To wrap up what I began yesterday with my geeky State of the Industry post, here's a few tidbits from the blogger's notebook you may not find elsewhere...

1. My fellow Alliance blogger and pal Greg McElhatton recently spilled the beans about Jeff Smith's indy follow-up to Bone, Rasl. Smith shared the first six pages of Rasl during a Comic-Con panel, and it's a HUGE departure from the further adventures of the denizens of Boneville or Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil in more ways than one. Case in point, it's being published in a Treasury-style format akin to Alex Ross' recent series of oversized and beautiful graphic novels by DC.

Here's the REAL kicker: Once Smith is done with Rasl -- eight to 10 oversized issues over the next two years starting next January -- they'll be collected in a standard-sized trade paperback, not an oversized one.

Scratching your heads about that one too?

Jeff Smith

2. I know where Callum Campbell, that skateboarding hunk of a young man, got his manners, and they weren't from his more famous and shrinking father, Eddie, nee of the much praised The Black Diamond Detective Agency either...

Photo of Eddie and Callum Campbell

For those of you Americans who still persist in sending the elder Campbell (I can say this because he's six weeks older than me) vintage bottles of wine, consider something cheaper. I'm planning to send 20-ounce bottles of Dr Pepper -- no sissy Cherry Vanilla either -- for Xmas presents Down Under. That is, if I can afford the postage.

And, I strongly suggest my fellow Campbell fans do the same...

3. One thing I learned during my Top Shelf Productions days on the convention circuit: ALWAYS look at the badge of the person standing in front of you, because you'll never know who you might meet.

I wasn't about to risk my life once again -- even after surviving my brief run-in with the Halo Universe -- to attend last Saturday's Heroes panel, that should've been held in the cavernous pavilion on the south side of the San Diego Convention Center (stay tuned), instead of one of the larger panel rooms. Reportedly, there were impossibly long lines outside the convention center for the panel, thus neither of my Comic Alliance cohorts managed to attend. Nevertheless, your intrepid reporter enjoyed a personal Heroes moment on the sly.

Taking a breather behind the booth of 3 Geeks/The List muse Rich Koslowski, I noticed a familiar name of a film director whose claim to fame was making smart cult films, including one of the seminal music movies of the late 70s, Rock and Roll High School. Allan Arkush made that movie and, now, he serves as a director/executive producer on Heroes.

Seems, Arkush and a fellow director/exec producer (believe it was Greg Beeman) drove down to Comic-Con after a late Friday night on the Heroes set to soak up some of the Geek Vegas love that propelled the freshman TV series to the top of the Nielsen ratings.

Talk centered on the congratulatory -- this success couldn't have happened to nicer folks -- and the upcoming Heroes DVD set to debut in four weeks (I'm glad I waited to watch the whole thing).

4. My pal Tom Beland made a point of showing me the awesome cover of his upcoming True Story Swear to God essentials-sized trade paperback, collecting his self-published run of 17 Clib's Boy comics, from Image Comics early next year.

If you've been curious at about the buzz surrounding True Story and Tom's growing body of work -- most notably Web of Romance and Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened -- check out his ComicSpace page, or pick up any one of his current Image issues (all self-contained stories).

5. Jon Cassar, the primo exec producer/director on my favorite TV show 24, is as genuinely funny and self-effacing in person as he is in interviews on almost all the collected DVD sets and the very entertaining book/DVD, 24: Behind The Scenes.

I'll be very surprised to learn how Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer and America will survive after producers dismantled CTU, and particularly with Mary Lynn Rajskub being the only other series holdover returning, for Day 7.

6. Meant to mention this sooner -- like two months ago -- but Nexus is BACK, along with Mike Baron and Steve Rude. You want quality superhero work by two of the more talented guys around, and you've got it. Now, it's time to support it!

7. My pal, Brad Weber, has posted some very entertaining +/- 24-hour comics at Junior Mad The best of the bunch -- The Pancake Tree -- begs to be read by a larger audience.

What will it take for some smart publisher out there to figure this out?

8. The cavernous place most all of the Hollyweird movie panels were staged -- Pavilion H, located on the south side of the San Diego Convention Center -- resembled a '60s drive-in theater without the cars!

Spending an hour watching the cast and crew of Blade Runner discuss the upcoming Final Cut release in December -- no matter how hot Sean Young and Johanna Cassidy looked -- was dispiriting nonetheless, so no report on the upcoming Superbad or 30 Days of Night.

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