For the past few days I have been in New York attending (in part) the New York Comic Con which has been an eye opening experience on many levels. One of which has changed my viewpoint towards the mystical creature known as the comic con, but then again I tend to do these things solo which might shade my viewpoint. I

was able to spend some time with Sue on Friday wandering around and seeing neat things in New York including the Mochimochi gallery exhibit. For those of you who know nothing of Mochimochi, and while I am not a knitter, these are interesting little things made from yarn. I think Sue started off making little bats about a year ago. As I believe the designer has said “You can only give someone so many scarves.” So this exhibit was a whole little world made entirely of knitted stuff. Frankly, very creative and cool.

Saturday I kind of planned this as my “fanboy” day where I would just have fun and look around. I planned on going to one session and maybe taking in a movie. The session I attended was on digital coloring (no offense Ben) that session alone was oath the price of admission, unfortunately I could not find the presenter’s table so I could purchase a copy of his DVD,but I will be looking online once I get home. After the session I decided to brave the exhibit floor and see what might be available for purchase. Sadly, as I am finding with many cons, the crowds were overwhelming. I did pick up a few things and stopped by in order to “check-in” for Sunday’s Webcomics Boot Camp. As I was hanging around doing my best not to look like a booth barnacle I overheard Scott Kurtz (PVP) chatting up the event with someone. When he said “We’ve taken screen shots of a few pages from each participant’s site and we are going to critique them.” My stomach tied into a few knots and I probably got a little paler. I then introduced myself and my comic and Scott’s reply sealed my fate… he said something like we are all trying improve, and or something nice that just made me feel like a kid who shows you a picture and your reply is “Oh, what a great drawing… Tell me about it” which is grown-up speak for “I have no clue what you drew so you need to tell me what it is so I can say something nice.” I spent the rest of the time trying to avoid the crowds, get something to eat, and finding something cool.

I ended up in “Artist Alley” which has become one of my favorite places. When I first started going to comic conventions I basically stayed in the dealer room/exhibit hall. I never went to sessions, didn’t even know they had sessions. I was a teenager with disposable income and I was trying to either get free stuff, or buy stuff. This was the way I operated until just a few years ago. Now I ramble around the exhibit hall for a bit and then head to the sessions or artist alley. For the uninitiated, artist alley is where comic artists set up a space to sell sketches, original art, or promote themselves. You never know who you might run into there. This time around I wandered and purchased a piece from Ryan Dunlavey of “Action Philosophers” & “Comic Book Comic”. The piece is a simple (I wish I could draw like this) drawing of Galactus giving a cheesy grin and thumbs up. The other artist I came across was Humberto Ramos who drew Impulse for DC and has done a number of other titles. I have really liked his style over the years and if he wasn’t chatting/sketching with some folks I would have picked up his sketchbook. Oh, I forgot to say that these artists tend to have “sketchbooks” available- collections of drawings in various stages which for a fanboy/impressionable comic artist really help me to understand the process.

All of this leads to the (drumroll, please) Webcomics Boot Camp. This session put on by Brad Guigar (Evil Inc.) and Scott Kurtz (PVP) was enlightening to say the least. It started off with the caveat of we have paid for an honest opinion and if they aren’t honest with us, giving us false hope, it wouldn’t be fair. So up comes the first comic (person isn’t there) on to the second comic- My Geek Odyssey! I won’t go into all the suggestions that were brought up, but they were appropriate and correct… Some great tips and help along with some things that made me feel guilty- the “Yes, I know, I’m going to fix that really I am.” You will see changes in the coming weeks/months to help make the comic better. Some things might take a while since they will require updating my equipment or improving my skill set. I know the effort will pay off in the end and hopefully all will be in place for our second anniversary in May. After some of the comments to the other artists, I’m glad I got rid of the Sailor Moon knock off from the cast