Sunday, September 28, 2008

FanBoyWonder, Kemosabe and the Baltimore Comic-Con

FanBoyWonder and our best pal and all around Kemosabe John Micek braved torrential downpours, traffic accidents and sleep deprivation on Saturday (not unlike the sleep deprivation we’re feeling now at the end of the night following a full day of family stuff) as we made our way down to Charm City for the 2008 Baltimore Comic-Con.

While we both had a fine time, we both found the convention to be a mixed bag—there were a LOT of carbon-based life forms crowded together in a space that didn’t seem to be fully adequate for the event.

FBW and Kemosabe stood in line for better part of an hour starting outside and slowly making our way to the box office—three tiny ticket windows, only two of which were seemed to be open at any one time.

Once we (finally) made it in, we scooted up two floors to join the DC Nation panel just a few minutes in progress (more on that in another post) then after 90 minutes we made our way to the show floor and directly to the mini-food court. $9 later we were standing and stuffing our face with a turkey wrap and an ice tea—proof positive as to how tough it is to do comic con on a budget.

Following lunch, we started to take a lap around the floor to scout out the show but it became increasingly tough just to move about given the sea of humanity—a few in the crowd were pushing baby/kid strollers but more annoying where those “Simpsons Comic Book Guy”-types who were dragging rolling suitcases behind them, obvlious to all around them. Their bags filled no doubt with books and other merchandise to be signed and posted immediately on E-Bay.

Along the way we spotted not as many folks in costume as we would have figured—a lot of Star Wars Jedi-types (yet not a single “Slave Leia”), a guy in full Superman get up, a pair of girls about Brianna the Girl Wonder’s age dressed as Supergirl and Batgirl respectively there with their FanDad and two Spider-Men traveling in tandem—one red and blue costume, the other movie black costume.

As soon as we had our bearings, FanBoyWonder quickly made a bee-line (to the extent that it was possible) to the ComicMix booth to acquire our Holy Grail and the main reason for our going to the Con—the limited-edition trade paper back of Jon Sable Freelance: Ashes of Eden by the great Mike Grell.

Unfortunately, Mr. Grell couldn’t make the show as originally planned but ComicMix’s Martha Thomasas WAS there. After we purchased our copy of Sable she gave a bit of the lowdown on Mr. Grell’s next project (again, more on that later). Despite being very busy, Martha gave us some of her time and we were most grateful—Thanks Martha.

The highlight of the show was seeing creators James Robinson and Geoff Johns. Kemosabe was particularly anxious to meet Mr. Robinson. After some two hours in line—passing the time with the Fanguys in back of us counting the many ways in which Final Crisis sucks—we made to signing table.

Kemosabe got some quality chat time with Mr. Robinson and he signed Kemosabe’s Starman promo-poster from 1994—the very same poster that used to hang in the kitchen the swank FBW/Kemosabe bachelor pad back in the day.

Meanwhile, FBW got just a moment with Geoff Johns as he signed our hard copy edition of JLA/JSA Virtue and Vice. We made our quick pitch to Mr. Johns about giving some closure to Hector Hall, who in JSA just before Infinite Crisis was hastily written out—he gave a non-answer answer but he was gracious about it.

In fact, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Johns were extraordinarily gracious given that we were just 4 people from the end of the line and they had been on panels or signing all day long with more to go. Many thanks gentlemen.

There was one unfortunate incident that marred our full enjoyment of the Con. After FBW was done, it was Kemosabe’s turn for a few moments with Geoff Johns.

As Mr. Johns was signing Kemosabe’s rare JSA promo poster—a poster Mr. Johns hasn’t seen in a while and was engaging our pal in an animated friendly chat even as Kemosabe, camera phone in hand was readying a picture of Johns signing his poster, someone barged in, to “say hello” to Mr. Johns, blocking Kemosabe’s camera shot and interrupting him mid-sentence.

When Kemosabe politely noted that said person had spoiled his picture, this person was not only not contrite but said person was quite snooty in their slight of Kemosabe.

This person was a correspondent for Decorum will keep us from naming names but we had been familiar with this person's work and for the most part had found their writing to be.... satisfactory—a talented amateur.

Keep in mind both FanBoyWonder and Kemosabe are both professional newsmen—have been for some 15 years each—so we know, WE KNOW what it’s like to gather news and cover events, especially at trade shows.

We can understand a correspondent (we will NOT call this person a “reporter”…that designation is for the professionals) seeks to touch base with trade show “talent,” to schmooze and to try to make time for an interview.

We get that and we KNOW it’s not easy…especially under a hectic deadline schedule. WE GET IT!

But there is a right way and a wrong way to get the job done. The right way does NOT involve one throwing around attitude like a bat-a-rang.
The thing is, this Newsarama person didn’t see our pal Kemosabe another newsgather, all they saw was a pesky fan “in the way.” Maybe it was just a bad moment of otherwise decent person but reputations can be made and broken in just a moment…so can impressions.

So where are we going with this. Simple—You disrespected my friend hack… BLEEP YOU SUNSHINE!

That ugly little event aside, the dynamic duo of FanBoyWonder and Kemosabe enjoyed themselves in Charm City and we didn’t even have to spend all of our money.

Yet next year, we think we will revisit Pittsburgh Comic-Con, with more time, more money and a plan.

Meanwhile, look for more of FanBoyWonder’s dispatches from Baltimore Comic-Con tomorrow and as the week goes on.

FBW Editor’s Note: When not playing the part of FanBoyWonder’s Kemosabe or when not playing with two bands -- Milkshake Jones and Fink’s Constant, -- John L. Micek covers Pennsylvania politics for a major Keystone State newspaper—read his political blog, Capitol Ideas, at


Blogger Martha Thomases said...

It was a pleasure to meet so many ComicMix fans at the show. Thanks for making a point of stopping by!

6:39 AM, September 29, 2008  
Blogger Jeff Capo said...


It was great to meet both yourself & Kemosabe at the Con. I was one of the Fanguys waiting in the Geoff Johns line. I was wearing the Montreal Alouetes t-shirt.


Jeff Capo

11:14 AM, September 29, 2008  
Blogger FanBoyWonder said...

Hey Martha and Jeff,
Thanks for your comments and for checking out the blog.
Hope you all enjoyed the show.

6:12 PM, September 29, 2008  
Blogger Michael said...

After we purchased our copy of Sable she gave a bit of the lowdown on Mr. Grell’s next project (again, more on that later).

When is "later"? Is this the Warlord series or something else?

12:31 AM, September 30, 2008  
Blogger FanBoyWonder said...

Hi Michael,
I was referring to Mr. Grell's next project for ComixMix...which is art for a NON Sable project.
"Later" means another post where I can drill into the Sable book and what Martha talked about regarding's Grell's new ComixMix project.
"Later" also likely means later this week as I'm posting in my free time--inbetween the credit crisis that preoccupies my day job.

Thanks for your comments and for reading.

3:39 PM, September 30, 2008  
Blogger Michael said...

Cool! I'll be waiting to hear about it.

4:43 PM, September 30, 2008  

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