Tag Archives: new york comic con

NYCC 2015: Dexter Palmer Discusses Version Control

Version Control Dexter PalmerThis year at New York Comic Con, there were several booths set up for publishing houses you don’t normally see at a comic conventions but instead at book festivals. The traditional novel was definitely present this year, with some well-loved sci-fi and fantasy novels in addition to new and upcoming releases. We got a chance to sit down with Dexter Palmer, author of the upcoming Version Control, being released in February 2016 by Pantheon Publishing.

Version Control is described as “The compelling story of a couple living in the wake of a personal tragedy. She is a star employee of an online dating company, while he is a physicist, performing experiments that, if ever successful, may have unintended consequences, altering the nature of their lives-and perhaps of reality itself.”

Graphic Policy: So, this is your second novel, correct?

Dexter Palmer: Yes it is.

GP: And this one is now, 5 years after your first novel, if I’m remembering correctly?

DP: My first one came out in 2010, so this one will have been close to 6 years.

GP: Close to 6 years. Did it take you the whole time to write it? Obviously you have a very busy day job.

DP: Yeah. But it did take me, between research and thinking about it and doing revisions, I was working on it pretty much every day.

GP: Ok. So what kind of research did you do for this one?

DP: Well, one of my characters is a physicist and part of his work relates to gravitational wave research. So I realized that in order to write that character, I myself would need to know something about gravitational wave research.

GP: This is not basic physics. This is some pretty intense…

DP: Yes.

GP: … physics that you had to get into to study this.

DP: Yes.

GP: That probably explains some of the 6 years.

DP: Yeah.

[laughter]

I did have a physicist, sort of, vet the manuscript to make sure that I hadn’t made any major errors or anything.

GP: That’s good. Everything is actually logical, it can flow…

DP: Right.

GP: … could, in theory, happen.

DP: I guess. Yeah. I didn’t want to have anything like, say, “We need to tweak the Heisenberg compensator in order to…” I wanted the science to at least bear a striking resemblance to actual science.

GP: That makes very good sense. Did you do the same thing for your first novel?

DP: My first novel was set in an alternate history of the 20th Century, so for that I went to circa 1900 texts that made predictions of what the 20th Century would be like. There was a lot of research involved, and it had science, but the book ended up having science in it that was deliberately false.

GP: Ok.

DP: So, say, there were no transistors in that novel, nothing that could be powered by transistors, but there were, for instance, mechanical men and things like that.

GP: So very much a steampunk kind of aesthetic for the first one?

DP: Right.

GP: Whereas this one is a lot more grounded in our current understanding of physics, as we know it right now.

DP: Right. This one is set in the time period of the mid-1990s to the mid-2020s.

GP: Ok. As you were writing this one, was there anything about either one of your main characters that surprised you? Like as you were writing it, you kind of took it in a different direction that you thought it was initially going to go?

DP: Well, let’s see…

GP: I mean, it could be hard to do without spoiling the book. I understand.

DP: It is hard to do without spoiling.

GP: Ok.

DP: I will say for this one I did have to have, because of the structure of the book, I had to have a very detailed outline. And then the characters did kind of do things to break that outline. Like a little bit here and there.

GP: Was it a fun experience for you do that? To have to adjust as you went along, writing it?

DP: For certain values of fun, yes.
[laughter]

GP: I know, you were like “I had this outline! Why did you do this to me? I had a plan!”

DP: Yeah, exactly.

GP: Were there any lessons you learned in writing your first book that you brought into the second one? Things that you found useful?

DP: Well, I guess this goes back to the outline. My first book, part of the reason my first novel took 14 years was because I made it up as I went along. And then when I had a completed draft I realized that I needed to re-write the entire thing. So that was the… so measure twice, cut once – that’s what I learned.

GP: That’s a good lesson!

DP: Yes.

GP: Did you learn anything while writing this book that you would take into future works?

DP: Yes. Writing a novel that’s set in the near future is hard, especially if you take a long time. Because I was writing things that seemed futuristic when I started writing them in 2008 and then things started happening.

[laughter]

And then suddenly my futuristic predictions became either false or just boring. So I needed to keep revising things to stay ahead of the curve.

GP: That makes sense.

DP: I find myself being worried that some massive historical event is going to happen in the next four months that will completely invalidate the entire book.

GP: In which case it will still be a fantastic work of fiction and I’m sure we can all enjoy it for that.

DP: Yeah, I hope so.

GP: Is there anything that you want readers to know going into the book? Or anything that you would like to tell people?

DP: I would like them to know as little as possible.

GP: Ok!

DP: I would just like them to pick up the book based on faith that it will be an entertaining experience.

GP: That sounds fantastic. Anything else you wanted to cover?

DP: No, I think that’s it.

GP: Well, thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure.

DP: Thank you.


I enjoyed speaking with Dexter Palmer at the convention and this has me even more excited to read the book. It definitely sounds like something that is my type of story so I’ll take his advice, steer clear of any more information, and go into it expecting nothing but the joys of a good book.

Palmer holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Princeton University, where he completed his dissertation on the work of James Joyce, William Gaddis, and Thomas Pynchon. He also staged the first academic conference ever held at an Ivy League university on the subject of video games. Palmer’s first book, The Dream of Perpetual Motion, was released in 2010 and was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best fiction debuts for 2010.

Big thanks to Dexter Palmer for sitting down with us and to Random House Publishing for the interview.

Graphic Policy Radio: New York Comic Con Post-Show

gp-radio-special-thurs-10pmOn a brand new episode of Graphic Policy Radio, we discuss New York Comic Con! The team went to the convention which took place October 8-11 at the Javits Convention Center, and came out with not just a lot of pictures, but a lot to chat about. The show airs at a special time, this Thursday at 10pm ET.

We’ll talk about our experiences as well as some of the announcements made at the show.

On this episode, we’ll also discuss the latest blow up over comments and Captain America: Sam Wilson #1‘s political nature which has gotten conservatives in a tizzy.

We want to hear from you too! You can tweet us your thoughts @graphicpolicy

You can listen in LIVE this Thursday.

Marvel/FDNY Helmet Auction Goes Online

The FDNY – long celebrated as New York City’s bravest – is being supported by some of the world’s greatest superheroes in honor of the Department’s 150th anniversary and New York Comic Con with an exclusive line of superhero inspired FDNY helmet designs. Featuring Spider-Man, The Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow and others, the helmets have been created for a charity auction that will raise money for the FDNY Foundation. The helmets were designed by the industry’s leading comic book artists including Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, along with Damion Scott, Kaare Andrews, Walt Simonson and others who used their skills to render awe-inspiring illustrations of these recognizable heroes.

The helmets draw inspiration from some of Marvel’s greatest heroes. Quesada, a longtime FDNY supporter and the creative force behind “Heroes” a historic tribute book featuring Marvel superheroes in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, created a Captain America inspired helmet featuring his iconic shield. Damion Scott introduces the world famous web-slinger – Spider-Man – into a vibrant helmet design full of the character’s iconic blue and red. Other artists contributing to the program include Phil Jimenez, Phil Noto, and Joe Rivera.

The majority of the helmets were auctioned off at charity event on October 10, but those helmets not auctioned off at the event will be available for auction at the ReedPOP Supply Co eBay account from October 19-23. All money raised will go to benefit the FDNY Foundation, the official non-profit organization of the New York City Fire Department.

New York Comic Con 2015 Thursday Cosplay

This year’s New York Comic Con brought in over 167,000 comic lovers, many of which were geek-ed out in some awesome cosplay. Thursday lacked some common characters such as Batman & Robin, but had pretty much every version of Harley Quinn you could want. You could build your very own Avenger team with the amount of Avengers cosplay. Anime characters also seemed to be a frequent sight this year. Check out our gallery for just a few of these cosplay pictures and don’t miss the rad Godzilla.

NYCC 2015: Michael & David Uslan, Huayi Brothers Ink Deal to Create T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Franchise

The sky was clear at New York Comic Con, yet T.H.U.N.D.E.R. dominated the news of the day as Huayi Brothers Media Corporation and Michael Uslan, originator and executive producer of the Batman film franchise, and producer David Uslan announced the first-ever branded super hero franchise to be backed by and developed with a major Chinese media company – T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

To the delight of a capacity crowd celebrating the 50th Anniversary T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents panel within New York Comic Con at the Javits Center, the Uslans and Huayi Brothers Media Corporation President James Wang made the announcement to expand the treasured franchise beyond comic books and into films, television, gaming and a host of other entities.

The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents major motion picture is expected to hit theaters worldwide in 2018.

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2015, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents still stands as the first and only truly international comic book super hero group set up to work for the United Nations. Created in 1965 by the legendary comic book artist, Wally Wood (Mad; EC Comics; designer of Marvel’s Daredevil costume), T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents has featured the work of some of the greatest artists in comic book history, including Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange); Gil Kane (co-creator of Green Lantern and The Atom); Mike Sekowsky (original artist of Justice League); Dave Cockrum (co-creator of the new X-Men) and many more. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents was published by DC Comics for a number of years in a series recognized for its cutting-edge, contemporary, dark graphic story-telling; today, IDW Publishing helms the franchise’s hardback and trade paperback book collections.

For comic book fans growing up in the 1960s, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents was considered to be the new alternative to DC Comics and Marvel super heroes. It combined the darkness of DC with the fun of Marvel within a story of a United Nations secret black ops organization that recruited secret agents from everyday people in ordinary life, assigned them a code-name, and gave each one a device that provided him or her with one super-power. But with each super-power came a grave moral dilemma. Each T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent represented a different United Nations country, and that offered inherent internal conflicts within the team based on polarizing differences in cultures, religions and politics. But when faced with a greater threat, the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents found a way to work together as one family for the benefit of all mankind.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! How’s everyone spending it?

Around the Tubes

Newsarama – Cashing In On Comic Books: How Creator Page Rates Have Changed Over Time – Some interesting info.

Publisher’s Weekly – Brands and Fans Flock to Biggest New York Comic Con Yet – Congrats! The show was huge!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Batman #45

Comic Vine – Captain America: Sam Wilson #1

Comic Vine – I Hate Fairyland #1

Comic Vine – Superman: Lois and Clark #1

IGN – Two Brothers

Comic Vine – Uncanny Avengers #1

NYCC 2015: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: A Spoon Too Short

A Spoon Too Short is Dirk Gently’s most baffling and incomprehensible case. Inspired by the tantalizing alternative title for the Dirk adventure Douglas Adams was working on prior to his death, writer Arvind Ethan David, along with executive producer Max Landis and artist Ilias Kyriazis, continues the adventures of the world’s weirdest detective.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency A Spoon Too Short

NYCC 2015: The Best of DC War Artist’s Edition

DC Comics produced some of the very finest war comics ever with art by some of the best artists in the field. This spectacular 160 page 12”x17”Artist’s Edition will include an amazing selection of stories by the best of the best: Russ Heath, Jack Kirby, Joe KubertJohn Severin, and Alex Toth—a veritable pantheon of classic war artists doing what they do best. As with all Artist’s Editions, these complete stories are scanned from the original artwork and reproduced to the exacting standards that has garnered IDW five consecutive Eisner Awards for the Artist’s Edition series. If you are a fan of Classic DC war comics, you cannot afford to miss this incredible book!

THE BEST OF DC WAR ARTIST’S EDITION

NYCC 2015: Mars Attacks: Occupation

Mars Attacks is back, along with that pesky human writer John Layman, too! The Martians came. The Martians saw. The Martians conquered. Now the space invaders cruelly rule over humanity, which has no hope for liberation… until Ruby Johnson decides that she has had enough. Each issue features Andy Kuhn’s vivid interior art and a throwback card cover with all-new art by Ryan Brown, highlighting the glory days of the Martian Empire®!

MARS ATTACKS OCCUPATION

NYCC 2015: IDW Announces Luna the Vampire

From the mind of writer/artist Yasmin Sheikh comes an all-new, highly entertaining original series, Luna the Vampire. Ever wonder how it would be if outer space was populated by monsters? Or what it would be like to have a green ugly witch as your best friend? Then look no further! Welcome to the amazing everyday life of Luna the Vampire. (Zombie postman and crappy job included.) Coming this January!

LUNA THE VAMPIRE

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