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As the legendary comics hero
celebrates his 50th anniversary,
a brand new film restarts
his big screen adventures.

Prince Valiant
Love & Rockets

I O N !
Emma Stone and
Andrew Garfield in

The Amazing Spider-Man
House Of Lies

Californication Homeland Dexter ® Weeds

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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Spider-Man turns 50 with a brand new movie, The Amazing Spider-Man.
Fae Desmond, Jackie Estrada

Blake Bell, Charles Brownstein, The show moves to Anaheim: here’s what to look for, including special guests and more!
Martin Jaquish, Brian M. Kane,
Gary Sassaman, Tom Spurgeon 20 COMIC-CON 2011 PHOTO ALBUM
A look back at the big event of the year.
John Cornett, Jason Geffen, Gary Gianni, 32 SPIDER-MAN @ 50
Mick Mayhew, Laureen Minich, Eric Reynolds,
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and the Romitas: 1962 and the birth of Spider-Man and the Marvel heroes.
Mark Schultz, Douglas Lathrop
38 LOVE & ROCKETS @ 30
FOLLOW US ON Los Bros. Hernandez’s seminal alternative comics title changed the industry when it launched in 1982.
42 PRINCE VALIANT @ 75 Hal Foster’s incredible creation has stood the test of time. Plus Gianni and Schultz’s current version. 48 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL 2012
Early info on this year’s big event, including guests, Eisner Award judges, the Masquerade and more!
FACEBOOK An interview with Tel Aviv’s Comics and Vegetables, the 2011 Award recipient. 72 APE: THE ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO Coverage of the 2011 show and a sneak peek at 2012’s event.
COMIC-CON ANNUAL is published by
Comic-Con International: San Diego.
All material, unless otherwise noted, is
© 2012 San Diego Comic Convention and
may not be reproduced without permission. 64 COSTUMERS’ CORNER
The views and opinions expressed in the fea-
ture articles and guest biographies appearing
in this publication are those of the authors
and do no not necessarily reflect those of 80 THE MOMENT
San Diego Comic Convention. Biographical
information is supplied by the guests.

Images presented in this publication are

copyright their respective owners and pre-
sented for historical and research purposes.

Comic-Con, the Comic-Con logo, and the

WonderCon logo are registered trademarks
of San Diego Comic Convention.

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P.O. Box 128458
San Diego, CA 92112-8458 SPECIAL ONLINE EDITION!
Click on the links in the purple boxes for updated info on our website!

Back in the 1960s—a whole century ago—DC’s 80-Page Giant line of books prom- President/CFO: John Rogers

ised hours of reading pleasure. We hope we’re able to recapture that for you with VP/Administrator: Events: Robin Donlan
VP/Administrator: Operations: William Pittman
this second Comic-Con Annual, which tops 80 pages for the first time. Our feature
Treasurer/Chief Technology Officer: Mark Yturralde
articles include work by some of the finest writers on comics out there, as they help Secretary/Executive Assistant: Mary Sturhann

us celebrate the anniversaries of Prince Valiant, the Amazing Spider-Man, and Love Directors At-Large:
Frank Alison, Alan Campbell, Ned Cato Jr.,
& Rockets. We also give you a long look back at Comic-Con International 2011 with Craig Fellows, Eugene Henderson, Anastasia Hunter,
Lee Oeth, Chris Sturhann
a special photo album, as well as sneak peeks at the 2012 editions of WonderCon,
Comic-Con, and APE, the Alternative Press Expo. And speaking of WonderCon, Executive Director: Fae Desmond
Director of Marketing & Public Relations: David Glanzer
you won’t want to miss our first show in Anaheim, CA! One of the big panels at that Director of Print and Publications: Gary Sassaman
event will be an exclusive look at the new Amazing Spider-Man film, which is this Director of Programming: Eddie Ibrahim

issue’s cover feature, including interviews with star Emma Stone and director Marc Director of Talent Relations: Maija Gates
HR/Office Manager: Sue Lord
Webb. For updated information on all of our events, visit! Guest Relations: Janet Goggins
Exhibits: Director of Operations: Justin Dutta
Exhibits: Sales: Rod Mojica
Exhibits: Registration: Sam Wallace

ON THE COVER Eisner Awards Administrator: Jackie Estrada

Professional Registration:
Heather Lampron, Anna-Marie Villegas
Emma Stone is Gwen Stacy and Andrew Garfield is Peter Parker in this Program Participant Registration: Amy Ramirez
EXCLUSIVE photo fom the new movie The Amazing Spider-Man. Line Management Coordinator: Adam Neese

See the feature article beginning on page 8. Assistants to the Executive Director:
Lisa Moreau, Tony Kim
Assistants to the Director of Marketing and PR:
Cover photo by Frank Ockenfels 3 Damien Cabaza, Karen Mayugba, Mike Stoltz
Assistants to the Director of Programming:
© 2012 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Tommy Goldbach, Christopher Jansen
Spider-Man character ™ & © Marvel & Subs.
Assistant to the Director of Talent Relations:
Joey Plaskett
Exhibits Assistant: Alex Gentry
Office Staff: Patty Castillo, Cecy Cordero,
Ruben Mendez, Glenda Lynn Vanetti, Julia Wallsall

Anime: John Davenport, Josh Ritter
At-Show Newsletter: Chris Sturhann
Films: Steve Brown, Josh Glaser
Games: Ken Kendall
Masquerade: Martin Jaquish
Technical Services: Tristan Gates

Artists’ Alley: Clydene Nee
Art Show: LaFrance Bragg
Autograph Area: Katherine Morrison
Exhibit Floor Managers: Taerie Bryant, Michelle Hylton,
Andy Manzi, Brian Turpin

MISSION STATEMENT Archivist: Eugene Henderson
Comic-Con International: San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation Deaf and Disabled Services: William Curtis
dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and Hospitality Suite: Mikee Ritter
related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions Information: Bruce Frankle
and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics Logistics: Dan Davis
to art and culture. Materials Chief/Blood Drive: Craig Fellows
Registration: Frank Alison, John Smith
Volunteers: Sue Lord, Jennifer Maturo, Marc Wilson

Photo by Rudy Manahan WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 3



JUNE FORAY: Comic-Con Icon

The legendary June Foray is the latest recipient of the Comic-Con Icon Award.
The award was given to the first lady of cartoon voices as part of The Scream
Awards, telecast on the SPIKE cable network in October 2011.
Ms. Foray is the voice of such pop culture icons as Rocky the Flying
Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale on Rocky & Bullwinkle, Nell Fenwick
on Dudley Do-Right, Granny on Tweety & Sylvester, Aunt May on Spider-Man
and his Amazing Friends, and Ursula on George of the Jungle, just to name a
few of her thousands of animated cartoon credits. Her recent autobiography,
Did You Grow Up With Me, Too? tells the story of how she became one of the
legends of voice-acting. In addition, Ms. Foray has been an important part of
Comic-Con International over the past four decades, appearing at the event
numerous times since her first appearance in 1973.
Comic-Con’s Icon Award is presented to individuals or organizations
who have been instrumental in bringing comics and/or the popular arts
to a wider audience. Ms. Foray’s large body of work has placed her
squarely in the realm of pop culture greats. She joins an impressive list of past Icon
Award recipients, who include Frank Miller (2006), Neil Gaiman (2007), George Lucas (2008), Stan Lee (2009),
and Ray Bradbury (2010). (For more on June Foray, visit

A Cast of Thousands
Someone once referred to June Foray as “The female Mel Blanc.” Which caused animation direc-
tor Chuck Jones to famously remark, “June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc is the
male June Foray.” But of course. Both of them spent decades upon decades providing voices not
just for animated cartoons but also for radio shows, commercials, dubbing sessions . . . anywhere
you could be heard and not seen.
Those who think they know most of what June has done are wrong. Even June doesn’t know
most of what June has done. Year after year, her life involved going from one recording studio to
June with her co-authors, Mark Evanier (l) and the late Earl Kress.
another, living from microphone to microphone. In a given day, she might record two commercials
here, a couple of cartoons there, the voice of a talking doll at her next stop, and then finish the day by replacing the dialogue for an on-camera actor who
looked but didn’t sound right.
She started (mumble mumble) years ago and has been doing it long enough to grow gracefully into the role of Granny, the owner of a very famous
Tweety Bird. But she can also still sound like a 10-year-old boy or even a flying squirrel who probably isn’t much older than that.
I was a fan of June’s before I had any idea who she was. As a kid, I loved old Warner Brothers cartoons and new Jay Ward cartoons and any sort of
Stan Freberg record . . . and as I eventually learned, June was in all of them. But then June was in just about everything.
I think I was asked to write this piece because for the last few years, I’ve occasionally had the stunning (to me) experience of “directing” June in voice
sessions, mainly for The Garfield Show. I put that word in quotes because you don’t really direct June Foray. You hire her . . . and once you’ve done that,
you’ve done the hard part. Then you point her to the proper microphone and you give her a script and tell her which parts she’ll play. She can play anyone
or anything with a voice higher than Thurl Ravenscroft’s.
You book her, then you get the heck outta the way. Don’t even think of telling her how to read a line. She’s June Foray, after all. If you want her to do
it again . . . well, that probably won’t be necessary but she’s professional enough that she’ll do it again even though it was perfect the first time. She’ll do
it to humor you so you can pretend you’re really directing her.
But you can’t. Because she’s June Foray.
She is such a treasure that to give her the Comic-Con Icon award is to state the obvious. Even leaving aside all she’s done to promote animation (found-
ing ASIFA), promote short films (serving on the Academy board), and make so many childhoods so much better, she deserves this award like no one has
deserved any award. Because she isn’t just an actress. She’s a cast of thousands, and we love every one of them.

4 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Foray Icon Award photo by Mark Davis/PictureGroup; Evanier-Foray-Kress photo by Chuk Gawlik
COVER STORY: Frank Quitely and Jim Lee Page
Over the past few years, Comic-Con has been commissioning all new art for the covers to its Souvenir and
Program Books. Below is artist Frank Quitely’s original pencils (left) and inks and colors for the 25th Anniver-
sary WonderCon Program Book, published in April 2011.

For the Comic-Con International 2011 Souvenir Book, DC co-publisher Jim Lee contributed his first-ever cover, featuring a sneak peek
at the New 52 version of the Justice League. The cover—inked by Scott Williams (right) and colored by Alex Sinclair (inset below)
was so popular it was used for the third printing of the first issue of the new Justice League comic book.
See page 74 for Shannon Wheeler’s APE cover story!

Art © 2011 DC Comics WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 5


Comic-Con International: San Diego celebrates its 43rd year in 2012, as the longest continually running comics and popular arts
convention in the country. Over the past four decades, the show has grown to be a pop culture phenomenon. Since 1970, the San
Diego Comic-Con has been a must-attend event for comics fans all over the world.
The incredibly rich history of the convention is celebrated in Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends, a
beautiful hardcover coffeetable book. Published by Comic-Con, in conjunction with Chronicle Books—one of the leading publish-
ers of art, photography, and pop culture books in the world—this beautiful 208-page history features an amazing assortment of
exclusive art and photos, many of which have never been seen outside of the Comic-Con archives. Topped off by a wraparound
cover by cartoonist Sergio Aragonés and with an introduction by dean of science fiction writers and long-time Comic-Con guest Ray
Bradbury, this book is a veritable time capsule of Comic-Con—and comics!—history.
You can purchase your own copy by visiting The price is $40, but when you buy it directly from Comic-
Con, we pay your postage and sales tax. Visit the website for complete details, and order your copy today!


2012 MARCH 16–18: WonderCon • Anaheim Convention Center

MARCH 29: Comic-Con International Hotel Reservations Open

JULY 12–15: Comic-Con International: San Diego

San Diego Convention Center (Preview Night: July 11)

OCTOBER 13–14: APE (Alternative Press Expo)

Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA


Read the adventuRes of the WoRld’s GReatest supeR heRoes
WheReveR you like. WheneveR you like.


iPad, iPHonE,
on THE
android dEvicEs,
KindLE FirE
and onLinE

doWnload the
free App
NOW! ®, TM and © 2011 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.



The Amazing Spider-Man celebrates his 50th anniversary in comics this year. That half-century has been highlighted
with a long list of incredible adventures, in comics, animation, television, video games, and especially movies. Most
appropriately, Columbia Pictures chose this year to introduce their entirely new take on the Webslinger. After a trilogy
of immensely popular films by director Sam Raimi, the Spidey saga restarts under director Marc Webb and starring
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and Rhys Ifan as Dr. Curt Connors, aka The Lizard. Comic-
Con Annual talked to Webb and Stone about the new film and what it means to bring a new look and feel to a legend.

8 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photos © 2012 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; all Marvel Characters including the Spider-Man character ™ & © Marvel & Subs.
Director Marc Webb’s first film was the critically ac-
claimed 500 Days of Summer, a quirky indy romance
starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschan-
nel. A giant action film based on one of the world’s
most popular comic book characters may seem an
odd choice for a second film, but as you’ll see from
this exclusive interview, the aptly named Webb is more
than up for the daunting task of introducing a totally
new version of Spider-Man with a lot of action, a little Marc Webb on the set of The Amazing Spider-Man.
romance, and the story of a boy becoming a man.

Your first film was 500 Days of Summer, which is grounding is to really think about how this kid would We’ve seen Mary Jane. I also think that Gwen Stacy
very different from The Amazing Spider-Man. grow up given the circumstances that he was assigned is a young scientifically minded woman who’s super
What made you tackle a project that’s so different? as a very young kid. And that story about his parents smart, maybe even a little bit smarter than Peter at
Marc Webb: There are parts of it that are obviously and their absence plays a much bigger role in this film times. I like that dynamic, that there was a rivalry
very different . . . the action parts of it and the scope than we’ve seen. between the two of them in some way. And I think
of it is certainly quite large. But at the end of the day Emma and Andrew’s chemistry really describes that
the character journey isn’t that far off. [They’re both] You came out with a new poster in December that in a fun, very intimate way.
about young men learning how to grow up despite said “the untold story” on it. Is that the untold story
adversity in a sense. But I think what drew me to you’re looking to tell? Was there a moment when you tested them when
this was it was a story about a kid who grows up That’s part of the untold story certainly. It’s really you just said, “This is it . . .”?
without a father. My first impulse when I had been important for us to be able to communicate that this Yeah we did screen tests and Emma just showed up
talking about doing the movie with Marvel and with isn’t a remake of Sam Raimi’s movie. There’s new and it was all over. Andrew’s a pretty intense guy, but
Columbia was there was a missing piece. There’s this territory, there’s a new villain, it’s a different Peter she had him in stitches between takes. She had him
opportunity there to explore the emotional residue Parker. just cracking up, and I would watch them in between
of what it means to be an orphan. If your parents are takes. They didn’t know each other and she’s just so
taken away from you when you are 6, 7 years old, When you look at the original comics, do you look at comfortable and so confident. You needed that energy
that’s going to leave a mark on who you are, and that that as the Holy Grail or as a jumping off point? because Andrew is a very dominating presence and
was very compelling to me. I thought it was really Jumping off point. I mean there are certain truths and she just went toe to toe with him, which is exactly the
interesting. It’s not something that you’d really seen there’s certain iconography that you just can’t under- dynamic we needed.
explored very much cinematically with Spider-Man mine, and I have to be loyal to parts of the cannon.
or with Peter Parker. And there are also wonderful, wonderful stories and Looking at the trailers and the poster, this film
His parents are spies and there are different sto- characters that emanate from that. The Gwen Stacy seems to have a bit of a darker tone to it, yet Spidey
ries that come up here and there [in the comics]. But saga is something that I think is just really incredible has always been a wisecracking, fun kind of super-
to me it’s not necessarily about rendering the comic, storytelling. That’s something that we were curious hero. Are you able to maintain that humor in your
it’s about being loyal to a character and really think- about exploring in a very specific way. But there are film?
ing about how that character would behave in the real certainly things from the Ultimate Spider-Man series There’s this trickster quality we were very keen on
world. You have to take him off the page and insert that were really inspiring too, like Mark Bagley’s art. exploring, with that humor and that fun and that
him into a universe that feels real and tactile and rec- I really love the way Spider-Man’s body moves: it’s wisecracking stuff. We wanted to keep that alive, but
ognizable and that’s a real trick. That’s a challenge of more alive, more gymnastic, with a velocity to the we wanted it to be realistic. We wanted that humor to
any adaptation and in particular with comics, which way the character moves in the later comics. And the come from a real place. My aim was to create a world
can be very heightened. But what makes Spider-Man world that we live in is different than it was when where you could feel all those emotions. There are
and Peter Parker so specifically interesting is that he’s Spider-Man was first invented and I wanted to be certainly darker, more intense feelings in this movie.
an intensely relatable character, more so than I would loyal to a contemporary feeling. Besides, with Sam I There is betrayal, there is tragedy, but there’s also
say about 99 percent of superheroes. Peter Parker think they sort of did that before. So I wanted to make humor and romance. So it’s a very complex bouquet
has the same problems that we do and comes from it a little less stylized and a little bit more realistic. of emotions, but what you have to tread on is what
a working class family. He’s very relatable and so to feels authentic and what feels real, and you have to
extend that into the cinema just seems sort of natural. Why did you feel Gwen Stacy was the way to go as earn those different emotions. There are moments
We wanted to keep it more grounded, and part of that opposed to Mary Jane? of furiousness and gravity, absolutely. But are there

Photo by Jaimie Trueblood WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 9

Webb on Spidey: “You have to take him off the page and insert him into a universe that feels real . . . and that’s a real trick.”

moments of humor and levity and whimsy? Abso- right way so it felt like a legitimate, strange, spider-like well. I think she’s a real strong woman, she’s a strong
lutely. Andrew was really great. He used this term to creature underneath this suit. character and she puts a lot of herself in that. The other
describe Peter Parker in Spider-Man and Spider-Man thing she can do is she represents the funny in the
in particular: he’s a trickster. He was like “How would When you were shooting on Riverside Drive in New movie. She brings so much humor and wit. There’s a
Spider-Man web this guy? He’d give him a wedgy York, how do you deal with all these people who are quick scene about halfway through the movie with her
or he’d do some awful graffiti.” There’s a punk rock trying their best to capture video and photos and put and Dennis Leary where she was improvising some
quality to Peter Parker that’s really irreverent and fun it on the Internet? Does that kind of thing drive you things and every time we screen the movie, even at
and that’s something that Andrew embodies in a way crazy? this early stage, it brings the house down. She deliv-
that we haven’t seen before. Certainly the materials It does. It does because they’re shooting it from the ers and she’s unashamed. Dennis is a highly trained,
that have come out have a darker sentiment or there’s a wrong angle and we spend a lot of time lighting things incredibly successful comedian and she went toe to
darker projection, but we’re very keen on staying loyal for our camera, not for the other people’s cameras and toe with him. She was incredible. She can hold her
to the humor of Spider-Man. that’s frustrating. But at the same time there’s enthu- own with anybody. I met Judd Apatow not long after
siasm and interest. I would be that guy with a camera we started shooting and we were talking about how
It seems the way Spider-Man is, his powers and the waiting outside. I would do that. If I weren’t making amazing Emma was, and you know we all think that
way he moves, would really lend itself to 3D. movies, I’d be a fan and I understand that. I think it’s she’s one of the great comediennes. Lucille Ball is her
When we first talked about it, it was in the heyday of the world in which we live now and you can’t control hero and you can really see that, but she also delivers a
3D and there was a lot of craziness about it, but it was the conversation, you can just be a part of it. What really authentic, emotional performance. There’s some
never forced upon us. I thought if there’s ever a movie bums me out is that I want to maintain some element scenes in the movie between her and Andrew that are
that should be in 3D, it’s Spider-Man for crying out of mystery, but you also have to engage people, espe- just beautiful and very moving, that are romantic but
loud. And watching it in 3D, particularly in IMAX, cially given the fact that we’re starting a new chapter aren’t about humor. They’re about connection and loss.
even the early stuff I’ve seen, it’s fantastic. You get a of Spider-Man. People need to understand that we’re She can stir you up.
visceral feeling that you don’t get any other way when defining it in a new and different way and we have to
you have good 3D. We shot this all in stereo so it was spend time articulating that. You don’t want people just Finally the villain, Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors.
native 3D. Nothing has been converted. And when inventing or assuming the story is one thing when it’s The Welshman. He’s fantastic. He brings a surly
you get that scope, the movie gradually expands. It really something quite different. And it’s frustrating sophistication. Curt Connors is a friend of Peter Parker.
starts off in a very intimate, small way and gradually when you can’t control the mystery as much as you He is an ally who evolves into an adversary, but Peter
expands to take advantage of that sensation. So do you would like to. always cares deeply for Dr. Connors. Rhys has two
have to see it in 3D? No, you’ll still get the thrill of it. sides to his personality. He has a wonderful kindness
But those point-of-view sequences, those came very Let’s talk about your three lead actors and what each and warmth, and he has this surly rock ’n’ roll part of
directly from a philosophy about putting the audience of them brought to their roles, starting with Andrew his personality and you really sense both of those in
in Spider-Man’s shoes. We wanted them to feel what Garfield as Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man. this movie.
he feels, and that’s where those sequences came from. Andrew’s passion for the Spider-Man character is pres-
ent in every frame of the movie. He cares really deeply All the Spider-Man films have kind of had a bit of an
You’ve been quoted as saying that you wanted to do and was so committed. And I think if any Spider-Man origin story at Comic-Con. What was it like for you
less CGI in this film and more real stunts. fan saw him on a day-to-day basis, they would deeply stepping on the Hall H stage for the first time?
We really made an effort to shoot everything practi- respect what he’s brought to this and how much he We were all a bit nervous because we feel a real
cally. In the second half of the movie we expanded and cared. It’s just undeniable and I really admire that and obligation to the fans and we had a lot to prove. I think
started using CG just because there are things that hu- how much he’s given to the character and to the movie. after we showed the footage you could feel the audi-
man beings can’t do, like swinging through the streets [His speech in Hall H at Comic-Con] is a perfect ence connecting and laughing at the right times and
off of a 60-story skyscraper. But I wanted there to be example of why Andrew was the right guy. It’s about being interested and surprised at the right times. It felt
a grounded quality to the fights and to some of the a loyalty to this thing that really moved him when he really good. There were a lot of blog posts afterwards
swinging, so we built up to that while doing stuff, prac- was young. He was a skinny kid that felt physically that were really like, “Oh . . . now we get it.” It’s a big
ticing. We shot a whole sequence underneath Riverside insecure. He wasn’t a big kid, and everybody else was intimidating environment, but Comic-Con is the
Drive in New York where we had a series of traveling bigger than him and stronger than him and faster than heart of those hardcore fans, and it was really, really
rigs, which are wire rigs that were designed by Andy him. That stuck with him and I think that helped define important for us to have a presence there. We all came
Armstrong, our stunt coordinator. Nothing of that scale his work ethic in a way. He read a lot of Spider-Man out of it feeling really, really good. I took a train back
had been done before where you could actually get a when he was a kid and I think that got under his skin home and everybody was glowing. It was a really great
stunt man or at times Andrew to swing back and forth and you could feel that. He wrote that speech, you experience and a great environment.
as Spider-Man would swing. It’s an incredible feat of know. [See page 12 for Andrew’s Hall H introduction.]
engineering that’s never been successfully attempted And the e-mails I got from him very early on in the What was the one thing you didn’t see coming in
before and you really feel it. process were filled with a deep expression of love for making this film?
the character. It’s pretty moving. It’s pretty cool and he I don’t know if there was one thing. I think what I
You mentioned at one point that Andrew could have a really owned it and that I admire. That’s really what he started to notice was how many kids you see running
second career as a stunt man. brought to the table, that intense commitment. around in Spider-Man outfits—not just on Hallow-
He’s very, very good physically and was really focused een—and how meaningful it is to people. How people
on how Peter inside the Spider-Man suit moved. He Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. really actually care and how protective they are of
was always very focused on trying to create a spider- Humor and beauty. What I love about Emma is that Spider-Man. I find it moving and inspiring. That was a
like Spider-Man. He wanted to invent the character every guy falls in love with her, but with every woman surprise: the scope of his impact across the world and
that possessed the body of Spider-Man. We would do on the set, she’s like their best friend. She is so cool. not just in America. It’s like you go all over the place
dozens of takes just to get an elbow move right, just to But what I like about her too is that she’s new and and Spider-Man is everywhere.
get the head turn and the shoulders crooked in just the she’s not cynical and she really represents women very


Emma Stone
Emma Stone at the Spider-Man panel at Comic-Con in 2011.

Emma Stone is coming off—by her own estimation— terms of becoming part of it and the
her best year yet. The young actress had roles in the way the material was adapted. But
critically acclaimed films The Help and Crazy Stupid I’m so excited to be part of a movie
Love and a cameo in Friends with Benefits. She with a built-in fan base in that way.
returned to Saturday Night Live to host for a second You go to Comic-Con and there’s
time and managed to pull off one of the best shows so much passion in one room. Ev-
of the season. But a good part of her year was spent erybody’s so passionate about these
hanging out with Spider-Man, both on the set and at characters and how they’ve affected
Comic-Con. We talked to Emma right before Christmas their own lives. It’s a really cool thing
about her role as Gwen Stacy, her love of Comic-Con, as an actor to know that you’re part
and the possibility of an action figure looming in her of something that’s so much bigger
not-so-distant future. than you. You’re not creating it from
the ground up, you’re trying to fill the
When everyone heard that you were first going to be a shoes of someone that’s been around
part of The Amazing Spider-Man, they automatically a lot longer than you. It’s really excit-
assumed you were going to be Mary Jane Watson. ing. I love that aspect of it.
What appealed to you about appearing in a big
superhero franchise movie and taking on an iconic Why do you think the producers and
character such as Gwen Stacy? writers went with Gwen instead of
Emma Stone: When I auditioned for it, I didn’t get Mary Jane?
the full script, I only got scenes between Gwen and Well, Gwen’s story happened before
Peter and I screen-tested with Andrew. I heard about Mary Jane’s, and I think that coming
Spider-Man and I didn’t think that was something I back to their roots, it was interesting
would want to be a part of. I just thought that probably to explore the woman who came
isn’t right for me. Then I had the scenes and I realized before Mary Jane. I think she’s such
that this was a really interesting fantastic relation- a definitive part of Peter Parker’s re-
ship between two people and that I was being really lationship with Mary Jane ultimately,
close-minded. I liked all the Spider-Man movies and who is literally the polar opposite in
I’ve liked so many superhero movies that I don’t know personality of Gwen Stacy. I think
why I had that kind of mentality about it. Then I went just building that into Peter’s life and seeing that story I think that a big part of the heart of this story is
in and auditioned with Andrew and started learning from the very beginning was really interesting. And romance, but there’s also the story of an orphan boy
more about Gwen Stacy and her history and just fell of course Gwen’s story is so beautiful and important who’s searching for his father and searching for his
in love with the character and with the fans, too. I to the story of Spider-Man that I think they wanted to place in the world. I think that’s a big element in this
started reading forums and getting involved more in come from that angle at this time. movie from the very beginning, him feeling instantly
the comic book universe and it just became something like an outcast because he was left as a child. He still
I really wanted to be a part of, just because of all those Director Marc Webb’s first film was 500 Days of was put into a different set of arms [with Uncle Ben
elements. Summer, which is more of a bittersweet romance. and Aunt May] and he’s cognizant of that and you
What do you feel he brought to Spider-Man with can see that in the movie. But it’s not like it happened
You went from playing a literary character in The that kind of background? when he couldn’t remember it. I think that’s a pretty
Help who was in a much beloved book with its own I think that a huge part of what he brought to Spider- major element, too . . . coming to terms with who you
kind of following, to a comic book character who’s Man was the true core of the relationship, and how are and what you’re responsible for, even if people
iconic and has this rabid following. Was there a big even though this is a boy that’s been bitten by a spider walked away from you.
difference for you between those characters and how and given super powers, he is a very human teenage
they’re treated by their fans? boy that just happens to be under these circumstances. What was it like working with Andrew Garfield?
Well of course the characters themselves are incredibly He’s lost his uncle and he’s falling in love for the first I think his deep love and appreciation for Spider-Man
different and there seems to be a different fan base be- time and he’s going through some incredibly human were pretty apparent throughout the entire process of
tween Spider-Man fans and fans of The Help. There are experiences while not quite being human himself any- the movie. I think it’s really awesome to have such
conventions for Spider-Man fans and there aren’t for more. And I think that Marc’s vision was just that it’s a huge Spider-Man fan play Spider-Man because he
The Help fans, although I would love to see a conven- a very huge world that we’re operating in but the story was so protective of all the elements of Peter Parker’s
tion of The Help fans. It could be like the Big Lebowski itself is in a room between people. There are elements nature. It’s a really nice thing to watch someone who’s
Fest. But they’re two totally different worlds to me even of Spider-Man all throughout that; big sequences and read all the comics and dreamt of being this person
though they both had such a rabid following. There’s a scenes with action and violence, but I think Marc since he was four years old bring that dream to frui-
difference just in terms of bringing the material to life. really cared so much about the heart of the story and tion. I think he’s such an excellent actor and such a
There are different incarnations of Gwen Stacy and of the humanity in his relationships. great person that I feel so proud of him and what he
Peter Parker throughout comic book history, all these did in the movie.
different storylines to pull from depending on what When the comic was first created back in the 1960s,
kind of script you’re going to patch together. With The one of the things that separated it from other comics What did you think when he stepped up to the mic at
Help, it was such a distinct story that kind of needed to was the kind of soap opera elements of it. Do you Comic-Con and revealed his own Spider-Man story
be matched line for line in a way. It felt different just in think the heart of this movie is a romance story? and his history with the character?

Photo by Albert L. Ortega WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 11

Stone on Gwen: “It’s a really cool thing as an actor to know that you’re part of something that’s so much bigger than you.“

I think we all were biting our nails for that moment bigger than us in that way. It felt like a human story. I in love with—Gwen and Peter’s love story—and
because we knew like maybe an hour before that he like that. That surprised me because I thought it was was so protective of, she had such beautiful ideas for
was going to do that because they had to bring him out going to feel so daunting every day, with wires and it. I was very affected just in terms of playing that
early through a different way. It was really last minute, harnesses and green screens and it was a pleasant character by Laura.
and he was like, “This is what I’m doing, by the way,” surprise.
and it was so heartfelt, so honest, and couldn’t be more We’ve read a number of times that “Comic-Con is
indicative of the way he played the character. It was So how do you feel about the possibility of having your favorite place on the planet.” Why is that?
just all heart and I thought it was fantastic. I loved it. your own action figure? Because it’s concentrated, it’s like 100% passion in
Is that going to happen?! If any kids get an action one venue. It’s fantastic. I love that everybody’s there
What did you think of the costume that he wore on figure of me and act like I did with action figures then for different reasons and then they’re in the halls
that day? it’s going to be a highly inappropriate situation. for the same reason and then they’re kind of milling
I think it was from Target. It was pretty great. Yeah, about and everybody’s into the same kind of thing.
he could have walked around Comic-Con in it. That’s the next question: would you keep it in the How rare is it to go to a place where everybody is
package or would you take it out? into the same thing? There’s just such a positive feel-
A number of actors and directors have come to I would take it out. Always take it out! ing there and there’s so much excitement and every-
Comic-Con in disguise so they can walk the floor. body’s so intelligent about why they’re there. They’re
Do you have any ambitions to do that or have you At Comic-Con you wore a button that read “What there because they care about something, and that is
done that? would Laura do,” in reference to producer Laura I think the greatest quality in human beings. The fact
I would love to do that. I was going to be a Storm- Ziskin, who passed away last summer. What kind of that it’s a bunch of people in one place that are that
trooper last year, but we had to leave right after the influence was she on this film and you in particular? way is really exciting to me every time.
panel to fly back to L.A. so I didn’t get to do it, but Oh God, a huge one. I can only speak for myself but
hopefully next year. Well, now I can’t be a Storm- she was a huge influence on me. I named my dog One last question: if you could host Saturday Night
trooper, but I’ll pick something else. after her husband [screenwriter Alvin Sargent]. She Live every week would you?
sat with me and would talk to me about how she Yes, in a heartbeat. In a heartbeat!
What was the one thing that surprised you the most met Alvin, and the feelings that she had when she
about making this film? met him and how she felt that they mirrored certain Look for the special Amazing Spider-Man panel at
It was Marc’s approach . . . at the end of the day elements of Gwen and Peter. So I couldn’t play Gwen WonderCon in Anaheim! See page 14 for more de-
you’re sitting on the floor looking into the eyes of without thinking of Laura. And when she was on set, tails about the event and bookmark www.comic-con.
another actor and it’s just like real life. I feel the we were lucky. Every day that I was there she was org/wc. The Amazing Spider-Man is in theaters
heart of it really remained, and it didn’t ever feel there at some point. But that love story she was so July 3, 2012.

Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Hall H Introduction

The Amazing Spider-Man portion of Sony’s panel was about to start in Hall H on Friday, July 22, but
the gangly guy in the dorky Spider-Man costume at the question microphone wouldn’t shut up. And
then he removed his ill-fitting mask and revealed that he was actor Andrew Garfield.

Hey, everybody. Can I say one thing? I think this might be the most incredible day of my life, and I’ve
always wanted to be at Comic-Con in Hall H at Spider-Man with all of you guys, it’s always been a
dream of mine. So thanks for having me. You have no idea how much this means to me. I’ve always
wanted to come here as a fan, and this is my first time so here I am as a fan. I just want to say a couple
of things. [He removes his mask to reveal . . . ]
I’m Andrew Garfield and I’m here introducing this panel, The Amazing Spider-Man panel. Stan
Lee says that the reason why Spidey is so popular is because all of us can relate to him, and I agree.
I needed Spidey in my life when I was a kid, and he gave me hope. In every comic I read he was liv-
ing out mine and every skinny boy’s fantasy of being stronger, of being free of the body I was born
into and [having] that swinging sensation of flight. And upon receiving his power—unlike most who’ve
become corrupted—he used it for good, and I think we all wish that we had the courage to stick up for
ourselves more, to stick up for a loved one more or even a stranger you see being mistreated. Peter
Parker has inspired me to feel stronger. He made me, Andrew, braver. He reassured me that by doing
the right thing it’s worth it, it’s worth the struggle, it’s worth the pain, it’s worth even the tears, the
bruises and the blood and I wouldn’t be able to stand here in front of you guys right now without feel-
ing that Spider-Man was here with me with his reassuring hand on my shoulder making sure I don’t fall
over and concuss myself. He has inspired countless people: girls, boys, men, women—all of us—and he
has saved lives and he’s saved my life, and I owe Webhead a lot and I owe Stan the Man a lot and
I’m humbled to be here—like you do not know—to share the work that we’ve done with all of you. This
is my first Comic-Con. This is definitely the coolest moment of my life and thank you for being here and
sharing it with me.

12 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photo by Albert L. Ortega


WonderCon in Anaheim: March 16–18 WonderCon at a Glance:

WonderCon, one of the country’s best comics and pop culture conventions, moves to Anaheim, CA and the When: March 16–18, 2012
beautiful Anaheim Convention Center for 2012. Taking place the weekend of March 16–18 (Friday, Saturday, Friday, March 16: 12:00–7:00 pm
and Sunday), WonderCon is coming off its best year ever, with over 49,000 attendees at its 25th annual event in
Saturday, March 17: 10:00 am–7:00 pm
San Francisco in 2011.
Moscone Center South, the home to WonderCon for the past 9 years, is undergoing renovation work in the Sunday, March 18: 11:00 am–5:00 pm
first six months of 2012, so dates were not available for the regular venue. Rather than miss a year, Comic-Con Nighttime programs continue after 7:00 on Friday
International, which has put on WonderCon since 2002, decided to turn to an alternative location for the show: the and Saturday
Anaheim Convention Center, the largest convention center on the West Coast and one of the largest in the world.
The Exhibit Hall is filling up fast with some of comics’ biggest and best publishers, including DC Comics, Where: Anaheim Convention Center
Marvel, Archaia, Aspen MLT, Bongo Comics Group, BOOM! Studios and KABOOM!, IDW, Prism, SLG
800 West Katella Avenue 
Publishing, and Top Shelf. In addition, video game companies such as Capcom and Electronic Arts (EA) are on
board, along with such other exhibitors as Cartoonists Across America, G4 TV, Quantum Mechanix, the Society Anaheim, CA 92802
of Illustrators Los Angeles, and many more. You can expect a stellar group of small press comic publishers, an
amazing Artists’ Alley section, an Autographs area filled with some of your favorite stars, and a wide assort- SAVE MONEY!
ment of old and new comics, original art, action figures and toys, apparel, books, movie memorabilia, and just PURCHASE YOUR BADGE ONLINE!
about everything else under the pop culture sun.
Visit to purchase
In addition to the Exhibit Hall, WonderCon offers attendees, professionals, and exhibitors the complete
convention experience. Fans can expect exclusive programming from the top comics publishers in the country, badges.
movie and television panels, anime, autographs, games, the popular Saturday night Masquerade (now in its
eighth year), and portfolio reviews. The Comics Arts Conference also returns to WonderCon with a full slate of ONLINE:
academic-themed programs based on the history and criticism of comics. (See page 18 for more info.) 3-Day Badge:
WonderCon in Anaheim has an incredible list of special guests from both comics and speculative fiction.
• Adult $40 (SAVE $10!)
See the article beginning on page 16 for a complete list of guests, all of whom will be featured in programs
• Junior/Senior $20 (SAVE $5!)
throughout the weekend, along with an amazing schedule of panels, previews, workshops, and events for
attendees of all ages. With the change of venue, WonderCon is more than ever a “must-attend” event on the 1-Day Badge (Friday OR Saturday):
convention calendar, especially with the addition of the beautiful Anaheim Convention Center and surrounding
• Adult $20 (SAVE $5!)
area as a bonus to both long-time and new attendees. Make it a long late-winter weekend in Anaheim and visit
• Junior/Senior $10 (SAVE $3!)
WonderCon, then take in Disneyland right next door after the convention!
1-Day Badge (Sunday):
• Adult $10 (SAVE $5!)
• Junior/Senior $5 (SAVE $2!)

3-Day Badge:
• Adult $50
• Junior/Senior $25

1-Day Badge: (Friday OR Saturday):

• Adult $25
• Junior/Senior $13

1-Day Badge: (Sunday):

WonderCon in Anaheim offers attendees warm weather, an abundance of hotel rooms, and great dining op-
• Adult $15
portunities. Anaheim is easy to get to from all over the country, whether by air (LAX, Long Beach, and John
Wayne airports), train, or car (via easy access from Interstate 5). • Junior/Senior $7
The Anaheim Convention Center is located right next to the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Children 12 and under are free with a paid adult.
theme parks and is within easy walking distance of Disneyland’s free Downtown Disney district, featuring Ages 13–17 pay Junior prices. Seniors are 60+ years
shopping, a multiplex movie theater, and fine dining, including ESPN Zone, House of Blues, Rainforest Café, of age. Active-duty military pay the Junior/Senior
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, and Tortilla Joe’s. And right outside the door of the Convention Center are two price. This offer does not extend to dependents.
large hotels—including WonderCon’s official headquarters hotel, the Hilton Anaheim—with numerous dining Even though your badge is needed to get into all
options, whether it be a quick bite, a relaxing dinner, or just a refreshing drink. events, it does not guarantee you access to any event
In addition, the center is right down the street from The Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk, which features if it has reached its capacity. Rooms are not cleared
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., California Pizza Kitchen, McCormick & Schmick’s, P.F. Chang, Roy’s Hawaiian Fu- between events. Most autograph signings are of
sion Cuisine, and The Cheescake Factory, other restaurants and shops, and its own multiplex theater. Numerous a limited nature. Your badge does not guarantee
other restaurants and shops can be found on Katella Ave. and the streets surrounding the Convention Center. autographs at any event.



8th Annual WonderCon Masquerade

Costumers: The Stage Is Reserved for You on Saturday Night!
No celebration of comic books, movies, and the other popular arts would be complete without recognition of
the art of costuming. Conventions like WonderCon are great places to see attendees show off their creativity
and talent, and sometimes their creations are just as good as—or even better than—the costumes seen on the
big screen or professional stage. In celebration of the many remarkable ways that people’s imaginations can
devise to clothe the human form, WonderCon again presents its Saturday night Masquerade costume competi-
The Masquerade takes place on WonderCon’s main stage, with a master of ceremonies and a panel of
judges, featuring theater-style lighting, enhanced sound, and large HD video screens displaying great close-up
views for all in the audience. Some costumes will be re-creations from movies, comics, TV, video games,
Japanese animation, and other sources; other entries will be completely original designs from the clever
imaginations of the entrants. Some entries will be solo costumes, while others will be groups with a shared
theme. If you’ve crafted a costume, or plan to, we encourage you to share your work on the stage, not only
because of the thousands of smiles you’ll create but because you might take home a trophy or prize as well.
Last year’s audience, which numbered over 2,900, lined up long before the doors opened, to enjoy the show’s
amazing and entertaining creations.

WonderCon’s Showtime will be Saturday, March 17, at 8:30 pm at the Anaheim Convention Center. Only a WonderCon
single-day Saturday badge or a 3-day badge is needed to participate or attend (while seating is available).

Headquarters Hotel:
Doors will open for audience seating at 8:00, and the event will run approximately two hours. Costumes must
not have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained; they must be of original construction or show
significant modification of pre-existing materials. All genres are welcome, as are all levels of experience,
The Hilton Anaheim from the novice to the seasoned convention costumer.
Complete information, detailed rules, and an advance entry form are available at
WonderCon is proud to announce that Travel wc_masq.shtml, or you can write the Masquerade Coordinator in care of the address listed on page 2 of this
Planners will be handling all WonderCon hotel publication to get a copy via mail. A limited number of contestant slots are available, so interested costum-
reservations for 2012. ers should obtain the rules and sign up for a reserved spot now. The deadline for advance entry is March 2,
2012. Last-minute entries will also be accepted until 1:00 pm on the Saturday of the convention, unless all the
The beautiful Hilton Anaheim will be the
contestant slots fill up before then.
headquarters hotel for WonderCon. Located
Impressive WonderCon trophies will be awarded by a panel of guest judges in categories to include Best in
adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center,
Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, and Best Presentation. In
the Hilton is a short walk to Downtown Dis- addition to these trophies, a number of companies and organizations will present their own awards. Visit the
ney and Disneyland and not far from other website page listed above for complete information.
dining and shopping attractions in Anaheim.
The Hilton has restaurants, a food court, and
a Starbucks located on site as well as their Mix
Restaurant and Lounge. The lounge is located
in the center of their spectacular lobby and is
open until 1:30 AM every night. The Hilton is
approximately 14 miles from John Wayne Air-
port and the Long Beach Airport.
The Hilton Anaheim will be the home for
special WonderCon nighttime events, including
games and the Hospitality Suite, where you
can grab snacks and meet and greet some of
your fellow attendees.
The hotel offers an incredible WonderCon
room rate of just $129/night for up to four
people in the room. You can get complete de-
tails—and reserve a room at this special rate—
by visiting
shtml. Reserve your room today to be a part
of all the action and fun at WonderCon 2012!
Contestants from the WonderCon 2011 Masquerade.

Masquerade photos by Kevin Green WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 15

2012 Special Guests
ARTHUR ADAMS ing the #1 most successful comics proj- Jon Price, writer of their creator-owned se- Soldier and the Vampire.  Mike lives in
(artist, Monkeyman and O’Brian, ect and 25th most successful Kickstarter ries Magus, and their cat, Fantastic Donut. southern California with his wife, daugh-
Ultimate Comics: X) project of all time. She lives in Maine ter, and cat.
Arthur Adams began working in comics with her husband, sons, and cats.
(author, Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead) TODD NAUCK
at the age of 19, pencilling the Longshot
MARK EVANIER Richard Kadrey is the author of seven nov- (artist, Amazing Spider-Man, Young Justice)
limited series published in 1985 by Mar-
(writer/historian/producer, Garfield, els, including Aloha From Hell, Sandman Todd Nauck is the artist of the best sell-
vel Comics. He has since worked on many
Kirby: King of Comics) Slim, Kill The Dead, Butcher Bird, and the ing comic book of the last decade, Amaz-
titles for the major comic companies. His
Mark Evanier has worked with Jack Kirby; graphic novel Accelerate. The fourth book ing Spider-Man #583: the Spider-Man/
own series, Monkeyman and O’Brian,
written hundreds of comic books, includ- in the Sandman Slim fantasy noir series, Barack Obama Team-Up. Todd is a well
launched in 1993. Arthur is currently work-
ing Blackhawk, New Gods, Bugs Bunny, Devil Said Bang, will be published in Oc- known artist of the comic book industry
ing on a fleet of covers for Marvel. He has
The DNAgents, Crossfire, Scooby Doo, tober. The Dino De Laurentiis Company and works regularly for Marvel and DC
also done illustrations for trading cards,
and Tarzan; and written dozens of TV is developing Sandman Slim into a feature Comics, with 17 years of credits including
posters, shirts, magazines, movies, books,
shows, both live-action and animated, the film. He is also a photographer working Amazing Spider-Man, Friendly Neighbor-
and video games and worked in toy design,
latter including most of the animated Gar- under the name Kaos Beauty Klinik. hood Spider-Man, Teen Titans Go, and
packaging art, and even label art for X-
field shows for the last 20 years. He is the Young Justice (now a cartoon on Cartoon
Men-themed Campbell Soup cans. Arthur
author of several books on comics, includ-
CAROL LAY Network), as well as countless others.
lives in Northern California in the woods
(cartoonist/writer, WayLay, The Simpsons) His art was recently prominently featured
somewhere, like his hero, Bigfoot.  ing Kirby: King of Comics, which won
Carol Lay’s weekly strip, WayLay, ran on the season 8 finale of ABC’s Extreme
two Harvey Awards and one Eisner. He
for almost 20 years in papers in the U.S., Makeover: Home Edition as well as on epi-
SERGIO ARAGONÉS has several other Eisners for his work with
including the LA Weekly, NY Press, Sa- sodes of ESPN’s NFL Sunday Countdown.
(cartoonist, Groo, MAD, Sergio Aragonés Sergio Aragonés on Groo the Wanderer, and Buzzle, and abroad in such
Funnies) and other silly comics. And he’s hosted
One of MAD magazine’s longest-running countless panels at both Comic-Con and
places as Tokyo and Hong Kong, Sweden, STEVE NILES
Norway, and a tiny daily paper on Gibraltar (writer/creator, 30 Days of Night, Criminal
cartoonists (only Al Jaffee has been around WonderCon.
of all places. Lay’s strips and illustrations Macabre, Mystery Society)
longer) and the creator of dim-witted bar-
barian Groo the Wanderer, Sergio Ara-
MICHAEL GOLDEN have appeared in Newsweek, MAD maga- Steve Niles is best known for such works
(artist, The ‘Nam, Micronauts) zine, The Wall Street Journal, and The as 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre,
gonés is one of comics’ most popular cre-
Artist/writer/creator Michael Golden, co- New Yorker. Her books include MYTHOS Simon Dark, Mystery Society, and Bat-
ators. Most recently, the man some call the
creator of the X-Men’s Rogue character, (Pocketbooks/DC Comics), Goodnight, man: Gotham County Line. He is credited,
world’s fastest cartoonist launched his own
Spartan X, and Bucky O’Hare,  is known Irene (Last Gasp), The Big Skinny (Vil- among other contemporary writers, with
monthly comic book series at Bongo Com-
for his groundbreaking work on The ‘Nam, lard/Random House), and three strip col- bringing horror comics back to promi-
ics, Sergio Aragonés Funnies.
Micronauts, G.I. Joe, Dr. Strange, and nu- lections. She currently writes and draws nence, writing and publishing comics and
merous other characters and titles. He is stories for Simpsons comic books (Bongo). anthologies since the mid 1980s. As a
counted as one of the best cover designers Lay lives in L.A., mostly for the allitera- freelance writer, Niles currently works for
(author, Fanboys, Ready Player One)
and storytellers in the business. Currently, tion. For more info, visit www.carollay. four of the top American comic publish-
Ernest Cline has worked as a short-order
Golden’s work can be seen as the regular com. ers: IDW, DC, Image, and Dark Horse.
cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist vid-
eo store clerk, and tech support drone. His cover artist for Spawn, while future work 30 Days of Night was released in 2007 as
includes a few secret projects for IDW and JIM LEE a major motion picture, and more of his
primary occupation, however, has always
DC and the Spartan X trade paperback. (artist, Justlce League, Batman: Hush; DC comics are now optioned for film. Niles’s
been geeking out, and he eventually threw
Comics co-publisher) zombie comic, Remains, is part of Chiller
aside those other promising career paths to
JOE HILL Jim Lee is a renowned comic book artist Network’s Chiller Presents series, which
express his love of pop culture full-time as
(author, Locke and Key, Heart-Shaped Box) and the co-publisher of DC Entertainment. premiered in December. 
a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His
Joe Hill is the Eisner Award–winning writ- Prior to his current post, Lee served as
2009 film Fanboys, much to his surprise,
er of Locke & Key (IDW) and the author of editorial director, where he oversaw Wild- ERIC POWELL
became a cult phenomenon.  These days
the New York Times bestsellers Horns and Storm Studios and was also the artist for (writer/artist/creator, The Goon)
Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife,
Heart-Shaped Box (William Morrow). He many of DC Comics’ bestselling comic Eric Powell is a five-time Eisner Award–
their daughter, and a large collection of
lives in New England, where he rules as a books and graphic novels, including All winning writer and illustrator. He has
classic video games. Ready Player One is
cruel snake god, satiated only by a ritual Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder, worked for every major comic publisher
his first novel. 
sacrifice of meats and cheeses. Batman: Hush, and Superman: For To- but is best known for his dark comedy se-
morrow. He also serves as the executive ries The Goon and for pissing off people
RENAE DE LIZ REBEKAH ISAACS creative director for the DC Universe On- who don’t have a sense of humor. Cur-
(artist/editor, Womanthology, (artist, Angel & Faith, Magus) line (DCUO) massively multiplayer action rently, Eric is collaborating with acclaimed
The Last Unicorn) Rebekah Isaacs is a penciler/inker best game from Sony Online Entertainment director David Fincher, Blur Animation,
Renae De Liz has accomplished a lot known for DV8: Gods & Monsters with (SOE). As part of DC Comics’ The New and Dark Horse Entertainment to bring
in her first five years in comics. She il- writer Brian Wood and her current work on 52, Lee is drawing Justice League. The Goon to life on the big screen as an
lustrated the New York Times bestselling Angel & Faith with writer Christos Gage animated feature film.
graphic novel adaptation of Peter S. Bea- and executive producer Joss Whedon. Her MIKE MIGNOLA
gle’s The Last Unicorn for IDW, as well career began soon after graduating from (writer/artist/creator, Hellboy, B.P.R.D.) HUMBERTO RAMOS
Savannah College of Art and Design in Mike Mignola is best known as the award- (artist, Amazing Spider-Man,
as a few other adaptations such as Anne
2006, penciling several Devil’s Due titles. winning creator/writer/artist of Hellboy. Impulse, Crimson)
Rice’s Servant of the Bones. In 2011 she He was also visual consultant to direc- Humberto Ramos has been drawing com-
She landed her first mainstream job with
created and managed Womanthology, a Ms. Marvel #38. Since then she has illus- tor Guillermo del Toro on both Hellboy ics since 1993, when he began at Mile-
350-page anthology entirely by women trated several DC and Marvel titles and and Hellboy 2:The Golden Army. He co- stone Media, followed by Impulse for DC.
with all proceeds going to charity. She is having a blast playing in the Buffy uni- authored (with Christopher Golden) the In 1998 at WildStorm, he co-founded the
raised $109,000 on Kickstarter, becom- verse. She lives in Florida with her fiancée novel BALTIMORE, or, The Steadfast Tin Cliffhanger imprint with Joe Madureira












Lee photo by Victor Ha; Snyder photo by Kevin Green; Waid photo by Lori Matsumoto; Wheaton photo by Atom Moore WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 17
and J. Scott Campbell, and published the which won both the Eisner and Harvey Who fanzines of his own. He landed work America. A well-known comics historian,
creator-owned series Crimson and Out Awards for Best New Series of 2010. He as a lettering artist on the latter issues of Waid looks to the future—and the past—
There. In 2005, he released the creator- also wrote an acclaimed run of Detective Dez Skinn’s Warrior, Detective Comics, with his upcoming line of digital comics.
owned Revelations through Dark Horse. At Comics before launching the new Batman and Batman: The Killing Joke. Starkings
Marvel, Ramos has worked on Peter Park- and Swamp Thing titles as part of DC’s became group editor of the Boys’ Adven- WIL WHEATON
er, Spectacular Spider-Man, Wolverine, New 52 line. ture titles at Marvel UK, where he broke (actor/author, Star Trek: The Next Genera-
New X-Men, X-Men, and Runaways. His in Bryan Hitch, Doug Braithwaite, Dan tion, The Big Bang Theory)
most recent work includes the “Big Time” RYAN SOOK Abnett, Liam Sharp, and Andy Lanning. In Wil Wheaton’s successful acting career be-
and “Spider Island” story arcs in Amazing (artist, The Spectre; cover artist, Justice the U.S., Starkings created the Comicraft gan in 1986 with acclaimed roles in Stand
Spider-Man and the creator-owned Fairy League Dark, DCU Presents) studio, whose fonts are now the mainstay By Me and Toy Soldiers. In his teen years,
Quest Book 1. Ryan Sook has been working in comics for of the lettering industry. But it was always he played wunderkind Wesley Crusher on
the last 15 years as a penciler, inker, and his intention to create and publish his own Star Trek: The Next Generation. Currently,
BOB SCHRECK comic. Image Comics’ sleeper hit El- he plays Evil Wil Wheaton on The Big
cover artist. His work includes The Spec-
(editor-in-chief, Legendary Comics) ephantmen is that comic. 
tre with J. M. DeMatties, B.P.R.D. Hollow Bang Theory, notorious hacker Cha0s on
Bob Schreck is the editor-in-chief at Leg-
Earth with Mike Mignola, Arkham Asy- Leverage, Doctor Isaac Parrish on Eureka,
endary Comics, which recently entered the
lum: Living Hell with Dan Slott, X-Factor J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI and Axis of Anarchy leader Fawkes on The
marketplace with the successful release of
with Peter David, Seven Soldiers: Zatanna (writer, Superman: Earth One) Guild. But Wil is much more than just an
Frank Miller’s Holy Terror graphic novel.
and The Return of Bruce Wayne with Grant Winner of the Inkpot, Eisner, Hugo, Sat- actor; he’s an author, blogger, voice actor,
He is currently developing many other
Morrison, and Wednesday Comics: Ka- urn, and Ray Bradbury Awards, J. Michael widely followed original Twitter user, and
new projects for Legendary, including The
mandi with Dave Gibbons. Currently Ryan Straczynski wrote 2010’s wildly popular a champion of geek culture. Wil currently
Tower Chronicles, written by Matt Wagner
is the cover artist for two titles in DC’s Superman: Earth One graphic novel, with splits his time between acting and writing.
and illustrated by Simon Bisley. Schreck is
New 52 line, Justice League Dark and volume 2 due out in 2012.  His current
a 30-year veteran of the comic book and
DCU Presents. film credits include the story for the first
entertainment industry. He worked for MARV WOLFMAN
Thor movie (he also wrote the comic),
Marvel Comics and Comico: The Comic (writer/editor, New Teen Titans,
FIONA STAPLES the screenplay for Underworld: Awaken-
Tomb of Dracula)
Company in the 1980s, worked for Dark
(artist, Mystery Society, SAGA) ing (released in January), and several new
Horse Comics during the early 1990s, and Marv Wolfman has created more char-
Fiona Staples is a Canadian artist known for movie projects, including Shattered Union
then started Oni Press in 1997 with busi- acters that have gone on to television,
her covers, which earned her a Joe Shuster and Vanishing Point, both for Bruck-
ness partner Joe Nozemack. In this century, animation, movies, and toys than any other
award in 2011, and her interior artwork. heimer/Disney. 
he spent nearly 10 years at DC Comics, comics creator since Stan Lee. Marv is
She’s dabbled in everything from horror the writer/creator of Blade, the Vampire
where he was in charge of the company’s
to superheroes, illustrating series such as MARK WAID Hunter and creator of Bullseye, the prime
Batman franchise and worked under DC’s
Mystery Society and the Eisner-nominated (writer/editor, Kingdom Come, villain in the 2003 Daredevil movie, and
Vertigo banner.
North 40, and doing covers for Superman/ Irredeemable, Daredevil) he was the writer/creator of the New Teen
SCOTT SNYDER Batman, DV8, and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. Comics professional Mark Waid has, at Titans, a runaway hit show on the Cartoon
(writer, Batman, American Vampire, She’s currently working on the fantasy epic one time or another over the past 25 years, Network. Marv also writes video games
Swamp Thing) SAGA with Brian K. Vaughan, due out in held pretty much every job the industry for many companies, including Warners,
Scott Snyder started his writing career with 2012 from Image. has to offer, from publisher to PR flack Sony, Disney, and others. His adaptation
a collection of his short stories, Voodoo to editor to colorist. He is best known, of Superman Returns won the industry’s
Heart, which was hailed as a “Hot De- RICHARD STARKINGS however, as a writer, creator of the Eisner “Scribe” award, and his nonfiction book
but” by Kirkus Reviews in 2006. He soon (writer/letterer/designer, Elephantmen) Award–winning Kingdom Come graphic Homeland, The Illustrated History of The
turned his attention to comics, with early Eisner Award winner Richard Stark- novel with artist Alex Ross, and over 1,200 State of Israel won the National Jewish
work for Marvel (Iron Man: Noir), and his ings  started out as a cartoonist and self- comics besides, including long runs on The Book Award among others. 
co-creation of the Vertigo title American publisher in the UK. He contributed gag Flash, Fantastic Four, Captain America,
Vampire, with artist Rafael Albuquerque, strips to Tardis and published four Doctor Irredeemable, Ruse, and Justice League of

Bob Schreck Headlines Comics Arts Conference’s Sixth Year at WonderCon

The Comics Arts Conference celebrates its sixth year at WonderCon with special guest Bob Schreck, the co-founder of Oni Comics and Legendary Com-
ics’ editor-in-chief. Bob will discuss his life in comics publishing and his predictions for the future of the medium with Stanford Carpenter (School of the Art
Institute of Chicago).
In other programs, Professor E. Paul Zehr will compare Batman and Iron Man to answer the question: Can biology beat technology? Which is more
effective: Batman’s development of his physical side or Iron Man’s technological amplification? Dr. Robin Rosenberg will turn from Batman’s body to his
mind, asking, “What’s the Matter with Batman?” Along with Batman writers and artists, Rosenberg will consider whether the Dark Knight can be diagnosed
with a psychiatric disorder, and if so, which one. Dr. Andrea Letamendi and DC writer Gail Simone move the discussion from Batman to Batgirl, exploring
the lessons learned from Batgirl about female superheroes and trauma. Dr. Travis Langley leads a discussion on bringing Batman to the classroom, explor-
ing how an examination of the psychology of Batman can be a jumping-off point for instructors to introduce concepts in literature, composition, linguistics,
and gender and cultural studies. And Daniel H. Wilson brings the conversation back to Iron Man through a discussion of his novel Robopocalypse and the
present and future of technological fusion using concepts from Iron Man comics, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and robotics. Other panels include
discussions of how comics work formally, comics and feminism, continuity in comics, and the adaptation of comics to other media.
The Comics Arts Conference is an academic conference in the heart of Wonder-Con and is designed to bring together comics scholars, professionals,
critics, and historians to engage in discussion of the comics medium in a forum that includes the public.


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the doctor will see you now . . . one lucky autograph winner
the masquerade party is one the highlights of comic-con’s got the stars of Doctor who (karen Gillan and Matt Smith)
saturday night. to sign her cast.

CHew creators rob Guillory and John

layman with their eisner awards for the adrian empire duels out back on the
best continuing series. convention center balcony. batman ponders his next purchase.

at the comics fandom 50th party (l to r):

tsuneo goda with his beloved creation, paul levitz, wendy & richard pini, katie sackoff and bryan cranston talk
domo, and his inkpot award. and michael uslan. batman year one.

my neighbor tortoro won two axe cop creators ethan nicolle and his brother malachai at
anime company awards at the their panel ... malachai is the youngest special guest to
masquerade. ever appear at comic-con! that’s one powerful family!

OPPOSITE PAGE: (clockwise, starting in upper left): Raina Telgemeier accepts her Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens for her graphic novel, Smile; one of MAD’s
maddest writers, Dick DeBartolo with his Inkpot Award; Star Trek’s original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, at the panel for his new documentary The Captains; Jeff

Smith celebrating the 20th anniversary of his award winning comic series, Bone; when genre icons meet: Hello Kitty Slave Leia; just a fraction of the giant Exhibit Hall;
fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon at her Spotlight panel; actor Henry Cavill backstage after The Immortals panel; Joss Whedon talking about his Dark Horse comics
series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel; and just one of thousands of attendees who paused to take that perfect photo.

the winners of the 2011 Comic-Con international independent the walking dead’s robert kirkman, interviewed by
film festival. g4’s blair butler at the image comics booth.

rick baker signs for his fans. special guest jo chen. games were everywhere . . . as were comic books!

amazing spider-man’s andrew garfield writer joe hill introduced the legendary artist tony dezuniga with his
and emma stone. locke & key TV pilot. newly minted inkpot award.

ATTENDEE INTERVIEW: The Hometown Newbies

What’s up? Katie: The Twilight panel was awesome but my favorite panel was for Batman: Year
One. The panel was hilarious and the interaction between the panelists and everyone that came
to see it was very engaging and it was just really great. This is Nathan’s first day. He didn’t go
on the other days. [Nathan likes the toys, including Beyblades, Harry Potter Legos, and Poké-
mon.] We heard today [Sunday] is a good day to kind of walk the floor and purchase some
things before everyone leaves. I still don’t know what to expect. I’m loving the original art. I
didn’t come with anything in particular that I wanted to purchase, but I’m sure I’ll walk away
with something.

Best thing about Comic-Con? Brandon: I like being able to see all the detailed toys and all the
displays. Being able to see the panels and previews and stuff, that’s a really cool experience, too.

NAMES: Brandon, Nathan, and Katie Katie: For me it’s been the community of Comic-Con. I’ve been going on Comic-Con’s Facebook
page a lot. If I have any questions everyone’s been really, really cool about answering them.
FROM: This place called “San Diego,”
I haven’t been able to kind of wrap my head around all of [Comic-Con]. But it’s been a really
evidently in California
positive experience. Everyone’s been very nice and supportive and just works with you, real
NUMBER OF YEARS AT COMIC-CON: Newbies helpful, so that part’s been awesome which makes me want to come back.
all, including a 16- and an 11-year old (not
Happy ending? The Hometown Newbies got tickets for 2012!


A World of 99.4% Pure Imagination
(and 0.6% Evil Genius)
Welcome to Planet Quirk! We’d take you to our leader, but on any given
day you’ll find us debating whether that’s James T. Kirk, Buffy Summers,
dread Cthulhu, or Colonial President Laura Roslin. So—if you like to geek
out over any kind of sci-horror-fantasy-book-game-film-comics fandom at
all, just pull up a captain’s chair and stay as long as you like. (It’s cool; we
know this guy with a machine that can get you home again before you left
in the first place…)


Join us online • • •

the cast of hbo’s game of thrones, with creator george r.r. martin (far right).

charlize theron talked about daniel craig at the world

two films: prometheus and famed comics artist jordi fantasy author premiere of cowboys and
snow white & the huntsman bernet was a special guest. kim harrison. aliens, at the civic theater.

gabriel ba and fabio moon won the eisner chuck’s yvonne strahovski greets the
for best limited series, daytripper. fans in ballroom 20.

Looking north through the giant the groo crew (l to r): mark evanier, sergio aragones, tom luth, and stan sakai
exhibit hall. at the annual “sergio and mark show” panel.


special guest fantasy author comics artist jamal igle chester brown read from
ernie chan. patricia briggs. with his inkpot award. his new book at his panel.

the comic-con/robert a. heinlein blood drive

once again set a new record!

twilight stars taylor lautner, kristen

the bongo comics booth was a popular spot booster gold and blue beetle look a
stewart and robert pattinson returned
for kids of all ages. little different . . .
to comic-con.


What’s up? I’m very much a panel junkie. I like to just kind of sit here and soak up the knowledge
and the geeky goodness, as it were, of meeting and asking questions of people whose work I
follow. If you’re trying to be the best panelist ever, study Bruce Campbell and learn from him. I
also attended a DC Batman panel that was great. I’m a big fan of Judd Winick as a writer, he’s a
favorite of mine. For me, it’s all about the panels.

What did you buy? I’ve already got my official Comic-Con T-shirts, but there’s always an opportu-
nity to find something that’s just like “Oh, my gosh . . . I can’t believe they’ve got that, I’ve got to
have it!” You never know what you’re going to run into, that’s the best part.

Favorite comics? I I follow several of Marvel’s Ultimate titles. I’m always on the lookout for a good
Vertigo or Dark Horse title. There’s always a good graphic novel that’s coming out, and that tends
to be what I look for these days.
NAMES: Brian
Best thing about Comic-Con: It’s got to be the collective “geekdom,” for lack of a better term.
FROM: Garden Grove, CA There’s no place, no time, no event on the planet where for an entire weekend you’re going to
find this many people [together] with so many common interests. For four days you can just come
here and geek out to your hearts content. It’s really impressive and you can just really let your in-
time, first time as a “full four-day attendee”
ner geek out. No matter what your genre is, you can come here and this town is yours for just that
purpose, and that’s just a great, wide-open, let your hair down kind of feeling.
lee meriwether was one of dan vado and his slg lucasfilms’s former dir. of fan
author christopher moore at
the popular stars in publishing celebrated relations, steve sansweet,
his spotlight panel.
the autograph area. their 25th year in comics. accepting his inkpot award.

cutting of the cake at the comics fandom 50th party:

(L to r): bill schelly, maggie thompson, dick and pat lupoff,
superstar directors peter jackson and steven spielberg (with
roy thomas, and richard kyle.
his inkpot award) talked about the adventures of tintin.

jim mccann and janet lee were excited to

win the eisner award for best graphic
novel for return of the dapper men.

stars eve myles and john barrowman stan lee and morgan spurlock signed this giant transformers statue at the
presented the new torchwood: the comic-con documentary movie book at hasbro booth became a favorite spot
miracle day series. the sideshow collectibles booth. in the exhibit hall to take a photo.


co-publisher and justice league artist jim lee the view from above: the always busy artists’ alley
sketching on the big screen in the dc comics booth. dominated the south end of the exhibit hall.

mutts cartoonist patrick mcdonnell won the longtime comic-con volunteer

bob clampett humanitarian award; he’s seen here dawn devine retired and this catwoman has a little bit of
with presenter ruth clampett. received an inkpot award. steampunk in her, we think.

editor-in-chief axel alonso

and writer greg rucka at oni press’s james lucas jones indy and dc comics creator
comics writer jen van meter.
one of marvel’s panels. conducts a portfolio review. jeff lemire.

ATTENDEE INTERVIEW: The Indie Comics Lover

What’s up? John: The thing I’ve enjoyed so far is the benefit of experience that a lot of the
people down in the Exhibit Hall have got and are getting, so it’s not so crazy. If you want to go
do something, there’s a clearly defined line.

Katherine: The crowd control is getting better. Although the crowds—even at their busiest—are a
very chill crowd. These are good people to come and experience this with.

John: And it doesn’t matter who’s standing behind you . . . there’s something you can strike up
a conversation about. I’ve been introduced to so many things just talking to people because we
have one thing in common and then they’ll say, “Oh, well . . . I love this other thing.”

Favorite comics: John: I really love indie comics. It’s fun reading creators who just have their
NAMES: John and Katherine own stories to tell. They write, they draw, some of them do their own publishing. I love what
indie creators will do because they can do anything, they answer to no one. [Comic-Con] is a
FROM: Oak Park, CA (north of Los Angeles) place where they can really thrive and kind of band together. You walk down a whole line of
comic creators and you go there for one, but then you end up getting hooked on the work of
the guy in the booth right next door because those creators have been talking the whole time.
John since 2002 (give or take a year or
two); Katherine is here for the third time Best thing about Comic-Con: John: The minute we walk into the Exhibit Hall the first thing we say
is we are among our people. Katherine: It’s good to be home.


artist matt wagner draws his signature character, grendel, penn & teller on stage in the packed indigo ballroom at
at one of the cbldf’s master class sessions. the san diego hilton bayfront hotel.

syndicated cartoonist designer/cartoonist seymour michael c. hall of dexter on pee wee herman backstage
mell lazarus. chwast with his inkpot. the showtime panel. in hall h.

part of the volunteer crew

giving out bags at registration.

kevin conroy and mark hamill (the voices

this year’s comic-con bags became of batman and the joker) at the eisner award presenters dave gibbons
dresses, coats, vests, and much more. batman: arkham city panel. and jonathan ross.

artist bill maus in the big bang theory cast takes a bow after their panel before a packed house
artists’ alley. in ballroom 20.

sarah michelle gellar returned

to comic-con with her new show, oh, well ... time to go home.
this ingenious centaur costume include working hind legs! see you next year!

PAGE 20: (Clockwise from upper left): Tony Amat, Austin Gorum, Austin Gorum, Johnakin Randolph, Chuk Gawlik, Kevin Green, Tom Gurnee,
Oscar Benjamin, Eric Oleas (center): Allan Barsody. PAGE 21: (1st row, L to R): Sergio Palacios, Oscar Benjamin. (2nd row): Tony Amat, Kevin
Green, Kevin Green. (3rd row): Eric Olaes, Chuk Gawlik, Scotty Oson. (4th row): Johnakin Randolph, Rudy Manahan, Kevin Green.
PAGE 22: (1st row, L to R): Barry Brown, Kevin Green. (2nd row): Johnakin Randolph, Tom Gurnee,
Kevin Green, Kevin Green. (3rd row): Albert L. Ortega, Tina Gill, Oscar Benjamin. even batman has
PAGE 24: (1st row, L to R): Austin Gorum. (2nd row): Albert L. Ortega, Oscar Benjamin, Barry Brown, to consult the
Albert L. Ortega. (3rd row): Kevin Green, Tony Amat, Albert L. Ortega. (4th row): Chuck eventS Guide once
in a while.
Gawlik. PAGE 25: (1st row, L to R): Eric Olaes, Rudy Manahan, Oscar Benjamin, Oscar Benjamin.
(2nd row): Albert L. Ortega, Barry Brown, Austin Gorum. (3rd row): Kevin Green.
PAGE 26: (1st row, L to R): Eric Olaes, Fritz Harmon, Barry Brown, Chuck Gawlik. (2nd row): Albert L.
Ortega, Tony Amat. (3rd row): Oscar Benjamin, Kevin Green, Albert L. Ortega. (4th row): Aaron
Turkeltaub. PAGE 28: (1st row, L to R): Kevin Green, Kevin Green. (2nd row): Tony Amat, Barry Brown,
Eric Olaes. (3rd row): Kevin Green, Barry Brown, Patrick Yeung, Chuk Gawlik.
PAGE 29: (1st row, L to R): Brian Wong, Rudy Manahan. (2nd row): Sergio Palacios, Oscar Benjamin,
Oscar Benjamin, Albert L. Ortega. (3rd row): Kevin Green, Kevin Green, Johnakin Randolph. (4th row):
Brian Wong. THIS PAGE: (1st row, L to R): Chuk Gawlik, Albert L. Ortega. (2nd row): Austin Gorum, Allan
Barsody, Patrick Cristobal. (Batman): Sergio Palacios.



Steve Ditko John Romita Sr. John Romita Jr.

™ & © Marvel & Subs.

Over the past 50 years, no new American comic book charac- him) and three of the legion of memorable artists who illustrated
ter has captured the hearts and minds of fans like the Amazing his exploits: Steve Ditko, Spider-Man’s co-creator and artist for
Spider-Man. Launched in Marvel Comics’ final issue of Amaz- his first 38 issues (plus Amazing Fantasy #15 and two Annuals);
ing Fantasy—a series that had already gone through its third John Romita Sr., who had the unenviable task of replacing Ditko
title change in its 15-issue run—Spidey’s first appearance almost on the book but actually took the character to even greater
seemed like an afterthought, a shoe-horning of a superhero into success; and Romita Senior’s greatest creation: John Romita Jr.,
a dying fantasy book. But over the years Peter Parker and his who put his own indelible stamp on the character. These three
brightly colored alter ego became Marvel’s most popular char- artists, along with Stan, are key to the success of Spider-Man
acter, spawning a slew of spin-off titles, all kinds of merchandise, over the past half-century. Blake Bell (Strange and Stranger:
television cartoons, and a series of some of the most popular The World of Steve Ditko) looks at the Ditko mystique and his
superhero movies ever made. A new one—aptly titled The Amaz- lasting effect on the character; Tom Spurgeon (The Romita Leg-
ing Spider-Man in this 50th anniversary year of the character—is acy) chronicles the tale of father and son artists whose Spidey
due out on July 3 (see the cover story on page 8). art is among the best ever produced; and we start with a look
But the celebration of any comic book character’s anniver- at Stan Lee’s career and that memorable year of 1962, when
sary begins with the talented writers and artists who told his new superheroes came fast and furious from the writer/editor
stories. With Spidey that includes writer/co-creator Stan Lee and his small staff of co-creators and artists.
(along with the many talented scribes who took the reins after


C O M I C - C O N 2 012 A N N I V E R S A R Y C E L E B R A T I O N

™ & © Marvel & Subs.

1962: Stan Lee & the Birth of

the Marvel Heroes
1962 is the year when Marvel Comics really started. proclaimed it—with just the third issue, no less— early 1950s. He was funny, talkative, and friendly
While the Fantastic Four, the flagship title of the “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine.” Nobody to readers, making them feel like they were a part of
Marvel Universe, launched in 1961 (cover-dated for complained or disagreed. a whole connected community. He made his audi-
November of that year), the extended Marvel Uni- After that first major hit, Stan turned his atten- ence want to read all the Marvel books—even Millie
verse saw its birth 50 years ago. And it’s impossible tion to more superheroes, and 1962 was a very good and Kid Colt. He introduced the “Bullpen Bulletins”
to talk about that year and comics without talking year. The Incredible Hulk—again co-created with page, a chatty, homespun peek behind the scenes
about Stan Lee. Kirby—was first out of the gate, published in March. at Marvel. Stan’s small group of interrelated books
Born Stanley Martin Lieber in 1922, “Stan the The character again combined the monster theme quickly evolved into a full-fledged universe, but at
Man,” as he would eventually become known in with a superhero concept, but it wasn’t a breakout the same time it felt like a small, intimate family.
the 1960s, had spent over 20 years in comics by hit like the FF. The Hulk went from gray to green, If you were a Marvel fan in the 1960s, you felt like
the time the FF rolled around. He started working from inarticulate monster to learned scientist in a be- you were part of something beyond comics, and that
for his cousin (by marriage) Martin Goodman at hemoth’s body, from tattered purple pants to purple sense of community was due to Stan and how he
Timely Comics in 1939. In 1941, he made his debut briefs, in its short six-issue run. The character re- marketed the titles and how he treated the readers in
as a comic book writer, with a text piece in Captain turned a few years later as a co-feature with Ant-Man letter columns and elsewhere in the books.
America #3, graduating to actual comic book stories (another confused hero who quickly became Giant The company quickly became popular with
with issue #5, and created his first superhero, The Man) in Tales to Astonish, and went on to become college-age readers (proving that comics weren’t
Destroyer, in Mystic Comics #6, cover-dated August one of comics’ most beloved anti-heroes, along with
1941. It was the first creation of many to come over a popular television series in the 1980s.
the next 70 years. Stan Lee had another big hit with his next
After a stint in the Army Signal Corps in World co-creation, this time with Bullpen stalwart, artist
War II as a writer, Stan returned to Timely, where he Steve Ditko. The Amazing Spider-Man launched
continued as editor-in-chief and art director, positions in the final issue of Amazing Fantasy (#15) in June
he held for the next 25 years until he took over as 1962 and moved into his own title in December. June
publisher. In the 1950s, Timely Comics became Atlas also saw the introduction of The Mighty Thor in
Comics, and the line survived the tumultuous era of Journey into Mystery #83, co-written by Lee and his
that mid-decade, when the comics industry imploded brother, writer/artist Larry Lieber, and drawn by Jack
under the weight of censorship and Congressional Kirby. The above-mentioned Ant-Man came next,
hearings, with a greatly reduced lineup of books. By also in June, and again by Lee and Kirby. Crusading
the early 1960s, the company was putting out mildly scientist Henry Pym first shrunk to ant-sized propor-
toned fantasy/monster titles such as Journey into tions in Tales to Astonish #27 in 1961 but returned
Mystery, Strange Tales, Tales of Suspense, and Tales in costume in issue #35. Rounding out the year, Iron
to Astonish, along with teenage humor books (Millie Man debuted in Tales of Suspense #39, published in
the Model, Patsy Walker) and westerns (Kid Colt December. His first story—written by Lee and Lieber
Outlaw, Two Gun Kid). Publisher Goodman came to and drawn by Don Heck—presented him in gray ar-
Stan and told him of the success of National/DC’s mor, which quickly became gold in the second issue
Justice League of America and asked him to come (an all-new costume debuted eight months later).
up with a superhero team book like it. His response But it was Spider-Man that was the breakthrough
was The Fantastic Four, co-created with Jack Kirby. success, a title that quickly became synonymous with
The book was the antithesis of DC’s JLA. Its heroes Marvel Comics, which is what Goodman formally
were a collection of misfits, banded together by rechristened his company in early 1963. Spider-Man
adversity and a strange sense of family, created with was lightning in a bottle for comics: different, edgy,
a science fiction origin that paid homage to Marvel’s angst-filled, and quirky. Stan and his collaborators
monster books while still reintroducing superheroes and co-creators launched a unified universe where
(one of which, a new version of the Human Torch, heroes not only lived in the same world, but knew
was one of Timely’s more popular characters in the each other, cross-pollinated in a small number of
1940s). The FF was a stunning success, showcasing books in Goodman’s relatively tiny publishing
heroes entirely different for comic books in 1961, empire. Stan also marketed his comics better than
and quickly garnered an avid following. Stan boldly anyone had done since the days of EC Comics in the Stan at Comic-Con in 1975.

just for kids anymore), and Stan went on the road
from campus to campus—eventually even appear-
ing at Carnegie Hall—to preach the comics gospel
according to Marvel. Beyond Stan’s marketing
prowess, he and the artists created an incredible
collaborative environment. Working in the “Marvel
Method,” Stan provided his pencilers with a story
synopsis and let them work out the beats and action
through the 20- to 22-page stories, for which he
then provided dialogue. Most of the artists working
at Marvel with Stan at that time were never better.
Their collaborations with Stan brought out some
of their very best art, including Kirby and Ditko,
Heck, Dick Ayers, Gene Colan, Gil Kane, and John
Romita. Their work with Stan on that first decade of
Marvel Comics set a benchmark for superhero com-
ics that—for some readers—has never been topped.
While Stan is still “Chairman Emeritus” at
Marvel Comics, he has gone on to become one of
pop culture’s leading spokespersons. His cameo
appearances in all the Marvel movies have garnered
him a name recognition beyond the pages of the
comic book heroes he co-created, and he has ap-
peared on television in shows such as The Big Bang
Theory and Chuck, and has had two reality series,
Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, and Stan Lee’s
, when he worked on Spider-Man and Dr. Strang
Superheroes. He has been a producer or executive Ditko in his studio in 1965, during his Marvel prime
producer on all the Marvel movies, TV shows, and
animated series. Now approaching 90, Stan remains
as vital and creative a force in and out of comics “Too bad someone like him can’t be an idol for teenagers to imitate.”—Amazing Spider-Man #33
as ever, developing new characters and concepts
with his own company, POW! Entertainment, and Steve Ditko is the co-creator and original artist of Ditko, born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on
working with publishers such as Image Comics the Amazing Spider-Man. Co-creator Stan Lee is November 2, 1927, came to New York City in 1950
(Blood Red Dragon, with Yoshiki), BOOM! Studios immortalized in pop culture history as the strip’s with one goal in mind: to be a comic book artist.
(Soldier Zero, The Traveler, Starborn), Archie (Stan writer, but in fact, Ditko wrote the last 14 issues That made him unique from day one. First published
Lee’s Mighty 7), VIZ (Ultimo), and others, along of his 38-issue run, and plotted even more. No in 1953, Ditko settled in at Charlton Comics for the
with movie and TV projects. And Stan has his own doubt, Lee’s contributions to the success of the strip majority of the 1950s. Charlton paid a pittance but
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! (including, for each and every issue, scripting the offered Ditko something no one else could: the least
banter so fondly remembered as one of the strip’s editorial interference in the industry.
These early heroes Stan co-created with Kirby,
signature elements), and to the success of the Silver After a brief stint at Marvel in 1956, Ditko
Ditko, and Heck have all demonstrated incred-
Age of Marvel Comics, are many. Still, the drivers returned in late 1958. Years of collaborating on Twi-
ible staying power. Fifty years later, Spidey has
that made Spider-Man a truly unique book—in fact, light Zone–inspired stories cemented Ditko’s status
just survived “Spider-Island” in a recent storyline
a revolutionary comic book—can be attributed to as Lee’s favorite collaborator (evidenced by the all-
and his ongoing adventures continue under writer
Steve Ditko. Lee/Ditko anthology title Amazing Adult Fantasy).
Dan Slott and artists Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Ditko’s idiosyncratic visuals, his empathetic When Jack Kirby, co-creator of The Fantastic Four,
Camuncoli, and Stefano Caselli, along with a new characterizations, and his sense of costume design handed in five pages of pencils for a concept
series, The Avenging Spider-Man by Zeb Wells and all pumped new life into a medium overrun by named “Spiderman” (no hyphen)—a teenager
Joe Madureira and the recently rebooted Ultimate mythical figures that stood like marble statues . . . with a magic ring that transformed him into an
Comics Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis and and had as much personality. Another aspect that adult hero—it didn’t match what Lee had in mind.
Sara Pichelli. The Incredible Hulk just relaunched made Ditko truly unique was his fight to maintain the He wanted something different than Kirby’s grand
with a new first issue by writer Jason Aaron and Spider-Man strip’s integrity, which made him the first flare. He wanted what only Ditko could produce.
artist Marc Silvestri. Both Thor and Iron Man are artist of his generation to control the narrative arc of What would make Spider-Man different from
currently under the watchful eyes of writer Matt a superhero strip. any strip prior was that when the main character
Fraction and artists Pasqual Ferry (Thor) and Sal- Also unique was Ditko’s decision in late 1965 to received his superpowers, his life became worse.
vador Larroca (Invincible Iron Man), besides being walk away from a multimillion-dollar franchise ap- Captain America went from a 98-pound weakling
part of the ongoing adventures of The Avengers. All proaching the peak of its popularity based primarily to an Adonis, beloved by a nation. Peter Parker
four characters are appearing in huge, big-budget on his influence. Often derided for his unwillingness went from bookworm to hated and misunderstood
movies this year: Spidey in Amazing Spider-Man, a to participate in comic book fandom’s cult of celeb- vigilante, dogged in his personal life by the specter
reboot of his big screen adventures; and Hulk, Thor, rity, often chastised for his rigid adherence to an of the costumed hero’s responsibilities.
and Iron Man in The Avengers. The Marvel Age of unpopular philosophical viewpoint, Ditko is the only What Stan Lee perhaps didn’t anticipate was the
artist in the history of comic books to consistently depth of thought that Ditko put into the narrative.
Comics that had its beginnings in 1962 has never
live by his personal and professional principles: “I Lee, in charge of Marvel’s editorial direction since
really ended, and those heroes created 50 years ago
never talk about myself. My work is me. I do my he was a teenager, had overseen the development
will seemingly go on forever.
best, and if I like it, I hope somebody else likes it, of the formula inherent in the superhero genre
too.” since the early 1940s. In Spider-Man, he thought


he was getting a simple—repeatable—tale about a fledged hero, took place in the strip’s most famous the great responsibility imparted upon him. Even
superhero with foibles, but Ditko had other ideas, issues, 31–33. Ditko dedicated page after page in supporting characters like J. Jonah Jameson were
and these ideas are at the core of what made the the opening of issue 33 to the spine-tingling climax given greater depth by Ditko’s rendering of exposi-
narrative so unique, and influential, in comic book of Spider-Man rising from defeat, discarding a tion, as seen in issue 10 where Jameson reveals
history. mountain of machinery off his back (a metaphor his true personal motives for dogging the hero that
It was Ditko’s dogged insistence on grounding for Parker putting his past behind him). It is one of he’d never be.
the series in Peter Parker’s teenaged life that was the most highly regarded sequences in all of comic Ditko’s flare for costume design was also key to
central to elevating Spider-Man above the designa- book history. the strip’s success. Covering Spider-Man’s face al-
tion of a “really good superhero strip.” Initially, Ditko concerned himself with the evolution not lowed readers the world over to imagine that they
Lee imbued the strip with many elements of the only of Peter Parker, but also of the book’s support- were the hero. Villains like the Green Goblin, Dr.
“fantastic” that were endemic to the traditional ing characters. Flash Thompson begins the strip Octopus, Sandman, and the Lizard are imprinted
comic strip. For example, issue one featured a as a bully, but as Parker’s growth into manhood in the minds of children, generation after genera-
runaway space shuttle that Spider-Man helps bring is developed in part through his confrontation, so tion. All of these characters have been used in the
down, and this made Ditko bristle: “I preferred that is Flash’s character. Issue 8 features the boxing Spider-Man movie franchise, a true testament to
we have Peter Parker/Spider-Man ideas grounded match between the two boys, and Ditko returns to the contributions of Ditko’s visual flare.
more in a teenager’s credible world,” says Ditko. this in issue 26, when a frustrated Parker pounces So strong was Lee’s trust in Ditko as a story-
“The story idea undercut the teenage context. It’s on Thompson in full view of the school’s principal. teller that Lee remained silent, letting Ditko direct
like having a high school football player playing in Thompson’s maturity comes to the fore when he the entire strip on his own for over a year until
the Super Bowl.” secretly visits the principal’s office to own up to his issue 38, his last. With Ditko gone, Lee swung in
By the time Lee presented his origin for the transgressions. John Romita, and the book was turned completely
Green Goblin, Ditko had had enough. “I rejected Ditko not only put the focus on the supporting upside down in literally one issue. Gone was any
Stan’s idea,” remembers Ditko. “A mythological characters as key to the book’s success, but he aspect of Ditko’s development of the character—
demon made the whole Peter Parker/Spider-Man also made the bold move of refreshing the setting Peter went from being an individual to a well-liked
world a place where nothing is metaphysically for the series by having Parker graduate from high member of the collective—and the self-pitying theme
impossible.” school in issue 28. Introduced are pivotal char- of “Woe is me with these powers” was recycled
Healthy clashes over plotting were a by-product acters still in play 45 years later, such as Harry repeatedly. The book went from being revolution-
of the “Marvel Method” of comic book produc- Osborn and Gwen Stacy [the latter featured in the ary to being a really good superhero book.
tion. Lee, with little to no staff at his disposal in the new Amazing Spider-Man movie]. During this time, How do you measure success? For Steve Ditko,
early 1960s, gave his artists a story synopsis, and Parker becomes more comfortable in his own skin, it is likely standing up for one’s beliefs, even when
then gave them the creative license to map the plot even turning down invitations to college parties, the cost was loss of the increasing fortune and
in any way they saw fit. Lee did so for expedi- something unimaginable for the bookworm in the fame he would have realized had he remained on
ence’s sake, and the artists certainly enjoyed not strip’s origin tale. the Spider-Man strip. Fans may not like that Ditko
working from a full script. Ditko took full advantage As important as his contributions are to the doesn’t do interviews. They recklessly label him a
of this and, by about issue 10 on Spider-Man (and narrative arc of the series, the uniqueness of the “recluse,” even though he’s shared his thoughts on
similarly with Kirby on Fantastic Four), he was the book is firmly rooted in his contributions to the visu- comics and his process at length in self-published
one doing the lion’s share of the writing. als. Even in Ditko’s rendering can the evolution of essays going as far back as the 1970s. And he
This gave Ditko the freedom to explore a gen- Peter Parker be seen in a way no other artist had consistently answers fan mail to this day. He never
erous narrative arc that had never been attempted captured before. On the very first page of Amaz- has perverted his self-published work simply to ap-
before in a superhero book. Superhero strips were ing Fantasy #15, Ditko brilliantly stages the splash peal to a wider demographic and is still publishing
generally “closed,” meaning that each issue was panel to evoke instant empathy for Parker. He is comics at the age of 84. It’s these attributes that
self-contained, driven by a two-act plot (superhero physically separated from his classmates, wearing helped make Spider-Man a book still worth discuss-
intercedes, defeats the villain). But in Spider-Man, adult clothing, with schoolbooks underarm. Flash ing 50 years after its inception. Too bad someone
Ditko was determined to not rewrite the same Thompson’s hand is pushing Parker to the outskirts like him can’t be an idol for teenagers to imitate.
story issue after issue and instead added a depth of the collective. Ditko even forces Parker to carry
of continuity and character development that even around an umbrella to signify his tortured status.
Lee couldn’t have foreseen. But by issue 33, even Spider-Man in costume is no ENDNOTES
Ditko was deeply influenced in this aspect longer the stick insect that Ditko drew in the first “I never talk about myself . . .” —Steve Ditko, from
by author Ayn Rand’s two seminal novels, few stories. He is the chiseled hero, a man with an Showcase #73 (Mar.–Apr. 1968), centerfold bio.
The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. These independent mind.
works of philosophical fiction greatly influenced Also never to be underestimated is how Ditko’s “I preferred that we have Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Ditko’s sense of heroism, individualism, and not ability to capture despair drove the empathy that ideas . . .” —Steve Ditko, “A Mini-History: 3. The
compromising one’s beliefs in the face of populist so resonated with comic book fans. The weight Amazing Spider-Man #1” from The Comics v. 12
adversity. of the world looked like it took a tremendous toll #11 (Nov. 2001), p. 1.
Ditko was determined to show growth in the on the body of Peter Parker. It could be seen in
character and was reticent about evolving Parker Ditko’s slumped figure drawings, or the darkness “I rejected Stan’s idea . . .” —Steve Ditko, “A Mini-
as the romantic hero popularized by Ayn Rand’s that Ditko draped over Parker during his soliloquies History: 1. The Green Goblin” from The Comics v.
main protagonists. And Ditko took his time, the pro- on reconciling his desire to lead a normal life with 12 #7 (July 2001), p. 1.
gression gradual. The artist was openly credited
with contributions to the plot of the trilogy in Amaz-
ing Spider-Man 17–19, where the hero literally
retires before his triumphant reemergence. In issue Blake Bell lives in Toronto with his son, Luke. His most current book is The
24 and in the first Annual, Ditko tackled the idea of Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby & the Moonlighting Artists at
superhero psychosis, a result of maintaining a dual Martin Goodman’s Empire published by Fantagraphics. He is the author
identity (using the term psychosomatic in a comic of the Eisner-nominated biography Fire & Water about Bill Everett; Strange
book for likely the first time). & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko; and the editor of the Steve Ditko
The culmination of Ditko lifting Parker from Archives and Bill Everett Archives series.
bookworm to man, from doubting Thomas to full-

™ & © Marvel & Subs. WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 35


It was the biggest gamble in comics history. At Watson, the latter a supporting character for the on the stakes from how the characters physically
stake was the future of Marvel Comics. At its heart ages that Romita nailed into the consciousness of related to one another. Every page was potent.
was John Romita Sr. comics fans from her very first appearance. Nearly The John Romita Sr. run on Amazing Spider-Man
The year was 1966. The comic book company as beautiful in his own way as the women of Amaz- cinched its main character’s slow climb into the
owned by pulp magazine impresario Martin Good- ing Spider-Man was Romita’s Peter Parker. Like licensing and publishing major leagues and all but
man and operated by his cousin-by-marriage Stan many of the readers of the 1960s Marvel Comics, made certain Marvel’s eventual market dominance
Lee was in the midst of a startling creative and sales the Peter Parker character had settled into his own starting in the 1970s and for the majority of the
renaissance. Having gone by many names and now younger adulthood at some considerable distance years since. Romita Sr. proved that Marvel was
known as Marvel Comics, Goodman’s four-color from his uncertain high school years. Romita’s more than its initial, stellar lineup of creators and
funnybook line had begun to innovate in a field in Parker dressed more fashionably. He dated, and potent roster of characters. His rise showed that
which they had served as slavish imitators of the danced, and even for a time rode a motorcycle. Marvel Comics embodied an approach to story-
latest trends for the previous two decades. telling that could flourish under multiple devoted
The anchor of Marvel’s new superhero effort hands. Romita, who had come to Marvel quietly in
was Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s awesome adventure 1965 and seemed destined for a series of assign-
comic Fantastic Four. But in many ways the heart ments providing pencil art on secondary characters
of Marvel Comics in 1966 was the title Amazing slightly out of the spotlight, had become Marvel
Spider-Man. Telling the story of a young super- Comics’s most valuable player in its most vital era.
hero who struggled with the burdens and respon- In the 1970s and 1980s, Romita became even
sibilities of his special abilities, Lee’s scripts were more crucial to Marvel’s growing success. He began
brought to astonishing life by industry veteran to share Spider-Man penciling duties and eventually
Steve Ditko, who soon also co-plotted the stories. moved off the title altogether (although not without
Ditko’s artwork was authentic and breathable; his story and art contributions to a defining storyline of
Peter Parker in equal measure suffered the palpable that era, featuring the death of the Gwen Stacy char-
miseries of his teenage years and enjoyed the thrills acter). Romita settled into a Marvel staff position,
and physical escape provided by his superhero providing guidance in the production of Marvel’s
identity. In a move so surprising that the shock and line and cementing the look and presentation of its
mystery of it hasn’t worn away 45 years later, Ditko characters for a wider audience. When Spider-Man
left Marvel and his unique place within its growing appeared as a balloon in the Macy’s parade, it was
talent roster. Spider-Man needed a new creative from a design by John Romita. When the character
hand, a new artistic voice. That job fell to relative- reached out to young readers through a pub-
ly new Marvel recruit John Romita Sr. lishing partnership with the Children’s Televi-
Romita came through in spectacular fashion. sion Workshop, it was John Romita’s art
After a few tentative issues on Amazing Spider- that captured those kids’ imaginations. When
Man where he later admitted he hewed too close- the wider audience represented by newspaper
ly to what Ditko had accomplished, Romita strips experienced Marvel in that time-honored
settled into one of the signature art and story way, it was through the pen of John Romita Sr.
runs in superhero comics history. There were indi- Posters, costume designs, record albums,
cations that Romita might make it work. In 1966, and a continuing array of comic book covers—
Romita was already an experienced superhero all of these things bore Romita’s touch as
comic book artist with a passion for costumed Marvel steamrolled into a publishing and
™ & © Marvel & Subs.
adventure material. He had come back to Marvel, a licensing phenomenon, first drawing the attention of
company he had departed from in the late 1950s, in Art by John Romita Sr. for the 1975 San Diego Hollywood through which the company may be best
part for a crack at doing material in the superhero Comic-Con Souvenir Book known today. In the years leading up to his retire-
genre. John Romita wasn’t about to let this chance ment, Romita progressed from the company’s most
pass him by, whether it was on a title like Daredevil Romita had in his time away from superhero valuable player to the avatar of its artistic lifeblood.
or under the much harsher spotlight provided by comic books learned to stage comics as well as any His is a remarkable legacy.
May Parker’s devoted nephew, Peter. comic book cartoonist had before or after. His pages The greatest contribution Romita may have
Romita’s late 1950s and early 1960s experi- were perfectly balanced, and in every scene the given Marvel Comics was, with wife Virginia, the
ence as a stalwart of industry leader DC Comics’ characters were placed in physical proximity to one talent and devotion of his son and namesake John
romance line helped immensely in this new gig. another in a way that was clear and attractive. As Romita, Jr.—a name sometimes shortened in Stan
The Romita Spider-Man was surrounded not just by was the case with the best directors on Broadway, Lee banter-speak to “JR JR.” The senior Romita’s
attractively drawn and well-designed bad guys but Romita’s scene work was impeccable. Whether move into production and special projects and away
by beautiful young women that became strong love Spider-Man faced a physical confrontation or Peter from monthly comic book making didn’t mean the
interests, characters like Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Parker an emotional one, readers quickly picked up Marvel line was no longer graced with the Romita


name. It only meant that the mantle had fallen to
the next generation. The family name was in great
hands. John Romita Jr. debuted at Marvel in 1977
and quickly rose on the ladder of assignments to
superhero penciling superstardom with cherished
runs on titles like Iron Man and with what had
become the company’s most popular characters by
the 1980s, the Uncanny X-Men.
The younger Romita had from an early age
seized on the bulk of his father’s artistic skill set,
most notably a gift for attractive figure making and
a proclivity toward modern-looking costume de-
sign. Romita Jr.’s art had a more kinetic quality than
his father’s, appropriate for anyone who came of
age in comic books during the growing influence of
animation and Japanese comics storytelling. Almost
from the start, Romita Jr. had displayed a classic,
American sense of arresting, single-image, comics
beauty that his father never quite achieved, a pal-
pable line on paper that harkened all the way back
to the great newspaper cartoonists of the 1930s and
1940s. A startling run of issues on his father’s first
Marvel-era title, Daredevil, cinched Romita Jr. as
an artist for the ages. Those comics, from scripts by
Ann Nocenti, featured a mix of cityscapes and rare-
for-Marvel pastoral settings, put on display both
mundane threats and highly memorable monsters,
™ & © Marvel & Subs.
and provided psychological drama to match the
physical. Every last bit was executed by Romita Jr.
John Romita Sr. sketches at Comic-Con in 1979, as a friend looks on.
with authority and clarity, and he emerged from that
period as not just a talented artist but a special one. Top right: Romita Jr. at the Marvel booth at Comic-Con in 2008.
And then he got even better. While other car- Lower left: JR JR’s Spidey circa 2000.
toonists of his generation became minor entertain-
ment moguls through self-publishing, Romita Jr.
became the greatest of his era’s drawing board Man, sometimes brooding, occasionally hesitant, but John Romita Jr. It’s almost not fair to the other
workhorses, producing page after page after page but always powerful, is what that character looks comics of its kind.
of powerful imagery centered around his skill for like now, and likely always will. The history of American comic books is filled
arresting single images. Comic book storytelling Unlike most members of his father’s generation, with impressive talent, men and women who in
had since the senior Romita’s era moved more and John Romita Jr. has also carved out significant time many instances have worked to a significant degree
more into a movie-style dependency on individual, to create work that he—at least in part—owns. His in the form’s most unique genre: the superhero. The
memorable moments of the kind that seared into art for the writer Mark Millar on the series Kick-Ass legacy of John Romita Sr. and John Romita Jr. is
the brain of its enthusiastic readership. John Romita was key to that property’s heady success on the one of unflagging excellence at the drawing board,
Jr. became the greatest purveyor of that style of printed page and on movie and television screens. integrity when it comes to each and every aspect
superhero comic book and with almost casual Working with John Romita Jr. provided Millar’s of comic book creation. They are the real deal, five
aplomb provided stop-and-stare moments for the story not just the benefit of the artist’s simple but decades and counting. John Romita Sr. was the man
ages connected by solid, progressive storytelling in hugely effective character designs, not just access Marvel needed in 1966 and became the man Marvel
the moments in between. to Romita’s blend of Western and Eastern traditions couldn’t do without in the decades afterward. As
In the 1990s and into the 2000s, Romita Jr. when it comes to depicting violence. Kick-Ass the most consistently excellent artist of a talented
settled back into the world of the character through succeeds to massive degree because it’s a broad, generation, John Romita Jr. fulfilled the promise of
which his father had built the family reputation: pointed, satirical inquiry into the nature of super- his father where it most counted: on the page. There
Spider-Man. Spider-Man wasn’t Romita Jr.’s only hero comics that just happens to boast that genre’s are no two artists exactly like them, nor will there
memorable assignment during the last two decades: best modern practitioner for its basic look and ever be again.
he’s worked with a variety of characters ranging page-to-page feel. No one else could have done that
from The Eternals to the Incredible Hulk, and with
A-list writers like Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman,
all to powerful effect. But it’s the Spider-Man work
Tom Spurgeon is the editor and publisher of the Eisner Award–winning
that will likely endure. As much as Steve Ditko and
website The Comics Reporter. He is the co-author of Stan Lee and the
Romita Jr.’s father ever did for Peter Parker and his
Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book (2003) and the author of The
alter ego, if one were to collect the most impressive
Romita Legacy (2008). He is a former managing and executive editor of
single moments from Spider-Man’s long career, the
The Comics Journal and wrote Wildwood for King Features Syndicate
instances that burn into the cultural memory and the
from 1999 to 2001.
dreams of fans everywhere, the vast majority would
come from the pen of John Romita Jr. His Spider-

Romita Sr. photo by Jackie Estrada; Romita Jr. photo by Daniel Sakow WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 37
C O M I C - C O N 2 012 A N N I V E R S A R Y C E L E B R A T I O N



In 1982 comics were in the process of becoming San Diego independent publisher Pacific Comics. Southern California called Love & Rockets.
something new. Creators and publishers were taking Over in England, newcomer Alan Moore began his Instigated by eldest brother Mario Hernandez
chances with more-sophisticated stories that appealed landmark stories Marvelman and V For Vendetta in as a showcase for his work and that of his younger
to the savvier clientele frequenting the growing comics the pages of Warrior magazine. Throughout these and siblings Gilbert and Jaime, Love & Rockets started
specialty store market. The result was a year of auspi- other events rocking the comics world, the underly- life as a self-published fanzine late in 1981. Gilbert
cious work. Frank Miller, well into his groundbreaking ing theme was that the medium was growing up. worked up the nerve to send a copy to The Comics
run on Daredevil, shocked fandom by killing off his Yet all of the comics making waves were still firmly Journal, hoping for a review in the firebrand maga-
signature character Elektra. Archie Goodwin and Al entrenched within traditionally understood escapist zine. Instead he received an offer from its editor Gary
Milgrom launched the Epic line at Marvel, creating a genres. Groth to publish the comic as an ongoing series. Love
home for creator-owned work by domestic and inter- It was another 1982 debut that would truly move & Rockets #1 hit comic store shelves in the summer
national creators in the Direct Market. Jack Kirby de- comics into the realm of unqualified adult fiction—a of 1982, marking the dual entry of Los Bros. Her-
buted Captain Victory, a creator-owned series through magazine-sized anthology by three brothers from nandez and Fantagraphics into the comics publishing
The early issues of Love & Rockets were informed
by a completely unchauvinistic history of comics.
As boys, the brothers had absorbed their mother’s
affection for the medium and were exposed to a wide
range of material, from the cartoony kids humor
of Dennis the Menace, Hot Stuff, and Archie to the
heroes and monsters of Marvel legends Jack Kirby
and Steve Ditko. In the late ’60s and early ’70s
Mario began bringing ZAP and other undergrounds
home, introducing the work of greats like R. Crumb
and Gilbert Shelton to their visual vocabulary. These
influences worked their way into each brother’s art
styles. Mario’s work paid homage to the heavy line
of underground masters Spain and Rand Holmes.
Gilbert mixed the monsters of Gil Kane with the
curvy heroines of Wally Wood and infused his stories
with an unapologetic sexuality. Jaime was the most
polished of the three, and his stories were immedi-
ately appealing for their extraordinarily charming
heroines who looked like they came from a planet
where Dan DeCarlo and Frank Frazetta jammed on
an adventure strip. Alongside each other, their com-
ics affirmed the visual diversity of the medium as a
powerful means of personal expression.
Just as important as the comics history on view in
the drawings is that they weren’t the only influences
Los Bros. brought into their comics. It was clear that
comics were an important aspect of their lives, but
they weren’t life itself. Jaime and Gilbert were both
steeped in the Los Angeles punk scene, and their

Art © Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez

Opposite page: cover art from Love and Rockets #5, 1983, by Jaime Hernandez. Above: L&R #1, 1982; (l to r) Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario at Comic-Con 2011; L&R New Stories #3, 2010.

characters reflected the aspirations, attitudes, and to chart new ground, writing honestly of middle age The Hernandez Brothers sit comfortably within
fashions of the young people in that milieu. Even and the conflict between ageless self-conception and the modern graphic novel pantheon, but when they
more notable in the context of the time is that their the relentless force of time. first emerged, there was little precedent for their
stories were dominated by credible female protago- Gilbert is best known for the Heartbreak Soup work. They are unique not only for the substance of
nists who possessed a sexual dimension but were sequence of stories, a heady ensemble series that their comics but for the fact that they weren’t out to
never mere sex objects. uses magical realism and a large multigenerational prove a point. While other creators were seeking to
Love & Rockets debuted to a positive reception, cast to portray the social makeup of Palomar, a change comics by injecting more adult storytelling,
with Jaime and Gilbert taking it over entirely within remote Central American town. Strongly influenced art, and themes into the traditional comics genres,
the first few issues. Emboldened by positive critical by Latino art and culture, Gilbert’s stories broke the Hernandez Brothers were simply following their
success and Groth’s unwavering encouragement ground for how comics can behave as an expression own muses.
for the artists to simply be themselves, they quickly of culture. His use of language, heavily peppered The undergrounds embraced explicit sexuality
dropped the genre pretenses they first used in an with Spanish names and words, added a musical and coarse language in part to subvert the com-
effort to be commercial, and instead developed quality to his writing that was similarly unique monly held belief that comics were kid stuff. The
complex, character-driven universes rooted firmly within the medium. Gilbert’s stories behave as a Hernandez Brothers depicted sexuality because
in the real world. Once they took possession of that tapestry, shifting not just between characters, but it was part of life. They weren’t drawing their
freedom, their stories leapt into uncharted terrain. between several stages of their lives, to develop a personal fantasies, they were exploring how people
Jaime’s Locas stories document the emotional re- richly woven depiction of what’s fluid and what’s behaved. Where Harvey Pekar and late-period Will
alities of becoming an adult, through the eyes of his enduring in relationships, families, and communi- Eisner adhered to literalism in their portrayals of ev-
signature character, Maggie, and the lives that orbit ties over time. He shares his brother’s matter of eryday life, Los Bros didn’t shy away from injecting
her. We meet her as an 18-year-old who gets swept fact view of sexuality and often goes farther in fantasy and surreal elements into their work and still
into the glamour of travel and adventure under the exploring the sexual lives of his characters, delving pulled off the honest depiction of life as it’s lived.
wings first of heroic boss and infatuation interest into the role of sexuality as a motivational force in The Hernandez Brothers changed comics by
Rand Race, then larger-than-life female wrestling defining identity. Gilbert’s contributions to Love & internalizing the medium’s history and language,
champ and mentor Rena Titañon. These stories are Rockets also include a large body of wildly surreal then using it to express their personal visions. In the
told in breathlessly excited letters to her adorable experimental pieces that meld the humorous and honest portrayal of life as they saw it, they created a
punkette best friend Hopey and reflect how young grotesque. His fascinations with surrealism, sexual- vision of comics for adults that was neither tawdry
people develop their identities in the buoyant period ity, and family ensemble pieces have merged in his nor reactionary, and instead affirmed a world of new
where youthful wonder has yet to give way to current work exploring the offspring of Palomar possibilities for the medium to explore.
adult responsibility. When Maggie returns from her matriarch Luba as they develop their lives in the
adventures, she and Hopey veer into their twenties, contemporary United States.
and Jaime makes the reader fall in love with them
as spritely but tough free spirits. When he confirms
that they’re lovers, it’s done in a matter-of-fact way
that expresses an attitude toward sexuality that’s
Charles Brownstein is the executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense
honest rather than confrontational. In carefully
rendered vignettes he peeks in on their lives as Fund (, a non-profit organization protecting the medium’s

they move from carefree kids with nothing to lose First Amendment rights. His writing about comics includes the award winning
to sudden adults where tragedy, disappointment, books Eisner/Miller and The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen.
heartache, and confusion have replaced potential
with grace. In his most recent work Jaime continues

Hernandez Bros. photo by Tina Gill; Brownstein photo by Betsy Gomez WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 39
RETURNS 02.12.12 9/8c



Turn On. Tune In. Geek Out.

42 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Art © King Features Syndicate, Inc.
C O M I C - C O N 2 012 A N N I V E R S A R Y C E L E B R A T I O N

The Ballad of 75th


75 Years of Comics’ Greatest 4Q Hero by Brian M. Kane

magine you are a 9-year-old boy and you are lying
on the living room floor reading the Sunday comics,
or a 16-year-old saving each weekly installment of
an artist you have admired since you were 10, or
even a young man of 19 perfecting your skills by
copying those same four-color fantasies. There is
were the pop culture visual medium, and Val was
box office gold. What is so incredible about Prince
Valiant is how today’s readers are embracing the
strip’s resurgence, prompted by the recent reprint
volumes. For the first time ever, Prince Valiant’s
epic adventures are being reprinted from restored
color engraver’s proofs. These oversized New York
Times bestselling hardcovers, published by Fanta-
graphics, have the approval of the Foster family.
You only have to look at the many reviews both
no television. There are no video games. There are professional and personal on Amazon, and you will
movies, but most are in black & white. It is Febru- see the words beautiful, brilliant, ground-breaking,
ary 13, 1937, and Prince Valiant in the Days of fun, vibrant, action-packed, exquisite, and gorgeous
King Arthur by Harold R. Foster has just premiered. used over and over again to describe this tour de
Now imagine your name is Frank Frazetta, or Ray force of art and writing. As you read through the
Bradbury, or Jacob (Jack Kirby) Kurtzberg. One adjective-filled quotes and comments, you will
day you will be an “Icon,” or a “Legend,” or a begin to understand that what made Prince Valiant
“King,” but for now, just for now, on this day 75 so popular when it first appeared is also what makes
years ago, you are simply a fan. it popular today. While these stories have dark ele-
It is hard for us to think of these three artistic ments, they are not dark stories. Val is not some
and literary gods of the 20th century as boys. They brooding, guilt-riddled anti-hero—he’s a Hero
were/are giants among us. They loomed larger than with a capital H. Prince Valiant resonates with
life, and their works not only enlivened our imagi- readers today just as much as it did 75 years
nations but embodied much of what we remember ago because the stories are timeless, the
as popular culture milestones for the past 50 years. artwork is stunning—better than most top tier
Yes, they may have been giants; gods to some, but cinematographers could ever hope to imagine—
it was Hal Foster that all three of them worshiped. and because Val’s creator was a genius.
To this day, Bradbury unabashedly wears his love The genius of Hal Foster was not just in his
(that’s love, people—not appreciation, not highest technical proficiency to illustrate the most beauti-
regard—love!) for Foster on his sleeve. Kirby, ful strip ever created (which it is); no, Foster’s true
Frazetta, and many early comics artists, includ- gift was his ability to let the story drive the art and
ing Alex “Flash Gordon” Raymond, liberally skillfully craft characters that people would care
swiped from Foster, and the first appearance of about very deeply. Val is an enormously complex per-
Batman in costume during his origin story is a son. That’s right, person! He is not a one-dimensional,
swipe of a panel from Foster’s Tarzan. Yes, cookie-cutter, lukewarm, stereotypical, politically
Foster illustrated Tarzan too, and he was the correct, personality-by-committee hero. He is brash,
first artist to draw the Lord of the Jungle for clever, impetuous, light-hearted, cocky, romantic,
comics. In fact, Foster’s reach extended crafty, skilled, humorous, willful, smart, flawed,
beyond just comics artists because it was and above all else brave! He is someone you
Foster’s Tarzan pages that the Disney want on your side, and heaven help you if he is
animators used as a model for the back- against you. He has been known to deliberately
ground scenes in The Jungle Book. drop an enemy to his death, unapologetically hang
But Prince Valiant wasn’t just another, leave a path of bodies in his wake (taste-
popular with artists and writers; he was fully bloodless, of course), and cleave a foe’s
everybody’s hero. “Val” was one of the hand off during a fight—then smiling,
first international superstars to reach that saunter from the battlefield while non-
valuable, highly sought-after 4Q (four quadrant) chalantly wiping the blood off his blade.
market consisting of males and females, above and And we love him for it! It is what Foster re-
below age 25. In the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, comics ferred to as “an honest brutality.” Val exemplifies

Hal Foster in his studio working on Prince Valiant in 1947.

the one trait missing from most of today’s fictional beloved, faithful friend of Val’s died in combat too. age of 87, he had worked on the strip for 43 years.
characters—passion—and he drips it from every And let’s not forget that “The Winning of Aleta” Not surprisingly, Foster is in four artistic Halls of
pore. saga, perhaps the most romantic sequence ever Fame—more than any other comics illustrator. He
Foster’s development of multidimensional char- created in comics, occurred during WWII when is in the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, the Joe Shuster
acters does not end with just Val. All of Foster’s the greatest percentage of readers in America were Canadian Comic Book Creators Hall of Fame, the
people are individuals. Each character is not only women. Then, after the war, just as the soldiers National Cartoonists Society Hall of Fame, and
visually different from the next, they also have were returning home, Val travels to America to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. In 1980
different personalities. Their speech is different, rescue his pregnant wife, and it was here among the editor and author Cullen Murphy began writing
their body language is different, they have wrinkles Native Americans where their son Arn was born, Prince Valiant, and the father-son team continued
and scars, and if they stub their toe or have their thus heralding in the beginning of the Baby Boomer until Jack Murphy’s passing in 2004. Today, writer
hearts broken, we feel for them. You can almost generation. For the next decade, as Val and Aleta Mark Schultz and artist Gary Gianni continue Val’s
imagine that each person on a Prince Valiant page, raised their children, they were in sync with other adventures. It is only fitting that Prince Valiant’s
even the minor ones, has a history, a rich, full life young couples who were raising their own children wanderings continue, even after 75 years, for the
that precedes their ever walking into the scene. To (back then one of my neighbors even named their witch, Horrit prophesied to Val long ago, “You will
Foster’s credit (and to his wife Helen’s as well) the daughter Aleta!). In the 1940s, and ’50s, Prince have high adventure, but nowhere do I see happi-
women in these stories are often smarter than the Valiant was nothing short of art reflecting life— ness and contentment.” Personally, I am wishing
men. And, just to be clear, while “The Winning of with a dash of swordplay. Val many more un-contented years!
Aleta” storyline that ran from May 1944 to January Foster wrote and illustrated Prince Valiant until Before Superman and Batman, before The Lord
1946 (see Volumes 4 and 5 of the Fantagraph- 1971. That amounts to 34 years, or 1,764 weekly of the Rings trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia,
ics editions) begins with Aleta in shackles being pages, without missing a single deadline, and he before Joseph Campbell understood “The Hero’s
dragged by Val through the desert, this Queen of the continued to write and lay out the strip for 9 more Journey” and David Lean dragged Peter O’Toole
Misty Isles is no frail flower and could kill Val any years with illustrator John Cullen Murphy. When through a Technicolor desert, there was Harold R.
time she wants. Lucky for us Aleta has other, more Foster retired from Prince Valiant in 1980 at the Foster’s Prince Valiant, comics’ greatest 4Q hero.
“insidious” plans for Val, who often complains that
he will never understand the ways of women.
Finally, one of the more interesting yet over-
looked elements to Foster’s storytelling genius Brian M. Kane has taught art for 14 years and has a master’s degree
was how he used Prince Valiant to mirror society, in history of art from The Ohio State University. He is the author
thereby drawing us into his world. When Hitler of the Eisner-nominated, Ippy Award-winning Hal Foster: Prince of
marched through Europe, Val fought the Huns—and Illustrators (Vanguard), The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion
the strip was immediately dropped from German (Fantagraphics), and James Bama: American Realist (Flesk). Kane’s
newspapers. Even though Foster later claimed the essays also appear in Volumes 1 and 4 of Fantagraphics’ new Prince
Hun invasion was a coincidence, one gets the feel- Valiant reprint series, for which he is also a consultant. He is cur-
ing it was said with a knowing nudge and a wink. rently working on a new book collecting all of Hal Foster’s penciled
During World War II, when husbands, brothers, layout pages and would appreciate it if anyone owning a page or a
sons, and friends were falling on fields of battle, a pencil sketch by Foster would contact him.



promoting the arts through quality collections

Celebrate our 10th anniversary all year with special

giveaways and exclusive signed books at our booth
at WonderCon®, Comic-Con® and APE.
Flesk’s books feature the art of:
James Bama
Terry Dodson (at Comic-Con®)
Craig Elliott (at WonderCon® and Comic-Con®)
Gary Gianni (2012 Comic-Con® guest)
Petar Meseldžija
Mark Schultz (2012 Comic-Con® guest and at APE)
Jim Silke (at WonderCon® and Comic-Con®)
William Stout (at WonderCon®, Comic-Con® and APE)
Bruce Timm
Al Williamson
and more...


The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm
Introduction by Jim Steranko
304 pages, 9 x 12 in.
$50.00 paperback
$100.00 deluxe signed hardcover edition in slipcase
Featuring an extensive survey of the many forms that
Timm’s muse has assumed in his mind’s eye, with
nearly 300 full-color, line and pencil images of
partially clothed and nude women of almost every
conceivable description and temperament.

An informative look at both Gary Gianni’s
rendition of the Prince Valiant Sunday strip
and his own working procedures.
A Foreword by Mike Mignola
Introduction by Robert Wagner
112 pages, 9 x 12 in.
$29.95 hardcover with jacket
Features new work by Elliott, Gianni,
Meseldžija, Schultz and Stout.
B 64 pages, 8.5 x 11 in.
$24.95 hardcover with jacket

By Mark Schultz
C Introduction by Craig Elliott
352 pages, 8.5 x 11 in.
$39.95 paperback

Written and designed by Craig Elliott

Introduction by Iain McCaig
D 68 pages with four gatefolds, 9 x 12 in.
$29.95 hardcover with jacket

Flesk Publications is the producer of a full


line of art books in the comics, graphic

novel, fantastic, illustration, pin-up and C D
fine arts fields.

for signing schedules, to view our entire
line of books, to shop online and for
exclusive interviews.
Writer Mark Schultz and illustrator Gary Gianni

Gianni & Schultz:

Walking in the Footsteps of the Master
When Hal Foster stopped drawing Prince Valiant in I find myself marveling at something as specific or the 75-year legacy or if Homer Simpson took
1971, he passed the reins of the strip to cartoonist as how beautifully he catches a facial expression over the throne. (Well, actually, readers might enjoy
John Cullen Murphy (Big Ben Bolt). Foster kept or how simply he renders a pine forest with some that.) My point is, the strip needs to be vital and
his hand in by writing and laying out the strip until well-placed black inks. I can be impressed by his entertaining—today.
1980, when he officially retired. Cullen Murphy storytelling abilities or I’m struck with the elegance In the end, Mark and I are trying to tell a good
(John’s son) began writing the strip and they con- of his compositions. The man was a master artist. story. We hope to engage readers, young and old,
tinued on it until John died in 2004. At that point, Maybe Al Williamson said it best: “Foster’s work for about 30 seconds on a Sunday morning. That’s
King Features picked Gary Gianni (Monstermen) to gets better every time you look at it!” all. It’s the only way Mark and I could possibly pay
illustrate the strip; Gary turned to his friend Mark homage to the great Mr. Foster.
Schultz (Xenozoic Tales) to write it. Both Gianni Mark: Foster was the first true adventure cartoon-
and Schultz are special guests at Comic-Con this ist, inventing the form practically single-handedly Mark: Gary and I realize that we can never meet
year in celebration of Prince Valiant’s 75th an- with his work on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan the expectations of many long-time Valiant fans,
niversary. strip. He refined that visual language and took it to and of course we don’t have the strip’s tradition-
unmatched heights in Prince Valiant. The man had ally generous page space to work with, but we do
How did you first discover Prince Valiant? an illustrator’s understanding of form, composi- our best to keep the strip’s spirit alive. The classic
Gary Gianni: I rarely saw Prince Valiant when I tion, and rendering, a painter’s grasp of color, characters were all so well conceived and are fun to
was a kid. My family was staunch Chicago Tribune and a cartoonist’s eye for compelling storytelling. play with.
readers and Val appeared in a different paper, the His achievements and inventions are to this day
Chicago American. When I was in high school unmatched—and have become so ingrained in the You’ve been doing the strip for eight years now.
I’d buy books detailing the history of comics and, fabric of comics storytelling that they are taken for What do you feel is your best storyline to date?
invariably, Val would be featured among the other granted. More readers need to realize how much of Mark: I guess I’m slightly partial to the adven-
great comic characters, but I never really read or a seminal influence Foster was on practically all the ture in Ab’Saba and the characters of Skrymir and
looked deeply into Foster’s work until John Cul- artists who created the superhero genre, let alone Makeda who were key players in that story. That
len Murphy asked me to help him. Ironically, to other strip artists. was a long, complex tale that worked out well, I
this day, I still don’t get to see the printed strip. It think.
doesn’t appear in any local newspaper. I do look at Is it intimidating taking over a strip with such a
it online however, but it’s not quite the same. long history and artistic legacy? Gary: I don’t think of the strip in terms of story-
Gary: “Intimidating” might be too strong a word lines. At the moment there are 3,907 pages of Prince
Mark Schultz: I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t but I can feel self-conscious if I give it much Valiant’s life. I drew about 450 of them. Other art-
aware of Prince Valiant. I can specifically remember thought. This feeling may stem from the respon- ists will continue the saga and hopefully, someday,
my parents reading it to me out of the Sunday paper sibility of maintaining a 75-year legacy in an age there will be a 100-year anniversary. When I look at
when I was five or six years old. It wasn’t, however, where adventure newspaper strips are passé, or from the strip collectively, I feel fortunate to have played
until I had become a practicing artist that I began critics who complain about other artists and writers a minor role in the vast scheme of Val’s history.
to properly appreciate just how important his work continuing long after the original creator’s gone, or Despite what I’ve stated regarding today’s audience,
was in the development of dramatically themed from the readers who feel some sort of proprietary the strip, as far as I’m concerned, will always be
adventure comics in general. connection to Foster’s canon. In reality, these are “Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant”!
niche considerations. No matter how much you and
What do you think of Foster’s art and storytelling? I care about these things, the majority of the Sunday For more on Gary and Mark, see the Comic-Con
Gary: I study Foster’s work just about every day. newspaper readers don’t give a hoot about Foster special guest bios, beginning on page 52.

46 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photo by John Fleskes; art © King Features Syndicate, Inc.



We’re gearing up for the best show ever! Comic-Con
International returns to the San Diego Convention Cen-
ter July 12–15, with Preview Night on Wednesday, July
11. Over the next dozen or so pages, you’ll find your
first sneak peek at this year’s event, including the special
guests, the anniversary celebrations, info on the Mas-
querade (and how to sign up!), and this year’s Eisner
Award judges. And don’t forget to nominate you own
favorite comic book store for the 2012 Will Eisner Spirit
of Comics Retailer Awards (see page 71 for the official
The best way to keep informed on everything you
need to know for Comic-Con 2012 is to follow us on Twit-
ter (, like us on Facebook
(, or subscribe to our RSS
feed at These three things will keep
you up to date on information such as when badges go
on sale, when hotel reservations open, and when the
programming schedule goes live on the website.
The most important thing you can do RIGHT NOW is
sign up for a Comic-Con Member ID! You must have a
Member ID to purchase a badge for Comic-Con 2012. See
the article on the next page for information on how to get
your very own Comic-Con Member ID!


48 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photo by Rudy Manahan

NEW for Comic-Con 2012: Your Unique Member ID!

To help increase the efficiency of online registration and badge sales, all those who want to attend Comic-Con and/or WonderCon
in 2012 are now required to sign up first for a COMIC-CON MEMBER ID.

A Comic-Con Member ID is FREE and available to all adult and junior (ages 13 to 17) attendees with a valid and unique e-mail
address. (Children ages 12 and under may not register for a Comic-Con Member ID.)

Your Member ID will add you to Comic-Con’s verified special member “E-List.” As a member, all year round you will receive im-
portant information regarding registration, online badge sales, housing, and other announcements, including access to early-bird
or special e-list presales.

Signing up for a Comic-Con Member ID is quick and easy, and you only need to sign up once: your Member ID will be valid for all
Comic-Con affiliated events in 2012 and beyond.

By requiring a unique e-mail address for each Member ID, our hope is to increase the speed of the online registration process
and prevent duplicate registrations that allow scalpers to purchase multiple tickets and sell them at inflated prices. The Comic-Con
Member ID system is intended to allow more fans to purchase tickets for this highly popular event.

Everyone who intends to purchase a ticket for Comic-Con 2012 must register for a Comic-Con Member ID; that includes attendees,
professionals, press, and volunteers who apply for a complimentary badge.

For more information and to sign up for a Comic-Con Member ID, please visit

Comic-Con International 2012 Anniversary Celebrations

Each year Comic-Con International focuses on watershed moments in comics 50th ANNIVERSARY OF SPIDER-MAN, HULK, THOR, ANT-MAN, AND IRON MAN
and pop culture history. This year’s special anniversary celebrations will be Stan Lee and Jack Kirby set the comics world on fire with The Fantastic Four in
saluted in both onsite programming and the show’s Souvenir Book, featuring 1961. In 1962 the duo—along with artists Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Dick Ayers, and
historical articles and incredible art produced by attendees and by fans from all writer/artist Larry Lieber—struck again, creating “The Marvel Age of Comics”
over the world. Best of all, you can be a part of the celebrations, even if you with the creation of the Amazing Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, Thor,
can’t make it to the show! Visit and Iron Man. These enduring characters have flourished over the past half-
php for details on how to contribute art and articles based on the following century, in comics and on the big screen (with even an Ant-Man movie in produc-
special celebrations. The deadline for contributions is April 20, 2012. tion!). For more information, see the feature article beginning on page 32.

In 1912 two amazing creations leaped full-born from the vivid imagination of In 1981, three California brothers took their love of comics, movies, animation, and
Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Carter’s first adventure, A Princess of Mars, was all things pop culture and created their own fanzine, titled Love and Rockets. Gilbert,
serialized in All-Story Magazine from February through July of 1912 as Under Jaime, and Mario Hernandez published the first issue, then moved the book to Fan-
the Moons of Mars; the epic adventures of Tarzan of the Apes began in the pages tagraphics in 1982, its home ever since. The brothers have had an incredible impact
of that same magazine in October of that year. The two creations of the prolific on the alternative comics scene and are currently producing some of their best work
Burroughs have gone on to appear in numerous novels, movies, television shows, ever. The Hernandez Brothers are guests at both Comic-Con and APE in 2012. For
comics, and much more, including Disney’s John Carter movie. more information about Los Bros. Hernandez, see the feature article beginning on
page 38 and the Comic-Con special guest bios, beginning on page 52.
Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, a beautiful full-page Sun- 20th ANNIVERSARY OF IMAGE COMICS
day comic strip, began in 1937. Foster’s incredible illustrative style and storytell- In 1992, seven popular artists stopped doing freelance comics work and formed
ing ability separated this elegant and exciting strip from pretty much everything their own imprints under a new company, Image Comics. Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob
else being published at the time (and, one could argue, ever since). The strip Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Mark Silvestri, and Jim Valentino took the
continues today by artist Gary Gianni and writer Mark Schultz, who are Comic- comics world by storm, proving once again that the creators were just as popular as
Con special guests this year to help celebrate the history and ongoing influence of the characters they drew. Image has gone on to be a major force in the comics indus-
Foster’s great creation. For more information on Val and the current strip’s team try. A number of Image founders and creators are Comic-Con 2012 special guests;
of Gianni and Schultz, see the feature article beginning on page 42. see the special guest bios beginning on page 52 for more info.


The “Class of 2011” poses for their photo: last year’s Eisner Award recipients

The panel of judges for the 2012 Will Eisner Com- attending school and working numerous jobs. He the business side, Larry has been executive director
ics Industry Awards have been announced. These describes owning a comic book store as “the best of Image Comics, president of McFarlane Toys,
judges will choose the nominees in more than two job in the world for someone who likes to share and marketing director of Moondog’s, a chain of
dozen categories, from Best Writer to Best Graphic the joy of fine comic books!” Calum is a member Chicagoland comic book stores. He currently serves
Album. The ballot they compile will then be voted of ComicsPro, and Strange Adventures has won as president of the board of the Comic Book Legal
on by professionals in the comics industry, and the several retailer awards including the Eisner and the Defense Fund.
winners will be announced in a gala ceremony on Shuster. It was named best Canadian comics store
the evening of Friday, July 13, at the Hilton San in Previews magazine, Canada’s Readers Digest, BEN SAUNDERS, professor of English at the Univer-
Diego Bayfront. and The Coast newspaper readers poll.  sity of Oregon, was hired by the university to teach
the plays of Shakespeare, but since receiving tenure
BRIGID ALVERSON has been reading comics since JESSE KARP is a school librarian at LREI, an in 2006 he has also worked steadily to establish that
she was 4. After earning an MFA in printmaking, independent school in New York City. He teaches institution at the forefront of Comics Studies. He is
she headed to New York to become a famous artist the graduate course Graphic Novel: Narrative and author of Do The Gods Wear Capes?: Spirituality,
but ended up working with words instead of pic- Sequence at Pratt Institute, and he served three Fantasy, and Superheroes (Continuum Press, 2011),
tures, first as a book editor and later as a newspaper years on the American Library Association’s Great and a founder of the university’s undergraduate
reporter. She started MangaBlog to keep track of Graphic Novels for Teens Committee. He is a minor in Comics and Cartoon Studies. (For more
her daughters’ reading habits and now covers com- graphic novel reviewer for Booklist magazine and info, see Ben’s special guest bio on page 58.)
ics and graphic novels as a freelancer for School is the author of Graphic Novels in Your School
Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics Week, Library (ALA, 2011) and the YA novel Those That MARY STURHANN has been secretary on the Board
Graphic Novel Reporter, Comic Book Resources, Wake (Harcourt Children’s Books, 2011). of Directors of Comic-Con International since
MTV Geek, and Robot 6. She also edits the Good 1994. Mary started attending conventions 31 years
Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. LARRY MARDER has had a long career in the ago. She is an avid reader of books, comics, graphic
industry, including creating, selling, publishing, novels, and manga. She collects old movies and
CALUM JOHNSTON is the owner of Strange Adven- and promoting comics. On the creative side of the enjoys gaming of all kinds, but leans toward board
tures: Comix & Curiosities, in Halifax, Nova Sco- comic book field, his Beanworld series has de- and card games. She attends and works as staff at
tia, which he started in 1992; he has recently added lighted readers from grade school to grad school for several conventions, including Comic-Con Inter-
a third location. Originally from Montreal, Calum more than a generation, earning him a spot on the national and WonderCon, and is the recipient of an
began selling comics at a farmer’s market while New York Times Graphic Books Bestsellers List. On Inkpot Award.



Student work by
Dustin Blattner
for Digital Sculpting Course

For over a decade, Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood has trained some of the
world’s best digital artists who are now working on blockbuster movies and games.

Talk to an Admissions Representative

this year at Comic-Con

Find out more at

323-466-6663 1015 N Cahuenga Blvd Hollywood, CA 90038
2012 Special Guests
BILL AMEND (Dynamite), Star Trek, and True Blood nated Demo with Brian Wood, and Man, and the upcoming Arena Man),
(cartoonist, FoxTrot) (IDW). Tim partnered with actor her solo graphic novel East Coast Ris- and his comics work is still being
Bill Amend is the creator of the comic Thomas Jane in 2004 to form RAW ing. She is also drawing a new Conan published: the Batman film franchise
strip FoxTrot, syndicated by Univer- Studios. Together they create and de- series from Dark Horse, with writer is still going strong, Kilowog’s every-
sal Press Syndicate.  He earned a BA velop projects for comics and film. Brian Wood. She lives and works in where, Avengers vs. Defenders just
in physics from Amherst College in Brooklyn and still tries to self-publish got republished again, battling Dr.
1984.  FoxTrot began syndication in MIKE CAREY a new minicomic every year. Strange and Batman for the top spot,
1988 and built a client list of more (writer, Lucifer, The Unwritten, and Coyote, Scorpio Rose, and Lore-
than 1,000 daily and Sunday newspa- X-Men Legacy) GEOF DARROW lei live on with Max. So only the Ul-
pers before Amend switched the strip Best known for his runs on Vertigo’s (artist, Shaolin Cowboy, Big Guy traverse seems gone for good.
to a Sunday-only format at the end of Lucifer and Marvel’s X-Men Legacy, and Rusty the Boy Robot)
2006. In 2007 Bill received the Reu- as well as the multiple New York Times Born in Cedar Rapids, IA, artist Geof MARK EVANIER
ben Award for Cartoonist of the Year bestseller The Unwritten, Mike Carey Darrow went through 12 years of (writer, producer, comics historian)
from the National Cartoonists Society. also writes prose fiction; his Felix Cas- Catholic schooling, which left him See Mark’s WonderCon bio on
There are currently 39 FoxTrot book tor novels have run to five titles, and permanently scarred. He attended the page 16 for more info!
collections in print. FoxTrot can be he is co-writing a novel, The Steel Se- Chicago Academy of Fine Arts for
seen online at raglio, with his wife Linda and daugh- four years, and from there he worked GREG EVANS
ter Louise.  He is also a screenwriter in advertising, audio-visual, anima- (cartoonist, Luann)
SERGIO ARAGONÉS and is currently working on a movie tion, and comics and at the Quaker Greg Evans is the creator of the na-
(cartoonist, Groo, MAD, Sergio screenplay, Silent War, for Slingshot Oats company in their maintenance tionally syndicated comic strip Luann,
Aragonés Funnies) and Intrepid Pictures. His games cred- department. Darrow’s comics work which celebrated its 25th anniversary
See Sergio’s WonderCon bio on its include the recent X-Men Destiny has won him some awards over the in 2010. Greg has been noted for tack-
page 16 for more info! game for Activision. years and lost him some. He likes to ling tough teen-related issues and in
draw and is fortunate enough to get 2004 was awarded the National Car-
KATE BEATON GAIL CARRIGER paid for it . . . most of the time. His toonists Society’s highest honor, the
(cartoonist, Hark! A Vagrant!) (author, Parasol Protectorate series) current work includes drawing Shao- Reuben for Cartoonist of the Year.
Kate Beaton is a Canadian cartoon- New York Times bestselling author lin Cowboy for Dark Horse Comics.
ist who first appeared on the comics Gail Carriger writes to cope with be- BRECHT EVENS
scene in 2007 with her online series ing raised in obscurity by an expatri- BEN EDLUND (cartoonist/musician, The Wrong Place,
Hark! A Vagrant!, which has been col- ate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. (writer/artist/producer/director, Night Animals, The Making Of)
lected into book form by Drawn and She escaped small-town life and in- The Tick, Angel, Supernatural) Brecht Evens is a Belgian cartoonist,
Quarterly. Since then she has become advertently acquired several degrees Ben Edlund grew up semi-feral in an visual artist, and musician. He studied
a fan favorite, with illustrations ap- in higher learning and a fondness artistic household next to a cranberry illustration in Ghent. His first graphic
pearing in places like The New Yorker, for teeny tiny hats and tropical fruit. bog. One symptom of his particularly novel in English, The Wrong Place,
Harper’s, and Marvel’s Strange Tales Her Parasol Protectorate books are severe form of virginity was the cre- received widespread acclaim and was
anthology. Praised for their expres- urban fantasies mixed with comedies ation of The Tick comic book series, published across Europe and North
sion, intelligence, and comic timing, of manners and steampunk. Soulless which he began writing and draw- America. It was awarded the Prix de
her cartoons often display a wonder- won the ALA’s Alex Award. The final ing in his late teens. The Tick begat l’Audace at the Angoulême Interna-
fully light touch on historical and lit- book in the series, Timeless, releases a cartoon, a small merchandising tional Comics Festival and the Haar-
erary topics. The jokes are a knowing in spring 2012, along with the first in empire, and a prime-time live-action lem Comic Festival’s Willy Vander-
look at history through a modern per- her Finishing School series for young TV series. Edlund wrote and pro- steen Award for best Dutch-language
spective and a campaign against any- adults, Etiquette & Espionage, and duced shows such as Firefly, Angel, graphic novel. He lives in Brussels.
one who thinks that history is boring. Yen Press’s manga edition of Soulless. and Supernatural. With these and his His newest book is The Making Of.  
phantom contributions to other genre
TIM BRADSTREET BECKY CLOONAN highlights such as Dr. Horrible’s Sing- GARY GIANNI
(artist, Punisher, Hellblazer) (cartoonist/illustrator, Demo, Along Blog and The Venture Bros., (artist/illustrator, Prince Valiant,
Eisner Award–nominated artist Tim East Coast Rising, Conan) he’s drizzled his middle-brow ab- The Monstermen)
Bradstreet is a self-taught illustrator Becky Cloonan is an award-winning surdism across three decades of high- Gary Gianni began his art career as an
whose career spans role-playing/video cartoonist and illustrator who started end cult obscurity. newspaper illustrator and courtroom
games, comic books, book publishing, self-publishing minicomics in 1999. artist for television, where he covered
and film. Bradstreet is mainly known Since then she has gone on to work STEVE ENGLEHART the trial of murderer John Wayne
for his long tenures as cover artist with Vertigo, Dark Horse, Harper Col- (writer, Avengers, Dr. Strange, Batman) Gacy. He has received the Eisner and
for The Punisher and John Constan- lins, and Marvel, with editions of her It was once said that Steve Englehart Spectrum awards and has illustrated
tine: Hellblazer. He continues to be work published in several countries had “more hits with more characters books by authors ranging from Mel-
a “go-to” cover artist and is currently around the world. Standout works at more companies than any other ville and Stevenson to Robert E. How-
the series regular on Clive Barker’s include American Virgin with writer writer.” Steve is now writing the Max ard and Michael Chabon. His comics
Hellraiser (BOOM!), Jennifer Blood Steve Seagle, Eisner Award–nomi- August series at Tor (Long Man, Plain include The Shadow, Batman, Indiana











Hama photo by Seth Kushner; Hamilton photo by Rebecca Lewis WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 53


Jones, and Tom Strong. For 8 years he genetically designed detective Paula to the launch of Mario Hernandez and N.K. JEMISIN
has drawn the newspaper Sunday strip Myo. After that came the standalone his brothers Gilbert and Jaime’s self- (author, The Inheritance Trilogy)
Prince Valiant. Recently, Dark Horse novel Great North Road, published published fanzine Love and Rockets. N. K. Jemisin is the Hugo, Nebula,
published Gianni’s occult detective by Del Rey, which he describes as his In addition to contributing some sto- and World Fantasy Award–nominat-
adventures, The Monstermen and “monster in the dark” story. Peter is ries to L&R, Mario has produced a ed author of The Hundred Thousand
Other Scary Stories, and Ras Press re- taking a break from adult novels to plethora of freelance work for various Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms,
leased The Nefertiti–Tut Express writ- write the Books of the Realms, a tril- underground and alternative antholo- and The Kingdom Of Gods (The In-
ten by Ray Bradbury and illustrated by ogy aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds. gies—Rip-off Comics, Buzzard, Real heritance Trilogy), out now from
Gianni. Girl, and Measles—culminating in Orbit Books. She’s also a counseling
GILBERT HERNANDEZ a one-shot collection, Brain Capers. psychologist, a biker, and a feminist/
ROB GUILLORY (writer/artist, Love and Rockets) His latest project was Citizen Rex for anti-racist blogger. She lives in Brook-
(artist/co-creator, Chew) Gilbert Hernandez, the co-creator Dark Horse with brother Gilbert. It lyn, New York and is currently hard at
Rob Guillory is a multiple Eisner and of Love and Rockets with his two was included in The Best Comics of work on two more books that will be
Harvey Award–winning comic book brothers, was born in Oxnard, CA, 2010 anthology. forthcoming from Orbit in 2012. For
artist. Born, raised, and currently seemingly with a comic book in his more info, visit
based in Lafayette, Louisiana, Guil- hand. His mother allowed him and JENNIFER & MATTHEW HOLM
lory is most known for his art on the his siblings to read comics because (writers/artists, Babymouse, Squish) LYNN JOHNSTON
New York Times bestselling series she loved comics as a child herself. Jennifer and Matthew Holm are the (cartoonist, For Better or For Worse)
Chew, published by Image Com- He learned to draw his own minimal- sibling team behind the Babymouse Canadian cartoonist Lynn Johnston
ics. The book has won two Harvey ist comics at age 5, which eventually graphic novels for young readers, is best known for her comic strip For
Awards (including Best New Talent), evolved into the comics he does now. which have sold more than 1.4 million Better or For Worse. Her cartooning
was nominated for two Eagle Awards, He’s produced comics for almost ev- copies and won numerous awards, career started with a series of humor-
and won Eisner Awards for Best New ery major comics company but prefers including the 2006 Gryphon award, ous books on parenting. In 1978, she
Series in 2010 and Best Continuing to do more personal work, as he be- 2006 New York Book Show awards, sent off 20 examples of a daily comic
Series in 2011. lieves that comics are a great place for and seven IRA/CBC Children’s strip, The Johnstons—based on her

self-expression. His career spans 30 Choice awards. Babymouse: Queen of own family—to Universal Press
years, and he plans to go as far as he the World was the first graphic novel Syndicate. She received and signed
LARRY HAMA ever to be named an ALA/ALSC a 20-year contract, and For Better or
can with our beloved medium.
(writer/cartoonist, G.I. Joe, Wolverine)

Notable Children’s Book. The latest For Worse began. The strip ended in
Larry Hama is a writer/cartoonist/illus- volume in the series is #15, A Very 2010 but still appears (in reprint form)
trator/actor/musician who has worked JAIME HERNANDEZ Babymouse Christmas. The Holms are in over 2,000 papers in Canada, the
in comics, television, and film. He is (writer/artist, Love and Rockets) also the creators of the IndieBound- United States, and 20 other countries,
best known as the writer of Marvel’s As a young aimless Latino punk bestselling graphic novel series translated into eight languages. It’s
G.I. Joe comics in the ’80s and Wolver- rocker, Jaime Hernandez, along with Squish. The latest book is Squish #3: been collected into close to 40 books.
ine in the ’90s. More recently, he has his brothers Gilbert and Mario, self- The Power of the Parasite.
scripted G.I. Joe Origins and G.I. Joe: published the first issue of Love and
A Real American Hero for IDW as well Rockets in 1981. It was picked up by KLAUS JANSON (artist/illustrator, Marvel Master-
as various animation and video game Fantagraphics Books in 1982 and ran (artist/inker, Daredevil, pieces, Warlord of Mars)
projects. His illustrations have appeared 50 issues before the brothers took a The Dark Knight Returns) Joe Jusko’s career has spanned 35
in National Lampoon, Esquire, New break to pursue solo projects. Jaime’s After apprenticing with Dick Gior- years, starting with the sale of his very
York, and Rolling Stone. As an actor, he titles included Whoa, Nellie!, Maggie dano, Klaus Janson entered comics in first cover to Heavy Metal in 1977
has appeared on Broadway in Stephen and Hopey Color Fun, and Penny Cen- the early ’70s, inking an issue of Mar- at the age of 17. Joe has worked for
Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures and on tury. Love and Rockets was revived in vel’s Black Panther. He has inked just almost every major comic book pub-
TV in M*A*S*H*, SNL, and Another 2000 and still continues today. Outside about every penciler working within lisher, producing covers and interiors
World. of L&R, Jaime has also done other the last 40 years. In the 1980s, he for iconic characters such as Conan
comic work, magazine illustration, and inked Frank Miller on Daredevil and the Barbarian, Vampirella, and Tarzan
album covers. He lives in Altadena, CA
PETER F. HAMILTON The Dark Knight Returns. His pencil- of the Apes. His work has appeared
with his wife and daughter. ing work includes Gambit, Gothic,
(author, Night’s Dawn trilogy, on paperback book covers, calendars,
Spawn/Batman, and Death and the
Great North Road) posters, T-shirts, packaging, and most
Peter F. Hamilton is a Sunday Times MARIO HERNANDEZ Maidens. Currently, he is inking memorably the multi-award-winning
bestselling science fiction author of (writer/artist, Love and Rockets) Amazing Spider-Man over Giuseppe 1992 Marvel Masterpieces Trad-
15 books, including the acclaimed Comics histories, newspaper strips, Camoncoli and penciling Daredevil: ing Cards. His current work includes
Night’s Dawn trilogy. Born in Rut- cartoon collections, paperbacks, trad- The End of Days, written by Brian monthly covers for Warlord of Mars
land, England, he still lives there ing cards, monster magazines and Michael Bendis and David Mack and from Dynamite Entertainment and
with his wife and two young children. movies, rock and roll, cheesy TV inked by Bill Sienkiewicz. He is most Outcast from BOOM!, as well as
His last series of five books set in his shows and cartoons, and a whole proud of the students he has taught at many other projects. 
Commonwealth universe featured the bunch of funny books—all contributed the School of Visual Arts.



KARL KERSCHL ventures of Superboy as well. In 2010 Nebres began work with DC Com- JAMES ROBINSON
(writer/artist, The Abominable Essex County was named one of the ics when fellow comic artist Tony (writer, Starman, Justice Society
Charles Christopher) five “Essential Canadian Novels” of DeZuniga introduced him to pub- of America, The Shade)
Karl Kerschl has been drawing comics the decade in the prestigious Canada lisher Carmine Infantino and editor James Robinson is a British-born
professionally for over 15 years. He Reads program, becoming the first Joe Orlando. He was given assign- comic book scribe and sometimes
has worked on Superman, The Flash, graphic novel to ever be included in ments drawing short stories for the screenwriter with a career spanning
and Teen Titans, among other heroic the national competition. Lemire’s DC mystery titles, including House of more than two decades. He is current-
things, and recently self-published a next original graphic novel, The Un- Secrets, Ghosts, and The Unexpected. ly writing The Shade and Justice So-
collection of his weekly webcomic, derwater Welder, from Top Shelf Pro- Rudy moved to the U.S. in 1975 and ciety of America for DC Comics. His
The Abominable Charles Christopher. ductions, will debut at Comic-Con was hired by Marvel Comics to work prior works include Starman, Leave It
He currently resides in Montréal, Can- 2012. on titles such as Avengers, King Kull, to Chance, The Golden Age, Super-
ada, where he continues to write and Conan, Red Sonja, Hulk, John Carter man, and JLA.
draw his own stories. The Abominable of Mars, and Deadly Hands of Kung
Charles Christopher has been  nomi- (writer, Legion of Super-Heroes)
Fu. Nebres has also produced work JOHN ROMITA JR.
nated for several awards and has won for Warren, CrossGen, and Harris and (artist, Amazing Spider-Man,
Paul Levitz has been a comics fan
the Shuster Award for Best Canadian worked with Neal Adams at Continu- Kick-Ass, Avengers)
(The Comic Reader, winner of two
Webcomic in 2010 and the Eisner ity Studios. John Romita Jr. remembers watching
Best Fanzine Comic Art Fan Awards),
Award for Best Digital Comic in 2011. editor (Batman), writer (Legion of his father draw Daredevil at home. It
The strip updates weekly at www. Super-Heroes), and executive (38 KATSUHIRO OTOMO obviously had a great effect on him, years at DC, ending as president and (creator, Akira, Domu, Steam Boy) as JR JR went on to become one of
publisher). He has received the Ink- Japanese cartoonist and animator Kat- the leading comics artists of his gen-
JOHN LAYMAN pot, Clampett Humanitarian, and suhiro Otomo, who made his profes- eration. His first work was for Marvel
(writer/letterer/co-creator, Chew) ComicsPro Industry Appreciation sional debut in 1973, is best known in UK, followed by a story in Amazing
John Layman is the co-creator, writ- awards, and he serves on the board of the U.S. for his manga series Akira, Spider-Man Annual #11. He illustrat-
er, and letterer of Chew, the New York the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. which he made into an animated film ed just about every Marvel character,
Times bestselling, Harvey Award, and His Eisner Award–winning book, in 1988. His other manga include the including Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Dare-
multi-Eisner Award–winning cannibal 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of award-winning Domu, along with such devil, Punisher, the Avengers, and X-
cop comedy series from Image Comics. Modern Mythmaking, was published other series as Sayonara Nippon, Visi- Men. His own creations include Kick-
Layman was an editor for WildStorm by TASCHEN, and his recent com- tors, and SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers. Ass (co-created with Mark Millar) and
Productions and has written or lettered ics writing includes Legion of Super- He has directed two other animated The Gray Area.
for nearly every major publisher in Heroes and The Huntress. films, Steam Boy and Memories, along
comics for the last decade and a half. with the live-action Jiyu Wo Warerani BRANDON SANDERSON
Other comics he’s written include ANDY MANGELS and Mushishi. Mr. Otomo has pub- (author, The Alloy of Law, Wheel
Puffed,  Gambit, Godzilla, Army of (author, Star Trek, Star Wars novels) lished several books in relation to his of Time and Mistborn series)
Darkness vs. Marvel Zombies, Scar- Andy Mangels is a USA Today best- films and is currently preparing a new Brandon Sanderson has published six
face, Thundercats, and Stephen Col- selling author and co-author of over illustration book, Kaba 2. solo novels with Tor Books—Elantris,
bert’s Tek Jansen. Chew is currently 20 books, including Star Trek and the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, and
in development to be a TV series on NATE POWELL
Star Wars tomes; his newest is Lou The Way of Kings—as well as four
Showtime. (writer/artist, Swallow Me Whole,
Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Gen- books in the middle-grade Alcatraz
Any Empire)
eration. Since 1985, his tales have been Versus the Evil Librarians series from
Nate Powell was born in Little Rock,
JIM LEE published by DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Arkansas in 1978 and began self-pub-
Scholastic. He was chosen to com-
(artist, Justlce League, Batman: Hush; Image, Microsoft, and others. He regu- plete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time
lishing at age 14. His work includes
DC Comics co-publisher) larly contributes to international enter- series: 2009’s The Gathering Storm
The Year of the Beasts (2012, Roaring
See Jim’s WonderCon bio on page 16 tainment magazines and has scripted, and 2010’s Towers of Midnight will be
Brook), The Silence of Our Friends
for more info! directed, and produced over 40 DVD followed by the final book, A Memory
(2012, First Second), Any Empire
documentaries and special features proj- of Light, in 2012. His newest Mistborn
(2011, Top Shelf), Swallow Me Whole
JEFF LEMIRE ects. A national award-winning social novel, The Alloy of Law, was released
(2008, Top Shelf; Eisner Award win-
(writer, Animal Man, Frankenstein; activist, he has raised over $135,000 in November. Currently living in Utah
ner for Best Graphic Novel, LA Times
writer/artist, Sweet Tooth) for domestic violence programs at the with his wife and children, Brandon
Book Prize Finalist, and Ignatz Award
Jeff Lemire is the award-winning yearly “Women of Wonder Day” event. teaches creative writing at Brigham
winner), Please Release (2006, Top
Canadian cartoonist of the acclaimed He has moderated the Gays in Comics Young University.
Shelf), and Sounds of Your Name
graphic novel Essex County (Top panel at Comic-Con for 25 years! (See (2006, Microcosm). From 1999 to
Shelf) and the comic book series page 60 for more info) 2009, Nate worked full-time support- BEN SAUNDERS
Sweet Tooth from DC/Vertigo. He ing adults with developmental dis- (comics scholar, professor of English at
is also the current writer of Animal RUDY NEBRES abilities, and he has performed in DIY the University of Oregon)
Man and Frankenstein for DC Com- (artist, Conan, John Carter of Mars) punk bands Universe and Soophie Ben Saunders believes that comics
ics and has written the monthly ad- Philippine-born comics artist Rudy Nun Squad. make people smarter. Besides serv-












Savage photo by Tamea Burd; Silke photo by Greg Preston WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 57


ing as curator for the Jordan Schnitzer ways has. His lifelong interest in ad- After a career as the executive art di- is currently drawing G.I. Joe covers for
Museum of Art’s comprehensive ex- venture fiction and science led him to rector at Capitol Records and as the IDW publishing, as well as extensive
hibition of original comic art from create the award-winning comics series creator, editor, and designer of the commission work.
the superhero genre (“Faster Than a Xenozoic Tales and co-create the un- magazines Cinema and Movies Inter-
dersea adventure SubHuman, as well national, as well as being a glamour
Speeding Bullet,” 2009), Ben is au- MORRIE TURNER
thor of Do The Gods Wear Capes?: as to write such nonfiction projects as photographer, historian (Here’s Look- (cartoonist, Wee Pals)
Spirituality, Fantasy, and Superheroes The Stuff of Life, a Graphic Guide to ing At You, Kid), novelist (the Death Cartoonist Morrie Turner, a native of
(Continuum Press, 2011) and a founder Genetics and DNA. He has illustrated Dealer series), and screenwriter (Sa- Oakland, CA, turned to cartooning full-
of the undergraduate minor in Comics a collection of Robert E. Howard’s hara, King Solomon’s Mines, Revenge time in 1964. In 1965 he created the
and Cartoon Studies at the University Conan of Cimmeria and the autobiog- of the Ninja), Jim Silke turned, in 1991 Wee Pals comic strip. It was Turner’s
of Oregon, where he teaches a variety raphy of Charles R. Knight. Currently, at age 60, to his first love—comics. He intention to portray a world without
of classes drawing on the Anglo-Amer- he is completing the visuals for his has since completed the graphic novels prejudice, a world in which differenc-
ican canon of newspaper strips, comic Storms at Sea novella while continuing Rascals in Paradise and Bettie Page, es—race, religion, gender, and physi-
books, and graphic novels. to script Prince Valiant, which appears Queen of the Nile, plus a number of cal and mental ability—are cherished,
in the funny pages of better newspapers illustrated art books, including Bettie not scorned. One life-changing honor
everywhere. Page: Queen of Hearts, Pin-Up: The
DOUG SAVAGE was during the Vietnam War when he
(cartoonist, Savage Chickens) Illegitimate Art, and Jungle Girls. was one of six cartoonists asked by the
When Doug Savage was a kid, he al- SCOTT SHAW! National Cartoonist Society to go to
ways wanted to be a cartoonist. But (cartoonist/writer, Captain Carrot, J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI Vietnam, where he spent 27 days on
when he grew up, he found himself Oddball Comics) (writer, Superman: Earth One) the front lines and in hospitals drawing
working in a corporation, starving for Scott Shaw! is an experienced profes- See JMS’s WonderCon bio on page 18 more than 3,000 caricatures of service
creativity and plagued by migraines. sional cartoonist/writer in the fields of for more info! people. Morrie also has the distinction
Luckily, this predicament drove him comic books, animation, advertising, of having been at the very first San Di-
to pick up a pad of yellow sticky notes and toy design. His first published com- ANGELO TORRES ego Comic-Con in 1970.
and start drawing chicken cartoons. ics story appeared in the underground (artist, MAD, Creepy, Eerie)
Published online every weekday since comic book Gory Stories Quarterly. He Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico in 1932, MICHAEL USLAN
2005, Savage Chickens is read by mil- co-created—with Roy Thomas—the Angelo Torres began drawing at a (writer/historian/producer, The Dark
lions and has been published in books funny animal superhero series Captain young age. In 1946 he moved to New Knight, The Boy Who Loved Batman)
and magazines worldwide. His book, Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! York City, where he studied art in high Michael Uslan grew up loving Bat-
Savage Chickens: A Survival Kit for (DC). Scott was one of a handful of school and in 1951 went into the Army man. As a young adult, he was one of
Life in the Coop, was published in local comic fans who helped organize and served in Korea. He attended the the first people in the country to teach
2011 by Perigee Books (an imprint of the first San Diego Comic-Con. He Cartoonists and Illustrators School a college-accredited course on comic
Penguin USA). Learn more at www. regularly performs his popular Oddball (SVA) from 1953 to 1955, when he left book folklore. Along with business Comics slide show at Comic-Con, and to work in the comic business, includ- partner Benjamin Melniker, Uslan has
he wows the audience along with Ser- ing collaborations with his friends Al produced all the Batman films to date,
JOHN SCALZI gio Aragonés and Mark Evanier at the Williamson and Frank Frazetta. The starting with the first Tim Burton film
(author, Old Man’s War, Fuzzy Nation) annual Quick Draw! event. years ahead were busy with a wide in 1989. He has also written for com-
John Scalzi is the author of several variety of projects, including Jim War- ics, including the Archie Gets Married
science fiction novels, including the JASON SHIGA ren’s Creepy and Eerie. In 1969, Torres storyline, was instrumental in bring-
bestselling Old Man’s War sequence, (writer/artist, Bookhunter, Empire State) joined the gang at MAD magazine. ing the 1960s comics fan favorite title
comprising Old Man’s War, The Ghost Jason Shiga graduated from the Uni-
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents back to print,
Brigades, and the New York Times best- versity of California at Berkeley with and recently published his autobiogra-
selling The Last Colony. He is a winner a degree in pure mathematics. He is the phy, The Boy Who Loved Batman, with
(artist, Incredible Hulk, GI Joe)
of science fiction’s John W. Campbell author of over 20 comic books, includ- Chronicle Books.
Herb Trimpe is best known for his
Award for Best New Writer, and he ing Fleep, Bookhunter, Meanwhile,
8-year run on the Incredible Hulk for
won the Hugo Award for Your Hate and Empire State. He is the inventor
Marvel, featuring the introduction of TREVOR VON EEDEN
Mail Will Be Graded, a collection of of three board games, two card tricks,
Wolverine in Hulk 180 and 181. Trimpe (artist, Black Lightning, Green Arrow,
essays from his popular blog “Whatev- and the world’s second largest interac-
is also known for his contributions to Thriller)
er.” His latest novel, Fuzzy Nation, hit tive comic, spanning 25 square feet.
several licensed characters, including Trevor Von Eeden, born in Guyana,
the New York Times bestseller list in its His puzzles and mazes have appeared
Transformers, Godzilla, and G.I. Joe, South America in 1959, came to the
first week on sale. His next book will in McSweeny’s and Nickelodeon maga-
all of which were featured in major U.S. in 1970. Along with co-creating
be published in June 2012. zine. He lives in Oakland, CA.
motion pictures. Other titles drawn by Black Lightning for DC, Von Eeden
Trimpe include The Defenders, War Is has drawn Batman Annual #8, a Green
MARK SCHULTZ JIM SILKE Hell, Guardians of the Galaxy, Indi- Arrow miniseries, Thriller, Catwom-
(writer/artist, Xenozoic Tales, (artist/illustrator/designer, Rascals in ana Jones, and Fantastic Four Unlim- an, Worlds’ Finest, Legends of the DC
Prince Valiant) Paradise, Bettie Page, Queen of the ited, a quarterly publication that became Universe, and Black Canary, among
Mark Schultz loves a good story, al- Nile) Trimpe’s final effort at Marvel. Trimpe many others. He has also produced his


first self-written and drawn graphic
novel, The Original Johnson, the
Image Comics’ 20th Anniversary
story of Jack Johnson, “the first black Image Comics celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2012 and these founding artists will be present at
heavyweight champion of the whole Comic-Con to help mark the occasion! (Image co-founder Jim Lee’s bio is on page 16.)
white world” (as the blurb goes), pub-
ERIK LARSEN (writer/artist/creator, Savage Dragon)
lished by IDW.
Erik Larsen was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He didn’t live there long.
He currently lives in San Francisco, California. He’s written and drawn a
MARK WAID mess of comics over the years, among them Spider-Man, Thor, Defenders,
(writer/editor, Kingdom Come, Punisher, Nova, Aquaman, Doom Patrol, and Wolverine. In 1992 he and
Irredeemable, Daredevil) a group of upstarts left Marvel in the lurch and formed the greatest comic
See Mark’s WonderCon bio on page book company in the history of the universe—Image Comics, where he’s
18 for more info! written and drawn the adventures of Savage Dragon for the last 20 years.
It kicks serious ass.
(artist, Tarzan, Zorro, Swamp Thing) ROB LIEFELD (writer/artist/creator, Youngblood)
Tom Yeates attended the Joe Kubert Rob Liefeld’s comics career began in the late 1980s at DC and was jump-
School after three years of college. He started by his work at Marvel on New Mutants and X-Force in the early
has been working as an illustrator for 1990s; while at Marvel he co-created the characters Cable with writer
30 years, working for Dark Horse, DC, Louise Simonson and Deadpool with Fabian Nicieza. In 1992 he and six
and Marvel, illustrating Swamp Thing, other popular young comics artists left Marvel and co-founded Image
Timespirits, Tarzan, and Zorro.  His Comics. His work at Image has included Youngblood and the recent series
book illustration work includes  Ed- The Infinite, written by Robert Kirkman. He is currently drawing Hawk and
gar Rice Burroughs’  John Carter of Dove for DC Comics, a title he also worked on very early in his career.
Mars  for Barnes & Noble, and a se-
ries of books on myths by Anthony WHILCE PORTACIO (artist, Uncanny X-Men, Wetworks)
Horowitz. 2011 saw the release of Whilce Portacio started in comics as an inker before launching his career
The Outlaw Prince from Dark Horse, as a penciler. Marvel editor Carl Potts offered him an inking job on Alien
a graphic novel based on ERB’s The Legion after seeing his portfolio at Comic-Con in 1984. Whilce was soon
Outlaw of Torn. He is currently work- recognized for his work on Marvel’s Punisher, X-Factor, and Uncanny
ing on a western graphic novel based X-Men (for which he created Bishop), DC’s Batman Confidential and
on a Louis L’Amour story, a new Tar- Stormwatch, and his original creation Wetworks. He is one of the founding
zan comic, and Groo vs. Conan. fathers of Image. Currently working on Hulk, Whilce will launch Non-
Humans—his collaboration with film writer/creator Glen Brunswick from
Image— at Comic-Con. Whilce will also resume his art school. More info:
MARC SILVESTRI (writer/artist, Witchblade, The Darkness, Incredible Hulk)
SPECIAL GUESTS AT Marc Silvestri founded Top Cow in 1992 after leaving a lucrative career
at Marvel. His mandate for Top Cow was specific: create the next genera-
COMIC-CON tion of heroes and do it better than everyone else. Marc built Top Cow into
INTERNATIONAL: an artist boutique that created iconic characters and properties such as
Witchblade, Wanted, and The Darkness. Marc helped position Top Cow
SAN DIEGO 2012, as a vital production company in film and television as well as acting as
producer on the Witchblade TV and anime series, the Wanted and A-Team
PLEASE CLICK HERE. feature films, and both of The Darkness video games. Marc continues to be
active as a comic artist as well, most recently in Artifacts, Image United,
and The Incredible Hulk.

JIM VALENTINO (writer/artist, normalman, ShadowHawk)

Jim Valentino is the creator of such diverse series as normalman, A Touch
of Silver, Vignettes, and ShadowHawk, as well as being the creative force
behind the Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel. A co-founder of Image
Comics, he served as the company’s publisher from 1999 to 2004, chang-
ing the face of the company to one of the most stylistically diverse in the
industry. Currently he heads his own division of Image, Shadowline, which
publishes Morning Glories, Green Wake, Ted McKeever, and more. He
serves on the board of directors of the Hero Initiative and is an alumnus of
the San Diego Comic-Con committee.

Larsen photo by Luigi Novi; Liefeld photo by Albert L. Ortega WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 59


Gays in Comics
25th Year
Twenty-five years ago, Comic-Con International
unveiled a panel that would go on to have lasting
appeal to the convention. The first Gays in Comics
panel occurred at Comic-Con in 1988. Over that
past quarter century (!), one constant has been
present at all the annual panels: moderator Andy
Mangels, who started it that very first year and has
been at it ever since.

What’s the “secret origin” of the Gays in Comics (L to r) The panelists from the 2011 Gays In Comics panel: Jon Macy, Andy Mangels, Robert Kirkman, Paul Cornell, Greg
panel at Comic-Con? Pak, Chip Kidd,and Dan Parent.
Andy Mangels: Back in 1988, while writing for
Amazing Heroes magazine, I produced a 36-page
in-depth article that ran in two issues, titled “Out of bisexual, and transgendered fans and professionals that there were “No gays in the Marvel Universe.”
the Closet and into the Comics—Gays in Comics: mattered in the industry. Now, not only does Marvel have gay characters, but
The Creations and the Creators.” At that point in time, Archie and DC have gay characters headlining their
nobody had ever written about the subject in an article, You’ve done 24 panels over the years . . . which own books!
and nobody in the mainstream comic book industry one was the most memorable for you, and why? The dialogue begun at the Gays in Comics panels
was out of the closet (though there were a handful who Each year, I have a lot of people who say, “This has helped fans as well. From early fan gatherings
were “out” in the underground/nascent independent year’s was the best one yet!” and it’s hard to dis- after the panel sprang gay comic clubs, and then In-
comic world, most notably Howard Cruse and Roberta agree. After over two decades, things have changed, ternet forums and online clubs. A zine I put together
Gregory). I interviewed a lot of gay, lesbian, and and the dialogues on-panel are much different than in 1999 for dispersal after the panel which listed all
bisexual creators who were quoted anonymously, as they used to be. Whereas the larger publishers the “out” creators at the time eventually led to the
well as a lot of heterosexual creators, about the way used to shun the panel, many of them now suggest formation of PRISM Comics, the nonprofit group
the industry treated gay characters, gay creators, and participants. It’s always a difficult balance finding that supports GLBT creators and fans and which
gay fans. a diverse lineup, trying to include men and women, proudly exhibits each year at Comic-Con. There
The articles were released in mid-June and early gays and straights, people of different ethnicities have been gay comic fan receptions and parties
July, a month prior to San Diego Comic-Con 1988. and ages and fame-levels. after the panel since 1999, and additional panels
Even in those pre-Internet days, the reaction was im- I think Year 20 was a pretty memorable year at Comic-Con since 2002. And attendance at all of
mense. There were a lot of letters written and phone because Paul Levitz—then the head of DC Com- the panels has remained stellar; we’ve inhabited a
calls made. It became one of the biggest news stories ics—appeared on it. That sent a message to the 1,000-seat room since 2006! With the aid of Comic-
of the summer! Although I had not chaired a panel industry—at least to those who were listening, since Con, the GLBT comic fans have been able to find
before, I approached Comic-Con about doing a Gays the comic press mostly doesn’t send reporters to a sense of community within the larger comic fan
in Comics panel. They were unsure what the response this panel—that a major force in the industry felt it community.
would be, but scheduled a panel in the 3,000-seat important to dialogue with the GLBT audience.
Civic Theatre. I put a panel together of some straight Besides the 25th anniversary Gays in Comics
creators, as well as some “out” underground/indepen- Do you feel that the panels have fulfilled the panel for Comic-Con 2012, what are you working
dent creators. original intent and mission you had in mind when on now?
I believe there were about 700 to 800 people in the they started? I will have one new book (my 20th!) out this year,
audience that year, and everyone was shocked at how The dialogue fostered by the panels has helped titled Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Gen-
high attendance was. I was only 20 years old then, change the industry itself: there are more good eration, from TwoMorrows. I’m continuing to write
and coming out to the industry as the first openly gay GLBT characters than ever; some companies have for magazines such as Back Issue and Star Trek
mainstream professional, while leading a combative GLBT employee groups; and the word “diversity” magazine, as well as online sites, have been acting
panel in front of an audience like that, was a trial by isn’t looked at by most as an obligation but as a cre- in minor roles on Grimm and Leverage, and produce
fire. But it was clear to everyone that year, and in the ative opportunity. When I began the panel in 1988, the yearly charity event “Women of Wonder Day”
years that followed at Comic-Con, that gay, lesbian, Marvel reportedly had an intercompany mandate every October.

60 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photo by Ted Abenheim, PRISM Comics

Winner of the Best DC Comics Costumes Award: “Brak-est Night,” worn, designed, and made by Daniel Proctor,
David Proctor, Nikki Costa, Masoud Karkehabadi, and Carla Stockel at the Comic-Con 2011 Masquerade.


Anyone who’s ever attended Comic-Con can attest to awards in various categories. The large, elevated
the wide variety of great costumes that can be seen, stage has theater-style lighting and four giant high- The Comic-Con Masquerade medallions.
whether on attendees in the corridors and Exhibit definition video screens providing great close-up
Hall, on display in glass cases, in miniature form views gathered by multiple cameras. The audience Design, Best Workmanship, Best Presentation, Most
on collectible figures, and in countless images on fills Ballroom 20 to capacity, and over 2,000 more Beautiful, and Best Young Fan. In addition, numer-
posters and books. Costuming is a vital ingredient of people watch the show on large video screens in the ous companies and organizations will be generously
nearly all the popular arts and has been an integral nearby Sails Pavilion and other ballrooms. donating their own awards to outstanding costumes.
part of fan conventions for many decades. Comic- Some entries are solo costumes, while others are For a complete list of awards, please visit www.
Con’s Saturday night big event is a unique evening groups with a shared theme. Many are re-creations
of fun and amazing costume creations: the stage from movies, TV, anime, computer games, history, Because the number of entries is limited, you
lights brighten, the music swells, the spotlights focus and of course comic books, but some completely should apply for a contestant slot as soon as possible.
center-stage, and the audience of 4,000 who have original designs are presented as well. All costume All slots are usually filled far in advance of the con-
lined up for many hours in advance takes their seats genres are welcome, but no purchased or profes- vention, so don’t wait. To receive complete informa-
for the annual Masquerade costume show. sionally sourced ones allowed. It’s a celebration of tion, detailed rules, and an advance entry form, visit
Why is it called a Masquerade and not simply a imagination and craftsmanship, and fun is the main the above-listed website address and download the
costume contest? Because it’s more than just posing objective! form, or request having it sent to you via regular mail
on stage: it’s about portraying characters too, a show The master and mistress of ceremonies will again by writing to the Masquerade Coordinator in care of
full of spectacle, beauty, awe, comedy, light-saber be the very entertaining five-time Hugo Award–win- CCI’s mailing address, or e-mail cci-info@comic-
battles, and song and dance, an event where you ning artists and writers Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio, Please type “Masquerade” in the subject
never know what’s going to happen next. The Mas- who for many years have created, published, and line of your e-mail. Photographers who wish a spot
querade proves that among Comic-Con’s attendees contributed to a variety of comics, art, and games in at the Masquerade Photo Op stage, where the con-
are plenty of amazing talents with creativity worth the science fiction and fantasy genres through their testants pose after their stage presentations, should
showcasing. More than a few times, contestants go company Studio Foglio. also write the coordinator ahead of time to request a
on to professional costuming careers. Impressive Comic-Con awards, featuring beauti- reserved spot, as they fill up early as well.
The Comic-Con Masquerade is an event in ful Olympics-style Comic-Con Masquerade medal- For the rest of the year you are yourself. For
the style of a talent competition, with a master of lions will be presented in categories of Best in Show, Comic-Con, come dressed as someone else! Now get
ceremonies, a panel of guest judges, and impressive Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original to work on that costume!

NEW Any costumed entry winning one of Comic-Con’s own award categories will receive a FREE 4-day membership to Comic-Con 2013!
FOR If you have a winning costume, you’ll get your badge for 2013—Comic-Con’s extra thank you for all your hard work and talent!

62 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photo by Kevin Green


The show has started, the costume groups are tak-

Backstage at the
ing their turns presenting on the stage, the master
of ceremonies is announcing each entry, dramatic
music flows from the overhead speakers, and every
few minutes applause fills the air. If you’ve been

Comic-Con Masquerade:
to Comic-Con’s Masquerade, you know what the
show is like from the audience’s perspective. Care
to step behind the curtains for a quick tour while the
show is running?

What the Audience Here, behind the tall black drapery of the
4,000+-seat ballroom, lighting is kept minimal so to
not bleed onto the stage when it goes dark between

Doesn’t See!
each act. Only a few scattered work lights provide
illumination. Contestants, show staff, and Conven-
tion Center A/V technicians speak in hushed tones,
avoiding being overheard by the microphones on
the stage lectern. Behind the color-changing stage

by Martin Jaquish
backdrop, a dozen costume entrants stand lined up
along the back wall, waiting their turn as they hear
the music and applause of the presentation finishing
Masquerade Coordinator, up on stage. They anxiously check their props and
costumes, hoping and praying their months of plan-
Comic-Con International ning and crafting will lead to a smooth presentation

and WonderCon with no problems. Most are nervous to step out

before thousands of people who will be watching
their every move in the glare of spotlights, with the
high-definition video cameras sure to pick up any
stumble or costume malfunction, but the backstage
staff assures them all will go fine. “You’re up next;
do you need help up the stairs? Looks like the rest
of your group is ready on the other side. There’s
your cue from the MC! Go, and have fun!”
Now let’s move from the ballroom into the lit
service corridor beyond. Here, among stored kitch-
en racks and rows of stacked chairs, the next batch
of contestants are lining up, some accompanied
by large carts carrying giant robot parts, dragon
wings, or homemade set pieces. A princess gives
her hair a final brushing, a mom helps her son put
on his mask, a group make a last-minute change to
their combat choreography, and contestant helpers
(Masquerade staff members) move swiftly among
them. “Does anyone need water?” Every few years
stress or dehydration gets to someone, but help is
never far away.
Further down, past security guards, is the
freight elevator used to bring up the oversized
costumes and props that can’t be carried through
the Convention Center. Wonder how some of the
contestants got their large items here? Some rent
moving vans and others actually build their stuff on
site. Peeking out the wide doors toward the photo
Best Workmanship winner: stage area where the costumers are escorted after
“Hyunkel the Knight,” worn, being on stage, we can count about 80 photogra-
designed, and made by phers taking pictures and video, looking a little like
Edgar Mayoral the photo areas at award shows as dozens of flashes
go off repeatedly, each costumer encouraged into
several poses.

64 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photo by Johnakin Randolph

[ Step behind the curtains for a quick tour while the Comic-Con Masquerade is running! [

The Comic-Con 2011 Masquerade Best in Show winner: “Saligia: The Court of Sin,” worn, designed, and made by Katrina Andrews, Dustin Javier, Marty Le Grow, Krys Lewis, Moira
Malstrom, Carrie Martin, Jennifer Newman, and David Patricola

Next, we pass the closed room where the judges dress. A few steps away Abraham Lincoln texts on artists from Hollywood are set up, donating their
and company representatives are briefed before- his cell phone, while in the corner Batman chats time and materials to help contestants look like
hand and where they deliberate at intermission, with Beatles look-alikes from Yellow Submarine. pros. Near them are the costume repair supplies
aided by reference photos of each of the costumes. Nearby, Iron Man shares construction tips with an Comic-Con provides, where last-minute breakages,
Only the workmanship judge sees the costumes alien creature that walks on stilts. torn seams, and failed glue can usually be fixed in
ahead of time, in order to evaluate the finer details; While some costumers relax in chairs to await the nick of time.
the rest of the judges see the costumes for the first the end of the show, a few have no choice but to Now we step aside as a helper runs past, a wor-
time when the audience does. Inside this room, too, stay standing if their costumes won’t let them sit. ried look on his or her face as some detail is seen
Comic-Con’s Onsite Newsletter reporter anxiously The show isn’t over until the awards are given, and to; no one wants to be the one to let something go
awaits award results so they can be included in the some of the contestants have been preparing all day. wrong! For the rest of the year these helpers are
Sunday newsletter before it goes off to the printer Meanwhile, the backstage helpers keep scurrying schoolteachers, programmers, clerks, and engineers,
at midnight. in and out, clipboards and walkie-talkies in hand. but for this one night they are theater staff, donating
Now another batch of costumers walk past, “Is all of your group here? Are they back from the their time and sore feet to help the contestants to
returning from the photo stage to the contestant bathroom? Someone left a prop behind! Ah, there it look—and feel—like stars for a night. “You did a
ready room, which, borrowing a term from theatre is, quick, get it to the stage!” great job, and the crowd loved you—didn’t we tell
and TV, is called the Green Room. Keeping track Next door, another ordinary meeting room has you they would?”
of 100+ contestants as they move between rooms been transformed even more dramatically. Thanks Backstage after the show, the rooms are a mess
can be a challenge, so they are gathered here where to a lot of pipe, metal stands, and thick drapery, of discarded paper, used makeup brushes, costume
they can watch the show on their own projection temporary private dressing rooms now surround parts, unwanted wigs, empty soft drink cans, and,
screen. The practice stage is here as well, built with the perimeter. Mirrors stand propped against walls, oddly, always a pair of shoes. But clean-up follows,
the same dimensions as the ballroom stage so that and the middle of the room sports what resembles then crews arrive in the wee hours to tear down the
contestants can rehearse a bit. The room is crowded a workroom of a costume shop: chrome clothing dressing rooms, stage, and screen, returning the
and noisy, as socializing goes on in unique—some- racks and long tables covered with wigs, masks, rooms to event space for the next day. All traces of
times bizarre—combinations of characters. Over bits of fabric, props, curling irons, spray adhesive, the show are erased, other than the magic smiles
here an Avatar-like woman covered in blue body rolls of duct tape, and sometimes a sewing machine that many of the contestants, and most of the audi-
paint tries not to rub against an elegant Victorian or two. Off in one corner, two professional makeup ence, carry though to the next day.

Photo by Kevin Green WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 65


Comic-Con International would not be possible
without the army of volunteers who help run the
event onsite. Many of those volunteers have come
back year after year, forming the extended “family”
of Comic-Con. Within that group of volunteers
are actual families—moms and dads and sons and
daughters—who have been active with the organi-
zation for years. One such family is composed of
Comic-Con’s Anime co-coordinator Josh Ritter, his
wife Mikee Ritter (who is Comic-Con’s Hospitality
Suite coordinator), and Mikee’s daughter, Robyn
Reynante, who helps her mom and has held various
other jobs at the event, basically growing up at
Comic-Con. Comic-Con Annual asked this family of
volunteers how they first came to the show and what
Left to right: Robyn Reynante, and Mikee and Josh Ritter
keeps them coming back.
What do you do in “real life”? Hall. It’s just a bit bigger than when I started com-
What first brought you to Comic-Con?   ing to the show.
  Josh: I am a community services officer for the San
Josh: I started collecting comics in 1974 and heard Diego Sheriff’s Department, conducting weapons Mikee: If there were a Harry Potter cast panel or a
about Comic-Con from Richard Alf’s Comic King- screening at the Vista Courthouse. spotlight on J. K. Rowlings, I would be right there
dom, the store where I bought books. [Alf was one along with a bazillion other attendees. I would also
of the founders of Comic-Con in 1970.]  I had to Mikee: I work for the County of San Diego Health have to see a WETA costume designer/fabrication
drive to San Diego for a comics shop, as there were and Human Services Agency. I determine appli- panel, especially with a focus on period/fantasy
none in North County at that time. I began attending cants’ eligibility to welfare programs. pieces.
Comic-Con in 1975 at the El Cortez. I spent most of
my time in the dealer’s room, all 2,000 square feet Robyn: I’m a pool guard for the City of San Diego. Robyn: The Masquerade party on Saturday night.
of it. Over the years I have made friends and met  
many comics professionals. What do you like best about Comic-Con? What currently satisfies your inner geek?
Mikee: Jayne and Theodore Sturgeon invited me to Josh: Seeing the friends I have made over the years Josh: The movies I have most enjoyed recently
the show in 1976. I ended up volunteering the first that I only get to see during Comic-Con, including have been How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind,
day and have not missed a convention since then, any comics professionals and others in the industry, Harry Potter 7.2, and Captain America. Arakawa
working them all. such as sci-fi authors that I read. Under the Bridge is a fun anime series that I am
looking forward to seeing more of. The books I
Robyn: My mom first brought me to Comic-Con! Mikee: The people. There are so many truly have read most recently have been the Three Mus-
  wonderful people I have met over the years: profes- keteers series by Alexander Dumas.
What do you do now at Comic-Con? sionals, fans, and fellow volunteers. I met Josh at
Comic-Con! Mikee: The Sleeping Beauty (and all of the 500
Josh: Since 1993 I have been assistant or co-coordi- Kingdom stories) by Mercedes Lackey; she is my
nator for the Japanese Anime department. Robyn: Seeing everyone I have grown up with favorite author. I like the new TV series Grimm,
while working Comic-Con. and Bones is always a favorite in our house.
Mikee: I am the Con Suite/Hospitality coordinator.
I supervise the Con Hospitality Suite, the Industry If you were coming to Comic-Con as an attendee, Robyn: My current favorite author is Lee Child. I
Lounge, and staff lunch distribution. what is your one must-attend panel or event? watch Castle, Sons of Anarchy, and football.
Robyn: I work in the Hospitality Suite with my Josh: Anime of course, but panels of sci-fi/fantasy
mom. authors would be a priority for me, and the Exhibit


Spirit of

Comics and Vegetables of Tel Aviv, Israel

Wins 2011 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics
Retailer Award
Each year Comic-Con International honors retailers during Passover, the phrase “and vegetables” means Modan won an Eisner Award three years ago for
from around the globe with the Will Eisner Spirit of “and everything.” This was one of the reasons for her graphic novel Exit Wounds [and was a guest at
Comics Retailer Award, named after the vision- the name of the store. Also, while looking for a lo- Comic-Con in 2008].
ary creator of The Spirit. When Eisner approached cation back in 2000, we stumbled upon a cute little Some of the more popular Israeli comic series are:
Comic-Con about initiating the award in the early store right next to a vegetables store and thought Falafel Man by Dorit Maya Gur (a graduate of
1990s, he wanted it as a way to acknowledge the how funny it would be if we called the store “Com- the Joe Kubert School), is about an Israeli super-
important role that comic retailers play in the ics and Vegetables” (CNV). Of course, not a day hero who fights evil and anti-Semitism, shooting
industry, nurturing the relationship between creators has gone by without questions from people—even Falafel balls from his hands.
and their readers. The comic book retailer provides the IRS!—about the location of the vegetables in Uzi by Nimrod Reshef is about a rogue soldier
that vital link in getting the work from the creators the store. fighting for good.
and publishers to the public. Eisner recognized the Zbang by Uri Fink has been published for 20
importance of that link, and Comic-Con continues How did you get started in comics? years and has a huge following. It tells the story of
to recognize it 20 years after his original idea. When Yuval was 10 years old, he started to read his teenagers in school.
The award is given out yearly to retailers who father’s MAD magazines. He found a small store Ein Seora by Avi Blyer—a talented animator and
have done an outstanding job of supporting the that carried some translated Tarzan and Spider-Man illustrator—is about two friends on a bibbutz storm-
comics medium in both the industry at large and comics, and after that he spent most of his time ing to the big city (Tel Aviv).
their local community. (See the “Call for Nomina- searching for more comic books to read. He worked Other popular titles include Farm 54 by Gilaad
tions” ballot on page 71 for a complete list of cri- all summer saving money for monthly mail orders. Selikter, which was translated to French and
teria for the award and the opportunity to nominate His favorites were Uncanny X-Men, Punisher, English, and Adirey Hatchelet (Fabulous Knights of
your choice for 2012. You can also nominate your Captain America, and all the Batman comics he Blue) by Offer Zanzuri.
favorite store online at could get his hands on. Currently Yuval is a huge
cci_eisners_spirit.php.) Hellboy fan. When did you first open a store, and why did you
The nominees for the award are selected by a Danny discovered comics on a trip to London start selling comics? 
committee of industry professionals and the judg- where he bought his first comic books, among them Comics are a fairly new creation in Israel. There
ing is facilitated by retailer Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Amazing Spider-Man #300. aren’t newspaper “funnies” here, distributed to your
Fantasyworld, Santa Cruz, CA), a past recipient. home every morning. There aren’t comics stores
The 2011 committee included the 2010 award re- Are there comics publishers in Israel? in every mall and on every street. In fact, there
cipients, Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale of Vault There are many Israeli comics being published are only three stores in Israel, and two of them are
of Midnight (Ann Arbor, MI). Other judges were lately. The new medium got lots of publicity owned by Comics and Vegetables.  
writer/editor Anina Bennett (Heartbreakers, Boil- through the cinema, the new Israeli Museum of Ten years ago, the comics situation was
erplate), Mike Holman (purchasing brand manager Caricature and Comics (in Holon, south of Tel bleak. People who were familiar with comics from
for Diamond UK), Chip Mosher (marketing director Aviv), and local comics festivals. Our own Rutu abroad found it difficult to receive magazines via
for BOOM! Studios at the time of the judging, now
the marketing director for comiXology), and famed
cartoonist Jeff Smith (Bone, RASL). Comic-Con’s
Lisa Moreau coordinates all the information and
videos sent in by the retailers during the nomina-
tion process and helps the judges during the judging
The 2011 award recipient is Comics and Veg-
etables of Tel Aviv, Israel, owned by Yuval Sharon
and Danny Amitai. Comic-Con Annual talked with
Yuval and Danny and with Elite Avni-Sharon,
Yuval’s wife, about the fascinating world of com-
ics—and vegetables?!—in Israel.
Comics and Vegetables is a very unusual name for
a store. Do you really sell vegetables, too?
One of Israel’s most popular comic book characters, Falafel Man, and some of his fans at
In the Hebrew holy book Hagadah, which we read
Comics and Vegetables in Tel Aviv.



unreliable deliveries and slow Internet orders.

The only comics available were old translations
of Asterix and Tarzan and one weekly comic for
children called Zbang. We recognized the problem
and decided to take action. In 2001, the website
“Comics and Vegetables ” was launched, offering
worldwide shipment of comics, news, and updates
from the comics world. It also offered reviews,
questionnaires, and feedback for artists from around
the world. We sold comics books at malls and festi-
Comics and Vegetables’ storefront and one of the many “Comics for All” events.
vals, widening the awareness of comics.
After repeated pleas from comic fans, we were
determined to open a real store. In 2004, we found Alongside CNV’s relationship with comic cre- latest Craig Thompson graphic novel, Habibi, sold
a nice little corner store in the heart of Tel Aviv and ators and fans, the store has established “Comics a lot of copies, and Dark Horse’s Blacksad is one of
gave the small number of fans at the time a place for All.” This is a group of comic artists who vol- our strongest sellers.
to meet and discuss comics, and find products and unteer their time for children in hospitals, shelters
magazines from around the world that were not for youths at risk, boarding schools for children What does winning the Spirit Award mean to you
otherwise available anywhere else in the Middle removed from their parents, those in disadvantaged as a retailer?
East at the time.   neighborhoods, and meetings of gay youth. The At first the phone rang off the hook. We were
In the store, artists were able to find design group offers workshops in experiential comics interviewed in every newspaper and on every news
and art books, comics-related support, and advice learning, which includes lessons, lectures, sketches, channel, and the Israeli awareness of us—and the
regarding independent comics books publishing. In and portraits. We also donate merchandise and comics medium in general—grew.
2006, the CNV store moved to a larger location, a original comics.  But the reactions and feedback we were most
few dozen meters from the old shop. Here we were The store offers a special discount card for the proud and happy to receive were from comics
able to display a wide range of products, from a children of “Comics for All,” organizes illus- retailers around the world. It meant a lot to us to be
variety of comics and manga to issues and mer- trated donation campaigns, and attempts to fulfill nominated and considered equal and worthy, but the
chandise from around the world—from small press every wish. For children with cancer who dream winning itself was almost surreal. We still do not
to the big publishers. to publish comics, CNV provides all possible believe it, being a small store in a small country.
assistance, from meeting with famous artists who
How is your store involved in your local community? feature the children’s creations in their magazines, Someone walks into your store who has never read
CNV helps spread the word of comics across the to organizing exhibitions of the children’s work at comics and is interested in getting started. What
country, by conducting lectures and workshops on the Comics Museum. The store also issued a free is- comics do you recommend?
comics. We assist in the annual national comics fes- sue of Israeli comics for distribution to the children We would ask the customer what brought him or
tival in Tel-Aviv, and we helped in establishing the of “Comics for All.”  her to the store. If they came because of a Batman
Israeli Caricature and Comics Museum in Holon, a movie, we would offer Batman: Hush, which is a
one-of-a-kind museum in this part of the world. What American comics are your bestsellers?  great way to start. Marvel’s Ultimate line is always
Comics and Vegetables has always made sure Spider-Man is an all-time favorite, and the DC New a good recommendation, and so is DC’s New 52 as
to promote the local industry. We give courses, 52 books are selling through the roof, especially a way to start reading comics. Most newcomers ask
workshops, and lectures dealing with comics Batman. The Walking Dead and Chew are best- for standalone stories, so the best things for them
reading, creating, and publishing. We offer artistic sellers in trade paperback.  are graphic novels, but it all depends on the age of
and financial support to young local comics artists, We do our best to carry all publishers. Naturally, the customer and their reasons to visit the store.
assist with writing, drawing, printing, distribution, DC and Marvel are the main sellers, but the Israeli
and advertising, and hold signings at the store. crowd is also into a lot of small press comics. The

Spirit of

The Judges Weigh In . . .

This year’s Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Awards judges were tasked with sifting through an incredible amount of information about each store
to narrow the field of 25 nominations down to a small group of finalists and one recipient. We asked some of the judges what stood out about this
year’s nominated stores and what made Comics and Vegetables the award recipient.

Anina Bennett Joe Ferrara an entire country . . . you just can’t beat that!
(writer/editor, Heartbreakers, (owner, Atlantis Fantasy- Israel just didn’t have any cultural history
Boilerplate) world, Santa Cruz, CA; with comic books, so Comics and Vegetables
former award recipient) had to start at square one. I really admired
Clearly, the bar has been what they did. And I kept thinking to myself,
raised. Fifteen years ago, The quality of each store “This is the store that Will would have
every one of the nominees was highly professional and picked!”
would’ve been an exceptional retailer and a they were all deserving of recognition. Will’s
top contender. Now, there are so many good intention in creating this award was to inspire Jeff Smith
comics shops that it was tough to choose a comics store owners to present their stores in (writer/artist, Bone, Rasl)
winner! Many of the things we used to wish a more professional manner so as to appeal
for have come true in the direct sales market. to a wider audience. I think he would be very The presentations were all
The stores are clean and well organized— proud of all of these nominees. very energetic. As a comics
though I wish more of them would rack books Every comic store owner has a passion publisher, I was happy to
by genre—with diverse products and friendly, for what they do, but the staff at Comics and see so many contemporary
knowledgeable staff. All the nominees were Vegetables were able to convey the unique stores with clear ideas about how to rack
winners in that sense. way they reach out to the community beyond and display books. A lot of the nominees had
Two things about Comics and Vegetables the limitations of their store. Their love for dedicated children’s areas, complete with
stood out from the crowd. First, the storeown- comics is exceeded only by their commitment tables and chairs.
ers’ written presentation was superb. They to spread the word to Tel Aviv and beyond. Comics and Vegetables had many strong
submitted a book of photos with captions, They are the best ambassadors for comics points, but it was their community outreach
a words-and-pictures narrative that was cre- you could ask for. that really put them over the top. They almost
ative, engaging, concise, and relevant to all single-handedly created a comics scene in Tel
the judging criteria. Chip Mosher Aviv! And of course, the name is awesome!
But the main reason Comics and Veg- (VP, marketing, public relations, and business
etables won is that its owners have almost development, comiXology) Curtis Sulliivan and Steve Fodale
single-handedly created an infrastructure for (Vault of Midnight, Ann Arbor, MI, last year’s
comics fandom in Israel. They launched comic I know when Will Eisner came up with the award recipient)
shops where there were none. They helped idea for this award he really wanted to have
found a museum, run classes, and organize a something in our industry to recognize great The top dozen or so stores looked amazing,
comics and animation festival. They founded stores, but also to incentivize stores to be top shelf for any business. Full range of comic
“Comics for Everyone,” an “association of the best that they can be. There are so many books, great product mixes, and dynamite
Israeli comics creators volunteering to inspire great stores out there with so much to offer. layouts. It was very hard to whittle it down to
creativity in disadvantaged children.” I don’t We had 25 nominations this year, and there five and than one ultimate champion. 
know how those guys even have time to was not a bad store in the bunch. Unfortu- [Comics and Vegetables] had a great look-
breathe, but I salute them. As artist Michael nately, there can be only one winner . . . but ing store, and they had the full breadth and
Netzer wrote, they’re “striving to make com- it is great to know that Will’s original vision width of comic books, but their unabashed
ics as popular and loved as anything else in has really come true. zeal for the medium was what put them over
[Israeli] culture.” They embody the Spirit of Comics and Vegetables had the edge in the top. True ambassadors of the art.
Comics. that they brought the comic book medium to

Nominate Your Own Favorite Comic Shop for the 2012 Award!
Fill out the form on the next page and mail or fax it in or visit to nominate a store online!
The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award,
presented under the auspices of Comic-Con Interna-
tional: San Diego, is given to an individual retailer
who has done an outstanding job of supporting the
comics art medium both in the community and with-
in the industry at large.

for nomination include: for judging include:
• Any retailer established in business for at least two • Support of a wide variety of innovative material.
years is eligible to be nominated. Providing opportunities for creators’ material to reach
• Anyone—retailers, professionals, fans—may place a buyers; stocking a diverse inventory.
name in nomination. • Knowledge. Working to stay informed on retailing as
• A panel of industry judges select a group of finalists well as on the comics field.
to be subjected to an in-depth examination based on • Community activity. Promoting comics to the
the award criteria. community; maintaining relationships with schools and
• Recipient will be announced as part of the Will Eisner libraries; keeping active in social, business, and arts
Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International community organizations.
on Friday, July 13, 2012. • Quality of store image. Innovative display approaches;
• Previous winners are not eligible for nomination. using store design creatively.
• Adherence to standard ethical business practices.


I place the following name in nomination for the 2012 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. I understand that only retailers whose business has been estab-
lished for at least two years are eligible for nomination and that any nominees found not to adhere to standard ethical business practices will be disqualified.


Retailer’s Name_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Store Name____________________________________________________________________Store Phone #_________________________________________
Complete Store Address_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Support of a wide variety of innovative material __________________________________________________________________________________________

Community activity___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Quality of store image________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Additional comments__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Mail to: Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, c/o Comic-Con International, P. O. Box 128458, San Diego, CA 92112 or fax to: 619-414-1022


APE (the Alternative Press Expo) once again took over San 2
Francisco’s Concourse Exhibition Center to the delight of
comics fans from all over the Bay Area, on Oct. 1 and
2, 2011. Over 5,600 people attended the annual celebra-
tion of comics, which included special guests Kate Beaton,
Daniel Clowes, Craig Thompson, Matthew Thurber, Adrian
Tomine, and Shannon Wheeler.

Photos: 1: A look at the APE Exhibit Hall from the mezza-

nine level. The hall was larger than ever before, with over
400 exhibitors. 2: Special guests Kate Beaton and Craig
Thompson on the “Drawing Inspiration” panel. For a par-
tial transcript, see page 76. 3: The packed house for the
Daniel Clowes–Adrian Tomine panel, moderated by Dan
Nadel, just one of many panels filled to capacity.



4 8

5 6


4: Cartoonist Keith Knight talks to creators Dan Cooney and Andy Ristaino on the
“Indy Cartoonist Survival Guide” panel, in its third year as a popular program at APE.
5: Special guest Kate Beaton signing at the Drawn & Quarterly tables. 6: Paige Brad-
dock celebrated the 10th anniversary of her comic Jane’s World with a panel at APE.
7: The mezzanine level of the Concourse was the spot for hands-on workshops all week-
end long, such as this one featuring cartoonist/journalist Shaenon Garrity. 8: The Comic
Creator Connection, teaming aspiring writers with potential artist collaborators, was
packed in both its sessions. 9: Comics legends Daniel Clowes and Adrian Tomine teamed
up to talk comics. 10: Cartoonists Jason Shiga and Mari Naomi were two of the artists
who took part in the “Comics Coast to Coast” panel on Sunday.

Photos by Barry Brown and Victoria Minnich WWW.COMIC-CON.ORG 73

APE COVER STORY: Shannon Wheeler
Just how crazy is Shannon Wheeler? We got to find out firsthand when we asked the Eisner Award–
winning writer/artist (Best Humor Publication for I Thought You Would Be Funnier) to illustrate the APE
2011 Program Book cover and official promotional poster.

1 2 3 4

Shannon sent in numerous roughs, four of which are shown above. Some of them included his trademark coffee motif, from his famous
creation Too Much Coffee Man (really . . . how many comic characters have an opera?). We decided to go with number three, but it
wasn’t an easy decision. They were all great.

Art © Shannon Wheeler; photo by Barry Brown

The next step was a more-detailed rough, followed by pencils,

inks, and finally colors. The colored version was used for the Pro-
gram Book cover (at right), the promotional poster, bookmarks (at
left), postcards, and local newspaper ads.


Literary & Artist Maker Guest of Honor:
Guest of Honor: Dan Jones (Tinkerbots)
Kaja Foglio
APE Drawing Inspiration: Creativity in Comics

Left to right: moderator Charles Brownstein talks to Kate Beaton, Craig Thompson, Tom Neely, Shannon Wheeler, and Matthew Thurber about inspiration, work, and comics.

One of APE 2011’s panels, “Drawing Inspiration: The were a kids’ medium—were below the censorship Matthew Thurber: I guess I feel like comics are the
Secrets of Comics Creativity,” centered on how artists radar. I think that’s why my brother and I were able to most effective and resourceful medium for channeling
get their inspiration. Moderated by Charles Brown- access the edgiest sort of entertainment in comics and your dreams or your mental movies. Your fantasies
stein (executive director, CBLDF) and featuring that’s what imprinted on us as an artform. My brother can quickly become actualized with no budget or no
APE special guests Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant!), and I started working on a farm for a dollar an hour resources or not even any drawing skill. So when I got
Craig Thompson (Habibi), Matthew Thurber (1-800 and that was equivalent to one comic book an hour at out of art school, comics just seemed like an economi-
MICE), and Shannon Wheeler (Oil and Water), the time, and that’s how we thought of labor. For me, cal way of producing ambitious long pieces, when I
plus Tom Neely (The Wolf), this in-depth discussion labor and comics have always been very intercon- couldn’t get it together to write a film script and get a
revealed the secrets of what inspires them, along with nected. movie made. It was very do-it-yourself. I could control
a whole lot of tangents on other creative issues. every aspect of it.
Tom Neely: I guess I grew up always wanting to
Charles Brownstein: One of the things that’s really do comics. I was given a subscription to the Floyd Charles: How is it that you find yourselves going
incredible about a show like APE is that, unlike Gottfredson Mickey Mouse comics that Gladstone about the discipline of creating the work and distilling
anything anybody would have imagined 50 years ago was publishing at the time. But other then Mickey the inspirations out there?
when comics were being censored by things like the Mouse, Archie, Marvel, and DC, I didn’t really have
Craig: I like what Matt said about dreams. I think
Comics Code Authority, and 25 years later an organi- any exposure to anything else. By the time I got to
the kernel of creativity is the daydream part, that’s
zation like the CBLDF had to come about to protect high school I kind of drifted more towards fine art
maybe the only real fun part. There’s a fun stage at the
all kinds of free expression in comics, you just would and got into painting, but was always doing comics in
beginning where you’re kind of daydreaming, you’re
have never imagined a room full of the diversity of my sketchbook. Because I grew up in a small town in
collecting research and at a certain point that research
artistic expression like we’re seeing here today. These Texas, I didn’t have any independent or underground
is a form of procrastination. For me it’s kind of a ro-
panelists really represent a broad swath of what’s comics to see, and then I moved here to San Francisco
mantic relationship, and if you leave at the first sign of
possible in comics, when 25 years ago you were either and went to the Art Institute. I discovered underground
struggle you don’t learn anything about yourself. The
working on superheroes or elves. What was it about comix and alternative comics, and actually you [Craig
point of relationships and the point of art is to conjure
comics that drew you to have the freedom to express Thompson] were one of the first people I found, and
all the dark neuroses inside you, take the chaos out
yourself in this fashion? Chester Brown and Renée French, and that made me
and put it in a container.
realize that you can do weird stuff in comics, not just
Kate Beaton: Why comics? It just seemed very superheroes. And I started doing comics again and Kate: I think that there is a certain amount of despera-
natural. I started with comics because I worked for a never looked back. tion in it. If I only made comics when I wanted to for
school newspaper at a university and I did a humor
Shannon Wheeler: I grew up reading the newspaper fun, you wouldn’t see that many [from me]. I like
column and for fun I would do comics as well. I found
and wanting to draw comics from that. I liked things making comics, but it’s also your job and it’s almost
that I had drawn all the time anyway growing up, and
like Garfield. And then finding a stash of Fabulous like when you did university papers . . . I would
I wanted to do humorous stuff, so putting the two
Furry Freak Brothers that were left around the house always work best under pressure, and that certainly
together just seemed natural. I didn’t really think com-
and reading Fat Freddie’s Cat, I thought this is how to helps. I have a comic where I have a self-imposed
ics was the real ticket for me, it’s just what you end up
do comics. It turned out there were a lot of under- deadline of so many times a month or once a week or
doing because it happens.
ground comix around the house, and I was weaned on whatever, and I kind of need that to get it out some-
Craig Thompson: I grew up in a working-class those—ZAP and these really offensive other titles. For times. Otherwise I would drift off and just doodle and
household, and comics just happened to be the most me there’s nothing shocking and there aren’t really not finish things, because the fun part is definitely to
accessible medium, like the Sunday funnies. My limits. I don’t have a lot of filters, but I’m not really think of an idea or to think of a joke. That’s such a big
household was also very religious, and they censored rebelling against anything either. I’m just doing the question—how does the inspiration end up becoming
all the media in the house, but comics—because they stuff that I genuinely love. a comic?—because that’s your whole life if this is

76 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photo by Victoria Minnich

[KATE BEATON: I want a comics panel that’s just people’s parents. My dad thinks Herman is funny. He doesn’t get my jokes.[
your job and it’s different every time. Sometimes it’s as I’m drawing them. I don’t do it in script form. I do Tom: For me I don’t think it works that way. I can’t
easy and sometimes it’s hard and the hard times are a drawn form of the entire book, but it’s very loosely create with somebody looking over my shoulder.
worth it, because you do it and that’s the main thing, to drawn and it’s not precious. I discard hundreds of
pages and redraw them to get caught up in this editing Matthew: Once I sent a letter and a tape of some
just keep doing it. There’s no single instance of here’s
process. music I made to this band that I liked a lot. I was des-
my process. It’s different every day and every time
perate to know what they would think of it, and they
you start a new page.
Charles: Shannon you’ve built a recent industry in sent me this letter back that said you’re the only judge
Matthew: I think that it’s okay to not have a regular harvesting your rejections from The New Yorker, so it of what’s good and bad, and I thought that was really
working method. I have tried so many different styles seems to me that you really have very little ego about important, interesting, good advice.
of creating regular work, and all of them—it’s like that part of the process. How did confronting that
process of external rejection make you a better artist? Charles: Shannon, is anger still your motivation
quitting smoking 10,000 times. If you don’t have a
when you’re depicting the behaviors of other people?
regular deadline, maybe you could ask a friend to be
Shannon: Quantity helps a lot. You get familiar with I Thought You Would Be Funnier is all about human
your editor or something or just require something
just putting pen to paper. But every day that I sit down foibles and Oil and Water is a tragedy of human
from you every week. I feel like somebody needs
to draw or write or create, I feel like I’m going through incompetence. What goes into how you’re putting
to take your food away or something if you don’t
the six stages of death, with anger, denial, bargaining, the people you observe onto the page, and what’s the
[produce work]. You need to be punished or else it’s
etc. I feel at this point it should just be like Charles attitude that you’re trying to get out there?
not serious.
Schulz. You sit down and it’s just done because you
looked at the paper. I try to be there but I’m not . . . Shannon: It’s sort of run on this thesis that people
Shannon: Fear and anger work well for me. I get
it’s a hard process, but anger, denial, bargaining, and are trying to do the best they can and how that is
pissed off at some publisher that turned me down. I
alcohol—drink some booze. It’s stupid, but do other expressed in different ways. When I went to the Gulf
thought, “I’ll self-publish and I’ll do it better than they
people have those same feelings? and met all these people, I felt like they were cleaning
could.” Getting turned down by Fantagraphics when
up the beach. But talking to the BP official there on
I was starting, man that pissed me off something bad
Craig: I don’t think I use anger as a motivation. I do the beach, he’s doing the best he can, and he thought
and I just drew comics hard after that.
have anger in my life, but I don’t know if I use that in he was doing a good thing. He killed every single bit
Charles: So now that they’ve published Oil and my art to be honest, because I think art comes from of life that was on the beach. There were no insects
Water are you done? a more pure place. Shannon, it’s the dark side of the and no birds and no crabs. It’s just like a Philip K.
force you’re using. Dick kind of scene, no sound except for water, which
Shannon: I am, that’s it. I’m going to sleep. you don’t think is weird until you’re going, “What is
Matthew: Do you meditate?
Tom: My process feels very slow and labored to me, missing? Oh yeah, life.” But he’s there thinking he’s
but I feel like I’m always constantly just accumulating Craig: No, I don’t, but I do think of art as a medita- doing great, and I kind of run with that premise.
stuff and spilling it out whenever it comes out. It’s not tion. It takes so much time that you get into a little
Charles: Tom, in The Wolf you spoke to some of the
a job to me. I have a day job that pays the bills, and zone and you lose a sense of yourself, which is impor-
universal psychology of moving from being a single
so my comics can be much more personal that way. I tant. I think that’s important for everyone to go into a
person to being a couple, and you address a really
don’t have to worry about any audience expectations, space where their own sense of boundaries of self or
scary, self-confrontation that everybody has to go
so I just kind of go in my cave and see what comes out ego kind of evaporate. Art has that effect. I want to
through in becoming that, in that mature state. What
and then later worry about whether anybody’s going destroy, so I guess there’s some anger. I am angry.
elements of your own life and what elements of just
to like it or not.
Matthew: Here it comes. human nature in general informed that narrative for
Charles: With your work it seems to me, Tom, that you?
Shannon: He’s moved past denial, now anger. Bar-
there’s a discovery and a gestation period that goes
gaining, get to bargaining. This is good. Tom: I guess the root of most of my work is kind of
into it. autobiographical, but it’s buried beneath a lot of scary
Craig: I can’t really look at my work with any kind surrealist stuff. I don’t know . . . it’s hard to figure out.
Tom: Gestation period is a way to look at it, because
of appreciation until it’s in print. So maybe that’s a It’s also partially why most of my books are wordless
I often don’t really know what I’m doing until it’s
motivator because when it’s on the drawing board I because I don’t really speak too well about what
finished, and then I can look at the whole thing and
only see the mistakes, but once it’s in print it’s fully they’re about.
kind of figure out what it was I was trying to say. It
birthed and outside of myself, and it has it’s own life
sounds cliché, but for me it requires kind of a muse,
so I can finally let it go. Charles: Does it irritate you when other people speak
an inspiration to pull ideas out of me for a finished about it?
product, but I don’t always know what it is. It’s just Tom: I remember when I was working on my first
all these visions in my head and later I figure out what graphic novel The Blot and [the publisher] wanted Tom: No, I always like hearing other interpretations,
they’re about. me to make all these changes that I didn’t want to do, so that’s always interesting. My mother’s interpreta-
so that’s when I decided to self-publish it. But during tions are usually the most humorous. She said The
Charles: Craig, how does that compare with a process
that process of trying to make that decision, I talked to Blot is about global warming. She hasn’t told me what
like Habibi, where it was seven years of labor? Was
Dylan Williams, and he said don’t let anybody tell you The Wolf is about. She just thinks that I should have
that a process of seven years of discovery?
what to do with your art, and I’ve stuck with that. painted nicer pictures, pretty things.
Craig: Seven years from conception to publication. Kate: I want a comics panel that’s just people’s
With Habibi I spent two years on a rough drawn ver- Shannon: I don’t know . . . you look at some of
parents. My dad thinks Herman is funny. He doesn’t
sion of the book before I started on the final art. But the best writers that have come down the pike, and
get my jokes.
similar to Tom, I’m discovering things as I go along. they’ve gotten good because they’ve dealt with edi-
I never know the endings for certain with my projects tors.


The busy APE

Exhibit Hall at

the 2011 event.

APE (the Alternative Press Expo) Returns to San Francisco Oct. 13 & 14!
The Alternative Press Expo (APE) returns to the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco on October 13 and 14, 2012. Coming off its most successful year
ever—with over 5,600 attendees—APE once again offers a giant exhibit hall, provocative programming (including panels, workshops, and the ever-popular Comic
Creator Connection) and much, much more. Be a part of San Francisco’s only major comics convention in 2012! APE 2012’s special guests include:

Sergio Aragonés (cartoonist, Groo, MAD, Sergio Aragonés Funnies)

When you think of it, Sergio Aragonés is the perfect guest for APE: his indy cred started with that most iconoclastic of alternative comics, MAD magazine, way back
in 1962. This is Sergio’s first appearance at APE, and he’s the first creator ever to pull the hat trick for guesting at all three Comic-Con sponsored shows in one year!
(For more info on Sergio, see his WonderCon bio on page 16)

The Hernandez Brothers: Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario (Love and Rockets)
The Love and Rockets 30th anniversary celebration continues with the first-ever appearance of all three Hernandez Bros. at APE! (For more on Gilbert, Jaime, and
Mario, see their Comic-Con bios on page 54 and the feature article on page 38).

Erik Drooker
Eric Drooker is a painter and graphic novelist, born and raised on Manhattan Island. He’s the award-winning author of Flood! A Novel in
Pictures, and Blood Song: A Silent Ballad. He designed the animation for the recent film Howl, a movie based on the epic poem by Allen
Ginsberg, who collaborated with Drooker on the book Illuminated Poems, and the new Howl: A Graphic Novel. His paintings appear often
on covers of The New Yorker, and hang in numerous collections. For more info, visit

Ben Katchor (writer/artist, Julius Knipl, The Cardboard Valise)

Ben Katchor’s picture-stories and drawings have appeared in Metropolis Magazine, The New Yorker, and other newspapers and magazines.
His books include Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, The Beauty Supply District, The Jew of New York, and The Cardboard Valise (all
Pantheon Books). He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He has
collaborated with musician Mark Mulcahy on four music-theater productions, most recently Up from the Stacks. He is an associate professor
at Parsons, The New School in New York City. For more information visit

Jim Woodring (writer/artist, Jim, Weathercraft)

Jim Woodring was born in Los Angeles in 1952 and enjoyed a childhood full of poetry and perturbation among the snakes and tarantulas
of the San Gabriel mountains. A self-taught artist, his works include autobiographical comics, wordless cartoon stories, anecdotal charcoal
drawings, and the sculptures, vinyl figures, fabrics, and gallery installations that have been made from his designs. His multimedia collabo-
rations with the musician Bill Frisell won them a United States Artists Fellowship in 2006. His 2010 book Weathercraft won The Stranger’s
2010 Genius Award for literature was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His most recent graphic novel is Congress of the
Animals. He lives in Seattle with his family and residual phenomena and on

Complete APE info: as we get closer to the event!

78 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 APE Exhibit Hall photo by Gary Sassaman


Comic-Con International 2011 was the scene as

Steampunk enthusiasts gathered on the Conven-
tion Center’s back stairs facing the Embarca-
dero for the Third Annual Starburner Galactic
Courier Service Awards Ceremony. While not
an official Comic-Con event, the gathering also
presented the Annual Starburner Awards, given
to honor individuals who have made outstand-
ing contributions to the Steampunk community.

80 COMIC-CON ANNUAL 2012 Photos by Sergio Palacios

IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.
S 8/ 7c
TM & © 2012 Warner Bros. Ent. Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

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