Friday, May 14, 2010

SCCC Countdown!

I am a DCBS convert. I still throw money around in the local comic shops, but for the last year the bulk of my monthly haul and new-release collected editions now comes via UPS from Discount Comic Book Service. But even before I was buying my comics from DCBS, I was friends with Zack Kruse… first through forums and then from con-going.

So when the folks at DCBS decided to put on a one-day show in their Fort Wayne hometown, there was no way I could pass it up. I know I’m not “mention worthy” (or even belong on that great list of guest creators they’ve put together for the show), but I’m still pretty damn excited Zack asked me to be a part of Summit City.

There are so many artists and creators you should be looking forward to seeing at this show: Dave Wachter, Andy Jewett, Jim Rugg, Hilary Barta, Mike Norton, Katie Cook, Shawn Pryor, Steve Bryant, Zack himself, and the list goes on. These are all people with talent to spare!

I’ll of course have copies of my book, Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of
a Comic Book Fan, available for sale at the show. And if you buy a copy of it, not only can you get it signed by me, but more impressively, you can take it over to the book’s cover artist and Eisner Award Nominee Dave Wachter, and he’ll do a free quick head sketch in the book for you!

I’m looking forward to the short road trip and getting to see friends – creators, podcasters, forum family, and fans – who I only ever get to see during “con season.” Although I’m sure there will be deals to be had, Summit City Comic Con strikes me as filling the hole left by the Around Comics guys’ Windy City Comicon going on hiatus this year: A one-day show that is creator focused over vendor gluttony.

See you next Saturday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I’ve mentioned my friend Pat on the blog before, but it seems worth mentioning again how awesome he is. He recently illustrated Blacklisted, written by Adam Witt. So I reached out to Pat to see about getting a copy directly from him, and he sent me a signed copy of the graphic novel that I’m excited to read. But Pat being Pat, he also included a little extra goodness in the envelope... this fun Cap sketch!

Pat’s also recently relaunched his podcast as Loikamania. It’s available as a part of Derek’s Comic Book Noise family of podcasts and on iTunes. Check it out!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Marvel Solicits - July 1983

So a couple of years ago I posted some of the classic Marvel Solicits around here. I recently was thumbing through some back issues in the Original Collection and stumbled on some more that brought memories crashing back. Like this one from The Thing #1, cover dated July 1983. I would have been 12 when this hit the corner convenience store’s spinner rack, and I remember immediately taking advantage of the very deals offered in the ad.

“The more titles you order, the more you save” says to me “if I order one title, I save x. If I order two titles, I save x+1. If I order three titles, I save x+2.” And so on. While the ad copy is somewhat suspect, I guess it’s logical from a certain point of view... if you order one title, you save 30% off the cover price. If you order three titles, you’re getting 30% off three titles. So, the “more” you save is referring to more titles at the same discount, not an incremental savings based on the number of titles ordered.

There is no denying Wolverine has always been a fan favorite, so the classic brown costumed Canadian is an obvious choice to help bring in readers. A quick look at the titles offered and it’s clear I was completely entrenched in the Marvel Universe at the time of this ad. There were subscriptions to G.I. Joe, X-Men, Alpha Flight, and The Thing showing up in my family’s mailbox. I was supplementing my regular Avengers, Marvel Team-Up, and Amazing Spider-Man newsstand reading with large helpings of Daredevil, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, and some Defenders among others.

Oh, and don’t be fooled by the copy that says the “Offer Expires May 31, 1983!” Remember, although the book’s cover dated July 1983, it actually was on the newsstands a few months prior to that, thanks to the wacky world of comic book publishing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


In a reenactment of events from two years ago, we missed a Friday night May Cavs playoff game to go out to dinner with good friends and see an opening weekend showing of an Iron Man movie. And, although not as much as the first installment, I really enjoyed Iron Man 2.

Of course, Robert Downey, Jr. continues to own the Tony Stark role and plays perfectly with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts. The expansion of Rhodey into the War Machine character was great to see, and the change from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle was seamless.

I was worried the movie might suffer from an overabundance of characters, much like what happened with Spider-Man 3, but Iron Man 2 seemed to get the balance right. I liked the way Whiplash and Justin Hammer worked together (Sam Rockwell chewed the scenery as Hammer). Neither was too broad or overshadowed the other as the antagonist.

The introduction of the Black Widow was handled nicely (Scarlett Johansson was great in the role) and recalled the post-credits Nick Fury cameo we saw at the end of the first movie. I love the way Marvel is tying these movies together, creating a larger Marvel Universe: Nick Fury in Iron Man and Iron Man 2, Tony Stark in Incredible Hulk, the Captain America shield appearing in both Iron Man movies, and another post-credit tease at the end of Iron Man 2 that also plays into the larger picture.

One thing I really dug was that not all the bad guys died in the end. That’s something that has bugged me in the big screen adaptations of comic book properties. The comic book universe is an on-going world, and bad guys return as much as good guys. I get that you want to move on in the next movie to a new bad guy and not rehash a previous film, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have callbacks and cameos. So I’m hoping the surviving antagonist shows up in Iron Man 3, if only in a small part.

I’ve learned watching the Iron Man movies that I really don’t know a lot about the Golden Avenger’s rogues gallery. I knew who Obadiah Stane was from the comics, but not necessarily the Iron Monger aspect of his history. I did recognize the Mandarin from the first film and hope he returns in a future installment. I was not familiar with Whiplash or Justin Hammer at all. So it’s been fun to discover these characters right along with Tracy each time we head to the theater.