Con Report

Interestingly, someone actually told me this weekend I need to post more often so I will make an effort.

The New York Comic Con was huge and better run than in the past two years which is a sign of growth and maturity. It attracted something close to 65,000 people I hear and that’s pretty amazing but also shows how much we needed a NY con.

It was described to me like an extended family reunion and I thought it felt more like a high school reunion. Either is an apt description. Especially Friday, I couldn’t go more than a few feet before seeing an old pal. I won’t name drop a lot but want to acknowledge how neat it was to see people from all the different eras of my professional career. Fortunately, most of us seem to be aging gracefully.

I was there as a free agent but also there to represent Avalanche Comics Entertainment as well as an unnamed company, something I should be talking about soon. As a result, I had an agenda of meetings the first two days and I’m happy to report that they went well. As we draw closer to the completion of ACE’s first two big projects, we’re beating the drums, seeking the next gigs and we’re inching closer which is fine.

I was also there to seek additional writing or editing opportunities. While I knew I’d be meeting with people to talk about four possible things, two more occurred during the weekend and that was pleasantly positive. As a result, I remain cautiously optimistic that I have enough options cooking that the law of averages says some of these will become reality (an actual offer with deadline and fee) to keep me going during the second half of 2008.

The highlight of the weekend was seeing the first dummy copy of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia on display at the Del Rey booth. It looked amazing even without the color inserts. They had a poster-sized cover on the wall and had me sign it, which was fun. I kept dragging people over to see it and they all were positive.

Post-show, Johanna Draper-Carlson posted the following at her Comics Worth Reading site: “I got a chance to see a preview copy of the Essential Batman Encyclopedia at the NY Con, and it looks fabulous. I was impressed by the sleek layout and ease of use, like a ‘real’ encyclopedia. It’s due out in June at a reasonable $30 US price.

“But I’m posting to correct a misconception that I previously held: this is not an update of the Fleisher book. The only thing the two have in common is the concept. This material is totally newly written, and it takes a comprehensive instead of chronological approach. Instead of, for example, listing every Joker appearance in the order they happened (as Fleisher did); this book gives an overview of the character and key events. It’s bigger picture, not so much obsessive detail.”

Friday night I attended the DC Freelancer party and once more kept running into old friends. I wound up sharing a table with Joe and Hilarie Staton and as we caught up, it turns out that Hilarie wrote a book for the same series as my Bataan Death March project including the same editor. Yep, there world can be that small.

On Sunday, I moderated a panel on Getting your First Job in the field. We had a balanced set of panelists and some three dozen people in attendance which I’d say was pretty good for 3 p.m. on the final day of the show.

Also on Sunday, I had no meetings so declared it shopping day. I wandered the floor seeking out non-superhero things to sample. I wound up buying nothing. Both Jim Hanley’s Universe and Midtown Comics pushed the major publishers’ output while the smaller independent publishers had their own tables and much of the stuff was either not to my taste or just a level above amateur. I did note the wide variety of stuff available from the odd (the NY Times pushing subscriptions) to the tangential (Duncan Yo-yos) to the surprising (clothing for cosplay).

All in all, it was a very successful show professionally and very nice on a personal level. My voice grew hoarse and my feet ached, but it was all worth it in the end.

One comment

  • Susan O

    Bob, is there an ISBN for Batman Enc. yet (and/or do you know it)? I’ll see if we can get a pre-order on it for the library.