Hope you're all happy, heathly and have been having a good time during this fine season of mischief. I know I have. In a fairly last minute decision last weekend I made up it up for the 2011 New York Comic Con to check out all the sequential goodness going on. Sadly I missed the first two days (deadlines, deadlines, sandwich, deadlines, rinse, repeat) but made the journey for Saturday and Sunday. So, here goes...
One the first highlights from the show was an opportunity to see some original paintings of Ashley Wood's on display - I believe from his Zombies VS. Robots books. Hard to start things off in a better way. Just incredible pieces as one would expect. There were also some fantastically bold and loosely drawn pen & ink pages as well. It's alway such a treat to see original art, most especially with paintings I feel. The nuances and subtleties are compounded ten fold when you're able to check them out face to face.
Upon seeing Wood's work I noticed sitting in the center of this art abundant table was a full page watercolor painting of Kent Williams from the BLOOD graphic novel. A gorgeous piece and if I wasn't getting bumped into by the giant mob of people every two seconds (it was crazy packed in there) I probably could've stood there all day. I've included a pic from the book itself, though after seeing the reproduction it truly does no justice to the original. Here it be (a quick warning for the wee ones out there. This does contain a naked human being of the female sex... which ironically probably constitutes more as "encouragement").
After the show I hung out with comic creating pal Mr. Bill Walko, (the creative mind behind The Hero Business) as well as recent Baltimore Comic Con friend Jeff and a few other guys and gals. Had an amazingly tasty and probably unhealthy medium rare burger from a little pub not far from the Javits, a tasty pumpkin spiced beverage or two and proceeded to head downtown to visit a good high school pal of mine by the name of David, as well as his leading lady and roommates, while also tipping my hat to the Occupy Wall Street peeps on the way. Later on played an amazing hand-made drum from South Africa for a bit, shredded David's soul on Mortal Kombat (my sincere apologies Dave) and then called it an evening.
Woke up, ate cereal, had an espresso, bid adieu to Occupy Wall Street again, took a pic of the incredible work being done to the WTC and took the train to the show.
Also, stopped by the always impressive Archaia booth and picked up a book I've been wanting for a while the crime story TUMOR by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon. I've heard wonderful things and really look forward to checking it out. I'll let you know what I think. Also grabbed The Engineer by Brian Churilla and Jeremy Shepherd. I picked up the first issue of this back in my New Yorker days and never finished the series. Now I can, and thus I shall.
On the way to Artist Alley I saw the original painting for the cover of CREEPY number... crap, I can't remember. But it was the very one Mrs. Simonson, editor of the original CREEPY, was talking about in a panel I had just attended. It was for sale for $10,000. If only I had change. Or a giant man-purse. I mean a satchel.
Talked with a fellow named Kody Chamberland as well. Extremely friendly guy and was happy to talk about his experiences as an artist and his climb towards becoming a writer, as well as a bit about his original graphic novel, SWEETS - written, illustrated, colored & designed by himself. I'm halfway through it now and love it. Definitely recommend checking it out.
Stopped by the table of the creators of Blue Estate, which I've pimped out on my facebook page in the past. Love this book and was stoked to have the chance to pick up the 6th issue (after having to buy a coke from the falafel guy outside to make change) and chat for a sec with Viktor Kalvachev - writer, artist, creator and Andrew Osborne - scriptor. Great guys and before I left Viktor made me promise not to be angry about the possible cliffhanger. I told him I couldn't do it.
Also, stopped by the table of Ivan Brandon and grabbed what he referred to as "his baby", a book called VIKING. Ivan described it as a mob crime story with Vikings. Nice, right? Here's a video interview from C2E2 earlier this year about the book. Nic Klein's work looks amazing.
And the final act of NYCC was a panel on First Comics. First comics put out the comic from which I had my very first sequential art encounter with the TMNT (ah, memories). So I couldn't pass this up and I have to say the panel was just great. I really enjoyed listening to Ken Levin's tales of First Comics previous run, the various titles they put out and the stories behind those titles. I especially enjoyed the talk of the company's early, and current, intentions on being a publisher who wants the creators to create their own books the way they envision them - minus the revision upon revision upon revision until the story is no longer what they originally set out to tell. From the vibe in the room and the conversation between them it sounds like a pretty close-knit group of people seeking the best for the creators and I'm really curious to see where it goes. All the best to them.
After that I said the goodbyes, hit the turnpike and that's just about it. I'm sure there was more but my mind is numb after a show. Good times though and I look forward to doing it again next year.
Thanks all and talk with ya soon!