Oh man, today was a good day.

Got a very healthy mix of panels, meetings, and announcements to counter that slightly bored sensation I was having yesterday. Didn’t even mind walking a few blocks in the wrong direction to reach the Internet café and send off the first couple columns, before hittin’ the floor, and wandering around the Image pavilion until noon. Had intended to make formal introductions with Erik Larsen and Eric Stephenson, who I’ve been e-mailing pretty regularly the last couple months, and lay the necessary groundwork to pitch my second book to Image, but it didn’t go down. I was able to spend most of the time catching up with Damion Hendricks, who’s handling the art chores on this 2nd project (that I keep changing the name of every week) and review our game plan for getting someone onboard to publish it. Considering “previewing” the pages here, or maybe in All The Rage, but the last time I did that, my guy ended up recruited by Wildstorm, which is always the risk in working with amazing artists. Damion might have to stay hidden a little while longer, but I’ll see how I feel when I get back home.

Next up was my highlight of the whole afternoon, an indispensable little panel called “The Future of Black Comics: By Any Means Necessary,” that featured Kyle Baker, Dwayne McDuffie, Jeremy Love, and Lesean Thomas, among others. Fifteen minutes in, and there was standing room only, as almost every facet of minority representation in comics was broken down. It was like every piece I’ve ever written on the subject, but ten times better, and I left the room incredibly inspired, not only by what was said, but also by the amount of diversity in the actual room. Apparently, this is a subject not exclusively resigned to black creators, and those wishing to become them. Lot of non-Black faces in the crowd, and that sent me back out onto the floor with a really good vibe. Someone suggested that we’re seeing the beginnings of a “movement” and at that point, I wasn’t going to argue with that statement.

Ended up in the Image area afterwards, and talked with B Clay Moore and Jason Rand for a bit. Clay and I are working on an interview that should appear here very soon, if only so I can satisfy that juvenile drive in me to post a column with the word “dick” in the title. Rand is the writer/creator of Small Gods, an Image title that I’m terribly excited about, so it’s a really good thing that Rand hooked me up with the first two issues, which’ll drop pretty soon. I wanted to read them and post a quick opinion, but I don’t have the time tonight, so maybe tomorrow. If I like them, chances are it’ll turn into a larger feature.

Other big panel was the Marvel Avengers thing, where a lot of new things were announced, and seriously, all of them sound pretty hot. The second Avengers book with the creative team of Allan Heinberg (OC producer) and Jimmy Cheung (newly signed Marvel exclusive) is Young Avengers. I know, I know, sounds like some nonsense, but the teaser image was gorgeous, the pitch is definitely interesting, and this looks like a concentrated response to DC’s Teen Titans. Along that same thread Robert Kirkman (another newly signed Marvel exclusive) is doing a new Marvel team-up book that Scott Kolins is handling the art for. Ed Brubaker is taking over Captain America with Steve Epting. Warren Ellis (exclusive to Marvel, no that’s not a typo) takes over Iron Man with Adi Granov in November, and the pages for that are tight as hell, by the way. Stir in Bendis’ Avengers run, and Priest’s Cap/Falcon, and the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes look pretty set for the upcoming year. Glad to see Marvel devoting some time and attention to something without a mutant or a Spider-Man in it.

Finally met Mark Powers, at the Devil’s Due booth, after spending the last couple days trying to track him down. The man is even nicer in person than he is online, and him fondly remembering a pitch I wrote three years back still surprises me. He’s terribly enthusiastic about working with me on something in the future, and hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later, especially since Due would be considered a “local” publisher, only about a forty five minute commute from my house.

Dropped into the Arcade booth before heading back to the hotel, and scheduled a time when Rob and I can go over the Shatterstar pages in greater detail, so I can wrap the script in the next couple weeks. Went to dinner in the Gaslamp in a large pack of people that included Randy Lander from The Fourth Rail, and his wife Suzanne. We tried not to blabber on and on about comics the entire time, but it didn’t really work out that way. Last year in SD, we stayed at the same hotel, so it was really cool getting another chance to hang out with him, and personally thank him for the very kind review of Spider-Man Unlimited.

From there, it was back to the hotel and typing this column up. One more day left, but if I had to bounce out right now, I’d still be pretty satisfied. Tired, but satisfied. More later.

End Transmission 2:48 AM

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