October 2011 Archives
Sunday the 18th was the last day of the NY Comic Con. I managed to squeeze in two panels before hightailing it home that afternoon. My first port-of-call was the Mad magazine panel, which featured editor John Ficarra and veteran artist Al Jaffee (who just turned 90! Click here to reserve his book Mad Life from us), as well as MadTV producer Kevin Shinick, who brought video clips from the show, which airs on Cartoon Network Monday nights.
Before I finish up my account on Saturday at the NY Comic Con, I just want to point out that despite my less-than-enthusiastic take on the DC Comics panel (see last post), the kids & fans who attended really enjoyed it. They clapped and whooped it up when hearing about what was coming up for their favorite heroes, and the DC staffers who were at the panel were clearly proud of their efforts. Maybe the "New 52" will be successful. But it's just not my tea.
Anyway, after that panel, I attended the one given by Hermes Press on the upcoming Dark Shadows movie. Based on the 1966-71 TV series that I'd run home from school to watch every afternoon (and which the library carries on DVD), Dark Shadows is now being turned into a big-budgeted motion picture due out next year directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp. Hermes Press is currently reprinting the 1968-1976 comic book series, plus a new novel by DS regular Kathryn Leigh Scott, who appeared with fellow cast member Lara Parker (the latter on Skype) to reveal as much as they could about the new film. (Among other things, both ladies and fellow original cast members Jonathan Frid and David Selby will be making cameos in the new film, and that a restored "Director's Cut" of the 1971 spin off film Night of Dark Shadows -with Parker, Selby and Kate Jackson, directed by series creator Dan Curtis- will be released on DVD six months after the new film's release!)
The crowds got bigger and bigger and so did the lines. I had to skip this panel on military science fiction simply because I felt the walls closing in and went home. In my next post, I'll cover the last day of the Con.
Saturday, October 15th, I arrive for the third day of the New York Comic Con at the Javits Center. My plan is to attend more panels than I did the day before, but things don't quite work out that way.
Unlike the two previous days, nearly everybody in the tri-state area, plus the other 47 ones, is in attendence. Most of them are garbed as their favorite comic/video game/fantasy novel/film character, and while the costumes look terrific, I wish some of them didn't include carrying pseudo sidearms or swords. Those things, even if they're plastic, hurt when you're pressed against them in a crowded exhibition hall.
Anyway, undeterred by the crowd, I managed to make my way to the DC Comics Panel at noon (the line started up around ten am) to hear about upcoming storylines in DC's "New 52" comics reboot. Several of the writers and artists of those books, which include Justice League, Aquaman, The Flash, Wonder Woman and the (now) Savage (!) Hawkman, spoke about what's coming up with these characters (like Wonder Woman's upcoming newly revised -again!- origin) while a slide show projected pages (either completed or struck from pencil breakdowns) and covers of future issues.
The art was nice, but comics (books, graphic novels and newspaper strips) work best when you can understand what's going on without necessarily looking at the word balloons or captions (which do otherwise serve an important function in telling the story). The examples I saw looked more like prospective promotional posters. And it was tough figuring out who did what to whom in the panels seen on the pages. Lots of shading and blacks, as well as bright colors are (over)used, I'd guess to create "mood" or something, but there's no sense of actual storytelling, just a lot of busy stuff. And don't get me started on the anatomy or forced perspective. (Or, for that matter, this guy, of all people, now being depicted as wearing armor!)
Here are two examples I found online from some of the "New 52" books: One with Superman and one with the Justice League. They LOOK great, but, without some copy, especially with the JL one, try figuring out what's going on.
In the next installment, I'll tell about the rest of which panels I did (and couldn't) attend on that Saturday. And after that, there's Sunday's events.
Well, I'm doing it again! I'm attending all four days of this year's New York Comic Con at the Javits Center. The Con was open yesterday to industry professionals related to comics and graphic novels (like librarians) and today was open to the general public. Here's my account of the first two days:
On Thursday, my colleague "EP" and I attended four different programs related to libraries. We went through the history of graphic novels and how eventually they'll be available in both hard copy and digital form. Also got great tips on expanding video game collections, how to promote Gaming Day next month, and how to build up your graphic novel collection. Then, around 4 pm, the Dealers' Tables opened up and boy, there was a lot of stuff. (Since I was on a budget, I only got this collection.)
Today, mostly due to the fact that the programs I wanted to go to (like this one) were filled, I went to this event and found out what's coming out later this year and next from the likes of Elizabeth Moon, Naomi Novik and Scott Westerfeld, as well as the upcoming graphic novel adaptation of George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. And I got to attend a talk with Captain America co-creator Joe Simon (who just turned 98!). You'll have to read his new autobiography (click here) to find out how an ice cream sundae gave him the idea for Cap's archfoe The Red Skull back in 1940.
More to come, so don't go away!
"Steel" by Richard Matheson, the credited source for the new theatrical release Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman was a short story first published in the May, 1956 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and has just been reissued in a new collection, Steel And Other Stories (click here to reserve our copy).