Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Con Report - Boston "Spectacular"

Wizard World is coming to my little berg of Boston this September, which for people like me is like saying that Christmas has finally arrived after being in Chicago and Texas.


Despite their recent Starbucks-like move in Atlanta, I'm a huge fan of Wizard World, and comic conventions in general. I've been to two Wizard Worlds in Chicago before, with my friend and not-so-secret lover Steve, and we had a blast. I met
Kevin Smith (who complemented me at his panel one year, and jokingly called me an "asshole" the next. At least, I hope jokingly.), Greg Rucka, Bendis!, Jeff Smith, Jim Mahfood, and a ton of other people. I even got to stand a fair distance from George Perez and sort of stare and claw the air in front of me in a reaching motion for a minute or two.

The panels are so much fun, and they have them on everything. It's a great way to learn about the medium, the industry, and even interact with it a little bit. Artists Alley is a good chance to see people who haven't broken in yet, some tragically so, and to meet some larger pros who still remember their roots. And the dealer tables... The dealer tables are the closest thing to the Floating Market from Neil Gaimen's Neverwhere as we'll ever see on earth. The odds and ends from booth to booth range from fantastic (like the aforementioned author's badass leather jacket), to the shockingly mundane (It's an odd thing when you see a wall full of early-run Spider-Man comics and react with "Meh."), to the sickening (The next time I see an issue of New Avengers that's been CGC'ed and priced in the double digits or over, I may snap.). So... Yes, I like Wizard World.

So when I heard there'd be another, smaller, annual con in Boston happening this past weekend, I thought I'd check it out. So I grabbed The Lady and I attended the "Boston Comic Book spectacular" on the sixth floor of the Radison. It was run by the slightly notorious "Primate Promotions" whose site can be found
here. Fair warning, if you click it your computer may regress to the days of Prodigy and Windows 3.11. The link lacks an animated .gif of flames, but that should give you a good idea of it's contents.

The Specatular was not unlike the site; somewhat crude in design, but functional. It was what you'd expect from something on the sixth floor of a Radison. That being said, it was full of a few notable things:

- Quarter/Fifty Cent Bins:
The Lady and I must have spent most of our few hours here pawing through these treasure troves. She got, along with a heapin' helpin' of my jealousy, the KuiKuiKui issues of Giffen and DeMatiess's Justice League run from the eighties, some X-Static issues, some Birds of Prey, and a JSA trade, kind of crushed, for a dollar. There was more, but I forget what else she got, as she holds her treasured comics close to her like a child with some candy. She also holds her candy that way. I made off with a happy haul as well! I grabbed the complete minis Ambush Bug, and Son of Ambush Bug for a dollar each. Evan Dorkin's Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic, #1 & 2 for fifty cents each! They're reprinting these now, in black and white for 13 dollars for something like four issues! So the rest of this series is on my list for the quarter bins of Wizard World.

I got the complete Batman Adventures in two digests. They were priced at two dollars each, but I Scrooge McDuck'ed the guy down to three dollars, and they were worth every cent at full price. Ty Templeton had the bright idea to do a Batman comic in the Bruce Timm style, but instead of making it soley episodic, the stories have ongoing plots, and mysteries, and character development. It's a really, really fun comic. They also manage to make good, creative, use of almost every Batman villian in the span of something like 10 issues, a rare feat, seeing as Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee managed to waste all of them in 13. (Take that HUSH!)

My favorite, and wholly original, bit is that the Joker has been undergoing therapy at Arkham that's actually working, and is now polite, and kind, and full of love for Harley Quinn. Quinn, of course, will have none of this new Joker, and goes to shocking measures to get her old Mista' J back. Pick them up next time you're looking for a Batman who isn't quite as sad a sack as the one skulking around the DCU nowadays, and want something fun.

- Artist's Alley:
There were some unexpectedly big names at the con, such as Dan Slott, Paul Pelletier, and Ron Frenz. The only problem with going to cons for me, is I have no idea what these people look like! This led to two slightly awkward moments: one where I had to ask Dan Slott who he was, since he had no name tag, and another where I was espousing how much I like Spider-Girl's art to The Lady while Ron Frenz was sitting a few feet away, deep in a sketch-book. His table was set up with prints and pages from other artists as well, I didn't even catch that he was there for a minute!

We're both big fans of She-Hulk (which is relaunching soon!), so it was definitely cool to talk to Slott for a few minutes. He's exactly what you would picture from reading his work, overly enthusiastic, full of love for comics, and funny. And did I mention verbose? It was hard to get a word in edgewise, and when I noticed some promo art for his new JLA: Classified run, he proceeded to turn the 32 pages of the issue and tell us the story, panel to panel. SURREAL. But it looks like a good issue.

So that was our con experience for the weekend, now the gearing up for the big one in September starts! The coming weeks will be full of the pinching of pennies, the stomping of feet in anticipation, and the gnashing of teeth in nervousness... But once The Lady pounces Greg Rucka like Tigger, I'll both be having a great time and know that it's true love.

With The Lady, I mean.

Not Rucka...


(I think they bought it.)


1 comment:

the lady said...