Ahh, the smell of sweaty geeks in the morning. I know it well. You do too if you're a frequent visitor of comic book conventions. It's something we all must grin and bear, for we are the dedicated. The devoted. The sometimes wacky. We are comic book fans.
This is the fourth New York Comic Con, and the third I've successfully attended (Don't mention the first, I'll probably cry). A few things have changed since last year. Most importantly, all the panels have been moved to the right side of the building. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but after two years of getting familiar with your surroundings it's hard to make yourself head in the correct direction. Even in my speedy wheelchair, I was late to the first panel I planned on attending - Dark Horse Comics.
I'll admit, I mainly went to find out some news about "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The book, which had been consistently on-time since it's Season 8 relaunch, had a few missteps recently, and Dark Horse wants to make sure that doesn't happen again. Instead of a new "Buffy" issue in June, we'll be getting a "Tales of the Vampire" one-shot to take it's place. Fans might find the title familiar, as it was used before Season 8 began as a collection of vampire stories, "Tales of the Slayers" being it's equally enjoyable companion. The special issue takes place within current continuity but won't feature the main characters. Becky Cloonan will write, with artist Vasillis Lolos by her side. The main cover art will be done by series regular Jo Chen but look out for an alternate cover by artists Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon.
Speaking of Buffy artists, Georges Jeanty is currently in possession of my sketchbook (I hope). I'm new to collecting comic art. I've gotten a few loose sketches here and there, but the first in my book was from Cliff Chiang at this past years Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art festival. I knew there were going to be a lot of amazing artists at NYCC, so I made sure to write down the tables where my favorites would be sitting. Unfortunately, it was still early in the day at this point, and many weren't at their tables yet. I was, however, able to get a hold of one of my new favorite artists, Dustin Nguyen first. Fans tend to have themes for their sketchbooks (Superman, the Hulk, Hellboy, etc.). The nature of the beast is, some people are only out to sell the art they get at conventions. That will never be the case for myself, my sketchbook theme is me!
A bit narcissistic? Sure, but it's really fun seeing all the different comic renderings of myself. Some artists are thrown-off when I tell them what I want but I think others are glad not to have to draw Batman for the twentieth time that day. The second table I found myself at was that of the fantastic "Tiny Titans" team, Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar. I'd like to miniaturize them both and stick them in a jar on my shelf. They're adorable. Baltazar is the first artist to draw me in my wheelchair! If you're in the area, go have a chat with them. Next I wandered over to Christopher Uminga and Matthew Fletcher. They both have really fun portfolios. Ben Templesmith drew me with one eye hanging out. If I wake up a zombie tomorrow I'm eating his brains first.
If you're over the age of 18, I suggest stopping by the Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Connor and Nelson DeCastro line-up where Palmiotti's got a bell for every time he said something naughty. You can imagine how noisy it gets with stuff like this going on. DeCastro was somewhat mesmerized by me. I'm expecting a marriage proposal any day now. It might have been all the boob talk. Though, Palmiotti was responsible for most of that.Friday's DC Nation panel. Even though I was a few minutes late (again), I was able to squeeze my way up front. Sorry boys and girls, those are the advantages of having your own seat with you at all times! It was very casual, and I'm expecting a lot more people at tomorrow's DC Universe panel, but I like it this way. Fans getting to question creators and getting immediate answers. Geoff Johns should just record himself saying, "Blackest Night" to save himself some effort. Nine times out of ten, that will be his answer, so think hard before you waste your question. My sympathies go out to Dan Didio who was dedicated enough to wear a shirt for each color of the Lantern spectrum in the already stuffy room. He took one off each time the emotion suited him. The coolest part of this panel for me was getting to see such amazing talents like Greg Rucka, James Robinson and George Perez for the first time. I'm a gigantic fan of Robinson's "Starman" series and was very happy I finally got the chance to tell him so.
I rounded out the very tiring day with the screening of the new "Wonder Woman" animated film. Verdict? IT. WAS. AMAZING. Seriously, I can't say I've ever seen a better DC animated film. It was that good. In case you were wondering, this is not a film for kids. I don't want to give anything away but there is major Amazon action that will shock you. I wasn't originally sold on Kerri Russel as Wonder Woman, but she really nailed Diana's reactions. Nathan Fillion stole the show as Steve Trevor though. His delivery had the room in hysterics. Before the screening, I figured after seeing the entire movie I wouldn't bother purchasing the DVD. I was wrong. "Wonder Woman" will be on my shelf (along with Art and Franco) on March 3. If I had more than two thumbs I'd have them all up.
Exhausted as I am, I can't wait for another full day of NYCC fun. I'll be in costume tomorrow which is an entirely different adventure. I'll be back to share it with you, and if you see me on the floor or at a panel, say hello. Remember, I'm a fan, just like you. Except, I leave my coat in the car.