Boston Comic Con 2015
A Very "Vigilant" Recap: PART DEUX
|The guest of honor this year was none other than the father of Marvel, Stan "THE MAN" Lee!!|
|A view of the pavilion from atop Boston's Seaport World Trade Center where the con took place. I love the South Boston waterfront!|
Welcome back to The Vigilant Geek for part two of Boston Comic Con 2015 coverage!! In part one of the BCC 2015 review, we left off discussing the amazing cosplays and mainstream writer/artist meet and greets. It was truly a special experience this year to have been able to meet so many industry greats! Now, in part two, I'll be able to give you more background information in regards to the celebrity guests, information from the panels and a special account of my time meeting the greatest comic book creator of all time, Stan Lee!!
There was perhaps the widest array of celebrity guests I have seen present at BCC this year. Both Marvel and DC were represented by different television and film stars, as well as many other sci-fi and horror-related celebrities, including, but not limited to, Hayley Atwell, (Agent Carter), Brett Dalton, (Agents of SHIELD), Thomas Jane, (The Punisher), Robin Lord Taylor, (Gotham), Elvira, Scott Ian, (Anthrax), Billie Piper, (Dr. Who), Manu Bennett, (Arrow, Spartacus, The Hobbit), Kat Graham, (The Vampire Diaries), and of coarse STAN!
|Hayley Atwell of tv series "Agent Carter"|
|Thomas Jane: The only TRUE PUNISHER!|
|Robin Lord Taylor, "The Penguin" of "Gotham."|
|Manu Bennett, another tv show bad guy, as he played "Deathstroke" in Arrow|
|Infamous face of the Horror genre, Elvira!!|
|Billie Piper, who played Rose Tyler in "Dr. Who."|
|Scott Ian, Anthrax, also writer of "Lobo: Highway to Hell."|
THE BEST OF THE PANELS:
Of all the panels that were conducted during the course of BCC 2015, three really stuck out as "PERTINENT" to the avid graphic novel guru. These three panels were the "100 Bullets Reunion" panel, the "Scott Snyder Q and A" panel, and the "Stan Lee VIP Experience" panel. I was very active with questions at all panels, and I cannot wait to share the top secret info I acquired with all of you below!!
The 100 Bullets Reunion Panel:
|(Left to Right), Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso and Dave Johnson of 100 Bullets|
If you're a fan of the graphic novel medium to any degree, chances are you have at least heard of the Vertigo masterpiece, 100 Bullets. Brian Azzarello can be quoted during the panel, stating that, "100 Bullets changed Vertigo Comics forever." He could not be more accurate in this statement, as DC's Vertigo line was comprised mainly of fairy tales about elves and wizards, along with Neil Gaiman's contributions, prior to 100 Bullets. What 100 Bullets brought to Vertigo was an amazing crime noir caper that was able to broaden the horizon of the genres of stories Vertigo was putting out. Both Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso were present at the panel, along with industry titan Dave Johnson, who was the cover artist for the book's run. I was able to ask Brian Azzarello a question regarding his literary masterpiece. My question to Brian was, "when creating all of the different minutemen characters in 100 Bullets, did any people you know in real life influence you regarding the invention of their personalities, personal appearance, etc..?" I have seen Brian at a couple other cons before, and I know he is not a man of lengthy speeches, but he was articulate and courteous in his response, stating, "Yes, most of the minutemen were in fact influenced by people I have known in the past." It appears Mr. Azzarello has known some very interesting people! This panel was such a treat, as all core members of the 100 Bullets creative team met one last time to share their thoughts on their literary masterpiece with us. As a gigantic fan of the 100 Bullets series, it was a really special thing to be a part of.
The Scott Snyder Q and A Panel:
|Vigilant Geek Media co-manager and correspondent Holden Orme posing with Scott Snyder|
We geeks here at Vigilant Geek Media usually have the opportunity and sheer pleasure of covering a Scott Snyder, (Batman, The Wake, American Vampire, Wytches), panel every year at Boston Comic Con, (see Boston Comic Con 2014: A Vigilant Recap: Part Deux for last year's Snyder article), mainly because Mr. Snyder seems to enjoy coming back to Boston to say hi every year! (We are so lucky.) This year however, Scott's panel seemed to be a lot more intimate. Scott discussed his past and how he got into writing in the graphic novel medium, something he had never opened up about in prior years. He told stories of going to school at Columbia University, working for a publisher and trying relentlessly to finish his first publication. However, the story he told which entertained me the most was in regards to his love for working at Walt Disney World. Apparently, after the job at the publisher became too stressful, Scott absconded to the happiest place on Earth and worked his way up the ranks. From janitor, to character acting as Pluto, then as Buzz Lightyear, Scott was being sucked into the "Disney magic," and drinking up all the Koolaid along the way.. He was even offered a job as "Prince Charming" at Tokyo Disney, since he was of height to be a prince in Japan! Scott was ecstatic about his new opportunity, but his friends and family were becoming concerned... It seemed that Scott was wasting his potential, and a dear friend was sent to Orlando, Florida to conduct a "Disney Intervention," and get Scott back to practicing his craft. Thank god for this unsung hero, or we might never have had such graphic novel gold as Severed, Wytches, The Wake and of coarse, Scott's amazing take on Batman.
I was able to ask Scott one question, "There has been a lot of speculation regarding whether you and artist Greg Capullo will move on from Batman after the current story arc, or if you plan on staying on the book longer than that, what are your thoughts regarding this?" Though Scott could not give me a definite answer to the question, what he did say was very promising. Snyder stated that though he was not sure exactly when him and Capullo would be giving up the keys to Gotham City, (and apparently Capullo's thoughts on that are held in high regard by Snyder, though Capullo was not there to make statements), but he does currently have a lot of story arcs in his head and on paper that he is wishing to apply to the Batman book in the near future. He stated that in order for everything that is going on right now with Bruce and Jim Gordon to come full circle, he will need to get these story arcs written up and to the press. Though this does not tell us exactly when the two plan on leaving the book, what this does tell me is that Snyder himself does not want to go anywhere... and I am sure all the Bat-fans out there feel the same!
The STAN LEE VIP Experience Panel:
So then I met Stan Lee...... it was cool, I guess...
The STAN LEE VIP Experience Panel:
|Vigilant Geek Media co-manager and correspondent Andrew Puzak (me) posing with the great STAN LEE!!|
So then I met Stan Lee...... it was cool, I guess...
Cool?? It was absolutely surreal!!!! The first thing Stan's staff had me and two hundred VIPs do was line up for picture time with Stan. As you can probably see in the photo above, I am ecstatic and also quite nervous. I was standing right next to my idol, but at this point in time I was not allowed to ask him anything... that was for later on at the panel. Also, it is important to remember that Stan is no spring chicken, so there was no touching permitted. I felt like I was being photographed with one of those wax models from Madame Troussards. Stan just sat on his stool, stoic, noble and majestic.. Therefore, I wasn't sure how to pose and what to do with my hands, and before I knew it the picture was snapped.. Not too bad considering all that though!
After pictures were finished, the panel began, and Stan livened up quite a bit from then on. In fact, I am pretty confident that Stan could hold his own special on Comedy Central if he chose to do so; the man had jokes for days! One of the funniest things Stan said was in response to a question asking him if his time in World War II influenced him in creating The Howling Commandos. Stan replied, "Well, I didn't do a whole lot of howling during the war. I mainly rewrote training manuals so that the troops knew what they were doing..... (long pause)..... and I think that's probably why we won World War II."
I was actually able to ask Stan a question, which was,"Is there a character in the Marvel Universe that might have been influenced by yourself?" Stan replied, "Why yes, the character of J. Jonah Jameson, (editor of the Daily Bugle and Peter Parker's boss to the layman), was modeled exactly after me. If I were a newspaper editor, I'd be just as hard as J. Jonah Jameson... maybe HARDER!" Well, Stan may view himself as a hard ass in the Marvel bullpen, (back in the day maybe he was), but you cannot take anything away from him in regards to how he treats his fans. He was at the panel until well after 11:00 pm, and even with him being on L.A. time, that's still awful late for a man of his age. With all the money and fame Marvel Comics has accrued over the years, he certainly does not NEED to be doing all this traveling, especially with him just getting out of the hospital a week prior. He clearly travels to cons and spends time with his fans because each "true-believer," is important to him. He even took the time after the panel to sign every VIP's comic book, including my own 1967 1st edition Lee/Kirby Thor #135, (shown below), which I will cherish for the rest of my days. All in all, what an incredible, mighty, amazing, fantastic, astonishing, uncanny and absolutely special experience. I feel so lucky! EXCELSIOR!!!!
|My precious Lee/Kirby THOR #135 from 1967, signed by STAN LEE!!|
*** Coverage of BOSTON COMIC CON 2015 is still not over!! JOIN US NEXT WEEK as we dive into some reviews of the BEST INDIE PUBLICATIONS of this year's con in "BOSTON COMIC CON 2015: A Very "Vigilant" Recap: Part Three