I have arisen from the smouldering ashes of this past weekend a phoenix dripped in fandom, carrying its weight in swag.
For those unawares, Fan Expo (Canada, technically, but it's the O.G.) is the third-largest pop culture convention in North America behind its unwieldy and more popular siblings—NYCC and SDCC—who are always at odds over who is the prettiest belle of the ball.
One of these days, Fan Expo is going to "accidentally" lose a glass slipper, I swear.
Anyways, here's all* the stuff I bought! :D
TOP LEFT: A beautiful print by Jeff Lemire combining imagery from both of his excellent series, Trillium and Sweet Tooth. Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies, I scored #289. Y'know. For posterity. For those that haven't read it, Sweet Tooth is one of the most satisfyingly beautiful series I have ever read. Do yourself a favour and buy the whole thing. You'll be glad you did.
TOP MIDDLE: This is the first collected issue of the new webcomic, Gehenna: Death Valley, from my wonderful friend, Becka Kinzie. Her main hustle is colour flatting for a few of the artists out of RAID Studio in Toronto. You may recognize some of her work from titles such as Sex Criminals and Kaptara.
(Side note: Her boothmate, Matthew Ingraham, had the sickest Mega-Man-in-the-style-of-Jack-Kirby print I have ever seen. There will be much fangirling about it in my later roundup of all the great artists I found in Artist's Alley!)
TOP RIGHT: I went into the con with one goal in mind. (Of course I had more than one goal in mind, but saying so would ruin the narrative, so hush.) One goal. To get something completely random sketched on my Secret Wars #1 blank variant. Oh, how I shun younger me that thought blank variants were *actual* variants with blank covers. I was a naïve, petulant child who did not yet understand their true purpose. There was a tradition I began at Fan Expo two years ago that, on each sketch cover I would get sketched, my instructions to the artist would be, "Draw whatever you want." That year, upon Avenging Spider-Man #1, Becky Cloonan drew me a Conan.
Yes. Conan on Spider-Man.
... and it is glorious.
(The only time I have ever broken tradition was this past Toronto Comic-Con when I got Becky Cloonan to draw me Harper Row on Multiversity #1 because, c'mon. HARPER. FRICKIN'. ROW.)
This year, to combine my sketch cover con tradition with my Shovel-Money-In-Jim-Zub's-Direction-Because-His-Work-Is-The-Special-Kind-Of-Fantastic con tradition (interview coming soon!), I asked him (politely, because we're both Canadian) to sketch for me a character of his choosing, clarifying that it in no way had to be a character that appears in Secret Wars, let alone a Marvel character at all. Yes, it could be DC.
Here is the BEAUTIFUL Black Bolt that resulted, complete with Kirby Krackle!
BOTTOM LEFT: For what is the first time that Fan Expo has given booths to their comic writer guests to my knowledge, I stopped by Charles Soule's to say hello and peruse his wares. Seeing he had a mini-comic for sale, I was about to inquire about purchasing one.
"I like your site. It makes me laugh," said Charles Soule.
"I don't have a line right now. Would you like to do an interview?"
Why yes. Why yes I would.
The interview in question that proceeded to take place will be coming later. Afterward, I went back around, plunked down a blue fiver, and walked away with something pretty fantastic.
BOTTOM MIDDLE: Because I have a problem shovelling money into the hands of people whose work I enjoy, I couldn't stop myself from doing so. Seriously. It's a compulsion. It's bad. And the only cure is more Fatboy Slim. Huh? I'm not sure that even makes any sense, nor bears any relevancy on this conversation. What? We're not having a conversation? This is a one-way dialogue where I shovel my thoughts into your eyeholes like I shovel my hard(?)-earned money into Jeff Lemire's hands?
Yes. Enter Plutona #1.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Back in time at Toronto ComiCon earlier this year, I heard from a mutual friend that colourist Ian Herring was working on a comic that was pretty cool. While I was politely (again, Canadian) getting him to sign a few issues of Ms. Marvel, I inquired about such a work. He then showed me Junior Citizens, the comic in question of which he had the first issue for sale.
I gave him five dollars. It would be the last thing I would buy this past weekend. :)
*... But WAIT! You bought Star Wars crap, right, Chris? Why else on earth would you make such a punny title? Why yes, Dear Reader, I have failed you not. Because I know you like clicking, I have decided to split this rundown into two parts to artificially inflate page hits!
Click HERE for FAN EXPO: THE SWAG AWAKENS: EPISODE II: MORE SWAG!
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Places to stalk me on the Internet:
The book I wrote that's basically if John Green was sarcastic and liked making Terminator jokes you can read in FULL for FREE!: CONNOR BAXTER, CHAMPION OF THE WORLD
My webcomic I neglect like a sad puppy on its birthday: SECRET AGENT HEROIN PONIES