Mad props to loyal Comic News Insider listener/pal Jesse Jackson for sending me this bottle of bourbon in honor of tomorrow’s 400th episode!
I attended the MoCCA Festival at the Lexington Avenue Armory yesterday for only a brief couple of hours. Due to being a bit under the weather, prepping the epic Episode 400 recording/bash on Tuesday, the UK trip the following week, working on interviews for Stated Magazine and planning an upcoming partnership between my podcast COMIC NEWS INSIDER and a prominent comic news site, I just didn't have much time. Still, it was a great show!
I rolled in around 2pm and it was very crowded. Though a few cartoonists told me it was very quiet in the first couple of hours. Tip for next year. Get there early! I quickly walked up each aisle to see who/what/where and picked up everything you see in the picture above. A quite small stash this year but I had planned on coming back today to get more. Alas, the exhaustion caught up to me and I had to sleep in before work.
The weather was cool outside which seemed to make it pretty temperant indoors. At least when I was there. In the past, it's normally been quite warm inside. Not this year!
I had a few books in mind that I wanted to get but others are just from browsing through and seeing what catches my eye. I can't tell you the secret of how it will catch my eye, but when it does, often I will purchase. I ran into way too many friends both tabling and walking around. There was a very vibrant energy all about!
At one point, I'm chatting with friends and almost walked right in front of the line waiting to meet famed Norwegian cartoonist Jason. I own ALL of his work and love it so. Alas, I didn't have time to wait in line and regret that. I'd love to interview him some time for the podcast.
I did have a lovely chat catching up with Emma Hayley, Self Made Hero publisher. We met 4 years ago at Bristol Expo through mutual pal Emma Vieceli and I interviewed her then. SMH has made leaps and bounds into the graphic novel world with some really great stuff. Had she not generously sent me review copies (pictured above) I would have definitely picked up a lot of their stock. Happy to see them make a push into the U.S. market.
I didn't get a chance to attend any panels as my time was limited. Most panels fill up pretty quickly anyway. I heard there were really good ones and I advise you to seek out info on them from various comic news sites.
My only small complaint is that the rows/tables did not have visible numbering making it hard to find specific tables until you figured it all out. Then again, I'm not very bright so it was probably easy for others.
MoCCA is the best local NYC show for indie/small press comics and it's great to see the scene shine at such an awesome show! And, hey. It's all for a good cause too! Visit the MoCCA site for more info.
Join Jimmy and Kevin Conn on the Comic News Insider Night Watch radio hour as they introduce the charming podcast dinner from Boston Comic Con. Jimmy hosted a laid back dinner at Sonsie restaurant in Boston with Jeremy Bastian, Andy Belanger, Becky Cloonan, and Ming Doyle. They chatted about the state of the comic book industry, indie vs mainstream, art styles, photo reference, digital comics and more. Jimmy also ended the dinner with a very Bernard Pivot style questionairre for everyone. Come and listen and you'll feel like you are dining with us! It's informative, atmospheric and just plain fun. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
Also, get a hold of us!
Thanks for listening!
It's time for MoCCA Festival again! One of the best small press/indie comics festivals about. And being that it's local, I will definitely be there this weekend. I might do a few interviews here and there for my podcast COMIC NEWS INSIDER.
I tend to purchase more at these type of shows than at the big ones like SDCC or NYCC. So much great stuff! Heidi MacDonald of The Beat has got a list of things you should check out. All sorts of great exhibitors will be present as well as some awesome panels to attend.
It's a great show for a great cause so make your way down for some nerdy fun!
Kevin Conn (I Hate Earth) stays on to record some more episodes with Jimmy, who was at Boston Comic Con and got many an interview. He gives his recap of the show and you'll hear interviews with Jill Thompson, Alicia Giuffrida/Phil Amylon (Lucas), Boris Savic (Banimon) and Mike Pecci. Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
Also, get a hold of us!
Thanks for listening!
I have a new favorite podcast! Talkin Toons with Rob Paulsen! I know what you're thinking. "Jimmy. You have your own podcast, COMIC NEWS INSIDER (CNI). And you listen to so many others as it is. How are you going to fit this one in?!" Okay, calm down! I do listen to a lot but I really am enjoying this one a lot. If you don't know who Rob Paulsen is, just go to his IMDB page and see. I'll wait.
Back? Great. HE WAS PINKY! HE WAS YAKKO! HE WAS SO MANY OF MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS!!!
The podcast is fantastic! He talks to other voice over artists like Maurice LaMarche, Tara Strong, Billy West, Jess Harnell, Jennifer Hale, and more. They talk about their respective careers (he's worked with all of them at some point) and constantly break into various voices they've done over the years. He gives pointers on trying to break into the business. The enthusiasm the man has for his work and the people he works with is infectious. He's so proud of what his friends have accomplished and they often have to remind him that he's done just as much if not more. And I wont spoil it, but he has the most positive and reassuring adage at the end of every podcast. Go listen now. It's really fun stuff!
I am a huge fan of voice over artists and what they do. And as a big fan of cartoons, I appreciate the hard work that goes into it. I've seen a ton of the cartoons that Rob was a voice in and Animaniacs continues to be a favorite. For loyal listeners of CNI, you know I've had several voice over artists on over the years. Tom Kenny, Kevin Michael Richardson, Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, Olivia d'Abo, Diedrich Bader, Veronica Taylor, James Urbaniak, and others. And I did a wonderful 2 part interview with the amazing voice director/ casting director Andrea Romano a couple of years back. (She's been on a couple of other times in shorter interviews). I told her when I see a beautiful woman, I still internally (and sometimes externally) say "HELLO NURSE!" Something Mr. Paulsen used to say as his character "Yakko" on Animaniacs in similar situations.
I hit Rob up on Twitter and asked him to come on CNI. Hey, he's got a lot of followers. You never know, I've gotten many an interview that way. I'll try to go the official route and maybe set something up for San Diego Comic Con this summer.
Until then, go check out his awesome podcast!
Reviews: Blood Feast #1, 3 Story: Secret Files Of The Giant Man One Shot, Reset #1, Resident Alien #0, Shadow Vol 5 #1
Jimmy is joined in studio by Kevin Conn (I Hate Earth). The boys discuss the tech problems on the previous Episode 396 with Michael Emerson, more Stated interviews, Jimmy's UK trip, the epicEpisode 400 live recording next week and Jimmy's trip to Boston Comic Con. He got many an interview and you'll hear 3 of them here! Billy Tucci, Pat Kelley and Jason Deeble! The rest will be released later this week. News includes: Zak Penn makes comic book debut, a real sonic screwdriver is invented, Fox gets Axe Cop, SyFy announces new projects, Nexus returns to Dark Horse, and Marvel at Madame Tussauds. As always, listener feedback, the Top 3 and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
Also, get a hold of us!
Thanks for listening!
Boston Comic Con was held this weekend at the Hynes Convention Center in downtown Boston. I'm still recovering so apologies for the late recap. It was a bit of a whirlwind, but I made it through for all of you loyal Comic News Insider listeners! Ready? Here we go.
The Flash's Rogues Gallery
I took the Bolt bus on Saturday morning and arrived around 2 in the afternoon. It's a small show (with lots of room to grow) so I knew I could get there later and still be able to see it all. I dropped my stuff off at my roommate Ben Templesmith's table (first of the name drops..be prepared!) and then did my con walkabout. Whenever I get to a convention, I like to just get a lay of the land and figure out where everyone is located. The Boston show is small enough to walk in about 20 minutes. Most everyone is in the main room but there are a row of tables with various exhibitors outside the main hall as well. And the panel rooms are located a bit further out. Some found them difficult (I didn't) to find but maybe some better signage would help with that. (Not that it was bad, but some did get confused). The only bad thing I feel I have to mention is the AMOUNT OF LOUD ANNOUNCEMENTS THAT WERE CONSTANTLY MADE THROUGHOUT THE CON. Sorry for the caps but I'll bet it wasn't as annoying as the announcements. Of course, during interviews, it sucked as they were so loud that it was obtrusive. But several cartoonists I spoke to said they were just disruptive in general. And SO loud. Some even seemed unnecessarily overdetailed like when they would literally explain how to get to a panel room ("walk to the left wall, turn right, then walk forward, etc"). I'm barely exaggerating there. Though perhaps that had something to do about helping out with the confusion of finding the rooms that I mentioned earlier. Also, and I know names are a tough thing, there were so many mispronunciations of last names that it was laughable. Bisley (biz-lee) became Bye-zlee. Chiang (chyang) became Chai-ang. And so many more. I know it's hard to get them all down but maybe check on it all beforehand? Mostly, it was the loudness and frequency of them. To be honest, most con goers don't even pay attention to announcements. Hopefully, there will be a better system set in place next year with fewer announcements and a better volume control. That being said, the show was still awesome and this is just a minor gripe.
The usual convention exhibitors were about. Comic/toy retailers, small press companies and lots and lots of comic book folks! A lot of great local talent was there and I chatted with several that I had met before and others I sought out or caught my eye. I didn't do any interviews on Saturday but set them up for Sunday. It was a great mix of local talent and some big names that the con brought in. The likes of legendary MAD magazine creators Al Jaffe, Al Feldstein and Paul Coker were in attendance. As well as comic book biggies like Geoff Darrow, Simon Bisley, Kevin Eastman, Skottie Young, Cliff Chiang, Jill Thompson, Kevin Maguire, Phil Noto, Billy Tucci, Ed McGuinness, Tim Sale, Arthur Suydam, Jo Chen, Chrissie Zullo, Alex Maleev, Bill Sienkiewicz, the aforementioned Templesmith and so many more!
I attended part of the Creator Owned Comics panel with Ben Templesmith, Becky Cloonan, Jeremy Bastian, Joe Benitez and Geoff Darrow. Really interesting stuff to hear especially when the whole "indie vs mainstream" argument was brought up. I agree that there shouldn't be any disparity between the factions as it should just be about doing comics and supporting one another. The whole idea of being a "sellout" if you are creator owned and then do work for DC or Marvel is utter bullshit.
I also finally got to meet the lovely and talented Adri Cowan and got along swimmingly. We knew of one another for years now but never met when she was in NYC. She's been in Boston for awhile and is the Community Manager for Google Places/Zagat. She's a proper nerd and knows her comics well. I'll have to get her to co-host the podcast some time in the near future.
Post-con, we headed back to the Sheraton where a majority of us were staying for the weekend. As per usual with multiple groups of friends, we all planned a mighty dinner but there were just too many of us. After a lengthy walk, we found a place that we didn't have to wait too long to sit. The final group that ended up dining together (including myself) was Templesmith, Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger, Francis Manapul, Agnes Garbowska, Stephanie Buscema, and Rob Harrigan. The place (Sibling Rivalry) had a lovely atmosphere (though we all agreed a horrible name for a restaurant) but the food was mediocre and our server was a bit too smarmy for my tastes. After dinner, we headed back to the Sheraton bar to hang out where we were joined by Jill Thompson and Cliff Chiang. Lovely chats with lovely people!
Near the end of the evening, I walked over to where Jill Thompson and a few others were talking to Simon Bisley. They had just done last call about 15 minutes earlier and with how smartly I was dressed (the usual tie, waistcoat, etc), Mr. Bisley mistook me for the bar manager or security and said, "Are you here to kick us out?" Ha! I assured him that I wasn't and Jill vouched for me after I reminded him we met at Bristol Expo a couple of years back. Of course, I don't think he remembered but it was pretty funny. I'm actually attending Bristol again this year and think it would be awesome if the same thing happens in the Ramada bar. LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN! Off to bed soon after. Way too many drinks consumed but a fun night!
I got to the con on Sunday around 11am and went around getting many an interview. I got to meet local cartoonist Patt Kelley (Parasitic Twin) which was very cool as we both were featured in the Slave Labor Graphic anthology Fat Chunk 2: Zombies. I actually had him on the podcast back when it came out but we had never met in person. He's got some really funny stuff to check out! Also chatted with another local, Boris Savic (Banimon). I had met him last year and picked up his comics but only recently read them. His art is FANTASTIC and you must go to the website to explore it all. I stumbled upon a cartoonist who's work caught my eye. Jason Deeble (Monster Haiku) had a great set up and the title and art of Monster Haiku immediately took me in. I read the first book Sunday morning (having picked 2 of them up on Saturday) and loved it. Another table that pulled me in with some beautiful painted art was with Alicia Giuffrida/Phil Amylon (Lucas). Chatted a bit with them about their upcoming comic. Filmmaker/photographer Mike Pecci (Grindhouse Shorts/Suicide Girls) stopped by to talk about his filmwork and photography. I finally talked on mic to 2 well known cartoonists whom I've been friends with for a bit but never had them on the podcast. First was Jill Thompson (Fairy Godmother, Sandman). We talked for about 30 minutes and could have just kept going. She's magnificent, I tells ya! Billy Tucci (Shi, Sgt. Rock) was tabled next to Templesmith and I talked to him a lot over the weekend as I helped to watch Ben's table on occasion. I eventually pulled the recorder out and we talked a bit about his amazing career and what he's working on now. The guy is a great positive ball of energy at cons! Just great to be around. All of those interviews will be up later this week in either the regular format show recorded on Tuesday or later in the week in the special Boston Comic Con show on Thursday.
Me, Patt Kelley
People started packing up pretty early since the show ended at 5pm. I'm guess because they had to catch a flight or what not. It's certainly their right to leave when they'd like, but that's always slightly bothered me that people don't stay til the end. There could be that one con goer who can only make the show for the last couple of hours on Sunday and show up to find their favorite cartoonist has already left. Not hating on the cartoonist, of course.
Oh, other way too small gripe. Wrist bands given upon entrance. Are badges that more pricey? I feel like I'm going into a club. And then when I ask what I'm to do about the next day, they say, "Just keep it on". Um...I do shower. I ended up taking if off and saving it and then taping it back together for the next day. Again, minor but badges are better. Plus, when people see a "Press" badge, they're more apt to chat to me and I could cover even more for the show!
After the end of the con, I had planned another "Dinner For Five" style podcast dinner recording. I've done it a few times in a bar and restaurant and last year's TCAF one with Paul Pope and company was terrific. This year, we went to the fantastic restaurant Sonsie whom accommodated us with a great table in the back. Food and service was outstanding! (Our server was perfect and handled dealing with the recording so well). Joining me in the dinner were Jeremy Bastian, Andy Belanger, Becky Cloonan and Ming Doyle. Besides their own amazing work, we talked about the state of the industry, creator owned comics, indie vs. mainstream and more. Really fun, laid back and quite charming. I'll think you'll all enjoy it! That episode will be up on Saturday.
Overall, the convention was outstanding. Aside from the 1 or 2 minor gripes mentioned, it seemed to go swimmingly and everyone I talked to (both creator and attendee) really liked it. Well attended too! Also had some great cosplay going on for a smaller con (as evidenced by many pictures in this post). I think Boston Comic Con is on the way to becoming one of the better true comic book conventions like Heroes and Baltimore. I know I mentioned a couple of gripes, but I want to stress how GREAT a convention this was and am looking forward to it next year. Any criticisms are only meant as positive suggestions.
Keep it wicked, Boston! (Sorry, I couldn't resist).
UPDATE: For some reason, the file is cutting out with about 20 minutes left. Producer Joe was on it and it's fixed in iTunes if you redownload it. But for some reason it wont play in it's entirety on the website. Looking into it and hopefully will be remedied. Sorry about that! Meanwhile, get it all on iTunes. Thanks!
In the first of perhaps many crossovers between Comic News Insider and Stated Magazine (Jimmy is the Pop Culture Contributing Editor), Jimmy invites his old pal Michael Emerson (Lost, Person of Interest) into his new abode for a lengthy and all inclusive conversation. As loyal CNI listeners know, Michael has been on the podcast several times during his years on Lost. This time, they chat about Michael's upbringing, his first interest in theater, moving to NYC to pursue acting, giving it up, moving to Jacksonville, Florida (where he and Jimmy met) and having his passion reignited and moving back to NYC to jump start it all again! Even Jimmy learns things he didn't know! (A marching band?!) Sit back and enjoy this more serious but still laid back and fun conversation with Michael Emerson! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!
Also, get a hold of us!
Thanks for listening!
PLEASE DO NOT PUT THIS ON YOUR SITE. A SIMPLE LINK IS FINE. THANK YOU.
I'm heading off to Boston in a few hours for the Boston Comic Con. I'm knackered and will only have had a few hours of sleep but do find me if you're about! Besides a special dinner/podcast recording with the likes of Becky Cloonan, Ming Doyle and others, I'll be doing some interviews for my podcast COMIC NEWS INSIDER all weekend at the show. If I deem you worthy, then we can chat. If not, then I will destroy you in this life or the next.
Okay, sorry. Got a bit carried away. Gladiator is on right now. Anyway, come find me unless I unleash hell. Dammit!