Saturday, June 28, 2008

Photos From HeroesCon

Here, finally, are my photos from HeroesCon. As I said, I didn't take very many. Here are the best ones.

Me holding the beautifully-lettered sign made by Kris Black for me when he picked me up at the airport:

That was taken in my very sweet hotel room at the Hilton.

Me and Robert Kirkman:

Do I look like I'm running on two hours of sleep? I think I do.

And here I am with the Chapman brothers and the beloved Homestar puppet:

This is a photo I snapped from my seat at the Collaboration in Comics panel. In this photo you'll see, from closest to furthest, Matt Fraction, Darwyn Cooke, Cliff Chiang, Barry Kitson (mostly hidden) and Jimmy Palmiotti. Pretty all-star.

Buffy artist Georges Jeanty does a sketch for my pal Tiina.

Benito Cereno, Nate Bellegarde (sketching Two Face for me!), Darkseid, and Mister Miracle (passed out).

Me and 3/5 of the Dollar Bin crew (Brian, Tre and Adam) at the after-party):

Here are some photos of the Heroes Aren't Hard to Find comic shop in Charlotte, which put on the event. This is the afterparty. This shop was completely amazing. I work at an amazing comic shop, so I am not easily impressed by other shops, but this one is rad:

They run all the wires from the computers and stuff through those giant Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus statues. Isn't that awesome?! (oh wait, you can't see Spider-Man in either of these photos...well...he's there...fighting Doctor Octopus).

Outside at the party:

It was a great time!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Batman Piderman

I wish I could stop watching this for one second:

But I can't. It's hilarious.

Thanks to Ben for showing it to me.

Celebrating the Nineties with Ghost Rider

Over at the Invincible Super Blog, Chris Sims is having a contest to celebrate the most nineties-looking covers of all time.

Although you basically can't top any cover in the Marvel 2099 universe, I feel that issue #15 in the oh-so-90s Ghost Rider/Blaze Spirits of Vengeance series is a pretty good representation of the era:

Yep. That's a lot of pink.

It doesn't glow in the dark. It glows in the day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

This one's for North Carolina! C'mon and raise up!

Alright, let's get this HeroesCon recap underway.

First of all, the five boys from The Dollar Bin were the greatest hosts ever. Adam, Brian, Devin, Tre and Kris are all really nice guys and even spoke to me again after I totally ditched them on Saturday night when Darwyn Cooke invited me to dinner with Matt Wagner, Michael Golden and Francesco Francavilla and their assorted and lovely dates. Because...what are you gonna do? Say no to that?

Alright, so that ends the shameless namedropping portion of this post. I do want to say that I met a lot of my idols this weekend, and every single one of them was completely awesome and nice. I'll get to that in a minute.

North Carolina is a nice place and the people there are very friendly and have great accents. There was less taking off of shirts and spinning them round their heads like helicopters than Petey Pablo suggested, but it was still fun. I was something of a curiosity around the con as a Canadian who seemed to have strayed very far from her Nova Scotia home. My accent also seemed popular with the locals.

You know what else rules about North Carolina? The food! My first night there I ordered something called the Pork Three-Way at a BBQ joint. As if I could not order that. And if you are ever in the Charlotte area, I highly recommend the Cajun Queen restaurant. It's pretty outstanding. Don't let the blinding grape-coloured website fool you.

So I met a ton of people whose work I have admired for a long time, including Cliff Chiang, Matt Fraction, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Cho, Guy Davis, Phil Noto, Jason Aaron, Robert Kirkman, Dean Trippe, Adam Hughes, Mark Waid, Peter Laird, Stephane Roux, Nicolas Gurewitch, and Chris Giarusso, along with the above-mentioned people I went to dinner with. Amanda Conner gave me one of her sketchbooks she was selling. Man, I just love her stuff. And Matt Wagner is just a really great guy. It's so nice to meet people that you've been a fan of for so long and they are just awesome.

I also got to meet Josh Elder, which was exciting as we've been conversing through email for some time. He even gave me a signed copy of his book, Love Bytes. He's a great guy and I really hope Mail Order Ninja gets picked up by someone so we can get some new books!

AND...I got to meet Matt and Mike Chapman of Homestar Runner fame, which was a really big deal for me. I have been tuning into that site regularly for five years now. Meeting them in person seemed so crazy because it was like "Wow! You guys are real!" They were really nice and easy to talk to and I got a Poopsmith sketch from Matt, shown here:

He said it was the best one he ever drew. And then told Robert Kirkman that he got the second-best Poopsmith he ever drew. I compared my sketch with Kirkman's and concluded that mine was indeed better. Mostly because it had a bigger shovel. Rachelle 1, Kirkman 0.

Robert Kirkman, by the way: really nice guy.

I actually have no complaints about a single person at that con. I hear stories sometimes of fans going to cons and getting some pretty rude treatment from their heroes. I have nothing but good memories.

And on top of meeting lots of my heroes, I also made lots of new friends! Benito Cereno is a regular LBW reader, and is a very nice guy and a talented writer. You may have read the Image-published Hector Plasm (which is fantastic and you should get it from your local shop), or the also excellent Atom Eve two-part Invincible tie-in. Or perhaps you've read Tales from the Bully Pulpit, which is drawn by Graeme MacDonald, who is from Halifax (which was in a movie with Kevin Bacon)! Small world!

Anyway, he's very cool. And his art partner, Nate Bellegarde, is also really nice and he drew me this sweet Two Face!
I also met Rob Ullman, who is insanely talented and loves hockey! Almost as much as I do! You should check out his site and everything he's written/drawn. Dude is awesome. And he gave me this amazing print of Barda listening to her Mother Box/iPod!

AND I got to meet some fellow bloggers and blog readers! I met the Invincible Super-Blog's Chris Sims in person after months of gmail chatting. I also met Andrew Kunka, aka Dr K. And I met Chris Haley, who was kind enough to walk me to my hotel late at night.

So the Dollar Bin guys worked insanely hard the whole weekend, running around and recording the panels and interviewing the stars. Especially Adam. I barely saw that guy. Thanks to their efforts you can listen to a lot of the panels on their site. I was at the Collaboration in Comics panel they recorded with Darwyn Cooke, Matt Fraction, Cliff Chiang, Barry Kitson and Jimmy Palmiotti. And you can listen to it at that link. They will have many more posted soon, so keep checking.

They also have some interviews up on their site. They have one with Mark Waid, and one where Adam and I are interviewing Jimmy Palmiotti. Palmiotti is an easy interview because he is hilarious and talks a lot. If you listen to the end of the 10 minutes, you can hear a guest appearance by Amanda Conner. There will be an interview I did with Jason Aaron going up soon. I'll let you know.

And now it's time to post some pictures and some scans of sketches I got.

Francesco Francavilla was great to talk to, as was his wife. He told me all about how he refuses to draw rape scenes in his comics, and that sort of thing only happens off panel in his books. It was really great to hear that. He drew me this great sketch of Zorro as a wedding present! Isn't that nice?

He also generously gave me a copy of his book, Sorrow (rhymes with Zorro) which was written by Rick Remender. I haven't read it yet, but the art is certainly beautiful. By the way, are y'all reading Zorro? Because it is awesome.

After three days of searching for him, I finally got to meet Jeff Parker, who as you probably know if you read this blog, is one of my very favourite writers. He doesn't do art so much anymore, so it's easy to forget that he can also draw. Check out this sweet Cyclops he did for me! was great to meet you too, Jeff Parker!

I got Dean Trippe to do a Superman sketch for me. I absolutely love it.

He did a Batgirl sketch for my friend Tiina, too, but I forgot to scan it before I gave it to her. Trust me. It's great.

Oh, and I was also lucky enough to see a lot of commissioned sketches being drawn by various artists. There were some really amazing ones that made me jealous. I know that Cliff Chiang has the ones he did up on his site. You should check them out. The Mister Miracle is so good I want to explode.

I seem to have misplaced my camera, so I can't post any photos from the weekend yet. I honestly didn't take many pictures. I wish I had taken more. I was just so busy running around looking at everything! I want to do another post where I talk about all the mini-comics and such that I picked up. I picked up some fantastic ones from Jason Horn, Rob Ullman, and Pat Lewis, among others. Rob Ullman has an old timey hockey stories comic! It's like he can read my mind!

It was really an amazing weekend. As I've mentioned, I'd never been to a con before, so I don't have much to compare it to, but this seemed exceptionally amazing to me.

I don't know if the DC Nation panel from HeroesCon is going to be on the DC website, but I did ask a question about Catwoman at it. I learned that she'll be showing up in Detective Comics...fighting Hush...booooooo.

I am sure I am forgetting lots of stuff, but I am getting tired of writing the words "really nice."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Canada Cracks Down on Nerdiness At The Border

I have many awesome stories about HeroesCon, which was pretty much the best weekend ever. I'll post a lot more over the next few days, but I want to start with a story from yesterday when I was flying home.

After a long day of delayed flights and airport confusion, I was taken aside at customs and put in one of those side rooms so they could grill me and inspect my luggage. At midnight. Because, y'know, I'm pretty suspicious. I think my mistake may have been saying I was at a comic book convention.

Anyway, I got all my bags opened and emptied and the whole time was getting this from the security guy:

Dude: You like comics?
Me (exhausted): Yes
Dude: What kind of comics?
Me: Lots...of...comics?
Dude: You collect comics?
Me: Yes
Dude: You buy any down there?
Me: Yes. A few. And some artwork
Dude: You have receipts for that?
Me: No...they didn't really have any receipts there.
Dude: You own a comic shop?
Me: No!
Dude: What do you do for a living in Nova Scotia?
Me: I'm a student.
Dude (opening bag and holding up comics one at a time and flipping through each one forever): Daredevil, Fantastic Four...what did you think of the movies?
Me: Um...they were ok? Not great?
Dude (holding an issue of Superman Family): When would this comic be from?
Me: The seventies sometime?
Dude: How many comics do you own?
Me: I don't know...thousands?
Dude: How long you been collecting those?
Me: Years?
Dude (takes out my sketchbook and flips through it): How long does it take these guys to draw these pictures?
Me: A few minutes, usually?
Dude: You always take a sketchbook with you?
Me: It was my first time to a convention, but probably I will.
Dude (holding up an Invincible comic suspiciously): I've never heard of this guy.
Me: Uh...he's new...

Yeah, so it went on like this, with the guy inspecting each and every book and nerdy item in my suitcase. It was really pretty embarrassing.

Meanwhile, at the Charlotte airport when I was leaving all I got from security was a guy smiling and pointing to my shirt and saying "Aquaman! Alright!"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh Carolina


There is an article about me in this week's issue of The Coast, the local alternative weekly paper. You can check it out online here.


I am off to Charlotte, NC tomorrow morning for HeroesCon! As I mentioned before, I have never been to a con before, so I am very excited. I have no idea what to expect, but I am sure I will have lots of fun and meet lots of cool people.

I am going to be hanging out at The Dollar Bin's table in the Indie Island section. I am bringing buttons and 'zines to promote the blog. If you're at the con, come say hi! I'd love to meet y'all. And if I'm not at their table, I'm probably following Steve Epting around asking him to describe in great detail exactly how he draws Winter Soldier's muscles.


Upon returning from this trip, I am going to be making a few changes to the blog. For one, I am going to drop the whole "This Week's Haul" reviews thing because it's obvious I can't keep on top of it. And it's kinda boring anyway. Instead I'm going back to a looser format where I just recommend things I like, and make fun of things that deserve to be made fun of. I mean, obviously Daredevil is an awesome comic and everyone should read it. I don't really have to say that every month, do I?

Alright. I'm outta here. I'll post some pictures of my trip when I get back. I'm so excited!! I'm gonna eat so much pit BBQ!

Monday, June 16, 2008

This Week's Haul...Is Not Happening.

Alright, so it's pretty clear that I'm not going to get my reviews up this week. I've been all busy, what with school, wedding preparations (less than a month away!) and preparing for my trip to Charlotte this weekend.

All that I really wanted to say about this week's comics anyway was that ACTION COMICS WAS TOTALLY AMAZING AND GREAT!

Seriously. It was so good I can hardly stand it. You really don't need to wait for the new issue of All-Star Superman to get your awesome Superman craving satisfied. Especially if you love the Superman movies at all. And I DO.

The art is amazing. I can't wait for more of this.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Martian Manhunter Week: Earth Girls Are Easy

Let's continue on with

Martian Manhunter Week

Remember, to get the full Martian Manhunter Week experience, you need to also be visiting fellow Halifax-based comic book blogger, Johnathan Munroe's blog. It's a cross-over event!

Let's see what happens when Detective John Jones, the Manhunter from Mars, faces his greatest challenge yet...the charms of a female!

As Miss Meade gets herself tarted up for her first assignment, John Jones is easily taking out the escaped criminal using yet another made-up power:

Sure. Why not? By the way, I hope you like randomly occurring super powers, because this comic is full of 'em!

But we'll get to that later. Here's where Det. Jones is formally introduced to young Miss Meade:

I'm sure she would love to learn his methods. That tramp. I also like that Jones decides that he is willing to work with her based on the fact that she is "kind of pretty"...for an Earth girl.

But wait! What's this?

No! He seems awfully surprised that she's smoking, considering EVERYONE smoked then.

Jones plays it cool:

So they go to investigate a stolen artifact or something, and are told that the thieves were wearing black masks. No problem. Jones has a super power he was saving in his pocket for just such an occasion:

"Let's play Justice League! I'm Aquaman! I can control the ocean!"

"I'm the Flash! I'm really fast!"

"I'm Martian Manhunter! I can visually magnify the electronic components of any object to 1,000 times their natural size!"

These next two panels are really weird:

"Haha...a little casual sex on the job, eh? Well, don't let us intrude. You kids have fun!"

A couple of panels later Jones falls victim to the oldest trick in the book: the ol' totem pole on the noggin:
Rearranging the molecular components of your arm and reaching right through the roof of a cave to the rocky hillside above you: sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution.

So they get out of the...cave...or wherever...and Jones whips out yet ANOTHER super power:

Jones tells Diane to stay put and changes to his Martian form in this awesome panel:

Then he decides to go and get himself some crooks, using a veritable buffet of invented-on-the-spot super powers:

I love this. Jones wants to bust in on the crooks like in the movies, but they aren't in a room. So he picks them up and places them in a room:

"Where am I? Weren't we just in a car? Now we're in a room?"

"I...I don't know...This is creepy. Are we dead? Is this heaven?"

"Hands up! In the name of the law!"


And Diane is like "Huh? They were in this room the whole time? Then where the hell did John go?"

This comic ends on a bittersweet note, with our hero wondering if he could ever, really ever love a woman:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Martian Manhunter Week: Shark!

Don't think I've forgotten about


Martian Manhunter has two weaknesses: fire...and SHARKS!

Surely he'll be able to get out of this one using his invulnerability to sharks, right?

Coming soon...this week's comic reviews and...Martian Manhunter meets his greatest attractive woman!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's a Martian Manhunter Cross-Over Event!

Hello all.

I just want to inform you that my pal Johnathan Munroe is joining me in celebrating


over at his excellent and hilarious comic blog Paul and John Review. He starts with a post about the first Martian Manhunter appearance (not the one with Batman...that one was weird).

Do check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Martian Manhunter Week: Private Eyes, They're Watching You...

Join me as we continue


In Detective Comics #227, our favourite Martian-disguised-as-a-detective finds himself facing another dirtbag mobster type. And thank God for the Martian Manhunter, because the chief of detectives really sucks:

Yeah, that's a pretty airtight alibi. I know I never sleep unless I have at least five witnesses.

By the way, there is a chance that the whole "fire = weakness" thing may come up later in this story.

J'onz pulls out some fancy Martian tricks to get to the bottom of this:

That must be a very loud clock.

J'onz finally meets the killer face-to-face, and doesn't give Fisk a positive first impression:

Who is he talking about? Wild look? John Jones? Really? This guy thinks someone else looks weird?:
Anyway, J'onz lays some heat on the guy:

That crook sucks. He's like "How do you know? I mean...You can't bluff me!" He just did, idiot.

Fisk is taking no chances. He orders a couple of his men to take this pesky detective out:

As I've said before, I enjoy J'onz's complete lack of subtlety. Like, Clark Kent would do something like that, but find a way to make sure no one saw him do anything weird. Martian Manhunter has no problem just waltzing through a wall, or turning invisible suddenly, or suddenly appearing in front of someone. And he's always totally calm about it. I can see how it would be really terrifying for criminals.

The car thing doesn't work, so the crooks try another meticulously-planned tactic:

Wait'll you see what's in Fisk's bag of tricks.

Well, I think we all know this is not going to work.

It doesn't work. And Fisk, his bag of tricks apparently empty now, decides to give up.

Nice diaper, MM.

What follows is a pretty excellent montage of Martian Manhunter scaring the hell out of Fisk:

This is so awesome:

Amazing. But then it goes wrong for our hero:

It doesn't look good, but since this all happens on the final page of the comic, things end up wrapping up nicely anyway.

Cool as a damn cucumber. I love this guy.