So – how does one get over the wild ride that’s the week of San Diego Comic-Con? How can anything possibly hold up to the monsoon of unique experiences offered by the Mecca-by-the-Bay? I think I found my answer: go to another convention two weeks afterwards. By the numbers, Boston Comic-Con draws a tenth of the attendance of San Diego, operated out of three rooms (one dealers floor and two ballrooms) – it’s a small operation, but affords the attendees (and in turn, the guests) something that the titanic event cannot: time to make a serious connection. Over just two days, I met dozens of fascinating creators and fans (and those between) and was able to sit down with for lengths of time typically impossible at the likes of SDCC or NYCC and just talk. It was delightful and refreshing beyond belief.
With at least two dozen issues and trades in tow, I walked into the surprisingly busier entrance to the Seaport World Trade Center (the event had managed to reschedule there after the Boston Bombing and forced a postponement and change of venue from the Hynes Convention Center) and skittered around the various wide-berth aisles for autographs by tabling artists and writers who seemed far too talented in my eyes to just be…sitting there, amicably chatting with their neighbors or happily sketching up a storm. My jaw nearly dropped. I waited in a slight line for Scott Snyder (Batman, The Wake) which normally could have easily taken me two hours and said some very foolish things to him I don’t regret, stumbled across Brian Azzerello (Spaceman, Wonder Woman) lazily checking his phone at a bare table and gushed about his run of Wonder Woman, discovered Bill Willingham (Fables) happily talking to an blogger about some seriously amazing insightful writing techniques he uses while writing one of the most successful Vertigo titles to ever grace the imprint publisher, found Yale Stewart (JL8) somewhat perturbed, but in up-and-coming spirits, and so on. It was kind of shocking to interact these brilliant and inspiring creators as just folks.
This Con, unlike most, I had one absolute mission that superseded all others: talk to comic artists about collaborating on stories I’ve been writing and pass out a ton of ASM-branded cards. The second part of that scheme worked like wonders, I found myself in the awkward decision of trying to give a card to Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Mystery Society) and finding none left in my wallet – leaving me to dive into my bursting bag to find one, and he totally waited for me to fish one, the sweetheart. The first part went better than I had initially thought possible – though while most of the creators I discussed the possibility with, while kind about it, are definitely in the point in their career where saying no to a project that isn’t locked-down for publishing is the standard. Despite this, a couple of people seemed unexpectedly receptive and I hope to be in contact with them soon.
Other than purposeful networking – this weekend became the hopeful genesis of some seriously cool friendships with folks who are local to Boston, which is more than I can ask for. Maris Wicks (Primates) and I geeked about Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and other DCAU series, Matt Dursin of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen podcast told me about his comic project (recently went live on kickstarter!), regaled the enigmatic Neil Cicierega (Brodyquest) of how his oddball internet creations were tantamount parts of my life online, and discussed the importance of beards with Joe Quinones (FF, Captain Marvel). The fact that I may see these people again in some kind of “normal” social capacity is not something I’m not quite ready to internalize yet; thought it’s entirely possible that when this post goes live, they’ll all rapidly fetch restraining orders, so who knows. If nothing else – meeting all of these amazingly talented and lovely folks – has made me reopen my notebooks filled with notes on comics I want to make and take a serious crack at getting them out there.
Thanks for kicking serious tush Boston – I am beginning to learn to love being a part of you.
My pulls for 8/7 are:
- Catalyst Comix #2 by Joe Casey, Dan McDaid, Ullises Farinas, Paul Maybury & Paul Pope
- Fairest #18 by Sean Williams, Stephen Sadowski, Paul Jimenez & Adam Hughes
- Trillium #1 by Jeff Lemire (Story A)
- Trillium #1 by Jeff Lemire (Story B)
- Burn The Orphanage: Born to Lose #1 by Daniel Freedman & Sina Grace
- Satellite Sam #2 by Matt Fraction & Howard Chaykin
- Sidekick #1 by J. Michael Straczynski, Tom Mandrake & Brian Miller
(top image contains cover art of Burn The Orphanage: Born to Lose #1, Trillium #1, Trillium #1, and Catalyst Comix #2)