Saturday is the big day for conventions. I’m sitting here writing at New York Comic Con in one of the rare seated areas, just bracing myself for the impact of the crowds. Crushed beyond belief, it can sometimes take you up to 45 minutes to cross from one side of the convention centre to the other.
This is also the big day for the cosplayers. The outer lobby and the car parking area outside the building are full of cardboard, foam and feathers.
But c’mon! That’s not why I am here at New York Comic Con 2016. I’m here for art, comics back issues and to meet the creators. Artists Alley is normally the most civilised of the various areas in the Javitts Center, but today is going to be carnage. It is hard to pause or stop to look at something or chat to a buddy or creator because this rushing river ain’t stopping.
(Oh, and if you think the above photo looks like a crush, it’s nothing compared to the main retailer floor in the next building!)
I used the advantage of being in early to catch a few minutes with Chris Burnham and grab a copy of the hardback presentation of Officer Downe. Written by Joe Casey with some crazy art by Chris, this is not a book for the faint of heart. Gorgeously mental in each panel, I got a copy for my University age son and Chris Burnham told me how excited he is for the movie that comes out in November.
LOOK AT THAT PRINT!!! LOOOK AT IT! Paolo Rivera is a beast. He’s showing me a print from a page of his in The Valiant from last year. It’s also a series that Mr Vander bought on my recommendation and it’s just bloomin’ incredible.
I also got to catch up with Fabrice Sapolsky, who is the writer on the new Dynamite Comics series called The Intertwined, drawn by Fred Pham Chuong. We chatted about his home in Paris and how he finds the US comics scene more conducive to his style of writing.
The Intertwined is a series with a full on Old Skool kung-fu movie vibe to it and is well worth a punt.
“Ten years ago, I came up with the concept for Spider-Man Noir,” Fabrice explained earier this year. “If Spidey Noir was just a reinvention of Peter Parker in the 1930s, with a social background, Intertwined is a more personal story,” says writer Fabrice Sapolsky. “It came to me last year after I spent time in China. It’s Noir. It has super-powered individuals. But it also deals with themes that I wanted to talk about for a long time: what it means to be an alien in America, to be different in a society that officially praises the melting pot but fears and sometimes hates differences. And of course, it had to have Kung Fu. I’m a VHS kid. Spent most of my teenage years at the video club watching Hong Kong movies. Every comic book I read and wrote led me to Intertwined. It’s entertainment with substance.”
“My father taught me Kung Fu and shared his love for Bruce Lee with me,” said artist Fred Pham Chuong. “Working on Intertwined is a chance to pay homage to these two great men who are very important to me.”
Here’s Alan White aka NewMutant. One of my favourite people in the small press scene, it was doubly cool to meet him as it is also his birthday!!! Buy his comic The Power Principle from ComiXology at or follow him on Twitter @NewMutant or have a read of the story online at thepowerprinciple.co
Happy Birthday Alan!
The upcoming movie Valerian: The City of a Thousand Planets was getting a big push at NYCC this year. Not only did they have a big green screen booth – they also had a Valerian only shop that was showing off these guys. Looking like a night out in Newcastle, these were getting a lot of attention from punters. This coincided with some new teaser footage of the movie.
I got to chat to one of the storyboard artists on the upcoming Justice League Dark movie, Kirk Van Wormer. He’s an interesting chap, who has also worked on Batman: The Killing Joke, The Venture Bros and Chasing Amy. We talked about our love of the John Constantine character and how great it is to see him returning in the DC TV Universe as well as the animated movie.
I bagged a great print from him for my Hellblazer-obsessed son.
I then headed off with Marc Laming to his signing at the IDW booth for their Star Trek comic line. Laming managed to sign a book for me (along with Donny Coates, the writer – second from the left, below) without drawing a speed cock on it. Nicely done sir!
I’m just back at my room and there is just one more day of the Con left. Thiis year has been fuller and a tiny bit more tiring than usual. Oh well, I’ll soon be back to work for a rest!
Oh, here’s a few more photos from the weird and wonderful world of cosplay nonsense – ‘cos I know you love them!
They also seemed to be giving these away? Anyone would think there was an election on!