July 16, 2012

The Compost Pile

SDCC 2012: Friday And The Valiant Comics Panel

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I’m starting to write this Saturday morning (and finishing writing it Monday afternoon, where did the time go?), and it is strange for me to think that yesterday’s events all happened less than a day ago.

I said this on our first Comic-Con wrap up episode, Con is like the Lost Land. It is its own time, and time really seems to go by differently here.

I don’t even remember what I did at the show yesterday morning. I know I strolled over to the show mid-morning, and that I walked around doing something, but cannot remember what. I think I might have walked through artist alley, or was that the day before? I might have made a pass through the small press area, but maybe that was another day. I know I got a copy of Youngblood signed by Rob Liefield, but cannot remember if that was Friday or Thursday.

There are a couple things about the day that I remember VERY prominently.

The Walking Dead Escape

Intense.

The Walking Dead Escape was a zombie obstacle course set up at Petco Park. It was part obstacle course, but part just, well, recreation of the Zombie Apocalypse.

At some points there were obstacles that had to be climbed over, under, etc, with zombies reaching out to grab you and infect you.

Walking Dead Escape Outfits

This loving couple came prepared

In some places there was just zombies roaming around, and we were forced to hide, run, and evade them.

Within moments of the event starting, we were right there, and we were running for our lives. It brought us right into the scenario. There’s nothing like jogging down a hall with a pack of people, have someone yell, because they see a zombie running after them from behind, and everyone yelling and taking off at a sprint.

The course was hard. We were huffing and puffing by the end. Elveen was one of the first people out, and I was right behind him. Our friend Greg finished a couple minutes behind us.

I didn’t survive. I got infected somewhere along the course, and got ushered into the decontamination room where people yelled at me that I had a choice, I was gonna turn into a zombie, or I could put a bullet in my head.

I chose the bullet, and made them look me in the eye while they pulled the trigger.

I’m still sore today from running this course. This was a highlight of the entire show for me.

For more about this awesome event, listen to OTV Episode 77, our Saturday Convention Wrap-Up episode, where we discuss Epic Friday and Beat-Down Saturday.

Summer Of Valiant Panel

The Summer Of Valiant panel was on Friday from 4pm to 5pm, and it was steller. I live tweeted the event, so if you are reading this article shortly after it is published, you should still be able to scroll down our twitter feed to get almost everything that was discussed. I was tweeting like a mad man! Also, Jonesy expertly video taped the panel, and we should have video of that available soon.

Here’s some of the highlights:

stanchek outfit

I was in my Pete Stanchek costume

When asked about Ninjak appearing in X-O manowar, Rob Venditti and Warren Simons explained that the idea was hatched at C2E2 in Chicago this year. They don’t want the meeting to be contrived, and Rob feels that if a man suddenly appeared on Earth in the X-O armor, of course, Ninjak, the world’s leading weapons expert, would go after him.

When asked about crossovers, Warren answered that they want to establish the characters on their own before having big crossover events, and that story trumps all. They don’t want to force a big crossover event just for the sake of publishing a crossover.

Peter Cuneo, Valiant’s Chairman, was asked why he was interested in Valiant. He spoke for a while about the work that Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari did to clear up the property, and take care of all the legal work required to demonstrate that they owned all of the characters and material outright. When he found that that was the case, he became excited about building a character based comic book company. It was a very interesting look at the business side of things.

When asked about how many books they are likely to launch, Fred Pierce spoke about their plans. They decided to start with 4 titles, one a month. One a month makes it easier for retailers to absorb the orders into their current purchases, and it is still enough titles to be taken seriously. There will be a fifth book launched in 2012, and another next spring. The plan is to launch 4 books a year after that.

Someone asked about Peter Stanchek, and brought up the question of rape. Did he rape Kris? They were very careful with the answer, and did not answer it directly. Nearly everyone chimed in though. Joshua Dysart said that Pete is a screwed up kid, and has made a lot of bad decisions. The story will address those bad decisions, and it would be unethical not to address the fallout and ramifications of Pete’s decisions. That said, part of the story will be about redemption. Warren added that we should wait to see what is in the books, letting us know that those questions will be addressed. Rob Venditti chimed in, saying that one of the things he appreciated about Harbinger is that it requires that some questions be asked. It doesn’t just tell you what the story is and allow the reader to passively accept it.

X-O Manowar #1 Gold Logo

X-O Manowar #1 Gold Logo

What about reprints of the classic books and the Gold Key characters. Could there ever be a reprint of Unity (perhaps in an oversized, absolute format edition please)? In response, they mentioned that they are discussing it internally, which seemed like a code word for not being able to comment at this time.

There was a question of diversity, and if there will be headlining characters that are female, and from different ethnic backgrounds. It sounds like they are establishing the existing characters now, many of which are white men, but are mindful of this.

Last of all, Dinesh Shamdasani made an announcement that the Gold Logo book program is back! the Classic Valiant had a great tradition of supporting the fans that supported them, and they plan to continue that tradition. Everyone in attendence recieved a gold logo version of X-O Manowar #1. There is no one way to receive one of these from Valiant, they will be used to reward fans and retailers that some way show they are doing something to show their love and support of Valiant Comics.

Valiant Trivia/Poker

For the last five years, a number of folks that know each other from the ValiantFans.com Forum have got together to play poker and play Elveen’s trivia game.

the X-O Manowar Shot

Atom! is a blur as he mixes the X-O Manowar Shots

For the last couple years, we’ve been joined by some guests from Valiant Entertainment. This year, Dinesh Shamdasani, Fred Pierce, Warren Simons, Atom! Freeman, and Hunter Gorrinson came to the party.

Dinesh won trivia (though I came in second), Warren and Fred won poker, and Atom! mixed the drinks.

Atom! had a special drink concoction called the “X-O Manowar”, it was Patron XO Cafe liquere, with a splash of Bailey’s Irish Creme on top. Delicious!

Last year, we asked a lot of questions. A lot. Fred and Dinesh said that we may have been “skeptical”, I let them know that we were merely “aggressively interested”. Last year, however there weren’t books. There wasn’t even an announcement of new comics. This year, we have Valiant Comics on the stands, and as a result, it was much more laid back. We didn’t ask a ton of questions, we were able to kick back and enjoy a fun night of comics and poker.

OTV T-Shirt

The OTV T-Shirt

We also have a tradition at the poker game, someone brings a stack of comics, and we all sign each copy, and they are numbered, and as the poker game proceeds, we take one of the signed, numbered comics, until the only the winner remains and gets number 1.

This year we used the Harbinger #1, 1:20 variant cover as the souvenir book, it looks pretty cool with all those signatures!

Last of all, Elveen surprised everyone with Only The Valiant t-shirts! I had no idea these were coming, what a cool surprise!

Interested in joining us next year? Get involved at the ValiantFans.com Forum, get to know all the folks there, and get out to San Diego!

Epic Friday

We dubbed Friday “Epic Friday”. I think you might have been able to see why. Walking Dead, Valiant Panel, and Poker/Trivia night.

As a fan, Comic-Con does not get any better than Friday.

Make sure you also listen to OTV Episode 77, our Saturday Convention Wrap-Up episode, for more about Friday (and Saturday too)!

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