Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Basement: Treasure or Terror?

The last two Saturdays I have spent most of my time cleaning our basement. This has turned into a huge production since the basement hasn't truly been cleaned from top to bottom since we moved in 8 years ago. Boxes have been moved, items have been juggled, and space has been made until there is no more left. Jim and I finally decided that it had to be completely cleaned, and that we need to have a garage sale.

The bad news is that I have found old bills that needed to be shredded going back to 1992. Crap. In and amongst all this shredding, I have found treasures left and right. I found several really cute baby pictures of my nephews, which reminded me why I think they are the most handsome boys ever. I also found old drinking and partying pictures from college. What I thought was really awesome back in the day makes me flinch a bit now, but I also have to acknowledge that it is part of who I was that makes me what I am today. I take great solace in the fact that I am fully clothed, if a bit inebriated, in all of these pictures. It helps remind me that when it comes to my wardrobe selections, I have always been a bit of a prude. Heh.

I also found some interesting comic-related items. Here is a sample list:

Avengers #401- bent to hell at the bottom of a box.
Azrael #19- not bagged or boarded, but in astoundingly good shape.
X-Factor #34- Angel doing the "Death" persona.
Fantastic Four #101- random. Odd that this was in with my old bills.
Marvel Knights Sketchbook- from an old Wizard.
Dawn #6- I already have a copy, so I can only figure this is for signing purposes.
Metallica comic book. Metal Dude!!!!
Several random Wizard posters from back in the day.
Riot Magazine #1- with a Joe Mad cover of the X-Men.
Wonder Woman: Amazonia. I always knew I had this but could never find it.

All this stuff was in random boxes covered by old bills and clippings. Nice.

Let this be a lesson to all you packrats like me. Don't let your clutter get to this point. It is a scary proposition. Disturbingly, it can also make a person feel like they have uncovered buried treasure.
I am glad we decided to clean the basement. It was a disaster waiting to happen, and I couldn't get any more long boxes down there. I counted 52 of them, and 7 short boxes. If I have any hope of going through my collection and getting it back down to a manageable size, this was the first, painful step.

What's in your basement?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Random Thoughts and Musings

Ever had one of those days that goes on and on, without much of a chance to catch your breath? I had one of those today. It seems like the holiday on Monday put everyone back a few days, and now we're all back in the swing of things. It was crazy at work, nuts at the club, and packed with rednecks at the grocery store! Lordy! I am very happy to be home.

I got an e-mail notifying me that my DCBS order will be here next Tuesday, like I expected so I am very happy. The bad news is that I am staying away from some of my favorite sites so I don't see any spoilers. I pretty much knew that going in, but it is a bit of a bummer.

I was cleaning my basement this weekend, and I was shocked at how much stuff I found that I had completely forgotten I had! I am sure you have had this happen to you, right? It was so odd to find trinkets from high school and college that were twenty years old, but were still shiny new in appearance. It also reminded me that back then my friends and I wrote actual letters to each other. We didn't have cell phones and texting yet, so we took the time to keep in touch with pen and paper. I loved reading those old letters, though a few were a bit hokey.

Reading old letters from good friends made me want to look them up, so I am probably going to troll Facebook and mySpace looking for them. I will probably also go to the alumni websites and see what I can find. It was special to realize how much we meant to each other.

I wonder how we will look back on our friendships today twenty years from now. Will we archive old e-mails? How will we save the text messages and how will we remember the phone conversations? I am at a bit of a loss when I consider this. What we keep in our hearts is certainly most dear, but the memory of a precious letter is invaluable in this day and age.

What will my nephews do to stroll down memory lane? It makes me a bit sad to not know how they will commemorate special occasions. Thank God for good old fashioned birthday cards.

Forgive me for being sentimental, but finding so many memories made me that way. What have you done when you have found old letters, cards, and the like? I am going to keep most of them, but am really concerned about the amount of space we have to store things I don't look at very often. God knows that when we moved my grandparents into their retirement community, it was horrendous how much had to go. Will I end up a packrat whose memories will be pitched the moment I am too old to have a say in things?

On a different note, I am looking for your help. I am going to be conducting interviews with several artists over the course of the next few weeks. I have a standard list of questions I will most certainly ask, but I want your input. What questions would you ask an up-and-coming artist? What about a more seasoned, successful one? I would appreciate any help.

It is time to wander into the living room, eat some dinner, and watch a bit of television before bedtime. Have a wonderful evening and I will see you here again!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Amazons Attack Piece by Harrison Wood

At this year's Emerald City Comicon, I was fortunate enough to see Harrison Wood, a Seattle artist whose artwork never ceases to amaze me. Both Jim and I chatted with him and were happy that he was still getting his sketch on.

If you get an opportunity, check out his Comic Art Fans gallery or his Deviant Art site. Harrison is a good guy, and he loves Wonder Woman like I do, so we have a bond.

I have been wanting to post this sketch for a couple of weeks now, and am happy to be able to share it with you tonight.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Comics for May 29

All Star Superman #11
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
Since it was Memorial Day weekend, comics are due in on Thursday. Much to my chagrin, my garbage won't be picked up until Friday, so it is a double dose of playing the waiting game.

Actually, since we are getting our comics through DCBS now, we probably won't see last week and this week's books until next Monday. That is okay, as it will make it seem like Christmas has come early!

Here is the list:

Action Comics #865
All Star Superman #11- cover pictured
Batman #677
Fables #73
Final Crisis #1 (of 7)
Green Lantern #31
Huntress Year One #2 (of 6)
Shadowpact #25
Teen Titans #59
Sword #8
Daredevil #107
Ms. Marvel #27
New Avengers #41
She-Hulk 2 #29
Ultimate Spider-Man #122
Uncanny X-Men #498
X-Force #4
X-Men Legacy #212
Dan Dare #6 (of 7)
Snakewoman Curse of the 68 #4 (of 4)
Tarot WOTBR #50 - milestone!

Since I am getting home so late tonight, I will be back tomorrow to answer comments. sorry to get so far behind. I am a bad girl!

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Favorite Comic Book Movies: The List!

In my earlier post that discussed the enjoyment of movies and a bit about Iron Man, Nick and I had a brief conversation in the comments where he told me his top 10 comic related movies. Thank you for that, Nick! It inspired me, and here I am with my list.

1. Iron Man. Maybe it is because the movie is still so fresh in my mind, but I just haven’t seen a comic film to top this yet, mostly based on the awe-inspiring performance of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. This was a solid film that made me long for many sequels.

2. 300. Holy Mother of God, this movie is good. I love the fact that the cast all had to have hard bodies that appeared to be chiseled by the gods they worshipped. I also think that Gerard Butler inhabited his role. I felt the power and the bravery to my bones, and that has made this movie one of my repeat viewings along with Russell Crowe in Gladiator.

3. X-Men: X2. This was the X-Men movie that worked best for me. We know the characters, and now it is all about upping the ante. The scenes with Wolverine amazed me, and I got a big lump in my throat when Jean made her heroic sacrifice.

4. Superman- the original with Christopher Reeve. When it comes to the old school comic book film, this one tops them all. I loved Margot Kidder as Lois and still envision Reeve as THE Clark Kent. His clumsiness, played with a bit of a twinkle in his eye, work as well for me today as it did back then.

5. Batman Begins. Whew. Christian Bale. Great casting- Michael Kane as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. Bad, scary casting: Katie Holmes. One word for you: Batmobile.

6. Sin City. Yep, I am a girl and I loved Sin City. Robert Rodriguez made this movie feel like reading a comic book in the best sense of the word. The casting of Mickey Rourke as Marv was inspired, and every scene he is in is still my favorite part of the film.

7. Batman
by Tim Burton. The movie I expected to hate but ended up loving. Michael Keaton’s quirky Bruce Wayne worked much better then expected, and Kim Basinger’s damsel in distress shtick worked wonders. Then there is Jack…

8. 30 Days of Night. I just saw this movie two nights ago for the first time and it scared the crap out of me. I made my friend go into the other end of the house first to make sure that there weren’t any vampires hiding out. Truly.

9. Spider-Man. The movie that got Marvel into the game. I am still not a fan of Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, but I loved Tobey McGuire’s interpretation of Peter Parker. Best bit: J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. Sam Raimi made me love super hero movies again.

10. Hellboy. Ron Perlman did a freaking amazing job on this movie, and the rest of the cast took it on home. Guillermo del Toro put his stamp on fantasy movies and never looked back.

That is my list. What does yours look like? It seems only fitting to wind down the holiday weekend with some fond memories.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Help Out Our Friend and Get Quality Entertainment!

Ben Hansen, the up and coming artist that we love so much, has issued a challenge that we just can't ignore. On his Deviant Art account, he has put up a post stating that he will not put up any new art on that site until his new book The Dependents gets 300 downloads.

Here is the great part: the download is free to people who live in the United States. It is a measly 80 cents if you do not, so that is pretty good, right? You must be over 18 years old to view it, otherwise get your parent's permission. In an economy on the verge of recession, how does it get better then that? Free entertainment from Ben and his friend Levi Skeen- work that these guys have put their hearts into.

If you have a few extra minutes, please head over and read the first issue of The Dependents. Levi has started a contest to help entice you further. Answer a few simple questions about the book and you can get a prize. Here are the details:

"NOW on to the contest for the people that have download the book.It's going to work in 4 rounds. 4 rounds because there is 4 issues. If you win in round 1, you get to try and win in round 2, and so on down the line. You can't not jump into a round if you have not won in the previous round.Here's the catch, YOU have to pay for the shipping on your prize. It would be a good idea to go threw all 4 rounds of the contest before having your winnings mailed to you. Round 1 prize: Limited edition prints from the book."

So what are you waiting for? Head over and make some great guys happy!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Memorial Day: What Are Your Plans?

We are coming up on a three day weekend for some of you, and I know there are many ways you will be spending it. With Memorial Day on Monday, I know that I don't have to work. What about you?

Jim and I are going to spend Saturday cleaning our basement and getting ready for an upcoming yard sale. We may also go see Indiana Jones 4 or check out Iron Man a second time. There are also several DVD's we want to watch. The one thing I am certain of is that we are staying home. There will be no more traveling for us then just doing errands around town.

What about those of you that have the weekend off? Are you going camping? Spending time with loved ones? Going somewhere exotic? Remembering those that have went before us?

I am really curious to know what you will be doing! Post a response here and tell me about it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Going to the Movies: Everyone's a Critic

Last weekend the hubby and I went to Iron Man on the big screen. I sat there for the duration of the movie, absolutely besotted. Iron Man was an excellent movie. There was no doubt in my mind. I felt that Robert Downey Jr. inhabited Tony Stark so well I forgot he was acting. The whole experience was great for me.

Then I get home and read some of the reviews. They were mostly good but some were a buzz kill. How someone can pick a movie apart with such bone cutting precision is beyond me. To me, the whole joy is actually going to the show, getting a small bag of popcorn, and watching the movie. It is an event for me, and I seldom walk away disappointed.

Evidently I am in the minority.

I don't know how many times I have went to see a movie, felt like it was alright, and been pretty much satisfied with the whole deal, only to have friends or co-workers rip it to shreds. The acting was flat. The way the movie was cut detracted from the viewing. The ending sucked. It wasn't what I expected. It goes on and on.

My point is this: sometimes a movie is just a movie. It may not be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it is an escape. That is why artistic license works in the absence of all other reason. That is why we continue to spend our money going to a show rather then staying home and watching our big screen hi-def entertainment centers.

An example for me of a movie I enjoyed that others hated is 10,000 B.C. In my mind, the cinematography was awe inspiring. Some parts lagged a bit, but I was caught up in the beauty I was seeing onscreen. There was a bit of an emotional touch to the movie, and while it wasn't a film I would buy on DVD, I wasn't disappointed. I got my $7.50 worth and went on my way. When I talked to others afterwards, I was really saddened. They didn't like it. They thought it sucked. Okay. That is your opinion.

The greatest blunder many moviegoers continue to touch on is the second Star Wars trilogy. Because of the progression of technology and the lack of chemistry some of the actors had paired with subpar dialogue, many folks have taken the whole thing as a personal slap in the face. That makes me sad. Since it is almost impossible to surpass what magic Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill had together in the first trilogy, I am not surprised that the second one wasn't as well received. I was let down by how harsh folks were, having really enjoyed Ewan MacGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, and Liam Neeson as Jedis. I know that I am in the minority, and that the movies didn't capture lightning in a bottle like the first time around, but going in it was pretty damn obvious that it wouldn't be the same.

Please Star Wars fans, don't send me hate mail. I am just trying to get the point across that many moviegoers have such perceived notions about a film that they will never enjoy the actual movie itself. That is what is sure to happen when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens tomorrow. I am mentally preparing myself that I will like it, while many others will be pissed or sad because it doesn't meet their expectations.

Maybe I am simple and it is obvious I am not a movie critic, but I plan to go and enjoy the movies this summer. Indy, Dark Knight, Sex & the City, Hulk, Hancock, and many more are on my list. Some will be better then others, and I expect this. It is a fact of life, so I am trying to go in with an open mind, knowing that I will spend $7.50 and watching something that was lovingly created by people that had a vision. Thank God for creative expression.

Next time you walk into the movie theater, try and focus on the experience. Are you there with loved ones or good friends? Is it paired with dinner or some other activity? Did you really enjoy getting out of the house and doing something out of the ordinary? Ask yourself these questions rather then going in with a closed mind. I guarantee it will increase the joy of it all 100 fold.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Comics for May 21

Dark Ivory #2 (of 4)
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
After the last couple of busy weeks, it occurs to me that this coming weekend is Memorial Day time. That not only means crazy folks on the road; it also means an extra day to remember those who have gone before us while also trying to get caught up on all the things we normally don't have time to do. Some of you may even be taking a vacation!

I am very excited because we received our first DCBS order. It looked good, and we even got a few Free Comic Day books with it. Jim and I are very happy we made the switch, as the ease of delivery and pre-ordering made things very simple.

Speaking of comics books, here is the list for this week!

Birds of Prey #118
Catwoman #79
Countdown to Mystery #8 (of 8)
Justice League of America #21
Dark Ivory #2 (of 4)
Madame Mirage #6
Black Panther #36
Captain America #38
Incredible Hercules #117
Mighty Avengers #14
Ultimate X-Men #94
Wolverine Origins #25
X-Factor #31
X-Men Divided We Stand #2 (of 2)
Terry Moore's Echo #3

That is it for the list. Having gotten used to not getting books every week, I use this list as a tool for me when I get my orders in and to keep track of late stuff.

We are going to do our DCBS order for July tonight, so I have to wrap this up. Take care and have a wonderful week!

BTW, we saw Iron Man and it kicked total ass!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Random Thoughts and Musings: Sunday Edition

Today we are FINALLY going to try and see Iron Man. Yes, it is a sad state of affairs here. Iron Man is in it's third week of release and we still haven't seen it. We are going to go to the first show and pray that everyone else is at Prince Caspian!

We are expecting our first Discount Comic Book order this Tuesday, so I will have more to report. It has been oddly freeing to get the Wednesday monkey off my back. I miss the instant gratification, but have felt less stressed. It always sucked to try and get my books and have some screw up make it not work out. At least this way, I can be sure of what I ordered, and if it comes in wrong I have a strong paper trail to follow up with.

Selling art for my hubby this past weekend made me realize something. I really enjoy it and am pretty decent at it. It was a cool epiphany. Hopefully I can help him in the future, and if you have any suggestions for artists looking for representation, let me know. Space Goat Productions is a class act, and Shon has done well for his people.

Okay, cross your fingers for me. We are going to go give this a try!

ECCC 2008: Wrap up!

It is the post you thought would never come! I have spent the last week blogging about the Emerald City Comicon and all the things that happened. In reading back through them, I have observed that there really wasn't anything newsworthy. For that I apologise. I really wanted to try and attend panels, but the days went so fast, and I ended up helping my hubby sell art in his booth, so that superceded everything else.

I can't thank the people I saw at the show enough for the most valuable gift they could have given me- their time. It was amazing, each and every moment. Special thanks to Brian, who acted as our host and is truly one of our best friends. I would also like to send great appreciation to Laura, her sister Lisa, and her hubby Eric, for a truly nice time. It was wonderful to go fangirl tag-teaming with you!

Swinebread, we must get together for more conversations! Ben and Jolene- we will go out again! Harrison Wood, thank you for the amazing art. Jason, Randy, and Shon- thank you for treating me with kindness and letting me help out. It was fun as well as educational. Quenton- you are a singular person of great integrity and I admire that. Greg- I would have liked to spend more time talking to you and hope to do so down the road. J Martini- you have got to do it!

On that note, thank you to all the people out there who worked so hard to make the show a success. It was incredible, to say the least and I give it two thumbs up.

Before I run away, I want to link to some posts about the show that I thought were of great interest:

Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog (Laura): parts one, two, three, and four. Torvald!

Atomic Romance (Swinebread): parts one, two, and three.

Hero Initiative report.

Comics Should Be Good: Greg's report.

Levi Skeen inker extraorinaire.

Randy Kintz' report.

If there are more I find, I will do updates here. I do know that both Newsarama and Comic Book Resources had reports on the panels.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

ECCC 2008: Sunday Part 3- Arm Wrestling Oeming... Again

I am such a sucker. I arm wrestled Oeming again. I lost again too. The good news is that I made him work for it. The bad news is that I didn't last as long as I wanted to. Oeming has an amazing technique and is strong to boot. I have to tip my hand to him. Hero Initiative makes a stunning amount of money when Oeming does this, and the crowd loves it. It is a win-win situation.

After the arm wrestling, it was time to start saying good bye to friends and survey what we had to do to pack the booth up. This really made me sad. I didn't want it to end. Laura and Eric came back to the booth and we talked for a bit before they decided to head out. I didn't want them to leave!!! I also finally met my booth neighbor Michael Alan Nelson, who is a writer on several Boom Studios books. He was very nice and let me take a picture with him and the kung fu cottontailes. I will have to go check out his stuff for sure now, as I thought he was very cool with a mohawk and kind demeanor. The dichotomy really astounded me, and I am very curious now.

The packing of crap back to the hotel was murder. I staggered the block and a half to the hotel with four heavy loads of stuff. I really hated escalators by the last trip. First I took back the original art portfolios. Then I took Randy Kintz' box o' art. The next trip was the candy bowl and posters. Then I came back and got a short box so Jim only had to carry two. As we left, I felt so sad. The only reprieve was that we were having dinner with the Space Goat crew after.

We met up with Shon C. Bury, his very awesome son Alex, and Jason Metcalf at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company. It was very close to the hotel, and I was thankful for that. I really enjoyed the conversation, and the fellowship. The only problem is that I think I got too dehydrated making all those trips because I was feeling quite tipsy after a full dinner and two beers. I tried to drink some water to level things out because our friend Brian came just after Shon and Alex headed out, and I wanted to stay out a bit later.

We headed over to Tap House again where we met up with Ben Hansen and his better half Jolene. They were both extremely tired, so they were drinking coffee and soda. I went the Stella Artois route again and Jason and Brian had the beer samplers. Ben's friend, inker Levi Skeen, came not long after and we ended up having a good time until 1 a.m.

It was definitely bed time.

ECCC 2008: Sunday Part Two: Space Goat Drawing

All the fun just kept going as it was 3 p.m. That meant it was time to draw the winners of the Space Goat Fine Arts raffle to benefit Hero Initiative. On hand were (left to right) hubby Jim, my fangirl tag-team partner Laura, and artist Jason Metcalf. Jason was on hand to present his Iron Man sketch to the winner and Laura was gracious enough to draw the other winners.

We had quite a crowd of folks hoping to win, and if I could have, I would have made it so. Unfortunately, it was up to the odds given by purchasing tickets. We had a few people that were actually present to win, and I really appreciate the fantastic job Laura and Jason did. We raised money for a good cause, and some people went home happy.

Laura and I escorted Jason over to the Hero Initiative booth, but it was chaos there as Michael Oeming was challenging all comers to arm wrestling. Since Jason had a few sketches left to do, and Laura still had some things she and hubby Eric wanted to attend to, I decided to arm wrestle the man and see what happened.

ECCC 2008: Sunday!

You know, every year I do this. I get behind on my posting because of work and life in general, and then I am tired on top of it, so my memory gets a bit spotty while talking about the show.

The good news is that I am going to try and keep my posts shorter with more entries and pictures. The bad news is that there is most certainly something I am forgetting. Bear with me.

Sunday dawned with a bit of sunshine trying to peek out. We once again headed to McDonalds for carb loading. This time our friend Brian joined us, and we talked about the fun the night before while getting a general feel for the day ahead of us. After breakfast, we ran to our room, got the original art and headed to the show.

Since it was Mother's Day, it wasn't nearly the rush of folks it had the day before. There was still a line, but it was much shorter. I was pleasantly surprised that there were several women there that were at the show for their Mother's Day present. At least a dozen ladies I spoke with were there with both their husbands and their children, which spoke volumes and helped restore my faith in humanity.

Since it was quite a bit less of a rush, the aisles weren't clogged like the day before. It was much easier to navigate the show, which didn't hurt my feelings. I still had a feel of a lof of people; it just wasn't such a panicked vibe.

I knew it was going to be a happy day when Laura and her husband Eric got to the booth and said their good mornings. Space Goat was their home base for the day, and Laura seemed to feel much better. It must have been the internet-withdrawal patch. Heh.

For most of the morning, I was in the booth while Jim tried to play catch-up on getting sketches and meeting with creators. He came back a couple of times, most notably to tell me that Matt Haley was trying to figure out why I never age. Thank you Matt. I did manage to capture a shot of Jim with the Zenoscope booth babes, since they were out walking around handing out postcards. I notice that Jim seems to be smiling bigger here then he does when he poses with me. Hmmmm....

Laura and Eric came back for lunch and we chatted for awhile. Jim came back from one of his jaunts and announced that Ethan Van Sciver said I could go see him and say "hi" and that is was okay to go to the front of the line for just that. Because I am a big freak for con ettiquette, I was a bit leary, but I really wanted to meet Ethan and Laura agreed to go with me for as I thought trolling him would be fun. At that moment, the fangirls tag-team was born!

Because of my gratuitous post a few weeks back, and Ethan's classy response, I was really eager to meet him. Laura and I went to the front of the line, where several guys eyed us a bit warily. I introduced myself and Laura, and Ethan told me he read my blog. Wow. I almost went into a fangirl coma. Laura trolled him and they had a great discussion about Aquaman, which was awe-inspiring. We had a nice talk while Ethan sketched for the guy at the front of the line. We made a graceful exit, as the line was pretty long.

Feeling extremely empowered, and really enjoying my time with Laura, I thought we should try and troll more people. I suggested Phil Jimenez, who wasn't at his booth. Laura was able to troll Tone Rodriguez, who was as sweet as could be. After talking to him for a few minutes, we ran around and tag-teamed quite a few congenial folks before seeing the very patient and sweet Eric, who went with us to the Hero Initiative booth. Laura was able to troll a few more folks.

Right around that time, my blood sugar started crashing and I went in search of food while Laura and Eric went a different route.

Fortified by a quesadilla and a few quiet minutes of triumph and giddiness, it was already almost 3 p.m. when I realized the show was winding down. No! There was so much more to do, and Laura and I were the team supreme. It just couldn't end!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Is This Gratuitous: ECCC 2008 Exclusive Edition

Today let's take a break in my convention recap, shall we? I got home late tonight and I have been wanting to post this cover all week, so it is time.

In the past I have said I wasn't going to pick on Witchblade, but for this I am making an exception. Emerald City Comicon had this cover of issue #117 as an exclusive variant for the show and it just feels right to have a bit of a discussion about it.

Artist Eric Basaldua has put a tattoo in our cover girl's very prominent butt cheek for all to see. She is obviously a fan of the show, otherwise she wouldn't have made such a serious commitment in ink.

The hat is cute and sporty, and the finger to the mouth is eerily reminiscent of a pose I saw Kendra, one of Hef's girlfriends, do on the cover of Playboy. Clad in Daisy Dukes and a half t-shirt, it looks like Sara (I am assuming it is new mother Sara Pezzini) is ready to show the fanboys how to party.

Enough about my opinions though. I have got to just ask this once:

Is this gratuitous?

I will be back tomorrow to wrap up the show and give you some great links. For tonight, enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

ECCC 2008: Saturday Part Deux!

I have something to confess. I was totally fascinated with my neighbors across the way and down one. Jonz Journey Studios showed up Saturday morning, and most striking to me was a cute guy with a big smile on his face. Later on, I found out he was one of the lead actors in the Rantoon DVD, which was put out by said studio. Another project Jonz Journey had going was "Teenage Kung Fu Cottontailes", a new comic book. The TKFC girls were on hand at the booth taking pictures, and I absolutely couldn't resist! These ladies were awfully courageous to wear these outfits and hang it all out there. God knows, my black t-shirt and shorts were skimpy enough for me.

I did mention to the cute, smiling guy that I thought next year he should put on the leathers and pose. He was pretty shy and didn't think anyone would be interested, but I assured him that there would be females out there that would like to get their picture taken with him. Hopefully this means that next year we will have a booth babe that is male!

As a side note, I was in the ladies room when these women were getting ready and it was anything but glamorous. The outfits were skin tight and warm to wear. They posed gamely for around an hour or so and gratefully changed not long after into their civvies. I was relieved for them as well.

Swinebread was around for some of the madness, and then he had to head out to get home. I said a sad "goodbye" and watched the TKFC for a bit. Then it was time to start making dinner plans. My friend Brian and Jim and Paris from the Hero Initiative booth were going to Von's for dinner, so that was the deal.

After we shut down the show, which had gone way too quickly, we took the art back to our room and headed to Tap House for a beverage. I tried Stella Artois for the first time and really enjoyed it. Drink done, it was time to head over to Von's.

We ran over and saw Jason Metcalf, his incredible wife Laura, Jason Martin, and the fantastic Quenton Shaw. They were just finishing dinner and were relaxing after the show. We talked for a few minutes and then it was time to eat.

Paris and her friend Gabe were already there, along with Jim McLauchlin and a buddy of his. We ordered a round and some dinner and that is when the fun heated up. We all hit it off immediately and were laughing and joking like old friends before long. we also had great food- I ate excellent pork chops and mashed potatoes and the hubby had teriyaki chicken. Yummy!

On Brian's suggestion, we headed over to the White Horse. Jim Valentino, Jay Faerber, and a bunch of other Image Comics-type guys were there, so we initially sat with them. Then room cleared up over on the couch so we got to sit there. The funniest part of the night was that everytime Brian would come over with beers, someone at the table was saying something highly inappropriate. It was so funny we couldn't stop laughing! Good conversation, awkward pauses, and several Samuel Smith ales later it was time to go home before we got into too much trouble.

As the clock struck midnight, we all headed back to the hotels and various homes. It was the perfect end to a great night. It was also early enough that we could get some decent sleep before having to get up for Sunday's show!

I can't tell you how much fun I had, because there just aren't words to describe it. I made new friends, got to know a few folks better, and laughed my ass off.

How was I to know that Sunday would bring more of the same? It was just a warm up!

Tomorrow: the greatest moment ever with Laura and our "fangirl attacks"!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ECCC 2008: Hangin' with Swinebread!

Yep. It merits its own blog post. I got to see Atomic Romance guru Swinebread, and have a fantastic talk about comics, the evolution of the industry, comics in cultures, and lots of other stuff too cool to name. In consideration of his wish to remain anonymous, I am posting a picture of said gentleman hiding his identity behind Jim's hat. You have got to love that.

Tomorrow I will be back to wrap up my Saturday report, with talk of Kung Fu Bunnies, dinner and drinks with the Hero Initiative crew, and lots of other scandalous behavior. All this without ever getting to a single panel, but with lots of bossing around the talent. Nice.

Emerald City Comicon: Saturday Madness

We got up at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning to get dressed and go to McDonalds, a carb loading convention ritual we have partook in for many years. As we walked out our hotel door, we were filled with panic to see a race of some kind going down the very street we needed to cross to get to said McDonalds. After much bickering and irritation, we decided to cross the street.

We snuck across during a lull in the race and headed down the street. We weren't 100% sure where we were going, so we were a bit stressed. Just then a lady in running clothes came up to us on the street in a panic. Her daughter was in her van, and they needed money for parking. She offered to send us $3 if we would help her, but we decided just to give her the money. She and her daughter said "thank you" very sweetly as we walked on, still lost.

In what Jim calls "good karma" we found the golden arches a block down and a block over. As we proceeded to carb load, we plannned our day. We knew we needed to finish setting up and we knew that he wanted to try and get some sketches while I had a couple of comics I wanted to buy.

We walked back to the hotel to grab the original art for Jim's booth and headed into the show. The line was incredibly long, but very organized, as folks waited patiently to get in. Having an "inside" line really helped here.

The show opened right on time, and the line for freebies swelled and grew. We were next to the freebie table, and I took a picture of the madness. The line you see went well around the corner. The only other line I saw that looked like that during the show was the one for Ed Brubaker. Kill Captain America, and your line will look like this!

I went over to the ECCC booth to try and get a copy of The Boys #18 special convention cover. I had to literally shove my body to the front, shove a $10 bill in the guy's hand and shove my way back out. It was chaos. On my way back to the table, I ran into show organizer Jim Demonakos, who said he only had a couple of hours of sleep the night before. He kept waking up thinking of things to do or that needed to be organized. Poor sweetie! The show went as smoothly as I have ever seen it.

My observation at this point of the show is that I can tell this isn't an intimate affair anymore. The aisles were packed with people, and I was told that Saturday sold out. I could barely get through to go to see my friend Brian at the Hero Initiative booth. It truly is a big show now, simply lacking in movie star power, which is fine with me!

Luckily for me, I ran into Laura from Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog and her wonderful sister Lisa. I was thrilled to see them, and was so impressed with how great Laura and Lisa look. When I was talking to them, I suggested that they come over to the booth, and they were happy with that. It became a home base of sorts for them, which I really enjoyed. Note to Laura: I would love to have you at the booth next year as a "booth babe". We would benefit from your assistance, and I enjoy the company!

As Laura and Lisa headed out to troll some folks, which I think is an amazing idea, I headed to artist alley. Much to my dismay, the creators I wanted to talk to were swamped. I wanted to get my copy of The Boys signed by Darick Robertson, but his line was crazy. Then I headed over to see Phil Jimenez, and he had another long line. My last attempt was by Ethan Van Sciver, and his long was prestigious as well. So much for that idea!

I ended up just wandering around for a bit, looking at stuff and checking in with Jim from time to time. I picked up Secret Invasion #2, Invicible Iron Man #1, the naughty Witchblade cover, and Countdown to Mystery #7, so that was good.

The day went so fast. I wanted to go to the DC Nation panel, but it was crowded, so I didn't try too hard. I mostly pestered Randy Kintz while he was there, as Jim was selling his stuff at the Space Goat booth. At one point, I think I was pretty rude about him coming to the booth to sign stuff for a couple of fans, but he was very good natured about it. Randy is one of those guys who is as likable as he is talented!

Hunger got the better of me, and I went downstairs and got a horrid piece of pizza. It was awful but it got my blood sugar high enough that I could walk upright and not feel like crap.

Lucky for me, my friend Brian called me and told me to hurry over to the Hero Initiative booth because Gail Simone was there. I got a bit nervous and hit her up about feminism in comics. What I wanted to talk about was how her success has made her a poster girl for women in comics and how the women bloggers who have taken a hardline position have affected things. Gail was very gracious and had some answers that I would like to keep to myself for the time being. I also gushed a bit about how much I loved her take on Wonder Woman and how fabulous Phil Jimenez is before skulking off in a bit of shame for my odd behavior.

Thank God for me that the man of the hour, Swinebread showed up at the booth not long after! I knew that life would be good then!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Emerald City Comicon: The Day Before

Jim and I were very excited to leave our home on Friday to get to Seattle, so we skedaddled around 1 p.m. We had pretty decent traffic, so we got there around 3:30 p.m. The problem we had was being a bit lost. I had the GPS plugged in, but we still had to drive around the block a few times before we found the correct entrance to the convention center. After driving a bit, we parked the car at the hand door and checked in. Our goal was to get the stuff for Jim's booth in so we could proceed to the hotel.

We had tried to plan very carefully, so we had reservations at the Roosevelt, which was a block away. I almost made Jim pull his hair out of his head when I missed the turn and we had to go around the block! Heh heh. We eventually got there and got checked in. The location was outstanding but the room was so damn small. Also, there was peeling paint in the bathroom and we couldn't both be in there at the same time. We let it slide because we wanted to get to our friend Brian's work in time for his day to be done. We walked there and had perfect timing. Brian was just closing up and we were able to head back over to the convention center with him, knowing exactly where to go.

Since Brian is the Northwest rep for Hero Initiative, we helped him schlep the stuff he had to his booth. Then Jim and Brian went to go find a more permanent spot for his car while I worked on the posters that you may be able to see at the back of the booth. Since I am not at all artistic, Jim and Brian were shocked at how decently they turned out. Done working for the night, we proceeded to dinner.

Brian and I are fans of the beer/ale genre, so we went to McMenamin's Six Arms for dinner. We split a pitcher and ate excellent burgers while catching up. Our next stop was Shorty's. A couple of guys were hosting a "Drink and Draw" event. Calamity Jon Morris was one host, and we had a great chat while having some beers. We also spied madman Ed Brubaker and Brandon Jerwa over in the corner partying, which was a bit surreal.

On our way out, my hubby totally geeked out when he found Brubaker playing Galaga, the classic video game. The great thing about Shorty's was that there were videos, pinball,and dogs wandering aimlessly. Seriously.

Because the show was starting in the morning, we headed back to the White Horse for a round and decided to call it a night. I am glad we had the foresight because Saturday was an incredibly busy but fun day.

A preview of Saturday: hanging with Laura and her sis Lisa, having a fantastic talk with Swinebread, meeting some booth babes, watching all the costumes parade by, dinner with the Hero Initiative crew, and just plain good times. I can't wait to take you there with me!

New Comics for May 14

I had exciting news in my e-mail box today. DCBS sent me an e-mail saying my first comic book order shipped. Yay! That is excellent news, especially with the fact that both 100 Bullets and Wonder Woman are coming out this week and I am dying to read them.

Here is the list:

100 Bullets #91
Batman #676
Booster Gold #9
Green Arrow Black Canary #8
Green Lantern Corps #24
Huntress Year One #1 (of 6) - see pictured
Superman #676
Titans #2
Wonder Woman #20
Anita Blake Guilty Pleasures #11 (of 12)
Genext #1 (of 5)
Punisher #57
Thunderbolts #120
Wolverine #65
X-Men Legacy #211

That is it! I am keeping it short so I can start my ECCC report, so bear with me. Have a great week!

Monday, May 12, 2008

ECCC 2008: Back Home!

It is Monday late afternoon, and Jim and I have finally gotten back home and finished our unpacking. I just got the pictures off the camera and am looking at the internet for the first time since Friday morning. I hope you all had a nice weekend, and I am looking forward to giving you reports on this year's Emerald City show.

Once again it exceeded my expectations. We worked hard and played hard, all the while marveling at how much fun we were having. We made new friends, and had a blast with old friends. On Saturday, the place was packed! On Sunday, it was a lot mellower as many folks were not in attendance because of Mother's Day. Each day had a different vibe that worked.

It is time to start laundry and get my stuff ready for the work week so I will be back tomorrow with reports and new comics list. Thank you to all of you who made my time at Emerald City so special.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Emerald City Comicon: Looking Back Before Going Forward

I got up early this morning and went to the gym and got blood work done, as well as doing some last minute errands for the show. While I was running around town, I reflected on the first five years of the Emerald City Comicon and it truly made me smile. This is a show that has reinvigorated me as a fan in so many ways. I have made friends that will last a lifetime and found a new joy that comes with each new discovery I find at the show.

That being said, I was thinking about the first show. The hubby and I first heard about this new upstart show at a Seattle Comicard Show we were attending. ECCC founder Jim Demonakos approached us with a flier and gave us the skinny. We were immediately intrigued and vowed to attend. A new show that was held at Qwest Field? Lots of guests that weren't usually accesible to us in the Northwest? A fresh approach? Hell yes.

The morning of the first show we got up at 5 a.m. and headed over in my car. In the backseat were our friends Corey, Gavin, and his sister Chelsea. If I remember correctly Gavin hadn't even been to bed the night before! I also recall a palpable feeling of excitement over this new venture. The trip went quickly and we pulled up to the parking lot at Qwest. Wow, a line! We proceeded to commune with our fellow fans and ran inside. What a thrill it was to walk in, knowing that we were on the ground floor of a new sensation. I kid you not, it felt that good.

Jim and I were like kids in a candy store. We ran over to Erik Larson and had an unforgettable conversation about his fellow Image founders. I also got to meet Greg Rucka and Matt Haley, who did an incredible Power Girl sketch for me. We bought lots of comics, got lots of sketches, and soaked in the wonder of it all. I was writing reviews for 4 Color Review (now Kung Fu Rodeo), so I took a tape recorder and did interviews. I also spoke to Demonakos and got the attendance and first response. Every word was positive.

Giddy with excitement, we drove back home that night and I did my review. I wish to hell I could find it, but no such luck. It was a giddy post, as I gushed and cooed over the ECCC being offiicially in existence. I knew that I would be back every year they would hold it, and I have been.

The second year was also a one day show, and we all clamored for a two day event. The third year it happened and we hung our at our friend Ben's booth. We knew we wanted to be a part of it in a larger way! The fourth year I had my own booth. Crazy, odd, but fun- a blogger was an exhibitor. I loved every minute of it. The last two years have been especially magical, with the times I have had with friends, and the sheer atmosphere I have soaked up. Having a booth has enabled me to network and get an insider's perspective that adds a layer of enjoyment for me. This year I will be a bit transient as I wander in and out of my hubby's booth while trying to take it all in.

This year, I am still excited like a kid at Christmas. As we pack our stuff and give our friend instructions about house sitting, I know that I can't wait to get there. I will see old friends and meet new ones. I will be a part of a big show that still manages to feel intimate. It will be fun, and that is what a convention should be.

See you there!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Emerald City Comicon: Almost There!

The countdown continues, and it is two days until the Emerald City Comicon begins. For the first time, it is being held at the Seattle Convention Center rather then Qwest Field, so I can't even begin to guess if it will feel any different. My biggest prayer is that our wonderful, intimate but big show retains that flavor.

One difference I see is that there is a great deal more programming. We have made the big time, having a DC Nation panel as well as a Mondo Marvel one. There are several more with great themes, including one on the legal side of comics and a spotlight on Tim Sale. Check out the link for the full story.

Another quirky deal that is new is "celebrity photo op". Nice. There is also a costume contest. Heck, just go check out the site for the full details.

I am off to try and start packing. Take care and have a wonderful evening. I will see you back here tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Emerald City Comicon Countdown: A Few Points of Interest

In just three days, the Emerald City Comicon will open in Seattle. I am very excited for many reasons, so I want to share them with you. If you live close, this may entice you. If you don't, I swear I am not rubbing it in; I simply want to spread some positivity and excitement about an event that only happens once a year, and that I always look forward to.

Firstly, I am thrilled that my hubby is going to have a booth there to showcase his business and the artists he represents. Called Space Goat Fine Arts, Jim has worked with his bossman Shon C. Bury to create a friendly, easy way to acquire original art from established artists as well as up-and-comers. Featured at the show will be art by Richard Moore, creator of Boneyard, and Rafa Sandoval, series artist on Incredible Hercules. There will also be a drawing for sketches of Iron Man done by Jason Metcalf and Randy Kintz, so make sure and sign up!

If you come to the show, stop by. I will be in and out of the booth as the two days go by. I would love to say "hi" and have a conversation. It is also a great chance to meet my mythical hubby and see what he has for sale.

Secondly, I am giddy about the amazing list of guests that ECCC is having. I always love to go see Matt Haley and talk about metal and other random topics. Also, the new creative team of Wonder Woman will be there! Both Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti will be there, and I am really anxious to see if there are any sneak peaks or fun tips about the book. PVP webgenius Scott Kurtz is coming to the show, and I want to try and get my hands on a Skull plush or at least gush about Jade and Brent's nuptials (happening now!). Phil Jimenez is also scheduled to appear, and I am thrilled. I just love him- talk about a sweetheart! I hope he doesn't mind me pestering him.

There are so many more guests that I could go on and on, and probably will tomorrow. I am just so eager to go talk to these creators and learn more about them and their product. The Lois Lane in me also plans to play girl reporter. I hope to get some interviews done and set up some things for the blog down the road. I am sad not to have my own booth about the blog this year, but am also eager to have a bit of freedom to wander.

I will be back tomorrow with more reasons why ECCC is the show to be at. As I countdown the days, be here with me and at least try not to shake your head too hard!

Monday, May 05, 2008

New Comics for May 7

We are officially on week one of staying home to get our comics. It is very scary for me until I get my first order from Discount Comic Book Service. I have heard so many good things that I know I shouldn't worry, but I still have a bit of trepidation.

This week marks the countdown to Emerald City Comicon, which starts Saturday and runs through Sunday. Located at the Convention Center in Seattle, this is sure to be a fantastic show. During the week I am planning on focusing on upcoming events at the show and my personal musings about what I expect. Stay with me here for the fun!

Here is my list of books for the week.

Countdown to Mystery #7 (of 8)
Detective Comics #844
Nightwing #144
Franklin Richards Not So Secret Invasion #1 - pictured! I love this cover.
Mighty Avengers #13
X-Factor: Quick and Dead
The Boys #18

That is my very small list! I am so excited to have finally made cutbacks to a manageable level though I confess I will probably pick up a copy of Secret Invasion #2 and Rann Thanagar Holy War #1 at the show if I see them. My shop also missed Wildguard Insider #1 last week, so I will also look for that.

Not much tonight. The hubby and I went grocery shopping and picked up supplies for the show so I am running late again! Take care and I will see you here tomorrow!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Reflections on Free Comic Book Day

Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day throughout the land. From reading reports from all over the country, it sound like the day went quite well over all. I am happy to hear that, and will continue to scour the 'net for entries about it.

Free Comic Book Day in my town was a bit lowkey. My hubby and I went over to the westside branch of our local shop. We were fascinated to see our friend Corey was the only person in the entire shop. Sure it was 2 p.m. in the afternoon, but it was weird. Corey was the employee working there, and he was decked out in the obligatory FCBD shirt. He also had a long folding table which displayed the comics available. The store was ghostly quiet.

Corey said we were allowed to pick out two comics, so we perused our choices. Evidently our retailer had both the Gold and Silver offerings, though I didn't see every book offered there. We each picked out two- I got the X-Men book and the Broken Trinity prelude and we also received an Iron Man Heroclix, which Corey was told to hand out at his discretion.

From our conversation, the store had been busy in spurts, but it never really got intense. Folks would bring in their kids, or would simply come in alone and grab their selections. While we were there, a woman and her kids came in, picked out their books, and left. Corey offered pleasant greetings, and made sure the kids got Heroclix, but that was the extent of it. They left right afterwards.

There was no mention of the Iron Man movie made, nor were there any comic book specials or coupons. It was completely done without emotion or incentive. I was gravely disappointed, but not at all surprised.

The one thing I will mention is that our local library participated in the event and had more success. They advertised on their reader board and made sure that every child that came in got a book. There were also balloons.

I am a realist. I know that my retailer is the only game in town and that the alternative is what we have went to. Online ordering is a salvation for folks with no other options, or little option. I didn't expect them to bring out the ponies or whatever, but a bit of effort would have been nice.

Last night, I couldn't fall readily asleep, so I went to Comic Book Resources and looked at their live blogging site about the FCBD event and that just upset me more. Many retailers put out the whole enchilada. Atomic Comics reunited the entire Image Comics founders group, for God's sake. Why couldn't my retailer at least give out coupons or at least tie into the movie?

For the record, go check out CBR's reporting that I linked above. It gives insight into how the event could and should be done. I was very impressed at how inventive and excited other retailers got and how hard they worked.

The last remark I have about FCBD in my town is this: Iron Man was only playing on ONE SCREEN in my town. I have no chance of seeing it unless I camp out. I will not be able to see it for at least two weeks now. What would have been helpful is if my local retailer and the chain of three theatres in my town could have figured out that the damn movie needed to be on at least two screens and promoted with some cross pollination. Obviously that didn't happen.

So now I sit here, dreaming about living in a town that promotes the day, or at least traveling to either Portland or Seattle for next year's event. Maybe I will make a weekend out of it. Then at least I won't feel disappointed or disgusted.

How did your local day go?