Thursday, November 16, 2017

pictures from the 2017 Comic-Con International, part 7: the other stuff


Well, I've finally made it to the end of my Comic-Con 2017 pictures. The show goes full-bore right up until the very end, then everything seems to just stop. I've make it a point to actually see some things beyond the inside of the convention center, as much as I enjoy it, every year, so here's a few pictures from that. Oh, and I bought one of those awesome Tick masks at the show. It really does something for your jaw line.


On Tuesday after the show, most of the big banners and other structures come down. See ya, Blade Runner 2049 experience!


One of the must-stop downtown locations after the show is San Diego's Cat Cafe. They had some Comic-Con themed events happening during the show, but afterwards is a good time to visit.


On Tuesday, I left San Diego and drove a few hours northeast toward Joshua Tree National Park. Just outside is the Palm Springs Air Museum, which houses vintage military planes from various wars and eras. It was really impressive to see.


I'm a sucker for art on the side of planes and the stories behind them. Here's some Frank Frazetta-inspired work on the side of The Invader.


I never miss the opportunity to find a comic shop in a new location, which probably tells you just how deep the psychosis runs with me. I made a stop at Interstellar Comic Books & Collectibles in Palm Springs.


The shop is small any very hip. I grabbed all the new comics I had missed by...uh, being at a large comic book convention during the week.


Comic-Con was over, but celebrities were still hanging around. This is Palm Spring's Lucille Ball statue, on the same block as the comic shop. Lucy, Desi and a number of Hollywood stars used to make Palm Springs their vacation home.


Later in the day, I went hiking on San Joaquin Mountain (65 degrees versus 110 in the valley) and met a tree with my name. Probably gonna grow my own.


On Thursday, I made it to Joshua Tree (115 degrees) and saw a rock that kind of looks like a skull.


And that's it! What will I show pictures of next? (New York Comic Con.) See you then!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The big Futurama post, filled with good news (everyone)

Hey there, meatbags, it's time to take a look at some Futurama-related items from the past few months. I will forever have the softest of soft spots in my heart for Futurama, the Fox-turned-Comedy Central sci-fi/comedy cartoon that has meant so much to me since it first launched back in 1999. I've had some fun and interesting moments surrounding the show both in and around Comic-Con, and well, I guess this is the place to talk about it.


I suppose I'll start off with the biggest item on the list. When I was at Comic-Con in July, I purchased some original animated art from the show, as seen above, from the episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television". I had hoped to get it signed by co-creator Matt Groening at his Bongo Comics booth appearance, but I wasn't able to get one of the randomly-distributed tickets when they were handed out.

As I was leaving the booth, I ran into Futurama writer and producer Patric Verrone, and we had a nice conversation. Quite unintentionally, I had bought some eBay items from Verrone a few weeks earlier, and it was an incredible coincidence that not only did I unknowingly make those purchases and exchange a few messages with him after seeing his name on the return address label, but we also just happened to be in a similar space at a convention with over 100,000 people.

I'm leaving some details out of the recollection, but the short of it is that Verrone took my animation art and not only got it signed by Groening, but also co-creator David X. Cohen and voice of Bender, John DiMaggio (Verrone signed it, too!). Needless to say, I was pretty stunned that this all happened, and I'm naturally pretty grateful to all involved, but mostly to Patric Verrone for the incredibly kind gesture. I love that the signatures are personalized, and oh my goodness, check out the original Matt Groening Bender doodle! How unbelievable is that?

After speaking with Verrone, I learned that he, Groening, Cohen, DiMaggio and many other Futurama alumni are creating a new cartoon for Netflix titled "Disenchantment", which will air in 2018. I can't wait to watch it, and I continue to hold out hope for a Futurama revival before too long.

Now let's look at some Futurama related pictures from Comic-Con!


Here's me with Patric Verrone after we met at the Bongo Comics booth. I keep pitching ideas to Bongo for their Simpsons-related comic book titles, but haven't had any luck so far. Maybe some day.


That's Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening in the yellow shirt, arriving at the Bongo booth for his signing.


Near the end of the day on Saturday, I got a picture with Phil LaMarr, voice of Hermes and a number of other characters on the show.


There were a few Futurama-themed costumes at the show, including this Leela...


...and this Bender.


In other news, I finally managed to find and buy some Futurama Comics original artwork! This series was published in print form by Bongo Comics until very recently. Like a few of their series, Futurama Comics moved to a digital-only platform in the past year.


This artwork is by Tone Rodriguez, who shares a last name with Bender - maybe they're related. I'm a big fan of Rodriguez's work...even his 'on model' stuff has his signature style. He's my favorite Bongo artist because he always brings a touch of Kirby to his work. 


I bought five pages in total - kind of. The art you see here is for a five-page short story, as per the description from the seller of the pages. Pages 1-2 and 3-4 are drawn side-by-side on the same pages, so these five pages are drawn on a total of...three pages. If that makes any sense.


Most Futurama Comics stories are contained to a single issue, and they're all drawn in the same basic style, so they tend to blend together after a while and 80+ issues. As such, I'm still trying to figure out exactly where this story saw print. I'm sure I'll figure it out. Check out that sound effect!


I've written a few more Futurama-themed recipes for the "Eats Like A Duck" food blog, including one for these Futurama sugar cookies! I made the above cookies recently and they turned out really well.



Lastly, Futurama kind-of-sort-of returned as a Nerdist podcast double episode with the entire cast and some of the writing staff in September. Have a listen! 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pictures from the 2017 Comic-Con International, part 6: Sunday, 7/23

Even Comic-Con must end...in theory, at least. Professional registration for 2018 was bumped up to the beginning of October this time around (it's usually in the spring), which is just madness! I was able to snag my badge for next year, so we can all look forward to seeing more of these pictures on this blog, the blog of Comic-Con pictures. Below are from Sunday, the final day of the show!


The SpongeBob pineapple in the background matches these "Average Joes" uniforms almost perfectly! I'm kind of surprised that the movie "Dodgeball" has achieved minor cult status. It might be the only Ben Stiller movie I really enjoy!


Lego, as always, had some impressive displays. Here's robot-hand-Star-Wars-guy! That is his official name.


And here's a really cool Thor: Ragnarok display, just in time for the movie!


This Bender costume looks like a mass-produced Halloween costume. Can it be true? Is this available in stores?


I haven't spent much time outside of Comic-Con in the past few years - or at least, I haven't spent as much time as I'd like. The crowds are just getting more plentiful and it's been pretty warm in recent years as well. But, as in years past, I get the desire to walk outside on Sunday as I feel the convention starting to ebb. Cartoon Network has been putting these and similar balloons out in recent years. I guess that's they're thing.


I probably miss the Adult Swim on the Green event more than anything else outside. This activity zone more than any other has gotten too crowded to visit without an hours-long wait involved. It's hard to justify waiting so long just to enter the area, so I haven't seen much of it in the past two years. The carnival-style games were fun, but not worth the time drain and the inevitable sunburn that it would take. Maybe next year!


I have to wonder if this is the same person who wore the dessert car in previous years. Regardless, I enjoy this Back to the Future costume, complete with Einstein!


The makers of the new X-Men television show bought the ad space on the adjacent parking garage this year. I wonder who those day actors are?


Across the train tracks from the convention was some giant gorilla bones to promote the most recent King Kong movie.


I wouldn't put it past Conan O'Brien to actually be in one of these outfits at some point.


With only a few hours to go, I decided to visit the Tick activation site one last time. This time I got to visit the viewing booth, which streamed the pilot on a loop and offered up shade and a comfy seat.


I can't say enough about this whole ensemble. How surreal it was to see all of this set up. Amazon put its full weight behind The Tick. Incredible.


I stopped for the photo op as well. Just a little more to your left.


They started tearing all this down at about 5:01, as the show ended. Gimme some of that scaffolding!


After getting some swag from the Tick site, I made one last pass along the convention floor. People dress up until the bitter end for this thing.


I spent the last hour or so at the New England Comics booth, where I found someone (not me) drawing some Tick artwork, based on Duane's cover to the 2017 FCBD book. He added the "K" to the title afterwards, don't worry.


5:00 rolled around and that was it for Comic-Con 2017. NEC art director Bob Polio commemorated the event.


I'm always amazed at how quickly everything comes down. I imagine that the carpet gets rolled up and tossed into the ocean or something.


I'm sure people find things to complain about, but considering its size and scope, Comic-Con International is the best run big show out there. They always do a great job.


On the way out, around 6:00, I saw this Ghostbuster and dog/marshmallow combo outside the convention hall. Was she waiting out there all day, or did she just decide that she didn't get enough Comic-Con? I understand the feeling.

One more round of pictures to wrap this all up. And then it'll be on to more pictures from another show. Yeah!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Original Marvel Two-in-One artwork!


A few weeks ago, I picked up a signature piece for my original art collection - a page of artwork from Marvel Two-in-One #45!


Marvel Two-in-One #45 features a team-up between the Thing and Marvel's original Captain Marvel.


Artwork on this page is from Alan Kupperberg and Mike Esposito.


There's a lot going on in this page, with the Thing riding a flying...ghost car...about what appears the be the Brooklyn Bridge.


What I love about this page is that the Thing appears in technically every panel...including (I guess) the last panel, in which he's splashing down into the river.


The back of the page has a couple markings on it, including the name of the pencil and ink artist, and the original cost of the page, a minuscule 25 bucks! (I paid slightly more for it.)


Some of the legal information appears at the bottom of the page, which lets us all know that this page is currently 39 years of age.


Here's a sign of that age: one of the word balloons - which was originally added in after the artwork was completed but before publication (I guess the Thing needed another quip) - is loose. I'll need to think of a safe way to reattach it so I don't lose it.


Until then, though, I have the opportunity to do this whenever something bothers me. Works for now!