What an awesome and frenetic day. It has been awe-inspiring to have chats with local and international comic creators, especially Tristan Jones and Brian Michael Bendis. I also chatted with Sydney artist Paul Abstruse which was cool.
We started the day watching people stand in line for the main exhibition hall, which we avoided because I wanted to hear from Tristan talk about Ghostbusters and TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the uninformed) comics from my fave publishers IDW Publishing. It was a quiet start in this room, there were heaps of people there but they were mostly there for the main hall. There was a keen group of people though and we got to geek out talking about the Tobin Spirit Guide and Walter Peck (willy) amongst other things.
It has been awesome to meet the real people who make comics and not just connect with them from afar over the Internet. This is one of my goals for the next year. To gradually connect and hopefully build some relationships with people that are like-minded and can also do great art too!
From here we rushed down to the Supernova Seminar area to hear from a live Skype chat with Iron Man, Thor and Avengers actor Clark Gregg, who plays SHIELD Agent Coulson in the films. We had a chance to find a seat and chill while they got the connection in order. It was a Q & A event, and there has been a lot of stuff popping up online about the film, tv spots and some interviews, but we were able to ask questions and only once did someone ask about the army that Loki has and he looked aside and couldn’t really give an answer (“they’re actually Oompa Loompa’s” was his eventual response).
He discussed the comparison of Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans’ biceps, with Aussie-boy Hemsworth winning that battle (played for the crowd but man, he is HUGE in Thor). I also asked a question regarding his own thoughts or visions for the character in any future movies. Honestly, the character can go anywhere and do anything cause in many ways he’s a blank slate. Gregg played the question nicely and mentioned the possibilities are endless, and that is very exciting.
The crowd was impressed and responsive, as Clark is a very charming, honest and humble man. He’s worked in showbiz for a long time (I recall an early cameo in The Usual Suspects as the doctor looking after the Hungarian burnt guy) but his candor and brevity are fresh and plain and simple, enjoyable. Melissa enjoyed it just as much as I did which was great, compared to the more comicy times amongst the rest of the day.
We pottered around a bit to check out the shops and artist alley was packed. Grabbed some bread rolls and cold meat and stuff to make our own lunch from the Coles next door and chilled outside. I bought the first volume of Ultimate Comics: Spiderman for Bendis to sign (amongst some other comics I brought) and got ready for the last major session I wanted to check out.
This was a Q & A panel with Bendis and two comic artists, Billy Tan and Carlos Pacheco. They’ve both worked in the industry for a while and are pros.
The questions were genuinely directed to Bendis and focused on his Ultimate Spidey and Avengers work, but the guys all gave insightful comments about their own challenges and experiences in the comics world. After reading transcript after transcript of these types of events I really came to love Bendis’ charm and way with the crowd. And later this afternoon I was able to grab his signature on a bunch of books and just thank him for coming down under for the fans. He (like the other guests) is an affable and generous man, and I’m looking forward to his final session tomorrow afternoon.
That was pretty much it. I’ve got some spending money left but I’m not sure what to grab tomorrow. There’s not too much Transformers gear, but I did see the Walking Dead board game and some Game of Thrones gear so I may grab something in that vein tomorrow. We’re also heading in to stay at Melbourne for one night and will be visiting an old friend at his church in the evening.
We’ve been truly blessed by Melissa’s cousins, Renee and Bernie (and they’re who awesome daughters!) who have put us up in their bungalow and let us crash here. It’s been awesome to hang with them and the kids and also the animals they have in their back yard. Check out this pic for a view of our comfy accommodation the past couple of days.
So, a huge thanks to Renee and Bernie for having us! We’ve loved Melbourne and your hospitality has been amazing!
Tomorrow, more comics PLUS Carl Grimes from The Walking Dead (Rick’s son), Chandler Riggs!