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Dean Haspiel

History

22nd July 2003

4:00pm: San Diego International Comicon 2003
I'm fried and dizzy, but my Comicon highlights include finally meeting Stan Lee, Harvey Pekar, and rubbing plenty of elbows w/a bunch of Marvel/DC/Wildstorm/Dark Horse artists, writers & editors, while whoring for work [esp. putting my hat in the ring for Michael Chabon's new THE ESCAPIST anthology]. I roomed w/pal Bob Fingerman and, as usual, I got naked at the annual beach party bonfire, skinny-dipping w/the likes of w/Robyn Chapman, Craig Thompson, and a few other cartoonists. I spoke w/AiT/Planet Lar publisher Larry Young about the possibility of writing/drawing a genre oriented graphic novel and met/gave kudos to LAST OF THE INDEPENDENTS creators ~ Keiron Dwyer and Matt Fraction.

Alternative Comics stock and publisher/lawyer, Jeff Mason was greatly missed at the show [Jeff was defending a client - and won!], but I finally got to spend quality time w/Eddie Campbell at the Top Shelf booth where I spent a third of the con hawking my latest BILLY DOGMA comic: AIM TO DAZZLE. Eddie's bummed that, after the success of FROM HELL, and the artistic integrity of his BACCHUS and semi-auto-bio fare -- the peak of his career in America is to write/draw a 48pp BATMAN comic book [a franchise both he and Fingerman lost to at the Eisner's]. I tried my best to rally sir Campbell and get him started on his next opus. By Sunday, his witty wink was afoot. Speaking of mainstream comics, my recent tenure at Marvel [esp. THE THING: NIGHT FALLS ON YANCY STREET] had a few fans seeking out my indie/alt fare, which is good for biz. The big con rumble was that DC signed a bunch of exclusives w/some top notch talent, weakening Marvel's stable. But, after bumping into the burned Mark Waid, it looks like Joe Quesada did his best to bury their recent hatchet and there is a modicum of hope that Waid and I will get a chance to do our THOR SMASH comic for Marvel, after all. Cross those fingers people.

I took THIS IS THAT [formerly of Good Machine] film producer, Ted Hope, around to the coolio tables and made him snag comix from Top Shelf, Highwater, D&Q, and Fantagraphics [most of which he is semi-aware of -- the guy produced AMERICAN SPLENDOR - THE MOVIE, after all]. After buying some Brian Ralph t-shirts for his 3-year old son back home, I introduced Hope and my old college chum/Universal Pictures story developer, Z.C., to CATWOMAN/GOTHAM CENTRAL writer, Ed Brubaker who's co-creator owned, SLEEPER, series is ripe for the big screen [or at least a TV series]. I feel the same way about Warren Ellis' GLOBAL FREQUENCY and Brian K. Vaughan's Y - THE LAST MAN.

The lovely comix academic/poet; Ana Merino, and the Fantagraphics gang are always fun to poke and prod, and I even spoke on Tom Spurgeon's STAN LEE BOOK panel, making grumpy publisher Gary Groth begrudgingly admit that, for a savvy company salesman, "The Man" applied said flair and could sell a mean conflict, wielding actual story telling talent for a good run in the 60s. We both agreed that Lee & Kirby's FANTASTIC FOUR opus would make the final cut and travel to our imaginary "desolate island." THE COMICS JOURNAL writer/film professor, Bart Beaty, has almost mastered his Comicon poker face and his wife, Rebecca, was a sassy hoot. Comix enthusiast, Paul Socolow, had a perpetual grin plastered to his face [who knew that crippled fan costume zombie mania could bring such glee?]. I'm curious as to what Rebecca will actually jot down re: her SDCC report for TCJ [esp. if she reports anything at all about Chris Oarr's newfound fetish for pony slaves].

I met Spud_u_like for about 45-seconds and then she was swept away by the Comicon whirlwinds, never to be seen again.

I spent some of Saturday night tossing a Frisbee, bouncing in cars, listening to old school hip-hop, and catching up w/hilarious actor/gladiator, Matt Champagne, and old school pals NiggerKojak [and Sweetandlow, who took incriminating pix], Starsixtynine, Jinxmalone, Larrondo -- who, years ago, made the exodus from NYC to California to play Hollywood, make movies, and/or just plain live a more comfortable lifestyle. A proud posse who saw me struggling to get my foot inside the industry door and, now that I have, see me struggling to maintain that footing. I realized that half of my time creating is spent on pitching the next gig and keeping my name relevant. What a revoltin' development!

Comics I was given and/or picked up [knowing I'd get most of what I wanted from Jim Hanley's Universe, in the coming weeks]:

MAGIC BOY & ROBOT ELF, James Kochalka
TERATOID HEIGHTS, Mat Brinkman
NEW THING [Vol.2]: "Secrets", edited by Jim Higgins
SNOW MONKEY'S IN JAPAN, Megan Whitmarsh
WAR TIME AND PLAY TIME, Luc Leplae
TRUE PORN, edited by Robyn Chapman & Kelli Nelson
BEACH SAFARI, Mawil
SHUCK UNMASKED, Rick Smith & Tania Menesse
THE BAREFOOT SERPENT, Scott Morse
THE MASTER PLAN, Scott Mills
FANTAGRAPHICS - Creadores del Canon, Ana Merino
ALAN MOORE: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman, edited by Gary Spencer Millidge
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMIC ART Vol. 5, No. 1, edited by John Lent
THE COMICS JOURNAL [Will Elder] #254
THE MIGHTY THOR #148, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
STYX TAXI, Steven Goldman & Jeremy Arambulo
BAINST #6, F.C. Brandt
PIG'S MISSING POO, Robert Goodin
MR. BOOMBHA GOES FOR A WALK, Lark Pien
STAR OF THE EAST, FOUND, THE WONDER [3 - MDM mini-comix], Colleen Coover

Okay, gotta go hustle editors, nag writers, knock heads, finish my latest BILLY DOGMA story/collection ~ THE DEVIL'S MUUMUU, and start drawing that issue of BATMAN ADVENTURES.

After that, who knows...?
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