Friday, October 21, 2011

Recap: New York Comic Con 2011

Once again, New York Comic Con was a blast! This year was less hectic due to stable pre-planning and we had absolutely no problems with NYCC staff and volunteers - they were excellent! I will break down this blog entry into each of the four days below, as I did last year because it could be easier to digest it as a timeline.

Thursday, October 13, 2011
We started the day at 4:30AM to leave and drive in directly to the Javits Center and unload our table materials. Joe and I brought Brian along with us for a second year so he could film our panel on Friday evening. The show was open early only to professionals and press. A lot of the big displays were still being set-up, so it was interesting to view the calm before the storm. Things didn't get too busy until the end of the day, but we were interviewed by a podcast and got to see most of the show floor when it was less hectic.

Something new we premiered at NYCC 2011, were 1" buttons and magnets. I recently purchased a machine to make these myself. I used imagery from my comic strip Curls, Sketch Before Sleep, Black Magic Tales, The Legettes, random illustrations I had done, and more. A lot of people really like the buttons and we had them available at a low price point, so they are affordable and fashionable.

We were lucky to be assigned seated next to Bob Camp, co-creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show. Needless to say, I watched this show and am a fan, so it was a great experience to sit next to the brains behind such a legendary animation influence.

On Thursday night we attended the Kick-Off Concert to see Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and since he is one of Joe's main influences musically, it was great to see him enjoy the concert. Joe even posted some video of the concert on his YouTube account.

Friday, October 14, 2011
We walked around early before the convention kicked into high gear and I took photos with Oscar the Grouch, Wonka Nerds, Bumblebee from Transformers, Tom Morello, and more. Most of the time on Friday was spent at our table in Artist Alley, but I did get out to check out the autograph and celebrity area to catch a glimpse of professional wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page.

The main highlight of the day was our panel, "The Other Side of The Table: Lessons from Creators" which started at 6:30PM. The panelists included Raina Telgemeier (Smile, The Baby-Sitters Club), David Gallaher (High Moon, BOX 13) Reilly Brown (Amazing Spider-Man, Power Play) and myself - Carolyn Belefski (Curls, The Legettes). The panel was moderated by Joe Carabeo. We had amazing turnout - a standing room only crowd! If you missed it, you can take a listen to The Carolyn & Joe Show, as we've posted the audio from the panel as our podcast this week. We also plan on making the film available soon since Astray Productions was gracious enough to document the panel - so look for that link soon! If you are looking for some tips revealed at our panel, JustPressPlay has posted some of our "words of wisdom."

At the panel we also gave away Ultimate Cerebus Guide to Self-Publishing by Dave Sim, which was sketched and signed by him direct from Canada. Raina also donated a copy of Smile, David gave a copy of BOX 13, and Curls Studio gave out a ticket to Get Old, the Carnival Anthology comic, Magic Bullet, and an issue of Indie Comics Magazine #3. After people asked a question, the panel answered it and then we drew a raffle to see what they won. Audience participation is a must for me at these types of events and I really feel like the audience plays an important part in the success of a panel. Asking relevant and thoughtful questions and having a dialogue that includes everyone rather evenly is key. Larry Marder (Beanworld) was at the panel and offered some great advice. Thanks to everyone who participated and attended the panel. It really means a lot to me to hear feedback from you after the event as well. Many of you have emailed me or came up to the Curls Studio table on Saturday and Sunday to let me know you enjoyed the panel. Thanks so much! I really enjoy having the opportunity to host a panel at NYCC - tell them you enjoyed it so we can do it again!

When we first got assigned this panel time I was excited because we had a panel at NYCC and who could beat that, but then I realized we actually had already purchased tickets to see Jay & Silent Bob Get Old (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith's podcast) which would overlap our panel time. Of course I didn't want to chance our panel opportunity at NYCC, so we'd have our panel and attend the podcast late. It worked out great for us, because apparently Kevin Smith's plane arrived late. When I first found this out, I thought, oh no - not another too fat to fly incident! We saw him back in March at the Red State premiere in Washington, DC and he was looking good and lost a lot of weight, so it must have been something else. So by the time our panel ended, we quickly got to Get Jobs and fell in line. The event started really late, but we were lucky to not miss it! It was our first time seeing Jason Mewes and he really carried the show that day. Everything worked out! As a side note, you can listen to Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes talk about Curls Studio on their podcast here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011
I did not leave the table at all on Saturday. Our main event at the Curls Studio table was having cosplay model Amber Love at our table. I created a limited edition print for her appearance at NYCC and drew her as a Legette spy, which she dressed as. This was the first time we'd ever done this type of promotion and I really have grown to enjoy a lot of the costumes at conventions. Amber does a great job of making these characters come to life and I really appreciate her dedication to what she does. It was fun to have her at the table.

Late on Saturday night, we got to see Cosplay Masquerade. I had never seen this before, but I'm glad I got to catch a performance of Bumblebee on the IGN Theater stage. It was amazing. I really admire that outfit and perhaps it was my favorite of the whole convention.

Sunday, October 16, 2011
Sunday was the last of the four days at NYCC and you could tell because it felt many people were tired at this point. In addition, many exhibitors and attendees stayed up late the night before. I spent most of the day at the table meeting people, but did get out to see the celebrities again. I got to shake Mark Hamill's (Luke Skywalker and the voice of The Joker) hand as well as James Marsters's (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel). I also got to catch glimpses of Jerry Lawler, Raven, Eliza Dushku, Felicia Day, Bruce Timm, and Brian O'Halloran when I went to the celebrity area either on Friday or Sunday.

Thank you!
Overall, we believe NYCC 2011 was the best one yet for us. Again, I can't complain about how the show was organized. The staff prevented a lot of hazards in advance. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun representing themselves and the panel I organized was amazing! One person we discovered at the convention was Dave Bullock, who worked as a storyboard artist on Kim Possible. It was very cool to meet him and Bob Camp - I can definitely say I have a lot of animation influences and enjoy their styles. It was also good to chat with Jimmy Palmiotti, Bryan J.L. Glass, Dawn Griffin, Ken Drab, Antoine Gagnon, Brad Guigar, and others. Thank you to everyone who purchased Curls Studio items - the Sketch Before Sleep prints were in-demand - and thank you to everyone we meet at NYCC.

If you are interested in viewing more photos we took at NYCC 2011, be sure to check out more photos in the Curls Studio “New York Comic Con 2011” Photo Album on Facebook and "like" us.

Look for film from the panel, "The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators" as well as other content. We hope to be back for NYCC next year!


No comments: