POPGUN 4 wins a Harvey Award!

This post is late. I should’ve gathered my thoughts and posted something by now, but the busy hasn’t stopped since the Baltimore Comic-Con. It was an amazing time, sharing a table with Adam P. Knave (who already posted this thoughts on the matter far more eloquently here) and meeting lots of swell people.

One of the highlights for me, of course, was POPGUN 4 winning the 2011 Harvey Award for Best Anthology!

Adam and me, still in shock over the Harvey win.

I’ve been working on the POPGUN books since volume 1. It was my break into comics, which had always been a dream, so I can’t thank Mark Andrew Smith and Joe Keatinge enough for the opportunity. Like all of the POPGUN books, POPGUN 4 was a labor of love. A very time consuming and sometimes difficult and worrisome labor of love, but there was always love. We all did it for the love of comics!

Co-editing with Anthony Wu and Adam was a great collaboration, assembling a collection of stories that none of us would’ve put together individually. Thomas Mauer and Jeff Powell did amazing work on the production edits/design, and the book wouldn’t exist without them. Those guys… yep, those are good guys.

And the contributors! We were able to assemble an amazing lineup of talent, and I want to thank all of them!

So, thank you… Alison Acton, Attila Adorjany, Amanda Becker, Michael Birkhofer, John Bivens, Elliot Blake, David Brenion, Shana Brenion, Jeffrey Brown, Lars Brown, Antonio Campo, Dominique Carrier, Jim Charalampidis, David Collinson, Bill Crabtree, Dave Curd, Michelle Davies, Vito Delsante, Todd Dezago, Michael Dialynas, Jeik Dion, Becky Dreistadt, Alex Eckman-Lawn, Nick Edwards, Paolo Ferrante, Jess Fink, Joe Flood, Fonografiks, Elizabeth Genco, Frank Gibson, Vassilis Gogtzilas, Nils Hamm, Mike Houlihan, Alice Hunt, Meg Hunt, Jason Ibarra, Fernanda Jaber, Jock, Andrea Kalfas, Janet Kim, Nikos Koutsis, Erik Larsen, Erwin Ledford, Stuart Livingston, Maximo V. Lorenzo, Robert Love, Adam Lucas, Manoel Magalhães, John Malloy, Fell Martins, Derek McCulloch, Michael Meier, MJ, Chris Moreno, Wayne Nichols, Ralph Niese, JM Ken Niimura, Kieran Oats, Anthony Peruzzo, Elton Pruitt, Stephanie Ramirez, Darren Rawlings, Stephen Reedy, Andy Ristaino, Salgood Sam, Eric Sandhop, Matteo Scalera, Thomas Scioli, Brandon Seifert, Jonathan Silvestre, Frank Stockton, Nick Tapalansky, Ben Templesmith, Jeremy Tinder, Mike Toris, Osmarco Valladão, David Walker, Angie Wang, Matthew Weldon, Anna Wieszczyk, Brian Winkeler, Michael Woods, K.I. Zachopoulos, Alexis Ziritt!

Big thanks, of course, to Image Comics, for publishing four giant POPGUN books so far… wow! They all obviously love comics, too, and it’s much appreciated.

In the end, it was an honor to be nominated and a huge, delightful surprise to win. My hope is a few folks who normally wouldn’t have read the book will now check out POPGUN 4.

And now… time to make MORE 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!”

(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.

(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.