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!
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?
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!