Wonderful Weekend in Baltimore

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I had always heard good things about Baltimore Comic-Con but never managed to make it down to the show for a variety of reasons. His year, when the stars aligned, I was determined to make it to the show and I am very glad I did.Last year, Kate went on her own and was recognized by many creators, and she heard many things about me and was reminded by some they first saw her as a youngster, visiting the DC offices.This year, I show up and one of the first things Barry Kitson asks me is “Is Kate here?” So now I know where I rank in the minds and memories of my peers.This is a fun con, one where people can still buy back issues and debate storylines, wear super-hero costumes, chat with talent, and sit in on panels that were not designed to shill any company’s current stuff. I am told the attendance was markedly up this year, and despite the economy, various artists and retailers told me they did good business.For me, it was a chance to have a nice weekend with Kate and her posse while getting to catch up with my former coworkers. Saturday was largely a lot of handshakes and hugs and brief snippets of conversation while Sunday, with lighter crowds, allowed for more substantive conversation which was pleasing.On Saturday, the two panels I hosted went over quite well from my perspective. The JLA with Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire was first. Oddly, after all these years, this was the first time the trio took the stage together which made this a bit of a landmark event. I came well prepared only to have Kevin mock the printed sheets of questions. Still, the packed room laughed for an hour and the creators were still talking to me the next day so I call that a win.After lunch came the Legion panel and as Mike Grell and I threaded our way through the masses to the room, we ran into Jack C. Harris, no stranger to the team, and invited him to join us. The panel was a little larger and I began to skip my prepared questions, going with the flow of the conversation. Some terrific stories were told by the gang and the audience asked some good questions. I call this one a solid win.I managed to catch up with my Crazy 8 Press partner Glenn Hauman and my ComicMix pal Mike Gild, who deservedly won a Humanitarian Award at the Harveys this weekend. I checked in with my publisher Nick Barucci but most of the talk was really social catch-up and gossip with guys I genuinely miss sharing an office with or working on projects. As artist Jamal Igle and I were talking, I explained to Kate that he first worked as a DC intern and she stooped, eyes going wide. “You’re Mailroom Jamal!” Clearly, she remembered hanging with him during his earliest days in the field and Jamal broke up at the nickname.I had tried to get us out mid-afternoon, but circumstances kept us there until the show’s final hour, but I was thrilled to finally meet some others fir the first time, such as former Bat Boy artist Danielle Corsetto, whose webcomic, Girls with Slingshots, I recently discovered.All in all, this was a wonderful two days of fun, socializing, family, and friends.

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