Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2099 original artwork!

Marvel's 2099 line launched right as I was starting to read and collect comics, and something about it struck a chord with *slightly* younger me. Who can say what it was that made such an impression on me? Why, it could have been any number of...uh...well, okay, we all know what it was: Spider-Man 2099's incredible design by Rick Leonardi:

Has there been a better costume to come out of Marvel in the last 25 years?

Anyway, ever since I picked up a few issues of the 2099 books in the early '90s, I've held a soft spot for them. I tend to try and focus my original art purchases on the Fantastic Four and books I've personally worked on, but these few have managed to sneak their way in. Let's take a look!

This first piece is from Spider-Man 2099 #27, and even though he's out of costume, this page features Miguel O'Hara, Spidey himself.

The art is by Joe St. Pierre, and it was gifted to me by one Ian Nichols. I worked with Joe on a short story for Rhode Island's AR Comics, and even though he was doing me a favor by letting me write something for the book, Ian sent me this page as a thank you.

They - they said the word "Alchemax"! It wouldn't be a proper 2099 title without it.

This next page is from the second issue of Ravage 2099, the 2099 line's only non-derivative title of the launch!

This is the second page of original art I own from the late, great Paul Ryan, one of my favorite artists of all time. Oh, and it was also written by none other than Stan Lee! That's pretty exciting.

One fun note about this page is that the word "blasterproof" was added in the second-to-last panel as a late edit. I guess "bulletproof" didn't sound futuristic enough! Oh, Ravage 2099. You were weird.

These next two pieces are a bit more modern, coming from the recent relaunch of the Spider-Man 2099 series. Both are pieces of preliminary art, and both are by Pasqual Ferry. The first one is rough pencils that eventually became the a variant cover to Spider-Man 2099 #4, with a number of 2099 characters, like Spider-Man, Hulk and Doom!

Here's the final version. It changed a good bit from concept to print.

The next rough sketch eventually became a variant cover to Contest of Champions #4, which featured  a number of Marvel's characters from the future, including Iron Man 2020, who has two years left to remain a part of this group.

Here's the final cover, which took a lot from the rough sketch on the left. I do like the Killraven/War of the Worlds inspired Martian ship in the image to the right! But I'll take Spider-Man 2099 original art any way I can get it.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Pictures from the 2017 New York Comic Con, part 1 (Friday, 10/6)

The Tick's tour de force continued in October of 2017. After the first six episodes landed on Amazon's streaming service in August, the team prepared for the next batch to arrive in February by setting up at the New York Comic Con, just a few miles away from where the series films most of its scenes. After being dumbfounded at how incredible the Tick setup was at Comic-Con in San Diego, I wondered if there would be any promotion at the next big show in New York. Short answer: there was.

It's hard to compare NYCC to San Diego's Comic-Con, in large part because of the space available for the two shows. SDCC sprawls out over the city, while NYCC is mostly confined to the Javits Center in Manhattan (though there were a few offsite locations and events this year, notably at the New York Public Library). The weather contributes to this; San Diego has sunny July days ripe for outdoor events, while it's tough to judge what the weather will be like in New York in October.

At any rate, The Tick had a large presence on the main show floor with one of the bigger displays of the show. Once again, Amazon stepped up with their promotion of this show. Near the row-100 area of the floor were banners and signage, an area for a lineup and...a full-size "Dangerboat" replica. Naturally, this is the first thing I did upon entering the building on Friday, my first day at the show.

The line took about 45 minutes to get through, and as I was approaching the front, I started to notice some of the people just ahead, behind the exhibit ropes. I lucked out quite a bit as I was getting in just as a number of actors and producers were arriving to get a peek at the exhibit. I managed to get a picture with Scott Speiser, "Overkill" on the show, and Barry Josephson, one of the show's executive producers! Josephson asked if I was a fan of the show. I said "yes".

Dangerboat itself looked a but unassuming on the outside (maybe that's the point), but the inside was just incredible!

Here are a couple shots of the inside, which included a lot of interactive screens. You could get an ID sticker printed, steer the boat, and grab a can of Fo-Ham.

Thanks, Dangerboat.

The Dangerboat AI could also be found on board! It followed you around and talked to you at various points. It tried to poke fun at my Steelers hat, but as we all know, that's a futile pursuit. They're going to win their seventh Super Bowl in a few weeks, just FYI.

The Overkill uniform could be found as well!

I wonder where you buy carpet that simulates ocean water.

Naturally, I grabbed a bunch of the free Tick swag on my way out, which was precipitated by the arrival of talk show host Wendy Williams (who was in full Wonder Woman gear). I then hit the convention floor, where there were a lot of great costumes to be seen, including Pickle Rick.

Ghost Riders!

I wonder what makes you decide to put a television screen on your head. Kudos to this guy in any case, and great job with the group Saga costumes.

Here's one I didn't expect to see - it's Captain Telsa from the Image Comics Descender series!

I've always enjoyed the Robotman (from Doom Patrol) design. Hey, Cliff. Oh, and Telsa makes a second, background appearance.

I wonder how Psylocke got her sword through the entrance?

And Dr. Doom got his blaster through as well. I guess Doom gets what he wants.

Check out this kid in an honest-to-goodness Sewer Urchin costume from the Tick animated series!

I think I've seen this guy as Bloodshot before, but hey, if it works, go with it. Great job.

Here's Black Panther with blurry motion action!

Yondu and Mary Poppins was a popular choice this year.

This gentleman retrofitted what looks like a snowboard with wheels to make a pretty neat Silver Surfer costume!

I'm pretty sure BoJack and Princess Caroline were actually taking a moment and not posing as their characters, but they inadvertently relaxed in the most BoJack poses ever.

Rick's gon' give it to ya.

Well, the hammer placement is a bit unfortunate, but that's still a pretty great Steel costume (Power Girl is good as well).

DC had their regular setup spot at the far end of the convention hall. This time they put their Justice League costumes on display.

On the way out for the night, I ran into DC's Scott Snyder, who was gracious enough to take a picture with me. Snyder is writing the (pretty enjoyable) DC book, "Metal", and he managed to stay on brand for this picture. Pretty savvy, guy.

That's it for Friday pictures! More to come!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Let's check out the oddity that is the Kotobukiya Collection light-up Thing statue

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but there wasn't a lot of merchandise put out for the 2007 Fantastic Four movie sequel, "Rise of the Silver Surfer", at least when compared to the previous film in 2005. I remember watching the movie when it came out - I was in the state of Washington for the summer, and I found a drive-in theater that was playing it. It was apparently labeled as the kids' feature, as it was paired with the animated film, "Surfs Up".

There are only a few things I remember about that night at the drive-in. First, "Surfs Up" was a terrible movie. Just awful. I'd never remember it even existed if I didn't force myself to stick it out just so I could see the Fantastic Four sequel. Next, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" was not worth sitting through "Surfs Up" to see. As disappointing as the 2005 movie was (don't kid yourself with that "it wasn't that bad stuff"), the Silver Surfer movie was a directionless disaster, one that featured a not-at-all-tongue-in-cheek Mr. Fantastic dance scene. Most people (justifiably) gripe about the Galactus cloud, but for me, I checked out after seeing Reed Richards do that weird spiral dance move that was almost certainly made for what I assume was a 3-D release.

Anyway, it wasn't long after that I first saw the Kotobukiya Collection Thing statue, based on Michael Chiklis's portrayal of the character, but it took another ten years or so for me to actually buy it. Despite the fact that the statue does actually look pretty good, I wasn't in a hurry to purchase something that came from such a boring film. Several months ago, though, I found one on eBay at a good price and pulled the trigger. So let's take a look!

Kotobukiya is a Japanese company, and as such, there was a Japanese influence on the production of this item, as you can see with both the characters on the front of the box...

...and the Punisher, Daredevil and Blade designs on the back. The box itself feels like part of the product, and you could display it as such.

Case in point: the box has a front "cover" which attaches to the inside with a magnet. The inside flap has a window box where you can see the Thing, trapped I guess, along with a numbered mini placard and the movie logo.

Here's a better shot of the metallic numbered slip. I guess there were 1500 of these made.

The statue itself is very nicely made. You can tell this is designed after the Chiklis-Thing, but the body is rougher and rockier than the foam-like suit worn in the movie.

The base is a little weird, with columns or pillars seemingly holding the Thing up on his pedestal.

The front of the base is set up, I imagine, to look like a movie marquee, with the movie's logo again showing up. The less we're reminded of this film, the better, Kotobukiya!

This is the bottom of the statue, which is where the electronics are held and accessed. I didn't mention this feature until now. Did you know that this statue...

...lights up? It's not a terrible feature as far as novelties go. It does seem pretty odd to add this to a "fine art" statue, and it does attract even more attention to that damn logo, but it doesn't look too bad.

This honestly might be the only piece of merchandise I own from the 2007 film. It's not the best Thing statue I own, but I like it, and if nothing else, it's certainly the brightest!