Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rebuilding again

Yes, once again I´m starting from scratch. Thank god I left the laptop in Spain so I can use this old fossil of a computer again. And luckily all the bookmarks and other important programmes have been erased.

I just couldn´t stand to seamlessly continue where we left off instead of spending weeks to get everything up to working speed again. So, I´m just back a few days and already my brother has me jumping through hoops to impress the german comic scene and " make a name for myself ". If such a thing really was possible it would have happened years ago with all we´ve done for the german comic industry.

Well, he still hopes that if he just nags enough that I will someday become famous and shine my light upon him. I´m not holding my breath. I mean we were talking to the guys from Comicgate and they were like : Oh yeah, we´re interested. Just send us an link to your blog. Ouch !

You would think that after more than two years of writing the best comicblog in Germany people would know about it but that´s the german comic scene for you. But enough about that, before this turns into one of my usual longwinded rants this is just a quick note to let you know that I will return as soon as possible.

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  • Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Odds and ends

    Today I'm closing up shop meaning it's time to sort through all the old bookmarks, finish the posts I can on my blog, delete all files from the laptop and pack my stuff.

    I hoped to finish my series on THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD and the comic convention in Barcelona before that. But the first one has still to much stuff to mention to wrap it up in one post and the second one.......maybe I can get to that Tomorrow but since we're invited to dinner ( a second time since the first time didn't work out ) I wouldn't count on it. There are a few things I wanted to post before closing my spanish home base so I decided to put them all in one post.

    Most of the stuff are links so here they are :

    The first one is an article on the publication of TEENAGERS FROM THE FUTURE an indepth look of the history of the Legion of Superheroes. They are experiencing a renaissance right now so what better time to publish it ? There are many interesting comments in the articla and you might want to check it out if you're one of the comic fans who wondered what all the fuss was about....and if you are already one of the millions of legion fans......well, you don't want to miss this one.

  • teenagers from the future

  • The second link is for an entry about The Brave and the Bold that ( among other things ) mentions the issue drawn by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez in which Bruce Wayne travels to the past via......hypnosis ! Sounds weird ? You have to read it to.....well, I read it and still don't believe it. See for yourself.

  • comictreadmill the brave and the bold

  • And what would a last post be with out mentioning Power Girl ? Incomplete. That's what. Since I have now all my SEARCH FOR POWER GIRL posts on my other blog I haven't done much on Power Girl so here are two new links that I haven't posted before. The first one is about the history of Power Girl with links to galleries.....and it's part of a database of all comic characters.

  • Power Girl history with galleries

  • The second Power Girl link is for another page about Power Girl's history this time it's an essay by Alan Kistler that a pretty entertaining read.

  • Power Girl history

  • The next set of links is for all the people who say that I'm a bit too fixated on hot chicks. The topic says it all : comic butt shots. Eat this !

  • comic butt shots 1

  • comic butt shots 2

  • comic butt shots 3

  • comic butt shots 4

  • Here's another link this time for a movie website I stumbled across during my research for my other blog. You never know what it's good for and here's the proof that somebody did a movie on DIABOLIK Italy's most famous fumetto.

  • diabolik

  • The next one is one I just found Yesterday but it seems that it's a website about movies, pop culture and it has a lot of posts about Wonder Woman.

  • no smoking in the skulls cave

  • And lastly here's a blog with thousands of political cartoons from all over the world and pictures of hot chicks. Since it's from Argentina ( I think - or was it Brazil ? ) it can be quite graphic and explicit.

  • political cartoons and sexy pics

  • And last but not least here's a little clip that you may not have seen before from the last X - Men movie :

    And that's all. With a bit of luck I can put a proper " Goodbye folks " on the blog Tomorrow and finish one or two things.....but if not : Bye, I'll be back as soon as possible though I suspect I will not post so much in the future. I'm lucky if I can do one post a week back home.

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  • My God has a hammer.

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    The comic convention from hell - Die harder !

    Just a few days left before my return to good old Germany so let's dive right into my adventures on the third day of the Salon del Comic de Barcelona 2008 :

    Today was the hardest day. Saturday is the day when the comic convention has the most visitors and even though I spent most of the day standing in line to get comics signed I couldn't help but noticing it.

    First thing I went to PLANETA to get the numbers for Milo Manara. They were also giving out numbers for Carlos Pacheco so I got one of those too and because I was already standing in the line that was building for Alfonso Font I stayed there. It was a few hours before Carlos Pacheco was supposed to sign and I already knew that I wouldn't do much else than trying to get nice sketches.

    The good thing about standing in line is that you don't spend so much money on comics and since I was already on a tight budget that worked for me. When you're working in a team like most of the other people did then you can take turns and buy more comics but since I was all alone all I could do was wait. And read comics. The good thing of being at a comic convention is that you can catch up on your reading while waiting. You can read the comics you bought the day before or if you have already read them maybe you can borrow some from the person right before you or behind you.

    I was lucky enough to get a nice sketch from Alfonso Font in my new big sketchbook but he didn't draw what I wanted. Not that I'm complaining but why ask people what they want if you are not going to draw it ? So even though I handed him a comic with Power Girl as reference material he drew one of his own female characters. And he did a wonderful job on it.

    And you know what ? Nobody did a sketch of Power Girl for me on this convention - although many asked me first what I would like. I think I'm going to give my new sketchbook a name. Something like the " what I got instead of a Power Girl sketch " sketchbook.

    After that I stood in line for a few hours but I took a quick break - which is the advantage of having a number - to go to EL JUEVES. I wanted to get something from Bernet but at first I was in the wrong line. Bernet did a drawing in my new big book of a blonde woman that looked a bit like Power Girl....but he only drew the head. You know, if Jordi wants to get more work from DC aside from SPIRIT and JONAH HEX he has got to be more open about drawing superheroines.

    Anyway, he also did a quick drawing ( full figure ) in the Chicca Dum Dum 5 ( an adult series ) that I had bought. He asked me why I had bought this particular issue and I told him because it's the newest and I already have BETTY BY THE HOUR in various languages like english, spanish and german so I never know which issues I have if I'm not back home. Then I returned to stand in line for Carlos Pacheco.

    He came late but apparently he drew some fantastic sketches. I have seen none of them but I had number 11 and of course he only managed to draw 7 sketches. But he was drawing for a few hours so it wasn't like he was just doing a hit and run. Don't know if the numbers are good for Tomorrow but I managed to get the first five issues of the CAMELOT FALLS storyline signed. In hindsight I should have let him sign all the issues but how should I know beforehand ?

    It was now 15.00 hours and since they announced Yesterday that they would change Yesterday's number for Manara for new ones I just stayed at the booth. But they didn't come and change the numbers till 16.00 hours. Now that's just bad management. I'm no expert like my younger brother always tells me but even I from my limited experience can lay down a few simple rules :

    Rule 1 - At the end of the signing let people know whay happens next. Tell them what's on the agenda Tomorrow, if you give out numbers and if the numbers of today will be valid Tomorrow.

    Rule 2 - You should at least have one person in your team who knows the 411 so he can give people the right information instead of having to rely on radio makuto. At this convention 90 percent of the important information I got through rumors while standing in line somewhere.

    Rule 3 - If you have such a person - make sure he's at the signing. If not make him pass the information to somebody else who's on the scene.

    Rule 4 - At the beginning of a new day give all the information of who's signing and when and what to your customers as soon as possible. It's useless to announce who's going to sign at twelve when the people are already standing in line for two hours. Especially if the artist they are waiting for is coming late.

    Rule 5 - If you say that the numbers from one day will still be valid the next day - then act accordingly. If one person says they will be valid and the next day somebody else is in charge who just gives out new numbers this will not only make you look evil it will also piss off your customers.

    Rule 6 - When you are going to change the old numbers for new numbers don't be late. Nobody says anything about 15 minutes but when you're running an hour late - tell someone. At least this way the customers can do something else in the meantime.

    Well, I think that are all the rules I can think of now. I know that it sounds a lot like bitching but the first thing of being a professional should be to act like a professional.

    That doesn't mean that you can't be late or make mistakes. But it means that if this happens you should let people know. We're living in the goddamn information age for would think people are not too stupid to use a cell phone once in a while. I know I ( and a lot of other people ) would have had much more fun if they only had followed these simple rules.

    Anyway, since Manara was supposed to sign at four o clock I just stayed right where I was but 15 minutes later the news arrived ( through radio makuto ) that he had just finished at another booth and had to eat something first. So it wasn't before 17.00 hours when Manara started signing. But the bad news just kept coming : he only did sign and only in books - no sketches. Thankfully I had bought a book Yesterday so all's clear on that coast. The people with numbers are first and being an old comic master no one says anything as Manara starts to do little sketches in the books " till he's bored " he says.

    The first time at this convention I'm in luck and he does a wonderful sketch in my book. Yesterday he was only doing some small waves and an eye or something so it was luck that I didn't get something Yesterday.

    He smiles as I say " Mille Grazie " and then goes for a cigarette break. Since I have been standing in line nonstop since I arrived and it's already 18.00 hours I decide to take a break, eat something and just look at the Manara sketch. Because of the good weather - it was raining the last two days - the benches are dry so I can eat outside and breathe some fresh air. At that time I don't know it but this moment is probably the higlight of my comic convention experience. Manara is one of the comic artists where I didn't have much hope of getting a sketch but I did it. Yay !

    After that I'm kind of woozy and I stumble around a bit going aimlessly from table to table till Ibanez does a signing at 20.oo hours. Last year I only got an ugly sketch and this year isn't much better. I buy the LOVE EXPRESS anthology and JAZZ MAYNARD number 1 but it is all for naught. Strangely enough the writer of the comics also signs the books but he almost takes longer than the artist. Last year I also bought a book but that didn't help. While I got a really ugly five minute sketch the guy just before me got a masterpiece that looked like this.

    This time I get a better drawing but it's still not what I wanted. He asked me what I wanted and I told him that a sketch of the hot chick in Jazz Maynard wouldn't be bad ( at first I tried to get him to do a sketch of Power Girl ) but he only drew the head.

    What's the matter with some comic artists ? We don't ask for hot chicks to get head sketches. If you only draw the head it doesn't matter if she has a hot body. No one's going to see it anyway. This is the second time I tried to get a sketch from Ibanez and didn't get a good sketch so I don't know if I should try it again a third time. At 21.30 the comic convention closes it's door and after the grueling signing tour de force all I can do is get home with the Metro and fall into my bed exhausted.

    Today I didn't buy many comics. I bought Love Express, Chicca Dum Dum 5 and Jazz Maynard 1 which I all got signed and I didn't exceed my limit for today. I got the first five issues of CAMELOT FALLS signed and I got a sketch in my Donna e Motori comic by Milo Manara himself.

    The swag wasn't very much since I didn't buy much. At the booth from El Jueves I got the wallet and a bottle opener ( got the same ones last year but they are always good presents ) and for my entrance ticket I got Subaru 11 ( it's some manga ) and the spanish issues of Spider - Man 35, 37, 39 and 41. Because there were more people at the show Today they also gave out more comics. Maybe I should have quit while I was ahead but like I said I didn't know it at that time and I had already paid for the entrance for Sunday anyway.

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  • Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Salon del Manga de Valencia

    Originally I wanted to post this first thing in the morning but then I spend most of the day on my other blog on a post about Jamie Lee Curtis who turns 50 today.

    At the beginning of her career Jamie was known for her impressive set of lungs as one of the best known Scream Queens and her appearances in various horror movies like Prom Night or Halloween. Another Carpenter thriller, 1980's The Fog also featured Jamie Lee, and she reprised her starring role in Halloween II in 1981. But she wanted to be considered more than just an actress known for her screaming techniques.

    Later on she was known for her impressive set of lungs....but in a different context. To be precisely her 34C - 22 - 34 measurements. When she finally did lose her "Scream Queen" title, it was in exchange for the name "The Body" ( which is also Elle MacPherson's nickname ) thanks to her revealing role in Trading Places and 1985's Perfect.

    When she went topless she cemented herself a fan base that would last for years. Not only because she decided to disrobe, but because she had a fantastic body, that she was often referred to as "Freeze Frame" ( a nod to all the VCR users' use of the pause button on certain Jamie Lee Curtis scenes ). What is really remarkable about Jamie is that she did her best striptease very late in her career in the Schwarzenegger flich TRUE LIES. In fact it's so popular that it's almost impossible to find pictures of her that are not stills from that scene. She even won a poll for best striptease in 2007.

    Being a horror fan and a fan of movies like Halloween, The Fog or Prom Night as well as a fan of Jamie's more sexy performances ( like the striptease in TRUE LIES ) I couldn't let this opportunity pass to whish her many happy returns.

    But now to what I wanted to write about on this blog : I really have to check my e - mail more often. Today I received the usual newsletter from NORMA COMICS which I get since the comic convention in Barcelona. And if I had read the others before that I would have known that the Second Salon del Manga de Valencia takes place this weekend.

    That's right today and tomorrow the town of Valencia hosts a comic convention about manges. Well, I had no intention of going there myself because I'm still broke but I wanted to post all new comic conventions on my blog if somebody else is interested. If you still want to go tomorrow or want to know more about it here's the official website with all the information - salon del manga de valencia

    Now I haven't read the NORMA COMICS newsletter the last few times but today I was a bit bored and before getting to the next day of the comic convention in Barcelona I wanted to catch up on my comic news. NORMA COMICS has three different blogs for comic related news that are written in spanish ( of course ) - blog europeo

    All the comic news to their releases of european albums and everything associated like that Marjane Satrapi will be granted the title of Doctor Honoris Cause from the universities of Leuven and Louvain on the 2nd of February next month or that also this week on the 21 and 22nd of November the city of Lleida holds the first SET DE COMIC convention which is a possibilities for all kind of comic professionals like artists, writers, editors, publishers or dealers to meet and talk about their problems and the state of the industry - blog USA

    All the new releases of Norma Comics as well as comic news from the United States like the upcoming animated GOON movie, Megan Fox casted as FATHOM or an interview with Danny Bilson and Jerry Ordway about their book RED MENACE.

    Everything about mangas, new releases or manga conventions - blog manga

    Well, originally I wanted to write something about the Legion of Superheroes and the release of TEENAGERS OF THE FUTURE which takes an indepth look at one of the comic series with the most devoted following of comicdom. Instead I'm going to spend the rest of the remaining day reading the three blogs of Norma to see if there is something else interesting.....before I miss that too.

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  • Friday, November 21, 2008

    The second circle of hell - Manara ? Mañara !

    I'm finishing my series on the other blog to bring some kind of closure to this so I thought that I should also do some stuff here that I didn't finish. Since I managed to do all the solicitation stuff in one post I think it's about time for a return to the comic convention from hell on today's 180th post - according to the new numbering after the relaunch.

    I alredy told everything that happened on the first day - even if it took me three posts. Now let's descend to the next circle and find out what happened at the second day :

    My luck only got worse even if there were more people signing today. On the second day there are more artists who sign and you finally get a schedule of who appears where. I took the official program that had been handed out at the first day and marked all the artists I found interesting. Then I made a seperate list of when to be where because without it you can easily forget where you wanted to be. Now while the good part is that on the second day there are much more artists to sign the bad bad part is that because of that there are more people attending. While the first day is rather quiet and you can take your time to see the exhibits the second day is much more crowded.

    EL JUEVES ( a satirical magazine that publishes a lot of funny and erotic comics like the original version of BETTY BY THE HOUR ) has announced a lot of people but I can't see anyone at their booth.

    Like always they have put up quite the displays like last year. This zone always stands out and it's a good reference point to navigate through the convention.

    Being a satirical publication that often goes to the limits of what you can do they had put up one of their covers that got censored which was the Prince of Spain rear - ending his put it nicely.

    There are cutouts where you can put your face to have your picture taken and that is quite the big attraction.

  • el jueves homepage

  • betty by the hour page

  • Today there are much more fanzines present than Yesterday. I'm looking around but the only thing that seems interesting is Harry Potra a parody on the Harry Potter books. The art is really crude like in South Park and the story is full of sexual innuendo and dirty jokes - which is part of the charm.

    It's one of the classic copied in the copy shop 100 percent handmade fanzines. The story doesn't have anything to do with the books and all kind of characters appear in the book like Son Goku from Dragon Ball or Shin Chan.

    In the stories Dumbledore is trying to kill Harry, Harry wants to become evil and turn the female students of Hogwarts into his lust slaves, Hagrid is a special agent for the FBI and they are always talking about getting it on and stuff. As you can see it's an all ages comic and I bought issues 1 and 6 because the magic dragon from Dragon Ball and Shin Chan appear. It's a bit difficult to read for me because it's in catalan but thanks to DRAGON BALL I can understand most of it.

  • harry potra homepage

  • I'm looking for more comics and find a dealer's table where they have tons of JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED issues for 50 cent. They don't have those at my comic shop back in Germany and surely not at this price so I buy a bundle of issues. At home I only have the pocket book collections which are nice but I already have all of them and I don't think there are more collections planned.

    The JUSTICE LEAGUE animated comics are some of the best comics of the Justice League franchise. The art is solid, they mostly tell a complete story in one issue and you don't need a score card to find your way. They always manage to boil the character down to their essential persona and put the spotlight on facets of the hero you haven't seen before. The recipe for their success sounds simple but it's much harder to pull off : concentrate on the people behind the mask and just tell a good story. That's why you can read them again and again.

    I have already put the episodes of the cartoon show on my blog or maybe you have already seen them all on tv. So I don't have to tell you how good they are. If you like them you should really give the comic version a try because if not you're missing out on some of the best JUSTICE LEAGUE comics.

    Aside from that I also found other comics at one dollar each like the GOD WAR issues from ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR by Pascual Ferry which I hoped to get signed. After that I bought the spanish version of WHEN IN ROME - which was translated in Germany with AT THAT TIME IN ROME which not only sounds stupid but it destroys the double meaning. The original title is clearly the first part of the old saying WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS. Which refers to Catwoman adapting to how things are done in Rome.

    Now the second meaning has to do with the part that is not said in the title with the word ROMANS also refering to the criminal organisation of Carmine Falcone. He's the untouchable crimelord from the LONG HALLOWEEN who is called " the roman " because he's old school sicilian mafia.

    In the story Catwoman embarks on a journey that was only hinted at in LONG HALLOWEEN where she tries to find out if Carmine is her biological father or not. You see, there's much more to the title than you can grasp at first but like always the germans screwed it up in the translation. Thankfully the spanish translators suffered from no attacks of dementia and left the title as it was with SI VAS A ROMA.

    Due to the success of HEROES the line for Tim Sale was extremely long but since there weren't that many people left on my list I tried to get a sketch.

    Now one thing I have noticed at this convention is that I have to organize better. Compared to the other people in line I'm a rank amateur. They have really professional sketchbooks which sometimes look more like an artist's map that you show to editors at conventions than a sketchbook. And some of them even have chairs. Since I'm not the youngest it's really hard for me to stand in line for hours so the best thing is to bring your own chair. After the comic convention I went looking for a camping chair that was small enough to fit into my trolley but it took me three months to find one.

    Another thing I have noticed is that most of the people come in pairs or packs. They have two or three sketchbooks or they just swap it around and they take turns standing in line. That's one of the reasons why most people don't go to comic conventions alone : they can take turns standing in line. Nice if you can pull that off but since I'm either alone or accompanied by my brother who has other priorities than standing in line that's not an option for me.

    Mostly I just walked up and down a bit or sat on the floor to rest my feet.After two and a half hours it's finally my turn but as always Tim Sale is finishing his signing session so all I get is a tiny sketch of one eye and the nose in my comic and the same in my book. I'm tired, depressed and my feet hurt.

    I got a signature and a sketch in my small book from an artist of the fanzine GATO NEGRO for buying the special superhero issue.

    The idea of the comic is pretty interesting : it's an anthology of short stories each dedicated to a certain type of hero with an introductionary text that describes the kind of hero of the following story. They have a chapter for THE FALLEN HERO, THE MYTHICAL HERO, THE ANTIHERO, THE VILLAIN, THE AVENGER, THE ADVENTUROUS ORPHAN and THE FANTASTIC HERO which explore a different aspect of heroes.

    The art in some stories is really crude and not on the same artistic level as your general mainstream comic but the stories are all very interesting and with a 56 page bookshelf comic for 3,50 bucks it's a solid read that's well worth your money.

    After that I went to get a signature from Milo Manara but I didn't have much luck there either. The book I bought at IL GRIFO is dented and we have to wait one hour before the signing begins. Apparently Milo Manara arrived much earlier but for whatever reasons somebody else had to finish first. Now you might think that it would be possible to make some room for an artist of Manara's calibre but that was not the case here. After two additional hours of standing in line the remaining people get numbers which we can swap for Tomorrows new numbers so we get our sketches first. It's not very much for standing in line three hours but better than nothing. And I didn't expect to get a sketch at the first try anyway.

    I think the best part was when a woman had her picture taken with Milo Manara. She looked like the women you usually only see in porn movies with really big bouncing breasts and all.

    It's still raining so the benches are still too wet to sit down. Yesterday Rohrschach, Clark Kent and Supergirl were strolling through the convention center and Today I have seen Batman at Superman's coffin.

    I got a JLA / JSA poster by Carlos Pacheco when I bought the CATWOMAN hardcover at the PLANETA section but with all the standing in line I lost it. I was hungry so I went to the part where they showed the trailers of upcoming movies. So far I have managed to avoid seeing the new trailers of HELLBOY 2, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRISTAL SKULL, IRON MAN, WANTED and the new HULK movie but they were giving away free popcorn at the HULK trailer. Of course it was green but it tasted normal. Of course that's what they all say at first so maybe I'll turn into a gamma irridated monster later on. But hey : free popcorn !

    Since I was extremely tired and wanted to sit down I went to the fanzine panel.

    They talked a bit about their publications and publishing fanzines in general and then someone sacrificed a fanzine in a strange ritual that was cheered by the public. It was kind of strange but a lot of fun.

    After that I went looking for some of the fanzines that were mentioned in the panel and it took me quite a while. Today I held out till 20.00 hours but now I'm totally wasted. I make it back home at 21.30. So let's take a look at the swag I got Today.

    comics I payed for :

    Milo Manara - Donne e Motori ( to sign ), Catwoman - Si vas a Roma ( signed ), Animaniaco 3, Dos veces breve - Iberomanga Special, Harry Potra 1 and 6 ( signed ) and Gato Negro 3 - Superheroes ( signed ). JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED 16, 17, and number 19 to 38, JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES 29 to 31, 33 and 34 all for 50 cent each. for 1 buck each : New Avenger Illuminati 5, JLA 5 ( Arthur Adams cover ), Ultimate Fantastic Four 33 to 38 ( to sign ). For 1,80 EUROS Brave and the Bold 7 ( Power Girl and Wonder Woman ), for two EUROS Avengers classic 1 ( another Arthur Adams cover ) and the complete 4 issue Seven Soldiers Bulleteer series for 6 EUROS.

    comics I didn't pay for :

    Naruto 10, Saint Seya 1, Batman begins ( again ), Spider - Man 53 and 54, a JONU MEDIA DVD with the first episodes of BLEACH and SUPERGALS and another two animes and the Ladrido preview.

    All things considered I didn't get much for standing in line five hours and a half. Just one sketch of Catwoman's eye and her nose. I found a lot of cheap JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED comics but I was only halway through the convention with the worst still to come.

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