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Topic: I Just Talked with William Shatner (Plus FanExpo ’18) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 09 August 2018 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I'll be at Boston Saturday and Sunday. 

It's coming up very soon. Should we take a head count of the JBF Boston attendees?
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Tim O'Neill
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 1:30pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply



I hope those of you who made it to Boston are having a great time!  I am so bummed to miss this - I hope you guys are taking pictures so those of us who couoldnít make it can get a taste of the fun!



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Steve Gumm
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 8:43pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I agree with Tim, I would also add, I hope John finds time to enjoy Mr Shatnerís company, perhaps even cook up a project they could collaborate on.

Sorry John, I always seem to be trying to get you back to work ; )
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Bradley Dean
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Posted: 11 August 2018 at 8:51pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I dragged my family to the comic con (first time for all of us). With one son crying in the background John signed 10 of my favorite Byrne issues. I then had fun leafing through the portfolios of original art with my other son. 

My only regret was that I was unable to find my copy of X-Men 129, with the first appearance of Kitty Pryde, to bring to the comic con for John to sign. 

Quite the adventure. 
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Jason K Fulton
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Posted: 12 August 2018 at 8:12am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Lots of pictures on twitter, it looks like everyone was having fun. It's neat to see other pros gush over meeting JB.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 12 August 2018 at 9:51am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Chris Ryall posted this one on Facebook:

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Tim O'Neill
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Posted: 12 August 2018 at 9:57am | IP Logged | 7 post reply



Wow!!!  So cool! 




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Joe Smith
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Posted: 12 August 2018 at 10:01am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Non-Trekkie here, but, I'm loving this picture, and
seeing all of the pros with JB on Twitter is making my
year!
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Steve Gumm
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Posted: 12 August 2018 at 11:12am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

If you are working in comics and havenít been inspired by John in some way I would be surprised... his work casts a long shadow.  

The photo of John, Mr. Shatner and his book makes me smile. John itís official you too are part of the Star Trek story, after all, you have the Captainís blessing : )






Edited by Steve Gumm on 12 August 2018 at 1:38pm
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Joe Zhang
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Posted: 12 August 2018 at 6:15pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I don't know how the stage doesn't collapse with all that talent and fame standing on it! 
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 12 August 2018 at 6:44pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

JB has a stronger will than I do.  I would have just been standing there staring like when Troy met Levar Burton.
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 12 August 2018 at 11:26pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

It seems to me that there has been a long period of time, starting just about the time of JB's Next Men, that JB has been more of a target of criticism than praise.  From the king of the mountain with so many projects to a cantankerous, old, has-been that'll kick you off his website if you don't prostrate yourself as a sycophant.
But a photo from this con taken by Chris Ryall of artist Paul Renaud shaking hands with JB got me to wondering if the worm has turned yet again?  I follow a handful of artists on FB and my perception has been that in recent years it has become okay again to be a fan of and to respect JB.  I have read various interviews where today's creators are referencing JB and his work as their inspiration and seeing this latest picture sparked in me the idea that maybe it's okay to be a JB fan again?

Anyone else experiencing anything like that?  The poster child for this phenomena is Jack Kirby so I'm hesitant to compare JB's history in the same way but it does present obvious parallels IMO.  When I was a teen and has started to recognize creators more than just read the characters in comics, Kirby was under heavy fire.  It was not cool to be a Kirby fan at that time(in my small slice of the world).  The early '80's was just not a high point for his career from what I could tell.  At some point that all got straightened out and he was once again and rightfully revered instead of reviled.

Things may not yet have righted themselves for JB but I'm getting that same feeling of critics falling by the wayside that I felt back then.




Edited by Andy Mokler on 12 August 2018 at 11:29pm
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Didier Yvon Paul Fayolle
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 12:55am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Andy, this is not Paul Renaud...
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 1:27am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Thatís Marvel EIC, C.B. Cebulski, yes?
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 1:44am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I apologize, there was no context on the FB post.  It just said "I'm listening" on Paul Renaud's wall and I don't actually know what he looks like.

I guess PR is hoping for that "project" to see the light of day like so many others.  In any case, I think the point still remains...
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Didier Yvon Paul Fayolle
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 2:09am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Michael is correct
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Steve Gumm
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 7:47am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Marvel EIC and JB shaking hands... I like it, say it was simply a photo op... it's still cool to see. 

Of course, we all would love it to be symbolic of Marvel opening the door to bring one of it's greats back to create more cool comics.  
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 7:59am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

So, That Happened -- a Report from the Con

ē Getting There Isn't Half the Fun

The weekend very quickly developed a theme. My departure gate was as far as physically possible from the entrance at LaGuardia, and at Logan my arrival gate was equally far, if not further, from the exit. There was some confusion about where I was to be met on arrival, forcing me to walk back and forth several times along a very long concourse.

At the hotel, my room was as far from the elevator as it could be.

Walking to the con was literally a mile, even though the building was next door, so the con arranged door to door car service. Once in the con, tho, again the distances between places I was supposed to be were repeated. (At one point I actually surrendered to using a scooter, but the battery almost immediately ran out!)

Pretty much repeated for the trip home -- including a 40 minute weather delay.

ē Day One

Only half a day, since the Con did not open until 4pm. I got to my table around 2, and sat chatting with various folk, including Howard Mackie and his wife Deb. Altho Howard and I are best buds and in regular contact, we estimated this was about seven years since we'd actually breathed the same air.

Wandered over to Neal Adams' booth and stood to one side until he noticed me. "JOHN?" Delighted to be recognized after so many years. We shook hands (I tried to sap his talent but was unsuccessful) and chatted for a while.

Made contact with a number of long ago folk, including Bob McLeod, Pat Broderick, Jae Lee, Amanda Connor & Jimmy Palmiotto.

Made a few new contacts, including Greg Capullo, David Finch, and a host of folk who, I will admit, were too many names for my old brain to hang onto.

Also met CB Cebulski, Marvel's new EiC.

ē Day Two

First full day. Met the Forum's own John Kirk, who brought over Brent Spiner to say Hi. Thru the day there were a flurry of momentary meetings (of different durations) with various celebrities. Let's get the name dropping out of the way in one go: Jeff Goldblum, Wallace Shawn, Paul Reubens, Chris Sarandon, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd. Second chat with Brent Spiner.

Signed a lot of books. Fans friendly and enthusiastic. Several were shocked that I didn't charge for autographs or photos.

Did a "spotlight" panel, moderated by Chris Ryall. Lots of interesting questions from the audience, tho some taxed my memory. My fans know my career much better than I do.

ē Day Three

Shatner! The reason I was there. I was waiting in the Green Room when he entered thru a curtained doorway and walked straight over to me, hand extended. "John Byrne!" We shook, and I managed not to dissolve into a puddle of goo. (It might have been slightly helpful that I was meeting, effectively, Denny Crain, not Captain Kirk.)

We then did a brief moment on stage together, which began with me talking about how STAR TREK had come into my life, when I was 16, and then introducing Bill. (Ahem!) We talked for a while about TREK and comics (he is a long time reader), and then I scurried off to give him the stage to himself.

We had lunch together, again in the Green Room, and again I managed to keep it together. I did take a moment to ask if he would be interested in playing Captain Kirk's grandfather in NEW VISIONS, but he politely declined. (I asked if it was true he'd been on the Canadian HOWDY DOODY, but he said he did not remember.)

Another "spotlight" panel, which went well -- except for one blip. I showed the copy of the NEW VISIONS omnibus I'd gotten Shatner to sign, and someone in the audience immediately bleated "Not personalized?" Thanks for raining on that moment. Later Bill gave me a picture of the two of us on stage, framed and personalized.

A signing with Shatner. The STNV omnibus had been prepared at his request, a hardcover oversized volume containing issues 9 thru 16, plus the Gorn story. This is what we signed, and what he apparently wants to sign at other cons. (Saw a website that accused me of "fibbing" for having said Shatner liked the comic, since, when asked he said he did not know what it was. He sure seemed to know what it was when it was in front of him! He had lots of questions about my "process".)

Another, longer chat with Brent Spiner. We discovered we are close in age, and had a lot of childhood experiences in common. Nice guy.

Introduced myself to Maurice LaMarche, who did a classic double-take and said "JOHN BYRNE John Byrne?" Turned out he was a big fan, which was a real hoot for me. This encouraged me to geek out. "What are we going to do tonight, Brain?" I asked. He tucked his chin into his chest and responded, in character, "The same thing we do every night, John! Try to take over the World!" Super fun!

Had a breakfast meeting with CB.

ē Final Notes

This was one of the best convention crews it has ever been my pleasure to work with. Really nice people. Special nods to Constance, Christine and Dave.

To the fans: I don't know who thinks these wrapped in plastic and bound in blue tape comics are a good idea, but the little "windows" left open for autographs were most restricting, and often on areas that afforded no real space for the autograph. Let's get rid of them!!

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Harold Walls
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 8:13am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I am glad you enjoyed yourself in Boston.
I am afraid your long distance theme will continue at Fan Expo Canada.  Artists alley and the New Visions panel are about as a far apart as they could be and still be at the same con.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 8:17am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

LaGuardia...?! NOOOOOOOOO!!!

"My fans know my career much better than I do." -- your work is well-loved, JB, and deservedly so.

Thanks very much for the recap. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 8:25am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Interesting report, Mr Byrne! Sounds like a fun weekend.
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Tim O'Neill
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 8:26am | IP Logged | 22 post reply



Thank you for the report, JB - as a fan of NEW VISIONS, itís fantastic to see the two of you on stage together.  That you shared a meal with him and got to chat is fantastic.  Knowing your personal history with Star Trek from stories here on the Forum, it must have been a huge moment.  Iím glad you could hold it together!  :-)

Except for the impromptu hiking trip, it sounds like a great time!



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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 8:35am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

One point I didn't mention: only two people turned up in line with the JBF badges. Maybe there will be more in Toronto.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 8:39am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Day Three also marked the 22nd anniversary of the death of Mark Gruenwald.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 August 2018 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

 John Byrne wrote:
One point I didn't mention: only two people turned up in line with the JBF badges. Maybe there will be more in Toronto.

I personally would not wear one because, great though it would be, does anyone even own a printer nowadays? I've forgotten what a printer looks like. ;-) 
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