Chicago, Day 2: Seen & Heard on the Con Floor

Sat, August 14th, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Russell Lissau, Contributing Writer

  • Disappointments came early on the second day of Wizard World Chicago, and in the form of a public-address announcement. "There are no more wristbands for the Kevin Smith signing," a voice boomed at 10:10 a.m., a mere 10 minutes after the doors opened to the general public. One has to wonder how that's possible.

  • Fans of DC Comics' especially-for-children comics soon won't have any trouble differentiating those books from the other DC monthlies. A new icon called Johnny DC will grace the covers of titles including "The Powerpuff Girls" and "Teen Titans Go." As DC vice president of sales and marketing Bob Wayne pointed out, the kids books are "the ones with the Johnny DC logo, not the Michael Turner covers," a sly reference to the often-brutal "Identity Crisis" mini-series, on which Turner's cover art appears.

  • Speaking of Wayne, his row with writer Brian Michael Bendis of the day before was on many people's minds Saturday - including writers Jeph Loeb and Geoff Johns, who feuded over the final chair at a DC panel. "Sorry," Loeb apologized to the crowd. "That was our impersonation of Bendis and Bob Wayne."

  • And speaking of Loeb, he had kind words for frequent collaborator Tim Sale, with whom he's working on the upcoming "Catwoman: When in Rome" for DC. The story focuses on Selina Kyle's trip to Italy during the duo's "Dark Victory" maxi-series, and Loeb says Sale has outdone himself on the artistic chores. "He has broken through to another amazing level," Loeb gushed.

  • Writer/artist David Mack said he has no plans to bring back his Echo character, last seen in a five-issue arc of "Daredevil." "All of my focus is on the Icon stuff," Mack said at his booth in Artist's Alley, referring to the relaunch of his creator-owned "Kabuki" titles on Marvel's newest imprint.

  • Writer Brian K. Vaughan's work on "Y: The Last Man" has received some positive mainstream publicity in recent months. He's pleased newspaper reporters are keen on his stories, but he promises positive press isn't the reason he's penning good tales. "I try to write stories that are the kind of stories I want to read," he said.

  • The day's best costumes are being recognized not for originality, but just downright cuteness: the pint-sized siblings (at lest, I assume they were) dressed as the Flash and Green Lantern. The costumes appeared store-bought, but the kids were adorable and posed for photos for JLA fans.

  • Unfortunately, the fan in the lamest costume of the day also was JLA-related. Hands down, it was the guy who used markers to sloppily draw a Green Lantern top onto his white T-shirt. Who lets people like this out of the house?

  • The funniest booth arrangement has to be in the celebrity section in the back of the main room, where "Shazam" actor Jackson Bostwick is sandwiched between musclemen Lou "The Hulk" Ferrigno and Scott Schwartz, perhaps best known for his roles in "Ocean's 11" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

  • Finally, this isn't comic-book related, but I think it's cool anyway: Schwartz said his pivotal "Ocean's" character, Bruiser, will appear in the upcoming sequel, "Ocean's 12." Unfortunately, those Clooney and Pitt fellas likely will get top billing again.
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