The first weekend of June was rather busy for me. It was Special Edition: NYC, which was my first con since 2009, as well as the Arts & Crafts festival in the Bronx.
Saturday: Special Edition NYC
Now, I know next to nothing about the superhero genre. I was always more of a dark fantasy League of Extraordinary Gentlemen kind of kid. I can’t tell you anything about the DC Multiverse or that Marvel Historical AU (Go to Ren for that). However, when I walked into the Pier 94 convention center, the first thing I noticed was a Furiousa Cosplayer at the WTNV stand.
Apparently, being an expert in all things superhero comics was not a requirement to enjoy this convention.
Walking around the showroom, I found the vendors and exhibitors to be very cool and friendly, willing to answer any awkward questions I had.
The first table I stopped at was writer and Creator of The Sire, Michael Dolce, and writer/artist James Mascia, whose Legend of Thorin: Search for the Arkenstone print immediately caught my attention (over 6 months – still not over it).
A bit more wandering brought me to the booth of Morgan O. Shay, an illustrator who deals in the macabre and Lovecraftian horrors. There I picked up an ashcan called The Family Album featuring a collection familiar monsters in Victorian portraits.
The first panel I went to was the Freelance Like a Rockstar Panel, which was an informative discussion going through all the ins and outs of the world of Freelancing. The panel (made up of cartoonists and a lawyer who deals in freelance negotiations) explained everything from where you find work to what to do when things go south. It was also kind of inspiring, the panel motivating aspiring artist not to undercharge when dealing with payment and promoting reliability; You can be gods gift to art, but if your late with follow-ups and deadlines, chances are you’re not going to find much work.
After the panel, I had a serious and intellectual conversation with Janet Sung about the Game Grumps and picked up a “Water Tribe!” sticker. Sharing with her was Arielle Jovellanos, from whom I picked up two prints for Ren, who could not join me for some transcendental reason.
Other artist’s I saw were Rich Pellegrino, Zack Newirth & Will Wiggins, Nadia Burgess (I bought four bookmarks from her, which also came with a cupcake!), Jason Quinones & Patrick J. Reilly, Kellee Riley, Cassie Hart, and Babs Webb (Whose table I may have overstayed my welcome at…).
In comics, I picked up three: Painted Black, Grey: A memoir about the friendzone, and The Paladin. I also bought Mad Max: Fury Road Inspired Artists. Not gonna lie, only got it because I read Dave McKean did something for it.
The next panel I went to was The Mary Sue’s Comic Book Movies/TV We’re Flailing Over which, yeah, was exactly that. The panel (Ali Collucio, Brenden Fletcher, Susana Polo, Jill Pantozzi, and MizCaramelVixen) did a run down of all the new superhero movies coming up and is apparently not looking forward to Ant-Man.
All in all, it was a very fan and busy Saturday for me. Luckily, the next fair was in my neighborhood, so I was able to relax and enjoy not having to use the MTA on a Sunday.
Sunday: The Arts and Crafts Festival at City Island
Every year, to mark the beginning and end of summer, City Island hosts a craft fair. When it started, it was a big deal with local artists, BBQ’s, and live music. Then it kinda turned into one of those block party festivals with the knock-off jewelry and hippie clothes. It was basically a Craft Fair version of Etsy.
However, this year it seems to be returning to its roots as more local artists and sellers came to show their wares. For example, there was an artist, Conor Byrne, who was working on a garden of mixed media Bonsai Trees. Caitlin Casey of Love Travels was selling prints of her custom maps.
My main gripe was that there were a few too many “ghost” artists: those guys who have a table with their works but no cards, contact info, or even name on the table. in two cases the artist was no where to be found! Like, how am I supposed to talk about an artist I’ve never met? That was annoying.
In the end, though, I had fun and learned a lot at both these events. I’m really excited for this Con/Festival/Fair season.