Sunday, November 11, 2012

New York Comic Con 2012

Day 1 – Thursday, October 11

Originally, we were scheduled to have a 10am flight out of the Savannah airport (what luck! Usually we fly out of atlanta or jacksonville, quite a drive from savannah!) to JFK, but the flight was delayed. The airline put us on a direct flight to newark, though, and while it took off later so we had some extra time hanging out in the airport, we wound up arriving at about the same time. Thankfully, because of NYCC and mocca last year, we knew how to navigate from newark to new york without any hassle (except becca boarding a train before joseph and I could make it on, and having to wait for us at the next stop)

I managed to book us a room at the hotel pennsylvania right next to penn station. Having never booked a hotel in new york, I had no idea what to expect, but this was the only place I could find that wasn't at least $300 a night (it wound up being just under, but split four ways it was less expensive than staying in newark and taking the train in every day. Also less hassle.) The lobby was really nice, and the whole place had a very cool art deco theme, but the hallway of our floor smelled kind of weird, and looked a bit like something out of Silent Hill.

We chose to get the professional pass to new york comic con, which included thursday. Thursday is far less crowded than the other days, and is a good day to talk to other artists and professionals, as well as editors, without being swamped. Unfortunately, we got there a little late and were only able to talk to a few editors – most were either already packing up for the day, or weren't arriving until Friday. Becca and I met up with Pan and some of the other graduate students and passed out some work samples and takeaways, and managed to snag a few business cards of various editors at the same time. We were encouraged to come back early on friday to talk to the editors, so after scoping out everywhere and when we wanted to be, along with any panels we wanted to attend, we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.

We were staying only a few blocks from Koreatown, and so we had some awesome food-ventures. While Savannah has some great southern food, there's nothing quite like New York City for authentic foods, so we made our way to Koreatown and had some dinner. (I had something called Bibimbap, it was pretty tasty. Afterwards, we found a little bakery and got some tasty treats.) 

Day 2 – Friday, October 12

Pan and I went a little earlier than Becca to the con, arriving just before ten when the doors opened – and man, was it crowded! The line moved pretty well though, and we were in the vendor area by 10:20, searching for editors. Jill Beaton of Oni press was unfortunately not there this year, but I did talk to Calista of First Second and Paul of Archie, and dropped off a lot more packs of sample work. Unfortunately, Oni Press was not doing portfolio reviews this year, and DC and Marvel's booths were so packed we couldn't even get close.
The stuff I handed out at cons - packs of art and books, along with the Sons of Fire pitch book

 At noon I met up with the writer I met at last year's NYCC, Adam Garcia, with our pitch books for Sons of Fire, and we restarted the process of visiting editors, this time pitching them our story. By four in the afternoon, we had hit up nearly every editor we could find (some were mysteriously absent the whole day) and were sore and exhausted.

Friday evening, we met up with some friends Becca had met online from SVA, and went out for Korean Barbeque together. It was quite cool to see their work and trade sketchbooks, and we got to talk about our experiences at our respective schools. Sometime close to 1am we made it back to our hotel and crashed.

(we hung out and drew some.  I was pretty sleepy)

Day 3 – Saturday, October 13

I went early to the convention again on saturday, wanting to check in with Marvel, who I had finally managed to drop off some work with. When we got there, it was even more packed than Friday – so packed that we were literally pushed by a sea of bodies into the convention center and up the escalator to the show floor. Unfortunately, the people at the stop of the escalator weren't moving, and so we managed to get shoved by the escalator and the people behind us into a solid mass of people. I made my way to marvel as quickly as possible (which wasn't very), and had to ask four different people before I managed to track someone down to tell me that no, I didnt get a call-back. After that, we quickly made our escape from the show floor to check out Artist Alley.

In artist alley, I got to check out quite a few artists I really like (Stephanie Hans, Sean Gordon Murphy), talk to people I knew, meet some SCAD alumni, and even meet the artist behind Blacksad (Juanjo Guarnido). I walked away with some really good books, including the Blacksad sketchbook and Punk Rock Jesus. The most exciting part was probably that Sean Murphy remembered me from when I visited the Atlanta campus of SCAD to see him and Eric Canete.

After exhausting the Artist Alley, we decided we'd had enough of the convention and getting pushed around by people so we headed out.

(As we left we found an awesome swap meet/sale happening)

(Also, saw a guy dressed as the doctor, driving a TARDIS car)

That evening we spent the night on the town. I needed a nap after getting smooshed, but Becca and Pan headed to Kinokunia and Book Off, two japanese book stores. We went out for sushi that evening, and then walked around town. (Every time I have been to New York I say that I want to go up the Empire State building, and have yet to do so. Someday.....) 

As we were out on the town, we discovered a My Little Pony exhibition. While we're not really fans of the show, we couldn't help but be drawn in by the sheer novelty of such a commercial art exhibition in the middle of NYC, when galleries are usually reserved for more “fine” art. They had 30 ponies they had sent to different artists, and each had come up with a custom pony sculpture. In addition, they also had some of the pages from the comic, published by IDW. It was really neat to see our vein of art, which generally gets a lot of flack from the “fine art” community, in a gallery setting. We finished the night with a snack of authentic new york style pizza before turning in so we could get up at 6am to catch our flight back.

All in all, the 2012 NYCC was far less exciting than 2011, and far less successful. Though I did get some business cards, the lack of portfolio reviews was disappointing, especially in comparison to last year, and I didn't get the chance to attend any panels. However, meeting up with my writer again and being able to pass out pitch books was certainly a plus, and I got to meet some awesome people from SVA and some really cool artists in the alley. I probably won't attend next year, just for the sheer cost of traveling to New York, but I hope someday I can put my own comics in the artist alley there.

At least I got a few sketches done.

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