* Catching up with the various writers, editors and artists who work with Sequart (I'm trying to be better about not name-dropping on this blog, but they know who they are). Many a geeky comics discussion was had throughout the day, and spilled over into dinner, drinks and some very late night antics.
* Also, you may not realize this, but while the site has been in technical limbo, Sequart's book line has been significantly ramped up. There are now five books available, including Mutant Cinema: the X-Men Trilogy From Comics to Screen by Thomas McLean, and a new book called Our Sentence Is Up by Patrick Meaney featuring an in-depth analysis of Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, which should hit stores by the summer.
* I could only go on Saturday, which is always the height of the convention, and as in the past, it was frustratingly overcrowded. You'd think I'd be used to that by now, living in Queens and all, but I found myself constantly frustrated by the crowds of middle-aged Vampirellas and lightsaber-carrying Jedis.
* Given the state of my own personal economy, I was anxious to spend as little as money as possible, while still satisfying that undeniable itch to buy comics. My compromise? Spending a couple hours sifting through the dollar and fifty cent bins. To my astonishment, I actually snagged quite a few decent items by this method, and managed to leave the day having only spent $26 on comics. Here's what I got:
- Hate #2-12 - A good run of first prints of Peter Bagge's classic 90s Fantagraphics series, and in decent shape too.
- Smax #1-5 - The complete Alan Moore mini-series and the only one from the Top Ten universe that I never read.
- Sandman Mystery Theater: Sleep of Reason #1-5 - The complete mini-series relaunch of the classic Vertigo series. Tim Callahan assured me that it was dreadful, and a few glances at the artwork certainly confirm that Eric Nguyen is no Guy Davis, but since I just read all 70 issues of the original series last year, I was curious to see how John Ney Reiber handled this series resurrection.
- Batman and the Mad Monk #1-6 - The complete Matt Wagner mini-series from 2006.
- The Shadow Annuals #1 and 2 - I have spent a couple years gathering all of the individual issues of this underrated 80s series (art by Bill Sienkewicz and Kyle Baker!) and since all I needed were these two annuals, I was very pleased to find them for 50 cents each.
- Grip: The Strange World of Men #1-3, 5 - Gilbert Hernandez is always worth the price, but unfortunately, I couldn't find the 4th issue. Shouldn't be hard to track it down, though.
- Monsters on the Prowl #16 - This was certainly an impulse buy, but the old 70s Marvel comic was in decent shape and features stories by John Severin, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, so, for a buck, I figured I couldn't go wrong.
- Doctor Strange: Marvel Milestone Edition - Speaking of Ditko, I couldn't resist this full color facsimile reprint of the first four Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales #110, 111, 114 and 115. Can you believe I never read these before?
- Not Quite Dead #4 - This purchase was inspired by Gilbert Shelton's recent story in Mome. I think this issue, from Rip Off Press, features the same characters but I'm not sure.
- Epic Lite #1 - I know very little about this humor anthology from the short lived imprint. I bought it for the Kyle Baker and Evan Dorkin stories, but there were a few other artists I'd never heard of who looked to have some interesting work in there.
* Despite the absence of both Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly, there were several indie-related projects being promoted that I'm really looking forward to, including:
- The Art of Jaime Hernandez - By Todd Hignite. A combination of biography and art book. Will include the first reprint of Jaime's NY Times Magazine Locas story. I cannot wait for this! Available August 2009 from Abrams Comicarts.
- The Art of Harvey Kurtzman - By Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle. Contains 200 full color illustrations! Available June 2009 from Abrams Comicarts.
- Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow - By Brian Fies (follow-up to Mom's Cancer). Prediction: this is going to be the sleeper book of the year. the five page preview is stunning! Also available June 2009 from Abrams Comicarts.
- A.D. After the Deluge - Josh Neufeld's story about Hurricane Katrina (Pantheon) looks amazing.
- Asterios Polyp - David Mazzuchelli's highly anticipated new graphic novel (I tried to convince the publishers that they need to collect Rubber Blanket next, but they just looked at me like I was crazy).
- Sequential Art Student Sampler volume 1 - Not really an upcoming book, but SCAD: The Savannah College of Art and Design was handing out free copies of their brochure and damn if it isn't a gorgeous little mini-comic. PLUS, it features a new 8-page Eleanor Davis story. Davis also provided the stunning cover painting above (seriously, click on the image).
That's about it, I guess. I'm definitely glad I went, but it was no MoCCA.