Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wondercon 2008 impressions

It was rainy but I made it to Wondercon 2008 @ Moscone Center SF. Even met up with some art collecting friends which was great to catch up with them. And of course, I saw lots of superheroes including a few that let me take photos with them. Long story there and I'll save those pictures for another time. :) I would have tried to squeeze into my bright red spandex Flash costume for a quick jog around the show but...

There were a couple original art booths there including the few art dealers that annually make it to this show including Allan from Heroes Comics, Moy, Donneley's, etc etc. Also made it to Artist Alley to see who was signing/sketching including Ryan Sook, Art Adams, Ron Lim, Ernie Chua, Tony DeZuniga, JS Campbell, etc etc. Saw Jim Lee at the CBLD sketching event along with JJ Kirby, and couple other artists. They had a couple nice Lee sketches go for upwards of 800 (Sue Richards, Colossus, Ironman). Also was able to flip through the portfolios at Michael Turner's Aspen area (little more than I want to spend for those nice pencils), and saw Ale Garza and others doing a 90 minute Hellboy sketching battle.

It seemed fairly crowded inside for a Wondercon, but then again, weather wasn't great and Saturday tends to have some cool talks and presenters including the CBLD sketching and live auction, movie previews (Wall-E from Pixar Animation Studios), and other special guests, which tend to bring people off the main exhibit floor. The line out front buying tickets was long --I had to wait at least 30 minutes queued up out front and this was at around 1pm. It looks like the comic book industry is strong, and has a lot of influence out there. More and more movie/tv studios send stars and directors down to preview and talk up their projects.

And where else can u see Wolverine walking around, and then you shout, "Hey Wolverine, how about a photo?!?" and he goes into an iconic pose right then and there. Awesome. :) Of course there were the snickers and comments like "Looks like Wolverine doesn't have his healing power to lose more weight" and other zingers. But no matter. This is a comic book convention. It's normal to dress up as your favorite character and walk around the show with 100,000 of your other friends. :)

Buscema Sinnot Fantastic Four 125 page 3

Now here's an oldie but a goodie. Don't see these go up for sale very often. John Buscema and Joe Sinnot work from Fantastic Four 125 page 3. This sold for $1611.00 with 14 bids. Easy to see why this page had so much interest --has some classic images of Reed, Thing, and Torch. From the late 70s..

Any Buscema and Sinnot fans?!?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Look out, Spider-Man! Gecko inspires new glue

As reported earlier today, science may have finally caught up with Peter Parker's webbing...

(Link to original article @

It could make you want to climb the walls.

Inspired by the gravity-defying, rapid attach-and-release movement of geckos scampering up vertical surfaces, scientists have invented a non-sticky adhesive that mimics the reptiles’ padded feet and actually gets stronger with use.

The strange material could become the basis for legions of high-speed search and rescue gecko-bots, Band-Aids that finally leave your leg hairs alone, and yes, perhaps even oversized climbing gloves to help you live out your Spiderman fantasy.

The adhesive is fashioned after the foot pad of a diminutive reptile that can go seemingly anywhere.

“For a gecko to move around in the world, it can’t just have Scotch tape on its feet,” said Ron Fearing, director of the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab at the University of California at Berkeley and the co-author of two new studies describing how it all works. “Simultaneously, it’s got to be easy to attach, easy to release, as well as providing enough force to keep the animal from slipping off the surface,” he said.

Meeting all of those requirements without leaving any residue behind is “a completely revolutionary approach to sticking things together,” said Kellar Autumn, a biology professor at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., and a longtime Fearing collaborator who led the effort to reveal the animal’s unique ability. “We could have the next Mars rover crawling around with gecko feet.”

Inspired by nature
Other groups have found similar inspiration from geckos. Last year, a research team at Northwestern University announced that it had produced a gecko-mussel hybrid adhesive, dubbed “geckel” and deemed suitable for underwater use.

The secret to the gecko’s success is the collective power of tiny forces exerted by millions of odd bristles that extend out from each footpad and then branch into a forest of forked tips. “This is such a bizarre solution that I don’t think engineers would have thought of it if geckos hadn’t evolved it,” said Autumn.

At a microscopic scale, nearly everything in nature is attracted to everything else, and the branching bristles are equipped to take full advantage. The van der Waals forces of attraction, as they’re known, may seem unremarkable to casual observers. “If you put your hand down on a flat surface, there are van der Waals forces holding your hand to that surface,” Autumn said, “but they’re not strong enough to help you climb the walls like Spiderman.”

Ah, but that dynamic would change considerably if your hand was covered in tiny gecko bristles, each brushing up against the wall and helping to build up a considerable attraction.

“Think of Velcro or tape that doesn’t stick until it’s pulled parallel to a surface. But if you relax it, it just lets go,” Autumn said. “That works really, really differently from anything you can find in the store right now.”

Continued @

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

SD Comic-Con and SF WonderCon 2008

It's comic convention season already.

Just wanted to give a notice to those of you that will be attending the big convention down in San Diego later this summer, Comic-Con 2008, July 24-27. Today is the first day to book hotels through their website [Link to] and get some discount on the rooms. Rooms go fast.

Also WonderCon 2008 San Francisco, Feb 22-24 is coming up fast. Get your tix and travel accommodations lined up since it is almost 2 weeks away. Announced guests for this show include:

» Sergio Aragon├ęs
» Kurt Busiek
» Mike Choi
» Becky Cloonan
» Darwyn Cooke
» Terry Dodson
» Mark Evanier
» Jim Lee
» Steve Leialoha
» David Mack
» Terry Moore
» Noel Neill
» Tim Sale
» J. Michael Straczynski
» Ben Templesmith
» Bruce Timm
» Herb Trimpe
» Bill Willingham
» Brian Wood

Here's a link to the Exhibitors and those that are scheduled for Artists' Alley.