Sunday, February 18, 2007

Portland Comic Book Show

Always underwhelming but worthwhile if you’re looking for bargains; the Portland Comic Book Show made a brief appearance today as it usually does about twice a year. I don’t often go to these things much anymore except to meet the occasional guest. See the thing is this comic show is always held in the aging Memorial Coliseum where the Trail Blazers used to play eons ago. The place looks like a dingy, dirty dungeon with an off-white asylum paint job. It’s really not a pleasant place to be. Plus there aren’t any events. It’s just kinda’ a flea market stuck in hole. Now I’m sorry for ragging on Second Genesis, I know they work really hard to bring guests and dealers to town, but there is the brand new Oregon Convention Center one bus stop away. Why isn’t this show being held there? It’s nice, clean, has windows, and has proper facilities, like elevators for folks in wheelchairs or with baby carriages. Now it is probably supposed to be an issue of saving money but a nice atmosphere really makes a difference. I always wonder how many guests decided never to come back because the space is so uninviting. The Stumptown Comics Fest has only been around for three years and they managed to move into the convention center last year, so I don’t see why the Portland Comic Book Show can’t either. I think it would attract a lot more people including street traffic.
“Phew” sorry for griping it is just something that has been bugging for a while. But the big reason I went was to meet Andy Mangels. He’s a great, talkative guy who wears many hats. Mostly known for being a writer of Star Trek books, Andy also directs and writes material for DVD projects. Many Saturday morning favorites of yesteryear have been coming out with fantastic bonus material thanks to Andy. I’ve got a few of ‘em like Flash Gordon, Blackstar, the Animated Star Trek, and Dungeons and Dragons.
I asked Andy a few questions and he was really great about providing answers. He had a hard time choosing his favorite DVD project but mentioned Ark II as a real treat to work on, as it had always been a favorite show of his. Additionally Andy said he feels that the Prince Valiant boxed sets are the most underrated because despite being a children’s show they had many adult themes, included faithful elements from the comic strips and interesting twists on the King Arthur mythology. Mr. Mangels felt Dungeons and Dragons had the most bonus features and he was pretty excited about the Lone Ranger, Zorro, Jason of Star Command and Isis sets due this year as well.
When I asked about when Tarzan (one of my favorite cartoons) might come out, he informed me that it looks good but his group has to jump through a few more hoops to get the rights straightened out. But the best news of all: There is a good chance he’ll be doing Thundarr, (my favorite cartoon ever) although it might take some time. Andy said: “I know there is a lot of demand out there!” Boy, is that an understatement. I sure hope he gets to do the Thundarr DVD since his bonus features have been really stellar.

Michael Eury was another guy I was eager to meet. A long time comic writer Eury currently edits Back Issue a comics magazine. It’s quite a wonderful periodical published by Twomorrows which explores different aspects of comic book history using a well thought out departmental approach. I told Mr. Eury that I found Back Issue a rare pleasure because most other comics’ publications are rather boring to read, while his magazine is informative and fun. He really took that to heart and said he and his staff work really hard to find a good balance between history and entertainment.

Here’s a shot of Colleen Cover and Paul Tobin creators of Banana Sunday. I could be wrong but they look like the have a very fulfilling love life.

Here’s David Hahn who was gracious enough to appear in my documentary Portland Comics a few years ago. He had many wonderful pages of art for sale, which I could not afford to buy.

Darren Davis represents Blue Water Productions. They’ll be publishing comics based on undeveloped Ray Harryhausen stories including a sequel to Clash of the Titans titled Wrath of the Titans. Mr. Davis was nice enough to let me look at scanned images of the art. Looks good!

They had some Star Wars reenactors (can’t remember the group’s name). The cool thing was that they only portrayed original trilogy characters and none of those crappy prequel losers. The bad thing was I was using a borrowed camera so I screwed up most of the shots. Got a few of the Stormtroopers though.

It was funny because I ran into a drooling She-Hulk’s Bitch ‘cause he scored a huge stash of She-Hulk comics. I'll have to borrow them some time if the pages aren’t stuck together. (ha ha)

After the show I went with family for Dim Sum to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year!


Hypatia said...

Your thoughts on the aging Memorial Coliseum crack me up, although I have a sniveling nostalgia for the place.

I think Beaniac had a good time, and "learned stuff".

Hopefully you'll be able to get some of that cool artwork you want too!

Selba said...

Wow... it must be really fun to be in the comic book show!!!

Wah.. you celebrate Chinese New Year? No picture of the dim sum and your family? *wink*

Swinebread said...

hypatia Yeah we had fun... she liked the Dim Sum the best.

Selba Yeah it was fun talking to the creators. I'd like to to go to a really big show in another city some time. Well, all we did to celebrate CNY was go out to eat. We didn't go to any events, even though there were a few. Portland, like most cites on the West Coast has many Asians. So CNY can be a big day if look for events. Tet is getting to be a bigger day than CNY to some extent as there is a large Vietnamese community here.

Dean Wormer said...

They had some Star Wars reenactors (can’t remember the group’s name). The cool thing was that they only portrayed original trilogy characters and none of those crappy prequel losers.


We went to the Model Train show at the Expo.

Once I explained to the kids that it drives those guys nuts if you call their trains "cute" or "toys" they had a ball. Every display they'd mention to the guy what a "cute little toy train set they had." Torturing model train collectors - it's what's for breakfast.

Bet they would've liked the comic show better.

The Moody Minstrel said...

They had some Star Wars reenactors (can’t remember the group’s name). The cool thing was that they only portrayed original trilogy characters and none of those crappy prequel losers.

This begs the question:

"Which episode pretty much ruined it for the whole prequel?"

Swinebread said...

dean Yeah, there was a big reaction from the kids to the star wat guys. otherwise it would have been looking for comic books.

I did forget to mention they had one display where they had actual copies of Amazing Fantasy 15 and Amazing Spider-man 1. Spidey's 1st two appearances. So that was cool.

moody you mean movie? Well I heard that the Indiana Jones films convinced GL that he didn’t need a story just a rollercoaster ride.

Don Snabulus said...

I think we all know it was Jar-Jar. Just like GWB turned a fire hose on American credibility, so George Lucas did with Jar-Jar.

Don Snabulus said...

Dean Wormer, you are awesome, as are your kids.

Dean Wormer said...

Spanks Don! Their smart-alecky cynicism and evil streak does me proud.