Monday, February 26, 2007

New York City Comic Con, PART TWO

Friday night was suprisingly busy for the show. I have been to many conventions over the years and usually the first day tends to be slow for various reasons. But Friday had a nice, steady flow of people who seemed genuinely interested in checking out new material.

I had a few people who came up to me while I was at the UVC Magazine booth that were very open to listening to my endless pitching of my series and would buy the preview copies. As someone who has been out of the biz since 2003, could not get anyone to take me seriously from 2004-2006, and went through five different artists to get this project done, every single issue I sold provided a deep kind of validation that is difficult to explain.

I will not in any way delude myself into thinking that I have "made it." However, I am certainly much further along than I was 2 years ago, and back on the road to legitimacy that was sidetracked by the end of my Dreamwave debacle.

Saturday is sometimes known as "hell day" in the industry. Even though it is the day when you will most likely make the most money and have the most exposure to fans, the sheer wall of humanity can be overwhelming and stifling if you don't know how to deal.

As much as I love dealing with fans and professionals, there are always those who desperately need to realize that filth and comic book fandom are not synonymous.

Now, onto the fun stuff:

THIS IS WHY I love cons. The only place in the universe that you will see two people of color dressed as Jedi or Sith Lords fighting each other with plastic lightsabers in the middle of a massive hall.

I only wish that I had captured this as a video file because these two dudes were really going at it like Darth Maul vs. Obi Wan at the end of the Phantom Menace. Except that this black dude wasn't as agile or fast or strong as Obi Wan.
Even so, it was a sight to behold.

Here is where things got a little bit interesting. Pay close attention to this pic. As the two members of the NAACP chapter of the Star Wars expanded universe go head-to-head, there is a lonely white Jedi in a Mets cap who has no idea how to ignite his lightsaber. No, I am not making a racial joke.

I swear, when I took this pic, I don't remember this guy being there. But I can see why he was so forgettable. I sometimes wonder what a person's backstory might be. For some reason, I conclude that this man has had an awful morning. He left his Jedi outfit home, his friends didn't want to be seen with him without the costume, and to top it off, the knockoff lightsaber he bought in Chinatown doesn't work.

Sucks for him.

This is me -- the big guy -- and LeSean Thomas. I worked with LeSean on the series Arkanium with Dreamwave Productions back in the day. I broke into the industry with this cat, and even though we hadn't hung out in almost 3 years, it was like old times.

Currently, LeSean is the lead animator and a director on Aaron MacGruder's hit series The Boondocks. He also had a series called Cannon Busters out that will return in the form of a graphic novel sometime this year. He has come a long way in the biz in a relatively short time. Despite minor disagreements over the years, I have learned a great deal about animation and comic book storytelling from him and greatly respect his opinion.

Cool costumes. People really like Star Wars. I mean, really, really like Star Wars. I don't even know the name of the character in the black robe. I know it is from the videogame called KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC II.

People really like Star Wars.

For example:

There is a part of me that finds this young lady very attractive. Only because I had a bizarre fixation upon Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) in my pre-pubescent years. The saddest thing here is that she is a cutie whose sexually inadequate boyfriend forced her to come out to the show. Despite endless sexual frustration, she supports her boyfriend and his bank account draining hobbies.

The only reason she stays in the relationship is because her parents are relieved that she isn't a lesbian and she stands to inherit a lot of cash when her dad drops out of the scene. Provided she is married to an "upstanding" individual.

The part that boggles my mind is which one is her man? Is it the Burger King Stormtrooper or the overweight rebel pilot?

Dope ass costume! Too bad its from an overrated anime series called The Guyver that stopped being cool in 1993.

This little bastard ran up on me at the DARKNESS booth. For a second, I was about to swing on this %##@$% until I figured out that it was probably a kid or short teenaged girl in the suit. For a comic book convention, these little guys (there were two) were very aggressive in running up to people and jumping into your face.

I noticed later that they were much more subdued. Maybe they pissed off the black Jedi master from before.

I have one more set of pictures I will upload in the next day or so.

Until then,

Sunday, February 25, 2007

New York City Comic Con, PART ONE

Damn I can't believe it's almost March and I haven't taken the time to post on this blog. Most often, I don't have that much to say, and other times I simply have been too busy.

Busy with work and my comic book series ShadowLaw. If you don't know what that is, click on that link.


I just got back from the NYC Comic Con -- a convention tends to be the place where the comic book, video game, genre novel, and genre film industries come together to show what they have to sell within the coming weeks, months, and years. Its a great place to network, make new friends (although I have never really made a new friend at a convention), and get about 20 pounds of free swag in the form of books, posters, dvds, games, and toys.

This was the 2nd annual NYC Comic Con and it seemed to be a success. I have some gripes with how the convention was organized in terms of their security and use of space, but overall it was a good show that was a long time coming. NYC has been totally ignored as a place to hold sci-fi, fantasy, comic book, or any kind of convention that deals with cool stuff. I guess the outrageous fees AND TAXES for renting convention space can easily put off organizers.

In any case, I had a blast. Take a look at a few pics:

This obviously was the entrance.

This was just a tiny portion of the floor. See those blue banners hanging high in the background? Those are aisle markers, you only see aisles 1 - 5, they had about 10 aisles, an entire section underground for all the panels, and an upper level for the artist alley and celebrity signings. The Jacob Javitz center is a damn large spot.

This was the booth for the brand new UVC Magazine -- Urban Voice in Comics. I have heard it described as "Vibe" meets "Wizard Mag." At long last, there is a magazine specifically devoted to chronicling the exploits and achievements of Black and Latino comics creators considering the fact that just about every other bit of comics-based journalism completely ignores us (Comics Journal, Comics Buyers Guide, and of course, Wizard Magazine).

Creator and Publisher Ron King (the black guy in the pic), hands down one of the nicest people I have ever met in comics, has a winner on his hands and judging by the massive support and interest the book recieved, UVC looks to have a fantastic future.

And if you weren't there on Saturday, the UVC booth had a live DJ spinning the best in old school hip-hop, soul, and R&B. These guys knew how to throw a party.

I went to the Con to promote my series ShadowLaw and to talk to the guys who publish the book at Arcana Studios. The Arcana booth was awesome, except that the entire group of 10-12 creators showed up at the Con and most of us were at least 6 feet tall.

Big dudes + small space = bad idea.

I spent the majority of the show at the UVC booth connecting with people and handing out flyers. I even sold a good portion of my preview copies!

I have much more to share, but I will continue in part 2 when I finish loading up all my pictures.