In which I talk a lot about a convention I didn’t even go to.

§ April 21st, 2008 § Filed under free comic book day Comments Off

So, I’ve been off for a week. What’d I miss?

Oh, okay, I know I missed a lot. There was that whole New York comic convention boondoggle over the weekend, which, from what little I managed to read about it, made that Wizard World con pal Dorian and I went to look like just a bunch of guys trading comics in a garage somewhere. Well, it is a little closer to the center of the American funnybook universe, so there’s that.

A few of my blogging buddies attended the show, and have been updating over the weekend. I imagine we’ll see more comprehensive reports once they recover (or, in Kevin’s case, sober up), but Kevin Church has a brief wrap-up here, Chris Butcher has some photos and will speak about the con on NPR Monday morning (here’s the show archive if you miss it), Johanna has run-downs of what she was getting up to Friday and Saturday, and Bully…

…Bully, the little stuffed bull what loves the comics was at the con all weekend, and here’s the photographic proof. I think I just about died when I realized Bully was wearing a tiny backpack. Oh my goodness.

Bully also got shots of the Watchmen action figures, the Mike Sterling Memorial Comic Book Rack, and The Rack‘s Benjamin Birdie doing his Flash impression and Kevin Church doing what Kevin Church does best.

There are some little bits ‘n’ pieces of actual comic news from the New York con that I’d like to point out (with links to the Newsarama articles):

  • Dude, all you need to know from this Grant Morrison panel is this:

    MORE SEAGUY.

  • New ongoing Secret Six series, written by Gail Simone. Simone’s previous Secret Six stuff was a lot of fun, and she somehow pulled off the miracle of making people interested in Cat Man, of all characters, so I’m really looking forward to this series.
  • “Marvel Apes?” Most folks’ immediate reaction seems to be “we didn’t like this when it was called ‘JLApe’ either.” I mean, I’m all for more monkeys in my comics, but DC always struck me as your go-to company for primate funnybook action.
  • I like Frank Miller ‘n’ all, but I’m gonna need to see more of The Spirit movie before I can decide how I feel about this. The poster didn’t help matters much, and while I like the look of the trailer:


    …I’m hoping there’s a bit more of a lighter touch in the actual film. I do appreciate that the trailer says “BASED ON THE COMIC BOOK” in BIG, BIG letters, though.

  • There’s a new Supergirl comic aimed at younger readers supposedly forthcoming. Hopefully kids will still want a Supergirl comic, after DC did its best to drive away budding Supergirl fans with their regular offerings.
  • The best news out of the convention is that the Gordon Lee case has been dismissed, especially after the peculiar behavior of the prosecution the last time a trial was attempted. For more information, please check out the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund website.


In other news:
  • Speaking of Benjamin Birdie of The Rack fame…he now has his own fancypants website, located at, where else, Benjaminbirdie.com. Already he knocks it out of the park with the first of an ongoing series of posts discussing single pages from assorted comics (beginning with a sequence from Marvel Boy #4). Good, insightful reading, from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

  • Regarding that terrifying post of mine from yesterday, reader Ironbear left a comment describing how the sound function on those toys worked:

    “The cool thing was the weird sound technology: the Patented Talking Tape was embossed plastic, attached at one end to the inflatable. The sound was embossed in the tape in thousands of grooves along the length of the tape. To play, you’d simply run a fingernail along the tape: the very lo-fi sound came out of the inflatable itself.”

    Huh. I was pretty sure I hadn’t heard of this, until I looked at this page about “talking tape” and suddenly it seems oddly familiar. I don’t think I ever had anything that used this technology, but I must have heard about it at some point. Anyway, here’s a short YouTube video demonstrating one of these talking tapes in action:


    Sorcery! SORCERY!

  • We received most of our order of Free Comic Book Day comics last week, with the balance to arrive this week. Haven’t had much of a chance to go through too many of them, but the Hellboy one is nice — all new stories, though the BPRD story is is for the Long-Term Fans Only. The EC Sampler is pretty cool, even if it only exists as an advertisement for the $50 EC Archives volumes, but it’s hard to fault anything that gets old EC comics into the hands of kids. And the Archie entry is essentially a blatant ad for the Geppi comics museum.

    Also, I did my usual search on the eBay for people selling this year’s new FCBD books, and, sure enough, there are a few folks out there desperately missing the point, who’d rather make a quick buck or two in the short term rather than take the chance of giving the comics away to someone who might become a regular reader.

    After the FCBD event is over, I’m…well, the market will out, I suppose, on the FCBD books, but I think selling them even after FCBD is over for the year is still missing an opportunity. We use them throughout the year, giving them to libraries, passing them out at the store, and so on. It’s a great promotional tool, and it’s a shame some folks don’t see it that way.

    I may have more to say on FCBD this year, but if not, you can read previous musings on the topic here and here.

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