It was exactly one week ago today that I attended my first San Diego Comic Con. Crazy. It feels like yesterday.
All this week we’ve been recounting my experience at SDCC 2010, and today we continue our tour of the Con floor as we stop by the Archaia Entertainment booth, take some pictures with the cool folk at Top Cow, and I meet a person responsible for a plethora of amazing childhood memories! If you’re joining us late in our coverage, be sure to check out our previous installments which include a Comic Con primer, how I met Chris Claremont, Cosplay groups A and B (vote for your favorites!), and the beginning of our ‘on the Con floor’ recap.
We left off with meeting Stephen Stern and Dan Cote, the creators of Zen Intergalactic Ninja, at the Shocker Toys booth. After some lively conversation with these two gentleman, The Movie Lady and I navigated through the congested video game section of Con and made our way into Artists Alley. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend a lot of time in AA (heh), since most of the people we wanted to see weren’t around when we got there (like Dustin Nguyen and Mike Choi). However, I was able to shake hands with Zen artist Bill Maus, and catch up with amazing pop culture artist, Jim Mahfood. But beyond that, most of the other artists we wanted to see were busy with other fans working on commissions or just flat out not there. So, we pressed on to the Archaia Entertainment booth where we met plenty of amazing people!
We started by talking with couple Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, the creative team on Titanium Rain. I reviewed the book before it was released by getting my hands on an advanced PDF thanks to my friend Mike Colbert. It was cool to finally meet Josh and Kat whom I had communicated with briefly via e-mail after slinging them my review of their awesome book.
They hinted that ComicAttack.net may be getting a pull quote sometime soon in a future printing of the book, which would be amazing. Whether that happens or not, Josh was so happy with the review I wrote that he gave me this bad ass Phoenix Squadron Squadron patch that is very limited in quantity! Hell yeah!!
I next spoke with David Marquez and Daniel Quantz of Syndrome (click here for a review), and Joshua Fialkov, the creator of the Tumor OGN. What was interesting about Josh was that he was supposed to do a signing for Tumor at my store in LA, Collector’s Paradise, but his wife went into labor the night before which axed those plans. I know, he’s so selfish! Janet Lee was a very cool lady to meet next as she showed us some of her art which will be featured in Archaia’s upcoming OGN, Return of the Dapper Men. Look for it in November, it’s very unique.
Not too far away was the Radical Publishing booth where the very affable Jimmy Palmiotti was signing for his new book which came out this week, Time Bomb. Unfortunately, The Movie Lady and I didn’t have anything for him to sign. We still wanted to meet him though since his recent Power Girl run with Amanda Conner (whom he’s engaged to) ranks amongst The Movie Lady’s favorites of any comic book. I like it a lot too and was sad to see it come to an end. We told him that the recent two issues which followed their departure on the title were nothing like what he and Amanda did with the book, and he seemed as dissatisfied about it as we were. He mentioned that it felt like DC didn’t care about their run, and just made it obsolete like it had never even existed. Shame on you DC. The Conner/Palmiotti run on Power Girl are arguably the best 12 issues that character has ever appeared in.
We said our goodbyes to Jimmy and headed over to the Top Cow booth. There I saw my good friend, the beautiful Christine Dinh (@chrissypedia), Top Cow’s marketing gal! Christine and I have known each other for about the last year now, not only talking via e-mail but also meeting at various Top Cow events that have been held at my comic shop in LA, Collector’s Paradise. I’m actually going to be seeing her again tomorrow for the Artifacts #1 release party!
Little did I know that the creators of Top Cow’s Berserker would be in attendance too, signing copies of the book’s hardcover volume which collects the first 6 issues of the bad ass series! I got myself a copy and had it signed by writer/creator Rick Loverd, artist Jeremy Haun, inker John Lucas, and producers Russ Cundiff and Milo Ventimiglia. Yes, THE Milo Ventimiglia of Heroes fame. I actually met Milo last June when he and the same crew (minus Loverd and Lucas) signed at- you guessed it- Collector’s Paradise for the Berserker #1 release. We had people out the door for that party and it was a treat to see these dudes again. Even though I arrived at the tail end of the signing, Milo was cool enough to take some pictures with me. He even remembered me from Collector’s Paradise. Yeah, he’s the man.
Check out the Berserker HC the guys signed for me. It’s ok to be jealous.
Since we were in an indie kind of mood, The Movie Lady and I sought out two more of our friends in Richard Starkings of Comic Craft and the creator of Image’s Elephantmen, and Frank Forte the publisher of horror comics company, Asylum Press! Richard’s one of the nicest guys I may have ever met in my life, always jolly and humorous, and always willing to talk with you about anything. I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but we first met Rich at my store Collector’s Paradise (I should be getting paid extra for all these plugs, right?) when he was signing for Elephantmen and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which he’s lettering for BOOM! Studios. So it was nice to see him at the largest Comics convention in the world.
Frank Forte I’ve known for almost two years now (but this was the first time we met in person), ever since he sent me a package of books to review from Asylum Press. I’ve covered a few of them to date, like The Bomb and Warlash Dark Noir #1, but I’m slackin’ on the rest. Sorry Frank, I’ll get to’em soon!
At this point, I noticed the time- it was around 4:45 pm and the show room floor closed at 7 pm. The clock was ticking, and I still had one more man of importance that I had to meet…and I wasn’t even sure if he would be there. When I was checking the booth listings for SDCC, I took note that Heavy Metal would be present. As many of you know, the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is also the founder of Heavy Metal magazine. That man is Kevin Eastman.
Sure, I saw that Heavy Metal had a booth, but nowhere did it state that Eastman would be signing, let alone even be present at it. I took a chance though, and carried around all day my heavy, out of print, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vol. 1 TPB collection which contains the first 11 issues of the original black and white Mirage series. I HAD to try, and hope, that I’d meet him. I used the Force, which worked with Chris Claremont, putting all my positive juju into one last effort, believing that it was still with me…and it was! We made it to the Heavy Metal booth around 5 pm, and Eastman was there- doing sketches and signing whatever fans brought up to him. He was so cool and kind- talking up everybody who approached him, taking pictures, and just being an all around gentleman. When I was ‘on deck’ to see him, a woman cut in front of the guy in front of me and was like “Oh, real quick Kevin, can you sketch a Turtle for me in this book? You guys don’t mind, right?” Kevin, being the nice man that he is, did so without conviction. The rest of us were like “WTF Beotch!?” HA! Anyway, I waited patiently in line for about 20 minutes before I got my chance to meet the man 1 on 1, and it was amazing. He even took the time to walk around the booth table to take a picture with me!
We talked briefly about Nickelodeon acquiring the TMNT rights in late 2009, and how he thought it was a fantastic move for the Turtles franchise. I asked him why and he basically stated that Nickelodeon provides more opportunity for the Turtles to grow and expand in, better exposing it to the public. He said it didn’t bother him in the slightest since he’s been detached from the TMNT for some time now, since founding Heavy Metal. The Turtles he wanted to write were the dark, edgy TMNT- not the pizza loving, colored-bandanna Turtles that went mainstream. There was absolutely no bitterness there, it’s just that the Turtles evolved into something else, and he was ok with letting them go.
I’m an 80s child so I grew up with the TMNT. Sure, I read Archie’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (which got me into comics at the age of 5), which Eastman had no hand in, but it was still his creation nonetheless. It wasn’t until I was older that I started reading the original TMNT material, the darker, meatier stuff. It was an astonishing feeling though to meet the man responsible for so many childhood memories. I had all the toys, watched every cartoon episode a bazillion times, fought imaginary Foot Soldiers with my buddies in the park growing up- and here at the tender age of 26, I finally got to shake hands with the mind behind it all. So that was the perfect note to end my Con floor adventures on. Check out what Kevin signed for me.
So there you have it my friends, a total recap of my adventures on the Con floor. But wait! We still have a few more segments for you before we are finished with our SDCC coverage. Check back in tomorrow for our final grouping of Cosplayers, and again on Sunday when we post our Top 12 Cosplayers of SDCC 2010 poll: Be sure to vote on your favorites! Then on Monday I’ll be recapping the amazing deals I made with vendors, showing off my cool schwag from the Con, and pictures of cool stuff. Plus, some general musings and observations about my adventures.
So stay tuned, and to read previous segments of My First San Diego Comic Con, click here!