Simon's Comic Geek Speak Super Show 2008 Convention Report
Comic Geek Speak Super Show 2008
I thought I would take a break from my regular column and give you a convention report from last weekend's Comic Geek Speak Super Show which was held September 6th and 7th in Reading, PA. Editor's note: You've only done one other column Simon so you don't need to explain that you are taking a break. Comic Geek Speak is one of the most popular comic podcasts. Each year for the past three years they've been having a special show to commemorate their 100th, 200th and 300th episodes. This year they decided to go whole hog and start their own convention.
I thought it sounded like a great time and was worth the 15 hour round trip car ride to attend. The geeks were running a contest where people who pre-bought their tickets would be entered into a drawing to win convention sketches by Mike Norton. Amazingly enough I won the last of 10 drawings for the Mike Norton sketch and he did an absolutely fantastic drawing of the Golden Age Sandman, Wesley Dodds, for me.
Once at the con I immediately dove into the quarter bins that were provided by Wild Pig Comics and Golden Eagle Comics. I ended up getting the first 8 issues of Gail Simone's Welcome to Tranquility and the first 5 issues of Simon Dark for a steal. Other than that I got some books with nice covers like Justice Society of America 5 which is an Alex Ross illustration of the new Sandman. Are you noticing a pattern yet?
Then it was time to make my rounds and chat with the creators. First up was Steve Bryant of APE Entertainment. You may know Steve from the Athena Voltaire series. I'm happy to report you should be seeing more Athena Voltaire in the new year as the legal battles are all cleared up. Expect a one shot featuring Athena Voltaire and The Black Coat in February to reintroduce those characters to comic lovers.
Next I talked to Alexander Serra who is one of the pencillers of the Johnny DC title The Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century. Amazingly enough Alexander is also from Ottawa so we had a good time comparing local comic book shops and discussing the 7 and a half hour drive to the convention. Next up after the convention for Alexander was a trip to DC's offices in New York city to see what they have in store for him. I also have to thank Alexander for the wonderful drawing he did for my daughter that she absolutely loves.
Then I walked over to Sal Abbinanti who does the Atomika comic for Mercury Comics. If you've never listened to an episode of CGS with "Uncle Sal" then you're missing out. We shot the breeze and I purchased the first trade of Atomika and Sal through in the latest issues to get me current. Then I walked over to "Cousin Buzz". I was familiar with Buzz's work from one of my all time favorite titles, JSA. Buzz had a sketch book for sale which had some truly great art in it. He offered to sign it for me and when he noticed I was wearing a Captain America shirt he did a quick head shot of Cap using a brush. It was a real nice touch and I really appreciated it.
I then got a chance to talk to Morry Hollowell about the process he uses to color comics. He does all his work in photoshop which I find fascinating as I make my living getting computers to dance but I'm all thumbs when it comes to photoshop. If you like Marvel Civil War mini series then you got a good sample of Mo's coloring skills.
I bought a copy of Mouse Guard 1152 Fall from David Peterson but didn't get much of a chance to talk to him as he was working on a convention sketch and I didn't want to bother him.
Next I talked to Katie Cook. Katie is just breaking into the industry but the rumor going around the con was that she is in line to be illustrating a very recognizable property that meshes with her art style very well. We'll all be on the look out for that. Katie had her own sketch book which she personalized with a fairy for my daughter.
I stopped by the PKD Media's both which was manned by Shawn Pryor. PKD is producing Mercury & The Murd (starring CGS's own Adam Murdough) which is a buddy cop comic. I picked up the first three issues which were available and read though them. It was quite funny and there is a lot of in jokes for us comic reading geeks.
Then I had a chance to sit down and talk to Dave Wachter of Scar Tissue fame. He is currently pitching his new idea for a comic book called The Guns of Shadow Valley to a number of companies. It pitch is "Imagine the Magnificent Seven meets the Avengers". For those of you not familiar with The Magnificent Seven, it is a 1960's where a Mexican town assembles 7 gun fighters to protect themselves from bandits. The movie is also a retelling of Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. I was totally sold after that one sentence and bought the teaser book. Dave's art has improved since Scar Tissue and he is getting to have more of a hand in the story telling this time around. Look for it next year.
I was really disappointed that I did not get to chat with Brent Schoonover whom I wanted to purchase a copy of Astronaut Dad from. Other than that a quick stop by Jamal Igle's table to purchase a gorgeous print of Nightwing and I was tapped out.
I made it a point to work around the con and talk to all of the Comic Geek Speak crew. I congratulate Bryan and Peter on what a great job they'd done and thanked Peter for getting me in after I forgot my ticket, doh! Spent some time with Jamie D thanking him for recommending such great titles as Fables and Strangers in Paradise to me. Had a great chat with Adam and another conference goer over the end of Countdown and the start of Final Crisis. Plus I was able to meet Shane, Kevin, Mat and Pants.
The conference seemed to be a great success with conference goer's having a great time and guest and exhibitors doing a brisk business. I'm looking forward to hearing when the show will take place next year so we can plan to attend Super Show 2009.