Well, there was a weekend… and several days beyond that. New York Comicon 2011 came and went, leaving me with a renewed excitement about comics (mine and everyone else’s) and a raging 48-hour case of that particular malady that afflicts those of us who wander around an enclosed convention center for a few days, shaking hands with hundreds if not thousands of people, while staying up late, drinking every night and not getting enough sleep. I mostly hear it called “con crud,” but I’ve also heard “con flu,” and back in 2003 they were calling it the “conSARS.” (I attempted a Twitter joke that we should call this year’s version “CONtagion,” but it landed with something of a thud.) Anyway, it’s basically your garden-variety intense cold, but it knocked me on my ass for a few days.
I’m back on my game, more or less, and thought I would leave you with a few impressions of the year’s con. This was my sixth NYCC. I’ve been going since the beginning. At my first visit, which I believe was my second comic convention ever (first was in Dallas in 2005), I was carrying with me some early short story materials. At my second, I had my pitch for Strongman. At my third, I ALSO had my pitch for Strongman (that’s 2008). By 2009, Strongman Vol 1 was a month from release, so I didn’t exhibit. 2010 was juuust before 27 #1 came out, so I had some materials to show at the Shadowline table, but not much more than that. It’s where the buzz really started for the series, though – without that con, I don’t know that people would have been as interested in the series as they ended up being.
And finally, 2011. I had a signing on Wednesday night at Jim Hanley’s – my first time signing at a comic store, actually. I’ve always wanted to do it, but I’m so busy most of the time that putting it together was beyond me. I’ll definitely do it again, though. It’s more low-key than a convention, and the people who come out are there to meet those specific creators, so it’s a very focused, cool interaction. The very cool Dave Elliott set that up – I first met him on a train coming back from Baltimore Comicon about a year ago, and since then we’ve hung out a lot. He’s been in the business for a while and knows everyone, which is convenient when he’s asked to set up mega-signings at comic shops.
I actually didn’t go to the con on Thursday, because I had to spend the day finalizing a pitch for a very exciting new project. This is one I’ve posted about before, but as ever, things take long than you think they will. However, everything came together late in the day – too late to hit the con, but just in time to go out for my second night of somewhat concentrated drinking. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all very… very, and I love seeing all the people I only see at cons (and con parties), but it does take a toll.
Friday was about finally setting up, moving some books, introducing my work to new people, and seeing what kind of magic that pitch might be able to generate. I’m more pleased than you know to be able to say that things look good. I don’t want to say any more about it, but as I’ve mentioned in the past, I love telling these stories – that’s my primary motivation in doing all of this. If things go the way they did this weekend, then I’ve got several more things on the way. At least. My active project spreadsheet, which includes the stuff I need to finish RIGHT NOW (instead of writing a blog entry, in fact), currently has eight items on it. A more typical list would have two or three. That is not a complaint, however.
Anyway, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…. sort of more of the same. I don’t want to make a list of every awesome person I hung out with, because that way lies the Curse of Hilary Swank (when you forget someone crucially important in a list of thank-yous) but I will say that karaoke with Jim Zub, Jeremy Barlow and Dustin Weaver in a cramped room while we took Power of Love to heights it had never before seen was certainly a highlight.
Sunday I totally vegged, not that I had any choice. My body was telling me that comics could fuck off and die for a night – and so they did, and I watched the Walking Dead Season 2 premiere and was in bed by 10:30.
So many great firsts for this con, though – I saw my first person walking around with a 27 t-shirt (the lovely Ryan Closs, who modeled the shirt for me). I met Blair Butler, with whom iFanboy’s Josh Flanagan and I did an amazing podcast the week before the con all about breaking in and staying in. I talked guitars, but not comics, with Joe Quesada. I magically obtained a few issues of 27 Second Set #2 (out October 26) a bit early, and was able to provide them to some excited fans. I had a guy come up and do a full sweep – he had read Strongman V1 years before, and enjoyed it so much that he bought one of everything else on my table, including a shirt.
Mostly, it was awesome, and it made me feel like I’ll get to do this stuff for a while to come, which is the best possible result.