I recently asked friend/Savage Critic/comics creator/fellow tumblr-er Abhay Khosla if I was “doing tumblr right”. I still haven’t figured out how often or what exactly I should be posting. He thought I could have gotten 2 or 3 posts out of my last Emerald City re-cap. And if I was more timely, what I said would have gotten more media attention.
Still, even if what I write isn’t newsworthy, I’d feel like I’d be doing a disservice to every one I hung out with if I didn’t at thank or otherwise mention them or their work, even if it’s late. And for my next post, I’ll cover the Chicago World’s fair of 1893.
The atmosphere was similar.
Where was I? Friday night, dinner with Paul Azaceta Boom! Editor Matt and Chris Hansbrough, and, among others, Erik Larsen.
Matt has been by good friend for years, starting when he was working at Meltdown Comics, my local comics shop. Before long, he was editing UNTHINKABLE, and I have him to thank for finding artist Julian Totino Tedesco (who not only drew UNTHINKABLE, but RIFT RAIDERS as well. And if you think you’ve got a handle on Julian’s potential, just wait until you see the new Kickstart series he’s working on with Jeff Amano.). Matt’s rise has been meteoric, and for both reasons of competence and character, could not be more deserving of his success.
Chris is a comics journalist, and wrote a review of RIFT RAIDERS that was so nice I’m almost too embarrassed to post a link to it. Almost. Here’s an excerpt:
"Oh my Science this book is easily one of the most fun and energetic books I’ve read in a long time. I’ll go out and say it’s easily the best work Mark Sable has ever produced and is quite possibly, my book of the year. You heard me, BOOK … OF … THE … YEAR."
I didn’t have to buy his dinner for him to write that. Seriously, I put that excerpt up not because I necessarily agree with it, but because RIFT RAIDERS is probably the least exposed work I’ve done. If only for Julian’s artwork is worth checking out.
Chris is also an obsessive fan of Green Arrow. Paul drew this sketch for him:
I had to put that up because you won’t find a more gentle, modest human being than Paul…on the surface.
The real star of the night was Erik Larsen. He’s a founder of Image, and creator of the epic Savage Dragon. But nothing more epic was seeing him tackle a FOUR POUND BURGER at Seattle’s Lunchbox Laboratory.
That is not a picture of the actual burger he ate, but it’s that size. He ordered it on an implied dare by the waitress, and when it arrived, looked at it for a good five minutes. Surely, the only way to eat such a thing would be to unhinge his lower jaw and swallow it python-style.
But here is why I admire Larsen so much. Anyone man found comic’s only true creator-owned company, or keep an independent superhero book thriving in today’s comics climate. But only a genius could cut this Gordian knot of burgers. He remove the middle two patties, at them with a knife and fork, and then ate the comparatively smaller 2 pound burger with his hands.
A real tumblr-er would stop there. But if I were to stop now, that would mean this con re-cap would extend to Emerald City 2011. And so I perservere.
One of my goals at ECCC was to re-connect with past (and hopefully future) collaborators.
One of those was Jeremy Haun. He drew the flashback sequences in my favorite work-for-hire comic to date, BATMAN: TWO-FACE YEAR ONE
I’ve been a fan of Jeremy’s since Battlehymn, his Watchmen-meets-The-Invader’s book written by B. Clay Moore. He brought a great noir style to Two-Face that we planned to carry over to a Riddler/Two-Face one shot tied into Batman: Battle For The Cowl. Alas, that project got scuttled (it might be fun to post, if not the script, the pitch or breakdown for that book, which despite featured Penguin suicide-bombers, wasn’t dark enough for DC at the time). I still hope to work with him again, and congratulate him on his exclusive contract with Top Cow.
Ryan Cody is another collaborator, but chances are you haven’t seen any of our actual collaboration. Best know for his Viper Press book “Villains”, we did a pitch for a creator owned crime-superhero book called BLACKMAIL.
It was about a street-level vigilante caught stealing from the drug dealers he preyed upon, and - you guessed it - blackmailed by the kingpin of crime. That by itself might not excite you, but the plan was for each issue to be divided in two, with one half from the vigilante’s perspective, the other from the kingpin’s. Still not aroused? The two stories would meet in the middle with a double page spread that served as the ending for both stories.
How that would work in a trade I’m still not sure…but he also had the ability to make men lose control of their bowel functions (the vigilante, not Ryan, to my knowledge).
Again, hope to work with Ryan again, if not on Blackmail than on something else. In the meantime, I strongly urge you to check out his new creator-owned book, Icarus:
There happened to be a good number of collaborators present at the con (meaning artists that worked with me, not French who helped the Nazis…although I believe some of those to have been disguised as Stormtroopers). Not just Jeremy Ryan, but Sean Murphy and that Paul Azaceta guy. And Ivan Brandon, who edited GROUNDED.
But I also dig getting to meet my peers, writers I admire. More on that in my third and final post-post-post-post ECCC recap.