“Is everybody ready for Buffalo ComiCon?” a man yells out. There’s a smattering of “woos” and “yeahs,” but mostly silence among the lines of comic book fans lined up in the hallway. Moments later a young woman comes out and asks again in place of her male counterpart.
“Is everybody ready for Queen City Comics Buffalo ComiCon?”
Vendors at Buffalo ComiCon
This time there is a notable response from the crowd. A man dressed as Han Solo lets cheer. And with that, the doors were open for the 14th Annual Buffalo ComiCon.
Throughout the Marriott Inn ballroom cosplayers, comic book collectors and self proclaimed “nerds” check out the offerings. From massive comic book collections, both vintage and brand new to artwork being sold by local artists. Amateur comic book artists were on hand, selling their own books.
Fans dressed as their favorite comic book and sci-fi characters, from a miniature Incredible Hulk to a Stormtrooper in authentic garb. There was a Princess Leia. And countless shirts sporting logos of Batman, Superman, Flash, and the Green Lantern.
Among the vendors and artists and roleplayers was Bane co-creator Graham Nolan, who took time to talk to [miscellany media] about the crowd-sourced Joe Frankenstein, his roots in Florida and how it played a role in his project Sunshine State, and his thoughts on the eating habits of Batman villain Bane.
Tell me a bit about “Sunshine State,” it’s a definite contrast from your work with the Bane and The Phantom?
I was looking for another outlet and I always wanted to do a humor strip so, I wanted to do something about where I was originally from in Florida.
How did you come to work on Rex Morgan, MD?
I had published Monster Island, but originally my thoughts were to do it as an adventure strip, but I didn’t have any contacts in the strip world, so I published it as a comic book. Then after it came out I reformatted it and sent it into King Features and all the other syndicates to see if I could get it syndicated. They all said they can’t sell an adventure strip anymore, however we have an opening on this one, Rex Morgan. It was serendipity.
Were you a fan at all of the strip growing up?
No I wasn’t, I had never saw it. Although the Buffalo News did have it, but I never read it when it was in the (Buffalo) news. It was kind of on the downside, but there was a point when Rex was on of the top strips that every paper had to have back in the ‘50s and ‘60s…it was a really, really well done popular strip. And it had kind of fallen on some hard times and they wanted me to kind of bring it back to those illustrative days. So, I was like “That’s a good challenge,” so that’s why I decided to do it.
So you co-created Bane, one of Batman’s most worthy adversaries. How did that come about?
That came about, when I had got a call that they were going to do this Nightfall storyline and they needed this character created for it. I wasn’t there for the initial meeting where what they needed to do for Nightfall, but Chuck Dixon had recommended me, because he knew what a big Doc Savage fan I was and Chuck and I were friends and worked together at Eclipse. And he recommended me, so they approached me about designing the character.
Bane co-creator, Graham Nolan
Ok, I’ve got to ask you, what did you think of the Bane we saw in The Dark Night Rises? How did you feel about the changes from the strip and the movie?
(makes a thumbs down) Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft. (laughs) You’ll have to spell that some how.
What was it for you, was it the voice? Because I know that a lot of people felt that Tom Hardy was pretty hard to hear.
I liked the voice, I thought it was interesting. I thought they captured a lot of the character really well, his menace and all that stuff. But I hated his outfit. I hated his mask. That mask was the worse.
Totally, I think the way he was presented looks wise was quite a change from the comic.
I mean, if they had done the uniform the way the did in the movie, but if they kept the traditional mask I would have been happier. I could lived with that. Because even in my design I had a paramilitary idea for it (gestures to a print of Bane), hence with the pants and the boots and all that kind of stuff. But what they did with the mask, it looked like The Alien was on his face. I mean, how does he eat with that? (laughs)
I just discovered your Joe Frankenstein strip, which I think is really cool. It has this coming of age superhero take, but with a monster story line. Do you think something like this could translate to a movie?
Who do you think could play Joe?
I know exactly who would play him, because I designed Joe to actually look like him. It’s the Mac Guy…Justin Long. Originally when I had seen him in that college comedy, “Accepted,” I loved that movie. He was a riot in it. And around that age he would have been perfect for Joe Frankenstein.
Alright, so Bane is arguably one of the greatest comic villains of all time. Who do you think this the greatest comic villain? And you can say Bane.
(laughs) You know, I really don’t know. Each hero has to have a really good villain to make a hero of him. My favorites growing up were the Joker and Green Goblin. Not the best, but they were my favorites.
Green Goblin and Bane are mine for sure.
Very cool. Oh and Bane. And Bane. (laughs)
Comics on comics on comics
TK-421, why aren’t you at your post?