Friday, September 02, 2011

The 2011 Baltimore Comic-Con in Pictures

As the whole world converges on Baltimore this weekend for the inaugural Grand Prix race, let’s set the way-back machine to two weeks ago and finally get around to more details of this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con! Today we'll explain what else I was doing while conducting my Amazing Spider-Man #45 word-balloon scripting experiment.


Before the "Dawn's Early Light", we arrive at 5:00 AM. Only five hours to go!!!

Number 7 and 8 in line. It was short lived in a few hours when they called forth the VIP holders and created another line. It was like separating the sheep from the goats and I felt like a goat.

VROOOOOMMMM!!!! Part of the Grand Prix track on Pratt Street. You can see the fencing. It's been neat to watch them set up everything downtown.

Eric's excited that he's picked up the Convention Center Wi-Fi on his PSP. He did a great job taking a lot of the pictures you'll see.

Waiting outside for the doors to open.

Getting my two-day wrist band. It was cool. After feeling like a second-class citizen for not having Stan Lee VIP tickets, the announcer guy (not pictured) personally shook the hand of the first 25 people in the regular line welcoming us to the show. VERY CLASSY AND MUCH APPRECIATED!!! Only about three hours left to go...

They did an excellent job of keeping track of the different lines this year.

Kevin Maguire arrives at his table with some original artwork. He had to hide his new JLA Retro-active pages. We're not supposed to see them until the book is published.

Marc and Kevin discuss the printing job on their JLA Retro-active comic while Kevin signs my Captain America mini-series. "You know they used one of our characters in the movie, uncredited." "Why haven't they collected this already?" I missed their panel, but it was like the first time they'd all been together at a Con. I only saw Keith Giffen once, he didn't stay at the table for long.

Pat Broderick does a headshot of Baron Karza for Heroes Initiative. I looked all over for him last year and never saw him. Still didn't get a chance to speak with him yet.

Here's the full picture of me and Paul Tobin. I had edited myself out last week so that I was only seen in the last photo. We talked for a good while and he answered a ton of my questions. It was great to meet him after interviewing him last year. I hope he and his wife return next time.

I'll skip the picture of me and Chris Roberson this time and save it for something special down the line. I really enjoyed talking to him. He's going to be writing the new Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes mini-series, which he's been wanting to do since 1979! I was also glad to know that Karl Glogauer will NOT be appearing in the Elric series. Oh, and if you say his name three times: Chris Roberson, Chris Roberson, Chris Roberson. He'll show up. He's read every review anyone has done on his stuff, which means he'd read this very blog!

Mike Grell working on a commission with John Workman looking over his shoulder.

A BIG THANKS to Ted VanLiew (Super Fun guy) of Superworld Comics for giving me a good deal on my Amazing Spider-Man's #3, 24-36, and Green Lantern #40. Now, I can purchase some original art and some Omnibuses this year. I'm hoping I can help him set up next year. Oh, and here's a tip, there is NO market for old Price Guides!

Together again for the LAST time (maybe). Three-Fifths of the Comics And... blogging staff LIVE and in Color: Lee, Me, and Jim. If you think their writing is funny, you should listen to them in person. I'm always in stitches. I was also able to give Lee his belated birthday present without having to pay shipping to France!

I haven't seen Andy Runton in two years. It was good catching up, especially given his exciting news! The next Owly graphic novel will be about Bats! The news was more blissful than that...

I finally got to meet one of my all time favorite artists, Ron Frenz. I had him sign my Spider-Girl splash page (my first piece of original art) and an image that I had always wanted as a commission, but then it was in the actual book. I even got a Letter of Comment published about it. If I had stopped by earlier, I would have met Sal Buscema too (Ron's inker on Spider-Girl and Hulk artist extraordinaire), who drove an hour and a half, just to take Ron to lunch on Saturday. Ron's from Pittsburgh. I hope they invite him back next year!

Kelly Yates of Greensboro, North Carolina and artist for Doctor Who: A Fairy Tale. A really nice guy that I would like to interview one day. Turns out his wife went to my high school!

It's always a pleasure to catch up with Herb Trimpe! He and his wife Patricia had a rough time getting to the show when I-95 was closed somewhere in Philly the night before. They didn't get a hotel room until 1:30 AM! Herb talked about the World War II miniatures he likes to stage. Would love to have them over for dinner next year.

There were a lot of cool costumes around and several Doctors, but this was the only Tardis I saw!

Here's another picture of me and Jason Aaron. I had him sign the one Scalp issue I own, number 35. Jason said what he's doing in Hulk has never been done before. He didn't say Banner was bad now, just that he had "issues". I wish I'd known he was from Kansas City at the time, we could have talked about World's of Fun. Although, I did meet a guy in line that morning from Kansas and we had a lot to talk about. I asked Eric to take this picture to illustrate how I like to talk with people at the Con. I get down so I can speak to them at eye level. It also helps me to hear better. So, if you see a guy on the floor in front of your favorite creator -- it's probably me. :)

I showed Mark Waid last time (not...cough, cough...last week), but I didn't mention that I had him sign the first two issues of the new magnificent Daredevil series. After he signed issue one, he pulled out something and quicker than I could stop him..."And here it is in braille." KA-CHUNK! Right through my cover -- actually, it's really really cool!

I'm skipping the picture of me and Clayton Henry for now. We'll just have to wait until I get a package from Miami!


Chandra Lee shows off her art and signature after feverishly fanning it. "Silver takes forever to dry." She totally sold us on the book purchase, which boasts a beautiful Steranko cover. "Not that I'm as well known as Steranko." (See the cover in the second picture following).

"Don't Blink!" "It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's STAN LEE behind the curtain!" My son went to the Baltimore Comic-Con and saw a glimpse of Stan Lee (while I was talking with Scott Kurtz) and all I got was this fuzzy photo.

Remember the hoard of books I purchased last year? Well, Drew is holding in his hands the one and only book purchase of any kind I got at the Con this year. I'm currently reading this and hope to review in sometime in the future. Wait until I tell you how he signed it. Thanks to my eagle-eyed son, Eric, for spotting the sign against the wall. I had no clue this thing existed and actually thought it was a cheap rip-off at first. It's authentic and chocked full of all kinds of goodness. (Afterwards, I saw the most desired piece of artwork I could ever own -- if I can scrape up about a grand, Anthony!).

I pose with Kevin now since he hasn't started on my Chris Evans Captain America (Bucky Rescue version) headshot yet. He said he may work on it,while taking the train back to Jersey City. This was his first year to Baltimore, but he might be back; he really enjoys traveling by train. He told me to take my reference material with me, but I forgot to get it. I hope he sends it back, since it has a picture of the Tardis drawn by my 5-year old daughter inside.

Green Arrow and Black Canary visit one of their most famous artists, Mike Grell!

Ron Frenz (hand on left) asks if Mike can see what's in front of him.

"I may wear a big hat, but I can certainly see THAT under the brim!", laughs Mike.
Ron replies, "I could see that out of my right ear!"
I wish my wife could find that Black Canary outfit at Kohls.

I was chatting with Ron following his excellent retrospective panel, which I recorded . It was really interesting and gets into the business end of comics a bit too. As a special bonus I had a chance to learn how to pronounce a myriad of creator's last names. Plus, there was a surprise guest star!

I also had him sign the rest of my Spider-Girl pages. I asked him what was next and he mentioned the Superman Beyond zero issue coming out (and probably the Emerald Warriors one too). He'll be working with Tom DeFalco again on a multi-part story for Jughead Digest this fall. That's the last work he has scheduled with Tom for now. They had fun with the Archie stuff, but the company found a lot of unpublished stories and won't be commissioning anything new until they've put out their backlog.
I told him that he's one of my favorite artists and I try to pick up everything he does. "Thanks, I really needed to hear that this weekend."

THE Ron Wilson (and Baltimore local) is currently working on a neat project called Battle Rappers coming out next year.
Charles Vess signs my hardcover of Spider-Man: Spirits of the Earth. He's recently done illustrations for Neil Gaiman books and currently lives in Bristol, Virginia. I was going to tell him about the excellent Due South BBQ place in Christiansburg, but he doesn't eat meat. Although, he was looking forward to having some good fish in town and he didn't have to deal with I-81 truck traffic, because they had flown him into town for the Con.

The great Jose Garcia-Lopez signs my copy of DC Comics Presents #24 depicting two of his best known characters: Deadman and a red-shorted Superman. (The new costume looks DUMB!) Before me, he posed for a nice picture with two young girls after drawing a Wonder Woman sketch for them. He's very soft spoken and primarily does DC's marketing and licensing art (like the Batman stuff for Six Flags).

The Legendary Michael Golden signs my 1981 Marvel Calendar with his stunning Hulk drawing. He said he doesn't see that one very often. Beside him is the pleasant Renee Witterstaetter his art agent and comic professional. I purchased this print of Micronauts #2 (one of my favorite covers) for $20. A final con impulse buy. He also had a print of the first page of Doctor Strange #55, which looked just like a piece of original art (fool your friends -- just like using Suave). Additionally, there was a print of his marching Marvel mail-away poster. I said I still had mine and used to hang it by my bed. Renee said a lot of guys never got theirs after sending in their 50-cents. She suggested I bring it in next time. (It's currently on my comic room wall). Y'know, I used to think Golden's commission prices of $100 was steep, but since I paid that much for a Kevin Maguire headshot this year, maybe I need to get one someday.

I could go on and on. I wish I could relay every single conversation. I wish you could hear the creators themselves talk. It was so cool going into my LCS the following week and seeing so many names of people I had just met at the Con. I love it and am eagerly looking forward to next year already!

BONUS BLOOPER Picture. The flash isn't working and Eric catches me trying to talk to him. Jim and Lee look great though.

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