Sunday, September 09, 2007

Baltimore Comic-Con 2007

Yesterday was a fun day at the convention. Last year I roamed around and went to a lot of the panels, this year I roamed around and only went to one panel. The convention is fun, but I still think I need to go there with more of an objective, I'm so free form in the way I do stuff that I have a tendency to be totally impulsive in what ever I decide to buy or not buy. Still I found that the most fun was to talk for a couple minutes to some of the creators and hang out with some of my comic friends and see what they are anxious to buy.

The highlight of the show for me was meeting Timothy Truman and buying a page of his artwork. Tim puts the layouts on the back of the page and then uses a light box to bring the image to the front to the page and he pencils and inks it from there. What was shocking to me is how inexpensive his work is compared to some of the other artists. It is insane and I guess it has to do with the fact that he does not do a lot of super-hero artwork and people want that more then anything else. Still the price difference is ridiculous, but a great bargain for me. Seriously the man is a better artist then some of the people getting 4 to 5 times the dollar amount for their art. In addition he was just a hell of a nice guy. He took time to answer some questions, very cordial and seemed to actually enjoy being there. Also I'm not looking to be an art collector, I rather just buy a few pages of artwork, have them framed and keep them forever. I rather have something that I enjoy, than something that is "worth" a lot of money.

A few of the pieces of artwork that I own are pages I purchased from the artists when then were visiting my store that I owned in New Jersey. For me the sentimental or intrinsic value of the artwork is worth a lot more then most monetary amount (if you want to buy one of those pages in exchange for paying off my mortgage, sentimentality can be over ruled).

Had a chance to talk with people at Arachia Studios Presss, happy to hear that they are getting two more issues of Killer out soon. The Red 5 Comics publisher was represented by the artist of Atomic Robo Scott Wegener and he had the original art for the book. I was shocked and surprised to find out that all six issues of the mini-series are completed already. They did not want to solicit the book until the entire series was completed to avoid any delay in the book coming out timely. What a great way to get a company started! This is the right way to keep you audience happy. Late books are bad enough when you have an established fan base, but for a new company it can be the death knell and these guys have this book done right. I feel like I can invest in this book and look forward to it as opposed to being interested in a story and then have to wait forever to see its conclusion.

Other people that Lee and I talked to briefly were Walt Simonson (who is also just one hell of a person and great guy), Louise Simonson (who matches Walt for her openness and kind nature) and Jim Starlin who for intense as his work is, seemed to be a laid back guy.

It is still hard for me to approach these people as people, because I'm so interested in their work and the process of their work that I could bore them to death in the span of five minutes with my questions if I didn't check myself. Next year I think I will try and go with the objective of maybe getting a few hardcovers or trades that I own signed and attempt to request a head shot to be drawn in the book, but all in all it was a fun time.

The DC panel was somewhat worthless and I hear the Marvel panel was as well as very few "news" items are announced at this time of the year. The bigger anoucements have already been made for the most part and little other news is made. What struck in the DC panel was that DC's plans are locked in place until the end of 2008 with their main Universe. I also believe if "real" changes don't occur this time, DC may lose a portion of their fanbase. From a marketing standpoint I don't understand why they do not just hire some of the big names and give them side projects that have no impact on continuity and release them when they are in the can.

The process of writing and creating the work is where so much of my interest lies, but the business side of it is also interesting and I think is the hardest to crack as no company likes to have an open policy as to why they make certain decisions.

Back to the convention itself, it is certainly worth the one day trip down there and is becoming more fun the more I learn about the different publishers and creators. Next year I may have to be more organized and go in with more of a true objective, of course I would really like to learn the business side of this industry and maybe switch careers yet again.

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