Posts Tagged ‘Comic-Con 2013’

Mike Hammer News

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

It’s very late Monday night as I write this. Just returned from the San Diego Comic Con. Funny thing: I was trying to connect with my friend (and Seduction of the Innocent bandmate)(and great artist) Steve Leialoha all through the con, and failed…then our taxis pulled up to the curb outside the airport and dropped us off simultaneously. Once through security check, we sat and talked for an hour.

I am saddened to learn of the passing of one of my favorite actors, Dennis Farina. He almost played Nolan once, though I never got to meet him (for a William Lustig-directed version of my script for SPREE…still unfilmed). CRIME STORY is very high on my list of all-time favorite TV shows, and I always hoped to work with him. Just last week I was talking with a producer about using him in an indie film, if we could get him. Well, we can’t get him now, damnit. An ex-cop who really made his work credible, Farina was a remarkable actor, and Chicago through and through.

Okay, here’s the news, straight from my meeting with Titan’s publisher at San Diego con: I am signing on to complete three more unfinished Mickey Spillane “Mike Hammer” novels. These are smaller fragments (in one case, two fragments combined), but all are significant…usually two chapters or so with notes. What I am really excited about is the era of these novels: it’s the lost years between KISS ME, DEADLY in 1952 and THE GIRL HUNTERS in 1961.

Of course, the recently completed KING OF THE WEEDS will come out first.

I am thrilled about this, to say the least.

By the way, if you check this update once a week, you may have missed my daily updates from the Comic Con. Scroll down and see what a great time we had – lots of cool pics.


[And here’s the Scribe Awards pics from this year.—Nate]

Kevin J. Anderson receives the International Association of Tie-in Writers “Scribe” award for Best Novel

Peter David accepts the Faust life achievement award for Ann C. Crispin.

Comic Con: Final Day

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Another fun day at the con, though it started off at the Marriot Marina restaurant, where Barb and I had breakfast with Titan publisher Nick Landau from the UK and Titan’s USA editor Steve Saffel (who edited the DARK ANGEL books years ago). Many projects were bandied about, and news flowing from this meeting will appear here soon.

At the con, I wrapped up two art deals (cash plus trade) that pleased me greatly, and snagged a couple more books. I collect mostly hardcover collections of classic strips and comics, which makes getting the swag home tricky. The dealer’s hall was the most crowded I’ve seen on a Sunday, possibly because there are no gigantic Hollywood roll-outs on the last day. I was able to meet a hero of mine, Neal Adams, who is not only an iconic artist but the guy who got Siegel and Shuster their monetary due from DC. Nice man.

Our two signings – including the first ever all-3 Collinses signing, at the Mysterious Galaxy booth – went very well. We sold books, and signed books brought along to the con by fans, at each. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Hermes Press signing of the MIKE HAMMER comic strip collection went – it’s an expensive book ($50, discounted to $40) and quite a few sold. I even encountered a major DICK TRACY fan, dressed as the man himself. Lots of fun discussions with fans and pros.

The con, overall, was a very positive experience, both for the fan in me and the pro as well. I witnessed one unfortunate episode. All of the cast (sans Kristen Bell) of VERONICA MARS was signing at the Warner booth. They were friendly and affable and having a great time. As some of you know, I’m a huge fan of VERONICA MARS, and even kicked in handily to the Kickstarter campaign that has made a MARS movie possible. A row of yellow-shirted guards were belligerently forcing con attendees along, not allowing anybody to slow for a peek (the line had long since been cut off) or stop to snap a pic. These security people were near thugs. A guy right in front of me paused to take a pic and the nearest guard laid hands on him and shoved him along. Had he done that to me, I’d have made the news – I promise. Overall the security people were much better at the con this year, pleasant and rarely abusive. This incident was borderline battery, and director/MARS creator Rob Thomas should have a talk with whoever was responsible for his event. As a backer, I am not pleased.


Bonus Pics:

Comic Con: Day Two

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

A very fun day at the con for me. I shopped for yet more books, and did some art wheeling and dealing – all par for the course. But I also spent time with Leonard and Alice Maltin (and their cool daughter Jessie), first at the Warner Archives panel and then accompanying them while Leonard did a signing in the autograph hall. The WA panel was great, with clips from all kinds of psychotronic movies – even Leonard was impressed that the first clip session represented movies (THE GREEN SLIME and THE HYPNOTIC EYE, for example) that I had seen in the theater as a kid. One exception: BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS was before I was born, so I had a good excuse.

The creator of X-FILES, Chris Carter, was signing at the IDW booth (with Gillian Anderson) for an X-Files comic book, and I was able to pull strings and briefly met Carter, just for a handshake and a hello. I had not dealt directly with him on the writing of the X-Files novel I WANT TO BELIEVE, but he remembered me and said I did a great job…and remembered also that I was one of three people on the planet who had access to the full script during filming. Very nice guy. I unfortunately did not get to meet Ms. Anderson.

I did get to meet Adrienne Barbeau at the Shout! booth, where she and my old buddy Len Wein were signing SWAMP THING blu-rays. I got one signed, and THE FOG, too, and had a short but very warm talk with both Len and Ms. Barbeau. I also chatted with several nice people at the Shout! booth about the possibility of me being interviewed for the upcoming blu-ray of PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE – Paul Reubens had personally suggested me! Also, we spoke briefly about a possible new release of a restored, remastered MOMMY/MOMMY’S DAY double feature. Shout! Is probably my favorite home video company, so that would be a dream come true.

I also ran into Tom Kenny of SPONGEBOB and MR. SHOW fame, who is a longtime and very hardcore M.A.C. fan. Since I am a fan of Tom’s work, this leads to full embarrassment as we simultaneously melt down in public at each other’s feet.

Tom Kenny SDCC 2013
Tom Kenny and M.A.C.

Nate was on the tie-in panel (also Scribe Awards presentation), which featured a great line-up as previously listed. A very strong panel despite the limitation of time.

Scribes Awards 2013
Scribes Awards 2013

We will probably take the day off tomorrow (Saturday) for family fun type stuff. I love the con, but right now need some time away. Then Sunday will be a blast.


Day One At Comic Con

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Though throngs are in attendance here, with a good number of attendees in costume, the opening day seemed less crowded than before, or at least the dealer’s hall was easier to navigate than in recent years. This may have to do with the room being laid out somewhat differently, to satisfy the fire marshals, or perhaps fewer four-day passes have been sold.

For me, it was a fun day with some business stirred in. I bought a slug of books at 50% off (classic strip and comic book stuff) and did some more wheeling and dealing on artwork. People are friendly and even the security staff has lightened up.

I had a long business lunch with Ken Levin, my producing partner on numerous projects, and got updates from him on QUARRY and several other TV/movie projects. Tomorrow I will be signing one last document and the QUARRY deal should be complete (nick of time, since they start shooting on Monday).

Only disappointment was that I hoped to get a picture taken with LONE WOLF AND CUB creator Kazuo Koike, and to generally pay respects to a great writer. I have heard conflicting reports about how he feels about ROAD TO PERDITION, from being a fan on the one hand to being bitter on the other. Looks like the latter is more likely, because those around him would not allow us to meet. (Nate, on the other hand, got some autographs from him at a Dark Horse signing).

As many if not most of you know, I have always acknowledged Koike and his great manga as an influence on PERDITION. This has been exaggerated, however, in countless casual references to my graphic novel being an Americanized version of Koike’s. The notion of a shogun being like a gangland boss and his executioner being like a Godfather’s top hitman certainly has roots in LONE WOLF AND CUB, as does the father and son going on the run. But the two stories are not overtly similar…starting with Michael Jr. being an adolescent, not a baby. Plus there is also the overriding John Woo influence, and the real-life story of John and Connor Looney (and the lieutenant who betrayed them), as well as my desire to do a father-and-son variation on my own MOMMY film and novel. I doubt Koike knows anything about any of that, and doubt he’s actually read PERDITION, which I don’t believe has a Japanese translation.

Sad as I am that someone I admire apparently has bad feeling about me, I do get a kind of a kick out of the parallels – that in a way Koike is the Shogun, and I am the renegade Lone Wolf…with Nate as Cub.

Nate did a bang-up job on a very interesting translation panel, where every question came from the audience. Good panel all around, with a lot of interesting ground covered. Well-attended, too.

Our evening drew to a terrific close by dining at Buster’s Beach in Sea Port Village with our friends Alice and Leonard Maltin. Leonard and I discussed, to the edification of all around, the merits of Joe Besser, Clayton Moore, old Warner Brothers cartoons, Henry Aldrich (again!), the Bowery Boys and much more. Nate was convinced that Leonard and I were making up the names of the various movies we discussed….


Leonard Maltin SDCC 2013