I'm back in Buffalo after New York Comic Con and sitting at my computer, my grey matter boiling away with ideas for stories that must be told but first, a new blog to chronicle the next phase of my journey towards becoming a professional comic book writer.
This wasn't my first time at NYCC, but this was definitely the best experience I've had at the show, and not just because I seem to have escaped the dreaded "con crud". This year rocked for two simple reasons : focus and achievement.
In the past my approach to the con was pretty scatter shot. I would get up to the show floor, run as fast as the crowd would permit to the DC booth and proceed to circle, like a vulture, looking for freebies. Then I would attend a few panels, check out artist's alley, get in line for signings, catch a screening, and meander about the show floor aimlessly for three days. I spent my money on sketches from the few artists who would do them for $40 or less and trades from the numerous vendors that offered them at a 50% discount. Last year I left the con with quite a lot of stuff but felt somewhat unfulfilled by the experience.
This year I made up my mind early on to treat the comic con as a working vacation. Screenings and signings were out, as was sketch collecting (I was tempted early on by a short line at George Perez' table for $40 sketches but kept my resolve). The only panels I intended to attend were the ones focused on the business of comics or the craft of creating them. The only books I was going to buy were creator owned ones and I was going to show Jesus E. Lee to as many people as possible.
All in all it worked out pretty well. I did end up buying two volumes of Showcase Presents The Legion of Superheroes (what can I say, I love silver age too much!), and I had to sit through three promotional panels to see Grant Morrison, Brian K Vaughan and Jonathan Hickman talk about writing (believe me it was worth it), but otherwise I stuck to my guns. By the end of the weekend I had lost count of the number of people who had either seen Jesus E. Lee to or been told about it (Grant Morrison smiled when he heard the concept). There was a lot of great encouragement and some thoughtful criticism from people at all levels of the comic book hierarchy, and I came away with a sense that my goal is not as far fetched as I might have believed a week ago. I may not have as much stuff to read but I feel vindicated as a writer.
Finally in the last panel of the last day, I watched Kubert School professor Fernando Ruiz do an art demonstration and drawing tutorial. At the end they had a trivia contest to determine who got the piece and I walked away with a full size sketch of the Man of Steel himself. So all that and some damn nice art too. Not bad, if I do say so myself.