It was a busy weekend in socializing. Friday night was the Spectrum art opening at the Society of Illustrators, a who’s who of fantastic artists, from Donato Giancola to Kinuko Y Craft  to Phil Hale and beyond. James “Dinotopia” Gurney has a post, as does Eric Braddock. We even stole one of Gurney’s photos, above. The show is open to the public until October 17th and it’s quite inspiring.

The event was also a black diamond schmoozeathon. We caught up with Charles Vess, Jon Foster, Christian Gossett, Tom Fowler, Spectrum runners Arnold and Cathy Fenner and too many to mention really. If you like fantasy art, this is the place for you.

SATURDAY, it was the gala Drawn & Quarterly 20th Anniversary shindig at Rocketship! Who was there? Who was NOT there! For the evening, a secret back door into the speakeasy at the back of the Clover Club had been opened, allowing the dream of a classy bar attached to a comics shop to come true for many. Some of the folks we hobnobbed with (although we arrived late and missed many) Matt Madden, Charlie Oarr, Anne Bernstein, Dan Nadel, Tom Hart, Leela Corman, Abby Denson….you get the picture. Of course, the fab D&Q power team of Peggy Burns and Tom Devlin stole the show, along with Rocketship’s own dapper Alex Cox. We got to meet the incredibly talented Guy Delisle, who hobnobbed about the developing styles of comics in various European countries, and Gabrielle Bell, R. Sikoryak and R.O. Blechman also held court. We managed not to take a single usable picture, but we hear Peg or Alex may have some. SPILL.

SUNDAY, we managed to make it out to Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Book festival. It was a gorgeous day with late summer sunshine perhaps overheating those who had too quickly pulled out their fall woolens, but there seemed to be good sized crowds for both the regular book panels and the graphic novel area. We chatted briefly with the Topatoco crew, including Jonathan Rosenberg of Goats, who is very happy with how his first collection from Del Rey is doing. The webcomics crowd continues to be blissfully removed from all the direct market sturm und drang. We also caught a bit of the Act-i-vate panel and chatted with Ed Chavez from Vertical who managed to sell us three Japanese cookbooks! Yum yum!

The best part of the day was when a chat with Ed Catto at the Captain Action/Moonstone booth turned into an impromptu “Future of Comics Panel,” with the above folks.  (Front row: Bob Kahan, Paul Kupperberg, Denny O’Neil, MariFran O’Neil, Heidi MacDonald, Keith Williams; Second row: Ed Catto, Jim Salicrup, Tom DeFalco, Danny Fingeroth; Third row: Peter Sanderson.)

Can you guess what was talked about?

A few observations from weekend chatter…comics retailers reactions to 10 Days That Shook The World range from calm — those who sell more books in their stores — to blank faced shock and dismay — those who depend more on the Wednesday crowd. Also,  DeFalco, E-I-C- at Marvel from 1987 to 1994, gave out some advice hiring the next publisher at DC which he gave us permission to pass along.

“The new publisher should be a) someone from outside comics and b) should own a Kindle and an iPhone,” he said.

Not bad advice.


  1. I sometimes think our dear Heidi is a bit of a comic snob because she’s always dropping such impressive names! Always! I guess if I were in her position, I too would be name dropping.

    With that said, I’m also almost always in awe of the people that make comments here at The Beat…Danny Fingeroth and Jim Salicrup??? Awesome!!

    This is why I couldn’t live in NY or LA because I’d constantly be having fanboy freakouts.

    Anyway the only reason for this comment was to note how stunningly radiant Ms. MacDonald looks in the posted photo. (And NO, I don’t think age has anything to do with Heidi’s standout appearance in the photo…it’s her smile!) Hey! Was she even there or was she photoshopped into the pic???!!

  2. “ ‘The new publisher should be a) someone from outside comics and b) should own a Kindle and an iPhone,’ [DeFalco] said.”

    Somewhere, the product marketing team for the Sony e-Reader is weeping at being left out of this list…

  3. I can now reveal that the photo is of our alternate-future time-travelling selves, back from the Skrull Nebula on a mission to save comics. We’re all actually in our mid-twenties, but reality-hopping will do things to you externally.

  4. Very true, Danny. I remember the day we stepped out of the time machine and realized that the chrono-symplastic-infun-dilithium rays had aged us all 80 years. I remember how Denny had warned us all when we heard the tic tic ticing on the machine. “The chrono-symplastic-infun-dilithium rays!” he cried. “No one knows what they’ll do!” But Kupps was resolute: “We’ve got to go back! It doesn’t matter what it costs us!”

    I also remember how exciting it was when Peter got that special stretching ability and Tom got the proportionate powers of a cricket…but…it was still a harsh price. And we still haven’t saved comics!

  5. I like how so many of the guys there looks identical to the comic caricatures I know them from. Especially Fingeroth. Though DeFalco is missing his stinky-brand stogie and viking hat.