San Diego Comic-Con 2013: Sunday – Signings, sales and sayonara
The San Diego Comic-Con wrapped-up last Sunday afternoon as attendees scrambled to get in that final discussion panel or seek out those last minute sales and autographs. Again, there were huge events in Hall H, including panels for Doctor Who and the last season of Breaking Bad, but unless you were willing to sleep on the sidewalk overnight, it was futile to even attempt to get into that large venue. My hat is off to those dedicated fans who made it inside.
I spent my day doing some last minute shopping, taking photos (see below) and hitting some book-signings (with a couple of real-life heroes) along the way. Even though the Con was winding down, there was still a very large and enthusiastic throng of people out to enjoy the last day, including one family I saw that was all decked-out in Star Wars regalia. And you know what they say, “A family that Star Wars together, stays together.”
My first stop of the day was to purchase a graphic novel called, “March,” signed by its authors, Andrew Aydin and civil rights legend, Congressman John Lewis, and artist Nate Powell. I had caught part of this enthusiastic team’s “Top Shelf Productions” panel the day before and I made it a point to pick-up this book (the first of a planned trilogy) about activist “John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights (including his key roles in the historic 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March.)” I’m very excited to read this book and it was an honor to meet Congressman Lewis (Nate and Andrew were pretty cool as well.)
During my exhibit-floor journeys, I also ran into Boilerplate author & illustrator, Paul Guinan, and asked him what the latest news is regarding the Boilerplate movie, which is being produced by J.J. Abrams.
Guinan said the project is definitely still in the works, and that the film finally has a screenwriter attached to it (although he didn’t say who.) He also mentioned to look for some “official” announcements regarding the film later this year. Could the heroic “mechanical-wonder,” Boilerplate, finally be the great Steampunk movie that fans have been waiting for? Fingers-crossed.
I also ran into MAD Magazine movie-parody artist, Tom Richmond, who had a very cool, limited edition Doctor Who art print he created with caricatures of all eleven Doctors. The MAD people, including Mr. Richmond, are great and I have to say that the MAD panel I had attended on the previous day was the most fun I had at the Con. These guys know how to do it right, across the board, and maybe there is something to be said for a job where you get to laugh all day.
My last panel of the Con was the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Avengers, X-Men, Dr. Strange and Sgt. Fury, with panelists Mark Waid, Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita, Jr. and Roy Thomas. I was a little disappointed in that the discussion veered into personal anecdotes about the artists’ and writers’ respective careers at Marvel Comics, instead of focusing on the milestone anniversary of the various characters, but nonetheless, it was a fun and interesting panel showcasing an enormous amount of talent.
Legendary Marvel Comics writer and editor, Roy Thomas, has an encyclopedic memory of the history of comics and recounted when and where he bought the very first issue of Fantastic Four off the shelf. He was first introduced to Stan Lee when he wrote a letter to Marvel’s head-honcho asking for back issues of Spider-Man that he had missed at the newsstand. Little did he know at the time that he would become the first person to take over the editorial spot from Stan lee, and Mr. Thomas noted that following Lee was like, “going on stage after Sinatra.”
Brian Michael Bendis stated that Roy Thomas was the first of them, after the original Marvel crew that included Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who picked up the torch and ran with it, keeping the Marvel flame burning. Bendis’ own love of Marvel Comics stems from the “father issue” themes that run through many of the books. He stated that as a young boy, who had a strained relationship with his Dad, he could relate to many of the characters. He said that Marvel Comics are “in my blood” and that “the people making them love each other, and the characters love each other.”
John Romita, Jr. (son of the legendary John Romita of Spider-Man fame) told of how he first became aware of Marvel Comics by watching his father draw Daredevil comics and being blown away as his Dad told him stories about the blind man’s powers. He said that as he grew up, it was like Spider-Man was like a part of his family, due to his father’s extensive work on the Amazing Spider-Man books. Romita, Jr. is now a comic-book legend in his own right and is often recognized as the artist whose work most resembles that of Jack Kirby.
During the audience Q&A for the anniversary panel, the position of Doctor Strange in the Marvel universe came up, with some fans enthusiastic about the character, while another questioning his value in the scheme of all things Marvel. Mr. Bendis commented that he always felt that Doctor Strange was “like a magic fireman – if magic shows up, he shows up.”
My 2013 Comic-Con wrapped with getting two graphic novels (Avengers: Kree/Skrull War and Marvel Visionaries: Roy Thomas) signed by one of my comic-book heroes, Roy Thomas. He’s an amazing man with incredible stories about the history of the medium in which he played a huge role. He has meticulous attention to detail and an amazing memory, which was on display as he signed his Marvel Visionaries book. After the autograph he flipped to a specific page in the book, mentioning how when it was printed the letterer had left out one of his words. He found the page and scribed the word into the respective word balloon where it should have been. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending to the 2013 Comic-Con.
Nerdvana’s San Diego Comic-Con 2013 – Sunday Photo Gallery
(Click to see larger image.)