Do you remember when comic book conventions were just that: places where fans and creators of comics could come together for a weekend of mutual appreciation—and mutual love of the medium—and there were no movie studios, actors, wrestlers, video game companies or porn stars in sight? In recent years, it seems that many comic cons have mutated into multi-media events that have pushed the hardcore comic book fans farther and farther into limbo.
Not in Baltimore.
As some of you know, I'm not a big convention goer—massive crowds and I don't always get along—but, a few years back, urged on by Mark Waid, I attended the Baltimore Comic Con and was delighted to find that it was one of the most relaxed and enjoyable conventions I've ever attended. Best of all, it was all about the comics. No other distractions. (The only celebrity I saw the entire weekend was 30 Rock's Scott Adsit and he wasn't there promoting anything: he was wandering the floor as a fan, apparently in a state of nerdish bliss.) Which is why I'm very happy to be returning to Baltimore in August for another weekend of panels, signings and—best of all—talking to the folks who read, and appreciate, my work. And this year, two old friends will be joining me. I'll let the official press release explain it:
The Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased to announce the addition of Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire to the line-up of creators attending this year's show, taking place the weekend of August 20-21, 2011.
Keith Giffen, who will be making his only convention appearance this year at the Baltimore Comic-Con, is a writer/artist who has worked on such title as Legion of Super-Heroes, Nick Fury's Howling Commandos, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and his creator-owned series, Hero Squared. Most recently, Giffen was named artist on the DC title O.M.A.C., launching in September.
Writer J.M. DeMatteis began his career in the late '70s working on DC Comics' horror line of books. In 1980, he moved over to Marvel, where he worked on The Defenders and Captain America. Over the next 30 years, DeMatteis would write nearly every major character in both the DC and Marvel Universes, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, Daredevil and Doctor Strange. In 2010, he teamed up with long-time collaborator, Keith Giffen on DC's Booster Gold series.
Artist Kevin Maguire, who has worked with both Giffen and DeMatteis on several books, began his a career in 1987. He has worked on such high-profile titles as Batman Confidential, Captain America and X-Men. Most recently, he worked on the latest relaunch of Doom Patrol at DC Comics.
Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire are well-known for their run on DC Comics' Justice League in the late '80s, which added a humorous brand of storytelling to the superhero team dynamic. Their appearance at the Baltimore Comic-Con marks only the second time they have all been together at a show. In addition, all three creators will be appearing on a panel together at the show. "The three of us have only been together at a convention once before - and that ended in screaming, physical violence, and millions of dollars in property damage," said DeMatteis. "I look forward to doing it again!"
"With the recent release of the latest Justice League International trade from DC, we couldn't be happier to have the creative team behind that book at this year's show," said Marc Nathan, show promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "That series' lighthearted tone and fantastic humor added something different to a comic landscape that was filled with 'grim and gritty' books and should be on everyone's essential reading lists."
It's a rare thing to find all three of us stooges together in the same place at the same time, so if you'd like a chance to meet us, talk with us—or hit us with a rubber chicken—think about coming to Baltimore in August. Some guy named Stan Lee is going to be the Guest of Honor and the rest of the guest list is pretty impressive, too.
Oh, and speaking of the Giffen-DeMatteis-Maguire Justice League, Newsarama ran a nice piece the other day about our upcoming JLI Retro project and you can read it right here.
See you in Baltimore!