Friday, April 18, 2008

New York Comic Con 2008 Day One

Here are the panels I attended at NYCC today, with easy to read bulleted notes:

The Legends Behind the Comic Books
Panelists: Stan Lee, Joe Simon, Jerry Robinson, John Romita Sr., Ramona Fradon, Dick Ayers, Joe Sinnott, Irwin Hasen, and Murphy Anderson.
  • Combined age of panelists (not including Fradon, because it's impolite to ask a lady's age): 681. Holy crap.
  • Stan Lee, when asked what his greatest accomplishment was, says that's for posterity to decide. He adds his wife would probably say it was the allowance he gives her.
  • Irwin Hasen (a diminutive man) notes that drawing Wonder Woman started him off on a habit of dating very tall women. "That's true!"
  • Ramona on the early Marvel bullpen: "It was scary in there with all the boys throwing erasers and things at each other. I used to hate that."
  • Joe Simon was asked what he thought of the death of Captain America and he said he thinks Marvel should go back to the original Captain America. "Without the pop gun, the knife, the shield." Maybe I misheard him, because I was pretty sure Cap had a shield in his first appearance.
  • When the panelists were asked who the most creative person they ever met or worked with was, the panel became a Jack Kirby love fest. Stan Lee notes: "Jack could make every panel exciting. He was a writer, not with words but with pictures. He just never ran out of ideas. I stole as many as I could."
All of these guys are in a movie called The Legends Behind the Comic Books, which is screening on Sunday at the con. I've seen the film and I recommend anyone who is interested in comics history go check it out. It's a great look into how these guys basically invented the modern comic.

Announcements from Vertigo and Marvel, some time with Neil Gaiman and X-Files: I Want to Believe after the jump!

Vertigo Panel
Panelists: Karen Berger, Grant Morrison, Amy Hadley, G. Willow Wilson, Josh Dysart, Jason Aaron, Brian Wood, Brian Azzarello, David Tischman, Russ Braun, Mark Buckingham
  • Bill Willingham will be writing a new House of Mystery series. It won't be an anthology book, but each issue will feature a story within a story that features art by a different artist.
  • Amy Hadley chatted about a new Madame Xanadu book that's coming out in June. It's going to be something of an origin story, and Karen Berger piped in to tell us we finally find out why she's called Madame Xanadu.
  • G. Willow Wilson (who is a very attractive lady, lemme tell you) talked about her new series Air. She got the idea while being questioned in the Amsterdam airport by a little blond woman and she thought to herself: "What if she was a lot cooler, I was a lot cooler, and this was a comic book?" She also claims the book reads like Alias done by Miyazaki.
  • Dave Tischman talked a bit about The Mates, a story following a group of superheroes that "aren't the Beatles but who hold the same place in the fictional zeitgeist that the Beatles hold in ours." Basically, it's about how if superheroes were real they'd act like rock stars: sex, drugs and all that.
  • Karen Berger announced a book called Hellblazer: Chas - The Knowledge that sounds really interesting. It's about Chas, the cab driver from the series. Apparently every London cabbie has to read this book called "The Knowledge" that details every little alley and passage in the city and honestly I missed the rest of the description because that sounded so awesome to me.
  • Hellblazer: Pandemonium is a new book written by original Hellblazer scribe Jamie Delano, in which Constantine goes to Iraq and falls in love with a woman who may be a spy.
  • Grant Morrison rambled incoherent Scottish gibberish about all the things that will be going on in his new Seaguy series. I can't be sure of anything I heard, but I think it involves a seedy pirate companion and a new profession as a "bull dresser." You see, in the future Mad Cow Disease has turned cows and bulls into a protected species so instead of stabbing them matadors deftly dress them up in stockings and hats and high heels. Seriously.
  • Bryan Azzarello, who spent most of the panel shooting a killer's eye at photographers and questioners, opened up about the ill-fated book Loveless: "I failed you guys on that book. I'm sorry. I didn't do enough to keep that book going. It had a birth defect, it just never caught on. I still have stories to tell with those characters." He quickly went back to his surly self when asked what his post 100 Bullets project will be. In his best biting Millar impression: "It's gonna be hot, man." Karen Berger mentions that it will be with Eduardo Risso, which gets some applause.
Marvel Panel
Panelists: Joe Quesada, Jim McCann, Duane
Swierczynski, Brian Reed, Bill Roseman, Dan Slott, Axel Alonso, Mark Guggenheim, Kevin Grevioux, Daniel Way, a bunch more
  • Most of the panel was Q+A, to which the A was more often than not: "Keep reading the books. All of them. Buy all of the books."
  • On delays, McCann said: "We're very aware of our "problem children" and try to insert one-shots and annuals to make up for books shipping late."
  • In regards to where the Cable storyline is going, Swierczynski said "If you love the baby, sorry. If you hate the baby, keep reading."
  • A new Deadpool ongoing series is coming from Daniel Way and Paco Medina in September.
  • Bill Roseman said Super Skrull will factor into Secret Invasion, but the Skrulls don't take him very seriously anymore and think he's past his prime.
  • Kevin Grevioux sounds like Tay Zonday.
  • The question of why no one in the Marvel Universe thinks it's strange that they've forgotten Spider-Man's secret identity will apparently be addressed in future stories, but probably not until after Secret Invasion.
  • Quesada said Marvel just hops from event to event because fans speak with their wallets and they're saying "We love events!"
An Evening with Neil Gaiman
  • Bill Hader, who is apparently a huge Gaiman fan, gave the introduction. It includes impressions of Vincent Price as Coraline, and a suspiciously Sam Jackson-sounding Al Pacino as Dream.
  • Gaiman begins by announcing that Rome, GA comic shop owner Gordon Lee has literally just now been cleared of all charges in a case brought against him for giving out a free comic on Halloween that had Picasso painting nudes in it. Gaiman says it's thanks to the CBLDF, which ponied up more than $100,000 in Lee's defense.
  • Gaiman did some good readings: first was a sweet poem called The Day the Saucers Came, then a funny story called "Orange," which structured as responses to some sort of interview about a girl's sister using too much self-tanner and turning into a glowing orange ball of light. Last story I heard before I left was a sort of study in progressive intoxication wherein Gaiman (or the character he's writing in the first person) tries to see if drinking while writing increases his creative capacity. The verdict? About halfway through the bottle he tells a great story about elephant ejaculate feeding an anthill for a year, so... Half a bottle is where it's at.
X-Files: I Want to Believe
Panelists: Chris Carter and (I think) Frank Spotnitz
  • Nothing new to show us, just that same teaser that's been around the web.
  • The guys let slip that Wildstorm will be publishing a new X-Files book. This was an announcement that was going to be made tomorrow by DC, wonder if they're upset that their thunder was stolen.
  • When asked what he wants fans to take home from this new film, Carter said "The trash under your seat."
Tune in tomorrow for highlights from Day Two!

1 comment:

Harry Mendryk said...

The "shield" that Joe Simon was referring to was the shape of the striped area of the costume which goes down to the crotch area very much like the design for the original Shield.