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Sunday, July 15, 2012

San Diego Comic Con 2012

If you're not in the comics biz you might think Comic Con in San Diego is the ONLY comic book convention in the country-- and you'd be wrong.  There are well over 100 different shows, in fact just about one a week somewhere (check out some of them small and some of them nearing the size of San Diego (New York is getting there as an East Coast variant), but no other convention produces the AMOUNT of news and announcements than San Diego.

Critics maintain that the show is no longer about comics-- and I think that's a fair criticism.  I personally wish it was more about comics and less about Hollywood.

The mainstream press would also have you think that its a weekend of people walking around in ridiculous costumes-- and while there is some truth to that, it's not the whole truth.

Deadman Cosplay photo by Bethany Fong
My good buddy Scott even got into the 'Action';

Scott at the Captain Action Panel
Possibly the most famous Cosplayer at San Diego is Adam Savage, famed from the fabulous show MYTHBUSTERS.  Each year Adam dresses up both for the fun of it and to avoid being mobbed by fans.  This year he sported three costumes including

The Rocketeer
NO FACE from Spirited Away
and whoever this dude is from Lord of the Rings (please don't email me and tell me who it is-- I DON'T CARE -- Tommy Lee Jones voice from The Fugitive)

Cool costume anyway, regardless of who it's supposed to be
Savage Unmasked!
While fans are certainly there to buy comics-- at least a few of them anyway, the show has become more and more about News, Awards and Hollywood breaking announcements to a genre audience.

Some TOYS and Merchandise News Highlights

About a month ago DC Comics, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox ironed out the licensing agreements to the classic '66 Batman TV Show (which means official DVD releases are not far behind) and already we're seeing some of what is coming up in the next year.

Mattel 6" Movie Masters Adam West Batman Figure
Mattel will produce mass market figures starting with the 6" line of the Adam West show-- during its panel they showed a prototype which brought down the house.

Hot Toys had their first entry into the '66 Batrealm on display at the Sideshow Booth:

1/6 Scale Batmobile.  Picture by Scott Sebring
A 1/6 scale Batmobile!  This thing is HUGE-- 1/6 scale means the figures that would fit in it are 12" tall-- coming soon-- so this thing is about four feet long!  I'm already pre-ordering one for myself.  We'll have to take out the couch to display it but who cares?

Hallmark also announced an Adam West Batman ornament and there were a few other tidbits here and there.

The FOUR HORSEMEN revealed a few more of their OUTER SPACE MEN which is a toy line I personally have been both involved with and love, based on the original figures from Colorforms in the 60s;

The Outer Space Men, still cool after all these years
BifBangPow! is an exciting company with several really interesting licenses including Classic Battlestar Galactica, Six Million Dollar Man, Dark Shadows and The Venture Bros.

Dark Shadows Figures from the Classic 60s Show
The Dark Shadows sculpts are amazing-- I'm not sure who's buying dolls based on a 60s Soap Opera but they are cool anyway.

The Venture Bros!
They really knocked it out of the park with their Venture Bros line though-- especially the new 3 3/4" line--which I've also pre-ordered.  It's not always easy to translate a 2D likeness to 3D, but with these two lines they really did it.

Not so much with the Six Million Dollar Man--

Bigfoot is good, but is that Roger Moore in a tracksuit?
Fantastic that they are doing a Bigfoot figure-- anyone who watched the show knows that the Bigfoot episodes were among the best of this great goofy show-- but Steve Austin looks a bit more like James Bond.  Maybe in person they'll look better?

Diamond Select Toys Hanna Barbera Line
From Diamond Select comes a great line of Hanna Barbera figures including Fred Flintstone and Scooby Doo.  Fun with great sculpts.


They screened the FULL new DREDD Film which will make everyone forget about the Sylvester Stallone movie from 1995

He actually is the law
The reviews have been great and THIS is the 2012 movie I'm most looking forward to-- and you all thought it was THE DARK KNIGHT RISES didn't you?

Warner Bros showed a quick trailer for their new GODZILLA Film set to be released in 2014-- and first announced back at SDCC 2010--

While the trailer was VERY widely heralded as being more faithful to Godzilla than the awful Matthew Broderick film from 1998 (as a movie not bad, as a Godzilla film awful).  It's going to have to really work hard to overcome the sour taste that movie left in a lot of fans mouths.


Mads Mikkelsen (seen here in Casino Royale) will play Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter gets his own TV Series which will cover the events of of Thomas Harris' book series.  Dark and disturbing seems to be the trend on TV.

On a lighter side, yet still dark, MOCKINGBIRD LANE will be a new and slightly less funny take on THE MUNSTERS.  Expect dark and edgy here too.

ARROW will take the place of SMALLVILLE to represent DC Comics on the small screen, the story of Green Arrow will include cameos by other DC Characters as well.  Can the character carry a whole show himself?  He's never been able to carry his own title alone, but we'll see.

And of course-- COMIC NEWS

Fantagraphics Joins Comixology to release their library digitally
Fantagraphics, one of the best publishers in the industry, announced it would be taking the digital plunge with their library through Comixology.

Neil Gaiman announced he'd be working on a SANDMAN Graphic Novel for VERTIGO, big news for fans of that series which ended several years ago.

And a whole bunch of other stuff that was completely buried by news of everything else.

The Eisner Awards were handed out too, kudos to many talented folks here as well as many friends:

SAN DIEGO - The following awards were given out at the 24th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, Friday night July 13, at the Indigo Ballroom in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, as part of Comic-Con International: San Diego.  The Eisner's are essentially the Academy Awards of the comics industry.

Best Short Story
"The Seventh," by Darwyn Cooke, in Richard Stark's Parker: The Martini Edition (IDW)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Daredevil #7, by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)

Best Continuing Series
Daredevil, by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)

Best Limited Series
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
Dragon Puncher Island, by James Kochalka (Top Shelf)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12)
Snarked, by Roger Langridge (kaboom!)

Best Publication for Young Adults (Ages 12–17)
Anya's Ghost, by Vera Brosgol (First Second)

Best Anthology
Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

Best Humor Publication
Milk & Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad, by Evan Dorkin (Dark Horse Books)

Best Digital Comic
Battlepug, by Mike Norton,

Best Reality-Based Work
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse Books)

Best Graphic Album - New
Jim Hensons Tale of Sand, adapted by Ramón K. Pérez (Archaia)

Best Graphic Album - Reprint
Richard Stark's Parker: The Martini Edition, by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Strips
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse vols. 1-2, by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein and Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project - Comic Books
Walt Simonson's The Mighty Thor Artist's Edition (IDW)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Manara Library, vol. 1: Indian Summer and Other Stories, by Milo Manara with Hugo Pratt (Dark Horse Books)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Writer
Mark Waid, Irredeemable, Incorruptible (BOOM!); Daredevil (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
Craig Thompson, Habibi (Pantheon)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Ramón K. Pérez, Jim Henson's Tale of Sand (Archaia)

Best Cover Artist
Francesco Francavilla, Black Panther (Marvel); Lone Ranger, Lone Ranger/Zorro, Dark Shadows, Warlord of Mars (Dynamite); Archie Meets Kiss (Archie)

Best Coloring
Laura Allred, iZombie (Vertigo/DC); Madman All-New Giant-Size Super-Ginchy Special (Image)

Best Lettering
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse)

Best Comics-Related Journalism
The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon,

Best Educational/Academic Work (tie)
Cartooning: Philosophy & Practice, by Ivan Brunetti (Yale University Press)
Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby, by Charles Hatfield (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Comics-Related Book
MetaMaus, by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)

Best Publication Design
Jim Henson's Tale of Sand, designed by Eric Skillman (Archaia)

Hall of Fame
Judges' Choices: Rudolf Dirks, Harry Lucey
Bill Blackbeard, Richard Corben, Katsuhiro Otomo, Gilbert Shelton

Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award:
Tyler Crook

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award:
Morrie Turner

Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award:
Frank Doyle, Steve Skeates

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award:
Akira Comics, Madrid, Spain - Jesus Marugan Escobar and
The Dragon, Guelph, ON, Canada - Jennifer Haines

The Eisner Awards are part of, and underwritten by, Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture.

The show ends today-- wrapping up until next year.