Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. While I was doing scores and scores of interviews, AICN COMICS’ pal and all around great guy Jamie Coville took in 20 panels and brought his handy dandy recording device along to bring it all back to you. So even if you missed out on these panels, you can sit back and enjoy these audio files at your leisure without having to wait in line or sit in a room full of smellies…
Family Feud: The Comics Blogging Panel (53:38, 49.1mb)
The panel was moderated by a very hungry Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter). On the panel was Heidi MacDonald (The Beat), Tony Isabella (Tony Isabella's Bloggy Thing), Alexa Dickman (Ladies Making Comics), Rich Johnston (Bleeding Cool), and Graeme McMillan (Many different sites). There was a very large audience and Tom joked about the panel being a pre-show for the next panel (Mega64: Decade of Perfection) which got the audience laughing. The group introduced themselves particularly to the crowd who were not familiar with them. Tom had received some questions from his readers and asked them. Among the topics talked about writing in a way to generate hits from search engines, (eg using words like exclusive, which generate traffic) or topics that they might not normally cover and how it may compromises their writing. Lots of discussion was around those that have writers contributing to their blog. Among the topics for them were letting contributors develop their voice, how much they pay their writers and if it's hypocritical to write negatively about companies exploiting their talent while they pay their own writers little to nothing. The amounts being paid to contributors were revealed and what other forms of compensation they are getting. For those that work (or had worked) in print how writers got paid was discussed. The group also talked about creator rights issues, gender issues, creators in need and they also took questions from the audience.
Tony Isabella Spotlight (51:39, 47.2mb)
Mark Evanier interviewed Tony about his career in comics. They talked about his getting involved in comic fandom, his comic reading as a kid, particularly FF annual #1, his love of giant monsters, his living in New York City and the seedy hotel on Times Square he lived in. He spoke about his editorial work at Marvel, writing books under tight deadlines when other people blew them, his favorite artists to work with, in particular Frank Robins and Eddie Newell, him getting a chance to work with Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. Tony revealed that he wrote a large, multi issue Captain America story only to later find out that Kirby had already been hired to take over the book after a few issues. He also spoke a bit about co-writing with Bob Ingersol. He said he would have loved to have more time on Daredevil and Ghost Rider. He said his original champions pitch was Iceman and Angel buddy book with them on the road getting involved in certain situations. Said he would still liked to have written that. Tony also won an inkwell award for his work in comics and Tony gave his love to the convention for having him as a guest.
Carmine Infantino Tribute (49:22, 45.1mb)
On the panel were Jon B, Cooke, Elliot S! Maggin, Paul Levitz, Martin Pasko and moderating the panel was J. David Spurlock. Carmine Infantino was a long time extremely important artist, editor and publisher, much of his work for DC Comics. Elliot talked about Carmine patching up the many fights he and Julie Schwartz had. Both he and Martin said Carmine wasn't pretentious. Elliot told a story about Carmine and Julie getting into an argument and Julie said "I was here before you and I'll be here after your gone!" and Carmine just laughed, he didn't let stuff said during heated arguments bother him. Paul talked about how after the 1966 Batman show started to drop in ratings nobody at DC had any idea of where to take the company. Carmine provided DC with a direction and really experimented in ways that publishers didn't do prior to that. Today publisher's experiment the ways Carmine did back then, trying all sorts of new ideas with different creators. Martin talked about Carmine's cover design and David said all the DC covers were pretty much laid out by Carmine from when he was art director and on up. David mentioned that as Carmine moved up the ladder at DC, he kept doing his old jobs. One time an HR person within the company was reviewing who did what within the organization and they told Carmine he did the work of 5 people. David revealed that Stan Lee had offered Carmine a job in the mid 1960s and DC promoted him in order to keep him. Martin and David talked about the many behind the scene changes that Carmine was responsible for that he doesn't get credit for, both small and large. David said one of them was ordering his artists to update their swipe files so that females were not drawn with 1950's style clothing. They talked about how many artists got their start at DC comics, with Carmine liking their art and telling editors to get the artist a script. Paul talked about how when Carmine took over, he broke down the BS formality at DC at the time and made it much more open and about creating good comics. He said Carmine made DC more open to fans and solicited their opinions, much more than Marvel did at the time. Elliot talked about him suggesting DC do a Superman movie and writing a pitch, Julie disagreed, thinking superheroes were over and he went to Carmine. Carmine sent Elliot and another writer to talk with Mario Puzo about it. Paul revealed that in the early 60s, Carmine won the best artist in fandom awards 4 times in a row and people don't realize how popular he was with fans during that time. David said Carmine really went to bat to hire Kirby back, despite resistance within DC and he went to bat for many other artists as well. David and Martin said Carmine was really influential and that Bernie Krigstein and John Romita learned from him.
Dan Jurgens Spotlight (52:53, 48.4mb)
This was also moderated by Mike Carlin, who again joked this was the Jon Bogdamov panel. Jurgens talked about growing up in a small town and occasionally hanging out wiht Curt Swan. He loved the 60's Batman TV show and was introduced to comics by seeing his friends read some after it. The first comic he bought was Superman. They talked about his family's reaction to becoming an artist. He said when he was a teenager he loved Simonson's Manhunter and wrote and drew a Manhunter story. He sent it to DC and somebody sent it to Simonson. Walt wrote Jurgens a letter asking if he could keep the story in exchange for a Manhunter drawing. He agreed and Simonson sent him a really great full color large sized drawing. Jurgens revealed he showed his work to Mike Grell when he was in the area, and Grell suggested him to DC as a replacement for him on Warlord. DC had him and another artist do a 5 page tryout and he won the job. He talked about how he got to start writing and how he got the Superman job. He also talked about the creation of Booster Gold. They then talked about the Death of Superman and one of the reasons it was done was do to a negative reaction to not getting to do the Lois Lane marriage and the popularity of Image Comics. They said that all the drew designs for Doomsday and voted and Jurgens design had won the vote. They talked about the major media coverage the story got and how they originally planned to bring Superman backed got changed to something more epic in nature. The destruction of Coast City was volunteered by the editor of Green Lantern who very much wanted to tie into what was happening with Superman. Louise Simonson suggested doing the different Superman when they did the return and Jurgens agreed to let his Cyborg version become the bad guy. Jurgens talked about what it's like seeing Booster Gold on TV and also his Marvel work. Along them was Superman with long hair after he returned, the red underwear, if death of Superman will be adapted into other media Armegeddon 2001 with Monarch and working digitally. He says he still sends the physical boards to inkers to work on and will continue to do so until he can't any longer.