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I’ve been to several WonderCon shows in the past, but this year’s convention is the first time I’ve actively tried to seek out sketches and autographs in a serious way. After the day was over I was more than exhausted. In fact, I have no idea how I’m writing this now; I should be sleeping. Usually the show isn’t very busy on the opening Friday. This is the perfect time to go if you’re looking to buy stuff and just avoid crowds. However, much like Comic-Con, it’s getting busier and busier every year – even on opening day. It’ll be interesting to see if the heavy rains dissuade people from coming tomorrow.
So? What were highlights for me?
- Aaron Lopresti for being a heck of a nice guy. He sold me and Chris a bunch of original art at great prices, and drew one of the most amazing Fallen Son Sketch covers I’ve ever seen (it has Spider-Man on it). I’ll scan it tomorrow when I get it back. Prepare to be floored.
- Terry Moore has already written three issues of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and two issues of Runaways. According to Moore, Marvel is having problems finding a new artist for this series, hence the delays. Runaways will be drawn by Humberto Ramos and Moore told me the art is incredible. He was nice enough to draw me this beautiful piece of Mary Jane. I’ll be sure to scan it tomorrow, as well.
- The surprise appearance of Mark Bagley! DC Comics was cool enough to fly him over from the east coast to attend WonderCon (for the first time, I think). The DC staffers weren’t letting him draw sketches for people, but he snuck me one in anyway. Everything you’ve heard about him is true. He’s a great guy!
- Herb Trimpe showed up a little after lunch. As soon as it caught on that he was signing, his line swelled and stayed that way for the majority of the day. Got a nice Hulk sketch from him and had him sign my Hulk #181, too!
- Sergio Argones treating his fans so well.
- Erik Larsen thanking me for the review for Fantastic Comics #24 and showing me his funky drawing style. Thanks for the sketch, Erik!
- Me accusing Rachel Dodson of being an imposter (this really happened). She was hanging out at Aaron Lopresti’s booth while he was at lunch and a friend told me it was her. I refused to believe him! Asking her myself, she nodded in assurance that she was Terry Dodson’s wife. Boy did I feel like an idiot. It was a hilarious moment and when I came back later to see Terry, she and I exchanged chuckles. And Terry drew me a kick ass Mary Jane sketch! In fact, he did sketches for anyone that asked. Classy.
- Matt Wagner drawing a cool Captain America profile for me.
- Ron Lim having tons of energy and telling me that I was the first one to bring him an Anita Blake book to sign.
- David Mack, asking me if I’ve ever read Kabuki after doing a brushed sketch for me. I told him no, and he gave me the first six issues and signed ‘em for free. Talk about treating your fans right, this guy is so down to Earth.
- When people think of Brian Wood, they think of his writing, not his art (which is insanely good if you read DMZ). I asked for a sketch and he was more than happy to give me one.
- Meeting a lot of members that post on the CGC forums. It’s great to put some faces to the names.
All in all, day 1 was tiring, but oh so rewarding. Can’t wait to see how things go tomorrow!
WonderCon Day 2 was packed. Despite heavy rains and 65 MPH winds, fans flocked to the convention and packed the floor. Here, once again, are some of my observations and highlights of the show.
- Tracked down Mark Bagley as he got to his seat at Artist Alley. Had him do me and another person from the CGC Boards a nice sketch on a “Fallen Son” blank cover. He did was wonderful Mary Jane for me on the back as well. He also told me he’s already working on DC’s Trinity #4!
- Missed getting a sketch again from Tim Sale. Rats!
- Arthur Adams is booked forever when it comes to sketches. He keeps telling me to come back but it’s not been working out.
- Saw my old friend Jeremy Love who did the online comic Bayou for DC’s Zuda Comic line. His art has come so far in the last 15 years. It’s great to see him doing well.
- Jim Lee’s friends begin writing on people’s thumbs at 10:30AM – giving everyone a number for when Jim comes to sign at 11:30. He *never* shows up (apparently he did show up, just at a different location to which we were not told by convention staffers), but does show up at the Hero Initiative booth at 12:30PM where anyone who wants two autographs is charged $10. I pay $20, get the books I needed signed. When he refuses to do any sketches (despite the tiny line of people), I am not pleased, but oh well, such is life. It’s the biggest disappointment for me at WonderCon (so far) as he was at the top of my sketch list.
- Picked up some awesome Betty Page prints but some famous guy who’s name I forget.
- Met a ton more board members especially at the dinner.
- The X-Files 2 Panel was a lot of fun. I thought Star Trek fans were nerdy, but female X-File fans are 10 times worse! David Duchovny and Chris Carter making fun of a fan dressed up as Link from Zelda was the funniest thing ever.
- The Iron Man movie looks hot!!! We got to see new footage of Stark testing his boots and then the Mark II armor. We also hear Jarvis pleading with him not to take the armor for the test drive. During this sequence we get to see the heads up display that Stark uses in the armor. It’s just amazing.
- Where is the Hulk footage? This movie’s due out in May!
- Chris shelled out $700 for an Aaron Lopresti Red Sonja cover. Beautiful piece of work.
- Picked up a Spider-Man Vs. Venom statue for $125 only to break it when I got home (dropped it on the ground). Anyone have any glue recommendations?
- Pixar’s Wall-E is going to be an amazing movie. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. The visual effects for that movie is heads and shoulders above anything Pixar’s ever done. It also carries that kind of sci-fi mystique of movies made in the early to mid-1980s. It’s going to be incredible.
- I became a Certified CGC Signature Series witness! Thanks to Paul and Chris for getting me in.
- Daniel tracked down Ben Templesmith to get his Fell book signed. He introduced himself as the man who gave his Wormwood a scathing review. Templesmith chuckled and told me he appreciated his honesty.
Sketches by Terry Moore& Aaron Lopresti
CGC Forum Dinner
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for Part 1 of our X-Files 2 footage from the WonderCon panel. Coming early this morning!
DOWNLOAD THE X-FILES 2 PANEL
WonderCon Day 3 was pretty slow. The convention hall was still pretty packed, but I was just out of energy and stayed at the booth. Here’s stuff that happened.
- Hung out with CW and TonyStarkFan (James) most of the day.
- I tried a few times to get another Mark Bagley sketch for a board member to no avail. He was just too busy.
- Did a lot of shopping around. Picked up a nice Carnage figure, an Ultimates hardcover, and an awesome Black Cat statue by Adam Hughes.
- Also found a dealer selling a piece of Mark Bagley art with Spidey and Venom on it at a fantastic price.
- Aaron Lopresti stopped by our booth to say hi!
- Stressed out CW with a billion signature series books to get signed (sorry Chris!)
- Met up with SCUD creator Mark Schrab and had him sign and sketch some books for Jon Jesper
- Got Jeremy Love to do an incredible sketch on a Fallen Son book for Jon Jesper. The front has a Captain America while the back has Jeremy’s characters from DC/Zuda Comics’ Bayou.
- Daniel went off and filmed the Terminator 3 panel (video coming late tonight)
- Picked up a rare Spider-Man sketch cover 1:100. Also finally got around to picking up Mark Millar and Terry Dodson’s “Trouble”. I’ve always wondered how this book turned out, now I’ll get the chance.
- Had a nice chat with J. Scott Campbell and got a book signed by him.
- Oogled over TonyStarkFan’s Terry Moore sketch!
- Looked at tons of original art. There were a few Romita Jr / Sr pages I was considering, but they were just too high ($800 to thousands of dollars) Then I saw a Kirby page for $600 and was shocked. Jim Lee’s stuff? Too expensive for me – it’s depressing ($600 to thousands as well). And wow, Todd McFarlane’s art still looks good. Too bad I’ll never own a piece.
All in all, WonderCon was a blast, but I’m so glad it’s over. It’s rough dealing with all the crowds and I was always so busy that I never really had time to sit down, eat, or even go to the bathroom! Super-Con or Wizard LA’s next on the list. See you guys there!