice League of America #11: “Walls,” by Brad Meltzer and Gene Ha (DC)
1 Best Continuing Series: Y: The Last Man, by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan, Jr. (Vertigo/DC) 2 Best Limited Series: The Umbrella Academy, by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse) Best New Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, by Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughan, Georges Jeanty, and Andy Owens (Dark Horse)
3 Best Anthology: 5, by Gabriel Bá, Becky Cloonan, Fabio Moon, Vasilis Lolos, and Rafael Grampa (self-published)
4 Best Publication for Kids: Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 and Mouse Guard: Winter 1152, by David Petersen (Archaia) 5 Best Publication for Teens: Laika, by Nick Abadzis (First Second) Best Humor Publication: Perry Bible Fellowship: The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories, by Nicholas Gurewitch (Dark Horse) Best Digital Comic: Sugarshock!, by Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon http://www.myspace.com/darkhorsepresents?issuenum=1&storynum=2 Best Reality-Based Work: Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, by James Sturm and Rich Tommaso (Center for Cartoon Studies/Hyperion)
6 Best Graphic Album—New: Exit Wounds, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly) Best Graphic Album—Reprint: Mouse Guard: Fall 1152, by David Petersen (Archaia) Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Strips: Complete Terry and the Pirates, vol. 1, by Milton Caniff (IDW)
7 Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: Fletcher Hanks: I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! edited by Paul Karasik (Fantagraphics) Best U.S. Edition of International Material: I Killed Adolf Hitler, by Jason (Fantagraphics) Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan: Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White, by Taiyo Matsumoto (Viz) Best Writer: Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Criminal, Daredevil, Immortal Iron Fist (Marvel) Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #18 (Acme Novelty) Best Writer/Artist—Humor: Eric Powell, The Goon (Dark Horse) Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team: Pia Guerra/Jose Marzan, Jr., Y: The Last Man (Vertical/DC) Best Painter or Multimedia Artist (interior art): Eric Powell, The Goon: Chinatown (Dark Horse)
Best Cover Artist: James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Process Recess 2; Superior Showcase 2 (AdHouse) Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, BPRD, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cut, Hellboy, Lobster Johnson, The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse); The Spirit (DC) Best Lettering: Todd Klein, Justice, Simon Dark (DC); Fables, Jack of Fables, Crossing Midnight (Vertigo/DC); League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier (WildStorm/DC); Nexus (Rude Dude) Special Recognition: Chuck BB, Black Metal (artist, Oni)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: Newsarama, produced by Matt Brady and Michael Doran (www.newsarama.com) Best Comics-Related Book: Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean, by Douglas Wolk (Da Capo Press) Best Publication Design: Process Recess 2, designed by James Jean and Chris Pitzer (AdHouse) Hall of Fame: Judges’ Choices: R. F. Outcault, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson; Voters’ Choices: John Broome, Arnold Drake, Len Wein, Barry Windsor-Smith
Other Awards 8 Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Paul Levitz (shown with presenter Ruth Clampett) Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award: Cathy Malkasian Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing: Archie Goodwin, Larry Lieber Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award: Atom! and Portlyn Freeman of Brave New World (see page 40 for an interview with this year’s winner) Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 29
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Movies AND TELEVISION 1
1. The cast of Watchmen, along with co-creator Dave Gibbons (3rd from left, top) and director Zack Snyder (center, bottom). 2. Writer/director Frank Miller, producer Deborah Del Prete, and star Sam Jackson talk about The Spirit. 3. Wolverine star Hugh Jackman showed exclusive first scenes from the movie during a surprise appearance. 4. Movie makeup master Rick Baker. 5. Fan-favorite writer/director Kevin Smith. 6. Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly talked about The Day the Earth Stood Still. 7. Jet Li made his first Comic-Con appearance to talk about the new Mummy movie.
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1. Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino previewed Race to Witch Mountain.
2. Elizabeth Banks, star of Kevin Smithâ€™s Zack and Miri Make a Porno. 3. Director McG brought a friend to talk about Terminator Salvation. 4. Three of the cast members from Twilight: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner. 5. From the TV world, actress Jewel Staite, from Stargate: Atlantis. 6. Legendary animation producer of the classic Peanuts TV specials, Lee Mendelson. 7. Dexter star Michael C. Hall. 8. Actress Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica.
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1. The stars of Fringe, Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, and Robert Noble, along with co-creator JJ Abrams (insert) debuted the new series at Comic-Con.
2. Summer Glau and Lena Headey, from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chroncicles. 3. Dollhouse creator Joss Whedon with stars Eliza Dushku and Tahmoh Penikett. 4. Heroes star Masi Oka shows off his moves while co-stars Milo Ventimiglia and Greg Grunberg look on. 5. Lost honchos Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff were joined by series star Matthew Fox. 6. Making their first Comic-Con appearance, 24 stars Carlos Bernard and Kiefer Sutherland. 7. Sylar (Zachary Quinto) waves goodbye after the Heroes panel. The cast showed the first episode of the 2008 season.
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The Masquerade These photos taken during the Comic-Con Masquerade show that you have to be there to experience the color, excitement, craftsmanship, dedication, and sheer spectacle of the event.
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THIS PAGE: 1. “We Lost”—Tired and wounded from a battle lost, this fantasy warrior and his loyal beast chose an ironic title for their presentation, considering that their amazing original design won the Best in Show trophy. 2. “Eternal Sonata”—Based on a popular Xbox 360 game, these characters and their presentation were so dead-on, the judges scored them 49 out of 50 and gave them the Best Re-Creation trophy. 3. “Ozmopolitans: Emerald Citizens”—Showcasing cleverly re-created costumes from The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the stylishly attired citizens deliver an elaborate production, then discover the wrong wizard coming out of the city doors! Winner of the Best Presentation trophy.
4. “Hairspray”—How many famous film and TV characters owe their unique and perhaps improbable look to hairspray? This clever song-and-dance number thanked hairspray for the wonders it creates and won Judges’ Choice. 5. “X-Wing Girl”—Winner of the Lucasfilm prize for Best Star Wars Entry, this costume included lights and an animated R2-D2. Not a bad way to travel for a 9-year-old girl! OPPOSITE PAGE: 6. “Bumblebee: Transformers”—This 9-year-old, with a little help from his Dad, created what might be the smallest Transformer you’ll ever see, outside of a toy store that is. For the impressive construction from head to toe, this entry won the Best Young Fan trophy.
7. “Marvin the Martian & Duck Dodgers”—Re-created from the old Warner Brothers cartoons, bringing nonhuman animated characters to life isn’t always easy, but with some ingenuity, hard work, and the right materials, you can masquerade as anyone, or anything, you’d care to be. Made and worn by Mike Moore and a friend. 8. “Queen Alice of Wonderland”—Winning an Honorable Mention for Beautiful Construction, this original design with its impressive hand-embroidered bodice showed that the old classics can still inspire us with awe and wonder.
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2008 Comic-Con Masquerade Trophy Winners Best In Show: “We Lost,” worn by Orc (Lynette Eklund), and Warg (Lance Ikegawa); designed and made by Lance Ikegawa, Lynette Eklond, Jen Seng, and Steve Gallacci. (#1, previous page) Judges’ Choice: “Hairspray,” designed, made, and worn by Cordelia Willis, Angie Clough, Breanna Palermo, Caitlin Shindler, Rogue Shindler, and Belle Benson. (#4, previous page) Best Re-creation: “Eternal Sonata,” worn, designed, and made by Underground Cosplay. (#2, previous page) Best Original Design: “The Rock,” worn, designed, and made by Blair Heald. Best Workmanship: “Iron Man,” worn by Allan Lavigne; designed and made by Allan Lavigne and Jeff Dullam. Most Humorous: “TakaraZuko presents: West Side Story,” designed, made and worn by Lydia Chen, Amber-Dawn Jackson-Cole, Hoshikaji, Sarah Pilat, and Umi.
Best Presentation: “Ozmopolitans: Emerald Citizens,” worn by MaryAnn Cappa, Kent Elofson, Shaunn Lawrence, Danica Lisiewicz, Jess Miller, Nicole Roberts, David Rose, Dawn Rose, and Sa Winfield; designed and made by VHM ‘08. (#3, previous page) Most Beautiful: “Disney Fairies,” worn by McKayla Butym, Katharine Forman, Emily McComb, Marissa Morris, Elizabeth Munden, and Briana Roecks; designed and made by McKayla Butym, Katharine Forman, Emily McComb, Marissa Morris, Elizabeth Munden, Briana Roecks, Grace Forman, and Isaac Swim. Best Novice: “Harry Potter and the Half Blood (Formerly Known As) Prince,” worn by Devon Hollingsworth, Dallas Arrington, Jenifer Morgan, Morgan Hobbs, Ian Saad, Robert Vander Turner, Sarah White, Alex Dunbar, Alex Johnson, Shane Allen, and Christina Monji; designed and made by Linda Turner. Best Young Fan: “Bumblebee,” worn by Jake Webber; designed and made by Corey Webber and Jake Webber. (#6, this page) Honorable Mention: Presentation: “X-Wing Girl,” worn by Nicole Veloskey; designed and made by Tom Veloskey. (#5, previous page)
Honorable Mention: Overall Presentation: “All Rise in the Presence of Emperor Ming,” worn by Jennifer King, Michael King, Kit Brown, Dan, Lisa Holderness, Rob Leudke, Maddie Leudke, Ivy Salazar, C. J. Soblawiak, Freya Camagria, Keegan Adames, Kenny Zigler, Jennifer Lengench and James Rolfsen; designed and made by Jennifer King and Kit Brown with special assistance by Regine Dial, Melody Gelb, Leslee Voisin, Beatriz Castellanos, and Lynn Mandeville. Honorable Mention: Re-creation: “Trinity Blood,” worn by Abel Nightroad (Yumiko Homsher), Isaak Fernando Von Kampfer (Natalie Daniel), Asthe (Elizabeth Fuller), Empire Esther (Sarah Hall), AX Esther (Jillian Dooley); Abel Nightroad designed and made by Yumiko Homsher; Isaak Fernando Von Kampfer, Asthe, Empire Esther, and AX Esther designed by Sarah Hall and Natalie Daniel, made by Sarah Hall, Natalie Daniel, and Jillian Dooley. Honorable Mention: Beautiful Construction: “Queen Alice of Wonderland,” worn, designed, and made by M. Alice LeGrow. (#8, this page) For a complete list of Comic-Con 2008 Masquerade winners, visit www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_masq.shtml Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 35
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AROUND THE SHOW 1
1. Mythbusters stars Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman signing in Comic-Con’s Autograph Area before their Saturday evening panel. 2. One of the Autograph Area’s most popular celebrities, Elvira (Cassandra Peterson). 3. Original Bionic Woman star Lindsay Wagner. 4. A glimpse at the outdoor armored combat demonstrations on the Mezzanine balconies. 5. The littlest Batman poses with the giant Lego version. 6. It’s Red from Fraggle Rock in a rare convention appearance. 7. Another very satisfied customer in the Exhibit Hall.
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1. Actor/producer Kevin Spacey made a surprise appearance at the Star Wars Fan Film Awards. Here he is on stage with Steve Sansweet, Lucafilm’s director of fan relations.
2. The freebie table is one of most popular areas at Comic-Con . . . 3. . . . and wearing one of the most popular Comic-Con freebies—one of four Warner Bros. tote bags—is Amanda Cockerham of Poway, CA. Amanda holds the distinction for two years running of crafting the bags into smart-looking dresses. 4. Most of the winners from this year’s Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, along with the two judges. Left to right, judge Tom DeSanto, Geoff Redknap (Auburn Hills Breakdown), Jeff Riley (Operation Fish), Katie Weekley (AHB), Kyung Hee Shon (La Lune), James Darling (Citizen), Hal Cartrett (The Crusaders #357, Experiment in Evil!), Frank Woodward (Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown), and judge Borys Kit. For a complete list of winners and the 2008 schedule visit www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_iff.shtml
Comic-Con’s Blood Drive Tops Previous Records! Comic-Con’s 2008 Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive set a new record: 1,070 pints of life-giving blood collected at this year’s convention. The ComicCon event is the San Diego Blood Bank’s longest-running blood drive, and over its 32-year history, Comic-Con donors have given an amazing 7,538 pints of blood. This year, a special one-of-a-kind collectible Honda Element donated by the Honda Dealers of San Diego County was given away to one lucky winner. The Element included special Captain America graphics, and the dashboard was autographed by Stan Lee. The winner of the Honda/ Marvel Captain America Element was Sergeant Major Jayme Winders, a U.S. Marine who earned a Bronze Medal during his last tour in Iraq. He lives here in San Diego and donated at the Blood Drive on Saturday. Comic-Con International and the San Diego Blood Bank would like to thank all attendees, exhibitors, and staff who participated in this year’s drive. A special thank you goes to the exhibitors who contributed special items for the donors. Diamond Select Toys provided an exclusive limited Battlestar Galactica Chief Tyrol figure, and AFX provided a selection of
(L to r): Rick Blakemore, past pres. of Honda Dealers of San Diego County and GM of Hoehn Honda, Jayme’s wife, Lisa, and Sergeant Major Jayme Winders.
other figures. We appreciate all the exhibitors and professionals who donated wonderful prizes for the special Blood Drive drawing, and thank you once again to John Smallwood-Garcia for providing the art for the exclusive donor T-shirt. Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 37
COMIC-CON 2 0 0 8
Closing Time All good things must come to an end. Like that mythical Scottish village, Brigadoon, Comic-Con 2008 fades into the mists of memory. But don’t worry . . . we’ll be back again next year at the San Diego Convention Center, in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the country.
Yeah. We know that feeling, too.
38 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
THE PHOTO ISSUE Cover: Top tier (l to r): Al Jafee: Len Briggs; Frank Miller: Austin Gorum; Len Wein and Hugh Jackman: Albert L. Ortega. Middle tier (l to r): Masquerade and photographer: Daniel Sakow; Lynda Barry: Jamie Salomon, courtesy Drawn & Quarterly. Bottom tier (l to r): Convention Center: Kevin Green; cosplayer: Tom Gurnee. Page 9: Top: Sergio Palacios; Bottom: Gibbons: Johnakin Randolph; Signs: Robb Johnson; Jaffee: Len Briggs; Iron Man/ Masquerade: David Sakow; Jackman: Albert Ko. Page 10: All photos by Gary Sassaman. Page 11: 1. Tracy Matson; 2: Scotty Oson; 3: Kevin Green; 4: Sergio Palacios Page 12: 1. Len Briggs; 2: Kevin Green; 3 and 4: Barry Brown. Page 13: 1: Sergio Palacios; 2 and 4: Kevin Green; 3: Len Briggs; 5: Tony Amat. Page 14: 1 and 5: Kevin Green; 2 and 4: Tom Gurnee; 3: Sergio Palacios; 6: Daniel Sakow. Page 16: 1: Barry Brown; 2: Daniel Sakow; 3: Johnakin Randolph; 4: Tom Gurnee. Page 17: 1: Rudy Manahan; 2 and 6: Scotty Oson; 3: Daniel Sakow; 4: Tracy Matson; 5: Kevin Green; 7: Johnakin Randolph. Page 18: 1, 2, 4 and 5: Scotty Oson; 3: Kevin Green; 6: Len Briggs. Page 19: 1, 2, 3, and 4: Chuk Gawlik; 5: Clydene Nee; 6: Eddie Choi. Page 20: 1: John Salgado; 2, 4 and 7: Kevin Green; 3: Scotty Oson; 5 and 6: Tom Deleon. Page 21: 1 and 6: Barry Brown; 2: Tom Gurnee; 3: Art Lee; 4: John Salgado; 5: Kevin Green; 7: Tom Gurnee; 8: Jamie Salomon, courtesy Drawn & Quarterly. Page 22: Watts, Bakshi, Neill: Kevin Green; Brubaker, Norman, Jaffee, Barr: Barry Brown; Willingham, Levitz, and Woodring: Chuk Gawlik. Pages 23-27: All photos by Barry Brown. Pages 28-29: All photos by Marissa Amat, Tony Amat, and Tom Deleon. Page 30: 1: Tom Deleon; 2, 4 and 7: Albert L. Ortega; 3: Albert Ko; 5: Austin Gorum ; 6: Brian Wong Page 31: 1 and 2: Albert L. Ortega; 3 and 6: Kevin Green; 4: Tracy Matson; 5: Chuk Gawlik; 7: Daniel Sakow. Page 32: 1, 3, 4, and 6: Albert L. Ortega; 2: Kevin Green; 5 and 7: Daniel Sakow. Page 33: All photos by Daniel Sakow. Pages 34-35: All photos by Goldie MacNeil. Page 36: 1 and 2: Daniel Sakow; 3: Tom Gurnee; 4: John Salgado ; 5 and 7: Kevin Green; 6: Sergio Palacios Page 37: 1 and 2: Tom Deleon; 3 and 4: Barry Brown. Page 38: Circle photo by Kevin Green; outside photos by Scotty Oson. This Page: Kevin Green.
2008 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award Recipient Each year, Comic-Con honors retailers from around the globe with the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, named after the visionary creator of The Spirit. When he initiated the award, Will wanted it as a means for acknowledging the important role that comic retailers play in the industry and how they nurture the relationship between the creators and their readers. The award is given 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 2009.) The nominees for the award are selected by a group of industry professionals and facilitated by retailer Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld, Santa Cruz, CA), a past recipient. This year’s committee included Cheryl Rubin (DC Comics), Cheryl Sladoba (Diamond Comics), artists Brent Anderson (Astro City), Lauren Wohl (First Second Books), and Carr D’Angelo and Jud Meyers (last year’s Spirit Award winners, Earth-2 Comics, Sherman Oaks, CA). The award was presented at the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards on Friday, July 25. The 2008 recipient is Brave New World of Newhall, CA. The store was established in 1990 by father and son team Wade and Bud Wisinski. In 2000, long-time store manager Atom! Freeman and his wife Portlyn purchased the store, which is nestled in the Santa Clarita Valley, north of Los Angeles. What does winning the Eisner Award mean to you as retailers? More than you could know. For years, we’ve heard from industry folk who told us that our store was “Eisner-worthy,” which we took as a huge compliment. It was a great indicator that our focus on community building and bringing our community all that comics has to offer was paying off, and two years ago, when we moved to our new location in a beautiful Victorian building, there was no doubt in my mind that they were right. So, when someone nominated us again, we took what we had learned from years of watching the award and put together a pack40 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
et and video that addressed all of the concerns we had heard about in the past. All of that is a long way of saying that winning the Eisner Award means that not only do others in our industry believe we deserve it, we believed we deserved it, and the judges believed we deserved it. And when you look at the list of shops that were finalists, that last part is saying a lot. How did you get into comics retailing? I’ve always had a passion for comics, and I grew up around entrepreneurs of various levels of success and always knew that that would be my path. I just wasn’t sure what industry it would be in. As a result, whenever I was looking for jobs, I tended to gravitate toward those where I could learn something from other small business owners. One of those businesses brought me here to California from Texas, and when I arrived, the first thing I found before the nearest supermarket was the local comics shop. Turned out to be a very important decision for me as on the same day that I told my then fiancée that I was going to start looking for another job, the comics shop (Brave New World) asked me if I wanted to apply for a management position. Seven years later, after a couple side jobs in writing and publishing rep sales, Portlyn and I were offered the opportunity to purchase the shop. Eight years later, here we are. How is Brave New World involved in the local community? In every way that opportunity has presented, and then some. Portlyn’s goal is put a comic book in the hand of any and every kid who wants one, and to “educate the educators” as
to how to utilize comics in their classroom. Over the years we’ve given out tens of thousands at Free Comic Book Day and to local schools, hosted Singles Night, librarian and teacher receptions featuring the Secret Origin of Good Readers, art classes, gaming demos and tournaments, gallery openings, kids art gallery shows, combination small press and car shows, and book release parties. We’ve participated in local arts and literacy festivals, hosted private movie screenings for our customers, worked closely with our local, county and school libraries, had various holiday parties—you name it, we’ve tried it. Someone walks into your store who has never read comics and is interested in getting started. What do you recommend? The answer is different for nearly every person who walks in the door. We usually try to get to know their tastes and go from there. Like to watch baseball on the weekends? Try Satchel Page. Have a thing for Judd Apatow movies? Let me introduce you to Scott Pilgrim. Like to spend time on Wisteria Lane? Katchoo and Francine (Strangers in Paradise) are dying to show you around their neighborhood. Comics has something for everybody, and part of our job is to be able to “diagnose” every new reader with just a few questions. I really enjoy being able to show someone Watchmen, Maus, The Dark Knight, The Walking Dead, Y: the Last Man—there are so many great choices for a first-timer. There’s really something for everyone, and we spend a lot of time putting books into hands.
2009 CALL FOR NOMINATIONS The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego, is given to an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large.
for nomination include: • Any retailer established in business for at least two years is eligible to be nominated. • Anyone—retailers, professionals, fans—may place a name in nomination. • A panel of industry judges selects a group of finalists to be subjected to an in-depth examination based on the award criteria. • Winners will be announced as part of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International on Friday, July 24, 2009. • Previous winners are not eligible for nomination.
for judging include: • Support of a wide variety of innovative material. Providing opportunities for creators’ material to reach buyers; stocking a diverse inventory. • Knowledge. Working to stay informed on retailing as well as on the comics field. • Community activity. Promoting comics to the community; maintaining relationships with schools and libraries; keeping active in social, business, and arts community organizations. • Quality of store image. Innovative display approaches; using store design creatively. • Adherence to standard ethical business practices.
2009 SPIRIT OF COMICS AWARD NOMINATING BALLOT I place the following name in nomination for the 2009 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 17, 2009 • 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 Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 41
A look at the people who help make Comic-Con happen!
ASSISTANT TO THE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Comic-Con would not be the incredible success it is without the involvement of the board of directors, the committee members, the office staff, and the large contingent of volunteers who help make the show happen. This issue we turn the spotlight on Brett Gunnison, a longtime volunteer who currently works onsite as an assistant to David Glanzer, Comic-Con’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations. What first brought you to Comic-Con? It’s all Eddie Ibrahim’s fault (Eddie is the current Director of Programming for Comic-Con and was previously a long-time volunteer and Board of Directors member who worked in the public relations department). My wife worked with him in a lab, so she introduced us. He mentioned he volunteered for Comic-Con and it sounded like something interesting. I’d read comics as a kid and again through college, but hadn’t read any in about 4 or 5 years. He offered my wife and me free passes, so we made a weekend out of it. That was in 1997. When did you start volunteering for ComicCon? I started volunteering the following year, 1998. I’d had fun the year before and thought it would be fun to work. I started out working behind the press desk. What do you do at Comic-Con? I deal mostly with onsite press. I help schedule radio or on-camera interviews, with a Comic-Con spokesperson, to talk about the myriad of things going on at the event. I also help arrange the logistics of live shots for local and national TV and deal with various news outlets to help get them information about Comic-Con. Run us through your typical day . . . I get up somewhere between 2:00 and 4:00 AM so that I can be at the Convention Center 30 minutes ahead of the live camera crews for morning shoots. We generally have up to four live camera crews in the 42 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
Brett with his wife, Libby Webber, and their son, Annan. Exhibit Hall each morning. Some stations come back multiple days, so I have to find something fresh and new for them each day, which luckily is rarely a problem. I also make sure that people coming down and doing live shots during the day are able to access the front drive and arrange for any interviews they may need, and I deal with people wanting to come and film various shows and documentaries. Later in the day, I help set up interviews for the next day’s live shots. I work with the satellite trucks to make sure they can get a signal for them to shoot live. After 5:00 PM, I reconfirm with all the people for the next day, make sure that they have access to the building at the appropriate time, and that their booths will be up and running early the next morning. Finally, I try to get to bed before 10:00 or 11:00 PM, because the early mornings start all over again the next day. What kind of things at Comic-Con appeal to the fan in you? There are a ton of things at Comic-Con that I find interesting. I’m into comics, video games and movies. I’ve met a number of writers and artists for many of the comic books that I read. This year, I was able to catch a little of the Watchman panel, but I unfortunately missed
“Starship Smackdown” on Sunday, which is one of my favorite programs at the show. What I really enjoy about the event is seeing the many attendees enjoy it and knowing that I had something to do with it. What do you do in “real life”? I’m a high school science teacher, which I’ve been doing for about 4 years now. Prior to teaching high school, I was in charge of a teaching lab. My son is a little over 15 months old now and he keeps me busy when I’m not dealing with work. I’m amazed how fast he is and how slow I am. Although, between chasing him and all the walking I do at Comic-Con, I’m getting in decent shape. Read any good comics lately? I’ve been enjoying the current story arcs in the Green Lantern and Batman series. I’ve been rereading Y: the Last Man and loaning my copies to a friend who is really hoping they make a movie out of it soon. I haven’t been able to see many movies since my son was born, but I did see Iron Man and The Dark Knight this summer and they were both amazing.
What I’m Reading: COMICS I think comics are at their best when they engage readers in emotional experiences far outside their usual comfort zone. For me, war comics are a tremendous genre for that style of dialogue. At their best, war comics place the reader in scenarios that could actually happen to them. They challenge us to confront our own fears and prejudices about life in those conditions. Right now, some of the best war comics in history are back in print alongside some compelling new ones. Here’s just a small sampling of what war comics I’m reading. DC Showcase Presents: Sgt. Rock is a terrific introduction to the genre. Sgt. Frank Rock embodies the mid-20th century strong and silent masculine ideal. His stories illustrate the tests of courage and character that America’s World War II vets faced daily on the battlefield. Chiefly written by Robert Kanigher, Sgt. Rock tells the fictionalized story of Easy Company, the hardest-fighting men in World War II, who never got a day’s relief and who got through it all because of the battlefield smarts and tough compassion of their quiet leader. Under Kanigher, Sgt. Rock demonstrates the ideal that actions, not words,
Copyright © 2008 DC Comics.
define a man. Though other artists illustrated the Rock’s exploits, it’s Joe Kubert who defined the character and what he represents. While Kubert excels at constructing exciting action sequences, his ability to consistently portray a wide range of emotions under the stress of combat sets him apart from other war cartoonists of his generation. Fear, cowardice, strength, agony, sadism, dedication, pain, triumph, and so much more spring from Kubert’s brush. He captures a diverse scope of soldiers, from the under-aged volunteer desperately trying to prove himself, to the vet too young to serve in the first World War and too old to fight in the second. Kubert doesn’t draw interchangeable dogfaces, he infuses each “combat happy Joe” with a body language all his own. Kubert’s visual mastery is well served by this black-and-white edition, which, unobscured by color, fully displays his virtuosity in creating intricate atmospheres, fierce choreography, and muscular acting. If you liked Band of Brothers, give Showcase Presents: Sgt. Rock a try. Veteran creator and former Kubert student Rick Veitch brings a contemporary approach to war comics with Army@Love. Set in the near future, Army@Love reads like a modern update on Dr. Strangelove. A cutting satire of the war on terror and information consumption run amok, Army@Love puts 21st-century America under a twisted microscope. When recruitment dwindles but war still rages in Afbaghistan, the United States military draft the finest marketing minds from the corporate world to reshape public perception of the war. MoMo, or Motivation and Morale, spins the war as the ultimate sex and danger adrenaline adventure. Veitch’s science fiction imagination creates war machines and scenarios that feel credible, which makes his soft drink branded battle zones all the more unsettling— they’re just a little too close for comfort. But what makes Army@Love more than a satirical novelty are his well drawn characters. Beneath the acidly funny commentaries on mediasaturated branding culture, the abundant sex scenes, and profanity that would make Deadwood creator David Milch proud, Veitch’s characters experience genuine moments of intimacy and loss that keep you rooting for them. Two volumes of Army@Love are available as graphic novels, and a new miniseries,
Army@Love: Art of War, is currently being serialized by Vertigo. Trevor Alixopulos’s The Hot Breath of War brings us a series of vignettes from the other side of the battlefield, ruminating on the human wreckage of war. Alixopulos creates a sincere, if uneven, set of stories portraying the pursuit of human connection amidst the circumstances of conflict. There are a couple of standout moments in this book, particularly “And His Breath Is Hot,” which portrays a young girl meeting a soldier on the mortar-shattered road. Their brief exchange is a moving reflection on the loss that goes unreported in the statistics of conflict. Alixopulos’s drawing style is reminiscent of early work by comic strip artists like Jules Feiffer and Charles Schulz, which makes his youthful characters appear jarringly young against the heavy subject matters they encounter. Each rereading of this sophomore outing from Alixopulos adds resonance to the ambitious vignettes it contains. It’s a worthy effort and hopefully foreshadows a career of increasingly strong, thought provoking comics. The Hot Breath of War is published by Sparkplug Comic Books.
Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 43
What I’m Reading: MANGA Occasionally I like to read something that doesn’t have any direct relation to my work, written and drawn by cartoonists I haven’t met, whose original artwork I’m not planning to exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum, and whom I’m not planning to interview. When I’m in the mood for a total escape from work, I’ll read some European classics, like Tintin or Moomin, and, since my wife (Shaenon K. Garrity) is a manga editor, a good number of my “responsibilityfree” comics come from Japan. One of my favorite manga creators is literally the manga creator, Osama Tezuka. It’s almost impossible to overstate his influence on Japanese comics. He pioneered long-form comics, serials, action-adventure, humor, romance, epic historical narratives . . . it’s hard to find an aspect or genre of manga that Tezuka didn’t originate or help to develop. His professional career spanned an all-too-short four decades, during which he produced over 150,000 comics pages and another 70 animated specials and features on the side, with a posthumous output that’s rivaled only by 2Pac Shakur’s. For many years, it was difficult to find any of Tezuka’s work in English, but, thankfully, American publishers have shown a renewed interest in his work over the past few years. I’ve added a half-dozen new Tezuka titles to my home library in the past two years, and there are new editions on the way. One of my current favorite manga is Tezuka’s Dororo, published in the United States by Vertical. The story takes place in Japan during the Sengoku period, a time of great social and political upheaval. After his father makes a pact with 48 demons in exchange for power, Hyakkimaru is born as a strange, nearly featureless lump. His father abandons him, and Hyakkimaru would have perished if not for the intervention of a kindly doctor who raises him, educates him, and miraculously crafts an artificial prosthetic body for his adopted son. Eventually, Hyakkimaru discovers the details of his father’s pact and finds that each of the 48 demons rewarded his father with power in exchange for a piece of Hyakkimaru’s body. Hyakkimaru wanders the Japanese countryside battling demons and monsters, and with each of the 48 de44 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
mons that he slays, he regains a piece of his own body, replacing his prosthetic shell one piece at a time. Early in the first volume of the series, he meets a young thief named Dororo, who accompanies him on his travels, learning about demonkind and human nature along the way. It’s an amazing work, and there’s no single American work that quite comes close to capturing all of the disparate themes, action, and sheer strangeness of Dororo. Also on my Tezuka hit list is Black Jack, originally published in the U.S. by Viz, and soon to be reprinted in its entirety by Vertical. “Black Jack” is the alias of the world’s greatest surgeon, a mysterious, scarred doctor who operates outside the law by . . . operating outside the law. He’ll take on any task, so long as the price is right, from reattaching limbs to removing bullets to impromptu plastic surgeries. He follows a strict moral code, but it’s a code known only to himself, and even the most
well-versed comics reader will be hardpressed to accurately guess how Black Jack will respond to a given situation. Tezuka himself studied medicine and planned to become a doctor, but his mother encouraged him to follow whatever career path in life would bring him the most happiness. Although Japan lost a doctor, the entire world gained a legendary cartoonist. It says a lot about the modern manga industry that Black Jack isn’t even the only medical manga that’s on my must-read list. Naoki Uraswawa’s Monster, published by Viz, is another incredible series, which rivals another of my favorites, Death Note, as far as contemporary action thrillers go. And I haven’t even gotten into my other favorite Tezuka books, like Astro Boy, Phoenix, MW and Apollo’s Song . . .
Copyright © Tezuka Productions. Courtesy Vertical.
What I’m Reading: SF/FANTASY
Each year, Comic-Con invites some of the top science fiction and fantasy authors as special guests to the event. And is it any wonder? The genres continue to top bestseller lists on a weekly basis. Here’s a look at four recent or upcoming novels by some of the world’s finest fiction authors. Sly Mongoose by Tobias S. Buckell This third installment of a multicultural, galaxy-spanning adventure series that began with 2006’s Crystal Rain and continued in 2007’s Ragamuffin obeys the critical rule of action works—once it starts it does not stop. Echoing the previous works, it comes with a bonus of thoughtful engagement with hefty concepts without bringing the whole thing to a deadly, grinding expository halt. On deck this time out are two teens from disparate cultures: Timas, a depressed, poor boy nearly crushed by the physical and mental burden demanded by his community responsibilities, and Katerina, the slightly arrogant representative from an affluent world whose duties are no easier to carry. When a man falls from the sky carrying word of an impending invasion quite possibly worse than what humanity has already endured, the two must figure out a way to get their interpersonal act together across a cultural gulf, survive and evolve. One of the delights is the full emergence of Pepper, the incredibly dangerous, conflicted leader among the Rasta-inspired revolutionaries responsible for ending humanity’s oft-brutal enslavement by aliens. Depending on how you feel about zombies, the last line of the first section just might make you cheer. But even if you don’t have a thing for zombies, Tobias S. Buckell’s deft reimagining of that trope, and how he uses it to drive the base plot and peril of the book, is impressive. With tightly woven narrative threads, fleshed characters, thriller pacing and a bit of cosmetic steampunk thrown in for style, Sly Mongoose is a rollicking example of how action adventure need not be shallow. The Darker Mask: Heroes from the Shadows edited by Gary Phillips and Christopher Chambers A prose anthology of not-your-averagesuperhero stories packed with awardwinning writers from many genres, inCopyright © 2008 HarperCollins.
cluding Naomi Hirahara, Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due, Walter Mosley, Mat Johnson, Lorenzo Carcaterra, and Alexandra Sokoloff. As with most anthologies, it’s a mixed bag of works stellar and not so much, but these writers explore heroics from perspectives beyond the white, male, economically comfortable monoculture universe that comprises the bulk of this subgenre in comics. Some of the stories might be a bit too intense for younger or sensitive readers. While, on the whole, The Darker Mask is a valuable entry in the much needed effort to diversify the superhero template, readers inclined to view superheroes with indifference may not find much here to change their minds about the form. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks This is my fourth read of the greatest zombie book ever written. A virtuoso feat of deadly serious world building, it’s presented as a compilation of memory from survivors of the global catastrophe that was the zombie apocalypse, as compiled by a U.N. researcher. It’s a gripping, astute social critique and mind-expanding examination of leadership, systemic failures, race, class and fear, told with heartrending clarity. Be sure to check out the hilarious companion, The Zombie Survival Guide.
Comic-Con guest, Neil Gaiman has crafted a story of deep humanity, subtle humor, and not insignificant amounts of fright. Bod, the orphan of murdered parents, toddles into a graveyard one bloody night, a place less headstones atop the quiet dead than a lively, vibrant community—in its own way—of lifeforms dead and other. Lovingly adopted by them, he’s raised without pants but with special skills that come in handy during his eventual perilous navigation among the living world beyond the iron gates, let alone confronting his legacy with one of the better collective of villains to come down the pike. He shares his adventure with a sharp, vivid cast. Through a deceptively simple story laid out with precision, Gaiman manages astonishing layers of narrative and emotional complexity with a prose style as spare as it is lyrical. Don’t be surprised if there’s a tear or two. Officially categorized as a story for readers aged 9 through 12, The Graveyard Book will resonate with adults and just might become one of those go-to stories people of all ages reach for to during those difficult times when one must figure out how to manage to carry on in a world where a loved one has passed beyond. (The book is illustrated by frequent Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean.)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman As with previous tales from this longtime Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 45
Comic-Con International 2009
Comic-Con Celebrates Its 40th in 2009! It’s not too early to start planning for Comic-Con 2009! Roaring back into the San Diego Convention Center July 23–26—with the popular Preview Night on Wednesday, July 22—Comic-Con’s 40th looks to be another amazing convention experience! It all started in 1970 with a one-day minicon (think of it as “Comic-Con Zero”) at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The first guests were Forrest J Ackerman (Famous Monsters of Filmland’s famous editor) and Mike Royer, best known for his work inking Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” books. That one-day event tested the waters—and raised funds—for the first ever San Diego Comic-Con (then called “San Diego’s West Coast Comic-Con”) in August of the same year, which featured comics legend Jack Kirby and science fiction authors Ray Bradbury and A. E. van Vogt. And the rest, as they say, is history— including Kirby, Bradbury, and Ackerman going on to become three of Comic-Con’s favorite guests over the years (both Ray and Forry were present again in 2008). That first show and its logo set the groundwork for what would become, over the next 39 years, the country’s leading comics and popular arts convention. From the very beginning the event has focused on “comic art, films, and science fiction.”
As we gear up over the coming months to celebrate the momentous 40th convention, you’ll learn a lot more about Comic-Con’s exciting history, from those early days through the “Toucan years” (when Rick Geary’s colorful bird was Comic-Con’s mascot and logo), up to the present day. 2009 promises to be another amazing year, but if you want to be a part of Comic-Con #40, you have to register NOW. In 2008, for the first time in its history, Comic-Con sold out in advance. That’s right—the show saw record attendance, with every membership—both four days and single days—all sold before the Convention Center doors even opened. Comic-Con will sell no memberships at the door in 2009; the only way you can attend the show is to buy your membership in advance. So lock in those memberships now while they’re still available!
The good news is that you can register online now at www.comic-con.org. Both fourday memberships (which get you into the exclusive Preview Night on Wednesday) and single-day memberships are available. But hurry! You never know how soon they’ll be gone! (For those of you who prefer to register the old-fashioned way, please send in the multipurpose form on page 48 of this edition of Comic-Con Magazine. This is the only issue this form will appear in, so it’s your one and only chance to register via mail.)
Comic-Con 2009 Memberships Four-day memberships (includes Preview Night) Adult: $75.00 Juniors (12-17)* and Seniors (60+): $35.00 Single-day memberships Thursday, July 23: Adults: $25.00, Juniors*/Seniors: $12.00 Friday, July 24: Adults: $30.00, Juniors*/Seniors: $15.00 Saturday, July 25: Adults: $35.00, Juniors*/Seniors: $15.00 Sunday, July 26: Adults: $20.00, Juniors*/Seniors: $10.00 *Children under 12 free with an PAID adult membership. Active military with ID can pay the Junior/Senior price. This offer does not extend to dependants. Prices are subject to change.
AVAILABLE NOW ONLINE: WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 46 Comic-Con Magazine • Fall 2008
Toucan art by Rick Geary.
JULY 23—26 • PREVIEW NIGHT JULY 22 SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER
SPECIAL GUESTS Comic-Con already has an impressive lineup of special guests who have agreed to appear at the 2009 event.
Jimmy Gownley (writer/artist, Amelia Rules!) Popular comics creator Jimmy Gownley has been coming to ComicCon as a professional for many years, but this is the first time it will be as a special guest. Gownley’s kid-friendly series Amelia Rules! is a fan-favorite, and the writer/artist has been nominated for seven Eisner Awards, including four alone in 2008.
James Jean (artist/illustrator, Fables covers) Best known for his stunning cover work for such titles as Fables and The Umbrella Academy, James Jean is also an accomplished magazine illustrator. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Time magazine, and Rolling Stone, and he has done design work for Prada, including prints featured on handbags and skirts. Jean has won seven Eisner Awards, including the trophy for Best Cover Artist (primarily for his work on Vertigo’s Fables) for the last four years running.
Kazu Kibuishi (writer/artist/editor, Flight) The creator and editor of the groundbreaking series Flight (now in its fifth volume), Kazu Kibuishi brought the concept of the comics anthology roaring back to life. In addition to Flight, Kibuishi launched Flight Explorer, a spinoff designed expressly for younger readers, and has also started his own fantasy series, Amulet, with Book One: The Stonekeeper, published by Scholastic.
David Peterson (writer/artist, Mouse Guard) David Peterson’s Mouse Guard series has taken the comics world by storm. The 2007 recipient of the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, Peterson went on to win two Eisner Awards in 2008, for Best Publication for Kids (Mouse Guard Fall 1152 and Mouse Guard Winter 1152), and Best Graphic Album—Reprint (Mouse Guard Fall 1152 hardcover). Charles Vess (artist, Stardust) Three-time Eisner Award winner Charles Vess is best known for his fantasy art and stories, including Rose (a spinoff from Bone and in collaboration with Jeff Smith), and Stardust, written by Neil Gaiman, with whom he also has worked on Sandman and Books of Magic. Vess self-published his own comic series, The Book of Ballad and Sagas, in the late 1990s. Leinil Yu (artist, Secret Invasion) One of comics’ most exciting artists, Leinil Yu is currently drawing the bestselling book in the industry, Marvel’s Secret Invasion, written by Brian Michael Bendis. His dynamic style has graced such titles as Uncanny X-Men, Ultimate Hulk/Wolverine, and New Avengers for Marvel, and Superman: Birthright for DC. This will be his first appearance at Comic-Con as a special guest, so we’re really hoping he doesn’t turn out to be a Skrull. More special guests will be announced in the next issue of ComicCon Magazine! Check www.comic-con.org/cci for more details! Convention Center photo by Kevin Green.
Fall 2008 • Comic-Con Magazine 47
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Featuring special guests: Jessica Abel • Paige Braddock Megan Kelso • Matt Madden Ethan Nicolle Courtesy SLG Publishing 100s more of & Chris Ware! Plus comics’ top creators! See page 5 for complete details!
Art © 2008 Paige Braddock
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