line for Alex Ross.
First Day at WonderCon
P.M. – After press registration is all taken
care of, I made a quick lap of the Exhibition Hall. No shopping,
just scoping the whole place out before the first panel
takes place at 1:30 p.m. As with any convention, there are
plenty of things to see and do here. One highlight of this
stroll included running into Harvey Pekar over at the DC
Comics booth. He was signing promo cards for his upcoming
Vertigo Comics series with Dean Haspiel titled, “The
Quitter.” It’s always nice to see Harvey, doing
what he does.
P.M. – After touching bases with Derek, I
headed off to attend Cover Story: The Art of the Cover,
which featured none other than the likes of Neal Adams,
Adam Hughes, Alex Ross, and William Stout. You could hardly
ask for a better sample of artist for this panel, and it
proved not only insightful but entertaining as well.
never been privy to Neal Adams in a forum such as this,
so his straightforward “damn the torpedoes”
sincerity really made for a pleasant experience. Upon arriving,
Moderator Mark Evanier and William Stout immediately opened
up for questioning before the rest of the panel arrived.
The first question asked was directed to William Stout questioning
the percentage of homosexuals working in the comic industry.
The questioning party had felt slighted by Joe Kubert while
attending The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art,
and felt that the entire town of Dover, Colorado had it
in for him because he is homosexual. Basically, he blamed
Kubert for the mistreatment over his sexual preferences,
and therefore formulated the question.
Stout addressed this as amicably as possible until Neal
Adams entered and caught wind of what was being discussed.
He immediately rushed to Kubert’s defense and tried
to reason with the questioning party, explaining that Joe
Kubert had no power or precedence over the town of Dover.
Neal begged that the questioning party take his word for
it, that “Joe Kubert does not hate you,” and
closed out discussion with “F*** Dover” explaining
“they could be a bunch of assholes for all I know.”
whole exchange really set the tone for the rest of the panel
discussion, which was open, candid, and sometimes brutally
honest. One topic of note was the contrast between covers
that “raise questions” versus “decorative
action covers.” All of the panelists agreed that there
has to be something of interest to draw them into a cover
when commissioned, so they invent tiny stories to tell because
the art of creating covers that “question” the
reader (i.e. pick up this book to find out why Superman
is accused of murder!) is being pushed aside by decorative
covers glamorizing action.
was a jab at Marvel, because essentially Adams had been
commissioned to produce a cover for the Avengers Finale
issue, but had been told to show “heroes in action
poses” to which he quipped, “there’s no
story there.” So he invented his own to entertain
himself. With the aid of perspective, he decided to make
the heads of Ant Man, Giant Man, and Hawkeye the same size
on the page despite their differences in physical size.
This kept him entertained because there was no other story
to tell on the cover.
is chock full of tales, and he is a delight to listen to.
It was also interesting to hear everyone else’s take
on various aspects of cover art. The fact that Alex Ross’
work is brilliant is not so much a given, but an exception
in many cases. It was hilarious to hear Adam Hughes’
take on Ross’ work ethic. He likened having a conversation
about the difficulties of rendering seemingly impossible
detail in his work to having a conversation with Superman
about being able to fly. “You ask Superman, ‘How
do you fly?’ and he responds, ‘I dunno, I just
jump up in the air…It’s easy.’”
The work of Alex Ross astounds everyone, including the panelists,
and yet to him it all comes easy.
at upcoming work: Ross talked about his upcoming JLA project
entitled Justice which will try to darken the idea
of a “Legion of Doom.” Stout has a couple films
he did design work for coming out, “Muppet Wizard
of Oz” (to be broadcast on ABC this Spring)
and “Pan's Labyrinth” for Guillermo Del Toro.
Adams has a secret, hush-hush, project in the works. The
names he threw out were “DC, and possibly Frank Miller”
but could not elaborate on it further. Other than that he
has his “science project” which leads us to…
P.M. – Ok, after buying a bunch of books,
chit-chatting with Geoff Johns about continuity in Green
Arrow and Teen Titans, and eating a hearty,
yet late, lunch, I headed off to Spotlight on Neal Adams,
which despite the title, wasn’t what you would think.
Apparently Neal is a big science buff and he is prone to
questioning the “solutions” thrown at us by
the scientific community. His big beef is with the theories
surrounding the birth of the universe, the big bang, and
the theory of Pangea.
his theory is that all of this stuff is “bullshit”
and he has come up with his own ideas based on his studies
of biology, physics, geology, and pretty much any other
–ology on the planet. What has resulted from this
30-year labor of love is a two-hour film entitled A
New Model of the Universe and an upcoming book that
delves into the nuts and bolts of his theory. We screened
a one-hour version of the film, and then opened up for discussion,
and man, if his ideas aren’t mind blowing.
go into the long end of it, but basically his theory involves
some corrections to the ideas of tectonic shifting of continents
from a “singular land mass” and attributes these
shifts not to drift, but to the actual physical growth of
our planet. Yes, according to Neal, our planet is growing,
and he has sizable data to support his findings. (So
we're definitely on DC Earth, not Marvel Earth.) If
you have a remote desire to hear an alternate theory that
not only disproves the Big Bang as being absurd, but also
suggests something that makes sense in theory, then seek
out Neal’s book and film. The presentation is nothing
to gush about, but what is really intriguing lies within
what he is proposing.