Monthly Archives: July 2007

San Diego Day Two!!

NEWS FLASH! Alter Ego wins Eisner Award! All seven Image founders show up for panel! More details soon; gotta go open the booth for Day Three!

The fishin’s fine!

I’m abloggin’ from sunny San Diego (actually, mooney SD, since it’s 10pm here, and 1am back in North Carolina, whose time zone I’m still on). After a remarkably uneventful flight on Monday, I spent Tuesday setting our booth up with the able assistance of Modern Masters editor Eric Nolen-Weathington. Yeah, Comicon doesn’t actually open until Wednesday night, but it’s gotten so huge that if you try to get everything moved in on Wednesday, you’ll never get through the lines of other exhibitors making use of the loading docks, elevators, parking decks, etc. So we end up having to travel on Monday, spend all day Tuesday setting up, and then kill time until the 5:30 pm opening on Wednesday (which we did nicely by taking our kids to the San Diego Zoo; special thanks to Scott Shaw! for the free zoo tickets he supplied us with, compliments of his late father who used to be head of security there).

Wednesday night is what Comicon calls “Preview Night”, which was originally meant to be a short, 3-hour chance for the press to show up and get their news stories in the pipeline early, to bring in the big crowds for the weekend. Since the con is already sold out of 4-day passes (which got you into the Preview Night as a bonus), they’re offering 3-day passes for the first time (which don’t include Saturday, but also get you into Preview Night). I guess all the people that are missing out on Saturday decided to make up for it, cause Preview Night was slammed to the walls with people, in the kind of crowd I’ve never seen that early in the week during my 14 years attending the con. It’s time for Comicon to just bite the bullet and go to a full 5-day show, IMHO. They hardly need “Preview Night” to get the big crowds coming in anymore.
Today (Thursday) was very, very busy, and filled with so many great moments that my head is still swimming trying to take it all in. After our poor 2-year old daughter was up all night barfing all over our hotel room, I headed over this AM after only a couple of hours of sleep, to get ready for the TwoMorrows Panel. It was moderately attended, but it was a lively crowd that genuinely seemed to enjoy our Powerpoint presentation of new and upcoming offerings, and business at our booth was steady, and at times ridiculously hectic. My buddy Kevin Shaw showed up with his usual batch of junk food sustenance for Eric, Tom “The Comics Savant” Stewart, and Rand Hoppe to keep our blood sugar at the requisite high levels. (I never have figured out why Kevin takes it upon himself to bring us stuff to eat, but I’m not knocking it; he knows my weakness for chocolate, and always drops off something that does the trick. Thanks, KS!) Somehow, a cooler full of ice and soft drinks also ended up under our table; we’ve got guardian angels looking out for us every year, it seems.

One of the best parts of Comicon for me is the level of Kirby Krackle that permeates that giant convention center. It all seems to gravitate toward our booth each year, and I finally think I figured out why. As I lay awake at 3:30 Tuesday AM (which is like 6:30 AM back home, so I was wide awake), I thought back to my one, brief meeting with Jack Kirby. In flashing back to 1991, I tried to remember just where, in relation to the snack bar, the booth was where I got to shake The King’s hand, and tell him how influential he’d been to me. I’ve got to dig out my program book from 1991 to make sure, but I’m 99% convinced that the booth we’re in now, is the same space Kirby was in that year! Just one in a long string of really weird coincidences that’ve taken place in my 13 years of editing the Jack Kirby Collector.

Anyway, we always find amazing Kirby art at Comicon, and no exceptions this year. We found the pencil drawing Jack did for Paul and Linda McCartney in the early 1970s, when they met at a “Wings” concert in Los Angeles (the art features Magneto levitating Paul and Linda and a couple of band members). It’s just an amazing piece of art, and Rand Hoppe brought his 11″ x 17″ format scanner, and got scans of that and several other rare and unseen Kirby pieces for the Jack Kirby Museum (, thanks to the generosity of Mike Thibodeaux and a host of other art dealers. Can’t wait to see what makes its way to our booth over the next three days. (And a big thanks to David Schwartz for an extra special piece of art that came my way; you know what I’m talking about, David, and I can’t thank you enough.)

My strangest occurrence so far this year? Well, we had our printer ship boxes of our new releases to our hotel. When I picked them up upon our arrival, and got them to our booth and started opening them, the one that was supposed to contain some of our copies of BACK ISSUE #23, instead contained two bed comforters, and a note from the (as I found out today) head of housekeeping at our hotel, saying they’d been washed 120 times. The hotel confirmed that these were their comforters and they’d asked someone to ship them somewhere. What I (and the hotel manager) can’t seem to figure out is, why someone opened up one of our magazine boxes after they arrived, took our mags out, put two comforters in, sealed the box back up, and left it there for us to pick up when we arrived? And more importantly, where are my friggin’ magazines?!? (I suspect they were shipped off to whoever was supposed to get those comforters, but the hotel’s being kinda tight-lipped about it.) More as things develop, but we’re having (at the hotel’s expense) more copies of Back Issue #23 shipped here for Saturday delivery, and I think we’ve got enough copies here to last till the new ones arrive.

We had well-attended signings today at our booth with Michael Golden and Charles Vess, and Roy Thomas arrived late in the day, to get ready for his slate of panels and TwoMorrows signings over the next three days. So I’ll sign off now, and get some rest; looking forward to seeing George Khoury host the Image Founders Panel tomorrow; should be something the whole place’ll be buzzing about.

Gone fishin’

For the next two weeks, TwoMorrows will be closed, as we embark on our annual pilgrimage to sunny San Diego, CA for Comicon. If you’ve never been, go. It’s worth every penny it costs, just to see it at least once. This is my 13th consecutive year, and 14th in total, and despite how much I hate to fly, I suck it up for this one. Wouldn’t miss it (and all the friends I only get to see once a year) for anything. (And man, you wouldn’t believe the Kirby art that turns up at our booth each year…)
Wife/partner Pam and daughters Lily and Hannah Rose will be in tow as usual, finding ways to enjoy themselves while I do the comic book thing, and then it’s off to other parts of Southern California for more family fun. It’s been one heck of a year, and a little R&R is much needed, both by me, and my TwoMorrows compatriots who’ll be there too. Hope to see you at booth #1215!

FYI, the subscriber copies of Alter Ego #70 and Back Issue #23 are either at the mail house, or in the postal system now. Our copies of Draw #14, Write Now #16, and Rough Stuff #5 haven’t arrived yet, so they’ll (alas) have to be shipped when we return. But since I know all our subscribers are taking advantage of our FREE Digital Editions for subscribers (simply by making sure we have their email address), the extra wait won’t be a problem for anyone. (For the record, Alter Ego #71 is already at the printer, even though #70 is just shipping this week; but again, subscribers can download #71 for free right now, even though it won’t be in stores for three more weeks. If you’re not a subscriber and you just can’t wait for it to hit your local comic book shop, you can get the Digital versions for $2.95 at our website.)

We’ve got three books that, unless FedEx screws up, will debut at Comicon: Modern Masters Vol. 12: Michael Golden, John Romita…And All That Jazz, and Comics Introspective: Peter Bagge. I’ve seen a lone sample copy of each one, which arrived today from our printer, so those’ll be waiting for us when we get home too (and will go in the mail shortly thereafter). Thanks to everyone for your patience while we get a well-deserved break!
And lest you think all we do on these trips is talk comics, we just wrapped up the design on our biggest advertising client’s Annual Report, and sent it to press today. So our printer will have to ship us proofs to OK, so it can be printed while we’re away. Sometimes it just never stops… and if it ever does, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself!

Our San Diego Comicon schedule

Here’s the official press release about our San Diego Schedule; see you there!

TwoMorrows Publishing will make their lucky 13th consecutive appearance at Comicon International: San Diego from July 25-29, and this year’s slate of panels and signings further builds on their reputation as the industry authority on comics history and creation.
The “TwoMorrows Publishing” panel takes place on Thursday, July 26 at Noon, spotlighting the company that celebrates the art and history of comics through their award-winning magazine and book line. On hand will be publisher and Jack Kirby Collector editor John Morrow, authors George Khoury and Benjamin Holcomb, Modern Masters’ editor Eric Nolen-Weathington, Alter Ego magazine’s Paul Hamerlinck, and Write Now! magazine’s Danny Fingeroth, as they unveil new products and offer exclusive previews of upcoming items, in a multimedia presentation.
One of the most anticipated panels at Comicon this year is the “Image Founders Panel” scheduled for Friday, July 27 at 10:30 am. For the first time, all seven original founders of Image Comics will appear together to discuss the past, present, and future of the company. Moderated by George Khoury (author of TwoMorrows’ new book Image Comics: The Road To Independence), the panel had to be switched to a larger, 1000-seat venue after commitments from Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino were confirmed.
Also, Comicon guest of honor Roy Thomas will be spotlighted on three different panels, celebrating his work as top writer and editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, and his TwoMorrows magazine Alter Ego.
On Thursday, July 26, the TwoMorrows booth will host a signing by Charles Vess, the subject of one of their most popular Modern Masters art books. Fan-favorite artist Michael Golden’s new Modern Masters volume will debut at Comicon, and Golden will be on hand to sign copies throughout the weekend. Also, TwoMorrows will debut new books on Silver Age artist John Romita Sr. (written by Roy Thomas and Jim Amash), indy cartoonist Peter Bagge, and new issues of their magazines Alter Ego, Back Issue, Draw!, Write Now, and Rough Stuff. And Rand Hoppe, president of the online Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center ( will be at the TwoMorrows booth throughout the convention, outlining the museum’s plans and goals for 2008.
Below is the current schedule of TwoMorrows-related signings and panels, but attendees are urged to stop by booth #1215 (directly across from the Golden & Silver Age Pavilion in Hall B) for daily updates and additions.

TwoMorrows Panel
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Moderated by publisher John Morrow, and featuring George Khoury, Benjamin Holcomb, Eric Nolen-Weathington, Paul Hamerlinck, and Danny Fingeroth.
Room 3

Michael Golden signing
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Booth #1215

Danny Fingeroth signing
3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Booth #1215

Charles Vess signing
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Booth #1215
Proceeds benefit the CBLDF

Image Founders Panel
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Moderated by George Khoury, and featuring Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino.
Room 6A

Alter Ego Panel
12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Featuring Roy Thomas, Bill Schelly, and Paul Hamerlinck
Room 4

Marvel 1960s/70s Panel
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Roy Thomas discusses “Marvel in the 1960s and 70s” with Gary Friedrich, Mike Ploog, Dick Ayers, David George, and others.
Room 8

John Lowe signing (author of Working Methods)
3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Booth #1215

Roy Thomas signing
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Booth #1215

Danny Fingeroth signing
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Booth #1215

Eisner Awards
8:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Alter Ego is nominated for “Best Comics-Related Periodical”
Ballroom 20

Danny Fingeroth signing
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Booth #1215

John Lowe signing (author of Working Methods)
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Booth #1215

Roy Thomas signing
3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Booth #1215

Roy Thomas Spotlight Panel
4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Room 2

Jack Kirby Tribute Panel
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Join Mark Evanier as he talks to Neil Gaiman, Erik Larsen, Darwyn Cooke, Mike Royer, and members of the Kirby family about the lasting influence of the undisputed King of comics.
Room 1AB

Roy Thomas signing
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Booth #1215

Danny Fingeroth signing
3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Booth #1215


Magazine downloads are live!

You can now download our July issues: Alter Ego #70, Back Issue #23, Draw #14, Write Now #16, and Rough Stuff #5, in PDF format, for only $2.95 per download. Just click the links here, or go to and click on the “Digital Editions” link on the left-hand side of our homepage.

These files are in FULL-COLOR, and available before the printed copies hit stores. And if you’re a subscriber to our printed editions, you get FREE access to the Digital Editions while you’re waiting for our printed copy to arrive in the mail. (Subscribers should have received an email notice telling them how to download their free digital edition; if you didn’t, you need to send us your email address along with a request to

This is a six-month test, to see what the response is, and how it’ll affect our print sales. So please don’t share the digital files you download; we rely on the sale of every copy (print and digital) to keep our mags going!

Get a (bigger) room

Due to the huge crowd expected for the Image Founders Panel at Comicon (hosted by our own George Khoury), Comicon International will be moving it to room 6A. Same time (10:30-11:30am, Friday, July 27), just a much larger room, which will now hold 1,000 people instead of 500. Here is the updated blurb from Comicon:


10:30-11:30 Image Comics: The Founders—Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino reunite for Image’s remarkable 15th anniversary. Join the conversation as they explore Image Comics’ beginnings, impact, and future in the comics industry. Moderated by George Khoury (author of Image Comics: The Road to Independence from TwoMorrows Publishing). Room 6A

Image Comics Founders Assemble For First Panel Ever

I’m thrilled to announce that the original seven founding members of Image Comics (Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino) will reunite to make their first-ever panel appearance together at this year’s Comicon International: San Diego! It takes place on Friday, July 27, from 10:30-11:30am in Room 5AB, at the “Image Founders Panel,” hosted by George Khoury (author of our new book Image Comics: The Road to Independence).

Yes, that’s right; while they’ve all been on various panels over the years, this will be the first time that all seven have ever appeared on a panel together! And in light of the company’s sometimes controversial past (nicely documented in George’s book), it’s really poised to be a landmark event, a great commemoration of Image’s 15th anniversary, and the talk of Comicon.
This came about through the dedicated efforts of George Khoury, and the Image founders themselves, and a big round of applause should (and I’m sure will, a week from Friday) go to them all for coming together for this special event. The fans are going to go absolutely nuts!

The hall that was planned for the event only holds 500 people, so get their early if you want a seat!

Long time coming

Yeah, the blog has been silent the last few weeks, due to lots of San Diego Comicon activity taking place at TwoMorrows. Like most publishers, Comicon International: San Diego (as it’s properly named) is an important venue for us to promote our new and upcoming products, and unveil our plans for the year to come.

I’m happy to say that, with one exception, everything we were trying to get out right before or during Comicon is on press, and has been proofed. This includes:

New issues of Alter Ego, Back Issue, Rough Stuff, Draw, and Write Now

Modern Masters Volume 12: Michael Golden

Comics Introspective Volume One: Peter Bagge

John Romita… And All That Jazz (both softcover and hardcover)

Our new, free Catalog Update

It’ll all be in stores, or at our Comicon booth (#1215, in our usual place across from the Golden & Silver Age Pavilion) between now and July 25.

The only one that’s iffy for Comicon is our new Modern Masters: In The Studio With Michael Golden DVD, which is going through some last minute editing to get it just right. Cross your fingers that it’ll make it!