CHICAGO DAY 1: Wizard World 2003 Day 1 News Roundup

The convention floor was quite crowded at Wizard World 2003 Chicago Friday afternoon. Easily the busiest booth all day had to be the Mattel booth, which held regular raffles for the opportunity to buy all kinds of different exclusive toys and what not. It got terribly crowded at times, which had to annoy some of the surrounding vendors located near the Mattel booth. Probably the next busiest booths were the Marvel and DC booths. Marvel's booth at Wizard World concentrated on signings. While simple, they maximized their space by adding queue lines for their many creator signings.

Lots of retailers filled the hall as you moved down from the entrance. At the far end of the hall could be found a wrestling ring with wrestling going on. That was ... weird.

Well, lots of stuff was heard while on the convention floor. Here's just a sampling of the stuff we can tell you about.

Ran into William O'Neil, he of "Snake Pliskin Chronicles" fame. He told us that in addition to upcoming issues of that book hitting the stands from CrossGen, he's got a number of other projects in the works. Early next year expect to see "Vic Formica," a one-shot comic written and drawn by O'Neil that's a spoof of 1970s detective shows like "The Rockford Files" and what not. Later in 2004 you can check out "Samantha's Burn," written by O'Neil about a girl named Samantha who lives in a psuedo-post-apocalypstic world where a disease known as the burn is ravaging it's citizens. See, the burn is this disease where you body temperature increases. You get hotter. Hotter. Hotter. Until the point where you completely combust. That's not such a good thing. Samantha needs treatment and well, it all goes down hill from there. No artist is attached to "Samantha's Burn" yet nor has a company been chosen to distribute either book.

Almost literally ran into John Layman on the convention floor Friday afternoon. He told us reaction to "Puffed" from Image Comics has been great and that those enjoying the first two issues of the three-issue series will have even more to look forward to in January when a new one-shot is released, "Stay Puffed." Dave Crosland is naturally back handling the art chores. An alternate cover featuring work by Ashley Wood is planned for this issue.

Like the art of recently DC exclusive artist Tim Sale? Well, in early 2003 you'll have to check out "Time Sale: Black and White," a new hard cover art book coming from Richard Starkings' Active Images showcasing the creator's amazing selection of artwork over the years. Included will be an extensive interview with Sale.

Jim Krueger tells us that in addition to working on "The Last Straw Man" with Brett Weldele, coming from Image Comics in February of next year, he'll also be returning to one of his early creations, "Footsoldiers," in a variety of formats next year. Krueger also told us that there's been a lot of Hollywood interested in "The Last Straw Man," with many a Hollywood exec sniffing around the property.

More news and notes from from Wizard World Chicago 2003 Saturday afternoon. And don't forget to check out our friends at Newsarama for additional coverage of Wizard World Chicago 2003.

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