Oh, man. Hello, all! Hello, home computer! I’ve missed you so! By now I’m sure my usual “I’m so busy, oh my God, I never have time, what is the meaning of life if I can’t read comics, I’m trying to post more I SWEAR” rant has gotten insanely old. So let’s just skip right on over that.
I’ve been wanting to talk about Boston Comic Con for weeks. I went several Saturdays ago, and it was a blast. Even better than last year, and so much fun despite a much larger crowd. First things first—a huge thank you to the organizers who put this on, as they continue to outdo themselves year after year—and congrats for knocking it out of the park. Last year was awesome, this year was amazing. My expectations are already set for 2013.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here’s the skinny.
For me, comics shows are more about getting to meet creators and interact with people, and less about scrounging for merchandise or sitting in panels. I got to meet Jeremy Bastian, Katie Cook, Phil Noto, Jimmy Cheung, Peter Nguyen, Clay Mann, and Cliff Chiang, among a bunch of other people, and some I didn’t get the chance to talk to, like Scottie Young and Stephanie Buscema, whom I’m so sad to have missed. Then there’s the few people bowed out—like Brian Azzarello, Amanda Conner, and Phil Jimenez, but that’s okay because it was still amazing even without them. I probably wouldn’t have known what to say to Brian Azzarello anyway—the guy seems like he’d be kind of intimidating in person. And meeting Amanda Conner might have easily charmed me enough to crack my moral conviction not to purchase Before Watchmen, so … you know, at least I’ve still got that going.
At this point I honestly can’t remember what booths I went to or who I met in what order, so I’m just gonna run through this thing.
Jeremy Bastian! He was awesome and super nice in person. I bought a sketchbook from him and he gave me a free pin with the Cursed Pirate Girl on it. I told him how much I loved the first volume and wondered about the second, and he said it was still unfortunately a ways off—which, considering how incredibly detailed his art is, doesn’t bother me one bit. I would wait forever for him, his stuff is that stunning. He pulled out a portfolio and showed me some finished pages (which look awesome!), and I was totally flattered that he even let me see. I told him I was very excited for more Cursed Pirate Girl and he seemed genuinely thankful. And he’s so humble. He’s a totally cool guy. Guests like him make the con.
Katie Cook’s table was beside Jeremy’s, and she is equally as nice and super funny. She was cracking jokes at her own expense left and right. She is
hilarious on Twitter and I told her so—yeah, I kind of gushed. I’m a fangirl, I can’t help it. I told her how much I love Gronk, and I bought a copy of the book from her which collects the first volume of Gronk strips in color. She was also doing these little playing-card-sized watercolor sketches of various characters, and I grabbed one with Robin on it that says “Sidekick” with him looking all sad. It’s SO CUTE and might be my favorite thing I got at the con, which is saying something.
Clay Mann. I can’t begin to say how excited I was to meet him; his art, specifically his X-Men, more specifically his Rogue, has been a favorite of mine. Knowing he was a guest was a major part of the reason why I went to the con at all despite being in the middle of a move. I put a stop to my schedule and came out to see this artist, because he took the time out to come see us. I thought it would be amazing to get a sketch and tell him what his work has meant to me.
We met. It was disappointing.
Actually, it was kind of devastating. I debated whether or not I wanted to get into specifics here, but in the end, I’m not going to badmouth the guy. I walked away from his table feeling pretty sad. Not all creators treat their fans the same. I’ll leave it at that.
So at this point I’m walking around still trying to process the … experience I just had. And I was sad. And I wondered if I was just completely wasting my time there.
That was until Phil Noto. Oh my goodness, Phil Noto. Stan Sakai has a rep for being the nicest guy in comics, but I’m thinking Phil Noto could give him a run for his money, and I totally gushed over him. I praised his wonderful X-23 work, and mentioned how I had the chance to meet Marjorie Liu a couple of months earlier, and how she had nothing but wonderful things to say about him. I was DYING for a commission from him, but his list was full. He asked if I was going to be there Sunday, and unfortunately I wasn’t, so I couldn’t get anything from him. I told him I’d buy a print instead in that case (he had this gorgeous one on the table), and as I grabbed my wallet he was like “No, don’t worry about it, you can have it.” He felt bad that he couldn’t get me a sketch and so gave me the print for free. I was so touched and happy and amazed, and just … couldn’t believe he did that, it was so sweet. I thanked him profusely. He also signed an issue of Birds of Prey I’d brought with me from way back when, and drew a little Oracle on the corner of the cover. He is the awesomest dude ever and I am even more in love with him than before. LOVE. He made up for my experience with Clay Mann tenfold. Clay Mann? Who, what?
Next up, Cliff Chiang. His commission list was also maxed out. Apparently it got full within fifteen minutes of the start of the con—no chance. I bought a print from him as well, chatted a very small bit, and that was it. He looked incredibly busy and as a huge line was forming behind me, I didn’t hang out for long. Very nice guy, though. I admitted to him that the current Wonder Woman has been difficult for me to follow, but he asked me to stick with it, and I said I would for the time being. He’s kind of hard to say no to—his art, and his Wonder Woman, are beautiful to me.
Jimmy Cheung. Commission list: full. Another miss, but I had him sign a Young Avengers trade for me as well as the first issue of Children’s Crusade. I asked him if he was sick of drawing the Young Avengers yet, and he warmly said no and that he was happy to continue drawing them so long as they keep assigning him. He was very soft spoken and sweet, and had a lovely accent. He asked if I’d read all of Children’s Crusade and if I’d enjoyed it, which I told him I did tremendously. At which point my Fiancé decided to leap in and say something along the lines of “You should know how high a compliment that is, because she’s a harsh critic.” Jimmy was like “Is that true, are you tough?” and I must have turned red with embarrassment when I responded with … “Umm … no, I don’t think I’m that tough,” only to be further called out by Fiancé.
At the next table over to Jimmy was Peter Nguyen, who apparently listened to this whole exchange, because I looked over and saw him laughing. We spoke to him and his commission list was … OPEN! I got him to draw me a Batgirl, which was framed and hung up on a wall immediately upon arrival home. It’s beautiful. Peter was super nice and so cool and funny. Fiancé also bought a gorgeous print from him of Zatanna and Black Canary (which I have already stolen). Thank you, Peter—the con wouldn’t have been the same without you.
The final bit I want to touch on is none other than the great guys over at Firetower Studios. As you all know, I have been a huge fan and unwavering supporter of one of their books, Princeless by Jeremy Whitley. Well, I had the opportunity to meet Jeremy Strutz, who illustrates another one of Firetower’s books called The Order of Dagonet, also written by Jeremy Whitley. As a thank you for my reviews, Jason did a wonderful Princeless commission for me, which you can see here. Jason is very kind and I enjoyed talking with him and looking through his sketchbook. He signed a copy of Dagonet for me, and then it was time for me to go. What a great ending to the con.
Of course, I have failed to mention many other great things about Boston Comic Con this year. For instance, there was a lot of fun cosplay—my favorites were Evey Hammond and V. I got to meet Renae de Liz, otherwise known as the woman behind Womanthology. The team at Nerd Caliber had a charity booth going for Child’s Play. And best of all, I got my picture taken with Batman.
What more could a fangirl want?