Monday, August 31, 2009

Everyone calm down, it's OK!

As everyone has heard by now Disney has acquired Marvel Entertainment, as announced earlier this morning. We've actually received frantic phone calls at the shop, because many customers are concerned for their favorite comic and character's well being. Really, everything is going to be OK. There is absolutely NO NEED to panic. This can only be a good thing. Just look at DC and their partnership with their parent company, Warner Brothers. Warner Brother acquired DC back in 1969 I believe, and it has only HELPED the comic company grow. So Disney now owns Marvel, just think of the merchandising opportunities alone. The folks involved will be making some serious cash. We can only assume that they will leave the comic publishing end alone, very much like Warner Brothers does with DC, a spokesperson for Disney has pretty much already stated this. I have a feeling the entire editorial team will be kept, so everyone can breath a big sigh of relief.

What do I think this will mean in the long run? Not much from the comic book business point of view, but licensing will make a HUGE difference. I imagine we will see one or two new Marvel themed amusement parks open, or maybe they will add some Marvel themed rides to the existing Disney parks. I also assume, that eventually, when their contract runs out, Boom will not be renewing their current license for Disney/Pixar themed kids comics. Marvel Entertainment is already a merchandising machine, just open any current issue of a Marvel comic, and you will see at least 3 or 4 ads for licensed Marvel goodies: sleeping bags, toothpaste, messenger bags, and skate boards, just to name a few. So add the Disney insanity to this mix and I think we'll see Marvel themed Happy Meal toys in the near future, and many of them at that! Also, Disney does a huge business in the kids book market, so I imagine we will see WAY more Marvel themed kids books, like Spiderman chapter books, picture books etc. This is already done on a small level, through DK and others, but I think we will see just a TON coming out next year and the years to follow. Remember the deal won't be completely done and everything integrated until the end of the year, so we won't really see any CHANGES take place until next year.

There is already talk of a Pixar/Marvel relationship. That would kick ass! Marvel animated features, of the Pixar quality, hitting the multiplex near you, just think of it! That would be a great way to get the kids exited about the Marvel characters. The movies and video games already do this, but most of those are rates PG, so if we suddenly have G rated animated movies hitting theatres, there would be a ton of new kids poised to become comic book fans, or so I would like to think. Yes, we do have direct to dvd animated specials already from Marvel, but they are so-so, some are hits, some are misses, and not all of them are G rated, many are PG if not PG-13. And yes Marvel does make some kids Saturday morning cartoons, or whatever they are, but I don't think those are super big hits with the kids, but a Pixar/Marvel combination? That could well be magic!

It has been pointed out elsewhere that Marvel has always struggled with the boys market. They have that huge "princess" end of the business, which quite frankly makes me want to gag, but little girls really buy into it, so that stuff sells by the buckets. If Marvel suddenly was able to merchandise the f#@* out of the Marvel characters for boys and girls, lots of potential dollars on the horizon for them, I'm sure of it!

As details become available, I will keep you posted, but I'm sure you can find this information just about anywhere: it was reported on most major news reports, the New York Times, and of course the Wall Street Journal.

Really, I think this whole purchase can only work out for Marvel's benefit. Will comic shops see any of those benefits? Possibly, raising brand and character awareness always helps the health of our industry.

We could well see a HUGE kids line of comics develop over at Marvel, which would be great! Not only can they publish and sell a hell of a lot of Disney themed comics, but think of the options suddenly opened for the kids versions of Marvel characters. Yes, we have some of this already, a little anyway, with the Marvel Adventures line, but I would love to see MORE!

Disney/Marvel craziness here we come! Don't worry, I think this will work out very well for everyone involved. Disney has said that they not only bought the characters, but the people at Marvel, so it looks like Quesada will still be around, which means it should be business as usual at Marvel Comics.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tokidoki X Marvel!

Holy shit! It's a dream come true for me! For those of you that shop at my store, I'm sure you've figured out that I am obsessed with Tokidoki merchandise! I sell the purses, the plush, the vinyl, the t-shirts and the hoodies already at the Frankfort Amazing Fantasy. In this month's Previews: Marvel Tokidoki brand t-shirts, hoodies, and hats! It's a fan girl's dream come true! Unfortunately, there is only one women's cut t-shirt, but the other shirts and hoodies will make any fanboy a picture of hipness. Preorder yours today from your local Amazing Fantasy! And you better believe that the Frankfort location will be stocking these babies for sure! (See above for samples of these cool new designs!) T-shirts will retail at $28.00, hoodies $65.00, and hats $35.00. I know these prices seem high but these are high end designer duds. So be cool. Show your love of Marvel AND reveal the hipster lurking beneath!

UPDATED Promo Ring Info!!!

This is the info I received from DC:


“We’ve made these changes after receiving great suggestions from some of our retailers,” notes Bob Wayne, DC Vice President Sales. “We’re confident these changes will make it easier for more of our retailers to participate in the promotion.”Under the new revision, retailers who qualify on titles other than BLACKEST NIGHT #5 can now purchase two bags of promotional rings instead of only one. Also, the promotional rings will ship on the same day as linked titles instead of the previously announced schedule.Retailers may order the rings based on orders of BLACKEST NIGHT #5 and these November tie-in issues: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #39, BOOSTER GOLD #26, DOOM PATROL #4, ADVENTURE COMICS #4, R.E.B.E.L.S #10 and OUTSIDERS #24.Retailers may order Promotional Blackest Night Rings as follows:*

The YELLOW PROMOTIONAL RINGS are now scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as DOOM PATROL #4, which is November 4.*

The ORANGE PROMOTIONAL RINGS are now scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as BOOSTER GOLD #26, which is November 11.*

The INDIGO PROMOTIONAL RINGS are now scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as R.E.B.E.L.S #10, which is November 11.*

The BLUE PROMOTIONAL RINGS are now scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as ADVENTURE COMICS #4, which is November 18.*

The VIOLET PROMOTIONAL RINGS are now scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as OUTSIDERS #24, which is November 18.*

The GREEN PROMOTIONAL RINGS are now scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as BLACKEST NIGHT #5, which is November 25.*

The RED PROMOTIONAL RINGS are now scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #39, which is November 25.


What does this all mean for you the consumer? It means it will now be EASIER to get the ring of your choice, with no coupons involved. You want the X ring? Come on in on the day it suppose to ship, buy the comic it ties into and BINGO you get your FREE ring!!! Questions? Just let me know. I know all this information can be overwhelming, but now it is quite simple since the rings are coming out the day the comic is for that ring promo. NO more confusion! YAY! Thanks DC!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Technology Makes Me a Tired Goddess!

There is SO much technology to keep up with, it's mind blowing, really! The comic-related industry is just nuts I tell you. Let's be honest here, we are all geeks that love the ol' 22 page floppy and it shows! There are comic book related blogs, such as this one, comic book related websites, news sites, gossip sites, and more! Comic book creators, fans, and companies Tweeting away like there is no tomorrow, Facebook, MySpace and more! All of it can be VERY overwhelming, and some days, like today, just thinking about the sheer volume of comic book related technology out there makes me a very tired girl. I want to do what Sups is doing in the above picture, just lay down and stare off into space. ( BTW, if you haven't seen the documentary entitled "Confessions of a Super Hero", that's where that picture is from, go rent it NOW. Great, great doc about the guys and girls that dress as Super Heroes in front of Ming's Chinese Theatre. )

Sometimes I wonder, is ALL of this necessary? I mean really? Yes, I realize that I too am just as bad, participating in all of the aforementioned comic book related technology possibilities, but I do that more because it's expected rather than really wanting to do it. Maybe that makes me a bad person, or a stupid person to admit it in public, but there you go. I think most of this technology has it's uses, really, but my god, to keep up with it all is a full time job! Between this blog, my own personal email, the store's email, my Facebook page, the store's Facebook page, Moonstone's Facebook page, my MySpace, the store's MySpace, Moonstone's MySpace, my Twitter, and now the store's Twitter: it's a little nutty! I'm not complaining, just pointing out the craziness of it all! Let's break it down, as far as comic-related stuff goes, this is what is out there, do we need all of it?

1) comic book related websites: comic book companies, comic creators, comic fans, comic stores, comic news, comic book gossip, and more! Yep, these are all pretty much standard these days. Everyone in business needs to have a half way decent functioning website.

2)comic book related blogs: every comic news site has a blog devoted to news, many comic creators, many comic book shops, many comic book companies, and comic book industry folks have blogs (such as this one). Are they needed? Again, it does appear that they have their uses. For example, I am able to discuss different comic book related topics, which is nice for folks that may not be able to make it into the shop on a regular basis or don't live anywhere near our shops but want to know what's going on etc. So, damn it, it looks like these are a necessary evil too!

3) comic book related Facebook pages: people SO love the Facebook trend, so I guess that is here for the moment and isn't going anywhere! Does it serve a purpose? Yes, get a message out quick to many folks that are interested in what you have to say.

4) comic book related MySpace pages: I'm afraid MySpace is just about dead. I'm toying with the idea of dumping my personal MySpace page anyway. The shop's MySpace and Moonstone's MySpace still seem to have some activity and I post on both of those pretty regularly (with Jerkules' help for the shop's MySpace page).

5) comic book related Twitter accounts: I just started twittering for myself personally, and it's interesting, but I'm not sure how long I will keep up with, because frankly my life is just not that compelling, lol. Additionally I just starting doing the whole Twitter thing for the shop and I think this can prove to be a VERY useful tool, but time will tell how that goes down. The whole twitter thing does seem to be a bit repetitive, serving the same function as Facebook, but maybe I'm wrong...

6) email accounts: yes obviously all of us need these, we couldn't live without them! But my goodness, multiple email accounts make for much to juggle, lol! But such is the price of doing business!

Is there a lesson to be learned in all of this? Yes, I need some of that handy dandy software that links all of my stuff together to make it easier to post and the same with all my store related technology based programs!

What do you guys think? Do you like ALL of the options out there for you to keep up with your favorite comic book companies, fans, creators, store owners, characters and more? What is your favorite source for comic book intel? Facebook? Websites? Blogs? Tweets? I'm curious what everyone thinks!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A little bit more info on other Lantern Rings

I know this whole promo ring thing can be confusing, so I thought I would clarify a bit just in case. Every issue that is tied to a Lantern Ring Promo will be shipping in November. The rings themselves will be shipping every two weeks through January. So this means that if you buy one of the comics that entitles the buyer to a FREE ring, then you will be issued a coupon that will be redeemable at that Amazing Fantasy location for the ring when it is is scheduled to arrive. That way, everyone that buys the appropriate comic will have the appropriate ring waiting for them at the appropriate store. We will not make more coupons that rings that will be expected to ship. So no one has to worry! Amazing Fantasy has you covered!

If this is not enough Lantern excitement for you, we will be getting a HUGE Lantern Symbol t-shirt restock soon too! Amazing Fantasy is your Lantern Headquarters!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Other Promo Lantern Rings

Good news! Those of you that have been asking for the other colored promo lantern rings, your prayers have been answered! Over the next few months the rest of the colors will be available as promo items. Here is the list of what ring comes with what book:

Yellow Ring: buy a copy of Doom Patrol #4 to get yours November 4th

Orange Ring: buy a copy of Booster Gold #26 to get yours November 18th

Red Ring: buy a copy of Justice League #39 to get yours December 2nd

Green Ring: buy a copy of Blackest Night #5 to get yours December 16th

Blue Ring: buy a copy of Adventure Comics #4 to get yours December 30th (which won't be the case if you read my earlier post about the skip week, so I'm assuming this ring will actually be available on January 6th unless they decide to push it out early as a Xmas present for the fans on December 23rd. I'll keep you posted when I have more info on this ring...)

Indigo Ring: buy a copy of Rebels #10 to get yours January 13th

Violet Ring: buy a copy of Outsiders #24 to get yours January 27th

So LOTS of promo lantern rings will be coming your way very soon! Stay tuned for further details...

Updated 08/19/09: all of the above mentioned books will be coming out in November but the rings won't be shipping until the dates listed. If this is indeed the case, Amazing Fantasy will be issuing coupons to give out to every customer that buys a qualifiying comic that will be redeemable on or after the date the ring ships. Everything is under control. :)

Diamond Announces Skip Week!

For the first time in MANY MANY years there will be a skip week for new comics being released at the end of December. So no new books of any kind the week of December 28th. I talked to Joe, owner of Amazing Fantasy, and he said this kind of thing would happen once if not twice a year back in the day before I was working here, so that means it's been over 18 years for a "skip week." This is why it is happening. The week prior to this is Christmas which means the next week's books would normally be delayed by one day, but since the next week that one day delay would fall on New Year's Eve and UPS is not running on New Year's Eve and of course the following day, Friday, is New Year's Day, so again no UPS. So we are all shit of luck for that week. Because of this skip week, expect the preceding week's shipment (December 23rd) and the following week's shipment (January 6th) to be extra heavy.

Do not despair comic book fans! Your local Amazing Fantasy may not have any NEW comics to sell you the week of December 28th but we will be running some kind of special customer appreciation sale or special. More details to follow in the coming months. I'm not sure what we will do, but you can believe it will be worth your weekly trip to the local comic shop! That week is the perfect week to pick up some graphic novels or back issues with all your Christmas gift cards/gift certificates or cash. We will help you find some cool reads that week, I guarantee it! Stay tuned as we come up with our cool Holiday Skip Week Special!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dear God I'm on Twitter now!

So, now I'm on Twitter, after much kicking and screaming. If any of you want to "follow" me on there, click on the above link. Not sure how exciting my posts will be, but by god if the masses think its great, it must be true! I feel like I'm WAY behind the times here, but why not, right? So I will do the same thing on there that I do on here, I'll comment on comics and comic related goodness and Moonstone related goodness. Fun for everyone! I can't promise I'll keep it clean, so if you are have virgin eyes you may not want to become my "follower". Now I have much to learn about "tweeting" like the lingo and all. So if anyone wants to share some proper jargon for me so I don't look like an idiot on there, I would be much obliged. Now I just need to get me a phone that I can text from easily and I'll be all set. I've finally arrived in the 21st century, I'm blogging and I'm tweeting. (Is that the correct term, hell if I know). And I'm on Facebook, I'm such a hip gal! Oh boy, I'm so excited that I have even more distraction from real life duties, I'm doomed I tell you, doomed....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Must Read(s) of the Week

Three Blackest Night titles shipped this week, and all three are worth checking out.

Blackest Night #2 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis
The first issue of this mini-series was interesting, but this issue I think is a little better. I'm still not completely sold on the idea of all the DC dead coming back to life as Black Lantern/Zombies, but so far I'm going to keep coming back to see how events unfold. I really do hate big universe spanning cross-overs, but... Now, the events in Blackest Night are pretty much self-contained in the mini Green Lantern-verse that Johns has hold on, but still. I give Johns lots of points for keeping a tight reign on this cross-overs so far, and kudos also to DC for giving Johns the flexibility to do this right. Never in a million years did I think it possible for a Green Lantern event to become the top seller from DC, never. The only complaint I have is when will the dead STOP rising? I would like the story to progress farther than the "who's risen this issue" to actual story, but who am I to gripe? The books are selling, are coming out on time, the story and art are great so far, fans are happy, so there is much joy to be had from this cross-over so far, I'm just hoping that there is a good payoff when all is said and done. Obviously we can't have a bunch of zombie Black Lanterns in the DCU permanently, can we? Also loved the addition of "The Book of Black" excerpt at the back of the issue, I imagine we will see more of these throughout the series. There are some out there that complain about these kinds of extras, why not just more story they ask? I say keep these kind of extras coming, because it will make the fans come back for more.
I give this issue 4 out of 5 black lantern rings, why not 5 out of 5? Because it's still a big cross-over universe event, so it's against my very nature to give stories like that 5 out of 5.

Blackest Night: Batman #1
by Peter Tomasi and Ardrian Syaf
This book was WAY better than I thought it would be. Most of the time with the big crossover events, the main mini-series is all I read from month to month, but I always try the first issues of the other minis, and this one actually makes me want to read the other two issues, PLUS I am now considering picking up the other mini-mini-series, such as Blackest Night: Superman and Blackest Night: Teen Titans, which in and of itself is quite unprecedented. I'm never been a big fan of Tomasi's writing, at least not until very recently. He has really come into his own with this event. He's been writing Green Lantern Corps for a long time now, and now this Batman mini, both are very good reads. This issue's special bonus: an appearance by Deadman! Woohoo! Boston Brand has always been one of my all time favorite DC characters. We go for months, sometimes even years, with no coverage on Deadman, and NOW he was a weekly feature in Wednesday Comics and he's co-starring in this mini. DC is making very happy right now. The other fun thing about this issue is seeing Batman and Robin together. I can't get enough of this new dynamic duo. They bicker, they don't really like each other, they don't really have a lot of respect for each other, etc. Makes for great reading! It's about time the Batman-verse gets a shake-up! Yes yes, I already talked about this back when Batman and Robin #1 came out, but it never hurts to reiterate.
4 out of 5 black lantern rings for this one too! (Bonus: this mini-series is only $2.99!)

Green Lantern Corps #39
By Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
If someone had told me three-plus years ago that Green Lantern Corps would be coming back as a monthly title and that it would consistently place in the top 5-10 books for DC every month, I would not have believed it. Normally by this time, Corps would have been canceled. It's on issue #39, with no end in sight. I've always loved the idea of a Corps book, because there are so many great Green Lantern characters to pull from, and Tomasi has really done a great job with this book. This issue is of course a Blackest Night cross-over, but it's a good one! Not one of those books with the banner slapped on it for a minor scene, both this book and it's counterpart, the monthly Green Lantern book, are important elements for the greater story. It's rather hard to read just the Blackest Night mini-series on its own, you also should really pick up Corps and the regular GL book for a more complete picture.
3 out of 5 black lantern rings, worth a try, again only $2.99!

This week was just a BIG week, lots of good books came in! Ultimate Avengers #1 by Mark Millar and Carlos Pacheco. I didn't necessarily LOVE this book as much as I enjoyed the first two maxi-series from Millar and friends, but this seems like it could be interesting. I will at least give it another issue or two. Red Herring #1 from Wildstorm written by David Tischman with art from one of my all time-favorites, Philip Bond. Red Herring is a very unique book and could be the next break-away hit from Wildstorm. Be sure to flip through it next time you are at your local Amazing Fantasy location. And Unwritten #4 also shipped, which has me itching for the next issue as soon as I read it!

Lots of great reading available this week! Wheeee!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Marvel 70th Anniversary Party Report

Want to see a bunch of pictures from Tuesday night's Marvel party festivities? Go here:

The party was a super success! Yummy cake for everyone. I'm telling you, you offer free cake and the fans will come. Thanks to everyone for coming out! We had customers from all four locations show up, it was just great! And special thanks to Daron "The Colonel" for helping out. Daron was my co-host, and ran the Marvel Trivia portion of the festivities and thanks also to his lovely wife Sarah who took many pictures throughout the evening and helped serve the cake. And thanks to Paul and Adam for coming out to work that night.

We offered special pricing on Marvel graphic novels in honor of the party and many people were quick to take advantage. Of course, we had the special Party Variants available for purchase of both Marvel Projects #1 and Marvel Comics Reprint #1, both were also big hits. And as a special bonus, we had many Marvel Variant covers for sale. A rare occurrence at any Amazing Fantasy location.

I was skeptical at first when Marvel announced this event, but I'm glad I decided to participate at the Frankfort Amazing Fantasy location. It was so much fun, I'm thinking I need to do something in honor of DC at some point soon, maybe before the end of the year. Superman's 70th Anniversary was last year I think and this year is Batman's 70th. Why hasn't DC made a big stink on their own? I have no idea, maybe they are waiting for the 75th to make a big splash.

The Marvel Trivia contest went over really well! First, Daron whittled down the contestants by getting them to line up, and as they made their way to the front of the line he would name a letter of the alphabet and the contestant had to come up with a Marvel character that starts with that letter. I think we had at least 20 or 25 folks participating at the onset of the contest. Once it was down to the "Final Three" it became a Marvel Trivia contest similar in concept to Jeopardy. Our final three: Eric, Warwick, and Don. All three did a great job, but it quickly became clear that Warwick was the bigger Marvel Zombie. He knew A LOT! So, no surprise that Warwick ended up with 3 million points (ok, I might be exaggerating, but you get the idea) , beating out our other two finalists. So congrats to Warwick! All three finalists walked away with an assortment of Marvel Variant Comics. Fun was definitely had by all!

I can't forget to thank Ken for coming out dressed in his version of Mary Jane. I had announced a Mary Jane look-alike contest, but he was the only one to take advantage. He came as "Nick Fury in disguise as Mary Jane." Go look at the pictures for the complete ensemble. Basically he came as Fury (in honor of the Colonel, I'm sure), complete with gun, eye patch, and cigar, he then added to this the Mary Jane elements of a lovely red wig and headband. What a dish! He received a very cool Amazing Spiderman 70th Anniversary frame variant cover edition featuring Mary Jane Watson!

Thanks everyone!

70 years of Marvel Comics, here's to 70 more! (If I had some champagne I would be toasting) Yay!

Next big event at the Frankfort shop: The JSA Vs. Kobra art team signing Saturday September 12th.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marvel 70th Birthday Bash Tonight!

Tonight is the BIG 70 Years of Marvel Party at the Frankfort location! From 9pm-11pm!

Here is the rundown for the evening:

Special pricing on various Marvel product!

Buy Marvel Projects #1 and Marvel Comics #1 70th Anniversary Edition one day early!

Buy Special Party Variants for Marvel Projects #1 and Marvel Comics #1! (Limit of 1 of each of these special variants per person and they will only cost $3.99 each. If I have any left at the end of the night I will sell them in the shop starting Wednesday but the price will no longer be $3.99, it will go up to $4.99, so buy yours on Tuesday night!)

Participate in The Colonel's Marvel Trivia Contest and win cool Marvel variant comics!

Participate in the Mary Jane look-alike contest to win cool prizes! (Not limited to women, lol!)

Enjoy some yummy Marvel Birthday party cake! (Cold milk will also be available to wash it all down. I am such a thoughtful host.)

Past and present Marvel comics variants will be for sale for this night ONLY!

Don't' forget to wear a Marvel themed T-shirt to show that you are a true fan, so when I take your picture to post on our various websites it will be easy to tell that you LOVE you some Marvel comics!

Note: the X-men will not be able to attend, but I'll be there, Jerkules, a special appearance by Adam and of course it wouldn't be a Marvel party without the Colonel and his wife!

Hope to see you all there!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Chicago Comic-con 2009 is over and done with!

So, here we are again at the end of another Wizard World Chicago aka Chicago Comic-con convention. Thoughts? There are many. Way too many to get into on here but here is a brief over-view.

I'm beat. Cons take more and more out of me as time goes by. My energy just gets zapped so quickly these days. By Sunday morning it took everything in my power to stand up and smile at folks when they came up to the booth.

No badges this year, just wristbands. I felt like I was at a bar or club instead of at a con. They did give badges out to the "pros" that registered for the show, but exhibitors, attendees, and publishers did not get them this year. I like the badges. People then know who is who at the various booths. I'm sure it was more cost effective than the badges, but still it made me sad.

Did I have fun? Sure! It's always great to see old friends, like Paul Storrie and Jeff Limke, Len and Susan Kody, Dan Dougherty and many more. That is my favorite part of any con, catching up with all of my con friends. I didn't get as much of a chance to hang this time around because I didn't get a hotel room this year, but it was still cool. Met some cool new folks, found some cool shit to buy, talked to some of Moonstone's newest crop of creators, and other craziness.

Overall, it was loads of fun. Was it a good show for Moonstone? In many ways HELL YEAH, and in other ways, not as good as years past. I really do think that the name change was a bad move for the con, but folks still made their way out. DC and Marvel as a no-show did indeed hurt. The con floor felt...a bit empty and sad. The aisles seemed bigger and there was the occasional area with chairs, an island for relaxation so to speak. Massages were also available for the tired and sore. (They weren't free, but it's a nice option). There were some free spots in Artist's Alley, but the rest of the area was pretty well packed with an assortment of pros, new and old, and up and coming artists too. The Artist's Alley area was probably the highlight of the show. I spent all of maybe 15 min. there due to my Moonstone booth commitment, but it looked hopping. All the Artist's Alley folks I talked to had a great show. So that is VERY cool indeed.

Thursday night was busier than years past, according to the rest of the Moonstone crew that was there. Friday was pretty sparse. Saturday was VERY packed and the A/C seemed to not be working much at all. I think there was just too many fanboys and girls packed into the con hall and then it was so damn hot and humid outside it was very tough for the A/C to keep it even close to cool in the hall. Once all the bodies cleared out and we got ready to leave the booth, it was as cold as the arctic. Sunday was rather sparse too. I'm sure Wizard will report "record" attendance numbers, but I'm not sure how they count those things. I just know by watching folks coming and going, and my occasional trip to the little girl's room or to get something to drink. Again, I never have time to go wandering the aisles at these shows, which is probably a good thing, because really how many Wonder Woman t-shirts does a gal need? I can't possibly fit any more Wonder Woman or Supergirl t-shirts in my dresser, so staying put at the Moonstone booth saves me money.

Here is something GREAT that happened at the show this year! They raised lots of cash for John Ostrander's eye operations/operations. So that is AWESOME! And John was even on hand to chat with fans. What a great guy. I'm so glad that so many fans and pros have stepped up to lend a hand to one of comicdom's superstars in his time of desperate need. $13,000 was raised at the after-hours auction alone! And John has said that any money raised above and beyond what he needs will be donated to the Hero Initiative to help fund any other comic creator in need.

I'm curious to know how the con's various after hours obscenely priced events went. I haven't heard from anyone that the attended, so I can't honestly say. I did manage to go see the after hours "Shooting the shit with Mark Millar" event. It was free, so I had no problem attending that. It was fun. I do love hearing the Scottish talk! I would have rather there was less question taking from the audience because they already had a question and answer session earlier in the day at a panel. I would have preferred just being able to hear Millar talk, tell stories and just generally "shoot the shit" like the name of the event implied. That was pretty much what the Warren Ellis after hours event was like last year. Also it was held in a much smaller room, and a more casual setting, which is cool, but it makes it hard for everyone to see the guest of honor. There also weren't enough chairs for everyone, but these are minor gripes. Millar was entertaining so it was worth staying a little late to be able to hear some great tales.
I heard from many exhibitors that they did not experience as good a show as years past. Was it the set-up? Was it the economy? Was it just lower attendance? Hard to say. But many exhibitors were slightly disappointed.

My one major complaint about the con this year, besides the unbearable heat and humidity on saturday: THE WRESTLERS. They don't bother me in and of themselves, but the damn announcer was SO frickin loud. Christ almighty. It gave me a headache. Every time he was announcing some wrestler or other it took him forever to give the introduction and then it was SO loud we couldn't talk the entire time the man was speaking. Ask anyone on that side of the con hall, IT SUCKED whenever the man took the microphone. I understand the man making the wresting announcements was some famous wrestler of old but dear god it was LOUD!

So there you go. A more intimate affair overall. Not horrible, but not as good as years past.
Definitely looking forward to C2E2. Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse have all confirmed so far, and of course Moonstone is also confirmed. So what other reasons do you need to come on out for the first annual McCormick Place show?

Time for my nap...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wizard World Chicago is BACK, but where are the comics?

So it is that time of year again, Wizard World Chicago has hit the area, this Thursday night thru Sunday. Of course, it's official name has been changed to "Comic-con" as the new logo illustrates so nicely. One problem with that, it WAS indeed called Chicago Comic-con back in the day before Wizard bought the show, you know back when it was a good con. Obviously Wizard is trying to take those days back, but it might be a little too late for that I'm afraid. The other obvious thing is Wizard Magazine has not been doing all that well of late and the company is most likely thinking the name of the con "Wizard World" has a negative connotation at this point. So there is some thought behind this name change.

I am not currently at Wizard World, I mean "Comic-con" tonight, but I'll be there for the rest of the show at the Moonstone booth of course. This year will be very interesting, since we have no DC or Marvel. The con floor just won't look the same without the mega DC booth as far as I'm concerned. Wizard did manage to get a few extra publishers to come out at the last minute. So besides Moonstone, Avatar, and Top Shelf, Ape will now be there along with Aspen. I do see that Zenescope and Dynamite will be there but their presence will only be felt at some panels, no booths for those guys.

Something new for Wizard is the new "Night Time Programming." Nice idea, but man those prices are killer. Basically what they are doing is offering special after con hours "parties" with various celebs that are attending the show, such as a Nichelle Nichols meet and greet for the low low price of $99.99 per person. Believe it or not that is one of the cheapest events I see listed! The only night time event that I can truly endorse is the John Ostrander fund-raising event, an auction that hopefully will give ALL of the proceeds to John Ostrander, that event only costs $40.00 to get into. I hope John gets at least HALF of that $40.00 entrance fee along with any of the auctions proceeds. You can also "Dine with Demons" for $175.00 per person. No explanations as to what they means exactly, but OK. I'm sure it means something to someone out there. You can also "Meet the Stars of Battlestar Galactica" for the affordable sum of $150.00 per person. But my absolute FAVORITE of the after hours "events" is the "Twilight after Twilight" event, which costs..... (sit down for this price)....$250.00!!!! WOW! Do they give massages too, maybe do your nails? I mean REALLY wtf? I'm sure the tweens and moms will be lined up to get the chance for the rare rare opportunity to meet and great a couple of the supporting stars from Twilight. God help us. This is what comic conventions have come to. It was the same bullsh#@ at the San Diego Con, with the THOUSANDS of Twilighters camping out for the Twilight panel. Instead of this kind of crap why don't they host some after hours event with some comic creators, you know the guys and girls that the whole show is SUPPOSE to be about? Why not a George Perez after hours event? Hang out with George for an hour or two, share some drinks, share dinner, or something like that. It could be more fund-raising for the Hero Initiative (George is doing LOTS of fund-raising for that cause throughout the whole con). But why would we want any of these after hours event to be about comics at the "Comic-con", I mean really, why? Out of the twelve after hours events offered, ONE is a comic-related event and that is the John Ostrander fund-raiser. Dear god, can't we please just talk about COMICS? I remember when comic conventions were all about comics. You couldn't walk five feet without running into massive amounts of long boxes or walls of back issues. Gone. Where did those days go? Maybe things like Ebay took a lot of that away from the cons, but still I miss it. Yes, this show does have A LOT of comic creators attending, which is very cool, but not nearly as many comic book dealers as years past or not nearly as many comic book publishers as back in the day.

I've heard the same gripe about Comic Con International, the San Diego Comic-con that just wrapped up two weeks ago. Where oh where did the comics go? That show has become so much about Hollywood there is talk of more comic-related events and panels taking place off site in nearby hotel next year. Hell, there has even been talk of taking the comics out of Comic-con itself and moving all those booth of dealers, publishers, and creators to another venue. Is that a good idea? Maybe, it's purely hypothetical at this point. Would it be better for the COMIC BOOK fan to wander away from the sprawling con floor to a smaller more comic-centric venue? The Hollywood insane fans could take over the hall on their own then. Maybe booths would cost less, so the smaller publishers could more easily afford a booth. But would it be any different than other smaller comic shows that already happen all over the country? Again, hard to say, until they decide to do something like the current "talk." It's all still speculation at this point.

Tune in tomorrow when I report back on day one of the the Chicago con. Hm, on second thought I might not be able to report back until the end of the con on Sunday night. It depends on how many "After hours" events I go to. I want to go to ALL of them. Wheeeeee!!!! Yeah. No. Couldn't catch me dead at ANY of them, again with the exception of the John Ostrander event.

Fingers crossed that this show doesn't turn our as bad as expected. Maybe going with low expectations will help. There are lots of local fans that are just waiting for both the Windy City show in September and C2E2 in April, that are taking a pass on Wizard Chicago this year. So attendance will most likely be down for the comic fans, but up for the fans of Twilight and Different Strokes, oh and don't forget the Wrestling fans!

Monday, August 3, 2009

David Lloyd Signing wrap-up

Pictured above: Me (Lori, author of this fine informative blog) superstar David Lloyd and owner Joe, in front of the Frankfort shop.

I drove David to the airport on Sunday, so his trip to Chicago is officially over. It was a phenomenal success! I am so happy that we were able to meet David and host TWO signing with him to promote his newest graphic novel KICKBACK. If you were one of the lucky folks that came out to the signing, thanks for coming out to meet David, and if you were one of those unlucky folks that couldn't make it for one reason or other, I am sad for you, truly. You missed one of the titans of the medium. David not only was the co-creator and artist on the best-selling V for Vendetta graphic novel, but he has worked on a plethora of other books since. David took the time to shake EVERY person's hand that came out for the signing, ask their name, signed their books, did a free sketch in one of their books, and chit-chatted for a few minutes at least. What a special opportunity! I can't thank David enough for this wonderful event! When I asked him if he would ever be interested in a signing, I never in a million years thought he would say YES. I was literally beside myself with glee when he gave me the go. It was flurry of activity after that: lining up the books, the advertising, the press-release, the reporters, Newsarama coverage, The Pulse coverage, and even Dark Horse had it listed on their home page. Everything humanly possible was done to let as many people know that this was happening at Amazing Fantasy. We had a wonderful turn-out, and everyone was in great spirits even if they had to wait in line for 20-30 min. since David was SO cool, no one complained. I can't wait until the next event! Just to illustrate what a super nice guy David is, Gene Ha (artist on Top Ten) drove down from the city to visit with his friend and fellow Alan Moore collaborator David Lloyd. Gene is a great guy too! He will be having an official signing at the shop on Saturday September 12th at the Frankfort Amazing Fantasy along with other members of the art team of JSA Vs. Kobra: Gene Ha cover artist, Don Kramer penciler, Michael Babinski inker, and Art Lyon colorist, will ALL be on hand.

Hey if you want to see more pictures from the David Lloyd event, check out our facebook page:

Thanks to David, his friend Meredith, and EVERYONE that came out to make this event so special!