Saturday, July 18, 2015

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 - Saturday my final post

We were pretty wiped after Friday night, ending it with pizza and meeting Donna at the girl's house.  Still, for me a Comic-Con wouldn't be complete unless I got to see two of my favorite panels and pick up one of my favorite comics from its creator.

Sarah was nice enough to drive me to the Convention center and drop me off around 8:30 am.  You never know what the lines are going to be like, as Saturday is often the only day that some folks can take it in so the place is always mobbed.  Room 6B/C/F has three well attended panels in a row, so I learned a few years ago that if I wanted decent seats for the later panels I had to get there during the first event. After last year I decided that I wanted to get there for the entire thing.

Marvel Animation Studios always shows some clips and often entire episodes of their current television output.  This year we got to see some of Marvel's Avengers: Ultron Revolution, which will feature voice work from some of the cast of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D program.  We were also told that we'd be seeing their own version of Civil Wars. Since the Studio can use all the Marvel characters it would probably differ from the up-coming Captain America: Civil War film.  Following that we caught up with Ultimate Spider-Man who will be going up against the Sinister six, plus take part with other Marvel characters in a version of 'Contest of Champions'. That looks pretty cool!  Finally, we were shown the first part of the two-part Guardians of the Galaxy series premiere, which really has me excited and will probably have me setting the DVR.  I always enjoy this presentation and so it's become one of the panels to which I look forward. During the Q&A segment, the panelist were joined at the end by a young girl dressed as Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), who had to be the most adorable kid at the con. Both panelists and audience members were touched by this. Hats off to the guys from Marvel for making this so special for her. The happiness on her face when she was asked to get on the stage was clearly visible. By the way, if you are a Guardians fan, I recommend you start picking up both the Rocket Raccoon and Groot comics. A lot of fun, but also with moments that remind us of the deep friendship these two have for each other.

The next two panels are moderated by Mark Evanier and have been the things that generally wrap up my convention agenda.  Generally the rest of the day is just wandering around the exhibition hall looking to see if there is anything I forgot or overlooked the first dozen or so times I looked the previous three days.

The first is QUICK DRAW, which features three cartoonists drawing quickly the ideas or phrases that Mark gives them, or are suggested by the audience.  The three always includes Sergion Aragones (MAD magazine, GROO, etc.) and generally Scott Shaw! (Captain Carrot, Annoying Orange, and other funny comics).  As Scott was recovering from medical issues, his place was taken by the legendary Disney animator, Floyd Norman (who was the guest artist last year).  Always a lot of fun and as usual the Room was all but completely filled. Keep in mind that while generally 'family friendly' the artists do sometimes push the envelope.

Following that one was Mark's first of two Cartoon Voices panels he does.  Each has 7-8 professional voice actors who talk about the industry, how they got started and do some of the voices for which they are known.  The last part has the actors read from a script they have not seen before, doing several voices and numerous characters each.  This year it was an abridged version of Wizard of Oz which was wonderful (no pun).

Every year I look forward to stopping by the WCG booth and chatting with artist/writer Randy Reynaldo about his comic ROB HANES ADVENTURES.  I can't recall the exact year I first met Randy, but it had around 1995 or so, since Randy was still publishing the early stories as ADVENTURE STRIP DIGEST featuring Rob Hanes.  It may have been Tony Isabella or another pro that recommended the book to me, since several were already reading and reviewing it.  Rob's stories have the feel of the adventure comic strips that featured Terry & The Pirates, Captain Easy and Steve Canyon.  Lone adventurers who traveled to exotic ports, met beautiful women and nasty villains.  Randy has taken that style and brought it to the current day.  The past few years, Randy has only been publishing about one book a year, plus keeping the older stories available in trade paperbacks. This year tracking down Randy was my final 'must do' at the convention, so it was good finding him at his booth where we could chat for a few minutes and catch up. Go to the WCG website, sample some of the digital material there and order some copies.  Tell him that Steve sent you.

Sorry that this thing took as many days to get through as the convention, but there was just so much going on that I couldn't possibly get it all into a couple of blogs.  Hope you enjoyed at least some of it.
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