Great NYC Con Friday

After an iffy start, I’m feeling much better about the show. I’m dog-tired, but we left early, had the kind of great diner food you can’t get in the South, and now are resting. (Note: It took me four hours to write this and sort through today’s goodies.) And the hotel’s wireless internet started working!

I realized several things: 1) I am the only one responsible for whether I have a good time, and I need to quit trying to do so much! 2) I’m ambivalent about con-going because my schedule doesn’t match up with everyone else’s. I wake up early and want to get things done so I can relax after dinner and go to bed before midnight. 3) Most importantly, time spent on the floor chatting with people, no matter how enjoyable, is not time spent doing the work. I do this because I want to think and talk about good comics, and doing laps on concrete doesn’t get that done. (Although it does round up more material.) So now that I’m better aware of all that, I can make whatever decisions I need to.

Following are brief notes on what thrilled me.

Zot! pins. To promote the upcoming Complete Black and White Collection 1987-1991, Harper Collins had a set of three Zot! pin-back buttons, featuring Dekko, Zot and Jenny, and the logo.

Visiting good independent publishers. Chris Staros of Top Shelf, Randal Jerrell at Oni, Gina Gagliano at First Second, and Brent Erwin of Ape are all always pleasures to talk with, knowledgeable and friendly. Brent, especially, is always a font of optimism whenever I stop by, which is incredibly refreshing during a lengthy show. Randal recommended their Salt Water Taffy, which I’m looking forward to trying. As he put it, I like the all-ages comics. Gina had early copies of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, the Jessica Abel/Matt Madden textbook that looks fabulous.

Comics! I got to pick up the first issue of the new Perhapanauts series, Comic Book Comics #1, Love and Capes #7 (the upcoming FCBD issue), and the FCBD Comic Book Diner issue from Kids Love Comics. And the latest not-yet-released Amelia Rules! collection, When the Past Is a Present. And isn’t that a wonderful title to capture the nostalgic, positive overall approach of this title?

Speaking of which, there was lots of emphasis this year on kids’ comics, including dubbing Sunday as “kids’ day”. The programming — well, I went to one panel, and at least I got to sit down. Panels, I think, are best for those interested in a topic who don’t know much about it but want to know more. Introductory coverage, in other words. Those who have really thought about a topic will likely be frustrated. Or maybe that’s just me.

I’m thinking of going to more tomorrow, but I know going in that checking out the Viz or Del Rey panels, for example, will be promotional in nature. Speaking of which, Adi and April at Del Rey were as charming, as always, even when they hit me with Fairy Tail snap bracelets (which make terrific wristbands). It’s a shame that Viz didn’t set up at the show. Tokyopop did, but I only stopped by briefly, to browse one of their titles I’m curious about, The Knockout Makers. Oddly, they had none visible in their store, and the very helpful gentleman had never heard of it.

Am I the only one who finds it strange that Viz’s big announcement was a book with Stan Lee, while Del Rey is going to be promoting their X-Men manga designs? I know this isn’t an anime/manga specific show, but the crossovers strike me weird.

Anyway, more happy meetings — Kevin Church was signing his Cover Girl at Boom!, where I also had a great conversation with Chip Mosher and got to meet Tom Spurgeon, which was a pleasure. I enjoyed speaking with Rebecca Donner, the novelist whose Burnout kicks off the next Minx season. I also got to catch up with many former co-workers, all of whom seem happier now than in the past (which is always the direction I hope people are going).

I forgot to mention that after we arrived and got checked in Thursday night, we walked over to Jim Hanley’s Universe and bumped into the tail end of the Caption Action signing. Their booth today was hopping every time I walked by, so I wasn’t able to see how they were doing, but I thought their logo t-shirts and hats were cool. I’m hoping to get back to Hanley’s Saturday at 7:30 for a signing by Ariel Schrag.

Overall, this is the show we dreamed about ten or fifteen years ago, when we were hoping for diverse titles and publishers of all sizes and genres. The dreams have come true. It’ll be interesting to see what attendance figure is reported; I heard they were expecting 50,000.

8 Responses to “Great NYC Con Friday”

  1. I Met Ron Dante! » Comics Worth Reading Says:

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  2. david brothers Says:

    I had a great time today, though I’m dog tired. I caught the Will Eisner documentary (it was okay, but they kept cutting away from the interesting stuff), the comics journalism panel, Oni’s panel, and the black panel. Michael Davis, Cheryl Lynn, Rashida Lewis, Mike Gold, and Denys Cowan put on a great show once again, despite the second year in a row of ridiculous set-backs.

    I spent most of the day running around and just finding people to talk to. I found Julian Lytle, artist of one of my favorite Jubilee pictures, and Ron “Eisner-award nominated Sentences” Wimberly hanging out in artist’s alley and suddenly half an hour disappeared on us while we reminisced over old rap albums. Denys Cowan told me that I’ve got an awesome name. I got a great sketch of Static and Blue Beetle from Art Balthazar of Tiny Titans. He’s doing one dollar sketches! I may go back with a five dollar bill tomorrow.

    Tomorrow, I’m getting lunch with Cheryl Lynn, meeting up with some of my PopCultureShock cohorts, and doing a podcast with the Funnybook Babylon crew.

    Life is good. This con is much more fun than last year.

  3. Johanna Says:

    I’m glad you’re having such a great time! Reading others’ experiences, it’s sometimes like we’re at totally different shows — which illustrates how multi-faceted this one is. Today I need to spend a lot more time in Artist Alley.

  4. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Johanna, glad Friday got better for you. Sounds like a great show.

    I prefer you talking in depth to just a few people. There are a dozen outlets for the press releases and a list of who is at the con. I would rather read you recount the interesting conversations
    you’ve had than get an inventory list of participants. I think those moment of thoughtful reflection with comic professionals are the best part of a con. (I also think it’s good PR for the comic industry in general when people see that comic creators and other professionals are just as reflective and conscientious about the art they make as any other serious artist.)

  5. Blog@Newsarama » NYCC, Day 1: It’s all about Gordon Lee, Stan Lee, Wildstorm and Virgin Comics Says:

    […] Johanna Draper Carlson’s Day One notes [CWR] […]

  6. Jim Crocker Says:


    It was great to finally meet you at the show on Friday afternoon. It amazes me how much BIGGER that monster gets year by year. I’m especially grateful for the ‘pros-only’ preview that lets us actually talk to people before the floodgates open. I agree with how cool it is to see the indie publishers (and mainstream book houses!) there in such force. Archia, First Second, Top Shelf, etc… it’s looking to be a good year.

    I vacated last night after the Neil Gaiman signing (where the Fund announced the Charles Lee news!) for yet another trade show this week. I hope the Pope doesn’t mess up the rest of the show for you guys…

    -Jim Crocker
    Modern Myths, LLC
    Northampton, MA

  7. NYC Con Saturday » Comics Worth Reading Says:

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