Yesterday, I was up in Westchester. Today, I was at the Javits Convention Center, attending ReedPOP’s Special Edition NYC. The show was a condensed, comics-only version of the much larger New York Comic Con, The North Hall, which usually houses Artist Alley, hosted a diverse selection of retailers, creators, and related exhibitors.
My goal? Spectate, to see how the first show worked. Network with friends and professionals. Curate, finding comics which catch my fancy.
I took the A train to Times Square and exited at 44th Street. (I hope this will be the last time I do this, as the 7 train extension to Javits is very close to completion.) I took a leisurely stroll to the convention center, stopping at the 7-Eleven at 42nd and Eleventh for some snacks. I couldn’t enter at the North Hall, but had to walk another block to the main entrance, where my credit card was quickly scanned for $35. I then walked along a deserted concourse to the Chase ATMs on the third floor, feeling like I was in church.
I joked with the staff that they should have rented some golf carts and ran shuttles along the concourse, as the panel rooms were held in 1E, at the other end of the convention center. (1A was under renovation or repair.) As I had only one day, I did not attend any panels, concentrating on the North Pavilion.
My opinion? It was diverse. The smaller artists alley had a good mix of boldface names, fresh talent, and everything else. Lines for creators were not insane (I waited about fifteen minutes to meet Gail Simone). Crowds were not robust although they were decent. Many said that Saturday was busier.
Otherwise, it was well run, even for a new RP show. Aside from the scheduling triangulation with Westchester and Long Island, and the hike to 1E, I didn’t see anything which needed much improvement. (Well, maybe carpeting in the hall…that concrete takes a toll!)
So, what did I find?
I went with an empty book bag (like yesterday) and $100. I left with an overflowing book bag, a second plastic bag of comics, and spent almost $300.
At only one retailer did I spend a large amount; he had an amazing selection of eclectic items (a print from “Blankets” for $30, undergrounds, old books from the 70s).
In artist alley:
- Carl Potts sold and signed a copy of “The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics: Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling”, graciously drawing his self-portrait inside!
- Gail Simone was selling limited edition reprintings of her scripts. I reserved a copy of Secret Six #2 via Facebook, and had her sign that issue, as well as #1.
- I bought “Fearless: A tale of a runaway imagination” from Peter David. It was inspired by his daughter Caroline, who also co-wrote the book.
- The Hero Business Coffee Break Special features a webcomic about a comany which manages superheroes.
- And I had a great conversation with Laura Lee Gulledge, who is on her way to summer camp! She is adapting her graphic novel “Will & Whit” into a musical, and will be developing it at a camp for theater kids! So I signed up as a sponsor. (Not quite an “angel”… more like a voice in the crowdsourcing.) Then we got to talking about education and teaching comics, and who walks by, but Franco! (Aw yeah!) I know his secret identity: he’s a high school art teacher when he’s not making great comics and selling them! So I introduced them, and furthered the conversation. I also bought her two minis: “Sealed: Growing Up Tupperware” and “Drawn Thru”.
So, the comics and graphic novels, most at $1 and $2:
- Phil Foglio’s Angel and Ape #1-4 ($5 bagged set)
- Amazing Adventures v.1.1 (Marvel, 0-87135-339-3, 1988) [WOW]
- Stop and Go the Safety Twins ($12, National Safety Council/J. C. Penney, 1953)
- Adventures in Reading Starring: the Amazing Spider-Man #1 ($5, 1990, top-notch talent!)
- Classics Illustrated #24: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ($1, Dean Motter, 0-425-12763-X, 1994)
- Alan Moore’s Writing for Comics (1-59291-012-2)
- Jungle Girls: A Trouble With Girls Graphic Album (0-944735-72-X) (“Soon to be a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox!”)
- Hectic Planet, Book Two: Checkered Past (0-943151-22-8)
- Open Space #1-4 (Marvel, 1990)
- Orbit #1 & 2 (Eclipse, 1990)
- The Trilogy Tour II (1998, Cartoon Books) (There’s a signed limited edition as well.)
- Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor Quarterly v.2.1 (1996, 1-56971-169-0)
- Spider-Girl presents Fantastic Five (0-7851-2132-3)
- Spider-Girl presents Wild Thing (978-0-7851-2606-5)
- Spider-Girl presents A Next: Second Coming (0-7851-2131-5)
- My Faith in Frankie (1-4012-0390-6)
- Cravan: Mystery Man of the Twentieth Century ($3, Richardson/Geary, 1-59307-291-0)
- Glister #1 ($3, Andi Watson, 978-1-58240-853-8)
- Daredevil: Marked for Death ($3, 1990, 0-87135-634-1)
- Crazy #1, 3, 5 ($2 each) (#1 features a one-pager by Harlan Ellison, illustrated by Basil Wolverton! Jean Shepherd!)
- Cycletoons (December 1971)
- How to Read Donald Duck ($30, 1975, 0-88477-003-6)
- Aurora Comic Scenes: Incredible Hulk ($10, 1974)
- Star Reach #18 ($2)
- King Smurf ($2, Random House! 1977/1981, 0-394-85141-2)
- Disney Magazine ($2 each, January, March 1976 promotional giveaways with Procter & Gamble)
- Olivia #3 ($10, good clean dirty fun!)
- Comics Journal #100 ($5, July 1985. Chris Claremont, Dick Giordano, Archie Goodwin, Rick Marschall, Dave Sim (!), Marv Wolfman interviewed by The Beatrix herself! And her origin story! HOTCHA!)
- Superkernel Comics v.2.1 ($5. Sweet Christmas… I had forgotten… One of my best friends, Todd Cowman, once subscribed to SuperMag, published by Weekly Reader. I vaguely remembered the mascot, but here he is, drawn by the Gilchrists!
- Bringing Up Father ($10, 1973, Bonanza Books, 0-517-16724-7, LCCN: 73-5190, ex-library: Newport News)
Finally, I discovered “Fast Willie Jackson“! Which reminds me… I need to search out old copies of “Fat Albert”. They had some cool backup stories in those issues!
Man… a lot of reading to do! Life is good…
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!