NYCC ’13: 6 Artists I Want to Give All Of My Money To

Every year, at every convention, my weakness without fail is artist alley.  I’m trying to diversify my list from past conventions, and luckily, NYCC has so many artists coming, that it wasn’t difficult to include folks I haven’t had the opportunity to meet and purchase things from just yet.  My only repeat on this list from my last convention (Baltimore Comic Con), is Cliff Chiang because he had to cancel at the last minute and I wasn’t able to see him.  But this NYCC, I’m totally ready to attack his table!

1Alex Maleev

1Amy Reeder

1

Ivan Reis

1

Mike Norton

1

Ryan Stegman

1

Cliff Chiang

Who are you most looking forward to meeting and purchasing artwork from?  Do you prefer to buy prints, or do you like commissioning original artwork from your favorite creators?

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My Favorite Moments: Baltimore Comic Con 2013

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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

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Video: Bleeding Cool’s Stacktastic: Discussing DC’s New 52 Hosted by Grace Randolph

My Favorite Moments: New York Comic Con 2012

New York Comic Con is the convention that I look forward to attending every year.  It’s local, it’s not overwhelmingly crowded and the panels are usually pretty interesting.  That is, until this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast at NYCC, but there is no doubt that the Javits Center severely oversold the event this year.  There was even a point on Saturday when they closed all of the doors and were not admitting any more attendees into the convention because they were over capacity.  I had arrived late that day, but luckily because I had a press badge and Melissa had an exhibitor badge we were permitted to enter anyway.  I had also heard people complaining about the lack of guests and interesting panels.  I disagree with this point.  Last year, the two big panels were The Walking Dead and The Avengers panels.  The Walking Dead returned for a panel again this year, but it wouldn’t have made sense for The Avengers to return when their next movie isn’t scheduled to be released for a few years.  Plus, Clark Gregg crashed the Marvel TV panel to be there when Joss Whedon and Kevin Fiege’s video clips announced that the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series would feature Agent Coulson.  That’s pretty darn exciting if you ask me!  Not to mention that Tom Felton, Adam West, Burt Ward, and Stephen Arnell (the new Arrow) were all in attendance.  As for other guests, I was very pleased.  Maybe it’s because I love comics, but the main reason that I attend conventions is to see the authors and artists behind each of my favorite series.  I don’t get overly excited when I meet movie stars, but place me in front of an author like Neil Gaiman and I’m speechless.  I love getting my books signed and just being able to have a few moments in the presence of someone talented enough to have created a series I respect.
So now, for my favorite parts of NYCC.  I was really pleased with the amount of Twitter people I was able to run into at the convention.  It’s so lovely to be able to finally put an IRL face and voice to a Twitter handle.  I do wish I could’ve spent more time with some of the people I met, but NYCC weekend flew past like a whirlwind.  I didn’t even get to spend the majority of time with my close friends with the exception of Melissa (@mechamelissa) and Jen (@jennifermarie). Luckily, I was able to catch up with some others that I missed at the con at the after parties.  On Thursday night, Melissa, Chris (@CapSteveRogers), and I ended our night early and nommed on Mexican food and margaritas before turning in.  It was the perfect end to an exhausting day.  The following night, Melissa, Alan (@SizzlerKistler), Lisa (@LisaMcMullan) and I attended the Psychology of Cosplay panel given by none other than Andrea (@ArkhamAsylumDoc) and Jill (@TheNerdyBird).  It was a great panel and the girls did a wonderful job speaking and informing us about cosplay demographics!  Immediately afterward we headed to The Mary Sue & Her Universe party which was moved to Beer Authority after the Houndstooth Pub lost the reservation.  We had a great time just hanging out and eating cheesecake and fries.  Saturday night was by far my favorite night of parties.  We left the convention around 10pm and attended the Geek Girl party at Stitch, followed by the Marvel Comics party.  In fact, we had so much fun that we didn’t end up getting back to Melissa’s until 5 AM (which we undoubtedly paid for the next morning).  It was so much fun catching up with Brad Walker (@IamBradWalker), who drew the art for Guardians of the Galaxy.  He just looked on at us embarrassed when Jen, Melissa, and I broke out into an Oasis sing along.
Part of what I find most fun about going to any convention is putting together outfits.  On Thursday (the first photo), I was decked out in Wonder Woman attire which other people kept referring to as a costume.  I had to assure them that those were in fact my normal clothes and are the way I dress on a day to day basis.  The next day, Jen and I wore our galaxy dresses by Black Milk and I made us complimenting Lantern headbands.  Jen is a Sinestro fan so she represented the Yellow Lanterns while I stuck to the classic Green Hal Jordan.  We were planning on collecting Lanterns to take photos with, but sadly we did not see very many Lantern cosplayers.  Then on Saturday we donned more of our BlackMilk pieces.  We attended the con as the droids you’ve been looking for with me as R2 and Jen as C3PO.  Almost immediately after entering the con, Melissa and I decided to impulsively purchase wigs and we spent the rest of the day roaming in our vibrant headwear.  Our friend Lauren (@LaurenMoran), was also dressed as an adorable Ewok on Saturday so she perfectly fit in with our theme!  Then on Sunday, I decided to cosplay since I hadn’t any of the other days.  I went as Stephanie Brown Batgirl and Melissa went as female Solomon Grundy.
As for highlights inside the convention, I was really excited to meet Jim McCann and get a signed copy of his Mind the Gap Volume 1 trade.  I’ve been loving each issue of the series and Jim even gave me his email address so I can interview him for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  I also acquired a signed copy of Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, a beautiful Harley Quinn statue by Kotobuyika, an Indiana Jones Handbook from my friend Eric (@EricSmithRocks) at Quirk Books (@QuirkBooks), a few adorable tees from WeLoveFine (@WeLoveFineTees) which I’m sure I’ll be modeling soon via instagram, a signed Fables print from Bill Willingham, Harley Quinn and Batgirl iPhone cases, and I had Kyle Higgins sign my Nightwing trade.  And, I was able to accomplish my one convention goal which was to meet Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples and have them sign a Saga trade for me.  We arrived at the Midtown signing quite late, but thanks to Thor Parker (@ThorParker), we were able to get in line and be the last few to meet them!  Overall, I’d say it was a very successful convention.  I’m sure that I’m forgetting things because like I said before, this NYCC really did fly by.  What were your favorite moments from NYCC?  Let me know in the comments section, on Twitter, or tumblr!  And for a full album on NYCC pics, feel free to friend me on Facebook.
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