Convention Report: New York Comic-Con 2009
I arrived at the convention a little later than I had wanted to, but made my way through the frigid New York February air to trek to the Javits Center for my day’s destination- the New York Comic-Con. Armed with the ‘Professional Creator’ ‘badge that I”d picked up on Wednesday, I waltzed past the gathering throng (as well as the ‘Faker ‘statue out front), and was promptly overwhelmed.
A distinct shortage of information had prevented me from creating a proper itinerary- there were a large number of booths and organizations that I had no idea who or what they were. In addition to that, a failure of the ‘I-Con’ setup caused the program to lose not only my bookmarked exhibitors, but my registration as well, so I was unable to print it before I left. So it goes without saying that when the entire convention sprawled out in front of me, I was somewhat without a proper sense of orientation. Nevertheless, I was determined to make the best of the time that I had before the general public was admitted to the convention.
Picking a direction at random, I wandered to Quirk Books, asked about their art submission guidelines, and was referred to their lead designer, who wasn’t there on Friday. Shortly afterward, I found myself at Stone Arch Books‘ booth, having my portfolio reviewed. It went well, I believe. At this point I found that my camera wasn’t working properly, and as Fate would have it, it would’t be working right until Sunday.
Following that, I picked up a copy of Complete Warrior (a Dungeons & Dragons supplement that I’d been meaning to get my hands on for awhile,) from a retailer whose card I forgot to get. My next stop was a friend of mine, a sword seller (never thought I’d be able to say that) named Xavier, who we had met at Wizard World Philly awhile back. He and his team were still setting up, so I left them to their work, and stumbled over Jesse and Matt (Matt? I think it was Matt) of Desktop Heroes.
Desktop Heroes is a series of short films that the two of them write and direct. We talked shop, as I was interested in what they were doing, and they seemed interested in what we do here. They promised me robots and laughter, so I joined their mailing list. I’ve since watched two episodes and saw no robots, nor did I laugh. I feel kind of hollow inside.
A few minutes and several random encounters later, I was having a longish conversation with Jorge Medina of Mas Media Studios, LLC. I was thinking of going back and buying their ‘Street Journal‘ comic; it looks like a promising comic, but I never made it.? Ambling along, I had another longish conversation with Eric M. Cooper about his novel, Knight Seeker, along with some artists that he was hanging out with. The Knight Seeker book seems like an appealing concept, and his money-back guarantee was very tempting, but I was not sure if I wanted to drop $15 for a paperback novel on the first day of the convention. Unfortunately, the location that Eric was in was off in a corner, so I never saw him again.
Then I made a brief stopover at the Entophilezzz! booth. While I’m a fan of insects, and their designs are pretty slick, their merchandise was girl-sized t-shirts, or straight-up girly underwear, so it didn’t really work for me. I’ll check back and see if their webcomic ever gets underway.
A drift through Artist’s Alley found me discussing the business of art with Randy Gallegos, and Jason T. Kruse, creator of ‘The World of Quest‘, each separately. I will probably get a copy of Quest down the road; it looks like a fun read. By this point, I had missed the seminar I’d planned to attend, so I kept on seeing what I could see before the doors were flung wide.
I hung around the Penny Arcade table to get some UFS cards signed for my friend and Minion, Omar, and then ogled Susan Heidi?s pin-up art after being handed a flyer. I then stumbled over Rampart Press, and discussed the merits of print vs. online business models with Justin Murphy, as well as the extensive research that went into making the graphic novel Cleburne. I didn’t get it that weekend, but it’s on a list of things I’d like to have.
My feet led me past the Manga Entertainment booth, where I watched the trailer for ”Cyclops’,’ (or at least I thought it was Manga Entertainment. A search of their site that has exposed me to more Equifax ads than I really care to recieve has turned up nothing. Synopsis: A cyclops gets captured, then proceeds to tear stuff up in Rome.) then talked with HC Noel’s wife about ‘Mr. Scootles‘ after she gave me a flyer. I even read a few pages. The concept is really, really interesting, possibly moreso to me because it’s similar in theme to Cottonfluff Hollow. However, neither the writing nor the art grabbed me from the bit that I read, so I let it go and wandered on.
After I stood staring at Rio Dayne’s opulently decorated booth- it looked like a lounge, complete with Perrier bar and leather seats along with life-size cutouts of the characters from her upcoming comic, Oracle of Seven, Rio welcomed me in.
She told me the basic plotline, which seems like an nice premise with a lot of good intentions behind it, but the information was hard to get to, because, well, she was hard to get to, seated in a fancy chair behind the cutouts, who were at the perimeter of the space, almost like bouncers. I suggested how she could make her booth (and herself) a little more accessible, and went on my way, like Kane from Kung Fu. I never made it back there, so I didn’t find out if it worked or not.
Another tour of the Artist’s Alley led me to two old friends, Keith Williams and Steven Belledin. We caught up and talked shop. Then I met Carolyn Blefeski, her partner whose name I don’t remember and may never have known, and her comic ‘Curls’. I picked up a book from Carolyn, because it was a dollar, and it made me laugh.
One of David Foox‘ minions gave me a card, and I strolled past Angry Drunk comics and met Jason Yungbluth, (which I was kind of excited about) and found that Weapon Brown had a new 2-part series coming out. I bought Part 1 of Blockhead’s War, which he signed. By this point, people were coming into the Dealer’s space in droves, I had been on my feet for about 6 hours without stopping, and I was about to miss another seminar. I also had no idea where the seminar was, so I did miss it, and decided to have lunch. One overpriced (but decent) chicken sandwich and black tea later, I was ready to rejoin the convention crowd.I even read Blockhead’s War while I had lunch, but more on that in another post.
I made my way to the 25 Years of TMNT panel, which was largely uninteresting, because despite being a fan of the Turtles since I was about nine, I’ve read maybe 3 issues of the comics. Mostly because neither I, nor anyone I know really ever saw them in stores. And I live in New York.
But, I digress. The point is that as neither Eastman nor Laird were in attendance, (one of the presenters even commented that it was funny how “the millionaires don’t have to show up to conventions,”) I spent an hour listening to four people I’d never heard of (however important to the cause of the TMNT they might have been) talking about how great it was working on the comic, all the while hoping that the presentation might suddenly get better. It never did. Once the panel was over, I had another engagement, so I left the convention for that day.
I wasn’t able to attend the convention on Saturday due to real-life obligations, (I really wanted to go to a few things on Saturday, but I just couldn’t get away) so I went on Sunday, which was Kids’ Day, as well as bright and warm, compared to the gray Friday Morning that this convention adventure began on. I also had my camera working, so I took the photos that litter this posting then.
I caught the very end of? ‘Resources for Creators’, then slipped into the second half of ‘NYCC Classes: Comic Strips’, featuring Chris Eliopoulos, Chris Giarusso, Danielle Corsetto, Brad Guigar, and Tom Wilson (the Second, as it turns out. I was under the impression that this was the first Tom Wilson, and had found myself struck by how youthful he was.) I didn’t really come away with any breakthroughs, but I did want to thumb through Mr. Guigar’s book on webcomics later. Naturally, I never made my way back to his table to do that.
I stuck around for ‘NYCC Classes: Comics for Kids’, and spent an hour learning that there is no real method for writing for children’s media (but it’s great), and listening to the panelists make inside jokes amongst themselves. After that, there was time for another trip around the Dealer’s Room floor, where I ran into a friend I knew from real life, and we wandered the con together. I took a handfulof photos, some of which are in this posting; the rest will go up next week.
We did some celebrity-spotting as we went, in addition to the autograph-signing crowd (and the small herd of babies on the other side of the autograph tables that day), Joss Whedon was apparently out and about, posing with people and being real good about it. I didn’t recognize him, as I never knew what he looked like’? And’? I pretty much still don’t. But my friend JR knew who he was, got this photo, and was kind enough to point out which of the indistinct blobs was actually Mr. Whedon.
However, the real celebrity highlight of the day was finding CC the Banana, and have the photo to prove it. I only got to talk to him briefly before he was called away by his adoring fans, but it was good to see him nevertheless.
The rest of the day found me cruising the aisles and I bought two comics: Silver Surfer #1 and #8. Total cost $6.50. Not bad. I?d never owned #1, but #8 was the first comic I can remember owning as a child, and naturally, I wore it out, as I took it all over the place without a care for it.
Then finally, the lights went down and it was time to go. The dealers began closing up (and still taking last-minute purchases) while volunteers yelled at us to leave. We made our way through the place one last time and bid the convention adieu until it returns in October of 2010.