Continuing our coverage of last weekend’s fourth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2”), this episode covers the sci-fi actors and comic book creators we met this year. With one exception, all of these were folks we’d never met before. My wife wanted to meet a few veterans of the Star Wars saga; I wanted to meet writers and artists responsible for great works.
Highest priority on my own list: British music journalist turned comics writer Kieron Gillen. His two-year run on Journey into Mystery turned Kid Loki into one of the funniest, most heartbreaking characters in the Marvel Universe. His creator-owned Phonogram (two miniseries and counting) is a sharp fantasy mixing music, magic, and the people who live for both. Current gigs include Iron Man and Young Avengers, which both tend to rise to the top of my weekly reading pile.
Also: my favorite photo of the weekend. If you haven’t read at least one of his books, you’re what’s wrong with comics.
Chris Samnee is a young artist who’s knocked several projects out of the park — Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale; Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom; Thor the Mighty Avenger; and, currently, Mark Waid’s Daredevil.
Up-‘n’-coming writer Charles Soule recently took on DC’s Swamp Thing and will be taking over Marvel’s Thunderbolts this summer, but was previously making waves with his creator-owned music/horror/fantasy book 27 for Image. After catching him at two different C2E2 panels, I picked up his newest graphic novel, the complexity-theory thriller Strange Attractors, illustrated by Greg Scott (Gotham Central). After flipping through a few random pages, I promoted it to the top of my post-convention reading list. So far I’m halfway through and very much intrigued by it, but I keep getting interrupted.
The name of TV writer Jane Espenson keeps popping up in shows I follow such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Once Upon a Time. She appeared at the Dark Horse Comics booth with frend/collaborator Brad Bell to promote the trade paperback collection of their digital miniseries Husbands, based on their online sitcom.
Brett Weldele was co-creator (with Robert Venditti) of The Surrogates, later adapted into a decent Bruce Willis vehicle. I was glad at long last to pick up a copy of the horrific Spontaneous (written by Joe Harris), which I’d sampled on a previous Free Comic Book Day but had been disappointed when I couldn’t find copies locally upon release.
Andrew Pepoy has been in the business for a while as an inker at just about every major company (recently on the late Jack of Fables, among others). I remember when he once illustrated a comic strip for Comics Buyer’s Guide many years ago, but I’ve been stumped for days trying to remember its name. I know the lead character dressed as a detective. Little help?
This was my fourth time meeting Geof Darrow, concept artist for The Matrix and co-creator (with Frank Miller) of The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, which became a short-lived Fox Kids cartoon. Every time I see him, I pick up an issue of Shaolin Cowboy. I could mention more, but HIS PHONE HAS SHOCKING THINGS IN IT.
A true delight to meet: Joe Staton, a mainstay at DC Comics in the 1980s (Green Lantern, New Guardians) who’s been drawing the Dick Tracy comic strip since 2011. Among other things, a few random issues of E-Man were some of the most offbeat items in my childhood comic collection — still with me today but pretty beaten up.
Mixing comics and celebrity status: Chicago Bears player Israel Idonije was on hand to tout his upcoming comics project Protectors. Other than wrestlers, pro athletes are kind of a rarity at cons.
My wife was privileged to add no less than three new names to her Star Wars autograph collection. First line: Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Jedi padawan Ahsoka Tano from the recently, unfairly canceled Star Wars: the Clone Wars.
When he was a wee lad, New Zealand’s Daniel Logan was the young Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones, and continued as his voice for Clone Wars. He’s quite the charmer with the ladies.
Though I can’t recall if she had any lines, Israeli model/martial artist Orli Shoshan appeared in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith as Jedi Master Shaak Ti, a Togruta just like Ahsoka Tano.
If you’ve been near a screen within the last thirty years and watched bits of Babylon 5, Chuck, Tron, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, or many other TV movies and guest appearances, you’re probably familiar with the Bruce Boxleitner.
One of my wife’s favorite photos of the weekend.
To be concluded!
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Links to other installments are enclosed below for the curious completists among you. Happy viewing!
Part 1: Costume Contest Winners and the Doctor Who Milieu Revue
Part 2: Costumes from Screens Big and Small
Part 3: Costumes from Marvel, Image, and Other Comics
Part 4: Geek Culture Settings and Artifacts
Part 6: Robots, Games, Misfits and Honorable Mentions