Friday, February 22, 2019

Thing sketch cards, part 8

It's time to look at a few more Thing sketch cards that have come my way recently. Now that you've started reading, you are compelled to read all the way to the end.

Fred Hembeck - This is the second card I've got with Hembeck's art (this time with a shirt and boots)! But how can I possibly tell if this is a genuine Fred Hembeck sketch card?

Oh, that's how. Cool.

Will Caligan - I've never had much luck in getting one of these Marvel Masterpieces sketch cards, for whatever reason. But this one finally made its way to me with a pencil sketch from Will Caligan. I'd never have found his name if it wasn't on the eBay listing.

And lucky me, the FF are also on the back of the card, too!

Irma "Aimo" Ahmed - This card was sold alongside a connecting illustration, and I made sure that I was able to get both. This one, with the Thing and his pal Johnny, was worth getting by itself...

('s the back...)

...but WOW, check out this one with Sue and Reed! It's not often that I'll prefer these guys over ol' Ben Grimm, but this has got to be one of the sweetest illustrations of our favorite Marvel couple (behind Ben and Alicia) that I've ever seen. The whole team looks great lined up next to each other.

Both of these cards came from the 2011 Marvel "Bronze Age" trading card set.

Lui Antonio - Sometimes the Thing wears pants. Why does he do this? The shorts are iconic. Maybe he washes them, and doesn't just get new ones every day from Reed.

This one is also from 2011, but from the Marvel Universe line of cards.

Jayson Johnson - Lastly, we've got a close up from Jason Johnson, where you can count most of the Thing's teeth, if you'd like.

This card comes from the artist's personal stock. The colors on the back aren't ones that bled through, but printed that way.

Do I have more Thing cards? Yes! Will I show them to you? Yes! Now? NO!

Friday, February 8, 2019

pictures from the 2018 Comic-Con International, part 9

It's the last batch of pictures from Comic-Con 2018! We made it! It's February!

The show ended on Sunday, and as I've done a few times in previous years, I went to San Diego's Cat Cafe on Tuesday.

Comic-Con is so big that it takes a few days to tear down after everything is over. The Conan signs were still up Tuesday Afternoon.

And Amazon was still slowly dismantling the Jack Ryan exhibit.

The banners are always one of the last things to come down. See you next year, Comic-Con!

On Tuesday, I drove from San Diego to Los Angeles. I made a stop in La Jolla, could I not?

On Wednesday, I fed my habit and stopped at Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica. Any artwork that prominently features the Thing is good artwork. Look at these titans of mainstream comics right here.

Hi De Ho Comics was a good shop in a smaller space in a fantastic location. This is really close to some production studios, so I imagine that more than a few celebrities and crew members come here to get their weekly comics. Some of Marvel's new True Believers Fantastic Four comics came out this week, and I snatched them up.

Later that evening, I visited Knott's Berry Farm, which vastly exceeded my expectations for a theme park. It was a metric ton (tonne?) of fun. I highly recommend it.

I rounded out the trip with a boat ride over to Santa Cruz Island, off the shore of Ventura. It was nice to see a little bit of nature after the sensory overload that is Comic-Con. I really enjoyed it!

Let's look at some of the stuff I left Comic-Con with! I got a few items for myself this trip. First up is this signed Flash cast poster, from the CW signing I was able to attend at the show. One of my nephews watches the show and likes it a lot. Sorry buddy...I'm keeping this.

Next is perhaps the best exclusive that was sold at the convention...NECA's TMNT movie action figure set.

Look at these things! These are as close to perfect as you can get. I was lucky to be able to get a set for myself.

I mentioned that they gave away animation art at the Venture Bros. cast signing. This is the one that I got, signed three times!

One of the items I marked down before the show and said, "I have to get this" was this San Diego tourism print from Monkey Minion Press. There were only 50 made, and they were limited to 10 per day. They sold out in a heartbeat on Wednesday and Thursday, so I may have used my ability to get in early to snag one of these on Friday. I apologize for nothing! I got number three of 50.

These prints were given out at Dark Horse's Dr. Horrible signing, which I got signed by Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day.

And lastly, I picked up this Futurama print at the Bongo Comics booth. Matt Groening signed and sketched something different on all of them. I got a Zoidberg, because why not?

That's it for Comic-Con pictures. For real. Okay, New York Comic Con pictures are next. It never ends.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

I (maybe?) visited the Baxter Building in NYC!

The Marvel Universe was created to be "the world outside your window", taking place in real world locations, as a way to serve as a contrast to the DC Universe, populated by fictional cities like Metropolis and Gotham. Most Marvel heroes, at the times of their creation, operated out of New York City, meaning readers could see famous landmarks that supposedly grounded the books' characters.

Yet for every Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty sighting, there was also Avengers Mansion, The Daily Bugle and - my favorite, naturally - the Baxter Building, home of the world famous Fantastic Four. Even though these locations are fictional, many reside in real neighborhoods or at specific addresses in Marvel's New York City, including the Baxter Building, which, according to a number of in-story references, is located at 42nd St. and Madison Ave., which is pretty close to Times Square and midtown Manhattan.

Here's a quite recent reference from issue #4 of the book's latest volume, in which the FF find out that they can't move back in to their home in the Baxter Building (sigh):

Back in October, I attended the New York Comic Con. After the show let out on Saturday night, I thought I'd try and track down the building's street address in our universe. It wasn't that far of a walk from the convention center, and the weather was still pretty nice, so I walked down 7th Ave. and turned right on 42nd St.

Only a few blocks later, I had arrived:

The intersection raises the obvious question, then: which corner does the Baxter Building reside on? This looked promising:

But turning around, I saw this:

This is obviously a case of thinking too hard about something that doesn't actually exist. Still, I was happy to walk to a rather inconsequential street corner and take a few pictures of seemingly nothing at all. Oh, and I had my Fantastic Four shirt on, too! Overkill? Maybe.

Oh, and the Chrysler Building is not too far away! I guess the Marvel Universe has two landmarks right across from each other:

This was more fun than maybe it should've been. Still, fun is fun.

Just a few weeks ago, I played the new Spider-Man Playstation game for the first time. Your friend (and mine) Larry has been doing all of the legwork and unlocking all of Spidey's various costumes, so when he invited me to take a swing (hey-ooo), I did what any self-respecting comic fan would do, and grabbed Miguel O'Hara's Spider-Man 2099 costume and ran over to 42nd and Madison. The game allows/encourages you to take pictures while in the game, so please enjoy this providential picture of Spidey 2099 swinging in front of the maybe Baxter Building:

The building actually does look like what's sitting on one corner of the street in real life. Look! It's the world outside your window!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Pictures from the 2018 Comic-Con International, part 8 (Sunday, 7/22)

Comic-Con! Sunday! Lets go!

The DC booth often features displays of costumes from current and upcoming adaptations. I don't often get to see them because there's almost always a crowd during the show, they're set up in the middle of the booth area, and I'm (um) afraid to wander in there before the show opens up. But hey! Here's Zach Levi's Captain Marvel costume!

Here's another Batman who Laughs! The Batman who Laughs is a weird character with lots of belts. That is all.

Wait'll this guy sees the concession stand prices.

I saw Lesley Vamos! What a lovely person!

Here's David Ross, AKA Cowboy Santa Tick, as Iron Fist!

This is maybe the fourth time I've seen Matt and John Yuan as I've walked through the convention hall. They're both very nice and they're very forgiving of the fact that I bring up their roles on Arrested Development every time I see them.

Have you seen The Orville? It's pretty much Star Trek Lite, but I think I like it. These are good costumes.

This is a meme, right? It's a meme.

Is this a gender-reversed Peter Pan thing, or are both of these people dressed as Tinker Bell? I thought the wings were especially nice.

I think this was from my "rush around and take pictures of everyone in costume" part of the day.

It's easy to focus on this very-nicely-done adult and kid Gamora, but also don't forget to spot the guy in the unicorn costume talking with Stan Sakai in the background.

I got to talk for a bit with Dave Garcia, Tick artist and apparent Buffalo Bill reenactment model! Dave's a really great guy and I'd love to write a Tick story for him to draw some day.

Robin is also a Very Serious Person.

The glowing mace is a nice touch.

This is dang movie quality. Maybe it doesn't stand out as much as some of the more elaborate costumes, but this is one incredible Dr. Zaius costume. The mask is incredible! And when he talked, his mouth moved! I loved this.

Every year, 5:00 on Sunday brings the end of the show, and a frenzy of the teardown process. Everyone is always anxious to pack up and go, but I think it's nice to take a second and appreciate Comic-Con for the great opportunities it provides fans and creators alike.

I walked by as the staff was apparently taking their end-of-show picture, this one in front of the Deadpool animatronic booth.

If you cut Deadpool in half at the waist, what would happen? Would his top part just grow new legs, or would both halves regenerate, creating two Deadpools? Where does the core of his healing factor reside? Answer me, Internets!

The 2018 show was a really memorable one. I got to step band and enjoy things a little more than usual this year. I'll be returning once again in July!

One more set of pictures before we put this to bed. We'll make it!