Monday, February 9, 2009

QUICK NYC CON-VERSATION

I totally stole that title from my buddy Jesse Thompson.

Anyways, this past weekend was New York Comic Con, and as I have since the show began, I went to it and had a pretty great time. It's always an odd show because it's the closest one to my home in New Jersey, so unlike the dozens and dozens of shows I've attended over the years in other cities, I had to head home each night after this one, which meant I was a slave to public transportation and needed to trudge back to my bed each day. That meant less straight-up "hanging out" with the wonderfully huge number of friends I saw this year and more just "saying hello." But it was still a great pleasure to see them all and a good way to kick off the con year.

Because this was the first year I worked the show as a DC Comics employee at the DC booth, I had less time to walk the floor (2 hours total for the whole weekend?!) and that meant I didn't buy nearly as much as I did as, say, when I went to SPX in 2008. But I picked up a few things...



Pictured:

  • I finally nabbed a copy of Alison Bechdel's MAGNIFICENT graphic memoir Fun Home at the show in hardcover. I'd put off picking up one because I wanted to be snobby and get a first printing, but the farther I got from the book's release in 2006, the less and less likely that seemed. And then BOOM. I stumbled upon one at the show for HALF cover price and snagged it.
  • This show was the highly anticipated debut of Scott Pilgrim vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe by Bryan Lee O'Malley and I was among the people slobbering all over myself to get a copy. Mine came with the neat pink, paper "wrapper" you see in the photo above and a few SP bookmarks touting the movie and the neat-o foil cover and a high-five I gave myself after the purchase. I can't wait to dive in.
COULD YOU?!


NEXT PICTURE:




  • As I said, I was working, so my good good buddy David Paggi lined up for Cliff Chiang (Dr. 13) and got the artist to knock out a Comedian image for my Watchmen sketchbook (which I have yet to put all of online...). Cliff told David not enough people give love to the fetish-wear. I think not enough people give Cliff love. Check him out.
NEXT:


Because I am pathetic, I bought nothing else and spent the rest of my two hours just walking the floor and looking at things. But It's not just MY fault - lots of publishers actually packed up about an hour and a half before the floor closed at 5 PM on Sunday, which meant I could do little more than nab samplers from their booths. Those included:

  • One from NBM who, I regret to admit, I actually never paid much attention to before 2007 and who put out one of my favorite books of 2008 (Little Nothings vol. 1) and are now one of my favorite publishers to watch.
  • One from Zuda Comics that appears to be a mini comic some of the Zuda talent put together by themselves, which tickled my mini comic bone (which is somewhere around my hip area).
  • One from the book publisher Little, Brown and Company for an upcoming autbio graphic novel from a woman named Laurie Sandell whose work looked a little like Delaine Derry Green to me.
  • One from Villard Graphic Novels because it said they're putting out a collection of Syncopated, which I had no idea was happening. I've always flipped through Syncopated whenever I've seen it, but NEVER bought an issue and now here it is at a book publisher. Good on that book.
  • And the most heartbreaking of all: one from Fanfare/Ponent Mon. See, this company puts out manga that's more mature (and I don't mean "porny") than, say, Naruto or Dragonball Z that has a focus on storytelling and art technique that transcends the manga format and stretches well on in to just plain great comics. They publish them in English and I've been interested in a LOT of their titles, but their prices are generally so steep that I haven't been able to make myself purchase much of their stuff sight unseen (especially this and this, though I did buy this at the store a few weeks back). So, I especially wanted to see their booth to flip through some of the actual books and maybe drop some cash on them then and there, but when I showed up, they'd boxed up the table and vamoosed on out, leaving behind only a small stack of sampler brochures. You crapped on my heart, Fanfare/Ponent Mon.

Otherwise, thanks to my buddy Matt Keller, at the show I PROUDLY wore these:


Which you can/SHOULD get here. Or here.


PANELS:


As far as panels go, I attended part of a Wizard Magazine panel (seen above) and a Toyfare Magazine panel put on by a gaggle of my close friends.


I also attended a "Hip Hop in Comics" panel featuring (among others) the comic artist Kyle Baker and legendary MCs DMC and Chuck D (seen above) and hosted by my buddy Matt Powell.

Speaking of Matt, he continued filling his cartoon-themed sketchbook while at the show and snagged Nathan Fox (a guy I JUST missed at the con) for the below SICK Casey Jones.


He also got several others including Dean Trippe, Jamal Igle and Dean Haspiel, so go look at his book. My girlfriend Samantha also continued filling her monster-themed sketchbook and got the below piece from Eduardo Risso.


In the "Things I Missed" department, apparently there was a new issue of Pixu out, this image from the new Scott Pilgrim film was shown, and First Second had a preview copy of The Eternal Smile out for browsing! Blah!

But, as I mentioned, the weekend was about seeing my close, great friends in one concentrated timeframe and I loved it and wished we had more time. It was BEYOND great seeing Sean T. Collins and making him let me borrow new books from him, drinking with TJ Dietsch on his birthday at the most expensive TGIFridays in the world, walking the show floor for a bit with Ben Morse, having Kiel Phegley stay on my couch after he brought me an issue of Fugitoid all the way from Chicago, seeing the always-beautiful David Paggi on a panel, and eating a quiet meal with the vegetarian Matt Powell at the Times Square Chevy's Mexican restaurant and feeling terrible as he frantically searched for something he could order.
That's not to say I didn't LOVE finally meeting Josiah Leighton, hugging Alex Kropinak, catching up with Todd Casey, sipping Rachel Molino's apricot beer, learning I was the other half of the new icky twins with Vicki, complementing Ryan Penagos' shirts all weekend, catching by boy Andy Serwin at the bar for a whole second, staring at James Walker's He-Man sword, having a flip-off deathmatch with Jim McCann, hearing how Kevin Mahadeo's day was, seeing Emily at a comic con in a TMNT shirt, seeing HEIDI after something like 5 fucking years, hearing about Justin Aclin's new blog, finally getting to see Jeff Katz again - if only for a second, or being part of the DC Comics convention team.

It was just a pretty dope weekend all around.
Try and go next year if you can make it, but, trust me:

STAY IN THE CITY.

4 comments:

TJ Dietsch said...

Dude, good weekend even if it felt like my feet were bleeding by the time I got home early Sunday morning and I didn't get nearly drunk enough on my birthday (I made up for it on Sunday).

Nice sketch, too. Cliff's art is rad. Hopefully one of these days I'll grow some sack and get my Green Lantern book going.

Ben Morse said...

"Hopefully one of these days I'll grow some sack and get my Green Lantern book going."

Unlikely.

Good to see you!

Jesse T. said...

If I've said it once, I've said it 1,000 times: Those are some dope-ass sketchbooks.
That's one of my biggest regrets from my time at Wizard—that I never got any sketches (save for a Nova from Erik Larsen).
I once waited at the end of Cassaday's line to get something, but a Wiz boss was standing there and made me guilty about it, so I bolted.

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