Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sydney Supanova 2012 recap: Soldiering on!

Me with 'The List' writer Paul Bedford. We are tools :P

(Some photos here, but you’ll find others at the Soldier Legacy Comic book facebook page: )

Well, another fantastic convention weekend, thanks to Sydney Supanova Pop Culture Expo. It was the 10th Anniversary of the event, and by reports post-con, the biggest crowds ever. With a massive artist alley (another record), I flew down to Sydney to be part of the Black House comics 4-table Juggernaut presence, (thanks to my publisher, boss and all-round fantastic bloke, Baden Kirgan), to promote the recently released Soldier Legacy trade paperback and latest issue to the New South Wales crowd.

I have to say, you friends and fans kept me busy! So much so that apart from a restroom break on Sunday afternoon, I saw virtually nothing of the show at all, apart from the Gestalt Comics Supa-star guests Christian Read and Andrew Constant mere inches around the corner, International comic book pro Tom Taylor next door, and right before closing time Sunday, a quick hello and thank you to international DC comic artist Nicola Scott (great to see you all and thank you for the chats :D). It was that manic.

Now this recap is basically a massive thank you to all the people- friends, fans and pros- who stopped by the table on the weekend, said hello, showed support, and/or bought the new books, or just had a chat. Plenty of Soldier Legacy comics and Dark Detective fans showed their appreciation, and I thank each and every one of you, new fan or old. AS I recently posted on the facebook page before the event, it’s been about a year since the last Sydney Supanova where my little self-published comic book series was picked up by Black House Comics. For this I will always be grateful to publisher Baden Kirgan, and Black House stablemate Chris Sequeira. As you guys are probably aware, within this time there's been 2 reprint editions on the first two issues, 2 new issues, a trade paperback edition, a prime time TV commercial featuring the character, 2 guest spots at this year's Supanova conventions (Melbourne and Gold Coast), an upcoming guest spot at Melbourne's Oz Comic Con, a Comics Creator of the Month with the ASA, a mention on Bleeding Cool news, a chat with the guys at (Cool) Shite, more talking with the people of Geek Speak/Girly Geek Speak, and a back up feature comic featuring a crossover of the series in the nationwide newsstand comic book 'Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes'. (Oh, and now a upcoming Kapow! Interview :D) I'm probably forgetting some other stuff, but this alone has been overwhelming. Above all, I have had the opportunity meet new friends, to work & converse with some wonderful people, meet and talk with some fantastic fans, and personal heroes & inspirations of mine, both here and overseas.

Anyways, let’s not take up much more of your time, I just want to make mention of some of the fantastic people I have the honour of meeting on the weekend. If I’ve missed you, trust me, it was accidental. I’m powered by very little sleep, and am using a lot of energy at the moment to keep this change-of-weather/post-con-cold from taking a firm grip on me.

Firstly, my Black House comics stable mates, and Brothers in arms:  Jason Franks, Jason Paulos, Jan Sherpenhuizen, Bruce Mutard, Matt Emery, and Baden Kirgan. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I count myself lucky to be among you guys, thank you. Special mention to my mentor and close mate Chris Sequeira, who couldn’t make the show- him and his lovely family were off to the USA on the Saturday, but I did get to catch up the night before, and plug his series ‘Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes’ to the crowds. Good luck over there, and I’ll see you in a few weeks in LA! Oh, and W. Chew Chan, my friend my art mentor, who gave me some wonderful feedback and advice on my comic art before I jetted back to Brisbane, great to see you too, Pal :D

A "Thank you" sketch for the 1 year at Black House for Baden Kirgan. Features The Soldier vs 'Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes' villain Dr. Nikola.

The wonderful Supanova crew members who were kind enough in their run-off-their-feet weekend to drop by and say hello- you guys are great : Particularly (and off the top of my head) Daniel Z (who I didn’t see this weekend, but did catch up with when I guested it in Melb and GC recently. A big and heart-felt Congratulation on such a massive and successful show! And for 10 years!), Bruce Moyle and David “Quinny” Quinn (also of (Cool) Shite, and surrogant brothers for sure. I’ll find the paperwork. Carlos must have it ;P), Chris Rattray (I look forward to the Sherlock Holmes show, thank you for remembering, good sir!), Dion Brooks, Mark Williams (thank you for checking in, bro. Greatly appreciated :D), Royd Burgoyne, Anthony Lance, Daniel Rathbone, Dee Pirko (who got to chill for this show, but works super hard every other day of the year), Missy and Felicity (thank you again for Melb and GC), I chatted with the lovely lady who handles the authors at the show, and wonderful volunteers like Roger Sidhom (what a nice guy)...I could go on, but I got to keep flying though ;)

One of my closest mates, my friend Barry (Ian) from QCA, put me up for the weekend, it was fantastic to catch up with such a good bloke (even if he barracks for NSW ;P). Always a lot of fun, plenty of laughs, and thanks for the sandwiches- without them, I would have passed out for sure. Nice meeting your mate Chris Buckingham too.

Derick, an even older close mate from my high school days, where I resembled a puny Peter Parker. Derick stopped by before his work of protecting the streets of Sydney to catch up, and I’m grateful he did. It’s been too long, mate. And, if I had a dollar for every cosplayer who came up and comments on the “authenticity” of his “outfit”... I’d have about $17 dollars. The massive crowd that gathered when the slave Leias’ mobbed you for a photo was hilarious: mainly because you’d been there for 5 minutes and were already more popular than the comic book :P

Ben Shackleford's Supanova haul photo, including Black House Comic's "The Soldier Legacy" and Gestalt's 'The Deep', 'Eldritch Kid' and 'Torn'.

The Kapow! Team were kind enough to interview me on the Saturday morning; it was great to finally meet in person after swapping a few emails with the producer Ben Shackleford.  The hosts of the show (Ray James, Alastair Brown and Sonya Kerr) and the cameraman, whose name escapes me (sorry my friend, I’m terrible with names) were very nice and great to talk to, and despite my half-asleep brain functions and dark circles under my eyes, I managed to fumble out a few sentences about the Soldier comic series, and perhaps only sound half-moronic :P I believe this interview, making up part of their Supanova coverage for their season 2 #1 episode, will go live as early as Thursday 21st . So look out for that :D I’ll post a link no doubt.

At the show, I go to touch base with some other friends, readers/fans of the Soldier book, or my artwork in general. Always a pleasure to talk to them, and receive feedback, or just shoot the breeze on anything, or nothing in particular. Again, I’m great with faces, terrible with names, so I remember you all purely though these photos and in person. But have no doubt, you all mean a lot to me and the development of this series and my comic book nonsense. Off the top of my head, and in no order, thanks to mate Matty Currey, Johnny Taylor, his wrangled over new Soldier fan Adrian, Daniel Honeyman and sister Lyndal, Wayne, Jack and father Peter (keep up the drawing Jack, and thanks for the knowledge Peter), the Medieval guys from ‘The Crow Blade Chronicles’, Mark Panarello from Culture Shock (and Carissa Avenhouse shot past too, look forward to catching up in Melbourne next week :D), Bron Mitchell, Ben Small (brief, but “Hey dude”, glad to see you), the guys who got the Phantom sketches (nobody ever requests cooler characters like that :D), Heather and Matt Greig (and Hether’s partner and friend), great to see you and congratulations on your 2nd Degree grading, Heather :D

 I am always touched when current serving or previous serving Soldiers stop by and really show their appreciation for the Soldier Legacy concept. It means a lot that they see that in essence; it is my tribute to them, and the serving people before them. One guy (who I won’t say his name), was kind enough to show me his “Sgt.” Credentials of a Commando unit. Fantastic. And thank you. I learnt quite a bit from the chat. There was another fan that I got a photo with, who was a refugee from overseas, and was really into the idea of the Aussie hero. My series sets out to show heroes of other nationalities in the pages too, but it was nice to hear his story of how thankful he was for himself and his family to be a part of this nation (as we all and should be, we’re all refugees really).  A gentleman to talk to, as were many others this weekend. Hmm, That statement doesn’t cover the wonderful female fans of the series who showed their support too; you will be referred to as “wonderful women”, OK? ;) I appreciate all the readers, and am happy when people realise the attempted universality of the characters without having to lose their national or individual identity. Anyways, there were so many other nice fans, so thank you guys.

And I also had the pleasure of either finally meeting face-to-face, or having a chat to, some wonderful Aussie Comic creators; some have hit international heights, but all are lovely people. Extremely talented illustrator Chris Wahl stopped by; around the same time as another extremely talented illustrator Jon Sommariva did too (and posed for an awesome photo). Speaking of fantastic artists, I got to meet Rhys James, and get his beautiful ‘Selected Studies” book. What a top guy. Stephen Ford of King’s comics dropped by, another great dude. The gentleman Emmet O’Cuana of ‘The Momus Report’ dropped by for a chat, Stewart McKenny and Wendy, I got to say hello briefly; they are tireless on these cons! Lovely to touch base. Speaking of popular and busy, Tim McEwen; Barley a handshake but it’s always good to at least get time to do that (and wave to the McEwen family :D). I think I also got a chance to barley handshake Winter City writer Patrick Purcell on the way in the building Saturday morning, same with 'Decay' Publisher Darren Koziol, and Kevin Scarfe from CFCA. Emma-Jean Stewart, Gavin Thompson, Rob “Racoon”, and Katie from the ACT ‘Beginnings Anthology’ crew- congratulations on the sell out, and Sorab Del Rio of Silver Fox Comics and good mate Paul Abstruse for their sell out Graphic Novel ‘Zombie Cities’. Hayden Fryer came by with a copy of Billy: Demon Slayer season 2 (thanks mate, I was literally chained to that table, and nice work too!), and my separated at birth, Brother from another mother Paul Bedford provided me with my copy of his mindf^&* of a book ‘The List’, with Henry Pop/Tom Bonin images, and suggested a pose for the wankiest god damn photo you’ll ever see of us at a con. Always a pleasure to see him. Update: I almost forgot to mention Noel! great to meet you, thanks for picking up the books, and for helping out Sarah Ellen with her Jennifer Hale thing. I'm sure she appreciated it, and it was great to meet another nice person. You watch folks, over the next few days, I'll panic as I remember I forgot to mention 'X' when clearly I should have. Like that nice Security guard that's always at the Supanova show. 

The lovely Julie Ditrich was there at the show, along with collaborator Jozef Szekeres, conducting their last Australian Society of Authors Comic seminar, as they are moving on as Comic portfolio holders to focus more on their creative work. Very sad, I joined purely based on their organisational abilities, and will miss them in the role. I hope whoever takes the reins will do as well as they have in lifting the potential of the comic book scene in Australia, and I wish them all the best in their upcoming comic work.

 Right at the very end of the show, I got to get this photo with all these top people, including the wonderful Marvel illustrator, David Yardin (it was 7 years ago when I first saw his original pencils on District X- the first international pro I’d ever met. And surprisingly, he remembers. A very nice guy.) I also met illustrator Daniel Picciotto before this photo...look, by now you’ve figured out that I think everyone I meet or talk to are nice people. What can I say? Though my other day job makes me cynical and subconsciously suspicious of people’s motives and sub-text (that’s what we do in Loss Prevention, and thankfully, it helps weed out the face time with d$%^heads ;P), it’s great to say that on average, the majority of people you get to meet and chat to as part of this crazy journey are genuine, lovely people. So one more big THANK YOU again for a great weekend, and I’ll sure I’ll see you all again sometime in the future.

Alright, now a tonne of thesis and script work, a cold to battle, and prep for Oz Comic Con Melbourne, and San Diego trip to do. See ya!

The Ghost who walks

Me and "Uncle Chop Chop" Chopper Read :P

Thanks Daniel and Lyndal!

First Soldier fan to visit of the weekend! Thanks bro :D

These dudes are fantastic Cosplayers- all their csotumes at the shows are gold.

Commission scribble- Batman vs. Punisher

The awesome Rhys James!

Ray from Kapow! drops by, too bad I didn't think to get pics with Al and Sonya (because I'm a moron).

Thanks Roger!

Thanks Heather and Matt!

Thanks Cam!

Me and Emmet O'Cuana of 'The Momus Report'.

Steven Ford from King's Comics, Sydney.

The mean, lean, Chewie Chan and me :)

Chris Wahl and Jon Sommariva will mess you up!

The gentleman-ly Bruce Mutard Mutard from Black House Comics, and a tonne of other publishers.

Jan Sherpenhuizen, Jason Paulos, Jason Franks and I act like jerks at the Black House table.

Daniel Picciotto, Bruce Mutard, Paul Abstruse,  Stewart McKenny, Jon Sommariva, David Yardin and me :)

Nice guy Matt Emery of Black House comics/Pikitia Press. Matt has some pics too :D

Me and Barry, or Hale and Pace cosplay :S

Sorab Del Rio of Silver Fox comics we're not that blurry in real life :P

Daivd "Q-Dog" Quinn of (Cool) Shite and I. "Wot?"

More photos on the Soldier Legacy Facebook page :D


Supanova Cosplay Leia said...

That poor cop - Us Leia girls roped him into a pic with all 6 or so of us before he substituted himself with someone else and tried to sneak off...
The pic is on FB somewhere if he wants it :P
Or if one of his work mates wants to put it up in his office for laughs.

Paul Mason said...

LOL! You must show me a link!