Baltimore Comic Con was a blast (as always!). If you haven’t already, you can watch my vlog of the con as well as my haul which I posted on my YouTube channel earlier in the week. One of my favorite parts of the convention is admiring all of the wonderful cosplay that you see while walking around the exhibit hall, so today I’m sharing some of my favorites from this year’s show. Saturday was the costume contest so I definitely saw the best cosplay that day and I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with how many adorable kids I saw in cosplay this con! I think my favorites of the bunch are the Saga cosplayers, Cecil from Welcome to Night Vale, Hawkgirl and the Spider-Men cosplay group! Which are your favorites?
Over Labor Day weekend, Andrew and I woke up at 3 AM to start our journey to Baltimore to attend my all time favorite convention, Baltimore Comic Con. It’s been two years since I’ve been able to go and it was so great to be back! The reason I love Baltimore so very much is that the main emphasis of the show is on comics and it’s evident of that focus when you look at the guest list each year. They always manage to book the top writers and artists in the industry and it’s a pleasure to spend time on their show floor. It’s not like SDCC or NYCC where walking from one end of the convention to the other end is an unbearable feat that requires you to set aside at least 30 minutes for. And on the day of the costume contest, they always have some amazing cosplayers! Admittedly, the show was a bit quieter this year after having been moved to Labor Day Weekend because Baltimore Comic Con was competing with 8 other conventions. I still had a wonderful time and I fully expect to attend again next year when the date gets pushed back later in the month. A major plus of the convention is that it’s right near the beautiful Barnes & Noble in the inner harbor which is totally worth a trip to. Anyway, here’s the footage of our trip and my video of the treasures I acquired.
I love this weeks 5 Fandom Friday and I feel like I have an advantage after the few years I spent traveling to every convention I could possibly manage! I think each con has its own identity and personality that makes it what it is so if you’ve only been to one convention and didn’t love it, there’s a good chance you just haven’t found “the one” yet. For instance, DragonCon… so so not my thing. DragonCon is the Vegas of conventions in the sense that what happens at DragonCon stays at DragonCon. It is full of some serious PARTY people (which is not to say that I don’t enjoy a good party, but trust me, DC is just TOO much for this introvert). Here’s my ranked list!
5) San Diego Comic Con – SDCC is making my list because you just never know what will happen when you’re there. It’s THE convention. Whenever anyone so much as mentions a “comic con” chances are, this is the one they’re referring to. I’ve only trekked out one time for the convention and I’m glad that I can say I’ve experienced it. Some of the highlights of my trip include going to the Syfy party and attempting to act normal around the Being Human cast while sipping champagne cocktails with Molly, ending up at the IGN party by complete accident and sitting near a fire pit with Simon Pegg (truthfully, I wish I remembered this a little bit better), and eating a private lunch with some of my favorite comic book creators. The below photo is of the girls and I at the iFanboy party.
4) C2E2 – I think part of the reason I enjoyed C2E2 so much is because Chicago is like a tinier, cleaner NYC that closes down earlier at night. It’s held in the Hyatt McCormick hotel so you don’t have to spend money on cabs getting to and fro (unless you’re Melissa and I and wait until the last minute to book things). Again, it’s a smaller scale con and it’s mostly comics focused. I had a blast cosplaying here and I did enjoy going out for Chicago style pizza with Melissa and Jill even we all agreed that it doesn’t compare to a New York slice.
3) Star Wars Celebration – Oh man, this is one of my favorite favorite conventions. The year I went it was held in Orlando (right near Disney!) and I had so much fun. It’s a smaller scale convention and it’s so overwhelmingly Star Wars. There is such an in-depth history within the Star Wars universe so there’s enough to fill a convention center. This year it’s being held in Anaheim and it’s RIGHT BEFORE Star Wars: The Force Awakens is released in theaters so I can only imagine the amazing things ReedPOP has in store for fans.
2) New York Comic Con – NYCC is my home con so it falls pretty high up my list. It seems to get crazier and crazier every year but I can’t help loving it anyway. There’s definitely been a significant increase in fan attendance since the year I started attending which makes walking from one area to another (i.e., the show floor to Artist Alley) a bit of a nightmare but now I mostly just use NYCC as an opportunity to catch up with out of town friends. I tend to look up a few artists or booths I want to see, I don’t even attempt panels, and I just go with the flow. There’s also great after-parties! The below photo is of Janna, Jill, Chris, Marlene and I at the Mary Sue party!
1) Baltimore Comic Con – This convention is my absolute favorite year after year. It’s completely focused on COMICS and nothing else. I usually buy the majority of my yearly art haul at Baltimore Comic Con. Because the Harvey Awards are held during BCC, it tends to attract most of the biggest names in the industry and yet it maintains an intimacy that allows the con-goer to have a satisfying experience chatting with all of the creators they want without waiting in giant lines. It’s also really easy to get into panels. I went to a Sunday panel that started at 2pm, walked in at 1:55 and got a seat in the front row. Plus I get to hang out with Amy and Steph all weekend!
BONUSES that are industry-only (that means you bloggers!)
1) BEA – BOOKS! Need I say more? I’ll say one other thing. You get them for FREE. And there are author signings!
2) Toy Fair – So. Many. Toys. And enough space that you could presumably walk through the Javitts Center with your arms outstretched and not hit anyone in the process. Plus, you get to see all the toys that are coming out in the next year!
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
Baltimore Comic Con is once again my favorite convention of the year. Each convention has a specific focus and personality to it and Baltimore’s is strictly comics. I was so pleased to see how much the convention had grown in only one year. There were plenty more people in attendance this year than there were last year, but even still the floor was not unmanageable to walk around. There were definite crowds in some areas, but the floor is set up with enough space between aisles that there isn’t ever a major human traffic jam. One of the reasons I love Baltimore so much is because all of the creators are so easily accessible. This year the two longest lines I waited in were to buy artwork from Amanda Conner, and the Starbucks line. But to talk to Brian Bolland, the creator of one of the most infamous and terrifying images, depicting the Joker peering out from behind his camera with that eerie over exaggerated smile, I waited for MAYBE three minutes.
I spent the overwhelming majority of my convention time walking around with Amy, who I absolutely adore. The first day of the con Amy dressed as Princess Amethyst of Gemworld, and I was dressed as a casual Stephanie Brown Robin. We were able to walk the entire floor in less than one day, but we spent a lot of time perusing through artist portfolios and Amy was in search of artists to draw in her new Daredevil themed sketchbook. I don’t even want to think about the amount of money we spent between the two of us. We also visited our friend Stephanie at Bill Willingham’s table and she entertained us with stories about cats. Then we followed her into the two hour long Fables panel which I’m going to recap very soon for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink. Amy and I walked into the panel slightly late and in the same door and time as Shelly Bond (executive editor for Vertigo Comics), so we were pointed at by everyone on the panel and stared at by the attendees while we tried to move across the room as quickly as Barry Allen to find seats and get out of that awkward situation. After the panel we went back to the floor and (shocker) bought more art. I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Fay and Rich Bernatovech who I were drawn to because of their incredible artwork. I bought a bunch of things from them including their complete Sentinels series, and I just finished reading their current series, Neverminds, which I totally love and am going to write a separate blog post about.
Remember how I said the other longest line I waited in was for Amanda Conner? Well that was because she already had prints with her from the upcoming Harley Quinn series her and her husband Jimmy Palmiotti are working on. And Harley looks beautiful. I’m really happy that I decided to commit and brave the long line because when I went to see Amanda on Sunday she was completely sold out of Harley. I also picked up Supergirl, and Black Cat prints from her as well. And if she’s coming to NYCC (which I’m pretty sure she is), there were Catwoman and Wonder Woman prints I had my eye on. Other artists we saw and purchased prints from were Chrissie Zullo, Sean Gordon Murphy, Chris Samnee, and Franco. I was disappointed that Cliff Chiang had to cancel last minute, but hopefully he’ll be at NYCC as well. I also bought a bunch of older DC trades for 50% off and a Marvel holiday trade (because the cover has Spider-Man wearing a Santa hat, insta-buy) at the same booth I purchased trades at last year. If it weren’t for the kindness of Amy’s fiance Thom Zahler, and his table mate Paul Storrie (who I also bought a really cool comic from called Robyn of Sherwood about Robinhood’s daughter), I might’ve ended up breaking my back and needing medical attention (which I how I felt on my commute back to NY).
I had woken up at 3AM for my commute to Baltimore so I was pretty lame on Saturday night and instead of hanging out in the hotel bar and drinking with my friends I decided to stay in my hotel room and read some more of my book before I called it a night. I know, such an exciting life I lead! Still, I started Sunday morning off with an iced Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte and I spent the 45 minutes in line catching up with fellow New Yorker, Heidi MacDonald, who runs Comics Beat before the panel she was moderating. Sunday is the big cosplay day of Baltimore because there’s a huge costume contest held for all the attendees. I spent Sunday morning photographing my favorites (including these DC Aquaman/Mera and Green Lantern/Star Sapphire couples). Afterwards, Amy and I (who dressed as ourselves for the day), attended another panel called Genderizing Comic Books which was moderated by Christy Blanch, who I totally want to be when I grow up. She was so inspiring and full of fascinating Superman stories I hadn’t ever known existed. Her panel was very engaging and interactive, and it was clear the entire audience was captivated by her wisdom. Amy and I had the longest talk with her after the panel and she told us all about her new comic book shop which I’d basically do anything for a chance to visit. Then we popped back over to see Steph before she had to rush off to the airport back to Canada land. And then we too were on our way back home. I’m so happy I was able to spend the weekend with Amy. We’ve been internet friends for a while but we hadn’t ever gotten to spend so much one on one time together! I’m sure there are other highlights I’m probably forgetting from this whirlwind of a weekend because I definitely haven’t caught up on sleep just yet. But, I’m not planning on getting much sleep anyway until after Fangasm premieres which I cannot believe is only two weeks away! SO EXCITING!
I wasn’t planning on writing a panel schedule post, but last night I received some exciting news and it looks like I’ll be able to attend both days of Baltimore Comic Con! Which also means, I have more panel flexability because I won’t be trying to maximize my floor time and fit everything into one day. I’m especially excited because I really wanted to attend the Fables panel but since it is 2 hours long, I didn’t think I would be able to. But now I can! Anyway, here are the panels I’m most likely going to attend!
3:00-5:00 – The Official East Coast Fables Panel
The Official East Coast Fables Panel will feature Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Adam Hughes, Barry Kitson, Chrissie Zullo, and more of the extended Fables family for a whole TWO HOURS. Join them as they discuss the past, present and future of the series, do giveaways and more for the first hour and then go behind-the-scenes and delve inside the construction of a new Fables story in the second hour.
5:00-6:00 – IDW Presents: Joe Hill
As the Locke family’s long ordeal comes to a close with Locke & Key: Alpha, join IDW’s VP of Marketing, Dirk Wood, as he moderates a discussion with award-winning author, Joe Hill. Come find out Joe’s thoughts on the end of his run on Locke & Key, and his plans for the future! Featuring Q&A, hi-jinx, and tales told in the inimitable Joe Hill style!
1:00-4:00 – Costume Contest sponsored by Stylin’ Online!
The fun begins at 1:00 pm! With $1,000 up for grabs for the best overall costume and prizes for each of the 10 categories, this is one event all of you cosplayers don’t want to miss! Adult Categories have a $5 entry fee per person. Contest registration at booth #2505.
2:00-3:00 – IDW: The Big Panel
Join IDW’s VP of Marketing, Dirk Wood, with industry legend Walter Simonson, and a host of special surprise guests! Find out what IDW has planned for the rest of 2013 and beyond! Madcap laughs, Q&A, announcements, prizes, and a guest appearance from a creator you won’t believe!
At most conventions it’s difficult to meet and spend one on one time with creators because of huge lines and such, but that is not the case at Baltimore Comic Con. I usually don’t write a “Writer’s I Can’t Wait To Meet” post because chances are, I’d have to spend most of my con floor time waiting in a line, and quite frankly, that’s not why I go to cons. Midtown Comics often hosts comic signings with wonderful creators in the industry, so I always make my way over to those and I reserve my con time for mingling with friends, admiring cosplayers, purchasing new toys, and swooning over all the prints in artist alley. But for Baltimore Comic Con it’s reasonable to formulate a mental (and now physical) list of writers you’re looking forward to seeing. Here are mine!
Mike Carey – Baltimore Comic Con is Mike Carey’s only United States convention of the year, and I’ve currently been re-reading and obsessing over his Unwritten series for Vertigo. Carey has an original graphic novel coming out later this year based on Tom Taylor’s adventures and I’ve been dying to find out more information about the story. You may also be familiar with Carey’s other series Lucifer, which is a spinoff of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. He’s also written some Hellblazer, Fantastic Four, and a whole lot of X-Men.
Joe Hill – I haven’t yet met Joe Hill which is kind of crazy since I admire him and his prose so much! I was thrilled to see his name on the list of attendees this year and I can’t wait to introduce myself to him. Joe and I have followed each other on Twitter for quite some time now (ever since I wrote a few reviews gushing about him & Gabriel Rodriguez’s brilliant Locke & Key series), and I’m so excited to get to see him IRL. I’m also a huge fan of his horror novels Horns, Heart Shaped Box, and of course NOS4A2. And holy smokes, I am so excited for his upcoming Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland comic!
Sean Gordon Murphy – You may also recognize Sean Gordon Murphy from my Top 7 Artists I Want To Give All Of My Money To post from yesterday. Murphy is a jack of trades having mastered both writing an incredible story and illustrating one in his own stylized manner. I first fell in love with Murphy’s work after reading Punk Rock Jesus, and I’m currently loving the Vertigo series, The Wake, he’s co-creating with Scott Snyder. I actually met Murphy at a Midtown signing a few months before I left for filming, and again on Free Comic Book Day, but nonetheless, I’m excited to see what he has with him in Baltimore. Oh! He also designed a super awesome Batman Black & White statue that you have a chance of winning from Comics Alliance.
Mark Waid – Mark Waid is another writer I’ve met in the past, but I’m still really looking forward to seeing again. Waid was at Baltimore Comic Con last year and he has one of the best senses of humor of anyone I’ve ever met. He helped moderate the Marvel NOW panel which was getting ready to launch at the time (oh, memories). Waid actually made my brother stand up in the middle of the panel because he just so happened to be borrowing and wearing my “I’m not Daredevil,” t-shirt from WeLoveFine which Matt Murdock dons in issue #7 of Mark Waid’s incredible run. Daredevil is my second favorite Marvel hero (second only to Spider-Man), and I absolutely adore the direction Waid has taken the series in. He’s also written some other notable stories like Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright. So yeah, he’s kind of a big deal to me.
Bill Willingham – Bill writes one of my favorite Vertigo series of all time, Fables. I love everything that he’s done with the characters and how he’s modernized their story. He’s managed to create one of the most fascinating universe’s in comics today, and he shows no signs of stopping any time soon (thank goodness). I’ve also previously met Bill Willingham at last year’s New York Comic Con and he had plenty of hilarious stories to tell, including one about my best friend Melissa as the drunken Snow White from a signing in Texas a few years back. Baltimore Comic Con is also hosting the official East Coast Fables panel which is going to include the majority of creators who have worked on the book, and it’s going to be a full TWO hours!
After going back through my list, I’ve realized how many of these creators I’ve already met! Being the huge comics fan that I am, it doesn’t even lessen the excitement level for me the slightest bit, and I am so thankful for that feeling! One more day, and to Baltimore I go!
Normally I would narrow my list down to the top 5 artists I’m excited to see, but Baltimore Comic Con is an exception to all conventions. It was my favorite show I attended of 2012, and it’s always full of the industry’s top talent. Unlike SDCC or NYCC, it’s a much smaller scale convention, and it’s one of few that feels like everything about it is planned for fans. Many creators I’ve talked to have said that Baltimore Comic Con is one of the shows they do the best at, so it’s beneficial for both attendees and industry folk. But enough about the convention! Here’s a list of the top 7 artists I’m dying to buy prints from this year!
Sean Gordon Murphy