Hey, cats and kittens! I'm over the con plague and prepared to report on Megacon 09!
Megacon was held in sunny Orlando Florida from Feb. 27th-March 1st. This was my first trip down to Orlando for Megacon, so I went in really excited! Special thanks to the folks over at Comic Geek Speak for letting me crash on their floor!
First off, panels! The only panels I attended were the daily DC Nation meetings. The first day featured Dan Didio and Jimmy Palmiotti discussing their career in comics and chatting with the fans. I had a ton of fun. Both Jimmy and Dan are very engaging, funny guys who really care about the fans, and it shows.
The second meeting, on Saturday, featured an expanded panel of Dan Jurgens, Billy Tucci, Jimmy Palmiotti, Dan Didio, George Perez, and Ethan Van Sciver. The meeting started off with a very special event: George Perez birthday! In fact, Dan Didio read out a document from the mayor of Orange County Florida, proclaiming that day George Perez Day!
George gave a great speech thanking the fans, Dan, and especially his wife for supporting him throughout his career. The crowd went crazy! Then, as an added bonus, Dan noticed that someone in the back of the room might be able to help George celebrate his special day:
George told the audience that when he and Marv Wolfman were creating Starfire, it was their fervent hope that some lovely young lady would dress up as Starfire and show up to a con. Well, this certainly fits the bill!
The rest of the panel consisted mostly of audience questions, although there was a discussion about Jimmy Palmiotti's last birthday party that leads me to believe that comic book people live much more interesting lives than the rest of us. No Green Arrow news, although Dan Didio did mention that characters like Conner Hawke, Wally West, and Kyle Raynor (replacements whose predecessors are back from the dead) do have a story to tell, and that it will be told in the future.
The third meeting was basically just a conversation between the fans and Mr. Didio. Dan would ask questions of the audience and then encourage discussion between its members. Yours truly's answer to the question of "What was the first comic you ever read" with "Who's Who in the DCU" provoked a bit of shock from Mr. Didio. I explained that since I started out with Who's Who, by the time I got around to reading actual comics, I already knew who everyone was! This panel was a ton of fun, and you could feel the comics love in the room.
Holy crap folks, Megacon is a great place to drop some serious dough. Here's a picture of just about everything I picked up at the con, all artfully laid out in my living room:
As you can see, its quite a haul. One thing you may notice is the massive pile of Essential, Showcase, and Archive volumes in the middle there. I went a little crazy over the three day con, picking up 15 of these volumes in total. Luckily, the sales were great, and I didn't pay full price for a single one of them. Here's a list for the curious:
Essential X-Men vols. 1, 2, 4, and 5
Essential Nova vol. 1
Essential Thor vol. 1
Essential Power man and Iron Fist vol 1.
Essential Luke Cage vol. 2
Essential Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition vol. 2
Essential OHOTMU Update '89 vol. 1
Essential Spiderman vol. 4
Showcase: Aquaman vol. 1
Showcase: Batman and the Outsiders vol. 1
Archive Savage Dragon vols. 1 and 2
Someone (me) certainly has a ton of reading to do! Plus, I also picked up Marvel Visionaries: Walt Simonson Thor (which I'm reading now. Its awesome) and the Best of Spiderman vol 3 for 5 and 3 dollars respectively. The Spiderman volume was an especially awesome find, since its a nice big hardcover that normally retails for $30.
Next, we have my action figure purchases: all of DC Direct JLA wave 2 (Adam Strange, The Atom, Elongated Man, and Firestorm) for $2 each. Now that's an unbeatable deal! From that same booth, I picked up a bust of Nighthawk for $20 bucks. I'll add him to his fellow Defenders Moon Knight and Doctor Strange on my desk!
Next, we have my few single issue purchases. As you can see from the picture, Crazy Ed finally came through with Green Lantern #87. That means that my run of Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow is finally complete! This issue was especially hard to find because it also happens to be the first appearance of Green Lantern John Stewart. Expect a review of this issue when I finally get around to finishing my review series of that run.
My only other single issue purchases were issues 11 and 19 of Who's Who, issues 8, 9, and 11 of Defenders, and the first six issues of The Uniques. The Uniques is a self published title whose creators are fellow members of the CGS message boards. Check out their website here for some seriously awesome superhero fun!
Next, we have the two sketches I commissioned. First, we have the Doctor Strange sketch I got from the incomparable Avery Butterworth:
Holy crap, how awesome is this? I couldn't be happier with this sketch. I love the effect of the magic around Doc's Hand, and the serious expression on his face.
Then we have this fun little Booster Gold sketch from fellow CGS forum member Andrew Charipar:
I love this one too. Booster's Smirk, the thumb's up, Skeets? Perfect! (You can also see the side of my cat's head in this picture. Hi Dinah!)
Lastly, we have what is possibly the greatest purchase in the history of commerce. Observe:
Yes, you're seeing it correctly. These are, in fact, balloon sculptures of Green Arrow and BLue Beetle. How awesome are they? Seriously? They were created by balloonissimo extraordinaire Pasquale Palazzolo. During the weekend, he also created Doctor Manhattan, Yellow Lantern Kryb, Nite Owl, Rorschach, Jarvis, Martian Manhunter, and more. Pasquale is incredibly talented, and his balloons were a really big hit at the con. In fact, DC writer Tony Bedard absolutely loved balloon Ted, enough to snap a few pictures!
Ahhhh, Megacon. Good times were had by all. Hopefully, I'll get to go back next year!