Roger’s Comic Ramblings: Fun times at the Baltimore Comic-Con

Your host, Roger Ash

Your host, Roger Ash


by Roger Ash

I’m on staff at the Baltimore Comic-Con and have been for eight or nine years at this point. I’ve often said that if you’re into comics, you need to go to Baltimore as it’s a very comic centric show. Yes, there are media guests, but there were eight this year and around 200 comic creators, so it’s easy to see where the focus lies.

Here are a few highlights for me from this year’s show. My job at the show is programming (think panels), so what I talk about will be heavily weighted in that direction, but I hope to give you a feel for the show itself.

Karl Kesel & Tom Grummett

Section Zero Ultra-Cool Collector’s Edition HC

Section Zero Ultra-Cool Collector’s Edition HC


Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett were guests at the show courtesy of the Hero Initiative. This was fortuitous as they’re celebrating 25 years of collaboration beginning with their work together on Superboy. This was also the public debut of their Section Zero hardcover which collects their Gorilla Comics series and finally completes the story. It’s a gorgeous volume with tons of extras and a real treasure trove for fans of their work. This Ultra-Cool Collector’s Edition is only available here. They even took part in a panel spotlighting their work together moderated by Westfield blogger, Robert Greenberger. Just remember, there is no Section Zero.

Left to right: Tom Grummett, Karl Kesel, and Robert Greenberger

Left to right: Tom Grummett, Karl Kesel, and Robert Greenberger


Karl was also promoting his new comic series, Impossible Jones, which is live right this very instant on Kickstarter. (Editor’s note: We’ve been informed that this Kickstarter has been cancelled)

We’ve got panels

The Noir Comics panel with John K. Snyder III, Christy Blanch, and Brian Azzarello.

The Noir Comics panel with John K. Snyder III, Christy Blanch, and Brian Azzarello.


We’re gonna start this section with a few shout outs. I want to thank Robert Greenberger (yup, him again), Christy Blanch, and Amy Chu for making my job at Baltimore much easier by moderating so many excellent panels. I personally sat in on the Noir Comics panel hosted by Christy with panelists John K. Snyder III and Brian Azzarello and Robert hosted panels on Shazam! (with Kevin Maguire, Denny O’Neil, Jeff Parker, and Jerry Ordway) and media guests Erin Gray’s (Buck Rogers) spotlight panel. And Amy’s Coffee & Comics panel is always a highlight of the show.

Captain Ginger #3

Captain Ginger #3


New publisher AHOY Comics made their debut appearance at Baltimore, including a panel featuring Tom PeyerStuart MooreJamal IgleJune Brigman, Roy RichardsonTodd Klein, and Frank Cammuso. You should definitely check out their comics including Captain Ginger, Wrong Earth, High Heaven, and Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror, you should. These are some great comics.

Left to right: Evelyn Kriete, P. Craig Russell, Ed Piskor, Timothy Truman, John K. Snyder III, and Mark Buckingham.

Left to right: Evelyn Kriete, P. Craig Russell, Ed Piskor, Timothy Truman, John K. Snyder III, and Mark Buckingham.


A personal favorite was the Music and Comics panel featuring P. Craig Russell (The Ring of the Nibelung), Ed Piskor (Hip Hop Family Tree), Timothy Truman (Grateful Dead Comix), John K. Snyder III (Fashion in Action), Mark Buckingham (Fables), and moderator Evelyn Kriete. It was fascinating to hear how music inspired these creators as well as how they represent music in comics. I also learned that Buckingham at one point worked for Aardman Animation (the folks who bring you Wallace & Gromit and so much more). He was there when they made the groundbreaking video for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer. He was sort of Gabriel’s stunt double as they tried out things on him to make sure they were safe for Peter.

Left to right: John Gallagher, Jamar Nicholas, Laura Lee Gullidge, and Jimmy Gownley.

Left to right: John Gallagher, Jamar Nicholas, Laura Lee Gullidge, and Jimmy Gownley.


A panel that was fascinating, important, and I have seen some talk about since the show was Creativity & Mental Health – A Roundtable Discussion. Moderator John Gallagher and creators Jimmy GownleyLaura Lee Gullidge, and Jamar Nicholas shared their personal experiences with depression and how they’ve dealt with it through creativity. While they aren’t mental health professionals, there were some present in the audience who commented during the Q&A portion of the panel. I was proud that we were able to offer a platform for a discussion like this.

We have media guests, too

Your friendly author with Sherilyn Fenn

Your friendly author with Sherilyn Fenn


As I mentioned earlier, there were media guests as well including the aforementioned Erin Gray. Zachary Levi (Shazam!), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Wil Wheaton, Katrina Law (Green Arrow), Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Michael Copon (Power Rangers Time Force), and Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) all added to the fun and excitement of the weekend. Getting to meet Sherilyn was a real treat for me and she was a pleasure to chat with.

The Ringo Awards

Saturday night was the second annual Ringo Awards, named in honor of comics creator Mike Wieringo. It was a wonderful evening celebrating comics and the people who make them. A couple highlights for me were getting to chat with Tom & Nancy Grummet about comics and the TV show Corner Gas, and Denys Cowan’s speech introducing Lifetime Achievement recipient, Denny O’Neil. Best of all was watching Lee Weeks as the evening progressed. The Batman/Elmer Fudd special by Tom King and Lee Weeks won two awards and King and Weeks both won for best writer and artist, respectively. Lee was more and more amazed that he won each time he went to the stage. This was not false modesty; he was stunned. It was good to see such a talented artist get this recognition. If you want to know who won this year, you can find the list here.

Roger has some fun

While my duties at the convention kept me pretty busy, I did get to have some fun as well.

John Gallagher and Ranger Rick

John Gallagher and Ranger Rick


I grew up reading Ranger Rick magazine. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a magazine for young readers published by the National Wildlife Federation. My grandparents got me a subscription to this for a number of years and it did much to foster my love of wildlife and nature. When I discovered that John Gallagher is the Art Director on the magazine, I had to ask him to draw Ranger Rick for me. He came through in spades.

Lots of quality reading

Lots of quality reading


I added to my collection of Dell and Gold Key Disney and Hanna-Barbera comics and even found a Hanna-Barbera comic from Archie. And they were a bargain as everything was $5 or less. There’s lots of good reading in my future.

My thanks go out to Marc and Shelly Nathan for making me a part of the Baltimore Comic-Con family; my crew for the weekend, Kevin, Victor, Victoria, and Stephanie, with an able assist by Lynne; all the staff members who put up with my nonsense; and the fans who make this such an amazing weekend. I hope to see you there next year!

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  1. Jim Burdo Says:

    The Impossible Jones Kickstarter has been cancelled.

  2. Roger Says:

    Thank you for the update.