July 26, 2010

My First San Diego Comic Con part 2: How I Met Chris Claremont

Welcome back to part 2 of our coverage of this year’s San Diego Comic Con! If you missed part 1, click here to give it a read.

Now, if you’re a regular, than you are probably aware of my frequent critique of writer Chris Claremont’s modern work. I admit I’m not a fan of X-Men Forever or New Excalibur or X-Treme X-Men or…well, you get the point. But there is no denying that Chris Claremont is a legend- no, a god amongst comic book creators. He’s the guy who made the X-Men THE X-Men. He created such characters as Rogue, Psylocke, Shadowcat, Forge, Emma Frost, Jubilee, Rachel Summers, Sabretooth, and Gambit, and he wrote some of the most defining X-Men stories of all time including The Dark Phoenix Saga, Inferno, Days of Future Past (the first ever futuristic X-Men story), and God Loves, Man Kills to name a few.

So when I found out that Claremont would be signing at San Diego Comic Con the night before I was going, the X-geek in me knew I had to meet him. I immediately went rummaging through my closet full of short boxes at 1 am, looking for the issues I wanted him sign. I’m not gonna lie to you- I have LOTS of comics, something to the tune of 50 short boxes, but they’re mostly full of books from 1980 on. I’m more of a Hardcover collector than of the Silver and Golden Age books. I dunno, maybe it’s only because I can’t really afford to collect those older books at this time, so my tune may change as I get older. Anyway, I digress. The books of note I pulled out for Claremont to sign were Uncanny X-Men #129 (1st appearances of Shadowcat, Emma Frost, and the Hellfire Club), Avengers Annual #10 (1st appearance of Rogue), and Uncanny X-Men #184 (1st appearance of Forge…shut up, I like Forge), amongst others. I also put aside my Marvel Masterworks Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 + 2 HC’s. Volume 1 is signed by Len Wein from when I met him last December during a signing at Collector’s Paradise, so I thought it’d be cool to have Claremont sign the same book.

When we left off with part 1 of our Con coverage, I had just entered the Convention Center’s doors at around 8:35 am and received my badge and the goodies that went with it. The Movie Lady and I hastily broke off from our two friends to go wait in line for our chance to meet Chris Claremont.

Here’s how the process works: You wait in line to go wait in another line where you draw a ticket for a chance to attend the signing. If you pull the magic ticket, you can attend. If not, you have to go to the back of the line and try again.

Luckily, since we arrived early, The Movie Lady and I were pretty close to the front (probably one of the first 60 people or so). Here’s what the line looked like behind us:

Yeah. It was long. But I didn’t mind, I was waiting for my chance to meet Chris Claremont!

So we waited in this line and naturally started to chat with the people around us. We learned that all these people weren’t waiting just to meet Claremont like us, but were waiting for their chance to pull a ticket to meet the G4 crew, Olivia Munn, and some other people I could care less about. The majority wanted to meet Olivia Munn though, which boded well with us because it upped our chances to pull a winning Claremont ticket. Finally, at around 10 am (that’s an hour and a half of waiting!), a representative herded us into our respective lines.

It was at this point when I started to think about what would happen if I didn’t pull a winning ticket…I mean, I was going to have to lug all that stuff around I brought for him to sign, and it would really suck if it was all for nothing. The Movie Lady and I were probably 12th or so in our line for Claremont, and as the people kept herding in, only about 40 people total were in line to draw for him, which wasn’t a lot. My worry subsided a bit. The G4 line was next to us and it had about 5x as many people waiting. I don’t know if that’s sad or lame…probably both.

Regardless, the guys in the picture below with the orange shirts on were holding the bags with the tickets. Just an FYI, they’re Marines volunteering to work at the Con, so don’t F with them!

Like I said, we were about 12th or so in line, and once the pulling started, only 2 people before me drew winning tickets. So I was feeling pretty good about my chances. When it was my turn, I reached into the bag, grabbed a few tickets in my hand and used the Force to find the one with a frog stamp (yes, the winning tickets had frogs stamped on them). I narrowed my selection down to two tickets, and using my intuition pulled out the one that was in-between my middle finger and thumb (karma?) and viola! A frog stamp! I had pulled a winner on my first try!!

I felt like I had just won a million bucks. And in 30 years when I sell all the things I had Claremont sign, that’s what I’ll have! MUAHAHAHA! Oh who am I kidding, I could never sell that stuff. But seriously folks, it was an awesome feeling to win on the first draw. So I moved over to the side and they gave me this swank VIP wrist band which I wore around all day, flaunting my X-coolness. The signing wasn’t until 4 pm, but I didn’t care. I was riding a high.

Speaking of the Force, how cool would it have been if the wrist band said AA-23 instead of AA-21?

Unfortunately, the Force was not with The Movie Lady. She missed on her first try and had to go to the back of the line and wait to try again. Like I said though, the line was short and she had her second shot about 5 minutes later. Which was also a no go. So she tried again. And again…and again. On her 6th try she was the last person there with me rooting for her on the sideline. The volunteer Marine was way cool and ended up just giving her a ticket. I think he felt bad. So the two of us went on our merry way, ecstatic that we didn’t spend our first two hours at San Diego Comic Con in vain!

Once 3:40 pm rolled around we made our way to the signing line. Since we were early we were pretty close to the front of the line. A Con representative informed us that we were only allowed to have Claremont sign three items. Only three? Damn! So I had to narrow my choices, and I went with Uncanny X-Men #129 and the two Marvel Masterworks Hardcovers. I passed three more books off to The Movie Lady.

…but wait! The two guys behind me whom I had made conversation with while waiting for Claremont to arrive only had one item each to sign. They both saw the stack in my hand and offered to help out, taking two additional comics each from me to bring up to Claremont. Awesome! What cool dudes! Things only got better though as my friend Billy arrived out of the woodwork and stopped by the line to say hey. The Force was truly with me that afternoon, because one of the guys who was already helping me out also had an EXTRA wristband! How he managed that is beyond me, but without hesitation he graciously offered it up to my buddy who took three more issues from me to be graced by the pen of Chris Claremont.

Kick. Ass.

Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for arrived as the man took his post. The Movie Lady went first.

I was next, and I rarely am at a loss for words, but when I went up to Claremont all I could say was, “X-Men Forever SUCKS!” Hah! Yeah right. No, all I said was something to the tune of how much I love his work and that was it. Actually, that’s what I thought I said but it probably came out as, “X-Men. Gooder for me,” or something. I felt like a bumbling school boy playing basketball in front of the cute girls in gym class. Idiotic.

Right before I walked up he actually said, “It’s ok to ask me questions! Ask me anything!” I couldn’t think of anything to ask though, so I just smiled like I had a blast of Joker Gas for breakfast. When he opened up my MMW Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 HC and saw Len Wein’s autograph, it evoked a jolly remark from him. I don’t remember what it was though. That little kid you can see next to him in the pictures started talking to me. He said something about the train outside the Convention Center being too loud. I wanted to tell him that he was being too loud and ruining my moment with his granddad (or whatever their relationship was), but I restrained myself.

After I was done I moved along and my friend Billy and the two guys who were getting things signed for me had their go. Here’s everything that was graced by Claremont’s godlike touch:

Uncanny X-Men #129: 1st appearances of Shadowcat, Emma Frost, and the Hellfire Club!

Avengers Annual #10: 1st appearance of Rogue, Uncanny X-Men #184: 1st appearance of Forge, Uncanny X-Men #244: 1st appearance of Jubilee (quiet you!)

Uncanny X-Men #158: 1st appearance of Rogue in an X-book, Uncanny X-Men #171: Rogue joins the X-Men, Uncanny X-Men #182: the June 1984 issue of Uncanny, my birth month!

Cyclops vs. Storm for leadership of the X-Men! Awesome!!

Jim Lee's X-Men run began here!

Uncanny #277 was the first X-Men comic book I ever owned. I brought #275 along because I love the story arc…couldn't find #276 though. : /

These are all safely displayed in my fireproof/bulletproof/flood proof/nuke proof tropy case to admire all day everyday. So awesome.

There you have it my friends, the story of how I met Chris Claremont at San Diego Comic Con!

Be sure to check in every day this week as we’ll be covering a different angle of the Con each day. Tomorrow we’ll be posting our first batch of Cosplay pictures, so you’ll definitely not want to miss that! For previous installments of My First San Diego Comic Con click here.

Andy Liegl



  1. Jeff Jackson

    This is awesome, Andy! I’m seriously jealous, although I’m ready for Claremont to hang up the X-Men stuff.

  2. Dude, that’s freaking awesome. Not only am I jealous that you got to meet Chris Claremont, but I’m even more jealous of some of the comics you got signed by him.

    And for the record, it’s both sad and lame that more people were in line for G4, whatever the hell that is.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: My First San Diego Comic Con part 2: How I Met Chris Claremont! #comics #SDCC #xmen […]

  4. Billy

    Wow, fantastic Andy. Can’t wait for more.

  5. Regardless of what anyone thinks of his current work Claremont is the reason the X-Men are enjoying and have enjoyed their success in the past 30+ years. People who don’t read comics love the characters he created.

    Andy I should have sent you my X-Men/Teen Titans book that Terry Austin signed for me. Getting Claremont’s signature would have been icing on the cake right there!

  6. Kristin

    G4 is the former Tech TV. The “video game channel.” Except it’s not, because they only have like 1 show that has anything to do with video games on there anymore. The rest is all Cops and Ninja Warrior.

  7. Eli

    Great job Andy! I especially like that Uncanny X-Men #129. First appearance of Shadowcat, signed by Claremont… that my friend is too awesome!

  8. […] AChirpin’ Tuesday Reviews 7/21/2010Crisis of Infinite Reviews 07/21/10Touring the Cosmos: LoboMy First San Diego Comic Con part 2: How I Met Chris Claremont2010 Eisner Award WinnersMarvel Reviews: Astonishing X-Men #34Bento Bako Weekly: Children of the Sea […]

  9. Aron

    Classic Claremont is freakin’ still top notch today. Pick up an Essentials book and KA-POW! You’re reading awesome.

    X-Treme X-Men makes me puke in my mouth. Just remembering back on it makes me pu…ooomph….gotta go brush my teeth.

  10. Thanks everyone for re-living my experience with me! Chris Claremont is the man!!

  11. Will

    My experience meeting him was a bit different from yours….

  12. Do tell!

  13. […] Recent PostsBento Bako Special: Manga Moveable Feast: Paradise KissMarvel Reviews: X-Men: Second Coming #2My First San Diego Comic Con part 4: Signings and More on the Con Pull List: 07/28/10Zenescope Reviews: Grimm Fairy Tales #49My First San Diego Comic Con part 3: Cosplay Group AChirpin’ Tuesday Reviews 7/21/2010Crisis of Infinite Reviews 07/21/10Touring the Cosmos: LoboMy First San Diego Comic Con part 2: How I Met Chris Claremont […]

  14. […] tango with Comic Con International! So far we’ve done lots of fun stuff: Met X-Men scribe Chris Claremont, toured the Comic Con floor attending signings and meeting a bunch of awesome industry people (part […]

  15. […] world. To date, we’ve had the joyous experience of waiting in line, attending a signing with X-Men scribe Chris Claremont, walking around the Con floor meeting a bunch of cool people (including a 2nd generation Power […]

  16. Good tto hear he’s not as full of himself as when I met him. I was sorry I even got in his line.

  17. […] Forever 2 #4 (Marvel) Andy: Even though I just met Chris Claremont at San Diego Comic Con, I doubt my ability to ever enjoy this series. Sorry […]

  18. […] Forever on the other hand? Not so much. It’s bad. Like, really bad. Again, even though I met the man two weeks ago at San Diego Comic Con, I cannot get behind this work by Chris Claremont. His older stuff is comics gold, but when fans […]

  19. […] It was the premier title at Marvel; it was gold. That lead to [me] drawing X-Men and working with Chris Claremont. Marvel was doing about 15 issues a year, but I was happy by that point. It was exciting and […]

  20. […] Be sure to check out tomorrow’s NYCC action when my day starts to get a lot better as I check out Com.X, Top Cow, some Marvel and DC action figures, and I even get to meet Chris Claremont, which was a LOT cooler than when Andy met him! […]

  21. Don’t let creators sign the cover. Ruins the value. Bottom of 1st page is better. Great you got to meet one of the greats.

  22. Yeah, a good call for sure. I realized that after the fact, but hey, I still like’em as they are! It’s not like I plan to sell them.

  23. […] that it had a lot to do with good writing, but tell anybody who has tried to draw something by Chris Claremont in the last ten years that. (I am convinced that Claremont was put on Exiles to get it purposefully […]

  24. […] 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 […]

  25. […] if you just read my review of X-Factor Forever #5 you could probably deduce this. Even after meeting Chris Claremont a week ago at San Diego Comic Con, I still can’t bring myself to enjoy the Forever line. That being said, this issue […]

  26. Gabriel

    I want! Haha

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