Monthly Archives: February 2007

After the chaos…

If you’re planning to go to Comicon International: San Diego this July (known as the San Diego Comicon to us relics who’ve been going there over a decade), I hope you logged on to the Comicon Housing site today at Noon EST (9am San Diego time) to reserve a hotel room. Well, actually, I sorta hope you didn’t, cause if you did, you were one of the untold thousands (millions? billions?) who were keeping me from getting one of the relatively few hotel room reservations available that week. I know I logged in right on time, and when the overloaded website finally took me to the page that actually listed the hotels, it was 12 minutes later, and there were only three hotels with rooms left (all far from the convention center).

I think Comicon does an absolutely fantastic job putting on that enormous convention; the con itself runs remarkable smoothly, especially since they’ll probably have upwards of 125,000 there this year. But they’re a victim of their own success, and they have got to come up with a better hotel and commuting solution. There’s been all kinds of talk about moving it to Anaheim (which would be great for me, cause I take our kids to Disneyland every trip out to California anyway), but I’d really miss San Diego, which is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cities I’ve ever been to.

The other problem is getting around and eating. With that many people there for the con, the waits for food are ridiculous. And exhibitors like us pretty much have to stay at one of the (very expensive) hotels really close to the convention, or we can’t get to our booths in time to open up, due to traffic. The con runs a great shuttle bus system that stops at all the major hotels, but the last couple of years, the buses get full at their first or second stop, and even if you get a seat on the bus, the traffic makes a 20-block ride last over an hour during peak times.

I don’t mean to be spouting sour grapes here; the huge attendence makes it feasible for us to spend the big bucks it costs for booth space, airfare, and hotels, cause we know we’ll sell enough stuff to cover our expenses if we plan carefully. It’s a boon for the industry as a whole, and I hope it gets even bigger, and lasts a whole week! But if it grows much more, where o’ where are they gonna put everybody?

I’ve even considered trying to buy a downtown San Diego condo, and rent it out 51 weeks of the year, so we’ll have a place to stay. But with those puppies going upwards of $1.5 million these days, I think we better sell a whole lot more magazines before we go that route.

Down with VTech!!!

On a personal note today, I encourage anyone reading this to avoid products by the company VTech, at all costs (and believe me, it’ll cost you if you don’t!). The web is littered with stories similar to mine, and I only wish I’d seen them before I bought a rather expensive phone system from them. We got ours about a year-and-a-half ago, based on a great review in Consumer Reports. Of course, the one-year warranty is up, and now the buttons on all our extensions are sticking, to the point where you can’t dial (it’s worst on the number 2, which is consistently stuck on all our extension phones), and you have to nearly break the bones in your finger just to hang the thing up after a call. It appears this is a design flaw in many of their phone styles, based on the disgruntled responses I’ve seen posted on various websites. Everybody’s phone buttons are sticking.

VTech’s support line is fully automated, with no way to speak to an actual human about it. Their web support is a few pat answers on a FAQ page, including a dumb one telling us to use alcohol on the buttons if they stick (of course, it doesn’t work).

So basically what I’m saying is, VTech blows. Don’t do business with them.

Who loves ya, baby?


Yep, you read right! For Valentine’s Day, we’re doing our fourth giveaway, this time with copies of ALTER EGO #64! We’ll be mailing out a free copy to the first 500 people who request it on February 14, so don’t miss out! It features Roy Thomas’ blow-by-blow of the original Golden Age “Monster Society Of Evil” Captain Marvel saga, just in time for the release of BONE artist Jeff Smith’s new rendition of the Big Red Cheese, debuting this month from DC Comics! As as a special bonus, the TwoMorrows Tune-In podcast for Feb. 7 will feature an interview with Jeff, talking about his work on the new comic.

We need reviews!

If you own any of our books, let me encourage you to take a few minutes to write a review of them on It’s easy, you get to show the whole world how intelligent you are, and you’ll be doing us a big favor by helping other people learn what our stuff is like! When you log into’s site, do a search for the book, scroll down to the “write a review” section, and let ‘er rip! We particularly need reviews of these books:

How To Create Comics, From Script To Print
I Have To Live With This Guy!
Wertham Was Right
Modern Masters Volume 1, 2, and 4 (Davis, Pérez, and Nowlan)
Best of Draw, Volume 1 and Volume 2
Heroes & Villains: The Wm. Messner-Loebs Benefit Sketchbook
Hero Gets Girl! The Life & Art of Kurt Schaffenberger
Thunder Agents Companion
Superheroes In My Pants
G-Force: Animated
Comic Book Artist Collection, Volume 3
True Brit
Comics Above Ground
Collected Jack Kirby Collector, Volume 2

And be sure to e-mail us once you’ve posted one, so we can thank you personally!

Vess to press


We just sent Modern Masters Volume 11: Charles Vess to the printer yesterday (which is the reason I’m a couple days behind on blogging). I’ll admit that, while I’m familiar with his work, I wasn’t a rabid follower of it; but after seeing this book, I’m about to be. He’s just… so… darned… good at what he does. Editor Eric Nolen-Weathington used the word “enchanting” to describe it in his promo copy, and I think that’s precisely the right for it. Even when he’s drawing Spider-Man instead of elves and faeries, everything just comes across as magical. There’s a gorgeous color two-pager included that shows Spidey chasing the Hobgoblin, which I’ll link to here, but this small size doesn’t begin to do it justice (it’s shown huge and full-color in the book). Chris Irving conducted the interview for it, which is one of the liveliest we’ve done to date. With the Stardust movie coming out this summer, Vess’ fame will continue to grow even larger, and I think this book does a nice job of giving his fans an intimate look into his world.

Spider-Man, Hobgoblin TM & ©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.

The Ultimate from TwoMorrows

How much do you really, really love our magazines? If it’s a lot, you probably already have most (or all?) of them. But if there’s one of our mags you’ve just recently been turned on to, and want to get all the issues we have in stock, we’ve just made it easier and cheaper to do so. Our new Ultimate Bundles let you buy every issue we have in stock of Alter Ego, Back Issue, Write Now, Jack Kirby Collector, or Comic Book Artist, for half the normal price! Will we sell any of these huge batches? I dunno, but based on the number of people who seem to be buying the whole runs, a few at a time at full price, it may make sense to check it out at our website and save a few bucks.