Friday, March 29, 2019

Jim Shooter Autographs

Today I start my look back at Legion comics I have had autographed at conventions.

I feel pretty blessed that here in New England there are a number of very good conventions annually that have allowed me to meet so many of my comic heroes over the years. From Boston Comic-Con (now Boston Fan Expo), Terrificon, Rhode Island Comic Con, and Granite State Comic Con, I have a bunch of shows to attend in the summer and fall.

A couple of years ago, Jim Shooter was announced as a guest at Rhode Island Comic Con. Given his long history in comics and his particular history with the Silver Age of the Legion, I knew that I was going to get stuff signed by him.

Shooter was very amiable at his table and was very easy to talk to. RICC is one of those comic-cons more focused on celebrities. The comic creators often seem lonely as most patrons are lining up to meet the TV and movie stars. Shooter was at a small  table with no line. I was able to talk to him for some time and he was very amiable, telling me stories about the issues.

I don't believe Shooter was charging for signatures so I was able to get my whole stack signed by him. But I had prioritized the issues. You'll hear that list and reasoning below. I can say, these are semi-ragged books and Shooter commented on how they were 'well-loved'.

Of all of the books I brought, I was going to get Adventure Comics 352 and 353 signed, the first appearance of the Fatal Five and the death of Ferro Lad. Shooter said he was got the idea for this after watching 'The Dirty Dozen'.

But wait, there's more!

 If you have been on this blog for a while or listened to Fire And Water's Who's Who in the Legion podcast, you know I have a fondness for the villain Nemesis Kid.

So Adventure Comics #346, Shooter's first Legion story and the one which introduced Nemesis Kid, Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, and Ferro Lad was 3rd on my list of issues to get signed.

These are easy issues to pick out, important both for the Legion and for Shooter.

As I said in my first column on this topic, I like to bring in an issue that might not be 'important' but is a personal favorite. It is always a good conversation starter with creators when they get a book to sign that they aren't used to seeing.

So my 4th book was Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #212. The reason was simple, my love of Calorie Queen.  Perhaps not surprisingly, Shooter didn't have much to say about her. Sigh.

I'll talk more about this book when I write about my interactions with Mike Grell at a different con.

I brought Adventure Comics #369 as well, the first appearance of Mordru. This was 5th in priority. Shooter said he had thumbnailed this cover from a side angle but was thrilled when Neal Adams changed the viewpoint so Mordru's arms are reaching for the reader.

I often stop at 5 books for signatures. But Shooter is a legend and so I brought more books in the bag just in case. Remember, I never bring more than 10 books for a creator and even then depending on cost often truncate.

And then, given that there wasn't a line of people behind me and there wasn't an exorbitant signature cost, I brought out a few more books to be signed. This is the first appearance of Universo and Rond Vidar.

So pretty important issues for the Legion as well as a personal favorite.

Just two more books to highlight.

I brought Legion of Super-Heroes #37, his first issue on that volume with art by Francis Manapul. You might remember this run didn't end well. Go ahead and look back at my reviews! This was at the very bottom of the stack.

Of course Shooter is probably best known for being the editor in chief at Marvel for a long time. Just so you don't think I am a Legion snob, I brought X-Men/Teen Titan for him to sign given that role on this book.

Once again, Shooter was a great guy to meet, talking to me, pulling out a scrap  book and showing me photos of him with comic giants like Mort Weisinger and giving me some nice tidbits about these books.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Of all the folks in the comic industry I'd like to have a sit-down with, living or dead, Jim Shooter would be at the top of the list. We're about the same age, share modest backgrounds, and I think that he would just be likable (as you say, in fact, that he is). And as big a Legion buff as I am, my favorite work of his is the second Superman/Spiderman crossover.