It was September of 1974, my first day at a new school. I was 15, but I looked 11. My last class of the day was Drama. I was late. I got to walk in after everyone else was in their seats, so I was completely the center of attention. I made my way awkwardly into the room, trying to look less nervous than I was. One of the girls loudly said “Oh, he’s so little! We can use him as an elf at Christmas!” A loud voice erupted from the back of the room. “I got dibs on Santa!” A big guy was sprawled on a sofa against the back wall. He had absurdly large muttonchop sideburns, and was, improbably enough, wearing a dark green choir robe over his shoulders like a cape. That was my introduction to Wally Oden.
Travis has some plans for 2018, and he’s going to tell you about some of them here so that you can all laugh at him in February when he blows it!
My first Roy Thomas comic was also my first Marvel comic. I was a wee lad in third grade, a big devotee of the Batman TV show, and had thus far successfully badgered my mother into buying precisely one comic from the spinner rack at Young’s Market. Some time later, I found myself parked on a naugahyde couch awaiting my turn in the barber’s chair, when my eyes fell upon the cover of Uncanny X-Men #29. This was my introduction to both the Marvel Universe and its best writer, Roy Thomas.
Over the past couple of weeks, a disappointingly large number of younger creators have been reaching out to me about harassment from angry fringe “fans.” With that in mind, the best and most worthwhile moments of the convention came from walking the floor, talking and listening, helping raise awareness of how bad harassment has become—awareness both among fans and among my generation of pros.
I’ve been an admirer of the tiny giant, June Foray, from the time I was able to read the end credits on the cartoons. She was not only one of the greatest voice actors ever, she was also a wonderful, warm and gracious lady. Last week, she passed away at the age of 99.
In case you haven’t heard about it, here’s a tale of the time Disney ran into “the Streisand Effect.” The event took place in 1984, when the World Wide Web didn’t yet exist and very few people outside of the military or academia had email; even Disney still routed typed memos by hand via office workers. The story revolves around the making of ‘The Great Mouse Detective’.
A couple of weeks ago I spent a Monday evening at the world premiere screening of the National Geographic Channel’s first scripted series, Genius, followed by a pretty elaborate cocktail party at which I almost met Ron Howard, Geoffrey Rush and Vincent Kartheiser. But we’ll get to that.