September: Starstruck [Fukubukuro 2011]
Jan 12th, 2012 by Dan

The easiest way to blow my mind is to be artistically proficient. I’ve met very few actual professional artists, but that’s partly because the thought of talking to them just leaves me completely tongue-tied and nervous. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, since they’re people just like me, but the things they have the ability to do just seem like superpowers.

David can attest to a time that we went to Megacon when I was still in high school and I failed to meet Fred Gallagher because I was too shy and he’d left before I had the courage to try to say hello.

Determined to overcome that fear, I grabbed Min and we went down to Small Press Expo (SPX) to meet Anthony Clark of Nedroid, Jonathan Rosenberg of Scenes From a Multiverse, Kate Beaton of Hark! A Vagrant, and Roger Langridge of Thor: The Mighty Avenger and Snarked. I was quite lucky to not really know where anyone was or what anyone looked like, so I was able to muster up the courage to talk to these guys while Min and I wandered and searched. The moment of truth arrived when we found the TopatoCo booth where Anthony Clark and Jonathan Rosenberg were stationed.

I tried to keep it cool as I asked about the procedure for sketches and books and posters, but I was just blown away by the fact that I was talking to Anthony Clark. This is the guy who draws the bizarre, but hilarious comics that have me rolling on the floor with laughter (*your response may be different than mine), but here I was complimenting his work and trying to shoot the shit without looking like a total freak.

The funny thing is, these guys, Anthony, Jonathan, and Roger, are all no different, really. They’re more famous than I’ll ever be, but, just to look at them, they looked totally normal (and kind of tired. It was the last day of the show) and they acted/responded in totally normal (and hilarious) ways.

I had a lot of fun chatting with those guys and getting their signatures. If there was any downside, it was that Roger Langridge’s handlers shooed him away from me mid-conversation to someone who was buying something. It makes business sense, but it was kind of an asshole thing to do. I had purchased issues of his work in my hands, so I was an indirect customer at one point.

In an ideal world I would be able to say that I’ve overcome my fears of talking to (very) minor celebrities, but I know that’s not the case. I know I’d act just as idiotic if I were to meet some rookie prospect or an actor or a musician. Maybe one day I’ll figure it out, but for now I’ve just gotta walk around and muster up courage to be able to do it.

PS: I didn’t see Kate Beaton anywhere. There’s a chance that I spoke to her, but didn’t realize it was her when I tried to buy her (sold out) book.

Small Press Expo (SPX) 2009: Nedroid's Anthony Clark

Anthony Clark signing (Photo courtesy Futuregirl_LeahRiley)

What I’ve Been Doing 8 Aug 2011 [FB/IB/BT/GO]
Aug 6th, 2011 by Dan

The new Spider-Man is Miles Morales, a previously unseen character motivated to do good by Peter's sacrifice...or so Marvel says. I've yet to read a story issue with him in it.


Horrible Bosses – Part of me thought it was hilarious and part of me thought it was passable. There were some really strange story beats in this no doubt because this wasn’t the dark comedy it was advertised to be. I dunno what the proper word for it would be…dim comedy? Without implying that the comedy was stupid, I mean to say that Jennifer Aniston’s part in the story was treated completely differently than the two male bosses and was resolved in a way that felt tacked on. Decent movie, just not the funniest thing I saw this summer (:cough: Bridesmaids :cough:)


Weeds – Having Heylia return to the show last week just reminds me how well-served this show is by its travels and changes. Being able to call back to the first couple of seasons and get a great emotional response is not easy. The story is moving in an interesting direction, but I’ve yet to see it thematically gel yet. I wonder if that has to do with Jacob Clifton’s fantastic summaries on TWoP being canceled? Great season so far.

Frisky Dingo – This is one of those 11-minute Cartoon Network comedies that Adult Swim specializes in. Had some genuine laugh out loud moments and some stupid stuff too. I think I like Archer a lot more (not CN).

Retro Game Master – I totally forgot to mention that I’ve been watching this. Kotaku bought licensing rights to bring RGM to the states and I’ve been enjoying watching the Kacho, Shinya Arino, try to conquer all kinds of classic games. Some episodes are better than others, but they’re usually pretty funny/interesting.


One of Our Thursdays Is Missing – The central conceit of this book, that the real Thursday Next is missing, ends up being somewhat detrimental. I’m still legitimately enjoying the book, but I find that following the “fictional” Thursday around is less interesting than the “real” Thursday. Still got about a hundred pages left and I’m loving the book.

Slaughterhouse Five – Finished up the reread. Poignant and interesting. I love how layered Vonnegut’s writing is. You can choose to believe that Billy is telling the truth or not. There are clues layered all throughout the book that would prove either interpretation.

Ultimatum – Went back to read the old crisis for the Ultimate Universe that was supposed to change/relaunch it before this whole Death of Spider-Man thing. Wow, this was terrible. It was pointlessly violent, jumped around with no real narrative focus, and was just plain bad. I’m glad the side-universe is not mired in this anymore.

Secret Warriors – Got another book in. Still really interesting. Can’t wait to keep reading it.

Y: The Last Man – Finished my reread. It’s even better the second time. I love how deep the characters became and where the whole thing ended. Post-Y-chromosome Earth was interesting, but I really hope that kind of thing never happens for real!

Ultimate Fallout – The above panel came from this book. Our new Spider-Man is neat, but I won’t know more about him until this week. Racial controversy aside, he seems cool, but a little too similar to Peter in personality. Can’t reinvent all parts of the wheel, I guess. The other two parts of this book were pretty neat too. Always nice to read Hickman’s work.

Snarked – Roger Langridge’s look into the world of The Walrus and The Carpenter seems neat, but I don’t know if I’ll keep reading.

Moon Knight – I think this may have been my favorite of the releases this week. The art was just stunning and fun. This is a pretty cool book that I’m sure a lot of people aren’t reading or giving a chance.

Irredeemable – Speaking of underground books (I don’t actually know the circulation for this, but it can’t be huge), this was way depressing this week. Interesting, per usual, but depressing. The Plutonian is back and kicking all kinds of ass and he’s caught Earth with its pants down…again. The story is interesting, but it’s a bummer my favorite character didn’t make it in this issue.

SHIELD – Another gorgeous comic book. It’s still very confusing, but a book filled with Renaissance and Enlightenment scientists is always gold in my eyes.

Video Games

Catherine – I played this game just a little too haphazardly to get the ending I wanted. See, I was actively pushing away Katherine, who I find obnoxious, while answering questions like I would (in a quasi-responsible way), which resulted in me getting a Katherine ending. Ah, well. At least I’m having fun with the game on my second playthrough. I’m really down with the block puzzles. I might have more to say about the game in its own detailed post, but we’ll see.

Team Fortress 2 – Played so much of this over the weekend! I’m so close to getting the Scout achievement I’ve been chasing so long (1900-something/2004 kills). I’ll probably get it tonight or tomorrow night. It’s a lot of fun, but I’m kind of sad about having to play some other classes for a bit for achievement’s sake.

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