ComicCon@Home: Bob’s Thursday 7/23 Panels reviewed

Thursday of ComicCon@Home is complete!  I saw even more panels (11 today!!) than I typically get to see at ComicCon live since I could watch all of the panels I was interested in that were showing at the same time.  I enjoyed most of what I watched today, and even the ones that were not my personal favorites could be the “best of show” for someone else.

For “day of” viewing, I focused on stuff related to comics, though I may go back and watch some of the Hollywood panels later on (which is a definite advantage to ComicCon@Home since I typically skip those super-crowded panels altogether).

Bob’s Thursday “Must See” Panels for comics fans:

Oddball Comics Not-So-Live!
Humanoids Legacy

Paperfilms’ Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Terry Moore is Still Drawing Comics

More detailed information/reviews/links can be found below.

I’m not sure how long these will be viewable for free.  I’m guessing at least through the weekend and into next week, but I wouldn’t wait several weeks to watch any of these that you want to make sure you catch.

Thurs 11am: Web Comics: Saving the Entertainment Industry, Four Panels at a Time

YouTube: https://youtu.be/j_PCjdIBBfI

Panel Description: With film productions on hiatus, comic book distribution fragmented, and tv shows resorting to watered down “at-home” versions, COVID-19 has broken the entertainment industry. Where is a world, starved for new content, left to turn? Why, to the wonderful world of web comics, of course! Joined by moderator Will Romine (pROMINEnt Media) are Alan Truong (TheMissingDigit.com), JR Gervais (YoungCannibals.net), and Eddie DeAngelini (CollectorComics.com), who will talk about how quarantine, BLM, and the rest of 2020 have affected their work, art, and life. It’s a panel for fans, pros, and everyone in between.
The webcomic creators were GREAT but  I was not a huge fan of the moderator.  I’d rather have seen more about web-comics in general or the creators strips in particular than spending time with the silly “Hall H questions” at the end.  At least for me this was a failed attempt at humor.
I was already a fan of the Collectors strip, and I’ll be checking out The Missing Digit and Young Cannibals, but will be steering well clear of pROMINEnt Media.

RECOMMENDED?  5/10.  Watch for the creators and to get a sample of their strips, you can turn it off when they get to the attempt at humor of showing stupid “Hall H” questions.

Thursday Noon: Oddball Comics Not-So-Live!

YouTube: https://youtu.be/HVSWhcyWJko

Panel Description: Longtime cartoonist Scott Shaw! (Sonic the Hedgehog, Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew!, The Flintstones) once again presents his uniquely hilarious digital slideshow of “the craziest comic book covers ever published!” This acclaimed digital slideshow is a relentless cavalcade of mind-blowing, offensive and hilarious images of vintage comic books from Scott’s collection, accompanied by his wry, observational commentary. Stan Lee said, “Wow, True Believers, I thought I’d seen it all, but Scott Shaw!’s hysterically hilarious Oddball Comics is the wildest, wackiest exposé of some of the craziest comic books I’ve ever seen! Or, to put it mildly, Scott!’s outrageous opuses are a blast!”

Scott shows some classic covers I’ve seen from past shows but snuck in some new ones I don’t recall seeing before.  This super-sized hour and 19-minute presentation loses a bit as a video because when this is shown live there is generally audience reaction (laughter) for a LOT of the covers & commentary, and that isn’t present here.  However, this is a “must see” for people who have never experienced this panel before.  It showcases so many truly zany comic book covers that need to be seen to be believed.

RECOMMENDED?  9/10.  Highly recommended

Thursday Noon: Paperfilms’ Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner (watched later in the day)

YouTube: https://youtu.be/f2oInqk8jd4

Panel Description: Creators Jimmy Palmiotti (writer on Painkiller Jane, Jonah Hex, Harley Quinn) and Amanda Conner (artist on Vampirella, Harley Quinn, Power Girl) chat with Londyn Jackson (historian, History of the Batman creator) about their co-founded company PaperFilms, reinventing DC Comics’ Harley Quinn for a new generation of fans, their innovative Kickstarter projects, and the importance of fans supporting both corporate and independently created comic books. https://linktr.ee/HistoryoftheBatman

Always a pleasure to hear Amanda & Jimmy talk about their work!

I really appreciated that the moderator (Londyn) was very balanced between the Harley Quinn/DC stuff and other non-DC work that they have done and are doing.  It gives people who primarily know them for Harley Quinn some insight into all the other great stuff they’re doing.

RECOMMENDED?  8/10.  If you’ve never watched Jimmy & Amanda on a panel before this is worth a watch.  I personally find them both very genuine and engaging and love watching them talk about their work.

Thursday 1pm: Terry Moore Is Still Drawing Comics

YouTube: https://youtu.be/noTQ33Zrjmc

Panel Description: Terry Moore is still going strong with an impressive collection of work since his comics debut with the Eisner Award-winning series, Strangers in Paradise. Now there is Echo, Rachel Rising, Motor Girl, Five Years, and more on the bookshelf and Moore isn’t finished. From his studio, Moore discusses his work and what’s next, plus offers thoughtful answers to questions. Don’t miss this chance to sit with a career cartoonist and talk about comics.

A “must watch” for fans of Terry Moore.  He spends the 1st part of the panel updating his fans on his recent work and some of the projects he’s currently finishing up.  After that (about 15 minutes in) he switched gears to answer fan questions.  The first was particularly interesting to me, asking him to talk about the differences between working for yourself and doing stories for a publisher on stuff the artist does not own.   Another question that yielded a very long and interesting answer asked him why he used so many different art styles.

RECOMMENDED?  9/10.  Highly recommended.

Thursday 2pm: The Brave New World of TwoMorrows

YouTube: https://youtu.be/jEnpjWUZ_oY

Panel Description: John Morrow (publisher, Jack Kirby Collector editor) moderates a discussion about how the pandemic is changing the way TwoMorrows Publishing produces its books and magazines, its current challenges, and updates on release schedules and new projects. Featured are Jon B. Cooke (Comic Book Creator magazine), Mike Manley (Draw! magazine), Keith Dallas (American Comic Book Chronicles series), and Eric Nolen-Weathington (Modern Masters series).

As a small Publisher, John Morrow starts the panel off with a short “in the trenches” view of how covid-19 and the Diamond Distribution shutdown affected them, before going in and talking with his editors about the various magazines about comics and comic creators they publish.  Each of the discussions has a lot of COVID stories and references, which are certainly topical, but be aware and go into this one with your eyes open (.g. if you don’t want a lot of covid discussion maybe best to skip this one).  One of the more interesting bits of info (about 38 minutes in) was that New York Comic Con was refusing to refund booth fees and just told them they would hold their spot for when they reschedule the show, with the TwoMorrows guys not knowing if they could even attend or want to attend, depending on the reschedule date.  This is in contrast to the San Diego convention that refunded every penny.  It seems to me that one of the differences is that New York is a “for profit” convention.
It was also useful to find out about (and subscribe to) the YouTube change for “Pencil to Pencil”:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDkMGQL6xhBD-iS616XdPFg
where hosts Mike Manley, Bret Blevins and Jamar Nicholas catch up with a variety of comics artists and take a look at their work.  I enjoyed the one with Lee Weeks.

RECOMMENDED?  5/10. COVID is much on everyone’s minds, it’s why we’re doing ComicCon@Home, and covid is front and center in this talk…. It gets pretty much equal time with comics talk, which was a bit too much for me personally.

Thursday 2pm: Draw Along with Dark Horse (watched in the evening)

YouTube: https://youtu.be/N2_4rp-P2dQ

Panel Description: Dark Horse Comics invites you to join Gabriel Bá (The Umbrella Academy), Naomi Franquiz (Tales From Harrow County: Death’s Choir), Tyler Cook (Harrow County, Colonel Weird: Cosmagog), and Mike Deodato (Berserker Unbound) as they discuss breaking into comics, visual storytelling, and the process of illustrating comics. They even draw each other’s iconic Dark Horse characters!

The panel consists of each artist being interviewed about their work while they draw a sketch.   There is a lot of great background information pulled out of each of the artists about how they got into comics and how they work, enjoyable as a “process junkie” like me who loves behind the scenes info about the making of comics.  It would have been nice had they displayed more of the “in process” art on the screen while they talked instead of focusing on artist’s heads looking down at their drawing boards.  That said, I’ve seen panels like this live at con before where the art is shown on a screen (with lights on in the room) and this was not really any worse than that…but it could have been better.

Tyler Crook’s drawing

RECOMMENDED?  7/10.  Enjoyable, but could have used more “live” art while drawing.

Thursday 2pm: SYFY: Untold Tales of Todd McFarlane (watched in the evening)

Watch When Available: https://youtu.be/yScZQKSWZUE

Panel Description: Comic-Con wouldn’t be Comic-Con without Todd McFarlane the innovative artist and entrepreneur who is the subject of the brand new SYFY WIRE documentary film, Todd McFarlane: Like Hell I Won’t. McFarlane is the creative mastermind behind Spawn and some of Marvel Comics’ most famous characters, one of the founders of Image Comics and is known for (quite literally) breaking down barriers. To celebrate the documentary and these achievements, Marc Silvestri and J. Scott Campbell join McFarlane on a panel as they commend him on his contributions to the industry and have some fun roasting the man who essentially ‘raised hell’ to get where he is today. For more information on the documentary, visit SYFY.com

This was originally pitched as a “Roast” of Todd McFarlane and subsequently modified to be “Untold Tales of Todd”.  Still entertaining, but not quite what I was expecting when I first added this to my schedule.

The thing I like about Todd McFarlane, as a persona, is that he really seems to always openly “tell it like it is”, plus that he always seems to have a very fan-ish exuberance.  He clearly loves what he’s doing.  He likes to spin people up and he’s kind of arrogant, but he’s really up-front and honest about “Yeah, that’s who I am!”  The end result is an entertaining 40 minutes of chat reminiscing about his career.

RECOMMENDED?  7/10.

Thursday 3pm: Humanoids Legacy

YouTube: https://youtu.be/klRpG3eAYw8

Panel Description: Famed creators Mark Waid, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Russell, and Tula Lotay talk with Humanoids CEO Fabrice Giger about the influence Humanoids has had on the comic book and film world for the last four decades. Moderated by Harley Salbacka.

I really liked the way they had all the panelists on-screen in their own little squares, seeing everyone on the panel made it more like seeing a panel at the con.  I also learned (that I had not previously known) that Tula Lotay is the pen name of English artist Lisa Wood.

Humanoids is a Publisher that has been doing some amazing work for decades and is not one that many comic readers have ever heard of.  This panel is well worth listening to broaden your comic book horizons beyond super-heroes and strictly American comics.  

I am going to need to look for “Bouncer” by Jodorowsky & Boucq, the favorite of Tula Lotay, something I have never heard of before and looks like something I will really enjoy.

RECOMMENDED?  8/10. They have some great stories and artists that are not all the same things I see in mainstream American comics.  I’m looking forward to seeing what they are coming out with next (I wish they had announced some of the new projects on this panel, though…)

Thursday 4pm – Graphic Novel or Illustrated Book: You Make the Call

YouTube: https://youtu.be/unL_JYQWhGI

Panel Description: The debate has raged for years, and now the last few year’s liveliest panel debate returns for another round: Is a 200-page comic story a graphic novel? Or is it a long comic book? Is a novel that is 100% filled with illustrations a graphic novel? Or is it an elaborate picture book? A new wave of profusely illustrated books has entered the fray, including Super Catchy by Rick Veitch, Timeless by Armand Baltazar, and Doctor Cthulittle by Mark Wheatley and G. D. Falksen, among others. Join the discussion as our all-star panel explores the exciting new developments and the history of this field!

The framing of the visuals was a bit cut off, so maybe a bit better job of getting the panelists web-cams set up before start and some editing would have helped.  Given this was done in advance, it seems like they could have taken the time to get this right.

Beyond the technical difficulties in the presentation, there was a lot of fascinating/thought provoking information presented, I particularly enjoyed the insights of the artists talking about their own work and their creative decision process.

RECOMMENDED?  7/10.

Thursday 5pm – Image Comics Spotlight

YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ig3cFgv0Xho

Panel Description: Get the exclusive scoop on an exciting new project by a best-selling powerhouse creative team returning to Image for an all-new series.

Announcing the new project “Crossover” by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, John J. Hill.

Called by Cates “The scariest book he’s ever tried to produce”.  Imagine Avengers: Endgame but as Cloverfield.  He also called it “An event book like an atom bomb”.  I look at it and see another “edgy” deconstruction of mainstream superhero comics.  That is going to really be in the sweet spot for some people.

If you love these creators (Cates in particular, who speaks for the majority of the time) and want to hear them talk about this upcoming project for 43 minutes (while staying fairly high level & vague so as to not spoil things), this is for you.  For me it was a really long press release.  I’d rather hear an Image panel where they introduce 5 or 6 new projects where each team talks about their thing for 5-7 minutes at a high level instead of hearing about this one new project for so long. But that’s 100% subjective and for another viewer this could be the greatest panel ever.

RECOMMENDED?  5/10. Skip to about 13:15 for some art, which didn’t blow me away, but again, very subjective.  Your Mileage May Vary… you may love this.

Thursday 6pm – Heavy Metal: Forging the Future of Genre

YouTube: https://youtu.be/A3nEeuL9BAM

Panel Description: Heavy Metal CEO Matthew Medney is joined by partner, publisher, and chief creative overlord David Erwin the future of storytelling that no else dares to publish. Heavy Metal family members, Dylan Sprouse (Sun Eater), George C. Romero (The Rise, Cold Dead War), Brendan Columbus (Savage Circus), and Dan Fogler (Fishkill, Brooklyn Gladiator, Moonlake) share their insights and contribution to reestablishing its edge.

The guys on the panel were having a really good time chatting with one another, I think it would have benefitted the viewers had they shown sample art/pages from both Heavy Metal Magazine (that’s been coming out since 1977 with over 300 issues) as well as from the various comic book & graphic novel projects that the people on the panel have been working on.

RECOMMENDED?  5/10.

Opinion piece by: Bob Bretall
(bob@comicspectrum.com)
http://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics For Fans who Love Comics

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