Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Tick 25th anniversary panel at Comic-Con

Saturday at Comic-Con brought a panel that I was really looking forward to, for obvious reasons.  After the Joss Whedon panel let out at Nerd HQ, I made a line for the convention center and the Tick 25th anniversary panel.  To think that a quarter century has passed since the Tick #1 first appeared is pretty stunning.  The Tick has been a big influence on my comic reading habits and, let's face it, my psyche, since I discovered the animated series when it debuted back in 1994.

This was, if I'm not mistaken, the first time that Comic-Con has recognized the Tick in any official capacity.

The panel was held in one of the larger rooms on the second floor, but I decided to arrive more than an hour early to make sure that I got in.  To my surprise, there was a fairly long line winding to the entrance of the hall when I showed up.  A quick session of eavesdropping on those around me and I found out the reason: there were a lot of people waiting to get into the zombies in literature panel that was next in line.  Once the doors opened, I was able to make it inside, where I did my best not to seem too disinterested.  At one point, some people got up and left, and I got a seat at the very front of the room:

The zombie panel was, all in all, pretty interesting, as they discussed end-of-the-world scenarios in a mostly tongue-in-cheek fashion.  There was one guy who took the apocalypse very, very seriously, though.

Once the zombie panel ended, the Tick panel started to take form.  I looked to the back of the room and saw that it was filled nearly to capacity.  There were a number of Tick shirts to be seen, and there was one girl who wore Tick antennae (she later asked a question, in character).  It was pretty fun to see everyone there for the Tick.

The panel consisted of Ben Edlund (creator, artist), Bob Polio (art director) and Chris McCulloch, aka Jackson Publick of Venture Bros. fame.  Publick worked on the series Karma Tornado as well as both the animated and live action shows.

The panel consisted mostly of a slide show of artwork from various points in the Tick's initial 12-issue run.  I feel that I'm at least fairly versed in the history of the character, but I was happy to see a few things that I hadn't before as the panel moved ahead.  Pictured above is an initial drawing of the Tick by Edlund...note the tick emblem on his chest!

A real treat to see was an official badge for 1990's Comic-Con, back when the Tick had only been published for two years!

The highlight of the panel, of course, was getting to hear Edlund, Polio and Publick talk about the Tick, adding in their anecdotes and jokes along the way.  This is a panel that could have gone on twice as long if it didn't have the time constraints in place.  Near the end of the panel, Polio pointed out other Tick contributors in the audience, including Benn and Liz Robbins, Gabe Crate and the voice of the Tick from the '90s cartoon, Townsend Coleman:

Sigh...YES, I realize that I should have turned my phone sideways to film this, but it was all in the spur of the moment.  It's still pretty cool.

The panel ended with a few questions from the audience, including the aforementioned girl in Tick antennae, who asked an interesting question about the possibility a Tick musical, which Edlund thought was an interesting idea.  And he's right, of course...the Tick as a concept lends itself to the absurd, and a Tick musical that played on the conventions of the stage would be the height of absurdity on a number of levels.

There were only a few things at Comic-Con that I HAD to see this year, and this panel was of course one of them.  I hope that I'm around for the 50th anniversary with a few of my own stories to tell.

...and then, as things were winding down, I took a few questions of my own.  Look at my great pointing skills!


Dave said...

Holy moly! I would love to have gone to that panel! I really don't think The Tick gets the recognition it deserves. It's great that Ben Edlund, although he is no longer involved with The Tick as far as creating new stories and art work, he is still a part of the Tick scene and acknowledges the fans.

By the way, any word on when the next Tick comic is coming out?

Jeff said...

Thanks, Dave! Ben is a great guy and he still cares a lot about the Tick and how it's grown.

Regarding new comics...I wish I could give specifics, but there should be some news regarding this very soon. I'm sure I'll post it up here about a second after it's announced.

Dave said...

Thanks for the info! Very nice blog you got here.