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AICN COMICS @$$HOLES ABROAD: Optimous Douche's Wizard World Philly Report!

Optimous Douche hits WIZARD WORLD PHILLY 2010

Hey Faithful Talkbackers, Optimous Douche here. Last year I had to divide my Wizard World report into two parts: One part giving love to the major indies (since DC or Marvel were nowhere to be seen – nor were they this year) and a second report on what I affectionately dub the Lunch Table Brigade, those creators still trying by hook and by crook to get their passion projects into the hands of readers.
This year’s report is sadly going to be far less voluminous, because like every other major con, Wizard World scaled back on the comics to provide a more eclectic mix of all things geek. And it worked! The place was more packed than it’s been in years. As soon I walked on to the main convention floor I was hit with a booth from Microsoft (no shit, their new cell phone was the biggest booth), next to that was a sword extravaganza, and next to that the venerable Jean Luc Picard. Bye-bye Dynamite…
All was not doom and gloom, though; I had a great day talking with some names you might recognize, and learning what the collective comic hive mind of the world is cultivating via indie press and sheer determination.
I guess the best way to order my meet and greets is by the ones that stuck out the most. Please keep in mind though any books I mention I have not read yet, they merely piqued my curiosity in concept.

JG Jones

(You know, the good part of FINAL CRISIS)

First off, I had a great conversation with JG Jones of FINAL CRISIS cover art fame. Aside from just being a damn nice guy that greets every fan with a warm smile and sincere interest, JG is shifting comic gears going into 2011. JG was kind enough to show me some of the FIRST WAVE covers he’s worked on and as expected they looked gorgeous. JG is also going to start dabbling in the world of writing with a project called DUST TO DUST, which takes place during the Dust Bowl time of America’s history. Sadly he’s keeping mum on any more details, but he said writing is going to be a big part of his future. My curiosity is peaked and I’m excited to read what he has to offer – just so long as he keeps putting his gorgeous brush strokes on paper as well.


Haven’t read the book yet (hint, hint guys, send the PDF my way please), but the concept intrigues the hell out of me. Take the 5 most petulant, spoiled and disturbed high schoolers you can find and kill them all off in a Saturday detention session…oh ya and throw in some paranormal shit as well. Some good shit came out of the writer’s strike…more than just “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog”, and I have a feeling this book is up there as well. Authors Buzz Wernick and Matthew Spradlin are on to something here, I can feel it in my Optimous bones. They also have a movie deal, so…you can either trust my bones or the proof.

Mark McKenna (BANANA TAIL)

I really dig the guys that break out of their comfort zone. Long time vet McKenna is adding to his already busy schedule as DC go-to-guy and Web comic Dark Horse conjurer for “Blood of the Empire,” with his kids’ book from Image comics – BANANA TAIL. Last year I reviewed comic writer Joe Kelly’s similar passion project, and McKenna mentioned that Joe was a guiding hand in this totally new frontier of writing. Look for some fun CG monkey loving fun coming from Image at the end of June. Personally I’m intrigued to see how McKenna operates off the paper and on the screen…and then back on to paper…look, you know what I mean. (REVIEW COMING or came I don’t when the hell I’m going to finish writing this.)

OZ WONDERLAND (Casey Heying)

I’m intrigued by the covers alone. Last year WW 09 Zenescope was able to break me from my prejudices against a wee bit of cheesecake and reimagined children’s fairytales. So it was with great gusto I hastened over to the visual trappings of artist Casey Heying’s booth. Dorothy and Alice in the real world, getting sucked back into darker versions of the fictional lands they once travelled. Me like. (REVIEW COMING)

Avatar Press

I love their mission: simply let today’s top creators do whatever the fuck they want and let the audiences decide what survives. Now, this devil may care attitude does lead to a couple problems (where oh where is the new issue of SUPERGOD), but it also leads to some great creativity. I’ll admit I’m on the fence with buying CROSSED, but the fact they have me considering a genre I normally don’t read says something. Aside from LADY DEATH making a permanent home with the big A, their head of sales told me that a new sub-branch will be bleeding off the Avatar brand called Boundless. The following is my interpretation of Boundless not their reps words. Basically Boundless looks like it’s going to encroach on the Zenescope cheesecake art monopoly. Now, will the stories be the same? I have no idea, just when I hear well done T&A I think Zenescope. Nothing to review, shit wasn’t even discounted. I’ll just buy off Amazon.


There were no less than four pairs of brothers teaming up and churning out the funny pages at this year’s event. The Rivers Brothers of offer an urban approach to silver age story telling. The Brothers Herbert are the forces behind where they take a humorous and serious approach to their universe building with LAZERMAN and VINDICATION. Next are the Fraim boys working on a title called VAMPIRE, PA set in the same location as my college hazy days, Western Pennsylvania. The Brothers Ebady have created a lush fantasy world with their book (WARRIOR SAINTS) and last, but certainly not least are the Cohen Bothers. No, not those Coen Brothers. These guys are taking a reptilian approach to super storytelling with DINOMAN; check them out at – oh and Dino is set in my home area of Philly so extra points there.


TIG would have made it higher on this list were it a traditional comic book. Yura sets up a damn fine booth, cleverly using an Italian Market façade as his back drop. Chris and his wife are simply charming and nice people. Basically Chris does everything you should do at a con, get noticed and be gracious and enthusiastic when you are noticed. Italian Guys is a Dilbert style of art and panel presentation following the lives of two Italian guys living in Scranton, PA. There’s also a chef from New Jersey with talking food products that help him on his weekly television show. Plus there’s recipes. You see what I mean about non-traditional now, right? (REVIEW COMING).

Reviews in the pipeline!

Since it is much better to talk about a book rather than describe the book in the vaguest terms I will be saving up further musings on the following comps I received: A political book called FREEDOM UNLEASHED by Craig Blake; a couple titles by JESUS HATES ZOMBIES scribe Stephen Lindsay; a comic adaptation of The Passion by Robert Loedke; and a book about superheroes competing on reality TV from Dark Phoenix Studios.

If we talked at the con and I forgot to give you a mention, I apologize. Please feel free to e-mail though and we can talk about some review love in our Indie section.
Until next year, stay classy Philadelphia!

Optimous' book AVERAGE JOE is being published by COM.X. AJ is a tale that explores what our world would be like today if everyone was gifted with super human abilities in 1938. The guys are looking for top shelf art talent to partner with on this project. Reach out to Optimous on FaceBook for further details.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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  • June 18, 2010, 9:47 a.m. CST


    by BetaRayBill07


  • June 18, 2010, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Something new that's kind of exciting - Iron Man Magazine

    by Snookeroo

    I was in the grocery store and actually saw a comic book on the magazine rack! Man, it's been a while since I saw this case, it was Iron Man Magazine (so technically I guess it's NOT a comic book).<br>Very well illustrated with four or five stories -- fun stories, I might add. Nothing deep, no social commentary, no uber-violence, gallons of blood or super heroes getting hacked to death. And - the good guys actually act differently from the bad guys! Needless to say it's not written for the fanboy crowd, which is good - this is a step in the right direction to draw in a new generation of readers. And -- it's only $6. For a tabloid size pub of this quality, it's a good value.

  • June 18, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Sad I didn't make the list.

    by MAD_MIKE

    But, sitting next to JG Jones all weekend was a highlight of the show. <P> Just finished the one story I told you about, and starting the sci-fi one. <P> Hopefully I willsend you a copy to review when it comes out later this year.

  • June 18, 2010, 10:36 a.m. CST

    There are 2 major movies released today...

    by the_beard_of_Chuck_Norris

    Toy Story 3... <p> Jonah Hex... where the Hell are the reviews???

  • June 18, 2010, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Movie reviews

    by Snookeroo

    • Toy Story 3 knocks it out of the park. Everyone will see it. Twice. Expect this to pass How To Train Your Dragon north of the $300 million mark.<br><br>• Save Jonah Hex for the $5 DVD bin two months from now.

  • June 18, 2010, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Hello? Bueller?

    by BetaRayBill07

    Toy Story 3? Been playing for 12 hours now.....anyone??

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