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Robert Kirkman Signing

autograph comic book exclusive 2013

Signed Walking Dead #1 10th Anniversary Edition (NYCC Exclusive)

Like I mentioned in my NYCC 2013 review, I walked right in with the very first people to hit the con on Thursday due to our VIP Badges. It’s sooo overwhelming when you first get there. Just getting acclimated to the booths and where things are…it’s intimidating. One of the things I knew I wanted was the NYCC Exclusive Black & White Variant of the 10th Anniversary Walking Dead #1. I didn’t really know how limited it would be but I knew that Walking Dead fans are as rabid as the zombies in the comics. So, as soon as I saw Skybound, I went right for it. I was one of maybe a few dozen (at first) there and they were unprepared for the opening. To be fair, they let us VIPs in 15 minutes early for some reason (I wasn’t complaining) but they weren’t ready to sell us anything. I just wanted my comic so I could run around and get more exclusives. There was no line just a growing crowd pushing us into a clump. I said to the guy next to me: “All this for an exclusive cover, huh?”. He looked at me weird and said, “this is the line for Kirkman’s autograph.” Right after he said that I found out that the Image guys picked my side as the front of the “line”. They said he was only taking 75 people to sign books so I figured if I was lucky enough to be in the right place I might as well take advantage.

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Skybound Booth at NYCC 2013

I got a Skybound wristband and was told that the signings would begin for the 75 of us in 45 minutes. Since I knew the line wouldn’t be that bad, I went to the other end of the booth and bought the Exclusive cover I wanted and a couple of issue 115′s variants I didn’t have and preceded to look around the floor. What I missed was the other half of us nuts who queued up around the Marvel booth to get a Rocket Raccoon plush.

I figured I missed that boat so I went in line to wait for Kirkman. While in line I noticed that everyone else in line had a short box of comics with Walking Dead issues bagged and boarded with cutouts like real pros. Also, I noticed that everyone looked less like your typical comic fans and more like regular guys (not really sure how I would back up that statement…more of a feeling). We were told that we could only have 10 items signed by Mr. Kirkman and that devastated most in line.

Let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with The Walking Dead comic and Robert Kirkman. My friend Mark Welser is and has been one of the biggest Savage Dragon fans on the planet. Year ago, Mark told be about Robert and that he was also a big Savage Dragon fan and a member of their message board. He self published a book called Battle Pope which I picked up at the 2001 Wizard World Chicago Con (Kevin Smith even mentioned it in his panel as loving the concept – “A Battling Pope. What’s not to like?”). When Image put an effort into producing some new super hero comics, I noticed Invincible and have been reading it since.

img_1754Which takes us to the Walking Dead. I have been a zombie fan for a long time and it wasn’t that hard of a sell for me to pick up a zombie book written by a writer I already quite liked and was pulling for. It was even easier when I saw the art of Tony Moore. I was hooked and telling my friends about the book for the first few issues all the time. The idea that the first trade came out the same day as #7 (collecting 1 through 6) and was only $10 helped me convert a few non comic readers to pick this book up.

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Robert Kirkman Daredevil Sketch

Skip ahead a year to the 2004 Wizard World Chicago. I’m there with my friend Mark (who even did a pin-up in a Super Patriot mini-series Kirkman wrote) and convinced him to get the past year of Walking Dead comics. I mean…why not…they were all still cover price and they had piles of them (oh to have a time machine…). We then went to Kirkman and Moore and talked to them about the the series and where it was going and it was great. This book was still really small and hadn’t nearly blown up yet. I collect Daredevil sketches and I even had Kirkman draw one for me. He was working on Captain America at the time so he said he could draw Cap with Horns.

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Pre-Marvel Zombies – Daredevil by Tony Moore

I asked Tony if he would draw Daredevil as a Zombie because I loved his zombies and I’d remember it as him then. It turned out great and I told Kirkman he should bring back the obscure Marvel character Mort The Dead Teenager. He told me he’s not a one trick pony and wasn’t going to be working on any other zombie books. Keep in mind, this is BEFORE Marvel Zombies (which I should get some credit for…don’t you think?).

All that story is suppose to illustrate my history with the comic. I am one of the few who had been there since day one because I was already a Kirkman fan. I’m not trying to sound like a hipster Walking Dead fan but it’s why I didn’t see Kirkman as a Rock Star or a Celebrity. I see him as a solid comic book writer and a real person. So when these guys in line were grumbling that they couldn’t get their 90+ books signed, I didn’t get where they were coming from. I mean…I do. They’re scalpers and not fans. The guy behind me asks me, “how many books are you having him sign?”. I thought about it for a second and I said, “I guess…three?” I then told him: “They’re for me so I mean one is actually fine but I figured I’m here so I could get these ones signed too.” He looked at me like I was the village idiot. My books weren’t even bagged and boarded with windows cut out for him to sign (I just bought them). He told me he had 90 books he wanted signed (seriously 90) and wanted to know if he could pay me to have 7 of his books added to what I was allowed to be signed. I said no problem but I didn’t need money…I wasn’t really doing anything.

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Kirkman right before the signings began.

Looking back on it now, I wonder if I should have just said no. I wanted to help the guy out because look…everyone has the right to make some money and if people are willing to pay and if Kirkman was willing to sign, where’s the harm? Well, he then did the same deal with a few others in line and he made sure everyone had the maximum number of books. By the time I got to Kirkman he was…despondent, head down, and out of it. I don’t blame him at all and felt terrible for him. Here’s a guy who is Hollywood big. He doesn’t need to be here and doesn’t need to even still be writing all these great comics. I’m sure he does this stuff for the fans that got him to where he is today. Meanwhile, he could be personalizing each of these signatures to eBay for all it meant to these people.

I tried to cheer him up with the 2 minutes I had. I told him not to worry that the line was almost done. I then said that I’ve been there since the beginning and thanks for all the great stories. More than anything, I wanted a quick photo of him to remember the show by. I asked him if I could get the obligatory selfie and if he could look like he just saw a ghost. That made him smile for a second and he looked up. I got the shot and made my way out of the line.

He added a poster for his next series, “Outcast” and the title’s artist, Paul Azaceta, signed it as well. More than anything, I’m excited he’s got a new series underway. Bottom line, I’m a big Kirkman fan and getting to see him again in all his success was really great. He’s the real deal. A comic book fan turned pro turned celebrity all the time giving back to the fans time and again even if some of them are just trying to make a buck from him.

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My picture with Robert Kirkman

Image/Skybound guys – Might I make a suggestion? Why not a lottery for signings? The others in the line knew the system that I just stumbled into and took full advantage of it. I’m glad I got my time but I think most in that line were just using Robert to sell goods.

*Update

Robert Kirkman sent me a tweet about this which means he read this rant. I took him away from creating great comics and TV. To all the fans, I apologize! Seriously though, what a great sport. He’s got a fan for life in me.

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In its 24th year, the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, MI outside Detroit has grown larger and attracted more fans than ever before.   A recent update on the Con’s Facebook page confirmed that over 30,000 fans attended the 3-Day show.  While it’s true that there was heavy traffic to enter the parking lot and long lines to enter the hall, indie artists reported triple the sales of last year’s show due to the high volume of people through the door.

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This is the front of the line on Saturday morning an hour before doors opened.

Here’s a rundown of the guests that this reporter had the chance to interact with.

Lloyd

David Lloyd

V for Vendetta artist, David Lloyd’s latest project is a 21-page noir thriller in Aces Weekly Volume 1.  Aces Weekly is an exclusively digital comic anthology available at http://www.acesweekly.co.uk/home.

Perez

George Perez

The Great George Perez attended the show, delivering commissions and sketching sharpie headshots in between countless autographs.  Mr. Perez’ latest released work is the cover of Legion of Super-Heroes #20, available this month from DC.

Anyone wanting to catch up on Perez’ past work need look no further than this month’s Superman Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? Tpb and Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 6 Tpb.

If that’s not enough, his influence is felt across the New 52 as characters he created may be followed monthly in the pages of Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Justice League.

Kitson

Barry Kitson

Barry Kitson is currently nailing it on Valiant’s Bloodshot title!  Issue #11, containing Barry’s artwork is out this month along with more Barry pencils in the Harbinger Vol. 2 Tpb.  Furthermore, it was just announced that Barry will be illustrating the aftermath of this summer’s Harbinger Wars event in Harbinger #15.

Kitson cares deeply for his fans and this weekend was a prime example.  When Barry saw gridlock on the road leading to the convention center saturday morning, he chose to make the journey from highway to convention hall by foot rather than keep his fans waiting!

Swierczynski

Duane Swierczynski

Speaking of Bloodshot, the writer for that title and Valiant’s big summer event, Harbinger Wars, Duane Swierczynski, was present!  Duane’s also involved with the revival of X for Dark Horse.

Clark

Matthew Clark

Notice a trend developing?  Bloodshot #11 Variant Cover artist Matthew Clark was stationed across the aisle from Swierczynski.

Manning

Dirk Manning

Horror comic writer and Bleeding Cool columnist Dirk Manning was dressed to impress while promoting his recent release of the Write-Or-Wrong column collected edition.  Dirk’s next project is a flip book called Love Stories (To Die For) containing two comic book horror stories.  The book will be available from Image Comics’ partner studio, Shadowline, in September.

McKenna

Mark McKenna

Industry veteran Mark McKenna’s new creator owned project, Combat Jacks, is about humans terraforming a planet while they’re attacked by Jack O’ Lantern monsters.

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Tyler Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham, fresh from delivering the incentives to those that pledged to his successful kickstarter project NAWRG, set up in prime convention hall real estate.  In short, NAWRG is a story about a troll that lives with a family, but the story contains a deeper meaning on how adopted pets bring great joy to people.   Tyler’s recent work includes Red Hood & the Outlaws, Superman, Teen Titans, and Green Lantern: New Guardians.  His next project is Action Comics #22.

Paquette

Yanick Paquette

Yanick Paquette made his DC debut two years ago in the pages of Batman Inc. and continued his DC work with the New 52 Swamp Thing series.  Yanick’s next project is Wonder Woman: Earth One where he’ll reteam with Grant Morrison.   Yanick remarked on how he loves the way that Grant consistently surprises him and he never knows what Grant will put into their stories.

Hunt

Ken Hunt

Ken Hunt is an artist on the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream, currently working on a top secret cover for a future DC release.

Bisley

Simon Bisley

Englishman Simon Bisley was particularly interested in the Detroit Redwings t-shirts that local hockey fans were sporting, remarking on how cool the winged wheel design was.

Kolins

Scott Kolins

Scott Kolins recent Orang Lantern backups in DC’s Threshold title will soon give way to a Larfleeze ongoing series with his art and written by Keith Giffen.

Forney

Sean Forney

Local hero Sean Forney is in the midst of his own kickstarter project The Scarlett Huntress!  The Scarlet Huntress features Sean and his wife Stephanie sharing art and writing duties.  The story is a modern take on the Little Red Riding Hood mythos.  He’s almost at his goal and your pledge could be the one that puts him over the top!  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/838034909/scarlet-huntress-anthology

Defoy

Jay Defoy AKA Jay A.D.

Young talent Jay Defoy recently completed the first issue of his creator owned title Threadcount: The Tale of Norman Crest.  It’s about a man that gains superpowers that seem ridiculous at first but turn out to be a fun crime fighting asset as the story goes on.

Richard

Sara Richard

Sara Richard’s artwork has a fun fairytale influence to it.  She spends her days drawing adorable My Little Pony Covers.  Check her out.

Spaniards

From Left to Right: Ramon Bachs, Miguel Sepulveda, Manuel Garcia, Andrews Guinaldo, and Pere Perez

These five artists traveled from Spain to meet their fans and deliver high end commissions.  They’re pictured holding pieces that they did for comic art connoisseur Ari Shapiro’s Batman on Gargoyle themed collection.  Reportedly they were commissioned as a group since they share a common rep.  Once they started work, the artists competed with each other over whose piece was strongest and which Ari would like most.

Roadkill

Roadkill

Until next time, dear reader!

JOSH MEDORS

MEMORIAL ART COLLECTION BY IMAGE COMICS

The following was posted on Facebook regarding an upcoming compilation of Josh Medors’ artwork:
Dear friends and fans of Josh Medors,
Working directly with the Medors family, Image Comics and friends will soon begin production on an inspirational tribute art book collecting the artwork, imagination and illustration of late comic artist Josh Medors. The work represented will span his career, creating a chronological timeline of sorts, presenting early work from his childhood and throughout his professional years. Along the way we will also include notes from colleagues, some history and exclusive photos to better illustrate and celebrate Josh’s life.
We are in the early stages of production and need your help in gathering up artwork that could potentially be presented in the book. This art can consist of sketches, comic pages and art, commissions, and basically anything that Josh has done creatively.
We ask that you contact Jay Fotos, jayfotos@cox.net and provide high resolution digital scans of the art and a bit of information concerning its origins.
If the art is used in the collection, you will be credited as a contributor. All proceeds from the publication and sale of the book will go directly to the Medors family. Thank you for your time and consideration in this effort and please pass this info along to help spread the word.
The comments gave instructions to share this post as often as possible and that artwork must be scanned at 300 dpi if it’s being submitted.  The memorial essay about my experience knowing Josh Medors from a fan’s perspective is here

Robert Kirkman Podcast Review Image

The greatest comic book to live action TV show ever?! We think so. Especially after the way this season started. The jail, Michone, The Governor, and the deaths…this season has already had a lot of big moments in just the first four episodes.

Adam and Nick talk about what they love and what they think might be coming in the rest of the season. We are often asked what the differences are between the show and the comic…we go over that too.

WARNING! Only listen to this if you have at least seen up to season three episode four of The Walking Dead on AMC. In addition, we also make reference to things that happen up to issue 100 of The Walking Dead comic by Image.

Listen to the episode directly here.

Listen to the episode on iTunes here.

Episode 17 – Recommended Reading

Hi everyone! Episode 17 features our guest Jason Juniewicz. We go over storylines that we feel deserve more attention. The intro song is Mute City F-Zero by Power Glove.
We picked:
  • Marvel 1602
  • Teenagers From Mars
  • Transformers Autocracy
  • Spider-Man: The Other
  • Chew: Taster’s Choice
  • Joe the Barbarian

Marvel 1602

comics reviews podcast

Here’s a review of Marvel 1602.

Teenagers From Mars

The story that inspired this comic is the public hearings against the comic book industry that led to mass comic book burnings. Watch this clip to see how crazy things got:

comic book rob g rick spears
Trade Paperback Cover
comic books short box podcast
Interior Art

Transformers Autocracy

short box podcast

Autocracy #1 Cover

Autocracy Interiors

 Spider-Man: The Other

JMS short box podcast

Cover of Spider-Man: The Other

short box podcast reviews

Morlun

the other death spider-man

The “Death” of Spider-Man by Morlun

tony choo short box podcast

Chew: Taster’s Choice Trade

comic book reviews short box

Interior Art

Joe The Barbarian

comic books reviews short box

Cover of the Trade Paperback

grant morrison short box reviews

Interior Art