Monday, May 24, 2010

Comiconn was a blast

Comiconn was a small comics convention in Connecticut billed as "A Show for the Fans by the Fans!". It was my first comics convention after years of absence from such events. I'm happy I went.

My son and I got up early in the morning to drive to Comiconn from our residence in New Hampshire. I'd picked Comiconn because of the date and location, just far enough to be a road-trip but not so far I wouldn't' want to do all the driving in one day. The biggest annoyance of the day had nothing to do with the con but the propensity of the state of Massachusetts to claim there is food on a specific exit off the highway and there is no food to be found in a reasonable distance. My son snoozed sitting in the passenger seat on the way down.

Soon after parking at the con we were in line and few members of the 501st Conn Squad could be seen in their imperial uniforms marching about, posing for photos and keeping an eye out for rebel activity. These guys know how to get their geek on and were a fun addition to the con.

I chatted it up with a couple of the people in line, we were surprised how slow the line was moving for such a small show. Turns out they were actually pretty well organized, kept an accurate head count and were handing out sweet goodies bags.

Most of the show was held in a ballroom and artists and dealers sat side by side. Due to the size of the crowd the noise volume was low enough to actually get to talk to the folks at the booths and I dived in meeting new and indie artists, web comic authors, established comic book artists who have worked in the biz for decades, dealers and publishers. I really enjoyed chatting with the indie and web folks the most and I'll try to do some follow up with these folks to give them a chance to show a little bit of their personality.

Here's a quick list of some of the folks I talked with and met at Comiconn:

Melissa Benson, artist of many fabulous Magic The Gathering Cards. Her Celtic Ironman was really cool.

Project Poppet was there, the creator was shy and reserved with it being her first con, turns out she's a gamer give her site a check.

Luke Foster of The Gang From The Store and Moon Freight 3 was there and he did a sketch of my old computer game character Grimbunny I have to get scanned and posted.

Artist Scott Barnett was there and I poked by his booth a couple times to chat with him. I've got a soft spot for illustrator, cgi modeling animator and graphic designers.

Ken Wong was there with his totally awesome Origami Comics, I had to pick up a copy of Schrodinger's Cat
after he demonstrated it.

Alan Dorison did a sketch of my son and labeled me the Best Dad Ever. I can't argue with a bald white guy who likes to draw boobies and dress in a batman cowl and hood.

Tyler James comics was there with an Artists Edition comic I couldn't pass up of Tears of the Dragon.

Got to meet Ox Baker and give him a hand up from his seat to romp about in the aisle. I'd gotten a chance to bump into the guy years earlier when working on a wrestling zine and he's a very friendly and energetic veteran wrestler. The nerdy teenager in me was thrilled to shake hands and get him to pose for a photo.

The Comiconn Artist Panel (in the sapphire room, now that's class) hosted by
Jon B. Cooke had comic creators Jerry Ordway, Frank McLaughlin, Bob Greenberger, Mike DeCarlo special guest Richard Giordano. I was really thrilled to get a chance to hear the old pros talking about the workings of the comic industry in days past and to learn a bit about Charlton comics. Teh Q.A was a bit brief but the pane covered so much in ther discussions I couldn't come up with anything to ask. The panel did stumbel on the title of a batman story and I caught myself using my phone to find the answer and then not revealing it to everyone so those with the memory and gumption would have the chance to look it up on their own later. The story in question was "There is No Hope in Crime Alley!" a pivotal one in the world of comics.

One point raised by a one asking a question in the panel was the growing age of the comics audience and the future for comics at large because of this aging audience. The person was right the same people that were at the cons 20 or 30 years ago are still turning up today with only a smaller number of new folks. Is comics a quaint old medium driven by a small pool of collectors and the nostalgic or is it able to endure and have periods of regrowth?

The con was great. My son was hooked (it was his first comic show) and we'll be hitting more together.

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