This is Part 2 of a 2-part saga. In case you missed Part 1, click here: Go ahead, I’ll wait. Done? Good. The following takes place on Sunday, August 21 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
So I didn’t take part in much of Day 2 of the con. I slept 12 hrs the night before, so I got a late start. I braved torrential rain and traffic to get there right before the start of Stan’s panel. Thanks to that pricey VIP I’d shelled out for, I just walked right in.
Jimmy Palmiotti was hosting the panel, and he asked us to really show Stan how much we appreciated him by giving him a huge entrance. It’s not like Jimmy had to ask – we’re talking about The Man here! Anyway, Stan entered with security to a rousing standing ovation. Once Stan got on stage, he told us that he had caught a bit of a bug over the weekend. He said he’d been talking all weekend, and he was all talked out. This wasn’t a cop-out, however. Instead, he said that he wanted us to ask him questions since he didn’t know what to talk about.
What followed turned into what could best be described as a “love fest”. Fan after fan came up to the mic to thank Stan. Many of them told touching stories of how Stan’s comics had affected them. One guy was a speech pathologist who uses comics to help his clients. One woman was in college to be an animator – inspired by the Marvel comics she’d been introduced to by her uncle. A woman dressed as Poison Ivy shared that she was a military wife, and that her relationship with her husband had bloomed due to comics. He’s currently deployed in Afghanistan, but their shared love of comics helps them to reconnect and strengthen their relationship. It was clear that much of the audience could relate to a lot of how comics had touched their lives, so I almost wish they had orchestrated an audience unison “thank you” to move things along.
Eventually, Stan said that he appreciated the thankful sentiments, but joked that “People keep thanking me for what I’ve done for them, but I didn’t do it for you; I did it for ME! If what I did for me affected others, then great!”
Despite being under the weather, Stan was in great spirits, and the best part of the show was just hearing his stories:
Stan said that Iron Man used to get the most fan mail from women. He said that he believed it was due to the fact that women liked 3 things in a man:
At this point, a woman in the audience yelled “who drinks!”
Stan said, “Well, that helps!”
3)A woman likes a man who’s got something wrong with him, so that she can say to herself, “Oh, I can fix you right up!”
Stan also expressed his pride in the fact that comics were now accepted in the mainstream. Multiple times, he said that comics used to be thought of as something read by little children and simple-minded adults. He said that was the reason he had changed his name, as he didn’t want anyone he knew to know he worked in comics. He said, “I used to have a real name, a normal name just like you. I was Stanley Martin Lieber. But I was so ashamed that I took my first name, and broke up the 2 syllables.”
An audience member asked him what he thought of the Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. He answered, “I saw one of the previews. I thought it was really great. I didn’t like the music that much, but that was because not all of the songs were in it. Of course, this wasn’t when people were falling and dying all over the place,” which got a huge laugh from the crowd.
Another fan asked what comic book world he’d like to be sucked into if he had the chance. He replied that he’d like to go to the Archie universe, so that he could have Betty & Veronica.
There were a few moments that were funny in the slight discomfort they caused. One fan said that he was a fan of Ultimo, a manga series produced in Japan by Stan’s Pow Entertainment. He asked Stan what the experience had been like. Stan said that he couldn’t make heads or tails from what was going on in Ultimo. He said that he gave them the beginning of the story, but that he doesn’t even know what’s happening at this point in the story. He said there are plans to bring it to America, and he hopes it comes with an instruction manual so he’ll finally know what’s going on!
As if his candor was a bit surprising, he immediately followed up by saying that “The Japanese people are a hardworking, intelligent and polite people, and I had to learn to bow after every word I said.” You could kinda feel a bit of tension in the room, like when your grandpa mentions how hard working the Mexicans are during Christmas dinner. It seemed like Stan felt it, too, and he quickly recovered with an “I don’t even know what that has to do with what we’re talking about!”
Next, after a fan asked him what his favorite Marvel movie was, he answered that it was the first Spider-Man. Then, he proceeded to talk about Blade, and how he couldn’t remember the writer’s name (David Goyer), but how he had tattoos all up and down both arms. Stan couldn’t believe his arms were absolutely covered, and he said he’d never seen anyone with that many tattoos. Like, he was absolutely amazed by it! Seeing as how it’s Baltimore, and 1 in 5 people in the room had a full sleeve, this, too, was a bit awkward. Again, he recovered with an “I don’t know what that even had to do with what we were talking about. What was the question?”
That exchange did, however, lead to the next great part of the panel. Jimmy decided to ask the crowd if any of them had tattoos of Marvel characters on them. A guy got up, and showed that he had Black Cat and Mary Jane on his arm. At this point, someone in the back yelled out, “What are they doing?!”, which led to a big laugh. Another girl said that she had Marvel symbols tattooed on her. She walked down to the stage and showed that the had the X-Men circled “X” tattooed on both sides of her…bikini area. She got down to the stage, and Stan said “I can’t see it.” She rolled down her pants a bit, and he said, “Oh, I can see it now!” The crowd roared. He said “I thank you, and the X-Men thank you!” As she walked away, he said, “Wait, that’s all we get?” Jimmy piped in “Stan likes the ladies.” Stan countered with, “Yeah, like I’m the only one!”
The panel wrapped up soon afterward, and I made my way back to the con floor. Now, remember how I’d braved the rain and traffic? Well, I had neglected to hit the ATM before getting to the show, as I foolishly thought “I’ll just hit the ATM at the show.” Who knows how this ends? Yup, it was out of money. So, thus began a mad race to hit all the booths I knew had stuff I wanted, praying that they took credit cards. During this time, I also met up with good e-pal @sycobuny, as this has become our annual chance to meet in person. That reminds me that I forgot to mention the great Yo Go Re from OAFE in my last post. He miraculously spotted me out of all the other geeks on the con floor, and I was finally able to put a face to a name. In any case, Sycobuny and I ran around the floor, asking everyone “Do you take credit?” I had a few misses, but I also had a few hits. Feast your eyes on the day’s haul:
As you can see, it’s more of the same from yesterday. More DC Universe Classics, more Marvel Mighty Muggs for the gf. And again, no comics.
In all, it was a great weekend. One of my fanboy dreams came true, I got to catch up with e-pals, and I also got a lot of cool stuff for my collection. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Cool and Collected for making this blog “crossover” a reality. Meet me back here next time, as we’ll probably talk about a bunch of geeky, politically incorrect stuff. Until then, Excelsior!