Saturday Night saw the first stop on "The Hero Initiative's "Ultimate 100" road show, swinging by The Secret Headquarters comic book shop in Silverlake, California. It was the first and only time all 100 covers will be displayed at the same time - that ,is if they were all there. Unfortunately, two of the covers didn't make it by Satrurday night's showing. Mark Brooks' piece was in the hands of FedEx, somewhere, and Brian Michael Bendis' entry was unavailable for comment. So, technically, if those two make it to MegaCon in Orlando, then there will be 99 there, as one was auctioned at the Secret Headquarters, making it the showing with the most complete set.
Cover artists Mike Kunkel ("Herobear And The Kid"), Tone Rodriguez ("Violent Messiahs"), Scott Sava ("Spider-Man: Quality Of Life"), and Bill Morrison ("The Simpsons," "Futurama") were all on hand for the event and getting a good look at what their contemporaries had to offer. The covers ranged from penciled sketches by the likes of Ron Frenz and Alan Davis to fully inked and colored covers by such names as Herb Trimpe, Al Milgrom, and George Perez. Everyone seemed to have their own personal favorites, though the Frank Cho, Todd McFarlane, John Romita Sr and John Romita Jr covers were frequently mentioned by those in attendance. Fans also seemed to be drawn to the more "novelty" covers such as writer Neil Gaiman and director Guillermo Del Toro, who both provided their own "amazing" Spider-Man covers.
The premiere auction was for that of Bill Morrison's piece. The winner of the auction was not only to receive the comic but, as the backs are blank, Morrison offered to draw the winner's choice of character, Simpson-ized, on the back cover. The winner also received a signed copy of the "Avengers: Word Trust" trade that contained a story Bill Morrison did featuring Simpson-ized versions of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The bidding started at fifty dollars, but when the smoke cleared, four hundred twenty five dollars had been raised for the H.E.R.O. Initiative and Morrison began working on a Simpson-ized Spider-Man, in his black costume, on the back cover.
The winner of the auction was Charles Lee, better known as Dr. Painfree in art collecting circles, whose personal collection contains original art from over 40 artists. When asked, Morrison was very pleased with how it did though he noted that "they were serving alcohol here tonight, so that might have something to do with it."
For a look at scans for most of the "Ultimate 100" covers, check out our preview gallery from last week.