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This is ridiculously belated. In my defense I've been suffering from both con plague and computer problems, and also trying to get a paper finished. But I should post something about the Baltimore Comicon, so here it is:

* I showed up at the first day of the con wearing my "Mark Waid Is Evil" t-shirt. This garnered several responses, among them: "Oh, I love that shirt!", "Well, I wouldn't say evil...", "Oh, hey, the Evil One was just over there!", and "Is he an ex-boyfriend of yours?" Yeah. Guess which one of these was at the train station before I got to the con? :)

* Original Ninja Turtles comics! In really surprising quantity, too, for an '80s indy B&W comic (a really popular one, granted, but still). By the end of the con I had nearly all the ones I was interested in (well, I'm still missing a fair chunk of the City At War storyline but you can't have everything). I even picked up an issue I'd already found in trade, just to have the color wraparound cover. Because, admit it, that's a cover worth owning. I really ought to do some posts about TMNT, especially what with the franchise having changed hands between the time of the con and now.

*I didn't spend much time with other Internet people, though I showed up at dinner briefly and I did wander around for a bit with [ profile] likeadeuce making fun of action figures. (Well, if they're going to make an "Amok Time" Spock and Kirk set, they really must expect it.) Sorry, people I didn't talk to; I hope to do better some other time.

* I only went to two panels. One was "Comics in the '70s," which, well, there was a general problem with the panels, which was that they were being held in screened-off areas of the main convention area. So there wasn't any soundproofing to speak of (including from the other panel area, which meant that every so often you got these random bursts of applause from the other side), the sound system was pretty useless, and there wasn't as much space as there might have been. Given all that, it was okay; half-a-dozen prominent writers and artists from the period talked about their experiences getting into comics and what it was like working back then. But it was all very difficult to hear, and they didn't talk about the actual comics as much as I would have liked. I had a much better time at the second panel, featuring...

* Stan Sakai. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, he's the writer and illustrator of Usagi Yojimbo, a long-running comic about a masterless warrior named Miyamoto Usagi in 17th century which all of the characters are anthropomorphic animals. It's a great comic, with a very likable protagonist, a huge cast, and stories ranging from the ridiculous to the epic to the heartbreaking. I'd gotten Sakai to sign one of my UY trades the day before, and he was really nice and actually did me a little partial sketch of Usagi in the book. So I was really looking forward to the panel, and it went well, partly because there were sufficiently few people there that we could all sit close enough to hear. It was mostly Q&A, and he talked about things like what it was like to work in comics, why a rabbit samurai (actually no one asked that but he explained reflexively anyway), and why the story's Big Bad is human, which apparently stemmed from a discarded idea that UY would be part of a bigger story stretching into the Middle Ages involving both humans and animals and explaining their coexistence. He mentioned that there'd been various discussions of movie options, none of which had gone through for various reasons, such as the one that essentially went "We love your rabbit samurai in ancient Japan! We want to make a movie about him as a human private investigator in Los Angeles!" On the other end of the spectrum he said he was still sorry that the offer from the Jim Henson Company hadn't worked out; I think pretty much the entire panel uttered a sigh of regret along with him. The other entertaining thing about the panel was that Sakai kept sketching quick illustrations as he talked, and the first time he did this a hand went up enquiring if he was keeping that... He wasn't, so for the rest of the panel people kept darting up to the front to snatch up the sketches as they were discarded. I didn't take one, but I did take a quick picture of the sketch representing his favorite story, in which our intrepid hero is carried off by a kite. (It's actually a very well-researched story...which is not to say that it's serious necessarily.)

* I also had a good time chatting with Carla Speed McNeill of Finder, who is very nice, even when by her own admission she's starting to turn into a zombie. (In an, um, purely metaphorical fashion.) I showed up on day one and I bought one of her trades and we chatted about authors who vanish off the face of the earth and the books you wish they'd written (which turned out to be pretty appropriate to the trade), and then I went home, read the book, and came back the next day to buy another one. Did I mention I really like Finder? Because I do.

* Best costuming moment: seeing a little boy about eight years old in a terrific Impulse costume, complete with big shoes and a shock of messy brown hair. Apparently he knew who he was supposed to be, because when people asked for pictures he would get into a dramatic running pose. (For the sake of his parents, I hope he wasn't too much into character; having to corral Impulse at a comics convention sounds a little alarming.)

* I found a trade (which I'd had no idea even existed) collecting some of Gail Simone's You'll All Be Sorry columns. It's missing some of my favorites (like the Daredevil/Bullseye romance piece or the downright vicious "tribute" to Silver Age Clark/Lois, but there's still plenty of funny, plus a lengthy introduction, a couple of new pieces by Simone, and a whole bunch of new "Condensed Comic Classics" by the original authors. My personal favorite bit is from "New Titans by Marv Wolfman":

RAVEN: I sense pain. I always sense pain. There are four billion people in the world so of course someone is going to be in pain. Why could not my powers be sensing, I do not know, chocolate?

* Easily the best action figure find was the Marvel Select Marvel Girl, who is not only awfully pretty but comes with half of the gate to Xavier's School, complete with little brass plate. (The other half is with a Rachel figure I am not especially interested in, but honestly even half the gate still makes my inner mutant fangirl pretty happy.) I also bought a movie Cyclops, because the two that I already had were just not enough! In my defense, though, this one was in civvies, which I think may make it unique among Scott figures; I really couldn't resist. I should take a picture of my Summers-Grey collection at some point; by now it would be kind of impressive.

* My heartfelt appreciation to the nice lady from GE Collectibles who not only let me look through her boxes after the con was technically over--and score some of those Messner-Loebs WW issues I'd been chasing after the whole weekend--but actually went to get a price guide so I could see which issues of Warlord had Mike Grell art. (I love Grell art. Earlier I even bought an issue I knew perfectly well he'd neither drawn nor written because I liked his cover for it so much. Okay, yeah, I'm a sucker for pretty pictures.)

* The most harrowing part of the whole thing turned out to be getting home, when "mechanical difficulties" stranded me in the Baltimore train station for a couple of hours. Fortunately I had lots of reading material...

Date: 2009-10-28 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was great to see you, if only briefly! And I am totally in favor of seeing pictures of your collection of Summers-Grey action figures. I didn't realize there was a non-costumed movie Scott figure!

Date: 2009-10-30 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't either, but there it was (! It's from the train station scene, I think.

Date: 2009-10-28 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Pretty pretty Grell art! I would have bought that one too. :D

The Ninja Turtles cover is pretty awesome, too. Even if the unmentionables do not in fact turn out to be underwear. ;)

I hope your con plague and computer troubles are improving!

Date: 2009-10-30 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They are, yes, I'm doing better.

You know, I think it's totally possible that one of the turtles has a deep, dark secret: when no one else is around, he likes to wear human underwear. Possibly Raphael, because imagining him in boxer shorts with little hearts makes me giggle. (I'd put it on Mikey, but Mikey is so fundamentally immune to embarrassment that he has no deep, dark secrets.) Admittedly this has nothing to do with the story in question. :)

Date: 2009-10-31 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am totally with you on the human underwear thing. :)

In other news, I has a toaster-former! It was in the drugstore. It is kind of terrifying looking.

Date: 2009-10-28 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so glad you came, just sorry you couldn't stick around longer and that transportation was crappy :-/.

That Star Trek figure set was *amazing*, I can't believe I forgot to post about it. I loved your Marvel Girl and -- well, I love that there are matching Rachel and Jean figures! I may have to hunt that set down.

Date: 2009-10-30 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was happy to see you for a bit!

You really have to love that they have action figures from that episode. It is like a special gift to fangirls!


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