As I recall it, Friday at San Diego Comic Con was bookended with Jim Zub: I got to see him almost first thing in the morning, and I sent somebody else to find him almost last thing of the day.
In the earlier case, we talked Samurai Jack and how its recurring extension, five issues at a time plays with story structure¹, the fact that he’s busy and booked months in advance², and drooled over some of the early art for Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate. If you follow that link, the right-hand cover image looks great, but Zub showed me the original B&W art on a tablet and it is even better; I hope they release a variant of the series that’s all B&W because damn, even the best coloring over those inks is covering up some beautiful detail. Zub’s over the moon about getting to script this title, and talking with him about it you can see him reverting to Kid!Zub, playing D&D in a basement with his friends, having the time of his life, stretching his imagination, and having no inkling that some day he would be creating canon around these characters; it’s seeing that enthusiasm about all his projects that makes me conclude that nobody enjoys Comics! more than Zub.
Which is why I saw Minsc and Boo come to life from the inks Zub had shown me, I had to make sure they would find each other; I gave the gentleman and gentlehamster directions to Zub’s Artist Alley table, but they reported back he wasn’t there; undeterred, I dug out the time and location of Zub’s first panel today (see below), so hopefully they’ll catch up with each other and get a picture or two.
Most of the rest of the day was a blur, but there was one memorable exchange, and I did catch some good cosplay photos; let’s take them in order.
I’m not sure I would have recognized Chip Zdarsky when he dropped by the Dumbrella booth in the afternoon, but for the fact that he looks exactly like his Twitter avatar. I thanked him profusely for Sex Criminals (noting that I love everything about the book), then realized he was standing next to Matt Fraction and repeated everything I just told Zdarsky. I found out that in the trade collection, they didn’t get clearance to use the lyrics of Fat Bottomed Girls, but they told me that they did come up with new Post-It captions over the lyrics from the original issue which means I have to buy the damn thing again. Alas, the reason that they dropped by the booth was out on a burrito run, which led to this exchange which I wrote down verbatim:
Zdarksy: Please tell Rich [Stevens] we stopped by.
Fraction: And we hate him.
Zdarksy: We only stopped by to throw a cup of warm vomit in his face.
Congrats to both men for their Eisner win last night, especially in light of the fact it means there will be one less ritual slaughter today.
- This gentleman assures me that he has a HENCH 4 LYFE tattoo, but for me the best part was the angry eyebrows on the mask.
- I saw many Mothers of Dragons, but this young lady was the one that really caught my eye — not tall and regal, small and likely to be underestimated, a bit grubby, and utterly ready to cut out your heart and snack on it.
- This pairing of Carl Fredricksen and Kevin got so very much right, from the eyebrows to the pack of dogs and baby Kevins. For the record, the walker had all four tennis balls on it, and that is a grape soda bottlecap pinned to his shirt.
- The return of Sailor Bacon, may heaven have mercy on our souls. Today, he’ll be getting in the ball pit. The Lar deSouza quote that accompanied the picture was Hey, I paid for these bloomers, and everybody’s gonna see ‘em!
- Not cosplay, but I thought Maki Naro might want to see: a Sufficiently Remarkable shirt in the wild, all the way from Australia.
Busy day for the panels today:
- Steven Universe at 10:00 in the Hilton Bayfront; I’m going to that one as a civilian since I enjoy SU too much to pay attention in a detached, reporterly fashion
- Pitching Comic Stories with Jim Zub at 10:00, 25ABC; watch out for Minsc and Boo
- Berke Breathed at noon, 9; just 9, no A or anything like that
- We Are BOOM! at 12:30, 24ABC; I got to take a moment yesterday to thank Shannon Watters for her work on the KaBOOM line, which gives work to so many of my friends
- Lucy Knisley Spotlight at 2:00, 28DE
- Usagi Yojimbo 30 year retrospective at 3:00, 28DE; that room should probably be larger
- Comics Journalism at 6:00, 23ABC; aka Bitter, Haggard Wordbeasts, aka My Tribe
Spam of the day:
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I would actually pay good money to see fedora paper hats; they could go with paper neckbeards and paper fanatical devotion to Bitcoin.
¹ Originally slated for a five issue run, there’s a single five-issue story that’s grand in scope. Extended to ten issues (the last of which we’re about to see in print), it gets smaller stories, leading off with fan-favorite The Scotsman.
Extended again to fifteen issues, Zub was asked for another long story, so there will be another five-parter, the title of which I am sworn to secrecy because it constitutes a massive spoiler, but which will lead off with a scene of Aku engaged in domestic hobbies in a very, very funny fashion.
Extended yet again to twenty issues, we’re back to shorter stories (including one that will be written and drawn by series artist Andy Suriano), but ending on a two-parter. Zub’s never quite sure when (if?) the series will end, so he’s trying to put a satisfying conclusion in every fifth issue in case it has to serve as a series finale.
² We counted six books that he’s presently writing: SamJack, the final arc of Skullkickers, the newly announced Dungeons and Dragons, the Gail Simone pair-up on Conan/Red Sonja, Wayward, and an unnamed (at this time) Marvel title; he’s already wrapped up the writing on Figment, which comes to a definite story end on issue five.