Part 3 of 3
Some brief verbal snapshots of blurred figures in motion to fill out the picture...
Adam Philips, Manager of Marketing Communications at DC Comics, used to be my editor. This was back in the days when Mark Waid was a wide-eyed fanboy looking for an opening to break into the comic book business and Kurt Busiek was best known as writer of the Red Tornado miniseries. I was still reeling from the surprise appearance of Jon Browne (mentioned a couple of posts back) when Adam greeted me by name at the DC pavilion. I'm stunned that I made enough of an impression that Adam remembered me even though we hadn't been in touch for twenty years. But I always remembered Adam as one of the nicest and most all around competent guys I ever knew in comics. Getting caught up with him was surrealistically wonderful.
Redhead Fangirl has already described our encounter with Gail Simone and her husband Scott -- I refer you there for a fuller account plus photos of RF with Gail, RF with her friend PhillyGirl, and RF consorting with lots of other people. No photos of me, however, which is a great comfort.
Simon Pegg lookalike Drew Melbourne signed a copy of the collected edition of Archenemies, his miniseries from Dark Horse, along with penciller Yvel Guichet and letterer Jim Keplinger. This in turn led to meeting Jeffery Stevenson, best known as author of the webcomic Brat-Halla but an old acquaintance of mine from the Writers Forum at Digital Webbing.
The crowding was intense in the upper mezzanine reserved for pros giving autographs and sketches dubbed "Artists' Aerie." I didn't even attempt to visit there on the first day, thereby missing any glimpse of Stephen Colbert. When I did make it up there the following day, I immediately spotted my good friend Richard Howell of Claypool Comics...and the flow of people moving past was so strong I was literally swept away from his table before I could even catch his eye. I had to make an entire circuit of the area, caught in the crowd, until the traffic led me back to the beginning and I could stop to chat with him.
Richard introduced me to the affable and charming Chris Wisnia, creator of the Doris Danger comics which pay snarky tribute/loving parody to Jack Kirby with special emphasis on his 1950s monster and SF comics. I know Kirby's work and I've seen a lot of Kirby homage over the years...and I have to say Chris stands out for capturing aspects of Kirby's style like no one else and combining it with his own offbeat absurdist humor. I read these comics that night and had to come back to his table the following day to rave about how much I enjoyed them. Highly recommended!
Another unexpected win was scoring a pre-release copy of The Art of ReBoot, beautifully produced by Jim Su and lavishly illustrated with original concept art and character designs from Brendan McCarthy. The book is also filled out with behind-the-scenes comments and insights from McCarthy as well as co-creator Gavin Blair and story editor Dan Didio -- the same fellow now at DC Comics -- packing a surprising amount of information into such a slim volume. It was everything I could have hoped a book on ReBoot would be. Surely an acquisition to make Mark jealous of me, if only for a moment.
I'd be remiss if I didn't offer a shout out to Tim Callahan, Legion of Super-Heroes fan of note and all-around swell person, who signed a copy of his book Grant Morrison - The Early Years and then mentioned that he's read this blog. Gosh! (Whatever else I do in life, I may forever be known for that one post.) Our conversation turned to Adam West -- it made sense at the time, but you probably had to be there -- and we never even mentioned the LSH. Next time, maybe?
Oops, almost forgot to mention Friday evening's dinner with Brian and the gang from Comics Should Be Good, held at the surprisingly affordable Hudson Yards Cafe just one short block away from the Javits Center. Given its proximity to the con, I'm surprised Brian was able to reserve it: it would have made a fine location for a con party hosted by some publisher. Good thing Brian -- who is "not a convention person" and didn't even attend the NYCC at all -- was able to get it instead.
Going into the convention, I expected my time would be spent on sober networking and cultivating professional contacts...but it turned out to be an occasion for geeky excitement and fun of a sort that I haven't had at a convention in many years. The folks I've named here and in the preceding posts are all to thank for that. I hope they all enjoyed themselves as much as I did.