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@@@@ Eisner Award Winners announced! @@@@ Previews for NIGHTWING, ARMY@LOVE, & ROANOKE! @@@@ The 2008 San Diego Comic Con Through the Eyes of One Lone superhero! @@@@


Well, AICN COMICS: SHOOT THE MESSENGER is your weekly one stop shop for comic book news that’s dropped in the previous week. Thanks to Newsarama, CBR, Wizard, etc. for reporting it as it breaks. Click on the links for the original stories. This column cuts the crap to run down all the vital information for those of you who don’t follow it as it comes in, and serves it all up with that special ingredient of @$$y goodness. It’s also the place for interviews, previews, and special reports.

It’s Stones Throw back again, rounding up the last of the comic book news from San Diego and also bringing to your attention a few other items of interest, like…

@ Details of the Eisner Award winners here, including victories for Ed Brubaker, Y: THE LAST MAN, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY, LAIKA and…Brad Meltzer’s JLA??
@ Catching up on news from last week’s San Diego Comic Con, Mike Grell is back on a new WARLORD ongoing series in spring 2009, celebrating the character’s 35th anniversary! Read all about it here...
@ Steven Grant, of PUNISHER and CBR’s “Permanent Damage” fame, has sold the rights to his Boom! Studios graphic novel 2 GUNS to Universal. The book will be serialized one page a day, free at Boom! Studios’ website here…
@ Barzak’s cosmic skate-boarding saga SKATE FARM gets a reprinting and a second series at IDW in 2009…
@ Jai Nitz’s new Robin Hood-type superhero EL DIABLO gets a six-issue miniseries at DC in September, with art from Phil Hester and Ande Parks…
@ Los Bros Hernandez’ latest installment in the LOVE AND ROCKETS series debuted in its new book-length format at SDCC…
@ Well, huh. Looks like that UNDERWORLD series has a new movie in January. Oh, and there’s an IDW comic book adaptation by Raze the werewolf/screenwriter/writer of Marvel’s NEW WARRIORS Kevin Grievoux…
@ Grant Morrison and Deepak Chopra discuss the superhero at San Diego…
@ And, finally, DK puts out an encyclopedia all about the Vertigo imprint September. Foreword by Neil Gaiman, cover by Dave McKean…

Now let’s see what kind of previews Ambush Bug has for us this week…

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with a few previews this week (gotta find a new name for this section…). First up is a preview of this week’s issue of NIGHTWING. Issue #147 is the beginning of a new arc featuring Two-Face. The book is written by Peter Tomasi and art from Dan Kramer & Sandu Florea. Check it out.

Looks to be off to a pretty cool start. Dan Didio promised really big things for NIGHTWING in the upcoming year. Who knows what DC will do with the character with the way DC is going these days? Be sure to check out NIGHTWING #147 this week.

Next up, we have a widdle, bitty preview of DC Vertigo’s second ARMY @ LOVE miniseries. The first miniseries mixed sex with military pretty well. I missed that first series but this one looks to be pretty interesting. This series is called THE ART OF WAR and looks to be another biting satire on today’s military with Vertigo’s always razor sharp edge applied to it. The miniseries is written by Rick Veitch. With the art chores provided by Mr. Veitch and the capable pencils and inks of Gary Erskine. The first of this six issue miniseries hits the stand this week and we have a tiny 3 page preview below!

Looks like this miniseries will surely ruffle some feathers. Be sure to check out ARMY @ LOVE: THE ART OF WAR #1 on Wednesday.

Finally, we have a cool preview from Forewarned Films’ ROAKOKE Graphic Novel that is set to be released soon. It’s just in the works, but the guys at Forewarned wanted to share what they’ve got so far with our Faithful Talkbackers. Enjoy this extended preview of ROANOKE…

I really like the moody blacks and whites here and the selective way they used reds and blues with this one. This one looks to be a moody one. Be on the lookout for ROANOKE Graphic Novel coming soon.


Hey folks, Bug again. If you’re like me, and I’m sorry if you are, but if you’re like me, you weren’t able to make it to this year’s SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2008. This is the premiere event in comics, film, and fanboy entertainment. Amidst all of the movie previews and announcements, you wouldn’t know it, but there are some comic book happenings going on during the Con too. Fellow @$$Hole superhero was lucky enough to make it to the Con and he wrote up a comprehensive experiential taking us through the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings that went on during this year’s con. He’s got pics too! This is Day One of the con. Expect further reports recounting the rest of the weekend soon. So without further ado, I will jealously pass the mic over to superhero to rub everything we missed in our faces. Be sure to ckick on the pics for a larger image. Take it away, superhero!


So I wake up at 2 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep. Basically, Comic-Con gives me the feeling I had as a little kid on Christmas morning. That’s part of the insomnia, but a big part of it is that I’ll be apart from my 1 ½ year old little girl for two days. This’ll be the first length of time I’ll have been away from my family since she was born and I’m a bit anxious about it. I try and get back to sleep and am able to doze off a little, but I don’t get much. Finally I’m up at 5 a.m.
I get up, shower, finish my packing, have a quick breakfast, and kiss my wife and daughter goodbye. Feeling a bit guilty about going and hoping that everything will be OK while I’m gone. Get in the car and take the 101 south to downtown Los Angeles and Union Station. That’s right, I decided to take Amtrak down to San Diego this year. With gas prices the way they are the train is the smart thing to do, in my opinion. Not only that it gives me the opportunity to watch cartoons on my ipod and read comics on the trip down. I’m already in geek heaven.
The train ride is great and uneventful. Actually relaxing. As the train pulls into San Diego I get a call from my friend Paul. Wasn’t sure he was gonna make it, so I’m cyked to hear from him.
I walk to the con and it’s a very nice, breezy morning in San Diego. As I’m walking, I realize that I’m right behind Jimmy Palmiotti. He’s with two friends, a man and a woman and they’re talking about geek stuff. Right on…the con has begun.
We head over to where Paul parked and drop off my bag. Already the masses are gathering. On the way back to the con from the lot we see a cute couple dressed as the Mario Bros. I can’t help but ask to take a picture. Awesome. My first shot of the day.
We get to the center and decide to try and catch the Watchmen screening if we can. The line is already huge an hour before the screening. The line is outside and it’s already starting to get hot. But we don’t care. It’s Comic-Con. And Comic-Con ain’t for pussies. We stand around talking about the finales to Y: THE LAST MAN and PREACHER and how much we loved them. I ask Paul if he’s watched the finale to DOCTOR WHO yet and he tells me no. I freak out and tell him he NEEDS to watch it. Can you tell? I love DOCTOR WHO.
The line starts to move but we also notice that people are starting to disperse. Apparently the line has been cut off. Hall H is full. What? Hall H is full? How the hell did that happen? Hall H is where Jack Black was pimping the TENACIOUS D movie and KINGK KONG a couple of years ago. That place is huge! Man, a lot of people must want to see this flick! Oh, well, no big deal. If I’ve learned anything from my years at Comic-Con is that if you miss something, something else that’s just as cool is right around the corner.
We head inside and see a really authentic group of Ghostbusters just outside the doors. I snap a couple of pics and then we’re actually in the outer hall. It’s here that I see two young ladies dressed as Rorschach and Starscream. Great homemade costumes. Once we finally get onto the floor I can see why the Ghostbusters were so authentic. Apparently they were promoting the upcoming videogame. I also see more Ghostbusters. Seems that male Ghostbusters weren’t enough. There have to be scantily clad, buxomy Ghostbusters there too. Ho-Boy.
Start wandering around and come across Mike Mignola’s table and there he is in all his glory. Surprisingly, there’s aren’t a ton of people surrounding the table so I’m able to look at his originals and speak with him a bit. He’s a really nice guy and talks about some other projects outside of Hellboy he’d like to do. We also meet the writer of an upcoming LOBSTER JOHNSON novel who’s really nice as well. I ask Mignola what he used to create his originals and he shows me what looks to be some sort of India ink pen and says it’s that and a brush. His work is gorgeous and if I had 400 bucks to blow I’d pick one up in a second.
We start to wander around a bit without any actual purpose just trying to take the sights in. I notice that it’s still early in the day and the place is already packed. I was hoping Friday would be a lighter day than Saturdays usually are but I guess that’s not the case. Start getting bounced around like a pinball a bit and then finally end up over at the Warner Bros. booth. Holy moley! Right there, in the middle of everything is the actual Owlman propship used in the Watchmen movie! It’s awesome! Not only that, but the cockpit is open so you can peer inside. Nice.
There’s also a Nerd Herd car from the series CHUCK (which I never really got into). A lot of people seem to like taking pictures of it so I snap a couple of shots. Hell, it’s all digital, right?
Start to wander around again and we come across the NBC booth. There’s stuff for HEROES but I can’t help but notice the huge 30 ROCK display. Really? Is this what Comic-Con has come to? I mean, I love 30 ROCK but this is COMIC-CON DAMMIT! Not the Aspen Comedy Festival! Unless Tina Fey is dressed as Wonder Woman it’s not Comic-Con worthy…sorry to say. Can’t help but take a picture of the MILF ISLAND logo. I’m only human after all.
Head off to one side of the hall and I notice I’m by the G4 ATTACK OF THE SHOW booth. There’s a large group of people swarming around it and it looks like they’re getting ready for something. Kevin Pereira is there and some girl is drooling over him in the crowd. Whatever.
It’s there that I see an amazing Joker costume. Fantastic. It’s not THE DARK KNIGHT Joker…there were tons of those at the con. I can’t place where I’ve seen this one from. Oh, wait…I think it’s that great Batman short film that was done years ago. The one where he meets the Predators and Aliens?Yeah that’s it I think. I ask him to take his picture.
We find the BBC America booth…awesome! TONS of DOCTOR WHO merch. Paul and I oogle over everything and we each buy ourselves a Sonic Screwdriver. We are both very happy campers now. A woman at the booth tells me a bit about a new BBC show called PRIMEVAL. It actually looks really cool and given my liking a lot of the BBC’s other stuff I’m gonna keep an eye out for that one. As she’s telling me about the show she kindly offers me a potato chip. She’s British and she offers me a chip. That’s just brilliant!
I think it’s at about this time Paul and I head for lunch. We talk a lot about THE DARK KNIGHT and how much we loved it. I pretty much thought that is was a fantastic film but I did have some problems with it. Mostly with the fact that the Joker wasn’t flamboyant enough and that the bat cowl still looks stupid on Christian Bale’s head.
We head back to the con and outside we see a gathering of Nintendo’s finest. I take a pic. Hysterical.
We start wandering around and we end up at the DC booth. It’s pretty crowded here. On display is a lot of DC Direct stuff including some really great WATCHMEN action figures. Sure, they’re based on the movie designs but beggars can’t be choosers. They still look great and I wonder if I should lift my own self imposed embargo on buying action figures. Maybe just for these.
Get bounced around some more and we get to the Sideshow Collectibles booth. Some really impressive stuff here one of which happens to be a guy in the best Hellboy costume I’ve ever seen. People are clamoring for his picture. A guy dressed a Mike Allred’s MADMAN stand next to him. Great shot. I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to the LEGEND comic imprint as I take the picture. Was Allred part of LEGEND? I don’t think so. One of the Sideshow Collectible people opens up a display of a Hellboy gun and hands it to the guy in costume so people can take pictures of him with it. What a great gesture. That was really nice and you can tell that Hellboy is really happy holding it.
As we leave Sideshow we start to head over to the indie area of the floor. Walking away we spot possibly the greatest Darth Vader I’ve ever seen in person. He had to be with the Sideshow Collectibles group. For the first time in a long time I see why Darth Vader would be intimidating as hell in real life. This guy is well over six feet tall and a walking armory. Even though the “real” Vader in the prequels is essentially a reject from a 90210 or Gossip Girls set I have to admit…I’d be plenty nervous if I saw that thing coming at me with a lightsaber.
We head over towards the indie area of the floor. On the way we run into some kind of anime something or other. It’s big, orange and fuzzy and I have no idea what the hell it’s supposed to be but I take a picture anyway. I also run into Supergirl, Batgirl and Thor on the way.
This area is my favorite part of the floor. There are all kinds of unique stuff to be found here. This is also the area where most of the animation cartoonists hang out selling their sketchpads and the like. It’s just always great to see what these guys have come up with. In my wanderings I come across Ted Mathot’s table. He’s the creator of the terrific book ROSE AND ISABEL. I ordered the first book a while ago and loved it but never got around to picking up book two. Now’s my chance. Mathot offers to do a sketch for me in the book if I can leave the book with him for a while. No problem.
I check all of the independents out and take stock of what I might want to pick up tomorrow. I decide to hold off on buying anything until the next day. This area is where it’s easiest to just blow all your cash in one go. Best to wait until your last day at the con to pick up this stuff because there is a lot of fascinating material around. We keep walking and find ourselves in the area where most of the back issue dealers are. People are selling statues, back issues and trades like crazy here. Paul and I hit some boxes that are offering trades for 50% off. I score a TPB of George Perez’s first Wonder Woman arc, “Gods and Mortals”. Figured I’d try and read some of this as I’ll be interviewing the crew behind the new Wonder Woman animated DVD tomorrow. More on that later. Paul scores a sweet copy of Essential Marvel Horror Vol. 1.
We pass a t-shirt dealer in our travels and see a new Obama t-shirt illustrated by Alex Ross. Basically it’s Obama opening his shirt in Superman style with a big “O” across his chest. It’s a beautiful image and as a die hard liberal I almost buy one. But I decide that if I’m going to buy an Obama shirt I want the money to go to the Obama campaign and not some random t-shirt seller.
As we head back down the hall I see a girl dressed as Booster Gold talking to a man dressed as Ash/Bruce Campbell. Ahhhhh!!! Worlds collide!!! That’s a great pic.
We keep walking and we see the actual costume from the old Spider-Man TV show!
Fantastic! Around the corner from that we come across a Star Trek collectibles booth that sells really great replicas of communicators, phazers, and tricorders. They even have the Captain’s Chair! Paul and I take turns sitting in it. The dealer lets me hold the phazer in my hand and it is sweet. I ask him how much it is and I think he says $800.00!!! I look at him and say, “And it doesn’t even disintegrate???”
At this point I get a call from my friends Todd and his friend Chazz. They’ve arrived at the convention. I tell them I’ll meet them at Registration and Paul and I head over there. On our way up we see The Black Cat and The Punisher. She looks great but Frank Castle’s seen beefier days. Either way his costume is fantastic and the gun is, um, a little too realistic for comfort.
On our way back down to the convention floor we catch another gun-toting duo…Leon and Mathilda from, well, LEON. Man, she’s got the plant and everything. That’s just great!
Todd and Chazz decide they’re going to check out some Kevin Smith panel. We all agree to hook up later.
We head over to the Dark Horse booth to see what they’ve got there. On the way we see Nico from THE RUNAWAYS, a black and white Wolverine, and the Master of the Mystic arts himself Doctor Strange! They look great!!! Strange did a great job on his cape!! By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!!!!
At Dark Horse I check out the Hellboy collections and look through some design/artbooks. It looks like the Umbrella Academy is well represented here. Cool beans. I’ll have to get a UA t-shirt tomorrow. After perusing a bit Paul and I head over to the Image booth. On the way we see Ms. Marvel as well as the Tim Burton contingent. Burton’s group is particularly impressive as not only are their costumes great but they are all actually in character. Fun stuff. We also run into two of the best StromTrooper outfits I’ve ever seen. Are they with Darth? Maybe…
Over at the image booth I meet on of the creators of THE AMAZING JOY BUZZARDS, Dan Hipp. I’ve always wanted to check out this book. Paul says it’s great and so I buy the trade. Hipp is a really cool guy and signs it for me and does a small doodle as well.
I’ll be back to the Image booth tomorrow to try and pick up some other trades. There’s a bunch of stuff from them I want to check out.
We continue wandering around aimlessly. We have absolutely no direction and head in and out of the alleys. It’s at this point I remember looking down at something. I don’t remember what it was. A comic, a map of the floor…I don’t know. But when I looked up I was stunned to see…Captain Jack Harkness!!!! Holy shit!!! John Barrowman’s here and he’s sitting right in front of me!!! I actually gasp a bit at the sight of him and Paul and I are just speechless for a second. I can’t actually believe he’s sitting there in front of us. Let me tell you, I live in L.A. I don’t get star struck but I did not expect to see anyone from DOCTOR WHO or TORCHWOOD here. It takes me a second to realize that Gareth David-Lloyd is sitting on the other side of the booth. It takes me another second to notice that no one’s gone up to their booth yet. They’re just sitting there. I get a good look at the both of them and they look…pissed. I mean really pissed. Not happy to be there pissed. They’ve both got their mean faces on. They must be having a really crappy day at the con. Nevertheless I ask Barrowman if it’s OK to take a picture of him and he says yes. Coo1!
I call my wife and ask her to guess who I’m standing in front of. I tell her Captain Jack and she says, “NO WAY!” She asks if he’s as good looking in person and I say yes. Better looking, in fact. She asks if he’s tall and I say I can’t tell because he’s sitting down but I think so. I tell her for the thousandth time that I think he’d be the perfect person to play Superman. Except Warner Bros. would never let an outwardly gay actor play The Man of Steel. I tell her that he seems grumpy and she’s disappointed. Yeah, it’s kind of disappointing but it must be hell to have to be at one of these things all day. Either that or he’s an asshole so I’m going with the whole bad day thing. Plus, Gareth/Ianto doesn’t seem too happy so there must be something going on. Either way, when people do start to show up they’re both a bit brusque almost bordering on rude. Sad. The booth is selling their autographs and they still can’t smile and be cordial to their fans? Paul gets an autographed illustration from Barrowman for his wife as she loves TORCHWOOD. By the time I leave the shine has been a bit diminished on TORCHWOOD for me. Too bad. Next to DOCTOR WHO it’s one of my favorite shows.
We head off and run into a pretty decent Comedian outfit. I take another pic. Down the way we see someone with a Gonzo Muppet. It looks like the real thing! Maybe it is…who knows?
Wandering around we find the Stuarts Ng Books table. Now this is what I was looking for. Stuart Ng deals with hard to find French/foreign graphic novels. They have some beautiful stuff here…the French really know how to do comics right. The problem for me is, well, it’s all in French. I could care less, though. The art in all of their books is just gorgeous. In particular I’m looking for anything by Ange Allary. I fell in love with his stuff here last year. I pick up Belladone Tome 1. I’m tempted to get all three but, again, I don’t read French and at 30 bucks a book I decide to hold off on the next two books. Maybe I can get them online later. As I leave the table I am one happy camper. When I get home it’ll be time to get out the French/English dictionary.
It’s getting late in the day and there’s a storyboarding seminar I’d like to check out. Paul and I head upstairs to see what the line might be like for it. There is no line. Great. I’ll come back in a bit. Paul and I head back out and see someone in a really great Jedi outfit. Someone comes up to him and asks him how he got his lightsaber to work so well. Only at Comic-Con could you hear a conversation like that.
It’s about this time that Paul decides that it’s time for him to head back to the wilds of Los Angeles. I walk him back to his car to get my bag. On the way we see a girl with her own homemade TARDIS. She tells us her dad made it for her. Dad did a great job. We get to the parking lot say our goodbyes and I head back to the convention center to get to the storyboarding seminar. On the way I see possibly the cutest Princess Leia I’ve ever seen. She’s adorable.
Back in the convention hall I spot a great group of Streetfighter characters. I take another pic.
I get to the storyboarding seminar and there’s plenty of room to sit. The room is full but not packed. Unfortunately, most of the first hour at this talk is spent going over how the speaker/instructor, Mark Simon, got into the business. There’s some interesting information in what he’s talking about but we never get to the actual mechanics of storyboarding. I was hoping to see if I could learn a bit more about the actual craft behind it. After an hour of his speaking I get a call from my friend Todd reminding me about dinner reservations we have. Gotta go. Oh, well. Looks like Mr. Simon has some good books on the subject I can pick up. I’ll be getting them off of Amazon soon enough.
I head out of the convention hall and see that Attack of the Show’s Olivia Munn is right outside the door posing for pictures. She’s got a camera crew with her but she’s not flanked by security guards. Or at least it doesn’t seem like it. She’s very friendly with her fans and stops to pose for pictures with them. Seems a bit nervous as the crowd is getting a bit larger but who wouldn’t be when flanked by the innumerable hordes of nerds Comic-Con has to offer? I decide that some of the cast of TORCHWOOD could learn a lot from Olivia Munn. She seems really sweet and good natured.
Head across the street to meet Todd and Chazz. As I’m walking I see Mark Hamill walking down the street with fans just streaming after him like he’s the Pied Piper. It’s such a great visual and it makes me smile. I head up the block and finally hook up with my friends. We head off to our dinner destination. After about another block or so of walking we stop to cross the street. I look to my left and see someone that makes me say….”Uh…guys?” Mark Hamill is crossing the street right toward us!!! Holy cow!!!
Todd asks if he can pose with him for a picture and Mr. Hamill is incredibly warm with his response as he stops to pose and Todd gets a picture that he can tell his grandkids about. Or he would if it hadn’t come out so blurry. Sorry Todd.
We head off to dinner and I am completely satisfied with my Friday Comic-Con experience. Can’t wait to see what Saturday brings.

Can’t hold it back. Gotta say it…I AM SO FRIKKIN’ JEALOUS OF SUPERHERO!!! Thanks, buddy, for all of the hard-nosed reporting. I am in awe of your super-conning abilities. Can’t wait to read the rest of the report. Look for them in future editions of SHOOT THE MESSENGER.

Instead of a question this week, I offer you a pair of links and a choice:

If you are not allowed to check out hot chicks in superhero costumes from this year’s San Diego Comic Con at work click here…
If you are, in fact, allowed to check out hot chicks in superhero costumes from this year’s San Diego Comic Con at work, well then, by all means, click here…

Compare, contrast, and discuss in the talkbacks.

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 4, 2008, 6:29 a.m. CST


    by Ghostball

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 6:45 a.m. CST

    your such a tool for posting first!!!

    by BatPsycho

    get a life dude seriously

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 7:11 a.m. CST

    Never knew Ms. Marvel had such

    by TheBloop

    GIANT PALE FAT THIGHS! That said, I would nail Olivia Munn, and she would like it.

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Comic Con report

    by DannyOcean01

    Had to stop reading that report around the point where he said the Joker in TDK needed to be more flamboyant. Peenarse.

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Nightwing 127?

    by Brad Seltzer

    I think you might mean Nightwing 147?

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 9:51 a.m. CST


    by listo65

    neva gunna give you up... neva gunna let you down!

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 9:57 a.m. CST


    by War_Tourist

    It must kill that one random reviewer who reveled in the "failure" of the first Army@Love mini-series. Guess there is an audience for nuanced satire after all!

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Quick Question

    by fiester

    How are they cool with letting all those people walk around with realistic looking fake guns? I mean, do they check them all? Security must friggin' hate it.

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Asian Wonder Woman is very cute.

    by fiester

    ...and fills out her top nicely. <p> Oh, and who thinks the Ghostbusters were like "Hey, great idea for a group costume but we'll need a black guy. Anyone know one?"

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Puke FACE!

    by Rufferto

    I've never really read any Nightwing's before but that looks like a cool story.

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Superhero isn't a real comics fan.

    by tonagan

    The tip-off was that he mentioned showering, then goes on to mention his wife and daughter. Poser.

  • Aug. 4, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST

    nightwing is gonna be....

    by sonnyhooper

    ...the new batman after r.i.p is all said and done. bet on it.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 12:24 a.m. CST

    i'm just glad

    by Don Lockwood

    that i get to be the ass that points out that you weren't offered a chip, but a crisp.<p>LOOK IT UP!