Geeky Friday: Book Stuff at San Diego Comic Con, Ten New Pix from The Hobbit, Spider Man Spinning Box Office Gold

If you’re counting down the days until the first installation of The Hobbit hits theaters (December 14), take a gandalf, ah, I mean a gander, at these ten killer pix that Entertainment Weekly scored. If you were anxious to see this flik before, you’ll be doubly so now. I’ll only post the mag’s cover for those trying to stay spoiler free, which is going to be all but impossible unless you‚ ahem‚ live in a hole in the ground.

The article itself isn’t too revealing except for naming the cameos by Rings actors again portraying characters sometimes mentioned but not actually appearing in Tolkien’s 1937 novel, which predates the action of LOTR by about 60 years. The most staggering fact disclosed is that the two-part film is weighing in at a cost of roughly $500 million. That’s a lot of pipeweed, kiddies!


You have to laugh, the older and craggier Ian McKellan gets (he’s now 73), the more he truly looks like Gandalf!

Next Stop San Diego!!!
The Hobbit is months away but the geekosphere is all abuzz because the annual Woodstock for nerds known as San Diego Comic Con is less than a week away‚ OMFG it’s almost here!!! I, alas, won’t be attending again this year because LJ is too cheap to send me, and I’m too cheap to pay for it myself, so that makes us even. But change is in the wind and there’s always next year (said Charlie Brown). For 2012, I’m holding out for October’s New York Comic Con, which doesn’t cost me or LJ a dime and that’s just the way we both like it.

But I digress. There’s way too much happening at SDCC to list here and the full schedule and all other pertinent intel is online, but a few publisher friends have contacted me about their events, which I’ll list since they’re book-related and this is a book blog after all.

Titan Books has a pretty full schedule of cool stuff at SDCC:
JOE SIMON & JERRY ROBINSON Comic-Con commemorates the late comics legends.
Friday, July 13th 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Room 9
Remembering Joe Simon and Jerry Robinson
Panalists: Paul Levitz, Michael Uslan, Mark Evanier, Steve Saffel, Marv Wolfman, Paul Dini, Batton Lash and more celebrate two of comics’ greatest talents.
JOE SIMON items available at TITAN (BOOTH 5537): Best of Simon & Kirby; Joe Simon: My Life in Comics; Simon & Kirby Superheroes; Simon & Kirby Crime; Fighting American t-shirts. PLUS‚ original Simon & Kirby lithograph prints, signed by Joe Simon!

Also: Jack Kirby Tribute‚ Sunday, July 15 10:00 a.m. Room 5AB

Co-creator of Captain America and the first editor at the company that would become Marvel Comics, Joe Simon (1913-2011), was one of the giants of the comic book industry, and much of his career he worked with the legendary Jack Kirby, producing stories in every genre. Their approach to Captain America, which sold a million copies with its first issue (released in late 1940), revolutionized the approach the medium took to storytelling. During his tenure at Timely Comics, the precursor to Marvel, he hired a teenage assistant named Stan Lee. They continued their success with other bestselling series like Boy Commandos, a war title for DC Comics, and Young Romance at Prize Comics‚ the first romance comic book ever published. With each new project Simon showed a unique instinct for every aspect of the medium, where over the years he filled the roles of publisher, editor, writer, penciler, inker, letterer, and colorist.

TARZAN TURNS 100 ! To celebrate the centennial anniversary of Tarzan of the Apes, this panel will look at the first 100 years of spectacular Tarzan imagery, and one of literature’s best-loved couples as they enter their second century. Bestselling novelist Robin Maxwell (Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan) and TITAN Books author Scott Tracy Griffin (Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration) gather with illustrator Joe Jusko (The Art of Joe Jusko) to discuss these iconic literary characters. Join them for a presentation and Q&A session hosted by Jim Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs Incorporated, the official licensing entity for Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. Titan will publish Tarzan Centennial by Scott Tracy griffin in October- visit the Titan Booth for more details.

Saturday, July 14, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Room 25 ABC
The Naked Truth About Tarzan and Jane
Note: The official Comic-Con program book cover story on Tarzan is written by TITAN author Scott Tracy Griffin and will have two Joe Jusko variant covers!

LENORE AT 20 ! TITAN celebrates the 20th Anniv. of cult-favorite comic LENORE!
Creator of the Lenore comic series Roman Dirge, author of the upcoming graphic novel Lenore: Swirlies, and previous titles Lenore: Noogies, Lenore: Wedgies, Lenore: Cooties and the recently published Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge. Dirge is currently working on an animated feature of Lenore, and the ongoing Lenore comic. Panel moderated by Andrew Sumner, followed by Q&A.

Friday, July 13 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., Room 23ABC
Roman Dirge

**Get LENORE SWIRLIES signed by Roman Dirge at AA8 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (Limited Signing – drawing for line tickets to be held Friday at 9:00 a.m. in the Autograph Area).

LENORE items available at TITAN (BOOTH 5537): SDCC Exclusive first availability of the new upcoming graphic novel Lenore: Swirlies, more Lenore graphic novels, new merchandise including Lenore t-shirts and mugs.

DREW STRUZAN – ICONIC MOVIE POSTER ART Spotlighting a special biographical film, “Drew: The Man Behind the Poster,” Drew Struzan will be the featured guest on a panel joined by TITAN editor Steve Saffel, actor Thomas Jane, composer Ryan Shore and Zack Martin from Skywalker Sound. Producer Charles Ricciardi, cinematographer supervising editor Greg Boas, director Erik Sharkey, and editor Jeff Yorkes will present the film. Hailed by Steven Spielberg as “My favorite movie artist,” Drew Struzan has created some of the most iconic movie posters of the last 30 years, from Harry Potter to Hellboy, Raiders of the Lost Ark to Back to the Future.

Sunday, July 15 3:45 – 4:45 p.m., Room 5-AB
Drew: The Man Behind the Poster
DREW STRUZAN items available at TITAN (BOOTH 5537): Drew Struzan Oeuvre (Limited Edition); The Art of Drew Struzan.

EVERYTHING ZOMBIE! Learn how to survive everything from zombie invasions to viral zombie infections as TITAN Books author Dana Fredsti (Plague Town) joins Max Brooks (World War Z) and other fantastic writers in a panel led by John Horner Jacobs (The Dark Earth).

Thursday, July 12th 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. Room 6A
Not With a Bang, With A Bite
PLAGUE TOWN novel will be available at a signing after the panel and at TITAN (BOOTH 5537). Dana is also available for interviews.

Simon & Kirby, Tarzan, zombies, and the great Drew Struzan in the flesh! Hell yeah!

I’ll post more book-related info as I receive it, but, again, this week’s Entertainment Weekly has a fab breakdown on SDCC. Definitely worth picking up the issue.

The Amazing Money-Man!
Despite mixed reviews, The Amazing Spider-Man is burning up the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the Spidey reboot is on track for a $140 million six-day start. The film set a record for a Tuesday opening ($34.2M) and ranks as the second highest Wednesday earner ($23.3M) behind Transformers. The film obviously will be successful, but there’s still speculation as to whether it will have the endurance that Sam Raimi’s Spideys enjoyed or if will peter out (pun intended) after the diehards get their initial fill.

The film no doubt will continue to reign at the box office this weekend, easily besting Oliver Stone’s Savages and the Katy Perry flik.

One of the biggest complaints about this Spidey is there’s too much CGI. Me, I’m still trying to figure out how Andrew Garfield squeezes his Team Edward mop under the mask.

For Whom the Bull Tolls
Coincidentally, on the heels of the anniversary of Hemingway’s death and yesterday’s post about Scribner rereleasing Ernesto’s A Farewell to Arms with its numerous alternate endings, the annual San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain, starts today. The fiesta was made popular by Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and now draws thousand of drunken yahoos running through the streets being chased by the bulls, which inevitably stick a horn in someone’s ass. Happens every year.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
On this day in 1957, young Liverpool lad Ivan Vaughan went to see his friend’s skiffle band play at St. Peter’s Woolton Parish Church where he ran into a kid he knew from school. They hung out and listened to the music together. When the band finished their set, Ivan went to say hello to his friend, bringing his classmate along. There, late on a Saturday afternoon, Ivan introduced 15-year-old Paul McCartney to the band’s leader, a 16-year-old wiseass named John Lennon. Heaven smiled.

While in Beatles mode, big Geeky Friday birthday greetings to Ringo, who turns 72 tomorrow. Here’s a clip of Paul surprising his bandmate at Ringo’s 70th birthday concert at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall in 2010.

Have a good weekend, all. It’s supposed to be a scorcher, so try to stay cool (and don’t get gored in the ass by a bull!). Get your geek on, baby!

Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.