New York Comic Con happened over the weekend; there was good stuff (such as God-given right of New Yorkers to have food delivered straight to their tables on the show floor — are you listening, San Diego?) and less-good stuff. Of the less-good stuff, some would have been out of the control of con staff (such as construction scaffolding in the Javits Center that cut the show floor in half, requiring narrow, easily-blocked tunnels for foot transit), and some within the con staff’s purview (such as Artist Alley’s posted map listing creators by seat number instead of by name).
In other words, it was upwards of 100,000 people in a compact area for a period of time (and hey, 100,000 people, what was with some of you dropping your garbage on the floors at will, you suck), and probably went about as well as could be expected (okay, I did see one surly-looking dude in the custody of the NYPD by the escalators, but at least nobody got stabbed).
I did a lot of walking around the show floor for pretty much all of Saturday (although that was nearly impossible for a few hours in the middle of the afternoon), saw a bunch of creators, engaged in commerce, and caught two relevant panels. Here’s the short version while the longer discussion is getting prepped.
- Books, Books, Books
Dave McElfatrick, newly welcome to these shores, and his Cyanide & Happiness cohorts (Rob DenBlyker and Matt Melvin; Kris Wilson didn’t make it) watched 450 books sell out by Saturday afternoon.
Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars In Brooklyn‘s cover art was used for the design of a pretty hefty percentage of the attendee badges. Looked great.
Some guy apparently now will be releasing his books through some fancy-pants big comics company (congratulations, Chris Hastings!).
Picked up KC Green’s The Blood Cloud, Anthony Clark’s Beartato and the Secret of the Mystery, Evan Dahm’s Rice Boy and Order of Tales books 1 & 2, and Colleen Venable’s Guinea PIg 2: And Then There Were Gnomes. I was gifted with a copy of Dahm’s mini, Waiting In Surya/The Tethered Isle, and Chris Eliopolous’s Misery Loves Sherman. About 7kg worth in all, and my back is still protesting hauling it all around.
- Met up with all of the above, plus Zach Weiner and the SMBC Theater Crüe (including James Ashby, JP and Jenny Nickel, and Kelly Weinersmith), Karl Kerschl & Cameron Stewart (whose Sin Titulo will — fingers crossed — be seeing book form in about a year), Brad Guigar and Scott Kurtz, Ryan Sohmer, Lar DeSouza and the rest of the Blind Ferret mob, Rosscott, Mohammad “Hawk” Haque, Jon Rosenberg, Sam Brown, Andy Bell, Kean Soo, Andrew Hussie, Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson (who showed me an absolutely gorgeous, as-yet unused guest strip for Anders Loves Maria), Chris Butcher, Magnolia Porter, Tom Siddell, and I know I’m forgetting others, sorry.
- Met a really nice guy named Matt Lubchansky, who’s doing a pretty nifty and relatively new webcomic called The Adam — it’s about a guy that’s mildly (but insufficiently) super-powered and unable to make it as a crimefigher, so he slides into a more backward dimension (ours) to pursue heroics. Good hook, really enjoying it so far.
- Speaking of Matts, Jen Babcock pointed me to the doings of Matt. Murray, one-time President and Executive Director of MoCCA, current principal of Sequential Arts Collective, and the world’s premiere Smurfologist. Seems that since he doesn’t have to keep comics fans from dying in a fire any longer, Mr Murray is working on a definitive scholarly book on said Smurfs. Innn-teresting.
- Panel Discussion 1
Rob DenBlyker had the SMBC Theaterites on a panel, asking them various questions about their process (they all do everything), their inner furries (James is a panda, JP a monkey, Jenny a grizzly, Kelly a nematode, and Zach wants us all to know the correct term is fursona), who has to paint James red for his turns as the Devil (whoever’s around; the first time it was Kelly & Zach, in a trailer at a fish research facility, aka “Kelly’s job”), and future plans (there has been a broadcast pilot shot; the second DVD is due in a couple of months; there will be animation alongside live action in the future).
Quote of the Session: Asked from the floor about how much money the SMBC Theater actors/crew get paid, snorts of derisive laughter followed, until Jenny remarked, Your laughter is all the payment we need (cue more laughter).
Quote of the Session runner-up: Asked from the floor how he comes up with something new every day for the comic, Zach explained that he reads widely, and If you steal from a dead person, it’s like creating.
- Panel Discussion 2
The Guigar/Kurtz/Roberts discussion on Digital vs Print got off to a slightly late start (the previous panel finished on time, but attendees mobbed speaker Dr Michio Kaku) and turned out to be less about any kind of vs, and more about Okay, here’s where we are, where do we go next?, and was a very productive talk. There’s a lot to edit down from that talk (hopefully by tomorrow), but let me leave you with a teaser from Guigar:
Originally this session was supposed to be between print and web. My conceit has always been not print vs web, but corporate vs independent. Print has always been about generating business through a corporate structure, where webcomics is independent. Now the question is, what’s going to replace webcomics? Do [iPod-style] app comics replace webcomics, and does that mean a return to the corporate side from the independent side?
- Not at NYCC
Latin Art-throb Aaron Diaz updated his comic art blog with an absolutely stellar discussion of the importance of silhouette. This one’s mandatory reading, kids.