Tag: Mark Waid

That’s the Chicago way

Yes, that’s a reference to Sean Connery in “The Untouchables.”

I’m headed to the new C2E2 convention in Chicago this weekend, put on by Reed Exhibitions, the same folks who put on the New York Comic Con. C2E2 is being held at McCormick Place on South Lake Shore Drive. I’m looking forward to actually being in Chicago. Wizard’s Chicago convention was/is held in Rosemont, outside the city. Though there are now more hotel and restaurant choices in Rosemont, for a long time attending that show was like being marooned on Comic Island. Pretty much the only other people you encountered were there for the con. Well, except for the year that one of the hotels was also playing host to a Beatles convention, which meant a lot of people sitting in the halls at 3 a.m. playing “Blackbird” on acoustic guitars. Badly.

I only made it into Chicago from Rosemont once, when artist and Chicago resident Gary Gianni picked me up and gave me a tour of the city. We ended up eating at a Thai restaurant not far from Wrigley Field. Great night.

Top Cow will be debuting Magdalena #1 at C2E2. The issue won’t be in comic stores until next week, but we’ll have copies for sale at the show, with a C2E2-exclusive variant cover (shown below). The series artist, my buddy Nelson Blake 2nd, will be at the show as well, and we’ll be signing all three days. I’m pretty damn pleased with how the issue turned out.

I’m also looking forward to meeting Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, a big-time comics fan, and a Top Cow fan in particular. I’ll be joining Lance for his panel Saturday afternoon, and then he’s going to sit in for the Top Cow panel Saturday evening. Note that Saturday’s programming continues even after the convention floor closes.

My complete C2E2 schedule looks like this:

Friday

4:30-5:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd.

Saturday

11:30-1:00 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd and Troy Peteri.

3-4 p.m., panel with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, Phil Hester, Mark Waid, Nelson Blake 2nd and Matt Banning.

7:15-8:15 p.m., Top Cow panel with Filip Sablik, Phil Hester, Nelson Blake 2nd and an appearance by Lance Briggs.

Sunday

11:30-12:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd.

If you’re at the show, please come by and say hi. More info on C2E2 here:

Cheers,

Ron


Speed Reading

Velocity 1 CoverI’m working on the script for the Velocity four-issue series that will debut in May from Top Cow. It’s been a while since I’ve written a straight-up superhero story, which was what I wrote almost exclusively for the first decade of my career. In the years since, I’ve been able to explore a wider variety of genres, and I’m a big proponent of the comics industry offering a great deal more than capes and tights. But I still love a well-told superhero tale, just like everybody else. And that’s what Velocity is intended to be: a classic superhero adventure. No post-modern irony, no dark underbelly, just a straight-up story about a cute redhead who runs really fast.

Velocity 1 CoverOne of my favorite monthly reads was Mark Waid’s Flash. It was great superhero comics. To be honest, Mark’s take on Wally West’s adventures influenced how I approached Green Lantern when DC handed me the reins and asked me to create a new GL. There was a lot to like. Wally was a “legacy” hero, living in the shadow of his predecessor, trying to be worthy of inheriting the mantle. The first-person narration allowed the audience to identify with the hero, to relate to the man under the mask. There was an accessibility that wasn’t quite as present in most of DC’s Silver Age heroes.

Velocity 1 Cover Now, to be fair, there’s more Peter Parker than Wally West in Kyle Rayner’s pedigree. But I always liked the Wally-Kyle relationship, the next generation of the Barry Allen-Hal Jordan friendship. I liked that Wally wasn’t even very fond of Kyle, feeling that Kyle had won the lottery to take his heroic role, while Wally had earned his. I liked writing them together, which is where the Green Lantern-Flash: Faster Friends project came from. Where would “Lost” be without that issue, right?

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, Mark and his artists – chief among them the great Mike Wieringo – set the standard for how to do a speedster in comics. Which brings us back to Velocity, winner of Top Cow’s first Pilot Season contest and therefore due a mini-series.The original creative team was excused from the project; we’ll say “creative differences” and leave it at that, since I don’t think it’s cool to air somebody else’s business in public.Velocity 1 Cover

So the project went on a backburner for a while, until last year when Top Cow Publisher Guy Filip Sablik asked me if I’d like to take on the series. He didn’t have to ask twice. Schedules matched up and artistic genius Kenneth Rocafort became available to draw the book. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Except a story idea.

Next time, a little more on Velocity, including how an aspect of the storyline dates back to a long-ago pitch by me and artist Cully Hamner for another character entirely.

Cheers,

Ron


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