Archive for the 'San Diego Comic-Con' Category

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San Diego Comic-con

July 23rd, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I’m here! And judging by my voice mails, Esther is here, too!

I’m going to be walking the floor today, attending only a few panels. Here’s a brief list:

10:30-11:30 Science Fiction That Will Change Your Life— The staff of io9.com, Eisner Award–winning author Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics), and others talk about science fiction from the last year that does more than blow things up. It might also blow your mind. What science fiction should you be reading and watching if you want your brain to grow so big it pops out of the top of your skull and starts throbbing and shooting lasers? The panelists have some tips. Room 8

12:30-1:30 Crime: Usual and Unusual— The heart of crime fiction is a crime committed against people or institutions—but the range of subgenres is diverse and fascinating. Panelists: Max Allan Collins (The Goliath Bone), Jeffrey J. Mariotte (Cold Black Hearts), Alexander Irvine (Buyout), Gregg Hurwitz (Trust No One), Thomas Greanias (The Atlantis Revelation), and Kat Richardson (Vanished) cover traditional mysteries, espionage, paranormal mystery, and more. Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy. Room 3

2:00-3:00 A Darker Shade of Ink: Crime and Noir in Comics— Crime comics are back with a bang! Darwyn Cooke (Parker: The Hunter), Greg Rucka (Gotham Central), and Steve Lieber (Whiteout) join moderator/noted mystery and comics writer Max Allan Collins (The Road to Perdition) to talk about the new incarnations of crime and noir in comics. Room 5AB

5:30-6:30 All-Stars of Comics Podcasting— Comics podcasting has grown from a novelty to a force within the industry, providing an outlet for reviews, interviews, news and general entertainment for comic book fans. Comic book podcasting veterans Jimmy Aquino (Comics News Insider), Charlito (Indie Spinner Rack), Brian “Pants” Christman (Comic Geek Speak), Bob Bretall (Comic Book Page—who will be giving away comics to the first 200 people to attend the panel), and Ron Richards (iFanboy) discuss the future of comics podcasting. You never know what may happen in podcasting, so be sure to come as some surprise guests may be appearing! Plus this is your chance to meet and talk to your favorite podcasters! Room 32AB

If you see me, say hello. I’m sure Esther will be at every DC-related panel ever. You can email me or twitter at me if you like.

I’ve pretty much got everything I want out of the con, as you can see here.

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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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4l!tv

July 24th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

A couple quick things, first–
-Augie De Blieck’s Pipeline this week is really good. He makes a good point about the Manchester Hyatt thing– most things are owned by complete and total jerkoffs. The trick is to find your limits, embrace them, and don’t be afraid to speak up when things go past them. He also has a fun review of Mini-Marvels.

-Tor.com is the new sci-fi blog from, er, Tor. This post on piracy is dead on. Comics should take note. In a nice bit of synergy, Augie has tips on that in the link up top, too.

And the main event– the extremely rough copy of my first video podcast. I left off the URL like a genius (holla), and the editing is kind of an accidental bite of IllDoctrine, but I’m getting my legs under me. Enjoy the rough, and look for more polished joints later this week.


4l!tv 01: SDCC Day One from david brothers on Vimeo.

And if you see me at SDCC, holler at me.

I’m out, I’ve got exactly five minutes before my shuttle gets here. Peace!

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Thursday @ San Diego Comic-con

July 14th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

There’s a lot of stuff at San Diego Comic-con. This’ll be my first, but I’m comfortable putting on my boss cap and telling you what you should go see.

Scroll down below to see which panel I’m on, too. Surprise!

10:45-11:45 Reinventing the Page: Stan Lee and Grant Morrison Talk Virgin Comics— Two of the most important creators in the history of comic books team up to discuss the bold new frontiers being explored in the art of storytelling. Legendary creator Stan Lee (Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, X-Men) shares his insights on the world of comics and presents never-before-revealed hints of his new superhero universe with Virgin Comics. Joining Stan is prolific creator Grant Morrison (New X-Men, All Star Superman, Final Crisis), contemporary comics’ most active mind, who will discuss his new Virgin Comics animated online series MBX while offering his own insights on comics and engaging with Stan in a once-in-a-lifetime conversation about the long history and boundless future of their beloved medium. Ballroom 20
Categories: Animation | Comic Books | Webcomics | Writers & Writing

C’mon, it’s Stan the Man and GMoz. I don’t have a chance of seeing this one for a number of reasons. One: it’s gonna be packed. Two: my flight lands at 9:45. I bet it’ll be interesting, though.

1:00-2:00 Modern Masters: Live!— Modern Masters editor Eric Nolen-Weathington brings together three of the greatest artists in comics—Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows, Mighty Avengers), Michael Golden (Micronauts, The ‘Nam), and Mark Schultz (Xenozoic Tales, Superman: Man of Steel)—for a conversation about art, comics, and beyond! Room 5AB
Categories: Art and Illustration | Comic Books

I figure by this point, I’ll be at the convention, checked in, and ready to see something cool. I love the Modern Masters books, so this sounds like the bomb.

1:00-2:00 Mark and Sergio— The world’s fastest cartoonist joins forces with the Comic-Con 2008 weekend record holder for panel moderation! Yes, it’s Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragonés together again. Expect lots of talk on Groo and anything else these two whirlwinds are conspiring to bring us in the near future. Room 8
Categories: Comic Books | Comic-Con Special Guest Spotlights & Appearances

If you hate Sergio Aragones, you are a filthy Commie and possibly a zombie.

1:00-2:00 The Future of the Comics Pamphlet— Are serialized comics in a death-spiral? Is the graphic novel the sole shape of comics to come? Retailers including Carr D’Angelo (Earth 2 Comics), publishing representatives including Joe Keatinge (Image Comics), and cartoonists discuss the state of the periodical with moderator Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics). Room 32AB
Categories: Comic Books

Trades up, floppies down! I mean, this should be interesting!

2:00-3:00 Science Fiction That Will Change Your Life— A discussion of science fiction stories intended to make you rethink your whole life or alter your perceptions. With Annalee Newitz (editor-in-chief, io9.com; contributor, Wired), Austin Grossman (author, Soon I Will Be Invincible), Charlie Jane Anders (news editor, io9.com; contributor, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet), Graeme McMillan (weekend editor, io9.com, contributor, Newsarama), and Patrick Lee (editor, Sci-Fi Wire). Room 2
Categories: Science Fiction & Fantasy | Writers & Writing

Graeme is family, so I’ll try to check this out. I don’t really like sci-fi, though, so we’ll see where it goes!

2:00-3:00 The Middleman— Creator and executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost) and The Middleman actors Matt Keeslar (Dune) and Natalie Morales (CSI: Miami) discuss the bizarre world of The Middleman. Based on the graphic novels by Javier Grillo-Marxuach, The Middleman follows the surreal life of twenty-something Wendy Watson as she gets recruited by a top secret agency to fight comic book-esque criminals under the guidance of her straight-laced boss, The Middleman. Room 5AB
Categories: Comic Books | Television

The Middleman is the bomb. I’m really impressed with that show, so I’ll check this out.

It gets bonus points for using Dub to abbreviate W and the Wally West/Barry Allen joke in the first episode.

3:30-4:30 Entertainment Weekly’s The Visionaries: Comic Creators— Jim Lee (All-Star Batman & Robin), John Cassaday (The Astonishing X-Men), Matt Fraction (Casanova), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil), and Grant Morrison (Final Crisis) are the writers and artists blazing a path into the future of comics. Coming from both the mainstream and the independent worlds, these men and women can provide unique insights into the comics landscape. Moderated by Entertainment Weekly staff editor Nisha Gopalan. Room 6A
Categories: Comic Books | Comic-Con Special Guest Spotlights & Appearances

Chances of me getting into this panel: less than zero.

5:00-6:00 The Third Annual Comics Podcasting Panel— The best of the best in comics podcasting returns to San Diego for the third annual discussion of comics podcasting and how it’s affected the comics media. A no-holds-barred discussion with comics podcasters Bryan Deemer and Peter Rios (Comic Geek Speak), Charlito and Mr. Phil (Indie Spinner Rack), Joe Gonzalez and Jimmy Aquino (Comic News Insider), Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick (iFanboy), and John Mayo and Bob Bretall (Comic Book Page). Room 32AB
Categories: Comic Books | Fandom

Josh and Conor from iFanboy are good buddies, so I’ll check this panel out. I’ll even stick around for the end, in part because–

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). Room 32AB
Categories: Comic Books | Fandom

my panel is next in the same room! I am going to talk about… I do not know. Possibly comics, blogging, or some combination of the two. it should be interesting. I’ve actually been reading the blogs of everyone else on the panel for a while, so I’m feeling like the odd man out. Still flattered, though!

6:30-7:30 So You Want to Do a Graphic Novel— Writer and publisher Larry Young assembles a team of writers and artists to unlock the secrets and unveil the mysteries of completing your own graphic novel. Panelists Adam Beechen (Final Crisis), Steven Grant (Two Guns), Kirsten Baldock (Smoke and Guns), Matt Silady (The Homeless Channel), and Manny Bello (Dugout) kibbitz, cajole, and inspire you. Room 3
Categories: Comic Books | Writers & Writing

Wrapping up Thursday is this panel. Matt and Kirsten are Writers Old Fashioned cohorts and Larry Young is a good friend. I’ll sprint from my panel to this one, I think! It should be interesting, though I bet I’ve already heard a few of these stories.

Tomorrow, I’ll go over Friday and Saturday. I’ll hopefully have some hi-content posts for y’all later this week.

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