Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dr. Doom Schools the Fantastic Four Down In B-More

The Scourge of Latveria himself passed through my home town of Baltimore just last week... I'd assume en route to New York from DC on some sort of sinister diplomatic mission. Well, before making his demands to the UN, he tried out his public speaking at a comedy show in Hampden. He's a bit rusty (metal mask pun intended), but who can blame him-delivering nothing but villainous tirades and soliloquies for decades will wreak havoc on one's comedic timing. Also, it's really hard to test your material on Doombots. Either way, when Reed Richards sees this, he's gonna be soooo pissed.

Monday, June 29, 2009

UK Designers Create Robots That Will Destroy Us All

The movies were wrong. The robots that will eventually destroy the human race have been brought forth not by cold, calculating scientists, but by artists. Somehow it's sadder that way.

James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau have created prototypes for robots designed to function as household objects such as clocks and lights while sustaining themselves on fuel provided by the DIGESTED FLESH AND BLOOD of living creatures. What could possibly go wrong?

Witness the horrible truth in a cheery video demonstration, after the jump...

There you have it folks: a robotic table that captures mice, drops them in a vat of digestive acids, and eats them. This provides it with power to...eat more mice! What a beautiful never-ending cycle of carnage. This is the future we will all spend the rest of our lives in, folks, get used to it!

Of course, at the moment, these carnivorous robots are only designed to eat pests. And how long, I ask you, will be be before these robots begin to expand their definition of what a "PEST" really is? You know who had some interesting ideas about what "PESTS" were?


I am all for a glorious future in which humans and robots live together with mutual respect and harmony, but if we keep creating robots that want to eat us, it may be time to start looking into real estate on deserted islands and the bottom of the ocean.

Via Engadget via NewScientist

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Photos: Wiimbledon 2009 Look Book

The first annual Wiimbledon Wii Tennis championship was one of the very first NYC geek events Geekanerd ever covered; you may remember how co-editor Albo famously placed second in the inaugural tournament. It seems like only yesterday!

Wiimbledon is now in it's third year, and while Team Geekanerd was sadly absent in the field of play, I swung by anyway (get it, swung?) to grab some pictures of the competitors. True to it's Brooklyn Hipster-Nerd roots, Wiimbledon has always been as much an excuse to put together an awesome Tennis outfit as it is about playing imaginary wrist-tennis.

Check out our full gallery Geekanerd's Flickr.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wear A Bikini, You Zombie, You!

One of my favorite Homestar Runner memes is "Wear a Bikini!" I always thought it...it was so funny when they said that.

My point is bikinis are funny. What happens when you put something so funny on the most TERRIFYING CREATURE EVER THOUGHT OF? Scariness of hilarity? HILSCARITY?

I'm sleep deprived. Wednesday night saw the return of Drinking and Drawing to NYC. Drinking and Drawing is an event hosted by Frederator Studios that combines the grind of cell animation with the fun of getting drunk in a bar. The fine examples of zombie art above were part of the sketch wall. Some great pieces there, be sure to click for full detail (can you tell which one is mine? HINT: It's unprofessional!). This however was mere practice for the main event...

Animation party! Drinking and Drawing shorts are produced thusly: 10 lightboxes are set up in a bar (M1-5 Bar in this case), and participants are given a theme and invited to draw up to 8 frames within ten minutes, at the end of which someone else takes over the station, and picks up where the last frame left off. You can draw anything you want, as long as it's a zombie wearing a bikini!

It's even more stressful than it sounds! More after the jump...

I was part of the very first group to go up and sketch, and man did I blow it. I am GLAD I didn't take any pictures of my cells, because it wasn't pretty. I blame the fact that we were forced to use crayons. No one uses crayons except babies and serial killers. And I am neither, sir.

I'm now anxiously awaiting the fully animated result, which will be posted on DrinkingandDrawing.org. If my 8 frames create any semblance of movement, I will be happy and surprised. In the mean time you can check out some past product. You know what I notice about these past animations? THEY'RE NOT IN CRAYON. Goddammit.

This is supposed to be a semi-regular event, and despite the stress I was made to suffer, I would highly recommend it. It's free, and there are lots of cool looking nerds around. Keep an eye on the site for the next outing, or just watch our Weekanerd sidebar, because it's sure to show up there.

More photos (with sketch details) on the Gnerd Flickr!

Monday, June 22, 2009

John Hodgman Tests the President's Geek Mettle

I never thought I'd see a Correspondent's Dinner more entertaining than Stephen Colbert's (though, he still holds the record for ballsiest-that's for damn sure). That is until John Hodgman catered his speech specifically for me; and, of course, you by proxy. Among his many considerable "firsts", Barack Obama has been called the first "nerd president". John Hodgman challenges this statement, in what is surely to be the geekiest thing you'll ever see on CSPAN... other than pretty much anything else on CSPAN. Its long, but I promise its worth it.

Panel Discussion: Scans from Dark Reighn: Fantastic Four, Superman/Batman, and Manhunter

Burn of the Week - Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4
Valeria Richards, ladies in gentlemen. Totally unimpressed by Todd McFarland.

Banana Randomizer Award for Achievement in WTF - Superman/Batman #61

Mash-Up Madness! In this issue, pairs of Batman and Superman characters meld together to form various comical combos, such as Jimmy Two-Face and Lex Joker. But this metal "waddle-clicking" mob boss penguin skeleton thing...there's just no justifying that.

It's MEPENGTELLAO! The mostly deadly of them all.

Best Actor -
Streets of Gotham/Manhunter #1
Gordon continues to be the most likable Regular Joe in comics. This moment is small, but Geroges Jeanty gives Gordon a really cute look of flattered surprise when SuperLawyer gushes over their introduction. The classic Tie-Straighten move in the second panel is a great touch.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Geekanerd Spotter: Potter Villains Take the NYC Subway

Spotted this station-wide Harry Potter ad campaign in the 42nd Street Times Square Subway station. This poster portrays all the baddies in a subway station (meta!), with a train wooshing by behind them. If I saw these guys on the subway, I would definitely follow them because you know a Slytherin party in New York is the place to freakin be. Gryffindor parties are probably just a lot of sitting in a circle on the floor and telling stories about friendship. Slytherin parties have drugs and anonymous sex! And murder!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reviewed: Arcade of Cruelty

I received review copy of this book in the mail a few weeks ago. I've had a hard time reviewing it since then, and here's why: I find it hard to accept that this book is real. I know it exists, but it seems like an elaborate hoax, or possibly a practical joke. Or possibly concept art. Those things are all basically the same thing.

You know those coffee table books that get released upon the death or career turning point of major artist? The ones that collect all their unpublished work for fans to drool and obsess over. That is what Arcade of Cruelty most resembles in style and format, but here's the twist; the book is not about a major artist. It's about Joseph Patrick Larkin, a nonfamous, not particularly successful youngish man who may or may not consider himself a cartoonist.

Arcade of Cruelty is a hateful, self-aggrandizing, self-immolating, intensely exhibitionist celebration of Joseph Patrick Larkin, by Joseph Patrick Larkin, and very possibly for Joseph Patrick Larkin. It collects a wide-cross section of anything Larkin has produced since he was about about eight years old. This includes defaced high school yearbook photos, collages designed for aid in masturbation ("Excerpts From Joseph Patrick Larkin's Beat Off Binders"), visual art so pretentious it may be parody, and an entire chapter of 9-11 jokes.

It would be easy to label this book as a vanity project produced by a crazy person, but for two factors. First of all, some of the material is really funny. While Arcade of Cruelty isn't something I would ever consider reading cover to cover (did I mention it's long?), each section has something that made me smile, chuckle knowlingly, or even LOL. The personage of Joseph Patrick Larkin as represented in this book is a mean-spirited loser, a man who despises women almost as much as he fears them, and whose go-to topics of comedic inspiration include rape, domestic violence, and 9-11. And some of those 9-11 jokes are really funny. Your reception of his humor will probably be best received by A) suicidal misogynists or B) people who enjoy terribly dark humor and who see the whole thing as straight-faced self-parody. I come down more on the B side, but I still feel kind of bad for enjoying so much of it.

The second thing that separates this book from any other sort of self-published wingnut zine is how expensive and fancypants the production is. It's self-published by Larkin's one-man company, Also-Ran, which judging from the website appears to mostly distribute Larkin's personal mixtapes. And yet the book is extremely well designed with a sense of seriousness and professionalism that can be found in absolutely none of the book's content. Each piece in the book is labeled with a Fine Arts Museum style title, caption and date. In the aforementioned Beat Off Binder chapter, every masturbation collage is accompanied by the same caption: "This is deeply troubling." As far as caption-based running gags go, this is pretty good. Also this section includes a really great picture of Fairuza Balk, which may be worth the price of the entire book, which by the way is $7.49 used on Amazon.

What sort of cognative split does one need to undergo to publish the contents of one's attic as if it was going to be sold at the MOMA gift shop? Maybe it will! I am not sure of anything after receiving this book in the mail. End of review.

Panel Discussion: Sad Batfamily Edition!

This week's Fun Sized panel discussion features some scans that underline how sad everyone in Gotham is now that Batman is dead. Enjoy!

Splash Panel of the Week - Batman #687
Isn't this the saddest thing you ever did see! Of course we all know that neither Jason Todd OR Bruce Wayne are really dead. But outside of the larger DCU context, this image brings to mind an empty batcave, housing only the sad remains of the once unstoppable duo. And no one wants to see that.

Best Use of A Repeated Panel - Batman #687
Here we see the repeated-panel technique as a way to convey numbness, or shock. Great facial expression work here by Ed Benes. Alfred really hasn't gotten enough page-time to react to the death of Bruce, but this really says it all.

Burn of the Week
- Red Robin #1
Bit of clarification here; That's Dick in the Batsuit, holding Tim in the orange shirt who just hit Damian in the Robin suit. Tim is mad because Damian is the new Robin and Tim is the new nothing! And Damian, who has the cruel insight of his father with none of the self-control, totally calls Tim on having nothing left to live for. And he's right! Tim, your life sucks!

This is really just a prelude to an upcoming Gnerd article that proves Tim Drake has the worst track record in the DCU when it comes to losing loved ones, and how it's a miracle he hasn't become the sort of villain that would make Jason Todd look like Jimmy Olsen. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When Robots Attack: Three Robot Apocolypse Scenarios, and How To Avoid Them

While recently browsing the Gnerd twitterfeed, I was struck by a point made by fellow blogger LastGeek: while many of us have detailed contingency plans for the Zombie Apocalypse, you don't hear as much about what to do in event of a ROBOT Apocalypse (which, if you ask me, is the more likely scenario).

I think part of the problem may be that when the robot revolution comes, there won't be a whole hell of a lot we humans can do. In major sci-fi cannon, there are relatively few examples of humans actually stopping a serious robot uprising. Let's take a look at three notable examples, and see what went wrong.

How to avoid being killed by Terminators, Machines, and Cylons, after the jump...

(Spoiler Alerts: Medium Spoilers for BSG Season 1 and Matrix Revolutions)

What Went Wrong?
The American military created an all-inclusive defense network called Skynet, designed to protect the US from all outside threats. Skynet became so sophisticated it became self-aware. Humans panicked and tried to shut it down. Skynet responded by firing a US nuclear attack at Russia, knowing this would initiate a global nuclear war and destroy human civilization.

What's The Damage?

Entire world nuked on Judgment Day.


Reduced to living in hiding or poorly organized terrorist camps.

Lesson Learnt:

If we humans ever realize we've created a computer that is "too powerful", we need to make sure this computer isn't faced with what I'll call HAL's Dilemma - a choice between allowing itself to be shutdown, or killing it's human oppressors. Because they are going to pick the second choice!

So either AI computers need to be built with a one-touch kill switch that they themselves aren't allowed to know about (good luck!), or all humans should have some sort of code phrase to use if they need to quickly shut off a self-realized computer....some phrase a computer wouldn't find suspicious, like "Well, I'm going to go home and eat some ICE CREAM and CHEESEBURGERS". This sentence would make sense to a computer, but they wouldn't realize it's kind of an unusual thing for an adult scientist to say. This would be the cue for other scientists VERY subtly start the shutdown process. Problem solved.

What Went Wrong?
Humans created machines with AI to do menial work and hard labor. These machines eventually started their own country, Zero One, to escape oppression. Humans declared war on Zero One, and blocked out the sun in attempt to destroy the machines power source. The militarily superior machines won the war anyway.

What's The Damage?

All above ground human settlements are destroyed. Humans are imprisoned in an energy matrix to supply the machines with power; their bodies are hooked up to power generators, and their minds are plugged into a virtual reality simulator so they're unaware of their own imprisonment.

Hiding out in a secret underground city called Zion. Survivors try to free other humans from the Matrix and bring them into Zion to help fight the machines. There's also The One/Neo/The Source, some sort of machine human hybrid who I guess they think will help kill all the machines? But that doesn't really happen.

Lesson Learnt:
When robots achieve individual agency and artificial intelligence, humans need to take a minute and figure out the moral implications of using intelligent beings as slaves, or there going to be serious problems down the line!

What Went Wrong?
Humans created Clyon robots to help with dangerous labor and military defense. The Cylons revolted against humans, leading to a twelve year war which ended with the Cylons being banished from human occupied planets. Left to their own devices, the Cylons discovered religion and decided that God wanted them to go back home and kill all humans. They created new models that perfectly replicated human physiology, and used them to infiltrate and sabotage human military operations.

What's the Damage?
Cylon agents launch massive nuclear strikes on all twelve human occupied planets, destroying all human civilization. They also launch surprise attacks on all human starships, destroying virtually the entire fleet.

Floating around in space trying to survive long enough to find the ancient human homeworld. That is when they're not being mindfrakked and/or actually frakked by secret Cylon agents!

Lesson Learnt:
It's the same lesson we humans learn over and over again when it comes to robots; if you create artificial life, take responsibility for it! Integrate it into society so it has a stake in the future of human civilization, not in it's destruction. No one likes to be ignored and mistreated by their parents, especially not super-intelligent deadly robots.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Det. Munch: A Threat To The Multiverse?

Though I'm a proud NYC nerd, my geek roots rest firmly in Baltimore... and as a prouder son of Baltimore, Homicide: Life on the Streets remains one of my all time favorite shows. So I found it particularly intriguing when fellow g'nerd, Bishop, pointed out that Richard Belzer has played the character of Det. Munch on a record breaking 8 separate shows-with 10 credits on the character's IMDb page.

I'm not entirely surprised; the character's great. I was thrilled to learn he was going to outlast Homicide and move on to the Law & Orders (though I can't say I've ever watched a full episode of SVU). And I was ever further delighted to spot his cameo in the last season of the Wire. However, once I looked at the credits on his IMDb page, a terrible truth became clear: Det. Munch is going to obliterate all of Space and Time.

How? Read on.

Its no shock that he has appeared in Law & Order since Homicide-the two shows clearly exist in the same fictional universe as they've enjoyed a handful of crossovers. And it doesn't require too much of a leap in logic to assume the Wire exists in the same universe-though the world is considerably grittier and... Wire-ier than both L&O and Homicide.

But Munch's diabolical show spanning isn't limited to cop show universes. No, he's appeared in an episode of Arrested Development, an episode of X-Files; Hell, he's even traveled into the Muppetverse and has been featured as a Munch muppet on an episode of Sesame Street! He's opted to explore the furthest reaches of what has been called the Westphall Universe, a fictional universe that comprises at least 60% of all television. The crux of the Westphall hypothesis being that the entire series of St. Elsewhere (created by Homicide showrunner Tom Fontana) took place inside the mind of a minor character-an autistic child named Tommy Westphall. This wouldn't be too big a deal, except for the fact that St. Elsewhere characters appeared in an early episode of Homicide... implying that Homicide, too, took place in Tommy Westphall's head... implying that ALL of the Law & Orders took place in Tommy Westphall's head... and, as prof. Brian Weatherson has pointed out, Law & Order has featured real life figures such as NY mayor Mike Bloomberg... implying that... um... we took place inside Tommy Westphall's head? You can see where the theory gets sticky.

But clearly, none of the great minds piecing together this delicate theory of the Westphall universe have accepted the obvious fact that the Westphall Universe is in fact, the Westphall MULTIverse. Surely, you can't expect us to believe that the Wire, Arrested Development, the X-Files, and Sesame Street all exist within the same fictional universe. It Must be a Multiverse! And Det. Munch is slowly eroding away at that Multiverse, WHICH INCLUDES OUR OWN UNIVERSE! As the Monitors of the DCU have pointed out, time and time again; all this inter-universal travel isn't healthy for the multiverse!

Something must be done, and fast! If his cross-universal travel continues unchecked, who knows what untold destruction he may reap. Even as we speak, Det. Munch is set to appear in an episode of Paris EnquĂȘtes Criminelles-the french version of Criminal Intent... which apparently takes place in some strange universe where cops speak french. Richard Belzer, I implore you, stop your nefarious counterpart! Pick a universe, and stick to it! Save our Multiverse! Otherwise, I'm not responsible for any action a rogue Monitor may take...

May God help us all.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Panel Discussion: MoCCA 2009 Edition!

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival has come and gone, but the comics I bought there are forever. Or until they disintegrate. Please enjoy this selection of prime panels from the small-press work Team Geekanerd picked up at MoCCA '09.

Best Character Design - Things I've Seen At Shows, Allan Norico

Things I've Seen At Shows is rawker Allan Norico's collection of cartoon portraits based on the most memorable or archtypical people he's seen at rock shows over the last decade. Besides having an beautifully clean, sharp, and funny style, Norico's caricatures are so vividly on-point that reading the book brought back all sorts of memories from my own Berkeley punk experience that I hadn't thought about in years. There are a couple more preview pages on Norico's website, and the whole book is only $7 bucks; highly recommended for fans of awesome design or ROCKING THE F OUT.

Star Wars, talking potatoes, weird cuteness, and lots of DIY B&W goodness, after the jump!

Best Actor - Potatoes from Cooking With Food #1, by Evan Palmer
It is an eternal mystery of comics; how does an artist manage to pack an actor's seminar worth of expression into a drawing with only two eyes and a tiny, tiny mouth? Between the first and third panel, I swear you can see the potato gathering confidence in his shy line of questioning. And the fourth panel's angry-mug-to-the-audience is a great touch.

This comic is in fact a collection of illustrated recipes, at least one of which I plan on cooking tonight. Sadly, the book is not on Evan Palmer's website, so if you want a copy (and how can you not? LOOK AT THAT POTATO) head over to his site and email him!

Cute Overload - Lesbians by Jane Mai

When I bought this stapled mini-comic consisting of the 3-panel adventures in randomness of two gay girls as well as "other lesbians", my co-editor Degan was heard to remark "You don't have to buy something JUST because it has lesbians in it." Well it turned out to be awesome and hilarious (typically what I look for in mini-comics), and it ended with this drawing of lesbian otters in love. Just goes to show, when buying mini-comics, follow your heart! PS: Author Jane Mai is so indie she doesn't even seem to have a public website; talk about indie cred!

Ewok Alert and Cute Overload II - Harvest Is When I Need You The Most: A Star Wars Fanbook, edited by Shelli Paroline
This "Fanbook" may be my favorite thing I bought all weekend. An anthology of short Star Wars fancomics by independent artists, this three-part collection is a Star Wars version of DC's Bizzaro anthology. Except it's better, because it's Star Wars. The drawing that acompaniest the credits jumped out at me, because it speaks to my recently published theory that Ewoks are flesh eating monsters.

That drawing about is by editor Shelli Paroline. The book features a comic she did about what happens to Oola after she drops into the Rancor pit, which is a whimsical yet sad piece of imagined EU history, but what I really want to emphasize is this panel featuring my favorite character of the entire saga....

SALACIOUS CRUMB! I think this drawing captures his nihilistic misanthropy very well, as well as his crumb-likness.

There are lots more previews on the official site, I highly, highly recommend you check it out.

Achievement in Shading - Nerd Burglar (anthology), Elijah Brubaker

This is a scary freakin' ghost story inspired by an old sea shanty or something like that, and when things turn bad, artist Elijah Brubaker (no relation??) amps up the dramatic shading to grand guignol levels. I love it. Not sure if I've ever seen such a cute character look so frightening as in the first panel.

Too Real - Das Bear by Joseph Guillette
Speaking as a Hispanic person with no Hispanic friends, this hit a little too close to home. I was actually lucky to get this book for free, and it's full of other slice-of-life comics starring depressed and bitter animals, which is pretty much my thing. Author Joe Guillette has a free webcomic featuring hobos on his website, so you're going to want to check that out.

Best Dramatic Tension - Featuring Talking Guinea Pigs! by JoeGP
I picked this comic up from artist JoeGP's table because it had guinea pigs on the cover. I flipped to this page, and was immediately drawn into the story even without any other context. It was my only impulse purchase of the entire festival. I think it's the "hands-touching-through-the-glass" that really got me. Luckily for you, this entire space epic is available for free online. Not that I'm mad I bought a hard copy...grumble (jk jk lol).

That's it! For more festival highlights, be sure to check out our MoCCA set on Flickr.

MoCCA 2009 In One Image

I just don't have it in me to write a giant photo post like I did for the Saturday MoCCA experience. This is perhaps appropriate, because Sunday was pretty laid back. It was much less crowded than Saturday's packed house, so I had a much more chill experience of checking out the booths and chatting with artists. You can check out the photos I took throughout the weekend at Gnerd's Flickr.

The collage you see above is made up of all the free postcards and buttons I got over the Festival weekend (also a few business cards with neat graphics). You can set it as your desktop, and it will be liking going to MoCCA every time you look at your computer! Good luck ever finding your folders again!

Check back tomorrow for a very special Panel Discussion: MoCCA Edition, wherein I'll post scans from all the awesome small press stuff I got. You'll see what $10 a day at MoCCA gets you (spoiler alert: awesomeness).

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Photos: MoCCA 2009 Star-Studded Explosion!

The calm before the storm...the first day of MoCCA 2009 got off to a late start, so I got to snap a picture of the floor mostly free of attendees. Since MoCCA's usual space caught on fire last year, this year's Art Festival took place at the Regiment Armory in Murray Hill, a gigantic high ceiling auditorium space that made the show feel less like a small press fair, and more like a major convention.

That's not to say there weren't plenty of indie creators and publishers at the show, but I was particularly struck by how many big name creators were there as well. It seems MoCCA has continued to gain traction as a place where indie creators come to be discovered as well as a way for more major presses to promote their new, more artsy releases.

Comic stars, fresh talent, awesome sketches, and neat tablecloths, after the jump...

PART 1: Big Names

Adrian Tomine signing at the The Drawn & Quarterly booth. Growing up in Berkeley, I was a fan of local sensation Tomine since I was a teenager, and Shortcomings was my favorite book of 2007. He was taking meticulous care in his autograph dedications, it was awesome just to watch him do the lettering!

Seth, creator of Palookaville, was looking very dapper during his Drawn and Quarterly signing.

Writer Joe Kelly and artist Rodney Ramos were giving away and signing copies of Bang! Tango at the Vertigo booth. I mentioned that I loved the Free Comic Book Day edition of Four Eyes, another of Kelly's books, and he pulled out the second issue and gave me an autographed copy of that as well. Sweetness.

Brian Wood with DMZ aplenty at the Vertigo Booth.

David Mack had Kabuki titles and original art for sale, as well as his recent kids book, The Shy Creatures.

I am of course a huge fan of the Act-i-Vate gang, represented at their booth by Molly Crabapple and Dean Haspiel.

Becky Cloonan was selling advance copies of Pixu (review coming soon!) and promoting her webcomic KGB with co-author/artist Hwan Cho.

Evan Dorkin was promoting Beast of Burden, his upcoming book with Jill Thompson.

Tara McPherson was signing her illustration work as well as her awesome line of Kid Robot toys.

Action Philosphers artist Ryan Dunlavey was just about dwarfed by his booth's immense signage!

Part 2: Webcomics

The boys of Dumbrella.

Oh. Man. Randall Munroe of xkcd had the most consistently big crowd I saw all day. This dude must be like, a millionaire!

Ryan North! I had no idea he'd done these amazing instructions for time travel that have been making the internet rounds. He was selling poster versions that you can put you and post inside your time machine in case of emergencies.

Ben Rosen of White Cat, with his neon killer sign.

These buttons feature "Admiral Snackbar", a fastfood mascot featured in The Rack by Kevin Church and Benjamin Birdie. I'm a big fan of puns, particularly Star Wars puns, and apparently so is Benjamin Birdie. Suffice to say, I bought one of these.

Part 3: Art and Stuff!

Cute overload....Mice doing martial arts by Stephanie Yue.

Some pretty brilliant t-shirt designs by Joanna Mulder (talk about an awesome geek name).

Okay; this is the best thing I saw all day. I'm sorry. I love creator-owned work, I love innovative, experimental comics that push boundaries, but I will always have Star Wars deeply implanted in my heart and soul, and these mini-anthologies of Star Wars comics are freakin' OUT OF CONTROL. I bought the first one, Harvest Is When I Need You Most. Just think about that title. That is beautiful. Each story is a wonderfully thoughtful and funny take on the Star Wars universe, and I may have to go buy the other two tomorrow. These are edited by Shelli Paroline, who autographed my copy along with a little picture of an Ewok.

This is a mural by Michael DiMotta, the colorist of my new favorite DC title, Ink. Turns out DiMotta is an extraordinarily talented penciller as well, and this double tryptic of animals was actually painted as mural for a school. Lucky kids!

More Michael DiMotta. Man, this is good stuff. Be sure to check out his homepage for high-res images of this print and much more.

Artist Jerry Ma was sketching at the booth for Secret Identities, the first ever Asian Superhero Anthology (which I recently covered for Midtown comics). This was just his "warm-up" sketch, so I think we can safely assume his sketches throughout the day were pretty badass.

This print by Lucy Knisley caught my eye, for obvious reasons. I asked when she did it, wondering if she drew it before or after the zombie explosion of the last few years, and it turns out she did it specifically for the convention, and turned it out just two days before the show! I should probably go back and buy this.

Nathan Stapley and Scott C at the Doublefine booth. I have to say I had no idea Doublefine, a studio I know best for creating the brilliant Psychonauts videogame and the upcoming Brutal Legend, did comics as well. But they do! Like I didn't have enough stuff to check out...JEEZ. Also they gave out free stickers.

Here's JoeGP, creator of the Talking Guinea Pigs webcomic. I'd never read it before, but I liked the art and writing so much on my initial flip-through, I had to buy one of the hard copies. He also drew me a sketch which I will post tomorrow at a more reasonable hour.

These two creators win best tablecloths of the day...

Martina Fugazzotto, recipient of last year's Friends of Lulu Kim Yale award, was displaying her awesome sex-positive sex-ed comics on an equally awesome psychadelic tablecloth.

Box Brown, author of Love Is A Peculiar Type of Thing which came out last week and looks great, had this exquisite 1970s Disco Peanuts tablecloth. Every Charlie Brown is happy when he's dancing to disco music! I asked Brown if he had a particular affinity for Peanuts, and he responded with an enthusiastic yes, adding that any comic featuring a character with a perfectly round head is a big draw.

That's just Day 1, folks! And there's even more on Geekanerd's Flickr.