There were so many comic book creators, publishers, vendors and other guests at New York Comic Con this year. Michele and I tried not to spend too much money, or buy too many things, because we’re on a budget, plus there’s only so much you can fit into a one bedroom apartment.
One of the major highlights of NYCC for me this year was meeting actors Anson Mount and Melissa Navia from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
I’ve been a Star Trek fan since I first watched the original series in reruns on Saturday evenings at 6 PM on WPIX Channel 11 when I was a kid in the early 1980s. As a long-time Trekkie, I really enjoyed the first season of Strange New Worlds. It was very cool to meet Anson Mount and Melissa Navia, who both did great work on the show. Mount and Navia really made the time to greet all the fans such as myself. I’m definitely looking forward to season two.
I purchased the first Quad trade paperback from publisher Sumerian Comics, formerly known as Behemoth Comics. Quad is a very well done post-apocalyptic dystopian anthology series by South American creators Aluisio C. Santos, Diego Sanches, Eduardo Ferigato and Eduardo Schaal.
I also purchased the John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Twitch graphic novel from Storm King Comics. This one is written by Duane Swierczynski, drawn by Richard P. Clark and lettered by Janice Chiang. It was cool seeing both Clark and Chiang at NYCC again.
Last year at NYCC we met creator Sara Richard in Artist Alley. Michele really enjoyed her artwork, so this year she purchased Richard’s book The Dead Hand Book: Stories from Gravesend Cemetery.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I bought a copy of Empty Graves: 31 Horror Portraits by Dave Fox at NYCC. Fox really knocked it out of the park with these spooky illustrations.
I also got the Forbidden Planet variant cover for Sweetie Candy Vigilante #1 published by Dynamite Entertainment. Artist Jeff Zornow, writer Suzanne Cafiero and editor & art director John Cafiero were doing a signing at Forbidden Planet NYC on Thursday evening after the show.
Michele bought a copy of Highball #2, published by Ahoy Comics, from artist Fred Harper. She also got the NYCC convention exclusive cover to Godzilla vs. Mighty Morphin Powers rangers from the IDW Publishing booth as a gift for me.
Finally, I bought Michele one of the absolutely adorable Purritos from Uncute. I was tempted to also get one of those eerily cute Tentacle Kitty stuffed animals. Maybe next year.
Michele and I both had a lot of fun at New York Comic Con, and as you can see we picked up some cool stuff at the show.
New York Comic Con 2022 was held on October 6th to 9th at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. It was an exhausting but fun experience. One of my favorite parts of the convention was once again Artists Alley, which featured a large, diverse selection of comic book creators.
Here are some of my favorite creators who I met at New York Comic Con this year. I have included links to their work, so you can check them out for yourself.
One of the great things about NYCC is it gives you the opportunity to meet creators who are visiting from outside of United States. I’ve been enjoying the work of Italian artists Marco Santucci and Maria Laura Sanapo over the past few years for DC Comics and other publishers. I’ve been interacting with them on social media, so it was definitely nice to actually get to meet them.
In my mind Dan Jurgens is one of the definitive, all-time great Superman artists. I loved his work on the character in the late 1980s thru the mid 1990s. He also did very good work on Captain America for Marvel Comics and the Image Comics series Common Grounds. It was a pleasure to finally meet him and be able to let him know how much I have enjoyed his work.
It was good to see The Hero Business creator Bill Walko at NYCC again. He’s got a really fun art style. The Hero Business is such an enjoyable series. If you haven’t read it yet then I highly recommend ordering the upcoming The Hero Business Compendium to be published by New Friday Comics, the creator-owned division of Lev Gleason Publishing. The Compendium will be a 472 page book in oversized graphic novel format collecting the complete ten year The Hero Business saga and is scheduled for release next month.
It’s also always good to see artist Russ Braun at comic cons. He’s a genuinely good guy and a talented artist, having drawn the classic Batman storyline “Venom,” War of the Gods and Fables for DC Comics, as well as regularly collaborating with writer Garth Ennis on a number of projects, among them Battlefields, The Boys and Jimmy’s Bastards.
Not to sound like a broken record, but it was also great to see Andrew Pepoy again at NYCC, back for the first time since before the pandemic. He’s an amazing artist and a good person. Andrew has a few advanced copies of this long-awaited new The Adventures of Simone & Ajax book Lemmings and Tigers and Bears! Oh, My! at the show. I’m looking forward to receiving my copy in the mail soon.
Alex Saviuk and Keith Williams were the art team on Web of Spider-Man from Marvel Comics when I was in high school in the early 1990s. I really enjoyed their work on the series. I don’t know if it was coincidence or design, but they ended up sitting next to each other in Artists Alley, so I wanted to get a photo of the two of them together.
Lynne Yoshii has a beautiful art style. I first discovered her work on the great Gotham City Garage series. She since drawn stories for several DC Comics anthology specials. I’m looking forward to reading the recently released Nuclear Power graphic novel from Fan Base Press that she illustrated.
Bought a copy of Empty Graves: 31 Horror Portraits by Dave Fox which contains some incredible, creepy artwork. Dave Fox has been working on a series of horror portraits over the past few years, and it’s nice to have them all collected together. He really knocked these out of the park, capturing the spooky, eerie essence of some of horror cinema’s most iconic villains & monsters.
These were just a few of the talented creators at New York Comic Con. It was an enjoyable show, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to attend it.
It’s odd: I’ve been a fan of both series for many years, but until now I’ve never obtained autographs from actors who appeared in those franchises. Well, okay, in the past I met a few people who had appeared in Star Trek, but I got their autographs for other roles. So I’m glad I was finally able to rectify that with two great actors who appeared in Star Trek and Star Wars, respectively.
I’ve been a Star Trek fan since I was a little kid, watching reruns of the original series on WPIX Channel 11 on Saturday evenings in the early 1980s. It was definitely a thrill to meet actor George Takai, who portrayed Hikaru Sulu on the show and in the first six movies. I really admire the fact that Takai has utilized his fame from Star Trek to promote progressive political & social causes.
They Called Us Enemy, the graphic novel George Takei wrote about his childhood imprisoned in an internment camp, is a sad, moving book. I am Jewish, and when I was growing up I was taught about the Holocaust, about the Nazis forcing the Jews into concentration camps. So I remember that when I first learned about the internment of Japanese Americans I was horrified to discover that nearly the same thing had happened here, in this country. It is definitely one of the darkest chapters in American history. Unfortunately I now realize that there are many dark events and periods in this nation’s history. So I am grateful for works like this. They bring those failures to light, and serve as warnings as to what can happen again if we do not learn from the the past. They Called Us Enemy is a great example of how comic books & graphic novels can play a valuable educational role.
Takei came across as a good person. It was a pretty long line to get his autograph, but he took the time to speak with everyone for a minute or two. The day after I got Takei’s autograph, he had a panel discussion at NYCC. He was such an engaging, entertaining speaker.
My father and grandfather took me to see The Empire Strikes Back in the theater for my fourth birthday, and I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since. Admittedly, I only saw a few episodes of The Clone Wars during the original run from 2008 to 2014, and at the time I didn’t really care for it. However, I recently watched the entire series on Disney Plus. While the first two seasons were uneven, there were still several good episodes. The show then got consistently good with season three, and steadily improved from there. George Lucas, Dave Filoni & their collaborators also did a great job utilizing the show to explore adult topics such as war and politics, loss and faith, duty and patriotism. The later seasons are among the best SW material ever.
I was on line to get Dee Bradley Baker’s autograph, and at 45 years old I was literally the oldest person waiting to meet him. Everyone else on line was either in their late teens or in their 20s. These fans literally grew up on The Clone Wars animated series. For them, this is theirStar Wars, just as the original trilogy was my generation’s Star Wars. I think it’s great that The Clone Wars became an entry point for a new generation of fans.
So I got Baker’s autograph… but until now I had no idea Momo and Appa were in the Grand Army of the Republic. Hmmmm… Star Wars / Avatar: The Last Airbender crossover, anyone? Now I’ve got this image stuck in my head of Ahsoka Tano riding around on a flying bison!
Seriously, I was saying to myself “Oh no! Did he mean to write ‘Captain Rex’ instead but I distracted him by gushing about how much I loved his work on Clone Wars and Bad Batch?” Eh, whatever the reason, it doesn’t really matter. I mean, it’s still his signature, and I got it personalized, so I’m obviously not going to be reselling it, and I got to meet him, which was very cool. I guess the Avatar reference just adds to the piece’s uniqueness.
Anyway, Baker is incredibly talented, I love his amazing work on the various Star Wars animated series, so it was cool to meet him & get his signature.
I really had not planned to go to the New York Comic Con this year. But at literally the last minute, i.e. Wednesday afternoon, Michele surprised me with a ticket for Thursday. I knew that once again I was going to be on a really limited budget. So I decided to just pick up a handful of comics and maybe a couple of sketches. Mostly I brought along comic books I already owned to get autographed. And I took a few photos. My digital camera went bust a while ago, so I had to rely on my crappy cell phone camera.
The first person I went to see in Artist Alley was Joe Staton. I actually did the exact same thing last year. What can I say? I’m a huge fan of his work. This time around, I really wanted to pick up a copy of the E-Man trade paperback that reprinted the Charlton Comics stories from the 1970s. This collected edition actually came out in 2011, but the last couple of years when Staton had it for sale at the show, I just didn’t have the money to get it. So I decided that this year it would be the very first thing I’d purchase. I ended up breezing through the book, it was such a fun, entertaining read. I’ll probably do a post about E-Man sometime in the near future.
Scott Hanna was also at the show. I think he does really great work. He is one of those embellishers who usually attempt to stay faithful to the style of whatever penciller he is working with. As such, I think that his contributions to the finished art are not as readily identifiably to the casual eye. Nevertheless, as I’ve mentioned in my Thinking About Inking post, there have been instances where his impact is demonstrable, and always in a positive way. At NYCC I purchased a page that he did for the miniseries Avengers: Celestial Quest, inking Jorge Santamaria’s pencils, which features one of my favorite characters, Mantis.
Two other people who had a table in Artist Alley were Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, the creative team behind Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures, as well as their self-published Aw Yeah Comics. I think their work is so cute and funny and adorable. Yeah, I know, I also like very dark and serious stuff, as well. But the thing is, I’m into a wide range of material. If everything in the comic book biz was grim & gritty, it would be extremely boring. Diversity is the spice of life. I got several comic books signed by Art & Franco, as well as sketches from both of them. Art drew a cartoony version of the Teen Titans’ demonic foe Trigon. Franco sketched a funny Darkseid vs Streaky the Supercat piece.
The one other piece of art I got at NYCC this year was a really nice sketch in my Beautiful Dreamer theme book. It was drawn by Derek Fridolfs, whose work has appeared in Justice League Beyond and Batman: Li’l Gotham. You can view it, and the rest of the art I picked up, in my galley at Comic Art Fans.
While I was at the show, I also had the chance to see several other creators, among them Bob Layton, Steve Ellis, Alex Saviuk, Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Tim Vigil, ChrisCross, Jim Salicrup, Vito Delsante, and John “Roc” Upchurch.
Before I knew that I was going to be at NYCC, I had decided to get a ticket for a related event on Friday night which was being organized by Barnaby Edwards of the Doctor Who New York fan club. Colin Baker, who portrayed the Sixth Doctor on Doctor Who, was doing a question & answer session and signing at the Stone Creek Bar on East 27th Street. Also present was writer & actor Nicholas Briggs. In addition to being heavily involved in the Big Finish audio plays, directing many of them, Briggs has famously voiced the Daleks, Cybermen, and various other aliens, both for Big Finish and on the television series itself. I was really looking forward to meeting both gentlemen. There was a third, surprise guest, as well: director & producer Jason Haigh-Ellery of Big Finish. For someone such as me, a huge fan of the Doctor Who audio adventures, this event was a real treat. I think that Baker has done extraordinary work reprising his Doctor at Big Finish, and both Briggs & Haigh-Ellery have really brought extraordinary levels of professionalism to these productions. It was also a great opportunity to meet in person several of the people I know online from Facebook and WordPress.
Of course there were some amazing examples of cosplay at NYCC. This is where I wish I had a proper camera, so I could have taken more pictures. I even saw someone dressed as Walter White from Breaking Bad. I was wondering if anyone was going to do that! Anyway, here are a few photos of fans in costume that really stood out for me.
It’s always interesting when you see somebody cosplaying as a somewhat more obscure character. This guy was dressed up as the supervillain Clock King. In addition to a super-authentic costume, he actually had a working clock on his mask. Now that is what I call attention to detail!
Here is a lovely lady who was turning heads on the main convention floor, dressed up as a steampunk version of G.I. Joe villainess the Baroness.
And for this one I really wish I had been able to take a much better picture. Here were three gals cosplaying as the most famous female agents of SHIELD, namely the Black Widow, Sharon Carter, and Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. Jim Steranko was at NYCC, and I wonder if he had a chance to see his creation, sexy spy Val Fontaine, brought to life. Sorry for the blurry quality. Trust me, this trio looked fantastic in person.
I had a good time at this year’s New York Comic Con. After she got out from work, Michele joined me at the show and we hung out there for a few hours. But, at the end of the day, I was exhausted and kind of broke, so I’m glad that I was only there for one day. Anyway, thanks again, Michele, for the surprise ticket. I really appreciate it.
Last Sunday I went to the New York Comic Con held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Even though the Comic Con was a four day-long event, I decided to just attend it the final day. Every year I do very much look forward to going to the show. Conversely, every year it gets bigger and bigger, and so the prospect of having to compete with a gigantic crowd of people is somewhat daunting. Because of that, and since I’m on a pretty slim budget, for the second year in a row I made the decision to just go on Sunday.
My main objective this time around was that I wanted to obtain a commission from artist Joe Staton. You see, one of my all time favorite Batman stories is “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne,” written by Alan Brennert and illustrated by Joe Staton & George Freeman. It featured the wedding of Batman and Catwoman on Earth Two, and appeared in The Brave and the Bold #197, published in 1983. I first had the opportunity to read the story in the early 1990s when it was collected in The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told trade paperback. I must have read it at least a dozen times, probably more. Years later, I found a copy of the original issue, and got it autographed by Joe Staton. I think it has some of the finest artwork of his career.
In any case, for a long time now, because The Brave and the Bold #197 is such a favorite of mine, I’ve hoped to get an illustration of the Golden Age Catwoman from Staton. As I mentioned before, I was really on a limited budget this year, so this was going to be my one big purchase of the entire convention. So as soon as I got to the show on Sunday morning, I made my way right to Artist Alley and headed to Staton’s table. Turns out I was in the nick of time; his sketch list was almost completely filled up, and he had just one single spot left on it. I dropped off my sketchbook at Joe table, paid him for the sketch, and then headed out to explore the rest of the convention, since I knew it would be a few hours before he’d get up to my piece.
I mostly stuck to Artist Alley this year, since that was a relatively less crowded area than the main convention floor. I decided that since I wasn’t going to be able to buy too much, I’d bring along books that I already have to get autographed. Luckily, most of the creators I hoped to see were there, although a few had unfortunately decided to skip Sunday. I was bummed out to miss Erik Larsen, since I am a huge fan of Savage Dragon.
One of the few books I picked up was the Starstruck trade paperback by Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta. Starstruck began life as an Off-Off-Broadway play in 1980, a comedic space opera written by Lee, with costume & set designs by Kaluta. A few years later, Lee and Kaluta adapted Starstruck into a series of comic book stories which appeared through a number of publishers. The pair had the ambition to eventually compile the entirety of the comic book material into one massive volume, and after a couple of false starts, they were finally able to achieve that recently at IDW. Elaine Lee was at the NYCC this year, and so I purchased the collected edition from her. She also autographed my copy of the Starstruck stage play which I acquired via Amazon.Com many moons ago. I’m looking forward to reading this one.
An acquaintance of mine, artist Steve Ellis, had at table at NYCC. Steve’s a cool guy, so it was nice to see him again. We caught up on old times. He was generous enough to do a quick drawing for me in one of my sketchbooks. I asked him to sketch Stiletto, one of the characters from the superhero crime noir series The Silencers that he co-created with Fred Van Lente several years back. I always enjoyed that book, and I hope one day Steve & Fred have the opportunity to bring it back.
There were a number of actors at NYCC doing signings & panel discussions. I was very interested in meeting two of them. The first was Peter Davison, who portrayed the Fifth Doctor on Doctor Who in the early 1980s. As anyone who reads this blog will know, I am a huge Doctor Who fan. That and it is very rare that you get to meet someone who you literally grew up watching on television. So I was a bit tongue-tied when I got his autograph. I think Davison was pleasantly surprised when I mentioned that I had been in London back in 1999 and seen him perform in the musical Chicago. Currently he is appearing in Law & Order UK as Henry Sharpe, Director of the London Crown Prosecution Service (the equivalent of the District Attorney). The show is scheduled to begin filming a new season shortly.
The other actor I really wanted to meet was Ian McDiarmid, who so memorably played the diabolical Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars films. It may sound strange, considering the Emperor is a figure of pure evil, but he is one of my favorite character from the series. He got so many great lines of dialogue, and McDiarmid brought him to vile life so wonderfully. Unfortunately, it turned out that McDiarmid was asking a whopping $125 for an autograph! Obviously I had to pass on that. But there apparently are a lot of people who are willing to fork over that kind of money, because I saw there was a very long line at his table (I wonder if some comic book and sci-fi fans eat Ramen noodles 365 days a year so they can save up their money for events like Comic Con). Fortunately, McDiarmid was doing an hour-long panel discussion that afternoon. It was quite entertaining, as McDiarmid really knows how to work a room & spin a yarn, so I’m glad I was at least able to attend that.
I only went up to the main floor of the show once. I was going to the Doctor Who Store table, because I wanted to purchase one of the Big Finish audio plays for Peter Davison to autograph. It was a total madhouse, wall-to-wall people, and it took me fifteen minutes just to get to where I wanted to go. When I finally arrived at the Doctor Who Store, it was packed. As someone who grew up watching the series in the 1980s, when it was very much a cult phenomenon here in the States, it still amazes me that now, with the revival of the show, it is now this huge hit, and millions of people watch it on BBC America. So seeing this gigantic crowd around the booth was unexpected, because I still half-expect people to give me a blank look when I tell them I watch Doctor Who. But, as one of the people working at the Who Store table responded when I told him that, “Those days are long gone.”
After the Ian McDiarmid panel, I headed back to Artist Alley. Walking up and down the aisles, I was somewhat disappointed that I was on such a tiny budget, because there were so many artists doing such amazing sketches, and selling some really nice published comic book pages. But once I got to Joe Staton’s table, my regrets vanished. Staton did an absolutely stunning drawing of Catwoman in my sketchbook. It has to be one of the best pieces I’ve gotten in the book. I decided it was better to have gotten one really outstanding sketch than a handful of average pieces. So I know I made the right choice.
As always, there were some fans wearing amazing costumes at the Comic Con. I took photographs of several of them. You can view them on Flickr:
All in all, it was a pretty fun convention. I enjoyed myself. Hopefully next year, though, I’ll have a bigger budget and be able to attend more than one day, because I’d like to be able to see more of the show, and also pace myself instead of rushing all over the place!