Tag: Albany

Albany Comic Con on June 16

This year’s Albany Comic Con is being held Sunday, June 16, a.k.a. Father’s Day. It’s my local show, and one of my favorites, because it’s done for all the right reasons. Chief among them: spreading the gospel of comics. Albany Comic Con has avoided bringing in celebrities or other autograph fodder in order to maintain a focus on comics.

This year’s guest list includes me, Joe Jusko, Joe Sinnott, J.M. DeMatteis, Rick Leonardi, Joe Staton, Matthew Dow Smith, Todd Dezago, Fred Hembeck, Dave Rodriguez, Paul Harding, Richard Clark, Doug Hills, Mark McKenna and a bunch more. I’ll be doing a storytelling panel in the afternoon with fellow writers DeMatteis and Rodriguez.

I’ll be set up in the main room, with trade paperbacks of Shinku and Ravine on hand, as well as some Witchblade volumes and a few other goodies. I’ll also have a limited number of copies of Protectors #0, by me, artist Bart Sears and NFL player Israel Idonije, which was previously only available at C2E2.

Albany Comic Con will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 16 at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Colonie. Admission is still a mere $5. Complete information can be found here:


Albany Comic Con is also putting together a night at the ballpark on July 6 to honor legendary inker Joe Sinnott. Albany Comic Con and the Tri-City Valley Cats, the local single-A baseball affiliate of the Houston Astros, are teaming up for “Meet Joe at the Joe.” The Valley Cats play their home games at Joseph Bruno Stadium in Troy.



Joe Sinnott, for my money the best inker Jack Kirby ever had, will throw out the first pitch for the game, and be on hand to autograph a special baseball card (with art by Paul Harding) honoring his career. A number of area comic pros, including Paul and myself, will also be at the game to sign autographs.

Proceeds from “Meet Joe at the Joe” will benefit the Albany Ronald McDonald House Charities. Tickets for the 7 p.m. July 6 game are only $5, and are currently available on the Albany Comic Con website, as well as comic shops Excellent Adventures in Ballston Spa and Comics Depot in Saratoga Springs. Game tickets will also be on sale at Albany Comic Con, at which the Valley Cats mascot will make an appearance. Play ball!



Signing in Albany on Saturday

I’ll be appearing at Earthworld Comics in Albany, NY this Saturday, August 7, for an Artifacts #1 release party. The signing is from noon to 4 p.m., though to be perfectly honest, I could be a few minutes late, as my kids have their league championship swim meet the same day.

The signing is to celebrate Artifacts #1, but of course I’ll sign whatever else you’ve got. Maybe you can badger some spoilers for the series out of me. I’m told there will be a costumed Magdalena on hand for photos, and presumably, impaling demons. I’m also told Earthworld’s quarter bins have been restocked, and let’s face it, there’s nothing cooler than finding a stack of sweet comics for 25 cents apiece.

Earthworld is located at 537 Central Ave. in Albany. The website is http://www.earthworldcomics.com/for more information. Hope to see you on Saturday.

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May the Force be with … me

As I mentioned in the Albany Con post-mortem, I was made an Honorary Member of the 501st Legion, when members of the local Garrison Excelsior presented me with a plaque and badge, to go along with the patch the gave me last time. The plaque reads, in part: “…in appreciation of your contributions to the Star Wars legacy.”

Now, to be honest, I’m not much for awards and all that. But I’m very happy about by this one, because of the place that Star Wars holds in my childhood, and how much of an influence it had on me. I do what I do now, to a fair extent, because of the impression Star Wars made on me in the summer of 1977. The movie fired my imagination like nothing else. I still vividly remember sitting in the theater, my jaw hitting the floor when the Star Destroyer rumbled overhead and just kept going, and going, and going. I’d never seen anything like it.

I bought the trading cards and the books and the toys and the glasses at Burger King. And I bought the comics from Marvel that continued the story. I was transfixed by the comics, even that guy who was a giant green bunny. I kept up with those original Star Wars comics for a few years, even when my interest in other comics waned. So getting the chance to contribute to that mythology years later was a huge treat. I’m not prone to phrases like “a dream come true,” but it was pretty damn close.

I’ve written more issues of things like Witchblade, Green Lantern and Silver Surfer than I have Star Wars issues. But I don’t think I’ve ever had a signing that didn’t include some Star Wars books. I tended to want to write the established characters. That made it more of a chore to fit my stories into the established continuity, since the adventures of Luke and Han and Leia had been mined so thoroughly in previous comics and novels. It’s a lot easier to tell tales about the “third Stormtrooper from the left” rather than the icon characters. But, for me at least, not quite as much fun.

I was especially drawn to the villains, Vader and Maul in particular. My favorite jobs were the Darth Maul mini with Jan Duursema, the Darth Vader story with Claudio Castellini from Star Wars Tales, and the Vader vs. Maul slugfest with Rick Leonardi and Terry Austin from Star Wars Tales. Those last two are “non-canon” stories by virtue of appearing in Star Wars Tales, but I wrote them so they could easily fit into the existing continuity. Ironically, probably one of the few times in my career that I’ve been overly concerned with continuity.

I’m asked fairly often when/if I’ll be doing more Star Wars comics. And the answer is … I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t mind visiting that universe again. But my schedule is pretty packed for the foreseeable future, and any extra time I can squeeze out is apt to be applied to creator-owned work. But never say never.

The recognition by the 501st is very flattering, and I’m truly thankful. But I got far more out of Star Wars than I ever contributed to it. I just hope the stories I wrote provide some inspiration for someone else, and we keep paying it forward.

May the Force be With You,


Magdalena graces Albany

Had a great time at Sunday’s Albany Comic Con. Caught up with old friends, made some new friends, and signed books from Silver Surfer to Green Lantern right up to Magdalena #1. The GL-centric panel with my buddy Joe Staton was a lot of fun, as we compared notes about our respective runs, and “our” respective Green Lanterns. David Pepose of Newsarama was in attendance, so there should be a report on the panel online sometime this week. David Pepose of Newsarama, who was in attendance, has posted a report on the panel.

The end of the GL panel was interrupted by the local chapter of the 501st Legion, who strode into the room to bestow Honorary Membership upon me. More on that in a post later this week, but suffice to say I was very flattered and pleased. It’s not every day you get a laser-etched plaque handed to you by a Stormtrooper in full armor.

I also got to meet the real Kyle Rayner at the show. He’s 4 years old. His mom and dad brought him by, and I have to admit, I was pretty stunned that someone thought enough of our everyman GL to actually give their child his name (“Kyle Rayner” is his first name and middle name). How cool is that?

The other highlight of the show was a cosplayer named Jen Wicks who wore a kick-ass Magdalena outfit all day. She posed for photos, including this one with me, as well as a group shot of me, Terry Austin and Matthew Dow Smith (who of course provided the art for the con exclusive cover of Magdalena #1). Yes, I know I need a haircut.

One of the nicest things about the Albany Con is the burgeoning local and semi-local comics community that’s developing around it. I’ve known guys like Terry Austin, Matt Smith, Todd Dezago, Joe Staton, Fred Hembeck and Lee Moder (who made it to the conn all the way from Pittsburgh) for years. But it’s been great to meet or reconnect with other creators like Dave Rodriguez, Nick Tapalansky, Saurav Mohapatra, Paul Harding, Declan Shalvey and the Timony Brothers, as well as critics/journalists including CBR’s Tim Callahan and Newsarama’s David Pepose. Virtually all the guests who attend the show end up wanting to come back, so I expect many of them will return for the fall show, which is scheduled for Sunday, October 24. Hopefully the guest list will include a few surprises. As always, you can watch the Albany Con MySpace and Twitter feed for updates.



Saurav Mohapatra also posted some photos he took during the conn on his blog.

Empire State Book Festival

Empire State Book Festival

I’ll be doing a panel discussion and a signing at this Saturday’s Empire State Book Festival, held at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY. It’s the first event of its kind, and boasts dozens of authors, including the likes of Gregory Maguire and Mary Gordon, for programs and signings. There will also be numerous publishers and book sellers setting up as exhibitors for the event, which was organized by the New York State Library Association. Best of all, it’s completely free.

I’ll be doing a panel on graphic novels from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., along with my buddy Matthew Dow Smith, Jerry Craft and Barbara Slate. Then from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., both Matt and I will be signing in the Meet & Greet area. A book seller will be on hand with copies for sale. I believe they’re bringing in volumes of Witchblade, First Born, Broken Trinity and Samurai: Heaven and Earth, and I should have some promotional comics and goodies to give away as well.

Check out the official website for a complete listing of authors, events and the full schedule.

Organizers are hoping for a first-year attendance of 5,000. Hope you’re one of them.



Appearances can be … exhausting

Angelus Variant for Emerald City Comic Con 2010

I’ll be honest – conventions are not my favorite thing to do. I’ve been doing them long enough that the conventions themselves all tend to be the same show in a different building. That’s not to denigrate any of the shows I’ve done or will do in the future. But from my side of the table, a con is signings and panels and meetings. It’s a lot more like work than a vacation. It’s also a necessity. With so many books being published every month, doing the extra promotion to get your book noticed just goes with the territory. Still, the time away from home and family is not ideal, nor is the lost work time.

For me, the best part of the convention experience – besides getting together with industry friends that I only see at cons – is getting a chance to chat with fans. This job is a solitary one. Creating comics is a pretty individual pursuit. I think the only guys who get a lot of interaction “at work” are artists who share studio space. And even then, we all ultimately do what we do alone. So getting some feedback from the audience is a way to recharge creative batteries.

Taking all that into account, my next two months are pretty jammed with appearances.Top Cow Print ECC 2010

This coming weekend, March 13 and 14, I’ll be at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, one of my absolute favorite cities. There will be a Seattle-themed litho and T-shirt available, featuring Witchblade artwork by Michael Broussard and Sunny Gho, as well as a con-exclusive Angelus #2 variant. [link]

ECCC Update: As I mentioned in my twitter feed, I can’t make ECCC due to work commitments. Rest of the listings here remain valid.

On April 10, I’ll be at the Empire State Book Festival in Albany, NY, for an autograph session and a panel on graphic novels with my buddy Matthew Dow Smith, among others. [link]
On April 16-18, I’ll be at C2E2, the big, new Chicago convention from the same people who bring you the New York Comic Con. Again, I’ll be at the Top Cow booth, and there’s rumor of an Angelus #1 con variant. [link]
On April 25, I’ll be at the Albany Comic Con, along with a number of my buddies like Terry Austin, Matthew Dow Smith, Lee Moder, Todd Dezago, Fred Hembeck, Joe Staton and more. Great little show, done for all the right reasons. Look for an Angelus #1 con variant by Matt Smith and Terry Austin. [link]
On May 1Free Comic Book Day – I’ll be signing at a number of New England Comics locations in the Boston area. I wrote Top Cow’s FCBD offering this year, which is a prelude to this summer’s Artifacts series. [link]
And finally, on May 15, I’ll be at the inaugural ComiConn in North Haven, Connecticut. You guessed it, there will be another Angelus #1 con variant, this one by Eric Battle. [link]

After that, most weekends you’ll be able to find me on my couch, watching the Mets. I hope.



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