Monday, February 09, 2009

New York Comicon 2009: Day 2 and 3

Besides seeing the Joss Whedon panel yesterday, I saw a bunch of other stuff at the comicon. On Saturday, I went to the Torchwood panel. Eve Myles and director Euros Lyn were there. They screened a trailer/EPK type promo piece for the season. To be honest, it looks okay, but not that impressive.

I’m not that big a fan of Torchwood in general. It feels stuck in that Angel season one mode of heavy, way too serious and self consciously dark standalone episodes that never really add together. The second season had some good episodes, but the finale was botched by condensing what should have been a two or three episode arc into one episode. Angel found its voice by going more operatic and over the top, which huge, sweeping arcs and sustained character development. This season is one big story, which could work. But, the trailer looks like more of the same.

Still, it was nice see Eve Myles there, and she was pretty funny throughout. There wasn’t any huge news out of the panel. PC Andy will be in the season, and Rhys will have a bigger role. No Mickey or Martha though, disappointing after the tease in the Who finale. I’ll definitely be watching, but Torchwood just isn’t as good as I’d like it to be.

On Saturday, I also had the chance to speak to Chris Claremont for a little bit. He was promoting his new series, X-Men Forever. He said that the series would explore the question of why no mutants ever get old. The promo material looked pretty nice, I’ve got a signed poster on my wall now, and it’s got the best X-costumes since Quitely’s. These outfits find a nice balance between the superhero style of the past and the civilian style Morrison had. They look like regular clothes versions of the characters’ old style spandex outfits. So, Gambit’s got a black coat, a suit and a pink shirt instead of the pink body armor thing. Rogue wears a green vest over a black shirt, that sort of thing. I wish the poster was online, but I can’t find it anywhere.

He also had pages from an upcoming series called X-Women with Milo Manara. It’s supposed to be out in the summer, and the preview art looked gorgeous. I read Manara’s story in Sandman: Endless Nights, and this story has the same really detailed line work as he had there. Claremont’s worked with a lot of journeyman artists, but he’s also had some great collaborations with people like Art Adams or Paul Smith. It’s nice to see him get to work with a real topline talent on this one.

I also spoke briefly with Louise Simonson and heard a few stories about working on X-Men back in the day. Since I was there ostensibly to work with Sequart and promote my Invisibles book, I didn’t go for any sketches or anything like that. Trying to keep it professional now, y’know?

Anyway, part of that is the next book that I’m working on. Expanding significantly on my blog posts from a while back, I’m going to be doing an analytical look at the Chris Claremont X-Men from Giant Size to X-Men #3, with side looks at relevant sections of X-Factor and New Mutants, and the various minis. It’s a huge project, but I think it’s a hugely important piece of comics history that hasn’t been thoroughly covered, so I’m taking on the task. I’m planning on interviewing Claremont and Simonson, and hopefully other relevant people, as part of the process, and possibly doing a companion documentary as well. We’ll see what develops, but I’m hoping to have that book completed and available for purchase at the next New York Comicon in 2010.

As for The Invisibles book, the title is now going to be Our Sentence is Up: Seeing The Invisibles, it’ll be in the August previews, and available in stores in October. So, look for that.

So, this weekend, I picked up a ton of X-Factor and New Mutants issues to fill in the gaps, and I’m pretty close to having all the books I need to cover for this era. I also got two volumes of Frank Miller Daredevil, which I’ve never read, and am excited to check out.

The con was certainly missing something without Morrison, but it was fun nonetheless, and just zipped by. I was really tired at the end of it, but it was a great three days.

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