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Wizard World Philadelphia Re-Cap (Part 3): How I Learned To Skip School for Comic Shows

A column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: Mike Storniolo

Pre-Show Rambling…

Well right now it’s about 8:00 in the A.M, I’m off from school, getting some last minute things ready for the show and waiting to hear from my friend Chris and hoping to have a good weekend. I mean hell, it’s a comic book show, how could you like comics and NOT have fun at one? Right? So anyway, just trying to get everything situated, figure out what panels to hit up, who to talk to and best of all… what to buy! SBC’s been kind enough to post, well pretty much any whacky comic-related thing I can think of, and get me hooked up with a killer press pass, so for the next three days I’m going to try something a little different compared to my past convention coverings. This time around, you’re getting it all in one shot. A little “journal” of my convention experiences, all the big buzz-worthy news on the show floor and the hot news from all the panels, plus a few heads up (What Looks Good style) about things I picked up that I really enjoyed at the end of Day 3.

With all that out of the way, in case some of you don’t know me, “Hi!” my name’s Mike Storniolo and welcome to Silver Bullet Comic Books dot com. Thanks for reading, I really hope you dig it. I’m sixteen, yeah 16, and I think comics are pretty damn nifty, and SBC’s been letting me write about them for quite some time. So thanks for letting me waste a little bit of your time right now, I promise the rest of this will get into all the good things that you actually WANT to hear about…

…And Into the ACTION!

The day started off well enough, after getting some caffeine in me and getting into the city, I headed up to the convention center and already the madness began; lots of people waiting to pick up there tickets. I get everything squared away with my ticket, hang around a little bit and head into the show once it opens up. I hit up the DC booth first and grabbed some cool swag (bookmarks, posters, pins and all that stuff). Barely even an hour into the show and the Aspen booth already had a line from here to Wizard Chicago and back. Good thing I’m not into Turner, but he sure gets a hell of a draw. At one point during the show the Marvel booth was mobbed with people, apparently they were giving away free stuff to whoever could scream the loudest (don’t ask how the hell they figured that one out). And Spike TV’s booth was pretty wild, a two-story set-up with a D.J. and some dancers and what not… that’s about all the time I spent around that area.

The ruckus up front with the big companies was alright, but I tried to steer clear of it for most of the show. What I really wanted to dive into was the Artist Alley. For a Friday at a convention there was a decent amount of people, not as many as I thought there would be, but there was quite a few empty AA tables just sitting, I wonder who’ll fill them out tomorrow. Anyway, right off the back I passed through the rows and started buying all sorts of stuff, and saying "hi" to some friends and seeing if anything caught my eye. It’s great to walk into a show and pick up all kinds of books that I’d never find on the shelves of my shop; a lot of great books people pass right over, so I try and grab as much as I can that look enjoyable.

So anyway, blah, blah, blah, you don’t really care about me talking, onto the stuff you really care about…

The NEWS!

**So the first panel I checked out was Marvel’s X-MEN panel, which divulged…

-Phoenix: Warsong, the follow up mini-series (to Endsong) will be written by Greg Pak with art by Tyler Kirkham and covers by Mark Silvestri.

-Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz are working on an eight issue X-Men mini series entitled X-Men: First Class and it will detail the early days of the X-Men.

-A new X-23 mini series is being written by Chris Yost & Craig Kyle with art by Mike Choi. The series is going to work to connect Weapon X and NYX.

-Chris Claremont’s GeNext book is on the back burner while he recovers, and he’s recovering well.

-Speaking of Claremont, Tony Bedard will stay on as writer of Exiles in Claremont’s place.

-Wolverine: Origins will be tying into the regular Wolverine series.

**The next panel was "Mondo Marvel," which addressed…

-A lot of plans are being made to introduce some new books into the Max line, such as a Blade ongoing title written by Marc Guggenheim with art by an as-of-yet unnamed artist, and covers by Marko Djurdjevic. The book is shipping in September.

-Hellstorm: Son of Satan is another Max book written by novelist Alexander Irvine, drawn by Russel Braun.

-The last announced Max book is Zombie by Mike Raicht and Kyle Hotz.

-Look for the first appearance of Ultimate Cable in the pages of Ultimate X-Men #75 by Robert Kirkman and Ben Oliver.

-Ultimate Spider-Man #100 is full of revelations.

-Charlie Huston and Dave Finch are signed on for twelve issues of Moon Knight, with future issues depending on Huston’s novel schedule; early sales numbers are good.

-1602: Fantastik Four will be written by Peter David with art by Pascal Alixe.

-There are plans for another Marvel Zombies series.

-Young Avengers: Season Two is planned for February.

**And Friday's panels’ wrapped up with the "DC Nation" panel, a Q & A that revealed…

-Manhunter will not be cancelled with issue #25; it’s be extended for another five issues, up to #30, due to great fan response.

-Mystery in Space is being brought back in an eight issue mini-series with Jim Starlin writing and Shane Davis drawing; also, back-up stories by Starlin & Milgrom.

-No one on the DC panel would answer if the speed force is being brought back... nor would they comment on Wally West.

-The current DC earth is almost exactly like the one since Crisis on Infinite Earths, except with a few changes like Wonder Woman being a founding member of the JLA, Batman apprehending Joe Chill…

-When asked about Darkseid and the New Gods, Dan DiDio replied “you didn’t see them in Crisis, did you?” but he then claimed that Darkseid will be back soon.

-For the time being Batwoman is a supporting character, but if the fans want it, she’ll have her own series. She’s first showing up in the pages of 52 #11.

-When asked if Superboy was coming back, Johns replied “I love Superboy.”

-"Teen Titans East" will be featured in the next arc of Teen Titans. Speaking of Titans, Mas Menos will be showing up and Wendy & Marvin will stay as supporting characters.

-Black Adam might return to the JSA, but not as a member.

-DC’s working on getting the All-Star books back on schedule.

After a couple of hours scouring the show floor for mini-comics, and comics to buy and pretty much anything else to buy, a few hours taking notes from panels and a hell of a lot of walking, I was beat. Then a quick stop at The Ale House for a cheese steak that hit the spot, a train ride back and I was ready to hit the sack.

Day One Booty!

-Five Star Pile-Up (Chris Giarusso/Jacob Chabot/Gregg Schigiel/Brian Smith/Tim Smith)
-From What School (Gregg Schigiel)
-The Incredible Cockatoo Sketchbook (Becker/Rebello)
-Issac’s Near Death Experience (Tom Ryan)
-Space Chick & Space Chicken (Jacob Chabot)
-Frenzy #0 (Rob Messick/Brian Milligan) [Box Social Press]
-Spidey & the Mini Marvels Ashcan (Giarusso) [Marvel Comics]
-The Strange, But True, Tale of Planet Steve #1 (Carr/Rivera) [Triumvirate Press]
-In My Lifetime #1 (Tony Fleecs) [Silent Devil Productions]
-Invincible #32 (Robert Kirkman/Ryan Ottley) [Image Comics]
-PvP: The Dork Ages TPB (Scott Kurtz) [Image Comics]
-Flight Vol. 1 TPB (Various) [Image Comics]
-Kane Vol. 1, 2 & 3 TPB (Paul Grist) [Image Comics]
-Liberty Meadows Vol. 2 TPB (Frank Cho) [Image Comics]




DAY TWO:

Day two started off well enough, a little wake up from my best friend, Red Bull, and we’re on the road again. My first stop of the show was hitting up Invincible artist Ryan Ottley and killing some time. Flipping through some of his original art he had on display made me realize just how tight his work is, fantastic artist; and he was practically giving away sketches at the price he was charging for what he was drawing. Great guy. I blew through most of everything I wanted to do in the artist alley on Friday, so I hung around the dealer areas a little more and managed to grab even more stuff from the ½ off trade guy, he’s my new best friend…

Booty!
Liberty Meadows Vol. 3 TPB (Frank Cho) [Image Comics]
Jack Staff Vol. 1 TPB (Paul Grist) [Image Comics]
Good-Bye Chunky Rice GN (Craig Thompson) [Top Shelf]
Channel Zero TPB (Brian Wood) [AiT/Planet Lar]
Egypt #1-7 (Pete Milligan/Various) [Vertigo]
Girl #1-3 (Pete Milligan/Duncan Fegredo) [Vertigo]
Scud: Disposable Assassin #4 (Jim Mahfood)

Not a bad haul, some pretty good books all for dirt cheap; you’ve gotta love that obscure Pete Milligan Vertigo stuff. Brilliant writing. I can’t’ wait to finish up my Shade run, so I can give that a read. So anyway, I blew a little more time talking to some friends I ran into and then decided to head out to the "DC One Year Greater" panel, which talked about…

NEWS!

-Issues #5 & 6 of 52 are when the series really begins to take flight.

-There was lots of talk, and excitement, about Brad Meltzer’s upcoming Justice League of America series. The #0 issue is going to tie Infinite Crisis #7 and JLA #1 together. The first few issues are centered on recruitment for the team.

-The upcoming OMAC mini series by Bruce Jones will be taking the character back to its original cause, the "One Man Army Corps,” being the series features the last surviving OMAC.

-Anderson Gabrych and Henry Flint will be re-launching an Omega Men series, planned for six issues, following the events of Rann-Thangar War and 52.

-"Titans East" will be a backup in the ongoing Teen Titans series, not its own series.

Reviews: After the panel I decided to sit down and relax for a little bit, so I caught up on some of my reading from yesterday’s purchases…

Frenzy #0- A neat little mini-comic from the boys at Box Social Press and it’s a pretty solid debut into publishing at that. Frenzy hits you right in the baby maker with the jokes, pulling no punches. Some jokes get just a little smirk while others have me putting the book down for a little bit to stop laughing. The art keeps it loose and cartoony, putting a comical feel behind the writing. Check out www.boxsocialpress.com for more.

In My Lifetime #1- Tony Fleecs, if you were in reach of me right now, I’d probably give you a hug. In My Lifetime was good, really good. Anymore I’m all about the indie/autobio/slice-of-life type books and this one’s got all that and then some. www.silentdevil.com should have some previews and more about the book, definitely check it out.

Invincible #32- Woo, early issue of Invincible courtesy of Mr. Ottley, I love it. If only there were more hero books out there like this. I mean, no matter who you are, everybody has a love for superheroes somewhere inside them, and Kirkman really makes you remember why you love those books in the first place with Invincible.

Flight Vol. 1- I grabbed a copy of Vol. 2 a few months back and really enjoyed it a lot. Kibuishi put together a tight anthology, with a lot of really moving and innovative stories in it by some top talent in the industry; volume 1 proved to have nothing less than that. Kibuishi’s own "Copper" stories were real enjoyable, and I was thrilled when I saw that Bengal had a story in it as well. I love his work. This one’s got me looking forward to Vol. 3 even more now.

End of the Day…: A little more wandering around the show, and I’m ready to head out again. Another quick stop for food with some friends and then it’s back again to get things situated. So far it’s been a pretty good show, but a little different compared to past years, but I’d say that’s mostly on me. Before I used to be HUGE on getting things signed and getting dozens of sketches and all of that hoo-hah, but anymore I’ve lost interest dramatically in all of that. For me, now, it’s all about getting some deals on books and finding some good, new talent to check out and support.




Day 3!

This weekend really flew by; already the last day of the show is here. It’s alright though, all it means is one more day to wrap things up. Sunday there wasn’t a whole lot left for me to do on the show floor, I got everything taken care of the past two days but there’s ALWAYS more comics to buy…

HAUL!
30 Days of Night TPB (Steve Niles/Ben Templesmith) [IDW]
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 3 (Bryan Lee O’Malley) [Oni]
X-Men: Children of the Atom #1-6 (Joe Casey/Steve Rude) [Marvel]
Magic Pickle #1-4 (Scott Morse) [Oni]

I didn’t wind up grabbing too many books Sunday, but at least it knocked a few off of my want list, so that’s always good. After that, I decided to schmooze around in Artist Alley at my pal’s Ian & Rob’s table for a bit; time goes by pretty quickly when you’re hustling behind a table, so before I knew it was time to hit up the last panel of the weekend, DC’s "Vertigo' panel…

NEWS!

-The previously announced Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall OGN is set to hit stores in October. It’s written by series writer Bill Willingham and with artists including Mark Buckingham, Charles Vess, James Jean, Brian Bolland and more. The book will have the same format as Sandman: Endless Nights.

-Mike Carey and John Bolton are producing an OGN for release in January called God Save the Queen.

-Brian Wood will be drawing an issue of DMZ, to give series artist Ricardo Burchielli a chance to recover from a recent eye condition. Following that, Kristian Donaldson will come aboard for an arc, and then Burchielli returns.

-Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep of Reason, written by John Ney Reiber and drawn by Eric Nyguen will be released in December.

-The new, four issue American Splendor series written by Harvey Pekar will launch in October. The series will be drawn by Dean Haspiel, Richard Corben, Leonardo Manco, Eddie Campbell, Chris Weston, Hilary Barta, Ty Templeton, and Gary Drumm with covers by Glenn Fabry.

-Mike Carey and Jock are working on a book called Faker.

-Absolute Sandman Vol. 1 is set to be released in November, collecting the first 20 issues of the title, the majority of which is being re-colored, and it will retail for $99 with lots of extras.

-The history of the Doom Patrol in the Vertigo universe will be mixed into current Doom Patrol continuity in the DCU, by Morrison in 52 and Geoff Johns in Teen Titans.

-Speaking of Morrison, in addition to the planned continuation of Seaguy, Morrison has another Vertigo project in his mind.

And with that, that’s about all I’ve got for this time around. Overall, the show was a lot of fun. I managed to meet a ton of great people, grab some good deals on books, get some interesting news and just enjoy comics. I want to thank Wizard for having the show, SBC for letting me ramble on like this, and more importantly, you for sitting there reading me ramble on like this. Hopefully it wasn’t too bad and you kind of enjoyed it. I had fun writing and living it. Be sure to drop me a line if you’ve got any comments, it’s kind of my first time attempting to write something like this, so I’m still finding my ground a little. Thanks again, take care and I’ll see you on the show floor…

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