Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You'll Get a Bang Out of This

Okay, I'll admit that this one is pretty much mostly for me and my lovely wife Christine. Our favorite new sitcom of this season -- and, frankly, of the last several seasons -- is the wonderfully written and acted Big Bang Theory, which airs Monday nights on CBS. Christine has an interesting post about this week's episode over at her charming blog, which can be accessed by clicking on it over at the right.

But one of our favorite parts of the show is the incredible theme song sung at the top of each episode by the rock group Barenaked Ladies. We happily sing along and then find the song stuck in our heads for the rest of the week. Now it's my turn to stick the song in your heads, gentle readers.

Tag! You're it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Where I'll Be

Having just come back from a wonderful convention in Memphis, it occurs to me that it might be wise to mention where I'll be heading over the next several months so that any of you who might chance to be in whatever given area I happen to be at the time can stop on by to get autographs or just chat. And isn't that the most convoluted sentence of recent memory? It's frankly amazing to me that a person who purports to earn his living through his command of the English language could actually write a sentence like that.

But I digress.

Anyway, next Thursday I'll be winging my way back east to attend the annual New York City Comic-Con over the weekend of April 18-20. I know I'm on a Steve Gerber Memorial Panel Saturday at 11AM with my good friends Mark Evanier and Gail Simone among others, so you can catch me there for sure. Beyond that, my NYC convention plans are really rather vague, but I do expect to be around the con floor for most of the weekend, so do try to track me down and say hi.

The Monday right after the con, April 21st, at 8PM, I'll be in NYC downtown at the Barrow Street Theater doing that thing I think I enjoy most of all: appearing as a panelist once again on my beloved What's My Line? - Live on Stage. The incredibly talented Mssrs. J. Keith van Straaten and Jim Newman have brought the show east for six weeks this spring, having started on Monday March 24th and running through Monday April 28th. And what amazes me most is that they've somehow managed to transport many of the regular panel members east with them. So far LA regular panelists Barry Saltzman, Frank DeCaro, Paul Doherty and Kitty Felde have all made appearances on the NYC show, with Cynthia Szigeti, Andy Zax, Mink Stole and your humble blogger all still to come. NYC mystery guests to date have included Cheers' own George Wendt (currently starring on Broadway in Hairspray), music legend Moby, and Woody Allen repertory regular Tony Roberts (currently lighting up the Great White Way in Xanadu). You can check out how to get tickets by clicking here and I hope to see all of my New York friends in the audience in two weeks. I've blogged about this show frequently and it has lost none of its energy or humor or charm in the cross-country move. Honestly, you will hate yourself if you miss it.

Over the July 4th weekend, from July 3-6 to be specific, your humble blogger, in the fine company of Marv Wolfman, Bernie Wrightson and the aforementioned Mark Evanier, among many others, will be up in Minneapolis for the 10th Annual CONvergence. Marv and I attended CONvergence 7 and had one of the best times ever, so with this new con being a day longer, we expect to have at least 25% more fun. If you'd like to learn more about attending this fine show, you can click here for all the necessary info.

A few weeks after that, from July 23-27 to be exact, I will once again be attending the 39th Annual San Diego Comic-Con, along with roughly the entire population of Norman, Oklahoma. This year I've been invited to be a Special Guest of the Con, so I imagine I'll have a number of scheduled panels and autograph sessions, more about which I'll let you know as we get closer to the actual event. As I've mentioned here before, I've been fortunate enough to be nominated for an Eisner Award this year in the category of Hall of Fame, so I can pretty much guarantee I'll be at the Awards ceremony, if nowhere else.

And lastly, at least for the moment, I've just been invited to be a guest the weekend of October 3-5 at the 28th Annual Mid-Ohio-Con to be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, so you can look for me there. Again, I'll give you all more details as I get them.

So, I suppose the biggest question left me at the moment is, with all of this cockamamie traveling on my agenda for the year, how the heck am I supposed to get any work done?

See you all on the road, I hope.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Levitz is Listening

Well, here's an enthusiastic "Welcome aboard!" and a deeply-concerned "Are you out of your ever-lovin' mind?" to my dear old friend DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz, who has begun blogging about the comics biz occasionally over at Newsarama.com. You can read Paul's latest post here and then check back over there weekly for more updates.

If there's anyone who knows more about the comic book business than Paul, I don't know who it is (but then I don't know the square root of pi either, which says something about me, I suppose, but I digress), so his column should be well worth your time.

Drop by over there when you get a chance, won't you? Oh, and be sure to tell Paul I sent you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thank Yuh. Thank Yuh Vury Much.

Well, here's a huge tip of the hat and an incredibly fond thank you to Carlin Stuart, Sylvia Cox, Eddy Zeno and all those other fine folks who ran the 26th annual MidSouthCon in Memphis, Tennessee, this past weekend and who made your humble blogger's stint there as Comics Guest of Honor a blast-and-a-half. I almost literally had more fun there than a human being should be allowed to have.

Got into Memphis on Thursday evening and, after checking into our hotel, I was promptly taken out for authentic Memphis BBQ by Carlin, his lovely wife Renee, their infant daughter Ginger (well, okay, so Ginger was taken along, too), Eddy Zeno and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic writer John Jackson Miller. They took me to a nifty little hole-in-the-wall joint called the Germantown Commissary, where the food was absolutely fabulous and got me right into the mood of being in the heart of BBQ country.

Since the convention didn't officially start until Friday evening, on Friday morning I kindly coerced poor Carlin into taking me to Graceland, home of the King himself, Elvis Presley. I'll admit it, it was a completely touristy thing to do, and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. The grounds of Graceland are sprawling and spacious, but the house itself is relatively modest in size by comparison. It felt a little strange to be walking through someone else's home without the owner being present (at least not in anything but spirit), but there was a recorded tour that helped us along and I took dozens of photos. Across the street from the house is a complex housing Elvis's car collection and a number of other exhibits, all of which, remarkably enough, let you out in yet another souvenir shop, on the off-chance you might have managed to somehow miss any of the several dozen other gift shops on the premises. Still, I had a really good time and I'm glad I went, dragging poor Carlin along behind me.

The convention itself was laid back and great fun. Attendance was somewhere about 1100 people, which is a nice-sized convention and an easily manageable number. The writer Guest of Honor was Eric Flint, the Science Guest of Honor was author/editor Ben Bova, the Artist Guest of Honor was the Hugo-winning Bob Eggleston, and the Media Guest of Honor was entertainment reporter and fantasy author Candace Havens. There were many other writers and artists at the con, too numerous to mention here, but they all contributed greatly to the overall experience.

On Sunday evening, after the guests were once more treated to dinner at the Three Little Pigs BBQ, my good friends Lin Workman, co-creator of the wonderful Bushi Tales comic, Kevin Williams, puppeteer supreme creator of the delightful Muley, interviewer extraordinaire Eddy Zeno and I wandered away from the crowd to do something I haven't done in years, and may not do again any time soon. We went bowling. Trust me on this, Barak Obama has nothing to fear from me on the bowling lanes. Truth to tell, I think Helen Keller was probably a better bowler than I am. My muscles ache in places I didn't even know I had places.

Still, MidSouthCon 26 stands as one of the more entertaining cons I've attended of late, and I highly recommend the next one to anyone who might be inclined to go. I hear tell they'd love to have some guy named Kurt Busiek as their comics guest next year, but don't know how to get in touch with him.

Gee, I wonder who I know who might be willing to serve as a go-between?