Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Calgary Expo Wish List

Every time I go to the Calgary Expo, I always seem to have a great time. I always buy lots of great stuff like comics I've wanted from days gone by or art that I can't stop looking at (None of it's porn; I have the internet for that). 

But with less than 80 days until Canada's second biggest comic book convention opens for it's four days of awesome, I thought I would put together a list of guests I'm hoping the people behind the scenes at Calgary Expo will invite. I put together a list like this back at the end of 2014 for last year's show and out of the five entries (One was an ensemble of voice actors) of them was actually invited. However it was Bruce Timm and believe me, that was very much worthwhile. But I'm hoping this year that a least a few more will be selected
Got this within twenty minutes of walking in the doors

1) Chuck Dixon
This man has got to be my favourite Batman writer of all time. To me he seems like one of the few writers who really seems to understand Batman and gets him down perfectly. He also wrote the first 100 issues of the Robin solo-series, a run that I feel captures the spirit of the early Lee/Ditko Spider-Man comics as well as a ton of other stories for Batman's supporting cast including Nightwing, Catwoman, Birds of Prey and probably more that I don't even know about. He also created the fan-favourite character of Stephanie Brown. 

While some people might not be the biggest fan of his politics, we shouldn't let that stop us from enjoying his work. Oh and God forbid we actually invite someone who we don't agree 100% with. I think that what we can agree on with 100% certainty is that Chuck Dixon's an awesome writer.

2) Greg Weisman
I put him on my list last year and sadly he wasn't invited. I'm hoping that this year the Expo staff will be a little kinder and invite him as well because Greg Weisman has an amazing resume of material that may not always get the love they deserve but remains dear in the hearts of fans.

He worked on Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice, probably the best superhero show DC/WB put out since Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992. He also does great works in comics; started out on the first 50 issues of Captain Atom during his run in the 1980s (Have to pick up some of those issues), the excellent tie in comic to Young Justice (A rare instance where the tie-in comic was considered canon) and is currently working on Starbrand and Nightmask as well as a prequel comic to Star Wars: Rebels, which he worked on for the first season.
See, do I really need to say anything more? Just invite the guy...I think he wants to come too.

@SchweitzerMan: @Thomas_Dreyfuss @ChrisJonesArt Hope @Calgaryexpo invite him & Weisman so I can get autograph#HINT #HINT” is it working?
3) Anyone associated with Young Justice
Yeah, I love this show and I'm not the only one. From the time I saw the first episode up until the finale of season two, I knew that this show was something different and special. When it was announced at the end of 2012 that it was being cancelled, I was disappointed. 

For years, fans kept begging creator Greg Weisman to bring it back only for him to constantly remind people that the decision wasn't up to him..over and over. But with season two finally airing on Netflix in America, there's been a large rally cry to have the streaming service resurrect the show, probably the loudest it's been since the show ended and the chance of it returning seems pretty good. 

So why not invite the whole cast? Invite Jesse McCartney (Robin/Nightwing), Khary Payton (Aqualad), Jason Spisak (Kid Flash), Danica McKellar (Miss Martian), Stephanie Lemelin (Artemis) and Nolan North (Superboy). And along with Weisman, bring along series co-creator Brandon Vietti  and animation designer Philip Bourassa (Who actually won an Emmy for his work on the series). And since we shouldn't leave anyone out, invite artist Christopher Jones, who did the art on the excellent tie-in comic.

Two years ago, one of the big draws was the fact that along with Kevin Eastman, all four of the voices actors from the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series were going to be in attendance. I think asking the cast of Young Justice to make an appearance isn't as far-fetched as some might think.

4) Marv Wolfman
Wolfman's got a whole lot of work under his belt at Marvel but it's his stuff at DC that I really enjoy. Particularly, his and George Perez's work on New Teen Titans which they initially didn't think was going to be anything special and became one of DC's best series of the decade. Like a lot of people my age, I became familiar with the team because of the animated series and when I got into my ongoing comic collecting phase, I wanted to read the comics the show was based on. 

It's a fun adventure series that sees characters making changes in their identities (Robin becoming Nightwing; Raven becoming evil a few dozen times) and battling evil at the same time. Plus I've got a lot of the original issues including the first one so it'd be pretty awesome to have him autograph that for me.

5) Bob Layton
Mr. Layton actually appeared at last year's Expo and was on a panel that I attended about the comic book industry. Aside from being regarded as the best artist on Iron Man, another reason to have Bob Layton is because he captivates your attention. I recorded a majority of that panel and it's one that I watch over and over because the way he explains how the comic industry works and tries to make money is really interesting.

And also he's a genuinely nice guy. After the panel I did a quick read on his Wikipedia page and saw that he worked at Charlton comics. I went along to his table afterwards, thanked him for doing such a great job at his panel and then asked him a question.

Me: I saw that you started out at Charlton Comics and-I'm sorry if this is a dumb question-but did you ever work with Steve Ditko?

Bob Layton: (small smile) Steve Ditko, used to sit beside me and would tell me stories about working in the Bullpen with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Steve is a good friend of mine. I like Steve a lot.

See, the guy is cool with Steve Ditko! How can you not invite a guy as cool as that? Again, I mean.
Iron Man artist and all around badass Bob Layton

6) Steve Ditko

Pssh, I'm just kidding. It'd be cool to have this 88 year old genius show up but we know that he doesn't want to and I respect his decision.

"Andrew, would you please stop calling me!? A is A and piss off means piss off!!!"

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