Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm rich again!

Well, as rich as I'll ever be. I was never really rich to begin with, but I have been credited with the amount that was stolen from me with that bank card situation I've mentioned over the past week and a half. What a sense of relief this is for me now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Matt Damon/Jimmy Kimmel

I remember watching this last week (I think it was last week). Check out this little clip of the Matt Damon interview by Jimmy Kimmel. Classic! Matt Damon Rocks!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

September 13th, 2006

So I'm pretty sure many of you know what happened today in Montreal. I found out while driving home, listening to Flow 93.5. Stuff like this sucks major ass. RIP to the victim(s) that were killed today, and I hope the other injured victims have a speedy recovery.

As I mentioned, I was listening to Flow 93.5. The "Traffic Flow Mix Show" was on at the time, it was a couple of 2Pac mixes. Today marks the 10th Anniversary of 2Pac's death. RIP 2Pac.

Still a victim...

Okay, so it's really been two days since I dealt with my bank card being copied and used in Montreal. I'm still quite down about it, and will probably continue to be down about it, until I get full use of my bank account. I did receive a call yesterday saying that "the deposit for $4500, was just an empty envelope."

They originally called me on Monday, about an hour after I went into my bank to deal with it, and let them know what I thought happened for that deposit.

Well, now that that call is out of the way, I'm hoping the next time they call me, is to tell me my account has returned to normal. I want my money.

On the bright side, I did win $6 on my Instant Bingo ticket. Profit, $3!

Can't wait until hockey starts. So gonna play Proline again. Try out the Pro Picks Pools again this year. Time to stock up on those Proline ballots.

Alright, I'm off to school. Stupid mid-afternoon class. Make me drive home during rush hour.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"Victims. Aren't we all?"

So, apparently, I'm in Montreal. But really, I'm in Maple, Ontario. However, a copy of my debit card is in Montreal. Yep. I'm a victim of debit card fraud.

Sucks, I know. It actually happened Sunday morning. I found out mid-afternoon, before work. Luckily for me, I caught it early. I gotta head to the bank tomorrow to deal with the rest of this. Hoping they bring my account back to before all of this happened.

Feeling down about all of this, and I guess I'll be more secure about this. I'll try not to be paranoid about it. I have other things to be paranoid about.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Been doin' some reading

I actually read these a few weeks back, but finally decided to bring it up. It's taken me nearly two years to read these.

Catwoman: Selina's Big Score takes place prior to the relaunch of the Catwoman title. Selina's down on her luck, and needing a "Big Score" to get herself back in the game. This is written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke.

Catwoman: The Dark End of the Street starts off with a short Slam Bradley story, taking place around the time of "Selina's Big Score." The actual Catwoman story introduces the new Catwoman costume, designed by Darwyn Cooke, and takes Catwoman through her first villain in the relaunch. This is written by Ed Brubaker, and artwork by Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart, and Mike Allred.

Both stories are definitely something to check out.

Now, I'm looking for a copy of Batman: Ego to check out.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Fan Expo Canada 2006 Report

Jim Lee and Me

That was what I wanted. I finally met the man! There are probably some other comic professionals that I want to meet, but not as much as I wanted to meet Jim Lee (pictured above). He is the man that I wanted to meet around the time that I started reading comics.

Now, on to the Expo report. I really don't feel like writing three report for each day, so I'll just keep it all in this post. It may be long, but it won't have many pictures.

Day One: Friday September 1st, 2006
I believe the Friday was the first time Fan Expo Canada introduced the Special Preview for those that pre-ordered the Deluxe pass (what I got). The Expo normally opens at 4pm, so I was in at 2pm. The doors did not open for the Special Preview until 2:30pm, and once that door opened, I went straight for the Jim Lee line, and planted myself for the 5pm signing. I wasn't too far back, like 10th, maybe.

There were people already lined up for Jim Lee. Those with "Exhibitor" passes and "Guest" passes were in line, pretty much for the entire weekend, even though it was specified, "DELUXE" or "ANIME" pass. Way to enforce that "Volunteers". More about the Jim Lee lines later on.

Didn't really do much in the line. Took turns looking after the bags, alternating with my bro. I did set up a commission with Agnes Garbowska. More on that later.

Also, walked around the conventions floor, just to check out the sights. Picked up some freebies at the Dark Horse Comics booth. Got a Dark Horse logo keychain.

Went back to the Jim Lee line, just to wait some more. The volunteers are now telling the crowd that there is a four-item signing limit, and Jim Lee will not be sketching.

At around 4pm, the doors were opened for those that did not obtain the Special Preview passes. Humberto Ramos' line filled up pretty quickly. Same goes for Mike Mignola. Ramos' showed up like 30-40 minutes late (scheduled to appear at 4pm). Not sure about Mignola (scheduled to appear at 4:30pm). At approximately 5pm, Brian Michael Bendis showed up to cheers from the crowd. He arrived thirty minutes early.

Jim Lee also arrived to cheers from the crowd. The volunteers are reminding the crowd of the signing limit and the "no sketches." I'm quite disappointed with a signing limit of 4, because most arcs or mini-series nowadays are not 4-issues. Having a signing limit of five or ten would be a little better. Oh well.

I did get the main book signed (in addition to other). My copy of Batman: Hush The Absolute Edition. Jim Lee also started to sketch in the hardcover.

Catwoman by Jim Lee
Catwoman by Jim Lee

After that, I jumped into the Brian Michael Bendis line. There didn't appear to be a signing limit. Noticed many people bringing 50+ books. C.B. Cebulski was there sitting and chatting it up with Bendis. Not much else to say here. Got my books signed. That's about it.

Went to pick up my commission from Agnes Garbowska.

Ms. Marvel by Agnes Garbowska
Ms. Marvel by Agnes Garbowska

Headed for the Terry and Rachel Dodson line. They were scheduled for 7pm, but didn't arrive then. At around 7:20pm, I moved myself over to the Geoff Johns line, since I figured the Dodsons' weren't going to show up. They did around 7:30pm. But by then, Geoff Johns had already arrived, so I stuck with that line.

Also, once the Dodsons' arrived, and after they spoke with the volunteers, it was announced that there will be a ten book limit, and that there will be no sketches, because the Dodsons' had to be at the sketch duel at 8pm. I only bring this up, because the first person in the Dodsons' line, complained to get his sketch. Thought I'd bring that up. It is stated on the schedule signs at the entrance of the Autograph Area line, that the guests will not be sketching at the Autograph Area. The fine print is there. It's up to people to actually read the signs. So, if the artist tells the volunteer to say no sketches, don't complain. It doesn't matter whether you waited in line for an hour or two. Can't always expect a sketch. Leave the line, go about your business, and line up the next day.

Anyways, while in the Geoff Johns line, my brother noticed Darwyn Cooke. Darwyn hopped the line, and went straight to Geoff Johns. The two chatted it up, while Geoff was still signing. About a couple minutes after Darwyn left, my bro asked me if I could find him, to get a book signed by him. Couldn't ask me as he was leaving, but after he left. Great... now roaming the convention floor, looking for Darwyn Cooke. Actually, it didn't take me long to find him. Darwyn seemed to be in a joyful mood after seeing many friends, and he signed the book. Awesome person. Wish I could've gotten a picture with him and Geoff Johns together. Had the opportunity... just had to jump the line, and ask, while Geoff was signing. By the time I got up, the Expo was coming to a close, so they stated a signing limit of ten. Well, I got fifteen. Take that, signing limit!

After that, went looking for some stuff for my little siblings. Back to the Dark Horse booth, grabbed some more freebies. Left the Expo.

Some other things I noticed: Talent Caldwell no showed the Expo (he missed his flight). Angel Medina no showed the Expo (not sure why). David Finch, Joe Benitez, Leonard Kirk and Ethan Van Sciver no showed the Friday (appeared the next two days).

How did I feel after day one? Signing limits suck. It's not like I wanted to drop 50+ books, but I do have many collaborations that I wanted more signatures on. Lines for me weren't too bad, but they were pretty bad for those that didn't arrive early.

Day Two: Saturday September 2nd, 2006

Unlike the majority of the people that came into the convention that day, I went straight for the Steve McNiven line (others went to Jim Lee's line). I wasn't too far back. Like sixth or so. Steve McNiven was only appearing for the Saturday, due to his commitment to Civil War (which was delayed quite a bit). Steve McNiven wanted to please all of the fans that were there for him, so he announced no signing limit, but no sketches. He did have his book of prelims, so I took a look through those. Bought one from him.

Civil War #3 Page 13 Panel 5 Prelim
Civil War #3 Page 13 Panel 5 Prelim

While waiting in line for Steve McNiven, I noticed that they moved Ethan Van Sciver to the Autograph Area, just to clear some room around his regular signing area (next to David Finch). He was also taking a list for sketches. I was about tenth, but since I had to leave that day early, I asked him if it would be finished by 4pm, because I had to leave, but I was back the next day. He bumped mine to the first or second sketch of the day, but wouldn't be done until later. Cool with me.

On that note, I gotta send out an apology to Peter Szafranski of HonestlyEvil.com. I wasn't expecting Ethan to bump up my sketch to be done before yours. I just thought he would be working on them throughout the day. Hope yours turned out great.

Roamed the convention floor, went to see Yanick Paquette. Got my Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer books signed, and got a sketch from him.

Bulleteer by Yanick Paquette
Bulleteer by Yanick Paquette

At that point, the line-up for Olivier Coipel, Brian Michael Bendis, and Mark Morales became really long. They were all together to sign the Expo Exclusive (which wasn't anything different from what was released at stores). Skipped that. Went to line up for Geoff Johns again, to get the rest of my books signed.

After that, the Mike Mignola line was really long, so I skipped that too. Went to see David Finch. His line wasn't too long. My guess is because he was charging for sketches this year (I guess because he has a wedding to pay for). Got some books signed, and got a sketch.

Spider-Woman by David Finch
Spider-Woman by David Finch

After that, went over to Marcus To (Soulfire: Chaos Reign). Dropped off my sketch book to get a sketch. Headed over to the Expo Exclusive booth, to find out that Olivier Coipel would be back prior to his sketch duel with Jim Lee. Got some books signed by him, before he had to take off again.

Back over to Marcus To, to pick up my sketchbook.

Wonder Woman by Marcus To
Wonder Woman by Marcus To

At this point, I went over to Ethan Van Sciver's table. He was finishing off my sketch.

Wonder Woman by Ethan Van Sciver
Wonder Woman by Ethan Van Sciver

At this time (around 3:40pm), I left the Expo. I had a Wedding Reception to get ready for. The Wedding Reception was great. Lots of love and emotion there. Good times. Congrats to Dave and Angelina!

How did I feel after Day Two? Lines became extremely long, and I wish I had more time. Still accomplished a lot, so it was a good day.

Sunday September 3rd, 2006

Happy Birthday Isaias!

Happy Birthday Ethan Van Sciver!

Arrived at the convention quite early, in hopes of getting to the Jim Lee line early. Was about 15-20 people back from the front. Not bad. However, the way they let people in. Let those that were there first, to go through the far entrance, and let those that follow, go through the close entrance. Pretty friggin stupid.

Seems like a good chunk of the people going in, ran to the Jim Lee line. I walked. Pretty sure most of the first row of the line was filled prior to opening, as they were alreay sitting, all prepared with books and some with nice 11x17 pages ready for sketches. Some with their "Exhibitor" passes showing, others with their "Guest" passes showing. I don't mind people having their connections getting in, but if this is a convention that has openly stated a specific requirement for a specific signing, enforce that requirement.

I ended up at the end of the second row. Oh well, not a big deal.

Tickets were handed out for those that were in line, to prevent line cutting, and saving spots for those that weren't around. Finally, a little bit of order. Also, the ticket counterpart was being put into a box, and was randomly selected for those to get sketches. About twenty were selected. Seems fair, because so many people were already in line.

I didn't win one. Oh well, not the end of the world. So, no worries. I just ignored the signing limit at the signing. Rebel, baby. I'm a rebel!

Once out of the Jim Lee line, I went over to the Terry and Rachel Dodson line (since I left the line on Friday, not too long before they finally arrived). The line moved somewhat quick, and Terry was sketching! So when I finally got up, got my books signed, and got a quick sketch.

Wonder Woman by Terry Dodson
Wonder Woman by Terry Dodson

Look at that. Three Wonder Woman sketches. Actually, if I was able to get a sketch from Jim Lee, I wanted a Wonder Woman. Not sure where this Wonder Woman theme came from. I'm surprised I didn't get a Zatanna from anyone.

At this point, I was pretty much done. Got a few books signed by Joshua Middleton (including my Runaways Hardcover), and that's about it. I was actually able to explore a little on the convention floor. Noticed Morena Baccarin was gone, so I couldn't see her at all this weekend. She wasn't at her table on the Friday or Saturday, when I went to check, and her sign was just gone from her table, so I guess she left. Sucks I didn't get to meet her.

I did manage to snap a picture of one of the guests.

Rowdy Roddy Piper
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper! The Hot Rod!

He was leaving for his Q&A, so I took a picture.

Figured, I'd take in my first sketch duel. Went to see David Finch take on Ethan Van Sciver in the sketch duel.

Here's David Finch when he arrived.

David Finch at the Sketch Duel

I recorded the bulk of the sketch duel, but the battery of the camcorder started to die halfway through the sketch duel, so I recorded most of the ending.

Very nice pieces done by both David and Ethan. The theme/character was Batman. I didn't win either of them. It was just a sight to see them sketch those pieces, and listen to them answer the fans questions. Both respect Rob Liefeld. Awesome!

After the sketch duel, I was done. Didn't want to head back to the convention floor, so I went home. Surprisingly, I didn't spend too much at this convention. I spent almost the same amount as I did at the Toronto Comic Book Fan Super Show. Didn't even look at any of the dealers at the Expo. My money went to David Finch, Ethan Van Sciver, Steve McNiven, Marcus To, Agnes Garbowska, the MTCC parking, two different vending machines at the MTCC, and "le grill" (little food stand in front of the CN Tower Tour box office). There just wasn't enough time for me to look around that much, so I took in the sights, rather than the vendors.

Now, despite all the negativity that I have read about the Expo so far, I was able to get most of the thing I wanted to get done. Aside from not being able to get 6 more books signed by Jim Lee, and not meeting Morena Baccarin, I had a good time. Sure, most of that time was just sitting on my ass on the concrete convention floor, but I knew that going into this event.

How do I feel after Day Three? Didn't have much else to do, so I pretty much got everything done. If I get the chance in the next year, I may try to hit up more Sketch Duels and probably check out "Cool School" panels.

So for anyone who wanted my opinion on the Expo, there you have it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fan Expo Canada Today!

I'm about to head to bed. I'm all ready for Fan Expo Canada, and I'm quite excited about it. Sure, I know I'm going to be standing in line most of the weekend, but meeting the guests is something that I don't get to do often, so I'm taking the opportunity to meet them.

Aside from the comic guests, I may actually head over to meet some of the Sci-Fi guests. Morena Baccarin (Inara of Firefly, and Serenity) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia). I'll decide when I'm actually there. Really just want a photo with them.

The ACTOR schedule for Fan Expo Canada has been released. I'm deciding whether or not I'll hit up anyone there this weekend. I'm not too sure right now. May just try to get them at their respective tables.

So for those going to the Expo, I'll see ya there.

Finished watching the Agassi/Baghdatis US Open match. Match ended about 45 minutes ago. Great match, though the fatigue showed for both players during the fifth set. Both ended up playing sloppy, but Agassi was victorious! I'm not really much of a tennis fan, but since Agassi is retiring after the tournament, I watched. Been on-and-off following Agassi. Watched him win his first Wimbledon title. I'll watch him as he retires.

Okay, that's it. I'm going to bed. Expo tomorrow. Jim Lee tomorrow!