MTV Splash Page’s Best of 2009

Pretty nifty surprise: MTV Splash Page named their best comics of 2009, and THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, by Mark Andrew Smith and Matt Weldon was named Best All-Ages Comics of 2009! Extra happiness for me because I edited it. Neat-o.

BEST ALL-AGES COMIC
“The New Brighton Archeological Society” (Image)
“New Brighton” readers get the best of two worlds in a story that’s fun to read on its own and a comic that can be shared with readers of any age — whether they can read it themselves or have it read to them. In fact, it feels like Mark Andrew Smith and Matthew Weldon have all the ingredients for success in “New Brighton”: a spunky group of kids with lots of free time, a wild world ripe for exploration, fantastic creatures culled from various faerie tales, and dangers that manage to be scary without being truly terrifying. It’s the sort of book we’re quite certain we’d love when we were little, but get a kick out of reading now, too.
– Rick Marshall

Take their word for it and snag yourself a copy! It makes the perfect Christmas gift!

POPGUN 4 Web Banners!

For POPGUN 4 (out 02/10/2010), we’ve asked our contributors to create a web banner for their story. Below are the ones we have so far. Check out that variety! Feel free to download ’em and use ’em in your signature whenever you post on a messageboard or on your website or any other cool way to spread the word on the interwebs… Thanks!

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PG4_Banner_BastardRoad_SM

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PG4_Banner_WTF_New_SM

PG4_Banner_Template_Breakfast_SM

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PG4_Banner_MrUniverse_SM

PG4_Banner_Mantis_SM

PG4_Banner_He_Floated_Away_SM

PG4_Banner_Fables_SM

PG4_Banner_Decahedron_SM

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POPGUN 4 cover by Ben Templesmith — revealed!

Big goings on over the weekend! On Saturday, Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool broke the news that Ben Templesmith is the cover artist for POPGUN 4, and it is indeed a glorious cover!

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Then, on Sunday, Mr. Templesmith posted a very cool blog showing his process in the creation of this gorgeous eye candy! It’s an interesting read filled with some great images showing the development of this image. Wonderful stuff.

And the POPGUN 4 site (courtesy of web guru Tim Daniels) is live! On it is a complete list of our wonderful contributors (including Jeffrey Brown, Jock, Erik Larsen, Thomas Scioli, and nearly 80 more talented folks) plus FIVE FULL COMICS FROM POPGUN 4 — FOR FREE!

POPGUN 4, a full color 512 page behemoth of a comic anthology, will hit shelves courtesy of Image Comics on 02/10/2010. Ask for it at your local comic shop or bookstore to order it! The Diamond order code will appear along with a snazzy solicit in the December issue of PREVIEWS!

I’ll be posting more on this as we get closer to the release date. All of  Team Popgun is very excited! If you’re a fan of previous volumes, this one is the biggest and best yet, so please help us spread the word!

Hooray for comics!

Baltimore Comic Con 2009 pt 2 – In The Presence of Giants

After the long journey to Baltimore, actually being at the Baltimore Comic Con was a cakewalk. Groggy but excited, Adam and I made it to the convention center and set up the POPGUN 1/2 table. It was in the Image Comic Booth, which was glorious. Whenever the Image Founders and Bigwigs had a signing on the other side of the booth, the line would stretch all the way around, in front of our table, and occasionally we’d be able to sneak a few sales.

“You looking for Erik Larsen’s signature? Well, you know, he’s contributed to every volume of POPGUN, sooo…”

“Rob Liefeld once told me POPGUN was awesome, sooo…”

“If we sell out of these, we can hang out and walk the floor for the rest of the con. It’s what Jim Valentino would want… c’mon!”

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(Photo by Branwyn Bigglestone)

It was fun, though. Sales weren’t as brisk or huge as my last con experience in San Diego, but Baltimore had some wonderful charms of its own. One was the fact that this con is about COMICS. No Hollywood or video games. Now, I love Hollywood and video games and had fun with all the pseudo celebs at SDCC last July, but to have Chris Claremont, a huge force behind the stories that inspired the X-MEN movies, writer of a very large stack of comics I bought from my pre-teen to teen years — stopped by to chat with me and Adam, well, it was pretty exciting. Geek out time and whatnot.

The whole con and floor experience was a hoot. It was capped of wonderfully by the Harvey Awards Saturday night. POPGUN volume 2 was nominated for Best Anthology of 2009, so I actually kind of had a reason to be there. (Despite Image PR/Marketing guru and POPGUN co-creator Joe Keatinge constantly asking me, “What are you doing here?” during the entire con.) It was great in that I didn’t have to pay for dinner, and I was at a table with some amazing creators. I did actually start to wonder what I was doing there. The awards ceremony was fun, PVP’s Scott Kurtz making a very funny MC.

POPGUN lost out for the Best Anthology 2009 Harvey to the Tori Amos inspired COMIC BOOK TATTOO — but, c’mon. Have you seen that book? It’s amazing, and it deserved to win. (POPGUN 3 for next year!!!)

My favorite moment was when writer Bryan Glass won for Best New Talent for his book MICE TEMPLAR (with artist Michael Avon Oeming). His acceptance speech was very heartfelt, and to see that kind of genuine emotion was really a highlight.

Not long after, Joe Keatinge drew an unrelated and horribly dirty comic in my little notebook.

Though I’d already voted, we were all provided with a program that had a checklist of all the nominees. Due to my horrible memory, I re-voted, just to see how I’d do. I went 10 for 21. Not that… good.

The next day continued the trend of fun and lots of surprising goodwill from creators I’ve been reading for years. I was also recognized by someone from near my hometown of Waverly, OH, which was weird. Small, small world.

After the con wrapped and we broke everything down (and I managed to stab myself with a box cutter — thank goodness the Baltimore Comic Con floor team were prepared with a first aid kit), it was off to the bar for one last drink with the Image gang. What a great bunch of people. And beer out of a martini glass is the only way to drink beer, fyi.

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(iPhotograph by Capt. Joe Keatinge)

All in all, a very good trip. I got to hang out and work with my friend and frequent co-writer Adam P. Knave (who is on the opposite coast of me), see my pal Joe Keatinge, and work side-by-side with Image Comics Accounts Manager Branwyn Bigglestone, Publisher ericstephenson, and the rest of the Image Comics gang.

Good times.

Baltimore Comic Con 2009 pt. 1 – The Long Road to the Harbor

My Baltimore Comic Con 2009 Adventure began before I even arrived in that city on the harbor — way before. In preparation to schedule everything with the Lone Ranger to my Tonto, Adam P. Knave, I sent him my flight itinerary. He responded with, “Why are you flying into Dulles?”

“Because… William Shatner told me to?”

“That’s in D.C. — an hour from the convention.”

“Craptastic.” (Drink!)

Muh-effin’ Priceline! And, well, muh-effin’ me for just buying a ticket based upon price but not double-checking the cities, though, to be fair, I requested LA to Baltimore — I figured the Shat would get it! (Yes, I imagine William Shatner manning all requests at Priceline headquarters.)

So, the battle to figure out how to get to the convention after landing in D.C. began. I was getting in at midnight, and the Amtrak didn’t run again until 3:15 AM, so I’d have to hang out at the train station for around three hours, which I immediately began trying to convince myself would be a worthwhile experience because: taxis were too expensive; it’d cost twice my initial ticket price to change the flight at that point; and the last time I hitchhiked, I lost a kidney (and my dignity… but not my hope — that would go later). So, yeah, I decided to go with Amtrak. That meant I’d arrive in Baltimore around 4:30 AM. Then have to get to the hotel from Penn Station. Excitement!

Indeed, the seeds were planted for fretting, but I just pressed on. Then almost missed my flight out of LAX due to bad traffic and more of my poor planning. Yikes! Anyway, I did make it (just), and the flight there was swell, save for the gut rot given to me by the $25 turkey cold cut sandwich I bought due to extreme hunger. How does that happen? It was turkey and lettuce! Curious.

Anyway, after arriving at Dulles, it became clear getting to Union station for the Amtrak was going to be an ordeal… so I lazied up and went to the Super Shuttle. They weren’t sure if they’d have a shuttle running, but heaven smiled upon me, and they graciously decided to take my 90 bucks to drive me to my hotel in Baltimore… after dropping off eight other people all over Maryland. It was like that episode of Arrested Development — you know, when Tobias met his future acting coach, Carl Weathers, on the Super Shuttle? Everyone on that shuttle bonded, though. The soldier on leave from Iraq, the Texan mom and son in town for the gay pride parade, the NASA scientist, the Baltimore historian — the whole gang. This bonding was mostly from fear of the driver’s texting and GPS address entering while driving. Some close calls, folks. And close sitting. Bonding. Touching? None that I initiated.

I was the last one to be dropped off… at about 4 AM. Yeah, got there the same time I would’ve if I’d taken the Amtrak. Lessons.

The stalwart Adam P. Knave let me into the fancy Hyatt hotel, and we proceeded to chat and giggle and pillow fight, getting to sleep around, I dunno, 6 AM? Next day: the con! On two hours of sleep! Yay!

(to be continued because I need to do other stuff right now…)