Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rest in Peace Michael Turner

I woke up this morning to news that brought tears to my eyes. As I write this, I continue to get emotional about it.

I got up like I normally do. Check emails, check the convention message boards, and then check Newsarama to see the happenings in the comic world. Then it hit me:

Michael Turner Passes Away

Sitting in an emotional state of shock, I was hoping I was still sleeping, and this was a horrible dream I was having. I ended up clicking the link.

"From Aspen Comics' Vince Hernandez

Hello all,

Unfortunately it's with great sadness that I must inform everyone that Michael Turner tragically passed away last night, June 27th at approximately 10:42 pm in Santa Monica, Ca. Turner had been dealing with recent health complications arisen in the past few weeks. More details concerning Turner's passing, and services, will be given shortly.

Anyone wishing to send their condolences to Michael Turner's family is encouraged to send to:

Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230

Aspen also encourages anyone wishing to make a charitable donation to please send to Michael Turner's requested charities:

The American Cancer Society


The Make-A-Wish Foundation"

While reading that, I began to tear up. I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it. I still don't want to believe it.

Being hours after first reading the news, I am still hit with emotions on this news, as it also brings back many memories.

Although I wasn't into comics when Michael Turner first started off in comics or his earlier work (such as Witchblade), I've heard the name from both my brother, and a few friends in high school. This was during my years of playing Star Wars: CCG (which I also stopped playing, during my high school years).

One of my friends kept drawing in the same style of Michael Turner, with hopes of one day becoming a comic book artist. I haven't seen him since high school, and hope he's doing okay.

During 2004, my brother showed me a copy of Superman/Batman #9, which I thought was stunning and beautiful. I had to check it out. Then the release of Superman #203, which was the final issue of the Superman: Godfall story, featuring a cover by Michael Turner, and a bonus sketchbook preview of Jim Lee's upcoming Superman run, I was hooked.

Comics became my heroin, sketches are my cocaine. Bro, was the drug dealer that gave me the free sample.

Comics also kept a part of me out of reality. As I was dealing with horrible memories of a car accident I had sustained the previous year, which totalled my car, but miraculously left me only a sore forearm, and two cuts smaller than the size of a Tic Tac (one on my middle-knuckle on my right hand, one on my right knee). I was still picturing my car spinning out, and cutting across six lanes of the snow-covered Hwy. 400, with many cars travelling, that I could've either hit, or been hit by, before crashing into the centre median.

The car accident, I've told many people about. These horrible memories are something I don't think I've ever told anyone, until now, where I'm telling everyone. Comics helped me push those memories aside for happier memories, and it started with Michael Turner's artwork.

Though I wasn't really full-fledged in comics before (I enjoyed it, but was never a regular buyer), this became the start of my life with comics. I went around to different shops, buying whatever I could find that Michael Turner was involved in. I also discovered Aspen Comics, which was Michael Turner's company.

My first convention since returning to comics, was the Canadian National Expo (now, Fan Expo Canada). Michael Turner was one of the guests. I had to be there. First line I went to, Michael Turner. I was third in line.

Not knowing the etiquette, I brought up 33 books to get signed. Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald signed them all, Turner with a smile on his face. The next day, a signing limit of 10 was placed, when I lined up again, to get my brother's books signed, since I got all of mine signed the first day. Uhh... oops.

Anyways, both times, I tried asking to see if Michael Turner was sketching. Both times, he declined, because of the length of the line.

I tried again the following year, but was again declined. My mistake for being near the front of the line, during the first two days.

Wonder Woman by Michael Turner, August 26th, 2007On Sunday August 26th, 2007, at Fan Expo Canada 2007, I was finally able to get the sketch I had hoped to get, since getting back into comics. This is my trophy sketch, since it was Michael Turner's art that got me back into buying comics. As always, Thanks to Brian and Saif for encouraging me to ask Michael Turner for a sketch, at the time that I did.

If my brother didn't show me that issue of Superman/Batman #9, who knows what I would've been doing nowadays. I may not have gotten back into comics. I may not have discovered what a wonderful medium comic books are. I may not have discovered all the talented writers and artists that are working in the world of comics and graphic novels. I may not have made so many new friends and acquaintances. Thank you Danny, for reintroducing me into this wonderful world.

And to Mr. Turner, you will forever be missed. The impact you had on my life was significant. I am greatful to have met you on those occasion at the conventions in Toronto. Thank you for everything, Mr. Turner.

My condolences go out the family and friends of Michael Turner.

August 26th, 2007 - Michael Turner (L) & Me (R)

Rest In Peace, Mr. Turner.

Second Jays Game of the Season

Friday evening, I attended my second Jays game of the season. Toronto Blue Jays vs. Atlanta Braves. I went for Flashback Fridays. Devon White was signing at the game, so I brought my brother's signed baseball, featuring members of the Toronto Blue Jays past and one present.

Devon White's signature at the bottom, Candy Maldonado at the top

For me, this is what I wanted:

Devon White (L), Me sporting the Scott Pilgrim Toronto T-Shirt (R)

After that, I went up to my seat, which wasn't bad as well.

Three rows back, on the 500 level. And for a look over my right shoulder:

I stayed until the end of the 7th, and the Jays were down 4-0. That ended up being the final. Doubtful that I'll be going to the game tomorrow. Just not in the mood for it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Blue Jays Game of the Season

Wednesday evening, I went to my first baseball game of the season, using my bro's season pass/tickets, to see the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Cincinnati Reds. I originally wanted to go two weeks ago (against the Seattle Mariners), when the Darwyn Cooke/J. Bone signing was originally supposed to happen, but realized that the game was an afternoon game, and when I checked what time the game was (before leaving the house), it was already over.

I had also planned on going to the game later on that week, on the Friday, vs. the Chicago Cubs, but the Darwyn Cooke/J. Bone signing was rescheduled to that night. I could've actually gone to the game, but opted to stay at the signing. As I stated before, staying at the signing was worth me skipping the baseball game.

Last night, I decided to make the trip down, mainly to see Ken Griffey Jr. I got down to the Skydome (it will ALWAYS be the Skydome to me), fairly early, since I wasn't sure what the process was to get the ticket for the game. My bro explained it to me, but until I actually did it myself, I wasn't 100% sure.

Got the ticket, got into the Dome, and noticed quite a bit of fans by the field, getting stuff signed. Originally not planning on getting anything signed, I left my bro's signed baseball at home. This meant I'd have to buy a new one. Damn official MLB baseballs are expensive.

I was having buyer's remorse of this purchase, because there was no guarantee I was getting anything signed. Also, since it was Cincinnati on the field for batting practice, aside from Griffey, I didn't really know any other players. It would've actually felt like a waste if any other player signed it, because I don't know who they are.

But hell, I bought the ball, so I tried. It took until the end of batting practice, when some of the other people called Dusty Baker over to the stands, to sign stuff. He came over and started signing. I shoved myself into the crowd, getting up to Dusty Baker for him to sign the ball. Buyer's remorse, NO MORE!

The only autograph I got that day. Although I really wanted Ken Griffey Jr., I am quite happy to get Dusty Baker's autograph.

Since batting practice was over, I decided to head to my seat, with 47 minutes left until the game started.

The View from my seat. Not bad at all, cept when the beer guy game, for some guys a few rows infront, and got in the way of Griffey hitting the home run in the first inning. Damn beer guy.

I didn't stay for the full game. I took off just after the 5th inning, and headed home. The game went to the 10th inning, where the Reds won the game. Glad I left when I did.

The ball is put away safely. Not sure what I'm actually going to do with it. Probably get it signed by Devon White this Friday. Or maybe not. I dunno.

Boughts and Thoughts - June 25th, 2008

Made two stops today, to two different shops. The first stop for the day was Paradise Comics. I decided to go here, because of all the long boxes full of $2 comics, so I was looking for some interesting books to buy, if I had any luck. I did also pick up some of the new releases, since I was also buying for my bro. The second stop was to my regular store, Cyber City Comix, to pick up the rest of the books.

Action Comics #600 - One of the $2 books. Only bought this for the names involved in the book. John Byrne, George Perez, Mike Mignola, Dick Giordano, Mike Zeck, Jerry Ordway, Kevin Maguire, Walt Simonson, and so many more.

Aspen Showcase: Aspen #1 - I was debating on this one, but ultimately bought it. Enjoyable issue. Nothing special.

Beyond Wonderland #0 - Didn't really need the preview to 1001 Arabian Nights. More filler crap, than the preview to Beyond Wonderland.

Black Orchid Book One - Neil Gaiman's first DC work, if I'm not mistaken. Before he started working on Sandman. Another $2 book.

Hulk #4 - I was originally planning on dropping this title, but ended up buying it. For the most part, it was a fight between Red Hulk and Green Hulk. It was the ending splash page, as well as the Mini Marvels story that got me to buy this. Audrey Loeb wrote the Mini Marvels story, that Chris Giarrusso illustrated. I enjoyed that very much.

Madame Xanadu #1 - I really like the artwork, but I don't think I can get myself into this world.

New Avengers #42 - This issue I enjoyed, which tied up all the stuff Bendis has been planning, I guess prior to Avengers: Disassembled. Good stuff. This issue, and Mighty Avengers shows how some of the Skrulls infiltrated the superheroes (I went through Mighty Avengers at the store, but didn't buy it, because I don't care for Hank Pym, even though Bendis worked with John Romita Jr.).

Power Man and Iron Fist #50 - Another $2 book, which the Power Man title becomes Power Man and Iron Fist.

Power Man and Iron Fist #100 - Another $2 book, which has Mike Mignola inking over Ernie Chan.

Project Superpowers #4 - Bought the variant cover (white cover). Not sure why. Speculations, I guess. Probably not worth squat.

Runaways #30 - About time this ends. Whedon has definitely ruined this for me. He also ruined Astonishing X-Men for me (how dare you do that to Kitty Pryde). Whedon still rocks, and I'll be buying Buffy.

Superman #75 - After all these years, I finally have a copy of the issue Superman dies! Another $2 book. Now if I can find some copies of the black bagged version, for this price, I'd be happy.

Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 - My final $2 book. I bought this to complete the "Judas Contract" story in this series.

Ultimates 3 #4 - Seems like Loeb is either rushing everything in the final issue, or this will continue in Ultimatum.

What If This Was The Fantastic Four? A Tribute to Mike Wieringo - Bought this for obvious reasons. Mike Wieringo passed away at such an early age, and only completed 8 pages of this issue. This book was finished by many of 'Ringo's friends. All profit on this book will go to the Hero Initiative.

After buying all these books today, I've come to a realization (again), that I buy too many books. I will also be looking at my pulls, and will probably make cuts again. One title that I did cut this week, was Captain America. I love how the book is going, but this would probably be better read collected, as I never get enough after every issue.

I'll see how it goes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Non-FCBD Gauntlet

Saturday, I decided to check out the sale at Comics & More. I really only went, because their online store inventory showed that they had the first volume hardcover of Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Sadly for me, it was not there. But since I was there, I went looking for other stuff.

The sale was, "Buy anything in the store and get a 2nd item for 21 cents." That is a sweet deal, in my opinion. It just all depended on what there was to purchase.

Also there, set up outside of the store, were longboxes with comics for 21 cents. That was my first stop, before going into the store. I did pick up some issues that caught my eye, such as the following:

- Lobo #1 - Four-issue mini-series, that I used to own, but now my brother has (might have sold it to him, or owed him money in my childhood days, so he has it).
- Solar Stella #1 - J. Bone! I saw the book, and the title sounded familiar. The cover art looked familiar too, and then I saw the name on the cover. I had to buy it.
- Power Girl #3 - Four-issue mini-series from way back. I bought the other three issues a few years back, and found this issue to complete the mini-series.
- Venom #1 - The Daniel Way/Francisco Herrera series. Not sure why I bought it, but for 21-cents, it was not a big loss.
- 22 different issues of DC's 52 series - I had 25 of the issues already, so getting 22 more issues (at 21-cents an issue) to try and complete the series, seemed like an okay idea for me. Came out to just over $5 for all of these issues.

I did see a copy of the Hellboy Library Edition vol. 1, so that was what I was going to buy. I just had to search the store for something else I actually wanted, somewhere near the cover price ($50), to make the second item for 21-cents seem worthwhile.

After a while of searching, I found out that it didn't have to be the same type of item (ie, does not have to be another hardcover). So I looked into the display case, and saw the Adam Hughes designed Black Canary bust. Ended up picking that up, along with the Hellboy hardcover.

My next trip, was to One Million Comix. I was actually going to Curry's (to get more art portfolios and an extra sketchpad). Since One Million Comix is nearby, I dropped in there first. Picked up an issue my bro was looking for (as I'm picking up his books, while he's on his trip). Picked up some magazine boards as well.

I was thinking about heading to Silver Snail, because John de Lancie (Q, from Star Trek: TNG) and Robert Picardo (the Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager). I'm not really a Trek fan, so I didn't go. The other reason I wanted to go, was for the sale on the Legendary Heroes figures. I wanted to get all the figures, to build Pitt. That's all I wanted, but I didn't want to spend the money on it ($2.99/figure, so it probably would've came out to less than $30 for all the figures needed.

I did drop by The Beguiling, to pick up the new Scott Pilgrim "Toronto" t-shirt. Bro wanted one too, but I didn't find one in his size, so I went with one size lower. I have a feeling it won't fit him. The one I bought (Large), is really tight on me, and it shrunk on the wash, so I'm sure it's much tighter now.

Waiting for bro's reply, to see what to do, since it probably wouldn't be fair to him to pay for a shirt that doesn't fit him, since it wasn't the size he asked for. If it comes down to it, I may have to sell the large, just to make back cost. It was worn once, to try it on, and then put into the wash. It was a noticable shrink, so I didn't try it on. If anyone is interested, lemme know.

I called it a day after making those stops. I really felt like playing Metal Gear Solid 4, so I grabbed lunch, headed home to eat and play.

Started and finished Act 3, and partially went through Act 4 (which was quite nostalgic... don't want to spoil it, but I was damn surprised to see and play that). I worry about when I start to play that game, because if I get to a cut scene, I don't know how long I'll be there for, since all the movies are very long. I hear the final cut scene is an hour and a half long, so make some popcorn, grab a beer, and enjoy. I'll be doing that, when I get to it. Actually, I grabbed the beer part, during the cut scene after I finished Act 3, going into Act 4. It's all so long.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Early Morning Staff Party

Kinda regret waking up this morning, to head to the staff party/recognition. Worked the closing shift last night, so being back at that place six hours later, wasn't for me. However, since I get up to see my little siblings to school, I stayed up, and made my way down to work. Showed up 30 minutes after everything started. I let them know that if I was to show, it'd be late (start time was 8am)

This party is mainly to recognize the staff that's there. For me, I just want to win stuff. Lots of nicer prizes this time around. Virgin Fest tickets, the Coors Light Maxim Caddy thing, Small refridgerator, hotel room, etc. The higher end prizes, went to staff that goes above and beyond. An LCD TV, and a pair of tickets from WestJet. I don't go above and beyond, but I do work my ass off. Kinda usually don't get recognized, even if I did go above and beyond, because my department is one of the two that's kinda split from the rest of the staff.

I did receive my five-year recognition, while most of the rest of my department received their six-month or one-year recognition. Funny thing is, I go get my certificate, and I see they spelled my last name incorrectly... AGAIN! Five friggin years, and they can't get my last name right. I've talked to many people about having my last name spelled correctly. They did get my paycheques correct after two years.

In a way, it's nice to be recognized. In another way, it felt like a slap in the face. I was about to make a smart-ass remark about the certificate, when I went up to get it, but decided against it, took the picture, and planted my ass back on my chair. At that point, I wanted to leave, but since I didn't want to travel home, to travel back down to Cyber City Comix, I just stayed there, played some games, then went off to pick up my books (see below).

Boughts and Thoughts - June 18th, 2008

Justice League of America #22 - Yay! Zatanna! Enjoyable issue. The return of a baddie.

Teen Titans: Year One #5 - Although, I love the artwork, why is this a six-issue series? The first three were the ones that seemed to be a series. The past two were basically standalone stories. I know I said this with the last issue, but it just doesn't seem to be connected to each other, like mini-series usually do. Really loved the cover, and the colours on the cover (RIP Stephane Peru). Also, although covered by the title, there is an Abominable Charles Christopher poster on the wall, as well as the Tranmission-X logo.

Trinity #3 - And with this, I am now done with this series. Bagley draws the Justice League of America. Awesome!

Wolverine #66 - Not bad of a start. Team Civil War back at is again. Do want to see where this goes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Going through the solicitations

So I'm going through the solicitations for the month of September, as they are being released. This gets me thinking about the August solicitations, and then the realization that I haven't gone through these things on this board, in a long time (mainly out of laziness).

The solicitations and the new release lists also gets me thinking, why the hell is Marvel releasing so many one-shot books, spinning out of main titles? I understand that many creators have stories to tell, but is there no way to work them into the main titles? You know, after an arc? A standalone issue? It's not wrong to do those, within the actual title. I know there's a bigger story to tell (damn event books), and these one-shots don't really fit into Secret Invasion, but is there really a reason to print a one-shot?

Once I get to it during the solicitations, there's another thing that bugs me. There are also many good things I would like to point out, so just keep reading.

We're halfway through June now, so I'll just skip this month, and mention stuff starting in July.

Now, keep in mind, these are the dates solicited, so they can change at any time, for any reason.

July 2008
DC Comics
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #1 (July 2nd, 2008) - Written and illustrated by Mike Kunkel (Herobear). I like this man's artwork, but I haven't actually looked at or read a copy of Herobear. I've seen his work online, and it's definitely a style of art I enjoy. So this is where I get my first taste of Mike Kunkel's work, other than from sketches posted online.

Jonah Hex #33 (July 2nd, 2008) - I haven't picked up an issue of Jonah Hex, since issue #5. I will be picking this one up. First reason, the issue is drawn by Darwyn Cooke! Second reason, Jonah Hex comes to Canada! Third reason, Jonah Hex takes on Mounties! Exclamation point!

Justice Society of America Annual #1 - (July 30th, 2008) - This issue features artwork by Jerry Ordway. But after this past weekend, not to start any rumours of anything, but it was revealed that there will be a two-page spread (I believe it was two pages) by Dale Eaglesham. I hear it's really, really nice! Now, don't take my word on this, because I was quite tired, the music at Molly Bloom's was quite loud, and I was really enjoying that beer.

Marvel Comics
Astonishing X-Men #25 (July 2nd, 2008) - To be honest, I'm done with this title in single issue format. I like Warren Ellis, and I like Simone Bianchi, but I'm not in a rush to read this, so I can wait.

Captain America: White #0 (July 9th, 2008) - I believe this is a preview, prior to the regular mini-series. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale return to their "colour" book series. I'm down with this.

Uncanny X-Men #500 (July 23rd, 2008) - The series created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby hits 500 issues. Here we see Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction team with Greg Land and Terry Dodson. We also see a whole bunch of covers, because it's Marvel.

Dark Horse
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #16 (July 2nd, 2008) - Fray! I never read the Fray series, but Joss Whedon returns to this title, with Fray artist, Karl Moline.

Image Comics
Liberty Comics (July 23rd, 2008) - This is an anthology, released by Image, with all profit going to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Just looking at the list of creators involves, I'll be picking this up. This list contains names like, Mark Millar, Darwyn Cooke, Mike Mignola, Ed Brubaker, Garth Ennis, J. Scott Campbell, Art Adams, John Paul Leon, Mark Evanier and many, many more. Also features two covers, one by Mike Mignola, and the other by J. Scott Campbell.

August 2008
DC Comics
Final Crisis: The Legion of Three Worlds #1 (August 20th, 2008) - Geoff Johns teams with George Perez, on this title. Really, I don't need any other reason.

Family Dynamics #1 (August 27th, 2008) - This new Johnny DC book, features the creative team of J. Torres (writer) and Tim Levins (artist). Both are slated to appear at Fan Expo Canada... a few days before this book is released. Hopefully, J. will have some available for that convention.

Marvel Comics
NYX: No Way Home #1 (August 6th, 2008) - Finally! A new NYX series! I've been waiting for Marvel to do something with these characters, as I did enjoy the original series (more, because that was the series that introduced me to Joshua Middleton, and brought X-23 into the comic book world). Toronto-based artist, Kalman Andrasofszky will be the artist on this series, and seeing the entire first issue at the Sequential Art Symposium & the Joe Shuster Awards this past Saturday, it's really nice. As an added bonus, Joe Quesada is NOT writing this. :)

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1 (August 6th, 2008) - The series relaunches with a new #1, written by Terry Moore. Originally, this was supposed to feature artwork by Adrian Alphona (I believe this was announced last year, between TCAF and Fan Expo Canada). Unfortunately, Adrian is not providing the artwork for this, but will be providing variant covers, in addition to Terry Moore's regular covers. I'm actually disappointed that Adrian is not on artwork for this. No disrespect to Craig Rousseau, I'm just a fan of Adrian. I don't think I'll be picking this book up anymore, as I was planning on it for the Terry Moore/Adrian Alphona team.

Runaways #1 (August 27th, 2008) - Terry Moore's second book for Marvel. I'm partially looking forward to this, but because the title has been so delayed by the Whedon/Michael Ryan team, I'm losing interested in this title, fast. Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona kept me on this title, and now I'm just waiting for the Whedon/Ryan arc to end. Humberto Ramos does provide artwork, so there is a chance of me picking this up. Whether it's in hardcover format or single issues, will be determined later on (those hardcovers were nice, so I may stick with them).

September 2008
DC Comics
Secret Six #1 (September 3rd, 2008) - Gail Simone reteams with Nicola Scott on the new ongoing series of the Secret Six!

Marvel Comics
Before I get into any books, damn Marvel for producing more variants. First it was the Zombies. Then it was the Skrulls. Now it's friggin Monkeys. I understand it's to promote the release of Marvel Apes, but damn... I hope this mini-series bombs.

The Age of the Sentry #1 (September 17th, 2008) - In all honesty, this is the cover that got me to write anything about the soliciations. Cover by the art team that brought us the Robin/Kid Flash story in Justice League: The New Frontier Special, Dave Bullock and Michael Cho! Hells yeah! I'm gonna buy this, just for them. May wait for the hardcover, as this is a mini-series, after getting this issue. You know how it is.

Alright, I think I'm done with this, because I have to get ready for work.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sequential Art Symposium & the Joe Shuster Awards Report

Saturday June 14th, 2008... This was a long day. After it all, this was also a great day!

The Sequential Art Symposium & the 4th Annual Joe Shuster Awards took place on this day. Being a member of the nominating committee, I decided I'd volunteer for this event, since I knew I was planning on staying for both events. My analysis of myself, I can move chairs and tables well. I'm terrible at everything else when it comes to volunteering at events like this. I should've been fired as the doorman, just before the awards ceremony.

My day started off fairly early, to ensure that I was awake, and fully ready to head down. Unfortunately, I forgot to pack up the camera battery charger. This came back to hurt me later in the day (if you read my "not the report" post, you'll know why).

I left the house at around 8:10am, and got down the the Lillian H. Smith Library at around 8:50am, to check for parking. There is a small parking lot just past the first lights east of Spadina, on College. Price for parking $6 ALL DAY. Score! Downside, I needed $6 in toonies, so had to make my way into the convenience store at the corner. Bought myself a bottle of Tropicana orange juice (not from concentrate). Probably the healthiest thing I had all day, except for those two bottles of water I brought. The rest of the day, I ran on coffee (x2), Red Bull (x2), Diet Coke (x3), and a sub for dinner. Skipped breakfast and lunch. Who needs that, when I can have a heart attack?

Anyways, upon arriving at the library, I noticed a crowd infront of the doors... to the library. It was like Hannah Montana madness! Okay, maybe not that crazy, but still, I've never seen a crowd trying to get into the library. Then again, I don't go to the library often.

Once I got in, I looked at the directory, as I wasn't too sure where to go. I see the directory and it noticed "Lower Level, Program Room A, B, C." Pretty sure it was down there, but to be 100% sure, I walked up the stairs to the fourth floor, noticed there was no way it'd be up there, and took the elevator down to the lower level (I believe the posters and signage were put up a little later.

Eventually, I started to help with the tables and chairs set up, which took until just past 10am. As pointed out, sadly, the fans had yet to arrive. Though, they slowly started to stroll in soon after.

Agnes GarbowskaThe Visions of an Icon gallery was stunning. As I mentioned in the "not the report," my favourite piece was done by Agnes Garbowska. It was so cute. Baby-Superman with the building-blocks in the shape of the Daily Planet. Baby Lois with the notepad and crayon. Baby Lex Luthor smashing his building-blocks building.

I did take pictures of all the pieces that were up when I went in (this was actually around 11am), but I never went back to see if there was any more. If anyone can confirm if more was added throughout the day, that would be great. As I stated before, I do regret not going back in to check it out.

For your view pleasure, here are the Visions of an Icon Gallery pieces from when I viewed them (these may take a while to load).

I ended up dropping in on one panel during the day. This was the Sequential Art on the Internet: Webcomics panel, featuring Andy B. (Raising Hell), Ramon Perez (butternutsquash & Kukuburi), Lar deSouza (Least I Could Do & Looking for Group), and Michael Cho (Papercut). I actually dropped in for the final 15-20 minutes of it.

Sequential Art on the Internet: Webcomics Panel
Left to right: Andy B., Ramon Perez, Lar deSouza, and Michael Cho

I did manage to get some sketches done throughout the day (can't let my sketch-whoring habits get rusty).

Stargirl by Tom Grummett (2008) Kiden (NYX) by Kalman Andrasofszky (2008) Superman by Ty Templeton (2008)
Superman by Ramon Perez (2008) Superman by Andy B (2008) Spider-Man by Michael Cho (2008)

From left to right:
- Stargirl by Tom Grummett
- Kiden (NYX) by Kalman Andrasofszky
- Superman by Ty Templeton
- Superman by Ramon Perez
- Superman by Andy Belanger
- Spider-Man (Spidey-Sense) by Michael Cho

Thanks to you all for the sketches!

The Spider-Man by Michael Cho will be to get encapsulated with the prestigious CGC Signature Series certification, with many Thanks to Kevin Boyd!

As the Symposium came to a close, and we started setting up for the Joe Shuster Awards Ceremony, I noticed my sketchpad on one of tables. As mentioned in the previous post, I have the sketchpad, and just wanted to say it wasn't missing or anything. I packed that away, and started getting the room set up for the awards ceremony.

It was actually converted quite quickly, so I made my way out to Mr. Sub (which was just down the street), grabbed a sub, and came back to eat.

The awards ceremony was quite enjoyable. It actually ran faster than the projected time that I was told, so that was another plus. The downer for me was when the battery ran low on the camera, so I turned it off, and it had enough juice for one picture, which I took after the show.

This was the downer for me, because I took no pictures of the categories that I was on the nominating committee for (Outstanding Writer, Artist, and Cartoonist). I really wish I was able to, but I'm sure I will see many pictures taken by other people.

As for my experience as part of the nominating committee for the second time, it was a really tough choice to narrow it down to the nominated list. The list of Canadian talent is huge, and their works are phenomenal. I had a blast going through the works eligible for nomination.

Here are the recipients of the awards:

- Outstanding Cover by a Canadian Comic Book Artist: Steve Skroce for Doc Frankenstein #6
- Outstanding Canadian Comic Book &/or Graphic Novel Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
- Outstanding Comic Book Related Achievement by a Canadian: David Watkins

- Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame:
Edwin R. "Ted" McCall
Stan Berneche
Pierre Fournier
John Byrne

- Favourite Canadian Comic Book Creator - English Language: Faith Erin Hicks
- Favourite Canadian Comic Book Creator - English Language: Philippe Girard (aka phlppgrrd)
- Favourite International (Non-Canadian) Comic Book Creator: Ed Brubaker
- Harry Kremer Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Retailer: Big B Comics
- Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Colourist: Dave McCaig
Outstanding Canadian Webcomics Creator/Creative Team: Ryan Sohmer & Lar deSouza for Least I Could Do and Looking for Group
- Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Artist: Dale Eaglesham
- Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Writer: Cecil Castellucci
- Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist: Jeff Lemire

One really nice scene that I noticed, when Jeff Lemire was returning to his seat, Darwyn Cooke got up, walked into the aisleway where Jeff was returning, and congratuled him for his win. Class act, all the way.

After helping load up the van for All New Comics (Thanks for the Spider-Man: Blue hardcover, Peter!) I attended my first afterparty! :D Another new experience for me, even though I didn't do any mingling (as I'm not a talkative individual to begin with).

For me, it was just drinking in the experience of it all (and the drinking of the beer), as I had a really great day.

Thanks to all involved, and to all that came out that day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sequential Art Symposium & the Joe Shuster Awards (not the report)

Because I arrived home late, I won't be doing a full report yet, or have any pictures or sketches posted (so don't link this just yet, Sequential :).

It's also doubtful that I'll get the report up tomorrow. I'm shooting for Monday, but it may be up Tuesday.

Just some notes:

- Volunteered at an event for the FIRST TIME. Never though I'd see the day. Don't expect to see me do this at any convention. Takes away from my normal sketch-whoring habits. :) That being said, I still had a blast helping out today. People, if you sat on a chair at the event, there's a good chance, I touched that chair (whether I actually set it up, adjusted the positioning, or just walked past it and my jeans rubbed against it).

- Tom Grummett rubbed my hair a little. This was at the afterparty. I felt bad, because I was sweating for a good part of the day, and did let him know when he did that. I also suggested he took his lighter to his hand, to burn off my sweat and germs. He said he wanted to do it, and just did.

- In my opinion, I think Agnes Garbowska had the best Visions of an Icon piece, with Tom Grummett's piece the next best. I'm not sure if more was added, since the last time I was in the room was like noon-ish (I think), when guests started to arrive. So many great pieces, but these two were my favourites. If you did not see this in person, you truly missed a great sight. I definitely do regret not going back into the room, to check if more was added.

- Not many people will know what this is about (and I won't explain it), but if you read this, D., I have my sketchpad, and book for reference. Just didn't want you to worry that it's missing or anything. Also, hopefully all is well and safe with the situation back home.

- Sketches obtained were fantastic; though, one won't be posted until later, for reasons I'll get into during the report.

- Parking situation was awesome, and cheap. Parked from 9am-12am, for just $6. And it was just across the street... the smaller street.

- Awards ceremony was nice, but my camera battery died.

- Tired now, so signing off.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday the 13th - Paradise Comics Store Signing

Black Canary by J. BoneThe Spirit by Darwyn CookeSo I skipped the Jays game today, and opted to stay at the signing at Paradise Comics, featuring Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone.

I did arrive somewhat early to the signing, around 4:30pm. I was caught in traffic, around the 401/Allen Rd. area, because of all the mergers. Once pass Avenue Rd., it was smooth sailing.

Upon arrival, I noticed the line was somewhat long. I think I was ten people deep, and the line eventually stretched to the door. It became somewhat hot in the store, so I decided to open up the bottle of 7-Up I had with me. To my stupidity, carrying a carbonated drink in a moving backpack... wasn't the brightess move. I didn't stop the overflow in time, and the 7-Up went on the floor and around my backpack. Oops. Sorry.

Anyways, Darwyn arrived early, J. Bone arrived around 5pm (I believe... I never checked). The signing started. Lots of great stories told. Got a small sketch in my copy of The Spirit vol. 1 hardcover by Darwyn. Also, got a great Black Canary sketch from J. Bone.

I had a blast at the signing. Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone are definitely two of the nicest people. Thanks for everything! Staying for this signing was definitely worth skipping the Jays game.

And once again, for those that missed this signing, you can see Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone at the Sequential Art Symposium & the Joe Shuster Awards. The info is in the link, or on the sidebar (to the right).

Friday, June 13, 2008

The happenings and the updates

Yesterday - Picked up Metal Gear Solid 4 (paid for by my vacationing brother, who probably won't even have time to play with this, until he's back from the longer run of his cross-Canada trip). The game is friggin amazing!

Today - Darwyn Cooke & J. Bone signing at Paradise Comics. Later today, if I'm able to, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago Cubs. All depends on how the signing goes, and how I feel afterwards.

Tomorrow - Sequential Art Symposium (10am-5pm) and the Joe Shuster Awards (8pm-whenever). You'll find me there all day.

Also tomorrow, Happy Birthday Niko!

Paradise Toronto Comicon Update - Brian Pulido and Coffin Comics with their Paradise Toronto Comicon Exclusive, Lady Death Icon #1, limited to 69 copies (teehee... 69... pervs).

Fan Expo Canada Update - Dan Didio, Dan Slott, Yanick Paquette, Dexter Vines, Sal Abbinanti, Kent Burles, and Kagan McLeod added! Fan Expo Exclusives: Uncanny X-Men #500 Alex Ross Cover (only available with the purchase of the Premium Fan Expo Package), and (ANNOUNCED TODAY) Amazing Spider-Man #568 John Romita Jr. Sketch Variant (Written by Dan Slott and Mark Waid, artwork by John Romita Jr. and Adi Granov!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Boughts & Thoughts - June 11th, 2008

Invincible #50 - Not really expecting that type of ending, but then again, I was never an Invincible reader, so I didn't know what ending to really expect.

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #3 - One issue to go. Doom with Excalibur (the sword, not the Marvel team).

Local #12 - I'm full of mixed emotions right now. I'm both happy and sad that Local has ended. Happy, because it's been a fantastic journey. Sad, because it ended. Thank you Ryan, and Thank you Brian. This has been a series I truly enjoyed. Definitely looking forward to that hardcover collection.

Locke & Key #5 - Oh, this shit is getting really good now. This first series ends with the next issue.

Skaar: Son Of Hulk #1 - It wasn't bad, but I doubt I'll be continuing this series in single issue format.

Trinity #2 - One more issue, and I'm done with this.

Young Liars #4 - The group is still on the run, and Sadie was quite naked in this book. I loved the splash page of Sadie waterskiing on a tray.

Dead@17 Compendium Edition - I placed an order for this off of the Viper Comics website, nearly six weeks ago. It arrived yesterday. They forgot to add the set of buttons my brother wanted. Still waiting on those. I haven't fully followed Dead@17, since the first series, but that's because no stores that I know or shop at, orders anything from Viper Comics... or Josh Howard related. I love his artwork, and would like to see more of it around. I also hope someone brings this man up to a convention in the city (*hint, hint... nudge, nudge*?), because I'd really like to get a sketch or commission from him (*selfish reasoning*). :) I'll get cracking on this soon.

So as I mentioned, the Darwyn Cooke/J. Bone signing at Paradise Comics was pushed back until Friday. If it wasn't, I'd be on my way there as I type this. I was actually hoping to catch the Jays game today, but I thought it was an evening game, and not one that started at 12:37PM. I probably should've checked earlier, but didn't. I am glad I did check about an hour ago, and realized the game was already over (Seattle won, 2-1).

With the cancellation of the signing, I figured I'd go to check out batting practice, so I would've actually left around the same time, as I would've for the signing. Oh well, now gonna look for something else to do tonight.

Darwyn Cooke & J. Bone signing DELAYED

For anyone that reads this, that was planning on going to the Darwyn Cooke/J. Bone signing at Paradise Comics today (Wednesday June 11th, 2008) at 5pm until 7pm... well, it's been pushed back until Friday June 13th, 2008 (you know, I just realized it's Friday the 13th this week, upon writing the date). The signing time remains the same, from 5pm-7pm.

If you can't make the signing on the new day, fear not. Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone will be guests at the Sequential Art Symposium, this Saturday June 14th, 2008, from 10am-5pm, taking place prior to the Joe Shuster Awards.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Ugh... Another computer problem

I'm not sure what happened today, but my storage hard drive on my computer, crapped out on me. Luckily, it's not the main hard drive, that contains all of the programs that run the computer, so I can survive without a storage hard drive, but I need that extra room.

The crapped out hard drive was a 160GB Western Digital hard drive. Not sure of the model kind, but who cares at this point.

At first, I thought everything was gone, so I was going to format the thing, but noticed that it only detected 7.87GB of the 160GB hard drive. I knew something was wrong. Everything was still on it, but because of some corrupted sectors, it wasn't readable.

I tried to recover the files on there, but eventually, it just stopped detecting the hard drive in Windows. The Bios still detects the hard drive.

I ended up going to Best Buy, and bought a new 500GB hard drive. Definitely more storage room. Time to fill that all up. :)

... and he's off

Earlier this morning, my brother took off on his Cross-Canada trip. This did mean that I had to get up and drive him to the GO Station, so he could head down to Union Station, to catch his VIA Rail Train. I got bit by a mosquito while loading up the trunk with my bro's bags. Stupid mosquito. Bit me on the elbow.

In a surprising move, my little siblings got up early, to say their goodbyes, before going back to bed, only to wake up 20 minutes later.

With my brother gone, I do gain access to his Blue Jays season tickets, which I will be putting to use, probably three or four times while he is gone. I'll probably even stay to watch the games, unlike him. Been thinking about getting a Jays jersey. I've wanted to get one over the past few years, but never got around to it. I also never really looked into it. If I can find one at a very reasonable price, then I'll probably pick one up soon.

Also, with my brother gone, he misses out on a couple of events that I'm sure he wants to go to. First up, the Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone signing at Paradise Comics, this Wednesday. As well as, the Joe Shuster Awards this Saturday. Sucks for him, but sacrifices had to be made, for him to be able to do this trip.

I'm just glad I'm not next to him during those train rides. Damn, periods where he's stuck on a train with no shower, and with his snoring. I feel sorry for those on that train. :)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Recent Video Game Reviews

These are all recent Nintendo Wii games I've played. Some of which, I'm still playing.

Lego Indiana Jones - This is one of the two games I'm currently playing, as it was just released this week. I've been doing this one level at a time, because it just seems quite long. I'm not really having as much fun with this, as I did with Lego Star Wars, but Indy doesn't have the Force, nor does he have a lightsaber. While playing Lego Star Wars, I almost always used a character with a lightsaber. It made the game fun. That being said, Indy does have his whip, but it's quite slow to use. I do have intentions on clearing this game, but it'll take some time.

Wii Fit - As I mentioned before, the game called me fat. Piece of s**t! Wii Fit is quite enjoyable. It is added motivation for me to workout, because I get to play a game at the same time. I haven't played since Thursday, but I do intend on playing it later tonight, sometime after dinner.

Mario Kart Wii - This brought back memories of when I played Super Mario Kart, for the Super Nintendo. It is great. I haven't cleared it, or played it much, but this is so much fun playing multiplayer.

Iron Man - I was highly disappointed with this game. It's purely mission-based, and you can't free roam in this game, like the Spider-Man games. I'd rather roam around the city, because at times, I don't want to do the missions. I hope the new Hulk game will be better than the previous Hulk movie game. I also hope the new Hulk game is free roaming.

Boom Blox - Another game I haven't fully played, but it is fun. I had a blast playing this game with my little brother.

Okami - The beginning movie got me bored of this. It took too long. Then I played the first stage, I just stopped. I don't even think I finished the first stage.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Boughts and Thoughts - June 4th, 2008

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight #15 - Not a bad ending to Drew (Cloverfield) Goddard's arc. Laughed quite a bit through this issue, that was also mixed with lots of action. More lesbian sex between Buffy and Satsu. Dawn-Zilla! That thing had a tail. Next issue, FRAY.

Grimm Fairy Tales #27 - Three Blind Mice. Take that you bastards. Old lady took you down! Wasn't too fond of the artwork, but it was a good story.

Grimm Fairy Tales: Tales from Wonderland - The Mad Hatter - Meh. Zoned out while reading this, and while still flipping through the pages, so I probably missed what lead to the ending. When I get to it, I'll read it again.

House of Mystery #2 - Can't say I enjoyed this as much as issue one. I didn't really like the back-story itself, though fantastic artwork by Jill Thompson there.

Justice Society of America #16 - "I made him good again." That's what we need, someone that actually cures sicknesses, and problems. We need GOG! Still doesn't beat Jeebus.

Kick-Ass #3 - The hero gets his name. Liked the ending, and want to see where this goes.

Secret Invasion #3 - Could he be? Or could mind games be played on him? We see the Young Avengers and the Initiative in action, against the Skrulls.

Trinity #1 - Bagley takes on the DCU! Nice to see him draw these characters. Hope to see him again, this August at Fan Expo Canada

Ultimate Origins #1 - I don't know why I picked this up. I wanted it in collected format, which I'll probably get and pass on the rest of the series. Liked the Gabriele Dell'Otto cover. I haven't really picked up any Ultimate Universe books, but I noticed the cover quality was so crappy. This adds to me regretting buying the single issue itself.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Search for Fit II: The Search is Over!

Yep, I found it. June 2nd, 2008, I found a copy of Wii Fit! I actually found two, but Future Shop only allows you to purchase one. I didn't want to go through the hassle, so I didn't bother trying to get the other one (you know, to try and profit off of it... or help out one of you blog readers).

I checked out several places since the original post, though most of the time since the original post, checking mainly took place when I was at places for other reasons. I also kept an eye online since then.

And today, checking online did pay off, because during my random checkings of Future Shop and Best Buy (set to the store inventories close to me to drive to), I started noticing that Future Shop was updating their store inventories, showing Wii Fit in stock. The FS location just off of Empress Walk showed in stock, so I decided to check around my bro's work (or someone around there). The other location showing in stock was Keele & St. Clair. Both weren't close to me, so I did ask my bro if he was willing to go. He wasn't. Oh well.

Later on, while refreshing the FS page for Wii Fit, I noticed that the Vaughan location updated with it in stock, and I immediately went there. Walked in, grabbed one of the two Wii Fits there, paid, and walked out in five minutes. Total trip took about 25 minutes.

I played for a little bit, but I'm currently preparing dinner (and blogging), so I'll continue my Wii Fit training later on.

And just so you know, according to Wii Fit, I'm Obese... I was ready to throw that Balance Board across the room... bastard called me fat.