2005 Comic Book News Archives

November 2, 2005: Armageddon Expo - Auckland New Zealand October 22-24, 2005

By Daniel McIntosh

Greetings all! I thought that I might share some information that I gained while at the Armageddon Expo in Auckland, New Zealand. While the Expo was not a Comic Convention that one would expect to see in America, i.e. like the San Diego Comicon or the Chicago convention, it still had a strong comic representation there. The turn out to this event is quite large with some 30,000-40,000 people attending over the labour day long weekend.

Michael Turner To top the list of Special Guests was the very popular Michael Turner, who Superman best know for his work on Superman/Batman and the covers of the recent re-birth of the Supergirl comic series. Also in attendance was Mark Waid (Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright).

I was somewhat surprised that Michael told me he is actually more of a Marvel fan rather than a DC fan. The impression that I got from him, sorry to say, was that Superman and Supergirl were not really at the top of his list of favorite characters. While he enjoys drawing them for people (myself included) and likes the characters, his first loves lay elsewhere in the comic universe. He is such a nice guy that he basically broke his own rules of sketching one character per sketch to draw a really nice picture of Superman and Supergirl flying together and I think that was extremely nice of him. He really took his time for my sketch and I respect him immensely for that. I did have to pay for the sketch though!

Michael Turner Drawing While Michael was drawing my sketch I did ask him the most important question faced by any artist drawing Superman or Supergirl. For those of you who have watched the Superman documentary advertised on the Superman Homepage and have seen the John Byrne sketches Superman segment, John Byrne says he draws two strange looking fish and then fills out the rest to make the 'S'; basically to draw the negative of the image. Having mentioned this point to Michael, I posed the question "What do you draw when you draw the 'S'?" Michael says "I just draw an 'S', but yeah I can see what he means".

On the Saturday evening after the convention, my friends and I went to the Video Ezy DVD awards dinner and followed it up by having a few drinks with the actors and co that were attending the Expo afterwards. This is where I met Mark Waid for the first time. The first thing to come up was of course the new Superman Returns movie. I asked him if he had seen any of the movie or knew anything about it that he could reveal to us. Mark kindly responded with "I am as much in the dark about this one as the rest of you guys". He said that he had seen some footage from the movie, basically what was shown at the Comic Con in San Diego, and a few other tid bits. His opinion? "I think it will work. I really think that it will work."

When I asked him about his feelings on the whole Lois Lane having a kid arc and how it really goes against what has been pretty much lore in the comics his response was "I am not phased. I think what will happen is that we will find out in the third act or something that it is not actually her kid. It may turn out to be her sister's (Lucy's) kid or something".

So what do you think about the costume for the new movie? "I am not really fond of it. I see it as someone trying to put there mark on it". Mark also said that he could live with the 'S' on the belt but did not like the way the belt straps pointed in to his crouch as if trying to point out Superman's package! As for Brandon Routh, mark says that he likes his look and thinks that he could pull it off. Mark continually pointed out that he believes that this movie will work despite the concerns of the fans.

Dan Green was also present (the voice of Yu-Gi Oh) brought up the point of the music and the John Williams theme. Mark's response was, "A great decision!".

Mark Waid A very interesting point that I found out is that Mark was actually asked to write the novelisation of the new movie but decided to turn it down despite the rather large pay check. Mark also turned down the novelisation of Spider-Man. His reason? "I just want to go in and see the movie cold. I want to be completely surprised in what they do, so when I see it all unfold on the big screen I can just sit back and go 'wow'! That's why I paid $20,000 for my ticket to see Spider-Man!"

Moving on to Smallville! I was rather surprised when I asked his impression of the show and he simply turned around with "I love it! I love the slight twists and changes that they have made to the mythology." Mark was very positive toward the show despite the path that the show has journeyed down in the last one and a bit seasons. When asked about the whole crystal aspect of season 4 his response was a kind of "hmmm, yeeaaahh, it was o.k." I subsequently asked him what his biggest impression was for the show so far. His response? "With all that has happened (with season 3, 4) I still think that Jor-El is actually General Zod. I mean what kind of father would do such things to his son?" I thought that was kind of interesting.

One of Mark's other hidden talents, which I think he does at conventions for laughs, is kind of like a comic book magic trick! Well it isn't really a trick; it is more of a case of the guy really knowing his product. For many of the Superman titles I was astounded how Mark could simply just take a stack of comics and tell you either what number they were or what the story and cover artwork were. I thought that I would put this to the test! After I spoke to Mark about Smallville, we headed back to my friends stall (Adelaide Comics). I showed Mark where the DC boxes were, in particular the Superman titles and he proceeded to give me a bunch of comics out of the box without even looking at them. I began quoting the numbers to which he gave the cover art and story with no problems whatsoever. I even began quoting some numbers to which I was familiar with the cover art. He hit the nail on the head every time. Now I thought that I would get a little tricky! I would go for gold! Golden age Superman that is! I successfully managed to trip him up finally! Needless to say I was still very impressed! What was Mark's reason for missing one? "I haven't been able to afford some of those more expensive ones to add to my collection." Hey, I still think that what he did was still really cool in a geek kind of way.

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