SDCC 2009 Friday


Lots of pictures today, so I’m going to keep my commentary to a minimum. I should point out that, while I do have a few media and crowd pics, there are plenty of other sources for those, as well as a myriad of costumed con-goers, so I decided to concentrate mainly on comics writers and artists.


Old friend and former DC staffer Bob Greenberger, who just won an award for his novelization of the second Hellboy movie. Good going, Bob!


Couldn’t resist this one: Adam West, Batman on TV when I was a kid.


Dave Gibbons, wearing some cool new glasses (at least new to me).


And John Higgins, colorist of Watchmen, so two-thirds of the creative team are here! This was my first in-person meeting with John. I worked with him and Dave on THUNDERBOLT JAXON for WildStorm.


Speaking of WATCHMEN, the Warner Brothers media booth was advertising the Watchmen video game. Don’t think Alan would be pleased, but he’ll probably never even hear about it.


Next to John was Cameron Stewart, terrific artist on SEAGUY, and another creator I hadn’t met in person before. He’s holding up the art from one of our favorite SEAGUY pages.


Old friend artist Scott Hampton with a Batman watercolor he was finishing as I watched.


Ran into digital color pioneer and master Steve Oliff, haven’t seen him for a while. He’s been out of comics for a few years, and is now here lookng for some coloring work. I hope and expect he’ll find some.


Detected an inappropriate use of the font Comic Sans at the “Heroes” TV show booth. Tsk. (Note, the balloons pulled from the Heroes comic are fine.)


Up the escalator toward the panel rooms…


Upstairs under the sails I stopped at the Freebies table to turn over some fliers for my prints. This is all handouts and giveaways. The young ladies are not included, I’m sure.


Nearby I saw this amusing and more appropriate use of Comic Sans.


Attended some the the 70s panel hosted by Mark Evanier. Here are writers Doug Moench, Elliot S! Maggin and Nicola Cuti. Also there were writer Marv Wolfman and artists Mike Royer and Gene Colan. Fun stuff.


Ran into artist Hilary Barta, who bemoaned the fact that he can’t get publishers to hire me to letter his work, as I did for Splash Brannigan. He’s now working on CREEPY for Dark Horse.


Back on the con floor, this Dalek brought back memories of watching Dr. Who. It actually looked better than the ones on TV to me.


I snapped this shot of a DEFENDERS splash page from 1974 at an art dealer’s table because it’s a great example of the work lettering master Gaspar Saladino was doing for Marvel at the time. Uncredited, he lettered the first page of many of their books, while some lesser talent did the rest and got credit.


Writer Greg Rucka at the DC booth, promoting Batwoman in DETECTIVE COMICS, which we both work on with artist J.H. Williams III. We talked about how great Jim is, and are sorry he couldn’t be here this year.


Also at the DC booth was artist John Paul Leon, who I worked with on EARTH X and TOM STRONG, but never met until now.


One of the more popular comics-related movie exhibits was this one of four versions of the Iron Man suit, promoting Iron Man 2.


In Artists’ Alley I had a nice chat with artist Peter Gross about an upcoming issue of the book we work on, THE UNWRITTEN. Issue 5 is going to be the best yet, it’s a wonderful story involving Rudyard Kipling.


Also there was comedy and voice-acting genius and legend Stan Freberg. I attended his panel a little later, and it was the highlight of my con this year. If you don’t know his wonderful comedy records, you’ve heard him in advertising or in over 400 classic Warner Brothers cartoons, where he worked, uncredited, with Mel Blanc. Or perhaps you remember the Beany and Cecil show, where he did half the voices, or his own radio show. Freberg and his wife Hunter did a solid hour of entertaining stories and voices that charmed and delighted a packed crowd in the largest panel room.


I also attended part of the WEDNESDAY COMICS panel, and am now more anxious than ever to see this cool new DC experiment. I haven’t seen it yet, and the book is nowhere to be found at the con, it’s sold out. Above are contributors Dave Gibbons, Mike Allred and Paul Pope. Sorry about the bad quality of the pic, the low light level is the reason.


The panel was hosted by editor and creator Mark Chiarello. This tabloid-sized series with many more top creators sounds like a hit, one not to miss if you can find it.


On my way out of the con I was attracted to this art poster from the film UP, one of several. Love the faux folded paper lines. Late in the afternoon I headed back to my hotel to relax and freshen up before dinner.


Tonight’s dinner was a Vertigo pre-Eisners one at the new Hilton Bayside hotel just east of the convention center, at their Vela restaurant. Not a great picture, I was too close! The Eisner Awards were held here as well. I’m not nominated this year, but host Karen Berger insisted I come anyway.


Here’s one of the two tables, with Buckingham and Willingham, both facing away, Richard Bruning at the end, inker Richard Friend and his wife at the near end.


Had a nice time talking to Richard, inker on MADAME XANADU. His wife took this picture of us, that’s Amy Hadley, his penciller, behind him. Soon, it was off to the Eisners. I had planned to sit in the audience this year for a different perspective, but the Vertigo gang convinced me to sit up front with them, instead.


The awards were too long at 3 hours, as usual, but host Bill Morrison did his best to keep things moving.


I was very pleased that the CORALINE graphic novel by P. Craig Russell won for best publication for Tweens/Teens. Neil Gaiman was there to accept for himself and Craig.


Bill Willingham won for Best Writer, well deserved, but sadly was the only winner at our table of Vertigo hopefuls this year. Well, there’s always next year.


I enjoyed seeing my old friend, legendary DC artist Murphy Anderson, present to accept two awards for others. Best acceptance speech of the evening was by Hall of Famer Russ Heath, though, who simply said he was delighted to still be alive to accept it. Most entertaining was Jill Thompson for her MAGIC TRIXIE books, egged on by some of the comedian presenters.

That’s it for Friday, and this has taken much longer to write than it should. The internet here is very slow, no doubt overloaded. More tomorrow, I hope!

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