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  • Heroes Con, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Well dadburn! I thought my quick hotel ramble was lost to the ether, but Steven Gettis performed an autopsy on WordPress and fished it out. So here’s what I rambled…

    You know, there are no flights back to Portland from Charlotte until late in the day, so I’ve been cooling my heels in the Westin Hotel lobby, mostly sitting by Rick Remender, Kris Justice and Andie Tong. If you have to hang out, there’s much less comfortable places to do so. I’m trying to gather my thoughts about Heroes Con, but at the moment it just seems like my mouth ran non-stop and that’s my impression. No one’s going to write anything better than Tom Spurgeon’s summary of the weekend, so you might want to go there now. A lot of us shared good memories of Mike Wieringo over dinner and at the Hero Initiative signing for the What If: Mike Tribute book. Mark Waid made me forget how to breath by telling a really inappropriate anecdote at a key moment. Matt Wieringo raised some real money to go to the scholarship in his brother’s name, especially at the art auction held over at FUEL Pizza that Friday night. By the way, there will be more of that online soon. Darwyn Cooke told me of some of his secret plans for upcoming work that I would preorder NOW if I could. Heidi Mac introduced me to the international man of mystery Ben McCool. Kelly Sue let me hold The Baby Fraction, young Henry (he’s already helping plot Iron Man), who is a solid little crawler and easily one of the most beautiful boys since the Baby Parker appeared three years ago. Which reminds me of the very sweet Ladd Family who returned to once again cartoonists little care packages full of snacks as their girls showed all the mini comics they made lately.

    Thomas Fleming told me more of the fallout from that Who Sucks.com site taking my “myostatin deficiency” joke about him literally- he was contacted by the BBC for an interview. No one will ever believe he actually lifts weights. I got to catch up with old friends like Richard Case, Chris Kemple and Scott Hampton, but I didn’t get to eat at Lupie’s this time. Josh “Batman Strikes!” Elder told some hilarious stories of his misadventures in Manhattan (well except for how he always gets punched or stabbed with miniature flags, they’re hilarious) and told me of his outreach programs to get kids reading comics. Dusty Harbin put together a really impressive Indy Island this year, and as usual I tried to steer people over to take advantage of Roger Langridge’s crazy cheap original art prices before he realizes what he’s doing.

    Thought I was going to catch up with Ross Ritchie, then he disappeared into the night. Matt Brady and his lovely wife gave me some Newsarama candy, that I really should not have eaten All At Once. I sketched a fair amount of Gorilla Men in people’s Agents of Atlas hardcovers, and a few Venuses. I still haven’t seen what Leonard Kirk draws in them when he’s handed one. I annoyed plenty of other people by not sitting at my table enough (hey, I keep running into East Coast friends I don’t get to see anymore, it’s hard to make it back to the seat). I didn’t even have enough time to go over into the next convention hall for the DUB convention and shop for some flossin’ spinning rims, so cut me a break. I found out Barry Kitson was briefly a member of one of my favorite bands, XTC.
    Shelton Drum had the Dead Dog Party over at Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find and I got to hear some good trash talk from Dave Johnson (no one does it better). We all ate barbecue and Matt Fraction and Ivan Brandon helped me trash our fellow creators, oh how I love it. On a nicer note, no one does a better imitation of Ed Brubaker than Matt. And no one argues the merits of The Transporter movies more than Robert Kirkman. After everyone talked up Shoot ‘Em Up, I feel I should finally rent it. Oh there’s so much more… but I better get a taxi.

    BACK to present day. Rick and I made it to the airport on time, and instead of suffering in Southern heat for two days while no US AIRWAYS jet would take him home, he went straight back to Portland, while I had to go to San Francisco first. My connecting flight was delayed, but then I was able to catch another by running across two terminals. I’m sorry to bore you with airline foibles, I just want to cut to the heart of my travel: by the time I reached Portland I SMELLED HEINOUS. Are there any airports that have pay showers available? Because I would be all over that.

    More things happened, of course, but durn if I can remember it. I’m sure Patrick Sun will help jog my memory with the terrabytes of photo files he took and will no doubt upload soon. In the meantime you can look at pictures of Superstud LoveMo-chine Chris Sims over at his report. My main impression is surprise from not being humidified to death in Charlotte during the Summer- every day there was a key rainstorm that cooled things down just in time. Shelton Drum probably arranged that too. Thanks Shelton!


    Comment from Pj Perez
    Time: June 24, 2008, 4:00 pm

    Ha, saw the pic of you and Sims over on his site. For some reason I pictured you as being bald and fat. Don’t ask me why. Unless that was the OTHER Jeff Parker.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: June 24, 2008, 4:24 pm

    Um… thanks PJ…

    Comment from Eric
    Time: June 24, 2008, 4:31 pm

    This bit:

    “I annoyed plenty of other people by not sitting at my table enough”

    …Was very true. I think I saw you at your table three times the whole show, and every time, you were seriously swamped by adoring fans.

    I never saw Kemple at the table either, and I really wanted to go apologize to him — he said something really nice about my website while I was talking to Matt Wieringo on Friday morning, and I really meant to thank him at the time. But my brain was damaged by a week at Disney World followed by a pair of canceled flights and a night spent in an airport (my wife and I advocate pay beds ourselves). If’n he happens to read this — thanks for the compliment, and I’m sorry for not saying so before.

    I am genuinely looking forward to the Sentry. Nick Dragotta’s becoming one of my favorite artists (also, I guess the writer on that book isn’t too shabby either).

    Comment from Cully Hamner
    Time: June 25, 2008, 7:13 am

    Good seeing you this weekend, pal.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: June 25, 2008, 7:29 am

    You too! Thanks to you I had a CULLYRIFFIC weekend!

    Comment from Matt Wieringo
    Time: June 25, 2008, 9:23 am

    Part of Jeff’s absence was my fault. Jeff kindly volunteered to sign at the scholarship booth and I suckered him into signing my Agents of Atlas hardcover. While he was doing an absolutely beautiful Venus sketch for me, I guess he ran over an extra hour. While Cully and Mark Waid also drew quite a few people, Jeff seemed to be the main attraction. Must be his handsome John Schneider-ish mug. Thanks a ton, Jeff.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: June 25, 2008, 9:28 am

    Just some good ol’ Boys….

    Comment from Suzanne Wieringo
    Time: June 25, 2008, 12:35 pm

    Thanks for being so nice to us Jeff. You and Mark and Cully and Rich F. helped us raise over two thousand dollars for the Mike Wieringo Scholarship fund at our table. We enjoyed your time at the table and dinner Saturday night.

    And Steve Gettis is a genius……hands down.

    Comment from Pj Perez
    Time: June 25, 2008, 1:45 pm

    Heh, sorry, I know that was a weird comment. I think there is a film critic around these parts with the same or similar name and he’s kinda Danny Devito-ish, so that image sticks in my mind.

    Man, I need sleep.

    Comment from Patman
    Time: June 26, 2008, 9:54 am

    It’s always great having you on the east coast, Parker!

    Comment from Jeff Cannell
    Time: June 26, 2008, 4:14 pm

    Just picked up the What if issue at the LCS- wish I could have been at the con. Has there been any discussion about publishing all the sketches from Mike’s blog in a book?


    Also- loved the appearance of Machine Man/Aaron Stack in X-Men First Class. Glad to see the character treated with some respect (as should all Kirby Creations)

    Would love to see a team up of Herbie the Robot, Machine Man, and the Human Robot!

    Comment from Matt Wieringo
    Time: June 27, 2008, 9:20 am

    Jeff, yes, I’m planning on doing that but nothing definite yet. Of course, all proceeds would go to the scholarship.

    Comment from Jeff Cannell
    Time: June 27, 2008, 2:00 pm


    My son and I were looking at his fantastic four run the other day. I’m introducing him to Tellos later in the summer when he get’s through his reading list.

    IN a few years your brother left a legacy of work that will continue to bring joy to many folks.

    Comment from ivan brandon
    Time: June 30, 2008, 8:01 pm

    i totally deny everything.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: June 30, 2008, 8:27 pm

    I can quote you, verbatim. But I won’t, because you shared that weird Conan commentary on your site.

    Comment from Rich Faber
    Time: July 3, 2008, 6:30 pm

    Hey Jeff,

    Just got back from a two week (vacation) tour of the south, from Charlotte, and wanted to let you know it was terrific seeing you again. I only wish we’d had more time to catch up. Please email me your address, so I can send you the ‘Ringo Buzzboy posters I promised.

    Talk to you soon!