Monday, August 8, 2022

Terrificon Recap 1: Gene Ha And Robert Venditti

The 2022 con season opened up with my favorite con, Terrificon, a couple of weekends ago. This will be the first of two recap posts as I go over interactions and purchases.

Terrificon has always been the best comic book focused convention in this area of the country and I love it. The show runner, Mitch Hallock, always brings in a great guest list of legends and current stars. And the set-up in the Mohegan Sun Casino convention hall is just perfect. The con is a short 90 minute drive from where I live so I happily attended all three days. And thanks again to Mr. Hallock for bestowing a Press Pass to this little site. Meant I had a little more money to spend on books and sigs.

There is definitely an energy to the place as you have a great comic creators, celebrities with ties to geek culture, and more vendors than I could count. I just love the feel of this convention.

The guest list was again incredible and I am always curious to see which one garners the longest lines. There were some guests that were new to me and folks I am a big fan of. So I definitely had a couple of missions in mind.

Today I'll cover two of the folks at the top of the list: Gene Ha and Robert Venditti.

I have been a big fan of Gene Ha since I first came upon his work.

I am thrilled that I got this quick Supergirl sketch from him. It really captures his style. I love the sly side eye and smile on the piece. And color of course is a bonus. Getting some art from Ha was a con goal and within the first hour of the convention I was able to check that box.

Hooray for me!

I brought some books for signature including Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons Book Two.

I asked about the 'hidden faces' motif throughout the book and he told me that writer Kelly Sue DeConnick asked him to show that the Gods were present throughout Hippolyta's journey but not visible but didn't tell Ha her vision on how to convey that. The faces in branches and leaves was his idea.

Ha then really did one extra walking me through the panel progression of Hippolyta as she walks out of Apollo's temple and how each panel shows Apollo looking at her or judging her. Brilliant.

He was even kind enough to put a little Artemis remarque on the book cover when he signed it.

I had other books for him to sign too. Action Comics #9 from the New 52 is one of my favorite issues of all time. (I am a huge fan of that run.) The variant for Action Comics #3 has a Ha cover. And, of course, I loved the Dragon Ball Z style fun in the Flashpoint Project Superman series.

Ha was an incredible nice and generous man with his time. So glad I met him. 

The second person I was most eager to meet was Robert Venditti. Venditti was the writer on two recent super-projects I really loved - Superman '78 and World of Krypton

I got a small window of time to ask him about both projects and got some answers.

Regarding World of Krypton, DC wanted to do the project and asked him how he would approach it and his pitch was accepted. He didn't get to pick Michael Avon Oeming as artist but was thrilled as Venditti loved Powers. He thinks Supergirl is an underutilized character in the DCU and tried to write her as a typical teenage girl. (I told him how much I liked how intelligent and sort of sassy Kara was.)

As for Superman '78, as we know a sequel is already in the works. He couldn't tell me the artist or the main villain. But he could confirm that the Helen Slater Supergirl is not in it. He brought up the Batman '89 movies as an example of stories that keep adding more and more characters and only to collapse under the weight of the growing role call. I guess I'll have to close cross my fingers that a third part happens and Kara is brought in.

It was totally fantastic to talk to Mr. Venditti and I would have sat at his table and gabbed all con but you never want to limit other fans from their chances. But he was just friendly and open to the chat. I love that he thought Supergirl was underutilized. I'd love to hear his voice on her.

There's more to discuss about the con but that'll wait till next week. But I can't sing the praises of the show enough. 


Martin Gray said...

Thank you so much for sharing the picture by Gene Ha and your experiences, and congrats on that press pass!

I’m being thick, what do you mean by ‘a little Artemis remarque on the book cover’? I only know ‘Remarque’ from Erich Maria Remarque of All Quiet on the Western Front fame.

Anonymous said...

It's where the artist adds a little drawing next to their signature. In this case he drew the outlines of the woodsy goddess Artemis's head.


Anj said...

Yes, remarques are like little doodles on books. Not a commission just a wee sketch.

Martin Gray said...

Thanks, I’ve not heard the term.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the intell on the Superman’78 follow up...I am all in on it, Kara or no Kara , but lawd almighty when did Supergirl become perpetually “Too Much to Ask For”? Especially in a continuity where she is already established?


William Ashley Vaughan said...

Gene Ha and Robert Venditti are two of the finest creative talents working in comics today. I loved Ha's work on the Shade and Venditti's continuation of Demon Knights is one of the few good things to come out of the New 52. Obviously, I can't wait for the Superman '78 sequel. Sorry to hear that Supergirl won't be in it, but, hopefully, if it sells enough, we will get a Supergirl '84 series.