Fan Expo Vancouver 2013 is over and I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences. Without further ado:
Got him to sign some comics including “The Death of Captain America” issue and the first appearance of Bucky as the new Captain America. I told him how much I’ve been enjoying his and Hickman’s run on New Avengers. He told me even he doesn’t know how it’s going to end and that sometimes it can be hard for him to follow. I told him at least he’s not on Avengers, now that is a series that is truly out there which drew a laugh from him. As the Expo was winding down on Saturday, I even got to wish him a goodnight.
I tried multiple times to get some comics signed by him but he was always busy doing commissions. I have to say out of all the artists he was the one that did the most commissions by far!
I caught Maleev doing a watercolour sketch in his down time. I was actually quite surprised how few people actually ever approached him. I got him to sign some comics and he stopped for a second to admire his work, saying its been a while since he’s seen these and he was quite proud of what he had accomplished.
Got him to sign some comics including the first appearance of Kraven’s Daughter and the first appearance of the Iron Patriot armor. While waiting in line for him, I got to watch as he drew a Wonder Woman commission for a fan. Fun to see a talented man in action.
His line was consistently one of the longer lines of all the artists. I managed to get him to sign some comics including the first appearance of Hope Summers and the new JLA #1. He was a friendly guy for sure, always with a smile on his face.
The two of them were at the same table as Sadowski uses Rooks as his colourist for his Green Hornet covers. I got them to sign an assortment of Green Hornet covers with Rooks mentioning he thought #28 was the best one they’ve done so far. I mentioned I also enjoyed #29’s cover and the two of them agreed that was a great cover as well.
I headed on over to the booth and met JT Krul (got him to sign some comics including the first appearance of Solstice) and Frank Mastromauro (various issues of Shrugged). I also got Siya Oum to sign her cover of Charismagic. When I handed it over to her she got all excited as she looks back on her time as Cover Artist for that series fondly.
I have to admit that before I started assembling my assortment of comics to sign, I was unaware that Josh and Neal were father and son. I managed to get Neal to sign my Brave and the Bold #79 which featured a classic team-up of Deadman and Batman from 1968. Then I turned my attention to his son and he was quite friendly. I got him to sign his issues of Doctor Who he drew and then my eyes gazed towards a wonderful print he did for the show Sherlock. I picked that up along with a rare variant cover of Doctor Who which Josh proceeded to draw a little Doctor sketch on the white background. So cool!
She was simply terrific. She was fun and outgoing and her passion for her craft was evident. I gave her my copy of TMNT Micro-Series April and she pointed out that she had her cover available as well. She signed both and went above and beyond by drawing a ninja turtle head on her cover while also writing a personal “Thanks” and my name on each one. To take the time to not only address each comic to me personally, sign it, and draw a sketch was beyond awesome and she impressed me so much. I asked if there would be more Turtles in her future and she responded that she is on good terms with IDW so you never know. If they ever do another female-centric issue she’ll probably be the one they call. Maybe a Karai one-shot?
I saw him last year, I saw him this year, and I hope to see him again next year. I’m a huge fan of his work and managed to snag some signatures on some of his Ghostbusters issues including the issue that I featured in my Covers of the Week that he retweeted to his Twitter followers. I mentioned how huge of a fan I was of his, bought a print, and even got a picture with him. Awesome guy!
Managed to get a picture of myself in a makeshift TARDIS and saw the Back to the Future car. I also bought some prints from the talented Drake Tsui (one from Mass Effect and the other featuring all eleven Doctors from Doctor Who) and two others from Jamie Tyndall (Mary Jane and Princess Leia). I also snagged some little mini-paper standees from the Ace Attorney video game series made by Squire Sword. There was so much great merchandise from all three that it was hard to narrow down the choices. I hope they come back next year so I can get some more!
Stan Lee. Stan Lee. Stan Lee! This was who I came to see, the man I never thought I’d get to meet. I got a picture with him along with my Dad with all three of us doing the trademark Spider-Man hand gesture. My Dad and I started it and he remarked that if we were doing it he may as well join in with us! So cool! Then later on I got one of my various Spider-Man comics signed and shook hands with this legendary individual. I thanked him for all that he has done, something I’m sure he heard numerous times throughout the day.
Then came the Q&A session that was unfortunately only 30 minutes long since Stan had to catch a plane. He was funny throughout with all his answers making note that he really tries to add some humor to each one. He also took some jabs at DC. One instance was when a fan asked him how DC influenced him in his writing and Stan responded that they influenced him a lot, that he looked at what they were doing…and decided to do the exact opposite! Stan mentioned that it was his suggestion to change the company’s name to Marvel because it would open up so many various marketing opportunities/possible slogans like “Make Mine Marvel!” Speaking on his use of alliteration, Stan joked that he must have been really out of it to come up with the classic Doctor Strange line “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!”
Another fan asked him what was his favourite movie cameo he’s done and he answered…in classic Stan Lee fashion that it would have to be his latest one in Iron Man 3. He mentioned that he really got to show-off his acting chops with that one. He then joked that Avengers wouldn’t have made so much money without his cameo: it was so short that people may have blinked and missed it so they went and bought another ticket to try to spot him. Stan Lee singlehandedly doubled Avengers’ total!
Another fan asked him if he could play any Marvel character who would it be and he said he would choose the one that gets the girl. The fan countered that would be Tony Stark then and Stan laughed and agreed. He said that the female fans really responded well to the character of Stark because he was a man who was rich and handsome but had a defect, a weakness, a vulnerability, that just made them want to take care of him.
He then revealed that he originally wanted to write the next great American novel before starting at Marvel before imparting a story concerning having a whole conversation about sports with a taxi driver using non-committal answers like “I know!” and “You can say that again!” He said you can have a lengthy conversation with anyone using this technique. I’ll have to keep that in mind…
Another fan asked how to break into comics and he opened up remarking that it is really hard nowadays since the various writers from television and movies want to transition to comics in the hopes they write a critically acclaimed run in order to be chosen to write the movie where the real money is. Basically to get into comics, you have establish yourself as a scriptwriter before they even look at you. He says that was the toughest question asked especially since he likes to make a joke with every answer but with this one it is hard to do just that.
The questions turned back towards the movie universe and he stated that he would love to see a Black Panther and Doctor Strange movie made but he wouldn’t know who to cast since he doesn’t know any of the names of the younger actors. He did mention he would love to get DiCaprio or Matt Damon into a Marvel movie though. Speaking of big name actors, Stan said that Tom Cruise was going to be in one of his POW Entertainment produced movies that was in development but, due to Cruise already being attached to three movies, they decided to find a new actor because they didn’t want to wait three years. He’s asked what’s his favourite Marvel movie and he replied that he enjoyed the original Spider-Man, the first X-Men, and the original Iron Man before stating that he loves all the first movies…and the sequels. Basically he loves them all and when asked if there’s anytime he looks at a movie and says “they messed that up” he said that never happens. The time absolutely flew by and he ended the talk with his famous “Excelsior” line!
That’s it for this year! I had a highly enjoyable time despite the absurdly long lines, disorganized planning, and bad layout. I was more prepared this year and got to meet some great talent with Marley, Dan, and Josh impressing me the most. Finally, I got to meet Stan Lee and that was well worth the price of admission and something I’ll carry with me forever. Until 2014…’Nuff Said!