High Five! Comics

Posts Tagged ‘SDCC

Look, baby, we know we’ve been distant lately. It’s just that, well, things looked like they were starting to get a bit stale. You know how we are! We had to go out! “Sow our wild oats” or whatever the expression is! But we realized that, after all that, the only place we really wanted to be was with you. So, internet, will you take us back? Will you forgive us for our… Ah, jeez, what do you call it… Wanderlust?

You DO? Aw, internet, you’ve made us the happiest blog in the world!

So, what exactly have we been up to since whenever the hell we last posted? Aside from constantly watching Spider-Man: The ’67 Collection and suffering from Flashpoint and Fear Itself-induced not-giving-a-shit, not a whole hell of a lot. Seriously, we didn’t even end up making it to SDCC this year or anything (I’m gonna go ahead and blame the cast of Glee and Hall H, which seems like the internet’s excuse du jour).

Basically, expect semi-regular posts picking back up within the next couple days or so… If I feel like it.

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For dubbing our San Diego condo “Hive Five Headquarters,” we sure were quiet during the actual convention. Surely, the other blogs were covering all of the actual news stuff (OMG EYE-STABS) while we were out, you know, having fun and stuff. But we wouldn’t be much of a comic blog if we didn’t talk about San Diego Comic-Con itself, so here’s the day-by-day goings on through the eyes of us High Fivers.

Wednesday, July 21

Not much really goes on at Preview Night, but it’s always nice to get the lay of the land. Early access to the floor and first pick of whatever is for sale is cool and all, but that’s more or less all that happens. The highlight of Preview Night (for me) was definitely getting Bill Willingham to sign my copies of Ironwood #7-10 (pfft, don’t judge me). He was shocked when I pulled them out of their bags, and for a minute I thought the whole exchange was going to be super-awkward, but then he jovially asked for our I.D. cards and starting sharing some insider information with us, like how his former studio mates’ mugs are hidden in the cover art of issue #10.

Maggie’s Preview Night highlight? Shaking Michael Dorn’s hand and mumbling “Thank you,” like a big dumb fangirl.

Aside from that, I managed to pick up Power Man and Iron Fist #50, Flash Volume 1 #289 (first Firestorm back-up, the first thing George Pérez ever did professionally) and DC Comics Presents #17 (Superman and Firestorm team-up, a huge hole in my Ronnie Raymond collection). Hell yes.

Thursday, July 22

All the other blogs are putting in their two cents about this, so we might as well follow suit. Yes, Westboro Baptist Church protested Comic-Con and it’s “worship of false idols.” While High Five! unilaterally agreed with Warren Ellis’ plan of “ignore, ignore, ignore,” some attendees opted to counter-protest. Whatever, go for it. My biggest problem was that while most of the signs mocked religious intolerance (I did laugh at “the Cylons destroyed the 12 Colonies for your sins” and Maggie loved the “Kill All Humans!” sign wielded by a Bender),  some of the signs in the counter-protest (namely “Fuck God”) were just as offensive as Westboro’s signs, more or less giving Phelps and crew exactly what they wanted. Oops.

Inside the convention center, we got Hava all badged up and headed straight for the “BOOM! Irredeemable/Incorruptible” panel. Highlights included the potential for character-specific one-shot tie-ins and listening to Waid and Peter Krause discuss their writing process. Oh, and the Irreedemable perfumes by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (friends of Hava’s, plug plug plug).

Later we hit up the “Mondo Marvel” and “DC Comics 75th Anniversary” panels. Holy shit, I could listen to Dennis O’Neil (Green Lantern/Green Arrow!) and Jerry Robinson (creator of Alfred, Robin, and the freakin’ Joker!) talk all day. Fun Fact: According to Jerry Robinson, Batman’s sidekick was NOT named after the bird, but after Robinson’s own childhood nickname.

Maggie and Hava tried to hit up the “Geek Girls Exist” panel but the place was well over capacity and half-full of dudes. Bummer! Still, rather than pout, the girls gave up getting in and held their own Geek Girls panel at a bar on Fifth Street, because this is San Diego Comic-Con, and you can always find something awesome to do when your original plan falls apart. Big congratulations to the Geek Girls’ Network for hosting a massively successful panel!

Later on, Maggie went over to w00tstock and met Wil Wheaton and Aaron Douglas and Matt Fraction while Hava, Jon, and I went to the BOOM! Studios’ Fifth Anniversary Drink-Up and spent upwards of an hour and a half chatting up Peter Krause. Hell of a way to end a night.

Friday, July 23

Friday was Room 6DCE day. After sitting through the “Marvel Video Games” panel (and, I’ll admit, “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” looks pretty rad), the barrage of DC panels began.

First up was “Spotlight on Grant Morrison” and, my god, that was entertaining. Between his bajillion impressions, he announced the release of an Absolute We3 and revealed that Seaguy: Eternal will be coming sooner rather than later.

Next up was the “Batman: The Return” panel. The stage was packed, with Grant Morrison, Bryan Q. Miller, Gail Simone, Paul Dini, Paul Cornell, Judd Winick, Scott Snyder, Frazer Irving, David Finch, Dustin Nguyen, and Mike Marts (I probably forgot somebody). Biggest news was that Morrison will be replaced by Peter Tomasi on Batman and Robin while Morrison starts a new Batman team-up book called Batman Inc. Paul Cornell will also write Knight and Squire (which we’re all pretty psyched for) and a Batman Beyond ongoing was hinted at. Also, the whole panel kept joking about how Dick Grayson is about to get “a bullet in the brain” meaning that I’m pretty sure Jon and I were right (at least about something).

Next was the “Superman: Man of Tomorrow” panel with J. Michael Straczynski, Jeff Lemire, Sterling Gates, Shane Davis, and Paul Cornell. Straczynski discussed his upcoming run on the “Grounded” storyline in Superman (nothing we didn’t already know) and the Superman: Earth One graphic novel he’s writing, with art by Shane Davis. Cornell revealed that Neil Gaiman’s Death will be a major character in Action Comics #894. The biggest news (to us, at least) was that the Phantom Stranger would be a major character in an upcoming Superboy book by Jeff Lemire. YES.

The last panel of the day was “DC Nation.” Dan DiDio, Straczynski, Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, and Jim Lee (flanked by fans in costumes, including a Darkseid who stayed frighteningly in-character) revealed a few future projects, but nothing too crazy. Mostly that Geoff Johns will write a book starring Bart Allen and the other speedsters called Flash: Speed Force, that he’s writing a Dex-Starr Valentine’s Day special, and that he has an upcoming secret project with Grant Morrison.

On the way out, after nearly six hours parked in 6DCE, we ran into fellow blogger Kelson from Speed Force. Who’d have thought people from the internet have, like, faces and stuff!

Maggie and Hava headed over to the Geek Girls Tweet-Up while Jon and I went to Tweet House Party on the U.S.S. Midway and watched William Shatner, Brent Spiner, and LeVar Burton promote a website they knew nothing about and then run away to a VIP area. At least we got to be serenaded by Alice Cooper’s son’s band (Oh God. No).

Saturday, July 24

By this point, we were exhausted, and we still needed to get a ton of shopping done. The only panel we attended on Saturday was “Avatar Press and Max Brooks” where they talked endlessly about Crossed and Lady Death before casually mentioning that Warren Ellis is working on a second volume to Ignition City and that Supergod #4 is fiiiiinally ready to ship next Wednesday. While there wasn’t much news on the Ellis at Avatar front, listening to Max Brooks riff for 45 minutes was a hoot. He even touched on inter-fandom animosity, saying, “Everyone gets to have something, even teenage girls who are afraid of penises. Suck my blood, but don’t touch my tits!”

The rest of the day was dedicated to buying books and gathering sketches (we’ll share those in a separate post) and autographs. Jon managed to track down a sweet copy of October 1976’s Captain Britain #1 (complete with mask) and Maggie got June 1967’s Strange Adventures #201 (featuring an old Animal Man story that’s screaming for the Silver Age Recap treatment).

The most awesome thing of all, however, was talking extensively with Frazer Irving (who drew a three-second Batman for Maggie even though he wasn’t supposed to) and getting a bunch of books signed by Grant Morrison. Oh, and this.

We win at everything.

Sunday, July 25

I guess Hall H had nothing going on because the Exhibit Hall was fucking packed. Everybody walking past the immense line to get signatures and sketches from Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Francis Manapul asked what the deal was and then walked away, unimpressed by some of the best artists in the business.

Maggie gathered 3 out of 4 signatures for her copy of 52 #1 last weekend, with a bit of Con luck on Sunday. We were talking with Greg Rucka at the Oni Booth about some of his upcoming books, including the next issue of Stumptown and a new Queen & Country novel.  As Rucka signed some comics for Maggie, up walked Geoff Johns. Rucka signed 52, then turned around and handed it to Johns for her. The two writers shared an “Aw! Remember the good old days!?” moment, and Maggie did a fist pump because in case you didn’t know, now that Johns is running half the DCU, his signing lines are enormous.

The only panel we attended on Sunday was the “DC Town Hall Meeting.” Dan DiDio and Jim Lee really, really wanted to know what we thought of digital comics. (Answer: We like them, but don’t you dare fuck with our weekly books.) Also, Maggie may have terrfied poor Mr. DiDio. He brought it on himself though, when he asked (albeit jokingly) if she didn’t mean to be at a Harry Potter panel instead.  Sorry, DiDio. You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

We’ve got more San Diego news in store, including some reviews and the High Five! Sketchbook, San Diego edition. Stay tuned!

Rob already wrote about Rucka and his women, I’m gonna write about Geoff Johns and the DCU heroes. Greg Rucka: Female Heroes as Geoff Johns: SubTrinity Justice Leaguers.
Is there a DC fan alive who doesn’t have a total Bro-Crush on Geoff Johns? I don’t think so. Geoff writes the capes better than pretty much anyone out there. Someone at SDCC this year asked him if he’d ever consider doing some creator-owned work, he said “You know what? I just love writing for the superheroes.” You get the feeling this dude loves Hal Jordan just as much as you do.
Granted, that’s a feeling you get from a lot of comic writers, but with Johns it’s particularly intense. I love Barry Allen. He is, bar none, my favorite – and Hal Jordan ain’t far behind him. Geoff Johns brought Hal and Barry back to life – and when he did it, he managed to not only pay homage to all the work that had gone before him, but to add layers to the continuity of both characters that made their universes richer and more interesting – not your average retcons.
JOhns writes for the DCU with an unparalleled respect for the heritage of the characters. Some of these heroes are older than my grandparents – giving them their due is probably not the easiest accomplishment in the world.
Some writers can be a bit put off by the intensity of comics fans. We are a SERIOUS BUNCH. You’d think Hal and Barry were REAL to hear me talk about them. But bless Johns’ ever lovin’ heart, he returned every high five we presented to him, including a pretty impressive Air Five across the room at the 2000+ strong Blackest Night panel. A lot of creators have indulged our obsession with the high five, but none with a massive Air Five across a packed panel.
The dude likes slurpees and drinkin’ and breakfast cereal and comics and has one of the most hilarious twitter feeds I’ve ever seen (@GailSimone wins that contest, though.) And he’s writing Blackest Night, which honestly is one of the best EVENT series I’ve ever read.
Johns takes the concept of an emotional spectrum, different colors representing different emotions – which in the hands of another writer might turn out completely trite – and applies it to the psyches of the DC heroes in astounding ways. As I wanted to scream at the twits Rob ran into at the comic shop the other day, THIS IS NOT A ZOMBIE COMIC. The Black Lanterns don’t want to eat your brains, they want to break your heart.
I’ve got some buddies who don’t really cotton to Johns, which is fine, it takes all kinds. I’ve converted a lot of people to Capes & Tights by loaning them Green Lantern: Rebirth, but some folks just aren’t interested in the mythos. Some folks are more into the non-superheroes or the weird ass not hero-y at all books. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a healthy appreciation for non-Cape & Tights books, but I love my heroes too. I wanna holler “HELL YEAH!” in the middle of an issue, and right now, Johns does that better than anyone else.
So, here’s a three (vodka-laced) slurpee High Five! salute to Geoff Johns and his ability to raise the dead.
Johns understands High Five etiquette

Johns understands High Five etiquette

Rob already wrote about Rucka and his women, I’m gonna write about Geoff Johns and the DCU heroes. Analogy time!

Greg Rucka: Female Heroes :: Geoff Johns: SubTrinity Justice Leaguers.

Is there a DC fan alive who doesn’t have a total Bro-Crush on Geoff Johns? I don’t think so. Geoff writes the capes better than pretty much anyone out there right now. Someone at SDCC this year asked him if he’d ever consider doing some creator-owned work and he said “You know what? I just love writing for these heroes.” You get the feeling this dude loves Hal Jordan just as much as you do.

Granted, that’s a feeling you get from a lot of comic writers, but with Johns it’s particularly intense. I love Barry Allen. He is, bar none, my favorite – and Hal Jordan ain’t far behind him. Geoff Johns brought Hal and Barry back to life – and when he did it, he managed to not only pay homage to all the work that had gone before him, but to add layers to the continuity of both characters that made their universes richer and more interesting – not your average retcons.

Johns writes for the DCU with an unparalleled respect for the heritage of the characters. Some of these heroes are older than my grandparents – giving them their due is probably not the easiest accomplishment in the world.

Some writers can be a bit put off by the intensity of comics fans. We are a SERIOUS BUNCH. You’d think Hal and Barry were REAL to hear me talk about them. But bless Johns’ ever lovin’ heart, he returned every high five we presented to him, including a pretty impressive Air Five across the room at the 2000+ strong Blackest Night panel. A lot of creators have indulged our obsession with the high five, but none with an Air Five!

The dude owns like 20 Michigan shirts (at least I hope it’s more than just the one), he likes slurpees and drinkin’ and breakfast cereal and comics, has one of the most hilarious twitter feeds I’ve ever seen (@GailSimone wins that contest, though), and he gives ice cream to kids who wouldn’t get any otherwise. And he’s writing Blackest Night, which is honestly one of the best EVENT! series I’ve ever read.

Johns takes the concept of an emotional spectrum, different colors representing different emotions – which in the hands of another writer might turn out completely trite – and applies it to the psyches of the DC heroes in astounding ways. As I wanted to scream at the twits Rob ran into at the comic shop the other day, THIS IS NOT A ZOMBIE COMIC. The Black Lanterns don’t want to eat your brains, they want to break your heart.

I’ve got some buddies who don’t really cotton to Johns, which is fine, it takes all kinds. Granted,  I’ve converted a lot of people to Capes & Tights by loaning them Green Lantern: Rebirth, but even then some folks just aren’t interested in the mythos. Some folks are more into the  not hero-y at all books. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a healthy appreciation for non-Cape & Tights books, but I love my heroes too. I wanna holler “HELL YEAH!” in the middle of an issue, and right now, Johns does that better than anyone else (see: Green Lantern #44.)

So, here’s a three (vodka-laced) slurpee High Five! salute to Geoff Johns and his ability to raise the dead. Thanks, dude!

I hope he has more than one. Maybe we should start a Michigan Shirt drive.

I hope he has more than one. Maybe we should start a Michigan Shirt drive.

As promised in our first entry, here’s Billy West’s fun little rant from the cartoon voices panel about being a geek, finding an artificial larynx, and how to do a sweet robot voice.


The High Five! Crew, Sunday Conversation with DiDio* Panel, SDCC 2009
(the backs of our heads, anyway.)

“…I felt disenfranchised as a kid, I was a loner – kind of a geek, you know – I liked comic books, like everybody else here. And you tried to fit in with the regular world, but man, you stuck out like a sore thumb; so you found like three friends that you could be friends with til you’re 80.”

That’s how Billy West began the tale of his search for an artificial larynx.** On the last day of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, my husband, myself, and our man-at-arms, Rob, stumbled into the Cartoon Voices panel to nab good seats for the last DC-related panel of the weekend. While we killed an hour in a panel we might have otherwise skipped over altogether, one of the panelists began riffing about his early days in voicework. After a few minutes, we placed his eerily familiar voice – it was Fry! Billy West of Futurama! I high fived him at the end of the panel.

Modern geeks have been able to band together in groups larger than three, thanks to the internet, which we invented. Geek culture is rampant – just look at the ticket sales for JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, or the clamor over Iron Man 2, or the fact that Comic-Con attracts over 125,000 attendees – pop culture has become geek culture. Being a nerd is more socially acceptable than ever, but when you’re a 25 year old married woman who would really like to get off work a little early to make it to the comic shop, most people are still going to think you’re weird.

Everyone wants to wear the geek mantle now, but there’s a world of difference between someone who liked Star Wars and someone who knows what R.A. Salvatore did. There’s a big difference between someone who thinks Heath Ledger was the best Joker ever and someone who’s read The Killing Joke. There’s a huge difference between someone who dug the X-men cartoon back in the nineties and someone who knows who Abigail Brand is.

There are levels of geek. Sure, the whole world’s a little bit geeky, but only some of us know the difference between the Justice Society and the Justice League.

High Five! wants to speak to the geeks, the real geeks. We want to indoctrinate the not-so-geeky and educate the sort-of-geeky. And we want to drink a lot of beer in the process. Stay tuned!

*Check out DC’s official podcast of the Sunday Conversation panel here.

**I caught the whole thing on tape! The video will go up as soon as I’ve determined whether or not I was a very bad girl for recording it.


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