Sunday, April 20, 2008
The Frequency is Courage
Worth the trip just for this Mort Walker!
Silver Surfer flew in for the event.
Security was tight! And check out the background...that is just a part of the line/mob!
The New York Comic Con was basically all I hoped it would be. I'd say attendance was in the 12,000+ area throughout the day. I got there about 9:45am and proceeded to stand in a line, or army, of approximately 4,000 attendees. It took about an hour to finally get into the show, as they were letting people in in groups of 75 per 2 minute intervals. Upon entering the show I saw Mort Walker of Beetle Bailey fame sitting at a booth promoting his new retrospective of Beetle strips 1950-52. He signed my program and graciously drew a sketch of "Sarge" and spent a good couple of minutes chatting. I think I felt I had already gotten my money's worth in the first few minutes.
By visiting illustrator James Gurney's blog, Gurney Journey, I knew that he would be at the con giving a presentation about the Dinotopia book series and illustration principles in general. His attendance was a major factor in my decision to go to the show. I was not disappointed: the lecture was very enlightening and James was at the Andrews-McNeel publishing booth at 2pm to sign beautiful lithographs from his recent Dinotopia entry, The Journey to Chandara. What a pleasure to meet him!
My thanks to Andrews McNeel publishing for the great give-aways and the opportunity to meet James Gurney and UPS cartoonist Mark Tatulli. He was signing and giving away copies of his recent publication of collected "Lio" strips "Happiness is a Squishy Cephalopod". I hadn't heard of Lio but am now a fan since reading the collection on the train from Grand Central to New Haven.
There was something for everyone at the show and from what others told me it was much bigger this year than the previous two, on a scale with the San Diego convention.
I also was pleasantly surprised to see Dan Goldman, the artist for my absolute favorite and artistically inspiring webcomic "Shooting War" which I have previously posted about and am always encouraging others to visit. The comic is now available in a hardcover version and Dan was there signing copies at the Hatchette Book Group booth. I sheepishly lurked about until I got the courage to ask how much the copies of the book were so I could get Dan to sign one and the Hatchette rep said "they're free!" Wow! That was a totally unexpected surprise and I got to talk to Dan for a little while and expressed my fondness for his work. He signed the book "The frequency is courage", an allusion to Dan Rather's "what's the frequency" incident from the 80's. Rather has a cameo in "Shooting War" by the way. Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Hatchette Books Group for the free copy of Shooting War and the opportunity to meet Dan Goldman.
And there were legends in attendance. I had my program signed by Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert and Neal Adams. Artist Fanboy Heaven.
I also got to speak briefly with Tor Art Editor Irene Gallo, who I had the pleasure of meeting at WorldCon 2004 in Boston. She maintains a very entertaining blog "The Art Department" which I recommend visiting. Tor, along with many other publishing houses based on what I witnessed at the NY Comic Con, is getting into the graphic novel/Manga business big time.
I also got to visit with my friends at the Comic Artists Guild, Guild Works Publishing and Free Lunch Comics. There will be a presence by all or some at Sarge's Comics on Free Comic Book Day. Hope to see you in New London, CT the first Saturday in May!
What I saw was very encouraging for the future of comics and related media. I am totally inspired and ready to get back to the drawing table.