Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Framing Armageddon

Following on somewhat from yesterday's post about my convention purchases, today I framed my Wonder Woman page by Nicola Scott. That is, after walking the city trying to find a frame big enough...

As I've shown before, I like to get creative when I'm cutting the boards for a frame. This time I almost did it the traditional way, but as soon as I sat down to do it, I was hit with inspiration. I had a lot of dead space between the picture and the frame, so why not drop in the Wonder Woman logo.

I think it came out great. It took a little over 2 hours to do, but was worth the effort.

Just to be extra clever, I changed the bevelled edge on the red card to an undercut so it slotted in seamlessly with the yellow card.

Who said frames have to be boring.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Armageddon 2010. Round 1. Fight!

Round 1 of the two-week convention double header is done and dusted. Got home today (Tuesday) from Armageddon in Christchurch over the weekend. Now you may say "but hang on, it's the same guests at both cons". Well yes, but with one notable exception: Nicola Scott was only attending this one (actually there's a couple of actors only attending the upcoming con, but who cares about them ;)). So yes, although it was a good excuse to bum around Christchurch for a few days, I essentially made the 40 minute plane flight to see Nicola. It was worth it.

This is what fun looks like the night before:
...and no, I wasn't stalking the event, my hotel was 3 doors down from the con.
As was the case last year, the local comic store slayed their counterparts in the Wellington and Auckland cons again, with the sheer mass of their $1 bins. I wound up having to mail my stack of comics back to myself, and it clocked in at a feather under 5kg (11 pounds for those that still use an archaic measuring system :p). No way in hell I was getting that back on the plane via my carry-on bag. While it was slim pickings as far as knocking things off my wants list, I managed to pick up an almost complete run of the first 40 issues of X-O Manowar.

Comic guests this time were Nicola Scott, Mike Allred, and Francis Manapul. All were really friendly and engaging to talk to. I wound up not watching any of the acting guests (I'll see them next week), instead talking to Nicola and Mike a whole lot, and watching Francis draw.

For the first time, the con supplied free cards to get signed by the comic guests. This was an excellent move, both as something for passing kids to get signed, and (as Mike Allred observed) a nice little exclusive for the NZ shows for those of us that care about such things.

I hit Nicola up for a sketch first:

I got her to do Jason last time she was over here, so now I have a Ronnie Firestorm to go with it.
Then it was over to Francis Manapul:

Pretty damn cool. When I wasn't bugging Mike and Nicola (which I did a whole bunch heh), I was watching Francis crank these out. Awesome to watch, and for a totally insane $40. He has his girlfriend over with him, Agnes Garbowska (she works for Marvel), she had assorted prints of her work which is really really cute. Amazing coincidence, but she had a Blackest Night picture with Firestorm in it. Sold!

Mike Allred doesn't do sketches anymore which is a bit of a bummer, but he had plenty of art on offer. I picked up a cheap page from the Spaceman one-shot:

I haven't read the comic, but I really dig this page (images were ultimately laid over a painted background). His wife (who colours Mike's work) was there also, she was really nice. That's 5 comic pros at one table, and they were all really friendly and easy to talk to. That's not always the case, so I wound up spending more time with them than expected. They probably all secretly hate me by now ;) Although, I did buy Mike a packet of Tim Tam biscuits, after Nicola started raving about them (I won't bore you with the details), so that's gotta count in my favour ;)

Back to Nicola Scott, and the majorly hard decision for the weekend- what pages to buy. Seriously, I spent ages flipping back and forth through her folder. So many great pages. I had gone in planning to pick up 2 or 3 Secret Six pages, but wound up with just the one:

A nice little playful scene between Deadshot and Jeanette, with a great Ragdoll panel. The reason I only got one S6 page was because I found this beauty:
Pages 2 & 3 from Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1. Brilliant. I've been wanting to get a double page splash for a while, nice that it's one of Nicola's and that I bought it direct from her. As an after though, I also asked for another sketch, since she was sitting there doing nothing:

Great eyes.

Onward to next weekend. I have a couple of Madman pages I'm considering picking up, but most of the next con will be spent watching the actors do their thing. Well, that's the plan anyway...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Better Luck Next Time

I really don't like to be negative on this thing. There's too many negative blogs out there, but I feel bummed enough to want to comment.

I love Moon Knight. He was the favourite character of my best friend in high school, so I got to read his collection, and I've built up my own over the years after I found him to be pretty darn cool. I own MK original art. I want to read an ongoing Moon Knight title. The problem is, the current one isn't very good.

I noticed a problem with issue #5, in that it took 3 minutes to read, literally. I know this because I was on the train, and I started reading it just as we entered a tunnel. The tunnel takes 3.5 minutes to go through, and I'd finished the book before we left the tunnel. Bummer. Maybe every issue was like that and I just didn't notice, but I figured it had to be a one-off. So today issue #6 arrives...

The following is the title page getting you up to speed:

The sort of thing you'd take about a minute to read through. It's 436 words. Which leads me to the problem. The following 22 pages contain just 502 words (see, I care about Moon Knight enough to actually do a word count). That's 502 including various "aarghs!" from the fight scenes, but minus the "wham!" sound effects.

Now, the artist is doing a hell of a job. Really nice stuff. And you get to see it all too, because there's multiple pages with little or no text. It's your typical cinematic approach to writing comics which is good for some things, but not for delivering value for money. By way of comparrison, in the new X-Factor Forever #1, Louise Simonson hits 500 words about halfway through page 7. Writer Gregg Hurwitz has actually told a decent tale in this series, it's just that it's a screenplay for a movie, not a script for a comic book.

So yeah, this was the long way of saying Moon Knight's dropped.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Would You Like A Bag For That Bag?

Got a cool thing at the comic shop yesterday. I assume these are everywhere, but it's cool to have for completists like me since it's got Black Lantern Firestorm on it.

Seems a bit late in the Blackest Night run to suddenly be putting out bags, but it was free so I'm not gonna argue. Not exactly something that's easy to store as part of a collection though.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Great, now everyone will want one

This weekend we had a comic reference pop up in my local Sunday newspaper, and it was actually mildly amusing. What's the world coming to?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Help save the planet

ok, not really. I need a bit of help. I'm trying to find any comic characters (sci-fi, anime etc will do too) that have a planet as part of their costume, or logo, or whatever. So far I have the Kree warrior uniform:

Then there's Mogo. Not so much a uniform as an actual planet, but close enough:

I suppose based on that, Ego The Living Planet would count too, but he's a bit elaborate for my needs. Oh yeah, I guess following that train of thought there's also Unicron:

Captain Planet sucks, so he doesn't count.

Anyway, if anyone out there can think of any others, name-drop in the comments please.

Bonus Content:

Someone might want to drop google a line.

Mentioning the Skrulls when you search for Kree could start a war.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Assorted thoughts

Just a few brief things I've found interesting/amusing over the last month.

I took a punt and added Blackest Night: Flash to my pull list when it was announced, since Geoff Johns making the Flash + Firestorm connection seemed obvious. Issue 1 was a bust, but the final 2 issues paid off. Only a brief appearance in #3, but it rules:

Barry fighting off Firestorm with a Firehawk ring construct is brilliant.

Slightly more puzzling than brilliant, is the question of just what the hell happened to Power Girl's boob window in the last issue of JSA All Stars.

I'm sure it was there last month...

Issue 4 of Realm Of Kings: Royal Guard had this interesting little sequence:

hmmm, fire-guy gets his containment field breached, and explodes. I'm sure I've seen that before somewhere...

Finally, just because I love me some tough-guy talk:

From Secret Six, naturally.

Also thought I'd mention incase I'm not the only one that almost never reads any sort of Previews type thing (either in print or online), the ORIGINAL X-FACTOR lineup is back, seemingly carrying on close to where it left off, with Louise Simonson back writing it. I am stoked, as that comic remains my all-time favourite. Will it live up to my memory of the original? Probably not, but I'm just glad I'm going to have back 5 characters that I used to really care about, in a form I recognise (that is, without the past 15 years of X-men baggage and assorted tinkering). Thank goodness for those little preview pages in the back of comics, or I may well never have found out about this.