#2: ComicBook Comedians

brian and patton

The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo is less than two weeks away, and I’m counting down my top picks for C2E2 2013! These are the top 5 people, events, and programs at my favorite comic con of the year. We’ve already made it through Kevin Smith, a host of local talent, and some ridiculously awesome cosplay. Next on my list, two of my favorite comedians who support the world of comics as both fans and writers—Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn!

Patton Oswalt

Oswalt

“I want all the ham.” Patton Oswalt is one of the funniest stand-up comics in the business. He’s also a die-hard nerd and a very talented writer. This guy didn’t just play roleplaying games as a kid, he wrote an ode to the last D&D character he ever played—The Song for Ulvaak, which chronicles his life and death in a surprisingly poignant and personal way. Patton taps into this sort of affection and sense of nostalgia in his Firefly comic, “Float Out,” released by Dark Horse Comics in 2010.

“Float Out” isn’t the most exciting comic you’ll ever read—and if you’re hoping for epic space battles against the Alliance or gruesome encounters with the Reavers, you’re out of luck. But if you miss the TV series, and if you wish Wash had been given just a little more time with us, my guess is you’ll really appreciate it. Bittersweet and full of heart, three lonely pilots toast their friend and reminisce before sending a new ship off on its maiden voyage.

Float Out

If you read my C2E2 preview of Kevin Smith, then you already know I love  a good audiobook. Patton’s audiobook, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is excellent. Granted, you will miss out on the comic book section of the book if you’re listening to it in the car (although it’s provided digitally on one of the CDs), you get the full range of his performance by listening rather than simply reading. He scores some of his readings with music, provides hilarious delivery, and even gets Michael Stipe from REM to read a few passages (in a section where each chapter is titled using REM lyrics). Here’s an example of what you’ll miss if you pass on the audiobook:

You can see Patton Oswalt live and in person (and for free!) at C2E2 on Saturday, April 27 at 12:30pm in the IGN Theater. It’s listed as a Q&A, so my assumption is that it’ll be a moderated conversation with fans and I fully expect him to make with the funnies. I’m really looking forward to it and I expect the theater to fill-up quickly, so I’d get there early if you want a seat. Oh, and if you’re interested, Patton will also be signing autographs after the show.

Brian Posehn

Posehn

I first became aware of Brian Posehn as a stand-up comic, but really became a fan of his on the Sarah Silverman program. His obvious love of heavy metal music, horror flicks, and comics immediately drew me in and his crude, self-deprecating humor and dong jokes really won me over.

Last year, Posehn started writing for the new Marvel NOW! Deadpool series. True to tradition, the book features cartoonish, gory violence, lots of meta genre humor, and an endless supply of bad jokes and puns. The initial story arc is undeniably compelling—a patriotic necromancer resurrects all 38 dead US presidents to fix what’s wrong with this country. Predictably, the dead presidents rise from their graves super evil and immediately start killing everyone. I thought working through every single one of the presidents would eventually get old … but I have to say, it’s actually very satisfying to see a zombified FDR skewered with a katana threaten, “Here’s a New Deal … DIE!!!”

Deadpool

Deadpool may not be the most sophisticated book around … but damn, it’s a lot of fun. In case you’re wondering how it is that Deadpool gets gored by an elephant in a zombie comic, I’ll let you in on the setup (no spoilers). Here it is: Zombie Teddy Roosevelt decides to go big game hunting at the Los Angeles Zoo.

In his books, Deadpool is famous for breaking the fourth wall—he talks to the reader in the middle of scenes, constantly throws around comic industry jargon, references other Marvel titles whenever he can, and always seems to know he’s in a comic book. While this is cute throughout the book, my favorite device is actually after each issue is over—when Deadpool actually responds to fanletters (and hate mail). If you’d like to hear a little more about the series, check out Brian Posehn’s appearance on Attack of the Show, interviewed by the inimitable John Barrownman:

You can see Brian Posehn at C2E2 also on Saturday and also for free, but a littler later on in the day—5:00pm in the IGN Theater. It looks like Posehn is headlining a three-man set, “Comedy Mutant,” along with Myq Kaplan and Mike Drucker. I don’t know the other two guys, but I have no doubt it’ll be a great show.

Next Monday we’ll be back with my #1 Pick for C2E2 2013! C2E2 is just around the corner—and if you’ll be there, drop us a line and let us know you’re coming! We’ll be speaking Friday, April 26 at 1:30pm in room W473 for CSC-1: Kickstarting Your Comics. We’ll also be tabling at Artist Alley Booth L14. See you at C2E2.

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