Three days down and I’m tired and worn out, but still riding a post-con high. I’m going to try and do a bit of a recap here, but I know that I’ll forget things and I don’t want to just post a play by play. So, what we’re getting here is a few highlights.
I’ll start with a few qualifiers. I go to these cons for the comics and to cosplay. I don’t care about video games, I rarely care about tv shows or celebrities that may be there, and I find the main exhibition hall a trying experience at the best of times. I love comic art, and I love the opportunity to buy prints and get commissions. I love writers and love talking to them about their work. I love the small press and independents there and discovering new things. NYCC is a great combination con, in that the balance is still on the side of comics – from panels to table space to the heavy presence of pretty much all the labels.
I went to this con with three things in mind that I wanted to do. I wanted to finally meet both Gail Simone and Jimmy Palmiotti (my two favourite writers), I wanted to get a Terry Dodson Kitty Pryde (among many other pieces of art), and I wanted to have fun. On all three counts, I was successful.
Now, onto the highlights –
Friday started with the most circuitous line ever. We’d made the decision to not go right for opening, and as such I knew I wasn’t getting a Terry Dodson commission. Still, getting there an hour after the con opened (and we had our badges already), the folk at NYCC led us in the most serpentine, disney-esque queuing system to get into the con. Once in, we headed away from the exhibition hall to artist alley and the small press section. It was great. We stopped by the people we knew and the people we’d sorted out commissions from beforehand. We bumped into friends (The Periodic Table of Awesome, the Apollo Awards, DCWomenkickingass) and struck up conversations. But as awesome as that was, we realised that eventually we had to do it. We had to brave the exhibition hall and the crowds there. There’s only one thing that could have convinced us to do it, and that thing?
For those who don’t know who Darwyn Cooke is (and there are people out there) he’s likely one of the most talented men out there, period, never mind in comics. His artistic style has more range than any I’ve seen, he writes, he paints, draws, animates and is just pretty damn brilliant. Catwoman, New Frontier, Jonah Hex, Parker, they’re all so different in style and all so amazing. His new Parker book The Outfit came out and they had limited edition hardcover copies there. It was nearly the top of the list on Friday, as was getting in line to get him to sign the book, and the copies of The Last Resort that he did the covers for. We went to say hullo, and not only is he one of the most talented people in comics, I think it’s pretty damn likely that he’s one of the nicest and most charming. He recognised twitter names (okay, we talk about him a wee bit) and was lovely and took time to talk to us. Sadly, we weren’t able to meet up with him again, but the experience of meeting him was great.
Honestly, from there the day only went up. I had gifts for a few people. A Catman voodoo doll for Nicola Scott that I’d promised her a while back, and three dolls for two really amazing people – Power Girl, Stinky and Vartox for Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner.
Anyone who has read this blog knows I am a massive fan of both Jimmy and Amanda. He’s one of the most talented writers in comics and she’s one of the most talented artists. Here’s the thing though, they’re freaking AWESOME people. I talked to Jimmy a number of times over the weekend, and he’s charming and friendly and generous and amusing all at once. Amanda has a constant line and is always animated and interested and smiling. All weekend they were always lovely no matter how busy they were.
My one regret? I asked Amanda for a picture with her whilst I was dressed as Terra, and she said okay, but then someone started asking her about buying prints and I never got it. Another time! I did, however, get a pic with Jimmy, and also got Jimmy to draw for me a Painkiller Jane in my sketchbook that I treasure immensely.
The other person I made a doll for was the talented and brilliant Gail Simone. Please understand, the only writer I’ve been following as nearly as long as Jimmy and Justin is Gail. She’s one of the best writers around, balancing humour with tragedy with kick-ass-ness (yes, it’s a word) and doing it so damn well. So to finally meet the redhead from Oregon that I truly consider a friend was honestly the very best moment of my convention. I know Gail talks a lot about not quite getting what she did to deserve fans like us who’ll do so much for her, but I think just how much time she has for we fans is part of it. She engages, discusses, advocates, gets silly and is just so damn generous with herself and her time. I spent the weekend going back to Gail and Scott over and over, and every time I was at the DC booth, would end up in long conversations with Scott about just about everything. The quote of the weekend was one of Scott’s – Gail gets more men laid than Viagra.
The surprise joy of my convention came Saturday. I couldn’t afford the $200 for a Dodson commission (THIS TIME) but I just happened to find his table in Artists Alley (believe me, they weren’t well mapped, sadly) and bought his book Bombshells. Wow, what a book. It’s excerpts from his sketchbook over the past 10 years and it’s beautiful. The man understands movement so well, but more than that, he gets eyes. His eyes are so expressive, and even the most cheesecake of drawings turn into something amazing because of it. Well, he asked me who I wanted as a head sketch and I likely broke the sound barrier with my high-pitched ‘Kitty Pryde’. When he told me about the upcoming Kitty arc I did the same. I’ve been waiting for this since Astonishing ended.
Of course, Cosplay is a huge part of any con for me. Saturday saw me cosplaying Terra, the most recent version. (I might mention that this weekend DC also announced they will be putting Terra away for a while, something that I am seriously unimpressed by). I have a bunch of photos, but the two faves? Me and my snail creature from the Terra miniseries that I got Jimmy (and later Amanda) to sign, and one of me and this pint-sized Power Girl. A great thing about the second pic is the guy off to the side and his expression as he looks over at us.
To be continued! Soon, with lots more of everything, especially sketches!!