This past weekend, I had the pleasant experience to attend Special Edition of New York City. This comic con is very similar to the annual one October, the major difference being its size and focus. But sometimes, big things come in small packages. I didn’t have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to get a picture, or stand on long lines to get a glimpse of my favorite artist and writers, I walked directly up to them and conversed with them for a limited period of time. It gave me the opportunity to ask what inspires their work, ask them about their creative process and just have a friendly conversation. What I learned? Whether its indie comics or big publishers like DC or Marvel, its the same things as the readers that drives a lot of writers and artists. Either the stories’ theme is courage, moral greys, civil rights, humor or just bombastic fun, they have a story that they believe needs to be told.
The most memorable experience I had was meeting the artist and co-creator of one of my favorite comic books out right now, Bitch Planet. The artist, Valentine De Landro was one the kindest and most pleasant creators I have ever met at a convention, and I have been to a few. When I walked up to his booth, he was drawing a sketch of Iron Man for a young boy. He couldn’t stop smiling as De Landro asked to assist him in finishing the sketch. In an effort to not disrupt the process, the young boy carefully moved his hand up and down as De Landro instructed him on what lines to erase. In the end, De Landro jokingly told the young child he may need to hire him as his assistant eraser. After that exchange, my girlfriend and I met him and got the opportunity to not only to fanboy/girl out, but also to thank him for the important work that he and writer, Kelly Sue Deconnick have been doing. We explained that it is an important statement not only about women’s rights, but about women of color, the ignorance of men and how the book is a enlightenment to it’s readers of how ingrained these problems in society really are.
I also got on opportunity to say hello to the King of Rock himself, DMC from Run DMC. And like the many other times I met him, it was great. He is so positive and so accompanying; he has a way of making everyone he meets, feel like they have known him for years.
I volunteered for Midtown Comics and for early hours of the convention days, so didn’t get the opportunity to cover as much ground as I hoped for, but nevertheless, it was an extremely positive experience and it has me more than psyched for New York City Comic Con 2015!