Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Emerald City Comicon

My 2011 Emerald City Comicon experience was pretty much the polar opposite of last year's visit.  Whereas last year I was an awkward, uncomfortable comic newbie and pretty much directionless, attending mostly for the spectacle, this year I was a man on a mission. 

It's crazy how much can change in a year.  Last year my comic reading consisted of a few scattered titles here and there, and you could fill a library with everything I didn't know about comics.  A year later and I could still fill a library with my major lack of comic knowledge, but I certainly am much more well read in the medium, and I have a much better grasp on my comic likes and dislikes.  As a result, my comicon this year was a much more focused endeavor.

A couple nights prior to the con, I eschewed my pending schoolwork in favor of scouring the con guest list and taking note of all the writers and artists I wanted to see, and meet.  You could've titled the list: Who's Awesome Work Will I be Drooling Over on Saturday.  I even mapped out where their booths were.  Despite my awesome planning, I knew the droves of comic fans were equally, if not even more hyped than myself, so I got there early.

Being the planner that I am, I prioritized my list, starring the must-see names.  It should come as little surprise that John Layman and Jeff Lemire, were tops on that list.  I'm proud to say that every last Chew related item I own is now signed by John, (who actually remembered talking to me at a comic shop signing last December!) and a good chunk of my Jeff Lemire collection is not only signed but sporting some awesome original art by Jeff.  In the signature department, I also got the full Joe the Barbarian run signed by the super friendly and skilled artist Sean Murphy, and I got my Axe Cop graphic novel and the ultra new Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth comic signed by both the Nicolle brothers.  Getting my stuff signed by a six year old was pretty awesome, and my Axe Cop trade is sporting a sweet red lightning bolt along with Malachai's signature.  The signing aspect of the con was a complete success, as I got everything I brought with me signed.  I wish I could have lugged more around, but a backpack can only hold so many comics!

Aside from getting lots of stuff signed, I also got to talk to a lot of great comic writers and artists.  It was cool talking westerns with Brian Hurtt, the artist of The Sixth Gun, and talking about the pressure of working with Marvel characters with indie artist/writer Farel Dalrymple.  I had an interesting talk with Mark Rahner, the writer of Rotten, about how his gritty zombie comic set in the post Civil War era draws on some of the hot new items of our recent history.  Mark puts a lot of research effort into the comic, and it adds nice hidden nugget element to the comic.

I found myself spending a good chunk of time at the Image Comics booth, which was loaded with cool creators.  Probably the biggest highlight of the con for me was meeting Kurtis J. Wiebe, Scott Kowalchuk, and Nate Simpson, three young dudes who have some sweet looking comics already out or on the way this spring.  All those guys were incredibly easy to talk to, super nice, and grateful for my interest in their material.

Kurtis and Scott work together on The Intrepids a sort of science-gone-wrong action comic. Kurtis also works on the upcoming horror comic Green Wake, which looks pretty sweet, and Nate is writing and drawing the beautiful looking Non Player which is looking absolutely amazing.  Three dudes who have some great looking comics on the horizon.

I was totally pleased with my con experience.  Getting to talk to people who entertain and inspire me is always a treat, and it gives me greater appreciation for their work, but lets face it:  Part of going to comicon is to see people dressed up, so here you go, some con pics!

Ramona Flowers
It's sorta scary how much he looks like the real deal!

Wonder Woman might wanna keep an eye on Freddy.

The last unicorn.

These guys were doing a cool pose, but my camera is slow to turn on, so instead of a cool Darth Maul attack, I caught the post-battle hug.


Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

Very jealous! These things never come to New Zealand. I can but dream. The Other Ryan

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT! I completely agree with what you said...the few times that I've met authors/poets that were really excited to meet me and others interested in their work really made me love and admire their works more. Knowing that people can still be level-headed and humble even with all the hype around them is an admirable quality. Also, love the pictures!

Ryan said...

Ryan- I feel pretty lucky that Seattle hosts such a great con, with so many great guests. This was the first year that it was a 3 day event, so it keeps growing which is a good thing.

Anon- Thanks for the comment! I felt like there were less people dressed up this year, but still, some great costumes.