Thursday, November 3, 2011

NYCC '11: Tales From the Amazing Spider-Man Panel

I’d like to share with you a story. It’s a tale of not heeding one’s own advice, leading to both embarrassment and something wonderful. This is a tale from the Amazing Spider-Man panel.

Originally I had not planned on going to the panel because Getsuyobi was going to be there, and he is our go-to guy for all things Spider-Man. However, when I found out the Mark Hamill Spotlight was going to take place immediately afterwards, I knew I had to grab a seat. Don’t get me wrong, as I've said in the past, I love Spider-Man; he’s my second favorite in the Marvel U (sorry, X-Men will always come first), but we were trying to cover as much as possible and had a man in the room already.

Anyway, Getsuyobi got great seats near the front, so we got to see all the action as the massive group of panelists came out. They included Dan Slott, Stephen Wacker, Ellie Pyle, Thomas Brennan, Ryan Stegman, and Paolo Rivera and it was moderated by Arune Singh, who is one of the best moderators around. The panel got underway and the fun began.

During the panel, Dan Slott and Stephen Wacker, in particular, had a lot of fun with the audience. It was like being at a comedy club where the comedian starts conversing and heckling the audience. They were quite interactive and allowed the audience call out questions and comments. Midway through is when it happened. They announced Avenging Spider-Man #1 written by Zeb Wells and the return of one of my absolute favorite artists, Joe Madureira. I can’t say how much Madureira’s work has affected me. He’s one of the reasons my love of comics was so firmly cemented, so needless to say, when this was announced, I might have lost my head a little.

Other articles about the panel have made mention of what happened next but no one went into detail, so straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s what happened. Stephen Wacker pulled out the first printed copy of Avenging Spider-Man #1 and was mocking us with it. Now, remember I said I might have lost my head, because while we were being teased with the comic, I called out, asking Wacker what he was doing after the panel. His reply was, “So, I can mock you later?” To which I responded, “I don’t know, can I mug you later?” I meant only for the comic and in the nicest of ways, but yes, I said that. There was a strong reaction from everyone, and then Wacker asked if I was a Madureira fan and a Spider-Man fan, and when I replied yes, he invited me up on the stage to read the comic. I got to sit between him and Ryan Stegman and read Avenging Spider-Man #1.

The comic itself is fantastic. Zeb Wells wrote a great story. It was classic Spider-Man, funny, full of action, interesting, and leaves you wanting more. I loved the beginning with the Avengers and enjoyed the interplay between Red Hulk and Spider-Man, but I have to say I was more about the art than the story. Joe Madureira's work was gorgeous. There were so many pages I looked at and would have put on my walls had it not been a little weird. Seriously, could you imagine having something like this on your wall?

Love it but I would have nightmares!!!

Now this on the other hand... sign me up!

I found out several days later, he had announced on his Twitter page that he had planned on letting a fan read it, but I had not known that. I can only Twitter stalk so many people from Marvel and Wacker wasn’t on the list at the time; he is now. (Hi Stephen Wacker! I am following you on Twitter!)

Now, I need to talk about the embarrassing part of all of this. You’d think it would be attempting to threaten one of Marvel’s editors, but no. I did something far worse. As I mentioned I sat between Wacker and Ryan Stegman. Because I am lousy with remembering writers’ and artists’ names I confused Stegman with another artist named Ryan and told him how much I loved his work. I didn’t realize my mistake until much, much later, so I want to apologize to Stegman. I am so sorry I am terrible with names. I am familiar with your work. I really liked Fear Itself: Deadpool and your other Spider-Man work.

So, there’s my story. I don’t recommend doing what I did, because the chances of it turning out this good are slim, but it was a lot of fun and gave me an experience I will never forget. Thank you Stephen Wacker and everyone at Marvel for being so awesome.

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