Friday, October 31, 2008

Armageddon 2008: One day more!

Of course, Jim Lee isn't going to be the ONLY one who'll be there on the comic creators panel/desk/whateverit'scalled. Here's the list of the other comic book artists who are going to be there, mostly from Lee's Wildstorm Studios:

Carlos D'Anda (Brass, Wildcats, The Outsiders)
Joel Gomez (Wetworks, The Lost Boys)
JJ Kirby (DV8, Gen 13, The New Dynamix)
Beth Sotelo (colourist for Soulfire)
Sandra Hope (Gen 13, Crimson, JLA)
Eddie Nunez (Wildstorm concept/artist)
Livio Ramondelli (Wildstorm concept/artist)

Since I'm there already, even though I don't have any comics that were illustrated by any of the above (though I've got some Gen 13 comics back home drawn by JJ Kirby...his art rocks!), I'm going to see if I can get some sketches from the above people. Thanks once again Stephen for the suggestion!

Other celebrities who will be there:

Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters 1 & 2, Miss Congeniality 1 & 2)

Doug Jones (Hellboy 1 & 2, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer)

Sandman (WCW, WWE)

David Anders from Heroes (no idea who he is since I haven't watched anything beyond Episode 7 of the first season!) is also going to be there. I'll probably go catch a glimpse of the stars, but I won't really line up for signatures or pictures or anything. Reserving my time for Jim Lee, browsing through products and perhaps purchasing things!

Other things that I'd like to do, but probably won't get a chance to is to watch "Heart of an Empire", which seems to be a Star Wars spoof or related to the Star Wars franchise. Screenings are at 3.30pm Saturday and I don't think I'll still be there then. And the Evangelion movie or series shows on Sunday and I definitely won't be there then.

There's a Domino's pizza eating contest too...I wonder if I can participate just to get a free lunch and just drop out? Haha!

Soooooo exicted!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two more days until I get to meet the legendary Mr Lee!

Only two more days until Armageddon 2008...very very excited as one can imagine. I've already planned what I want to do when I reach there: get in line where the comic creators (ok ok...just Jim Lee) are and hope that anyone who's standing in front of me doesn't ask for heaps and heaps of comics to be signed or for many sketches to be commissioned.

I know what I definitely want...I'm bringing quite a number of comics for Jim Lee to sign, both single issues (the X-men ones I purchased at the Camberwell Fair this past Sunday) as well as HCs and TPBs. The comics I am bringing are:

X-Men #1-11
Absolute Batman: Hush HC
All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder Vol.1 HC
Fantastic Four: Heroes Reborn TPB

And I also want to commission at least two sketches from Jim (more if possible): one of Psylocke and one of Catwoman for Stephen. If it's only one sketch per person in queue then I'm going to have to rely on Marcelo queueing up with me...which may be a problem because Kim is also going and she wants to line up where the sci-fi actors are going to be...think there's going to be some actors from Heroes as well as Battlestar Galactica there.

It also didn't occur to me, but I'd also like to take a picture with Jim! Thanks to Stephen for reminding me of that.'s so obvious, why didn't I even think about it! After all, I'm bringing my camera again this year to take photos! I think I'll try to take some photos of the cosplayers too, because there were some awesome cosplay costumes last year.

Not sure if we'll get a chance to watch any of the wrestling events or the movie/cartoon previews. I know they're showing the new series (at least the first episode) of Neon Genesis Evangelion on Sunday evening, but we're not going on Sunday. Last year we watched the Superman: Doomsday animated movie, but I don't think there's anything showing on the Saturday...nothing that I want to see anyway. Gotta make sure I check the program properly before going. In terms of wrestling, Sabu and Rob Van Dam were there last year and it's a drop in "quality" this year with Sandman and Playboy covergirl/wrestler Christy Hemme being there.

It should be a pretty excellent event regardless of what happens. I know I'm going to strenously watch my budget this time around. Not like I spent a whole lot last year but I'd rather be careful and not purchase stuff I don't really need or want.

The anticipation is killing me! Can't wait for Saturday!

Monday, October 27, 2008

More of Jim Lee's comics...for Jim Lee to sign!

Went to the Camberwell Fair at the Camberwell Civic Centre yesterday morning...and there were quite a number of sellers there with comic book stock! Old issues, really really old issues from the Silver Age and new issues as well...I'm sure if I spent more time there and hunted around, I probably could have picked up single issue comic book gold like Amazing Spider-man #129 (1st appearance of the Punisher) and The Incredible Hulk #181 (1st appearance of Wolverine)...not that I could afford it.

I was there with two friends, Marcelo and Kim, so that was a good thing because I'm sure I could have spent AGES there browsing through all the wares. I went to each seller's booth though, just to quickly check out the wares and have a feel for where I thought I could get the best bargain or where I would find something I would purchase. Eventually stopped at the corner booth where they seemed to have the most variety (and the most number of) comics.

The seller was very informative and from chatting to him, he was a true comics fan...who actually read his comics! There are a lot of collectors who simply purchase comics because of the perceived (real or otherwise) increase in value after a period of time and they are more in the business to make money than true comic book fans. This guy certainly was not like that.

I wish I caught his name, but he worked in Evil Empire Comics in Coburg. He definitely knew his stuff though, because when I picked up some X-Men comics, he engaged me in a conversation about going to Armageddon 2008 because Jim Lee was there and we started chatting about the storylines in X-Men. In the particular bundle of comics I was browsing through, he was telling me that it had some valuable issues like issues #1 (still the best selling single comic of all-time with five variant covers...though there was only the gatefold cover),#25 (part of the Fatal Attractions storyline where Wolverine had the adamantium yanked out of his body) and #30 (wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey).

I mean, I knew all that information already, but it was nice chatting to someone who actually knew his stuff! So we talked about Jim Lee being at Armageddon and how, in that bundle, there were only 11 issues or so actually illustrated by him. It was nice that he actually warned me about that in case I thought all the comics in the bundle was illustrated by I said, I already knew that, but it was information that was much appreciated.

So how could one not purchase something from his store? I bought the bundle of the first 30 issues of X-Men, which I used to own many many years ago but didn't anymore. There was another bundle for the first 80 issues, but not only was it more expensive (obviously), but I actually owned a lot of those issues already back in Singapore. I couldn't remember which issue I started from exactly so I thought it was probably better just to get the smaller and more inexpensive bundle of single issues...if I were missing out on certain issues from my collection I'm sure I could always obtain them from elsewhere!

So now I've got 30 issues of X-Men to read finish before this Saturday...or at least those issues drawn by Jim Lee, since I want to bring them all for him to sign at Armageddon 2008! I've already got Absolute Batman: Hush, All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder Vol.1 HC and Fantastic Four: Heroes Reborn TPB for Jim to sign.

Only five more days to go. To coin an Australian phrase: How excitement!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Whose Line is it Anyway: Sound Effects: Star Wars

More insanity from my favourite two performers from Whose Line Is It Anyway? in Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles:

Whose Line is it Anyway: Sound Effects: Batman

This is probably one of the funniest things I have seen from Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Man, I love this show. How I miss watching is so.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jim Lee is coming to Armageddon 2008!

Armageddon Multimedia Expo Australia 2008 is almost upon us!

But first, the link to the official website:

Armageddon 2008

I remember really enjoying last year's Expo even though Marcelo and I were there for perhaps 3/4 of the day. Even though we just walked around and visited the same booth a couple of times, it was still an enjoyable experience!

The comic book writers/artists that were there last year were Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Connor, Gail Simone and Nicola Scott. While I'm a fan of Palmiotti and Simone, I didn't really have anything for them to sign, nor was I inspired enough to actually go up to the booths to have a chat with them.

This year, that all changes.

When I saw the brochure for Armageddon 2008, the first thing I noticed was Jim Lee's Batman art from his Hush run. The first thing I thought to myself was "I can't believe they actually took Jim Lee's art to promote Armageddon. How shameless." And then I actually flipped through the brochure and found that they weren't shameless using Lee's art for no good reason: they were actually using his art BECAUSE JIM LEE WAS GOING TO BE A GUEST AT ARMAGEDDON 2008.

One of my favourite artists of all-time, coming to the city I live in? Hot damn. I couldn't believe it. Jim's X-Men #1 was the reason I got into collecting comics. I had read comics before fleetingly, but it was never really a hobby...reading comics was just something a kid my age would just gravitate towards.

It was only after I purchased my copy (and it was one of those shoddy copies available from our local newsstand, with the price sticker attached to the cover) of X-Men #1 did I seriously give collecting comics any thought. I actually started purchasing comics regularly for a few months, albeit those shoddy copies from the newsstand, but after a while, I just stopped because the quality of those comics in terms of cover damage, spinal damage etc etc (and not the actual interior art or writing) was so poor, having changed hands from one reader to another before being sold.

I started collecting comics seriously a few months later (or a year later, can't remember which) when I went to a proper comics shop, Comics Mart, which is still located in Serene Centre at Farrer Road. And then I discovered Comic Art Gallery at Bras Basah Complex, which was the place I went to regularly until their shipment schedule became erratic. Thankfully, at that point of time, a new shop, G&B Comics opened up a level above Comic Art Gallery at Bras Basah, and that's been where I've purchased my comics for the last nine years or so, even while I've been here in Australia since they still keep my list of standing orders!

But this post isn't about my comic collecting history. I'll get to that some other time. X-Men #1 was the first real comic that I actually "collected", even though I wasn't really collecting back then. It was a combination of Chris Claremont's fantastic writing and Jim Lee's spectacular art that got me hooked...moreso the art than the writing! I've always been one who prefers a great story and shoddy art than fantastic art and a bland story.

But X-Men #1 perhaps was one of the exceptions to the rule, in those early days at least when I favoured the story over the art. Not that the story was was just that the artwork was in a league of its own! Beautiful beautiful beautiful.

So my love affair with Jim Lee began and he became one of my favourite artists. He still is...I know I've blogged about my favourite writers before, but I've never actually blogged about my favourite artists. Will have to do that one of these days.

Anyway, with Jim Lee going to be at Armageddon 2008, I might go for TWO days instead of just the one. I want Jim to sign my Absolute Batman: Hush HC and All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder Vol.1 HC books, along with any other Jim Lee books I actually have or can purchase. Plus, if Jim's actually going to do sketches, I might ask if I could commission him to do a few sketches for me.

I've already asked Stephen and he's asked if he could get a Catwoman sketch. I know I'd like a Psylocke sketch and perhaps a Rogue sketch too. Basically, when it comes to Jim Lee, you need to ask him to draw women! Though I wouldn't mind a Gambit/Wolverine sketch either.

But since each person probably can only request or purchase one sketch, I going to get Marcelo to stand in line with me so that he can get sketches too...well for me anyway!

Another three more weekends to Jim Lee being here in Melbourne! How awesome is that?