Sunday, December 30, 2007

Boughts and Thoughts - December 28th, 2007

This holiday shipping schedule threw off my timing, when it came to getting this post up. I started my day, going to Cyber City Comix, like I normally do, to pick up my comics. The Boxing Day Sale was still going on (and continues until December 31st, 2007), so I made some more purchases, in addition to the new comics.

Amazing Spider-Man #545 - So the spoilers I read, were the actual spoilers. The story was, "Meh". Quite disappointed with the outcome, but I wonder where this will lead. I don't know how much of Amazing Spider-Man I'll be picking up, when Brand New Day starts up.

Captain America #33 - No surprise here.

Green Lantern #26 - Where is that ring going? It's for a Sinestro Corps member in the Earth sector.

Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files #1 - I haven't read it yet.

Legion of Super-Heroes #37 - I'm on board with this book. This is the first Legion of Super-Heroes comic I actually read, and I really enjoyed it. How screwed is Timberwolf? See more about this below.

The Other Side of the Mirror vol. 1 - This is Jo Chen's first graphic novel, released through Tokyopop. Jo Chen is the cover artist for Runaways, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight. Interesting story, that I might continue.

Shazam: Monster Society of Evil Deluxe Edition HC - It's the oversized hardcover of Jeff Smith's mini-series. It was a great story, that I enjoyed quite a bit. I already have the mini-series in single issue format.

The Spirit vol. 1 HC - The first part of Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone's run on The Spirit. Another series I already have this in single issues, but I wanted it in collected edition.

I also attended the Paradise Comics Store Signing with Francis Manapul and Agnes Garbowska. I switched my shift at work, for the later shift, so I could attend the store signing. Francis made the appearance to promote the release of Legion of Super-Heroes #37. He is the new regular artist of the series.

I got there early, to give me enough time to make sure I could get to work on time. Both were there sketching for fans. I got my a Captain America sketch on my last Fallen Son blank cover, by Francis Manapul. I also got a Stargirl sketch from Agnes. Thanks to Francis and Agnes for the sketches!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Boxing Day Haul

My original plan was to skip out on the early morning Boxing Day shopping, as there was nothing of interest for me to buy. However, I got up around 5am, to get myself ready for a trip to Wal-Mart, that opened at 6am. There was nothing special I was there for, just some necessities, at a cheaper price. There were a few items that were picked up for late Christmas gifts. Finished the Wal-Mart shopping at 6:25am. Outta there!

My next stop didn't occur until noon, so I went home prior to that stop, to relax. I couldn't fall back asleep, until 20 minutes before I had to get up again. Power Nap!

I made the trip to Cyber City Comix for the Boxing Day Sale. It was quite busy there, compared to every other time I've been in the store. When I got in, my first grabs were a copy of The Escapists HC and The Walking Dead Book 3 HC. I went looking for other trades and hardcovers, but I held off on those until this Friday, when I plan on going back to the shop for new comics day (on Friday December 28th, 2007, because of the holidays). Trades/Hardcovers are 20% off, but members get an additional bonus discount, which was awesome!

I also flipped through the back issues, and picked up some random issues. Nothing special for me, but at 40% off + membership bonus discount, those books were cheap!

I also grabbed a copy of Street Fighter vol. 4: Bonus Stage, that collects all of the back stories in Udon's Street Fighter series, as well as Corey Lewis' Cheapshots. Great collection featuring the works of Adrian Alphona, Joshua Middleton, Joe Madureira, Salvador Larroca, and many more!

I also picked up Kotobukiya's Supergirl vinyl statue for my brother. He picked up two DC: The New Frontier figures for me, Batman and The Flash.

So I had a pretty significant haul for myself, with potentially a few more hardcovers, if they are still available. New Comics Day is going to be an expensive one for me.

I came home, and eventually took a nap. Got up in time for the disappointing Leafs game (damn, Richard Park and Mike Comrie).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas! Part 2 - Christmas Day!

Well, now it's technically Boxing Day right now, but whatever. I was too lazy to post earlier, and I'm kinda regretting it now, since I'm extremely tired, and about to head to bed, to get up and go shopping in the morning.

Our family threw a Christmas party for other family and friends. We skipped last year, but continued our tradition this year, on Christmas Eve.

The party didn't end until 3am, and I kinda had to stay up until 4:30am-5am, for reasons I won't mention.

Christmas morning didn't start for me until 10am, when my siblings all came into my room, to wake my ass up. Immediately, I got up, cause I love to see the faces of my little bro and sis, anxiously waiting to open the presents.

I got two presents and cash. Winter boots and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Absolute Edition vol. 2 HC were the two presents I got, and I'm very happy with those two. The joy was watching my little siblings opening up their gifts. They're getting spoiled by us.

After all of the fun, it was just purely a relaxation day... until my brother asked for my help with the Christmas dinner, which turned out very nice and delicious.

The rest of the night was spent playing video games with my siblings.

And that is my Christmas Day.

Hope you all had a safe and Merry Christmas (if you celebrate)!

Take care.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas! Part 1 - The Beguiling Store Signing

For those that celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to you!

For those that don't celebrate Christmas, Happy Tuesday!

I mentioned that I'd write about The Beguiling Store Signing with Faith Erin Hicks and Svetlana Chmakova, so here it is. On Christmas. Six days after the signing.

Now, before people start thinking that I'm off the ball with the reports, I had to delay this.

"Why?" you ask.

Because one of the gifts I got for my brother, was obtained at the signing, Thanks to Faith Erin Hicks!

See, my brother already knew his Christmas gift, Craig Thompson's Blankets (Published by Top Shelf Comix).

So, to add some element of surprise, I went to The Beguiling for the Store Signing, and got my brother a sketch from Faith.

When I got home, I just put his sketchbook back on his shelf, and told him that I made it to the store kinda late, and was near the back of the busy line, so I was unable to get a sketch, since the signing was coming to an end.

Meanwhile, I was there before 5pm, but went looking around the store at first. I don't know if I cut the line, or if the line formed after. But I totally ended up right after Milo of Digital Kontent, who ended up getting the sketch that I was originally thinking of getting, before coming to the decision of getting my bro a sketch instead. Great minds think alike, motherf*cker!

I was able to get one kick-ass Supergirl sketch from Faith, back in June, so getting my bro the sketch was a no-brainer for me. I just had to play it off like the sketch-whore that I am, thinking about myself, when really, it was for him. And to top that off, I left it in his room for a few days, before wrapping it up. It was in his sketchbook, so I didn't want him to look over at his shelf, and wonder where one of his sketchbooks went.

So that's the reason why the report was delayed until Christmas.

I also picked up Dramacon 2 and Dramacon 3, at my brother's request, so he could complete the series, and brought his Dramacon 1 to finally get it signed, by Svetlana Chmakova.

I also picked up a copy of James Jean's Process Recess 2: Portfolio, which is absolutely gorgeous! Sadly, mine has a nice corner ding on it.

It only took me six days to get this up, even though I'll admit, I wrote this on the 20th of December.

If you haven't picked up Zombies Calling, do yourself a favour, and pick it up. Such a great and fun read. I've only read Dramacon 1, and still haven't gotten to the other two. I'm not really into the whole Anime genre, but the first book of the series was quite enjoyable, so I'll probably read the other two when I get the chance.

Thanks to Faith, Svetlana, Chris, and the rest of The Beguiling staff!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just got off the phone...

So I just got a phone call from some lady at Direct Energy. Being pestered with a shitload from 800 and 866 numbers recently, and not answering them, I finally decided to pick up one of those calls, to find out why the hell they call every hour of the work day.

They are calling for the parents, so when I mention they are not home, they asked when is a better time to call. Like normal.

I say, "7pm."

She says, "Sorry, we're only open from 9am-6pm. Is there another time we can call them?"

I say, "Not unless you can call on Saturday."

Phone goes silent. She hung up.

Well, I'm sorry you couldn't meet your fucking quota today, lady. You asked the question, and I gave you the answer. Do your job, and just give the fake "Thanks for your time" before hanging up, like you're trained to do.

Direct Energy, please train your call centre staff properly.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Boughts and Thoughts - December 19th, 2007

Keeping this quick. I'll post about The Beguiling Store Signing, with Faith Erin Hicks and Svetlana Chmakova, at a later time.

Angel: After The Fall #2 - Yea, I'm done with single issues. Wasn't bad, but I didn't find it good. I'm debating the trades.

Grendel: Behold The Devil #2 - I'm gonna hold off from here on out for the collected. I think it'll be a better read as a whole. I think I bought this and Angel, because I didn't want to leave with just two books.

Justice League of America #16 - Seemed like a pointless story, leading to the return of the Tangent Universe.

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #4 - Getting quite interested in what will happen in this series.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Boughts and Thoughts - December 12th, 2007

Astounding Wolf-Man #4 - This was okay, but I should've passed on it.

Green Lantern #25 - Holy crap, there was a lot in this book! Story and artwork were amazing in this issue.

New Avengers #37 - Interesting way to write in the Mighty Avengers. Also, interesting way to end the issue. I really liked it.

The Walking Dead #45 - Very good issue. Wonder how the prison is gonna survive here on out.

Wonder Woman #15 - Okay issue, leading to better things for this title.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Jean Chrétien & ME! 2010 Olympic Mascots & ME! More on Yesterday!

Jean Chrétien & Me Me & Sumi Me & Miga

This has been an eventful two days. I mentioned the Bret Hart signing yesterday. But I left out everything else that happened.

Because wrestling related signings are usually crazy, I left for the Bret Hart signing at about 8:20AM. Sitting through some traffic, I got to Yorkdale at about 9:15AM to park my car. I took the subway down. I got down to the IndigoSpirit @ First Canadian Place just after 10AM, seeing one person in line, just outside of the store. I find out that it is a wristband policy event, so I went in to get one. I'm 86th in line, with about 150 wristbands in total. The lady at the IndigoSpirit says to get back around noon, and they'll sort out the line in order of the wristbands.

With two hours to kill, I decide to head up to The Beguiling. Since I don't have a MetroPass, this became a costly trip, cause it was $2.75 each ride. Stupid me, I didn't buy tickets or tokens, and just paid cash.

I got up to The Beguiling around 10:15AM. It turns out, they don't open until 11AM. Went to get breakfast at Tim Horton's. Back to the store just before 11AM, and was allowed in a little early by Chris Butcher.

I went in looking for a copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier. While I was there, I also picked up The Perry Bible Fellowship: The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories HC. The Perry Bible Fellowship hardcover is a nice collection of the webcomics, with some bonus materials. I still haven't opened the shrinkwrap on the Black Dossier.

I went back down to the First Canadian Place, to get in the line. It was about 11:30AM at the time, and the line started to form nicely. Not in order of the wristbands. So I just went to the back, and waited for them to fix the line.

Bret Hart Signing

Got out of the Bret Hart signing around 1:45PM, and took the subway back to Yorkdale to pick up my car. Got home around just as my little siblings were getting home from school.


Left for the Jean Chrétien signing around 8:40AM, and got down to the Eaton Centre just before 10AM. The signing started at 11AM, so there was already a line there. My bro and I got into the line at around 10:15AM, and just waited it out. We were about 70th-90th back. The signing started just after 11AM. We were out by 11:35AM.

Ended up walking around the mall, then Best Buy, trying to finish off the Christmas shopping.

Went to Japango, to get an Oyster Shooter. I wasn't really up for it, but my bro really wanted to try it, so we went in. I ended up getting one too, since I was there. I gotta admit, that was good.

Went to The Bay, just south of the Eaton Centre, to check out the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Mascots. Saw two of the three (pictured above). Sumi and Miga.

Headed up to One Million Comix after, but I didn't really want to buy anything.

Got home in the mid-afternoon, to set up the Christmas lights on the eavestrough.

Yep, that's been my weekend so far. Leafs vs. Bruins right now, in the third, with Boston leading 2-1.

Bret "Hitman" Hart & ME!

Friday December 7th, 2007 - I got to meet one of my childhood favourite wrestlers today. Bret "Hitman" Hart was doing a book signing today, at the IndigoSpirit location at the First Canadian Place. I've had a few opportunities in the past to meet him, but his appearances always conflicted with my schedule, which prevented me from meeting him.

My first exposure to Bret Hart was at the Wrestlemania III pay-per-view. It was actually well after that, when the video cassette was released. It was the Hart Foundation and "Dangerous" Danny Davis vs. The British Bulldogs and Tito Santana. Though, Bret Hart wasn't my favourite wrestler then (he was a heel at the time), I eventually grew to respect him, and liked the fact that he was Canadian.

My first wrestling event was the Wrestlemania X Revenge Tour, at Maple Leaf Gardens. My bro and I got floor seats to our first wrestling event, though it was a house show. I experience LIVE wrestling. Bret Hart went against Owen Hart in the Main Event. I fought my way through the crowd, and got next to the railing when both wrestlers came out.

Owen came out sporting those pink Bret Hart sunglasses. When he got into the ring, he teased giving it to someone in the crowd, then ripped it and threw it on the ground. I tried so hard to reach for it, but I was too short.

Then when Bret came out, I reached my hand out for him to slap, like how face wrestlers do. He slapped the hand of the person standing right next to me, and missed my hand.

Well, today, I got to shake his hand.

The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be.

The Excellence of Execution.

The WWE Hall Of Famer.

BRET "HITMAN" HART!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Boughts and Thoughts - December 5th, 2007

Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1 - Not really the "Secret Invasion" tie-in I was hoping for, but it could lead to something big. Otherwise, I could've passed on this issue. I liked the origin of Hardball.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #9 - Faith's story is over, for now.

Justice League Of America #15 - Very enjoyable issue. The arc takes place before the GA/BC Wedding Special.

Justice Society Of America #11 - All of a sudden, a Judomaster story takes place? Could lead to something.

Northlanders #1 - Enjoyable start to the series, but much like other Vertigo titles, maybe get this in trades.

Resurrection #1 - Another post-apocalyptic story. Could is be the next "The Walking Dead"? Could "bugs" be the next zombies?

The Ultimates 3 #1 - Huh? Still don't really know how the team came about.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Wonder Woman Sketches - Through The Years

Wonder Woman by J. Bone (2005)Continuing with the theme sketches that I have, I thought I'd reminisce about my Wonder Woman sketches.

The first Wonder Woman sketch I've gotten was by J. Bone at the 2005 Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), on Sunday May 29th, 2005.

This was the first TCAF I ever attended. The event was quite a different experience for me then. I've attended many Hobbystar events in the past (though, the 2004 Expo was my first Hobbystar event, since Mick Foley's appearance). I also attended my first Paradise Toronto Comicon the month before, which was my first real Comic convention.

TCAF is as the name says, it's an Comic Arts Festival. It celebrated Comic Arts, and their creators.

At the time, the only guests I really knew of, were the ones I had something containing their work. So, those were mainly the people I went to see. J. Bone was one of those people.

The Wonder Woman sketch is actually the second sketch I got from J. Bone that weekend. I got a Spider-Man sketch from him the day before, which I absolutely love.

This event was also the first time I met J. Bone, who continues to be one of the nicest people I've ever met. What can I say, he's awesome! He also saved the world from the undead just over a week ago (go buy and read The Spirit #11). This man does it all!

Wonder Woman by Karl Kerschl (2005)My next Wonder Woman sketch came at the 2005 Canadian National Comic Book Expo, on the second day of the convention, Saturday August 27th, 2005. It's done by Karl Kerschl. I also met Karl for the first time at TCAF 2005.

I was searching for Karl on the first day of the Expo, but I didn't see him there. I did see him early on the Saturday. I started following his run of Adventures of Superman (which started the Wednesday prior to TCAF), and the most recent one at the time had Wonder Woman on the cover (issue 643, which was released the Wednesday prior to the Expo). Just had to get a Wonder Woman sketch (I also got a Superman sketch from him the next day).

Wonder Woman by Nicola Scott (2006)This one I was extremely happy to get. Nicola Scott was one of Wizard Magazine's "Talent to Watch," displaying a Wonder Woman piece she worked did. Soon after, she was a guest of the first Women of Comics Symposium, which took place at the 2006 Paradise Toronto Comicon.

This was really a no-brainer for me. I didn't see Nicola on the first day of the convention, but as soon as I saw her on the second day (Saturday April 29th, 2006), I rushed over the first chance I got, and was able to get on her sketch list.

As I mentioned in the Zatanna Sketches: Through The [Two] Years posting, I became an instant fan of her's, since the day I met her.

Wonder Woman by Darwyn Cooke (2006)This has to be my favourite sketch, out of all of the ones I have (regardless of themes). I don't mean to disrespect anyone who has taken their time and effort to sketch for me. I just absolutely love the Wonder Woman sketch I got from Darwyn Cooke. It's Beautiful!

I have this framed and hanging under my alarm clock, so I see this every morning, and I smile... over and over again, cause I hit the snooze quite a bit. I just absolultely love it!

I got this at the ACTOR signing (now, the Hero Initiative), at Paradise Toronto Comicon 2006, on Saturday April 29th, 2006. Darwyn had one of the longest line-ups (if not the longest) at his table, so I went for the ACTOR signing.

Wonder Woman by Craig Yeung (2006)I got this on the last day of Paradise Toronto Comicon 2006 (Sunday April 30th, 2006), done by Craig Yeung of Bright Anvil Studios (I believe now BAS is Azero Entertainment). I was originally hoping to get a Runaways-themed sketch in my Runaways volume one hardcover, but because Craig didn't have a silver Sharpie, he wasn't able to. I really don't know how I decided on Wonder Woman. It was a spur of the moment thing.

This was another sketch I got done, while waiting in line for Amanda Conner to show up. I think I got three or four done during that time.

Wonder Woman by Marcus To (2006)This one is done by Marcus To (of Aspen Comics). Aspen did not attend the 2006 Fan Expo Canada. Marcus was the lone Aspen representative that did make the trip that year.

I left my sketchbook with Marcus To on the second day of the Expo, Saturday September 2nd, 2006. I also left my brother's sketchbook with Marcus that day, since my bro was unable to attend, due to his friends' wedding.

During the time that Marcus had the sketchbooks, I went over to try to see Olivier Coipel, at the Expo Exclusive booth. I was quite lucky he came back to the table after his panel, to pick up his art supplies, before heading the the sketch duel with Jim Lee (one that I wanted to be there for, but ultimately passed on). I did get my Coipel books signed.

Wonder Woman by Ethan Van Sciver (2006)This Wonder Woman sketch, by Ethan Van Sciver, is one that I have framed, and on my wall. This was definitely one of my favourite sketches I got at Fan Expo Canada 2006.

I was like tenth on Ethan's sketchlist, but was bumped up, because I was leaving early, so that I could attend the wedding reception of my brother's friends. I got on the list right after Steve McNiven's only signing for the year.

I arrived at Ethan's table before leaving the Expo in the mid-afternoon, just as he was finishing off the sketch. I was extremely happy to see how it turned out. I decided on Wonder Woman, based on the Wonder Woman he drew in Justice League of America #0.

I ended up leaving the Expo a little earlier than I originally planned, so that I could get ready for the wedding reception.

Wonder Woman by Terry Dodson (2006)I was able to get his on the final day of the 2006 Fan Expo Canada (Sunday September 3rd, 2006). Terry and Rachel Dodson showed up really late for their signing on the Friday, and I left early on the Saturday (before their signing). So, Sunday was the only remaining day to catch them. I was surprised that Terry was sketching for those that asked, and I was really hoping for one.

Though, I really do like the quick sketch, I was quite disappointed with how Terry and Rachel signed the majority of my books (TD/RD).

Oh well, not a big deal. They still are two really nice people, if you meet them in person.

Wonder Woman by Ivan Reis (2007)I got this Wonder Woman sketch on the third day of Hobbystar's Fan Appreciation Toronto ComiCON 2007 (Sunday April 15th, 2007). This was actually the third sketch I was able to get from Ivan Reis. That man is one really nice guy if you meet him in person. His English isn't the greatest, but he tries his best to communicate with you. Always had a smile on his face. Ear-to-ear.

The con was extremely slow that final day, and Ivan's line was really short, so I jumped at the chance for a third sketch, while I was actually in line for Michael Choi.

The slow day, meant more fun for me. I was able to dive into bins that day.

Wonder Woman by Aaron Lopresti (2007)I picked this up on the third day of Hobbystar's Fan Appreciation Toronto ComiCON 2007 (Sunday April 15th, 2007). I actually contacted Aaron Lopresti prior to the con, about commissioning it. I confirmed the commission on the first night of the convention.

So, I spent the entire weekend, worrying about how it was going to turn out, and I'll admit, I did have buyer's remorse about placing the commission.

It turned out really nice, and I immediately framed it when I got home. It's up on my wall, next to the Ethan Van Sciver Wonder Woman. Definitely got my monies worth.

Wonder Woman by Tania Del Rio (2007)This is by Sabrina: The Teenage Witch artist, Tania del Rio. I got it on the first day of Paradise Toronto Comicon 2007 (Friday June 8th, 2007).

To be honest, Wonder Woman wasn't the character I originally wanted to get. I think I originally wanted Supergirl or Stargirl, but in the spur of the moment of forgetting what I wanted, I blurted out Wonder Woman. When all else fails, Wonder Woman will save the day.

Okay, I'll admit, that was corny. Anyways, I really do like how the sketch turned out.

Wonder Woman by Niko Henrichon (2007)I got this on the final day of Paradise Toronto Comicon 2007 (Sunday June 10th, 2007). I don't really know what I was thinking here. I saw Niko Henrichon working on a Black Cat the day before, and it looked really nice. How I decided on Wonder Woman, still boggles my mind.

Don't get me wrong, Niko's work is still fantastic. I'm looking forward to his issue(s) of Fables. I'm not really a Fables reader, but I'll probably pick up his issue(s).

Also, check out Pride of Baghdad. It's absolutely stunning! Great book by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon.

Wonder Woman by Micah Gunnell (2007)This Wonder Woman sketch was done on the first day of Fan Expo Canada 2007 (Friday August 24th, 2007). Micah Gunnell was at the Aspen booth, alone, breaking the news that Michael Turner's flight was delayed, and will probably not show up that day. The Aspen booth was the first place I went to, once the doors opened (for the preview period), in hopes of lining up for Michael Turner. Oh well.

Micah was taking sketch requests, so I put my book down, and headed over to Greg Pak's line, to plant myself down the show officially began. Micah was done the sketch before the show officially opened.

Marcus To later joined Micah at the Aspen booth, when he arrived.

Wonder Woman by Michael Turner (2007)This is the sketch I tried to get back in 2004. I'm extremely happy that I was finally able to get it on the final day of Fan Expo Canada 2007 (Sunday August 26th, 2007). This made the convention for me.

Wonder Woman by Michael Turner!

It's my trophy! I still love the Darwyn Cooke Wonder Woman sketch more, but after all these years of trying to get this (well, really just two tries, prior to succeeding), my "mission" was accomplished.

I really gotta Thank Brian B., for helping me out in getting this sketch. Also, to Big Saif. Without Brian's and Big Saif's encouragement, I probably would never have gotten it.

This is framed, and hanging on the side of my bookshelf, which is facing my bed and computer desk (so anytime I turn my head to the left, I see it).

There's the story of my Wonder Woman sketches.

Thank You to all artists that made these happen!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

DIGITAL KONTENT ROCKS!

So, back in October, at the Hobbystar Toronto ComiCON, the guys from Digital Kontent set up shop, and rocked the house. During that time of insane rocking, I lost my copy of Iby's sketchbook.

Guess what arrived in the mail for me? IBY'S SKETCHBOOK (W/ SKETCH)!!!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. DIGITAL KONTENT ROCKS!!!

Thanks to Digital Kontent, and even more Thanks to Iby!