There are many ways to describe this weekend’s kick-off to the Comic Convention year. Amazing Arizona Comic Con got it started in a very progressive way, not only with A+ talent but a huge array of locals and out of state talent as well. I mean come on: Robert Kirkman, Jeph Loeb, Rob Liefeld, Brian Pulido, John Layman, Ryan Ottley, Raven Gregory, Mike Debalfo and Eric ‘Ebas’ Basaldua, just to name a few, makes a fan’s “who do I go see” list not only extensive but also beyond exciting!
Now, when I go to the cons I have a agenda – hmmm, let me see:
1. Comic Book Store Owner
2. Director of a Comic Convention
5. Writer for Comic Booked
Oh and what’s that other thing… ah yes: a fanboy!
So I’m going to write this as a FANBOY and you’re going to LOVE IT! No politics, just plain and simple, through the eyes of a maniac… I mean comic book enthusiast.
Okay, so of course I have to go see my good friends Brian Pulido and John Layman first. So I go in and turn the corner and BANG – there is Layman standing by himself (how does this happen?). We do the manly hug and handshake and I know from that point it can’t get any better than this – I attend his panel and start to go into the con! Boom (yes I’m playing John Madden football using his lingo) – a sea of fans EVERYWHERE jousting for positions in line or pushing and shoving to get to the next booth to get the last con variant! Oh wait that was me doing that! Sorry about that. The fans were awesome and the “ohhhs” and “awes” were like Papa John showing up with a bus load of pizza! On a side note can he not throw the football pretty far in his commercials? HINT HINT CARDINALS!
So you look at the spread and you say “okay, I can go forward or backwards“. So I go where the flow takes me. Of course my film crew goes the opposite way, but that’s another story. It’s Artist Alley – my type of alley. It’s homegrown! It’s the walk of future fame and fortune! I know almost everybody there so its like going to school and knowing that nobody is going to steal your Oreo cookies out of your lunch bag. I stop at every booth hanging taking pictures and looking at our future comic book icons. No matter what I do I know my heart is with the locals who bust their @$$ to do what they love. Everybody is smiles. Got some Ocho Bootlegs as well! Damn those bears – I mean Eric and Denny were rocking it out at their table! There were so many cool people I won’t attempt to name them all in fear I’ll forget someone and they will toilet paper my store.
So I head down some dealer rows and see a lot of cool stuff. Mike Banks of Samurai is slinging books and Marco of Pop Culture Paradise is handing out free comics I think to people… now that I think about it I didn’t get one! Dammit Jim, I’m a fanboy not a dealer – give me some of that! Just joking, he was handing out blank sketch covers to artists. By the way, if you get a chance to meet his wife do it, she’s a very nice lady! It’s awesome to see the Golden Age and Silver Age comics as well!
But it’s just starting now – the row of rows was next. Big Dog Ink and Zenescope Posse all in one area – if I brought a tent I would have stayed in that area. Let me see Tom and Rob from BDI, then you have Mike and Mary Debalfo (if you get a chance to meet Mary, do – she rocks!) Milen, Raven, Ebas, and Nei! The cherry on top of ice cream right after that BRIAN PULIDO okay let me say it one more time, and BRIAN PULIDO. Now I will say I’m his biggest fan though I know there are bigger fans than me but hey, it’s my article so I’m his BIGGEST FAN. I get some good L.D. (that’s Lady Death for you novice fans) and of course my 900th picture with him!
Then its off to get Kirkman’s and McFarlane’s JOHN HANCOMICS (you know, hancocks – just sly verbiage) of course the line is long so I give up. So I go to hang with MR EISNER AWARD WINNER JOHN LAYYYYYYMANNNNNNNNNN LEETTS GEETTTT REEEEADYYYY TO RUMMMBLE! Buffer style! (don’t sue me Buffer I’m a fanboy right now) So we are hanging, talking and all that fun stuff, staying out of politics (Republicans beware! He loves you though regardless) and I look up and there’s Robert Kirkman! So Kirkman and John are talking and I’m sliding my comics to him and saying stupid stuff as I’m doing that…(don’t you hate when your moments of awesome are dwindled by “hey you like writing Walking Dead?” I’m a idiot I should have just said “hey you like breathing?” That was a treat though.
Then its time to go to McFarlane’s booth so I get a chance to hang and talk to him for about five minutes. I sneak my card to him. More like PLEASE take my card! He was awesome as well. I missed Loeb and Liefeld but I will get a chance at the next con!
I got to talk to Jimmy Jay (Amazing Con organizer) and did some promo shots and really liked his commitment to the fans. I liked the flow of the Con and felt like it was a cool place to hang out, get some autographs and pictures with a lot of cool Cosplay folks as well. The Con had a feel of new comic book day and the freshness of a new series – it comes out, you read it, you like it and you crave more. Kudos to the Con and the team and of course too all those who made the journey to this year’s first Con!
It’s just the beginning for me this year, for I plan on going to sixteen cons – that’s sixteen until I actual talk (ask) my wife of course. When 2011 is all over I’m sure I will be saying “Amazing”!