Blah Blah Blog – Return from Chicago

An entry from my blog of many years ago, this one giving a debrief of what went on at a then-recent Wizard World Chicago convention.

Return from Chicago

July 1, 2008 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Back from Wizard World Chicago, and despite the fact that reading somebody else’s convention report is the most tedious thing in all creation, here are a few highlights:

–Obviously, a pall was cast over the whole convention when news of the passing of Michael Turner hit the floor on Saturday. I can’t say that I knew Michael well, but he did a whole string of covers for my office, on titles like CIVIL WAR and FANTASTIC FOUR, and he was always energetic and pleasant, professional and hard-working, even when that must have been the hardest thing in the world to have been.

— To anybody I saw on Friday, I’m sorry. I was still getting over a sinus infection, and the long plane ride, coupled with the handfuls of medication I was taking to allow myself to stand upright, made me even loopier than normal. I definitely wasn’t thinking straight, the neurons in my brain weren’t firing—so I expect I was a bit less coherent than I typically am.

–Went to an exclusive Marvel dinner on Friday. Sat next to Peter David who, along with writer Brian Reed, tried to sell Bill Rosemann on the merits of the British science fiction comedy series Red Dwarf. Bill still hasn’t cracked the episodes of Life on Mars I loaned him two months ago, so I knew this was a losing war to wage.

–Got to spend some time with artist Adi Granov and hear his stories about working on the Iron Man movie, and visiting Stan Winston’s Studios.

–It was good to see Geoff Johns for a few seconds at the end of the much-ballyhooed Bendis vs. Johns panel, which was the event of the show. Told him how much I liked all of the stuff he’s been working on lately. I had hoped to get a chance to hang with him a little bit in the evening, but Geoff wound up flying back to California when the news arrived about Michael Turner.

–Got a sneak peak at Keith Dallas’s upcoming FLASH COMPANION book from TwoMorrows. Apparently, I’m the only person in creation who ever said anything positive about golden age Flash artist E.E. Hibbard, as I’m quoted in the volume.

–We’ve got Prize or No-Prize down to a science at this point, and it seemed to go over well with the crowd. There were one or two really good contestants on hand who made it farther into their respective categories than most (though in virtually every case, the player went for one more question than they should have, and wound up losing it all to another player.) It was the relatively-easy questions that seemed to trip people up—the really tough stuff got nailed more often than not.

–Had a decent crowd for the Marvel: Your Universe panel as well, where fans were encouraged to give us feedback, and we had a big ol’ round-robin discussion about what we’re doing right and what we could be doing better. We devastated the room, rearranging all of the chairs into a big circle to give the event a homey feel. My former assistant and current Marvel writer Marc Sumerak joined Bill Rosemann, CB Cebulski, Jim McCann and myself for the event. And I was able to cajole John Dokes in coming down for just five brief minutes so that he could start the panel by intoning “Marvel…Your Universe” in those dulcet tones of his.

–My hand-drawn HULK cover for the Hero Initiative benefit auction sold for $200.00—and not to a member of my family!

Tomorrow: if all goes as planned, I’ll reveal how a hand-picked crew of co-conspirators and myself killed the Wizard Awards Ceremony.

More later.

Tom B

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