Today, I got to the show at around 11:30.
As I tried to hurry to the Andrews McMeel booth to get a book signed, I was amazed at the number of people wandering around. Shouldn’t they be at work on a Friday?
Anyway, the crowds were not so thick that I could not crowd surf, and I found Brooke McEldowney signing a print of 9 Chickweed Lane as well as selling and autographing his long-awaited collections. (The cartoonist was waiting for a contract to expire so that he could publish the collections himself.) I controlled my exuberance and purchased just the first volume, for $20, with the artist’s self-portrait sketched inside.
9 Chickweed Lane is a serial gag strip featuring three generations of women, all of them formidable. I will recommend reading the Wikipedia entry, then diving into the GoComics link above. It has charm, romance, sexuality, well-written gay characters, drama, humor, and, on occasion, a Siamese cat or God chatting with a gentleman farmer who might be an extraterrestrial.
He also draws a more fantastical strip titled Pigborn, but, again, it’s hard to do it justice.
After that mission was accomplished, I decided to avoid the crowds and proceeded to Artists Alley.
Is the North Pavilion remote?
Is the crowd mostly fans searching for a specific artist, and not the general browser? Are those fans who visit a specific artist also checking out other artists, since they’ve already made the trek?
Uncertain, but most artists I knew and chatted with were having good days. I didn’t buy much (just Archer & Armstrong #1 from Fred Van Lente), perused lots of artwork (almost everyone had it for sale), and chatted and brainstormed with people I knew. New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis clued me into the Goops! Then I noticed Janet Lee’s series of headdresses and western woodblocks, and suggested she check out Karl Bodmer‘s Native American paintings at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. Janet Lee and Jim McCann teased a new title from Image, which I’ll ask about tomorrow.
I was scatter-brained today, and left half a hero and a box of granola bars in my checked luggage. So I trekked back to the show floor and bought a Korean hot dog for $5. It was tasty, but not filling. So I continued along the back wall all the way over to Hall 3E (that tunnel is wide and spacious!) and discovered a panini stand which was selling the grilled sandwiches with tasty potato chips for a satisfying $9. I then wandered Hall 3E, which is separate from the rest of the show floor, chatting with a few people I knew. One of which was the ComicsPro crew. I remembered there was a retailing panel that evening, so I began to wander over. (I was running low on energy, so I took it slow.) Below is a panoramic of cosplayers playing. No idea exactly what was going on, but they were having fun with like-minded people, which is what fandom is all about.
Then I took a detour to Hall 1B, just to see what was going on there. There was a loud susurrus of people standing in autographing lines, with banquet tables filled with people, people playing games, and just general chatting.
The most interesting discovery? The local Lego group, I Lug NY, had a display of Lego creations on display! Star Wars! Lord of the Rings! DC! Marvel! Star Trek?
The ComicsPro panel on comics retailing was informative. The room was packed, and panel was stacked with a dream team of retailers with a variety of experience, and questions were answered. My only quibble… no one mentioned the services available from the Small Business Administration, or state and local governments.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow: Dollar bin diving as I search for Fool’s Gold amongst the dealers! Barnes & Noble also have some impressive autographings scheduled, so I’ll probably return to Hall 1B.
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!