Things I Found At WonderCon
another WonderCon is over, and while much smaller than many
of the cons I tend to frequent, it wasn't a bad time.
wasn't enough programming, the WonderCon Film Festival was
small, the dealer prices ranged from "I'm not paying
25 dollars for that!" to "Are they out of their
minds?" and the lines for just about everyone were long.
how did I spend my time? Looking for the little books that
I'd never find if I weren't neck deep in the Comic Book Life.
Of the dozen books I bought, six stood out as the most entertaining
things I had never heard of before I bankrupted myself in
the Moscone Center. And I'm adding one film to the mix.
Hero Happy Hour by Dan Taylor and Chris Fason
I like bar stories, and if such a bar story happens to be
about the bar where superheroes hang out, then that's even
better. I got the Issue Three Special Convention Preview and
I have to say it ruled. The art is good, and the storytelling
is great for a twelve-pager. www.geekpunk.com
is also one of my favorite URLs of all time.
by Sandy Clark and Big A, the gal
I am not usually a fan of comic strip books. There's usually
not enough follow through from comic to comic to justify not
just reading them one at a time. Moo, on the other hand, is
the wonderful story of a New York cow, called New York Strip,
brought to Point Reyes to live with a herd of cattle on a
a lot of the expected fish out of water jokes (after all,
this is Green Acres for the bovine set), but it's funny. The
jokes are smart and the push from page to page kept me reading.
I laughed out loud a half dozen times as I took BART home.
Good stuff. Make sure to check it out at www.mootoons.net.
the power of cheese.
Taliones: A Jungle Tale by Aneurin Wright
The author signed my copy of Lex Talionis with the
following words: Hope you dig gorillas, 'cause if you don't,
not quite true, as there is a lot going on in the little booklets.
It's a jungle adventure that calls back to the 1930s, with
the great white hunter and the band of gorillas he hunts.
The art is amazing. The look is so crisp that the black and
Wright had the color versions of some panels and they were
incredible, but even in greyscale, the art is magnificent.
I hope he gets to release a color version, as it's easily
the best adventure comic I've read in ages. Check out www.welsheldorado.com
and see what I mean.
Ready by Curtis Broadway
Walking through the exhibitor hall, I came across a lot of
art panels just put up on table top easels. And as I walked
around, I found Curtis Broadway's space. Now, I have a soft
spot for art history, and just seeing the work "Agent
Slack & Bolohead Tie One On" sitting on the table
got me hooked.
is pen and ink, but there is a strong etching feel, and you
can't help but sense the eye of Salvador Dali watching over
the whole scene. I bought the little spiral bound book and
am still stunned by the style that Broadway exhibited in the
tale of Agent Slack, Bolohead and Ladygrass. That, and there
are banjos everywhere. A great series that walks the lines
between fine and comic arts. Curtis' work can be viewed at
Pirate Club by Derek Hunter and Bryan Young
Shinebox Comics has come up with a little title that is very
cool. I like pirates (take that NINJA!) and this is a book
about a group of kids (well, 3 kids and a bear/kid) who become
pirates. The art is very Evan Dorkin, which is a very good
thing, and the story is funny, smart, and ends up with a dark
punchline that I appreciated. Take a look at www.pirateclub.com
for more details. This is one series that I think will be
most interesting to watch develop, and may become my favorite
from Mad Science Media, Inc
Good anthology mags are things that I thought were gone forever.
The ones that remain tend to be rather bland. Maybe that's
why I enjoyed Comiculture so much. The stories were
for mature readers, and they were all at least very good.
for me were I Loved A Zombie by Jessica Wolk-Stanley and Gunpowder
Girl and the Outlaw Squaw by Don Hudson. Both of these were
very well done, and the art on Gunpowder Girl was particularly
crisp and rang slightly of George Perez. I love the fact that
I had a chance to find an anthology like this, as it is now
a title I will continue to pick up
once I find a comic
shop that carries it.
by Jeff Cioletti
The WonderCon Film Festival night two featured three films;
well, not really. They showed clips from a documentary on
Daredevil, and they closed the night with Welcome
Sinners: The Velvet Hammer Story, which I liked better
the second time around.
for me was Unwound, a documentary on Toy Robots. While
not the best doc I've seen in the last month, I enjoyed the
way it told the story, cutting between opposing points of
view, and using one man's robot going up for auction as a
thread to run throughout. Fun stuff, and for a guy who likes
him some robots, I found myself going "I had that!"
more than once.
has done two other docs that have shown at WonderCon in the
past, and I highly recommend Chronotrip as well as
Unwound to anyone who thinks there is no such thing
as a sci-fi documentary.
all, I've been to better cons, but the fact that WonderCon
pulls so many great people will always make it a worthwhile