Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Baltimore Comic-Con Creator Profiles

LEN WEIN - When you take a look back at the last forty years of comic books, you'd be hard pressed to find a guy who's had more lasting impact than Len Wein. A comic fan from an early age, Wein began working for various publications in the late 60s. But his first real splash came in 1971, when he and collaborator Bernie Wrightson created the Swamp Thing for DC. Certainly more than just a one-hit wonder, Wein also contributed to the Phantom Stranger and Justice League of America and created the surprisingly enduring Human Target before moving to Marvel. At the House of Ideas he contributed to some of Marvel's most popular titles, including Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, The Mighty Thor and The Incredible Hulk, where he created arguably the most popular comic character of all time, Wolverine. But his biggest contribution has to be the revival of the X-Men after a five year hiatus, where he and artist Dave Cockrum shook up the line-up and created such fan favorites as Nightcrawler, Storm and this writer's personal favorite, Colossus. Wein eventually moved back to DC where he had a prominent career as an editor, working on successful titles like New Teen Titans, Crisis On Infinite Earths and a little book you may have heard of, Watchmen. Most recently, Wein's lent his talents as a writer to Justice League of America for DC. Bring along your old Swamp Thing comics and see if you can't get Wein and Wrightson both to add their John Hancocks to them!

WALT SIMONSON - A veteran of the comics industry for over thirty years, Simonson is best known for his time on Marvel's The Mighty Thor. Though he contributed to a number of titles over the years, including nearly three years on X-Factor that influences much of the X-Books today, most fanboys remember Simonson for what he did during his time with Marvel's Thunder God. With a style nothing short of epic, Simonson took what Kirby had done with the character and built something new and dynamic on top of it. His storytelling was cinematic, his pacing sharp and crisp, and what he did on the book influenced artists for years to come. Oh, and let's not forget that he gave us Beta Ray Bill as well. A winner of multiple awards and a well respected elder in the industry, Simonson is truly one of the greats.

MARK WAID - Mark Waid is, in a word, great. Over the years he's contributed to almost every major character in both the DC and Marvel universes and has never missed a beat. Let's just run down the list. Captain America, Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Ka-Zar, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Metamorpho, Impulse, The Flash, the JLA, and Superman. His epic commentary on the future of superheores, Kingdom Come, is considered one of the best superhero stories ever told and is often mentioned in the same breath as similar works such as Watchmen and Miracleman. Most recently, Waid has lent his talent as editor and writer to upstart BOOM! Studios where he's teaching an old dog some new tricks in his series Irredeemable. A consummate professional and one of the nicest guys in the business, you'd be hard pressed to find a better creator.

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