Saturday, September 8, 2012

2012 Baltimore Comic Con - Day 1

I arrived in Baltimore little later than I meant to but not by much. I was seated at Miss Shirley's and had ordered breakfast by 8:17. Unfortunately it took a while (26 minutes) for my order, Sunrise Benedict, to materialize. I did not short change on the tip but I did point out the deficiency on the customer satisfaction survey.

After breakfast I headed to the convention center. I arrived roughly 20 minutes before the show was due to open. I got my wrist band and got in the line which wrapped halfway around the block at that point. Eventually I got into the convention center. Until noon I wandered the Artists Alley section of the show floor, occasionally stopping to look at artwork and chat with artists. I bought one piece of art: Casper, Spirit of Friendship by Bobby Timony. At noon I left the convention floor for a couple hours.

Panel: The British Invasion (12-1) with (l-r) Mark Buckingham, Robert Greenberger (moderator), Barry Kitson, Brian Bolland

Panel: Spotlight on Phil LaMarr - At the Phil LaMarr panel, which consisted entirely of Q&A, I asked Phil how far back he went with comics and which stories he looks back on nostalgically. In his response he spoke about inheriting a long box of comics from a neighbor or relative when he was very young. He also remembered owning and reading New Teen Titans #1 and Days of Future Past (X-Men #141-142) when he was about 10 years old and sick and how it blew him away. Both panels were a lot of fun.

From 2-4 I walked the floor. I looked for Michel Fiffe. He wasn't listed on the program guide but neither was Sara Richard and I found her table. I'm pretty sure he said he was going to be here when we chatted at Heroes Con. I walked probably 75% of the floor without finding him. I did stop at a few tables as I wandered.

Neil Vokes - I perused his stack of original art. I considered buying a page but I couldn't find one that stood out. I liked them all. I am planning to go back and buy the first trade collection of the horror series he currently works on: Flesh and Blood.

Tom Zahler - I ordered a commission from him of Batman and Kitty Pryde. The color price seemed a little too high for me so I paid him for a black-and-white commission. He said I can still change my mind and get color added tomorrow, if I so desire. I'm thinking about buying a copy of the first trade collection of his web comic, Love and Capes. I've never read it but it is in the same vein as some other books that I often enjoy: books that mix everyday soap opera with superheroes.

Bradd Parton - He does these neat alpha-sketches. He uses all the letters in the alphabet once to create a sketch of a character. I may go back and buy a print or two tomorrow. I asked him about Samurai Jack but he said he wasn't familiar with the show and had never done an alpha-sketch of any character from that show.

Drew Moss - He did a commission for me earlier this year at Heroes Con. It was a color picture of Batman and Wonder Woman sharing a milk shake. I showed him the Caspar piece I picked up earlier in the day and the two sketch cards that Mike Schwartz did for me a couple weeks ago. We chatted about the show a little bit and his con schedule for the year ahead.

Panel: The History of Censorship in Comics with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) Deputy Director Alex Cox and Comic Book Author and Historian Fred Van Lente - great overview of the subject. For the most part I was familiar with most of the history they covered. When they asked for questions from the audience I asked about Warren Publishing which they had not mentioned at all. Specifically I asked if Marvel had followed Warren's lead in publishing monster magazine, which is what happened. I was a bit concerned that they were giving Marvel and Stan Lee too much credit for bringing back horror books.

I wandered the show floor for a little while after the Censorship Panel. It was considerably less crowded than it was earlier in the day. I was still unable to find Fiffe's table. Maybe tomorrow.

Once again I made a few stops as I wandered.

Tony Fleecs - I really liked some of his prints. I think I'm gonna buy one tomorrow. The ones I liked are mash-ups of pulp novel covers and well known sci-fi and superhero characters like Princess Leia and Wonder Woman. At $10 they are too nice to pass up.

Chris Ryder - I'm very intrigued by his 64-page book, Dames in the Atomic Age, which is a mash up of noir fiction and sci-fi. I didn't want to spend anymore today but I will probably stop by his table and buy a copy tomorrow. It is a little pricey ($9) for a 64-page book but the packaging is really nice.

I left the show floor 10 minutes before it was scheduled to close for the night. I walked a little over a mile to Land of Kush for dinner. I didn't realize it was a carryout place until I got there. Instead of having a sit down meal I walked back to my car with my dinner, drove home, and ate there.

I recorded two of the panels (Phil LaMarr; Censorship) on my iPhone. I missed recording the first few minutes of both panels. The audio is probably going to need to be cleaned up a bit. If and when I get that done I may post them or hand them over to someone else to post on the internet.

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