Lauren van der Voort has bailed. She plays Supergirl on Smallville. This is interesting because she was part of a VIP package WW was offering. So if she's your favorite Supergirl (not mine) and you were really looking forward to her, you're out of luck.
Beth Horn has finally turned up on the guest list. She's a Chicago based fitness model best known for being on American Gladiators. I was killing some time, saw she was just sitting at her table, no one around, so I went up and asked her a bit about production on American Gladiators. She turned out to be very nice and swell. The next year I was there, so was she. She remembered me (given the sheer number of people each year, that kind of thing always surprises me). She asked if I'd gotten anything published yet (she remembered I was writing comics!). I gave her a bunch of free comics, including The Supremacy, Stress Puppy, and the first two issues of Sound Waves. I'm definitely going to say hi again this year.
For industry pros I like hanging with, Franchesco is not listed on the guest list yet. The guy's been busy, so it's possible he just hasn't confirmed yet. He usually doesn't pop up until a few weeks before, anyway. I don't see a listing for Legion Studios, either (I had a blast at C2E2, talking about Michael Berryman with them) or Joe Robinson Currie and his merry band of fun fellows from Strictly Underground. Art Baltazar, the genius behind Tiny Titans who has said nothing but good things about Sound Waves, is going to be there. Hopefully, I can catch him away from the publisher's area and we can catch up. Russell Lissau is also going to be there. Mike Holman will be there, I wonder if he'll remember me from Grayslake.
The Sine Timore Kamikaze Recon Battalion has two primary targets, C.B. Beluski and Dan Parent. Beluski was in charge of Marvel's new talent program, and seems to take a keen interest in encouraging people to take that chance. I figure he might be able to give me ideas to avoid the slush pile. Parent is a longtime writer and artist for Archie Comics. Given that my sample script has yielded some solid results with the second in command editor there, I figure I might ask him for some info. Also, I'm sorely tempted to commission a sketch of Rhapsody and Melody from him.
Sandra Taylor is going to be there. She's a former Playboy model who also appeared in movies like Under Siege 2 and Batman And Robin. Last year, she had a table right next to Lori Petty. I was all excited to get Petty's sig on my Tank Girl DVD. Until I handed it to her. She signed the cover, then opened it. It's one of the modern DVD print jobs that doesn't always take ink well. Petty looked at me and asked, "Did you copy this?" My brain locked, all I could do was say, No, I bought it from the store. Not a lot of conversation or even eye contact, so when she finished, I took my disc and slipped away. My path took me past Taylor's table. She noticed the disc and stopped me. "I've seen a lot of people with that movie. What's it about?" I gave her a crash course in the history of Tank Girl and we had a very nice talk. I'll at least say hello to her this year.
Patrick Stewart will be there, I'm very tempted to get my A Christmas Carol DVD (I regard Stewart's take as the definitive version) signed. William Shatner will also be there. I have a copy of the Star Trek game for the Atari 2600 signed by Sam Palahnuk, the engineer of the original arcade game. I was thinking of getting Shatner to sign it, as well. Then a friend mentioned a recent con where Shatner was signing, and charging $60 per item. Sorry, Palahnuk's sig means more to me than Shatner's, especially since Shatner has simply become a parody of himself. Pass.
Most exciting new name added? Mike Grell. Grell charges $200 for a pencil sketch and he is worth every penny. I don't know if he'll take commissions, but you can bet I'll ask. Grell is also part of a troop of Rennies who perform at faires. I guess he likes to get medieval on your grass. (Sorry, couldn't pass up the joke.)
Other cool names: Richard Roundtree. You mean Shaft? You're daaaaaaamn right. Mickey Dolenz will also be there. I still have a Monkees album on vinyl. Claudia Christian, who signed my Solar Eclipse game disc years ago (right after she was booted from Babylon 5), will be there. Linda Hamilton -- hmm, where's those Beauty And The Beast comics of mine? Linda Blair will be there, thinking of getting her to sign my VHS tapes of Night Patrol and Up Your Alley. Dave Castelnuovo and Allan Dye, behind the hit iPhone app Pocket God, will be there. Rich Johnston, writer of Bleeding Cool and Epic Level troll, will be there, too. James O'Barr, creator of The Crow, will have a table.
Names I am perfectly happy avoiding? The big one, obviously, is Michael Golden. Given his unrepentant contempt as evidenced by "Patience is a virtue", I'm cutting a wide swath around him. (Hey, just because I hate the guy doesn't mean I want to provoke a confrontation. He leaves me alone, I leave him alone, everybody's happy.) Coming in a close second is Josh Blaylock, the Chicago area guy behind Devil's Due Publishing, that has made a lot of comic creators really really angry. Ego With Feet Lorenzo Lamas will be there (I've heard enough stories about his Hollywood days, I REALLY don't want to be around him. Not even to smirk at how far the mighty have fallen). Jill Thompson will also be there.
Still no Bruce Campbell, still no Helen Slater. Shit.