Convention Coverage

New York Comic Con 2013: Day 1 Report

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Editor’s note: This year’s coverage of New York Comic Con was graciously provided by Jeff Tundis, of Order of the Nerd. I want to thank Jeff for hitting the show floor, and covering the event on our behalf. You rock! -Mike

Just finished my first day at New York Comic Con, and here’s the first of some random notes from the road. I’m doing this on a tablet in my hotel room. No mouse! Aaargh! Anyway…

First up is the J. Michael Stryczinski (JMS, henceforth) panel, which I made it to at exactly 12:15 (the start time) after getting caught in traffic for an hour and a half. Queens… just a cesspool of incompetence and… I digress. Nevermind.

C.P. Smith, who worked on Marvel’s Wolverine: Noir, will be the new artist for Ten Grand. Great news, in my opinion, as I’ve had my fill of Templesmith. I asked JMS if he had control over the artist assignments on his books, as I had not been thrilled so far. He said he picked every one. Ah, well.

He announced a new book for the Joe’s Comics line. I believe it was called The Adventures of Apocalypse Al or something to that effect.

This was one of two panels where the neighboring panel room was obnoxiously loud, leading JMS to humorously inquire if anyone had a bomb. This led to a hilarious exchange with a fan from Canada who had gotten stopped by customs after they supposedly detected something that could have been explosives residue.

Another fan from Denmark gifted JMS with some imported cookies. After stating that there were no drugs in them, JMS replied “Well, what’s the point?”

The fan hung around up front with JMS and they shared cookies and water. I love the JMS panels, because it feels like a very personal experience.

On that note, he shared some VERY personal moments concerning the trials of Michael O’Hare who played Jeffrey Sinclair on Babylon 5. According to JMS, the problems with paranoid delusions started fairly early on. O’Hare didn’t want to stop production and put everyone out of work, so he soldiered on through the season hanging on to his sanity by the slenderest of threads. One of the only things that gave him strength was the reaction from fans who loved the show.

The producers were very good about getting O’Hare help, and he was able to achieve some stability through heavy medication, eventually returning to Babylon 5 for a very special two part episode. He got married, had a child, and continued on with the support of his family.

At conventions, rumors started that O’Hare was on drugs because of his appearance. The fans were partially right. Just not the kind of drugs they were thinking of.

JMS promised O’Hare that he would keep the secret of his affliction to his grave. O’Hare instead suggested that JMS only keep the secret until O’Hare was in the grave, and then reveal it to the world so the fans would know how important they were to him, and that others suffering from similar problems would not be ashamed to come forward and discuss it.

Last year, after lapsing on his medications, O’Hare did finally pass and so now JMS is free (if not exactly eager) to discuss it.

This subject left JMS visibly saddened and drained.

On a lighter note, at one point JMS described himself by saying “I write good.”

I audibly corrected him, “You write well.”

I received a humorous “Thanks. And fuck you.”

I love this guy!

Other news from the Joe’s Comics front: He will be bringing back Dream Police and Book of Lost Souls, both previously published under Marvel’s creator owned Icon imprint, the latter a collaboration with Colleen Doran.

With the additional writing duties on new Terminator and Twilight Zone comics, JMS will have a staggering SIX books on the rack in January, 2014.

He is also working on a movie project for Disney. While he was tight-lipped about it, I think I struck a nerve when I told him to have fun working with Angelina Jolie again on her new project playing Malificent. Like I said, he in no way confirmed this. But I’m betting that’s it.

On top of all that, he hard at work on the Netflix series Sens8 about eight individuals who gain psychic abilities. It’s being done in conjunction with the Wachowskis, and promises to be spectacular. It’s currently filming on locations in seven different countries.

He jokes that with his last name and the Wachowskis,’ the company should be called Unpronounceable Productions.

Or… You Shut Up Productions.

Lastly, May of 2014 will see the publication of Volume 3 of Superman: Earth One.

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