A post from my Marvel blog of long ago, recounting events that took place at a convention in Philadelphia the prior weekend. There was a short follow-up post that I just added in here at the end, as it doesn’t really stand by itself any longer.
Convention reports can be pretty tedious, especially for those who weren’t in attendance. But there were a couple things worth mentioning about this past weekend’s Wizard World Philadelphia show, so I’m just going to bullet point them for expediency’s sake.
–I screwed up at one panel, and let a bit of info slip that shouldn’t have been let out yet. Fortunately, none of the news sources covering the panel caught my faux pas or reported it—but that didn’t stop me from feeling stupid for the rest of the show. I’m usually better than that.
–Friday was the traditional Cheesesteak excursion, where a bunch of us piled into a cab and rode out into the night in search of Philly’s signature foodstuff. I ate far too much cheesesteak, and couldn’t even finish my cheese fries. Dynamic Forces’ Nick Barrucci, who was also there, tried to get us to walk a few blocks over to sample the city’s water ice. We all begged off—but that didn’t stop Nick from buying something like eight gallons of the stuff and bringing it over to the hotel bar where we were camped out after dinner.
–Was approached after one of our Marvel panels by Bill Smith, who for a lot of years was my supplier for Japanese animation videotapes. Hadn’t seen or heard from him in two decades, so it was good to see him looking well.
–Found a few old, obscure Jack Kirby pre-Marvel romance and western comics out on the floor.
–Dan Slott and I talked through the storyline for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 over lunch. It’ll either be one for the ages, or finito for the bunch of us.
–A woman who shops at my old Delaware comic shop, Captain Blue Hen’s, came by to tell me that the store owners had shown her some of the writing and artwork I’d done for their newsletter almost twenty years earlier, and she thought it was genius. Clearly delusional.
–Brian Reed, Dan Slott and I skipped out on Saturday night festivities to go see Indiana Jones at Philly’s swanky theater, “The Bridge.” It was a pretty impressive place, though a trifle pricey. The film wasn’t bad—not a great picture, but perfectly entertaining for two hours if you didn’t think about it too much (especially if you walked in with some attachment to the Indy mythos, which we all more-or-less had.)
–Had breakfast with my brother Joe and his wife Jen in the same little café we went to last year. Good food, nice conversation—good to catch up with them. I would have liked to have spent a little more time than the hour or so that breakfast took, but I had a full slate on Sunday.
–Prize or No-Prize went well. For whatever reason, the crowd in Philadelphia really gets into the competition in a way that fans in other areas don’t. Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that we debuted the event there two years back, but there’s such a positive, upbeat feeling in the room, and a real sense that everybody is cheering for whomever happens to be in the “Hot Seat” at any given time. Long lost ex-associate editor Molly Lazer came out to lend a hand and be a special Prize Monkey. We gave away an advance copy of SECRET INVASION #3 as one of the big prizes, and the winner of the book came up to me later and told me that I’d made his life a living hell—that now, wherever he went on the convention floor, people were coming up to him begging to take a look at it. Fortunately, we had him sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement upon winning the book…
–Once again, I had some time to kill, so I stopped in on Dan Didio’s chat panel on Sunday, and brought the big man a comic he had spoken about at the New York show. (I was quite astonished to see that my cameo appearance was completely omitted from the panel report over on Newsarama—make of that what you will.)
–We did the road-test for the Marvel: Your Universe panel at the end of the show, which started off slow, but came together all right by the end of it. Best moment was probably Dan Slott telling the story of how he met a live-action Spider-Man when he was a kid. All in all, we got a lot of diverse feedback about the books we’re doing, and attracted almost a capacity crowd by the time the event was over. We’re going to need to tighten up our presentation when we take this on the road to Chicago in a few weeks, but at least now we know where the bugs seem to be. And the audience seemed to have a good time overall.
–It almost took longer to drop CB Cebulski off in Manhattan and get back off the island than it did to drive from Philly to New York in the first place.
That’s it for me. How about you?
A quick addendum to yesterday’s Philly post that I completely forgot to mention. Everybody who attended our MARVEL: YOUR UNIVERSE panel at Wizard World Philadelphia received one of these rare variant editions of X-MEN LEGACY #211 with the beautiful David Finch cover. I’m told that this was the only place we were giving these out, and that the print run for this particular variant was one of the smallest we’ve ever placed–so if you were one of the lucky few who stopped by to chat with us, hopefully you wound up with a special item well worth the time.
Now, this is no guarantee that we’ll be handing out similar goodies when wr bring this panel and the rest of our convention programming on the road for the rest of the year–but anything’s possible. So a word to the wise.
I also forgot to mention yesterday that, right before the M:YU panel, I got word that Peter David was looking for me. Peter and I had both been on a very strange “Legends of Comics” panel together on Saturday, along with Chris Claremont and Greg Hildebrant. I envisioned that there was some problem he wanted to talk over with me–but when I finally came across him, he wanted to offer me a seat at that evening’s New York Mets game, to which he had great box seats. As it turned out, with having to do the panel and get some other people home to Manhattan that night (and having been away from my family for the weekend) I felt I had to turn down Peter’s offer–but it was a very nice gesture nevertheless.
Tomorrow: something more substantial about comics (with any luck.)