Jack Kirby Fans: Visit Los Angeles before Oct. 10th, 2015 If Possible

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Quite a few people showed up for the reception starting at 4pm. Photo by Bob Bretall

I visited the Gallery Show “Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby at California State University, Northridge this weekend.   It was my first time back on campus since I graduated with my BS degree back in 1985 and it was a great homecoming, highly recommended for any fan of Jack Kirby who can possibly make it to the Los Angeles area before the show closes on October 10th.

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The Gallery is open Monday thru Saturday noon to 4pm, and Thursday noon to 8pm.  The day I went they had a special reception from 4 to 7pm.  I got there a bit before 3pm and it was fairly uncrowded, which gave great access to the exhibits.  Around 4pm when the reception began it started to get much more crowed, not overwhelmingly so, but there were quite a few people as you can see from the picture at the top of the Blog.

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I’m in this picture to lend a sense of scale! Photo by Janine Bretall.

All in all, in the 3 rooms devoted to the exhibit, there were over 100 pages of Jack Kirby Original art, including 17 double page spreads several larger works, and a number of photos and comics.  This is billed as the largest exhibit of Kirby art to date and I have to believe it, it was quite impressive.  While I won’t put pictures of everything in this Blog, I’ll try to post a representative set.  Let’s start in the main room, which included the large image of Orion shown above.  You should be able to click on any of the smaller images in the Blog to see larger versions.

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This room had examples from the Fantastic Four, Kirby’s Fourth World, and Kirby’;s Collages, as well as several display cases containing Classic Kirby comics, photos, and a few additional pieces of art:

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Examples of pre-Marvel work. Photo by Bob Bretall

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A couple of great War pages, including a picture of Jack in uniform! Photo by Bob Bretall

There were quite a few pages from Fantastic Four #45, featuring the Inhumans.  The FF are my personal favorite example of Kirby’s work, so I really had a great time looking at these pages, here are 2 of my favorites:

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Kirby’s version of the Inhumans remains my favorite, though they’re been redesigned for modern readers.

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And an awesome double-page spread from Mister Miracle that exemplifies Kirby’s Fourth World:

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A great stroll though Kirby’s work at Marvel, DC, Marvel again, and Pacific!

When I was a kid reading Kirby’s Captain America and Black Panther off the rack in 1976-77 I have to admit that I didn’t like it one bit.  It was such a departure from what I had been seeing in Cap’s own book and the Avengers that it really offended my teenage sensibilities.  I came to appreciate it in later years, especially after getting more into the FF via reprints and his Fourth World stuff at DC when I started picking those up as back issues.

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There were several examples of Kirby’s collage work, my favorite was this page from FF.

There were also some great example of Jack’s pre-Marvel work with Joe Simon:

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As well as a page featuring of my favorite Marvel Western heroes (who pre-dates the super-heroes), the Rawhide Kid:

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Rawhide Kid – panel detail

This was quite a surprise to me: A comic strip Jack did that was inked by none other than Wally Wood!  Sky Masters of the Space Force:

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No mistaking the Kirby touch in the design of this spaceship!!

The second room of the exhibit has the original art to the entire issue of Kamandi #14, loaned from the collection of Image founder Erik Larsen!

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Kirby holds an appeal even for non comic fans! Photo by Bob Bretall.

My wife read the entire issue (and she never reads comics) and really enjoyed it.  She said she never thought she could feel bad for a bug before she read Klik-Klak’s final fate.

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Entering the third and final room of the exhibit I was treated to a pencil piece that was my favorite from the entire exhibit.  An unused Thor cover:

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Detail from unused Thor cover

This room also held the complete art to Thor #155.  There is a placard talking about Vince Colletta’s inking on Thor, explaining his tendency to simplify work while inking and entreating visitors to compare the inked pages to the Kamandi pages inked by Mike Royer or the FF pages inked by Joe Sinnott.

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Thor #155 splash page

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I love the Warriors Three, so this full-page splash was a real treat to examine up close!

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Thor #155 panel detail: The Warriors Three

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Thor #155 panel detail: Sif and Thor

Reading the issue, my wife declared that she didn’t much care for Stan Lee’s pseudo-Shakespearian prose, much preferring Kirby’s own writing on Kamandi.  Personally, I have a soft spot for Stan’s purple prose: “Where goes the God of Thunder, there must he go alone!”  I love it!!  But it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea! (NOTE: I’m a fan who loves BOTH Kirby and Lee.  I don’t think you have to vilify Stan in order to sing Jack’s praises.)

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2001: A Space Odyssey #2

We also got treated to pages from 2001: A Space Odyssey (with a definite Fourth World feel), The Eternals, Devil Dinosaur, and OMAC.

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The Eternals #9

I loved the page of pencils shown here:

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Devil Dinosaur #4

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Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy panel detail

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OMAC #3

On my own personal walking path through the exhibit, this led to my “final wall” of the exhibit:

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Photo by Janine Bretall

My personal highlights on this wall were pages from the Demon, Tales of Suspense and Captain America.

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The Demon #6

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The Demon #6: Panel detail

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Tales of Suspense #95: Cap vs. Batroc the Leaper

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TOS #95: panel detail with some dynamic Kirby action!

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Cap #211 panel detail: I absolutely love the design of bad guy Arnim Zola

As I said at the top of this Blog, there are over 100 pages of original art and numerous other artifacts on display, I’ve only scratched the surface here, but hopefully I’ve given enough of a taste so that any Kirby fans who can reasonably make it to the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles before October 10th will be beating a path to this fabulous exhibit.  Visit the web-page for the CSUN Art Gallery for more info and get out to the Gallery!!

Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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Visiting IDW Publishing

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Photo of IDW Entryway by Bob Bretall

When a comic book publisher asks me if I’d like to stop by their offices some time, I can think of only one answer: YES, PLEASE!!!!

When I was talking to the IDW VP of Marketing, Dirk Wood, at the San Diego Comic Con this year he said that I should come and visit the IDW offices some time.  After waiting a few weeks to let them recover from con I got ahold of Dirk and set up a day & time for my visit to the IDW offices.  They’re located in a beautiful location (albeit a bit noisy due to the proximity of the San Diego airport) right next to the fabulous San Diego Comic Art Gallery that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.

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Photo of IDW reception desk by Bob Bretall

The first thing that I noticed as I entered the IDW offices and Dirk was showing me around was all the fabulous comic book and comic strip art on the walls.  They’re equal opportunity comic lovers, as befits a publisher preserving comics as an art form with such things as the Library of American Comics reprints, Artist’s Editions, Craig Yoe’s wonderfully weird vintage reprints, and many others in addition to new material original to IDW like Locke & Key and V-Wars.

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Click on any of the above to view at larger size, there are comic strips with Dick Tracy, Rip Kirby, and Batman, as well as a couple of immense cover reproductions.  The main conference room is all decked out in “Locke & Key” dress, but unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures in there that came out very good.

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Production to the left, Locke & Key conf. room to the right!

As we walked around the offices, I was introduced to lots of production folks who help assemble the comics.  A key role and one that generally doesn’t get a lot of attention.  Scott Dunbier, multiple Eisner award winner for his work editing and assembling the IDW Artist’s Edition volumes, was kind enough to take 20 minutes or so out of his day to chat.  He has Eisners covering the top of several file cabinets as well as book cases loaded with all the Artist’s Editions (in their brown cardboard boxes with the names written on the spines in black sharpie) and other comics collections.  We chatted about tracking down original art and he shared some very cool info about upcoming projects (that I am unfortunately sworn to secrecy about).  I know that there’s a lot of great stuff coming and we can look forward to 2016 being just as great as each year in the “Artist’s Edition Era” have been so far.  They’re such a boon for original art fans on a budget.  While they may seem pricey at $100 or so per volume, you have to realize you’re getting original art that sells for $1000s per page at a price of about $1 per page or less.  A great deal in my book.

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Kids enjoying 3D comics! What a great piece for the wall of a comic fan!

I was a bit bummed because IDW CCO and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall was busy, but getting to spend 30 minutes chatting with IDW President and COO Greg Goldstein made up for it!  Greg was very forthcoming and we chatted about both of our “secret origins as collectors”, including some of Greg’s reminiscences about early comic shows in New York.   As I wrapped up with a visit to a “wall of comics” with many of IDW’s recent comics where I was allowed to avail myself of an armload of free samples of series I was not already buying, and it added a couple of new items to my pull list!

My overall impression of IDW has always been a good one, but they raised themselves up even more as I saw the passion for all comics genres and comics as an art form permeated their offices and their people.  Seeing this first hand “behind the scenes” helped me appreciate that the comic preservation projects they’re putting together on a daily basis are in very good hands.  My thanks go out to Dirk, Greg, Scott, and all the people at IDW.  They’re a real class act and are doing a lot to enrich the comics landscape for all fans and collectors.

Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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GUEST BLOG: Review of CLZ Comics App for iOS

Bob here:  I’ve been meaning to get a survey of different solutions for tracking/maintaining records about your comics collection for some time.  Personally, I use ComicBase, so I’m not going to be able to give a balanced set of information on the various solutions out there by myself.  To help with this, I reached out on Facebook to people who use different solutions to help me out by giving their opinion of method they use to keep track of their collection.  1st up is Jesse Hardesty, who I know from the Comic Lovers group on Facebook, who is talking about the CLZ App that he uses on his iPhone and iPad.

Take it away, Jesse!

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Since the moment I began collection comics, I wanted to be able to keep track of my collection. The only app that I’ve been able to fill my mobile need has been CLZ Comics for iOS (http://www.clz.com/comics/ipad-iphone.php).

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Right off the bat one of its best features is the ability to add comics just by simply scanning the barcode with the camera on your phone. It almost always finds your comic unless it happens to be a lesser known indie title or an uncommon con variant. If you happen to be adding in lots of books without barcodes, they’ve made that a cinch too. Simply typing in the series name and checking off the books you’re adding makes it nearly impossible to mess up.

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The rest of the app is pretty straightforward, you can sort your books in a variety of ways depending on how you like to flip through them. You can edit some things on the app(most of the other features are reserved for the PC/Mac apps) and even manually add in books that are not available in their central database. It does feature a tagging feature to be able to lump certain books together to find more quickly.

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In about the last year or two they decided to give every user free space on their servers to backup your entire collection on their online database (which also is how they add books to their central database that aren’t in it).  You can access this on any browser to view or share your collection.

This app meets my basic needs, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for much more than those basics.  It’s not filled with unnecessary features and doesn’t look very pretty, but it gets the job done.

NOTE: CLZ is also available on the PC and Android.  Want to review either of those versions?  e-mail bob@comicspectrum.com.

Jesse Hardesty: jessehardesty@gmail.com
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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Guinness World Record Updated: 101,822 Unique Comics!

Bob + Comics

Photo credit: Janine Bretall

I got the e-mail this morning confirming my updated Guinness World Record.  The number to beat is now 101,822.

Dear Bob Bretall
We are thrilled to inform you that your application for Largest collection of comic books has been successful and you are now the Guinness World Records Title Holder!
You will shortly receive your Guinness World Records certificate in the post.
Congratulations!

As I’ve said before, records are made to be broken, in this case, I broke my own record!

I fully expect someone to surpass me one day, but they need to do the work! Don’t just shout out on internet message boards that “I have more comics (or know a guy that has more comics)”…  Someone can crush this record if they (a) have the comics and (b) put in the leg-work to verify their count with Guinness.  I did all the necessary work documenting and verifying my collection and am the 1st (and 2nd and 3rd)  person to hold this particular record with Guinness.

Also, I can POTENTIALLY be beat by anyone who is a comic dealer (or has been one at some point in the past) and has acquired large quantities of books in bulk by buying up collections, keeping portions of those bulk buys for their personal collection.  That allows access to vast amounts of comics for pennies on the dollar.  My main “claim to fame” is having acquired my collection one-by-one as a fan who has never been a dealer and gets them all for his own personal reading enjoyment.

EDIT: I got some interesting data after I posted the initial version of this Blog.  A guy who I used to buy comics from mentioned to me on Facebook that he had about 301,000 comics cataloged when he stopped selling back in 2012 and they had converted over to his personal collection.  I explained that you could not count duplicates of the same exact comic (but could count variant covers that had a physical difference from the main version; I don’t collect a lot of variant covers, I have a few hundred, but some people collect a lot).  You also can’t count comics that do not contain graphic sequential storytelling, which excludes Indexes, Who’s Who, pin-up books, etc.).  After de-duplicating his count and removing non-comics, he went from ~301,000 comics to 48,246 unique comics.  This is an interesting thing to note for people who cite collections that are or were store inventories.  They tend to have a lot of duplications.

What prompted me to update my count?

I got contacted by Guinness a few weeks ago because they’re working on a new book that they want to include me in.  They told me they were trying to give the readers a bit more of an insight into the people behind the collections and had a bunch of questions for me (which I happily answered).  Prompted by this, I asked them about updating my count.  My record total from May 2014 was 94, 268 and I was SO CLOSE to six digits!  I had gone a little crazy in the back half of 2014 buying back issues.  I added a LOT of stuff to my collection and filled in a lot of gaps.  I also add anywhere from 100 to 150 new comics every month, just what I read “off the rack” to keep current on comics.

So, I was curious, what was my actual total now?  I hadn’t run a total from my database in a LONG time (in fact, not since May 2014!!)  So I did just that (after spending time to add all the comics in my “to read” pile into the database so I could squeeze in every last book that was in my house on the date I did the re-count for verification.  Good thing, I had 553 unread comics awaiting my attention!  I need to get to those!

And the total came out to be 101, 822!!   I had sailed past the 100,000 mark probably somewhere around March 2015.

Working with the same guy at Guinness who verified my collection last time I was able to send updated pictures, database listings, and affidavits to get my record count updated (they thankfully didn’t make me re-do the public event!).

Having a collection this size takes a few things:

  1. Space – you’re not going to house 100,000+ comics in a small apartment.  Having the actual available space to keep them is the #1 consideration.
  2. Support – I know a LOT of people who don’t have the full support of their family.  If there is a spouse who is always badgering them to “get rid of that stuff” a big collection is just not going to happen.  I am blessed to have the support of my family and friends.
  3. Structure – You need to be organized and have a very structured way of tracking and organizing everything you have. It’s critical to being able to manage your collection and find the stuff you have in it and it’s important to have this because you need to have a very structured and verifiable set of records for the people at Guinness to audit if you want to make a run at the record!
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Photo credit: Janine Bretall

…And now, let me go read a comic (Prez #2 is on top of my “to read pile” right now).  I’ve got over 500 comics to read!!!

Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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Visiting the San Diego Comic Art Gallery

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Photo Credit: Bob Bretall

San Diego is a gorgeous city.  Sun, beaches, great restaurants, and a comics Mecca for a week in July during Comic Con International.  Now there’s a year-round destination for fans of comics to check out when they hit this city nestled in the extreme southwest corner of the continental USA.  The San Diego Comic Art Gallery opened recently and I visited it last week.  Located close to the San Diego Airport (you can hear planes taking off during your visit) it’s also close to Downtown, Ocean Beach, Old Town, Mission Bay, and the Cabrillo National Monument.  You can easily work the Gallery into a really nice one or two day visit to sunny San Diego.

The Gallery has free admission and is located next to IDW Publishing’s headquarters at 2765 Truxtun Rd.  Visit the web-site for current hours.  They are closed Mondays and open Tuesday by appointment only, so try to be in town on a day when they’re open!

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Photo Credit: Janine Bretall

The inaugural exhibition is dedicated to Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I was really impressed by the large amount of great stuff they were able to pack into a relatively compact space.  This exhibit should be running until the end of the year, to be followed in 2016 and beyond by a rotating series of exhibits dedicated to various comics art and pop culture artists and subjects.  I’ll definitely be making a trip down for each new exhibit!

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Main Gallery Display Space

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TMNT Original Art by Kevin Eastman

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TMNT Art featuring Cerebus by Kevin Eastman & Dave Sim

I’m sharing pictures of a few of the dozens of pieces of art on exhibit in the gallery.  As a collector of original art, I love seeing samples of artists craft, just to appreciate it for purely art’s sake.  For someone who is a big TMNT fan this would be a special treat.

Going past the main gallery space and looking to the right, I was treated to an amazing sight: Kevin Eastman’s studio transplanted into the gallery in a dedicated room!  A hard-core fan could spend an hour looking at all the stuff packed into every nook and cranny!

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Kevin Eastman’s Studio

The next room is the ‘Artist in Residence Studio’.  No artists were around during my visit, but there are drawing tables set up for artists to work at and there are artists there some days.  I’d suggest calling to check schedules if you’d like to visit when there is an artist present.  They do have a sketch book that guests with artistic leaning are encouraged to leave a drawing in!

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Artist in Residence Room

The final room is the IDW Research Library.  This room contains a selection of works from IDW Publishing’s catalog.  A variety of collected editions including the Eisner Award winning Alex Toth trilogy, selections from the Library of American Comics, and many more.  Also very cool are the display cases with some of IDW’s numerous awards (seen at the back of the room).  The Library is open by appointment only, so again, if you’d like to visit this room and spend some time, contact the Gallery before your visit.  This is a room I was only able to spend a short time in and I’d love to return when I’m able to sit down and spend some time checking out a lot more of what they have to offer.

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IDW Research Library

Visiting the San Diego Comic Art Gallery was thoroughly enjoyable and I’m definitely going to return.  I can’t recommend this highly enough for fans of the comic arts and I applaud IDW for setting this up as a public attraction promoting comics and pop culture.

Bob+Dirk at SDCA Gallery

Dirk Wood (IDW VP of Marketing) and Bob Bretall

Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
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Bob’s Top 10: San Diego Comic Con International 2015

SDCC - Convention Center

PHOTO CREDIT: Bob Bretall

I had a GREAT time at San Diego Comic Con International 2015.  It was my 26th year at the show and this time around I really focused on attending panels instead of buying stuff down on the show floor (though I did by a few things…)

I’ve said it before and will say it again: Every person going to this show can have a completely different experience.  It speaks to both the breadth and depth of content at this con that there are so many options for attendees.  That said, a lot of people like to complain about the con.  They’re free to do so.  If you want to do the exact same thing as 50,000 other people then there is going to be a problem that usually manifests itself in long lines.  That’s a challenge faced by people who go to the show for celebrity sightings and watching movie trailers.  Fortunately for me, I was there exclusively for comic book content.  That put me in the company of probably less than 10% of the attendees, as a result, I didn’t really wait lines.  The benefit of having fairly eclectic tastes, I guess.

I waited in line exactly 3 times:

  1.  On preview night I wanted my Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck Artists Edition signed by creator Don Rosa.  I got there about 10 minutes before the signing started, was the 1st person in line, and waited 10 minutes for Don to show up at which point I had a really nice conversation with him along with the other 2 people in line.  Most people were probably in line buying exclusive toys somewhere.
  2. I wanted my Elfquest: The Final Quest HC signed by Wendy & Richard Pini.  I showed up for their signing at the Dark Horse booth about 10 minutes before it started and was about #8 in line.   Wendy & Richard showed up about 5 minutes early and chatted with all of us in line while they were setting up.  This was pretty cool, Elfquest was my first indie comic and I started with issue #6 in January 1980.  Wendy & Richard were delightful and very forthcoming with their fans, holding what amounted to an impromptu Q&A and panel with everyone in line.
  3. When I showed up for the “Art of the Cover” panel on Sunday I wasn’t able to walk directly into the room because the previous panel in the room was for the Children’s Hospital TV show.  Had to line up for about 5 minutes until that panel ended and the room emptied out.  Then the 50 or so people who had queued to see 5 comic artists talk about their cover art filed in and had a good selection of seating in the panel room.

My goal for the show was to attend 25 panels over the 4 days Thursday through Sunday.  That was well more than I have ever attended before and in the end I attended 27 panels.  I also walked 22 miles over the course of the convention (4 miles short of a marathon!) and the experiences I had while walking that distance were priceless.  I talked to a lot of comics professionals – Sergio Aragones, Tom Yeates, Wendy & Richard Pini , Mark Waid, Richard Starkings, Tula Lotay, Jimmie Robinson, Buzz, Don Rosa, Victor Gorelick, Jon Goldwater, Scott Dunbier, Chip Zdarsky, Dan Schkade, Douglas Paszkiewicz, Nate Powell, Chris Staros, Kevin Freeman, Batton Lash, David Dwonch, Steve Bryant, and I’m sure more that I’m forgetting.  Having a chance to interact with pros is one of my favorite things about a convention.

I did so many great things it’s hard to boil it down to just a top 10, but people like Top 10 Lists, so I’m going to give it a shot:

10: Spotlight on Jeff Smith

10 - Tuki page layouts 10 - Tuki page pencils

10 - Tuki page inks

Tuki Images Copyright: Jeff Smith

Jeff is very engaging with the audience and provided a lot of great process talk. Smith talked a lot about many things, including how he came up with Fone Bone as a kid.  He also did some in depth discussion of his latest project Tuki (including handing out a free signed copy of a collected edition of Tuki #1-3).  Above are 3 pictures of the evolution of a page from Tuki.  It was cool to hear Smith describing how he concentrates on faces and body language at the pencil step because that is key to conveying the ‘acting’ of the characters.

9: Spotlight on Jonathan Hickman

09 - Jonathan Hickman

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

Hickman started out on the right foot by walking up to the microphone solo and announcing there would be no moderator because it adds a buffer between him and the audience that doesn’t add much value.  He asked if people would prefer he do work for Marvel, do work for DC, or concentrate on his own stuff from Image then opened it up for audience questions, asking that each person preface their question by answering HIS question: Marvel, DC, or Image.  Image was the overwhelming preference of the audience.  For fans of #EastOfWest he confirmed it will run 50 issues and he knows how it ends including the last words.

8: Chuck Rozanski conversation

08 - Chuck Rozanski conversation

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

I’ve long taken issue with Mile High Comics  home-brewed grading standards that allow for tears up into Near Mint condition.  That said, ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas pointed me at some of Mile High owner Chuck Rozanski’s YouTube videos and in watching them I got some new respect for the man because he really seemed to love comics.  When I had the chance to stop and chat with him at the Mile High booth at the convention, the guy who made those videos came to life.  This man was the genuine article and over the course of a fairly long conversation where he positively oozed a love for comics, I now have a much better appreciation for how he does business.  He pointed out to me that if he wanted to retire with millions of $$ he could just sell off his real estate and live the high life.  If he can cover his business and living expenses and end the year owning more comics than he started the year with, he’s just fine with that.  He’s happy to be a curator for a massive inventory of comics.  He has a buying concept much like my own (though I want 1 of each unique item and he’ll snag up lots and LOTS of any single item):  If he doesn’t have it, he wants it.  That’s why you can frequently find really odd and hard-to-find items at Mile High.  BUT, you won’t find him blowing out inventory at rock bottom prices.  He thinks comics deserve the respect of having a fair monetary value attached to them.  This can work against collectors looking for the cheapest possible price, but he definitely has the selection.

7: Meeting & talking to Don Rosa

07 - Don Rosa

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

Don is a great guy to talk to, we flipped through the Artist’s Edition and mine was the 2nd copy he ever signed (that was part of how he signed it, too!)  He said he wouldn’t change a thing about the AE, and really thinks it came out nice.  The AE includes not only the art, but also Don’s storyboards. It was interesting to hear him say that while he sells most of his original art to make the extra money, he knew the Life & Tomes story was going to be something special so he kept all that art, which made it easy to pull this spectacular edition together.

6: Chip Zdarsky panel

06 - Chip Zdarsky

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

Zany is the best word to describe Chip Zdarsky.  It’s no wonder he can create such wonderfully humorous comics, he seems to always be “on” at conventions.  Mugging for the camera and generally seeming to be having a generally fun time with his fans.  Chip is going to be working on the relaunch of the Jughead series over at Archie and this guy IS Jughead, so it’s a match made in comic heaven.  Mark Waid (my favorite comic writer and currently doing the Archie relaunch among other things) was in the audience at this panel went up to ask Chip a question.  I jumped in line behind Mark who I know from his days as Editor-In-Chief over at BOOM! where I’d interview him fairly regularly.

06 - Waid & Bob at Zdarsky panel

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

Mark: “Chip, who is your favorite member of the Justice Society?”
<< a bit of banter followed about characters like Mister Terrific & Dr Midnight, then >>
Chip: “Is Superman in the Justice Society?”
Mark: “No.”
Chip: “Then, Superman!”

5: Archie Forever panel

05 - Archie Forever

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

Archie CEO Jon Goldwater is doing some great things with Archie.  He’s willing to really shake things up and bring in top industry talent on relaunching Archie’s iconic teen titles while also treading new ground over the past couple of years with what has now become the Archie Horror line.  Hearing the whole team talk about what’s in store for Archie was pretty exciting.  If you told me 3 years ago that I’d not only be far more excited about what was coming out from Archie than I was for DC, but I’d also be buying and reading more Archie titles than DC, I’d have told you that you were insane.  But here we are in 2015 and I’m buying and enjoying more from Archie than I am from DC.  Your Mileage May Vary, but Archie is definitely worth checking out!

4: Unpublished EC 3-D Comic Revealed

04 - Unpublished EC 3-D Comic

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

EC did a few 3-D comics in the 1950s during the 3-D craze and one was created that was not published at the time because of the Comics Code and the resultant dissembling of EC’s avant-garde comics.  Though published many years later in as regular comics, we got to see the 3-D originals spring to life thanks to the 3-D glasses passed out at the panel, and a 4th dimension of sound was added in the form of a full cast audio performance by Captured Aural Phantasy Theater.  They helped bring the stories by Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, and Wally Wood to life!  This goes into my “only at Comic Con” category and was wonderful!

3: The Super Type of Ira Schnapp

03 - Arlen Schumer 03 - Schnapp flyer

Getting schooled on the man who hand designed almost all of DC’s silver age logos by Arlen Schumer. Schnapp also designed the DC house ads and letters on a lot of public buildings in NYC, as well as the Comics Code seal.  This was a real eye-opening lecture delivered with Schumer’s signature enthusiasm that revealed a lot of information about an unfortunately little known man who played a key role in the Silver Age of comics.  I’m really happy that I attended this panel and would heartily recommend that anyone hear Schumer speak whenever they get a chance.  He has a passion for what he talks about and mixes entertainment with learning wrapped in a really eye-pleasing package that keeps the audiences attention from start to finish.

03 - Schnapp house ads

CREDIT: DC Comics

Schumer had a whole section on DC’s house ads that was really an eye-opener.  I know I’m going to be paying closer attention to these gems the next time I crack open a DC back issue from the 1960s.

2: The Zone Show – Jack Kirby Interview

02 - Jack Kirby interview

In the early 1980s Ray Zone had a cable access show in Santa Monica, CA.  In October 1984 he interviewed Jack Kirby and it was broadcast once in November 1984.  I cannot imagine it had that large an audience and it has not been seen since.  Discovered in a garage among Ray’s effects, the show was transferred to digital media and was shown at the con, seen by an audience for the first time in over 30 years.  This was a cable access show and was done on a shoestring budget.  The production values were really pretty laughably cheap and the comics being superimposed on the screen didn’t match the topics being covered (though they were at least samples of Jack’s work).  The thing that couldn’t help but to shine through was Jack Kirby himself, the King of Comics.  Hearing Jack talk about his art, his history, and his work ethic was a real treat.  Hopefully this will be made available where more people will be able to see it.

1: March w/Congressman John Lewis

01 - March panel

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

March is something special.  It’s my favorite work of long form graphic fiction from the past couple of years.  It’s both a moving personal history and a socially significant work. Everyone should read it, and it gets my unreserved endorsement.  The opportunity to hear Congressman John Lewis speak?  I was all in!   This panel was on my “must not miss” list.  Congressman Lewis is an exceptionally moving speaker.

01 - John Lewis

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

He received a standing ovation from the crowd as he stepped up to the podium. I was touched by his words, I was touched by his work, and I am grateful that he put this story down on paper (for which, I discovered here, we have his co-author Andrew Aydin to thank).  Congressman Lewis was cosplaying: he was wearing a replica of the trench coat and backpack he wore 50 years ago in Selma.  Aydin himself (who works in Congressman Lewis’ office) has a bright future in politics, if his public speaking here was any indication.  He had to follow Congressman Lewis, which was no easy feat, and he handled it admirably.  Finally, artist Nate Powell took the podium and talked about working on the project.  He finished off with an anecdote about watching Congressman Lewis on the Daily show that brought a tear to my eye.  In fact, all 3 speakers had me tearing up.  That’s not something that is a normal occurrence at Comic Con, but it was a good thing.  This was a unique panel.  Congressman Lewis finished it off inviting the audience to march with him down to the show floor.  With a group of third graders up front with him he led a mass of people down to his signing at the Oni Press booth.  Congressman Lewis and the entire team from March “won comic con” in my eyes.  This panel was truly the highlight of the show for me.

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There we have it, my “Top 10”.  There was a lot more I really loved at con this year.  I attended several great creator spotlight panels that didn’t quite make it in the top 10 featuring Eric Stephenson, David Petersen, David Aja, Terry Moore, Richard Starkings. And there were a number of other really unique and enjoyable experiences all related to comics.  Not the exact same experience someone else would have, but it was mine and I loved every minute of it.

Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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Posted in Comic Con International, Comic Cons, SDCC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

San Diego Comic Con 2015: A Wealth of Panels

cci2015

I’ve talked before about how Comic Con International: San Diego is the hands-down best convention for panel content.  There are 100s of panels again this year and for the people who love Hollywood and pop culture that is tangentially related to the actual comic books, it’s a treasure trove.  That’s what many people focus on, and more power to them!  If that’s what you enjoy, there is so much to choose from most people will have a hard time picking what to see.  And if you want to see the BIG stuff in Hall H or Ballroom 20?  Well, I see people online talking about camping out strategies to get into their favorite panels.

On the other hand, San Diego CCI has more comic book content than any other convention also.  This means a very strong showing from the super-hero houses of Marvel & DC, and the Marvel/DC panels will no doubt be packed.  But what I really appreciate is that since SDCC is a fan oriented not-for-profit convention they still put on panels devoted to indie comics and other fringe topics that won’t draw big crowds, but that I love nonetheless.  I have often attended panels that have 100 people or less in the room (sometimes as few as 10 or 20).  Those are the kinds of panels that are cut and never run again at most cons.  Not so for SDCC.  If there are people interested, they try to squeeze them in amongst the 100s of offerings.

CCI-Banner

So, what does my panel schedule look like this year (this link points to my schedule on the CCI MySched App, it’s actually really cool because it’s also in an App on my phone and imported into my calendar)?  I had some tough choices to make!  There were a lot of timing conflicts where I had to choose one thing over another because there were multiple things I really want to see in the same time slots.  I still have some overlaps on my schedule, I’ll need to make some choices as the con gets closer, and sometimes I make a choice based on what room has a big line and which one I can just walk right into.  Since I have some fairly eclectic tastes, I am fortunate in that I rarely have a big line to wait in.

Here’s what’s on my agenda for this year (and I have very few open slots to be wandering around the dealer floor!)  My goal is to attend 25 panels.  My stretch goal is 30 panels!!

If you’re at the con and attending any of these panels, keep an eye out for me and say “Hi!”

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10:00 – 11:00 Rm 29AB
Up, Up and Away: 75th Anniversary of the 1940 Premiere of the Superman Radio Series
Former DC Comics president Paul Levitz (World’s Finest), Len Wein (creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine), Mark Waid (The Flash, Captain America), and moderator Anthony Tollin (Smithsonian Superman on Radio) discuss the legendary radio program that introduced Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Kryptonite, and the Superman-Batman team into the Superman mythos, and its importance in expanding the Man of Steel’s popularity.

11:00 – 12:00 –> FREE!

12:00 – 1:00 Rm 30CDE
CBLDF: Spinner Rack Revolution: The Secret History of Free Speech in Magazine Comics
In the 1960s and ’70s, publishers fled from spinner racks to magazine stands to escape the bounds of the Comics Code Authority. While comic books continued to labor under the stigma of low-value, juvenile speech, the larger-format magazine comics broke out, giving artists a safe haven to openly deal with adult content, provide more horror and suspense, and be frank about sexuality. Magazines like Mad, Creepy, and Eerie paved the way for a generation of titles that included Heavy Metal, Vampirella, Epic Illustrated, 1984, and Savage Sword of Conan to break new ground for a general audience and loosen the reins on some of comics’ top creators. CBLDF deputy director Alex Cox reveals the untold history of magazine comics, reviewing the impact of publications from Warren, Marvel, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, and more!

1:00 – 2:00 Rm 2
DeConnick & Fraction: Milkfed Criminal Masterminds @ Work
Lauren Sankovitch (Milkfed managing editor, former Marvel editor) pulls back the curtain on life at Milkfed, what a comic book editor does exactly, and which are truly the best donuts in Portland. Expect utter nonsense, a Q&A, and a parade of special guests who may drop in. Or not. Guess you’ll have to be there to find out!

[overlap] 1:30 – 2:30 Rm 4
First Second: What’s in a Page?
Led by First Second editorial director Mark Siegel, four cartoonists take a close look at their own work and each other’s, looking in depth at the text and art in a single page of comics, and what’s hidden under the surface: panel structure, emotional complexity, and creative influences. With Scott McCloud (The Sculptor), Rafael Rosado (Dragons Beware!), Aron Steinke (The Zoo Box), and Gene Luen Yang ( Secret Coders).

2:00 – 3:00 Rm 23ABC
Image Comics: Where Creators Own the Mainstream
The mainstream is whatever you want it to be. Killer robots, ghosts, absurdist comedy, and space adventures aren’t niche, but in comics, they sometimes are treated like they are. In reality, they’re as mainstream as anything else, thanks to their wide-ranging appeal and the astonishing execution from Kody Chamberlain (Punks), Keenan Marshall Keller (The Humans), Chip Zdarsky (Kaptara), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Alex Grecian (Rasputin), and Michael Moreci (Roche Limit). Come find your new favorite comic.

[overlap] 3:00 – 4:00 Rm 9
ComicBase/Atomic Avenue User’s Group Meeting
It’s the annual meet-up for users of the world’s #1 program for managing comic collection. ComicBase creator Peter Bickford will be on hand to give a sneak preview of upcoming program features, answer questions, and spill the beans on what’s next for both ComicBase and Atomic Avenue. Get an exclusive look at the new version of ComicBase (whether it’s shipping or not!), find out what’s behind the recent explosion of activity at Atomic Avenue. There’ll also be a prize drawing for some very cool stuff.

[overlap] 3:30 – 4:30 Rm 8
Sergio & Mark Show
The men who bring you Groo the Wanderer show their faces and explain just how and why it is they bring you Groo the Wanderer, as well as other silly comics. It’s the award-winning duo of Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier, accompanied by the equally heralded Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo), and coloring whiz Tom Luth (if he can get away); holding court, answering your questions, and doing what they do best, which obviously is not writing little blurbs like this for the Comic-Con Events Guide.

[overlap] 3:30 – 4:30 Rm 4
The One and Only IDW Artist Edition
Join Artist’s Editions editor Scott Dunbier as he leads you on a tour of these big and beautiful books! There will be several announcements, a surprise guest or two, and some good old-fashioned art talk.

4:30 – 5:30 Rm 26AB
The Zone Show: The Jack Kirby Interview
In October of 1984, Ray “3-D” Zone, the “King of 3-D Comic Books,” interviewed comic book legend Jack Kirby on Los Angeles public access TV. Eric Kurland (3-D Space), Randolph Hoppe (The Jack Kirby Museum), and Lawrence Kaufman (National Stereoscopic Association) will be joined by other special guests to discuss the careers of Zone and Kirby and their collaborations, including a rare screening of the entire half-hour 1984 interview; shown publicly for the first time in over 30 years.

5:30 – 6:00 –> FREE

6:00 – 7:00 Rm 5AB
Vertigo: What’s the Story
Vertigo is back in San Diego and ready to blow your mind with trend-setting comics and top-notch talent. From horror, to mythic fiction, to sci-fi, and beyond, see what amazing new ideas are coming your way from the imprint that’s on a mission to defy all your expectations.

ccititle_friday

10:00 – 11:00 –> FREE

[overlap] 11:00 – 12:00 Rm 32AB
  Something Old, Something New! (or, The Revenge of Classic Comic Collections Panel)
President of IDW Publishing Greg Goldstein reunites the stalwarts (or culprits) of the unprecedented boom in archival publishing for a spirited discussion about the future of classic comic book collections. Joining Greg are LOAC founder and editor Dean Mullaney, renowned comic book historian and editor Craig Yoe, VP of book trade sales at Dark Horse Comics Michael Martens, founder of Sunday Press Peter Maresca, associate publisher of Fantagraphics Eric Reynolds, and IDW senior editor of special projects Scott Dunbier. It’s the golden age of archival collections, and if you crave more, or want to beg these guys to stop, this is the panel for you. Free book for every attendee plus other giveaways; and each and every guest has promised to announce a new project so top secret even the other panelists don’t know about it yet.

[overlap] 11:00 – 12:00 Rm 28DE
Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel
A breakthrough in the development of the graphic novel, Will Eisner’s A Contract with God was not the first, was not the bestselling, and came before the days of awards, but it is still in print and affecting the explosive growth of comics’ most vibrant format. Join us and learn why he’s Will Eisner, champion of the graphic novel, at a panel moderated by Eisner Award-winner and New York Times bestselling author, Paul Levitz (Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel), and with panelists Denis Kitchen (The Best of Comix Book, The Art of Harvey Kurtzman), Jeff Smith (RASL, Bone), Sergio Aragonés (Groo, MAD), and Danny Fingeroth (The Stan Lee Universe, Superman on the Couch).

11:30 – 12:30 Rm 8
75th Anniversary of The Shadow and Doc Savage
Michael Uslan (Justice Inc., Batman movie producer) and moderator Anthony Tollin (The Shadow Scrapbook, Sanctum Books publisher) commemorate the 1940 comic book debuts of the legendary pulp heroes that inspired the creation of Batman, Superman, and many more superheroes, as well as the Golden Age talents who brought these pulp greats to four-color life, including Walter B. Gibson, Otto Binder, and Bob Powell.

12:30 – 1:30 Rm 8
Twisted Roots of the Comics Industry
Gerard Jones (Men of Tomorrow), Danny Fingeroth (Disguised as Clark Kent, editor for Marvel Comics), Brad Ricca (Super Boys), and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson (co-author of a forthcoming bio of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson) reveal the stories of the gangsters, bootleggers, and eccentric geniuses who founded the comic book business. Moderated by Michael Uslan, producer of the Batman movies.

1:00 – 2:00 Rm 4
Archie Forever
Hot off the blockbuster launch of the first Archie #1 in over 75 years, this is one panel Archie fans can’t miss. Get exclusive news on the Archie Horror titles, the new Jughead ongoing series, and more. The panel features Jon Goldwater (co-CEO/publisher), Victor Gorelick (co-president/editor-in-chief), Mike Pellerito (president), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (chief creative officer/writer of Afterlife with Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Mark Waid (writer of Archie), Dan Parent (writer/artist, Kevin Keller), your favorite Archie writers and artists, with moderator Alex Segura (SVP, publicity and marketing/editor of Dark Circle Comics). Plus, an exclusive gift bag ticket!

2:00 – 3:00 Rm 4
Dynamite’s Spirit Panel Featuring Eisner Award-Winning New Series Writer Matt Wagner!
Dynamite CEO and publisher Nick Barrucci, new series writer Matt Wagner (Grendel, The Shadow), former DC Comics publisher Paul Levitz, and Michael Uslan (film producer and writer of The Boy Who Loved Batman) discuss the creative legacy of industry legend Will Eisner and his most iconic character, The Spirit.

3:00 – 4:00 Rm 28DE
The Terry Moore Panel
Terry Moore talks with Charles Brownstein (CBLDF executive director) about Terry’s upcoming storylines in his current hit series, Rachel Rising, new projects in the coming year, and what he has in store for fans in the future. In his 22nd year at Comic-Con, Terry is a fan favorite and answers any and all questions from the audience. It’s never a dull moment!

4:00 – 5:00 Rm 4
IDW: The Best Panel in Recorded History
This is the big one! Join IDW chief creative officer/editor-in-chief Chris Ryall and VP of marketing Dirk Wood lay waste to a room of shocked comic fans. Panlists include Gabriel Rodriguez, John Layman, James Tynion IV, Ulises Farinas, and special guests. Shocking announcements, amazing prizes, and a Q&A.

5:00 – 7:00 –> FREE

7:00 – 8:00 Rm 25ABC
What the Big Two Don’t Want You to Know
Bleeding Cool’s editor-in-chief Hannah Means-Shannon hosts Rich Johnston and special guests to pull the Band-Aid off the biggest controversies in comics publishing right now, especially relating to Marvel and DC Comics, and including essential SDCC revelations.

ccititle_saturday

10:00 – 11:00 Rm 23ABC
MARCH with Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
His first visit to Comic-Con made national news; now the legendary civil rights icon, U.S. congressman, and #1 bestselling graphic novel author John Lewis returns. Congressman Lewis, co-author Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell re-team to share their award-winning March series. You’ll hear about the incredible tour that’s brought the message of March to schools, universities, libraries, and corporate headquarters from coast to coast. You’ll see glimpses of the much-anticipated March: Book Three, covering Mississippi Freedom Summer and the unforgettable Selma-Montgomery March. And of course, you’ll hear Congressman Lewis’s firsthand memories of sit-ins, Freedom Rides, the march on Washington, Selma, and beyond, and the vital power of his message of transformative nonviolence in the world today.

11:00 – 12:00 Rm 2
Interview with Richard Starkings
Richard Starkings discusses his career in comics, from small press, to Marvel UK, to pioneering digital comic book lettering with his studio Comicraft, to creating Elephantmen. Writer Mike Wellman (Gone South, Guns A’Blazin) hosts.

[overlap] 11:45 – 1:00 Rm 6BCF
Quick Draw!
Once again, three supercharged cartoonists duel to their dooms with Sharpies, each attempting to outdraw all opponents. It’s one of the most popular Comic-Con events, and this year it’s personal. Our returning champion Sergio Aragonés (MAD, Groo the Wanderer) goes mano a mano against Scott Shaw! (The Simpsons, The Flintstones) and Disney legend Floyd Norman. Plus, you can expect a few other cartoonists to get their licks in. Presiding over it all is your Quick Draw! Quizmaster, Mark Evanier. No wagering, please.

[overlap] 12:30 – 1:30 Rm 8
The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide at 45
Writer Mark Waid (Empire, Daredevil), former CBG editor Maggie Thompson, CBCS president Steve Borock, CCS president Matt Nelson, Gemstone Publishing’s Mark Huesman and J. C. Vaughn, and surprise guests present a lively look at comic book history through 45 years of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.

1:00 – 2:00 Rm 9
The Super Type of Ira Schnapp
Would you believe the artist who designed in Roman letters the motto engraved atop New York City’s Penn Station post office, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” is the same man who designed the iconic Superman logo? Both are the works of Ira Schnapp (1892-1969), a descendant of stonecutters and hand letterer who defined the “house style” of DC Comics for over 30 years, starting with the Action Comics logo in 1938 and continuing with scores of famous logos for the company, as well as hundreds of house ads that are among some of the greatest examples of hand lettering in the 20th century. Yet, despite all these ubiquitous works, Schnapp’s name and legacy are unknown and forgotten. But comic book historian Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) aims to change that with this presentation, based on the currently running Schnapp exhibit he curated and designed for the Type Directors Club of New York.

2:00 – 3:00 Rm 28DE
The Seven Comic Shop Archetypes: Who Will Triumph, Thrive, and Survive
In the ever-changing landscape of retail and pop culture, how do the best comic retailers connect with the community and interact with fans? This panel explores the wild world of comic shops, provides analytical (and nostalgic) insights, explores the ever-changing consumer demographic, and asks panelists to forecast the future. They include Joe Field (founder, Free Comic Book Day), Atom! Freeman (Valiant Entertainment), Christina Blanch (Aw Yeah Comics, Ball State), and Glynnes Pruett (Comic Book Hideout). Moderated by Ed Catto (Bonfire Agency).

3:00 – 4:00 Rm 28DE
Spotlight on Jim Steranko
SHIELD’s co-creator penetrates the firewall of stealth around the man with the eyepatch to celebrate Nick Fury’s 50th anniversary–with a salvo of personal, provocative, sometimes bloody, behind-the-scenes stories you won’t want to miss. Q&A session moderated by J. David Spurlock (Vanguard author, publisher).

4:00 – 5:30 Rm 7AB
Oddball Comics Live!
Cartoonist Scott Shaw! (Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew!, Sonic The Hedgehog, Simpsons Comics, Annoying Orange) once again presents his uniquely hilarious slideshow of “the craziest comic books ever published!” Once you’ve seen this mind-roasting presentation-which has played to standing room only crowds in San Diego for the better part of four decades-you’ll never forget such covers as those of the “crotch-centric” issues of Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane, those with someone getting slapped with a “fish-in-the-face”, and those Silver Age issues of Batman and Detective Comics with “Robin-in-the-corner”! Scott promises, “Even if you’ve seen my acclaimed slideshow presentation many times before, when you see their covers blown up to the size of the side of a barn, you’ll be amazed and delighted at the unbelievable imagery that’ are revealed!” See for yourself why Stan Lee calls Scott’s show “the wildest, wackiest exposé of some of the craziest comic books I’ve ever seen!”

4:30 – 6:00 Rm 5AB
That 70s Panel
Once again, this panel talks about what was so special about comic books in the 1970s, starting with all the new talent that entered the field and bonded with the old talent. Discussing those days will be Chris Claremont (X-Men, Wolverine), Bob Layton (Iron Man) Steve Lieber (Superior Foes of Spider-Man), Don McGregor (Black Panther, Sabre), Dean Mullaney (Eclipse Comics), and others. Mark Evanier, who was writing Yogi Bear and Scooby Doo, will officiate.

6:30 – 7:30 Rm 26AB
The Unpublished EC 3D Comic Revealed!
World premiere! The lost 1954 EC sci-fi classic will be shown in 3D for the first time ever. Captured Aural Phantasy Theater, the only group authorized by the Gaines family to perform EC stories, dramatically reads excerpts from the unpublished comic, highlighting a discussion by Ben Dickow (guest lecturer, Otis College of Art) and Eric Kurland (president, LA 3D Club). Special 3D glasses will be provided so you can enjoy the projected artwork!

ccititle_sunday

10:00 – 11:00 Rm 7AB
Spotlight on Jonathan Hickman
Jonathan Hickman discusses the summer’s biggest comic event, Secret Wars, his other Marvel work (Avengers, Fantastic Four), and any of many acclaimed Image comics (East of West, Pax Romana, Manhattan Projects, The Dying and The Dead).

11:00 – 12:00 Rm 32AB
Oni Press: Monster Art Battle
The classic Oni Press Monster Panel is back! Three artists go head to head on the drawing boards for the glory of the “Oni Press Prize Cup” moderated by Robin Herrera (Oni Press editor). Artists include Corin Howell (Bat-Mite, Transformers: Windblade) Gabo (The Life After), and a surprise mystery guest. Kids of all ages are welcome, and every attendee receives free comics.

12:00 – 1:00 Rm 4
Spotlight on Eric Stephenson
Writer, marketer, publisher-after entering the comics industry in 1992, Eric Stephenson has shown that he knows his way around comic books. As the publisher of Image Comics, Stephenson has overseen an incredible surge in quality and potential for the comics industry. In this special Spotlight panel, Stephenson is going to share his knowledge, anecdotes, and jokes.

1:00 – 1:45 Rm 5AB [starts at 12:15]
CBLDF: You Can’t Draw That! Live Art Jam
Join Michael Cho, Denis Kitchen, and special guests celebrate creative freedom by making live art before your eyes. Join the CBLDF and these great creators as they share their perspectives on censorship and make once-in-a-lifetime art to benefit the Fund’s important work. Get a chance to watch live art being created, learn about censorship, and bid to win the pieces made here to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

2:00 – 3:00 Rm 25ABC
Cover Story: The Art of the Cover
Forget about the insides! What makes for a great cover on a comic book? This topic will be discussed and debated by some artists who’ve been responsible for some of the best. With Kevin Wada (She-Hulk, Adventure Time), David Aja (Hawkeye, Immortal Iron Fist), Lora Innes (The Dreamer), Steve Lieber (Quantam & Woody, Road to Perdition), and Chip Kidd (Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, Batman: Death by Design). Your host is Mark Evanier, and that about covers it.

3:00 – 4:00 Rm 7AB
Chip Zdarsky: A Life
Who is Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Kaptara, Howard The Duck), and why does he keep calling you and hanging up? Find out that and more on this special Spotlight panel moderated by Juliette Capra (Fantastic Comics , The Valkyries, Brimpception).

4:00 – 5:00 Rm 4
Pro/Fan Trivia Match
Join this panel for the 20th anniversary trivia showdown between the Purple Pros: Len Wein (creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing), Mark Waid (Daredevil, Thrillbent), and Anthony Tollin (Sanctum Books publisher), and the Black Ink Irregulars: Tom Galloway, David Oakes, Peter S. Svensson (comics journalist), and Derek McCaw (Fanboy Planet podcast, co-writer of The Greatest American Hero comics). Questions will focus on characters having a n5th or n0th anniversary, such as Robin, Shazam!, Catwoman, Joker, JSA, JLA, All-New X-Men, Medusa, Hydra, and many more. Trash talk will focus on being funny!

Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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