Back to the Grind

As I settle in and get back to work on things, I reflect on just how awesome San Diego Comic-Con was. It rocked! And now it is about following up and catching up with colleagues back in New York. I’ve already met a few colleagues, just on Monday night, where we discussed the state of the publishing industry, among many other devious things, at both Old Town Bar as well as McSorley’s Old Ale House.

With Comic-Con here and gone, it’s time to focus on the rest of the summer. I know many industry insiders are heading out to World Con in Denver in a few weeks. I, myself, will not hit a big convention again until the industry-focused World Fantasy Con in Calgary in the late Fall.

In the meantime, it will be all about reading books, completing freelance assignments and staying on top of the comics and gaming scene. There are so many amazing looking Fall and Winter videogames, it’ll take a maximum effort to balance my reading and gaming time. Such is life.

I always try to remember that, "Crom laughs at the Four Winds."

Back to work…


And at the last hour

I write from the airport in San Diego. It would have been impossible for the trip to go off without a hitch, as just as we were seated on our plane to return to rainy New York, we were told we'd be getting back off of the plane because of a six hour delay. We had to get out our various carry-on items, and go back into the terminal until much later. So close...

Honestly, with so many other flights cancelled (and ours not guaranteed not to be cancelled - knocking on wood as I write) there is little I can do aside from read the Times and drink some more coffee and try to relax.

Last night ended with a tasty meal at the Harbor House resturant near the Hyatt with friends, some first-time SDCC initiates, all of us weary from long lines, but glad to have been part of the madess.

Ah, I just rec'd a text from Frank, my friend who is still walking the hallowed halls of the convention floor (his flight isn't until tomorrow), he mentioned discounts on some of the amazing Revoltech toys that I am a NEW fan of, so I asked him to pick me up a few (more) if he has the room for them. I try to remember how I worked this show before cell phones...I have no idea.

Either way, at some point today I'll be heading home where I can go through all the cool stuff I grabbed and write about it here.

Until next time...


Comic Con is insane

Hello friends, I write to you from the Hyatt, as I've had difficulties writing from my phone on-site. The con has been a blast. It's been crowded, crazy and fun.

As hectic as things have been, and they have been if you're a GI Joe fan, the show has been all about commerce. The one thing that I've come away with so far is that no matter where this country is right now in terms of a recession with all of us cutting back to save a dime here or there...at Comic Con - entertainment rules.

Booths have been jam-packed, and from what I hear from retailer friends, is that they've seen record sales so far. That is inspiring news considering how we've all had to pinch pennies this year. Fans love their comics, games, toys and movies/tv. And in this world of fandom it is easy to forget just how obsessive everyone gets and how much they want to embrace the things they love.

And I did eventually get my con exclusive Cobra Commander, Batman & Joker as well as Conan. And sure, I created a few new obsessions just walking the cramped aisles. Good times...just ask these guys. (see below). I will write more once I've sorted out my technical difficulties and also because I've taken more pictures and need somewhere to post them. Until next post...


San Diego bound

To the few, the proud, who actually read this blog; ms Fo and I will be off to San Diego and the all encompassing Comic Con tomorrow. This will be my 9th or 10th comic con (I just can't remember) and it is sure to be bigger than ever. But no matter how big the show gets- and it is HUGE - it is always a good time, with friends of course, as well as and the best creators in the industry.

I'll do my best to blog/post/report in from the road on my trusty cell phone or on Stevzie II (thats my laptop's name). Stevzie II will be joining us in SD this year and he's very happy about that (I just know). I'm also glad to have my friends: Frank, Nancy, Jon, Joe & Jen joining us. It's going to be awesome. (Cue 'thumbs up' from some Biker Scouts)

I plan on bringing home some SDCC exclusive toys (and report about them) as well as attend as many comics/books/movies panels I can handle. Plus, I've always taken these kooky photos and have only tortured my closest friends with them (photos appearing in this post are from 2005 CC) and now will have a place to post them as if I was an actual comics reporter (although I did just get a small piece published in issue #3 of the COMICS FOUNDRY - an amazing new comics culture magazine - be sure to ask for it at fine comics retailers everywhere).

Note to friends: I will not be bringing home a "Devourer of Worlds" this year. You're all safe...for now anyway (he is brewing a master plan on my shelf, as we speak. I swear).

Anyway, I love the big show, even though it has grown into a massive multimedia event - almost out of control - as reported by the ever savvy Laura Hudson, in her comics reportage for Publishers Weekly, here.

With this in mind, I forge on, ready for the masses. Anyway, where else can worlds collide such as in this photo? (I leave you with this parting photo of baby Leias and wonder women).


a villain for the ages

There is a new online-only video series by creator Joss Whedon as reported by the good folks at Comic Foundry.
It stars Neil Patrick Harris along with a few other great performances and is already being compared to Soon I Will Be Invincible as well as to Dr. Evil, himself. It is called Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and it's about 13 minutes long. Check it out here. Simply more Whedon genius.
It is perfect for a Friday afternoon distraction. Enjoy.


King of the Impossible

As some of you may know, one of my favorite books in recent memory is Austen Grossman’s 2006 novel, Soon I Will Be Invincible. I was happy to select it as a featured alternate when I worked for the Science Fiction Book Club as an editor of the Altiverse segment, which focused on comics, and many books superhero-related. This is the book I had been waiting for. Check out more details at the author’s own blog.

I wish I still had the manuscript. I remember what the publisher used as a watermark on the title page, it was an Alex Raymond illustration of Ming the Merciless from his famous comic strips of the 1930s. I already loved the title, and then with the manuscript in hand I devoured a book I wish only I had been clever enough to have written. Defeated again! Oh, I identified with the main character Dr. Impossible from the get go. It seemed as if every element of this book spoke to me.

Recently, the good folks at the Mediabistro.com Gallycat blog mentioned a new book trailer by the uber-cool Grossman himself honoring the release of Soon I Will Be Invincible in paperback (which just came out last month). Here is the trailer itself, check it out. Even in its homemade style, the trailer works on so many levels. And that is the author reading from the actual text in the trailer I believe, although slightly distorted.

Did I mention I love this book? I was super excited to read just today on the San Diego Comic Con website that ‘Sir’ Grossman will be attending the con and in an SF panel on Thursday. Sweet. You know I’ll be there.

I think his novel spoke to long-time comic book fans like no other. And it was also so well written than even non-comics diehards could enjoy the humor and flow of it. But if you grew up reading comics, this book spoke to you dead-on. It subtly and obviously referenced so many elements from the comic book world and also poked fun at it all. And like I said in my review for SFBC way back when, ‘he captured the super villain dilemma perfectly!’

Lastly, just to show that I’m a guy with many issues, he’s a photo of my collection of different editions of Soon I Will Be Invincible, and they are, left to right: original Advanced Reader’s Edition, Pantheon original hardcover, Penguin UK hardcover (with wrap-around jacket art by Bryan Hitch – awesome!), SFBC club edition hardcover, and lastly, the new Vintage paperback release.

Ok, so you may only need one copy. But I have a world to take control over. I need all the inspiration I can get. (And hey, doesn't Doctor Impossible on the cover of the UK edition look like me? I thought so).

DEAR CYBORGS by Eugene Lim, a little review

I had read a great little article on LitHub.com about this new novel from Eugene Lim and went to seek it out. Soon after I had acquired...