New Sight Article

Sight is one of Australia’s best Christian sites. I’ve been writing the occasional comic, music and film review for them, though not so much lately. Now up, as part of their Significant Sights series is my article on my trip to San Diego Comic-Con last month. You can check it out here.

Kris at Comic-Con 2009Comic-Con 2009

Marvel At Comic-Con

Marvel have released a slew of great photos from last week’s Comic-Con, including some impressive fan costumes, the cast at the Iron Man 2 panel, and a great shot of the Iron Man Mark IV armour from next year’s sequel. Go here to see all the photos. On a related note, Marvel dropped the bomb at the Con that they now have the rights to the troubled Marvelman character. If that isn’t enough, they also shared that they are working with Sony on their LittleBigPlanet game, with Marvel characters and exclusive content set to appear in the popular interactive title.

Jon Favreau Signing

Iron Man 2 Armour

Comic-Con Thursday

2009AnnualFinalCoverI must be the easiest sell the self publishers at the Con floor have ever seen. I filled up 3 bags of goodies today. I also lost count of how many of my cards I handed out, but I have a soft spot for self publishers. It takes guts to put your time and money into putting your own heartfelt art out there for the world to see. I respect that, and there’s some real talent to be seen. Most of the creators were people I was unfamiliar with and they were all willing to have a chat with this man with the strange accent. A few people were familiar with Broken Frontier, which was great and I even got invited to a few press parties and got freebies for review. Ah, percs of the ‘job.’

I visited a few panels today as well. The guys from Tripwire Magazine were up first with their free danishes and witty banter. On the panel were Kody Chamberlain, U.S editor Andy Grossberg, UK Editor-In-Chief Joel Meadows and everybody’s favourite comics columnist Rich Johnson, formerly of CBR and now of Bleeding Cool. It was a casual and somewhat meandering discussion which included, but was not limited to how Twitter is killing English, companies clothing the homeless as sponsors, the merits of facing graphic novels face out or spine out on the shelf and how monthly comics are similar to singles, while TPBs are albums. It’s obvious that the guys from Tripwire love comics and are glad to see Hollywood making non-superhero films, and gaining credibility as an art form. They see being dropped by Diamond as a hurdle not a disaster and are focused on spotlighting the diversity of sequential art. Their 2009 Annual is available at the Con and you can see a preview here.

the surrogatesNext up was the Top Shelf panel. These guys put out some seriosuly good stuff, and I was glad to discover that I wasn’t the only one who discovered the wonders of spandex free stories via one of their books. After the obligatory technical difficulties publisher Chris Staros gave a visual rundown of the company’s 12 year history. Fun Fact: Top Shelf was originally the name of an early anthology series. Moderated by PR guy Leigh Walton, the guests included Robert Venditti, writer of The Surrogates, Far Arden creator Kevin Cannon and Nate Powell of Swallow Me Whole fame. Staros mentioned that although they are known for their high-end mature books such as From Hell and Blankets, their all-ages line is turning heads too, thanks to series like Owly, Korgi and James Kochalka’s stuff.

Things became more interesting when the creators revealed their artistic backgrounds. It’s well known that Venditti started in Top Shelf’s mail room (according to Leigh, he’s “a demon with a tape gun”) and now his first book is a movie starring Bruce Willis! Surrogates comes out on September 25, and the great trailer was shown.

Powell mentioned that he’d been self publishing since 1992 and back then had made a list of 25 people in the biz who he admired. Staros and co-publisher Brett Warnock were pretty much the only ones who responded and critiqued his work. Powell also mentioned that although he does have an autistic older brother, Swallow Me Whole was more influenced by his own grandmother, who after being diagnosed with cancer began painting and then in the last few months of her life experienced delusions. Powell lifted a lot of her dialogue in his book from those experiences.

Staros mentioned that although many of the Shelf’s creators’ works are very literary that they could give most fanboys a run for their money in a superhero quiz. He also seems genuinely inspired by Top Shelf’s success and critical praise and revealed that at Christmas time their orders go up, as fans buy their fave books as presents for others, which is always a good sign.

My final panel was the one focused on The Clockwork Girl, Arcana’s widely praised all-ages OGN, in which a trailer for the CG film was shown,which is in the works now. It looks very impressive.

Tomorrow’s another busy day. So much to see and buy.

Ghostbusters_0723

Batman BandB Toys-0723

Preview Night At Comic-Con 2009

I didn’t go to Preview night last year as I arrived on the Wednesday from Perth and was far too wrecked. This year I came a day early, so went to the traditional Wednesday night opener. The first thing I noticed was the wait for the shuttle bus. What should’ve been 30 minutes turned into a 2 hour sojourn, but everyone in the queue was chatty and patient. It was rush hour after all, and the trip back was far quicker. The line to pick up the badge was extremely shorter than last year and I hardly stood there for more than a few minutes.

The crowds were almost as packed as they will be tomorrow, and not every exhibitor was open, but it was a good chance to grab a bunch of freebies, though I could’ve taken  a lot more, but I don’t have any use for oversized bags, posters, flyers or comics I won’t read. Marvel’s display was impressive, with 4 Iron Man movie suits including the slightly changed version from next year’s sequel. Rob Liefeld and the exclusive Green Lantern figures had the longest queues. Tyrese Gibson was signing copies of his new Image series, Mayhem! and wasn’t letting anyone take photos. DC had a playable demo of the upcoming Batman: Arkham Asylum. New trailers for Imagi’s CG Astro Boy and Gatchaman (otherwise known as G-Force) films were amazing and elicited a few excited whoops from watching Gen Xers. James Cameron’s new film Avatar was prominent, with a life size model of what looks like Ripley’s Hangar suit from Aliens, and a few action figures.

I also talked to the duo from new fanboy musical group Kirby Krackle, but there’s much more to see in the next 4 days.

Comic-Con 09 Banner

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Avatar Toys

Cap Bust

Feed Your Fear

Iron Man Suits

Bumblebee

Comic-Con ID

San Diego Photos

Comic-Con kicks off today with the Preview Night, and the free shuttle bus that travels to the cavernous Convention Centre every few minutes is right outside my hotel!

I woke up at 4am local time so flicked through the 30 channels and landed on Aliens vs Predator: Requiem. It’s not any better at 4am. Then I had the first of my many complimentary breakfasts, which today included a scone, some cereal, a mini pizza, a muffin, a bagel and two coffees. Yeah, I was hungry. Apart from the locals in their polo shirts talking on their phones or working on their laptops I saw a fellow Con attendee. They’re everywhere in this city now, and the Con was a cover feature in today’s USA Today. The chap I talked to was a rather large fellow, and brought 3 costumes with him of Captain America (Isaiah Bradley), Falcon and Black Panther. I then went for a walk around town for about an hour, bought some food, a six pack of Dr. Pepper and some shorts as it’s hot here. I also talked to a cab driver who couldn’t understand me, and took some photos of my room and various points of interest around downtown San Diego, which included the ever present Comic-Con banners and a yellow fire hydrant, just like in Shelbyville! Spooky.

Hotel 1

Hotel 2

Hotel 3

San Diego ShipsSan Diego Starbucks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comic-Con/Avatar Banner

Comic-Con FlyerHorton Plaza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Fire Hydrant

The Eagle Has Landed

After 4 airports and over 20 hours in the air I have hit San Diego and my new hotel. Free internet and cable, and it’s right across from the gym, not that I’ll be using it. Through passing via the time/space continuum I have now arrived earlier than when I left. 

The flight from Sydney to L.A didn’t seem like 14 hours, thanks to the in-flight entertainment and surprisingly lengthy periods of napping. For amusement I chose Paul Blart: Mall Cop and multiple episodes of Thank God You’re Here and 30 Rock from the small screen before me. Sweet. I also sat next two very welcoming fellow Aussies; both veterans of the TV industry who are premiering their film, Resistance at Comic-Con. It sounds awesome, and their years of travelling world-wide also aided me in my glances of confusion at the crowded chaos of LAX. A pretty good start to the Con. Now I must sleep, before it officially starts tomorrow.

Comic-Con 09-Here I Come!

Yep, it’s a year already. I’ll be leaving in a few hours to go to the biggest pop culture event in all of geekdom, San Diego Comic-Con for my second year. It’s all rather exciting. I’m staying at a better hotel, I have swanky new ‘business’ cards and I even know people this time, thanks to writing for Broken Frontier and Extra Sequential. A lot can change in a year. I’ll be updating regularly (assuming I can use the internet easily) and will post photos and various hip happenings over the next week and a bit. Now it’s time for 22 hours in the air. Oh boy.

Comic-Con 2009

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