Matt Fraction Signing + Wonder Northwest 2011

I’ve got a Matt Fraction recap plus the discovery of yet another convention in Portland.

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MATT FRACTION: Fear Itself Signing

That's right bitches - Matt Fraction drew me an elephant!

For those not in the know – Matt Fraction is a big fancy writer at Marvel on important titles like Uncanny X-Men and The Invincible Iron Man. Even though he lives in Portland, Oregon, he doesn’t get out to events in town much, so this was a pretty rare opportunity to meet and interact with him.

Hit this up solo because the DH has a head cold. It was cool, because it was inevitable that I’d  run into at least one friendly…there was free beer and food afterall. That person happened to be my buddy Joe, who I spotted within a minute of walking in the door. We met up and chatted, collected our free Fear Itself print (pretty art by Stuart Immonen and grabbed refreshments.

Unfortunately we were standing in the back of the room and even though the Hollywood Things From Another World is relatively small for a comic shop, we still had trouble hearing him. The conversation drifted in and out – so for the highlights you should check out the TFAW blog, they were filming and a video should be posted in a few days.

For those who can’t wait, here’s a video of Fraction describing the latest Marvel “event.” If you can’t tell, I’m highly skeptical of these annual cross-over, universe altering archs in which a beloved character usually dies. Ugh.

Thumbed through Issue #1 that I picked up to have Fraction sign. Mostly because I want to support the comic shop for hosting the event, and because publishers will agree to more events if they see folks purchasing the wares they are pimping.

ALTERNATE GOAL: To put a human face to the scribes of Marvel, to remind myself that despite the things I loathe about comic books…there are real people writing them. And I thought, perhaps, it would re-energize my interest in mainstream superhero books if I could invest an evening getting to know one of it’s most popular authors.

Just as Stumptown Comics Fest and the Portland Comic Book Show were able to sell me on Bendis, I think this event proved to me that Matt Fraction isn’t the hipster D-Bag I was guessing from his photos and the one interview I read a year ago. Though the comments he made in that particular Mercury article about not wanting to write crap like “Jubilee” still really chap my hide…and the fact that he killed off both Nightcrawler and Cable is not winning any points with me. *APPARENTLY HE DID NOT KILL OFF NIGHTCRAWLER OR CABLE – MY APOLOGIES TO THE INTERNETS* It was the dudes who wrote X-Force. Blame them. 🙂

Love that my friend Joe asked him why he didn’t kill of Emma Frost instead. In response he wrote “RIP KW” in Joe’s X-Men tpb book. Poor fuzzy blue elf.

OVERALL: the event reminded me that I need to return to the X-Men fold because I miss the merry band of mutants. I don’t give much of a crusty crap about Fear Itself. The last cross-over I truly enjoyed was Civil War because it felt like it had real social and political commentary. I like my comics best when they’re making a statement or making me think.

As far as I’m concerned nothing in mainstream books has changed to attract female readers. In fact, glancing around at the room it was primarily stocked with fan-boys of all ilk. A couple ladies. Very few children. But Marvel (and it’s hot authors) tend to attract fanboys. Like this guy:

How dare you sign something for the son of Odin!

BUT…I was there. A few of us ladies were there – representing with our physical presence even if Marvel refuses to acknowledge that we contribute financially to their coffers. I bought a book, I got a signature – asked him about Cassanova (picked up an issue that I’ll probably read one of these days). He even asked if he could draw something on the white block on the issue cover…did I mention I love when artists ASK if they can draw something? Uhm, hello? Of course you can!

Glad I went. Even reading through Issue #1 of Fear Itself wasn’t that bad – they are clearly paying attention to what is happening in the world and reflecting that in their books – a small passage was dedicated to a dude who lost his job and had his home foreclosed on. That’s a nice nod to reality.

While meeting Fraction wasn’t the highlight of my nerd life by any means…it’s certainly something I can lord over fanboys in the future. “Oh yeah, I met Fraction. He’s cool.” 😉 Yet another reason why living in Portland, Oregon rocks the frak out of any other city in the country.

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WONDER NORTHWEST 2011

Can also join that list of reasons it’s awesome to live in Portland. I picked up a postcard for Wonder Northwest on Wednesday night and immediately plopped it into the calendar as a must attend next month: May 14th and 15th. It’s marketed as, “an amalgamation of pop-culture subcultures. Here you will find regular folks co-mingling with super heroes, pirates, geeks, nerds, cosplayers, film enthusiasts, gamers and other nice people! Our vendor room will feature comic books, toys, video games and more from some of the best dealers from across the country. Contests, panels and other special events will be open for all attendees to enjoy.”

This is what so many “comic cons” have become, and it’s nice to see an event which isn’t trying to advertise that it’s actually centered around comics, when it’s really only a sideshow of the main attraction. That’s a bitter pill for many fanboys to swallow and source of much nerd contention at conventions, which could be alleviated by removing the word “comic” from the title.

So, you know I’ll be there. And if you live in the area and love conventions (but not necessarily comic books) you should come too! It’s $10 for both days. This will be my first year attending, so I can’t speak to what the atmosphere is like or thrill about possible panels. I’ll keep an eye on the website and let you know of anything news-worthy.

I’d like to enter the costume contest…but sadly, my entire costume won’t be completed by that date. Perhaps I can rock the majority of it before it’s final unveiling in July 2011.

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That’s all I got for this week. Next week I can promise a review of Hanna, some thoughts after I catch up on the last couple TPBs of X-Factor and an agenda outline for Stumptown Comics Fest next weekend. Stay tuned!

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

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