Day two of New York Comic Con started off for me with with an immediate dash to the Marvel booth. They were having a drawing for a 75th anniversary signing event which featured 75 creators that have done work for Marvel throughout it’s history. I managed to get on to the con floor right as it opened… and got in the wrong line. Turned out there was a drawing to get autographs from the entire cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as the 75th anniversary drawing. The line for the S.H.I.E.L.D. signing was way longer than the other, so I was kind of relieved to find out I was in the wrong line. I ended up at about eighth place in the anniversary signing line. One at a time, we were invited to come up and pull tickets out of a bag. They either said WINNER on them, or had a picture of a Marvel character. The guy conducting the drawing was allowing contestants to take a second chance if they did’t win on the first try. When it was my turn, I walked up with the swagger of a winner, reached deeply into the bag, shuffled the tickets around thoroughly, and pulled a winner on the first try. I was then handed a second piece of cardboard that told me when and where the signing was going on later in the day and a limited edition signing book that has blank pages for autographs and tons of Marvel art from the last 75 years.
After that I went to artists alley to check in on the art I had commissioned, but the place was relatively empty. Many of the artists were either in panels, or just weren’t in yet. I managed to knock out a couple autographs while I was there though, and then headed off to the “AMC’s Comic Book Men” panel, featuring Kevin Smith and all the guys that work at the Secret Stash. When Kevin Smith first took the stage, he explained to the crowd that he had recently eliminated sugar from his diet, which lead him to “a dark fucking place”. It apparently was throwing him off of his game to the point that he said, “I’d suck dick for a bowl of Lucky Charms,” much to the amusement of the audience. He talked a little about the show, saying that it’s not reality, but it is unscripted. Guests on the show are planned out ahead of time, but there are no writers. He then brought out the stars of Comic Book Men: Walt Flanagan, Bryan Johnson, Mike Zapcic, and Ming Chen. They immediately jumped into Q&A about the show, though a good many of the questions were unrelated to the show. A lot of attendees admitted to Kevin being a great inspiration to them, several attending, or planning to attend film school because of his influence. One guy even asked Kevin to marry him, as in, perform the ceremony for him and his fiancee. Kevin was taken aback by the question at first, and then suggest perhaps Skyping into the wedding. He asked when and where, and upon hearing it was in New Jersey in 2016, he told the guy to get with one of his people on the side of the stage so they could keep and touch and try to make it happen. Some tidbits that came out of the panel:
- Kevin doesn’t consider Tusk a failure, despite its poor box office showings, and is the first of three “Canadian horror” films. The other two are going to be Yoga Hosers and Moose Jaws.
- If it wasn’t for Tusk there wouldn’t be a Clerks III.
- The opening ten minutes of Clerks III will be in black and white.
When the panel finished I headed back to artists alley and found that a lot more of the artists had showed up. I checked in with Declan Shalvey and my commission wasn’t ready yet. He was very apologetic and told me that he’d have to work on it outside of the con and hoped it would be ready tomorrow. I feel kind of bad that he’s using his free time to work on this piece, but at the same time I’m really excited to see it. I wandered around for a while, getting some more comics signed then grabbed some lunch before heading back down to artists alley to stand in line to get some books signed by Rob Liefeld. The line was very long and got moved shifted around a lot as con volunteers tried to figure out where to fit all the people. Liefeld was charging premium prices for signatures on X-Force and New Mutants titles, with New Mutants #98 commanding the highest price. Apparently he’s heard that there’s going to be a Deadpool movie. When I got to the front of the line, he was very congenial and seemed like a pretty nice guy. He signed my books and shook my hand, smiling the whole time.
I left Liefeld and hustled to the Marvel 75th anniversary signing, the beginning of which I missed. I arrived to the designated location to see an area in the VIP/Press Lounge cordoned off and filled with circular tables that each seated six or so creators that have done work for Marvel over the years. Here’s a list of who I can remember actually seeing there, in no particular order: Brian Michael Bendis (who I nearly ran into, literally), Kurt Busiek, Humberto Ramos, Ann Nocenti, Klaus Janson, Fabian Nicieza, Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Declan Shalvey, Dan Slott, Joe Quesada, Todd McFarlane… and so many more that I’m forgetting. It’s been a long day and I’m tired. But it was amazing seeing that much awesome talent in one place. I could say, “I’ve never seen that much talent in once place,” which sounds kind of weird because of the sheer number of pros at the con, but seeing that many of them packed into such a small space particularly impressive.
During the anniversary signing, guests were allowed one signature per creator. Of the books I got signed, one was by Fabian Nicieza, writer of titles like X-Force, New Mutants, Thunderbolts, and Deadpool and Cable. I had several more I wanted to get Fabian to sign, so I asked if he would be doing any other signings at the con. He didn’t have any more signing time scheduled and was leaving after today but was heading down to artists alley sometime after 6:00 to meet up with artist Kevin Maguire, as they were attending a DC event later in the evening. I thanked him and went off to wander the main show floor again for a bit. I tried a tasty energy drink from SK Energy that had Daredevil on the bottle. I snapped a few pics. Around 6:00 I headed back down to artist alley yet again, and found Kevin Maguire’s booth. I stood around for a while, trying not to make eye contact so as not to seem creepy or expectant of Mr. Maguire. Eventually, I asked him if he knew if Fabian Nicieza was supposed to be meeting up with him, and he said that that was the case. I waited some more but got tired of standing around, so I walked the floor a bit and checking back in a couple times. Nicieza didn’t show up until about 6:50 and socialized with a couple friends and colleagues. I stood there quietly until he finally noticed me, though he didn’t seem to recognize me. I told him that we had spoken earlier about signatures, and he remembered immediately, saying that I was first and joked that his friends could wait. He quickly grabbed up a sharpie and signed five books for me. We chatted for a moment about the rising value of the early appearances of Deadpool (which I was getting him to sign). I mentioned that Rob Liefeld seemed to be aware of the rising prices and how I paid $20 for signatures. “Well you’re getting these for less than $20,” he said. He charged me nothing. He also mentioned how it was a shame that these book were becoming more popular as he lost all his copies in a flood a few years back. I gave him my condolences but he just shrugged it off. When he finished signing and we finished chatting I thanked him for being so gracious with his time, and just being a generally cool guy.
I headed over to one of the stages for an Archer panel, featuring the entire cast of voice actors, only to find out that capacity had already been met. I was a bit disappointed as I love Archer but there wasn’t much I could do. I plan on spending the majority of the day tomorrow (Saturday) in panels, so I need to be sure to line up early. Some of the panels sound pretty awesome and will hopefully reveal some exciting news that I can share.