A Convention by Any Other Promoter Would Smell As...

My press wristband for Big Apple Comic-Con 2o1oThis past weekend was the Big Apple ComicCon, a Wizard Magazine sponsored con, and I must tell you -looks left- -looks right- I didn't expect to have as much fun as I did!

There was some disparaging talk about this con on the net (I'm looking at you @rickmarshall) and I feel the need to say up front and honestly: this con was not polished, this con was not slick. But this con was small enough to allow me to get one-on-one time with several industry giants and many talented unknowns. That's what I care about: comics people.

Yeah, there were guys dressed as vampires running around making fools of themselves. There were industry creators getting drunk and blowing off steam. There were overweight men in their forties dressed ridiculously. But you know what? All of that is going to be at the bigger polished cons too. It's all in good fun and done by people who love to do it. More importantly, I didn't see even the smallest maliciousness or misogyny. Everybody was having a nice time.

There was a nice mix of big names like Ethan Van Scriver (who was hilarious), Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar - who was equally hilarious), J.G. Jones, Leinil Yu, Joe Madureira, guys you may not know like Rodney Ramos, Michael Golden, and Javier Cruz Winnik and some new faces: I met some very excellent and talented young comicsmiths like Brendan Leach (@iknowashortcut - who you WILL be hearing more about from us), Jungyeon Roh (@JungyeonRoh), the team at Pronto Comics (@prontocomics) and ShapeShifter Comics!

I got really excited when I read Jungyeon's pre-press example of "Miss Eggplant's American Boys" and since it isn't really published yet and I can't review it or link somewhere you can buy it, I took a photo of her with it!

Jungyeon Roh and her short, but wonderful comic: "Miss Eggplant's American Boys".

It's a really cool piece combining the lyrics of the song "American Boy" with the immigrant experience and Jungyeon's character Miss Eggplant, a representation of veganism! It sounds ridiculous and... well it is, but it works thanks to her gorgeous illustration style and sense of fun. She has a site where you can see more here.

Most importantly all of this meeting and greeting was done at an event of the perfect size! It really wasn't much bigger than MoCCA Fest, but with a few big names mixed in.

ALERT -- ALERT -- soapbox moment!

In the con wars, bigger is not necessarily better. I don't want to have to push through a crowd of Twilight fans to have multiple quality one-on-one conversations with a comicsmith. That said, I also believe there's room for everybody and every passion with proper planning. Big Apple Comic Con was well planned in this respect: the film/TV celebrities were on one floor, the comics dealers/artists/writers/comicsmiths were on the other one, and they shared the panel space on the third. SMART.

Soapbox moment over. Thanks be to the spaghetti monster. Amen. (Can you tell I went to Catholic school?)

One of those big names was Shane Davis, and I got a chance to speak to him quickly about "Superman: Earth One", the upcoming Superman graphic novel drawn by him and written by J. Michael Straczynski. Hopefully we will have much more for you about that after next weekend!

Shane Davis (artist of the upcoming graphic novel "Superman: Earth One")!

I wrote about this project a long time ago on this blog when it was first announced so it's really exciting to see it so near fruition now.

Wow. A children's book-style comic about a sentient traveling eggplant and an action graphic novel about Superman. Can I get a HELL YEAH for the diversity of material in the medium?

You know, as weird as this sounds, I think a big part of why this con was so good for me is because this is the first big comics event I've been to since joining Twitter. Being able to immediately THAT NIGHT on an iPhone before even getting off the train home(!) connect with the people I'd met during the day was great.

Next weekend will be another of these things: the huge New York ComicCon!

~ @JonGorga

Also... the batmobile was there! tee hee!
The Batmobile!? And the fanboy gets excited...

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