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DEANSPEAK
July 8, 2003
from Paul Dini

THE BIG CON

Well, it's summer and that means it's time for the big comic convention in San Diego, July 17th through 20th. I've been going since I was a mere tot in 1975 and in that time I've seen it grow from an informal gathering of comic pros and aficionados into the fantasy industry trade show of today. Gone is the funky old El Cortez Hotel with its space-age skyway and crowds of merry comic geeks shoving each other in the pool. Also gone are such greats as Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Carl Barks and Jack Kirby, easily accessible and more than willing to do quick sketches for adoring and awestruck young fans. The show is still fun, but it's huge. Bring your walking shoes or invest in a Segway, if the security folks will allow you to ride one on the floor. I'm not betting they will but nothing ventured, after all.

For those that are interested, I'll be camped more or less regularly at the Graffiti Designs/Movie Poop Shoot table throughout the show (CON BONUS: Buy a Mutant, Texas tee-shirt and I'll draw Ida Red on it for free! Buy two and I won't!) and signing copies of JINGLE BELLE and MUTANT, TEXAS at the Oni Press booth late in the day Thursday, noonish on Friday and assorted other times here and there. In addition I will be signing the DC Big Books one day with Alex Ross at the DC booth (check at the booth for date and times) and probably at Alex's own booth, too. I expect I'll also be hitting the Vertigo table to sign ZATANNA: EVERYDAY MAGIC, and make an announcement about a new Zee project, to boot. I promised Tracy Lee I'd drop ‘round the Electric Tiki booth and sign the new Jingle Belle limited edition figurine for anyone who buys one, so you big spenders can look for me there as well.

I also expect to be putting in more than a few hours over at the Top Cow booth, hawking copies of the just-released DVD documentary COUNTDOWN TO WEDNESDAY and signing advance previews of WITCHBLADE ANIMATED with the talented folks depicted below. They are, left to right, me, Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone and David Bullock. I've worked with these stalwart worthies on many a great cartoon and comic book, and I think fans are really going to dig what we have cooked up for Witchblade, Magdalena and the Darkness.

Saturday afternoon from 2:00 to 3:30 PM is the big Cartoon Network preview panel. As much as I'd like to blab and blow all the cool secrets about our new DUCK DODGERS series here, I'm going to be good (for a change) and wait until the con. Stop by and meet writer-director-producers Tony Cervone and Spike Brandt (and bring your copies of last year's Jingle Belle Winter Wing-Ding for them to sign – they drew it) and writer-producer Tom Minton, one of the funniest men in animation. Oh, and I'll be skulking around too someplace. We'll be running some footage, sharing a lot of behind the scenes info., and if all goes well, some VERY special guests will be evaporating in all the way from the 24th and a half century to reveal even more in their own words. You won't want to miss this one, Cadets!

Also part of the big Cartoon Network presentation, my Batman compadres Glen Murakami and Bruce Timm will be on hand to tell all about their cool new TEEN TITANS series premiering on CN that very day. I've seen a couple of episodes and they are awesome. And if you haven't yet heard the mega-catchy Tokyo pop-style TITANS theme song, just wait. Everyone will be singing it at the convention, guaranteed.

Of course, the DODGERS theme song is no slouch either, not when you've got the powerful pipes of Tom Jones (backed by The Flaming Lips) belting out the best James Bond song you never heard. And while on the subject of music, how could I not mention the country superstars who narrate in song the rip-snortin' episode where Dodgers and Cadet go to a western-theme planet and come face to face with…oh, but I promised I wouldn't reveal any secrets here. I guess you'll have to come to the panel and hear them straight from the Duck's mouth, heh, heh.

One last bit of Warner Bros. Animation news – don't miss the WORLD PREMIERE of the new direct to home video feature, BATMAN: MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN! This just completed, never-before-screened extravaganza will be shown IN ITS ENTIRETY Friday the 18th as a special treat for comic con fans only! Producer Alan Burnett hosts the show with writer Michael Reaves and director Curt Geda. In addition to the feature, there will be a special bonus screening of the brand-new Batman animated short, “Chase Me” written by Alan and myself and directed by Curt. We've successfully kept this little gem under wraps until now, so come see us let the Cat(woman) out of the bag.

Whew! That's my schedule of events and I'd say that's plenty. For the rest of the time I will be relaxing poolside, enjoying the company of Senorita Mezcal in a frosty Margarita glass. I won't be doing sketches but feel free to bring some limes.

Dean

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