Saturday, November 25, 2006

Trolling the Convention Trail

Last weekend (Sunday, November 19, 2006) I went into NYC to attend Big Apple’s humongous comicbook and Sci-Fi show (The National). As usual, I was there representing both Guild Works Productions, and the Comic Artists Guild. I am, you see, the Communications Director for GWP (that’s our comic over there on the right, click the link and go buy a copy). It was a very entertaining show that I attended. Interestingly enough, walking around a convention with a name badge on garners some interesting attention. You see, folks would read my name, recognize it, and then asked me how they know me.

My response is usually the same, “Well I’ve been writing in the fields for quite some time with credits going back to Amazing Heroes, The Comics Journal, Wizard, CBG and elsewhere.” This usually gets a response that they remember my name. Well one of the fellows that I ran into over the weekend (Dan Fogel) was the publisher of an underground price guide, when he realized that I was an editor for an overground price guide (Comics Values Annual) he invited me to join him on the dais for his panel.

Unable to turn down an invitation to pontificate about comics, I accepted. Granted his panel was the last of the day, and there were only something like 15 or 20 folks who attended, it was still both an honor and fun. While at the show, I was (along with GWP Creative Director Mark Mazz and CAG Art Director James Rodriguez, and Rammer Martinez) interviewed by The Horror Channel (hey, I didn’t even know that there was a Horror Channel!) I can’t tell you how cool this was. So, you just know that I’m going to register for and go to the NY Comicbook Con in Feb.

Also While I was at this convention, I ran into my old Marvel Age editor, Jim Salicrup (back when it was an internal Marvel promo mag) — who very generously gifted me with the con sketch that you see here (Jim also works with the Museum of Comic and cartoon art in NYC) — as well as Danny Fingeroth (author of Superman on the Couch — a very fine discussion of superheroes). Of Course my favorite cover artist Melvin Ylagan was also there, as were other CAGers and folks I know. So yeah, I’m really enjoying going to conventions these days.

This past Thursday was Turkey Day, and I spent it at my Brother-In-Law’s place, and he told me that the Spider-Man reprints that are currently running in the NY Post are also appearing in the Danbury News-Times, and that he has been saving them for me. He forgot to actually give me the copies that he has collected, but not that I know he has been collecting them and will continue to do so it quite cool.

Well, that’s about it for this week., got to get back to the grind (hey I’ve gotten two or three new scripts written that are targeted for the upcoming CAG/GWP comics. and now I have to type them up). Ciao.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cool Images from the Spidey 3 Trailer

I snagged some very cool images off the Spidey 3 trailer, and I wanted to share them with you here in this space. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I can only seem to upload these images in a small format, so you can’t really see them very well. This first image is Spidey viewing himself in a mirrrored window. He is in the black “Symbiote” costume his, while his reflection is in red and blue costume.

The second image is a very cool action shot of the Goblin (Harry, not Norman) flying thru the air over Manhattan. I did (do) have an image of Spidey in front of an American flag, but can’t seem to get it uploaded for some reason. As I don’t have access to Photoshop from this computer, I’ll just have to post it later.

I also found some very cool vids over on Utube, only I’ll have to put them up in a different post, as I don’t seem to have the links over here. Not to worry, that will give me something to say tomorrow, eh?

Anywho, this is what we have today. Now I have to go back to work.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More and More Spidey News

I recently learned that a fellow SpiderFaner (Mike Podgorski by name), has started a Blog dedicated to the daily Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip. Each post Mike makes is accompanied by that day’s strip. Mike’s Blog can be found here. So if you are as big a Spider-Dork Spider-Fan as are Mike, Myself, and the other folk at Spider-Fan, then you really want to check out The Amazing Spider-Blog.

I don’t think that Mike is starting at the beginning of the Strip’s run, as much as he is simply starting during the current continuity, but either way, it looks like fun.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Spider-Man Manual!

No, I’m so not kidding! I just now saw this book for sale over at Amazon, and I totally want it in my collection! Check it out! The following is the blurb that Amazon has posted about the book.

Book Description
With great power comes great responsibility so if you want to be like Spider-Man, you'd better read the instructions first. The Spider-Man Handbook describes everything you need to live the Super Hero life. You'll discover:
How to Crawl up a Wall
How to Design and Build a Costume
How to Swing from Building to Building
How to Stop a Getaway Car
How to Negotiate the Release of a Hostage
How to Take On a Gang of Henchmen

Plus a few skills that would benefit all the Peter Parkers of the world (such as How to Deal with a Nightmare Boss, How to Live on a Meager Income, and so on). Complete with colorful step-by-step illustrations by a top Marvel artist, The Spider-Man Handbook is essential reading for all your web-slinging needs!

Anyone who wants to get me a copy, Christmas is only 40 days away!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Free Comicbook Day is Coming!

Yeah, yeah, it is still better than six months away, but rest assured, it IS coming! (This year’s was May 6th, while the 2007 event will be May 5th). So I want everyone to know that it is on its way.

Personally, I’m what you would call a big fan of Free Comic Book Day. Mostly for, you know, the obvious reason, that I get free comics out of the deal, but because it is such a fun event. Of the two comicbook shops in my area, one participates in the event, and the other does not.

The owner of the store that does not participate has — what I feel — is a perfectly valid reason for not participating. He believes that everyone benefits from Free Comic Book Day except for the store owners.

Publishers make out because it is an opportunity for them to (possibly) get their comics into the hands of people who might not ordinarily receive them.
Distributors make out because they receive payment for distributing the comics.
Pros make out, for much the same reason as both publishers and distributors; they a) get their work into hands of people who might not usually see it (and that is self-promotion), and b) they get paid (by their publishers) to create the work (or have previously-created work reprinted).
Fans make out because they get free comics.

However, all of this works because of the comic shop owners who fare the worse, because, well, while you and I get the comics for free, they actually have to pay to purchase and distribute the comics.

Now while you may counter-argue that the comic shop gets the benefit of established clients getting hooked on new books, and (possibly) pick up new customers as well. Only, according to this one shop owner (as well as others to whom I’ve spoken), that’s not so much the case. In fact, many of the shop owners to whom I’ve spoken to (and this is by no means anything close to a scientific, or all-encompassing survey), there is little (if any) payoff for the comic shop owner in the form of increased product sold, or new customers.

I’m inclined to believe this, as I (as a typically average reader/fan) am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have never really gone out of my way to acquire (read: paid) for any “regular” versions of the Free Comic Book Day comics. Still, I like the event, and wish more publishers would participate. Further, having said all of the above, I also whish there was some way to help promote the event in such a way to direct more potential (and actual) patrons into local comic shops.

A conundrum if ever I heard one, eh?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Spidey is Still Running Strong!

That’s right Boys and Girls, the Spider still rules the roost. (Has anyone checked out the new trailer running on Itunes? It is totally wicked-cool-awesome!) Yep. This film is going to top the other two as the comicbook-to-film to beat.

Yeah, yeah, I know that we were a bit disappointed with X-3, and Supes Returns, but I’m sayin it here and now that simply won’t be the case with Spidey 3. And, no, I’m not just saying that because I’m certifiable a card-carrying Spider-Geek, but because (director) Sam Raimi absolutely knows what he is doing, (and has proven it over and over again with films like Darkman, and the first two Spidey films).

Plus, of course, we are being treated to classic Lee-Ditko Spidey stories in the NY Post each and every week. In this week's edition, we have the second half of the introduction of The Lizard. I’m telling you that I grew up on this stuff, and I’m still not over it. Plus, I get chills every time I go back and read the material.

Yes, yes, I know that I have the original issues (bag and boarded) in my collection, plus I probably have a couple of three reprints of the material, but I seriously never get tired of reading them. Plus in this new format, I’m betting that Spidey is getting read by more folks than read his episodes the first time around. Yeah, I hope that this stuff continues for some time to come, as I just can’t get enough of it.

In other comic news, on Friday, I handed off the first new Agent Unknown script in nearly two decades to Mark Mazz for him to consider for inclusion in CAG #5. It features a pair of newly-introduced agents (not seen in the original, Renegade Press series, but who had been conceived at the time). To be sure, the script was probably written about 10 years back, but never typed up. Plus, I had originally written it as a 10-page story, only Mark wants only 8-page stories. Hence I had to trim two pages out of it, and still have it deliver the kind of punch I wanted. I believe that I succeeded.

Next up, (and even thought I’m half-way through a brand-spanking-new AU script) I’m working on a new story that I’m hoping will be included in Psychosis! #2. (Oh yeah, here is as good a place as any to announce that while I had originally intended the two young girls from my first Psychosis! story, Never Judge a Book..., to be a stand-alone story, I’ve discovered that they will return, in, not just one more tale, but a series of stories. Seems these gals have taken on a life of their own. As of this moment, Matt Ryan (who drew the first story) and Melvin Ylagan (who panted the cover) are interested in continuing along with me as we explore who these young gals really are.

Oh, but the new Psychosis! story isn’t about them. I have to get this one done first, but don’t worry, the girls are coming along soon, and I’ll let you know when they are on their way!

Is that cool or what?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It was only the Election Day madness that interfered with my weekly Spidey Post. As always, this is fun stuff to read. If (unlike your humble blogger) you don’t own the original of this series, then you really owe it to yourself to be picking up these comics. Yeah, yeah, I get that the comic is split in two, and that it is on cheap newsprint (which, by-the-by, so was the original), but it is the foundation on which the entire Spidey mythos is based, and you are truly missing out if you don’t spring the .75 each week to snag yourself a copy.

If you want to know more about this particular issue, then you can go here and read a well-written review of the comic. Well, I’m at work now, so I’m going to make this short, except to say that yesterday I spoke briefly with GWP Creative Director Mark Mazz about Agent Unknown, and it looks like there will be a new installment of the series (the first in nearly two decades!) of the series that is (tentatively) scheduled for CAG #5 (assuming I can get him the script by the end of the week).

You are going to want to get in on the ground floor with this, so stick around effendi!

Monday, November 06, 2006

(Some) comics I've written.

I know that I’ve been chatting about both Psychosis! and Spider-Man in this space, But did any of you folks know that I actually have another comic to my credit (to be sure, Spidey isn’t a credit of mine, I’m just a Spidey-Geek, have been since I first discovered the Webbed one back when I was just seven years old — yep, that’s right, I was seven in 1962 when I first read Amazing Fantasy #15! Which means that I’ve been reading Spidey’s adventures for 44 years). Anyways, I have a nearly complete collection of Spidey comics (yes, including AF #15, and Amazing #s 1–the present day, with only a brief hiatus, which I’m now actively attempting to fill in. I also have most other issues of virtually all other Spider-Titles, as well as guest appearances, and the like).

But (as Peter David says) I digress.

Back in the mid-to-late ’80s I (albeit briefly) authored a comicbook series entitled Agent Unknown. The series was published by Deni Lobert’s Renegade Press imprint. The B&W espionage series only ran three (out of a possible six) issues, but it served as a powerful lesson for me in how to script a story, as well as was fun as Hell to write.

Well, as it turns out, one of the folks who truly enjoyed that series was Mark Mazz, who is not only a long-time friend of mine, but is currently serving as the Creative Director of Guild Works Productions, publisher of Psychosis! #1. Well, as you can already imagine, Mark has been pushing me (well, not so much pushing, as leading with that magic carrot) to revive the series which he wants to slot into a future issue of the C.A.G. (semi)annual.

If anyone out there cares (and the two or three of you who actually read AU) I’m happy to announce here first that AU will return to the world of publishing as I have one script already completed and am working on another (with yet two or three more plotted out in my head). I don’t know when these other stories will see print, but rest assured that they will.

As for non-AU material, I have more stories in the hopper for future issues of Psychosis! as well as material that I’m intending for other (as yet unannounced) GWP publications. So stay tuned to this spot, and learn more as it develops.