New York ComicCon is a rather insane event featuring all manner of comic artists and other assorted individuals. Many thanks to Eric Rosenfield for interview assistance and his laconic pal Phil for moral support and a shoulder to cry on.
1. Mike Pellerito — In this somewhat naughty conversation, Archie Comic Publications, Inc. Managing Editor Mike Pellerito offers his candid views on maintaining the purity of the Archie universe.
2. Joe Gonzalez — We venture into Podcast Arena to discuss the appropriate way of covering New York ComicCon with a fellow podcaster.
3. Aaron Goold — One of the folks behind Yo Yo Nation explains why he is a spokesman for Duncan. There is also some speculation on secret yo-yo societies in New York.
4. Jack Ringca — I am unsure what pernicious position Mr. Ringca holds within Duncan, but he seemed to have a few diabolical ideas involving Mr. Goold and conquering the universe with a yo-yo army.
5. Joseph Semling — The purchasing manager of Brian’s Toys offers a helpful explanation of the economics behind lightsabers.
6. David Williams — The co-founder of Fanlib insists that he’s flying fan fiction writers out to Hollywood. But we learn that this isn’t the case at all. He seemed especially convinced that all fans are protected from lawyers.
7. Dan Piraro — The man behind Bizarro explains the precise circumstances that help him generate ideas and reveals how some of his more daring strips end up in Scandinavia.
8. Ross Milhako — Attracted by the risque title, Our Young, Roving Correspondent questions the creator of Dead Dick — Zombie Detective upon the filthy and salacious qualities of his comic’s name.
9. Tim Fish — The Boston-based comic book writer behind Cavalcade of Boys explains precisely what he means by “cavalcade” and offers some insights on gay romance comics.
10. Patch — A gentleman who only referred to himself as “Patch” explains how Teddy Scares inverts the nature of the cute and cuddly teddy bear. There is also an ethical debate over whether zombie teddy bears can appeal to an UglyDoll audience. We dutifully pledge, per this interview, to investigate Teddy Scares in five years and determine, per Patch’s assured declarations, whether or not Teddy Scares retain their edge.
11. Kim Caltagrione, Mike McLaughlin & Steve Vincent — We talk with the New Jersey underground comics operation, Angry Drunk Grahics, about the fine line between angry and drunk and how Ms. Caltagrione ties this ontological spectrum together. Includes discussion of Mike Diana, the first artist to receive a criminal conviction for obscenity in the United States and who is published by Angry Drunk Graphics, and the Diana-drawn illustration of Jesus with a penis.
12. Brian Phillipson — The co-creator of God the Dyslexic Dog insinuates a forthcoming jihad involving canines. Or at least that’s what we’re left to conclude from this conversation that somehow manages to include nonoverlapping magisteria and dyslexic fundamentalists.
13. Chris Wozniak — Chris Wozniak insists, despite developments involving Kathy Griffin, that he is the Woz. But even though he has created bitter midgets, the Woz doesn’t have any explanation as to why his midgets are bitter.
15. Kyle Baker — A conversation between Baker and McCloud is unexpectedly interrupted, but segues into issues of artistic control, television, people who don’t read comics, thwarted animation deals, families coming back in style, Special Forces, Nat Turner, the Haitian Revolution, mainstream publishers getting into graphic novels, and other assorted topics.
16. Scott McCloud — Scott McCloud reveals a future deal involving a graphic novel in New York, the present state of advocating graphic novels, the Creator’s Bill of Rights, and the failure of micropayment systems.
Chen Shi-Zheng is the director of Dark Matter. Liu Ye is the star. The film is now out in theaters.
Condition of the Show: Adopting a theoretical construct.
Subjects Discussed: The visual emphasis on stairwells, metallic college environments, the relationship between character and environment, string theory, researching cosmology, comparisons between Joanna Silver and Jo Ann Beard, basing a film on Gang Lu, the Virginia Tech massacre, “Amazing Grace” being sung in Chinese, Chen’s operatic background, performing an intimate scene with Meryl Streep, behavioral mannerisms, tables and windows, glass architecture, the origins of the Laurence Fang character, the corrupting influence of America, chemistry between Liu Ye and Aidan Quinn, television motifs, reflective surfaces, shallow information, Britney Spears, and the five elements of the Chinese horoscope.
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Correspondent: The Meryl Streep character, Joanna Silver, bears a striking resemblance to Jo Ann Beard, who wrote, of course, “The Fourth State of Matter.” And I’m wondering, in terms of secondary materials, if this was intentioned. The Joanna Silver character seems to have more money than Jo Ann Beard did, and I wanted…
Chen: First off, I don’t know Jo Ann Beard. I know a lot of Joannas in New York. And there’s a lot of people. Rich ladies interested in Chinese culture studying tai-chi, trying to speak a few words of Chinese to me in my world. So that’s where the Joanna character comes from.
Correspondent: Oh, okay.
Chen: Just people who saw China as an exotic country, an exotic culture, that were fascinated by what was Chinese.
Correspondent: Because there was a very famous essay written in The New Yorker based off of the Iowa State massacre that was also reprinted in The Best American Essays that was written by Jo Ann Beard. And here you had a Joanna Silver character. So I didn’t know if there was any overlapping in terms of the Gang Lu scenario. In terms of there being overlapping characteristics upon this film. Or is this really not meant to be something that is rooted in a real…?
Chen: It’s not rooted in the real events. The real events were the starting point in making a movie. I think most of the characters you see most are friends of mine who came to this country, who have experienced a different life, and it isn’t meant to tell the stories I know. Not the story of Lu Gang.
Brad and John Hennegan are the filmmakers behind First Saturday in May, which opens in theaters on April 17, 2008.
Condition of the Show: Racing to the finish line.
Subjects Discussed: Why the Hennegans chose six horse trainers, cutting the film down from a three hour epic, Pop-Up Video-style captions, the seven mysterious trainers who didn’t make it into the film, the problems of knowing that Barbaro was going to win the Kentucky Derby, tracking a story after a victory, focusing upon the media, frightening reporters who hold both a cup of coffee and a reporter’s pad in one hand, not using a voiceover, footage that begins with a question, laying down the rules, juxtaposing the God’s eye view of NBC footage with ground-level footage, giving cameras to children, why the trainers were not photographed in their homes, getting away from the track, whether or not Dale Romans is humorless, Frank Amonte’s effusiveness, trainers who feel the need to look good in front of the camera, the lack of gambling portrayed in the film, the Kentucky Derby elite, previous film experience, kayak.com, and cheap travel.
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Correspondent: Going back to this notion of family, we see many kids essentially speak in lieu of the trainers. I thought that that was an interesting choice on your part. Because I’m watching this, going, wow, these folks are really trying to keep up a presence. They must actually look good in light of this particular Derby crowd. And then on top of that, they have this whole family image. I think of — I’m forgetting. It’s the Arkansas trainer Holthus.
Brad Hennegan: Bob Holthus.
Correspondent: Bob Holthus, who has his wife wearing this garish, white outfit. This genteel kind of appearance. And this was striking to me, because it seemed very much that image was even more important in some cases than the actual training. And then you have this juxtaposed by Frank [Amonte], who is very much a naturalistic person. Who is openly affectionate with his family in contrast to the other people. How much was look a part of this documentary? You have to keep the image in order to…
John Hennegan: No, no, no. I mean, Bonnie’s a woman, like a lot of women we know, that just likes to look good. She’s got a hundred hats.
Brad Hennegan: She calls it her costumes.
John Hennegan: Right. She likes to go to the racetrack and dress up. If you saw Bob, her husband, Bob probably wears a variation of the same thing everyday. To someone like Bonnie, the racetrack’s a celebration of her. And she wants to look good. Etcetera.
Brad Hennegan: Bonnie’s also a hell of a handicapper by the way. She’s a great handicapper. But, you know, it’s just like any business. There’s some people that are slick. Slick talking businessmen. There are others who aren’t. You can compare it to any business where some feel that the exterior is very important, where others don’t.