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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My Favorite Moments: Baltimore Comic Con 2012

This past month was the first time I have ever attended Baltimore Comic Con and I can confidently state that it is one of my favorite (possibly even my most favorite) of all the cons I have ever attended.  The convention is very comics-centric and since it’s much smaller than SDCC or NYCC, you’re able to see and do everything you could possibly want to without spending any time waiting on long lines.  Many of the industries leading talents were in attendance and because of the size, everyone was very approachable and you were able to have actual conversations with the people you admire without feeling rushed.  Not to mention all the shopping I did and all the rad cosplay I saw!  So once our press passes were approved, my brother and I got up super early on Saturday morning (like 3AM early), and hopped on a train to Maryland.  For the first day of the con I decided to sport my Lazy Oaf Batman bodysuit, which was lucky because one of the guys at the Stylin’ Online booth loved my outfit so much, that he gave me a pair of these Batman earrings for free!
I also ran into Scott Snyder again!  He and Greg Capullo were signing together and I had them put their John Hancock on a copy of one of my single issue Batman variant covers.  Greg was also giving out a limited edition print, and I was able to snag one of those as well.  Immediately afterwards, we found out via Twitter that Jeff Lemire (for those who don’t know Lemire is my absolute favorite comic book writer), was signing at the Top Cow booth.  Even though I had already read his latest graphic novel, Underwater Welder three times and own a hard copy and review pdf, I decided to purchase another, in which Jeff drew a beautiful sketch of Jack complete with bubbles and a personalization to me.  But here is the craziest part, there were only about 5 people waiting on his line, so I did not have nearly enough time to try to relax and be cool when I met him (see the photo of me smiling all uncontrollably silly with Lemire as proof).  That alone made my trip worth it, but there was so much more!  If you haven’t already read Lemire’s Essex County, Underwater Welder, or Sweet Tooth, you should immediately drop everything and pick them up!  I even cosplayed as Sweet Tooth earlier this year.
My next favorite part of Baltimore Comic Con was definitely the shopping.  I got a Wonder Woman messenger bag (lined with navy blue fabric with white stars), a kawaii Superman backpack, a Totoro necklace, Wonder Woman and Batgirl Barbies, and a ton of artwork.  I also finally got to meet my Twitter friend Joe Eisma who is the artist and one of the masterminds behind Morning Glories.  Joe totally made my day when he told me that he loves looking at my instagram photos to see the kind of outfits I’m wearing since the Glories are all just a few years younger than me.  I got a gorgeous Morning Glories print of Casey signed by Joe, since she is one of my dream cosplays.  I also met Thom Zahler and Amy Ratcliffe where I purchased some of the best Spider-Man artwork I’ve ever seen.  The art I now own depicts Gwen Stacy (aka me) and Mary Jane fighting over a Spider-Man costume.  It’s absolutely adorable!  I also was really excited to meet Amy, who is a writer for Nerd Approved with a serious affinity for Star Wars, and she was super sweet in person!  Next I visited Cliff Chiang’s table and we reminisced about seeing Marvel’s The Avengers.  Dan Slott and I had sat next to him during the Marvel screening last April.  I’ve really been loving Cliff’s Wonder Woman artwork in the New 52, and I always loved his Zatanna art as well.  I got a really cute set of mini prints from him that included Batgirl and Teen Titans art.  My last stop for artwork was at Paolo Rivera’s table.  I simply had to have the iconic Daredevil snow angel cover from issue #7 of Mark Waid’s run and of course a Spider-Man print.
And lastly, what would any convention be without some good ole fashion cosplay?  On Sunday’, Baltimore Comic Con hosted their annual costume contest, so that is the day to attend if cosplay is your thing.  I loved some of the really unique costumes I saw such as Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, The Riddlers, and a Captain Marvel fashioned after Kelly Sue DeConnick’s new series.  After the con my brother and I grabbed some dinner and drinks near the hotel before calling it a night.  Oh! Another favorite highlight was during the Marvel NOW! panel when Mark Waid made my brother stand up and model his “I’m Not Daredevil” t-shirt from WeLoveFine.  For full coverage of the panels I attended and the Harvey Awards, you can view it all at On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!
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