Archive for November, 2004

Christine Mulligan voices her side from the Mid Ohio Con adventure.

Check out the side column for more.

On a side note, December 8th is my new day to look forward. The Batman Danger Girl crossover is coming out.

The art by Lenil Yu looks fantastic, but J. Scott Campbell is doing a cover for his creation as well, and who knows, we may finally get to see him draw Batman.

I told Christine this weekend I could die a happy man if that happened. I love Batman, and every creator I like has done his rendition except for J. Scott. He just about got his chance about 10 years ago when Gen 13 was a hit and he was on it. There was talk and I think prelim art for a Batman crossover, but that was before Wildstorm was part of DC and I am sure politics for love of their respective characters killed the idea.

Mid Ohio Comic Con – Thoughts & Reflections

First of all – Jeff in no way ruined Stuart Sayger’s cool artwork for me (you big goofball!). I think I was just tired & hungry so that makes me extra emotional & girlie. We were standing at the Adam Hughes table having this discussion played out about the “real” value (cost) of original artwork vs. the emotional value of the artwork. It was actually a classically great moment because my clever closing argument was “Man, if only I had a Diet Coke I could think more clearly”.

Then, like a magic genie granting my wish, there was Allison (Adam Hughes girlfriend and one of THE nicest people you could ever hope to talk to) extending a hand with a beautiful icy cold can of Diet Coke. She said they still had a ton in the cooler & would never be able to finish them all. I very gratefully offered her a granola bar I had in my bag to say thanks. She passed it on to Adam so he would have the strength to complete Jeff’s “Oh Baby, Baby” piece of art. So you see it all worked out great! And, Jeff, don’t discount my tenacity – if I want that Wolverine painting I will still find a way to get it.

Second on my list – could you PLEEEEEZE post more pictures of me looking FAT and freakish? ‘Cause I just can’t get enough of that. Okay I’m done with my girl stuff – on to the Con…

With everyone around me in a mad dash to see Adam Hughes I had to unique opportunity of being third in line to meet the great John Byrne. I have always found his writing to be clever and very funny. I’m a huge Sensational She-hulk fan too.

Now, since Jeff came clean with his Brittany fetish I will also admit my moment of humiliation. A friend at work asked me to have a copy of Wonder Woman signed. The cover showed W.W. herself grimacing in some apparent pain or distress. My friend wanted me to have him sign it “Feel the Byrne” – and, God help me, I asked this man I idolized to do it. Let’s all take a moment to be embarrassed for me… But, heck, I was being a giggling schoolgirl around him anyway so why not just ice that cake. Mr. Byrne (look I can’t even call him John!) was exceptionally nice about everything. It was a pleasure to get to shake his hand & talk to him.

But the supreme “What a Nice Guy” award has got to go to Jeff Smith. The “Bone” series is very family friendly – I’ve read it to my kids. The people in front of me brought their son & daughter. The son had made some original sketches of the characters & they were even wearing T-shirts he created featuring the “Bone” characters. You could tell Jeff was delighted. It was fun to watch. He took his time with everyone & was always pleasant. He signed my “Bone – Vol. 1” and made it out to my daughters. He included the sweetest sketch of the main character, Fone Bone. You should have seen my girls faces light up they saw it – grins from ear to ear. This was something really special to take home from the Con.

Talking to Stuart Sayger was a blast! I had already purchased the first two issues of his self-published book & loved them. I was so tickled as I walked past his booth & it slowly dawned on me that I knew (and loved) this guy’s work. His style is really unique & I could look at it endlessly. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out “Shiver in the Dark” go out now & demand it from your local comic shop. I got issue 3 of the series & two of his sketchbooks. He was nice enough to sign everything & even threw in a little sketch for me. It is SO cool!

“Nice” seems to be the key word for our fabulously fun Mid-Ohio experience. We met some of the nicest people, didn’t we Jeff? As Jeff mentioned earlier we bonded early on in line with David & Jason. That led us to further bonding with David’s extensive circle of (again) super-nice friends. I believe we are now invited to David’s Christmas party – I hope that all works out. Going out to dinner with our newly acquired friends was the perfect end to the day.

I have to stop now & give props to Jeff for going to Allison on behalf of Jason. Jeff risked his place in line for his sketch (which was the whole original driving point for our journey) in order to make sure Jason was treated fairly. Good job Jeff! And the great thing is, you did the right thing & you both got your sketches. I’m glad your altruism was rewarded.

I’m a true believer now folks. My first con & I am officially crossed over to the dark side now – full on geek & proud of it! Here’s what I understand now that I didn’t before I went to Ohio. Before I went I thought it was all about the crowd – I’ll just say it – hanging out with a bunch of weirdos. But weirdos aside (and yes they were there too), it’s really about getting to hang out with the artists. What an amazing energy there was in the artists’ room! I was hesitant to approach
the tables at first but I warmed up quickly as I saw repeatedly how open & friendly everyone was. Soon I was flipping through sketchbooks, chatting with the artists & best of all – watching them work.

I watched Talent Caldwell sketch & Andy Lee paint amazing watercolors. I chatted with Jeffery Moy about his sketchbooks & took home one of his prints of the baddest Josie (sans Pussycats) I’ve ever seen. I totally want to be on his sketch list sometime. And what can you say about Skottie Young? I was so impressed with him – talk about original, imaginative work! I got a Harley Quinn sketch from him that I could not possibly love more. What a neat thing to be able to share that creative energy for a while. I know Jeff & I were just buzzing with it all the way home.

Thanks Jeff for suggesting this trip – I think this may just be the beginning of our adventures. I’ll try to seek treatment for my crippling for my Diet Coke addiction before our next journey. J


Mid Ohio Comic Con – Photos

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Some more photos to go with my entry about the convention in the “Comics” section. From top Christine and (Jason) who beat us there in line, the convention center in Columbus, Me and Megan in Mansfield, Skottie Young with Christine and my sketches, and Adam feverishly working on my drawing.

Mid Ohio Comic Convention!

Well, I am back. The Ohio Comic Con was a total blast, much due to the company I was with, Christine Mulligan.

The plan, like I posted here, was to leave at 2 a.m. Saturday and get to Columbus OH by 5 a.m. to get in line early enough to get a sketch from Adam Hughes. Christine wanted to meet the legendary John Byrne, so she was cool with that. On Friday night I headed off to sleep at 8 p.m. trying to get a reasonable night’s rest. Staying up until 2 a.m. usually squashed that idea. I rolled around in bed until about 9:30, got up, watched some TV hoping to fall asleep, but didn’t and long and the short of the story was that we overslept as Christine was left outside. Bless her soul, she was understanding, and we were on the road at 2:30 a.m.

If you aren’t familiar with Adam’s work, here is his most recent cover on Tomb Raider 47.

Rothe Blog Tomb Raider 47

We got there at 5:30 with what looked like no one in sight. However, there was one guy in line already named Jason. We hung out until 6:30 playing cards until another guy came down, David. Then there was really just us four until 7:30 – 8 a.m. and then the place got crazy, even more so then last year. It was uncomfortable at best. Here is a photo before the third line in the middle began and all of the dealers with their huge carts and everything started pushing through the crowds. That is David with
his back to us.

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When they finally let in the advance tickets holders, we ran for Adam’s table. There were about 8-10 exhibitors in line but I managed to get up to sixth in line, and Jason was 12th. I wish everyone was honest, and I don’t know that anyone there wasn’t so it was hard to be that far back after getting up so far in line and arriving so early. I talked to Allison (Adam’s girlfriend and manager) and Adam about making a switch if necessary to make sure Jason got his sketch since he truly was before me and she appreciated the honesty.

Christine and I then met Jeff Smith from Bone, who was really awesomely nice, doing free sketches for these two children who were in front of Christine that were big fans of his wildly popular self-published book “Bone”. This is the best picture I got of them.

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Then we kind of wandered around and did different things, checking out other artwork and doing a little bit of shopping. At 1 p.m. we went to the cover artist panel with Adam Hughes, Greg Horn, Talent Caldwell, and Skottie Young (A phenomenal cast). I asked a good amount of questions about programs for art creation and the politics of editors and getting your first work. Here is the best photo, my crappy little 2.1 MP camera.

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We periodically checked in on Adam, and then decided to get sketches from Skottie Young since his list was open for Sunday and we were going to be around. We also talked with Stuart Sayger who we found out Does “Shiver in the Dark” and is a local Indy artist. He was really cool, talented and great to talk to about his experiences in self publishing as well.

We got invited out to dinner after Saturday’s show with our new friend David and the people we met through him including Andy, (girl) Dan, and Kevin and what ended up being a table of 12 people. These guys were awesome and actually go to a ton of shows, the pinnacle being Dragon Con in Atlanta.

We drove up to Mansfield to stay with a friend for the night, had some wine and got relaxed and had a good night’s rest, and for me, it was after being up almost 24 hours and at my old age of 25, that isn’t as easy as it used to be.

On Sunday when we got back into town Skottie Young had our sketches done. (See photo in Photo Diary section). Adam was drawing for A.C.T.O.R which is a benefit for older artists and he had gotten through a couple more sketches that morning.

We did some more shopping, I traded for some new books and we hung, relaxed and read for awhile. Then on my way back in I traded for nearly $90 of books since the show was getting near the end, dealers were more ready to deal. It was about 3:40.

We got to Adam’s table and he started my sketch. He finished up at about 4:30. He is my beauty. I am really happy with it, I know that a lot of comic geeks and most macho men out there will laugh their tush off, but here is my “Baby one more time” Britney in the classic school girl outfit. I think she has occasional catchy music mixed in with a bunch of crap. But you gotta give her credit for selling it and she is truly an “entertainer”. I wanted to give Adam something unusually instead of the myriad of Tomb Raiders and Wonder Women that are out there that he draws every day. The inscription actually says “First and Last Sketch of Britney Spears. 1 of 1. AH!”

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So only two years of trying and I was successful, but I definitely go for the gusto and learned from my mistakes so I could get this before I lost interest and without paying X amount of dollars over many years trying to get it.

So that was it for the weekend except for the trip home which we made immediately after that. I think we’ll go next year, Christine was a blast to hang with and she had a great time at her first convention.

As a final note, I apologize to Christine. She was about to buy this rockin piece of original art. But I opened my big fat mouth, voiced an un warranted opinion, and kind of ruined it for her and made her sad. So, as I said earlier today, I am sorry. I try my best not to do that, and it never fails that I always mess something up. Hopefully we can still do this next year.

Lord of the Rings : Return of the King (2003)

Rothe Blog Return Of The KingFive Stars

It had been almost a full year since I had last seen this movie, and was fortunate to borrow it over the long weekend. But I remember loving it, and wondered why for each of the three movies, why it took so long to see them again. (I always seem to wait a year). Maybe it makes them better.

I have done a bunch of movie reviews on movies I love lately so I will try to not repeat myself here. A fantastic movie in vision, direction, and staying true to the original work, this is truly the penultimate chapter in the story.

My favorite, while silly part of this movie, is how story of Frodo and Sam. As gay as it gets some times between the two of them with the crying, it is touching to see how Sam actually is the hero in the end. All of the three characters including Gollum make sure an incredible transformation along their trip. Sam into this great leader and savior, Frodo into a possessed and burdened bearer of the ring, and Gollum, evil incarnate with split personalities. Then in the end, how Frodo can never be the same. Sam and he return home, but nothing is ever the same for him and how really that delves into the feelings of and after effects of such a life changing event. For all of the hobbits, they share this knowledge of something so terrible that everything else seems trivial.

Of course, there is only the best battle scenes and characters in the history of movies in the attack on Minas Tirith. I can’t even go into how much that battle doesn’t even compare on a small TV to the big screen. It is just a wonder.

Congratulations to Peter Jackson, for taking 9 years total to get the rights, and to have such a strong vision to execute three of the greatest movies ever. That is truly an accomplishment he will always be enshrined for.

Bring It On (2000)

Rothe Blog Bring It OnThree Stars

The opening cheer in this movie is the complete encapsulation of why any guy would even bother. Pre Mary Jane fame, this is Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku in a movie about, well, cheerleading and finding some integrity.

I was at a friend’s house over the weekend and she had this movie so as we caught up I popped it in. It was weird to feel really
old as I saw how young some of the people were in this movie. But I still enjoyed the dance like cheers that involved people flying all about and the music of time period.

But of course there were the typical girly things with romance and boys, and even Elisa wasn’t very believable as the “bad girl” from out of town. This movie may not be most people’s “thang”, but every once in awhile with a good glass of wine in hand, they can be fun.

Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek 2Four Stars

The second part of this lovable tale of the ugly orge with Mike Myers voice who has strange adventures with a talking donkey with the voice of Eddie Murphy. We were looking forward to this movie, and were able to see it for a first time in early May with a gift certificate that I got for being the best man in Justin Varner’s wedding.

We liked the movie mainly because it is breathtaking to see what they creators can come up with. This movie does top just about everything that Pixar had done to date, except for maybe Finding Nemo. But it was also fun to see all the spoofs they did off other movies.

But I still go back to the wonders that they are able to create. I have done some computer modeling and although I am sure it is not with as nice of a program as they are using, it is still plenty hard. Hell, I had a hard time modeling a Foreman Grill, let along a whole world of creatures.

My one problem, even having seen the movie twice now (borrowing from a friend at work), it didn’t make me laugh out loud that much. I really laughed a ton during the first movie, and that one was something were weren’t expecting much when we went to see it in Ann Arbor three or four years ago.

But it is still a fun movie, and the trailers didn’t do it justice. You have to see it for the graphics at the very least and see what a movie can be for all of those bombs that get released every day.