It was a great trip. I had fun and learned a lot. For the next month I am going to go on a day by day description of what I did spread out over a few blogs. I’ll try to keep it short... or at least shorter then my last epic wrestling post.
But first I have to tell a funny story from before I left…
I was saying bye to my best bud Vinny on the world wide web.
He was wishing me a good trip when he said…
“Take a bite out of the big apple just like King Kong!”
I stopped for a second…got a little wide eyed… then said “Vinny! Why would you want me to get shot down from the Empire States building by a bunch of airplanes and then to fall to my death on 8th street?!”
He laughed and said “oh yeah…”
Just thought I would share that.
I woke up and ran a few errands including getting a haircut but I spent most of Thursday on an airplane, first one to Washington D.C. for a layover, then another to New York. Most people who have traveled with me, or have lived with me know that I am absolutely terrified of flying. Not like B.A. Baracus where I have to be drugged, but more like a small animal locked in a cage that just sits in the corner minding its own business yet shaking uncontrollably. Let’s just say that the flight attendants are lucky I don’t bite their hands when they give me my pretzels.
Also being on a airplane is like being in a Church of sorts for me as it is the only time you will see me recognize any higher power or deity and actually pray. Shit… there have been times in the past where I thought I was going to get arrested and I never actually prayed… just crossed my fingers. That’s how afraid of flying I am.
I watched Prestige on the plane, it was a good movie, but I figured the twist like 20 minutes in. Comic books have ruined any surprises for me for life.
I slept a little bit then found myself in New York a little after midnight East Coast time. I was at LaGuardia airport where I had to take a 30 dollar Escalade Taxi into the city. That’s right an Escalade Taxi, niatachs! I saw some of the sights on my way in. It was interesting. Like a cross between LA, Philly and Vegas. The taxi driver opened the sun roof so I could look up at the buildings as we drove. The New Yorker Hotel, the hotel I was staying at was 2 blocks from the Empire State building, and let me tell you that is one big fuckin’ building. The irony of us being so close to the site where Kong died, and Vinny’s little joke was not lost.
I learned what cold was when I stood outside my hotel for a second. It was freezing. I kept thinking it was going to snow, but nope, no snow, just really cold with some dirty ice on the ground. I was a little disappointed as I wanted to see it snow in New York, especially if I was going to deal with the cold.
I meet up with Dustin Nguyen, the artist of Wildcats, Authority, Batman, Manifest Eternity and a DC book I can’t say. He was letting me crash last minute in his hotel room… along with 3 other people. That meant there was going to be 5 people all staying in one room. One very tiny little room. The sleeping arrangements were … odd.
Here is a diagram:
I had two beers, which was the least amount of beer I would have all weekend. Hanging out with a bunch of artists at a bar before a convention is kinda weird, because the main topic of conversation is how much money they think they are going to make selling original art or sketches. Something writers can’t do. The stuff the artists do is great and amazing pieces, but boy do I wish I could draw Batman’s head and charge 20 bucks for it.
We went back to the hotel where everyone attempted to sleep. Of course this was like a elementary school sleepover and none of us would shut up, we just kept making jokes at each other and laughing. Oh and by the way… I had to sleep next to a burning hot heater… that was running full steam... all night because it was so cold outside. I hope you are taking notes as that all comes back into importance again in a later blog. Sleep was uneasy but I did get it. Still, the morning came too fast. Remember what I think is 6 am is really 9 am on the east coast, which meant I had to wake up early as hell every day to make it on time to things. In my little bits of constantly interrupted sleep I dreamed of comics, toys and free shit. Dazing in my dreamscape I like to call my fantasy career in comics… before I could even begin to enjoy it… my alarm went off… and Friday began.
I’ll do the rest of the con when I f'n feel like it. I know... you can't wait. (and no... the f'n doesn't stand for friendly neighborhood.)
Recommended reading this week:
Published by Marvel.
Marvel’s old school “What if?” book for a new audience.
I recently sat down and re-read the entire Exiles run and can honestly say that it is one of the better new concepts to come around from Marvel. The fact that it is closing in on 100 issues is remarkable. That is no small feat for book that doesn’t star any Marvel mainstays, and spun out of a mini series starring an X-men member that only appeared in 2 X-men stories before. (Those two being The Phalanx Convent and Age of Apocalypse.)
The best part of this book is the ever changing cast of characters and seeing the different versions of the Marvel universe. I have to say this book is high on my list right now since it currently contains one of my favorite characters of all time… Miguel O’Hare…Spider-man 2099! The character from the early 90s whose first appearance was in the 30th anniversary holofoil covered Spiderman books was the comic I looked forward to most every month. I even had a subscription to guarantee that I got a copy. No joke. Originally written by Peter David, in a true sci-fi world this book was fricken awesome, but once Peter David left the writing chores, I always felt that the story went in a weird direction. (In a series of mediocre mini series and prestige format specials, Spidey took the remaining earth survivors, from a planet-wide catastrophe, off into space where he eventually became Thor…I don’t know…) The Spidey 2099 in this book is fresh with his new, just gotten, powers and still with a jaded sarcastic attitude, taken up from his reality when his book was in its early teens… almost 50 issues before it ended. Seeing him on this team of Exiles is like a dream come true for me, so I hope this book goes on for a long time. The issues are great, full of drama and action and even though the realities weren’t the current ones we know, the writers made me care anyway. By the way the writers on this book were and are: Judd Winick, Tony Bedard, and currently Chris Clairemont, who is only 2 issues deep into his run. I have to admit that Chuck Austin did do about 6 issues, 1 trade worth. Those issues DID push the story along… but… you know what Thumper's mom always said “ If you have nothing good to say, you are better saying nothing at all”… that’s all I have to say about that (Forrest Gump voice). The artists went from Mike McKone to Jim Calafiore, to Clayton Henry (who I ran into in the hotel room lobby at the New York con trying to get away from the cold outside and a cold he was coming down with. Nice guy) to Kev Walker, to Mizuki Sakakibara, to round it off with the fresh escapee from Crossgen… Paul Pelletier. All great artists who added something to each new world and story. Almost every issue is in trade and in print. I recommended giving it a try. Writing this whole thing up made me realize how much I want to do a post dedicated to the 2099 books.
Going Good? Still working on a few scripts. Issue 6 of NE is turning out awesome as I think I just hit a new creative level. Next week is the Wizard World LA show. We'll see how that turns out. Hopefully I come back with good news.
Till next time… Stay tuned True believers!