I'm rapidly approaching my two-year anniversary of leaving Wizard for Marvel. Actually, it was at Wizard World Chicago 2007 that Ryan first made me the offer I could not refuse, so I'm past two years on that and likely coming up on the anniversary of my entrance interviews. Perhaps when I hit the actual two-year mark official-like I'll blog at length about some of the details surrounding the move, but on this lazy Sunday night, I figured I'd just post the cool shit my buddies at Wizard got me for going away presents.
First up, the day I left, I was presented with this mocked-up cover which still holds an un-hung place of honor in my apartment and has remained the desktop wallpaper on my home computer since I first scanned it. Former Wizard Editor-in-Chief Pat McCallum started the tradition of doing these faux old school covers featuring outgoing staffers on toy bodies as going away gifts (I'll try and track some down to post this week; I know Ryan has a wicked M.O.D.O.K. one that I helped plan in function or another). Though Pat was unfortunately no longer at the magazine by the time I left, he had taught the rest of the staff well, and they made sure I got a custom Marvel Team-Up of my very own.
The gist of these was always to both give the departing staffer something cool but also to poke some fun at them as well; in my case, the gag was that I do own a black t-shirt with a red Superman symbol ala Superboy, and though I always tried to remember to wear it only with khakis, I would sometimes accidentally wear it with jeans and get made fun of (I don't feel so bad since Geoff Johns has told me he does the same thing all the time). The retro corner headshots of dudes who weren't leaving was also a Pat staple and the Dave Paggi thing is funny because he doesn't drink. I also thought it was cool that they Photoshopped in a Nova figure that to this day has never actually been made available to the public as a widespread release. I posted a pic of this cover on my Facebook the day I got it and got razzed for it plenty my first day at Marvel, mostly by Nova editor Bill Rosemann.
My second going away present took a bit longer to arrive, but was clearly well worth the wait. Rickey dropped it off at my apartment after months of alternate hype and apologies (neither were necessary) and I'll leave it to him to tell the full behind-the-scenes story of how it got done if he so chooses (I know Geoff was involved somehow, hence why the message on the sketch says he is one of the people it's from), but obviously it's one of the coolest things I've ever gotten. Scott Kolins is one of my favorite artists ever and also a guy I've never ever seen at a convention, so I've never been able to get a Nova sketch from him, something my buddies knew well. But they went one better, getting me Kolins' rendition not only of Nova, but of my other favorite character, the Flash, who Scott made his mark on for years alongside Geoff. The story behind them playing frisbee is that we all used to do that at lunch when it was nice out, hence the Wizard logo on the disc. It's the greatest super hero team-up of all-time and it's exclusive to the wall of my living room. I've never actually met Scott, but I e-mailed him a big thanks for this amazing piece.
So people often ask me: What was the coolest part about working for Wizard? I think after this post you can likely guess my answer: The friends I made there.