Sunday, July 26, 2009

One day of San Diego Comic-Con '09 is all I can take

'Exterminate!' is what I wish I could say and do to haters of the Asian American ComiCon who are these 'I don't see race' types like Stephen Colbert's onscreen alter ego and who post on message boards that there shouldn't be an AACC. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Like angry asian man blogger and Secret Identities booster Phil Yu (more on him later), I picked only one day to attend San Diego Comic-Con '09, and one day is really all I can tolerate of the overwhelming, overcrowded and smelly Nerd Prom.

My favorite aspect of Comic-Con is not the panels--I wasn't able to go inside any of the ones I wanted to see--but unexpectedly meeting writers and bloggers whose work I've enjoyed for several years, such as Phil. Here's my recap of Comic-Con Friday in pictures.

Pinoy Optimus Prime. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Hey Optimus, why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?

Jimmy J. Aquino and Debbie Huey. Photo courtesy of JJA.
I didn't know Bumperboy creator Debbie Huey and I worked for the same university newspaper 12 years ago until my older brother pointed it out to me recently. We never met each other because her department of City on a Hill Press never really interacted with my department. I also didn't know Secret Identities approached Debbie to contribute a story, but she had to decline. I'm glad to see another alum from the paper doing well as an author (Azadeh Moaveni is another alum from my period at the paper who's had quite a career as an author).

Cosplayers as Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Justice Society-era Flash, Harley Quinn and Green Lantern. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
From left to right: a group of cosplayers suited up as Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, the Golden Age Flash, Harley Quinn and Green Lantern.

Clone Stormtroopers. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
These Clone Stormtroopers are so lazy they don't even notice the guy's flashing a peace sign and outing himself as a Galactic Republic sympathizer. Quit falling asleep on the job, you goosestepping test-tube babies!

Jimmy J. Aquino prepares to sketch June Park for a Secret Identities jam piece before pencilling the actual drawing. Photo courtesy of JJA.
Jimmy J. Aquino prepares to sketch June Park for a jam piece. Photo courtesy of JJA.
At the booth shared by Secret Identities and the Epic Proportions studio, I signed a few copies of Secret Identities for fans and then decided to challenge myself by doing something I rarely do, which is draw the character I scripted, "Sampler" heroine June Park (I prefer to have artists who are way more skilled than I am--like Erwin Haya--visually interpret June). I did a pencil drawing of June for a jam piece, the grand prize in a Secret Identities scavenger hunt.

'Sampler' heroine June Park by Jimmy J. Aquino.
I had to sketch out June first before doing the final drawing on the jam piece. Here's the rough sketch I made before redrawing it on the jam piece. JLA and Justice League Unlimited comics inker Walden Wong did a nice job inking the final drawing.

Jimmy J. Aquino and Erwin Haya. Photo courtesy of JJA.
Erwin and I finally meet face-to-face. He said he didn't do the final lettering on "Sampler," which contained a few typos, and if he had gotten to do it, the typos wouldn't have appeared. I'm glad to see Erwin's artwork in "Sampler" has been getting positive feedback. He told me people have said to him that they want to see more adventures with June.

Arcee, Transformers: Animated version. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
The recession's been so tough for Transformers' token female bot Arcee that she's had to moonlight as a bodyguard for the constantly pawed-at Olivia Munn.

Keiko Agena, Jimmy J. Aquino and Ming Doyle. Photo courtesy of JJA.
Former Gilmore Girls co-star Keiko Agena and the talented--and lovely--Ming Doyle worked on the clever Secret Identities story "Learn to Share," about a blind Thai girl whose powers make Daredevil look like Don Knotts.

Mockingbird. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Avengers member Mockingbird prepares to use her battle stave on nerds who don't shower.

Captain America, Jimmy J. Aquino and Mockingbird. Photo by JJA.
I could use a utility belt like Captain America's. I'd rather rock that than a camera murse.

Firestorm. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
It's Firestorm, back when he was white and into Seinfeld puffy shirts.

Spy vs. Spy cosplayers. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Ebony and Ivory live together in perfect harmony. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
The Spy vs. Spy feud started when Black Spy dissed White Spy during "Pull Your Skirt Up."

Psylocke. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Psylocke ought to use her psychic knife to shut down fake psychics like Dr. Girlfriend soundalike Sylvia Browne. Does Sylvia Browne smoke cigarettes or does she just eat them?

Beach Joker and Harley Quinn. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
The Joker (with a bikini-clad Harley Quinn) refuses to join the spray tan bandwagon.

The Wonder Twins. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
"Jayna, did you tell Gleek to take a shit in the bucket again? That shit's not funny!"

A G4 booth babe promotes the reality show 2M2MM. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Nine is the same amount of people who watched Kings on NBC. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
A G4 booth babe promotes the network's new reality show Focus Group, in which people are locked in a room where they're forced to watch nothing but G4's reruns of Cheaters.

A Paramount Pictures booth babe snaps a photo for a fan. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Paramount Pictures booth babes pose with a congoer in front of the new Enterprise bridge backdrop. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Paramount Pictures booth babes take it to the bridge.

Flaming Carrot. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Only Bob Burden's Flaming Carrot and Fluid Man from Frankenstein, Jr. and the Impossibles can pull off the scuba flipper look.

Gene Yang, Gail Simone and Jeff Yang at a San Diego Comic-Con '09 panel about diversity in superhero comics. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
From left to right: Eternal Smile author Gene Yang, Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone and Secret Identities editor-in-chief Jeff Yang discuss the growing numbers of non-white or female comic book buyers at the SDCC panel Jeff moderated, "Four Color Reality: Making Comics Relevant to Readers Across Cultures."

Jimmy J. Aquino and Dwayne McDuffie. Photo courtesy of JJA.
During the "Four Color Reality" panel, Milestone Media founder and Justice League Unlimited writer Dwayne McDuffie recalled being the second African American to ever write a Marvel comic, as well as Milestone's efforts to tap into an underutilized talent pool of writers of color (Dwayne noted that Valiant was the only other comics company at the time that had an equally diverse staff). Yes, I know I look like I represent the Lollipop Guild, Daly City Chapter.

Dwayne McDuffie and the Secret Identities editors. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Dwayne stands with the four Secret Identities editors who followed his example (from left to right: Jerry Ma, Jeff, Keith Chow and Parry Shen).

Dwayne McDuffie and Janice Chiang. Photo by Jimmy J. Aquino.
Dwayne briefly reunites with letterer Janice Chiang, who worked on his issues of Iron Man and Hardware. Thanks, Janice, for introducing me to Dwayne, as well as past Spider-Man letterer and current Tales from the Crypt artist Rick Parker, former Marvel editor and current Papercutz editor-in-chief Jim Salicrup and '90s X-Men writer Scott Lobdell.

Derek Kirk Kim, Jimmy J. Aquino and Phil Yu. Photo courtesy of JJA.
The highlight of the day was hanging out late at night with the likes of Jeff (who took this picture for me), Keith (not pictured), Amulet creator Kazu Kibuishi (not pictured), who contributed the "Go" pinup to Secret Identities, Eternal Smile artist Derek Kirk Kim (left) and Phil of angry asian man (right), whose shirt says "My Ninja!" and whose blog I've been following for several years.

I wasn't aware Phil and I both hailed from the South Bay. The first and last time I talked to him was via e-mail during the early years of his blog (I don't remember what we talked about in our exchange--I bet it was about Asian American movies). I was jazzed to learn from Phil that he's been checking out my blog, but I had to admit to him--and another guy in the room admitted this to Phil too--that I can't read his blog on some days because the hate crimes or moments of verbal Asian-bashing that he reports really make my blood boil.

I told Phil I'd like to be part of his blog's Angry Reader of the Week section someday (hey, my new friend Kate Agathon is the Angry Reader this week!), though one question might make me nervous: "What makes you angry?" I'd be nervous trying to answer it because the list of things that make me angry would turn the Angry Reader of the Week post into a three-parter.

Now added to that ever-expanding list: the long lines and claustrophobic Exhibit Hall at Comic-Con.


Added on July 27, 2009: The Facebook version of this gallery contains some different photos. Also, almost all the captions for the pics on the Facebook version are completely different from the captions I wrote on this post. Check out my alternate silly captions.


  1. hey bro, it was great to finally meet ya at the con. looks like ya had an awesome time!

  2. If you're referring to numbers of possible employers, no, I wasn't able to.