SAN DIEGO, DAY FOUR: CCI 2003 Day 4 News Roundup

Adding to comments made earlier during Comic-Con International in San Diego by Geoff Johns and Judd Winnick regarding Superman, writer Bill Willingham made the following comment to CBR News Sunday at the convention, "We might find out if the entire comics readership decides that I am the man who thoroughly wrecked Superman and that's all I'm saying"

Tm Sale fans will be happy to hear that Comicraft will be issuing an "Art of Tim Sale" book in the near future. We'll bring you more on this when that information becomes available.

Neil Gaiman spoke on the subject of Miracleman at his panel with Dave McKean on Sunday:

"We know that [holding company] Marvels & Miracles ... has at least a third share of Miracleman," Gaiman said. "We're planning on bringing the Miracleman stuff back into print."

In addition, look for a Randy Bowen Miracleman bust "mostly because Todd is doing an ugly Miracleman statue, so we said 'well, let's make a nice one.'"

As for who actually owns the character at this point, it's a tough one, but there's good news for Gaiman-supporters.

"One of the things that came out of the end of the court case last year is that we couldn't tell if Todd actually owned any pieces of Miracleman or not. We thought he did, until we got access to all the legal papers."

Those who think Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean are a little tough on parents in their children's books will be glad to know they plan on giving parents some equal time in a future children's book, to be called "Fortunately, the Milk."

"I felt so sorry for the dad in 'The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish' that I wanted to do a book about the dad and all the cool stuff he'd done," Gaiman said in a panel Sunday.

Work hasn't begun on the book, but the duo plan to do it "one day."

William Harms ("Abel") told CBR News about his next project, an original graphic novel called "Bad Mojo: That Damn Witch." Harms, along with artist Steve Morris, will publish the book through AiT/Planet Lar. Harms provided us with the following description of the book.

"Bruce O'Connor is on the cusp of realizing his childhood dream - playing professional baseball. But while driving cross-country - with two friends - to report for spring training in Arizona, Bruce falls asleep at the wheel and hits another car. As luck would have it, the other car is being driven by a man-hating witch.

"Enraged that Bruce has damaged her car, she curses him. Every day at dawn he will die and when the sun goes down he'll come back to life. With his professional baseball career in jeopardy, and the clock ticking before the star of spring training, Bruce and his friends agree to help the witch. If they get her certain 'items,' she'll lift the curse.

"While getting the witch the hand of a dead murderer, the three friends lose track of time and Bruce drops dead in the middle of a very busy diner outside of Harras, Oklahoma. Unfortunately for Bruce and his friends, the people in Harras don't take too kindly to witchcraft and people rising from the dead…"

At the "Countdown to Wednesday" panel to promote the new DVD on Saturday, Paul Dini, Mark Waid and artist Scott Benefiel had some advice for those looking to break into the industry. Dini noted that you can consume all the instructional books out there on the craft, but it really comes down to a lot of hard work that will eventually bring a pay off. "You can read all the books on creative writing," said Dini, "they give you some sort of vague template on how to do it. None of those rules really apply. In the long run you have to be amazingly driven... you need to go wherever you can to show it off."

Dini broke into the comics industry by way of the animation industry. He got his start in animation by doing some spec scripts that ultimately landed him an internship on a then currently running show. Sadly, the show was cancelled soon thereafter, but that got his foot in the door. "Take an opportunity and that can lead to something else," Dini remarked. He also pointed out that the hardest job in the comics industry to break into was as a writer.

Waid pointed out that reading every comic published on the market wasn't the best way to get started as a writer. While it helps, even more helpful would be to read everything else outside of comics. Classic novels, fiction, history, etc … He also suggested that to get your start as a writer you need to find yourself an artist any way you can and put together some sort of sampler, even if you have to print it out at the local copy shop. This way you have something to hand out to potential employers. "At this point it's the best way to do it, just to get it into the hands of editors."

Scott Benefiel grew up in San Diego and pointed out how he had the benefit of being near the convention, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee anything. He brought his art to the convention and sought out editors who would specifically critique his work, those who would tear his stuff apart and be honest with him, so that he could improve his work. He also offered some tips to artists bringing a portfolio with them.

"Editors need to see that you can tell a sequential story," said Benefiel. "Bring about 5 or 6 pages of recent work of a continuous story. Show regular men and women as well as super-heroes."

Benefiel pointed out how in his portfolio pieces that ultimately landed him gigs included work that showed a variety of scenarios and characters that included cars, foliage, animals, super heroes, regular every day men and women, action sequences, etc. He covered all the major bases in his submission to show that he could do all of them.

"Make sure that you make copies of your work, bring about 25 packets, put all your contact information on it. A lot of times editors get so busy they don't have time to look over your portfolio."

On a more personal note I'm excited to announce that two members of the CBR Forums got engaged while at Comic-Con International. Brandon Hanvey and Nicole Lee (Promethea) got engaged Thursday night during the annual weenie roast a number of the CBR Forums regulars attend. Brandon is a cartoonist who does the wonderful Web comic "The Little Things." Brandon stole a moment away from the group and handed the comic strip on the left to his soon to be bride. He knelt to one knee as she looked at the script. Click the image to see what she saw, but do keep in mind that it was in my bag all weekend and got a bit smooshed.

Beau Yarbrough and Arune Singh contributed to this story.

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