Saturday, June 27, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

It's been one year since the passing of Michael Turner. He will forever be missed.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Turner.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gareb Shamus (of Wizard) buys Paradise Toronto Comicon

If you haven't heard by now, it has been confirmed that Peter Dixon of Paradise Comics and Paradise Conventions has sold the Paradise Toronto Comicon to Gareb Shamus of Wizard Entertainment.

Here is the Press Release, with a little note of correction by Kevin Boyd.

New York, NY (June 24, 2009) – Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York based Wizard Entertainment, announces today that he has purchased the Toronto Comicon, a show that has been consistently awarded The Best International Comic Book Convention (non-USA) by, for the last 5 years.

(Kevin Boyd's note: the Paradise con won the award for five years – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. There was no award handed out for 2008. The vote was an online fan vote).

“We’ve always had a strong following in Canada, so buying the Toronto Comicon is something that allows me to give back to our fans. These attendees are known to be serious collectors and comic industry followers,” said Shamus. “I am thrilled to offer the guests, celebrities, artists, dealers and exhibitors to our Canadian audience for the very first time.”

Peter Dixon, owner of Paradise Conventions and former owner of the Toronto Comicon, will still be intimately involved in the show production, his friendly manner ensuring the continuation of the trademarked relaxed atmosphere of the show.

“Wizard brings greater industry recognition and star power to the show. I’m excited about having the fans get this bigger experience,” said Dixon.

The next show dates have not been set yet, but the newly managed Toronto Comicon is expected to debut in 2010.

About Wizard Entertainment:

Gareb Shamus founded Wizard Entertainment in 1991. Today, Wizard Entertainment publishes Wizard, ToyFare, FunFare and numerous books and magazines about today’s top talent, comic books and toys. Wizard produces Chicago Comic-Con at the Rosemont Convention center, August 6-9; Big Apple Comic-Con at Pier 94, October 16 -18 and Wizard World Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Convention Center June 11-13, 2010.

This is some interesting news, as I am a big fan of comic conventions and festivals (gotta give some love to TCAF). Bringing back Paradise Toronto Comicon under the Wizard brand, surely will bring the attendance up, as celebrities will now be brought in, attracting a new crowd. Also, with Wizard being able to bring in some top names guests, could be something good. Downside, it won't be a "comics-only" convention anymore.

This also has me wondering about what's really going on, with the Wizard side of things. Wizard has let go a lot of their staff members over the part year (or two?), canceled Wizard World Texas, "postponed" Wizard World Los Angeles, shut down the Anime Insider magazine.

On the other hand, they re-branded Wizard World Chicago to Chicago Comic-Con, picked up Big Apple Con, and now Paradise Toronto Comicon. The only convention that remains under the "Wizard" name, is Wizard World Philadelphia, but I am thinking something will change with that con in the future.

I'm also wondering when and where the convention will be held. Timing of events and location were some of the reasons to the Paradise/Hobbystar Toronto Con War.

Here is a rundown of some of the events going on next year:
- Hobbystar's Winter Toronto ComiCON, February 28, 2010
- Megacon, March 12-14, 2010
- Emerald City Comicon, March 13-14, 2010
- Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, April 16-18, 2010
- TCAF 2010, May 8-9, 2010 (Mother's Day Weekend)
- Hobbystar's Fan Appreciation Toronto ComiCON, June 5-6, 2010
- Wizard World Philadelphia, June 11-13, 2010
- HeroesCon, not confirmed, but guessing Father's Day Weekend 2010, so June 18-20, 2010
- San Diego Comic Con, not confirmed, but guessing July 2010
- Baltimore Comic Con, August 28-29, 2010
- Fan Expo Canada, end of Summer 2010
- New York Comic Con, October 8-10, 2010
- Hobbystar's Fall Toronto ComiCON, tentatively November 2010

I'm sure they'll find a venue and a weekend to hold the con, I'm just hoping this doesn't start up another Toronto Con War.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - June 24th, 2009

Ugh, completely forgot to pick up New Avengers today. May pick it up later today, though I'm sure I can wait until next week.

Detective Comics #854 - Started this, because of Batwoman taking over. Thinking this is a great start, with an interesting and enjoyable story by Greg Rucka. Magnificent artwork by J.H. Williams III. Highly enjoyable back-up story, that features the Question (Renee Montoya).

Gotham City Sirens #1 - Couldn't pass up a title that stars Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. To top that off, it was a good story, though featuring a new and stupid villain, that I hope to never see again. :)

Green Lantern #42 - Oh, those Guardians of OA are bastards. This continues to get me all excited about the Blackest Night.

The Incredibles: Family Matters #3 - This mini-series wraps up in the next issue, and everything is falling into place. Looking forward to the final issue of the mini-series, and then the on-going series that will start afterward.

Secret Warriors #5 - Good to see the Howling Commandos in action. I never followed, or read any of the Sgt. Fury & the Howling Commandos in the past, so reading this was pretty cool.

Viking #2 - Pretty good issue, looking forward to seeing where this goes.

War Machine #7 (1990's Variant) - Really, it was just for the Mike Choi/Sonia Oback cover. It's War Machine, in Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" setting.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Transmission X on Digital Kontent!

Over the past week, Digital Kontent has released interviews with most of the members of Transmission X. It was released in two parts, both of which were recorded right after TCAF.

Part 1 - Featuring Andy B., Arthur Dela Cruz, Cameron Stewart, and new T-X member, Eric Vedder

Part 2 - Featuring Scott Hepburn, Karl Kerschl, Brian McLachlin, and Ramon Perez

These two interviews are the Season 3 Finale for Digital Kontent. On that note, I was Thanked at the end of the second part of the T-X interview, by the DK crew. :)

Thanks for having me on this season, guys!

Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Wonder Woman Statue

COVER GIRLS OF THE DC UNIVERSE: WONDER WOMAN Statue  In addition to picking up the Superman piece by Jim Zubkavich and Saejin Oh, I also picked up that amazing Cover Girls of the DC Universe: Wonder Woman Statue on the right (based on the artwork of Adam Hughes, sculpted by Jack Mathews). Picked it up directly from All New Comics.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Superman by Jim Zubkavich and Saejin Oh

Superman by Jim Zubkavich and Saejin Oh (2008)Forgot to mention this, but I picked up the Jim Zubkavich Superman piece that was done for the 2008 Joe Shuster Awards - Visions of an Icon Gallery.

The original piece also comes with a print, coloured by Saejin Oh.

Boughts and Thoughts - June 17th, 2009

Lots this week, and I'm still a sucker for variants, I guess. Gotta cut back on my spending on books again. It's just becoming too much. Then again, I'm also buying stuff that I don't normally buy, which is my fault, of course. Stupid me...

On the plus side, I didn't pick up the Obama book that was released this week.

Bomb Queen Presents All Girl Comics #1 - One of the books I regret that I didn't flip through and put back. Totally was expecting this to be the same mature rating as the regular Bomb Queen series, with that type of fun. Waste of money.

Captain America #600 - All the hype, led me to much disappointment. Don't get me wrong... (Spoiler alert, highlight if you don't care, or already heard/read)... I'm glad that Steve Rogers is coming back, and this issue itself was a good one (though I could have done without the reprinted material and cover gallery... inflating the book to a $4.99US cover price...). Just with all the hype prior to this past Monday, the news wasn't as big as I was hoping for, though I totally expected this... back when issue #25 came out.

Dead@17: Afterbirth #1 - Finally, Dead@17 at a decent publisher, and not Viper Comics (since I don't really order stuff, I just hoped that stores did order Dead@17 when it was at Viper Comics, but they usually didn't). I'm glad that Josh Howard is now getting more exposure, cause I like his work.

Elephantmen #20 - Pretty good issue... I think this is the end of Marian Churchland's run, which has been very good (both her artwork, and Richard Starkings' story).

Executive Assistant: Iris #1 - Another enjoyable issue, but don't know how much longer I'll be on board.

Herogasm #2 - C'mon, got a guy snorting coke, right on the cover. It's a must buy!

Invincible #63 - Fuck You, Kirkman! You're still a pretty damn good writer, with the events in this issue, Fuck You! (Keep up the great work).

Power Girl #2 - Another fun issue, though spent a lot of time dealing with that monkey. Still, highly enjoyable. And that Adam Hughes cover is pretty sweet! It was a rush job too, and it's pretty damn sweet!

Superman/Batman #61 - The end of the fun, but corny, story, that features the awesome artwork of Francis Manapul. I did enjoy some of the mash-ups, revealed in this issue. The ending of the story arc, was a little cheap. But, as always, that is a way to explain everything... it's better than saying, "It's Magic."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - June 10th, 2009

Flash: Rebirth #3 - Seemed to have followed a pattern, with the ending of issue 3 of GL: Rebirth. Interesting... still don't know where this is leading, but I guess that's what the remaining three issues are for (if you didn't already know, Flash: Rebirth was extended from a 5-issue mini-series, to a 6-issue mini-series).

Miss America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 - Bought this because of the cover. Just some great stuff by Dale Eaglesham and Dave McCaig. As for the issue itself, it wasn't bad. Not something that I would have picked up, if I didn't like the cover.

Red Robin #1 - Off to a great start for this new series. The identity of Red Robin is revealed in this issue, and how it came about.

Toy Story: Mysterious Stranger #1 - This is a four-issue mini-series, but it looked like it was done-in-one. By the end of the issue, we know what that mysterious egg-shaped item is, so I'm wondering what's going to happen in the next three issues. Kinda glad they didn't play off that egg-shaped item for all four issues.

The Unwritten #2 - Decided to check out the second issue, since this series has been getting great reviews. It's not my type of book, which explains why I haven't gotten into Fables world, or a lot of the Vertigo stuff.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Follow Me on Twitter!

If you haven't noticed on the sidebar, I've included my Twitter updates in some Widget. If you're on Twitter, Follow Me!

I probably don't have anything interesting to say, but I would like to inflate my followers. No real reason, just for fun.

An Evening With Neil Gaiman

Me with Neil Gaiman (June 8th, 2009)Along with Danny, I attended An Evening with Neil Gaiman, which is part of the Luminato: Toronto Festival of Arts programming.

I stumbled across this on Neil Gaiman's website, and just knew I had to be there. I've missed the last Neil Gaiman reading, three years ago, and several of his previous visits to Toronto, which were unadvertised (usually for movie screenings). This one, I found out when tickets were being sold, and ordered one of myself and Danny... using his credit card. :)

As Danny explains most of what happened, I'll just skip that part, and talk a little about the signing.

Figuring that there was going to be a signing limit, I knew my main item to get signed. I did have extras, if there was a chance at more, but it wasn't something that I was going to push.

The Hero Initiative's The Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project signed by Neil Gaiman

I've received a lot of crap from Danny, as to why I chose and stuck with this item, to even turn down some money offered, for him to get his second item signed. I'm sure many are also wondering why this was my top choice.

Frankly, this is a more personal choice. I didn't have anything of monetary value that I could get signed by Neil Gaiman, and even if I did, there were only a few books that I would've put ahead of this book. I've been collecting signatures in it, since I got this back in August 2007 (Thanks to Kevin Boyd). Since then, I've gotten signatures from John Romita, John Romita Jr., Dave Sim, Herb Trimpe, Frank Quitely, and several, several more.

After the signing, we just called it a night, and headed home.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

3rd Annual Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament

3rd Annual Walter Gretzky TournamentJune 6th, 2009 - Danny and I went to the 3rd Annual Walter Gretzky Tournament on Saturday. Now, we are hockey fans. I would say I'm more of a hockey fan than Danny is nowadays. But honestly, we are both not die-hard enough to attend a Street Hockey Tournament, even if it's put on by the Great One's Father, Walter Gretzky.

Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for Mr. Gretzky, and am forever grateful that he helped Wayne Gretzky become the man, and Icon that Wayne has become. Just for us, Brantford is a far place that neither one of us had ever been to, and to watch hockey played by people we don't know, not something we'd make the trip for.

However, there was an incentive for us to go this year...


Kevin Smith and many members of the View Askew were going to be there to play hockey! We are both Kevin Smith fans, and having him there was the selling point for us to go. Having other members of the View Askew crew were bonuses for us.

Scott Mosier Bryan Johnson Jennifer Schwalbach Katie Morgan

The above pictures are just a few members of Kevin Smith's team. From Left to Right:
- Scott Mosier - Producer of many of Kevin Smith's movies
- Bryan Johnson - Steve Dave
- Jennifer Schwalbach - Kevin Smith's wife
- Katie Morgan - Adult Film Star, and one of the stars of Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

My ultimate goal was to get something signed by Kevin Smith, and that proved to be a challenge, as he was being escorted around by several security personnel.

Also, we wanted to check out some of the ball hockey going on. We arrived shortly prior to the first game with Kevin Smith's team, Puck U. Found our spots, and watched the game from the sideboards (great for pictures).

After the first game, we had some time before the next game with Puck U, so we roamed around the rest of the Street Hockey Tournament. Found out that Dean Blundell and 102.1 the Edge Toronto Five Holes were playing a game, so we ended up watching that, which led into the Opening Ceremonies, and the the second game with Kevin Smith's Puck U.

But as the Opening Ceremonies were wrapped up, and prior to the start of the second Puck U game, I managed to get this little picture taken.

Me & Walter Gretzky
Me with Walter Gretzky!

After the second game with Puck U, I figured I'd try to get something signed by Kevin Smith. So, as he was leaving the ball hockey rink, and heading back to take off him gear, I joined the crowd that was trying to get stuff signed, and was successful! Twice! :)

I got one of my items signed, then was quickly looking for my bro, couldn't find him within the 5 seconds that I looked, and then went back around to get a second item signed. Then I found Danny, and tried to get his item signed, but at that point, we were unsuccessful.

We could have waited until the next game, which was over two hours later, but decided to head home, to relax after spending the day in the sun. It was still a successful day for both of us, but you'll have to check out what Danny says of the day (and he'll probably have a lot more photos).

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - June 3rd, 2009

Ugh... today, I am quite sick. The last time I was really sick (and not one of those days where I'm just lazy, claiming that I feel sick), it lasted about a day. This time, I felt myself coming down with something on Monday (while at work), spent most of Tuesday in bed, spent more of Wednesday morning/afternoon in bed. I'm starting to feel better, but my throat is killing me, and it feels like one of my lungs is congested. Fun stuff.

So, today, my bro went to pick up my books. I eventually went out later in the evening, while heading out to pick up some meds, to get any addition books. Really disappointed that the two shops I went to, and the one my bro went to, were sold out of Chew #1. I was really hoping to grab a copy of that one.

Anyways, here's what I got.

Batman and Robin #1 - Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Can't go wrong on that. There are frog and pig people in Gotham now? I know there was a Croc, but adding to the whole animal-based villains? Meh. Still a pretty cool book.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Vampires #1 - Not really a Buffy book, but it deals with vampires. Not a bad issue. Kind of messed up, but in a good way.

Wonder Woman #32 - Picked up the Francis Manapul variant. Wanted to get this last week, but due to it being busy, and the variants yet to be pulled from the Diamond boxes, it was delayed to this week. Great cover by Francis Manapul and Jeremy Roberts.