Baltimore Comic Con 2010: Without A Plan

Going to a comic con is in some ways like a job. At least the people with their laptops and four page printed out lists seem to approach it that way. In the back of my mind I've always had the desire to go all-out, officially fill-in all the missing pieces to different series, and to remember all the things that I actually want to get.

So, to prepare for this year's Baltimore Comic Con, I went through my long boxes and piles of random comics, and I made an all-encompassing, page-long, handwritten list: An entire nights' work only to leave my list at home. I turned from perfectly-guided ballistic missile into some sort of misguided comic carpet bomb. Ultimately, it didn't matter because the best part about conventions is taking a chance on something new. Here's some highlights:

I'd been looking for this series for a while with no success. Reminded by this really good article from The Comics Reporter, I made this one of my priorities going into the convention. I paid 6$ for a couple of issues, but just looking through them, it looks worth it. This is Starlin at his peak as an illustrator. Each page is filled with interesting layouts and each panel oozes with Starlin's unique busy, brilliant style.

Every since reading Carl the Cat That Makes Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Jim Mahfood has been on my radar. I'm excited to read this issue which features both the Rhino and some guy in a bear suit both of whom are featured on the cover.

This is one of the things that I actually remembered from my list. I've been trying to collect all the grey Hulk issues because I read one a while back and it was really good. This run of Hulk is almost like an elseworlds story with the Hulk doing pretty much whatever the hell he wants. It seems to be inspiration on a way the Hulk is portrayed in a lot out of stuff these days like Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine and Old Man Logan.

An insane and bizarre issue written by Kevin Eastmen, drawn by Simon Beasley, and some incredible coloring by Steve Lavigne. This comic is 110% in your face. Each page is like a stand alone and things jump back and forth without a clear central story. The art is stunning and at times that's how you feel reading this comic.

An adaption of the movie from 1978 drawn by Howard Chaykin. It approaches Star Wars from the level of a hit movie and not a completely entrenched part of our culture, so everything looks weird and slightly off, but that's why I like it. Probably won't ever read it but I've looked through it a couple times already.

Loved Ellison/Corben A Boy and His Dog, so logic would dictate I like this. I got into Ken Steacy from his issues on Marvel Fanfare which are excellent. Steacy's art isn't as polished here as in Fanfare but still looks OK.

This was the find of the convention. I bought it on a whim and it turned out to be completely worth it. The text of the opening page sold it for me. After the heading "80,000,000 Years Ago" the panels are, "It was ending./ The last of the booby trapped suns had novaed./ ...They were near./It was time to go." The art is incredible in a sort of Judge Dredd inspired vein and the story is very good. Like a lot of random small press ventures this one folded, but ffantasy ffactory only produced this one issue. An interesting account of the series' downfall from artist Conner "Freff" Cochran can be read here in the comments section. It's a shame because it's rare for such a hard core space comic to be drawn so well and more importantly to have such interesting characters. The main characters are robots and aliens and the comic plows right through the traditional missteps of those archetypes as characters, and creates some real emotions from them.


Anonymous said...

Hey, who was the artist on those Grey Hulk issues? I remember enjoying them, but never seeing that artist anywhere else. Good job to you on seeking them out!

Jesse Reese said...

Artist listed is Jeff Purves. A quick internet search isn't turning up too much on him. I hadn't really heard of him either, but his art in these issues is one of the big selling points.