It was a day jammed with drama, excitement anxiety and grueling deadlines. Fun, in other words. There was more fun when I went to GallaCon, the mini-comic-con put on by NYU’s Gallatin school. It turns out Gallatin is the “name your own major” program at NYU, and Marvel’s Daniel Ketchum and (formerly) Bon Alimango are alumni, as is the Beat’s own Todd Allen!
\Moderator Stephen Brown interviewed Ketchum on LGBT issues in comics, myself and Amy Reeder Hadley on women in comics, and Alimagno on careers in comics. I had never met Brown before, but he was one of the best panel moderators I have ever had the pleasure of sharing a stage with! He asked excellent well-informed questions in complete sentences. Seriously, when people ask if I know a moderator, I am going to put him on my list of people to suggest!
Ketchum talked about Northstar and Kyle, Bunker, Alan Scott and other recent LGBT issues in comics; it was refreshing to hear the perspective of someone inside the industry and see that some progress is being made. I am a huge admirer of Hadley’s work—her Halloween Eve comic, written by Brandon Montclare, is out tomorrow. The themes I covered won’t be news to anyone who readers this blog every day, but Amy mentioned wanting to be known as a comics creator, not just a woman comics creator. She’d also like to do superhero comics again, but is having fun working on her own stuff for now. Alimagno touched on the digital landscape, opining that comics are moving slowly into this rapidly expanding field.
After the talks, there was a reception that featured superhero themed desserts. The Wonder Woman cheesecake balls were pretty amazing.
This was the second event in a row (following the Cartoon Death Match) that took place in a real auditorium with a real green room and real audio and (flattering) lighting. In the distant past such swell settings were reserved for folk like Neil Gaiman, Marjane Satrapi and Chris Ware. I like to think that people of my modest industry status now appearing at such venues is another comment on how comics’ level of respect has risen. It is a pleasant trend, at any rate.
This was a smart, relatively sedate kick off to the next five days of non-stop action. If it all goes this well, I’ll be extremely lucky.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.