2004: Preview Night
Can't We All Just Get Along?
into Preview Night this year, we suffered from mixed emotions.
On the one hand, there was the excitement of Comic-Con, that
one time a year when we get to walk among normal people. Then
again, old rivalries could rear their ugly heads, and a thinly
veiled threat had been leveled over one of our writers' opinions.
Thankfully, in our bylaws it says to never take Rob Sparling
anywhere. Oddly enough, they were written before we even knew
Back to basics with a reminder of who's the greatest
of them all...
year the opening of the doors went pretty smoothly, and
people seemed a little bit more polite. They'd have to be;
maybe it was our imagination, but there seemed to be a lot
more people at Preview Night than ever before. Even a couple
of exhibitors commented on that to us.
so than last year, the layout of the exhibitors' hall is
a melange, with publishers surrounded by toy and game companies,
and dealers and individual artists sprinkled throughout
almost haphazardly. You'll find small press next to armorers,
and bright shiny objects next to adult film stars.
the first time in our short history of Convention going,
it looks like DC is not the largest booth. We had inklings
when the Con announced the official Star Wars pavilion,
but who could have guessed they'd land a full-sized X-Wing
on the floor? Step a few yards away from there in either
direction, and you're either in the land of Mattel with
big pushes for He-Man and the new Batman line, or Hasbro's
segue from Star Wars to G.I. Joe. (On the opposite
side, a smaller booth actually has life-sized G.I. Joes
-- though they're plaster.)
new Joker is feeling rather irie...
speaking of dolls (okay, okay, action figures), DC Direct
once again has a great display of toys and props to make
one drool. For the first time ever, a prop has sent my head
spinning with covetousness, the mask and amulet of Dr. Fate.
Completely impractical, and probably no good against the
forces of chaos in my house, but lordy, do I want a set.
there's more -- new Superman figures, the allegedly about
to be released Dark Knight Returns figures that look like
Frank Miller's art sprung to life, Teen Titans and a statue
of Michael Turner's redesign of Supergirl.
the cream of the crop, we ran into three guys who claimed
to have the worst comic books ever. With a come-on like
that, how could we not refuse to pay and stand there awkwardly
until one of them broke down and just handed us their books?
I don't know if it will break Bare
Bones Studios' losing streak with critics, but I will
admit that The All Seeing All Knowing Mathematician
made me laugh more than once. However, I felt very very
dirty afterward. So there.
men of Bare Bones Studios. Their names have been
withheld to protect the dignity of their families.
all the exhibitors were ready yet, and more than one booth
still had harried workers trying to get everything unpacked.
The touted Indy Island, however, did have the guys from
Hero Happy Hour.
Recently, we've engendered
controversy among their readers by Rob Sparling panning
the book, hence the veiled threat.
I approached, writer Dan Taylor flashed the smile of a man
about to huck a book, and then he saw the words "Fanboy
Planet" on my tag. His eyes narrowed. Then he laughed
and shrugged. We shook hands and made promises to do an
interview later. But why did artist Chris Fason tell me
to bring my banjo and some thick twine?
was not the only peace summit that happened tonight. No,
my friends, there was something magical in the air.
few weeks ago, while playing City
of Heroes, I stumbled across a character I knew
to be the talented Scott Kurtz, writer/artist of the webcomic
and Image book , PvP.
If you are not reading this often brilliant strip, you should.
But wait until you finish this article, because you'll get
sucked into the archives and not come back for hours.
I introduced myself to Kurtz tonight, face to face, revealing
myself as the secret identity of The Night Panda. Of course
we talked about a future feature. However, Scott also hangs
out with the guys we forced into being rivals, Fanboy
Radio. As Goodson threatened to kick their a**
to Scott, Fanboy Radio host Oliver Tull popped around the
all the skill of a consummate politician, Goodson acknowledged
he'd meant to say kiss instead of kick, and we had a good
time with Oliver when we all realized, thanks to mediator
Scott Kurtz, that we're all on the same side as crimefighters
in Paragon City. And, well, you can see the results...
between Fanboys. Evildoers, beware!
(Oliver Tull, left, and Derek McCaw, right)
-- The Convention Starts! For now, check out our extra
gallery of pics!