My husband @VenPixel and I went to Fan Expo Canada this weekend, and we had a really nice time! I’m obviously not a reporter, so I won’t attempt to do an objective review of the event, but I’d like to share some highlights. Be careful, there are some spoilers below for the DCnU!
We started by finding the DC table and I got to meet James Robinson, writer of Justice League of America. I told him I enjoyed his run on JLA, and specifically that he made me interested in non-Bat characters such as Supergirl, who recently had sort of an identity crisis and became a very dark version of herself. He thanked me and and started to talk about women in comics, which has been a real hotbed of conversation lately (there was a lot of discussion about women creators at the San Diego ComicCon DC panel, check out DC Women Kicking Ass for details). Robinson said that there are actually a lot of women in JLA, which I agreed with, and then said that I should come to the DC New 52 Panel (which I’d already planned to attend) because they’d be announcing something and it also involved women characters. I considered saying that I think the larger concern is women on the creative side, since in my opinion women aren’t under-represented within the comics themselves (though how they’re represented is questionable), but instead I just told him I’d see him at the panel and that was that! It was very exciting have met him.
Then we went and got seated for the New 52 panel. Remember, if you want real reporting it’s not here, these are just the bits I cared enough about to write down.
Dan DiDio asked who likes Justice League, then picked a kid out of the audience and let him read the new Justice League 1 and Flashpoint 5, which as we know won’t be released until Wednesday. I was so jealous! We can only hope that the kid understood the huge significance of the moment
Tony Daniel talked about how Dick Grayson is a totally different Batman than Bruce Wayne, and how excited he is to be writing Bruce (now that he’ll be working on Detective Comics instead of on Batman). That book is high on my list in the DCnU. Daniel said that Detective Comics will be very focused on Batman and his solo detective work, we might see Jim and Alfred but not much. Batman will have a love interest, and it’s not Catwoman! That’s exciting, I can enjoy the Bats/Cats relationship but it’s nice to give Bruce some variety. Daniel also told us that we’ll see short plot arcs but big concepts, and it leads into something big next year. Francis Manapul said that the ending of Detective Comics 1 is a cliffhanger that will “blow our faces away”. Can’t wait to find out what he means by that!
On the topic of characters in the relaunched DC universe, Eddie Berganza (the editor) said that they’re being cautious about how they reintroduce characters, and they don’t want to do it all at once. It has to feel fresh and new, and they’re waiting to have the right tone and people involved in each comic. He was asked specifically about Wally West and Donna Troy, and said “just wait”. What about the events of Hush, does Catwoman still know who Batman really is? Eddie said Catwoman 1 will have a scene about identities that answers those questions, I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with that since it will have a pretty big effect on how the different characters interact.
Finally, we have news about Stephanie Brown!! She was Batgirl, but as we know Barbara Gordon will be returning to that cape, and everyone’s been wondering what Steph will be doing in the DCnU. So, we don’t have to wonder anymore. Spoiler alert! Dan DiDio said that Steph will return to costumed crimefighting as ‘Spoiler’, her original alter-identity. That’s amazing! I am so glad to know that she’ll be getting action in the comics, and really look forward to reading about her adventures.
After the New 52 panel I got to say hi to Brian Azzarello and Yanick Paquette. I told Brian how much I loved the Flashpoint Batman mini-series, his take on Thomas and Martha Wayne was amazing, and his Joker comic was super cool. I thanked Yanick for the Batman Inc art, and told him that specifically in issue 2 I loved how he drew Bruce and Selina together, they looked exactly like themselves. He seemed pleased with that, and it was really exciting to get to meet them!
We went to the Drawing Batman panel, where Marcus To and Tony Daniel both took turns drawing, and it was projected for us to watch. I’m still amazed at their skill and talent, being able to draw like that would be so great – I can do all sorts of handiwork but drawing is definitely beyond me. While they drew they answered questions about their work, comics, etc. I asked them to talk about drawing Joker, and their answers were very interesting! Daniel said that when he was working with Grant Morrison, their Joker was influenced by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, but modern and cool. To said that his Joker was inspired by Batman: The Animated Series, and the dark eye makeup was very important. He also liked Jim Lee and Frank Quitely’s takes on Joker, which I definitely agree with. That panel was great, they’re both such excellent but different artists. I hoped to get one of the drawings they did but wasn’t so lucky. After the panel I introduced myself to Marcus To, he’s been nice enough to answer me on Twitter so it was cool to connect in real life.
We walked around on the main floor, I bought Batman 247 which is on my list of Matches Malone issues but discovered when I got home that Matches isn’t actually in the comic! So it seems that I do have all his Batman and Detective Comics appearances! The rest will be harder to find, they’re less common and some are worth less so they’ll be in 50 cent bins, which means they’re not as well organized.
I also bought a beautiful print of the Batman Inc 1 variant cover by Yanick Paquette (which you can see above), and he signed it for me! I’ll get it framed, such an excellent piece of artwork.
And then we were done with Fan Expo! There were people in all sorts of amazing outfits, I was so impressed with how creative and high-quality some were! We had a good time, and it definitely helped convince me that going to San Diego ComicCon next year is a good idea. Now it’s time to start planning my costumes! If you went to Fan Expo I’d love to hear about your experiences and see photos, so leave a comment!