Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rose City Comic Con 2016 - My Experiences
September 10-11, 2016

For the 5th year, we have been blessed with a one of the best (IMHO) comic events in the PNW. I am proud to say that I have been in attendance to every single one of them. I still have my paper bracelet from the first year when it started in a crowded hall in the Double Tree.

As I've noted before, this event just gets bigger every year. This year will be Stan Lee's final appearance to Portland. I noticed that they gave him a ton of space on the floor.

Last year, I was honored to be a member of the press to help provide coverage for the event. This year, the wonderful folks at RCCC graced me with another set of press passes for my crew and I to attend. Thank you specifically to Ron and Paula Brister for allowing me the opportunity to come and provide a non-biased point-of-view to your growing event.

I had our photographer lined-up to help take photos... because my faithful readers all know that I rarely take good pics myself. Unfortunately she had to cancel due to an issue at home. You're stuck with the photos I took, I'm afraid. Don't worry. I think you'll be surprised at what shots I did get this year and how well they turned out.

Last year, we learned that arriving even an hour after the con opened was a costly mistake. This year, we got there around 9am and we weren't the only ones waiting. Fortunately since we were apart of the media, they allowed us early access at 9:30am.

When I talk about "us" or "we", I did have a friend with me who helped with the experience. He goes in for getting signatures and photos from the celebs. His primary focus was getting a signature from Jon Barenthal and photos with Summer Glau (JEALOUS) and Ming-Na Win. Our first stop was to make sure he was in-line for the 10:15am Jon Barenthal signing... which was not a problem since we were the first ones there.

At this time, I should mention that last year my friend purchased a very special copy of The Walking Dead #115 from Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer. This specific cover had been donated by our wonderful supporter and artist, Paul Rowden. Paul donates to #CBC4C in the memory of his adoptive father Francis Joseph Bernauer, who died of colon cancer. He was able to get the autographs from a variety of cast members from the show. Scott Wilson, Chad L. Coleman, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Kyla Kenedy, Jose Pablo Cantillo and Michael Rooker.


His goal is to get as many cast signatures as he can on it. This year, he added Jon Barenthal.

After leaving him to get his autograph, I went on the hunt for my personal autographs and to meet with several friends who were at the show. While leaving the celeb area, my first stop was to make sure that I knew where Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner were going to be. As I approached, walking towards me was none other than Jimmy himself. We said hello to one another, I shook his hand as he kindly greeted me and I asked when they would be ready for fans. He let me know that Amanda was planning on arriving around 10am, so I thanked him and we parted ways. Very nice guy, I must say.

As I did a walk-through of the show floor to get my bearings on where each artist and vendor I had planned on visiting was, I stopped in on my friend Benjamin Kreger of Warrior Innkeeper Creative. We spoke for a minute as he was on his way to meet with another friend who was having an early morning panel discussion. He then gifted me with a copy of the Black Suit of Death #1: Convention Special.

I have been a fan of Ben's work for quite a while, and Black Suit of Death is my favorite work of his. When his had his first Kickstarter last year to get this book published, it was the first time I had ever supported any KS campaign. I was very bummed when it wasn't successful, but I think that worked for the best because he doubled his efforts on the 2nd campaign... and it paid-off. Fortunately, I was able to pledge more the second time around than the first. If you're not familiar with this book, I encourage you to take a look for yourself.

After I had made my first walk-around the show floor, I came back to get in line for Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. I had brought a Harley Quinn cover that was donated to #CBC4C by artist Tom Campbell to have both Jimmy and Amanda sign. They both loved the cover and I hope this will help raise some good $$ for the American Cancer Society. Of course, I also got some of my own comics signed as well as pick-up a great print for my collection.

Before I left my home, I was considering taking all of my unsigned Hellboy trades with me to get signed by Mike Mignola. I know that every time I have met him before, his wife insists that he's trying to get away from signing events, so I never know when my next chance will be. When I realized how much extra weight that would have put on my backpack, I decided against it. I'm glad I did because there was a perpetually unending line of people that were waiting on a chance to meet him.

I did bring my copy of Words for Pictures for Brian Michael Bendis to sign, but unfortunately he too had an unending line of fans.

As with last year, I reached-out to several of the attending artists to see if any of them would be able and willing to donate a cover to my non-profit, Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer. This year we were able to receive donations from Chrissie Zullo, Jeff Parker, Keith Tucker and Ben Hansen. Unfortunately I forgot to stop by Jeff's table to pick-up the cover he's donating to #CBC4C... but he'll be shipping it to us and I'll post the scan of it on our FB page.

I also couldn't walk away Chrissie's table without adding some more of her amazing prints to my collection.

I did manage to make sure I took some photos of some of the great cosplays I saw this year.

The Catwoman in the last photo is actually a friend, Allison. She has some pretty amazing work available at Isles of Day. That guy she's "threatening" happens to my friend I spoke about earlier, Scott.

It wouldn't have been as great of a show if I didn't stop by to see my friend and biggest #CBC4C supporter, Tony Grove from Tony's Kingdom of Comics.

Not actually my photo.
Even though my family has imposed a purchasing freeze on me this time of year because of my birthday in October and, of course, Christmas, I indulged myself to get a new Funko Pop for my collection from Tony.

The biggest highlight, for me, is when I find vendors that have great deals on trades to add to my collection. When I find these deals, I try to take as much advantage as I can out of them. Ever since Tony recommended I stop by their table at the very first Rose City Comic Con, I have always made it a point to hit the I Like Comics area as they typically have a great selection of trades at a considerable discount. When I arrived, there were several others taking in the selection available at 70% off. Unfortunately for me, many of the titles were either ones I already had in my collection or titles I didn't feel like trying to read just yet. Here's what I walked away with:

Just before leaving the event, I did manage to find Gem City Comics that had a huge selection of trades available that they were selling for $5 each or 5 for $20. I limited myself because I knew my limits, but I could have easily bought more than this.

I absolutely love this years event, and I can't wait until next year. I'm hoping that I can actually get some table space to help promote #CBC4C at next years RCCC.

The air was electric, and you could feel that everyone was enjoying themselves. It seemed as though the supply of volunteer henchmen was lacking. There was a time where I was needing help locating a specific artist, and I walked around for several minutes before I finally found a red shirt to help. I hope that next year they will put the call out for volunteers a little sooner or hopefully there will be more of a response to the call.

Something that was brought-up on several of my talks with people around the event was the question of why this wasn't 3-days. I feel that RCCC can easily fill at least a half day on a Friday opening. With the recent announcement that Image is moving to Portland, I also expect that the pull of artists and creators will also increase the demand for Rose City. As I told my friend, with Image coming to Portland, there's a bigger chance of getting Robert Kirkman to come to RCCC. To that he replied, "That would probably be the only non-cast member I would have sign my Walking Dead cover!" (I hope someone imparts this information to Ron, Paula and Image.)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Challenge From Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer

To help raise additional $$ for the American Cancer Society and raise awareness, I have decided to shave my head in support of all cancer patients who have lost their hair in the struggle.

In a similar fashion to the Ice Bucket challenge for ALS, I make a challenge. Those of you who would accept this challenge can do so in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. Shave your head as well. Post before and after photos and share our call for donations. Please use the #cbc4c hashtag when you post. Share across all of social media
  2. Make a donation through our PayPal donation page.
Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer (#CBC4C) has been working to raise money for the ACS since July 2013. I welcome you to check out our Facebook page for more information.

I have 2 head coverings that I will be wearing during October. Once my hair grows back, or if I decide to keep the bald look, I'll be donating them to a local chemo group.

Please spread the word. I look forward to seeing how many others will take the challenge and I welcome all donations.
Thank you!

Facebook: Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer
Twitter: @ZanziberPoV
Instagram: CBC4C

An Open Letter to @eBay RE: #GivingWorks

Dear eBay,

I am writing on behalf of Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer (eBay user ID: CBC4C).

When I first started our non-profit to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, I found that eBay's Giving Works program was going to be a great fit for what I intended. Our work relationship was excellent until this year when your system became broken and I could no longer manually send my donations nor could I access our donation records.

When I reached-out to your "customer service" team, I was informed that this was due to the separation between eBay and PayPal and that things would improve by the end of the Summer, 2016. It's not September and I don't see any changes being made.

Also, it would be wonderful if there was an email form that users could use in order to properly contact eBay. I don't have much time to sit on the phone and talk to someone who can't do anything for me or have a Twitter account tell me to "DM them" to let them know what my problems are.

Here's the long-and-short of what I would like answered:
  1. When will I be able to access my donation account on eBay again so I can see what donations have been made and when?
  2. When will I be able to manually send our donations instead of having to wait 21 days after the auctions have ended?
  3. When will I be able to receive a full accounting of our donations?
When/If you chose to respond to this, I'm not difficult to find. My email is


Director, Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer

Friday, August 26, 2016


As first announced via my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I will again be participating in the media coverage for Rose City Comic Con!

I'm looking forward to the experience and I am very thankful to Ron & Paula Brister for allowing me and my team to come in to cover the event.

When I say "team", I mean my friends from {Chrysalis Rising Photographic Studio}. This year, I have a better gameplan for where to go and who to take photo's of. Look forward to seeing more of Rita's great photography.

As we did last year, I have reached-out to several of the attending artists to see if any of them would be able and willing to donate a cover to Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer. So far we've had 3 artists confirm that they would be willing to donate. Once we're another week closer to the event (September 10-11), I'll post on our Facebook page who those wonderful contributing artists are.

Last year, we had a Larry Hama cover autograph challenge where we had donated G.I. Joe covers that were signed by Hama. This year, both Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner are going to be attending, so I made a call for Harley Quinn covers that we'll have signed by both. It should be fun!

With regards to #CBC4C, I was thinking about the fact that we're unable to have our regular auctions in September, and I wanted to continue our efforts to promote cancer awareness as well as hopefully raise some additional $$ for the American Cancer Society.

Since I don't run and can't grow facial hair, I thought I would step outside of my comfort zone. At the beginning of October, I will shave my head. I encourage anyone willing to take this challenge to do so as well and share a video on the #CBC4C FB page.

Also, for those that would like to support our cause but keep your hair, I have added a donation button to our FB page. All donations made from now until the beginning of October will go to ACS for cancer research.

Spread the word. Accept the challenge. Make a donation.

 Seems easy enough.

I look forward to your responses.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

New Posts Coming in September!

I know that August hasn't seen any reviews or other posts on here. I needed to take some time to myself, and frankly, I'm running out of trades to review from my collection.

I'm planning on some new articles and reviews starting in September. Hopefully, I will have a review of this years Rose City Comic Con as well.

Keep the faith and stay tuned.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch Classic Vol 2

Title: Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch Classic Vol 2

ISBN: 9780785145424
Price: $29.99
Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2010
Artist: Mark Texeira, Larry Stroman, Javier Saltares, Chris, Marrinan, Ron Wagner, James Palmiotti, Mark McKenna
Writer: Howad Mackie, Roy & Dann Thomas
Collects: Ghost Rider #11-20 and Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #28

Rating: 3/5

Ghost Rider is faced with a new threat when he is found by Johnny Blaze, the original Ghost Rider. As Blaze tries to determine Ghost Rider’s real intentions, Ghost Rider battles the likes of Nightmare, Zodiak, Snowblind, Hobgoblin, Reverend Styge, and Suicide with the help of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange.

Written by Howard Mackie with Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas writing Dr. Strange #28, Ghost Rider continues to be a hot ’90s commodity at this point. The series really was taking off in its run and back issues were hard to come by.  I can remember paying $10 for number #1 (which was high for the time) and now it is possible to find it in the dollar bins at some comic book stores. A special glow-in-the-dark cover for Ghost Rider #15 also became a big hit for fans and collectors.

The stories in this volume calm down a bit and find more focus from the first ten issues of Ghost Rider volume 2 which were collected in Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch Classic 1. The arrival of Johnny Blaze as sort of a sidekick in Ghost Rider (2) #13 really does help the series in this string of issues by Ghost Rider having to prove he’s not Zarathos to Blaze. Blaze also signals the downfall of the Ghost Rider series which occurs in the next ten issues with the introduction of the Midnight Sons which really complicated the plot and added a lot of elements that turned off fans, but for here Blaze does work.

The villains in this volume still are kind of creature of the month with Ghost Rider facing off against name villains Nightmare and Mephisto, but introducing Snowblind and Suicide which never really caught on. Ghost Rider quest to capture Zodiak ended in issue #20 but the evil Deathwatch and Blackout are no shows (which is a bit weird if Mackie was trying to develop them as major players). Hobgoblin does fit with Ghost Rider style wise but mostly just feels like a reason for another crossover for Spider-Man.

The Danny Ketch Ghost Rider is definitely a product of the 1990s. He isn’t very relevant today and it is almost more fun to go back and read these issues to see how much comics have changed in a couple of decades. What once was “cool” is now “lame” but soon it might be retro and then everyone is happy…I just don’t think it is retro quite yet…but bring on Darkhawk and Sleepwalker!

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier

Title: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier

ISBN: 9781401203061
Price: $29.99
Publisher/Year: America's Best Comics, 2008
Artist: Kevin O'Neill
Writer: Alan Moore

Rating: 1.5/5

The third instalment of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen brings us into the 1950s. After winning the Second World War, the British government was usurped by a new party called Ingsoc, bringing a socialist dictator (Orwell’s Big Brother) into power. The remnants of Mina Harker’s League (last seen fighting Verne’s War of the Worlds in volume 2) is no longer under government sponsorship, having been replaced by more traditional and easily controlled governmental agencies. So the government’s file on the League – the Black Dossier – has been closed for some years.

At the time this book takes place, however, Big Brother’s reign has come to an end. The 1950s are in full swing and British life is normalizing. And so two mysterious figures break into a government building, with the unwitting help of a British spy called James Bond, and steal the dossier. Who they are, what they’re up to and what’s contained in the pages of the dossier are all revealed here.

The sections of the book devoted to telling the current story are in the usual comics format, scripted by Moore and illustrated by O’Neill. This is a rip-roaring adventure, as the couple steal the dossier and attempt to evade the authorities. Moore’s script captures the spirit of the time, featuring a sort of acceleration of hope and technology after the dark times of war and dictatorship. O’Neill’s illustration remains as richly detailed and stunningly characteristic as ever.

Less exciting is the dossier itself. This is mercifully interspersed into the flow of the comic – we effectively read it alongside the protagonists’ own reading. But while entertaining in places, it’s bone dry in others.

The problem is that Moore presents his history of Leagues past and present in the styles of the literature they come from. So while these may at times be interesting and succinct – such as business-like entries from Harker’s journal – at other times they’re turgid and frankly dull. One section, in which the protagonists are met and described by a Kerouacian beat character, is written in an unpunctuated, rhythmic style. There’s little doubt that this is stylistically clever, showcasing Moore’s versatility in creating mashed-up facsimiles in other peoples’ work, but it’s arguably at the expense of the reader.

This turns it into the most disappointing of the League books so far. The background material is of interest and the recent history is key to unraveling the mysteries in the main comic. But it’s a chore to work through, occasionally feeling a bit more like homework than entertainment, and that’s a bit of a shame.