Other Side of ComicCon Friday:
more notes from Mish'al Samman
into mecha and manga and Star Wars and bears oh my, then really,
Mish'al's reports are for you. Much deeper into panels and partying
than this old man, Meesh has some news of note, in particular
for those who are really into Dark Horse's Star Wars work.
stumbling into ComicCon a tad late, I decided to skip the pleasantries
and hellos to my new friends on the convention floor to go straight
to work and start attending more panels.
new with Robotech for 2004?
Not a danged thing. Yet.
I missed out on the Robotech stuff but after talking with
someone at Harmony Gold and some attendees of the panel, I
guess I didn't miss much. All the big news was already out
last year, and the Robotech website is all they really have.
But guys, what about the new TV series?
(attended) panel turned out to be highly entertaining and
fun. The creators and writers from the Transformers
cartoon hosted the panel. Buzz, Flint, Barry, and Earl made
for some interesting Q&A discussion.
many of the questions where directed to who audience favorites
were, a cool experience was the look back into what it took
to make this epic show by the creators themselves, the ups
and downs of it all, and the occasional freelancer who thankfully
never made it.
the makers of Beast Machines expressed their relief when someone
yelled out "Armada sucks!" saying, "For years it was
Beast Wars sucks, so thank you."
by Mr. Grimlock himself (Gregg Berger) raised cheers as he
demonstrated just how a King Dinobot would say his trademark
line, before walking back to his seat in the audience.
the topic of the "Return of Optimus Prime" came up, it was
said that Hasbro made a boo-boo. When sales declined for his
toy, they gave the okay to axe him in the movie, not knowing
the repercussions of this act and the 15 billion fan mails
expressing shock, anger, or demanding his return. Quickly
Hasbro contacted the creators of G.I.Joe The Movie,
and told them to change the ending before release. Why? Duke
was supposed to die in the end, hence a poorly dubbed "Duke's
gonna be OK" that was slapped into the last scene.
Hasbro turned back and told the Transformers guys, you have
2 weeks to bring Optimus back, and also have an appearance
of over 300 characters to boot. So while the first movie made
even me cry at the historic moment, what about a Transformers
2? As far as these guys know, there isn't a Transformers
movie coming out anytime soon, although it could be possible
with today's technologies. (Though a live-action film is
in the planning - Derek.)
it was off to Dark Horse Comics: Star Wars, and see what was
up with them. And so far, a lot of things are happening.
Battle of Jabiim will come to an end, some titles will start
disappearing and new ones will arise; okay, granted that sounded
cheesy when reading it here, but it was much more dramatic
when they mentioned this to us.
demand of forum writers, Tales will have an issue dedicated
solely to the dark side in September. Then 18 will be about
Boba, and in 19 Haden Blackman will be writing a Han Solo
story that may "piss off the fans;" honestly folks that what
they said, and he nodded in agreement. What the heck that
means is anyone's guess. Then Randy Stradley will take over
Tales after issue 20.
a hunka hunka burning bantha poodoo.
news on a new Tag & Bink story, as everyone is just too busy,
and reprinting probably wont happen for technical comic-publisher-talk
I really don't get, something about Tag & Bink only being
2 issues, and doesn't warrant a paperback, and you have to
mix it with another funny story, and not a serious one. .
. something like that. This news was what I cared about most
because I think Tag & Bink is a hilarious strip, and Mr. Rubio..err,
Kevin, should do more.
of other big news items were a possible adaptation
of The Clone Wars TV series (you'll see why below),
and then a new 10 issue run 10 months before Episode 3, that
leads the limited series directly into the movie. There will
also be an issue of Republic where Anakin will have
to fight alongside "or against?" Tusken Raider Jedi A'Sharad
Hett in October. . . Ooo, the tension is building, along with
will have a couple more featured Jedi, ending probably with
Dooku. Another title in the works has no name yet, but follows
the life of a stormtrooper. This Trooper series will end inevitably
in the Deathstar, and I guess with a bang. Finally in November,
look for a Star Wars issue with a tagline "99% Fewer
Ewoks." As long as Gungans don't show up in abundance, we're
Leia's love story was the one shot issue for Valentine's 2003.
Luke and Mara will be 2004's story.
that exciting bit of info about the clone wars, I was off
to Udon's Street Fighter panel. Joining the panel a bit late
were the Chen sisters Christina & Jo (Battle of the Planets/Witchblade).
Erik Ko and Co. talked about how Udon got started, the name,
and then the deal that got them Street Fighter. "Last
Shot" raised a pretty interesting question but with everyone
booked solid, and there being no funds, there will be no plans
to continue, but Long Vo did say that he wanted to finish
it, even if it were a free online thing.
I wonder if the higher ups know this?
these talents come off as though they all do reside under
one roof, Erik did assure us that "no, we do not all live
together" Ahh, but some of you do, Erik. This panel had
so much of a family feel to it, that you can feel the synergy
and closeness these guys emit in their work that make it
all too mind-blowing and fluid. Sentinel writer Sean
McKeever sat behind me and was introduced during the panel.
I later talked to him briefly about how much I enjoyed his
work on Sentinel and how Japanese I thought it was.
Even if his intent was not to have it as mangasized as I
thought it was, THAT was due to the Japanese flavor the
Udon pencilers put into the art.
extremely hungry at this point I went back down to get some
food and found the opportunity to go harass those guys at
Devil's Due and ask for some art. I should have done that
on Wednesday, but didn't.
Clint Hilinski (Voltron) and Tim Seeley (G.I. Joe) telling
funny stories, and where the party is going to be at tonight
to each other during penciling my sketchbook, I cursed my
ethic as I am even now contemplating reprinting some of these
hysterical comments… But then you know that would incriminate
me as well. (see me later, people - Derek)
my break was over and I headed upstairs to watch The Clone
Wars panel, and as they showed the first scene, I gawked
in awe. I profess that I don't really care for Samurai
Jack, but maybe it was the Star Wars fan in me that
said "Holy Bantha Poodoo, this is so rad!"
the scene opening up with Yoda riding a birdlike Tauntaun,
waving his lightsaber in a charging fashion, you automatically
get sucked into the story, even if it is for only three minutes.
It is quite fast paced, and so many visuals stick out. With
the crowd laughing at Palpatine's menacing features, and when
you see Anakin and Padme give each other looks of puppy love
the circle will now be complete and you can rest assured that
for many, this is an event to experience.
after this picture was taken, the stormtroopers launched
into a thrilling rendition of "Hey, Big Spender..."
started, and the focus of discussion was not to give too much
away. There are, after all, 20 episodes of 3 minute shorts
divided equally between Mark and Brian Andrews to draw. What
they were unable to touch was mainly the love story, which
they claim they have ways around. Durge the bounty hunter
will be in it, and loads of Dooku's cronies.
the nervousness of the creative team not having the original
movie cast doing the voices, it ended up being the least of
their worries. At least until Anthony Daniels asked why he
wasn't asked. I guess you should always let the Droid win,
all you fans out there, C3PO is the real C3PO, but why the
Samurai Jack team? "Lucas Loves Samurai Jack!"
the panel was over I witnessed something pretty interesting,
remember the comment in the Dark Horse panel about the comic
adaptation? Well the big corporation does it again. No one
was talking to anyone on the other side, and they were introduced
right there at The Clone Wars premiere. So will we
be seeing an adaptation? Guess we will wait and see.
were rumors at this point that Mish'al was about to be dragged
over the border by some of the guys at Image, but a timely
pair of ripped pants prevented that. Though we both attended
Mark Hamill's evening panel, The Meesh disappeared shortly
thereafter. At 1:30 a.m., after I had returned to my hotel
room from My Dinner With
Stan, came a lone text message: "Who is Neil Gaiman?"
And I suffered my first aneurysm of the week.