Figured today was the last day I stood any chance of getting anything done.

Come tomorrow the place begins to take on a circus-like atmosphere and you spend most of your time trying to get places by wading through hundreds and hundreds of people that all appear to be moving in completely different directions. It’s like navigating this huge maze, ducking, dodging, darting into any small pocket of open space you can find, your vocal pattern reduced to nothing more than quick utterances of “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.” Or you can just run into people at full speed and not say shit. Yes, in the year 2007 people still do this. Back on point though, day two was all about finishing any business that would become impossible the next day.

Hit Artist Alley first, trying to catch up with Freddie E. Williams II so we could talk about Robin 167 and I could thank him (and apologize) in person for working him nearly to death on our story. Don’t want to spill everything before it’s time to do the actual commentary piece but since it might be some time before I get my hands on Robin again, “The Promise” is this intentionally frantic little thing where things refuse to slow down until the very last scene. And even then, not so much. But the deadline crunch was on both of us and Freddie had to complete an incredible number of pages in a short period of time, and if I hadn’t just said that, there’s no way you’d ever know. Highly biased, but I think it’s some of the best work he’s ever done and I’ll be begging Mike Marts to let me run a couple pages here in the weeks to come. But alas, his table was empty at the moment, so I went looking for other familiar faces.

 

Keron Grant has been an artist whose work I’ve kept a constant eye on since the very first mini he had published (Kaboom from Awesome Entertainment, of course) and I was excited to see that he’d brought a new art book along with. Note the word “art” and not “sketch” because the thing he’d labeled Kosmic Flow was a beautifully designed collection of material culled from various freelance assignments in comics, video games, and animation. Every single piece of art is in full color and there’s no way you put this down without wishing Keron would do more regular work in comics. The Superman and Spider-Man sections are particularly amazing and even somewhat removed from the game, his action remains as dynamic and fluid as it ever was. And he’s promised Lee Ferguson and I a variant cover for Miranda Mercury, which you have to know I’ll be taking full advantage of in the next several months. Great guy, even greater artist.

 

After leaving the alley, I did make a slight miscalculation. Went to a panel instead of sticking with my boy Nate who had decided yesterday that he really needed a sketch from Leinil Francis Yu. And that this sketch should be a rendition of Brian Michael Bendis as a Skrull. Quick picture of it should be somewhere around here, but it was a cool idea suggested by my other guy Craig Mack, who was sitting beside me in this panel nearly bored to tears. Just to rub it in, Nate grabbed his sketch, surely grinning like a crazy person, and afterwards ended up around the Image booth, where he ran into Matt Fraction and got this incredibly cool Casanova sketch from not only Gabriel Ba, but incoming artist (and twin brother of Gabriel) Fabio Moon. AND Fraction captioned the fucking thing. Wouldn’t have felt so bad if I wasn’t holding on to my copy of the hardcover for at the very least a Fraction autograph. Maybe tomorrow.

 

Next was lunch at Rock Bottom, joined by comics writer Josh Dysart, who’s been really cool with Nate since the Violent Messiahs days. Dysart is an incredibly busy dude nowadays, juggling Hellboy stuff with Conan stuff with Vertigo stuff. The Vertigo thing in particular sounded relatively amazing and it’s based in large part on an expedition Dysart took to Uganda earlier this year. Anything that doesn’t fit into the ongoing monthly deserves collecting in some format, as he easily filled two journals and took over 1300 photos chronicling his experience. Look for more details and the official announcement before the weekend is over.

Back to the con and the long awaited meeting with Freddie. Pleasure to find that he’s as cool in person as he is in his e-mails, and again he reiterated how much he enjoyed working up the script. Both of us are still kinda buzzing from these last frantic weeks and we’re trying to figure out another way for us to work together. Couple characters were mentioned and two minutes after I left his table I had this idea that I’ll try to have formed up by the time I reach home. Could be nothing, could be everything, but I won’t know until digging into it a little.

Did the Marvel Mondo panel, which was highlighted by the surprise appearance of Iron Man director Jon Favreau, who’s going to be writing a mini-series illustrated by Adi Granov. Before leaving the place for the day had a nice little convo. with Kevin Grevioux, who writes New Warriors for Marvel. More stories to come and I was absolutely floored to hear about the pet project of his that’s very close to becoming a reality. Can’t sat too much more than that, really because of fear I’ll jinx it and won’t get to ultimately read it, which would be an absolute shame. Still, the man is definitely turning his initial success on NW into further opportunities at the House of Ideas and they appear to be on the verge of allowing him to tell a HUGE one. Good luck to him and I’m really pulling for him to have a chance to hit the industry with this, and trust me when I say that it will make definite waves and garner major, major attention (and discussion) from within comics and outside of them.

Know I promised Ellis reviews, but again there wasn’t time and tomorrow doesn’t look to have much of it free. There’s the Image Reunion panel first thing in the morning, Cup ‘o Joe, the Archaia presentation, art books from both Paul Pope and James Jean to purchase and have signed, and several other assorted bits and meetings. Will also offer my particular brand of pure speculation on the contents of the One More Day thing. For now, thank you and goodnight.

Special thanks to J Brice who loaded in the brand new logo and profile pic.

Not too shabby, right?

Back soon…

End Transmission 1:32 am

B

 

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