MEGACON 2011 - SUNDAY ON THE FLOOR
By Todd H. Latoski
The final day of MegaCon has come and gone, and before fans said goodbye to the creators and friends said goodbye to friends, ComicRelated caught up with some of the creators on the floor to see what they have going on and coming up.
Artist extraordinaire Tim Sale, who was making his first Florida convention appearance at MegaCon, could not reveal too much about Captain America: White, except that the release of the book is set to coincide with the upcoming movie. It is being finalized now, and should be ready on time. Sale currently is focusing all of his attention on Captain America: White, saying that he almost never works on more than one thing that he is drawing at a time. Sale said that he really enjoyed his weekend at MegaCon, surprised at the size of the show; but he enjoyed seeing some of his old friends, as well as making some new ones.
Another fan-favorite artist, Jim Valentino, was on hand and talked a bit about what is coming up with the Shadowline of comics. He said there is a new series called Green Wake by Kurtis Wiebe and Riley Rossmo. Wiebe has just done The Intrepids, which sold out of the first and second issues, and Rossmo has done Cowboy Ninja Viking. Valentino described it as "a really cool horror book." Another 27 Second set will be coming up, which will continue that series, which also sold out. Valentino said there are lots more Morning Glories coming fans' way, and it looks like there is a third printing of Infinite Vacation issue 1 is on the way as well. With Image's 20th anniversary coming up, Valentino said they keep talking about what they are going to do, and he said their biggest plan is to keep trying to get through with Image United. However, there will probably be some appearance announced with the entire Image group together. Valentino also added that Shadowhawk is coming back, but he will not be in his own series. Valentino said the character will be in another series where he will be an antagonist in that particular series, which he said should be "very bizarre."
Valentino added that they are always receiving submissions for ideas from new creators. He said Image reviews the work and bases their decisions on any number of criteria, depending on what they are looking for at the time. For Valentino, it has to be something original - an original idea, an original story, or an original twist on a story. The artwork for the story has to be a professional quality, and finally, Valentino has to believe that he will be able to sell it.
Yet one more fantastic artist, Greg Horn, a regular attendee at MegaCon, was not only in attendance, but he was there with his mother, Marjorie Horn. Mrs. Horn, who is a big supporter of her son and his work, had only wonderful things to say about him. She told us "Greg has been drawing since he was about four years old, or even before that. In his book, there is a picture of him standing there, at four years old, with one of my paintbrushes and a piece of paper on the easel. And he had gotten out the paint and done a picture of a house and a rainbow, and when I took a picture of him when I came home, he thought I was going to kill him! But he's still here, and doing real good, and I'm proud of him." Horn's wife and children were not able to join him at the convention this year, so Mrs. Horn, who used to go with her son to all of his conventions when he was younger, got the opportunity to join him again. Mrs. Horn was happy to have met his first employer in the comic world, Bill Black, who hired Horn to work at Americomics (n/k/a AC Comics). Mrs. Horn said she also met Stan Lee, saying, "He came over, and I told him I had heard a lot about him, and he said, ';It's all true.'" Mrs. Horn said that for the past two days, she had joined her son for dinners with the Marvel group and others, and that they had such a good time. She was able to meet many other artists that she had not yet met. When asked if she read the comics her son worked on, Mrs. Horn said she has read all of them. "I used to help him ink some of them," she went on to say, "and he would leave a big X for me to fill in, and then he would do the real intricate stuff." Mrs. Horn said that the best thing about her son's work as an artist is that he is very versatile, and that he has worked hard since he was a little boy and really deserves the credit for his work. Horn, who finally got a break from the crowds at his table and came over to join his mother, was very excited about an upcoming project that he would be working with Stan Lee on, but that he couldn't announce any details just yet. It was refreshing to see a creator's mother who so whole-heartedly supports his work and whose encouragement has led her son to develop such obvious talent as that of Greg Horn.
Shi creator Billy Tucci, who sat only a couple of booths away, told ComicRelated that he is working on a self-published "top secret" project that will be announced at SDCC, and that he is also working on a new Birds of Prey mini-series with Marc Andreyko that takes place in the 1940s and today. Tucci revealed the series will have the classic Black Canary, Phantom Lady, and Lady Blackhawk. In addition to that, Tucci will be a part of the new Dark Horse Presents with his "Boys of Company Z," which is his zombie tale. He also has a new Shi series coming out next year, through Dark Horse, and he was very excited about that. He said if all goes right, the new Shi series will debut next year at MegaCon. Tucci added that he has thoroughly enjoyed the show this year, which he believed marks his 15th year at MegaCon.
Over on the independent side of things, there were a number of premiers at MegaCon this year - from What the Flux Comics' Red Angel (written by Erin A. Pyne) and Drumfish Productions' Neverminds (written by Rich Bernatovech and drawn by Jaime Fay), the amount of talent from these indy creators never ceases to amaze. One title making its premier was Souled, from Cosmic Times publications. All of the creators for Souled (writer Christopher Faulkner, penciller Zach Bassett, and inker James Whynot) were on-hand for the premier, and they sat down to answer a few questions about themselves and their new book. For Faulkner, this was his first time behind the table at a convention as a creator; Bassett and Whynot, though, have previous con experience.
Souled is described as the story of greed on an intergalactic level - just how corrupt corporations have become, how greedy they are, and how far they will go to push down the underdog to make a buck, and how far we will go before we start to fight back. Faulkner said the idea for Souled came about while washing his hands in a public restroom, and as he saw water splash onto a trashcan, he thought, "If this were a spaceship, we would be recycling this water throughout the ship." As the days went by, Faulkner said he stayed in a "sci-fi mood," and the more he thought about the recession and the news, he began to wonder how far corporations and people will go. The two ideas merged, and Souled was born. Faulkner originally met Martin Pierro, the owner of Cosmic Times, at Mini-MegaCon back in 2009 and pitched the idea. Pierro helped him with the project and provided the creative team of Bassett and Whynot. Bassett had previously worked with Cosmic Times publishing on their previous book, Decisions, and Whynot, who went to school with Bassett, joined him due to their previous experience together. The three soon developed a smooth-running working relationship on the book, and with one issue printed, the pencils for the second issue complete (freeing Bassett up to work on the second issue of Decisions), and the script for the third issue being finalized, the five-issue mini-series is well on its way.
Meanwhile, out on the convention floor itself, while the crowds had thinned some from yesterday, the fans' creative streaks with costumes had not. From the elaborate Time Machine to the evil infestation of Crossed to the strong men of the DCU, the costumes were limited only by the imaginations of those wearing them.
For the vendors, the creators, and MegaCon itself, this weekend was a huge success, and all thanks to the literal thousands of fans who came out to support them. Thanks to all who came out and we'll see you next year!
Todd H. Latoski/Writer
Todd was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, but moved to Florida back in the late 1980s. Todd grew up reading comics and have always been a fanboy. Working in the legal field by day and writing his heart out at night (with three published comic stories to date, and one more in the works),Todd has been doing MegaCon coverage for several years and looks forward to doing so for many years go come.
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