Wizard World Chicago Comic Convention - The Scent of an Assassin

Charitable Instinct Meets Killer Colognes Next Weekend in Chicago

By , Columnist

Hero Initiative, the non-profit organization that provides financial aid to comic creators fallen on hard times, has announced that the celebrated writer and artist Matt Wagner will be their special guest at next weekend’s Wizard World Chicago Comic Convention. The convention, which is taking place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, runs from Thursday evening, August 11th to Sunday, August 14th, 2011.

Wagner, who created both the Grendel and Mage graphic novel series, will be appearing at the Hero Initiative booth (#1341-1343) for the entirety of Saturday and Sunday of the show. He will be joined by his fellow comic creators throughout the run of the show.

Those scheduled to appear include fan favorite artists Ariel Olivetti and Mike Deodato Jr.; three of the core creators of 100 Bullets and the forthcoming Spaceman, Brian Azzarello, Dave Johnson and Eduardo Risso; and Mike Warlord Grell, among others. All writers and artists appearing at the nonprofit’s booth will happily sign your books or even do a sketch in return for a modest donation to the Hero Initiative’s cause.

In addition, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, the decidedly different perfumery, will be premiering four new scents inspired by various incarnations of Wagner’s signature creation, Grendel.

Mastermind is based upon Hunter Rose, the best-selling author, unstoppable assassin and the founding member of what’s come to be known as the Grendel legacy. It’s redolent with undertones of pale balsam and orange blossom, black plum and sandalwood, all supporting the more exotic strains of olibanum, leather accord and black amber.

Avenger is a pure jolt of Christine Spar, the fiery journalist who donned the Grendel’s mask to avenge the death of her only child. Filled with rich highlights of vanilla, bourbon and rum, with hints of patchouli, clove, and caraway, it is deadly plush.

Exorcist, which honors the memory of Brian Li Sung, Christine Spar’s lover who was driven by grief into assuming the guise of Grendel, infuses lilac with frankincense, labdanum and dark musk.

Finally, popping with the scent of pink grapefruit, white honey, saffron and blonde tobacco, Harlequin captures the quixotic essence of Eppy Thatcher, a rebel addicted to a terrible hallucinogen nicknamed “Grendel” who wages guerilla war against a Catholic Theocracy in a dystopic future.

These four new scents will be available in 5 ml bottles for $26.00 each, with the proceeds benefitting the Hero Initiative. Other merchandize, including an issue of Hero Comics featuring Matt Wagner’s art on cover and the few remaining copies of the limited edition The Unknown book/scent combo packs, will also be available, with all sales benefiting the Hero Initiative.

Founded in late 2000, Hero Initiative is a nonprofit organization that acts as a financial safety net for comic creators in need. Since its inception, it’s provided over $400,000.00 in monetary assistance alone to veterans of the industry, even helping some find their way back into the work force. To donate your time or money to this worthy cause, go to http://www.heroinitiative.org/.

According to its website, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a modern salon perfumery that “specializes in formulating intriguing, compelling body and household blends with a dark, romantic, and sexual tone.” It has a rather unique approach to creating and selling its scents, and in the past has worked with other comic creators—perhaps most notably Neil Gaiman of Sandman fame—to formulate special edition colognes and perfumes. Learn more about BPAL, as it’s often called, at http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/.

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A veteran journalist who has covered the comics medium since 1998, Bill Baker is also the author of Icons: The DC Comics and WildStorm Art of Jim Lee and seven previous books featuring his extended interviews with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and other notable creators. You can learn more about Bill’s work…

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