Category Archives: Events

Fanboys Remain Calm: Affleck as Batman is a good idea

Hello Readers ,

benbatman

This is a bit of a first for me I typically do reviews and interviews but I wanted to take a moment to touch on the overtly negative reaction to the news that Batman/Bruce Wayne will be played by Ben Affleck in the sequel to Man of Steel. While I have been enjoying all of the Batman quotes in a Bostonian accent and general Batffllec Twitter rants I have to admit that I’m actually ok with the news of Affleck as Batman. My issue isn’t  with anyone having a negative opinion, but more so the blind hate and negativity for an actor that’s had a more successful than not movie career. I think this is also a very smart move on WB’s part. Why not have Affleck be Batman? I’m sure there were more than a few conversations happening about him being the one to direct Justice League and or the next Batman movie anyways. This now establishes him and allows him hypothetically to start creating his new take on the world and character himself. I know its Zach Snyder directing the film but it would be crazy not to think that he wouldn’t go to an Oscar winning director for advice and opinions on the movie. This gives him someone  in Affleck whose opinion I’m sure he respects an opportunity to help build momentum into the next Batman or Justice League film and is a great idea.

There are going to be people out there that point to him being Daredevil and how awful that movie was. Daredevil wasn’t a bad movie because of Ben Affleck as Daredevil , it was a bad movie because it wasn’t a well written or directed movie to begin with. It was largely changed by Fox and the love story shoved into the movie slowed the pace down and created an unrealistic soap opera aspect to the film. It’s not a mistake that I’m sure Ben Affleck would be willing to make as an actor again. Id rather point people in the direction of Hollywood land or the Town to see that Affleck has more than enough talent to handle a character with dual personalities.

Finally both Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger had just as strong a backlash when it was announced that they were going to be cast as Batman and Joker respectively in their respective movies and I think its safe to say that turned out pretty well. At the very least I think everyone should reserve judgement until they see footage or watch the film. Creating nerd rage and petitions for the sake of effecting the franchise in a negative way doesn’t mean you care more for the characters or subject matter. Besides in the long run we all know who’s the best Batman / Bruce Wayne to have ever played the character.

 

kevin-conroy

 

 

 

 

 

and I’m out!

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Mike DeVivo

Marvel to Attend Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con 2013

Wizard-Main-Header
Marvel To Conduct Programming Panels, PortfolioReviews At Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con

Marvel Entertainment will host two programming panels and conduct two portfolio reviews at the 2013 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The panels are entitled “MARVEL: Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way,” set for Friday at 5 p.m., featuring Barry Kitson, Phil Noto, Koi Pham, Leinil Yu and talent scout C.B. Cebulski helping aspiring artists find out the answers on how to get their foot in the door and make their job MARVEL.

Saturday’s panel, “MARVEL: From NOW! to Infinity,” will take place at 4 p.m., with editors Tom Brennan and Jake Thomas, Noto, Pham, Yu, Cebulski and other Marvel guests taking questions on what’s to come in the Marvel Universe.

Additionally, Marvel will be accepting portfolios on Friday and Saturday, and talent scout and others will conduct reviews on Saturday and Sunday from 2-3:30 p.m. in Room 110.

Source: Wizard World Media

C2E2: Lobo Revealed for Injustice Gods Among us

lobo-injustice-gods-among-us

 

Today during the Injustice Panel Ed Boon and the Rest of Neather Realm Studios Released the first game play of Lobo in Injustice and I have to say without even playing him he may be my new favorite character. He seems to have the moves of a brawler along with his character power of his duel guns, oh and don’t worry he uses his chains as well. Also of note in this Trailer is the reveal of Flashpoint Batman himself Thomas Wayne which tells me that Neather Realm is also going to continue creating new costumes for the game. Check out the Trailer Below and be sure to come back for my interview With Ed Boon and game designer Steve Barron.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasanrobots

C2E2: Spiderman 2099 Returns!!

For those of you who were interested in seeing yet another Spiderman added to the mix you can now rejoice. In September issue *17 of Superior Spiderman will feature Miguel O’hara aka Spiderman 2099. The character has had a resurgence of late due to his appearance in Spiderman Shattered Dimensions and Marvel has decided now is the time to bring him back. Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman are behind the character being reintroduced. Oliver Coipel is doing the Variant cover for the issue which shows us our first look of Miguel O’hara back in his Spider duds.

SuperiorSpiderMan_17_Variant

 

A new threat is gunning for Spidey, and it’s going to take two wall-crawlers to bring it down — one just happens to be from the future.

Marvel promises that this is a big piece of the story that Slott has been building since “Big Time” in 2010, and that we’d be seeing much more from Miguel O’Hara in the months to follow issue #17.

It will will be interesting to see if fans are still wanting another Spiderman added back into the Marvel Universe

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Batman and Robin- Remembering Damian Wayne

Earlier last week in Batman Inc. #8 Grant Morrison decided to end the life of Damian Wayne aka Robin in a heroic and violent fashion. Ive seen a lot of reviews stating that Damian going out like this makes sense and is the only way that Damian’s story could end.  Aside from Morrison having an established pattern of killing characters he himself creates it just left me feeling sad. I thought maybe it was just the brutal way Damian was murdered in the issue, or like all comics when a character dies its suppose to have meaning and in this way yes Morrison succeeds. However I finally realized its Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run on Batman and Robin that is responsible for the sadness.

Batman visiting familiar territory
Batman visiting familiar territory
Since the new 52 relaunched  I have been extremely impressed with the amount of depth Peter Tomasi has given Damian. Starting off with Damian taking another life and  crossing that line because he wanted to protect his father was a nice beginning. Tomasi has continued from there on showing just why Damian was such a special member of the Bat Family. in later issues PEter Tomasi has Damian disobey his father to jump into an angry and crazed mob. As the reader you think oh Damian is just being rebellious but at the end of the issue you see that Damian put himself in danger to bring back Bruce’s mothers Pearl Necklace. I’ve wrote before that Tomasi is able to show the Father and Son relationship in his book so well that you believe in the progression of their story and the acceptance and love they have for one another.
Gleason’s art has been just as important to this series. Every facial expression every interaction displayed in perfect detail. Gleason’s pencils have just continued to get stronger and stronger with each issue. When this series ends I have to put it up there with one of the best written and drawn series Ive ever written. From creating new villains each issue to doing an amazing job at making me absolutely terrified with his take on the newly redesigned Joker Gleason’s amazes me with his art each issue. I look forward to picking up whatever project he starts next.
Which brings me back to the last issue they just released with Batman and Robin #18. Which I believe is the best comic I’ve read this year. There is no dialogue , only Tomasi scripting a heart breaking story of Bruce and Alfred coping with the loss of Damian. Gleason’s art again pairing perfectly in each panel as Batman tries to get his mind off of the loss of Damian only to have his memory remind him of his son every step of the way.  Which finally ends with a heart-felt letter Damian leaves for his father explaining why he disobeyed his orders in the first place and tried to save him which leads to his death. It’s a perfectly scripted moment showing how much Damian is in fact like his father. Which brings me back to the fact that yes Damian was Grant Morrison’s creation but in my opinion he felt more like Tomasi’s character in the end. I think the saddest thing about Damian’s death is that Tomasi and Gleason aren’t able to continue creating stories that involve Damian anymore. The first image of Damian I showed was not the way I want to remember the character, thanks to Tomasi and Gleason this is the way Ill always remember Damian Wayne.
Like Father like Son R.I.P Damian Wayne
Like Father like Son R.I.P Damian Wayne

Looking forward to seeing where the Bat Family goes from here..

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

 

 

The 2012 Ghastly Award Nominees

The 2012 Ghastly Award Nominees

The Ghastly Award Judges are proud to announce the 2012 Ghastly Award Nominees. The nominees, which were chosen by the entire comic creating community, reflect the wide range of horror material being published in print and web comic form today.

Named after acclaimed comics creator “Ghastly” Graham Ingels, the awards are now in their second year. Created to honor excellence in Horror Comics, every comic creator had a say in who the nominees were by nominating their favorites throughout the year.

Fan and Creator Voting will be open from January 1, 2013 until January 31, 2013. You may only vote once for the 2012 Nominees, and Fans will decide the winner of the Best New Series Award. Winners will be announced in February 2013.

We thank everyone who took the time to nominate in this year’s awards.

The 2012 Nominees are:

Best Ongoing Title:
American Vampire (Vertigo)
Hack/Slash (Image)
Hellblazer (Vertigo)
Rachel Rising (Abstract Studios)
The Walking Dead (Image)

Best Mini-Series:
Deadworld: War of the Dead (IDW)
Ragemoor (Dark Horse)
Rebel Blood (Image)
Severed (Image)
The Living Corpse: Exhumed (Dynamite)

Best One-Shot:
Edgar Allan Poe’s The Conqueror Worm (Dark Horse)
Enormous (Image)
Ghosts (Vertigo)
Locke & Key: Grindhouse (IDW)
Steamcraft (Antarctic Press)

Best New Series (Fans Will Decide the Winner):
Bedlam (Image)
Ferals (Avatar)
Hoax Hunters (Image)
Mars Attacks (IDW)
The Strain (Dark Horse)

Best Anthology:
Bela Lugosi’s Tales from the Grave (Monsterverse)
Chillers (Transfuzion)
Creepy (Dark Horse)
Fubar: Summer Special (Alterna)
Indie Comics Horror (Aazum)

Best OGN:
Flesh and Blood Book 2 (Monsterverse)
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Book 1 (Heavy Metal)
Riven (Dark Horse)
The Hive (Pantheon)
Whispers in the Walls (Humanoids)

Best Archival Collection:
Best of From the Tomb Magazine (Twomorrows)
The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics: Zombies (IDW/Yoe Books)
Creepy Presents Richard Corben (Dark Horse)
Lenore Swirlies (Titan Books)
Vampirella Archives Vol. 5 (Dynamite)

Best Writer
David Hine (The Darkness, Night of the Living Dead: Aftermath)
David Lapham (Ferals, Crossed Badlands, The Strain, Caligula)
Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Justice League Dark)
Steve Niles (Criminal Macabre, 30 Days of Night, Transfusion, Frankenstein Alive, Alive, Lot 13)
Robert Tinnell (Flesh and Blood Book 2, Riven)

Best Artist:
Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire)
Simon Bisley (Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Hellblazer)
Sami Makkonen (Deadworld: War of the Dead)
Riley Rossmo (Bedlam, Green Wake, Rebel Blood)
James Stokoe (Godzilla: Half Century War)

Best Inker:
Richard Corben (Edgar Allan Poe’s The Conqueror Worm, Ragemoor)
David Hutchison (Steamcraft)
Terry Moore (Rachel Rising)
Andrea Sorrentino (I, Vampire)
Bernie Wrightson (Frankenstein Alive, Alive)

Best Letterer:
Terry Moore (Rachel Rising)
Nate Piekos (Creepy, The Goon, Ragemoor)
Robbie Robbins (Locke & Key)
James Stokoe (Godzilla: Half Century War)
Kelly Tindall (Bedlam, Green Wake, Rebel Blood)

Best Colorist:
Ulises Arreola (Justice League Dark)
Chad Fidler (Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse)
Jay Fotos (‘68, Locke & Key)
Owen Gieni (Avengelyne)
Dave Stewart (B.P.R.D.)

Best Web Comic:
Crossed: Wish You Were Here (www.crossedcomic.com)
Disappointing Monsters (www.disappointingmonsters.com)
Halloween Man (www.halloweenman.com)
Love Stories About Death (www.shadowlineonline.com)
Monsterhood (www.monsterhood.com)
The Manor (www.welcometothemanor.com)

Hall of Fame Inductees:
Al Feldstein & Bill Gaines
Bernie Wrightson

We congratulate all of the Nominees for what they bring to the comic reading community. To be nominated by your peers is a big honor, and the Ghastly Awards are here to celebrate your achievements.

For more information on the Ghastly Awards, or to submit your Horror Comics for consideration in the 2013 Awards, please go to www.ghastlyawards.com.

Recap WWE RAW #1004 Post Summerslam

After the 25th Anniversary of Summerslam concluded Sunday night, it left several questions to be answered for the direction several story lines for the WWE…or not. Looking forward to Raw after big events usually leads us to exciting new plots for the WWE. However, instead we got a retread of the same plots and virtually did nothing to advance the plots or make me feel like I missed ordering Summerslam.

Raw started out with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman coming out and bragging about ending Triple H’s career, which remains to be seen. It literally was 10 minutes of them jabbering, and then threateningly thanking a referee. Something tells me we may get a rematch of this at Survivor Series. With Lesnar originally only available for so many Raws per his contract, is this the best use of him? Did they redo his contract? Then he gives us a Tout, saying he’s leaving the WWE? What? So he won’t be on tv again for months, and Heyman who is in contract limbo, will give us just enough time to forget about this before they shove it down our throats again for Survivor Series or the Royal Rumble.

Later this was followed up with recaps, recaps, recaps of the match between the two from Summerslam, and we even got lucky enough to get a recap of Lesnar and Heyman talking on the top of the show. Later, we got Shawn Michaels (VIA Satellite!) who basically eulogized Triple H’s career, giving even more credence to the rumors? Conjecture? Hearsay? Michael Cole speaking?

We got some decent filler plots in, with our Summerslam Raw match between Damien Sandow and Broadus Clay, surprisingly which Sandow came out and won. With his reward being smashed afterward by Clay. I know this has been covered elsewhere ad nauseam, but what is the deal with “Good Guys” in the WWE? If we ever are going to get a heel Cena (which we may as well face won’t be until he’s washed up and in TNA.) it won’t be with these guys acting like this.

We also had a six man tag match with the Prime Time Players (RIP AW!) and Cody “Triforce” Rhodes, taking on Kofi, R-Truth, and Sin Cara. The highlight of this match was the prematch WWE.com recap of R-Truth “dumping” Gatorade on Little Jimmy. Seriously. Watch it. Look for Kofi’s face. It’s awesome.

Ryback smashed two chumps before getting put into a camel clutch by Jinder freaking Mahal, Seriously, that’s who Ryback is going to feud with? And what’s the deal with keeping on making him look vulnerable. IF you are going to go all in on him, than just have him squash everyone. Seriously.

Daniel Bryan and the Miz had a tag team match with Kane and Zack Ryder. Convenient that Zack Ryder has forgotten that Kane was trying to kill him, but hey #RyderorRiot right? That being said, Daniel Bryan continues to be great. Can only hope that this feud with AJ keeps getting better and better. A little concerned though that this Charlie Sheen thing is going to keep going. Anger Management, me thinks is more than a hint that it will. I am a little excited though for the inevitable Daniel Bryan & Ashton Kutcher vs Kane & Charlie Sheen tag team match.

So AJ had some major screen time, involving herself in just about every major plot point, bringing back the return of Non-Goateed David Otunga, letting CM Punk pick the number one contender, putting Alberto Del Rio in a match with Randy Orton, and last but not least, set up a Contract versus Briefcase match between Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho, which was my favorite match of the night.

I was pretty pleased that they decided to put Ziggler/Jericho II on Raw, and with even higher stakes. It really validated my reasoning for not ordering Summerslam. Match was great, and Ziggler sold well, and pulled off a really solid victory. We will probably see Y2J again at some point, but he did his part to get The Show Off over, and hopefully go on a nice long title run. God knows that title needs it, I don’t know if I can handle one more Del Rio versus Sheamus match, even if Randy Orton is involved. As an aside, class move by Jericho posting this tweet.

And Raw ended with CM Punk berating Jerry Lawler, to get interrupted by John Cena, who really just tore up CM Punk on the mic. People complain about Cena a lot, and that his character is stale right now (rightfully so), but he definitely got it going for his verbal sparring with Punk. He came out said his piece to Punk, and then left him standing in the ring, with the only thing he was able to do was assault Jerry Lawler. Looks like he’s officially a heel, between the Phantom Goatee, and assaulting the bizarrely loved Lawler, he’s heading to the point of no return.  It will be very interesting how this goes from here, but definitely as we get to Night of Champions, the Wrestlemania plans should become much more clear. As to whether we see Punk/Rock or Cena/Rock II.

Overall, Raw was a C. More continuations of the same plots that were setup already. Hopefully Smackdown is somewhat watchable this week….

Winners: Ziggler, Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Kane, AJ, Kaitlyn (#1 Contender) CM Punk and as much as it pains me John Cena.

Losers: HHH, Brock Lesnar, Shawn Micheals, Paul Heyman, Jerry Lawler, Eve, Ryback, Jinder Mahal, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus

 

Follow me on the Twitters @nicosandila

Review: WWE SummerSlam 2012 – How did the 25th Anniversary stack up against the previous 24 years?

I’m not really sure I can explain what it is that I enjoy about professional wrestling.  By all accounts, it’s probably one of the single-most ridiculous spectacles in the combined worlds of sports and entertainment, a mash-up of (mostly) elaborately-staged fights and soap opera drama.  I know it isn’t real, and yet I still suspend my disbelief and enjoy it unironically.  I know it’s become hip to have an ironic appreciation of things considered “low culture,” but for the record, I enjoy nothing “ironically.”  As best as I can explain, it’s the inherent ridiculousness of what’s on display that draws me in–and it may also have something to do with me being from Kentucky.

It’s still real to me, dammit.

Last night, WWE celebrated the 25th anniversary of its summer pay-per-view spectacular SummerSlam, and since fellow Comic Vault scribe “Savage” Nick Sandilands failed to watch it, the daunting task of reviewing the extravaganza is falling upon the shoulders of me, Double R, Ragin’ Roger Riddell himself.  Ooooooooooo, yeah.

First off, for anyone who isn’t familiar with WWE and the wild world of professional wrestling, SummerSlam is WWE’s second biggest event behind the March/April Wrestlemania juggernaut.  When I first started watching pro-wrestling back in 1997, when WWE was still WWF and they were in the midst of the lewd and outlandish “Attitude Era.”  At the time, there were five pay-per-view events out of the yearly 12 that were considered the big ones:  Wrestlemania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and King of the Ring.  They existed roughly in that order of importance, and the first four in that list were the company’s originals.  King of the Ring hasn’t existed as a pay-per-view for around a decade now, though, cutting the big PPVs down to just the original four (plus the less important other eight).  The Royal Rumble’s importance also now arguably trumps that of the Survivor Series.

That said, SummerSlam’s 25 years of existence leave a lot for the event to live up to.  The Undertaker fought Ted DiBiase’s fake Undertaker at the event in 1994, and the pay-per-view’s history is littered with all manner of high octane gimmick bouts from boiler room brawls and casket matches to cage matches featuring stars that read like a who’s who of the business’ best.

When it comes to the era I’m most fond of, several years stand out in particular.  1997’s event is probably best known for Owen Hart’s botched piledriver that broke Steve Austin’s neck.  1998 had an amazing main event for the WWE Title with Steve Austin versus the Undertaker, plus a pulse-pounding ladder match for the Intercontinental Title between The Rock and Triple H (though that year was somewhat tarnished by the Insane Clown Posse’s live performance).  In 2000, one of my favorite moments in the history of the event happened when Shane McMahon took a fall from the top of the stage set during a Hardcore Championship match with martial artist Steve Blackman, plus there was a great triple threat match for the WWE Title that year during the feud between The Rock, Triple H, and Kurt Angle.

I’m not trying to say there hasn’t been a great SummerSlam since the “Attitude Era,” because that wouldn’t be true.  We had The Rock versus Brock Lesnar and an amazing Shawn Michaels/Triple H “street fight” 10 years ago, and last year featured CM Punk going over John Cena for the WWE Title in a match that featured some of the loudest crowd pops I had heard in years.  What I’m saying is, 25 years builds a lot of moments like that to live up to.

With all of that out of the way, let’s get to the match-by-match review of last night’s show, which took place in Los Angeles for the fifth year in a row.

Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler

Chris Jericho is probably my all-time favorite wrestler.  I can’t say I feel the same for his band, Fozzy, but the guy’s an amazing performer and got that “best in the world” reputation for a reason.  Dolph Ziggler is a guy who’s quickly rising through the ranks and will more than likely be pushed as a World Heavyweight Champion by the end of the year.  I honestly expected him to go over in this match since Jericho’s about to briefly leave wrestling again to tour with his band, but can definitely understand why he didn’t.

The one big reason here that Jericho went over is probably to keep him looking like a legitimate competitor.  He has, after all, put his opponents over at every pay-per-view since he returned, so the win (coupled with his recent face turn) makes him look more competent in the eyes of the fans and puts a nice cap on the “Has Chris Jericho lost his touch?” angle they were running. Ziggler is on the verge of being a main event competitor.  He sells moves like a champ and the way he yelled and berated Jericho in the match last night was a nice touch, but he’s perhaps not quite there yet as far as going over a guy like Jericho at an event like SummerSlam.

Daniel Bryan vs. Kane

This was a pretty standard match with a lot of solid action building off of the “anger management” feud between the two.  Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!’ and “No!” chants have gone way over with the crowd in the last year, and the finish was believable as far as a guy Bryan’s size beating a super heavyweight like Kane.  Given the backstage tantrum from Kane following the match, this is a feud that’s likely to continue.

Rey Mysterio vs. the Miz (c) – Intercontinental Championship

I used to hate the Miz back when he debuted.  He still annoys the hell out of me, but I guess that’s a sign he’s doing his job right.  Anyhow, he’s grown by leaps and bounds since his debut and deserves every push he’s had.  In keeping with his frequent big-event, superhero-inspired costume themes, Rey Mysterio had an all-black mask last night with Batman-style ears and entered wearing a cape.  The match featured a ton of great spots, including a hurricanrana reversed into a powerbomb by the Miz–a rarity these days, given the WWE’s PG rating and their avoidance of using moves that target the neck.  Ultimately, Miz went over.  Not surprising, given what I’ve heard about how Mysterio’s a guy who doesn’t mind losing to younger talent in order to legitimize them.  Perhaps it might be a good idea to place him in a tag team with fellow luchador Sin Cara to help with WWE’s current efforts to bring back a solid tag division.

Alberto del Rio vs. Sheamus (c) – World Heavyweight Chamionship

Alberto del Rio continued to build up a much more aggressive side to his “Mexican aristocrat” heel persona last night during his bout with Sheamus.  During the match, Michael Cole’s commentary had me laughing pretty hard for a moment after he talked about how Sheamus was bullied as a kid because he had red hair and ghostly white skin.  He’s from Ireland.  Everyone there has red hair and pale skin.  (The WWE’s anti-bullying campaign also humors me a bit, as well, but mostly because they have heels, i.e. bad guys, break character for appearances as part of it.  It kind of ruins the illusion for me.)

Anyways, Sheamus ultimately prevailed in the match after del Rio’s driver/assistant/personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez distracted the referee and threw a shoe to him, which was ultimately caught by Sheamus and used on del Rio.  Sheamus additionally pushed del Rio’s foot off of the rope during the pin fall before the ref could see, doubling the dirty win and throwing his future as a face into question.

Prime Time Players vs. Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (c) – WWE Tag Team Championship

This was a pretty by-the-book tag match.  It’s unfortunate that the Prime Time Players’ on-screen manager, Abraham Washington, was released from his contract a few weeks ago after making a Kobe Bryant joke (“The Prime Time Players are like Kobe Bryant in a Colorado hotel–UNSTOPPABLE!”) on live TV and then making some questionable Tweets about Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign, but those are the breaks in the ultra-PC world of PG WWE, which is becoming increasingly easy to confuse for the company’s former competition, WCW.  He really added a lot to the PTP’s gimmick.  Kingston and Truth win following a dive to the outside on Titus O’Neill and a What’s Up and pinfall on Darren Young in the ring from R-Truth.

John Cena vs. Big Show vs. CM Punk (c) – Triple Threat for the WWE Championship

Big Show was the wild card in this match, and I honestly thought John Cena was going to go over and win yet another WWE Championship here.  I’m sure Cena’s a great guy in real life, but his super-sanitized character really doesn’t do anything for me and, to me at least, he’s just felt kind of forced on everyone over the age of 8 during the last few years.  He’s Hulk Hogan reincarnated as a white-rapper-slash-super-patriot in jorts.  Oddly enough, this is the closest to the main event a WWE Title match has come to the main event since the beginning of CM Punk’s over 300-day run, despite his matches constantly stealing the show.  In a way, I kind of get it.  Cena sells more merchandise and I guess that justifies burying your title.  At the same time, it also potentially hurts its perceived validity in the long run–but at least it doesn’t get bounced around like a game of hot potato anymore.

Anyhow, this was a pretty great match.  I can’t remember seeing Big Show booked this dominantly since his tag team run with the Undertaker in 1999.  It’s a much more ideal characterization than the goofy, gentle giant that he’s predominately played the majority of his 13 years in WWE.  At least once, I questioned whether or not Big Show might actually win the match.  The match initially ended after Punk and Cena finally took down the Big Show and both applied their signature submission maneuvers to the giant at the same time, resulting in a confusing “no contest” and a “restart” to the match.  Prior to the “restart,” I honestly thought that even that ending made sense–Punk, who is currently teetering between face and heel (very well, might I add), wouldn’t have to lose the title cleanly yet and the WWE could schedule a decisive Punk vs. Cena bout for Night of Champions.  However, that would be too similar to the Punk/Cena storyline from last year.

Thus, the match begins again, Cena performs the Attitude Adjustment on Big Show, and Punk pushes Cena out of the ring and steals the pin on Show, retaining the belt.  Also worth noting, this match had some of the loudest booing for Cena (who’s supposed to be a face) that I’ve heard during any event.

Kevin Rudolph Live Performance Segment

Can someone please tell me who Kevin Rudolph is and why this was necessary?  This music was a strange choice for a wrestling show, and the DJing was definitely über late-’90s.  Either this was staged primarily against a backing track or there was a lot of auto tune and no discernible sound from the guitar that Rudolph was apparently playing.  Hell, I didn’t even hear guitar on the studio track WWE’s been running with all of the promos for this show.  The terrible dancing by everyone at ringside was also unnecessary, and some of the WWE Divas dancing on stage seemed somewhat uncomfortable–but hey, that’s PG for you again.  I would’ve rather seen a divas match (there wasn’t one on the entire card) than sit through that.  There was probably even time for a Ryback squash match or a Brodus Clay segment instead of this.

Also of note, prior to this segment, Fred Durst was pointed out as a “celebrity” in attendance.  The main pro-wrestling fan base is probably the only audience Durst still has any relevancy with outside of frat boys.  Word is, he was allegedly kicked out of the event after the very non-PG move of flipping off the camera when it panned over to him.  Smooth move, dickbag.

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar

Triple H versus Brock Lesnar is one of those matches that never ended up happening during Brock’s initial run in WWE, back before he left to try out for the Minnesota Vikings and eventually landed in UFC.  It makes sense that it would happen now, and the build-up was pretty solid, with Lesnar “breaking” Triple H’s arm earlier this year during a storyline where Triple H didn’t give Lesnar the contract perks he wanted.  Last week, Lesnar made it even more personal, “breaking” the arm of HHH’s best friend, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels.

This match didn’t play out as brutal as the Lesnar/Cena bout from Extreme Rules that ultimately saw Cena going over in an unbelievable finish.  Lesnar/Triple H had a much more cerebral pace, with Lesnar focusing on Triple H’s once-broken arm and Triple H eventually focusing on Lesnar’s stomach.  This was a great detail for anyone who knew about Lesnar’s issues with diverticulitis and the stomach surgeries that ultimately led to his departure from UFC.  Lesnar sold every shot to his midsection pretty believably, as did Triple H with the shots to his arm.  Ultimately, though, Lesnar followed up a Pedigree from Triple H with a pin reversal into the Kimura Lock, once again kayfabe breaking Triple H’s arm and leading to a tapout.

The pay-per-view ended about 10 minutes earlier than normal, with a broken and defeated Triple H refusing medical attention and slowly making his way to the back, setting up a potential future “broken fighter returns from the jaws of defeat” storyline.

The Verdict:

Overall, this was a pretty decent pay-per-view.  The matches were pretty solid, but, as mentioned before, it’s hard to compare it to the 24 other SummerSlams that came before it.  The Rudolph performance really kind of killed my attention in the home stretch, but the majority of the matches were better than much of the other pay-per-views this year, with the exception of maybe the Punk/Jericho and Punk/Bryan feuds.  Take out that live performance and it’s a four-star effort.

Our Underwear #17: Jeers and Loafing in McCormick Place Part I: The Pleasure and Pain of Richard Starkings

by John Velousis
(Supposedly the first in a series about C2E2 2012)

Doctor Johnny Fever
The Crab Nebula. It’s the best nebula.

1: Quirky – or jerky?
Press credentials approved. “What the fuck,” I thought, “am I going to do to ‘cover’ a comic book convention?” See, [amazon_link id=”B0000TB014″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]I’m not like other boys[/amazon_link]. My priorities and interests are just completely eccentric to the norm… I mean that in the mathematical sense.

Example: At the convention, talking with Matt Sardo. He’s the brave guy who saw a spark of promise in my delirious ramblings and asked me to [amazon_link id=”B000RBA6CO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]blerg[/amazon_link] about comyx. Although I refused utterly, he sneaks into my head while I’m sleeping, like, when I roll over and the [amazon_link id=”1592910718″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]foil cap[/amazon_link] loosens, and then transcribes all of my wettest dreams. So, he and I were talking about things we were asking the creatives who were jam-packed [amazon_link id=”B003L20IEM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]ass-to-mouth[/amazon_link] in the Artists’ Alley at the horrible fucking concrete armpit of a building staging C2E2, McCormick Place. He – Sardo – said he’d been getting great responses with the question, “What should an up-and-comer do to start out / break into the comics business?”

I [amazon_link id=”B000PWW3Y4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]grimaced[/amazon_link] involuntarily. “Really? I would think they’d all been asked that question thousands of times. Like, as if it was a stereotype jokey question to ask.”

Now Matt was frowning. “No, they all seemed to like it and gave thoughtful, interesting answers.” He seemed defensive. His face had a sour expression, as if he’d just bitten into a crab-apple.

I started to backpedal. “I mean, I’m not, you know, trying to say that, like, as if to say, ‘Dude, that question sucked! You suck!’ or something like that, it just, uh, surprises me that it’s not… You know, I should shut up.” I do this somewhat often, where I react to something that’s fairly normal or conventional as if only an interview with the quality and sensibilities of the movie [amazon_link id=”B003U74NQW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Blue Velvet[/amazon_link] will suffice. Then, I notice for the umpteenth or maybe the ununocteenth time that I’m kind of being a dick. Which I hate being by accident.

Meanwhile, back in the camel-hump hollow that the dames call reality, Mr. Sardo asked, “What have YOU been asking people?”

“I’ve been trying to ask everybody the stupidest questions I could think of.”

2: Our hero discovers that time seems to only move in one direction, but not which one it is.
I tried to pre-plan. I had some half formed ideas of shit to do at the con to justify my attendance. Maybe I would read the French guy’s “Tab Jones! WHO IS THIS TAB JONES?” rant from Bukowski’s [amazon_link id=”0876857632″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Hollywood[/amazon_link]. “He really sings badly, I mean, he is terrible. All about what he can do to women, but he’s a fake, he really wants his tongue up some man’s anus. I am to puke, listening to him.” Hilarious bile, and I really do it up a treat with the French accent. It’s too hard for me to do without cracking myself up, though, and I pride myself upon my inscrutable deadpan.

It’s just so… nebulous!

I also considered trying to really nail Aaron’s “I heart evil” speech from [amazon_link id=”B000E6ESKS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Titus Andronicus[/amazon_link]. “Even now I curse the day[…] wherein I did not some notorious ill, as kill a man, or else devise his death[…] Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night, and bid the owners quench them with their tears.” Like that. Awesome speech, but it embarrasses me to even admit that I’m such a pretentious twat that I would consider this a good idea, however briefly. What the eff would I do, just recite the speech over and over, in a loop? Might as well learn it in fucking Klingon, so as to guarantee my removal from humankind.

I had even shittier ideas, too, but I’ll pretend for a moment that I have better things to do than make myself look like a jagoff.

Going to the con, walking in, my plan was to just plant myself at the Comic Vault table with some sort of sign that said, “I will argue with you about anything, from either side.”  That seemed to fit my skill-set perfectly, plus I really like to sit down.

All that shit got chucked out the window when I found myself standing in front of [amazon_link id=”1401205739″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gene Ha[/amazon_link], my “Press” badge not even CLOSE to believing its own press clippings. He seemed like a [amazon_link id=”B000SVZIG2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]SUPER[/amazon_link] nice guy. He was so nice, I was compelled (by Satan, obv) to ask him the least appropriate question that came to mind: “Have you ever drawn porn?” 3: I’m such a whiny little bitch that I wish I could run into myself on the street so I could kick my whiny little bitch ass.My point with all of this, honestly, is to just show you the degree of my disaffection, my ennui, about “covering” this convention. It isn’t that I don’t care about comic books or comics creators – I do, very much so. I hope THAT much is clear. Rather, I believe strongly in the edict, “Entertainment news is neither entertainment nor news.” In-depth conversations with creative persons about the soul of their works would excite me tremendously, but THIS wasn’t where such a thing could possibly happen.  Plus it may be that at the bottom of my heart, I suspected that I’d procrastinate doing actual articles online about the con for, say, four months or so.

It's the Crab Nebula.
Hubble telescope pictures often depress me. I don’t believe in God and am afraid of death, but most of the time I manage to avoid thinking about it. But when faced with the reality of a universe billions of years old, it’s hard not to feel like I’m nothing, nor to fear the certainty that I will one day become nothing.

Beyond that, I also tend to laze in a tub of anomie. (1. Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values.  2. Alienation and purposelessness experienced by a person or a class as a result of a lack of standards, values, or ideals.  Close enough,  though I’d say my problem stems from a paralyzing excess of standards, values, and ideals… which all carry zero currency in a meaningless world.) “Why should I go to this? How will I serve any kind of purpose doing so? Why anything? Have I really eaten seven different desserts today? I wonder if crabs are worse than [amazon_link id=”B003Y12AV4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]hemorrhoids[/amazon_link]?” Oh, the pain. The pain!

Once I committed to the idea of asking creators the stupidest questions I could think of… well, it didn’t go so great. Not that the artists and writers and misc-artisans weren’t cooperative – actually, they were all much nicer than I probably deserved, and made a game effort at politely answering every stupid thing I could think of. All of them, that is, except for [amazon_link id=”140123254X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nick Spencer[/amazon_link]… but that’s another column. Nah, it wasn’t them really, it was me.

I [amazon_link id=”B001O2UTQS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]choked[/amazon_link].

Really. I [amazon_link id=”B004GJYRI2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]screwed the pooch[/amazon_link]. I could not think of genuinely terrible questions to save my life. I had, I think, hoped to elicit some funny stories from these guys, but I didn’t. Some of that is maybe due to unrealistic expectations, based on my past as a performing artist. Financial failure though I was, I’ve still done a lot of interesting things, but only if you think being onstage with a dancing George Bush robot and wearing nothing but a diaper and a crown of thorns is interesting. Comic book artists… haven’t done that. The blame still rests on me for [amazon_link id=”B007V4LBLU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]shitting the bed[/amazon_link] here. My stupid questions were mostly just bland and repeated, and they drew a lot of not-very awesome answers. I fancy myself a pretty creative guy, but my idea-making biorhythm was AWOL that weekend. Pathetic, yeah? 4: Two guys walk into a bar. One of the guys is from the nation of Djibouti. The other guy doesn’t exist, and he’s in a wheelchair.
Richard Starkings is the creator of [amazon_link id=”1607065762″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Elephantmen[/amazon_link]. He writes most of the stories in the series, and has had them illustrated by an impressive line-up of artists – [amazon_link id=”1401216676″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Brian Bolland[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1607063689″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Shaky Kane[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”B003JO6IBY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Moritat[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1607063999″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ian Churchill[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”0974056723″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]David Hine[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1607064774″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Chris Burnham[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”B007S1PDTW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Aaron Kuder[/amazon_link] (you probably haven’t heard of him yet, but you will,) [amazon_link id=”1607060485″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Rob Steen[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1935233173″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Tom Scioli[/amazon_link], and like three other guys who get left out because I ran out of the will to keep copying names. Also, because I don’t know how to make an umlaut on a computer.  Although the [amazon_link id=”1607062682″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Elephantmen[/amazon_link] comic has been kicking ass in one form or another since 2002, Starkings has actually been pulling in a comics paycheck since 1984, as a [amazon_link id=”0974056731″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]letterer[/amazon_link]. In fact, his credits as a letterer run about 30 times as long as his credits as a writer. I actually counted the number of times I had to click to scroll down one page – that is how fascinating I found this factoid, before I started typing it.

A recent cover by sometime-artist of Elephantmen Tom Scioli. There’s no image on this cover that is any more significant to this article than any other. No existential Dada conspiracy exists, and said non-cabal has no secret signs, signifiers, deeper meanings, heaps of gleanings, weepier teams, creepier dreams, or seepier seams.

One of the elements setting the series [amazon_link id=”1607064685″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Elephantmen[/amazon_link] apart from the herd (YES!) is its elliptical storytelling style. The tale perpetually circles back upon itself in time and in perspective, revisiting the same events in the present repeatedly, often after flashing back some 20 or 30 years to the violent past of the human-animal hybrids called “elephantmen,” then reaching the present in the narrative orbit, the current event now illuminated by the history we’ve just seen.  The most recent issue, which just hit the racks two weeks ago, is Elephantmen #41. Written AND drawn by [amazon_link id=”1607065835″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]David Hine[/amazon_link], it is essentially a flashback to events before the series began, a biography of the human rights criminal assistant-creator of the “munts,” Javier Kubec. I won’t review it here, because I’m already in the middle of a digression inside of another digression. Just check it out, it’s good. Elephantmen #42 hits the stands this coming Wednesday, August 15.  Only three weeks apart? Mr. Starkings may be taking a cue from frequent employer Marvel Comics: The faster you put the issues out, the more often you collect the proceeds.

The series also stampedes through the central [amazon_link id=”0345404475″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]idea[/amazon_link] of one of my favorite films, [amazon_link id=”B000UBMSB8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Blade Runner[/amazon_link]: What is it to be a human being? Starkings and his collaborators acknowledge this debt openly. [amazon_link id=”160706393X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Volume four[/amazon_link] of the series’ trade collections, and the arc within it, take their title, Questionable Things, directly from [amazon_link id=”B008M4MB8K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Blade Runner[/amazon_link]. In that film, the beautiful and insane android Roy Baty (Rutger Hauer) literally meets his maker, Dr. Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel,) and says to him in a masterpiece of understatement, “Father, I’ve done… questionable things.” Then, Roy shoves his thumbs through Tyrell’s eyes into his brain, because impending death has made him crabby. 5: Brock Chalcedony brooded at the Mojave as Countess Monique Loveglove all but begged for more thrusting huge manhood from the best spy in the world. But Chalcedony was done giving his really big dong of good sex at her. Now, his only thought was of revenge against the terrorist guy who had killed his daughter and son and other daughter. And revenge would be sweet and served cold – the best revenge!
Mr. Starkings is a big fan of dyed hair. I’ve seen pictures of the thinning tousle atop his head dyed every color of the [amazon_link id=”B000YXMMAE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]rainbow[/amazon_link] – and also, dyed like a rainbow, perhaps [amazon_link id=”B000NOKJF4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]like the girl from the infamous Rolling Stones song[/amazon_link], perhaps like [amazon_link id=”B0041G680U” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]the rainbow from The Wizard of Oz[/amazon_link]. At C2E2, his pate was its natural white-gray, but his long chin-muff was dyed a lovely [amazon_link id=”B000000WH8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]blue[/amazon_link]. I couldn’t think of any “[amazon_link id=”B004D7SKQM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Bluebeard[/amazon_link]” jokes good enough for publication, though. Add that to the litany of failure limned hereto.

Twinkle twinkle little nebula.
Why do you tinkle on my nephew, huh?

By the time I approached Richard Starkings, my list of insipid questions had become fairly standardized, as had my intro. First, I said, “Hi, I’m a fan of your work.” This was invariably true at the con. I didn’t question or approach a single creator whose work I didn’t genuinely enjoy… because I act according to a very strict code of standards, which my fool brain downloaded from the [amazon_link id=”B00069L0Z4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Bizarros[/amazon_link]. Then, I’d say something like, “I’m some sort of online reporter or blogger,” gesturing at my press badge for effect. “Do you mind if I ask you the stupidest questions I can think of?” All of them consented to answering stupid questions, without exception.

JV: Would you say you’ve been naked in public a lot, not often, or never at all?
Richard Starkings: Hmm. A few times. (British accent, maybe a little like Ian Holm.)

JV: Care to describe the times?
RS: Once, I stripped naked in Death Valley and ran across the sand dunes. Another time, on a private beach in Hawaii.

JV: Ehhh, that’s not really public.
RS: Yes it is. (He said this rather heatedly. I considered arguing with him about semantic context, but in a rare moment of common sense, I realized that the point wasn’t worth starting an altercation over, so I sidled along.)

JV: Do you sing karaoke in public often, never, sometimes…?
RS: Mm. No – ah, just once, I think.

JV: What was the song?
RS: “Love Shack.”

JV: The B-52s song? That is just a weird coincidence. I had this job where the owner of the company – a genuinely awful person – would ALWAYS sing “Love Shack” at company parties. Like, the single criterion any karaoke DJ had to meet to get hired, they had to have “Love Shack” on their playlist so that Martin K——– could sing Fred’s part. (At this point, I realized I was boring RS, his coterie, and myself.) Anyway. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
RS: Cleaning up what we called ‘beat waste’ at a supermarket.

JV: Beef?
RS: Beat.

JV: B-E-E-T? Red as a beet?
RS: No, B-E-A-T.

JV: Got it. (I think I forgot to ask what ‘beat waste’ was, exactly, just assuming it was the leavings from the butcher, which surely would have been a not-insignificant influence on the animal rights themes in “Elephantmen.” Online searches for the term are mixed. One personal anecdote has a “beat waste bin” full of old, rotten, un-bought market vegetables. Another extremely intriguing link has this exerpt: [Glue factories or tanners or something] also obtained beat waste materials, such as the rasjiioga and triuiniingr [may be spelled wrong] of ivory, [and / or] the boues [bones?], cartilage, and tendons of animals.” That piece is so haphazardly spelled and punctuated in general, though, that I can’t rule out the possibility that either “beat” or “waste” was intended to be a different word entirely.)

JV: Have you ever thrown up on another person?
RS: No. Well, one time in a hospital ambulance, I did vomit into one of those… (pause.)

JV: Bedpans?
RS: No, one of those kidney-shaped bins. (His zeal, which had perked up when he remembered that he kind of DID puke on someone, fades rapidly as he says this. Reading his eyes, it seems to me he is now recalling a dreadfully painful memory. I wrap up the ”interview” somehow and thank him for his time. Later, I will ask him to suggest stupid questions that he thinks I should ask, and he provides one – “If you were a taco filling, which would you be?” – that becomes a staple of my questioning for the rest of the con.)

(Richard Starkings would be pinto beans.)

Spider-Men #3 An “Event Book” Done Right

Spider-Men #3

Story By: Brian Michael Bendis

Art By: Sara Pichelli

After an introductory issue that created the set up for 616 Peter Parker arriving in the Ultimate Universe  we finally learn that 616 Mysterio is behind everything. Issue 3 starts with Mysterio on the attack as his Avatar convince bot Peter and Miles that every Spider Villain has come t destroy them. Its a fun and intense battle that continues to show case both Spidermen extremely well. Brian Michael Bendis also continues to do a great job separating Miles and Peter from one another giving them their own voice as the fight everyone from Carnage to Miles Uncle this issue.

Peter has seen Mysterio do this type of thing before and distracts Mysterio long enough for Miles to put the hurt on Mysterio’s Avatar which backfires and knocks our 2 heroes out long enough for Mysterio to make his escape.

Sara Pichelli’s art continues to be one of the biggest selling points. She is just as important to the story. Giving both Miles and Peter their own signature moves. The action never feels choppy or out-of-place and it never once feels odd seeing Villains from Marvel’s 616 world next to their Ultimate counterparts. Their were several moments where I just stared at her pages in awe at the level of detail she packs into each panel. Sara’s always been able to draw a great action scene but its the closing pages that really surprised me. Pichelli captures emotion is such a great way that you cant help but match the same look she gives to Peter at the end of this issue.

Miles and Peter battle Mysterio in the earlier pages of Spidermen #3

Miles is woken up by The Ultimates after the fight but Peter is no where to be found. All of this leads up to the final pages I spoke of earlier. I must say that any Spidey fan is going to be shocked at the ending of this issue. I know I was legitimately saddened. I also cant wait to read the next issue to see how this all plays out for Peter.

Event books are a necessary evil in the comic world. I have to say I’m extremely impressed at the high level of quality being brought to this series. It does exactly what an event book is supposed to do. After reading this series I’m genuinely interested more now in both characters then i was prior to reading Spidermen. Also this Event Book seems to have implications that will last for both Peter and Miles in futures issues of their respective books. If you haven’t picked up this book yet give it a try its only five issues long and has done a great job so far convincing me that the Marvel world is big enough for two Spidermen.

Review Score 8.5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow Me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Marvel’s Phase One Boxset will let you own your very own Tesseract!!

Mike DeVivo here,

For those of you wondering to yourselves “Where the hell is the Super Awesome Special Edition of Avengers?” Here’s your answer. This could be the coolest Box Set I’ve ever seen. Though its going to set you back well over $150 now it looks to have everything you could ever want from the Marvel Cinematic world. You can pre-order the set on Amazon Here . You get IRON MAN 1 & 2 , INCREDIBLE HULK, THOR, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE AVENGERS and an Extra Disc called SHIELD AVENGERS INITIATIVE. You also get Level Seven files, and SHIELD profiles on each AVENGER. The best part however is that it’s all packaged inside of Nick Fury’s Briefcase that contained the Tesseract! Also each disc will have original Cover artwork done by Matthew Ferguson. Check out the images below and geek out over the amazing Artwork!!

This is seriously the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. Bravo to Marvel and Disney for creating something else for fanatics to blow their money on. Now someone get this for me my birthday is September 18th …thanks.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Snyder and Capullo bring a Faceless Joker to “Death of the Family”

Today Scott Snyder announced that starting with issue 13, Batman’s arch-villain would return. Yes indeed, the Joker will finally show his face – or lack thereof. If any of you have read the Bat-books, you will remember that The Joker was last seen getting a visit by the Dollmaker, with a shocking final image of his face being nailed to the wall of his cell in Gotham Asylum.

“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder told The Source. “Not just in comics. In everything – film, books, TV. He’s the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me – something I’ve built in my head ever since I started working in Gotham. Basically, this is my big exploration of the Joker, my ‘Arkham Asylum’ or ‘The Killing Joke,’ only bigger in scope. Bottom line: it’s the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell. This is Joker completely unleashed. He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up. And now he’s back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened… And wait ’til you see him. Greg’s sketches literally gave me chills. Point blank: This is Joker like you’ve never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn’t going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a wild ride. Thanks for taking it with us.”

“When Scott told me that he’d written a Joker story for our next arc, I couldn’t contain my excitement,” said Capullo. “Talk about a dream come true! For me, the Joker is the ultimate rogue and the villain I most wanted to draw. I gotta tell you, after hearing what the story is about, this isn’t a dream come true. It’s a nightmare! A macabre and bloody, flesh crawling nightmare. We hope you’ll have the nerve to face what’s coming. Warning: It ain’t for the faint of heart!”

Will we also see the Dollmaker make a return? Does the title “Death of the Family” tie in somehow to the arc “Death in the Family”? Hopefully we will find out more come Comic Con.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

Our Underwear 15: Free (comic)dom Ain’t Free

by John Velousis

Aloha! I’m currently working on my needlessly huge and senselessly autobiographical coverage of C2E2 – Chicago’s major comic book convention which occurred… er, three weeks ago as of this writing. One of the things that happened there was that Comic Vault Overlord Matt Sardo exasperatingly exhorted me to, “Just write a three hundred word review! Do something! They don’t all have to be two thousand words!”

The top of my article had no images and was boring. Here's an image! Incidentally, I've been interviewing Jeff Parker over the course of the last, like, three months. If I ever finish, the result will probably clock in at fifteen thousand words, knowing me. He's WAY meaner than you'd think.

While I did scoffingly remind him that I’m not a comic book reviewer – I’m a critic – there is something to be said for continuing to exist as an online presence. SO! This.

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Woot! I have to say Joe Field’s brainchild is unquestionably cool. It may be the saving grace of the field, in fact. I myself was dragged back to the wonderful world of comix (after stepping away for nearly 15 years) when a friend of mine who worked at a comic store pulled a bunch of comics for me on FCBD 2009. Since then, I’ve probably spent about ten thousand dollars on comics, graphic novels, and etc. One assumes that the industry wants that money.

Beyond me, though, is the possibility – dare I call it the hope? – that this promotion will grow the love of comics in people who AREN’T white men in their forties. You know – kids! As the accursed Big Two continue to try to kill the golden goose that is the Loyal Comics Customer by pandering to idiots who think buying #1 issues of everything will somehow make them a profit, this holiday does the opposite. It attempts to let the works themselves be the draw upon readers and would-be readers. In any business, one should always play the long game. Kid readers now are gonna be grown-up readers in the future. THEY that are captured in the wonder of the medium will be the cherished product consumers of tomorrow, whereas collected trade paperbacks of Red Hood and the Outlaws will not sell for diddly-shit, notwithstanding the amazing “collectible value” supposedly added by being volume one.

Anyhow, I went out from store to store yesterday picking up my free comics… and spent a hundred bucks I wouldn’t have spent otherwise. Well, not specifically yesterday, anyhow.  I would have inevitably bought a copy of [amazon_link id=”0977030490″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Duncan the Wonder Dog[/amazon_link] now that it’s back in print – although I may have bought one from Amazon for $16 instead of the full retail $25 at one of my LCBS’s. If you haven’t heard about [amazon_link id=”0977030490″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Duncan the Wonder Dog[/amazon_link], hot damn tamale, get on board! It’s an amazing and astonishing work, funny, horrifying, mind-boggling, and infused with the mathematics of philosophy and the philosophy of mathematics – subjects everybody loves to see in hyper-realistic comics with talking animals. Rather than get sidetracked talking about how much I wuv this 392-page book (that you can get for $25!!!), here’s a link to Laura Hudson’s outstanding article on it, the article that explained why Duncan… was the Comics Alliance’s #1 Best Comic of 2010. Egomaniac though I pretend to be only pretending to be, I have to admit that she does a much better job than I would have.

Likewise, sooner or later I surely would have bought the amazing first collection of Karl Kerschl’s webcomic The Abominable Charles Christopher – despite it not being sold on Amazon – but, I DID, in fact, buy it yesterday and not any other day ever.

All told, here is what I picked up on FCBD:

Also, this shows the color of one of the blankets on my bed.

And here is a pic of the FREE comics from above:

These 2 photos designed to be flipped back & forth. FUN!

Yow! I should point out that this year, the Midwest region (and maybe other regions, I dunno) was affected by an accident (that I THINK happened in Texas) where a driver in the wrong lane of traffic hit a Diamond Comics Distributors truck. The truck had been carrying books for FCBD, so there were less than usual everywhere. In the accident, the person who caused the crash died as a consequence, cheating the state of Texas out of his possible execution. The truck had two Diamond drivers, both of whom were injured in thankfully non-life-threatening ways.  SO, the stores I went to were shorter on books than usual, is my point here.

This is how the accident would have looked had it involved one car and a bunch of bicycles.

In fact one store had ONLY ONE free comic left to give out, [amazon_link id=”1620100819″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Bad Medicine[/amazon_link], and that only because Christopher Mitten was there. He seemed like a nice guy, we chatted about how awful it is to have to avoid eye contact with comics creators whose stuff you DON’T read, and how glad I am that he’s somebody whose work (namely[amazon_link id=”1595827463″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] Criminal Macabre[/amazon_link]) is something I like. That was nice.

So, in conclusion, I just want to say that Free Comic Book Day is super-duper-cool, it’s the salvation of us all, and I’m still blogging here and not dead like Riddell always says. Aloha!

C2E2 Photo Craziness


The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo also known as C2E2 came to town for it’s third year with a bigger and show room and an even bigger crowd.
C2E2 is a 3-day pop culture event at McCormick Place just south of downtown. The main focus is comic books but there was a tattoo festival, daily costume contests, a Quidditch tournament from “Harry Potter,” nerd speed dating and several after parties. According to the New York based company that organizes the show, Reed Pop, more than 30,000 people attended the show over the 3-day event. C2E2 also double the size of artist alley from 200 creators to 400 creators.
Shia LaBeouf of “Transformers” fame made a surprise appearance on Friday and setup shop in artist alley promoting his self-published graphic novels. LaBeouf was very candid and friendly with everyone that stopped by his table. “Every book says made on a Mac,” LaBeouf said to advocate how easy it is to self-publish and to encourage others to do the same.
With the “Avengers” due out in a few weeks Marvel Comics had the biggest display on the showroom floor. On Saturday night there was a giant auction for all the props from “Captain America” and “Thor.” The Captain America costume sold for $240,000 after is was all said and done.
Native Chicagoan John Cusack made an appearance at the show to promote his upcoming film “The Raven” where Cusack plays a mystery solving Edgar Allen Poe.
The event also brings out a who’s who’s of sci-fi entertainment past, present and future and all you have to do is walk through the autograph section of C2E2. Sean Astin from “Lord of the Rings” mingled with fans. Kevin Brown of “Thirty Rock” never broke his Dot Com character for the whole weekend. There were guests that seemed out of place like “Top Chef” Stephanie Izard.
The best part of the event is the cosplay. Where the fans come to the show dressed as their favorite character. For the cosplayers this one weekend is when they can showcase their incredible talents. Some spend all yearlong building or putting together their costume for C2E2. From the girls running around in their underwear to the guy in the giant Voltron costume, for three days there is no judgment except the daily costume contest.

Here are the photos that we have from the weekend, from cosplayers to pure goofiness. Enjoy the photos and if you also have photos please share your links.

C2E2 – Before Watchmen Highlights And Notes – “Sex, Violence and Penises Galore!”

 

Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Amanda Conner, Adam Hughes, Len Wein, J. Michael Straczynski, Joe Kubert, Dan Didio, other DC crew including Bob Wayne, Mark Chiarello and Will Dennis sat down to have a chat about the Before Watchmen Prequels.

New Frontiersman teaser Headline: Punks destroy England, Are We Next?

Dan Dido was surprised there wasn’t more negative reaction for BeforeWatchmen. They were looking forward  to defending it.

J. Michael Straczynskiwas described Nite Owl as an origin story about how Dan became that character. Straczynski says, “The story will go from his early childhood through to his partnership with Rorschach and how that went badly.” The Alan Moore question was brought up immediately and J. Michael Straczynskiwas was quick to point out Moore’s hypocrisy. “He’s been using characters like the Invisible Man, Peter Pan, Jekyl and Hyde in what one fan basically called fan fiction — in ways their original creators probably wouldn’t have approved of.” He ended with, “Did Alan Moore get a crummy contract? Yes. So has everyone at this table. Worse was Segal and Shuster, worse was a lot of people.”

Joe Kubert came in late and the place went wild. Asked about working with his son Joe said, “Working with Andy was both a blessing and a little bit of a curse.” Kubert got a laugh. “Any variation of any line and you see creases lining his face!” Joe ended his talk with a warm sentiment and said it was a pleasure to work with his son. “How lucky can you get?”

When asked fs drawing Dr. Manhattan was Adam Hughe’s dream job he said,”I really wanted to draw Nite Owl.” Everyone laughed. Dan Didio suggested a death cage match between Adam Hughes and Joe Kubert. Adam continued,”It wasn’t a dream come true, but it is becoming really interesting.” Asked if whether there will be nudity on Dr. Manhattan  Adam Hughes replied, “Shit yes… If you have a good face day, you draw faces. If you have a bad face day, you draw trees.” The room snickered. “I took the Hemmingway approach and drank a lot. I treated it like experimenting in college.” Hughes explained that Watchmen was so shocking back when it was released because it was under the guise of a superhero comic, but he understands that times have changed. In closing, Adam talked about respecting the original tone of Watchmen in terms of profanity, raw truth and adult situations. Then quipped “Sex, violence & penises galore. Straczynski added to the Dr. Manhattan discussion that the plot is rather dark and about the quantum aspect of freewill.

Dan Didio said, “The Comedian is the first pages that made them say, ‘legal needs to see these’.” Brian Azzarello went on about the book, “Ozymandias is the spine of the story. Eddie’s the balls.”

Len Wein talked briefly about his Ozymandias series. “Exploring what made him want to almost end the world in order to save it was a lot of fun to work with.” He talked about Jae Lee’s art on it as if it was fine art.

Lee Berjmo on Rorschach, “We’re going to do a grind house movie. Lots of 70’s Porn shops. What better porn than 70s porn?”As the panelist discussion degenerated into more porn talk and Lee joked,”I was conceived in a porn shop.”

Brian Azzerello was asked about favoring the Comedian over Rorschach and he clarified his position, “I like the Comedian more as a person than Rorschach. I don’t prefer writing one over the other.” Expounding on this Brian said, “Rorschach is a blast because it’s so ugly. You people like that character? Well, you’re going to get it exactly the way you like it.” The room erupted in laughter.

Silk Sceptre will have a lot of easter eggs. Amanda Conner will put some personal moments into the story. Apparently an ex-boyfriend pastiche will pop-up as well. Amanda says it will be a, “romance comic with beatings. We are trying to keep a little bit of that tone, not make it too dark and angst-ridden.” Conner explained , “When I was a teenager, my mother and I had a contentious relationship, so I’m bringing that to the table a little bit. I’m just trying to remember all that stuff from when I was a teenager.”

Crimson Corsair is a backup feature that will be running across all prequels and the reflect the themes or the narratives in the same way Tale of the Black Freighter did in the original Watchmen.

At the end of the panel there was a question about the Silk Spectre Tijuana Bible in the “Watchmen” universe. “You might see it.” says Conner.

There was some new B&W interior work that was revealed as well as new covers for #2 issues.

BeforeWatchmenMontage

#C2E2 2012: Dc’s New 52 Panel

 

DC's New 52 panel

The line for DC’s new 52 panel at C2E2 was the longest yet at the convention . There must have been over 700 people waiting to get in a hall that seated 400. A lucky few got to stand along the wall of  DC’s New 52 panel room S401 to hear Scott Snyder , Chris Burnham , Patrick Gleason, Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Tony Daniel, Kyle Higgins, Gail Simone  and Jimmy Palmiotti .

Chris Burnham talks about creating alongside Grant Morrison for Batman Inc. He explains bringing his work to the page . Using a pop art 60’s style Adam West work alongside the dark stories everyone knows and loves.

Earth 2 brings characters like Superman and Batman in a new a different way. Its going to have a big impact on the DCU,. Also speaks to the Worlds Finest starring Power Girl and The Huntress . Power girls costume isn’t really my style. Powergirl and Huntress story actually will be taking place in the current DCU . Both heroines are the only two characters planted into DCU proper

Gail Simone joins panel.

Dial H – It’s in the spirit of Animal Man and Swamp Thing. The story itself will also weave into the New 52 as well.

Now a book featuring Dinosaurs ! Its called GI Combat . JT Krull and Jimmy Palmiotti are the first two writers n the book. Jimmy says it starts with Dinosaurs and ends with  a lot of Gore.

New Book The Ravagers will tie into Teen Titans and Superboy. Its introducing Beast Boy to the new 52 and he hints that he has something to do with The Red.

Free Comic Book Day is coming and DC’s book will be putting out a new One Shot by the new 52 ,.

Geoff JoHns said the book will have Jim Lee , Ivan Reis, Joe Prado . Again he asks a young child to come out to check out the new preview issue as long as she doesn’t tell anybody.

She proceeds to walk off the stage and they warn her not to walk off the stage .

Hall S401 was filled with DC fans

There is a lot of new characters introduced in the One Shot for Free Comic Book Day and sets the stage for the next years worth of stories . Geoff says the book will have a ton of surprises in it.

Moving on to the Next Justice League arc. The next villain will be narrating the series . Issues 9-12 will feature an overconfident team that will get dropped back to earth.

Diamond top 50 comics featured DC Comics in the top 10 exclusively. Aquaman has consistently outsold Spiderman.

Geoff thanks the crowd again for their support.

The next Aquaman issue deals with the others and will run right into the Atlantis arc coming up. He then made a talk to the Fish comment.

Green Lantern follows….

Geoff Johns- He thanks us for still picking up the book. Indigo Tribe will lead right into The Revenge of Blackhand . The annual will wrap the story up to Blackhand and will be a e changer for Green Lantern proper.

Wonder Woman is up next.

Brian Azzarello – In the next series she goes to Hell. Crowd laughs ….Cliff picks up the mic…Issue 8 is drawn By Cliff and 9 and 10 will be drawn by Tony Atkins , and Cliff will pick back up art duties in issue 11 . Brian also say it gets worse.

Enter Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder – Issue 9 will be the big Finale between Abby and Alec Swamp Thing. It will wrap the storyline back up that brings Anton Arcane back into Swamp Thing proper. After that Animal Man and SwampThing will finally have their team up following. He thanks the crowd for reading both Swamp Thing and Animal Man.

He then speaks on Batman

Scott-Hes creeped out ..he notices a few Court of Owls in the crowd. One of which seated behind me .

The next issue will feature a ton of new gadgets and vehicles for Batman to take on the Court. Also he says issue 10-11 will have the biggest story Reveals .

The Annual will feature The Owls as well . Mr Freeze will be introduced back into the DC and inserted into the Night of the Owls story. Scott says Freeze will play into one of the books . It will establish him properly into the DC , give him an origin and what his story is. Big Revelations for him .

Dark Knight #9 will be written by Judd Winick and David Finch bringing Red Robin back to the Bat Family to take on the court of owls.

Tony is up next to speak about Detective Comics.

He describes his story in Night of the Owls as a “One Shot” that takes place at Arkham Asylum. Jeramiah Arkham will be back into the book for this issue. After that he will be taking the break from the art for the next few issues. He wants to keep the book focused on Bruce, commissioner Gordon and his new love interest.

Gail Simone is up to speak about Batgirl

Gail’s issue for Night of The Owls and talks about how much fun she had doing the issue. After that she will be putting her past behind her a bit and move forward with her life. She will be going up her new Arch Villain Nightfall .

Issue 9 of Nightwing comes on the screen and gets the biggest cheer so far

Kyle Higgins is up to speak on Dick Grayson  aka Nightwing

Issue 9 will also feature the tie in to Night of The Owls. He speaks to the big reveal in issue 7 speaking on what Dicks true background was . Specifically his ancestor Willaim Cobb. He describes the story as twisted and ends it by saying he looks how you get from William Cobb’s name to Dick Grayson’s name. It will then focus on him becoming “The Prince of Gotham”. He’ll start to ask the question can there be hope in the city.

Palmiotti is up to speak about All Star Western

He also has a Bight of the owls Tie In. Dealing with the history of Gotham using the Court of Owls . Jonah Hex will have a huge part in the history as well as Crime Bibles. He promises that this book will lead directly into some of the story elements you see in the Batbooks.

A fan asks if Bludhaven is still destroyed or will Nightwing Remain in Gotham. Kyle says he is determined to stay in Gotham.

A fan asks why the star isn’t part of the new DC logo. The response was they were going from something different.

Someone asks again what the Orange Lantern Oath is from Geoff . He promises he’ll learn ..eventually.

A familiar fan asks about Azrael . Scott says there aren’t any plans to put him in yet. Tells him to play Arkham City for his fix.

Geoff tells a fan you will see Black Adam before Billy Batson becomes Captain Marvel.

A fan speaks about why there are to Glaring omissions to the Bat Family proper being Cass and Steph and why they aren’t introduced yet. Scott says to wait …what he wants to do is introduce them properly and the girl you see help Batman in issue 7 will come back into focus on issue 12.

Crazy fan rambles a long time about liking books …then finally asks a question about Deathstroke. He is told Lobo will be going into the book as well.

A fan asks about Super Boy Prime . Geoff says while it was fun writing him he isn’t planned to return to the series.

A fan asks about where the Joker is now that his face has been ripped off . They say something special will be revealed down the line for him.

A fan asks a question about the Timeline in Dc . How far back are we going ? Geoff gives him

A young kid asks if the Elongated Man still Dead . Geoff tells him its the New 52 and anything can happen.

Someone asks if The Spectre will return to the DCU . No one says a thing…everyone laughs.

Someone asks if Animal and Swamp Thing will be inserted into the whole DCU now. Scott says they will start showing up in other books eventually after their story is established .

Someone goes into how much they enjoyed the New Wonder Woman designs and asks how they are designed.

Cliff says that want to highlight the fact that the Gods are not human. He gives Tony Atkins props for Poseidon and Hades.Cliff focuses more on the fashion and human elements. Brian says there are physically manifesting their personalities onto the page. He wants them to be feared.

A younger kid asks if any of the old timelines will be reestablished in the new books. The whole panel says they will continue to builds off of certain stories from the past into a the new 52.

Mini superman asks if there will be a book focusing on just Cyborg in the future . Geoff tells him their will be an arc dealing with Cyborgs history and story.

A girl asks if Mogo will be coming back. Geoff tells her that Mogo is a hard thing to kill he’s a planet and tells her that he should be back. He also says that DC Direct may make a Mogo Beach Ball ..The crowd gives a giant cheer.

The panel ends with the We Can Be Heroes short film and ends the panel.

Mike DeVivo

Follow Me on Twiter @pandasandrobots

Support the Artist Alley Project

Artist Alley Project on Indiegogo

Our Story

Matthew Sardo created Comic Vault: News & Opinion in August of 2011. Matt wanted to continue the tradition of community that he built-up with the brick and mortar Comic Vault and transfer it to the digital-age of the comic book industry. In a few short months we have grown our staff (family) and our web presence. Our focus is clear, create a bond between creators and their fans. If you’re a creator, the Comic Vault wants to know what you’re working and how we can help you promote it. If you’re a fan, we want to know what you like and help you discover new talent.

ARTIST ALLEY: the mission

To help fans connect with creators-established, undiscovered and everywhere in between.
To expose artists to their eager fan base and provide them with networking opportunities.
To promote the interest of art and comics.
Each creator will be given their own personalized webpage with an introduction video that will give fans an insight into who you are. The webpage will also contain a bio, contact information, where to buy their work and a gallery of work.

Each webpage will be categorized by region and state. The Comic Vault’s hope is that this leads to fans connecting with local creators.
Click here to support!

The Impact

Our main goal is to create a bond between creators and fans. With the virtual “ARTIST ALLEY” our aim is to start the fan/creator bond before you meet at a convention and to help the fans and creators nurture that bond after the convention.

Over time the virtual “ARTIST ALLEY” will be more than just a website for fans to connect with creators, it will become a tool of inspiration and guidance. Every creator video will add a bit of knowledge about the trials and tribulations of comic book industry.

There are no guarantees, but we’re going to promote the crap out this website. You never know who will see your work and when. This website will create added exposure for creators and the rest is up to you.

What We Need & What You Get

Click for a list of perks!

The Comic Vault will promote “ARTIST ALLEY” at conventions throughout the United States. A portion of the money donated will go towards all the costs associated with attending a convention, booth rental, promotional material and staffing.

The Comic Vault will discover new talent by attending as many conventions as possible, big and especial small conventions. We are very passionate about this project but discovering talent requires time and gas money.

The Comic Vault will strive to bring you the best multi media storytelling currently out there. This will happen through great quality interviews, photographs and a compelling biography on all the creators. We currently have 90% of the items needed to carry this out, but a few items are needed to give you the best experience possible.

I would love to pay the writers on our website. We have a great group of writers that know their craft, work really hard and deserve a thank you.

Web design and maintenance, it doesn’t cost a lot but it does cost money to host and run a website. Also, with the ever-changing technology our current website will need to be updated

Other costs include M&M’s.

Other Ways You Can Help

Yes, please spread the word with your friends/family! Share the info on Facebook, Twitter and other websites. Follow our progress on Twitter @comicvault

Click here to support!


Take care,
Matthew Sardo

Comic Vault News & Opinion is your source for news and reviews about comics, movies, games and more.

Follow me on twitter @comicvault

Con-Quest

It’s that time of year when convention season is starting up and our local Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is in a little over a week. Personally, I love conventions. I have been going since I first officially moved to Chicago in 2001 with the Wizard World show out in Rosemont. That first convention was mind blowing for a first time convention attendee. There was so much to see and do that it was hard to really accomplish much of anything. Since then, I have attended multiple shows a year as both an attendee and on the other side of the tables as both a retailer and helping out artists. And over that time, I have gotten better at accomplishing everything at a show through careful planning and preparation. This has also made the conventions more manageable and most of all, fun.

The first and probably most obvious thing is to make a list. Do you want to meet creators? Do you want to shop? What panels do you want to see? Etc. Write it all down. The nice part is that most shows put up programs ahead of time for the show. They have where creators will be, what panels are going on and when, and other various maps and information. I cannot stress enough to use this. Write down where creators will be either in artist alley or where their publisher booth is so you can check signing times. Take note on where and when panels are so you can plan accordingly when you have to get there and allow enough time to get from where you currently are to there. Write down what you want to buy. I don’t know how many times I have left a show and remember that one issue I forgot to look for and probably could have gotten a dozen times.

I usually write everything on a piece of paper. Others use a notepad or you can use you your electronic devices of various types. Either way works, just use what works for you. I use a piece of paper because it nicely can be folded up and put n my pocket. Or I keep it in a folder with my comic lists. I have a Savage Dragon and Iron Man completion list going and it’s easier to keep everything together. Also, the folder is nice when I buy smaller prints or get random fliers and cards at the show.

Of course, what I deem the second most important thing is the carrying bag. I, like many other convention attendees, carry a small shoulder bag with them throughout the show. It’s packed with a variety of things and varies from person to person. However, each one is suited to that person’s goals for the show.

Now the most important thing will determine what you prioritize in the bag. For me, I love meeting artist and writers. Thus, a good portion of my bag space is used for a sketchbook, and the books I am bringing to be signed. I bring one of two of titles that creators work on for a few reasons. First, I only pick a few of each issue that are important that I want signed. Second, creators usually limit the amount of books they will sign. And third, I have found that creators will talk more and be a lot more sociable with fans when they have smaller stacks. I met Greg Rucka years back when he was on Wolveine. The guy in front of me had a large stack of books to be signed. Greg kindly asked him to pick 10. The guy was in shock and slightly taken aback that he had to choose. But he did and took his books and left. I walked up next and commented that I only had one book for him. He laughed and we ended up chatting for more time than it would have taken him to sign the previous guys stack. Just something to keep in mind.

Anyway, if you are a shopper, the main part of your bag might be space. If you anticipate buying a lot, you need to leave room or have a shopping bag to carry. Either way, remember to keep in mind what you are buying and how you are going to carry it.

Another thing about a show is that it is all day. You have to eat but also, it’s nice to carry snacks and a bottle or two of water. You can buy this stuff at a show but the convention center prices are going to be significantly higher. I usually have a box of granola bars and a few bottles of water or Powerade/Gatorade for the day. This year, I picked up a water bottle that snaps to my bag and the powder packs to make my own Gatorade. They do not take up space like a full bottle does and I can make multiple drinks throughout the day.

Also, do not forget the little things. Have you ever heard of Con-crud? It what is refereed to as being sick after a convention due to the convention itself. Remember that it is a huge space packed with lots and lots of people You may be a very clean person but unfortunately, some others are not. A small bottle of hand sanitizer is a good idea, also maybe a small travel deodorant. Both go a long way to battle germs and keep you feeling much better.

And one last tip I want to pass along. A show is big and there are lots of people attending. Many have similar goals and not every one will be achieved. So first and foremost, have fun. Try to do as much of what you want as possible. But also, and more importantly, do not get discouraged if you do not accomplish everything. Sadly, I have been there and the first time, it felt bad. But then I took a step back and saw what I did accomplish. I ended up meeting a lot of people and had a really good time.

You can take away from this what you want. This is your show. Come prepared, but make sure to relax and have fun. You will look back and enjoy the experience that much more.

Can you say cosplay? WonderCon photos by @patloika

Here’s the round-up of WonderCon complete with excess cosplay (Can you have too much cosplay?). Southern California brings out the best in the best in cosplay and WonderCon’s move to Anaheim does not disappoint. There was even a Miles Morales sighting on the first day of the Con. Enjoy the photos courtesy of Pat Loika from San Diego, follow him on Twitter @patloika.


About Pat Loika
Live through this, and you won’t look back…
Pat Loika is a San Diego based writer, illustrator and podcaster. He also works in the San Diego tourism industry, but he would rather not get into THAT. He’s a very social person that has way too many friends.

Pat is the co-creator of the Path to Armageddon, Blacklisted and The Villain. He co-founded Dial R Studios, a virtual studio comprised of talents from different media including comics, music and filmmaking. He is currently working on a new webcomic series titled PLATEAU, and hosts the weekly LOIKAMANIA pop-culture podcast.

He dreams of world domination, and finding the best ribs on the planet. He will not be stopped.