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AlphaFlight.net - Report: Alpha Flight #1 Signing at Midtown Comics
  • Report - Alpha Flight #1 Signing at Midtown Comics

    June 18th saw an Alpha Flight #1 signing by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente & Mark Paniccia at New York's Midtown Comics

    AF.net's rplass was there to cover the event for us:

    Hey I had fun at the signing. It was FVL, Greg Pak and Mark. I also met Thor [Parker, the Special Events Coordinator at Midtown Comics], who was so very nice and professional as well. He told me that Midtown really went nuts on Alpha Flight, ordering 30x the number of copies they usually would order for a series like that and they were promoting it. I saw stacks at the register (where they do the heavy promoting), plus about 10 copies of the variant cover, plus the Chaos War issue - it was Alpha Flight everywhere in that place! He let me take some photos too. Most of the people there were FVL or Greg Pak fans, or both, because I saw a ton of stuff non-Alpha Flight related, but there were a few hardcore AF fans there too, one guy in particular who was very touching - he said he was an old school fan and would keep his signed copy of Alpha Flight #1 that he got today for his whole life and pass it down to his kids, pretty intense, huh?

    Thor told me some interesting news: first, that copies of signed issues of #0.1 and #1 would be available at Midtown Comics stores AND online at midtowncomics.com, and that they would be sold for cover price, so if you couldn't make it to the signing, go pick one up at a store or online! He also said that a Midtown Comics Exclusive Alpha Flight t-shirt was in the works, but something got fouled with the licensing. He showed me a new Cyclops shirt from the same company and said he was expecting an Alpha Flight shirt but it never came. It was supposed to be red, that's all he knew. Keep an eye out for that.

    I had the chance to talk to the guys extensively. Here are my personal views: FVL and Greg Pak are really good friends, you could just tell, not just writing partners but really close with each other. We're getting two for the price of, well, we're getting a team effort here. I had the sense that they were both absolutely brilliant. Not just smart, but really very smart, and the same for Mark of course too.

    I overheard FVL say "Marinna" (rhymes with vanilla - those of you who heard the podcast thingy know what I'm talking about) and I mentioned that it's pronounced like the place boats are kept - Muh-ree-na. I even told him I read it in a John Byrne piece from 1982 - (the piece I'm talking about is the interview in Amazing Heroes #22), but he stood his ground. He conferred with Greg, who also said it the same way. I politely insisted it was Muh-ree-na but they insisted back it was "Marinna" so I guess the official pronunciation has changed.

    I spoke with him quite a bit about Marrina's new personality. I reminded him that Byrne didn't have her around all that much, and she basically left AF right away. He agreed, calling her a "plot device to reach the Master". I noted to him that the 9 issues of his run plus the Chaos War issue would be more issues than John Byrne wrote with her, so he would be writing the majority of the Marrina issues. I asked him how old she was and he said, well she's an alien, so we don't know exactly how she ages, but she's not a teenager anymore. I suggested that Marinna (and here I said it Marinna by accident and he caught me on it which was really funny), I mean Marrina, had no personality and he wasn't really changing her, he was establishing her. He said that her personality is a combination between the "monster" part of her and her youth and added that he needed a young person on the roster. I said, well you have Beta and Gamma Flights, what about those kids. He said they were mutants, and largely depowered, which is a Marvel Editorial thing, and that's that.

    I asked him a few questions about John Byrne, one of which was if he had heard any feedback from Byrne on the new Alpha Flight either directly or through the grapevine of the industry, "or do you not care?" and he said that he hadn't heard, and that he wants Byrne to like it, but it's not required. Fair enough. I got the sense that he felt complete ownership over Alpha Flight, without any need to seek approval from anyone about what he was doing, and it was a message delivered with confidence.

    I asked Mark if he felt as if he had to be an Alpha Flight trivia buff to be a good editor for this series. He admitted that he wish he were but hadn't read every single Alpha Flight book ever, but what he does is go ask someone if he needs to clarify a detail on something. He said that when he was working on the X-Men Forever series, he would consult the Official Handbooks of the Marvel Universe (OHOTMU) for things, and contact the OHOTMU writers, who have in fact read every single X-Men book. He was gushing about Dale Eaglesham - all three of them were - and that they all felt lucky to have him on. He said that he couldn't believe how many Alpha Flight pitches there were before this series, and I asked him if he remembered one [that had been rejected]. He said that one had Alpha Flight in the role of "world avengers" , saving the whole world, which we both agreed wouldn't be consistent with their Canadian character.

    My daughter came over and Greg recorded a video message from her on his phone and sent it to Jeph Loeb about Hulk-Sized Mini-Hulks, and it was super cute.

    Greg said he was really happy about alphaflight.net, that there was an organized group of fans out there from day 1 on this project. I suggested he join up with an account but he said he was reluctant to post on message boards. I reminded him this is a creator-friendly site, which he appreciated but I doubt he'll be signing up anytime soon. He also said something I really loved - he said he considers Alpha Flight to be "A-List" characters, and not just because he's on the book! He also gave me a free copy of the GN for his three-issue Vision Machine series, a completely unrelated comic, which I read on the subway on the way home and it was pretty good stuff, go check it out.

    Ok here are some pics of the signing. I'm not a pro photographer but they came out ok.


    Greg signing the variant cover for Alpha Flight #1


    Big stacks of Alpha Flight everywhere


    Greg signing another copy of the variant cover for Alpha Flight #1. Note the FCBD issue in front of FVL


    Fred signing the #0.1 issue and Greg reading an issue he hadn't seen yet


    Mark showed up a little late (he's the guy on the right)


    All 3 guys, that's Thor in the background (wearing a tie)


    You can see in the foreground they had these certificates of authenticity on the table for fans to take.


    After the signing was officially over, they stayed to sign dozens and dozens more for the store inventory so go get your copy while you can!

    Thanks to Midtown Comics for letting us cover the event.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Report: Alpha Flight #1 Signing at Midtown Comics started by rplass View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. Wolfie's Avatar
      Wolfie -
      Aw, thanks for this write-up! Dale and I so wish we could have been there. Look at those three cuties, I just want to hug them!!!
    1. rplass's Avatar
      rplass -
      Well you wouldn't have wanted to hug Fred... he had biked to the event and it was 85F outside (that's 30C for you metric people) and humid and he showed up soaking wet. The other guys smelled much better.
    1. varo's Avatar
      varo -
      thanks for taking your own personal time to do this rplass!

      did the fvl/pak or even the midtown guys give you a idea of how they felt the series was selling? because that is after all what is going to determine this series going on.
    1. rplass's Avatar
      rplass -
      Quote Originally Posted by varo View Post
      thanks for taking your own personal time to do this rplass!

      did the fvl/pak or even the midtown guys give you a idea of how they felt the series was selling? because that is after all what is going to determine this series going on.
      The comic just came out on Wednesday, so there aren't any stats available. Thor Parker, the special events coordinator for Midtown said sales were good and that Midtown had ordered 30 times the usual number of comics they normally would. They do have a means to dump back issues through their online distribution but I saw a heck of a lot of sales right there at the signing so it looks good but no one knows yet exactly what the numbers are. Fred and Greg were just saying, yeah hope it sells!

      I asked Fred if he were planning on killing someone in the 12th issue, if it gets that far. He wasn't able to give a serious response, of course.
    1. -K-M-'s Avatar
      -K-M- -
      I want to get my copy and my variant signed

      Any chance their coming to Toronto?
    1. Wolfie's Avatar
      Wolfie -
      Quote Originally Posted by -K-M- View Post
      I want to get my copy and my variant signed

      Any chance their coming to Toronto?
      Dale and Fred will be at Fan Expo! Oh, and so will I!
    1. -K-M-'s Avatar
      -K-M- -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
      Dale and Fred will be at Fan Expo! Oh, and so will I!
      and so will I
    1. cmdrkoenig67's Avatar
      cmdrkoenig67 -
      Thank you Rob, that was great!

      I think Mr Byrne was trying to contrast Marrina's innocence/sweetness with the monster within in developing her. I do think Byrne gave her a personality, but maybe he was trying to show us that it was a facade for the real being she was on an instinctual level (which I think was part of her tragic nature).

      Dana
    1. Guardian's Avatar
      Guardian -
      Thanks for the time and report rplass.


      And for the link. Picked up a few things from Midtown. It's a little bit far for me to drive.
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      Nice work, Rob!
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      I asked him how old she was and he said, well she's an alien, so we don't know exactly how she ages, but she's not a teenager anymore.
      Byrne established her age in the first couple of issues. 18, I think?
      He mentioned how long ago her egg was found. Also, she may be alien, but she's based on human DNA.

      - Le Messor
      "Modern man is the missing link between apes and human beings."
    1. rplass's Avatar
      rplass -
      The question wasn't really about her chronological age. I should clarify that the question was an attempt to place her maturity level - comparable to a rebellious [human] 16yo or an older [human] 20something? His remark really hit home with me that I was erroneously trying to map her age in Earth years to stages of human development. Do we even know Plodex girls have an adolescence? How self-centered of me to think all species would mature similarly to my own! Oh, we humans, so arrogant...
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by rplass View Post
      The question wasn't really about her chronological age. ... How self-centered of me to think all species would mature similarly to my own! Oh, we humans, so arrogant...
      Ah, but combining my two answers - chronological and DNA, she should basically be human. Genetically, she's human.
      I don't say that out of any notion that all species age like yours, but because, based on her origin, she should hit all the same maturation / geneological points.

      - Le Messor
      "When God wishes to punish us, He answers our prayers."
    1. Ahab's Avatar
      Ahab -
      Quote Originally Posted by Le Messor View Post
      Ah, but combining my two answers - chronological and DNA, she should basically be human. Genetically, she's human.
      I don't say that out of any notion that all species age like yours, but because, based on her origin, she should hit all the same maturation / geneological points.

      - Le Messor
      "When God wishes to punish us, He answers our prayers."
      It could be argued that even among humans, some definitely require 10 or more years to reach the same maturity level that others have in a much shorter amount of time. Couple this with an alien origin and it works for me that she may have a different timespan of adolescence. Even though her DNA was patterned off of a human, it is clear that it isn't 100% or she wouldn't have had to battle her Plodex urges...
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ahab View Post
      Even though her DNA was patterned off of a human, it is clear that it isn't 100% or she wouldn't have had to battle her Plodex urges...
      ... I thought that was something we all went through?
    1. Ahab's Avatar
      Ahab -
      Quote Originally Posted by Le Messor View Post
      ... I thought that was something we all went through?
      Believe me, there are times that I would love to go all Plodex on someone.