Shelly Bond, editor of such titles as FABLES, iZOMBIE and HELLBLAZER shares her firsts.
What was the first...
Convention you attended as a fan?
Okay, I’ll admit it. I was a professional before I was a true fan. I was invited to ITHACON the year after I graduated college which was a pretty big thrill since I bought my first comic book at Ithaca’s very own Comics for Collectors (shameless promotion!) the year before.
Actually, I was dressed more like an air conditioner than a fan and it wasn’t really a convention but rather a mock version of “Let’s Make a Deal” at Camp Asodi circa 1975. My sister was dressed as a die...it seems my mother wasn’t too skilled with the sewing machine but she seemed to have an abundance of cardboard boxes.
Convention you attended as a pro?
I’m quite the skilled kickboxer but I wouldn’t say I’m at the pro level...yet.
Job in the comic book Industry?
I was the editorial assistant at Comico The Comic Company. Which meant for three months, I took a 40 minute train ride from Center City Philadelphia, walked two miles to get to the “office” (in rain and snow), answered phones (connecting Matt Wagner to his favorite editor), stuffed envelopes with comps (to young turks like Adam Hughes and Steven T. Seagle), and replied to submissions (from aspiring creators like Mike Allred). I worked directly with Diana Schutz (thanks again for giving me the op, Lady Di!) and also with Bob Schreck for three months (thanks for teaching me how to Xeros!) until they escaped Chapter 11 for brighter pastures in Portland. Upon Diana and Bob’s departure, Comico’s co-owner Phil La Sorda asked me if I wanted to become the entire editorial department. I was 22 with no experience. And there was no way I wasn’t up for the challenge. Two years later with tremendous guidance from art director/department! Rick Taylor, a Peter Gross, Joe Staton and a Willingham later I designed my very own editing manifesto. The rest is history.
Comic book you worked on?
E-Man was the first title I edited at Comico with artwork by the legendary Joe Staton. Funny that you should ask that question today...I just met E-Man writer Nick Cuti for the first time at the San Diego Comic Con last week! Nick and Joe really showed me the ropes back in the day.
Comic book you read?
It was either an issue of Grendel or Love & Rockets. Those were the first two books that blew my mind. I had no idea what comics were in the late 80s — and less of an idea of what they would become.
Graphic novel you read?
The books that moved me (which were called Prestige Format at the time, as opposed to what we consider graphic novels today) were Moonshadow, Blood: A Tale and Electra Assassin. I studied film and video production in college and took a lot of art and grahic design classes. And basically, when it came to these painted volumes, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the artwork. They were just so poetically lush and riveting. I devoured everything by JM DeMatteis, Jon J Muth, Kent Williams and Bill Sienkiewicz from that time period.
Series you collected?
Love & Rockets, HELLBLAZER and Grendel were the first monthlies I followed religiously. Without fail.
Writer you followed?
Matt Wagner was the end all to me before I took the job at Comico. However, once I discovered Bill Willingham’s Elementals upo working at Comico, I couldn’t get rid of the guy. I mean, sure I had to chase him around the country to get scripts out of him, as I was the last editor on the original Comico run of the series. But Bill really blew my mind when it came to superhero comics. I didn’t have much interest in the proverbial “capes and tights” crew as I was way too “art house/french film” cool for geekdom, until I watched Bill single-handedly subvert the genre in the mid-80s. And then I was stuck to him like glue. In case you didn’t notice.
Artist you followed?
Love-loved the Hernandez Bros. and whenever Matt Wagner drew Grendel I would need smelling salts to wake me from my visual storytelling coma.
Piece of original art you bought?
I bought an amazing page of Duncan Fegredo’s artwork from the 3-issue miniseries GIRL from an auction that I spearheaded in 1997. The most beautiful art I was ever given was the cover to YOUNG LIARS #7.
Digital comic you downloaded?
Are you kidding? I’m the original technophobe.