Archive for the 'Conventions' Category


An Interview With The Team That Reinvented Supergirl

March 4th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In the Eighth Grade was reviewed on this site a few months ago when the fist issue came out.  Conclusion:  funny, sly, and cute as a button.  Since then I’ve been reading the book and it has managed to keep all those descriptors accurate, despite having to pull off several difficult balancing acts.  The book has to fold in enough ancient continuity to make the long-term superfans happy while making sure the story is accessible to new readers.  It has to keep the language simple enough for young children without being dull for an adult reader.  And it has to make us laugh at the miseries of junior high while reminding us why we wouldn’t be dragged back there kicking, screaming, weeping, thrashing and begging for mercy.

At WonderCon, Landry Walker and Eric Jones spent most of their time signing and sketching at the SLG Comics booth or being mobbed during signing events for DC, but I managed to talk to them briefly about how Supergirl came about. Read the rest of this entry �

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February 28th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

There were two things I learned at the DC Universe panel.

There is going to be a Batgirl book after Battle for the Cowl is over.

Cassandra Cain is not going to be ‘part of the batfamily’ after Battle for the Cowl is over.

I asked who was going to fill the cowl and was denied an answer, so I’ve compiled a list.

1.  Barbara Gordon:  Her upcoming series is titled ‘The Cure.’  Dan Didio has gone from flatly denying the idea that Babs would ever walk again to giving cagey answers like, “There’s a lot to be said for a Barbara Gordon Batgirl.”  I think I’ve made it no secret that I would love to see Barbara Gordon as Batgirl again.  But then, isn’t she just a bit old for the ‘girl’ title?  And since the position of Batwoman is filled at least up until the end of the JH Williams Batwoman book, there might not be a place for an adult Batgirl.

2.  Stephanie Brown:  What can I say?  I don’t give up hope. 

3.  Charlie Gage-Radcliffe:  After all, she adopted the title for a while, and Barbara took her under her wing.  But what’s more – It’s been a long time coming.  And let me say, there were times when I truly believed I would never see this day.  But at last, at long last, there might possibly be a heroine with a hyphenated last name in the Batbooks.  Stay strong, sister!  Make us proud!

4.  Cassandra Cain:  Because sometimes a DC editor can be the father of all liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeees.

5.  Deathstroke:  He shows up in every book.  It was just a matter of time, really.

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Wonder Woman: The Movie

February 28th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Maybe it’s the result of being in a huge room and watching the movie with hundreds of other people, but the battle scenes in this movie make you want to stand up and cheer.  That is, when they don’t make you want to turn your head away and wince.  Director Lauren Montgomery said that the first cut of this movie earned an R rating, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit.  I cut my teeth on the kid-friendly Batman: The Animated Series, and am therefore not accustomed to see that many bodies on the ground in a kid’s animated movie.  Still, the violence is done with style, giving the battles energy and weight, rather than just gore for the sake of gore.

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WonderCon: DC Nation Bulletin

February 28th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Here are a few of my reactions to the DC Nation panel:

  • Ian Sattler is almost disgustingly endearing as the moderator.
  • And when he said that James Robinson’s accent would class up the place he wasn’t kidding.
  • The New Krypton is still far from over, and while I’m usually not a fan of long, drawn out crossover events, the snazzy trailer they showed featured an increasingly militaristic society of Kryptonians and Lex Luthor.  Might vanquishing the Kryptonian forces be a way for Lex to claw his way back to respectability?  They say it’s all building toward a 2010 event, so we’ll have to sit tight for now.
  • Blackest Night #0 is going to be made available on free comic book day so I’m going to have to wear nothing but yellow and carry a wooden bat to get past the hordes of Green Lantern fans.
  • The new Doom Patrol book was nerd-bait to begin with.  Add in Keith Giffen and the Metal Men and I thought that the flames on the cover image were just the smoking remains of some fanboy’s exploded head.
  • Paul Dini deserves all the credit in the world.  He writes fantastic stories and has been doing so for coming up on two decades.   The problem is, when you are a female comic book fan and you hear about a team book with Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn, and it’s called Gotham City Sirens, you have one main worry: Will the entire premise of the book be a lot of  boobs with a little story around them?  Once you start worrying about that you pretty much rate each statement made about the book as good or bad depending on whether it implies that your worry is justified.  So, I will interpret Mister Dini’s description of the book thusly:  It will have “emotional devastation  (Good.).”  It will be “very dangerous (Bad.), very hot (Extremely Bad.), very extreme (Neutral.), and not what anyone is expecting (Good, again.).”
  • Whatever else is going on, making Kate Spencer the new DA of Gotham is inspired.  Bravo.

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Son of the Return of the Wrath of Comic Con

February 11th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Now that I’m fully rested after having to endure that exhaustive weekend of New York Comic Con, now would probably be a good time to do a detailed write-up about the event. Well, that’s not going to happen.

Truth is, there isn’t too much to write about. It was your usual fare, only with tons more people than the last couple years, meaning that it was harder to walk around and even harder to get into a couple panels. One panel about self-publishing I couldn’t get into because it seemed to have been held in a room the size of an elevator and was already filled to the brim. And the DC/Marvel panels? Forget about it. I went to a couple, but I had to stand in the corner due to the amount of people there.

By the way, if anyone was at the Dark Reign panel, I was the jerkwad asking about D-Man. Yeah, that’s right. D-Man! Represent!

I got some books signed here and there. Jason Aaron, despite looking like a guy who would tear your throat out with the slightest provocation, is a really swell guy and really gracious. Van Lente, Gage, Parker, Pak and Calero were also pretty cool to talk to. My true failure of the weekend is my inability to find Larry Hama in time. I had hoped to have him sign the “Venom vs. Carnage inside the internet” issue of Carnage Unleashed and the “Rad Eddie” issue of Venom: The Hunted, but by the time I figured out where he was going to be, I was a half hour too late. Oh well. He probably would have haymakered me for it anyway.

One of the cooler moments is finding former Booster Gold co-writer Jeff Katz and Booster Gold creator/artist/writer/caterer Dan Jurgens at the DC booth. I asked Jurgens about whether or not Booster’s old secretary Trixie is Rip Hunter’s mother, which he said no, but a good guess. I began explaining my harebrained “Ted Kord is the next Batman” theory to Mr. Katz and he surprised me with the revelation that he himself has read that very article. Hell yeah! High five!

Unfortunately, he tore down any hope of Kord being the Dark Knight. Awww.

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Random Thoughts Before Comic Con

February 5th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

hermanos already left for the east coast yesterday. I’m about to get some sleep before trekking into New York tomorrow. If for some crazed reason you actually recognize me, feel free to say hi. Unless I’m at the urinal. Then it’s just weird.

Hopefully enough interesting stuff will happen that I’ll have a nice write-up for when I’m done. In the meantime, here are some random thoughts on things:

– Like with every year, I take a week off from work to go to Comic Con. That way I get a day off to prepare, as well as three days after the con to relax. This is especially a good thing because where I work, Barnes & Noble, we’re set to have a book signing by Kate Gosselin (of Jon & Kate Plus 8 fame). It was set to be on Tuesday, but just got postponed a day. Not only am I escaping the horrors of having to deal with that book signing, but I’m also escaping a day of angry people wondering where the hell Kate Gosselin is. Phew.

– Speaking of work, we’ve started playing the latest Springsteen album. There’s this song called Outlaw Pete and I swear I can’t listen to it without hearing Kiss’ I Was Made for Loving You. One trip to Google and it appears like the internet agrees with me. Knew I wasn’t crazy.

– How great is the cliffhanger retcon reveal in Secret Warriors #1? You know what rules? Rereading What If the Punisher Became an Agent of SHIELD. Bendis has inadvertently made that comic even more awesome.

– Even though he won’t be around, hermanos will still have his Black History posts up day by day.

– Click the image to see how Final Crisis #7 really should have ended.

– I haven’t played around with MUGEN for years, but damn if this isn’t well done.

Back in a couple of days. Be good to each other.

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Blogging About the Blogging Panel: A Blog

August 1st, 2008 Posted by david brothers

6:00-7:00 The Comics Blogosphere— The blog explosion has opened up a new frontier for comics criticism. This lively (and inevitably bloggable) discussion features David Brothers (4thletter!), Jeff Lester ( The Savage Critic(s)), Laura Hudson (Myriad Issues), Tim Robins (Mindless Ones) and moderator Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics).

Wow. That’s my name up there. Let me go ahead and say thanks to my fellow FBB4l! gangster David Uzumeri of Funnybook Babylon, who recommended me to Douglas Wolk after being unable to make it to the panel, and to Douglas Wolk, who didn’t look at 4l and go “Ha ha ha… no.”

I’ve been comics blogging in specific for a little over three years now. I went to my first convention in 2007. It was New York City Comic-con. A few months later, I moved to San Francisco. My second convention was Wondercon here in SF in 08, then NYCC again, and then I went to my very first San Diego Comic-con and had the honor of being on a panel at the biggest comics show in the country.

Wow, right?

The panel was a lot of fun. We didn’t exactly pack the room, but there was a respectable crowd. I was slightly nervous before the panel, as Andrew Bayer can attest, but that disappeared once I got close to the stage. I introduced myself to Douglas and the rest of the panel and took my seat. I already knew, or knew of, most of the people on the panel. I’d seen and spoken to at least one guy from Mindless Ones, though I didn’t know Tim personally. Laura I met at NYCC08 courtesy of Jon from PopCultureShock, though I was reading her blog before then. Jeff Lester I knew from Savage Critic(s) and had been reading for a while. We lived in the same town for a full year before meeting, since I kind of danced around the outside of his social circle. Do I even have to explain why Douglas Wolk is important? I kind of felt like the odd man out a little– I respected everyone on the panel. What was I doing there?

(jeff’s a luke cage fan, so he’s automatically cool.)

Pardon any errors in here– I’m going from memory and I may have a few things out of order. I’m sure I got all the facts right, though. This is also all very me-centric, because a) the world revolves around you know who, b) I feel like I learned a lot, and c) I didn’t take any notes, so there’s no way to do a proper report.

We went over a lot of the usual stuff you’d expect on this kind of panel. Where we got started, why we do it, and so on. I got to tell the secret origin of 4thletter! and everything. It was a lot like #34 on this list, only with more fanfiction. I mentioned how Fanboy Rampage, The Beat, and the old Journalista were kind of the trinity of blogging back then, and it turns out that Heidi Mac was in the audience. That was a nice surprise!

(At some point during all of this, I called Gavin a genius and possibly my rival.)

We talked about being part of a group blog is kind of an involved game of one-upmanship, as well. Having a partner, or partners, forces you to try and keep up. You can get complacent when you’re the only one on a blog, but a group blog is a community unto itself.

All of us got on really well. There were a lot of laughs and jokes and everything was very friendly. Laura described herself as a “stats stalker,” meaning that she keeps a close eye on her referrals and stats for her blog. I won’t lie– I do the same thing. I particularly like finding creators who’re googling for themselves. It’s fun and interesting.

That ended up spinning off into a sidebar about how stats and feedback affect your blogging. Almost everyone agreed that you should respect the feedback, but not follow it slavishly or allow it to completely alter your style. Use the feedback to grow as a writer, but you have to be careful not to let it give you a swelled head or wreck your self esteem. Trying to pay attention to the criticism, constructive or otherwise, is important, but learn what’s useful and what’s useless.

Jeff Lester made a good point that I can’t quote from memory, but it was in reference to growing as a writer and looking back on things you’d written years ago and having something like an “ache in your soul.” Growing as a writer is vital, and sometimes that feeling is bad, but necessary, one. It shows that you’re getting better. Or have low self-esteem, I’m not sure which.

I mentioned that, in my experience, the only way to become a better writer is to write regularly. I’ve been press of some sort or another (games or comics) since 2003, and that’s led to me writing almost every day ever since, be it for work or play, fact or fiction. In high school, a steady stream of (fan)fiction and school essays kept me busy, too. It helped a lot, since I tend to immediately hate whatever I write thirty seconds after I finish it and am always pushing myself to do and be better. Pushing through those thousand terrible pages you write before you get to your first good one is a necessary evil.

There was also a brief tangent about trolls and negative commentary online. Learning to recognize a troll when you see it, and learning not to engage them no matter how tempting it gets, is basically a life skill.

On the flip side, both Laura and I mentioned that we have been guilty of causing trouble, due in part to our blogs being vanity blogs, for lack of a better term. Jeff and Tim are part of group blogs with specific aims, while 4l is me and Gavin and Myriad Issues is just Laura. We blog because we can, so a lot of personality and real life issues start coming in. If you’re in a bad mood when you write, that’s going to come through in the post and then you might have some ‘splaining to do, Lucy. We both tend to shoot emails to trusted friends before the post to check and see if we were going over the line, and sometimes that gets posted anyway.

On the flip-flip side, sometimes you just have to eat a blogger alive. Don’t pretend like some don’t have it coming.

Laura made a really interesting point mid-way through that piggybacked off something Tim said. Tim mentioned that he’d gotten his start in fanzines, which just aren’t a viable from an economic or attention standpoint these days. Laura, and myself, grew up on the internet. It’s helped mold her style of writing, introduced her to people, and opened up new doors. It’s a brand new age for criticism, and there’s kind of a generation gap (I’m not calling anyone old!) between the people who grew up online and who got on the net after they grew up.

I mean, looking at my life from day job to fun gigs– in the past five days, I’ve written something like ten blog posts for a certain game website, kicked off a new strategy guide project, edited five manuals for two different game franchises, troubleshot a few hilarious hardware/software failures (they weren’t hilarious at all, that was sarcasm), played a bunch of currently unreleased games, shot about half an hour of video and edited it into something interesting (and sad), tricked Gavin into doing a great PCS piece on Batman, and wrote an emergency (short) script for a game company.

This is my life. I love my life. It’s always interesting, always fascinating, and sometimes frustrating, but it’s mine. It’s different, it’s weird, and I don’t know that I would have been able to do this in anything but the Internet Age. I’d like to do more freelance writing, since 90% of what I do these days is a weird mishmash of technical writing and educational, but that’s my fault for not pursuing it actively.

At some point during the panel, probably before all of this stuff I’ve already talked about, someone asked about the role of comics blogging in regards to affecting companies and letters pages. All of us agreed that the blogs are a replacement for letters page, but without the filter that a keen-eyed editor employs in comics.

Any idiot, including myself, can have a blog and talk about comics all day long. There are an enormous amount of bloggers out there, and not all of them are worthwhile. Again, discernment is the key skill to have when speaking online. I don’t think that any of us said that they’d affected someone’s publishing operations in their day-to-day, but there had definitely been a fan reaction.

I came away from the panel kind of re-energized, honestly, and not for the first time that weekend. The blogging panel and the Black panel reminded me what I love about the quagmire that is comics and why I even bother with it. The answer is the community– there are a lot of smart people out there that I don’t know, but will one day meet via the internet, and then eventually in real life.

Case in point: Cheryl Lynn (who needs to check her email >:|), Pedro, Chris, Joe, Jamaal, Jon, and David from the FBB4l! gang, Carla Hoffman from Snap Judgments, and Graeme McMillan, who writes for every website ever, but is currently on io9. Add the entire cast of the blogging panel to this, as well. That’s why I do it.

This wasn’t on the panel, but on Friday night, after the Eisners, a lot of people came to the Hyatt to get their drink on. I was going to sneak in and go straight to bed after seeing Tropic Thunder (hilarious, and there is a post coming on that soon, as well), but I got there and at least three people I knew spotted me on the way in, so I kind of had to come back downstairs. I caught up with Darwyn Cooke after seeing him at the con earlier, talked to my San Francisco buddies, and spotted Laura in the lobby. The bar had just closed, and while Laura and I were talking, she said “What would you say if I could get you a drink?” I said she’d be my brand new favorite person. So, we go back into the bar, to a table, and she gives me a drink.

Laura Hudson is my BFF and my favorite blogger. Sorry, Graeme!

Black Panel & BET post(s) coming soon. I’ve got a lot to talk about and a lot to turn into coherent sentences instead of my chopped and screwed notes.

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Women in Marvel Panel

July 27th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

I am officially back from San Diego Comic-con. I’m going to hit you guys with a ton of posts over the next week, maybe two, due to the con, but for tonight, I sleep. And linkblog. You know. The easy stuff. I’ll have hotness for y’all later on, like why I’m a bad nerd, Who Is The Black Panther, Faces of Batman, and so on.

I’m hoping the Black Panel write-up I’ve got cooking is the bomb. I’ve got 3500 words of notes and quotes. No commentary at all. Now to turn that into something readable!

CBR has a writeup on the Women in Marvel Comics panel up. It really, really needs an editing pass, because I’m pretty sure that Robin Firth, Sonya Ovak, and Colleen Cooper don’t exist. Anyway, click through. Maybe by the time you read this, it’ll have been fixed.

The panelists were Jim McCann, Robin Furth (Dark Tower), Marjorie Liu, Sherrilyn Kenyon (Lords of Avalon), Jen Grunwald (awesome editor at Marvel), Christina Strain (awesome colors all over Marvel’s best books), Sonia Oback (Mike Choi’s colorist, among other artists, and i think his wife as well), Colleen Coover (she rules), Emily Warren (who I found in artist’s alley on Friday and talked with for a moment, she also rules), Irene Flores (who I do not know, but is also probably cool and is drawing Cloak & Dagger), and Valerie D’Orazio (Cloak & Dagger).

Speaking of Colleen Coover:

Harley Quinn Sketch by Colleen Coover

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Brave and the Bold Teaser

July 26th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Brave & the Bold Teaser Trailer from david brothers on Vimeo.

Gavok got you with the youtube, so I figured I”d hit you with the high quality. I got this on the 24th, but forgot to post it yesterday.

I’m at the black panel right now, so peace!

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4l!tv: SDCC Day Two

July 25th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Direct link to my videos! I recorded this this morning, but have been away from internet and am just now able to get it up!

4l!tv 02: SDCC Day Two from david brothers on Vimeo.

Now, though, I’m going to get some food.

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