Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - September 30th, 2009, and More

Jepperd by Jeff Lemire (2009)Amazing Spider-Man #607 - Once again, it was a decision mainly based on the cover. But after reading the previous issue, which I did enjoy, having a story to this cover made it all better. This continues the Black Cat story (which I believe this is the final part to that story).

Batman: The Widening Gyre #2 - Didn't think I was going to buy this, but I caved for this issue, because of Kevin Smith. Issue wasn't bad. Okay, now I'll wait for the hardcover.

Gotham City Sirens #4 - Getting ready to drop this. Kinda of getting bored of this series. I haven't decided when I'm going to drop this.

Green Lantern #46 - Plans are coming together to try and stop the Black Lantern Corps.

Sky Pirates of Neo Terra #1 - Not too sure why I bought this, other than Camilla d'Errico providing the artwork to this mini-series. I never heard of the game that this comic is based on (other than the fact that it hasn't been released yet). Beautiful artwork, not a bad story, but I'm not continuing with this.

Also, got a couple of cool items in the mail today. The first is the Jeff Lemire sketch above (I believe the character sketched is, Jepperd, from Sweet Tooth). Jeff Lemire is doing a promotion for the release of Sweet Tooth #1.

The other item I received in the mail today, was a promotional sample item, that DC Entertainment will probably be making and selling, based on the Lantern Corps. I got this from Ethan Van Sciver, who was giving away some of the baseball caps to members of his Facebook friends list. It was one of those "right place at the right time" things, cause there really wasn't much to winning this cap. He just said he'll give the respective coloured cap away to the first person that calls out which colour they wanted. Quickly skimming through the comments, I noticed that the yellow hat wasn't called, so I quickly typed "Yellow!" and won it!

Still wishing I was back at TIFF09

Unfortunately, I can't go back physically, but I can live it over and over again, through the magic of the Internets. :)

Sorry for the amount of YouTube videos.

Guess who's in the background of a Megan Fox interview? :D

Also, I can be seen at 1:13 in this video

In this one too (though, this one is quite annoying).

I'm not in this one, but looks like I probably should've stayed for the ending, because Megan Fox came back for the ending of the Jennifer's Body Premiere.

Danny can be seen (if you look closely while Bono is signing), and the back of my head can be seen while Colin Farrell is signing on the side facing the camera, just before he heads into the car.

Same premiere, different angle, where I'm in it, and Colin Farrell signs two items for me (which were both Danny's).

At 1:27 in this clip, you can see Jennifer Garner signing for me! Well, this was the second item getting signed (which was for Danny). Told ya bro, your item was the last thing signed before she took off. Mine was the third last item.

I can't be seen in this one, but here is Michael Cera leaving the Youth In Revolt premiere, where I was, but wasn't able to get anything signed. I'm right next to the wooden frame, to the right of the door. Cera walked over to the area where I was for Jennifer Garner, and started signing there.

Another angle, where you can see me:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Videos from the 2009 Joe Shuster Awards

I was able to personally record some videos at the Joe Shuster Awards, this past Saturday evening.

Monday, September 28, 2009

2009 Joe Shuster Awards and Word on the Street

As many of you may be aware, Saturday September 26th, 2009 was the 5th Annual Joe Shuster Awards. I've been a part of the Executive Committee since October 2008, and this was my first awards ceremony in that role. I was apart of the Nominating Committee back in 2006 and 2008 (for the 2nd and 4th years, respectively), and voluntarily helped out with the Eligible List in 2007 (year 3).

This year, with me in one the Executive roles of this committee, and my pessimistic mentality, had me thinking... "Aw man, I'm gonna ****** this up somehow." Of course, not intentionally, I'd never do something like that. It's just, I figured I'd accidentally screw up somehow.



.... and then I agreed to be the Cameraman recording the Awards Ceremony.

Now, seriously speaking, I honestly didn't know what to expect on Saturday. When planning an event, you always have the thoughts in the back of your head, "Will this be successful?", "Will people show up?", etc. Questions like that were running through my head over and over again.

Thankfully, attendance looked pretty good. I don't know if we did a head count, but it looked fairly busy in the Innis Town Hall Auditorium. Not a packed house, but it looked like attendance grew from last year. I could be wrong (anyone that attended both years, do you think attendance grew?)

We arrived fairly early in the afternoon to set up the Visions of an Icon: Wolverine Preview Gallery. Lots of nice pieces! Yours truly is featured in a few of the pieces by Noel Tuazon. :)

For the full gallery showing, check out SpeakEasy Toronto on November 5th, 2009. We'll have all the pieces up for display. For those that have yet to submit a piece, there is still some time to get one done.

Sadly, I didn't take too many pictures of the event. I spent most of the evening behind the table, selling prints, posters, books, etc. And when the Awards Ceremony started, I spent the entire time behind the video camera (Yes, I was actually the cameraman. No, I don't know when you'll get to see any of it. I don't even know when I'll get to see any of it).

Here is the list of the Recipients of the 2009 Joe Shuster Awards.

The highlight of the Awards, Andy B. accepting the Outstanding Webcomics award on behalf of Cameron Stewart (who won for his webcomic, Sin Titulo). Hopefully someone recorded this, and will post this on YouTube. It was classic!

The after party was a fun event too. I didn't get in till a little later, because of some of the auditorium clean-up. Apparently, there was roast beef deli meat there. That went quick, cause I found out the next day that there was roast beef. Lots of other tasty foods to eat. First time I tried deviled eggs, and I liked it!

I really do hope that everyone that attended had lots of fun and enjoyed the show. If you didn't attend, try to make it to next year's show. More info on that when it becomes available. Just keep checking the Joe Shuster Awards website.

The Word on the Street was the next event for the Joe Shuster Awards, taking place the day after the Awards Ceremony.

I won't get too in-depth into this event, as I spent the bulk of the day, behind the table, selling books, most of the books were donated to the Awards by The Dragon. The rest were donated by various other sources.

Now, being behind the table... I'm not used to that stuff. I did it before at the Fan Appreciation Event earlier this year. I'm still not used to being behind the table, but it was a lot of fun today. People were there to buy books, and it looked like I was doing one heck of a job, with that jar of money being filled up.

And then Allison came along, and took over. She was outgoing and interacting with those that came by. Me, I stood there and looked like my hot self.

Yeah, I said it! :p

I did also pick up a couple of commission sketches from Faith Erin Hicks, who was also at our booth, selling (as well as signing and sketching in) her two books, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellsmere. One of the commission sketches was for me, one for Danny. I'll leave it to you to figure out which one belongs to me, and which one belongs to my bro.

Other creators that appeared at our booth, Dave Ross, Agnes Garbowska, David Day, and Steve Rolston.

This was our first time set up at the Word on the Street, and at the end of the day, this was a pretty successful event for the Joe Shuster Awards. Lots of people inquired about the awards. Lots of people leaving with the free buttons, postcards, and posters. Lots of people leaving with books that featured works by Canadian Creators.

And hopefully, most importantly, lots of people having fun. In my tired state of mind, I had a blast. Thanks to all that came by the booth!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Friendly reminder that the 2009 Joe Shuster Awards will be presented tomorrow night (Saturday September 26th, 2009), starting at 8pm, at the University of Toronto's Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave. - Get Directions Here).

See ya there!

TIFF 09: Me at the Jennifer's Body Premiere

After experiencing TIFF for the first time (aside from walking by one of the premieres one time, last year, I believe), I have this feeling that I want to go back. I guess it's still the high I'm feeling from getting autographs from most of those that I was hoping to get (Megan Fox, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Nicolas Cage). It was a fun experience, and I'll probably head down again next year.

But until then, and in the spirit of showing more pictures that contain me and Celebs, even though I'm not really next to the celebs, check out the one on the side. There I am, with Megan Fox there. I think this was after I got her autograph, and trying to snap pictures, but waiting for it to ready itself. My camera sucks, so I used Danny's camera after that night.

Here is the original photo, by Flickr member: jamesrocchi

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - September 23rd, 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #606 - Bought it for the cover. The issue itself was enjoyable. Spidey, you man-slut. Great to see Black Cat back in the Spidey world.

Detective Comics #857 - Okay, so I caved, and picked up this issue, after saying I'm done with it. Arc is over, now I'm done with it.

New Avengers #57 - You know, this story is dragging on, and on. C'mon Bendis, I'm getting bored of the story.

Power Girl #5 - I'm loving the randomness of this series. Doesn't tie into all the Blackest Night stuff. Just Power Girl's own little world outside of everything else that's going on in the DCU.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size #1 - Can't say I truly enjoyed the ending to this story. Visually, it was good, but I didn't really like the ending. Definitely seemed rushed (storywise, not art... magnificent artwork by Steve McNiven).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This is pretty cool

Was roaming around the Internets today, and found out that the Batgirl sketch by Faith Erin Hicks, I got at TCAF 2009, was coloured Andrew Foster a couple of weeks after she posted it!

Click Here to see the image coloured! :D

The Dragon Grand Opening Signing Event - September 19th, 2009

Guelph... you know, I've never been to Guelph before. Passed by it several times, going to Kitchener/Waterloo, London, and Michigan. But never got off the highway, to explore Guelph. I didn't know anyone that lived there, or anyone that went to school there. Had no reason to be there. So Guelph was just another city that I heard of, but never been to... until now.

Yes, I went to Guelph for Grand Opening Event for the new location of The Dragon (at the Old Quebec Street Mall). I've never been to The Dragon before (unfortunately, not really that local for me), but it's a great store, and in a great location (though, I can't really compare to the old location, as I have never been to that one before).

I arrived at the mall around 10:40am, and found the store really quickly while walking out of the parking garage. Figured I was still early, even though the "Open" sign was lit up, so I walked around the mall for a little, before finding a bench to kick back. Noticed there's an LCBO right across the hallway from The Dragon (Comics and Booze within 20ft of each other... talk about heaven!).

I walked inside just a little after 11am, to see Lar DeSouza (Least I Could Do, Looking For Group) and Jay Stephens (creator of The Secret Saturdays on the Cartoon Network) already seated and ready to go. Still being a little early, and waiting for other people to get the ball rolling, I checked out the back issues. Ended up picking up my second copies of Batman #612 (1st Printing) and Wonder Woman #32 (Francis Manapul Variant). Why I have two? I dunno... but I like them, so I bought them.

Zatanna by Dale Keown (2009)Dale Keown was the next to show, along with Richard Pace. It didn't take long, but the line began. I jumped in, being fourth in line. Lucky for me, 2nd and 3rd in line where just there for signatures, so I was 2nd in line for a sketch. Holy crap, I love it. I was thinking of getting the Zatanna from Dale, back in December, but opted not to get in then. Figured, if I'm continuing with the Zatanna theme, I gotta get one from Dale. My only regret was not pulling out the Smooth Bristol sketchpad, and pulling out the Vellum. Gotta stop buying Vellum. Smooth is the way to go.

Regardless of paper type, this is just a beautiful sketch.

Zatanna by Stuart Immonen (2009)I noticed the line for Stuart Immonen starting to form. Why the line? Stuart Immonen was sketching for donations that will go to the Hero Initiative. When people found out, about the signing, I started to get contacted about helping people get sketches from Stuart Immonen. Unfortunately for them, I didn't have one, so I gotta think about myself in this case. And after me, my brother doesn't have one, so if I was able to get a second sketch, it would have to be for him (since he's kind of in England at the moment... otherwise, he would have been there with me).

And to be honest, I was very hesitant about asking for a second one, after getting my first sketch by Stuart Immonen. When the line slowed down, and after noticing a couple of people getting multiples from him, I figured he didn't mind too much (if at all), since the donations kept coming in (and that jar was full!)

I've sent the scan to Danny, so whenever he feels like posting it, just keep an eye out for it on his blog.

Green Lantern by Scott Chantler (2009)By now, all the guests have arrived, and I was slowly working my way to see the rest of the guests (or in the case of Scott Chantler, seeing him again).

After holding back for a little bit, and talking with some of the Toronto folk that also traveled over to Guelph for this event, I went to see Scott Chantler. His sketch was the only non-Zatanna sketch of the day, since I got one from him at TCAF. He had a preview of his upcoming book, "Three Thieves: Tower of Treasure." Liking what I am seeing from that book.

Zatanna by Jay Stephens (2009)I've been hearing and seeing the name Jay Stephens, and have been seeing some of the artwork he has done, for quite some time now, but I have never gone to see him at the cons. This appeared to be a great opportunity for me to get something done by him, as I had him on my list for Fan Expo Canada, but just never went to see him then.

Jay Stephens is the creator of the Cartoon Network show, The Secret Saturdays, and has recently been doing cover work for the Johnny DC Cartoon Network books.

Naturally, I continued my theme, and got my little sister's favourite Zatanna sketch of this haul.

Zatanna by Lar DeSouza (2009)Lar DeSouza is the artwork of the last year's Joe Shuster Awards Winning Webcomics, Least I Could Do and Looking For Group (along with writer, Ryan Sohmer... both creators and webcomics are nominated again this year).

Of the two, I follow Least I Could Do, as it is more my type of humour. I'm not big into the fantasy gaming world, so Looking For Group just isn't my thing (it's still pretty good).

Lar DeSouza seemed to always have a small group around him at the previous cons I've seen him at, so I just never went over to see him. Caught him today, while he was not busy, so I finally was able to see him.

When he saw the Zatanna request, he knew what he was going to draw, and it led him to telling a story about a fan at Dragon*Con that took place two weeks ago.

Zatanna by Nick Postic (2009)And finally, Nick Postic. He was the latest advertised addition to the group appearing, and another person that I was hoping to see before, since I've heard good things and seen great sketches done by him. This was a perfect opportunity for me to see him, and got my last sketch of the day.

After the signing, I headed out to lunch, before heading home. Bad drive back for me, because I was half-asleep, and doing whatever to keep myself awake. Coffee, Red Bull, and Coke did not help at all. The drive would have gone so much faster, but you know how people get when they see accidents... "Let's slow down, really slow, so we can see the damages to the cars off on the shoulder." And as usual, traffic returns to normal after that point. Ugh... that was a rough spot for me, because of the lack of movement just has me even more tired.

Oh well, I got home in one piece. Scanned and sent Danny the Stuart Immonen sketch for him.

I definitely had a blast at this event, and hope everyone else that attended had an enjoyable time. For those that didn't go, Guelph isn't that far away, so hopefully you head over the next time there's an signing event going on there (I'll be sure to post it whenever I find out of any future events).

Thanks to Jenn, Robert, Amy, and the rest of the crew at The Dragon for putting on a wonderful event. Also, Thanks to Dale Keown, Stuart Immonen, Scott Chantler, Jay Stephens, Lar DeSouza and Nick Postic for taking the time to do these sketches for me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Toronto International Film Festival 2009

Let me start off saying, I did not watch a single movie that was playing at the Toronto International Film Festival. The only movie I watched during the week (but outside of TIFF), was Ocean's 11, that was shown on Peachtree TV (formerly TBS). And that was after Danny got my DVD copy of Ocean's 11 signed by George Clooney.

Ocean's 11 signed by George Clooney

Also, this report will totally not be in chronological order (see Part 1, Part 2).

I didn't get any new signatures after Nicolas Cage (Tuesday September 15th, 2009). However, after getting that item signed (holding off on posting it for now), I managed to snap this picture.

Nicolas Cage

I went down for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus premiere at Roy Thomson Hall on Friday (September 18th, 2009), but that was a bust when it came to getting more signatures. I was hearing rumours that Jude Law was supposed to appear. Those ended up being false rumours. Also, Colin Farrell did not appear at the premiere. He did appear at the other two movies he was promoting at TIFF (Triage, Ondine).

Terry Gilliam (L), Verne Troyer (R)

Lily Cole (L), Christopher Plummer (R)

I ended up skipping the Love and Other Impossible Pursuits premiere (Wednesday September 16th, 2009), which was one I did really want to go to (Natalie Portman!), but was just so burnt out from the previous week (probably the busiest week I've had in years). Long story, don't want to get into that. I ended up napping, then playing Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. Fun game, but I don't seem to be as into this one, as I was the previous one.

Ended up seeing photos from the premiere with Natalie Portman signing autographs. I do regret not going, but sometimes, you just gotta pick your battles.

Here are a couple of scans of some of the autographs I was able to get:

Josh Emerson, Adam Brody (Left side, top-to-bottom), Clive Owen, Bill Nighy, Ricky Gervais (Right side, top-to-bottom)

I ended up getting addition signatures on comic backboards, as those were the only things I had with me at the time (never planned on addition signatures, and the comic backboards will be explained at a later date). Figured, these would probably be good for multiple signatures. Josh Emerson and Adam Brody were both obtained at the Jennifer's Body premiere. I was trying to go for more signatures on the board, but other stars didn't even bother coming over, at the premiere. I'm holding off on posting the Megan Fox autograph, but trust me, it's cool!

As for Clive Owen, Bill Nighy, and Ricky Gervais (all of which took place on Monday September 14th, 2009)... Clive Owen showed up late for one of the movies, not sure which one, but he stopped to sign for those waiting outside, so I jumped at the chance, as I totally wasn't expecting him. Here is a shot of Clive Owen, with me in the background (Photo by Admittedly, at the time, I didn't recognize him, as he was quickly rushing inside, but stopped to sign autographs as people were calling him. It also sounded like they were screaming "Mike, Mike!" (*shrug*)

Bill Nighy was leaving the showing of Glorious 39 and was waiting for his car to arrive to drive him away, so he signed for everyone there, and posed for pictures with those that wanted to. Also chatted with many people around, until the car arrived. Here is a shot of Bill Nighy, with me in the background (Photo by Flickr member: Vinyamar)

Bill Nighy poses while signing for me

Ricky Gervais was leaving the Invention of Lying premiere, and was quite energetic while he was going around signing, and doing so quickly (since people were still waiting on Jennifer Garner).

Ricky Gervais signing for people (Left), and handing a signed item back to the girl next to me (Right)

Jennifer Garner came out after Ricky Gervais. No pictures, sadly, because I was concentrating on getting my item signed, as well as Danny's item. I'm going to hold off on posting my item from Jennifer Garner, which is also signed by Colin Farrell. Once again, trust me, it's cool!

Oh, and since Danny posted a picture of the first night Colin Farrell was signing (September 12th, 2009), here is the same picture, but showing where I am.

And here is a picture from after the second movie premiere that stars Colin Farrell, Ondine. U2 was in town for their back-to-back concerts at the Rogers Centre a couple nights later, so they took in a movie featuring their friend. Yeah, that's Bono signing autographs, with me in the background holding my backboard out (seriously, if I knew Bono was going to be there, I would have brought something a lot better than a backboard). Unfortunately, he didn't come over to my side.

As for Danny's Juno DVD cover, I totally got all the signatures for him on that. Diablo Cody (September 10th, 2009 at the Jennifer's Body Premiere), Jason Bateman and Jason Reitman (September 12th, 2009 at the Up In The Air Premiere, where I also got Danny's Syriana DVD cover signed for him by Clooney), and Jennifer Garner (September 14th, 2009 at the Invention of Lying Premiere, which was her last signature before taking off). Sadly, he couldn't get Ellen Page's autograph on it at the Whip It premiere, nor was I able to get Michael Cera on it at the Youth In Revolt premiere.

I'm pretty stoked about the items that I did get signed, and I can't wait to post them up here (but that won't be for a little over a month). Be patient, all will be revealed.

This is the first year that I went down to TIFF specifically to hunt for autographs. Getting an idea of how things go down, I'll probably be doing the same thing next year. Though, probably not as crazy as this year (depending on who comes to town, and when their movie premieres).

Also, BIG THANKS! goes out to Milo for all the tips and info on being able to obtain autographs. Would have missed out on many signatures, if it wasn't for him.

Now I leave you with some photos (not many, and out of those, not many were good either):

Josh Emerson (L), Valerie Tian (R)

Amanda Seyfried (L), Karyn Kusama, Amanda Seyfried, Jason Reitman (R)

Megan Fox (L), Johnny Simmons, Megan Fox (R)

Diablo Cody (L), Jason Bateman (R)

Anna Kendrick (L), Vera Farmiga (R)

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Dragon Grand Opening Event - September 18th-20th

I've been slacking with the blog posts, because I'm already a day late. But if you are in the Guelph, Ontario area, or if you can travel over to Guelph, on Saturday September 19th, 2009, be sure to check out The Dragon at their NEW location, inside the Old Quebec Street Mall (55 Wyndham Street North). There is also a signing taking place on September 19th. See below for details.

The Grand Opening Event! September 18th-20th
We're busily putting together a great event to celebrate not only our grand opening, but also our 11th anniversary! On the 19th, we will have Stuart Immonen (Ultimate Spiderman, Nextwave, Ultimate Fantastic Four), Kathryn Immonen (Patsy Walker Hellcat, Runaways), Lar DeSouza (Least I Could Do, Looking for Group), Scott Chantler (Northwest Passage, Hawaiian Dick) and, Dale Keown (Pitt, Hulk), Jay Stephens (Owl Magazine, Secret Saturdays), and Nick Postic (Impaler, Secret Invasion Home Invasion)!
Stuart will even be sketching for the Hero Initiative with the following requirements: A minimum $25 donation, head sketches only, and only in a bound sketchbook or TPB/HC book.
Please note: Stuart and Kathryn Immonen will only be appearing from 12:30-3:00!
There's a big Magic tournament on the 20th!
And of course, our 11th anniversary SALE will run all three days! Stay tuned for more info!

Two more days left for this Grand Opening Event and 11th Anniversary Sale.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - September 16th, 2009

Blackest Night #3 - The Indigo Tribe finally does something! More is revealed in the story. Looking forward to the rest of this series.

The Walking Dead #65 - A little boring, but also bad ass. Just a lot of talking.

Experiencing TIFF - Part 2

Once again, no pictures or scans. Will get to that later on. But since the last post, here are the following autographs I have been able to obtain:

- Colin Farrell (x2 - both for Danny)
- Clive Owen
- Bill Nighy
- Ricky Gervais
- Jennifer Garner (x2 - one for me, one for Danny)
- Nicolas Cage

Danny has posted scans of the autographs I got for him, that I have listed above. As a matter of fact, that entire Juno DVD, I got the autographs on it for him (Diablo Cody, Jason Bateman, Jason Reitman, and Jennifer Garner).

Sadly, he was unable to get Ellen Page's autograph, nor was I able to get Michael Cera's autograph (who I thought would be the easiest to get, and probably was, but positioning played a role in this).

Tonight, Natalie Portman, which right now, is a "maybe" on whether I go down or not. Kind of late screening, so I don't know if I'll be able to get her autograph.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Experiencing TIFF

I have been in downtown Toronto twice in the past three days, to join some of the autograph hounds, in collecting celebrity signatures. Gotta say, I was quite successful. Here's a list of signatures that I have been able to obtain (sorry, no scans or pictures at the moment, as it's getting lates):

- Megan Fox
- Adam Brody
- Josh Emerson
- Diablo Cody (for Danny)
- George Clooney (Danny got his signature for me, I got his signature for Danny)
- Jason Bateman (for Danny)
- Jason Reitman (for Danny)
- Colin Farrell

Quite successful, don't ya think. Most likely won't be attending on Sunday, due to other plans, but will be down Monday-Wednesday. Haven't decided on whether or not I'm going on Friday (since it would just be for Colin Farrell).

Oh, and because I think it's funny, here's a link to a picture of Megan Fox, with me in the background (or at least, partially).

This was taken after the red carpet stuff, and after I got her autograph. Waited around to see if she'd leave the premiere of Jennifer's Body early, which she did, but headed straight to the car (though I think she signed some items closer to the car, before taking off).

After Megan left, was when I got Diablo Cody's autograph for Danny, on the Juno DVD cover, which is now signed by Jason Bateman (surprised to see him there, but quite glad), and Jason Reitman.

Anyways, my photos came out pretty crappy, but I'll go through them after TIFF, and post whatever is good enough. Or, you can just check Danny's reports, since he took a couple of my shots (though, he did take many better ones, since I was taking the role of the autograph hound).

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - September 9th, 2009

Adventure Comics #2 - Just a flat out great story to further develop Conner and Cassie's relationship! Absolutely beautiful story by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul!

Kick-Ass #7 - Great issue, and completely opposite of Adventure Comics, Kick-Ass was quite brutal. Has me looking forward to the next issue, and the movie. Oh, Nicolas Cage... how goofy you looked in the movie clip that was shown at SDCC.

Fan Expo Canada 2009 Photo Dump

Wow, it's been over a week since I got the Fan Expo Canada 2009 Report up, and I just never got around with posting the photo dump, until now. Part of the reason was that Photobucket was still acting up whenever I uploaded photos. I would select them to upload, and it says they uploaded, but nothing ends up being uploaded. Frustration kicked in, and I just never bothered with it for a little while. I did eventually get around to it, but then I also realized that Danny had already posted a bunch of photos, that I took... and I didn't take that many.

Either way, check out the Fan Expo Canada 2009 Report for the photos that I added throughout the post, and at the end.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Boughts and Thoughts - September 2nd, 2009

Chew #4 - This was one of them "Meh" issues. Can't say it was anything memorable.

Greek Street #3 - Things are going down, but I'm becoming uninterested. Much like the last issue, I was originally passing this, but picked it up. Next month, it might be different.

The Last Resort #2 - Love the fiery cover by Darwyn Cooke. Enjoyable issue, escaping a plane that has crashed landed on an island.

Sweet Tooth #1 - Couldn't pass up this book. Seriously, new Jeff Lemire book, and at $1. We are getting this at a steal, people!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fan Expo Canada 2009 Report

Fan Expo CanadaFan Expo Canada 2009 has come to an end. This weekend was an absolute blast! It was great seeing all the familiar faces throughout the weekend (Pros, Fans & People I know).

As for me, I went into this convention significantly unprepared, unlike previous conventions. Sketches would be thought out, and listed for me to go artist to artist. Books all ready to get signed.

This year, my list was only partially filled, and many of those I just put in Zatanna (of course). I eventually started to fill in the blanks, while I was sitting in line on Friday morning/afternoon, before the convention preview time. I also cut down the amount of books I was bringing to the con, down to 32 books. Quite a few of those books, were for multiple signatures. Before, I filled up a long box and then some, to get signed. I would sometimes have 32 items for a single person to sign. I guess I'm moving into the mentality where not everything needs to be signed. Danny had a helluva lot more books, than I did.

As for the convention weekend itself, it started for me on Thursday, when I went down to help out All New Comics set up. Unfortunately (or maybe "Fortunately") for me, I arrived a little after everything was brought to the booth. I left my house a little later than I wanted to, then I hit a little bit of traffic. So I missed the heavy lifting and moving (still sorry I arrived late).

After what little bit of set up I was there for, we decided to take a walk around the convention floor, to check out the set up. The Tron Light Cycle was already there on display, which was quite cool, as many have probably noticed. Just seeing everything around, had me all excited for the con. Dinner at Jack Astor's after the set up (Thanks Peter!), then I went home, to try to finish whatever I had left to get ready for the con... which as I said, I was still working on it in line.

I actually ended up finishing the new releases post on the Joe Shuster Awards website, so that I could scheduled it to post Monday morning. If I didn't do it then, I don't know when it would have been up. Once that was done, I went to bed.

Friday August 28th, 2009

Day One! Up bright and early on Friday. Enough time to get some coffee and food. I ended up skipping the food, and bought some on the way to the con. Left the house around 10am, arrived down at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre around 11am. Got in and waited to get our tickets. Much like last year, the line to get the Premium Pass was longer than the Advanced Ticket line. Buying tickets on the spot was still the longest line.

Then it was downstairs to the VIP Entrance line. I believe around 1pm, badges were being hole-punched and hands being stamped, to speed up the process of entering. The doors opened on time, and the mayhem beings. :)

The plan was plant ourselves in the Joe Quesada line at the Marvel booth, and alternate with getting on some sketch lists. After planting my stuff, I headed over to Terry Dodson's table, in hopes of getting onto his sketch list. Eventually, I went back to get my stuff, so that Danny could head elsewhere. Then he planted his stuff with me, because Terry Dodson had not arrived.

Thanks to Gus for watching my stuff, while I went around to get books signed and try to get my name down on some sketches.

Parker by Darwyn Cooke (2009) The Spirit's Mask by Darwyn Cooke (2009)Ended up getting quite a bit of books signed during the preview time, in addition to getting on the sketch list of Marcus To and Laurie B! (Breitkreuz).

I also went over to see the always awesome, Darwyn Cooke. I wish there was more time to chat for a bit, but the people behind me were looking to interview him for a bit, and everytime I walked by him throughout the weekend, there was someone there to see him. I'm not the type to interrupt, without feeling some guilt, so this was actually the last time I spoke with him, this weekend.

Later on, still during the preview time, I decided to go and grab a bunch of the freebies at the DC booth. All of the comics DC had up for grabs, are great starting points for potential new readers. I'll most likely bring a bunch of these books in to work, and give them to some co-workers, in hopes of getting them into comics.

The Black Lantern rings didn't make it to the table of the DC booth until Saturday, I believe. I was looking for those on Friday, but got none. However, in between the DC and Marvel booth, was the WB/HMV booth. This is where many were able to get the light up Green Lantern right, which is a promotional item for the Green Lantern: First Flight movie. This was too cool, so I had to have it. On Saturday, later on in the day, that booth was also giving out Watchmen condoms. Makes your junk look as blue as Dr. Manhattan.

Terry Dodson did arrive a little after 4pm, when the convention floor was opened to everyone else. I did manage to get on his list, and at a spot that had a chance of getting done, but also had me thinking that it probably would not get done. To spare the suspense, I found out on Sunday, that Terry Dodson was not going to be able to get to mine.

After getting onto the list, then I headed over to Joe Quesada's line at the Marvel booth. As I stated a couple of weeks back, this was purely to get books signed (2 single issue comics, and 8 hardcovers... heavy mofos).

While in line, I noticed the Eagleshams walking by, heading to their table. As soon as we were done the Quesada line, I dropped my stuff over with Danny at Marko Djurdjevic's line, and headed to over to get on Dale Eaglesham's sketch list.

Once done, I went to the car to drop stuff off, and then came back to the Autograph Area, to line up for Chris Bachalo. The rest of the day was pretty much getting autographs, so I didn't have to bring a bunch of books back the rest of the weekend.

Me & Chris Bachalo (Photo taken by Tiz)

Zatanna by Marcus To (2009)After Bachalo's line, I went to Mike Deodato. Danny dropped by, and held my spot, while I went to get books signed for both of us (mainly at the Aspen booth). This was where I also picked up the Marcus To sketch.

Once out of the Mike Deodato line, we just went around to get some more books signed, and checking out the Tron Light Cycle, before taking off.

Tron Light Cycle

Oh, and this was a pretty awesome Emma Frost costume! Frank Quitely's design of Emma Frost. Great costume, Brandy!

"Emma Frost" & Me

Home time, to clean up everything from Friday, and to pack for Saturday, since we were staying at the Hyatt the next night.

This was when I realized that I only had like 7 books left to get signed for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday August 29th, 2009

The plan for Saturday was to see Mike Choi and Christina Strain, in hopes of getting sketches. Also, to get the remaining books signed.

Wonder Woman by Christina Strain (2009)Upon entering the convention Saturday morning, Danny and I went to see Mike and Christina. Danny was first for Mike, since he received a number from Mike the previous day, so that Mike would continue on from where he left off from his line. I was first for Christina, who was finishing off a few pieces from the previous day, and which I picked up during the afternoon. I was also hoping to be next for Mike, since the remaining people from Friday had yet to show, but eventually they arrived, and then found out that Mike would be giving out lettered tickets for Saturday, around noon, to follow the same ticket system, from the previous day. So, back at noon, I would be.

Until then, I was just finding stuff to do. Eventually, David Finch showed up, and I jumped in line, in hopes of a quick signing. Unfortunately for me, it didn't work out like I had hoped. For those that don't know, David Finch sketches on the spot, so those behind had to wait. I ended up being in line for about an hour.

By then, it was noon, and I hauled ass back to Mike Choi's table. I was in line to get a lettered ticket, and was second for one, based on the people there with and without tickets. Thinking my chances would be good, then a couple of Emo-Girls decided to sneak in while Mike was giving out the tickets. Stupid Emo people... don't they have to go cut themselves or something... I'm just kidding. They are people too, sort of...

Zatanna by Adrian Alphona (2009)I wasn't going to let that ruin my day, and figured I'd check back on Sunday, and just continued on with my day. I noticed that Adrian Alphona was at the show. I didn't see him on Friday, so I went over to see him. I really miss seeing his artwork, and definitely miss him and Brian K. Vaughan on Runaways. Not to take anything away from Kathryn Immonen and Sara Pichelli, as they haven't been given much of a chance with the character. I just loved Vaughan and Alphona's run on the title.

Announced during Fan Expo Canada, Kathryn Immonen and Sara Pichelli will be teaming up again for the new mini-series, X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back.

This is also where Danny handed me the Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane print of Adrian Alphona's variant cover, that Danny picked up from Christina Strain. This was probably the worst time I had struggled with how crowded it was in the convention floor. Just people all over, and the print being bigger than the hard board I had in my bag, I just had to hold it, and was constantly moving, to make sure the print stayed in the same condition. Oh well, he paid for some of my beers.

Wonder Woman by Joe Benitez (2009) Zatanna by Micah Gunnell (2009) Zatanna by Alex Konat (2009)I did spend quite a bit of time at the Aspen booth, to get sketches from a few members of Aspen Comics. From left to right, the thumbnails to the left, Wonder Woman by Joe Benitez, Zatanna by Micah Gunnell, Zatanna by Alex Konat. I've gotten sketches from Joe and Micah before, but Alex Konat is one of Aspen's newest members, and a great artist.

He previously worked on DC Comics' Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? and Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead?. Alex will be working on Aspen's newest series, Mindfield.

John Griffen by Jeff Lemire (2009)During one of my walks around, I noticed that Jeff Lemire's had now been filled with copies of The Nobody and the Collected Essex County. Since Danny had been saying he was going to pick up the Collected Essex County, I did not purchase it for myself. I did get my copy of The Nobody signed by Jeff Lemire. Be sure to check out Sweet Tooth #1 this Wednesday, as that is Jeff Lemire's new book, being released by Vertigo... for $1! I'll be sure to get my copy.

Zatanna by Laurie B. (2009)Also, later on in the afternoon, I picked up the sketch from Laurie B. I wanted to get one the year before, but I didn't spend too much time in the artist alley, and never actually found her table last year.

I did get to check out a sketch duel again this year. This year, I took in the Marko Djurdjevic/Olivier Coipel sketch duel. The theme was Thor, and both pieces came out great. As an added bonus, Marko Djurdjevic actually did a head sketch of Dr. Doom before the sketch duel started, and a head sketch of Hulk, after he was finished his Thor piece, and was waiting for the special guest to arrive. The special guest being, J. Michael Straczynski. So, in total, there were four pieces being given away at this sketch duel. I didn't win any. I was 14 numbers away from the first piece (Marko Djurdjevic's Thor), and 16 away from the second piece (Olivier Coipel's Thor). Completely different set of tickets for the other two pieces. Oh well, it was quite enjoyable to watch.

Zatanna by Marcus To (2009)This is something that I was quite shocked, and still very touched to receive. Throughout the morning/afternoon, Peter Fisico (of All New Comics) kept telling me to come by his booth later in the day, cause he had a surprise for me. Believe me when I say this, I was not expecting anything like this. Thank You, Peter! This piece is absolutely beautiful.

What a way to cap off the day at the convention! Definitely one of the high points of the weekend.

Once the convention was over, Danny and I headed over to the Hyatt, to check into the hotel. As Danny stated, with had a little dealing with one of the snobby employees at the Hyatt. The room was okay, but that hotel looked a lot better as the Holiday Inn on King.

Dinner at Hooters was quite overpriced, so I don't think I'll be eating there again. However, the drinking did begin there. Then it was back to the hotel to shower, and drink some more.

After watching a little bit of Rocky III (I love the Rocky movies, though I haven't seen Rocky V yet), I was off to the Loose Moose, to join Shane, Brian, Milo, Kathryn, and Frank, for UFC 102. I don't normally watch UFC (though, I watched it back when it was starting off), and avoid work with a passion on UFC nights, but I was totally up for watching tonight, if it meant chilling with some friends, and drinking with them. Good times!

Watching UFC at the Loose Moose

Once UFC was over, we headed out, and went our separate ways. Danny and I were heading back to the hotel (me, somewhat stumbling), when we saw some more familiar faces. Ended up at the Chesterfest/Marvel Party, where some more drinking occurred, though we only stayed for a little bit, before heading back to the hotel.

While walking by Roy Thompson Hall, Danny was giving me some pointers as to where I should be to try and get pictures of and possibly an autograph, during the Toronto International Film Festival (happening in less than two weeks). Milo, I'm going need your help with which movies will have certain actors/actresses. I'll send you a list later on this week.

Saturday proved to be a great day all-round, and this definitely has me planning on getting a hotel room again next year.

Sunday August 30th, 2009

Kind of messed up setting the alarms. Had my cell phone alarm go off an hour before the alarm clock in the room. Oh well, it allowed us to get everything packed up a little bit earlier, so we could get breakfast, before going to the con. Aside from a dry throat, I was feeling pretty good after all the drinking from the previous night.

Morning after a night of drinking. No Hangover!

I went in to the con with the same plan as the previous day, try to get a Mike Choi sketch. Also, to get the remaining two books I had to get signed by J. Michael Straczynski.

Got to the con at about 10am, and was in line. What was quite weird was that while in line for the VIP entrance, the guy behind me decided to lay down and nap. I find this weird, because he decided to put his head like about a foot away from my ass.

I went to Mike Choi's table once the doors opened, and was the last person to potentially get a sketch. Unfortunately for me, there just wasn't any time to get to mine, before Mike had to leave to catch his flight. Oh well, it's all good. There's always next time.

Zatanna by Marvin Law (2009)After seeing Mike at the beginning, I was just roaming around, when I hear my name being called. Danny was with Marvin Law, getting a sketch from him.

Marvin was always sketching for someone everytime I walked by during the weekend. People love them free sketches! But now it was time for mine. And Marvin knocked this one out of the park.

Marvin had some incredible Thor pages done up to show some editors. These were insanely sweet. Also, got to see his preview pages of his upcoming webcomic, SLAM!

Black Cat by Terry Dodson (2009)After being told by Terry Dodson that he would not be able to get to my commission request, and seeing such a short line for him at the signing area (and doing quick sketches), I decided to hop into the line, got a quick sketch by him. Quite happy to get something from him.

Zatanna by Dale Eaglesham (2009)The rest of the day was spent waiting around for a couple more pieces to be finished. I was going around taking pictures of the celebrities, but opted not to get anything signed by Bruce Campbell or Linda Hamilton. I was also in line for J. Michael Staczynski, but left, because he didn't show until about 40 minutes after the signing was supposed to start. I did eventually come back, because Danny was still in line, and he ended up leaving to go do other things. Got my two books signed, and all the books I brought to get signed, got signed! I am happy when this happens. :)

After the signing, I picked up the Zatanna by Dale Eaglesham. This was one of the main ones I wanted to get, and was one of the first sketches I jotted down on my sketch list, when preparing several months ago. It's just a beautiful piece, to add to the ever growing Zatanna collection of mine.

Zatanna by Paul Rivoche (2009)To add to the Zatanna collection, this Paul Rivoche piece was something that I had asked by in April, at the Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event. Unfortunately, due to timing, he wasn't able to get to my piece at that show, or at TCAF. However, he was able to get to it at this show, and I am quite happy with this one. Look, even Mister X makes a cameo in this!

As the day was winding down, I noticed the chaos around the Chaotic booth. They were giving away the rest of the cans of their drink that they had been giving free samples of. I joined in on the mob getting the freebies, took about 8-10 cans, and stuffed them in my backpack. Yeah, that wasn't a pleasant feeling, making my bag heavy again. I ended up throwing away about four cans, and was about to dump the rest, but ended up keeping it. Such a crappy drink. They claim it's not an energy drink, which in my opinion, they are correct. No energy boost whatsoever from this. It's just crappy pop. I find better quality from the no name brands in stores (I miss Loeb Cola).

By now, I was pretty much done all that I could do, so I made my way over to the All New Comics booth, and ended up getting a great deal on a brand new copy of the Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 Omnibus. US cover price is $99.99, CDN cover price is $160.00. I bought this thing for $50CDN. It was marked down as I was going through the hardcovers box, and I saw the price just as the Omnibus was placed down on the table. Right away, "I'll take it!" That deal was too good to pass up.

And with that, the convention came to an end for me. I went upstairs to meet with Danny, and then we went home.

The convention all-round was fantastic. There was definitely a noticeable increase in attendance, but as I mentioned earlier, it didn't bother me, until I was given the Adrian Alphona/Christina Strain print, while in line for Adrian Alphona. I had an absolute blast at the show, even though I wasn't able to get the Terry Dodson commission, or Mike Choi sketch.

I spent a little more than I did last year, even though I brought in the same amount, but then I gotta factor in food and booze this year, so who knows. I might have actually spent the same amount at the con as last year.

The memories from this con will stick with me... especially the drunken ones. It was just too fun to forget.

Big Thanks to the Hobbystar team for putting on a great Fan Expo Canada! Thanks to Aman, James, Tiz, Kevin, Ty, and everyone else involved! Congratulations on the 15th Anniversary! Looking forward to the 16th Anniversary!

Leonard Nimoy (L), Thomas Dekker (R)

Bruce Campbell