Monday, May 6, 2019

Pictopia in Pittsburgh: Pulse-Pounding Panel PIX Didn't Want You to See!

I will be offering a slideshow lecture at this year's 2019 Three Rivers Comic Con on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm.

Here is the rundown:
From Character to World to Multiverse:
A History of Team-Ups, Crossovers, and Shared Realities

Independent characters have been enlisted into ever-expanding multiverses since the days of myth, and have crossed over in literature, comics, and movies ever since. Whether it’s the DCU (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) or Marvel-Timely (Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch), the individual creative vision has been the building block of modern pantheons.

Veteran comics pro Don Simpson has created his own characters and worlds (Megaton Man, Border Worlds) and freelanced in shared universes (Marvel, DC, Image Comics). Now he offers some unique historical perspectives on how the impulse to share, crossover, and miscegenate has driven narratives from the Wold-Newton Universe of Doc Savage, the Shadow, and Tarzan to modern extravaganzas like Secret Wars and Crisis on Infinite Earths.

There will be something for every kind of fan this richly-illustrated slide show lecture!
The slideshow is an updated and expanded version of a presentation I gave at the 2015 Wizard World Pittsburgh. It is on a subject near and dear to my heart: crossovers, team-ups, and satirical-parody universes. In my career I've been involved in quite a few such projects, including Splitting Image, In Pictopia, 1963, and War of the Independents.

I am particularly proud to be associated with New Dimension Comics and the Three Rivers Comic Con in offering this programming, since I have been at every show put on by NDC entrepreneur Todd McDevitt since his first back in the 1990s.

It is also gratifying to give this presentation to a Pittsburgh audience since both PIX: The Pittsburgh Indy Comix Expo and the Toonseum refused to include me in their programming, despite my long, quiet support of both organizations--neither of which, ironically, exist any longer.

Here is the 2015 Wizard World Pittsburgh version, documented by Jeff McClelland:

(One big difference: I'll try not to knock over my water onto my laptop!)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Ms. Meg Must-Read: Critical Rave for Clarissa!

This is an unsolicited comment from my colleague who is proofing and Beta-reading my Ms. Megaton Man Maxi-Series manuscript (you can read the same chapters right now online): 
"Finished chapters 1-7 of Clarissa James' memoirs. Really enjoying it. From what I've read, I wouldn’t change a thing. There's the right balance of exposition and movement, and I find Clarissa's voice to be a perfect fit for the story. Keep it coming and I look forward to catching up on chapters 8-10!"

Monday, April 1, 2019

Comics Hate Group “Cancels” Ms. Megaton Man!

megatropolis, n.y.—Don Simpson’s controversial new Ms. MegatonMan Maxi-Series has the comic book hate group FRFB (Far-Right Fanboys) calling for a boycott, citing the work’s alleged “Social Justice Warrior agenda” that threatens their insecure, toxic-masculine “hobby.”

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Books Without Borders: Recent Reviews

Since 2014 I have composed a number of reviews for book editor Tony Norman at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (all have been for the P-G, unless otherwise noted). Here is a running list of the links:

Saturday, March 30, 2019

For Mature Readers: The Narrative Voice of Ms. Megaton Man

Telling the Ms. Megaton Man Maxi-Series in the first-person voice of Clarissa James solved a number of problems for me as I grappled with attempting to turn what had been a comic book series into a prose narrative. (As of this writing, six chapters have been posted online.)

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Too Secure for Words: Academia's Plain-Language Problem

I recently heard a news story on WESA-FM, the National Public Radio affiliate in Pittsburgh, on a program at the University of Pittsburgh on coding. It seems that some zillions and zillions of jobs are going unfilled nationwide, and some eight thousand in the Pittsburgh area alone. The story said that mid-career professionals who were contemplating a career change was the perfect applicant they were looking for the program.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Thirty Years of Ms. Megaton Man: 1989 to 2019!

Here is the first page of sketches I did of Clarissa James in 1989 - up to that point a minor Civilian (Megapowerless) character in the cast of my Megaton Man comics - as Ms. Megaton Man. It was in an old hardbound sketchbook I took around to shows to collect sketches of interpretations of my characters from fellow pros (I've posted some of the more memorable ones here and there).

Sunday, March 17, 2019

My Latest False Start, or, Why the Ms. Megaton Man Maxi-Series, Anyway?

As of this writing, I have composed eight chapters of what I call my "YA prose experiment," the Ms. Megaton Man Maxi-Series. Four chapters have dropped, to use the modern parlance, on my Ms. Megaton Man Blog, and one is scheduled to drop over the next four Fridays at 8:30 pm EDT. And there's plenty more where that came from.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Phantom Mommy: When Retcons Spoil Your Fanboy Escapism

There was a time when hoping for a comic book-turned-movie project to fail would be treasonous. Now the noxious far-right in comics openly disparages any creative alteration to an established property they disagree with, hoping for the downfall – and calling for boycotts – of whatever latest blockbuster. The ideology of this fringe is incoherent and confusing – and entirely selective. Impenetrable and completely irrational to outsiders, their world view makes perfect sense to them, however; everything they don’t happen to like in comics and pop culture at any given time can be blamed on some Phantom Mommy who wants to ruin their naughty-boy fun.

Monday, February 18, 2019

"How Much Do You Need?" Hate and Jealousy in Comics, 2019-Style

The recent spate of comics hate that has emanated from certain dethroned creators reminds me of the early Image Comics years. I happened to have had a front-row seat, thanks to Moondog's Comics in Chicago, who hosted the Chicago Comicon in 1992, and my friendship with Larry Tales of the Beanworld Marder and Chris Eb'nn Ecker. Both worked for Gary Colabuono in the Moondog's central office and along with Bevin Brown, masterminded the Image Tent.