IGN Theater Schedule...
Sci Fi Friday - Doctor Who
8:00 PM - Friday
Sci Fi Friday - Battlestar Galactica
9:00 PM - Friday
Prince Caspian and WALL•E
11:00 AM - Saturday
12:00 PM - Saturday
Star Wars and Indiana Jones
1:00 PM - Saturday
Wanted and Hellboy 2
2:00 PM - Saturday
The Incredible Hulk
3:00 PM - Saturday
Will Eisner's The Spirit
4:00 PM - Saturday
9:00 PM - Saturday
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
12:30 PM - Sunday
Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D
1:15 PM - Sunday
2:00 PM - Sunday
3:00 PM - Sunday
What's it all mean? I think it means the New York Comic Con schedule will be online very, very soon.
Monday, March 31, 2008
IGN Theater Schedule...
Over the weekend, I mentioned I was working on uploading the full program schedule to newyorkcomiccon.com. I also mentioned I'm a fan of Doctor Who. Who knew I'd get more of a response to the Doctor Who comment than the actual schedule.
To confirm what I hinted at, New York Comic Con will be premiering Season 4 of Doctor Who during our Sci Fi Friday night on April 18th!
Also, while you're in NYC for the con, head over to Forbidden Planet in Union Square. They've got the most Doctor Who toys and gadgets in NYC (and probably North America). The best part, they recently parked a life-size Dalek just inside the front door.
I'm eagerly awaiting the day The Doctor's fob watch goes on sale.
(Sci Fi Channel is also premiering new episodes of Battlestar Galactica during Sci Fi Friday, too. Awesome? Absolutely. But does BSG have a TARDIS? No.)
Posted by Peter Tatara at 11:37 AM
Saturday, March 29, 2008
How are you spending your Saturday night? Are you going out? Partying? Maybe meeting a nice girl from Long Island who came out clubbing tonight? Cool. I got you beat, though.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 5:49 PM
Friday, March 28, 2008
I'm in Minneapolis tonight on some BookExpo related librarian business and then heading to San Francisco tomorrow for some bookseller business - plus a long overdue drink with City Lights Books Paul Yamazaki who owes me for hooking him up on a trip to Beijing this winter. With Paul, there is nothing better than just listening to his stories and drooling. He's been at City Lights since the owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti bailed him out of jail some 30 years ago. Ginsburg, Bukowski, Kerouac, Burroughs, he's met em all.
On stories the subject of, I went out with friends last night here in the Twin Cities and one of my friends is now working at the legendary record store, Electric Fetus, she works in the head shop there and she had the best stories. What could possibly be more frustrating and hilarious than trying to help a completely stoned person select just the right bong.
On tap for tomorrow (after some Summit Beer from a tap tonight), Garrison Keillor's Common Good Books bookstore and Big Brain Comics. I love this town.....
Substantive post coming up next....
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 8:01 PM
Lance is out of the office again, flying to some far-flung locale to talk about -- I guess -- books. As such, I'm in charge. What do I do when I'm left in control? Flee the office, too. I'm having a lunch date with Del Rey Marketing Manager Ali T. Kokmen. If you recall, Ali and I had a bit of an argument a month ago when I might have hit him with a chair. The feud's not over, but with Comic Con so close, I haven't had time to throw literary daggers at him across the internet.
Anywho, if I have time, I'll run through some of NYCC's exciting guests that you may have missed. Let's start with this list...
Stan Lee (Creator of X-Men and Spider-Man)
Mike Mignola (Creator of Hellboy)
Ron Perlman, Selma Blair (Stars of Hellboy II)
Guillermo Del Toro (Director of Hellboy II)
Frank Miller (Creator of Sin City and 300)
Seth Green and Matthew Senreich (Creators of Robot Chicken)
John Cho and Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar)
Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer (Creators of the Venture Bros.)
Other than that, I'll probably talk about the New York Anime Festival. Our 2008 website is now online at newyorkanimefestival.com. Kinda. It's still got a few hiccups. Tiny things. Things like not working on a Mac.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 11:37 AM
Thursday, March 27, 2008
It's no joke. April 1st is the last day you can order your New York Comic Con tickets and have them rushed to your door by DHL. After that, your only option is picking up tickets on-site at the Javits Center. But, you don't like lines, do you? I know I don't. So, click on the nice, shiny Tickets button at newyorkcomiccon.com now!
Posted by Peter Tatara at 4:46 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Check out this year's NYCC Toon Tumbler from Paul Merolle and Pop Fun Merchandising. The Toon Tumbler is quickly becoming NYCC tradition. Last year was Ghost Rider - can anyone tell me what was year one?
When we showed these to the beloved NYCC Strike Team, Mark (aka Fitchie or Abercrombie) noted that they have to be smooth inside or it'll make your beer flat and we should not promote anything that threatens the enjoyment of barley pop. After an insane amount of research on the part of the Strike Team, we can guarantee you that the beer will not go flat.
You can buy these at the con store during The Con.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 7:32 PM
New York Comic Con is very, very excited to welcome Stan Lee back again this year and got him on the phone recently to have a little fun. How'd you like Stan Lee to answer you phone? How'd you like to send a special greeting from Stan Lee to your best friend? Or maybe you just want to hear Stan's thoughts about coming to New York Comic Con 2008? Whatever you're into, we've got it!
(Remember that soundwave we posted a few weeks back? That was Stan.)
Click on Stan's smiling mug atop newyorkcomiccon.com to start having some fun!
Posted by Peter Tatara at 4:18 PM
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Well con fans, this is the announcement I’ve been sitting on for months now – I’m pleased to let you all know that for the second year running, The Godfather of Comics, Stan Lee will be at New York ComicCon. The New York Comics Legend award will be given out at a VIP party Thursday night at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square an Stan will be at the Con as well. The New York Comics Legend Award part is going to be an awesome evening. Only 350 people will be able to attend the party, and of those 150 will be fans the rest will be a who’s who of the comic industry. New York themed food, drink and if course a signing and talk by Stan Lee will highlight the night. Fan tickets for the reception will go on sale this Friday.
What Stan Will Be Doing at The Con - Stan will be doing some other limited activities at The Con, but you’ll have to wait on details as they appearances are linked to projects that have yet to be announced – how was that for a tease? We are working with the other organizations involved and you’ll see releases on this soon, I promise. Soooo, if you wanna go to the party and award ceremony, you can get your ticket on Friday via the NYCC web site (it’ll be listed with all of our other Ultimate Experiences). Otherwise stay tuned for your chance to meet Stan Lee at The Con.
The Award - The New York Comics Legend award was something we dreamed up this year and asked a few friends the help us fill in all the details (Thanks Charles!). Because NYC is the birthplace of comics and there are swarms of amazing creators and contributors that have called NYC home we wanted to do something to honor both the legends of our business but also the city that inspired so many of them. Each recipient will have made a major contribution to the advancement of comics, either through achievement in art or business; they will have made a significant contribution to the civic life in New York either through charity, education, public service or by advancing the image of New York City through direct involvement with New York. I’m pretty stoked to create a lasting award that honors the titans of comics and NYC all at once.
Trust me guys, I’ll have a lot more about this as the week goes on, but for now I wanted to finally tell you all the big news! We’ve got lots planned and I’ll fill you in, I promise…..
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 12:39 AM
Friday, March 21, 2008
Here are the happy little NY ComicCon Elves that spent hours this week stuffing thousands of envelopes with thousands and thousands of badges, just for you! Some fans will even get a special message written on them. I think I thanked some lucky fan for the paper cut. We'll sort em and mail em early next week so keep an eye on your mailbox because they are coming! Not pictured here; the beer and pizza that fueled this entire operation.
An insider tip - You can still get your badge mailed to you so you don't have to stand in line and buy it one site. Just go here to buy your badge, and then select the DHL option. It costs 8 bucks, but you'll have your ticket in hand in about two weeks instead of waiting in line to buy it on site. Don't forget, you can also go to any one of a few dozen of the coolest comics retailers in the world and buy your tickets. Look here for a full list of our retail ticket outlets.
Last but not least, a big thanks to all of the people here at NYCC HQ that pitched in and helped out. Really, a lot of people put in a lot of hours to build this con for you and not all of it is as glamorous as sitting in a room for 8 or 9 hours stuffing badges and letters into envelopes!
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 12:39 PM
Thursday, March 20, 2008
After reading my mindless posts for these many months, have you ever wondered what I sound like? Do I have a Minnesota accent? Do I stutter? Even though you've answered no to these questions you might want to hear what's the latest with The Con, so tune into The Comic Book Novice tonight around 9:15 for an interview with me. Maybe if you post a comment I'll give you a shout out over the web waves.......
Click here to listen to the show.
Also, they'll be giving away weekend passes to the con, so tune in, you just might win.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 12:34 PM
About a week back, New York Comic Con was hacked by some guy with a butterfly fetish. The company freaked out, and fan's got all nervous, too. Some kid calling himself "The Monarch" tagged our logo and made fun of our firewall -- Venture Industries Firewall 2.0. Well, we placed a call to Venture Industries, and they sent out two guys from apparently the moon. They poked around our server, threw out a bunch of parts, installed what looks like a toaster, and then plastered a Venture Industries Firewall 3.0 sticker on the website. The guys, with name tags that read "Doc" and "Jackson", didn't inspire me with that much confidence, but hell, we haven't been haxored since their visit.
Following the installation of the new firewall, we had a little chat…
"Dudes, thank you."
"Any way we can repay you for this?"
"Paying us would be a start."
"So, the money…"
"Look, we don't have any money in the office. We kinda used the petty cash to buy beer."
"That's cool, we'll take the beer."
"We drank the beer."
"We can give you the empty cans to, you know, deposit."
"Ummm, what about tickets to New York Comic Con?"
"That could work. Can we scalp them?"
"So, the tickets…"
"Actually, we just gave the last of our tickets to Midtown Comics."
"I could give you guys a panel at the show."
"No, hear me out. You could do a panel about internet safety."
"How is this payment?"
"There are girls at Comic Con. They love panelists. Worship 'em like rock stars."
"Did I mention the girls are in costumes?"
"Episode IV, V, of VI Leia?"
"Okay, that works. I guess."
"By the way, we created The Venture Bros."
"That's an interesting factoid. When do you want to do your internet safety panel?"
"Actually, think we could do a Venture Bros. panel instead?"
"Whatever floats your boat."
And scene. If you're kind of thick and haven't gotten it by now, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, creators of The Venture Bros. will be coming to New York Comic Con to spread their very special kind of love. A big huzzah and kudos to our friends over at World Leaders for making this happen.
Go Team Venture!
Posted by Peter Tatara at 8:52 AM
Check it out, we just got vid #2 (of 3) from our pal, It's Just Some Random Guy, this one stars Spider-Man and The Hulk. we also have some news that Random Guy will be at NYCC doing a panel on his work and we hope (fingers crossed) premiering Season 2 at The Con!!!!
Watch and enjoy......
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 8:25 AM
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
So busy today with all of the whirling din that is preparing for The Con that I didn't even have time to blog about the new Guests of Honor and Featured Guests we announced today.
Welcome to The Con new Guests of Honor Orson Scott Card and Gail Simone and Featured Guests Ralph Bakshi, Jim Butcher, Garth Ennis, Mark Evanier, Scott McCloud, Ruben Procopio, and Steve Rude. See all of the guests on the NYCC Guest Page.
So what will all these luminaries be doing at NYCC? Panels, signings, announcements and oh so much more. But for all the details, we hope to start announcing panels some time next week. Stay tuned on that.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 8:30 PM
Ahoy! Universal just sent over this art of The Freakin' Hulk. Awesome, no? This was the first time I've seen an actual image of the incredible dude, but I've been told it's been out for a few days already. Either way, it's awesome.
What kind of Hulk Out is Universal throwing at 3 PM on Saturday? You'll have to be there to find out. Or maybe, if I get a nod of the head, I can spill some more green beans.
(Look, I thought "green beans" was funny.)
Posted by Peter Tatara at 12:23 PM
Monday, March 17, 2008
BookExpo is proud to announce that we are doing a graphic novel focus on Saturday of the show and to kick it off we’ve teamed up with Diamond Book Distributors to launch an absolutely amazing breakfast followed by 10 – yup 10 – full conference sessions on graphic novels (all this is part of the 150 sessions we do all weekend long).
The breakfast begins at 8am on Saturday and is hosted by Jeff Smith and will include speakers Jeph Loeb, Mike Mignola, and Art Spiegelman. You'll really get breakfast so the event will cost 25 bucks and you can sign up on the BookExpo site. What a line up! I got to sit and talk with Art a few months back and it was an honor – he’s an amazing guy and on a stage with Mignola, Loeb and Smith? Yeah, a homerun.
Designing a Graphic Novel: From Concept to Comic
Graphic Novel Distribution, Bookstores, and the Direct Market
What’s Hot, What’s Good, What’s Next in Graphic Novels
The New Comic Book to Film Machinery: What’s Next and Who is Buying What from Whom
What Retailers & Librarians Should Know About Video Games and Gamers
Manga’s New Generational Trade-Up: The Publishers’ Quest for New Readers
Emerging Voices & Artists: The Graphic Novel Edition
Building a Graphic Novel Section for Kids and Teens
Sex in Graphic Novels
Graphic Novel Buzz: Editors Share List Highlights
The New Literacy: How Graphic Novels, the Web, and Video Games are Changing the Way We Process Information
So the question must be asked; Am I just being lazy and taking NY ComicCon panels and doing them 6 weeks later and BEA? First of all, who cares if I am and how dare you judge me and secondly, no. These are really trade focused panels and events and I’m pleased to see the great crossover between these two shows that I love equally – yet differently.
Also, this will go head to head with our author breakfast, but we really felt that these would be different audiences and, as you all know, there are more things to do than there are hours in the day at BEA, so yes, you just might have to chose – or maybe you can run back and forth between the two. If you do, don’t spill your coffee.
Lastly, a big huge thanks to Diamond for helping us make this happen….
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:45 PM
Sunday, March 16, 2008
A few Cliffs Notes for all of you.....
What The Hell Is This? – Check out the official New York ComicCon/BEA/Anime Fest web cam. Have you ever wondered what I do all day? No? Well what if I told you it sometimes involves road flares and jumper cables? I thought so. Click on the image to see the official pop culture event HQ web cam.
Neil and I - Neil Gaiman posted on his blog about his CBLDF fundraiser event at The Con - read it here. Now I don't want to come across as a pathetic Gawker Stalker type - but I am. This is actually the second time in a few weeks I got a mention on Neil's blog. The third was when he publicly asked me to stop rooting through his trash.
Flash Me - My buddy Craig Poplars at Algonquin Books sent me a link to a new web site they created for Jack O'Connell's The Resurrectionist (April 08). It's pretty damn cool. The book is awesome and I think you con crowd readers would love it. Craig and I played with trying to bring the author to NYCC, but we just weren’t sure it was the exact fit, but look at the web site and look at the book, I think you'll like.......
Be a VIP – NY ComicCon VIP tickets and Ultimate Experience packages have been available for about a week now, as has show merch, but we’ve now got some descriptions and photos for you. Take a look and then buy a VIP ticket!
Shameless Self Promotion – PW did a nice article on The Con. You can read it here. Mom, this was posted just for you.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:51 PM
I think I've answered about 150 total Ask the Show Manager questions. So here is something the Show Manager Asks of you - before you fill out the question form (get it here) read some of these and see if I've already answered your question - it'll save my little digits from doing more typing.
Sage advice part two - get your tickets before the end of the day today to assure they are mailed to you! Buy your tickets here.
Q: Hello, I recently purchased the weekend pass for the con. I noticed when buying merchandise off the site you have to pay shipping per item. Is there anyway of buying the stuff online and picking it up at the show?
A: Sorry, you can buy the merch in advance or at the show - no on site pick up option. We did that last year and it turned out to be a big headache for everyone so we nixed it this year.....
Q: When are tickets for the TMR concert gonna be available?
A: We hope this week! We have big mtg with our operations people and T.M.R. s people to finalize some details. Hopefully by Friday I'll have the price and the tickets available on line!
Q: I was interested in tickets, however it seems your site has been hacked. I now have questions about it's security. Just leting you know. - John
A: in the next week or so the true identity of those hackers will be revealed. If you now notice on the right hand side of the NYCC home page, we are now running a Venture Industries firewall, so we should be safe. Stay tuned as the plot thickens on this hack job.......
Q: Today (3/7/08) I tried to apply to be a volunteer at the NY Comic Con but upon submitting the form I was given a message that said the form had expired. I called customer service who said that I still had time to apply but they never called me back. The form is still not working and I imagine the I have now missed the deadline to register. Is there any chance I could still do some volunteering as I am still quite keen on helping out. Thanks in advance Dexter
A: You still have plenty of time to volunteer and the form is fine we have ficed it. You have until 3/21 to volunteer to work The Con and get free tickets! Just go here to complete the volunteer form.
Q: Why do I have to buy tickets for children under 13 now? I have brought my daughters the past 2 years at no cost. I am basically dragging them there since there are no children events for them, I am just trying to raise them to appreciate the medium. I am a divorced parent and have my children every weekend. I have 2 daughters ages 5 and 7 and your customer service team is telling me that I have to buy tickets for them this years. What?!?!?! And there is no child rate for them either. I am shocked and appalled. Can you please clarify this? Thanks! Will
A: Sunday is kids day and all kids get in for free! That's the good news. The rest of the story is that indeed, any child over 5 has to buy a pass to the con if they are coming on Friday or Saturday. Sorry! Our goal was to make a day just for kids on Sunday.
Q: I just figured i would go ahead and ask if you know when the show packages will be available? The last I had heard was two weeks, and that was a little over 2 weeks ago. The only reason im pressing this question is because the deadline for ordeing tickets to be sent home is March 13th, and its the 7th. Thank You, Jason
A: You gotta start reading the blog dude, you are way behind - www.mediumatlarge.net. The VIP package is on sale now and we've created a bunch of packages we call Ultimate Experiences that you can add on to your con ticket. Check em out at www.nycomiccon.com
Q: My friend and i are planning to go to the NY Comic Con on Saturday and Sunday but it will just be us. We are both 16 years old, so would we be able to get in without a parent, and if we do need a parent, would the parent also need to purchase a ticket or could they just walk us in? - Harrison
A: No problem at all. Show up, just the two of you ready to have a great time.....
Q: last year there was a problem with professionals entering the show on saturday. We were told at 8:00 am that as professionals we had to lne up inside the building and that we would not be let in early but whenthe show started we would be let in that way. However as soon as the show opened we were all told hat we would have to go outside and wait in the line. witch by this time was all the way down to 42nd street. when we got there at 8:00 am there was little to no line! Just want to know how everything is going to work so that this year i am not made to wait an extreamly long time twice. Tony
A: Hey Tony, good news, this year exhibitors and pro's will have any entrance all to themselves. I'm sure there will be a line, but it'll be short and move fast. Fret not, we've got a much better system this year so you should have no problem at all coming and going from the show!
Q: Will you have any show exclusives from the company "Gentle Giant" or from the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? -Thanks, John
A: We can't keep track of every exclusive at the con unless our exhibitors tell us and we've been asking them to tell us! Visit the NYCC web site to see what show exclusives that exhibitors have alerted us about. We are updating this info any time we get new exclusives.
Q: I'm a teacher at a public middle school in the Bronx. Some of my sixth graders are working on comic books, and I'd like to bring them (the students and maybe their comic books!) to the convention on April 20. Would school IDs suffice as identification? Also, a couple of the children may be over 12 at the time of the show. Could an exception be made and the fee waived for these students? (The $30 fee is prohibitive for most of our students.) Thanks for taking the time to consider my questions. I look forward to hearing from you. - Xeni
A: Xeni, we’d love to have your class at the con! We’ll work out the details to assure that you can get the class in on Sunday. In fact, just print off this email and you can use it as your ticket into the con for the kids just north of 12 years old. Just show it to the person at registration on Sunday. Here, I’ll make it official:
Dear NYCC Staffer, I herby waive the 12 and under rule for a few of these fine student from the Bronx. Please call me on the radio with any questions, Lance.
Q: I have a concern about the date this convention is to be held. I bought my ticket for Sunday back either in November of December of 2007. I just found out now that I cannot attend due to the fact that the weekend of the convention is also the Jewish holiday of Passover. I am both very upset and disturbed that this convention would take place during a very big Jewish holiday that many people observe. Having gone to and loving the first two New York Comic Cons, I want to express my disappointment and displeasure about having to choose between my religion and my love of this convention. I hope in the future, you will think about this before setting a date. I also want to know if there is anyway I could get a refund due the fact that this convention is on the same date as a major Jewish holiday? Thanks in advance. - Jaime
A: Hi Jaime, I too regret the fact that NYCC is on Passover this year, unfortunately we had no choice whatsoever on the date. The Javits Center is book nearly 365 dayus a year, and this was our only choice. I gave a detailed explanation of this issue on my blog which you can read here: http://www.mediumatlarge.net/2008/01/reply-and-apology-to-neil-kleid-et-al.html I will connect you with the proper party to get you a refund, and I’m really sorry you won’t be at the show this year.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 11:05 AM
Friday, March 14, 2008
Ladies and gentlemen, fanboys and fangirls, this is a gentle reminder from the kindly New York Comic Com team. If you'd like us to mail your NYCC 2008 ticket to you, you've got to order it by midnight on Sunday night. If you don't, you're out of luck, and you'll have to pick it up at the Javits Center. So, order your ticket now at newyorkcomiccon.com.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 12:19 PM
Thursday, March 13, 2008
You've got just over 24 more hours to ask T.M.Revolution a question. You can submit questions to the pop star until noon tomorrow. After that, we'll be selecting 21 to ask T.M.R over the weekend.
You can ask T.M.Revolution a question here...
Posted by Peter Tatara at 9:49 AM
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
It is a very, very sad day.
I thought the world of Dave Stevens. Besides creating the Rocketeer, Dave ochestrated the Bettie Page comeback and looked after her quite a bit. He was very supportive of my Space Cowboy strip and there was talk about him doing a Space Cowboy cover. I told him he had let Adam Hughes runaway with his King of Cheesecake crown by slowing down so, in the last decade. I knew he suffered from Leukemia for years but we wouldn't talk about it.
Though we discussed various book projects: Art books, Rocketeer collections, etc., the only times we really worked together were when, on rare occasion, I'd represent him as a booking agent for some personal appearance like the Creation convention in Pasadena a few years ago. I look back warmly on many great times we shared--frequently in social occasions with other Art Pack types including his idols Jim Steranko and Carmine Infantino, and contemporaries MW Kaluta, Bill Stout, Bob Burden...and even decades back to the Doug Wildey days (I remember Doug saying Dave had single-handedly brought cheesecake back to comics)! There were usually a few great looking women with us too. I still have a sketch Dave did on one such occasion in Atlanta. Great times with a brilliant artist. I was proud to call him friend and I will always remember him.
J. David Spurlock
Dave Stevens died today and the art world lost one of its most passionate practitioners. Our loss, as friends and fans, was infinitely greater. With the exception of Kirby and a few others, one would be hard pressed to name anyone in the field who was more admired and beloved.
Those who knew him will also confirm that, even though he was a superb draftsman and a rendering perfectionist, there wasn't an erg of pretension in him. Who had more right?He was easily one of handsomest, best-dressed, and well-spoken men that could be found behind a drawing board or on a convention floor. Although he may have taken ten minutes to comb his hair and make certain his shirt hung well, there was not a hint of ceremony or conceit in his manner or attitude.
Although he was completely accessible to anyone offering a comment or criticism, Stevens was an extremely private individual. He gave a massive amount of his time, effort, and creativity to those who loved his work. No speed demon, he'd meticulously deliberate over each panel, each figure, each line, until they were as perfect as he could make them. It was an expensive habit, with a killer toll taken from his personal life. He was driven by his professionalism and it showed in the work.
What did not show were the internal processes and sometimes the turmoil in the man behind the work. Stevens was essentially self-educated in artistic techniques and his desire for perfection kept him relentlessly on that track. The result was that no one was better at creating a certain kind of adventure, atmosphere, and anatomy than Stevens. But making it look so easy was only a mask that concealed hard work and serious sacrifice. He kept all that to himself.
And when he was diagnosed with a rare, terminal illness, he kept that to himself, too. His closest friends were aware of the condition, but he had no interest in community—or even private—sympathy, and went to considerable lengths to conceal the problem from his public. Most of his associates were unaware of what he endured physically, mentally, and spiritually because he kept such an inexorable focus on his aesthetic vision. Even the punishment of year-after-year chemo treatments, only deepened his commitment to his art; he began attending sketching sessions (after being a celebrated, successful pro) and eventually enrolled in painting classes, to help his skills transcend the line tradition to the tonal. He was moving from cartoonist to painter, a goal few artists seriously attempt in their 40s, let alone with a terminal sentence hanging over them.
Several years ago, Stevens confessed that his physician had given him about ten to twelve months—to February 2007—to live, based on a calculation of his leukemia's progression. Rather than be ignited by rage, self-pity, or other negative emotional reactions as most of us would do, he opted to go on with his life as though no end was in sight. We frequently talked about business, about our work, about other's work, about film, about music, about food, about the woman we
loved, about our artistic discoveries, about new theories, about the forces that shaped our universe and we sparred, scolded, wisecracked, and laughed, just as we had throughout our 35-year+ relationship.
It led to a point that puzzled me deeply. He knew that unless some miracle cure materialized (insiders scoured the net periodically for clues and news of such a cure), the end was in sight. Yet Stevens' behavior was more normal than mine. I didn't understand how he could awaken every morning and face a doomsday countdown, a personal Armageddon, so cavalierly—and questioned him about it. He revealed that he had no intention of allowing a fatal prognosis to corrupt whatever remained of his life, that he was living every day as naturally as possible.
I was stunned, not by his comment, but because he made it happen—in his terms! He was exhibiting the kind of unbridled courage that generally doesn't exist off the comicbook page. The chips were down and the kid showed his moxie! I never admired him more than at that moment and told him that for a pretty boy, he had plenty of nerve! Stevens' philosophy endured until the end. We spoke a few weeks ago. His voice was faint and he was exhausted, but he made our late-night conversation continue for ninety minutes, heavily punctuated with laughs, each of which generated a coughing fit. Nerve!
I knew the end of the story for a long time, but wasn't prepared--and maybe never will be--to accept the terrible finality of his death. It is painful to start every day knowing there will be no new Stevens images to savor. Or all-night conversations fueled by trivia duels, arcane experiences, esoteric insights, and ongoing laughter. I'll add him to my list: no new Wes Montgomery solos, no more Bob Peak posters, no additional Mickey Spillane thrillers. Life goes on, just the way
Stevens wanted, except he won't be here to make it more interesting.
I can tell you, however, that he'll live in my heart as long as I can take a breath. See you around, pal!
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:06 PM
Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will participate in an Upfront and Unscripted Spotlight conversation with Wired magazines Chris Anderson on Friday afternoon at 3pm during BEA. I gotta say, I’m pretty excited about this – a major goal of BEA is to bring the entire book industry together in one place, and Amazon.com is a big part of our business. Jeff will certainly discuss the launch of the Kindle and his perceptions of it’s impact on our industry but he’s promised to delve into larger industry maters as well.
The decisions Amazon makes internationally in particular have an immense impact on our global industry. The question on the mind of any publisher doing business internationally is, “Where is Amazon going next?” To wit, BEA consultant Ruediger Wischenbart points out on his blog that he estimates that Amazon.com is the #3 largest bookseller in Germany – read it here.
The conversation should prove to be most enlightening on the present and future of the book business from the Amazon.com perspective and I’m always thrilled when BEA can bring an industry leader of this stature to the show and provide them a forum.
Upfront and Unscripted (UU) is a series we launched in 2006 where we pair compelling figures in the books business with an equally compelling questioner, such as Twelve’s Jonathon Karp interviewed by Carl Lennertz or Borders CEO George Jones interviewed by Shelf Awareness’s John Mutter. The UU Spotlight is a new platform to call attention to the entire UU series and it’s a similar strategy we also used with our Conference Keynote to call attention to BEA’s world class conference (this year Thomas Friedman in the conference keynote, last year was Alan Greenspan). Pretty cool having a guy like Jeff Bezos to christen the new event!
We’ll release to full schedule of UU programs in just a few weeks and almost all of them will be vid casted this year as part of the BookExpo Cast pod cast series.
PS - After some issues, all special event tickets for BEA are now available for purchase (or to add onto a badge you've already bought) on our web site. Buy early and buy often!
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:46 AM
I'm very pleased to announce our friends at Bandai Entertainment will premiere The Girl Who Leapt Through Time at New York Comic Con. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a 2006 film from Japan following a high school girl who gains the power to (literally) leap back and forth through time. She uses the ability to make her life a little bit more comfortable, yet when she realizes her power is limited and there are unexpected consequences to her each and every leap, she strives to make the world right before her ability runs out.
Does it sound a bit like The Butterfly Effect? Maybe. But it's good. Really good. It's based on an acclaimed 1965 novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui and animated by MADHOUSE. And it took Japan by storm. No, that's not right. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a simple, unassuming story and it didn't storm anything. Japan fell in love with it. I'm very pleased to be presenting it for the first time in the US, and I'm very pleased to be working again with Bandai Entertainment.
(Although, I should say it did technically screen in the US before -- at the New York International Children's Film Festival last year, but this was before Bandai licensed it, and this is the first screening with Bandai. I was at the Children's Film Festival screening, too. Afterwards, Anime News Network founder Justin Sevakis, Anime Jump boss man Mike Toole, and I had dinner at a little Vietnamese dive near Chinatown. I got some kind of spicy tofu and vegetable soup. It was really, really spicy. I'm getting off topic here, aren't I?)
New York Comic Con will be screening Bandai Entertainment's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and I'm jumping with joy.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 9:48 AM
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I think I saw the ghost of Norman Mailer on the subway. I told my girlfriend, but she just stared at me for a moment before asking if he was the guy who wrote that Hitler book. It's odd that she's not familiar with his mountain of work and instead jumps directly to The Castle in the Forest, which is sitting on my nightstand now. Autographed, too. I met Mr. Mailer at, I believe, his last book signing before he passed away.
Probably wasn't actually Norman Mailer's ghost, though. I'm working on some of New York Comic Con's literary panels now and locking in a lot of the speakers -- all authors of comics without pictures. The big names are Peter David and Terry Brooks, and they'll be joined by a number of Science Fiction and Fantasy scribes including Danielle Bennett, Kate Brallier, Isamu Fukui, Felix Gilman, Nina Harper, Jaida Jones, David Keck, Naomi Novik, Brian Slattery, and Alissa Torres.
At the same time, I'm working to confirm some Guests of Honor for the New York Anime Festival in September and am close (I think) to getting a major Japanese author there. Who? Not telling. He should be a hit, too. If not, I can keep him busy by signing all my copies of his books.
I'm going to presume my typically-oppressive workload along with the authors I'm speaking with for both NYCC and NYAF resulted in the Norman Mailer apparition. Or, I just saw a cranky old guy.
I've also got some more literary good news. You know that novel I've been writing? The one that I haven't touched for the past five months because of work? Well, I wrote a paragraph this week and really want to write more. Of course, rather than writing more, I'm right now writing this. Maybe I could steal enough time to start writing in earnest again by saying I'm writing for the blog but actually producing the next great American novel. With vampires.
If you're a publisher or literary agent and would like to talk about buying the book or representing me, let me know, because if you like these trite, little diary entries, just imagine what I'm capable of when I put effort into it.
That's right, pretty much this, just longer.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 9:15 AM
Monday, March 10, 2008
Expanding upon Lance's original Frank Miller post, written briskly between drinks while touring the Irish countryside...
Lionsgate will be at New York Comic Con 2008 promoting its upcoming The Spirit based off of the classic comic by Will Eisner. Lionsgate will present a first look at the film on Saturday, April 19 in New York Comic Con's IGN Theater with guests including Frank Miller and Eva Mendes.
Frank Miller -- if you didn't know -- is the man behind The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, and 300. Eva Mendes can be seen in films including Training Day, Once Upon A Time in Mexico, and Ghost Rider. She plays Sand Saref in Liongate's The Spirit.
The Spirit, which debuted in 1940, chronicled the adventures of a masked vigilante working on behalf of the police and is still regarded today for its deep and diverse narratives spanning film noir and crime drama as well as adventure, mystery, horror, comedy and romance.
In addition to panelists Frank Miller and Eva Mendes, Lionsgate will present The Spirit's teaser poster for the first time -- and both Mr. Miller and Ms. Mendes will be available to sign copies for New York Comic Con attendees.
New York Comic Con welcomes the legendary Frank Miller with open arms, and we're delighted to have an actress of Ms. Mendes's caliber join us. It is a true honor to have Frank Miller and Eva Mendes with us, and we earnestly thank all our friends at Lionsgate who are making this spectacular event possible.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 3:13 PM
Here is my big announcement for the morning, Neil Gaiman will be doing an event at NY ComicCon this year! We've been working for a few months now with our buddy Charles at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to do an event and it's finally now a reality.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:02 AM
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I’m home from Belgium as of tonight and instead of boring you with tales of my travels, I’ll give you a few incomplete sentence highlights:
- If you received an email from me the last few days, the picture to my left is what my “office” most often looked like. Cigarette, trapist beer and blackberry, which left me one hand short.
- 53% of all books exported from Belgium are comics
- I don’t like eating eel
- I had a great talk with Belgian editors and publishers while there. The national export association is wanting to launch a large comic focused event next year and we plan to discuss cooperation. Cool. Now I can expense all that trapist beer.
- Framboise beer is made w/the same bacteria that causes athlete's foot (Pedeacoccus) but it makes the beer taste super-fruity. My brother taught me that one.
VIP Lithograph – Check out the limited Marvel lithograph. They will only make about 400 of these and the first 100 will be signed by Joe Q. How do you get one? Buy a NYCC VIP package, that’s how!
More Big Names at NYCC - Eva Mendes and Frank Miller will be at the show and singing on Saturday at 3:30! We’ll have more info about this ASAP but this is again part of Hollywood’s NYCC invasion, cool on Lion’s Gate!
Dates – We’ve extended the volunteer sign up to 3/21, fill out the form online to be a NYCC volunteer. Make sure and buy your tickets by 3/13 if you want them mailed to you!!!!!
Short and sweet tonight, I’m jet lagged and need to blog up my super secret announcement for tomorrow morning.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 8:26 PM
Friday, March 7, 2008
Question: There's a Volunteer Team?
Answer: You Bet!!!!!
Anyone who was there the first two years at NY Comic Con will understand that it can get pretty crazy at NYCC, and the volunteer team is right there to be just a little bit crazier - but in a good way! With an emphasis on fun, the volunteer team is like a s.w.a.t. team of friendliness and cool.
"Well, what the heck does that mean, and who ARE you?" you ask? Okay, okay, i'll tell you.
My name is Carly Slater and I'm the Volunteer Manager for NYCC's volunteer team. That means i have the absolutely most fun job in the building. The volunteer team consists of the coolest, best, most fun people we can find and I spend a LOT of time with them throughout the whole weekend. We task volunteers as-needed, so there's no way of telling what anyone will be doing, but in the past volunteers have done everything from line control (which means directing people and of course socializing with all the con-goers - yay) and even hanging out with the likes of Stan Lee and Kevin Smith (it's no guarantee you'll be chatting up celebrities if you become a volunteer - but it's very possible). We also share space with the 501st Battalion of Storm Troopers and Star Wars costumers, so hey - you get to hang out with Darth Vader and Boba Fett!
As if that wasn't enough, our volunteers also enjoy some supercool benefits like:
- Having your weekend pass reimbursed means FREE ADMISSION.
- Get your Geek on: lots of other great comic fans to meet!
- Fun volunteer-only games, with *prizes*.
- Special guest appearances in the volunteer room (who could it be? you never know!)
- Super fashionable t-shirts!
- Be the FIRST to get announcements & programming info and meet other volunteers on our EXCLUSIVE volunteer yahoo group.
Actually, this is just the tip of the iceberg - there's a lot more perks to being a volunteer, but i think that should whet the appetite. So, have I got you interested yet? Know a friend who might be? We're still taking applications (the team's gonna be pretty big this year!). If you're over 14, go to nycomiccon.com and click on "Volunteers" at the top of the page to find our online form.
Next time: FAQ#2 "What tasks can I expect to do if I volunteer?"
-Carly Slater, Volunteer Manager, New York Comic Con
Posted by Peter Tatara at 1:22 PM
Thursday, March 6, 2008
New York Comic Con is honored to have T.M.Revolution perform with us this April, and personally, I'm very, very excited. Even more than that, from everything I've heard from his fans in both America and Japan, everyone is ecstatic. Our staff, partners, and sponsors are just really happy right now. And so is T.M.Revolution.
T.M.Revolution's New York Comic Con concert is going to be -- to use a word frequently popping out of my younger, hipper, trendier girlfriend's mouth -- epic.
And to foster more good feelings, I'm pleased to announce I'll be sitting down with T.M.Revolution next weekend to conduct a little interview. What'll I be asking him? I don't know. See, all the questions will be coming from you! I'll be asking T.M.Revolution 21 questions, which means you've got 21 chances to get your question answered personally by one of Japan's biggest pop stars. How do you ask T.M.Revolution a question? Simply leave a comment. I'll be going through all the comments and pull the 21 best and/or most interesting and ask them myself.
Want to know T.M.Revolution's favorite song? Want to know what brand of gel he puts in his hair? Curious whether or not he's a fan of creme brulee? Maybe you're just dying to know if he's got any cute pets? Post your questions right here, and I'll ask T.M.Revolution for answers.
All questions must be posted before 12 PM EST on Friday, March 14!
Tatara Makes Revolution!
Posted by Peter Tatara at 11:37 PM
All at New York Comic Con! All in the IGN Theater at 2 PM on Saturday, April 19! All thanks to our friends at Universal!
And, over 200 NYCC street banners all around New York City featuring Hellboy II, Hulk, and Wanted! Again, thanks to the guys and gals over at Universal!
(Lance blogged about this yesterday, but his words seemed a little bit less than certain, so I'm repeating the news in a bit more definite tone. Excited yet?)
Posted by Peter Tatara at 1:13 PM
A year ago today, a little video about a Spider-Man and a Superman action figure was posted on YouTube. The image was shaky, the toys not always in focus, and Superman sounded kinda funny. Yet, there was something about the thing -- something charming, something stunning, and something true. Now, after 365 days, that video has over 2,500,000 fans. Who knows what the next year will bring?
Congratulations, ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, on your first year anniversary! Your Marvel vs. DC videos have won the world over and it's impossible to tell just how many hours have been spent watching your movies -- and how many hours have been spent watching your movies instead of doing work.
I wish you all the best and hope to see a lot more big (and small) stuff from you soon!
If you, dear reader, would like to wish ItsJustSomeRandomGuy a Happy Birthday, too, head on over to his most recent video -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXRpPja3AMA -- and leave him your warmest regards! Try and tabulate how much more productive you would have been if you weren't constantly watching Marvel vs. DC, too!
Posted by Peter Tatara at 9:10 AM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I remember the first time I stumbled upon theOtaku.com. It was years and years ago. I was Marketing Manager at Central Park Media, the people responsible for Grave of the Fireflies, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and -- admittedly -- a lot of yaoi. I don't know where or how I found theO, but I knew I liked it. It was slick, it was fun, it had a personality, and it had Spikey. Thinking back, Spikey is what really did it for me. TheOtaku.com's very simple and very spikey mascot set the mood, and I've loved watching theO and Spikey evolve through the years.
Now, five or so years later, theOtaku.com has grown and grown up a lot, and I'm proud to offer my congratulations today, the day the newest evolution of theO --Version Vibrant -- launches. I'm pleased to see Spikey's part of the new theO, and I'm very pleased to see he, just like the entire portal, has matured.
If you're new to theO and are reading this without any real clue as to what I'm talking about, theOtaku.com is the definitive internet anime art portal. Built from the ground up to showcase anime art and foster a unique, collaborative, and thriving community, it's an amazing thing to behold. The passions of hundreds of thousands of artists, authors, and creators are poured into this place, and it's all because of the passion of a single man, a nice guy who lives in New York City named Adam.
A few months back, Adam and I met up for lunch at Kinokuniya Bookstore in Manhattan, and over Asian fusion paninis and designer green teas, he revealed to me a draft version of Version Vibrant. I had seen bits and pieces of the new theO ever since Adam unveiled a preview during the New York Anime Festival in December. I loved what I saw and expected great things, but I was totally unprepared by the full size, shape, and scale of theOtaku.com's Version Vibrant.
As he led me through the new site, I saw killer app after killer app after killer app. The engine that powers Version Vibrant offers users a level of customization and creativity that's simply never been done before. Version Vibrant gives its visitors the ability to create, to make, to mold, and to -- honestly -- be themselves. And, more brilliant than any of theO's new features is the way theO sticks them all together so rather than being daunting and overpowering, they're natural. They work in harmony.
I know I'm speaking in a lot of vagaries, and that's because the new theO is something you really have to experience for yourself. I don't want to spoil the site. Instead, I want you to explore and invent here. I want you to discover everything that Adam's crafted.
And I want you to know that Adam's crafted all of this himself. TheOtaku.com is an impressive, impressive thing, and it's all the more awe-inspiring when you realize it's the vision of a single man. Adam and a very small team have given life to theO, and the feats they accomplish every single day are nothing short of monumental.
And through it all, Spikey's remained. While theOtaku has grown and grown up, become more things to more people, and developed a sophisticated substance, look, and feel, it still has the same spirit that started it all, and now, through Version Vibrant, this spirit is more alive than ever.
Well done, Adam. Congratulations!
Posted by Peter Tatara at 10:31 PM
Where's Artist Alley? Where's Artist Alley? Where's Artist Alley? Where's Artist Alley? I'll tell you where! Online right now at newyorkcomiccon.com. It's online. All of it. Go now!
Highlights include Mark Buckingham, C.B. Cebulski, Colleen Doran, Danny Fingeroth, Keith Giffen, Bob Layton, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Monte Moore, Rags Morales, John Romita, Jr., Jim Shooter, and Jim Valentino.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 7:57 PM
PS - my plane is about to fly, a steward could knock this blackberry out of my hand at any moment. Why do I risk it all?
To tell you Artist Alley will be on NYCC.com tomorrow and here and in a press release.
Thanks for waiting!
New York ComicCon
New York Anime Fest
203.840.5507 (o) 203.417.3607 (m)
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld - Please excuse any typos!
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 7:27 PM
2pm Saturday in the IGN.com Theatre at NYCC Universal plans a serious roll out of these three films. It should make for a great afternoon and another sign that Hollywood is hitting NYCC hard.
Sorry, I'm mogging as I wait for a flight to Belgium here at JFK so this post will be brief, link free, and full of typos, but I thought you'd all like to know the official news as soon as I did.
I'm certain Universal will bring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and Guillermo del Toro to talk up Hellboy 2. As for Hulk and Wanted, talent of the first rate is being worked on, but nothing that we can confirm yet, but our hopes are high!
Further proof that the studios are making a splash at NYCC? Universal will be ringing the city with Hulk, Hellboy and Wanted banners promoting NYCC from light poles all over Manhattan. Over 200 in all. Damn cool! So when you hit the big city for the con, you'll feel like the entire city is decked out to welcome you.
We've got more good stuff coming and hopefully this week. So stay tuned and remember, as soon as I can tell you any news, dear blog readers, I will!
New York ComicCon
New York Anime Fest
203.840.5507 (o) 203.417.3607 (m)
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld - Please excuse any typos!
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 6:47 PM
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
The New York Comic Con Show Store is totally almost completely online. Want proof? Head on over to this far, far too long link…
We've got a fine assortment of New York Comic Con apparel and exclusives that'll be on sale in just a little bit.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 11:36 AM
I'm pleased to announce two new websites have launched today that expand the New York Comic Con and Anime Festival online family. Both sites are something special, something unique, and something designed and coded by yours truly.
First up we have a dream come true for gawkers, stalkers, and voyeurs, NewYorkComicCam.com. Ever wonder what we're doing at NYCC and NYAF when we're not blogging? Well, click over to NewYorkComicCam.com to find out. We've got our first webcam -- the CouchCam -- already set up, and I want you all to expect a lot more soon.
Going online in the next week will be the LanceCam, a tiny little camera in Show Manager Lance Fensterman's office, and a little after that will be the TataraCam, a joyous camera overlooking my very desk. I've also got plans for a FridgeCam, JohnCam, LarryCam, and a few more. I've just got to make certain I pace myself and continue to place webcams in my spare time rather than working on new cameras instead of doing actual work.
Second is CosplayTeamUSA.com. At New York Anime Festival 2007, the World Cosplay Summit's Team USA was chosen. These two women -- Renee Gloger and Sonnya Paz -- will be traveling to Japan this summer to compete against cosplayers from around the world in a competition to crown the best cosplayers on Planet Earth. (I'll be going, too, to supervise the gals.)
CosplayTeamUSA.com contains profiles, pictures, and the Team USA blog, and regular visits to CosplayTeamUSA.com will keep you up to date on what's going on with the girls, their costumes, and their general musings as they prepare for the World Cosplay Summit Finals. And, just like NewYorkComicCam.com, what you see on CosplayTeamUSA.com is just the start. I've already got a new round of images from both Renee and Sonnya, and you should plan on a lot of pretty and pretty awesome things coming to the site in the coming weeks and months.
Enough about my pet projects, though. Time to go back to work. I should announce some new guests or screenings or something.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 6:18 AM
Monday, March 3, 2008
Hi, it's Peter. I hope you're doing well. I'm writing you this note because you're not at work today. We were supposed to do a snazzy photo shoot for the upcoming NewYorkComicCam.com, but you're sick. I hope it's not too bad. You're going on some business trip to Europe tomorrow, no? Your recent speaking tour throughout South East Asia didn't happen, and I hope the European sojourn doesn't also go the way of smoke and ghosts.
Anyway, I was going to swing by your office to talk to you about my weekend, but since you're not here, I felt we should have this conversation via MediumAtLarge.net in front of all ten of its readers. (Hi, Lance's mom!) Realistically, I know you check this blog more often than your actual e-mail, so don't complain. In fact, I think this blog should be the channel by which we have all future conversations. (Hey, Lance, is that guy I can't mention who's connected to that thing I can't say going to come again this year? Yeah, fans are going to have that reaction I can't talk about!)
I spent Saturday at Queens Gantry Park, a little strip of green at the edge of Long Island City overlooking Manhattan's skyline. I took pictures of all of New York Comic Con's 2008 exclusive toys and apparel and am working to have them online -- hopefully -- before the day is through. The photos are, at least in my estimation, good, and considering all my complexes and neuroses, if I approve of them, they're probably honestly not crap. I went to school for this stuff, ya know.
I didn't go out to take pictures of products. No, I went out to take good, striking photographs that just happen to feature the NYCC logo on occasion. I also snuck in a copy of Werewolf By Night that was actually given to me at the first New York Comic Con and some Del Rey books to keep Ali T. Kokmen happy.
I was going to spend Sunday doing my taxes, but after you let me know you and Mrs. Show Manager weren't going to make it to a play and offered me the pair of tickets, I changed my plans and also added you to my BFF list.
Admittedly, I'm not the biggest theater goer. Honestly, I don't think I've been to a play in the three years I've lived in NYC. Don't take this as me saying I'm not cultural. I am! I just spend my time at the Angelika and Independent Film Center. In fact, I just saw In Bruges.
(What's a "Bruges"? A sleepy, tranquil, fairy tale of a town in Belgium that Colin Farrell tears the fuck up in In Bruges. Before going into the screening, I wasn't expecting much and had images of Smoking Aces and Shoot 'Em Up swirling about my head. I figured In Bruges was going to be a lot of violent nonsense with witless exchanges of sash mouth haphazardly thrown into any moment whose aural real estate wasn't occupied with automatic gunfire. In fact, In Bruges was a lot of violent nonsense with witty exchanges of sash mouth skillfully placed into every moment whose aural real estate wasn't occupied with automatic gunfire.)
Getting back to the wobbly line that is my subject, I and Miss Programming Manager took in The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island (Or, The Friends of Dr. Rushower) not really knowing what to expect, something which should come as no shock to you as all of our e-mails prior to the show revolved around me talking about giant slugs -- while there wasn't a single slug featured in the play at all.
The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island was some pretty powerful and fun stuff. Fusing the art of cartoonist Ben Katchor, the music of Mark Mulcahy (who did the music to The Adventures of Pete and Pete), and some real, live actors, the result was clever, surreal, triumphant, and tragic. It was pretty deck. It was pretty deck, too, that actor Bobby Steggert looked a hell of a lot like a young Dave Foley and Jody Flader looked just like a hot boss from one of my previous jobs.
The only thing that wasn't pretty deck was that our seats were right next to a fat man in a Miami Dolphins jersey and his gassy wife. My girlfriend spent the entire play with her arm around me and head on my shoulder, both of which I assumed meant your tickets were going to get me some. As she explained soon afterwards, though, she was only in that position to put as much distance as possible between herself and the gassy woman's anus.
After The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, we headed over to chic vegetarian hangout Zen Palate in Union Square only to find it had closed down. There was a note on the door stating that the rent jumped just too high. There are other Zen Palate locations in NYC, but it's a shame the Union Square restaurant closed. Rent everywhere in New York City is perpetually going from astronomical to incredulous. I honestly don't know how long I'll be able to stay in Long Island City. My rent's preposterous and there simply aren't any alternatives. If I look down my block, there aren't any new apartments available. There are plenty of condos, though, and there are more going up every minute. The condo across the street from me wants $450,000 for a studio. That's eight times the price of my parents' house.
We ended up going to Quantum Leap on 1st Ave. Quantum Leap, like Zen Palate, is a vegetarian joint, but it's decidedly more hippie and hipster friendly. My girlfriend got a vegan chicken and bacon sandwich. I got a veggie burger topped with avocado and onion rings. Good stuff. We also talked about me being a hipster. Apparently, I may be one. Sure, all my friends ditched work on Super Tuesday to volunteer for Obama. Sure, I give money to and am right now listening to NPR. Sure, I've got a different blazer for every day of the week. But I know shit about indie music, hookah bars, and absinthe. Wait, no, scratch that last one. I know a guy with a bottle. Wanna take a guess who?
If I am a hipster, there are a few parts of my personality I've got to correct to better fit the counter-cultural mold. I'll steal some index cards from the supply closet this afternoon and have to remember to regularly use the word "deck", which I already started experimenting with above.
This just about brings me up to today. I'm working on some website updates, some programming, some barters, and some busy work. What else? Greg wants to see the next Marvel vs. DC video, and the blog widget over on newyorkcomiccon.com has been giving me errors for the past few days. I'm looking into it, and if it remains unstable, I'll be swapping it out for something else. Fret not, though, as whatever I replace it with will still be pulling in content from MediumAtLarge.net. When can we start selling ads on the blog and pocketing the profit?
Since you've got an Xbox 360 now, you need to get yourself a few games. Wouldn't it be nice if the blog could pay for 'em? Just a thought. Let me know, too, which games you've picked up for the 360. Get Gears of War yet? If not, you should. You should also figure out some way to get CliffyB to New York Comic Con.
At this point, I think I've gone on long enough. I'll leave you with this...
It's awfully suspicious you got sick and didn't show up for work the day after you bought an Xbox.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 2:03 PM
JAPANESE Press Coverage of New York Comic Con!
T.M.Revolution was also on Appare Sanma Shin-Kyoju on Fuji TV yesterday talking all about us.
Posted by Peter Tatara at 11:02 AM
Sunday, March 2, 2008
At long last, I’m going to leek out a little info on the NYCC VIP ticket we’ve created for this year. But here’s the deal we have to make; They are not on sale yet and while I hope to have the ready to go this week, I can’t guarantee it – so please be patient. The VIP packages going live are tied into a big guest announcement as well which means it’s out of our hands right now (I’ll tell you why the two issues are linked later in the post). So please be patient with me on getting them posted for sale, ok? I’ll make sure you faithful blog reader arte the first to know when they’ll be available…..
Ok, on to the business of VIP packages.
This year we are offering one huge VIP ticket to the show. It comes with swag and access, but it comes at a cost. Separate from the VIP package we are offering individual Ultimate Experience tickets that I’ll tell you more about in a minute.
NYCC VIP Ticket
- Weekend pass (special credentials, different from all other tickets)
- Limited quantity of 500
- Advance access to the con on Friday from 10-3 (the con opens to all other fans at 3pm)
- Dedicated counter for VIP package pick up and questions
- Dedicated entrance to the con for pro’s and VIP’s only
- Premium seating at panels in the IGN.com theatre
- NYCC exclusive Marvel t-shirt
- Marvel limited edition lithograph (signed by Joe Quesada)
- NYCC sweatshirt
- Marvel limited edition Iron Man bust
- Marvel NYCC variant comic
- DHL overnight delivery of credentials before the Con
- The cost: $400
As I mentioned you’ll also be able to buy Ultimate Experience tickets to get even more access to some of your favorite guests. In all we hope to have about 20 of these different Ultimate Experience packages with the first round going on sale, along with the VIP tickets, this week (we hope!). This is the sticking point I mentioned – We have a huge guest announcement that we need to make before we can release these as we have an Ultimate Experience set up for this guest – that’s why I can’t guarantee when this will all be available, sorry!!!
So for example, you could buy the Lance Fensterman Ultimate Experience ticket for 100 bucks that would be a private meet and greet with me and 15 other fans only, along with a merch signing. Get it? All these tickets will be available online and we’ll do two or three waves of releases as we confirm the guests and the experiences. We have some really freaking cool stuff lined up for these, I mean it, not just signings and meet and greets but actual crazy experiences.
All of the details of the merch in the VIP packages and the Ultimate Experience stuff will go up at one time on the web site, so please stay tuned to the blog, I’ll tell you when we are going to launch it…..
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 11:19 PM
Anyone familiar with MySpace knows the New York Anime Festival's MySpace Page gets daily if not hourly updates. Anyone familiar with NYAF's big brother -- New York Comic Con -- knows its MySpace page has been updated a little less than not as much. Why's this? NYAF's page is the work of myself and -- when I'm too busy watching MTV's That's Amore or doing real work -- my girlfriend. NYCC's page has floated among a number on the Comic Con team, with no one really claiming it as their own. Until now. I'm proud to say I've adopted New York Comic Con's MySpace page and will be showering it with love, affection, attention, and updates from now on.
I've already completely revamped the color scheme and made sure it reflects NYCC 2008. There's still some MSN passport window that I've got to make sure is eliminated, but all in all, the new NYCC MySpace page is better, cleaner, prettier, and -- most importantly -- accurate.
Beyond the new MySpace page, there's the brand new Facebook page. Again, while my baby -- New York Anime Festival -- has had a Facebook presence, New York Comic Con lacked one entirely. But no longer! So, whether you're a MySpace fan or prefer the flavor of Facebook, we've got you covered. Now, go, and friend us, because while we may be pals, it's not official until we're recognized by both MySpace and Facebook.
New York Anime Festival MySpace Page
New York Comic Con MySpace Page
New York Anime Festival Facebook Page
New York Comic Con Facebook Page
Posted by Peter Tatara at 10:56 PM
Indulge me with a little business talk……
The blogosphere is buzzing with Chris Andersons Wired article on Free, which in fact is a free excerpt from his forthcoming book. The article is exceptional and one that is extremely relevant to our business of publishing, comics, games, etc. He also has a nice piece in Ad Age you can read here.
I’ll give you one non book related example. I broke down and bought an X Box 360 yesterday and with it came no games (Yeah, I’m old school, I remember getting Super Mario with my Nintendo 15 years ago!), so I passed on a few of the upgrades from them (the wireless adapter, HD cables) because I had to buy a game. Overall they would’ve had a larger spend from me had they given me a free game. More to the point why is Super Mario a brand that still survives today? They gave away millions of free game 15 or 20 years ago – not a bad way to build a franchise.
Anyway, read the Wired article and check out Chris’s Long Tail blog (which was also an exceptional book that is insanely relevant to the niche title world of comics and books). Also, as a tease, Chris will be interviewing a HUGE player in the book industry at BEA in June. Look for that announcement in the next few weeks.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 1:14 PM
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Brass Balls – Alec Baldwin is a speaker at one of the BEA author events I announced this week and Vroman’s Bookstore blog linked to a great McSweeney’s piece recreating his famous monologue from Glengarry Glen Ross. Read it here, it’s hilarious. My favorite quote? Take care of the class hamster? Fuck you. Which reminds me, my McSweeney’s came in the mail today. Yipee! It’s got three collections, but the hardback is titled, Where to Invade Next, with a big American flag. I vote for Youngstown, OH.
NY ComicContents – I’ve got a few things about The Con, I think I can leak tomorrow, so stayed tuned. Perhaps some guest stuff but certainly some VIP ticket info. Scroll down to see the list of store where you can buy tickets. Will any bookstores sell tickets? McNally or BookCourt? I didn’t formally ask them, maybe that’s why they aren’t, ok, I’ll add that to the to-do list.
Lego my Lego – Check this out from Wired’s blog, Lego is building a MMO (massively multiplayer online game) that allows players to live among the Lego sets they’ve created! It sounds amazing. So basically Any structure or vehicle you may construct out of the MMOs virtual blocks, you can also export to LEGO who will allow you to purchase traditional LEGO sets that are exact replicas of what you've created in-game. Also on Lego’s, I was having a bad week this week (something about pissing off all of the comic industry news outlets tends to wear one down) and I got into the car Thursday (The Editor-in-Chief and I carpool) and there was an Imperial Landing Craft Lego set sitting on the passenger seat for me. It must be love. It’s awesome, the wings move and everything.
Viral Vid - The first NYCC Viral vid by It's Just Some Random Guy is now up to 23,000 views! Nice. Visit it and share it, please! I want to get to 100,000! Also, last night I got the enxt vid. it's great, I can;t wait ot get it out there.
Borders New Store Layout – Friend and indy bookstore owner Karl Pohrt reviewed the new Borders store concept on his blog here. It’s a great perspective from Karl – it’s sort of like Ronald McDonald writing a review of a Whopper excep Karl isn’t a clown. Far from it. I mean he is entertaining, but.…damn I need to pick better analogies. Honestly it’s very insightful.
To Hell with Helvetica – Watch the documentary Helvetica last weekend. It was good, within the context that it is a full length documentary about a font. But my favorite line was from a stereotypically snobby German guy and when asked why he didn’t like Helvetica he replied, “I don’t know, what is it about bad taste that is ubiquitous?” I need to work that into sentences more often.
The Kennedy Mystique – I mentioned reading Rock On by Dan Kennedy a few months ago, well I came across a video he made for his first book, Loser Goes First, that is a hoot – as we say in the Midwest. It’s like 6 minutes long, but worth watching.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 4:46 PM
Finally, we've unleashed tickets into the real world! You, yes you, can actually go and get your sweaty little hands - or dry hands if you don't have any glandular problems, onto NY ComicCon tickets. So what the hell are you doing reading this blog? Go buy your tickets! By the way, if you are not sure what you are looking for, I previewed the ticket art about a month ago - check em out here. Also, please click on the links below because it took me like 10 minutes to add all the url's.
The Coolest Comic Stores in the World (this mantle is based solely on the fact that they sell NYCC tickets, if you want your store to join this prestigious list, all you have to do is email me):
A Little Shop of Comics
All Things Fun
Cosmic Comics and Books
Fat Moose Comics
Fourth World Comics
Jim Hanley's Universe
Legends of Superheros
New Moon Comics
St Marks Comics
The Jokers Child
Time Warp Comics & Games
If you want to sell tickets for NYCC at your book or comic store, email me!!!!!
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 3:43 PM