Saturday, April 29, 2006

Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon 2006 - Day 1 Report

I was debating whether or not I would write something today. I'm really tired, it's really late, and I want to wake up for tomorrow. Tomorrow is the big day. First, it's the Saturday, which is usually a little bit busier than the opening Friday. Second, the 2nd Annual Joe Shuster Awards. That should be an interesting one to see.

Anyways, I started the day by heading down to Silver Snail, for the Women of Comics signing. Went there, got books signed by Gail Simone, Becky Cloonan, and Amanda Conner. I also got sketches from Becky Cloonan and Amanda Conner (both of which were freakin' amazing!).

Adam Chamberlain by Becky Cloonan
Adam Chamberlain by Becky Cloonan

Power Girl by Amanda Conner
Power Girl by Amanda Conner

Right after that, I headed for the con, which was still a little early. Doors open at 3pm.

Once the doors opened, headed straight for J.G. Jones' booth, to put myself on his sketch list and get some autographs. He hasn't finished the sketch yet, but I'll check back on Saturday. Once on the list, I headed for the ACTOR booth. George Perez was arriving late (if at all), so I waited for Talent Caldwell, who was the first person to hit to booth. Sure, he was about an hour and a half late, but a lot got accomplished. I did manage to leave the line (with my spot saved), to get books signed by Greg Rucka, and Mike Mayhew. Mike Mayhew was kind enough to do a quick head sketch for me.

Spider-Man by Mike Mayhew
Spider-Man by Mike Mayhew

Around 5pm, Talent Caldwell showed up at the ACTOR booth. Since he was late, he decided to stick around the ACTOR booth for the entire day. Great man! Got myself a sketch from him (with the money being donated to ACTOR).

Black Cat by Talent Caldwell
Black Cat by Talent Caldwell

Just before I got the sketch, George Perez did make it to the convention (after a delayed flight, and the Canadian Customs). I immediately headed over to get on his sketch list for the day. Well, I'm not first, but I believe I can pick it up on Saturday.

After that, I went to visit Valentine De Landro. I was introduced to Valentine, back when he was apart of Bright Anvil Studios. I've been kind of following his work since then (The Pact, Marvel Knights 4). Hoping to get a sketch from him, which I'll see about on Saturday.

After Valentine, I met Jimmy Palmiotti. No lineup at the time, so I was able to get my books signed, and a really quick remark on my Painkiller Jane #1 (the one with the Billy Tan cover).

Painkiller Jane remark by Jimmy Palmiotti
Painkiller Jane remark by Jimmy Palmiotti

After Jimmy, I went to Arthur Suydam's table. Though I didn't like the whole "buy something to get his autograph," I went with it. Arthur is great artist, and has recently been doing the covers for Marvel Zombies (which is a great series, except for the ending).

Being the last hour or so of the con, I started to get more writers autographs. I went to Brian Azzarello, Jill Thompson, and J. Michael Straczynski. All of which were quick signings.

The last person I went to was Bryan Lee O'Malley. I picked up Scott Pilgrim vol. 2, two postcards and two buttons. I also got two copies of the "Free Scott Pilgrim" Free Comic Book Day comic (out next Saturday). Haven't read the FCBD book yet, but I will soon. For those that forgot what the postcard looks like, here it is again:



That was it for the day, I'm going to bed, so I can go back to the con.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Silver Snail & PCTC

Oh, it can't come soon enough. Less than 24 hours until both the Silver Snail - Women of Comics Signing and the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon. I plan on being at both of these.

For those that read this, it seems Becky Cloonan will for the most part, not be at her table at the convention, but will definitely be at Silver Snail.

I'm all prepared for Silver Snail, now I gotta work on getting ready for the con... over a month of planning, and I'm still not ready. I want to decide how I'm gonna get to everyone, and factoring in the ACTOR schedule (very impressive, compared to last year). Oh, this is going to be tough. I'm hoping to cut down on my spending, but I don't really see that happening. So sacrifices will have to be made. Oh well, it's still going to be fun.

Saturday after the con, the Joe Shuster Awards will take place. I guess I'm going solo for this, but it should still be fun. Gotta get the camera for this. All that "work" I did for the nominating committee comes to this.

I'll see what I can do about the con reports this weekend. Whether I'll do it daily, or compile everything (with pictures and everything).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon Guest List Rundown

I said I was going to get to this, and it's a long one. I did leave out many names, so just click on the link to view the entire guest list.

Adrian Alphona, Kalman Andrasofszky, Francis Manapul, Agnes Garbowska
These four people will all be sitting at the same booth. Adrian (Runaways), Kalman (Ion covers), and Francis (Necromancer) all have the same art dealer, ComicArtLinks.com. Agnes is part of EvilRabbit Studios, which will be sharing the booth with them.

Brian Azzarello
Writer/Creator of the Vertigo titles, 100 Bullets and Loveless. Also, was the writer of the Superman: For Tomorrow arc, Batman: Broken City arc, and the Lex Luthor: Man of Steel mini-series.

Samm Barnes
She won a Shuster Award last year (tying with Ty Templeton, for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Writer), and is nominated again this year in the same category.

Shelley Bond
She's an editor for Vertigo. If you're looking for a job, get your artwork ready for her.

J. Bone
Great artist. Met him back at TCAF, and earlier this month at Ad Astra. Friendly individual.

Talent Caldwell
I was so excited when he was announced. Great artist, one of many people I'm looking forward to meet.

Scott Chantler
Nominated for a Joe Shuster Award in the Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist, for his work on Northwest Passage. Great read, and truly deserves the nomination.

Frank Cho
One of the artists that everyone wants to meet, but will be disappointed, because he isn't doing sketches (as he stated on his message board, back when he was announced to this con). Still want to meet the man. Truly gifted, and he's not just a cheesecake artist.

Becky Cloonan
Artist of American Virgin, and East Coast Rising.

Amanda Conner
Her most recent work would be JSA Classified, which told part of Power Girl's origin. She's been doing covers recently. Hope she works on another title soon.

Darwyn Cooke
He won a Shuster Award last year for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist (for his mini-series, DC: The New Frontier), and is nominated this year for the same category, this time for his work on Solo #5. He's also working on the Batman/Spirit crossover, and then will be working on The Spirit series.

Valentine De Landro
Artist of Marvel Knights 4, and is also working on some issues of Spider-Man Love Mary Jane. Very nice person to meet.

Dan Didio
DC Comics' Senior Vice President and Executive Editor.

Dale Eaglesham
Artist of Villains United. Not really sure what else is in store for him, but he did recently sign an exclusive contract with DC Comics. Can wait to see what else he'll be working on.

Ed The Sock, Liana K
That's right, Ed The Sock, and his beautiful co-host, Liana K are going to be at this con. They will be releasing "Ed and Red's Comic Strip" at this convention, with artwork by many of the people attending the convention, including Dave Sim (Cerebus).

Ray Fawkes, Kagan McLeod, Cameron Stewart, Chip Zdarsky
The Royal Academy of Illustration & Design will be there, and here's what they will be doing.

The Royal Acadamy of Illustration and Design, of which Chip Zdarsky, Cameron Stewart, Kagan McLeod, Ray Fawkes, Ben Shannon are a part of came to us with a unique and fun idea for the convention this year. They decided that what they would like to do, instead of the normal Artist Alley set up, is create the ultimate Royal Academy Lounge experience... the RAID Living Room! Yes, couches, chairs, lamps and more.

Tom Grummett
Currently, the artist of Thunderbolts. Great artist, that needs to get a better title to work on.

Dave Johnson
Mainly does covers (100 Bullets). Not too sure if he's done any interior work. Not a big follower of his stuff, but many people are.

Gerard Jones
The Keynote Speaker for the Joe Shuster Awards.

J.G. Jones
This is the first person I gotta hit up when I get to the con. I so want a commission from him (which I just may get). Oh, he recently did covers for Wonder Woman, and is doing covers for all 52 issues of 52. He's the artist of the great mini-series, WANTED.

King Kong Bundy
That's right, baby. Former WWF wrestler, King Kong Bundy will be at this con, to SELL HIS COMIC COLLECTION. You heard me right. The comics King Kong Bundy collected, is for sale.

Michael Lark
Current artist of Daredevil (that Ed Brubaker is writing). Fantastic stuff, that you should be reading.

Hope Larson, Bryan Lee O'Malley
Hope recently released "Gray Horses" and I wrote about Bryan like a day or two ago. Read about him here.

Ken Lashley (and Draxhall Jump)
Ken is the artist of the relaunch of The Flash. Check out other things he and his company has done, Draxhall Jump.

Andy Lee
He's a convention favourite. Does a lot of Modern Zen paintings, with his Chinese Brushstrokes, or something like that. His work is good, and that's all you need to know.

David Lloyd
Co-creator of V For Vendetta. Also, one of the Guests Of Honour.

Mike Mayhew
Another cover artist here, who was recently done interiors for 100th issue of She-Hulk.

Joseph O'Brien
Nominated this year for a Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Writer, for his work with Ty Templeton on Revolution on the Planet of the Apes. They are both nominated as co-writers for this book.

Jimmy Palmiotti
Industry great, and winner of a Connie Award (for the 3rd year in a row) for "Best Comics Pro for a Critique." This man writes a lot, and inks a lot. I'm wondering when he sleeps.

George Perez
The other Guest of Honour. This man is a legend. He's another person I really want to meet... again... Great man, very nice person.

Ramon Perez, Rob Coughler
These two guys are hilarious. And their webcomic, Butternut Squash is just too funny. Now, they're doing something like the guys at R.A.I.D. Actually, this quote I'm going to post, is a direct continuation from that quote.

"Not to be outdone, their pals Ramon Perez and Rob Coughler who produce the online strip Butternut Squash (and Spellgame and the Butternut Squash comic, formerly published by Speakeasy) have decided to recreate something a little more - relaxing, so to speak... the Butternut Squash Bedroom... a relaxing space where Ramon and Rob can... well, lie down and relax and watch the throngs pass by..."

Greg Rucka
This man is such a great writer. Currently writing Checkmate (out tomorrow) and 52 (starts in May). Was the former writer of Wonder Woman, Gotham Central, and many other titles. Looking forward to meeting him.

Diana Schutz
Editor at Dark Horse Comics.

Nicola Scott
Here's a person I really want to meet. She acts, she models, she draws comics. She ROCKS!

Gail Simone
Here is a great writer. She can mix it up with her writing, and tell one fantastic story.

Arthur Suydam
Recently, he's been doing the Marvel Zombies covers.

Ty Templeton
Nominated this year for a Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Writer, for his work with Joseph O'Brien on Revolution on the Planet of the Apes. They are both nominated as co-writers for this book. Ty has recently been doing covers for Justice League Unlimited.

Jill Thompson
The Scary Godmother creator. Has previously done work on Wonder Woman (with George Perez), and recently, has been doing the manga Death graphic novels.

J. Torres, Stefan Brogren, Ryan Cooley, Stacey Farber, Miriam McDonald
For all you DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION fans. There will be a Degrassi graphic novel being released soon, written by J. Torres. The four actors, Snake, J.T., Ellie and Emma, will be there on Saturday to take part of the panel, and to sign and take pictures, to promote the graphic novel.

Jennifer Van Meter
Hopeless Savage creator in attendance.

Daniel Way
Currently writing Wolverine: Origins, and one of Marvel's "10 Terrific" writers.

Monday, April 24, 2006

2006 Hobby Star Fan "Appreciation" Day Convention Report

Yea, it's that time again. It's been two months since the last one day con. Now, this is the week that two cons take place in Toronto. Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon (which takes place April 28th-30th, 2006), and the one that I went to today, Hobby Star's Fan Appreciation Event, or as Hobbystar likes to call it, the "Toronto ComiCON" (please note the difference, as things get worse in Toronto next year).

Once the doors opened, I headed straight for the guest area. Clayton Crain was the first one there. Mark Brooks was seated with UDON. I was thinking about going for Crain, but he wasn't first on my list (no offense to him), so I just continued to wait. Crain's line filled up quickly (with many people asking, "Who are we in line for?" and/or "Who's that guy?").

Billy Tan was the next person to show. Got my X-23 books signed, and other books with Tan's covers on. Also, got this commission sketch from him. I also picked up his "Girls" sketchbook.

X-23 by Billy Tan
X-23 by Billy Tan

Ron Garney was the next person I went to. I passed on his commission, which was a very reasonable price for an 11x17 piece. Oh well. I got my books signed.

I lined up for Olivier Coipel next. Now, I didn't really want to let out this bit of info, but I was first in line. I was actually first in line to get in the doors. So, when I hear the decision from the con promoter, to hold off on sketches until later on in the day, I was quite upset, being first, and with Coipel being one of the main people to see and get a sketch from. Anyways, I'll get into me not getting my sketch a bit later. I did get my books signed.

After the Coipel line, I went to the UDON booth to get my name down on Mark Brooks' sketch list. I was eighth, and this was 12:10PM. I also got my books signed by him (New X-Men, and others).

I line up for Rags Morales right after Mark Brooks. This was quite a long wait, but it turned out that Rags was doing head sketches. Now, I got a small portion of my books signed by Rags, with intentions of lining up again, to get the rest signed. But I also got my brother's Identity Crisis hardcover signed, with a sketch. A little weird thing happened. As I was getting up to get my wallet, I think Rags thought I was gonna walk out on paying him, and let me know that I was told before of the price.

To Rags: I'm sorry if it looked like I was going to walk out on paying you, but I just moved my bag to stand up and get my wallet. I would never walk away from an artist who I'm paying for a sketch. Thank you for the sketch, and for signing my books.

Being a little disappointed by this misunderstanding, I did take a little break from the con floor (to drop off some books in the car). When I came back, I headed to the Clayton Crain line, and got my books signed and got a sketch.

Black Cat by Clayton Crain
Black Cat by Clayton Crain

After this, I decided on lining up for Olivier Coipel. It was about 3:40PM that I lined up. During this time (in line), I was next to Leonard Kirk's table, so I got my Detective Comics books signed. He was also selling Detective Comics #819 (not out for one or two weeks), which I picked up. Just haven't read it yet, because I'd be skipping a part to the "Face To Face" arc, which continues in Batman #652 (out this Wednesday), then Detective Comics #819.

About 40-45 minutes of waiting in Olivier Coipel's line (after being first originally), I left the line. Disappointed with the outcome (not because of Olivier, but I did state who), I walked around the convention floor, really just waiting for the sketch by Mark Brooks. When I checked at 4:40PM, he was finishing the one just before mine, then he took a well-deserved break. He came back, to work on my sketch (which turned out to be the last of the day). Well worth the price for that beauty.

X-23 by Mark Brooks
X-23 by Mark Brooks

After that, I went home. The con was closing in 30 minutes, so there was nothing else to do.

Aside from the sketches, Billy Tan's sketchbook, an issue of Detective Comics #819 (from Leonard Kirk) and parking, I didn't spend a dime at the convention. Sucks for exhibitors, I guess.

Just keep in mind, next week is Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon, which I'll be attending.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Scott Pilgrim vol. 3

Scott Pilgrim Vol. 3 Postcard

I was saddened by the news that Bryan Lee O'Malley will not have any copies of Scott Pilgrim vol. 3 for sale at Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon, due to a problem with the printers.

I was just gonna settle for copies of Volume 1 & 2, until I saw the news about the postcards (pictured above) that he will have for sale. That brings back so many memories, and made waiting for volume 3 a little more bearable (such a great series). He may also have buttons with the same picture, which I'll definitely pick up.

Now, the Super Mario Bros. 3 tribute picture is not the cover for volume 3. You can view that cover here. It's a postcard that will be for sale. It contains the Diamond order code, and ISBN number, for those that want to order the book.

There is also the possibility that Bryan Lee O'Malley may have copies of Free Scott Pilgrim, which is the free comic that will be released on Free Comic Book Day. It's not a for sure thing, but Bryan's good friend, Christopher Butcher (of The Beguiling) stated that he MIGHT.

Expect Scott Pilgrim vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness to be released near the end of May. I'll definitely get my copy then.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

AD ASTRA 2006 - 25TH ANNIVERSARY REPORT

Ramon & Rob by Ramon Perez
Ramon & Rob by Ramon Perez

So, I went. Now, before I get into the report on this, I really gotta Thank Kevin Boyd again, for hooking me up with a pass, allowing me to stick around Ad Astra to get my books signed by Peter David. For those that do not know, Kevin is one of the Promoters for the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon, as well as the Associate Coordinator of the Joe Shuster Awards. Thank You Kevin!

Now, onto the report. Ad Astra was something that I thought it would be, but smaller. I had a general idea what the crowd would be like. The only thing that surprised me, was the size. Let's just say, I walked around the entire area in about 5 minutes.

So, I spent most of my day hanging around the Comic Mini-Con area (about a 20 ft. long row of tables), which included the table for the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon, and Joe Shuster Awards (manned by Peter Fisico of AllNewComics.com and Kevin Boyd). Ramon Perez was the first person to set up, so naturally, I went up to him. Got the sketch pictured above, of Ramon (top) and Rob (bottom) of Butternutsquash.

Batgirl by J. Bone
Batgirl by J. Bone

So, next up was J. Bone. Got my books signed by him, and that sketch above of Batgirl. Also, got to see a preview of Darwyn Cooke's work on Batman/Spirit, that I believe Jeph Loeb wrote, and J. Bone will be inking. Gotta say, the artwork looks sweet, and I will pick that up whenever it comes out.

Spider-Man by Vatche Mavlian
Spider-Man by Vatche Mavlian

While waiting for the Peter David signing, I was able to get that Spider-Man sketch from Vatche Mavlian (above). He has a new book coming out from Moonstone Press. Unfortunately, I forget the name of the book, but the artwork looks really good. Wish I had a better memory.

At 3:30PM, the signing for all the Guest of Honours began. I lined up for Peter David. I was fourth or fifth in line, but this damn Sci-Fi women fans... always have something to say to the author of Sci-Fi books, saying it was life changing or something. Never knew a Star Trek book had that type of impact.

Anyways, I left just after 4PM, headed straight home.

Not sure if they were there, but I didn't see Ty Templeton, Joe O'Brien, Attila Adorjany or Rich Dannys. Kinda wanted to see the first three people, since they're involved with Revolution on the Planet of the Apes. Oh well.

Thanks again, Kevin, for hooking up that pass. I'll see ya again at your con.