HITTING THE SHELVES
I’ll return to my West Coast diary in a day or so, but since the TRIPWIRE Superhero Special should be on US comic shop shelves this coming week and in Borders in the UK at the same time, as well as in Barnes & Noble in the US in the next couple of weeks, I thought I’d post a few Kick-Ass spreads from the issue. It’s still available from Diamond, item code DEC084396 and a steal at £4.95 UK/ $7.95 US and chock full of exclusives: Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn on Kick-Ass the movie and the comic, John Romita Jr on designing the Kick-Ass characters. Plus Brian Michael Bendis on plans for his Marvel books, Geoff Johns on what he has in mind for Barry Allen as The Flash plus Dave Gibbons on the genesis of Watchmen the comic. Also, Tim Kring, Mark Verheiden and Bryan Fuller on their plans for TV’s Heroes.










CALIFORNIA SCHEMING
So I’m back home now, still horribly lagged. The trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco was definitely worth doing. I landed in LA on Monday 23rd February and whizzed through US Immigration and Customs. I stayed with my mum’s friend Adele and her bloke Joel again in Sherman Oaks. So on Tuesday, Andy Grossberg swung by to pick me up and we went to Heroes at Sunset Gower to drop off copies of the TRIPWIRE Superhero Special to Mark Verheiden, Bryan Fuller and Tim Kring. It was the first time we’d seen Bryan since Pushing Daises ended and he seemed happy to be back at Heroes. We chatted about the series and lots of other genre and TV shows, then we went to find Mark Verheiden where we also chatted for a while. We saw Tim Kring last and it was nice to catch up with him. We were at the studios for about two and a half hours altogether and we passed Zachary Quinto (Sylar) and Greg Grunberg (Parkman) wandering around the backlot. So the only photos I took there were of Kring, Verheiden and Fuller. They have just finished shooting Heroes webisodes, which were written and directed by Kring’s asssistant, Jim Martin, who we had a natter with too. Then we went to have late lunch with photographer Mark Berry, originally from Bristol but who now lives in LA. It was cool to catch up with him as he has a baby daughter now. So my first day in LA was fun and productive. Here are a few shots I didn’t put up on the previous post…










GO WEST
I’m still out in the US, having a great trip so I’ll start to put some posts up about my short time in LA and how things have gone in San Francisco. But in the meantime, here are some photos of Tim Kring and Mark Verheiden at Heroes and a few of Sunset near the Heroes offices…


NO MORE SUPERHEROICS
I spent most of yesterday going through the pages of the TRIPWIRE Superhero Special with Andy Grossberg sending me corrections. I didn’t finish until 3.30am so I’m absolutely knackered today. But everything looks great and looking at the whole thing, you realise how packed it is: Heroes, Kick-Ass (including exclusive Mark Millar interview and John Romita Jr character sketches), Watchmen and loads more. I think it is the best issue we’ve done so far and I’ll be seeing the finished product next Friday. We’ll be selling copies of it at our table at Wonder Con in San Francisco from 27th Feb to March 1st, so if you’re at the show, feel free to pop by and say hello.








LA CONFIDENTIAL PART TWO
On Tuesday of my trip, I went to see Tim Kring and Mark Verheiden at the Heroes backlot at Sunset-Gower Studios. Unfortunately Jeph Loeb had been let go from the show so I wouldn’t be seeing him there. Kring was a good interview as ever, talking about the future of serialised TV, and Verheiden was also a decent subject as we got onto Battlestar Galactica as well, since he used to be on that series. He has also written for genre TV and comics for years so it was useful to get his perspective on the current genre boom. The Kring and Verheiden stuff will be in the Superhero oneshot from TRIPWIRE out next March. Because Andy didn’t feel great, he dropped me at the studio and our friend Pat McGreal and his wife Carol were kind enough to come and grab me and we had lunch at an Indian restaurant on Melrose and popped into comic shop Golden Apple. In the evening, I went with Joel (Bagelman) to see Jenji Kohan, the creator/ showrunner of the TV series Weeds being interviewed at Writers Guild of America West, which was fairly interesting. So here are some photos…






THE COLONEL WILL SEE YOU NOW
On Saturday, as a last-minute thing, I went to the London Expo, held at the Excel in Docklands. I went there because Michael Hogan aka Colonel Tighe from Battlestar Galactica and a few members of the cast of Heroes were there including Greg Grunberg, who plays Matt Parkman. I didn’t get roundtable time but went to two press conferences with Hogan and with Grunberg. So here are a few photos I took of Hogan, who seemed like a very down-to-earth man, and very committed to his work. I met Edward Olmos at the same show back in May so I can tick two of the cast off my list. Baz came down from Manchester and we spent the whole day at the show and then went for an Indian in Drummond Street. It was good see Baz as ever…


ANOTHER TRIP THROUGH THE WIRES
Come December, TRIPWIRE SUPERHERO SPECIAL 2009 will be solicited in Previews. It’ll be a lower cover price, £4.95 and $7.95 US. It’s exciting to have another TRIPWIRE product before the Annual and here’s a mockup cover for it…


A FINAL TRIP THROUGH THE WIRES
Amazingly I have finished the TRIPWIRE Annual and the pages go to Andy Grossberg for subbing over the weekend. I’m really chuffed with the way they look and so I thought I’d give everyone a sneek peek. I’ll put up another post with some designs in the next couple of days…
I also wanted to say that I’ve been thinking a lot about Andy Grossberg because he lost his dad this week.



ANOTHER TRIP THROUGH THE WIRES
I am just over halfway through finishing the Annual pages, so I thought I’d share another couple of spreads with you all: Heroes first spread and Michael Moorcock feature. Please note: the picture caption on the Moorcock is dummy text and these are uncorrected, so yes there will be mistakes. But I am very chuffed with how it’s all looking. It’s even stronger than last year, and don’t forget you can still order it from Diamond Previews Vol. XVIII, #5, on page 397 , item number MAY08 4264…