Lots to get caught up on here! I've had most of these images sitting on my desktop for better than a month, so please bear with me as I share some stories that might not qualify as "news", but certainly give you an idea of some of the things I've been up to lately.
First up, check out the sweet JH Williams III BATMAN "sketch" he did for me on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Yeah, I know that was back in early May, but here's what makes it "news". The original JH Williams art we were privileged to see on FCBD is now showing up in the pages of BATMAN. Check out issues #667-669 for a beautifully illustrated JH Williams' story, written by GRANT MORRISON. I made sure to place a strong order for this 3-part story, so check it out and feast your eyes on some of the best comics' art you'll see this year!
ITEM: In the photo to the left is a group of MBA students from UC-Davis' San Ramon extension. You may recognize Flying Colors' Faithful Jonathan Chan, production artist from IMAGE COMICS among the MBA students. The group was here at Flying Colors doing research on a comics-related MBA student project. Not that it surprised me, but Jonathan and his group scored a nice grade for their project, which was creating the business plan for a new (but fake) comics' publishing company. When they did their presentation, among several other presentations from other groups of MBA students, the only project anyone wanted to talk about was the one about comics!
SAN DIEGO SNAP SHOTS: The next bunch of photos, some definitely clearer than others, all were taken at last month's Comic-Con International:San Diego.
One of the highlights for me (and Libby) was the dinner we attended with a great group that included DC's VP-Sales Bob Wayne, Lone Star Comics general manager Chris Powell, writer Bill Willingham (FABLES among others), artist Mark Buckingham (also FABLES, among others) and several other great folks. Well, for some reason, I didn't get any pix of that dinner, but a couple of nights later, in lobby of the Hyatt hotel, we ran into Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham and some of their friends and colleagues---and since Jenny is a huge FABLES' fan, I took this shot of her and Libby with the FABLES' crew.
Here's a shot of retailers Atom! and Portlyn Freeman from Santa Clarita CA's Brave New World Comics. This shot was taken just after the dynamic duo had given a stellar presentation to a group of retailers on their success at building a community of comic fans in their store. Next time you're near Six Flags at Magic Mountain (I think it's still called that these days), stop by and see Atom! and Portlyn at Brave New World.
At the San Diego Con, I organized the track of retailer programming, under the auspices of ComicsPRO, the retailer trade group. The one program we did that was open to all convention attendees was "So You Want To Be a Comics Retailer?" Many dream of having their own comic book specialty store, so we wanted to lend our years of experience to those just exploring the opening of new stores.
I was aided and upstaged by a stellar group of retailing compatriots, including Nancy McCann from Comics Unlimited in Westminster CA, Joe Ferrara from Atlantis Fantasyworld in Santa Cruz CA, Derrick Taylor from Comic Oasis in Las Vegas NV and Dave Hawksworth, outside sales manager from Diamond Comic Distributors. We had close to 200 attendees at that seminar, so it's clear there are lots of folks interested in having their own shops. Dare to dream and work to make it reality!
OK, these last two shots are really blurry, I know. I had only a few hours to try to see the entire 500,000 square feet of the exhibit hall.
On Saturday of the con (the hugest, most crowded day of the event), I ran into the Warner Bros. set-up, with a signing by some of the cast members of the SMALLVILLE TV show. It just happens to be one of the favorite shows Libby and I follow, so in the madness and the crush of tons of people (and I do mean 'tons') trying to get close to the booth to get autographs and maybe a couple of seconds of time with the show's stars, there I was with my digital camera held high and snapping away.
What these fuzzy shots show are a single shot of Erica Durance (Lois Lane, yowza!)---and a shot of Erica with two of the other actors from the show. The blonde girl will be featured this season on SMALLVILLE as Supergirl (and she does look like a super girl!) and the impossibly good looking guy is the actor who plays Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.
OK, I've caught up. Now it's your turn. Send me your thoughts by clicking on the "comments" button. I'd love to hear from you!
Peace 'n' comics!