The San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, leaving geek culture reeling from the flood of news that pours out of the convention. For those who spent the better part of a week roaming the convention halls in search of their favorite artists, writers, creators and celebrities, it’s a time to wind down and take stock of everything they walked away with; be it autographs, exclusive comics or just plain booth swag. They’re not the only ones enjoying the downtime, though. The same artists, writers, creators and celebrities also take time in the aftermath to decompress from the hectic schedule of signings and panels and reconnect with their fellows in ways that they can’t, while in the midst of the Comic-Con crowd.

This is where Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles steps in.

Steve Niles Meet Up

The “After Comic-Con Monday Meet-Up” is exactly what it sounds like: a chance for the industry’s best to get out of San Diego and relax before returning to the daily grind. Of course, you’d never guess that David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil) and Bill Sienkiewicz (The New Mutants, Elektra: Assassin) were relaxing as they sketched the night away, or that Steve Niles and Sam Park had left the hustle of talking about their upcoming Monsterverse comics. Still, shop talk wasn’t the only conversation going on over drinks and snacks. There was plenty of catching up between those in attendance who hadn’t seen each other in so long, and introductions made between people who had not yet had the pleasure of getting to know one another. It was an excellent opportunity to see these well-known names in comics in a way few others do, outside of the office and convention halls.

Golden Apple Golden Guitar

Of course, it wasn’t all just talk and refreshments; DJ Deadpool kept the music flowing, while raffle tickets were distributed for some very nice Comic-Con exclusives provided by a number of the party’s attendees. T-shirts and posters aplenty were won, as well as a golden Guitar Hero guitar with Homer Simpson drawn on it, and more traditional pieces of original art.

As I was unable to attend Comic-Con with my fellow Comic Booked staffers this year, there wasn’t much I could contribute to the conversation in terms of the convention experience (or so I thought). The creators that I talked to, however, generally expressed a sentiment similar to one that I’ve held after several years of attending Comic-Con. They long for a return to a smaller, more personal convention where creators can meet with fellow creators, as well as with fans, in much the same way San Diego Comic-Con was before it grew too big for itself. Though, if Regina and Mario Carpinelli get their way, they’ll have exactly that kind of venue at Comikaze Expo, a new L.A. convention coming our way in November.

But now is not the time to be preparing for the next convention; for now, it’s time to breath, relax, and savor the memories of Comic-Con.

Bill Sienkiewicz Art

David Mack Art

Sam Park Meet Up

Golden Apple Meet Up

Photos by Nicole Sixx.