Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Here We Go Again!

Only a week away from the Annual San Diego Comic-Con, and my dance card is starting to fill up like Scarlett O'Hara's. For those of you who might wish to find me at any time during the Great Intergalactic Lemming Race, my schedule so far looks like this:


2:30-3:30PM - "The Dark Knight Rises" Panel - a psychological view of what makes the Batman tick, with Michael Uslan, Steve Englehart, and several noted brain people. Last year's was a blast (Room 26AB)


4-5PM - Autograph Signing (DC Booth #1915)


11AM-12PM - Autograph Signing (DC Booth #1915)

12:45-1:45PM - DC Comics "Before Watchmen" Panel - with most of the usual suspects, me, Dan DiDio, Darwwn Cooke, Amanda Conner, Adam Hughes, JMS, and a slew of others. C'mon, you know you wanna hear this.  (Room 6DE)


3-4PM - Autograph Signing (DC Booth #1915)

That's all that's official so far, but you might want to check out Mark Evanier's Quick Draw Panel Saturday right after Noon. There are rumors I might be there, and rumor also has it that I'll be at one of the tables in Artist's Alley in aisle 4800 much of the rest of the time for autographing and pictures and such.

Since I usually hire at least three or four other people to wander around the Con pretending to be me, I shouldn't be difficult to recognize; I'll be the greybeard with the cool cane and the Batman baseball cap stumbling around the con floor, making musical "oy!" noises.

See you there.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I Made a Right Turn at Albuquerque

Well, it's that time again. This weekend, instead of being in the audience laughing my wrinkly old butt off at the Thrilling Adventure Hour, I'll be in New Mexico, in Albuquerque, to be precise, at the Albuquerque Comics Expo, signing autographs and hanging out with old friends like Melinda Snodgrass, George RR Martin, Herb Trimpe, and I'll even be sharing a panel with my old boss and friend, the legendary Stan Lee. If, like Bugs Bunny, you make a wrong turn along the way and find yourself in town, drop by and say howdy.

Otherwise, I don't how I'm gonna fill the time.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's Weird Being Me

Okay, as you know, I've been on the road a bit over the past few weeks. Here's a couple of odd stories of my adventures.

Two weeks ago, my lovely wife Christine and I went to Chicago for the C2E2 Convention (the only con I know of that is apparently named after a droid).  Anyway, I was checking in at the front desk of the Hyatt when the desk clerk told me they had a lovely room with two double beds for us. I reminded the desk clerk that we had ordered one king-size bed instead and he said it would take a new seconds to fix the mistake. He did what he needed to do, told us he now had a lovely room with a King bed for us, and printed out the keys. Then he checked his computer and said that a welcoming gift had already been delivered to the original room for us. He told me he would have a bellman deliver the bag to the new room. I thanked him, collected our baggage and went up to our room. While I was up in the room, unpacking (Chris had already gone down to the lobby to meet an old Law School friend of hers), the doorbell rang and I opened the door to find a young bellman standing there, holding a gift bag in one hand. Before I could say anything, the bellboy looked at me, did a double-take, and said, incredulously, "Len Wein?" Equally incredulous, I stammered back, "Y-yes. B-but how did you know?" The bellboy smiled, handed me the gift bag, shrugged, and said, "Wikipedia." Welcome to the 21st Century.

Last week, I went solo to the first annual Vancouver Fan Expo. On my flight, among others, were Kevin (Hercules) Sorbo, Lou (Hulk) Ferrigno, Marina (Councilor Troi) Sirtis, Nicholas (Xander) Brendon, Michael (Worf) Dorn, and a few others I'd sadly forgotten for the moment. When I got to customs, I handed my passport to an amiable young Customs agent, who took the document, read my name, and said, "Now why is that name so familiar to--?" and then the penny dropped. Suddenly, he started treating me like royalty, thanking me for creating Wolverine, thanking me for honoring their country by coming to the convention, so forth and so on for several minutes. I thanked him in return, got my passport stamped, and went on about my business.

For the rest of the weekend, as I sat at my table at the convention, signing autographs and greeting fans, people kept coming up to me, saying they'd had the weirdest experience at Customs with a young agent, that when he found out that they were coming to the Convention, he would go on and on about how he had stamped my passport, shaken my hand, and so on. To him, it seemed, I was a bigger celebrity than the others I've mentioned above.

The older I get, the more absolutely bizarre my life seems to become. Well, at least it's never, ever boring.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Here, There, Everywhere

One of the most pleasant side-effects of being on the hottest project of the year (and, let's face it, there's not likely to be any project this year that is hotter than Before Watchmen) is being invited to conventions all over the continent. So far this year, it looks like I'm gonna be a guest at Wonder-Con in LA at the Anaheim  Hilton on March 16-18, at both the Chicago Comics Expo on April 13-15 and at the Vancouver Comics Expo in Vancouver, Canada the following week, April 20-22, then the Dallas Comic Con in Texas on May 18-20, the Albuquerque Comics Expo in New Mexico on June 8-10, the San Diego Comic-Con International from July 11-15, the Toronto Fan Expo in Canada on August 23-26, the Montreal Comic-Con from September 14-16, and the New York Comic-Con in NYC from October 11-14, with several other cons still in the offing.

So, if you're looking to get anything autographed or just want to drop by and say howdy, that's where you're gonna find me so far. I look forward to seeing you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Before Watchmen

And let's face it, folks, there was a whole lot that went on before Watchmen. When the late and much-lamented Dick Giordano offered the then recently acquired Charleton line of Action Heroes from his former publisher to Alan Moore to develop a storyline, he was more than a little taken aback when the story Alan proposed involved ultimately killing off most of the characters. "Look," said Dick in as kindly a fashion he could, "I didn't go to all the time and trouble of gaining creative control of these characters only to have them knocked off in their first new story. What say you take the story you've developed, Alan, and create a batch of new characters to go with it?" Alan considered this briefly, and thus were the Watchmen born. Captain Atom became Doctor Manhattan, Peacemaker became the Comedian, Blue Beetle was now the Nite Owl, The Question was unquestionably Rorschach, Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt evolved into Ozymandias, and Silk Spectre was the new Nightshade. Alan, with the invaluable assistance of the talented Dave Gibbons, told his story, and went his merry way. I was the editor of most of those early issues, and I had a problem with Alan's intended ending to the series, specifically that the ending was almost verbatim the ending of a wonderful episode of the classic SF series, The Outer Limits, called "The Architects of Fear". When I argued with Alan that he had to change his ending because it had already been done, Alan's reply was simply, "Well, it hasn't been done by me." To this day, the redundant ending of Watchmen mars all of the book's other magnificent qualities for me.

Now, here it is, a quarter of a century later, and some of the greatest talent currently in comics is taking a new look at what made these classic characters click. Before Watchmen will explore the fascinating pasts of these characters in limited interlocking series with an eighth series that will run in the back of all of the other books. J. Michael Straczynski and Adam Hughes will explore exactly what makes Doctor Manhattan tick, while JMS and and the astonishing son/father team of Andy and Joe Kubert reveal the past of Nite Owl. The multi-talented Darwyn Cooke will write and illustrate the history of the Minutemen, while Darwyn will write and the amazing Amanda Conner will illustrate the story of the Silk Spectre. Brian Azzarello will write The Comedian, to be illustrated by J.G. Jones, and Rorschach, which will be drawn by Lee Bermejo. Meanwhile your humble blogger will be telling the true history of Ozymandias, with the stunning Jae Lee handing the art. Finally, the original Watchmen colorist, John Higgins, will be illustrating, and I will be writing The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, one of the many other pirate titles DC published in the Watchmen world in lieu of super-hero comics, though this rather elaborate story will be running in two-page segments through the entire rest of the Before Watchmen line.

It will be a daunting task, to say the least, but each and every one of us is eager for the challenge. The release dates will be announced shortly. Keep an open eye and an open mind and we'll talk about all this as things progress. It's gonna be an interesting Summer.