Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
This past Friday, Pat Quinn, SCAD Atlanta Associate Chair of Sequential Art, invited me to observe GENERATE, the school’s version of 24-hour comic day. (SCAD calls it GENERATE to allow any other of the school’s departments that wants to participate can do their own 24-hour challenge). The event kicked off at 10 AM on Friday. Students participating in GENERATE are challenged to create a 24 page black and white print ready comic in 24 hours from a blank slate. This year, they introduced an option for students to form a team to produce the book, those who chose that option had to also color the comic.
As a lifelong Georgia resident, I can verify the state is relatively sedate for most of the year. However, this week, Winter Storm Leon blew into town and threw a monkey wrench in the lives of metro Atlanta residents as well as its myriad outlying cities/suburbs, which include Marietta, location of the editorial office of Top Shelf Productions.
As Publisher Chris Staros wrote on his Facebook page, he found himself amid the Interstate-75 chaos of gridlocked people trying to get home on Tuesday afternoon. To a certain extent, he considers himself one of the lucky ones, as he was able to exit the interstate and make his way down non-pretreated back roads to Marietta’s Hilton Hotel. That’s where he hunkered down for the next two days.
“A 2-day survival party commenced at the bar, and a good time was had by all my new friends who weathered the storm with me,” he wrote. “My heart goes out to all the people who had to sleep in their cars over night, or abandon them, or who got in wrecks, as it was a cold cold night, and a disaster all around. In any event, home safe and sound … and if you ever want to know what it’s like to ride a glacier, you can ask me. As, now I know!”
ROBOT 6 contacted Staros to make sure it was OK to recount his experience for readers. While catching up with him, it also proved a good chance to find out what’s on the horizon for the ever-busy publisher.
Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Joining us today is writer Robert Venditti, who you know from X-O Manowar, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps., Demon Knights, the graphic novel adaptations of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Homeland Directive and The Surrogates
Now let’s get to it …
My big question heading into the show this year was, “How much is it going to feel like a comics convention?” With Chris “Thor” Hemsworth and much of the cast of Chuck being around this weekend, would C2E2 start to feel like San Diego or – God forbid – Wizard World Chicago from a couple of years ago with movies and TV taking over the center of attention?
It’s only Friday, but so far so really damn good.
After last year’s C2E2, I had high expectations for the convention this year and everything got off to a great start. Press registration went smoothly again and some of the Artist Alley creators who hadn’t attended last year told me how impressed they were with the professionalism and just general niceness of the staff they’d worked with.
One major difference though is that the convention’s in a different part of McCormick Place this year. Instead of the impressive Lakeside Center with it’s unbelievable view of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, it’s in the West Building. Still a very nice space with lush carpeting and plenty of room, just not as jaw-droppingly grand as last year. I’m not sure why that is, but one artist brought it to my attention that the setting sun through the giant picture-windows last year could sometimes make it difficult to see and interact with fans. So whatever the rationale for moving, there are positive and negative things about both spaces.