130,000 – Take a minute to absorb that number. This is how many fans descended upon the Javits Center two weekends ago for New York Comic Con, or #NYCC if you followed the great Twitter hijacking “conspiracy” that brought this geek coveted event into the eyes of the mainstream (read agreements folks, don’t just click “accept”).
The number isn’t as big as the San Diego draw, but the sheer concentration of fan love can’t be denied. When the top selling books these days clock in at 300,000 copies, 130,000 fans paying homage is a fairly dense representation of that love. Sure there were a shit load of girls wearing fuzzy cat ears and tails, widening their eyes and meowing in a reverse anthropomorphism homage to cutesy anime, but the spandex set still clearly outnumbered all.
For me, Cons are about unsung or at least under appreciated talent. I love the stuff done by Marvel and DC, but they get more than enough mainstream press they really don’t need any more. The Marvel booth was practically impenetrable as fans lined up to sniff the seat of Agent Coulson’s Stingray convertible. Also, Marvel really doesn’t give two shits about talking to press. DC offered us plenty of opportunities to do interviews like my one with Scott Snyder, but again their antithesis of Marvel’s press hate mantra allowed me to cover most of their announcements even before the con opened its doors.
Here’s a basic map that shows how I hit the event. My feet became a cacophony of blisters as I traversed from creator shifts between artist alley and the main floor. Actually, the big company booths on the main floor were not the place to really get face-time with creators. They were managed tightly by PR wonks and hired hands to get books signed and keep the line moving.
I did however have a few good conversations with some brave indie souls willing to spit in the face of ROI and buy a footprint in here in the name of awareness. Here are a few of the folks that caught the ole’ Patey eye.
FIRST LAW OF MAD SCIENCE – Don in a lab coat and cackling like…well a mad scientist at passersby, I couldn’t help but give Oliver Metz and his books a moment simply on the “A for effort” principle. FLMS is the story of a world where people are given cybernetic eyes to enhance their field of vision. Made cheap, they become more common than lasik surgery with 2/3 of the world sporting enhanced vision. However, this eventually turns south as the eyes start to provide visions of little evil creatures. Four issues are out right now. Comp received – Full review coming soon.
TELIKOS PROTOCOL – The imagery grabbed me on this booth. Really gorgeous stuff. The story is set 300 years in the future where the world is an ecological wasteland. As a result we burrowed underground to form I, ROBOT (the book, not movie) like cities. Once underground and used to dark light we start sniffing around the sea bed where we discover alien technology that could deliver us to a new earth. Problem is the aliens lowjacked their shit and now they have come back to repo what’s theirs. Part disaster story, part alien ass kicking. I mentioned the really pretty art too right? Issues 1 & 2 are done and 3 is on the way. Hefty books as well clocking in at 44 pages. Pictured is writer Peter Cooper and illustrator Adam Burn.
DOCTOR ATLANTIS – Written by Ian Ally-Seals and drawn by Carl Mefferd we set sail into high seas steam punk. The world is flat, the ocean is endless, Star Trek on the above Dave Jones’ Locker.
GOD THE DYSLEXIC DOG – I’m a dog nut, especially for retrievers. The pretty art drew me in (again), I can’t wait to dig into the story of God coming to earth as a dog who is adopted by a dyslexic dik…I mean kid.Comp received – review coming soon.
Matthew Wait (sic) – The dude that has been doing the 8 bit covers for Valiant. As a fangeezer I love this shit, especially the next ETERNAL WARRIOR one that for legal reasons we can only say is an homage to a game that rhymes with Schmitball.
Time to switch gears and head to Artist Alley.
Ivan DaCosta – ICONS is the name of the book Ivan put together that will coincide with a huge gallery exhibit in Brazil this November. The focus is letting today’s superstars like Rafael Albuquerque, Sean Murphy, Ben Templesmith and a 100 others unleash on their favorite characters and explain why they love them so. Produced both in Spanish and English this is one I can’t wait to dig into. The picture doesn’t do the sheer heft and density this book caries. Comp received – Full review coming soon
BABY’S FIRST BOOK OF ZOMBIES – Babies are like zombies and turn their parents into zombies. I’ll admit, I went and spoke to creator Justin Reich simply because I love it when people actually tell it like it is when it comes to kids. I can’t really do a full review of it since it’s a kid’s book that basically correlates baby traits to zombie traits, but I can say it was damn cute. It was also a damn sight better than the crap I know my friends have to read their kids.
STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHOR STRODE TEAM – We love it and we’ve reviewed it a thousand times here on Ain’t It Cool. This is the book that got Jordan a chance at the big leagues. It’s kind of like KICK-ASS, but actually makes sense since the hero waits for powers before he puts himself in the line of danger. It’s also amazingly bloody and gory. Check out Justin Jordan and Felipe Sobreiro’s great work. The gang was also giddier than Japanese schoolgirls at the Hello kitty booths over being together for the first time.
HOAX HUNTERS – Myth busters meets X-Files is eleven issues with a volume one ending at issue 13. Catch-up PDFs available for volumes one and two on the site. Pictured above creators Moreci and Seeley.
DEADLY CLASS – High school for assassins tale coming out in January from Image written by the great Rick Remender. Despite the obvious Wanted comparisons I’m willing to give anything Remender does at least one issue.
ROCKET GIRL – Teen cop from the future who comes back to the 80s to whack down some time criminals. To add to kookiness it all takes place in an alternate 2013 where everything promised to us in Back to the Future actually came to fruition. Weird with copious 80s should appeal to all. Or at least all over 35. Pictured are creators Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare.
Chris Claremont – Chris was a jovial sort, sharing some 80s work called MARADA THE SHE-WOLF being reprinted by Titan. Also, Chris is making his way back to X-Men this November to celebrate the mighty mutants 50th anniversary. Comp received – review coming soon
Shane Davis – Famed EARTH 1 artist doing some sketches and hocking a new book with Max Brooks from Legendary pictures promoting SHADOW WALK. Mark Waid writing, Max doing concept, Shane on art, yeah I’m in.
Charles Soule – A lot going on for this guy. STRANGE ATTRACTORS from Archaia, two mathematicians that turn NYC into a machine. More than it already is I guess. Charles was also pushing LETTER 44 from Oni Press. Click the link to hear our Podcast review of a President who gets a succession letter that changes everything.
Two Tangaray and tonics break. Back to the main floor.
Kelly Sue Deconnick – New comic PRETTY DEADLY from Image is a mythic Western coming out in October. It’s being released in the CRIMINAL mold with five issue arcs.
Patrick Riley – THE MISADVENTURES OF ELECTROLYTE AND THE JUSTICE PURVEYORS is a superhero who…cures hangovers. There’s also a telepath who can only finishes sentences, a shrink hero that is not more than a mite and a billionaire who uses his money to bribe criminals not to commit crimes. Six issues and a trade are now available.
My feet blistered and shoulder sore from overflowing man bag, I went back to my hotel Yotel for a shower, a foot soak, and power nap. The evening ended spending some time at the Toy Tokyo Underground launch party of THE OTHER DEAD from IDW. A good time, but alas I was exhausted. I drank three complimentary ales and quickly proceeded to crash for Day Two festivities. Pictured are writer/creator Joshua Ortega and IDW President /COO Greg Goldstein.