Friday, October 3, 2008

Charm City Con, take VI, and more

My sixth visit to the Baltimore Comic-Con was easily the most prosaic. With Gemstone not troubling itself to reserve a table, there was no natural "nexus" to which to repair. Sorry, but Don Rosa's personal niche doesn't count. (Not that I wasn't happy to see Keno Don after his recent eye surgery; he seemed to have little difficulty sketching and signing pics for the fans who dropped by to say hi. Of course, doing the detail work required for another story is on another level of difficulty entirely.) Joe Torcivia, David Gerstein, and Jonathan Gray were staying at David's apartment in York, so it took them a while to get down to the Inner Harbor on Saturday and Sunday -- especially on Saturday, when rain lashed the area. As a result, I was on my own a great deal of the time. I picked up a comic here and there, concentrating mostly on nabbing back issues of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES featuring SCAMP stories by Al Hubbard. That being said, I was most pleased to find an inexpensive copy of Dell LUDWIG VON DRAKE #4, in which Scamp appeared in an APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE back-up story drawn by Tony Strobl. Why, you ask? Well, (1) Strobl didn't draw Scamp that often, and (2) Scamp normally exists in a world of humans, so this appearance has a definite "Elseworlds" flavor to it.


I also registered something of a "protest" by purchasing DVD collections of Disney TV's Kim Possible and Wuzzles, "unauthorized" though they were. I am getting fed up with Disney DVD's reluctance to release the remaining volumes of episodes of the "Golden Age" series (DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, Tale Spin) and figured, why not give the laggard unit a poke in the ribs of sorts?

On Saturday, Joe, David, Jonathan, and I had a nice dinner at Burke's, still a favorite downtown restaurant of mine after all these years. Everyone seems to be doing well, and David reported that Gemstone is hauling tail to catch up in its release schedule. The July issues were released last week, with Gemstone shuffling the pre-announced contents to take the publishing delays into account. Reviews will appear in this space anon.

1 comment:

Joe Torcivia said...

Chris:

Yes, the rain certainly did put a damper (…more of a “soaker”, actually) on our Baltimore Comic Con weekend!

Another “damper”, though in the more figurative sense, is that neither of us need a whole lot more old comics and we’re just rounding out things – as I did with Ludwig Von Drake and the Peanuts series. Though my prize of the weekend was an early LOONEY TUNES with lots of art “signed” by Leon Schlesinger! Gosh, Leon was a GREAT ARTIST! What a shame he stopped drawing and hired Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones to do the work for him!  (Smiley here!)

Yes, not only did Scamp “exist in a world of humans”, but didn’t he live in Europe as well? Most stories I’ve read seem to have plopped him down in American suburbia! So, who’d notice if he wandered into Duckburg one day. All those years of being sandwiched among Donald, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Mickey in those “end of the fifties” Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories have probably made me think he was just “part o’ the gang” when, as you rightly point out, he exists in his own continuum. Okay, that was my “fanboy” paragraph for this post.

As we discussed on-site, I can no longer bring myself to purchase a bootleg DVD (…which is often of questionable or varying quality, anyway), when the legitimate studios have released so much – and will, presumably, continue to do so! Disney WILL release all that stuff… over time. And your buying an inferior bootleg sends them no message whatsoever. The market is glutted as it is, and the bad economy will slow things further – but most of it will happen, and I will wait until it does. (…or downloading makes DVDs obsolete!)

For instance, does anyone want the lesser quality and edited TIME TUNNEL set I bought at my first Baltimore Con? Now that FOX has put out a perfect set of two volumes – with loads of extras, I’ve well and truly wasted my money on the bootleg!

Though, in the case of the SAVAGE DRAGON animated series bootleg DVD which I DID purchase at the Con, I will do so IF it is a property that does not have the backing of a major studio like Disney, Warner, Paramount, or Universal (though, oddly Universal produced the Savage Dragon series back in the mid-nineties). Even so, there were jumps and other imperfections – and no titles sequences – that would not have been part of a “legitimate” studio release – and we’d probably get something in the way of “Additional Features” to boot.

It was great to get together with you, David and Jonathan. We should do more stuff like this!

-- Joe.