Notes from the Convention
My time at New York Comic-Con was concentrated into two full, tiring days. The show has been growing at a nice pace and so far, five years in, they have kept Hollywood from overrunning it with a nice mix of media properties but a theme repeated throughout the weekend was how refreshing it was that the show was predominantly about comics.
The Javits Center was packed once the consumers were allowed in so my favorite part of the show was Friday from 10-1 when it was Pros only and we could wander freely and booths were far from overcrowded. As a result, it was a delight to wander every few feet and run into old coworkers, colleagues and pals. I left my schedule clear specifically so I could socialize during this period.
After that, though, I made certain my time was invested in following up on existing projects, promoting projects and begging for new projects. It started off with a lunch meeting with Tim Pilcher at Ilex Books in England. I’ve known Tim since he was an assistant editor at Vertigo’s short-lived London office. He and I discussed a gestating concept and got things on track.
I then did a video interview in support of the Essential Superman Encyclopedia with a friend currently attending Ithaca College. Once that ended, I spent the rest of the afternoon touring Artist’s Alley, which was relocated to a separate, expanded space. Row after row of booths featured self-published comics or small presses, most of whom I had never heard of. I did catch up with Thom Zahler, creator of Love & Capes, one of my favorite titles. Like me, he’s involved in his local government so we talked politics for a bit. Later on, I caught up with many an artist including Brian Bolland, Bob Layton, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and the dynamic team of Hilary and Joe Staton.
My day wound down with a meeting with Dynamic Forces’ Nick Barrucci as we talked about 2011’s Howard Chaykin Retrospective and some possible other projects. The nice about Nicky is that he’s a straight-shooter and willing to help out his friends.
That night there was a DC-hosted party where I finally met Diane Nelson, the new prez. Once more it was catching up with old friends and having a nice dinner. I had to leave early so I could go home, sleep a bit, and come back in.
Saturday morning began by running late thanks to one of the most moronic bus routes I’ve ever seen. Fortunately, my appointment was running late too. But it gave me time to really talk with Edu Alpuente, my host from this spring’s Spanish sojourn. We had our meeting with a publisher which may well lead to new work in the coming months.
From there, Edu and I quickly prodded a publisher about a project they have been considering for a few months now. After that, I walked the floor for a bit with Aaron Rosenberg as we pitched some things we were working on. We grabbed a quick lunch, where I briefly ran into my nephew Nicholas and then Aaron and I had a top secret meeting with a group of peers.
I had to bolt from that before it ended so Marty Pasko and I could do back-to-back interviews for Superman at the DelRey booth. No sooner did that end than I spent time getting to know Josh Green, the coordinator at Dynamic Forces and the guy I’ve been mostly working with on the Chaykin book. As we ended that conversation, I went to participate in the panel promoting Gotham City 14 Miles and I was pleased to see the SRO space. Good questions, good answers and a lot of fun camaraderie with Peter Sanderson, Paul Kupperberg, Mark Waid, and the other panelists.
My final meeting thankfully was away from the con and a chance to really unwind. At a nearby pub there were drinks with a group of writers and artists courtesy of Kickstart, the new graphic novel publisher. The nice thing about that was not only did I get to cha with their management, I renewed acquaintances with Steve Dillon who I have not chatted with in many a year. Also met fellow writer Nick Abadzis, whose work I have enjoyed.
I bought all of one comic book, barely having time to really look at the various booths. I could have gone back in today but was worn out and now I have a lot of things to follow up on while also tending to school work. It’s a shame in that it turns out I totally missed friends from various corners of my life. And some who came from other states, such as my long-time pal Tom Lyle, barely had more than ten minutes to talk before we got pulled in other directions.
I’d say it was a good show. Reed still has some things to correct from signage to crowd control but overall, I’d say they did a good job and we all had a good time.