Archive for the ‘NY Comic Con 2010’ Category

Vampirella

Posted by Greg Butler On June - 17 - 2013

 

“Vampirella; a Playboy magazine!” said sarcastically by one of the older kids on the block, as I tried shielding the cover from judgmental g eyes. There were other published anthologies such as “Creepy” and “Eerie”, both had a fair share of nudity and violence, mashed with horror genre, but the Vampirella issues at least in the early ones  seem to have a more emphasis on women be it as victims or perpetrators in the stories.

With cover like that how could I resist

 

 

She was the brain child of the great Forry Ackerman, creator of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. The basic origin was that Vampi was the sole survivor of a planet of vampires, where rivers once flowing with blood was slowly drying up.  She escapes on a manned rocket-ship back to earth where she befriends a drunken washed up magician named Pendragon. Taking a serum that curves her blood-lust and pursued and later befriended by a new generation of Van Helsings, each story would deal with her battles with a cult called Chaos and other dark forces.

 

The legendary Archie Goodwin would take on the writing chores later and perfected the twist ending to her twelve page adventures. Arguably these were the quintessential version, short as they were, it had a breezy quickness that hit the points it wanted to make. No heavy handed plot to detract its concise narrative.  Of course the stories wouldn’t have half the impact if not for Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez great artistic rendition of the the title character. Coming in at issue # 12, the makeover created a stunning siren,  seductive,  sexually chaste without the nymph prancing nature of her  more active  half sister of the sci-fi film Barbarella,  of which Forry  semi-christened our  gal  her name.

In the years to come, Vampi would be reinterpreted by other publications, whether manga styled or superhero horror,   concepts  that will continually evolve for every generations.

Before Ripley,  Xena, or Buffy,  she was the first female  ass kicker of fantasy horror genre.

By the way ignore the Roger Corman film Vampirella, the campy approach and low (low) budget is an injustice to the idea of the original, in other words it sucks.

 

New York Comic Con: Look at the SIZE of you!

Posted by Jose On October - 23 - 2010

Comic book conventions in New York City are nothing new. When I first started going to conventions, there was about seven a year. But, in 2006 it was announced that there would be one big convention to rival that of San Diego in terms of scope and announcements. Thus, New York Comic Con was born. I remember having the chance to go to the first one, but money was a factor. It was lucky I didn’t go, because there were numerous reports on the news that the convention was so big the fire department almost had to shut it down due to the amount of people in the Jacob Javitz Center. Little did I know that four years later, when I finally did attend the convention, I would totally understand just how big and just how many people it would take to scare the fire department.

As I’ve said, I’m no stranger to conventions. However, the scope of the place stunned me. Until that point, the biggest convention I had ever seen was the New York Sci-Fi Fantasy Convention held back in Madison Square Garden, and that paled in comparison to this. Walking to the Javitz Center was akin to walking down to the pier to see the fireworks on the fourth of July. There were lines of people, most in costumes, slowly taking two steps at a time as they moved forward towards the entrance. Walking in, the lines somehow increased as everyone waited in line to get their badges to enter.

There was not a staircase empty nor five feet of open space available to walk when entering. Everyone wanted in.

The biggest surprise when finally passing those velvet ropes was just how massive the floor was in scale! The map that was made available on the site didn’t do the place justice. The hall that housed Artist Alley and all the attending celebrities was just as large as the entirety of the Madison Square Garden convention…maybe even more! Table after table of artists, writers, podcasters, webcomic creators and celebrities was daunting because of the sheer number of them. The rows of tables were under the letters of the alphabet and yes, all 24 letters were used, that’s how many people were there!

Going down the tunnel/cross way they had built to the exhibit area, I found the previous space almost a joke! The floor that housed the vendors, the booths of the big comic companies, the gaming booths and everything else you could want at a convention was like a labyrinth of interest. Even with the map, it was difficult navigating your way to all the places you had marked and wanted to see. This isn’t a bad thing as it lead you to tables you might not have known were there, like the Comic Drawer Boxes booth or the wonderfully vibrant cartoons of Alan Schell and even the small but totally satisfying Doctor Who Store booth. There was something for everyone, and I don’t mean that as a euphemism, either!

Every day had its challenge in regards to the crowd. Friday was all about seeing everything you could first; the spectacle of it all and the fact that it was day one of a three day event meant everyone wanted to absorb as much of the convention as humanly possible. Saturday was all about crowds, as it was the weekend and more people had the day off as opposed to the day before, so trying to walk at least five feet through any given area was difficult but not impossible. Sunday was kids day, and while you had more room to maneuver, you had to watch where you were going as carrying heavy bags of swag and sharp turns could mean injuring a little one who is marveling at all the wonderful sights around them.

And boy, were there sights to see! If you were adventurous enough to stand on line for a panel, you got such great surprises as the X-Men Arcade game finally coming to home systems through download marketplaces and perhaps watch the first five minutes of the upcoming DC Universe Animated film All-Star Superman?

But, if there was one other complaint I heard about Comic Con, and believe me, there were few aside from how ridiculous the crowds were on Saturday, it would have been the artists, writers and creators being unhappy with the configuration of Artists Alley. While most conventions have that particular part of the convention located within one area, Artists Alley is usually in a spot where fans have easy access. At NY Comic Con, Artist Alley was located all the way in the back of the convention. Add that to the fact a lot of names were constantly changing tables, it made looking for your favorite men and women all the harder to find in their obscure, cornered-off areas.

That being said, no convention is perfect. But, for my first New York Comic Con, and my first “big time” convention, I have to say the sheer scope of it all amazed me. There was so much to see and so much to do, and so little time to do it. Hell, I was there all three days and I still feel I missed out on some great panels, booths, and creators. But, looking at the stuff I did get to see and do, it catered to everything the fan in me loves. There were so many things to buy and so many hands to shake, you couldn’t ask for anything more.

Still, it was rather immense. Just look at the accompanying photo. That’s just ONE area of the convention; that was like one-eighth of the convention area on Saturday. When I look at that picture, when I think of the convention as a whole and when I think of the experience, I’m reminded of a quote by Col. Hunter Gatherers in an episode of The Venture Bros:

Look at the SIZE of you!

Great Ways to Find Deals at Comic Con!

Posted by Jose On October - 23 - 2010

Going to comic conventions is a great way to meet your favorite writer or artist. There are so many great announcements to hear first and so many panels to visit. But, one of my favorite aspects of a convention is the crazy amount of deals you can get on comics, trades, apparel and so on. If you’re willing to be patient and willing to walk around A LOT, then you may want to pay attention.

The first thing you should note about shopping at conventions is that there’s more than one place to find something. For example, say you have your eye set on an Absolute edition of Crisis on Infinite Earths. You’ve just arrived to the convention, and on the third table you’ve walked by, you see the vendor has a copy on their table with a yellow post-it note marked $80; not bad for a hardcover collection that retails for $99.00. Do you buy it? NO! What’s the matter with you?! You never buy the book you want at the first table!

A standard convention rule is to walk around a bit and scope out the other tables to see if they have said item for cheaper. You were gonna walk around the convention anyways, so you might as well put those feet to work for a good cause. What you find at the first table for $80 could be at another table nearby for anywhere from $60-70. Much like other forms of pricing, you have to look around and find the price you’re most comfortable paying. If you don’t mind plunking down $80 for that book, then I say go for it. However, if you see it for much cheaper later on in the day at another table, you can’t really blame anyone but yourself.

Let’s go from expensive hardcover collections to single issues. Let say, for the sake of argument you’re looking for a copy of Justice League of America # 193…in fact, let’s just drop the “for the sake of argument”, because this happened to me at a con just last year. It was my sincere hope to find that issue because I wanted the 14-page insert that gave us the first appearance of the All-Star Squadron. After walking around from table to table, I finally found a copy that a vendor was willing to part with for $6.75. A little steep, but I was comfortable paying that price. Sadly, I only had a twenty, and the vendor didn’t want to give me that much change. After trying unsuccessfully to get him to maybe lower the price, I asked him to hold it for me while I made change. I went through some fifty-cent bins to look for cheap comics to pick up to make change and sure enough, I found a copy of Justice League of America # 193! It was in better shape and had the insert! And that’s the lesson, folks. Whether you can or can’t find it at one booth, try another; they might not always have that prized find in the fifty-cent bins, but play the odds because you might get lucky and be rewarded for your hunt.

Lastly, there is one rule that benefits from both methods mentioned above… if you plan on attending the convention every day it’s open, then wait until the last day to buy that prized item! It’s a well known fact that most vendors/exhibitors/sellers have a lot of stuff to bring to conventions in the hopes of making a profit, but most of them don’t want to carry a lot back on the ride home. If they’re feeling the crunch of making a sale or feeling particularly lazy, they will often slash prices! They may go 30% off, 50% off or the ever-rare 75% off, but those deals are there to be taken advantage of! Their loss is your gain! If you’ve been looking from table to table for that Absolute Edition of Crisis on Infinite Earths or scouring the bins for that copy of Justice League of America # 193, chances are your patience might have paid off if you waited until the last day. You may have gotten that hardcover collection for $50 or that single issue marked down to 25 cents, but either way you’ve just gotten a great score for a great price.

Of course, these methods do have their drawbacks. Maybe while going from table to table, you might not find any deals at all and when you return to the table where you first saw that hardcover, it’s been snatched up by someone else. Or maybe you’ve combed through bin after bin only to find severely damaged copies of your prize, or an issue minus the insert you were buying the issue for in the first place and you have to return to the greedy vendor with your tail between your legs and cough up more so he doesn’t have to give you that much change back. Or maybe you wait until the last day for those random deals only to find there are none and you end up paying through the nose for what you wanted in the first place. Much like everything else in life, that’s a risk you have to take when buying something at a convention.

So, in short, never buy it at the first table you see; shop around! If you look elsewhere, there’s a good chance you may find it cheaper and better somewhere else. And, if you’re patient enough, you might get a great last day-deal! But most of all have fun! That’s what this hobby is all about.

NYCC: Joe Kelly Interview

Posted by Jose On October - 23 - 2010

Jose Rivera and Joe Kelly

Off the Beaten Path by Joe Kelly

You know, it seems everyone who interviews creators likes to stick to the formula of asking what they’re currently doing now, and what lies ahead in the future. Maybe one day I’ll reach that point. However, I’m new to the whole interview scene. And, I’d like to try something a little different. Writers and artists are people, too; they have thoughts, opinions and ideas that we never get to hear about when they’re plugging the latest work. So, why not ask them things they might not normally be asked? I decided my trial by fire would be to attend the New York Comic Con and find someone to interview not with a video camera or a digital recorder; I wanted to do it the good ol’ fashioned way. I had a notebook and pen in hand, and four brief, casual questions to ask. While few people had the time to do an interview, one man was kind enough to give me his time. He is the writer on such comics as Deadpool, Action Comics and the critically acclaimed I Kill Giants. He and his group Man of Action are the creators behind such hit animated shows like Ben 10 and Generator Rex. And best of all, he’s a dear friend, Mr. Joe Kelly.

1. Given the chance, if you could write any character or team, which would you choose?
JK: That’s tough! I’ve already written Spider-Man and Superman, Spidey was my absolute favorite of all time. And, I don’t wanna get in trouble, so I’m gonna have to say the Micronauts! Yeah, definitely Micronauts.

2. With the success of I Kill Giants, do you think we’ll ever see a follow up?
JK: There will definitely be another project I’ll be doing with Niimura, but it won’t take place in the same universe as I Kill Giants. It’ll be a new story, but its own separate thing, but with similar elements of drama and comedy.

3. Okay, now let’s get into something more on your tastes. On Facebook, you’ve been talking about what you’ve been reading in your spare time. Can you share the last few books you’ve read?
JK: I’ve been reading Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk. I’ve also read Role Models by John Waters, which is an interesting memoir and Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.

4. Okay, this is one I like to ask of everyone. In your opinion, gun to your head, you HAD to pick, what would you say is the greatest action movie of all time?
JK: Hmm… that’s a tough one. You know, I’m gonna have to go with Aliens.

Micronauts? Interesting! Another project with Niimura on art? Hell yes! A novel, a memoir and a book on science? How eclectic! And Aliens as the greatest action movie of all time? Certainly ranks in the top three most common answers. A little off the beaten path, you say? I should certainly hope so! Let’s see some other interviewers get answers like this! For those who are interested in Joe Kelly and his work, please check out the Man of Action website at: http://www.manofaction.tv/

Until then, hope you too are walking off the beaten path…cause if you aren’t, then I’ve got a serious problem on my hands.

NYCC: Venture Bros Panel

Posted by Jose On October - 23 - 2010

It should come to no surprise that Friday night’s biggest, most anticipated panel was for The Venture Bros. Given that fans were literally lining up as early as the DC Universe Animated panel, and the announcement that the IGN theatre would not clear out after each panel, the anticipation was clearly building. What was shocking was how big this panel was with so little material compared to the evening’s predecessors.

With no moderator, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer entered the stage to a thunderous ovation. Both casual fans and the die-hards who came dressed as their favorite characters stood for the duo who jokingly decided to sit away from each other at opposite ends of the table.

Both men thanked everyone for attending and mentioned they had no moderator. They also mentioned that, sadly, they had no clips to show, as most of the season is already finished. With weeks to go before the season finale, oddly enough the fans were okay with this. It speaks volumes of how much love they have for this show when a lack of a moderator or clips is something to be applauded rather than booed furiously. It also says something about the humor of the gentlemen when they say instead of clips and announcements, they were just going to re-enact your favorite episodes.

Because there was no moderator, and because he was in the area, Doc Hammer called Michael Sinterniklass, voice of Dean Venture to come from elsewhere in the con and moderate. Sure enough, he showed up! And with that, fans were invited to ask questions, and boy, were there some doozies!

When asked whether or not we’ll be seeing more of Col. Hunter Gatherers, both Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick enthusiastically said yes. They mentioned that he’ll feature in many of the season’s remaining episodes and by the time of the season finale, we’ll all be sick of him. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen. In that same vein, another question was raised whether or not we’ll see the return of fan favorite Molotov Cock tease. Shortly and simply…yes.

In the realm of strange questions, one fan asked them whether or not they’re bothered by the female attention they’ve received thanks to the show. Doc Hammer put it best:

“I used to get shoved into lockers as a kid and called (derogatory homosexual term), now I have women throwing themselves at me…of course I love it!”

When asked what other inspirations for the show besides Johnny Quest were, Jackson Publick remarked that the work of Steve Ditko on Spider-Man played an important part in both the design and tone.

Not surprisingly, more was asked about Publick, Hammer and Sinterniklaas than about the actual show. Questions ranging from best Christmas present ever received, to Doc Hammer’s band Wheat and the recording of their album on Garage Band, to Sinterniklaas geeking out over getting to record with Kevin Conroy for the episode featuring Captain Sunshine permeated the IGN theatre.

But, an even nicer moment came from when a woman cosplayed as Nikki, the character who had been introduced in the previous episode asked a question and all three men were both flabbergasted and thrilled to see that costume. The reaction could be equated to a child walking down the street on Halloween and pointing out to their parents in excitement all the costumes they saw and could name. The fans went all out on those costumes and the reactions the panelists gave showed the entire audience they too are fans on someone level and get a kick out of seeing people dressed as Henchmen 21 & 24, The Monarch, Nikki, Molotov Cock tease and a rather well done Sgt. Hatred.

The excitement over the idea that after four seasons, they finally have toys was genuine. They let us know that at the Adult Swim store at the con, the bobble heads, the action figures and the shirts were selling well; so well in fact that both the Brock Sampson and Monarch figures were already sold out before the day’s end. Merchandise may have taken a long time, but it was clearly appreciated by all.

But the icing on the cake was a true story the three shared about a strange incident in their Astrobase studio when Hammer had knocked on the bathroom door, waiting desperately to use the bathroom, only grow impatient and pick the lock. When he entered the door, he saw something he couldn’t believe. A fan had entered the stall and was taking an overhead photograph of himself on the toilet as if to prove to his friends he had been in the bathroom of the place where the ever-popular cartoon was created.

And with that, they ended the panel.

It was astounding to see how a panel with such a loose format, no moderator (at first), no clips and such candid answers could be so entertaining. Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer knew how to work the crowd, and it seemed more like talking to old friends than it did the creators of such a beloved show. Sinterniklaas, a fan favorite threw in as many random jokes as he could, and got a huge laugh every time. For any other show, this would have screamed of desperation and disaster. For the creators of the Venture Bros. it seemed right. When you come in with nothing and leave with a standing ovation, you’ve certainly done your job.

The Venture Bros. can be seen Sunday nights at 11:30pm on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

NYCC DC Animated Panel

Posted by Jose On October - 19 - 2010

DC Animated: Moving Forward or Going Back?

By: Jose A. Rivera

New York Comic Con held many panels this year. One I was looking forward to in particular was the DC Universe Animated panel. Moderating was Warner Bros Animation’s Greg Miereneau. His guests on the panel? Writer of the animated feature Wonder Woman, Michael Jelenic and DC animation legend Bruce Timm!

They started the panel talking about what gave birth to the next DC Animated feature under the DC Showcase banner, Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam. Timm said the project came about when those at DC Animated wanted to do something new, but were also realistic in getting an established character like Superman or Batman to sell it for marquee value. With that in mind, Captain Marvel was chosen as he’s been shown here in there in animation, but hasn’t been given the chance to shine.

With that, we were shown three clips of the 22-minute animated feature. The first clip showed Superman battling Black Adam in what has to be an impressive battle across the city for animation. The second clip involved what many Captain Marvel fans have been waiting to see in animation for years, a young Billy Batson meeting the Wizard Shazam and having his ancient power bestowed to the young man. The final clip showed Billy first transformation into Captain Marvel while battling Black Adam. All three very impressive.

Reprising their roles on Justice League Unlimited are George Newbern as Superman and Jerry O’Connell as Captain Marvel. Michael Vosloo of The Mummy fame voices Black Adam, while screen legend James Garner plays the wizard Shazam. Amongst the highlights of this panel were Timm and Jelenic’s reverence and excitement for having Garner in the cast.

The theme of this Showcase short is all about what you do when you have power. Timm and Jelenic chose Superman and Black Adam to be opposite ends of the spectrum for Billy; Superman represents what power does when used correctly, while Black Adam represents what power does when used irresponsibly. There was a fun debate as to whether or not Captain Marvel was Billy in an adult body or if Captain Marvel was another person all together. Jelenic tried to keep it vague but said it was Billy. And on the topic of Showcase shorts, both men assured us this is the longest of the Showcase shorts. Sadly, it may be the last.

If that wasn’t enough, we were treated to the opening five minutes of the 10th DC Animated Direct-To-DVD Feature, All-Star Superman. On the whole, I was impressed. Based on the story by Grant Morrison, this feature seems to be one both Timm and DC Animated seems to be the most proud of. Coming this spring, the cast features James Denton as Superman, Anthony Lapalgia as Lex Luthor and Christina Hendricks as Lois Lane. And best of all? Dwayne McDuffie of Justice League Unlimited fame is penning the adaptation.

The opening five minutes, which details Superman rescuing Dr. Quintum’s ship after it’s sabotage by Lex Luthor not only mirrored the story, but Frank Quitely’s art style; something Timm noted took a long time to accomplish as Quitely’s style isn’t easy to mimic in animation. We were then treated to a clip of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor visiting The Parasite, who escapes once he feeds on the power given off by Superman. It’s clear they are pushing the boundary of their PG-13 rating with the amount of violence detailed in that scene alone.

As with all panels, a Q&A session was held. While most of it was ass-kissing towards Bruce Timm, there were three questions I’d like to mention above all else. The first was a question on what happened to the promised third movie in the DC Animated line that didn’t make it: New Titans: The Judas Contract. Bruce Timm had mentioned that the script needed a lot of work and most of the big decision makers felt it wasn’t a bankable idea. Timm also noted that since the Teen Titans animated series had done the story in their style, it wouldn’t make sense to tell almost the exact same story all over again.

The second question posited the idea that since we got All-Star Superman and The New Frontier adapted, would we see other big DC Universe stories like Crisis on Infinite Earths and Kingdom Come get animated adaptations as well. The sad answer is no. Timm explained that Crisis is too big a story to tell, even in a mini-series; there are too many characters and too many stories going on. As for Kingdom Come, he said it couldn’t be seen in traditional 2D animation, because that story relies so much on the art work of Alex Ross that traditional animation couldn’t do it justice. He said maybe someday in a motion capture CGI venture, but not to hold our breaths.

The final question is one I’ve often thought about myself when the announcement that future DC Animated features would stop focusing on other DCU characters like Wonder Woman or Green Lantern, and stick with recognizable names like Superman, Batman and the Justice League. The question was whether or not we’d see some more risks taken with future features. What we got was something of a mixed answer. From a business point of view, having Superman, Batman or the Justice League increases the chance for profit because everyone knows them; sadly both the Wonder Woman and Green Lantern features did not sell well. Wonder Woman sold so poorly that an announcement stated they probably wouldn’t take the chance on another female lead in a DC Animated feature. On a personal level, I’d like to see them break out of their safety zone. I’d like to see more risks taken. But, as it stands, expect to see in the span of a year the following formula: Superman-themed feature, Batman-themed feature and Justice League-themed feature. That’s not to say we won’t get other heroes in these films, but the focus stays on the safe marquee those names represent.

So, it begs the question: with a line that depends on strong sales, is the decision to stay safe with Superman and Batman features keeping the line back from it’s true potential, or is that safety zone just enough to keep it moving forward? Only time will tell.

Look for Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam November 9th, 2010, All-Star Superman in Spring 2010, and after that…Batman: Year One?

NYCC Robot Chicken Panel

Posted by Jose On October - 19 - 2010

Robot Chicken: Firing on All Cylinders
By: Jose A. Rivera

At this year’s New York Comic Con, Adult Swim held a few panels. Among them was for fan-favorite show Robot Chicken. Now, I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know Robot Chicken was still on the air. I loved the show but with my schedule, it slowly fell by the way side for me on my list of shows to watch. After seeing this panel, I think they got me back in!

Moderating the panel was Keith Crawford, Vice President of Adult Swim. Strangely, Crawford, complete in suit and tie came out wearing a funny skull-cap hat. He introduced the panelists. One would assume he’d start with Seth Green, but his first panelist? Macaulay Culkin! The entire crowd (me included) were both stunned by the announcement but gave Culkin a thunderous ovation, despite his funny hat. Next on the panel was Robot Chicken co-creator Matt Seinreich who was also wearing a funny hat. Next was actress and wife of Seth Green, Clare Grant in, you guessed it, a funny hat! Finally, the man we’d all been waiting for, Seth Green who not only wore a funny hate but took it a step further with finger cut gloves and a tail! You got to give it to these guys; they sure know how to make an impression.

They wasted no time in showing us an assortment of clips, but given that it was such a scattered panel in terms of information, I thought I’d organize it all.

Star Wars Special III ­– Coming at us again with another Star Wars Special, Robot Chicken has decided to do something different this time. Where as the previous two specials just spotlighted sketches from whatever Star Wars material they thought was funny, this special will start from the moment Vader throws Emperor Palpatine down the shaft in Return of the Jedi. In true sitcom fashion, the camera stops on the falling Emperor narrating the line “Did you ever just stop and take a look at your life and wonder how you got there?” And that, in a nutshell is how this special will work. It will cover all six Star Wars films running through the life and times of Emperor Palpatine. And, unlike the previous specials, the run time will be an hour. They also announced that Billy Dee Williams and Zac Effron will be providing voices. The special debuts December 12th, 2010.

Robot Chicken Christmas Special – If you were wondering just why Macaulay Culkin was there (besides him being buddy-buddy with Seth Green), it turns out we’ll get a Home Alone parody dealing just how dangerous young Kevin’s traps could be to someone in real life. Expect a Christmas race between Santa Claus and Superman! Ever wonder what it would be like if G.I. Joe went Christmas caroling? Well, too bad! You’re getting it anyway! All this and yet another Composite Santa sketch! I have to admit, it really looks worth watching.

Season 5 trailer ­– There was so much to look forward to in the next season. You thought the two shuck-and-jive robots from Transformers two were bad? Try two Indian Transformers who transform into cabs! Thrill at Oompa-Loompa’s learning their dance routine to a strict Willy Wonka. And if you’ve ever wondered just how bad Batman pummeling the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill…naturally!)  Could get…boy, you don’t want to see this!

We then opened up the floor to questions. Amongst those rose were why the seasons take so long to produce. Seth Green and Matt Seinreich said that it’s all done by hand and that takes time. When asked what was one of the most obscure references that will be brought up in the show’s fifth season, they said one word: Silverhawks! We were told that the God of War parody will make you believe Brian Austen Green is a bad ass as he voices Kratos. And, the strangest of all, they boys at Robot Chicken have some apparently gut busting Gandalf sketches coming up.

When asked about their other show, Titan Maximum, we were assured there was another season planned; episode one, picking up where the cliffhanging season finale has already been written. But, with Robot Chicken and their slew of other projects, they said they hope to get the chance to do it sometime soon, but not to hold our breaths as these things take time. Still, as TM fan, I’m excited.

Lastly, a question about the Robot Chicken, the character that is forced to watch these shows in the opening, was raised. The panelists said that the chicken might finally emerge from that castle and will be an integral part of the shows upcoming 100th episode.

The best part of this panel was how much fun everyone was having. Both the panelists and the audience fed off each other’s energy. The clips were hilarious, the news was exciting, and even when someone asked Macaulay Culkin when will we get a chance to see The Good Son 2, he took it with a grain of salt and laughed. I was out of the loop on Robot Chicken for a long while, but with all this news, I think I’m going to come back to a show that hasn’t lost any momentum.

NY Comic Con part 1

Posted by Jose On October - 19 - 2010


James Robinson (left) comic book writer of Starman and Jose Antonio Rivera (right), contributor for Thoughts on Cinema.

MEETING YOUR IDOLS

By: Jose Rivera

Often it’s said that you shouldn’t meet your idols—that more times than not, you’ll end up disappointed. In my time going to comic conventions, I’ve seen the face of fans who’ve met the men and women who have inspired them over the years. Sometimes, it’s the look of satisfaction, sometimes it’s the look of “oh…well, then,” as if a grand moment they imagined in their heads had been deflated. On a personal level, I’ve had some experiences with creators that have turned into lasting friendships, and there were those meetings where I left feeling like I had gotten the bum’s rush so the artist or writer could get me out of the way and knock their ever-growing line out of the way so that person could go to lunch. Either way, meeting people you look up to is always a mixed bag, but in the case of this year’s New York Comic Con, I think I got away with the exception to the rule.

Walking along the con floor with my sister, I noticed someone talking to Joe Casey at the Man of Action Booth. He was tall, had short hair, a black and white checkered shirt, and there was something about him all too familiar. It took me a moment to place the face, but when I did, I could feel a star-struck paralysis over take me. Standing just mere feet away from me was James Robinson!

It is here that I have to take a moment to explain just why I felt that awesome and scary feeling I got when seeing him. Back in High School, I got into his run on Starman through accessible single issues and trade paperbacks. I’ve loved comics all my life, but Starman was the first comic to make me stand up and take notice of the writing, as opposed to the art or the big important event tied to a certain issue. I looked at devices like foreshadowing, story-arcs and long term characterization for the first time and how intricately they were woven into the narrative, all while telling an outstanding story of a guy who slowly over time evolves into a man. I had been toying with the notion into getting into writing, but after reading Starman, it was a done deal. This entire run is something I cite as a big inspiration for me to get into writing.

So there was Robinson, walking down Artist’s Alley. Normally, I’m not one to go up to a stranger and strike a conversation. And, for a second I was debating whether or not I should go up and say something. But, I went for it—I can’t say if that was due to some surge of courage, or for the fact that he wasn’t on the list for the convention, so it was a now or never moment…but I went for it!

I remember asking him, “Excuse me? Are you James Robinson?” Startled, he said “Yes, I am.” I’ll admit, not the best way to start off a conversation, when I already knew who he was, but I was running on adrenaline and luck. I introduced myself and shook his hand. I can’t remember the exact words, but I told him I was a big fan of his work and told him how much of an inspiration he was for me to the point where his work made me want to go to school for writing. Humbly, he nodded, smiled and thanked me. Seeing so many people at conventions talking to people they idolized just ramble on and on when the person couldn’t care less, I decided to make the convo short and sweet. I thanked him for his time and I shook his hand again as I left.

Of course, this is me and in the short time I walked away from him, it hit me… “Oh shit! I didn’t have anything for him to sign to me!” I’m big on personalized signatures because A) It shows I actually enjoy the work as opposed to being someone who grabs autographs to sell on Ebay and B) It’s a keepsake from a moment where I got to go up to someone who’s work I enjoy and thank them. Sadly, because I wanted to wait until the last day of the convention (which was the next day) to buy it, I didn’t have the latest Starman Omnibus on me. Granted, this was a great story to tell people, but I wanted something that showed I got to meet one of my idols. As my sister was with me and she had her camera with her, I asked her for a favor.

I remember Robinson being only a few feet behind me when I turned around to him. “Mr. Robinson, I hate to bother you, but I was wondering if I could get a photo with you?” I said nervously. He said “Of course,” in a way that made me energetic and not feel like a fool for asking. My sister raised her camera and took the photo. It took about two tries but I can safely say I got it! And when I thanked him again and left, I was literally jumping up and down the aisles with the biggest smile on my face.

It may have seemed strange just coming up to him and blathering on about how much I was a fan and how he did something special in my life, but he was so gracious about it. And while it was a case of it being another day for him and a big moment for me, he never once gave me the impression I was bothering him or wasting his time. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that professionalism he gave really stood out for me.

They say you shouldn’t meet your idols for fear of disappointment. But, on that day, by sheer random luck I got to meet the man who started me on the road to writing that I’m still walking to this day.

-Jose

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Thoughts on Cinema is dedicated to film reviews. An uncompromising opinion on the intellectual, artistic, and entertainment value to the consumer. With rising ticket prices, we dedicate ourselves to present to you content regarding what you should or should not be viewing. -Ronald H. Pollock Founder and Editor in Chief

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