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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday Comix! BEA & DC

Last week, Michael Dahl, Capstone Editorial Director, traveled to BookExpo America, the largest book trade show in the United States. Although BEA isn’t exactly Comic Con, the show did highlight some buzzworthy graphic novels, including the Graphic Novel Reporter’s Hottest Graphic Novels of 2012! Be sure to check them out.

A special congrats to our friends at DC Comics, who received two Honorable Mentions for two AMAZING Batman titles! Michael, for one, couldn’t be prouder. Below, this lifetime comic book GEEK recalls his BEA/DC connections from this past week...

MICHAEL DAHL: You’d think that after spending days surrounded by comics and graphic novels that I would have gotten my fill. Nope. Even though I visited the comic books row at BEA twice during the conference, and helped out at the Art Baltazar signing at the Capstone booth, I still wanted more.

Here I am, standing between two giants of the comic biz: Art B. and Franco.
These guys are not only two of the most talented and prolific creators working today
(check out their stunning new series Superman Family Adventures!),
but they are funny, friendly, and have a genuine passion for kids as well as comics. 
So later in the week, I visited my friend Steve Korte at DC headquarters in Manhattan. Steve had been the group editor for DC’s licensed publishing, and now he is their archivist/librarian. His new office is on the opposite side of the building, he has a great view of Broadway, and he is alone – with thousands of original comics and illustrations dating back to the 30s. I was able to hold a copy of the original Action Comic with the first Superman story. One copy sold recently for more than $1 million dollars. I also saw the first Detective Comic (where DC got its name), and the first Wonder Woman comic.

Steve sitting next to a replica of the famous Action Comic.
I'm holding one of the very first Superboy comics.
Steve knows I love Superboy and Jimmy Olsen stories, as well as The Legion of Super-Heroes and Wonder Woman from the 60s, so he let me peruse dozens and dozens of the originals. What a strange feeling! I would pull out a comic and was immediately transported back decades to when I first read it. In some cases, I could remember where I was when I read the story: in my yard lying in the grass during summer vacation, sitting in the backseat of the family car, or in my bedroom, totally immersed in Krypton or Paradise Island or Earth in the 30th century. For me, comics were not simply escapist literature. They changed the way I looked at life. The codes of honor and self-sacrifice and courage of those young heroes became goals for my younger self. As an 11-year old, I dreamed about one day joining the Legion of Super-Heroes. I might not ever be able to fly, or turn invisible, or bend steel with my bare hands, but I could be brave and honest and stick up for people in trouble. Now, as my love of comics has led me to meet and work with so many talented and inspiring people, I think, maybe I did join after all.

1 comment:

Laurie S. Sutton said...

As a kid I pretended to be a member of the LSH and wanted to be a reporter like Lois Lane. I haven't gotten to the 30th century (where's that time bubble?!), but I did become a writer like Lois. Comics definitely have a positive impact.