Thursday, June 28, 2007

Boughts and Thoughts - June 27th, 2007

Oh, Happy Day! The Spice Girls are reuniting for a tour.

The Boys #8 - Kind of a boring issue, but it seems to be going somewhere.

Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 - This was really good. Never cared for Kyle Rayner, but damn, that was surprising! The odds look stacked against the GL Corps.

Grimm Fairy Tales: Return to Wonderland #1 - Pretty twisted take on Alice in Wonderland.

Immortal Iron Fist #6 - What the hell? Has this now changed to Mortal Kombat? Tournament?

The Walking Dead #38 - Enjoyable issue. Wonder how the next one is going to play out.

X-Men #200 - I'd probably understand this book more if I had been following the series, and everything that has been going on.

I did check out the World War Hulk: X-Men #1 issue at the shop, and it looked pretty good. I'm probably gonna wait for the trade on that one.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Recent pick-ups

Over the pass few days, I took trips for sales on comics.

On Saturday, I went to the Cyber City Comics Outlet Sale. Lots of books to go through, but I only picked up four issues.

- 1x New Teen Titans #39 - Dick Grayson and Wally West leave the Titans. I actually have the issue already, signed by Marv Wolfman. Picked up another, because it was $1.

- 3x Noble Causes: Family Secret #3 - Two copies of the Mike Avon Oeming cover, one of the Jim Valentino cover. Though not worth that much money, it contains the first appearance of Invinicible. At $1/each, that's a friggin steal!

I also checked out Heroes World, yesterday afternoon. They are having a moving sale, so 20 books for $20. Lots of back issues from the past few years. Picked up some Captain America issues from Brubaker's run, a couple of Birds of Prey issues, and various other issues. I guess my key pick-ups were:

- Wanted #1 Wizard ACE Edition - For $1, it's not bad

- Uncanny X-Men #267 - Second appearance of Gambit for $1, and the issue right before Jim Lee takes over as the regular artist of the title.

There are many books to look through, if you're looking for some great stuff. But like I said, it's more of a selection of back issues from the past few years.

Right after Heroes World, I went to check my former weekly shop, Planet X. They weren't having a sale, but I was passing it on the way home, so I figured I'd stop by. Ended up buying eleven issues of DMZ for under $4, total. Picked up issues 4-9, 12-15, 17. I already have issues #1-2, so I may pick up all the missing issues inbetween. I hear this is a great series, but I just couldn't get myself into it. I'll try again.

RIP Chris Benoit

I sit here, conflicted with what I'm going to say. I am sadden with the passing of WWE Superstar, Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy Benoit, and their son Daniel Benoit. I am also disappointed to hear that this whole ordeal has been ruled a double murder-suicide case.

Chris Benoit has been someone who I have been watching since his WCW days. I grew to respect his talents in the ring, and have been a fan of his for a long time now.

So for me to come home today, and see the news that the RAW programming was changed to a tribute show for Chris Benoit, it's like I got punched in the gut. There I was, confused with a "tribute" show, going to the WWE site, only for it to be confirmed that Chris Benoit, his wife, and son, were all found dead. I was in disbelief.

And for me to break the news to my brother, it hurt, because I know he was more of a fan of Chris Benoit.

I had the opportunity to meet Chris Benoit on two occasions. Once at WWF Fan Axxess 2002, the week prior to Wrestlemania X-8 in Toronto, Ontario. The other time, at WWE Day 2003 at Woodbine Racetrack (same picture as the beginning).

On that day (WWE Day 2003), Chris Benoit was the only Superstar my brother asked to have a picture with (while I also had pictures with Rena Mero, Matt Hardy & Shelton Benjamin). It was an opportunity he could not pass up.

I spent the rest of this evening, watching the WWE RAW Chris Benoit Tribute Show, not sure what to think, but just reminisce on Chris Benoit's career.

During the main event, which was a replay of the main event from Wrestlemania XX, Triple H (Champ) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels, it was confirmed by, that the case was ruled a double murder-suicide.

I am someone who definitely does not support murder, so it sucks that I also see this in an even more negative way, than it already is.

However, when it comes down to it, I still respect the Benoit Family, and everything that Chris Benoit has done in the business.

My condolences goes out to the Family and Friends of the Benoit Family, and may they Rest in Peace.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Boughts and Thoughts - June 20th, 2007

Amazing Spider-Man #541 - Two more issues left in this arc (after this issue), and it appears that the next issue will be Spider-Man vs. Kingpin.

Captain America #27 - This was pretty good. The Winter Soldier goes for Captain America's shield.

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #4 - Spider-Man - I enjoyed this issue.

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #13 - I liked the Bart Allen character, but not so much since the relaunch (I really think DeMeo and Bilson sucked it up and ruined the character). Guggenheim picked up the series, only to end it. Really emotional ending. Especially with that Robin scene.

Guy Ritchie's Game Keeper #3 - This was another good issue.

Incredible Hulk #107 - The humans try to side with Hulk. Find out whether he does two issues from now.

Justice League of America #10 - Nice ending, that does tie into The Flash issue. Bart's gone, but Wally returns! And, with his kids grown-up a bit.

Madame Mirage #1 - I just couldn't get into it. I'll give it another read.

The Spirit #7 - Haven't read it yet, but I will soon.

Transformers: Megatron Origin - Haven't read it yet, and I might not at all. Just haven't really been following any Transformers titles.

Ultimate Spider-Man #110 - Not really the greatest way to end Mark Bagley's run, but he does share the art chores with Stuart Immonen, with the next issue.

X-Men: Endangered Species One-Shot - I just don't seem to care about the X-Men books, except for Astonishing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paradise Toronto Comicon 2007 Report - Day One

Less than fourteen months after the last Comicon, this past weekend was the 5th Annual Paradise Toronto Comicon!

To sum up my weekend, it was Fantastic! Lots of stuff getting done, lots of books getting signed (surprisingly, a lot less than last year), lots of sketches, lots of pictures!

So much happenings at this convention, that I am splitting this up into four parts. One for each day, and the Joe Shuster Awards. The report won't contain most of the pictures taken, but will be linked up to a gallery, once it's all ready to go. Bare with me, until then.

Friday June 8th, 2007 was the start of Paradise Toronto Comicon. As usual, my bro and I arrived early. This year, to snap them photos I mentioned.

Paradise Comics Booth Set UpParadise Comics Booth Set Up Booth Set Booth Set Up

Women of Comics Signing AreaWomen of Comics Signing Area

Before the mayhem, I suppose.

Upon entry, the two huge movie displays for Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and The Simpsons had yet to arrive (I really wanted my ass on that couch). It did arrive prior to opening, and only the Fantastic Four 2 display was set up in time for the show opening. I did end up helping with it being set up.

However, since it had to be put together at the show, here are some pictures of the displays, before it's all set up.

Silver Surfer!

Look, Homer is ready to have his way with his candy bar!

Once the show opened at 3PM, everyone scattered into their respective lines, going for the creators they wished to meet.

Me, I ended up planting myself for Darwyn Cooke, who at the time was at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (something that we found out after he arrived, which was later in the day). Seeing his line from the previous year, his was one to get to, and was one of my "Must Have" sketch list. At the same time, I wanted to meet several other people, and get on their sketchlists, but many were still setting up. Luckily, my bro and I took turns holding our spot in the Darwyn Cooke line, so that one of us could go around and drop our names down for sketchlists.

First up, Nicola Scott (Birds of Prey). She was on my "Must Have" list, since being announced. First on the list! One book is dropped down. Next, Tara McPherson (Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall). Second book is dropped down. Next (after finishing the setup of his booth), Joseph Michael Linsner, another "Must Have". On the list, and was told to check back the next day. Plus side, I didn't have to drop a book down (came to the con with four pads and one book).

Back to the line, to switch up with my brother. I noticed the lines building for the guests that had already arrived (Marv Wolfman, Kaare Andrews, Matt Wagner, Mike Perkins and Tom Grummett).

Look kids, it's Milo from Digital Kontent, getting something from his backpack!

Green Arrow by Matt WagnerThere was a a time where Matt Wagner's line slowed down. I got into that line, while my brother was holding that spot, and got some books signed, as well as a sketch inside my Green Arrow: Archer's Quest hardcover.

I also decided to see Marv Wolfman, to get a bunch of books signed by him. I wanted to cut down my load, but this man created quite a lot of characters back in the day. Some issues with significance got signed, Black Cat's first appearance, the issue where Barry Allen dies, and several more.

Wonder Woman by Tania del RioStill waiting for Darwyn Cooke, I decided to drop down my books for a sketch by Tania del Rio (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch). My original plan wasn't to get a Wonder Woman sketch, but I got mixed up in the head. I still ended up with a great sketch, so I'm happy. I went over to Gail Simone and Talent Caldwell to get some books signed.

By this time, it's about 5:30PM, and Darwyn Cooke still hadn't shown. Like I said before, he was at the Hospital for Sick Children, which people in the line didn't know about. Not a big deal for me, waiting in line. He did arrive shortly after, and the line grew significantly. Unfortunately, he wasn't sketching that day, after spending several hours with the kids at the hospital. He did tell those who were looking to get a sketch, to return the next day, to get on his list.

Also, when Darwyn Cooke arrived, Justin Gray decided to sit next to him to chat. While he was there, I was able to get my books signed by him. Then, I went over to Dan Davis, Ivan Brandon, and Mike Avon Oeming, to get some books signed, as well as the page of Green Lantern Secret Files 2001 that I own (inked by Dan Davis). Mike Avon Oeming was busy working on his sketchlist. Figured, I'd try getting on tomorrow, even though I didn't know what character I wanted a sketch of.

Willow by Georges JeantyI went to see Georges Jeanty (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Season Eight) after, and got some of my books signed by him, as well as the sketch to the right, of Willow ("This one time, at Band Camp..." Sure, that quote was from American Pie, but it was still said by the same girl that played Willow, Alyson Hannigan).

Georges' one heck of a nice guy to meet. Seems to really be enjoying his run on Buffy, and mentioned there may be a possibility of Buffy Season Nine. Of course, nothing is official or anything, since only four issues of Season Eight has been released, but if sales are strong, they may continue. All you Buffy fans, this is your cue! Go buy more Buffy to get your potential Season NINE!!! (Sure, it may be years before Season Eight is done with, but continue to buy).

Zatanna by Nicola ScottI went back over to Nicola, to check on the sketch I put down for, and she was done. It's beautiful! One of my "Must Haves," was now in my possession.

At this point, I decided to head to the car, to lighten my load. Once back in, I decided to walk around a little bit, trying to see who I'd see next. So many more people to see, and the convention had about another hour and a half, so I went for short lines. Noticed that there wasn't a line at Terry Moore's booth, and went to see him. He was taking a list for sketches, and I was able to get onto it for the next day.

Starfire by Karl KerschlI went to see Karl Kerschl after, had a quick chat with him, to see how things were going. This is his first appearance at Paradise Toronto Comicon, though he has appeared at the third Toronto Comic Book Fan Super Show. I ended up geting another sketch from him, this time, of a character he will be drawing in Teen Titans: Year One. Looking forward to that series.

After Karl, I went to check out Niko Henrichon (Pride of Baghdad). He's been cranking out some amazing sketches, and I wanted to see him, but closing time was approaching, so I didn't know whether I'd be able to make it. I still waited in line, and later found out that the person infront of me was the last sketch of the day. No worries, it was just the first day.

Zatanna by Tara McPhersonI continued to walk around, trying to get some more books signed, just to lessen the load for the next day.

I went back to Tara McPherson, to check on my sketch, which was completed (see right).

It was much closer to closing time, so my bro and I headed to the front, to grab some pictures of the movie displays.

Silver Surfer display

Me on the Simpsons' Couch
I finally get on that couch, and when I have a picture taken with me on it, I'm not looking at the camera... I'm a maroon...

That was it for Friday. Here are some more pictures from the convention.

Matt Wagner (L), Nicola Scott (R)

Gail Simone (L), Mike Avon Oeming (R)

Karl Kerschl (L), Joseph Michael Linsner at his booth (R)

For some more photos, Click Here

Paradise Toronto Comicon 2007 Report - Day Two

This is the big day, where all the panels and workshops start taking place. Also, the Women of Comics II Symposium started that day (sponsored by It's the busiest day of the con, and I started the day, at Wal-Mart. Needed some snacks for the con, and some breakfast at the McDonald's in there. Also, for a pack of silver Sharpies, because I had remembered that I traded Georges Jeanty the day before, for his dying silver Sharpie. Hmm... what kind of business man will I be, if I keep trading my new stuff for used stuff...

Who's wants a silver Sharpie used by Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Season Eight Artist, Georges Jeanty? "Shall we start the bidding at, say, $10,000? Alright, how about a million?" (Quoting Homer Simpson). C'mon, there has to be some takers. How about I sweeten this deal, by donating the proceeds to an organization of my choosing? Now how's that for some convincing.

...Oh right, the report...

After leaving Wal-Mart, my bro and I headed down to the convention.

Upon entering, we once again planted ourselves at the Darwyn Cooke line. Ended up third and fourth on the list, after moving down for Steve Zegers, and Bill Nolan. Both travelled from the US to get a sketch from Darwyn Cooke, and were trying for a couple years now, it became their quest.

Beta Ray Bill by Mike Avon OemingWhile waiting in line, I was able to duck out quickly, to see Mike Avon Oeming again. Opted to go for a quick sketch, and I'm quite happy with what I got. Omega Flight is kicking all kinds of ass, and I wanted a Beta Ray Bill, and I got it.

After, I went to drop off my sketchpad to Christine Norrie (Hopeless Savage). Back to the line, continuing to wait for Darwyn Cooke. Still hadn't arrived, but it was still quite early.

Batman by Matt WagnerI went over to see Matt Wagner again, to get the rest of my books signed by him. I was also able to score that Batman sketch on the right.

Soon after, Darwyn Cooke arrived. The list started to be taken for sketches. I was third, bro was fourth. As for the line, it was huge, and every time I looked back at that line for the first four hours, it stayed pretty long. Imagine how long it would've been if Darwyn was sketching on the spot, like he used to. I didn't get my sketch until later in the day. Still, I was on the list.

Once on the list, I went to see former WWE Women's Champion, Trish Stratus. The last time I went to see her at a signing, I didn't get my photo taken with her, because the person taking the picture, didn't hold the button long enough, to actually capture the photo.

This time around, I got that picture with her. However, not before I waited in the line.

Line for Trish Stratus Line for Trish Stratus

And why not, how about a few extra pictures.

Trish Stratus Trish Stratus Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus signing and interacting with the fans

Trish Stratus and Me
Trish Stratus and Me

Supergirl by Christine NorrieNow, back to the comics.

I went back to Christine Norrie to check on the sketch I had asked for. Sure enough, it was done (see right). Apologies for the scan, and the slight touch-up for the blue lines to show. It's a beautiful piece in person.

After picking up the sketch, I went around to get some more books signed, by some of the people I missed the day before. I also dropped down my name for Cary Nord's sketchlist, which from what I hear, was started by the fans unwilling to wait to see when he would show up. Oh well, Cary was a trooper, and worked on that list, after completing the one he took the day before.

Zill (Pride of Baghdad) by Niko HenrichonAt this point, after dropping some stuff off at the car (to lighten the load), I went to line up for Niko Henrichon, who continued to crank out some amazing sketches for the fans. Niko's line varied throughout the weekend. At some points, it was quite long. Other points, it was quite short, which I was lucky enough to get into, before it got long again. Even if it was long, it'd be worth the wait for a sketch.

After getting the sketch done, I looked at my watch, to see it was approaching 2pm, which was Kaare Andrews' scheduled signing at the Hero Initiative booth. I looked at the line for Kaare Andrews at his regular table, and it was really long. So, I went to Hero Initiative.

Venom by Kaare AndrewsThinking I might've just moved my way into first in line for that, I noticed that some of the people from the regular Kaare Andrews line were moved over to the Hero Initiative booth, and placed infront of me. Oh well, they waited in his regular line.

Now sixth in line, two of the people moved over, were just there to get books signed. Now I'm fourth. Later on, one of the guys decided to leave the line. I'm now third. Not too bad, rather than waiting behind over 15 other people in his regular line, I'm third in the Hero Initiative line. Score! Sure, the sketch isn't as full as he was doing at his table, but it sure didn't take me as long to get to.

Molly (Runaways) by Adrian AlphonaI went to see former Runaways artist, Adrian Alphona, who at the time, had no line. Ugh, I wish I had the Runaways vol. 3 hardcover, cause I would have loved to have it signed. Unfortunately, I passed on it for the moment when it was released, and I didn't really check any of the booths. I will pick it up, because it'd look nice on my shelf.

I'm curious as to what Adrian will be working on next. I heard of one project, but I believe it's just a single issue. I'm hoping to see more work from Adrian, cause his artwork is great.

At this point, I was heading back to the car to unload some stuff, yet again, until I noticed Chester Brown at the Aardvark-Vanaheim booth, with Dave Sim. I totally forgot about Chester Brown's signing, but I'm glad I was walking by at the time.

Also, being handed out to those that went over to the signing, were Cerebus World Tour books, from years back, to get signed by both Chester Brown and Dave Sim. After the signing, it led to this.

Chester Brown, Me, Dave Sim
Chester Brown, Me, Dave Sim (L-R)

Now I made my way back to the car, to unload the items I wanted to before.

World War II Ultimate Captain America by Mike PerkinsOnce back in, I went to the Mike Perkins signing at the Hero Initiative booth. Though I have been set on a Captain America sketch, way too many people have gotten that done. Heck, the first two guys in the line got Captain America. I didn't want to be the third in a row. My brother did suggest getting the Ultimate Captain America. It's somewhat the same, but different. This led to me thinking of the World War II Ultimate Captain America. However, I had no reference. Big Thanks to Peter F. for allowing me to use on of his books as reference.

R.A.I.D. always working hard for their fans. We love you guys!

I went over to Scott Chantler to drop off my sketchpad for a sketch. I am definitely happy with the result, cause as I said, he revealed the NEW Captain America to me! But, I had to wait for it, so I'm making you wait for it.

Teaser image

Devil Jennie by Jennie BreedenI went to see Jennie Breeden, cartoonist for the daily webcomic, The Devil's Panties. First off, IT'S NOT SATANIC PORN, HONEST!

In all honesty, this isn't a webcomics I check out. I've heard about it, and was interested in it, but there's just so much to catch up on, that usually prevents me from backtracking. I did pick up the first trade from her, and I'm getting to reading it. Not sure when yet. Probably after all the reports.

Zatanna by Darwyn CookeI went back to Darwyn Cooke, to see if he had completed the sketch I put down for. He did, and I love it. Gotta get some new frames, for these sketches. I need more wall space!
Danny (my bro), Darwyn Cooke, Me
Danny (my bro), Darwyn Cooke, Me

Faith by Georges JeantyWent back to Georges Jeanty, to get some more books signed, and another sketch.

That silver Sharpie is still for sale, Buffy fans! It was touched and used by the man who is working with Joss Whedon on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Season Eight. C'mon you Whedon fans, you know you want it! (All proceeds from this sale, will be split amongst the Joe Shuster Awards, The Hero Initiative, and my OSAP bill).

And finally, back to Scott Chantler for the big reveal on his insider tip of the NEW Captain America!!! Steve Rogers may be dead, but this man steps up and takes over! Just click the picture below to find out.

(Yes, this one, you can click)

Didn't see that coming, did you? Or you might have, since I did post it on my ComicArtFans gallery, yesterday. If you just want to skip the Sunday report, and just see the sketches, it's there.

Zatanna by Joseph Michael Linsner*EDIT (June 13th, 2007)* - I'm totally a maroon! Somewhere throughout the day, I picked up my sketch from Joseph Michael Linsner. It was actually quite early in the day, and I didn't want to re-edit all the text, so I threw it down here. It's a beautiful piece, and I absolutely love it!

So, by the end of Day Two, I was in possession of all three of my "Must Haves"!!! I couldn't be more happier. Oh wait... I totally forgot.

Zatanna by Joseph Michael LinsnerI'm pretty sure I even picked up the Terry Moore sketch I had done, on this day. The weekend is such a blur. So much happened, that I can't remember everything.

As for the sketch, another one I love. So many great sketches, and it's only the second day!!!

And I once again leave you with some more photos.

Marv Wolfman (L), Jerry Robinson (R)

Terry & Robyn Moore (L), J. Bone (R)

Cary Nord (L), Darwyn Cooke (R)

Tara McPherson (L), Kaare Andrews (R)

Adrian Alphona (L), Chester Brown (R)

Mike Perkins (L), Jennie Breeden (R)

Georges Jeanty (L), "Two Old Gunslingers" Tom Grummett & Stuart Immonen (R)

Tom Grummett told me to label their picture that, not me making fun of them.

For more pictures, Click Here.