Saturday, August 04, 2007

Mirage Studios

Last night, I was fortunate enough to meet three very incredible people. It's no big secret that I want to be a comic book writer, and during my time here in the US, I've had a chance to see both DC Comics HQ and Marvel HQ (admittedly, this was simply from the outside), but yesterday we made the trip out to Northampton to visit the studio that has meant the most to me personally: Mirage Studios.

To be completely honest, I had no idea what to expect upon arrival. I'd heard and read all the stories in interviews and magazines about the place, so I wasn't expecting this big place brimming with people and artists, but at the same time, I wasn't expecting it to be as big as it was. If I had've been five years old and gone in there, I would have been in heaven. All the Turtle's stuff was mindblowing, and I was given the opportunity to tour the creative offices, even caught a glimpse of what Jim Lawson is currently working on.

My father and I were greeted by Steve Murphy - the man largely responsible for Tales of the TMNT Vol.2, and now the head of licensing there at Mirage, who took us around the Studio and introduced us to Gary Richardson, CEO of Mirage, and Dan Berger, who is now the in charge of editorial duties at Mirage Publishing (and still webmaster there).

Gary's a really great guy, who, bizarrely enough, immediately found common ground with Dad when he explained that he'd visited Melbourne a couple of years ago and had the (mis)fortune(?) of going to an Aussie Rules match whilst staying there. The bizarre thing was that it was a Richmond match. First game of the season, and a Richmond match. I haven't explained this yet, but my Dad is one of those Richmond fans that gets way too involved from the couch. Our dog (may she rest in peace) used to know, as soon as the football came on (even BEFORE the match began) to get the Hell outta that room, because she knew Dad would eventually get too riled up and she could never handle it. Anyway, back on track, Gary was lucky enough to have corporate viewing and was able to enjoy the finer aspects of the MCG (the few, the proud), though he did admit he would have liked to have sat down in the main seating area with the true fans, have a beer and a meat pie and see the game the way it should be seen. Gary, if you ever read this, let me know when/if you're ever back in town, we'll show you the real way to see Melbourne!

Dan Berger is also an incredibly nice guy! It felt a little weird at first for me, like meeting a new boss for the first time, but as with all those meetings, any trepidations or worries were quickly blown away. I got to see his work area (he and Steve keep the neatest offices ;) ) and was very happy to see how keen he was to eat (I was pretty damn hungry as it was) and that he'd be joining us for dinner. What was also really, really cool was finding out he was into Steve Purcell's work and that both he and Steve knew the Joker story I was hunting down at San Diego -- Dad and I were a little worried (Dad moreso) that they perhaps wouldn't quite be AS into comics as they were! But dinner was great, there wasn't much talk of comics or business, which I'm pretty sure was a relief to all at the table, and the food was absolutely fantastic. I've also got to reitterate how thankful Dad and I are too, so thanks again Steve and Gary (you guys know why)!

So, in one day, not only had I met two of my most influential talents in the comic book industry, but also had a fantastic dinner and lengthy conversations with both. I think it was really great for my old man too, as I was worried he might feel a little out of place.

Northampton itself is a wonderful place. The food here is great, even the pancakes at Jake's - though simple - were delicious. We were kinda bummed we didn't get to hang around longer, as Crowded House were playing at a small pub in town!

There was a neat little manga shop where I found a couple of neat gems to read, along with a comic shop that had a great selection of collections! But I tell ya - if I had've known the extreme amount of TMNT gear that was laying around Mirage, I would've prepared some kinda list and said weight restrictions be damned!

So again, thank you for a wonderful evening Dan, Gary and Steve, and Dad and I are both truly sorry for keeping you as late as we did last night Steve! We didn't even realise there was a storm hitting until we were part way back to the hotel! And thanks again for signing Umbra!

I'm sure more will come to me in the coming days, and I'll post them here in my blog as they return, but for now, that's all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for you, man.