Thursday, July 12, 2012

Columbus (Ohio) Day, Comic-Con Stuff and a few words on Music

Columbus, Ohio

Tomorrow I present in front of a bunch of folks from a consortium of libraries here in sunny Columbus, Ohio.  The trip had been rumored since I was in Boston, but I didn't get confirmation that they actually wanted me here until last week.  With the mad scramble to get paperwork done during a holiday week, it wasn't really all locked down til Tuesday that I was actually going.  

So here I sit in a Springhill Suites in Columbus, Ohio.  I've seen only two slivers of the town.  The route I came in on and then the route I took to a nearby comics shoppe, something I like to do when I'm a-travelling.  I have to give a thumbs-up to Laughing Ogre Comics, not just for the great name of the shop (it sounds like they really want to open a pub where people can play RPG's with no fear of wedgies), but to their shop itself, which was professional, friendly, well-stocked and well laid out.  If in Columbus, we recommend.
Unfortunately for their daily cash goals, I happen to live in a town with a store as good as Austin Books, so there wasn't all that much to actually buy that I can't find up on Lamar, but that doesn't mean I can't celebrate the rise on quality in stores I'm seeing in general of late.  It's now been years since I've walked into a shop (other than Junior's in Austin) that made me sad, and that used to be the norm.  In point of fact, I think Laughing Ogre was still something other shops to strive for, especially with their "new issues" wall, which was immaculate and polite but not overly forceful greeting to everyone who walked in.

I ate at a Champp's, a chain that once existed in Houston and which I only ever wanted to go to for brunch after church back in high school.  They've changed the menu and interior, so it wasn't the time warp experience I was hoping for, but at 9:00, as promised, they kicked in with the karaoke and a family unit took over and began to sing Justin Bieber tunes.  In a way, I thought replicating the karaoke bar experience in PG form was kind of okay, but that didn't mean I intended to hang about.  

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con is on in San Diego and there's interesting news coming out.  
  • Neil Gaiman is teaming with JH Williams III (aka: one of my favorite artists) for new Sandman material at Vertigo.
  • Tim Hunter is coming to Justice League Dark (a book I've intentionally avoided as I was really turned off by the concept)
  • Chris Roberson is pairing with Alex Ross for a pulp hero team book from Dynamite with The Shadow, Green Hornet, Zorro, the Spider and others.  
  • The trailer for the Superman movie Man of Steel, will be attached to Dark Knight Rises
  • Mark Waid is doing some digital hoo-har at Marvel
and then some stuff I really don't care too much about.  Red Hulks, blah blah blah.   Oh, and apparently Betty Ross is alive and a Red Hulk.  Go f'ing figure.

not a hoax!  not a dream!

I used to get all jazzed looking at the upcoming toys and whatnot, but I've quit picking up toys that aren't Superman, for the most part.  I was collecting Blue Beetle, but DC kept breaking my heart with that character, so... not anymore.  And I really don't want any of the WW in the new suit.  Now it's sort of idle curiosity, but I know that I won't pick it up.  Once the price skyrocketed for the Mattel toys, I even quit buying the New Gods toys they were putting out.  

But I do sort of want the new Godzilla I saw.  And there was one keen looking Captain America.  And I imagine this time next year I'll be opening toys from Man of Steel.  

It never ends.

By the way, I totally take my toys out of the box.  I find the pics I see of rooms full of unopened boxes kind of weird, which is totally throwing rocks in glass houses.

You can follow some good natures jerkiness I helped start at twitter by looking for hashtag #fakesdcc

Tragically, a visitor to the Con died the other day before the Con even opened.  Apparently it was a pedestrian/ auto accident.  She'd lined up days in advance for the Twilight panel, and was hit while crossing the street.  I don't know why I found this particular random event so sad, but I did.  I guess because she was out and about doing something crazy and fun.

  • I'm about finished with Grant Morrison's SuperGods. More on that later.
  • Finished Morrison's Joe the Barbarian, and it's probably the most straightforward kids' book, so I'm not sure why it's at Vertigo where kids will never find it.
  • Read Hammett's The Glass Key, and it was better than the movie by a site, and the movie was phenomenal.
  • About to start the Parker novel The Seventh by Stark/ Westlake.  It looks to be just over 100 pages, so I kind of want to just set aside two hours and blow through it.
I'll write something up at some point about what Sandman means here at The Signal Watch, but it'll probably take a while, and this is breaking stuff, so, you know, give me a couple of days.


I'm too cheap to pay the $175 for the 3-day pass, but this year's Fun, Fun, Fun Fest is the culmination of where this thing has been heading for years.  Half thinking of going before it gets as bloated as ACL Fest and SXSW and becomes yet another thing locals don't really do.

The line-up is incredible and features the return of Run-DMC.  

I also bought myself a ticket to see Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra here in Austin on September 19th, if anyone else feels like going.  Tickets are only $25.


J.S. said...

Hmmm... More Gaiman Sandman. Could be good. Maybe

The League said...

I didn't know you'd read any Sandman. Haiman is doing pop fantasy novels now, and he's as sharp as ever. I'm excited and may retread all my stuff.