Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts - April 30th, 2008

Caliber: First Canon of Justice #1 - One of the two new books by new publisher, Radical Comics. For $1, this wasn't that bad of a pick-up. I didn't care too much for the story, so I doubt I'll continue with this title, but it was definitely worth the dollar I spent on it (well, $3, since I bought all the covers).

DC Universe #0 - Countdown to Infinite Crisis was supposed to lead to this issue, but then I believe DC realized that a whole lot of crap that took place in Countdown, didn't really work into the story they wanted to tell in this issue, which leads to Final Crisis. Way to go, DC! So 51 issues of crap, that led to this, which was pretty good. I'm looking forward to the Batman R.I.P. story.

Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused #1 - Andy B. on artwork! Getting the old-school feel, for a new school publisher. Lots of action, for this one-shot issue. Very enjoyable! On that note, check out the latest Digital Kontent Podcast, Featuring ANDY B.!!!

Glamourpuss #1 (Comics & Fashion Editions) - This is a very nice looking book, but too many words for me.

Hercules: The Thracian Wars #1 - "BENDIS! SAVE ME!" I don't know much about Greek mythology, so when I saw that, I'm sure you can guess what my immediate thought was. Brian Michael Bendis! That being said, this was surprisingly good, though it started off slow. I really enjoyed how it picked up, and the fighting throughout the book. This is the other book released by Radical Comics. Jim Steranko on cover art, and the designer of this version of Hercules. I was hoping for his cover tribute to his Incredible Hulk King-Sized Special #1 cover, but that appears to be a 1-in-20 retailer incentive variant for issue #2. Another $1.00 new release by Radical Comics. The cover price for the next issue will be the determining factor for whether I continue this mini-series of not.

JSA Classified #37 - The final issue of the arc by B. Clay Moore and Ramon Perez. Highly enjoyable finale, and I really liked the ending to the issue/arc.

Local #11 - THE TORONTO ISSUE! I wasn't expecting the art exhibit to come about the way it did, but it was still a really awesome issue, by an awesome team. Now check out the Ryan Kelly pieces done for me and my brother (respectively), of Megan McKeenan and Nancy Bai.

New Avengers #40 - Another skrull revealed? Bendis explains how the Skrulls infiltrated Earth, which was pretty good.

Secret Invasion #1 (Blank Sketch Cover) - I caved... I didn't plan on buying any of these Blank Sketch covers, but I did. Only a matter of time to see who I'll use them on.

Teen Titans: Year One #4 - Nice to see Karl Kerschl's Superman image from the Joe Shuster Awards poster from last year, appear in the title page. Another enjoyable issue, but I do find it weird to see a six-issue mini-series, broken into different stories. It seems the first three issues was an arc on its own. This issue looked to be a standalone issue. What's up with that? Artwork is still awesome!

Thor: Ages of Thunder #1 - Two stories, both seem to be mainly about Loki and Enchantress. Both stories end the same way, Thor killing Frost Giants. Both stories weren't bad, but it was like reading the same thing, just with a different trick pulled by Loki.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some Iron Man Love

With Iron Man the movie being released this weekend, I thought I'd do a little something here for it. I haven't been excited for a movie in such a long time. Iron Man has me looking forward to it so much, that I'm actually going to see it opening night (well, the advance preview night).

To the right, is the first Iron Man sketch I had ever gotten, by Adi Granov, at Paradise Toronto Comicon 2005. He helped relaunch the Iron Man series with Warren Ellis (also a guest at that con), on the arc, Extremis.

After that arc, Adi went to work as a designer and illustrator for the Iron Man movie.

Next week (May 7th), we also see the launch of the mini-series, Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas #1, featuring artwork by Adi Granov, and written by Iron Man the Movie director, JON FAVREAU!

I didn't know much about Adi Granov prior to the Paradise Toronto Comicon 2005, but when it became clear to me, that I was going to attend the con, I did my research, and ended up buying a lot of items with his work on it (mainly covers). However, the one issue that I didn't find (at least, I don't think I found it) was his cover to Iron Man v3 #76 (first image below).

Iron Man v3 #76 (Cover art by Adi Granov)

That image went to inspire the following:

Iron Man Comiquettes by Sideshow Collectibles

Iron Man Movie Promo Image

Iron Man Burger King Kids Toy

Yea, I bought that Iron Man BK Toy. See, I'm quite excited for Iron Man, that I went to BK to buy a frickin' toy. :)

Anyways, I don't know how to end this, so I leave you with two more awesome Iron Man sketches, that I got at Hobbystar Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Show. These are actually the only two other Iron Man sketches that I have.

Iron Man by Bob Layton
Iron Man by Bob Layton

Iron Man by Michael Cho
Iron Man by Michael Cho

Monday, April 28, 2008

This week, from Transmission-X

Aside from the awesomeness you'd find at Transmission-X, this week we see the release of three comics, by three members of T-X (if there's more, please let me know).

Here are the books.

Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused featuring artwork by Andy B (Raising Hell)

JSA Classified #37 featuring artwork by Ramon Perez (Kukuburi, butternutsquash).

Teen Titans: Year One #4 featuring artwork by Karl Kerschl (The Abominable Charles Christopher).

Enjoy this week, brought to you by Transmission-X, and the number 3.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts - April 23rd, 2008

1001 Arabian Nights Adventures Of Sinbad #0 - Just trying another Zenescope title. Don't care for it.

Fables #72 - Continuing where the last issue left off.

Hulk #3 - Well that was quick. Guess who's out of the box!

Hulk vs. Hercules - Not too sure why I picked it up. I don't care for Hercules. Could've done without this.

Justice League Of America #20 - Ethan Van Sciver drawing The Flash and Wonder Woman! The Queen Bee stuff was too quick, but I did enjoy the interaction between Wally and Diana.

Mighty Avengers #12 - Glad to see Nick Fury back, and being the first to discover the Skrulls. Definitely going to see him back during Secret Invasion!

Tales From Wonderland Queen Of Hearts #1 - It was alright, but I quickly read through it, not fully reading it.

Uncanny X-Men #497 (Skrull Variant) - Not too sure where the hell Ed Brubaker is taking this, as I'm not putting too much thought into it. I really just wanted to get the variant. Yay for a coloured face. C'mon Marvel, get the cover artists to draw the Skrull chins.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The 4th Annual Joe Shuster Awards Poster

The 4th Annual Joe Shuster Awards
Poster Concept by: James Waley
Pencilled by: Tom Grummett
Inked by: Terry Pallot
Coloured by: Paul Rivoche
Logo Design by: Dave Sim & Tyrone Biljan

Date: Saturday June 14th, 2008
Location: Lillian H. Smith Library Auditorium; 239 College Street; Toronto, Ontario
Admission: Free*

Personally, I think this poster is the best one yet. No disrespect to those that worked on the previous ones, as they are all great. I'm just taking a liking to this one, mainly because of the colouring job by Paul Rivoche.

As for the awards, I'm looking forward to that day. I plan on being there the entire time. Here's the basic programming schedule, which I would assume would become more detailed as the day draws closer, for the panels, signings, etc. (info taken from the poster).

Sequential Art Symposium:
Time: 10:00AM-5:00PM
Info: Guest Artists & Writers, Panels, Signings & Sketches!

Visions Of An Icon:
Info: Art show with new Superman images by a wide variety of creators, saluting the 70th Anniversary of Joe Shuster's world famous co-creation.

Joe Shuster Awards Ceremony:
Doors Open: 7:30PM
Awards Presentation: 8:00PM


The Joe Shuster Awards are run by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association. The CCBCAA is a not-for-profit organization that relies on sponsorship, eBay and convention sales of prints and memorabilia or private donations.

Upcoming stuff

Let's see, ten days until IRON MAN. Eleven days until FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Twenty-three days until the FAN EXPO CANADA COMIC GUEST LIST is released. Twenty-five days until I go to MOTOR CITY COMIC CON.

I'm still debating on whether I am going to get a couple of books CGC SS at Motor City. It's really all based on what the potential grade could be on them. Just take a look at the pics below, and if you have an opinion on the grades, post in the comment, or email me (if you have my address). Click the pictures to make them bigger.

X-Men #129 (Front): to be signed by Chris Claremont.

X-Men #129 (Back)

Avengers Annual #10 (Front): to be signed by Chris Claremont and Michael Golden

NOTE: Notice what appears to be crayon marking on the top right of the front cover.

Avengers Annual #10 (Back)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

2008 Canadian Joe Meet Report

2008 Canadian Joe Meet

This event is for the G.I. Joe fans! I never attended this event before, so I figured I'd attend it this year. The Special Guest was Larry Hama, known for his G.I. Joe works, as well as his run on Wolverine, and his creation, Bucky O'Hare.

I missed out on the Larry Hama signing a couple years back (or maybe just a year back). He was at Silver Snail. I can't remember why I didn't go to that signing. Might've been the trip downtown... but whatever the case, I did regret not going.

This 2008 Canadian Joe Meet presented itself for me to meet Larry Hama. The downside, it was in Hamilton. I didn't want to travel downtown, but I'd drive to Hamilton?

This actually became my first trip to Hamilton. I'll tell ya, there wasn't much to see. Then again, I never really planned on touring Hamilton, or staying long. Let's just say, we spent less time at the meet, than in the car.

The drive there was quite interesting. I travelled with my brother down to Hamilton. The drive was alright, until we got to a fork on the highway. Hwy 403, then became Hwy 8 West and Hwy 8 East. There was no mention of that on the directions. So I just stayed in the same lane, which lead to Hwy 8 West. We got off at the next exit, and drove around through downtown Hamilton to find Hwy 403 again, to hit the fork and take Hwy 8 East.

Well, after about 15 minutes we found Hwy 403, and went to Hwy 8 East. Turns out Hwy 8 East leads to Main Street, in the direction we were going in downtown Hamilton. Since the map shows us heading East, I figured heading East would lead us towards Upper James Street.

Well, I'll admit I was wrong. My brother will say the same thing, just with a helluva lot more insults directed towards me. Just keep an eye out for it at his blog, because I'm sure you'll get a laugh from it.

Anyways, we got back onto Hwy 8 West, and eventually found streets that were part of the directions. What is normally an hour drive from Toronto to Hamilton, became a two hour drive.

We arrive just after noon. Larry Hama was already seated at his table, but wasn't signing just yet. The signing was about to start, so I went to the dealers room to check it out before going to the signing. Looked at one table, with comics, but then went to the signing, with intentions on going to check out that booth later.

It was announced that there was a two item limit for Larry Hama. I had four, and considered lining up again. I didn't really have anything of significance, so it didn't matter if I got the other two signed or not.

Unfortunately, one of the books I brought to get signed, was X-Men: Age of Apocalypse (One-Shot), released in 2005. It was already signed by Adam Kubert, Alvin Lee, Talent Caldwell, and Mark Brooks. Larry actually signed the book over both Talent Caldwell's and Alvin Lee's signatures. Somewhat disappointed with that, but oh well. It wasn't anything special.

I did make my way into the dealer's room again, and proceeded to look at all the stuff. Nothing really caught my eye with the toys. Everything I looked at seemed over-priced, so I didn't buy any toys.

However, I did pick up two comics:

Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0 - I have this already, but for $2, I get another copy of Stargirl's first appearance!

Avengers Annual #10 - First appearance of Rogue, for $5. Though, upon further inspection, when I got home, there seems to be some light crayon marks on the cover, and some machine-made holes at the bottom of many of the pages. Not big holes, but not something you'd normally see. Oh well. I'm not a die-hard collector, looking for the best condition, so it's all good.

It wasn't too long before taking off. I think we left at 1:15pm, and drove home.

I don't want to say I'll never go back to the Canadian Joe Meet, but it doesn't look likely that I will. It's just not my thing.

Regardless, I'm still a G.I. Joe fan!


Hobbystar Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Show Reports Round-Up

My Brother

Milo (of Digital Kontent)

Shane "Motherf*cking" Heron

Brian Boodnarine


Enjoy the reading!

Frank Cho Signing at Paradise Comics: Report

Venom by Frank Cho (2008)Dean by Frank Cho (2008)While many people are out in New York, for New York Comic Con, I stayed back in Toronto to see Frank Cho, Ed The Sock, and Liana K, at Paradise Comics.

Well, I never planned on making the trip to NY this year. Also, I had an exam right before the signing. I was always going to be in Toronto while NYCC was going on. It just so happened that this Frank Cho signing was scheduled for Friday April 18th, 2008.

I found out about the signing when I went to the Ramon Perez signing at Paradise Comics, at the end of February. I had this signing booked off from that day. Also, for exam purposes. Two birds, one stone.

I arrived at the store around 4:30pm, and saw the line had already formed. But since I was waiting for my brother, I held out on lining up that early. I was bringing his bag, since he was coming from work, and I drove to the store.

Already at the store, Ed, Liana (as Brandy), Melanie Espinola (as Jen), the Hot Tub Girls as Cheerleaders, and Steve Kerzner.

Frank arrived just before 5pm, and after a few pictures and some chats, he got right into signing.

Front: Frank and Liana (L-R). Back: Cheerleaders and Melanie Espinola (L-R)

It wasn't too long before I got up to see Frank. He quickly sketched in my Shanna: The She-Devil Hardcover. However, he sketched Truman in my hardcover.

Why do I show Dean at the beginning? You will find out if you keep reading.

Frank Cho

Before getting up to see Frank, I noticed that a second line was formed, and this seemed to be for sketches. After seeing Frank, I figured I'd line up in the sketch line too, just because I was hoping for another sketch (yep, I'm a sketch-whore... it's Frank Cho, gimme a break).

I was in that line at about 5:15pm. With the signatures done for the time being, Frank did proceed to sketch. These being more detailed than the quick animal sketches.

The signing did stop for a brief period, to film some segments for Ed & Red's Night Party.

Frank is one lucky man, filling in the blanks on Liana's shirt

When I got up to the front again, I asked if I could get a Captain America sketch, you know, for my Captain America collection. Frank hates drawing Captain America, so that didn't happen. After drawing a blank, and eventually settling for a request of Spider-Man, Frank suggested if I wanted Venom instead. Hells yeah!

Venom is never really on top of my list of characters to get, but Frank drew Venom in Mark Millar's run on Spider-Man, and the symbiote in Mighty Avengers. Those were great. Also, I still couldn't think of another character (weird, because I was in a comic shop, with comics ALL AROUND ME, to look for someone.. oh well).

I'm very happy with getting the sketches I got (and why wouldn't I be?). I finally have some Frank Cho sketches for my collection. I would've been satisfied with the first one, but the opportunity presented itself for two, and I jumped at it.

Also at the signing, was Shane Heron.

Shane Heron getting some books signed by Frank. Stop staring at his ass.

Shane also handed Frank his sketchbook and a copy of The Almighty 2.

Once my brother got out of the second line, he headed to the toy section, and picked up some DC Minimates. I also picked up the Wonder Woman action figure, designed by Terry Dodson. I've passed on it so many times, but I knew deep down that I still wanted it, so what the hell, I'll buy it.

Once the purchases were made, the signing was completely over for us.

Thanks to Frank, Ed, Liana, Steve, Doug, and anyone else that I forgot to mention.

Now, on why I have Dean show at the beginning. Well, this is actually because of my brother. He got a Dean sketch in his Shanna: The She-Devil Hardcover, and I got Truman in mine. Then, when he went for his second sketch, he got Dean again, which he never specified what character he wanted. It just so happened Frank sketch Dean in his sketchbook.

So, my bro had two Dean sketches, while I had a Truman sketch and a Venom. We ended up trading hardcovers, so he got two different sketches. It's all good.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts - April 16th, 2008

Captain America #37 - Hawkeye and The Falcon confront the new Captain America, Bucky. One physical, one not.

Ghost Rider #22 (Skrull Variant) - Only picked it up because it was teh variant. No other reason.

Grimm Fairy Tales #26 - Artwork wasn't the greatest, but I did enjoy the story.

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #1 - It's magic! I would've been more psyched about a Mephisto appearance in this book, if it wasn't for Mephisto's appearance in One More Day. Too bad this didn't come out last week, because I surely would've loved to have David Michelinie and Bob Layton sign this. I was planning on skipping this originally, but seeing how nice Michelinie and Layton are (at the con this past weekend), I figured I'd buy this to check it out. Still loving that Iron Man sketch I got from Bob Layton! That being said, this wasn't a bad book. It's just One More Day ruined Mephisto for me, seeing him just a few months back.

- Not a bad issue. Long ass interview at the end, featuring some of the top writers in the game.

Willow Creek #1 - Trying to be the next 30 Days of Night? I doubt I'll continue this much longer. I do like the cover to the next issue. See how it goes from there.

X-Men: Divided We Stand #1 - I probably should've skipped on this. I just like some of the collaborators on this issue.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hobbystar's Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Show Report

Hobbystar Marketing Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Show (April 12th-13th, 2008This past weekend (April 12th-13th, 2008) was Hobbystar's 4th Annual Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Show. To give a quick summary, it was a GREAT SHOW! And this is my feeling just after the first few hours of the show. That feeling carried forward throughout the entire weekend.

Before I get into the report, Thanks to Tiziano De Santis and Kevin Boyd (as well as the Hobbystar crew) for putting on a great show.

Now, onto the report.

Saturday April 12th, 2008
This morning started off different. Instead of making the stop to Tim Horton's for morning coffee and breakfast, my brother and I drove to Yorkdale, so he could park his car, because he was leaving the convention early.

Then, we made our way to Tim Horton's. This one was at Weston Rd. + Hwy. 401 (The Crossroads). I've never seen such quick service at a Tim Horton's... especially for getting breakfast bagels ready. By the time we went from the intercom, to the window (without any stops inbetween), they had the bagel ready. Then they had the coffee ready. Huh? We ordered and left within two minutes. It's a frickin' breakfast bagel... toasted. How?

So after that, we drove down to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building for the Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Show. The underground parking lot was pretty full for early morning, so here I was thinking it was busy for the con. Got down to the 800 level, and didn't see any line infront of the door, nor were there many people around that level. That quickly changed, filling up fairly nicely.

Ultimate WWII Captain America by Steve Epting (2008)Once I got in, naturally, I planted myself infront of the table of the person I wanted to see the most (like I do at most cons). This con, it was Steve Epting.

Doors opened at 11am. Steve Epting didn't show up to the table, until about 12:30pm. There was a HUGE line for him. This remained constant throughout the weekend.

There was a short sketch list being taken for him, and I was on top of it. With Steve doing sketches, this made my day, and the convention for me a success.

Stargirl by Alvin Lee (2008)After seeing Steve Epting, I went over to check out Alvin Lee.

At last year's show, I got a totally awesome Zatanna sketch by Alvin Lee. This year, I wanted to try another DC character. Being the new character theme for sketches, I went with Stargirl, of the Justice Society of America.

I also picked up Alvin's new sketchbook, Nix & Scratches vol. 1. Lots of very nice stuff in his sketchbook. If you haven't seen it, pick one up the next time you see him.

Batgirl by Alex Maleev (2008)After making a run to the car, I went to see Alex Maleev, to pick up both mine and my brother's commissions, which were pre-arranged prior to the show.

Truthfully, this wasn't the Batgirl I had requested, but damn, it is really nice!

After a quick chat, I made my way back to the car to drop off the commission pieces, I made my way down to hold the spot for my brother at Steve Epting's line, so he could try to get some stuff done.

Atom Eve by Ryan Ottley (2008)Ladies and Monster by Ryan Ottley (2008)Stargirl by Ryan Ottley (2008)Once my brother came back, I went over to see Ryan Ottley. The line for him kept altering throughout the weekend, from long to short, back to long, etc. I caught it when it was short. Soon after I got in, the line got long again (lucky me).

I got the second Stargirl sketch of the day. While the sketch was being done, I also checked out Ryan Ottley's binder full of random sketches, etc. I saw several magnificent pieces in there, but the two that stood out the most was the Zombie Superman and the Zombie Batman. They were reasonably priced, but still more than I wanted to spend. I did pick up one page, which features Ladies and a monster. On the back of that page, had a headsketch of Atom Eve (from Invincible). SCORE!

Stargirl by Ramon Perez (2008)Stargirl by Karl KerschlAfter, I headed over to see some of the guys at Transmission-X. First, I went to see Ramon Perez (nominated for a Joe Shuster Award in the category of Outstanding Canadian Webcomics Creator/Creative Team, for both Kukuburi, and along with Rob Coughler for butternutsquash).

I also got on Karl Kerschl's sketchlist, which I picked up near the end of the day. Karl is also nominated for a Joe Shuster Award in the category of Outstanding Canadian Webcomics Creator/Creative Team, for The Abominable Charles Christopher. Also, Karl is nominated for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Artist, for his work on All-Flash #1, 52 #47 (both published by DC Comics).

I spent the rest of the time, from about 5pm-6pm, just going around and getting my books signed, so I didn't have to bring them back. Aside for six books, I was able to get everything signed, which really lighten my load. I did spend the bulk of that time in line for David Michelinie and Bob Layton. But I also went to see Scott Chantler, Leonard Kirk, Paul Rivoche, and Michael Cho.

Throughout the show, the guys over at Digital Kontent, as well as, Shane Heron, and new addition, Brian Boodnarine, were holding down their fort, kicking ass (on sick sketches), taking names (for those sick sketches), and raffling off awesome prizes! Every time I went by the booth, they were busy sketching away for fans. By 5pm (the time of their raffle draw), there was a huge crowd around the DK booth. Sadly, I did not stay to see who won any prizes, nor did I get in on the raffle that day.

Also, since my brother took off around 5pm, I headed home solo when the con ended at 6pm. Nearly got into a car accident on the way home (stupid people making tight lane changes that force people to come to full stops). Also, the weather was terrible for the drive back home. The rain came down pretty hard. But, eventually, I made it home, and got myself ready for the next day.

Sunday April 13th, 2008
The day started off like any tradition convention morning. Breakfast at Tim Horton's. We hit up the same Tim Horton's as the previous day, hoping for the same speedy service and no line. Unfortunately, there was quite a long line for the drive-thru, so we just went in, grabbed our stuff, and left. Not as speedy as the day before, but not slow at all.

Got to the convention around 9:30am-10am. Grabbed a newspaper, and there was an article that caught my attention.

Why Man of Steel is still super by Ty Templeton (Toronto Star, Sunday April 13th, 2008).

As for the con itself, since the bulk of my books were signed, my personal gameplan was to get books signed by Mike Grell, and GET MORE SKETCHES (My name is Jason, and I'm a sketch-whore).

Before doing any of my those tasks, I did help out my brother in getting his books signed by David Michelinie and Bob Layton.

Green Arrow by Mike Grell (2008)After completing those two tasks, I went to complete one of my tasks, and went to see Mike Grell.

I also got a great quick Green Arrow sketch from him.

Now that I had completed that task, it was all about getting sketches done. I'm a sketch-whore, what can I say.

Iron Man by Bob Layton (2008)After Mike Grell, I went to see Bob Layton, to put myself down for a sketch, which I picked up later in the day. I was debating whether or not I wanted to get one, but ultimately in the end, I got one. Quite frankly, I do not regret this decision, cause it looks amazing. Clean, crisp, and somehow, really shiny!

Iron Man by Michael Cho (2008)After leaving my book with Bob Layton, I noticed that Joe Shuster Award nominee (for Outstanding Canadian Webcomics Creator/Creative Team for his work on Papercuts, which is part of the Transmission X line), Michael Cho had arrived.

I left a sheet of my sketchpad (sadly, I was down to just one sketchpad, which isn't normal for me) to get a sketch on later, after Michael was still setting up.

I picked this up later in the day, as well, and it is absolutely gorgeous! I'm not that big of an Iron Man fan, but these two Iron Man sketches just totally kicked ass.

Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow by Agnes Garbowska(2008)To be honest, I didn't know what I wanted to get done by Agnes Garbowska, until 30 minutes before leaving the house. I ended up pulling out one of my box of comics, not published by Marvel or DC. The reason for that, is that I didn't want to double up on characters that I had done, or my brother had done.

This led to my decision on Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow. Making a decision actually took me several weeks, and I'm glad I was able to find something to get done. Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow were favourites of mine, when the cartoon was on in the late 80s-early 90s.

Now I gotta start thinking for the next con. Suggestions?

Power Girl by Francis Manapul (2008)I haven't seen a Power Girl sketch by Francis Manapul, so I thought that would be a good choice for something new to see. This was actually the first one complete, out of the previous three.

Also, this was another sketch that I didn't originally know what to get. I did decide this Saturday night, so I'm quite happy with it.

Black Cat by Mark Englert (2008)I'll admit, I never followed any of Mark Englert's work. Nor, did I know who Mark Englert was (until he was announced). Being put in between Ryan Ottley and Alvin Lee, did allow me to peek over at Mark's stuff, and the sketches he was working on. The ones that I saw were great. I decided Saturday night, that I would try to get one from Mark.

While searching for a character to get a sketch of, I came across my Spider-Man/Black Cat hardcover, and opened it up. Near the back of the hardcover, was the back cover image of the "Marvel Must Haves" release of Spider-Man/Black Cat, which collects the first three issues of the series. The back cover is just a pin-up of Black Cat, and that was it. I wanted to get a Black Cat sketch.

Batgirl by Marc Wolfe (2008)About a week or so in advance, I had set up a commission with Marc Wolfe, to be done at his studio, and brought to Toronto to pick up. Yea, he forgot to bring it. Oh well.

Marc did start on a new on Saturday, and completed it Sunday afternoon. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Marc even threw in some colour for her hair! Nice touch to it, which I was not expecting at all.

Marc has been displaying his Fallen Son cover sketches, on one of the message boards that I frequent, which are very nice. Those covers are what convinced me to get something done, just not on a Fallen Son cover.

Superman by Paul Rivoche (2008)When Paul Rivoche was announced as a guest at this convention, I was quite happy, as I now had some stuff featuring his work. For those that do not know, he did background work for the Justice League: The New Frontier Movie, which you can see some of the backgrounds by clicking on his name, or by purchasing a copy of Justice League: The New Frontier Special.

Superman by Scott Chantler (2008)This Superman sketch, by Scott Chantler piece was a spur of the moment thing. I didn't know what sketch to get from Scott. I got the Superman from Paul Rivoche, and I did plan on getting one, which is the next sketch, by Jeff Lemire, so I just figured a Superman sketch would be nice, which I'm quite happy with Scott's 1930s version of Superman.

Also, Scott is nominated for a Joe Shuster Award, in the new category of Outstanding Cover by a Canadian Comic Book Artist, for his cover of The Annotated Northwest Passage (published by ONI Press).

Superman by Jeff Lemire (2008)This was the only Superman sketch that I actually had planned on prior to the con, by Jeff Lemire.

Jeff Lemire the cartoonist of Essex County Trilogy. Essex County vol. 1: Tales from the Farm and Essex County vol. 2: Ghost Stories are both out, Jeff is nominated for a Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist for both of those books. Essex County vol. 3: The Country Nurse should be released later this year.

Stargirl by Marcio Takara (2008)Marcio Takara was someone that I wanted to get a sketch from, since he made his debut at the Toronto Comic Book Fan Super Show in March 2007. He was busy all day then, and I skipped out on him at every other convention he was at since then. This was the perfect opportunity for me to get something done by him.

To top that off, he was sitting next to Shane Heron, Brian Boodnarine, and Digital Kontent. To be honest, if he wasn't sitting next to them, I probably wouldn't have known where he was sitting, because I didn't spend much time looking around at many other tables in the artist alley.

That was the final sketch of the weekend I got, and I actually picked it up after 4pm, when Digital Kontent held their second raffle of the weekend. This time, I got in on it, but with just my lone ticket, which I got by purchasing one slick Digital Kontent t-shirt.

My brother picked up ten raffle tickets, and totally cleaned house on those, winning like 5-6 prizes. I won one prize, with my lone ticket. Since I was also holding all of my brother's tickets, it totally looked like I cleaned house.

Quite the nice turnout for the raffle as well. In addition, throughout the day, Shane Heron, Brian Boodnarine, and the guys at Digital Kontent kept the fans entertained with awesome sketches and totally fun guest interaction. They were so busy, I wasn't able to get sketches done by them. Next time. I'll hit them up next time for sketches.

At that point, there I was done, so I decided to go check out the dealers, looking for some hardcovers and trades. However, the items I'm looking for are fairly new, so there wasn't much of a discount on any of them (and if there was at the tables I did see some of them at, it was not advertised). I'll have to check later on, when these books become somewhat older.

I left spending nothing at the dealers. Fortunately, throughout most Sunday, and many parts of Saturday, the dealers area was quite busy, that I couldn't even get to any of the bins. So there was a hell of a lot of other people spending at the dealers. After speaking with some of the dealers, and Peter of All New Comics, I'm told that it was quite crazy in the dealers area, so that is definitely a good sign.

Hopefully all dealers made some money this weekend, because it looked like an incredible turn out.

As for me, I had a blast! The show lived up to all the hype. I got some incredible sketches for my collection, got all but two books signed (Ty Templeton was unable to make it this weekend, so I'll catch him next time).

Thanks to all the guests. And once again, Thanks to Kevin Boyd and Tiziano De Santis (and the rest of the Hobbystar crew) for putting on an awesome show!

Looking forward to next month's guest list announcement for Fan Expo Canada 2008. The hype you guys are putting into the announcement alone has me all excited for it. May 15th, 2008.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Yours truly was once again on the nominating committee. So many great books out by Canadian creators.

For Immediate Release


Toronto, Canada --- April 10, 2008. Canada's first national award recognizing outstanding achievements by Canadian creators in the creation and publication of comic books and graphic novels returns in 2008 for it’s fourth year: the JOE SHUSTER CANADIAN COMIC BOOK CREATOR AWARDS, named after pioneering Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster who, along with writer Jerry Siegel, created the iconic super-powered hero, Superman.

From coast to coast, Canada is home to many of the comic book industry's top talents. The JOE SHUSTER AWARDS are a way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of Canadian creators - past, present and future.

Nominees were selected by a two round voting process. Now that the list of nominees has been finalized, the nominated creators will have their work reviewed by a jury, who will ultimately decide which of the nominated creators will receive a Joe Shuster Award. In previous years winners were selected by a public vote.

Between now and the end of May, fans can vote for the following categories online at

Winners will be announced at a public ceremony on June 14th in Toronto. The awards will be the final event at the Sequential Art Symposium to be held in the auditorium of the Toronto Public Library’s Lillian Smith branch on College Street on Saturday, June 14. The Symposium will feature talks related to comics and the 70th anniversary of the Superman character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, as well as a Superman-themed art exhibit entitled “Visions of an Icon” featuring work by Canadian comic book artists. Guests for the symposium include Darwyn Cooke, Tom Grummett, J. Torres, Ty Templeton and more creators to be announced. All nominees are invited to attend and participate.

About Joe Shuster (1914 – 1992)
The Joe Shuster Awards are named in honor of the great artist, JOE SHUSTER (1914-1992), whose clear, dynamic style and inventive visual flourishes set the standard for graphic storytelling during the infancy of the North American comic book industry. It was Superman, a co-creation of Shuster and Siegel, that electrified the industry 70 years ago in 1938 and, almost overnight, transformed comic books into an enormous pop-cultural phenomenon.

About The Joe Shuster Awards
The first and most widely recognized national achievement award for Canadians working on comic books, graphic novels and webcomics, the Joe Shuster Awards were established in 2004 and first presented in April 2005. The awards are named after Joe Shuster, the Canadian-born co-creator of Superman, and are named as such with permission of his estate. The Joe Shuster Awards honour the people who create comics, publish comics and sell comics.

Creator nominees are nominated for their BODY OF WORK during the previous calendar year, not just for one specific work. Hall of Fame and Retailer Awards are selected by individual committees after a review and discussion of eligible candidates. Four Hall of Fame candidates will be initiated into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame in 2008. Aside from the retailer award committee, active creators can only act as advisors so as not to influence a bias in any of the creative awards categories.

The Joe Shuster Awards are run by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association (CCBCAA), a not-for-profit organization that relies on sponsorship, eBay and convention sales of prints and memorabilia or private donations. 2008 sponsors include: Lionshead Resort, Comic Guaranty LLC (CGC), Sipps Publishing, Diamond Distributors, Quebecor World, and Metro News.

For more information please contact

JOE SHUSTER AWARDS 2008 NOMINEES for Work Published in 2007


- Ian Boothby for Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #13, Futurama #29, 31-33, Simpsons Comics #126, 128, 130, 134, 136 (Bongo)

- Cecil Castellucci for The P.L.A.I.N. Janes (DC/Minx)

- Maryse Dubuc for Les Nombrils 2: Sale Temps pour les Moches (Editions Dupuis)

- Jim Munroe for Therefore Repent (No Media Kings) Comics Festival! 2007 (Legion of Evil Press)

- phlppgrrd aka Philippe Girard for Danger public (La pastèque)

- Ty Templeton for Howard the Duck #1-3, Marvel Adventures The Avengers #17-19, She-Hulk #20-21 (Marvel Comics)

- J. Torres for The Black Canary Wedding Planner #1, Blue Beetle #15, Wonder Girl #1-4, Wonder Woman #11-13 (DC Comics), Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #1,2,5,6, Teen Titans GO! #39-50, The Batman Strikes #29, 34 (DC/Johnny DC), Ninja Scroll 5-7, 10, 12 (DC/Wildstorm), Degrassi TNG: Extra Credit Vols. 3-4 (H.P, Fenn Publishing Co.)

- Howard Wong for After the Cape #1-3, After the Cape II #1-2 (Image Comics)


- Dale Eaglesham for Justice Society of America #2-4, 6-7, 9-11 (DC Comics)

- David Finch for Moon Knight #7-8, Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #4: Spider-Man, Legion of Monsters: Morbius #1 (Marvel Comics)

- Tom Grummett for Exiles #100, Thunderbolts Presents Zemo: Born Better #1-4, Mystic Arcana: Black Knight #1 (Marvel Comics)

- Pia Guerra for Y the Last Man #55-59 (DC/Vertigo), Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #13 (Bongo)

- Stuart Immonen for Ultimate Spider-Man #111-117, Marvel Comics Presents #1-4, Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #12 (Marvel Comics)

- Karl Kerschl for All-Flash #1, 52 #47 (DC Comics)

- Thierry Labrosse for Moréa 5: La Brûlure des Ténèbres (Soleil Production)

- Jacques Lamontagne for Les Druides 3: La Lance de Lug, Les Contes de l'Ankou 3: Au Royaume des Morts (Soleil Production)


- Kaare Andrews for Spider-Man: Reign 2-4 (Marvel Comics)

- Pascal Blanchet for Bologne: Contes en 3 Actes Symphoniques (La Pastèque)

- Darwyn Cooke for The Spirit 2-6, 8-11 (DC Comics), Comics Festival! 2007 (Legion of Evil Press)

- Julie Doucet for 365 Days: A Diary (Drawn + Quarterly)

- Faith Erin Hicks for Zombies Calling (Slave Labor Graphics)

- Jeff Lemire for Essex County Vol. 1: Tales From The Farm, Essex County Vol. 2: Ghost Stories (Top Shelf)

- Bryan Lee O'Malley for Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (Oni Press) Comics Festival! 2007 (Legion of Evil Press)

- Jean-Louis Tripp & Regis Loisel for Magasin Generale 3: Les Hommes (Casterman)


- Scott Chantler for The Annotated Northwest Passage (ONI Press)

- Darwyn Cooke for The Spirit #2 (DC Comics)

- Dale Eaglesham for Justice Society of America #10 Variant (DC Comics)

- David Finch for X-Men #200 (Marvel Comics)

- Stuart Immonen for Ultimate Spider-Man #112 (Marvel Comics)

- Jacques Lamontagne for Les Contes de l’Ankou 3: Au Royaume des Morts (Soleil Production)

- Yanick Paquette for Ultimate X-Men #85 (Marvel Comics)

- Steve Skroce for Doc Frankenstein #6 (Burleyman)

- Cameron Stewart for The Other Side #5 (DC/Vertigo)

- Jean-Louis Tripp for Magasin Generale 3: Les Hommes (Casterman)


- Blond for Avengers vs. Transformers #3 (Marvel Comics), Velocity: Pilot Season, Witchblade Manga Vols. 1-10, City of Heroes #18-30, Hunter Killer #11-12, Freshman II: Fundamentals of Fear #2-6, Madame Mirage #1 (Top Cow)

- Chris Chuckry for The Creeper #4-6, The Helmet of Fate – Ibis the Invincible #1, The Helmet of Fate – Sargon the Sorcerer #1, Countdown to Mystery #1-2, Simon Dark #1 (DC Comics), Red Sonja: Vacant Shell #1 (Dynamite), Code #2 (The Guardian Line), Legion of Monsters – Man-Thing #1 (Marvel Comics), The Nightmare Factory OGN (Fox Atomic Comics), L’Histoire Secrete Vols. 8-9 (Delcourt), Empire Vols. 2-3 (Delcourt)

- Maryse Dubuc for Les Nombrils 2: Sale Temps pour les Moches (Editions Dupuis)

- Nathan Fairbairn for Annihilation Conquest - Star-lord #1-4, Marvel Illustrated: The Illiad #1 (Marvel Comics), Witchblade #110-111 (Top Cow Comics)

- Lovern Kindzierski for Hellboy Vol. 7: The Troll Witch and Others (Dark Horse) Joe & Max #4-5, The Seekers #1 (The Guardian Line)

- Francois Lapierre for Magasin Générale 3: Les Hommes (Casterman)

- Dave McCaig for Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E. #12, New Avengers #27-35, Fallen Son – The Death of Captain America #1: Wolverine, Marvel Comics Presents #1-4, Wolverine #50, Avengers Classic #7 (Marvel Comics) DC Infinite Halloween Special #1 (DC Comics), The Other Side #4-5 (DC/Vertigo) Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jensen #1 (ONI Press)

- Ronda Pattison for Fallen Angel 15-16 (IDW), Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures #7-10, Star Wars: Legacy # 8, Star Wars Dark Times # 2-5 (Dark Horse Comics), Atomic Robo #1-3, (Red 5 Comics)


- Arcana Studio

- Conundrum Press

- Drawn & Quarterly

- Mecanique Generale

- La Pasteque

- Red 5 Comics


- Michael Cho for Papercuts

- Scott Hepburn for The Port

- Karl Kerschl for The Abominable Charles Christopher

- Gisele Legace for Penny and Aggie

- Ramon Perez for Kikuburi and Butternut Squash with Rob Coughler

- Scott Ramsoomair for VG Cats

- Ryan Sohmer and Lar De Souza for Least I Can Do and Looking for Group

- Cameron Stewart for Sin Titulo




4 Inductees in 2008 - TBA

Congratulations to all of the nominees and all of the eligible creators for another memorable year of great comics, both in print and online!

James Waley
Executive Director

Kevin A. Boyd
Associate Director

Two Days until Hobbystar's Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event

Here is another reminder, that THIS WEEKEND is Hobbystar's Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Show. I am quite excited for this show, and have already gotten everything ready. Yep, the books are all packed, and ready for the show to get signed. They were pulled maybe a month or two ago (I prepare for cons).

And for those that need reminding, the con will take place Saturday April 12th, 2008 (11am-6pm) and Sunday April 13th, 2008 (11am-5pm). The con will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, Hall G (222 Bremner Blvd.).

Admission is $10 each day, except for Children age 10, who are admitted free with adult ticket purchase. (please bring proof of age, just in case)

On the Sunday (and only the Sunday, which is the Fan Appreciation Day), if you pay the $10 admission, you get a $10 voucher, that can be used at one of the retailers.

OR, if you got the free pass from your local comic shop (by spending $10 or more at the shop), then you can use that on the Sunday (once again, only the Sunday).

OR, if you bought the Fan Expo Canada VIP Ticket for the 2007 Fan Expo Canada, you can use that to enter for free, only on the Sunday.

Here's the Guest List:

BOB LAYTON (Industry legend - artist, writer and editor)
DAVID MICHELINIE (Industry legend - writer, creator of Venom)
STEVE EPTING - Saturday only (Captain America)
ALEX MALEEV (Halo: The Uprising)
MIKE GRELL (Comics Legend)
RYAN OTTLEY (Invincible)
FRANCIS MANAPUL (Legion of Super-Heroes)
LEONARD KIRK (World War Hulk Aftersmash: Warbound)
PAUL RIVOCHE (Justice League: The New Frontier movie)
ALVIN LEE (Heroes for Hire/Street Fighter)
CAMERON STEWART (The Vinyl Underground)
RAMON PEREZ (JSA Classified)
ANDY BELANGER (Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused)
KARL KERSCHL (Teen Titans: Year One)
SCOTT CHANTLER (Northwest Passage, Hawaiian Dick)
TY TEMPLETON (Howard the Duck)
DAVE ROSS (Star Wars: Dark Times)
JEFF LEMIRE (Essex County Trilogy)
VATCHE MAVLIAN - Sunday Only (Fall of Cthulhu)
MICHAEL CHO (Now Magazine)
JIM SU (Beach Studio)
JOE NG (Udon)
ERIK KO (Udon)

Look for Digital Kontent and Shane Heron, for some more Awesomesauce Fun!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts - April 9th, 2008

Amazing Spider-Girl #19 - Skrull Variant. Didn't read it. Really have no intentions on reading it.

Echo #2 - The story continues. Next issue looks interesting.

Justice Society of America #14 - Liked that ending. More Kingdom Come awesomeness!

Locke & Key #3 - The story just seems to be getting better.

Serenity: Better Days #2 - They played the heroes, they told their dreams of what they'd do with the money they came into. River is still messed in the head, but cool. The women took a bath together (HOT!). Serenity is all kinds of fun.

Young Liars #2 - I should read this again, to just read the lyrics. The story itself was pretty good. Liked that ending, even though it was pretty messed up.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Just f*cking disgusting

Teens Arrested Over Filmed Beating

The fact that this took place is just continues my hatred for many teens. Add the stupidity of this all, and no remorse, makes me very disgusted over this situation.

Friday, April 04, 2008

How I feel about the Leafs

I'm a Leafs fan. Regardless, if they make the playoffs or not (which they haven't for the third straight year). I do like other teams (and will watch them in the playoffs), but when it comes down to it, I will always hold Toronto over any other team.

I am disappointed that I won't be cheering them in the playoffs again, but it's not the end of the world. I'm sure I'll watch them win the Stanley Cup, at least once in my lifetime, barring an unfortunately death. I will be hopeful. Then again, with John Tavares eligible for the 2009 Draft, maybe the Leafs will lose horribly next year, to try to draft him. (*shrug*)

As for Mats Sundin, I hope he stays for another year, to at least try to make the playoffs. If he doesn't, well, Thank You Mats!

If he does retire in the off-season, I hope he does still remain with the Leafs, or at least join the Leafs in another form. Possibly coaching? Or something, like Steve Yzerman is doing with Detroit. I would like to have him at least apart of the organization, when the Leafs finally win the Cup again.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Raging Cheetah Interview OFFICIALLY LIVE!

Now that it's live and linked on the main page, check out the Interview I did with Raging Cheetah. It's about conventions and sketches. Fun for the whole family!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts - April 2nd, 2008

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight #13 - So we're dealing with Dracula. Love the part where Willow asks Satsu how Buffy was in bed.

Detective Comics #843 - What? Detective Comics? I haven't picked up an issue since #820 (the issue before Paul Dini took over). The reason I picked this up, Zatanna. Sure, she appeared in issue #833 and 834 (two issues I may pick up, if I can track them down for cheap), but I saw the awesome splash page of Zatanna in the preview to the issue (which was actually a display of her, outside of her magic show). I'm taking a liking to Dustin Nguyen's artwork. Enjoyable issue, even though I don't care for Scarface.

Kick-Ass #2 - Great follow-up to issue #1.

Secret Invasion #1 - So, more Skrulls are revealed. And which group of Avengers are Skrulls, and which are not? I'm confused, but damn, I'm looking forward to the rest of this series.

The Walking Dead #48 - Holy fuck, Kirkman... I flipped to the back to see what happens, so I figured it was going to happen. But damn... More than what I was expecting. Quite a bit more. And to Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn, wow, that was one impressive splash page. Pretty graphic. Sad ending too. So, who's left?

Young X-Men #1 - Bought it, read it... not interested in it. Artwork is nice, but I don't care for most of these characters, if not all of them.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight Vol. 1: The Long Way Home (Hardcover) - Not as rare as when the hardcover originally came out. It was what, one per store, and stores were selling it for $50-$100. The hardcover was actually at Cyber City Comix for about a month or so now, but I never picked it up, until today. Quite cheap too, considering the prices it was fetching a few months ago. Less than $20, and my membership discount, made this a cheap hardcover. One more left at the store, if anyone wants it.

Raging Cheetah Interview!

It's not linked to the main page just yet, but here is the interview I did for Raging Cheetah, for their "Collector's Series" set of interviews, which focuses on conventions and comic art (mainly sketches and commissions).

I had fun with this interview, so I hope you all enjoy.