Toronto ComicCon Recap!

As promised, my review from the Toronto ComicCon!

But first, I’ve been crazy-busy with work. I thought I would have had this up sooner, so I apologize for being so late. Blame the vikings.

ComicCon

I got to the Con around 11am and due to some unfortunate lack of organization, I didn’t get in until twelve – and that was by purchasing an advanced ticket. While I didn’t whine or complain at all, I knew the reasoning behind it was because this was the first year for the Con. Usually the Con is small and does not cater to so many celebrities, as well as the anime, science-fiction, and horror audience. Alas, I don’t think the people running the Con were expecting such a large turn out. Props to them for keeping their heads cool, despite all of the rage-induced fanboys that went after them.

The workers at FanExpo and the Toronto ComicCon deserve more respect than they’re given.

I managed to get in and pick up some early issues of X-Men for a great price. X-Men #16 and X-Men #19 (last story by Stan Lee) were picked up at an excellent price. However, my prized win was picking up a pretty decent quality copy of Amazing Adult Fantasy #8. Originally called “Amazing Adventures,” the title changed with issue #7. The stories were by Stan Lee, with the artwork & cover done by Steve Ditko.

Seven issues later with issue #15, this title would be renamed “Amazing Fantasy,” and feature the first appearance of a nobody named Spider-Man. With issue #15, the series would get canceled. The rest is history.

AmazingAdultFantasy

While I didn’t bring anything to sign for him, George Perez was there and as expected, had the largest line at the Con.

A few friends of mine lined up for signatures with Mark Bagley, while I met up with Swamp-Thing artist, Yanick Paquette. I got chatting with him and he explained to me a few extremely interesting things about his artwork and how he does it. I won’t go into details here, however. He was a incredibly down-to-earth guy and was absolutely hilarious.

After a few more scores: Uncanny X-Men #201 (first Cable) and the mini’s of X-Men: Phoenix Endsong and Cloak & Dagger volume 1 #1-4, I headed off to see the sketch duel between Paquette and Daredevil artist Paolo Rivera.

Both gentlemen were hilarious at the panel – making jokes and describing their reasonings to why they got into art in the first place.

As for the sketches, they were challenged to draw Spider-Man punching a shark. Yup.

Overall, it was a great time. I wish I had both arrived earlier and was able to go the second day, but alas, work calls!

I’m definitely excited to see what the next Con will bring!

Keep on Space Truckin’!

Review: Swamp Thing #7

Can you believe it?! A DC Comic review!

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been reading Swamp-Thing since the New 52 began because I’m a sucker for horror. This is quite possibly one of the best decisions I’ve made. But on to the review, shall we?

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing #7
Scott Snyder (writer), Yanick Paquette (pencils, inks), Nathan Fairbairn (colours), Travis Lanham (letters), Paquette & Fairbairn (cover). $2.99

It may have taken seven issues, but we finally have our Swamp Thing. However, if you were complaining about not seeing our monster-hero of the Green until now, then I’d have to question if you’ve been reading the same series of Swamp Thing that I have.

Scott Snyder has built this series up without the “hero” being present, yet still drew in readers each month. How? He created a world where a hero was needed by keeping the soon-to-be Swamp Thing – Alec Holland – human. He re-established the story for new readers, while keeping it still interesting enough for older ones to want to come back to read. Building suspense and story along the way, the true horrors of the Rot were what kept everyone coming back. Each issue would end with the reader asking, Where is our hero? Not because Swamp Thing wasn’t there, but because there was no glimmer of hope left for the world.

Issue seven brings Holland with his last breath of air – the Rot has overcome him while the Parliament of Trees die, condemning Holland for not becoming the Swamp Thing sooner. Scott Snyder makes Holland remain human as long as possible not only to make his inevitable change into Swamp Thing that much more important, but to give the fear behind the series that much more power. The assimilation of the Rot, the terror it brings, and the death it creates – all of it boils into the climatic moment where Holland finally accepts his fate.

To sharpen the point, Yanick Paquette completely obliterates any sort of safe feelings with his artwork. An acid trip with trees and fire, Paquette truly adds depth and chaos to the story with his impeccable take on the nature Snyder built. Details are unbarred – the grit, the grain, the green – all building to the single-page awakening of the Swamp Thing puts any panels he’s done prior in this series to shame.

Colours are absorbent with rich shades of greens and stings of orange. The balance of colours for Fairbairn are something to strive for as a colourist. Even with such a limited colour palette, the book glows with emotion and power.

As if they were meant for each other, Snyder, Paquette, and Fairbairn meld their story-telling into something glorious.

And that something glorious, to paraphrase Snyder is: “The monster.”

Grade: 10/10

And just hang in there! This review is posted over at The Blood Theatre! Check it out!

A Few Announcements!

To keep you all updated with the goings-on with this site and writing, I felt as if I should dedicate an entire post to this.

The Blood Theatre

I’ve taken up the job as a contributing writer to a friend’s Horror Fan website called The Blood Theatre. (http://thebloodtheatre.com/)

I’ll be writing some features (Versus Mode), horror comic reviews, horror book reviews, and film reviews from time-to-time. It’s a pretty exciting engagement to take on. If you love horror films, books, games, or whatever, I highly recommend you check it out. I’ll keep you posted on here when my stuff gets updated or whenever we’re getting something exciting going on that’ll affect everyone.

In fact, I’ll be reviewing DC’s Swamp-Thing and it will be up shortly.

Don’t forget to bookmark the site and join the forums! I’ll see you there!

Blood Theatre

Toronto Comic Con

I’ll be in Toronto this Saturday for their ComicCon (a smaller version of August’s FanExpo).

Legendary creator George Perez will be there, as well as Dale Keown, Paolo Rivera, and Leonard Kirk. Given that I’ll be reviewing Swamp Thing shortly, I’m definitely going to take advantage that its artist, the magnificent Yanick Paquette will be there.

Expect me to post my take on the whole event (and maybe some pictures) when I get back and have the time to update it! I’m really excited for it, but unfortunately will be only able to attend one day. I’ll do what I can!

Novel Writing

As I’ve mentioned last month, I’ve jumped back on doing my NaNoWriMo project. I currently have eleven days left to write and I’ve gotten in about 10k words. I know it’s not a lot, but I’ve actually spent a LOT of time with character and plot development. It’s taken precedence over writing. I had some recent “realizations” that made me have to take a few days off from writing so I wouldn’t botch the rest of the novel. It’s what I needed to do.
One day I’ll explain it all to you.

What Else?

I’ve been working my butt off. Isn’t that enough?!

Keep on Space Truckin’!

Ralph McQuarrie Passed Away

On Saturday, the legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie passed away at the age of 82.

In case it wasn’t known, I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan. It’s literally a part of my everyday life – somehow. I have to thank Ralph McQuarrie for that.

He helped George Lucas created and define the worlds and characters that existed in the Star Wars universe.

When Star Wars Special Edition came out in 1997, my mom purchased a book for me called “The Art of The Empire Strikes Back,” where I first got a glimpse into McQuarrie’s mind. I was completely stunned by his artwork and grand designs for well. . . everything! I couldn’t help but think, “I want to draw like him!” and “How did he come up with these ideas.” I was ten years old when I was completely blown away by McQuarrie’s works.

Today, I’m still floored by his works. When news of him passing came out, the internet flooded with praise, tributes, and thanks for everything he’s done. Most of the tributes featured tons of his art – some which I had never seen before. My jaw still drops to the floor when I see it.

McQuarrie was a man ahead of his time. In fact, he was ahead of all of us. Words can not describe how impacting his influence was on me. Ralph McQuarrie defined my childhood for me. He will be sorely missed.

Rest in peace, sir.