Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A "Comics And..." 2011 Baltimore Comic-Con Exclusive -- 16 Writers on One Panel

I've got so much to say about this year's Baltimore Comic-Con that I can't possibly fit it into just one post. So be sure to check back next week for more, but today I wanted to share with you the results of my "crazy idea"/"great experiment" (and whatever other pitch lines I tried when asking people to participate.) This idea came to me while I was trying to fall back asleep after having set the alarm for 0100 to start recording my "AT40 -- The 70's" broadcast. Similar to a quickie con-sketch from an artist, I wanted to have the writer's do more than just sign their name on a comic. Then I remembered Amazing Spider-Man #45 (Feb 1966), which I happen to have in my collection:

Nice copy, isn't it? I'd say a 9.2 or higher with white pages to boot. Too bad I'll NEVER sell it now!

In this issue on page 19 in panel one, Stan intentionally left the dialogue blank for the readers to fill in themselves. My guess is it was just going to be too sappy to script himself or maybe he was just waiting for me to use it one day to get professional comic book writers to fill-in the balloons!

DAY ONE -- 2011 Aug 20th

I'll be listing each writer in the order I asked them to script the panel and with each name I'll be providing a link to their website (if they have one). I told them they could be serious, humorous, whatever -- as long as it wasn't higher than PG-13. Most of all I just wanted them to have fun with it. (All caption quotes are approximate paraphrases and may not be verbatim.) No one remembered ever seeing this wordless panel before, which turned out to be part of the fun.

So, let's begin shall we...

Marc set the stage and the format.

I loved how each writer zeroed in on something different in the panel that "spoke" to them.

"The punch line has to be about the bandages..."

DAY TWO -- 2011 Aug 21st

Andy Runton

Forget what the School Book Sale Mafia says, wordless books DO teach people to READ!!! But for those of you who are having trouble with just pictures, here's an approximate translation:
Connors: "The Lizard is gone for good (or at least until issue #76)"
Mrs. Connors: "We love you Spider-Man!"
Billy: "Spidey, you're the BEST!"
Spidey: "Good Luck!"

Scott really loved the idea (as did most of the writers).
"It gives writers something to do at a Con."

He was really pleased with his response (me too!) and called his table buddy over to tell him about it and the guy just about lost it.

"Now you're going to know how much trouble I have with dialogue."
"But, your book is all about dialogue?"
"I know."

While Thom was reading through the previous examples -- BAM! -- he had his inspiration.
"I've got it!"

Just like in the 60's lots of words and all sentences end in explanation points!

"I once had a book where the lettering just fell off during the printing...Oh, Stan did it on purpose."
I tried to catch Louise at the end of the day Saturday, but it was too late then and she really wanted to read the story to better fill in the blanks. When I approached her the next day, she was glad to know she could just have fun with it.

If you look carefully at this picture, you'll know what I hope to talk about someday!

"That'll be $125.00!"

Todd asked for extra time to come up with something really good.

Next to Stan Lee, Amanda Conner, and Jeff Smith, I think Scott was the most popular creator in attendance based on his huge lines. You could tell he was wiped -- Cons are exhausting -- (he also had his family with him, including a young baby). I love the last line and was super happy that he gave it a shot.

John reads the caption in his best Stan Lee voice ("I can do this because Stan's not in the room.") to Rich Faber.
(Sorry about catching you unawares Beth [John's wife])!

"Do you mind if I draw out the panel?"
John asked Rich if he would ink it, but Rich quickly found something else to do. But John did borrow Rich's better pens!

A BIG THANKS TO ALL THE PARTICIPANTS! This had to be the most fun I had at the Con this year (and I enjoyed plenty of other things too). Maybe I'll be back again to terrorize different writers next year with the same panel or come up with something totally different or perhaps this was just a "one-and-done" event. At least all of them can now put down on their resume that they've written Amazing Spider-Man (if they hadn't already).



  1. Really cool idea. Thanks for posting the results!

  2. This is awesome!

    Thom Zahler's was the best!

    One More Day indeed!