Archive for September, 2009

Pittsburgh Comic Con Review part 2

September 28, 2009

Saturday

The first half of Saturday was all about Stan ‘The Man’ Lee.

The set up was organized really well. The had the lines planned out and everything set up to run really smooth. We weren’t allowed to have our stuff personalized, we could take photos but no posing, and we weren’t allowed to chat with him for long. Now this wasn’t done in a rude manner very friendly with the rational that we had five hundred people to go through in only a few hours before lunch. Then he had another set of people for autographs in the afternoon. Plus Stan was very friendly himself, he even did some posing when he saw people were taking his photo.

Talked with the people behind us in line. Very cool people. They had been to Pittsburgh Comic Con before. We talked about cons, Stan Lee, comics, the line, and pretty much everything else that came to mind while we waited.

I had Stan Lee sign the Spider-Man page of my Marvel Essentials The official Handbook to the Marvel Universe. While my mother had a Spider-man card to get signed. Unfortunately after I got my autograph I walked off; I was suppose to get a picture of my mother with Stan. I’m still in trouble over forgetting about that.

 

 

I went to the Quick Sketch panel after the signing. The artists included Chris Moreno, Ebas, Adam Hughes, Tommy Castillo, Ed Beard Jr., Talent Caldwell, Josh Medors, Rob Reilly, Dan Fraga, Scott Wegener, Jay Fife, Ian Glaubinger, Koa Beam, Scott McDaniel, and Jeremiah Witkowski. In case you were wondering why I have such a full list is I ‘found’ a sign with the list of artists posted outside of the room and I took it as souvenir.

Some of the pics this time were zombies of Micky Mouse and Jasime; Stich as Punisher and Dondald Duck as Hulk; great drawings of Nightwing and a Wonder Woman/Princess Leia.

My mother won another one by Chris Moreno. This time it’s Deadpool and Spider-man trying to dig their way to Pesmo Beach like Bugs and Daffy.

 

Got a few more autographs today as well. Gary Freidrich, the creator of Ghost Rider, has so far been the only person I’ve seen charging for his autograph. Granted it was only two dollars and if you bought something it was free, so I bought Essentials of Ghost Rider which he signed along with the Ghost Rider page on the Essentials of Marvel Universe. Bob McCloud co-creator of the New Mutants.

I finally got around to buying some comics. I found a great dealer with some older manga magazines and single comics selling at four for a dollar, that’s twenty five cents if your math is a bit slow. I got a big stack.

There was also more costumes on Saturday.

 

 

While I was busy, my mother tried to go to a panel about getting published in comics. She went to the wrong room; she went to a panel by Terry Moore and his projects. My mother had never heard of him or his most famous work Stranger’s in Paradise. After hearing him talk she went out and bought an anthology of his first 14 issues. 

They had a small concert with an interesting performer, The Great Baladini, he really doesn’t deserve the great part. He does parodies like Weird Al, but focuses on rap, hip hop, and dance music. Some of his music was fun but the sound system was off, too much bass, and he mumbled to much. He also didn’t really have any stage presence; he just kind of stood on stage and sang. I was there for about 12 minutes and left in the middle of the fourth song. Went out for dinner.

 

I came back for their auction to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation. This was interesting. There some neat items they were selling. They had two banners for the con signed by Stan Lee, several original sketches of pages from comics, some statues and toys, and a lot of other comic and art related products; includeing those specially painted plates shown above. The most expensive item was an original art post of six different Donald Duck heads for $600. Everything else went relatively cheap; as one guy put it later “a buyer’s auction.” They were still able to raise over 12 thousand dollars for the foundation.

I won a copy of Neon Geniess Evangellion movie for $5 and a ink drawing of the Major from Ghost in the Shell on an aluminum plate. The maker of the plate came up to me after I bought to say how he was kind of surprised to find a GitS fan. My mother bought a Blood Elf from World of Warcraft. It was signed by both the artist, who was there, and the model.

Pittsburgh Comic Con Review

September 21, 2009

I went to Pittsburgh back on Sept.  11-13 for Pittsburgh Comic Con. I don’t go to many comic book conventions and the one’s I’ve been to have been real small ones, one day in a small room. This was three day and took place in a convention center.

This con is usually held in April, but there was construction going on at their usual location so they moved to September and moved across the street to a new location. In fact I heard the building was only eight days old it’s and it showed. The whole place had a look-shiny and new.

The main hall of the convention center housed the guests, artists, and vendors. There was plenty of room to move around between dealers in the room. They had smaller rooms in the building for panels and other events. They were good size with plenty of room and seating. Not much of sound system in any of them though. The food at the center’s concession stand while on the high end price-wise, like most con food, though you did get a good amount for your money so not the worst I’ve seen.

I kind of liked their badge system. They had badges for VIPs (like me) who pre-reged, but wrist bands were the main identifier for con goers. Though unlike Colossalcon they had different ones for each day so you could switch them out instead of having to have the same one on the whole time. The badges were really neat cause they took your picture with a webcam and put it on the badge with your name on both sides of it so it didn’t matter if it got turned around. The problem though was while they had lanyards to attach them to they didn’t have plastic holders for them. Luckily I had thought ahead and brought some holders from previous cons just in case.

They had quite a few vendors. Though most of them were all just different comic book shops who for the most part all looked like, white comic book boxes and their more rare stuff on a display board. The prices were also all the same between a lot of them. There were also bootleg dvd dealers (boo hiss), a few anime merchandize dealers, toy sellers, and a costume shop. Plus some guys selling roasted nuts. Overall a decent blend and very nice. I just wished more of the comic guys had boxes listed better on what was in them.

They didn’t have that many panels throughout the weekend which was kind of a disappointment since they had so many neat guys it would have been fun to more hear from them. Though what they had was fun. Of course I’m not sure if they ever got their anime viewing room up or not. Which didn’t upset me since the only thing I would have liked to watch would have been over long before I even showed up to the con.

The surroundings are was very nice. Several restaurants and next to mall. There was even a zombie museum in the mall that opened for the first time on Saturday.

 

Most of the guests were comic creators, artisans, and webcomic guys. They did have a few actors who had been in the Day of the Dead and Living Dead movies too. Plus Conrad Brooks, who had worked with Ed Wood in a number of films, including Plan 9 from Outer Space, the Citizen Kane of bad movies. The main star of the con was tStan ‘The Man’ Lee. A whole section of the lobby had been sectioned off for Stan Lee on Saturday, looked like they were expecting long lines. Good planning on their part.   

I went to the con with my mother. When she heard that Stan was going to be there, she wanted to go as much as I did. She’s kind of a nerd sometimes.* The first few years a I went down to Dragon*Con she came to and spent her time going to see her stuff there. She’s a big Firefly/Serenity fanatic.

Friday

I spent most of my time on Friday getting familiar with the place and hunting down some autographs. Which I spent most the weekend doing. Took in some events and got the lay of the land. We had gotten there late so we missed a few things.

Went to the Friday CBLDF Quick Sketch. My first one ever. A lot of fun. If you’ve never been to one, a Quick Sketch is a where a bunch of artist draw sketches for an hour. Then at the end they raffle off the sketches. The money they raised goes to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

All of the artists they had were real nice and some were very funny. They took several suggestions on what to draw which lead to some neat sketches. A few of the artist that were taking part in it were Billy Tucci, Darryl Banks, Terry Morre, Chris Moreno, Danielle Corsetto, and several more. Some of the pics they did were a Green Lantern Spongebob, pastel Dr. Doom, a tap dancing Flash, Death from Sandman, and a ‘Television Edit’ picture of Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen with pixelation over his groin.

I won a Spider-Girl by Terry Morre, but my mom really wanted this Micky Mouse as Iron Man by Chris Moreno. So after all of them had been given out I went up to the the guy that had won it and offered him a trade. Since he already had another Iron Man, the original one, he went for it.

There were a lot less costumes on Friday than I was used to from being at Dragon*Con and so many anime cons. There was a Tinker Bell, a Batman, and a Silk Spectra from Watchmen. This picked up later in the weekend with the costume contest on Sunday.

I spent most of my time that weekend getting autographs from writers and artists who worked on comics I owned. Unfortunately some of them weren’t there and I didn’t know that, so I wasted time searching for them. Some of them were: Silver Age female artist who created Aqualad and Metamorpho for DC. I had her sign my DC Who’s Who on the Aqualad page. Got to her just before she was about to leave for the day too. Alex Saviuk, mostly know for penciling and inking the Spider-man newspaper comic strip who I got to sign one of my Marvel Essentials The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe, these got several signatures over the weekend. Talked with him a little bit about his work with the handbooks and his movie story board work.

They held a casino night to raise money for Make-a-Wish Foundation on Friday night. It was a blast. Kind of slow at the start but once it got started it went really well. Had a lot of fun playing blackjack. Our dealer, Sally, was real kind to us. Always feeling bad when she took our money, giving suggestions, and even giving us a free pass a few times when she hit Blackjack. I played a few hands of poker (went poorly), roulette a few times (had fun with that), thought about playing craps but it looked more confusing than I wanted to bother with, a few wheel spinning games, a dice game of ‘beat the dealer’ (at one point the dealer rolled 11 three times in a row), and a game of higher or lower with dice.

The band that was suppose to play were a no show which was a disappointment since they sounded like a lot of fun. The whole thing was for the Make a Wish Foundation. With the whole thing being for charity no one had problems losing always saying, “it’s for the kids.”

At the end of the night they had a raffle of number of prizes. There were several art pieces, plushies of Dream from Sandman, a Captain Picard statue, World of Darkness figures, and D&D pewter miniatures. The whole room was friendly about it with cheers for each person when they won something. My mother won an art piece of Uhura from Star Trek signed by Nichelle Nichols (with certificate of authenticity) and one of the Comedian from Watchmen. I won a model of the Batboat from the Batman Returns movie. I’m pretty sure I was the only person who put in a ticket for it.

*Notes from mom–I did not know I was that big of a nerd until I got there. I am sure there are lots of people who would want to meet Stan Lee. He is after all the god of the Marvel Universe. I figured this was an opportunity for me to spend time with my son but during the day I would end up back at the hotel in the hot tub or watching tv. Then we got there and seeing all the artists and hearing their stories was great-I was hooked. Remember these are ARTISTS most of them do more than comics and they had much of their work on display. I think just about anyone would enjoy seeing the main room with the vendors and artists but a real nerd enjoys it for three days and comes back with a box of comics and a box of original art..