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...

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