The Action Age Comics Never Look Back Never Say Die World Tour 2011 Is Heading to HeroesCon!



This is the big one, everybody! This weekend, the Action Age is heading to Charlotte, North Carolina for the show we look forward to all year: HeroesCon! And this year, the entire team behind Awesome Hospital is going to be in the house: Me, Chad Bowers, Matt Digges and our lustrous letterer Josh Krach! Plus, a ton of good friends of ours are going to be there, including Curt Franklin, Chris Haley, Kevin Church, Ming Doyle, the unstoppable Dr. K, and my War Rocket Ajax co-hosts both old and new, Matt Wilson and Euge “Adam Warrock” Ahn!

The Action Age crew be hanging out at Table #626 In Artist’s Alley (a slight change from what’s in the program), and we’ll have print copies of Awesome Hospital #1, Monster Plus #1, Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N. #1, Skullkickers #6, and Resurrection #8, plus prints, postcards, and a pretty awesome Awesome Hospital promo that we came up with in a planning session. Hint: It’s edible. All that, and sketches!

Here’s a handy map to where we are:



BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! I’m going to be on a panel every day this weekend!

Friday at 1:00 in Room 206, I’m moderating The Comic Twart Panel! I did this last year and it was a ton of fun: Tom Fowler, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Panosian, Ron Salas, Declan Shalvey and Dave Johnson will be there, and you’ll get to watch them draw a character suggested by the audience right before your eyes. It’s really awesome, and they’re pretty hilarious to begin with, which means it’s the easiest panel in the world to moderate.

Saturday at 2:30 in Room 206, I’m on ComicsAlliance Live! with Curt Franklin and Chris Haley! It’ll be a Q&A where we take questions from the audience — Ask Chris style — and I hate to say something so cliche, but if you saw the video of last year’s panel, pretty much anything goes.

Sunday at 11:30 AM (or as I like to call it, “Hangover Time”) in Room 206, Chad, Matt and I will be on the Webcomics: Group Effort panel, talking about or work with Action Age, Awesome Hospital, Monster Plus, and maybe even the nigh-mythical Solomon Stone #3. This is where you’re most likely to hear inside dirt on how monstrous we are to work with, unless you run into Wilson or Euge at the hotel bar.

Plus, Sunday at 1:00 in Room 206, Chad’s going to be moderating the Family Friendly Comics panel, with Chris Giarrusso, Chris Schweizer, Andy Runton and Jamie Cosley.

I’m really looking forward to it; HeroesCon is always the most fun show of the year for me, and it has been every year that I’ve gone. If you’re in the area, or want to take a quick trip out to Charlotte for the weekend, I can’t recommend it highly enough. And if you are going, swing by the table and say hi! And also buy something. Buy everything.

HeroesCon Sketchbook 2010

I’m still working on getting my thoughts on HeroesCon organized in a readable fashion (short version: everyone was really nice and Evan Dorkin is aware that Awesome Hospital exists), but in the meantime, I’ve scanned this year’s new entries to my sketchbook.

I’ve already put up Colleen Coover’s amazing Tarot, but that’s not the only thing I got–in fact, my sketchbook hit a total of 50 entries this year, and it only took seven years!



Action Age’s own Rusty Shackles kicked things off this year with El Santo: The Most Interesting Luchador in the World.



They’re not in my sketchbook, but Rusty also drew Minxy and Ming Xi from the upcoming “Solomon Stone X-Treme Beach Volleyball” on the back of a pair of TCOSS postcards.



Action Age’s table was right next to Love and Capes creator Thom Zahler, who drew Batwoman for me. Thom was a great guy to hang with all weekend, and he also drew me a life-sized picture of Jimmy Olsen that’s still packed up with the prints.



Action Philosophers artist and MODOK: Reign Delay creator Ryan Dunlavey drew a quick Dr. Mindbender for me. Again, super-nice guy, and I was thrilled to pick up a copy of his great “cover version” of GI Joe #1.



Bill Willingham was right across from the Action Age table (along with I, Zombie writer Chris Roberson and Cinderella cover artist Chrissie Zullo), and while Roberson and I originally tried to get him to draw a piece of classy erotica featuring me and Batman, I eventually went with Prince Charming from Fables.



ISB readers are well aware that Paul Tobin is one of my favorite writers, and, as his version of The Hulk proves, he’s a pretty great guy as well.



Steve Lieber (another great guy–seriously, what do they put in the water in Portland that makes people so nice?) drew Wes from Underground in the style of Awesome Hospital, because Underground is awesome.



Hot, sexy and slightly freckled, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen was drawn by Loneliest Astronauts artist Ming Doyle!



And finally, Dean Trippe dropped Sketch #50 with an awesome Lois Lane!


This was easily one of the best years I’ve had for sketches, and again, I cannot stress enough how super-nice everyone was, and how ridiculously happy I was with each one. Thanks, everybody!

HeroesCon 2010!



Tomorrow, I’m heading up to Charlotte, NC for this year’s HeroesCon! For the first time in a few years, I’m going to have a table, and for the first time ever, we’re going to be representing Action Age Comics!

Chad Bowers and I will be there the entire show, and Rusty Shackles will be in the house on Friday and Saturday only, selling comics, drawing pictures (terrible for me, decent from Chad, awesome from Rusty) and chatting with anyone who wants to stop by and say hi!

We’ll be at table AA-633, a corner table right across from Indie Island:



What’s that? Yeah, I said we’re going to be selling our comics! I’ll have copies of Resurrection #8 (which has a backup story by all three of us and for Chad and me is our first professional comics work), but I’m also going to have copies of The Solomon Stone Special (which is Sol #2, but the first time he’s ever seen print)…



as well as Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N. #1 and high-quality prints of Dan McDaid and Tamas Jakab’s pin-up from #1:



Incidentally, I’m pretty sure that my WOA co-conspirators Chris Piers and Steve Downer are going to be in the house as well, as is Tamas, holding down a table with his El Gorgo collaborator Mike McGee!

But those aren’t all the Action Age has to offer:



Chad’s also going to have a couple of other books, including Monster Plus #1, which includes the world premiere of the second Monster Plus story, where the vampire werewolf zombie mummy witch from the future takes on his deadliest foes yet! And of course, there’s also the printed version of the first Awesome Hospital story arc, which, I’m not gonna lie, is what I’m the most excited about.

That’s not the only Awesome Hospital swag we’ve got, though: Matt Digges was nice enough to send us an extremely limited bunch of Sketch Cards to sell at the show:



They’re awesome and we’ve got a very small number of them, so if you want one, come by the table early!

But HeroesCon isn’t just about selling merch (although feel free to buy as much of it as your legs can support), there’s plenty of other great stuff to see, including some great panels, two of which I happen to be appearing on:

Friday, 4:00 PM in Room 209: The Comic Twart Panel!

I’ve mentioned the awesome Comic Twart blog before, but if you missed it, it’s a collection some of the hands-down best artists working in comics today who pick a character to draw every week and then just knock it out of the park. In this panel, Tom Fowler, Chris Samnee, Francesco Francavilla, Ron Salas, Declan Shalvey, and Andy Kuhn will be in the house doing art right before your very eyes and then donating it to the HeroesCon Art Auction!

I’m moderating this panel, and to be honest, I’ve got no idea what I’m going to do other than go “you remember that week you all drew Batman? That was awesome.” But it should be fun despite me, so check it out!

Then, the big one (for me):



The ComicsAlliance Ask Chris Panel! In lieu of an actual Ask Chris column, I’m taking my shtick of knowing a whole lot about comic books on the road to answer your questions live! I’m actually pretty nervous about this one, because I have no idea how a moderately popular Q&A column from a mildly popular smartass on a very successful (Eisner-Nominated!) comics website translates to filling up a room with people who don’t hate me.

But either way, Laura, Caleb and I have a lot of fun talking to each other (Laura’s not joking when she says our online staff meetings are pretty enjoyable), so if you’re coming, please come by and please spread the word. I promise I’ll be nicer in person than I am in the comments section.

And that’s about it! I’m sure I’ll be twittering (and twitpic-ing) the entire weekend, and I’ve got articles going up the rest of the week at ComicsAlliance, so keep checking there, and hopefully, I’ll see you in Charlotte!

Oh, and for anyone looking for me out on the floor, I look like this:



After-Action Report: HeroesCon ’09

I’m not sure, but if I had to point to a single moment that defined this year’s HeroesCon for me, it’d probably be sharing an elevator with Cobra Commander and the Baroness.



It was shortly after this picture was taken, which was slightly unusual in and of itself, as I don’t usually take pictures with the cosplayers. It’s not that I have anything against them–they add a nice bit of color and even the bad ones are fun to have around sometimes–but it’s just not something I go for. Unless it’s a picture-perfect life-size Cobra Commander, in which case I am all about capturing some treasured memories.

Anyway, I was heading back to the hotel with Dr. K, who played the role of the Official ISB ConBuddyâ„¢ over the weekend, and we spotted Double-C about fifty yards ahead of us on the street. I mentioned how impressed I was that he hadn’t even bothered to take the helmet off, since it was like 93 degrees outside, and Dr. K said “Yeah, that guy’s dedicated. He’s going to be in character until he gets to his room.”

“Then we have to hurry up,” I said, “because I totally want to catch the elevator with this dude.”

So we did, and just after the doors closed, I turned to him and said “I’m really excited to be sharing an elevator with you.”

When he responded, it was in the perfect half-hiss, half-shriek of Cobra Commander: “Thisss sssort of thing doesn’t happen every day! Life is FULL of little sssssssurprises!

The only thing that makes that story better is that when I recognized the guy when he was out of costume on the floor the next day–okay, okay, I recognized the former Baroness, I admit it–and struck up a conversation, I found out that underneath the mask, Cobra Commander has a super-friendly Southern accent. Fan-tastic.

Aside from that, HeroesCon was pretty much the same as it always is, which is to say a huge amount of fun. A couple of people even recognized me, including Douglas from, the home of the truly amazing X-Men Hookup Chart, and Vee, who gave me a page of original Tania Del Rio/Jim Amash Sabrina the Teenage Witch art as a present.

Also as usual, the pros were great. I may have mentioned before that Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick are maybe the nicest couple I’ve ever met in my life, and Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting are always great to talk to, but even the folks I’d never met before–Ed Brubaker, CB Cebuslki, Dean Trippe, Paul Maybury, Love and Capes creator Thom Zahler, Roger Langridge, and yes, even Brian Bendis, about whom I may have said some very angry things during my early days of blogging–were all just super-nice.

Also–and bear with me here, because I’m not done dropping names yet–I got to meet Let’s Be Friends Again’s own Chris Haley.

Haley, of course, is a great artist, and I’ve been after him to do some stuff for the Action Age for a while now, and I was hoping that meeting him at the con would allow me to intimidate him into doing some pages, forging the same kind of I-Yell-At-You-Until-You-Draw-Something relationship that I currently have with the phenomenally talented Matthew Allen Smith and Rusty Shackles.

Unfortunately, that hit a snag when it turned out that Chris Haley was taller, tougher-looking and more heavily tatooed than previously advertised.



That picture, incidentally, was taken during an outing to BBQ King, a drive-in not too far from the convention center that was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We piled six people–including your friend and mine, Rachelle into Dr. K’s car to head over there, and I swear to God, they make their BBQ chicken by deep frying it first, and it is the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. If I start living right, I might just wake up there when I die.

And if I ate there as much as want to, that day would probably come a lot sooner.

As to what I ended up picking up at the con itself, it was a much lighter haul than I brought back last year, mostly owing to the fact that I blew most of my con budget on Friday to get the Cliff Chiang piece I posted yesterday. It feels like it’d be gauche to say exactly how much I paid for the piece, but I will say that for me, it was a significant but not insane chunk of cash, and I don’t regret it, especially since Chiang was nice enough to throw in prints of the faux-LP covers and the “Atomic Bombshells” postcard set. And at the risk of repeating myself, it’s worth noting that in addition to being incredibly talented, Cliff Chiang is an extremely nice guy.

Aside from that, I came home with a copy of Fred Chao’s Johnny Hiro and the fun-looking trade pxaperback of Super Human Resources (solicited this month in Previews), and two (2) issues of Life With Archie.

Plus, I got to show off Rusty Shackles’ fourteen finished pages for The Hard Ones and give some folks a sneak preview of an Action Age project that we’ve yet to announce, so that stuff was fun.

All in all, not a bad show. And now I’m done with the obligatory diary-style nonsense post for the year. I’m sure you’re all relieved.

Off to HeroesCon!



This weekend, I’m heading up to Charlotte for my annual trip to HeroesCon, and if you live anywhere in the Southeast, you oughtta do the same, as it’s a fantastic show.

I’ll be up there all three days representing the ISB and the Action Age, and while we didn’t get a table this year, I’ve loaded up the Netbook with some never-before-seen finished pages from Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N., and we’ll have some promotional material for The Hard Ones and some projects we haven’t even mentioned on the site!

So please, if you see me wandering around the convention (or most likely, if you see me hanging around Matt Fraction’s table desperately trying to lure him into a conversation about who he likes better, Philly Boy Roy or the Gorch) feel free to come over and introduce yourself.

Chad’ll be up there on Saturday and Sunday only, but I’ll be around all three days, rolling with my homeboy Dr. K. And just for reference, we look like this:



If you’re there, say hi! And if you’re not, I’ll be posting pieces from my convention sketchbook from past years while I’m away, so don’t break nothin’ while I’m gone.


For a better idea of what I look like when I’m not wearing my glitter crown, check out last year’s post.