Emily S. Whitten: Baltimore Comic Con — All About Comics
You know what I love about Baltimore Comic Con? It’s all about comics.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love going to cons that also put a lot of focus on media guests. As you can tell if you’ve read my column, I have a great time attending panels about Battlestar Galactica or Warehouse 13, or interviewing the cast of Psych, the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (coming soon!), or the voice actors behind Animaniacs or Futurama. But sometimes, it’s nice to go to a comic con that’s still all about the comics – and that’s Baltimore Comic Con.
At Baltimore Comic Con last weekend, I did one of my favorite things to do at a comic con – which is to simply wander Artists Alley for much of the weekend, looking at everyone’s art and comics offerings, saying hi to some brilliant friends, and meeting some new comics folks. I got to catch up with the awesomely talented Bill Willingham, Barry Kitson, Francesco Francavilla, Tom Feister, Cully Hamner, and more. I met a guy named Dave McDonald, who does a cute children’s comic and made a Lunar Dust Bunny puppet to go with it. (Come on, how cute is that? So cute.) I chatted with Matt Sturges, a kindred spirit and fellow TV Tropes addict. I also finally met fellow ComicMixer Martha Thomases and got to catch up with the other ComicMix folks and the Unshaven Comics group, which is always nice.
And then there was the shopping. Ohhhhh, the shopping. Every comic/genre con has a Dealers Room or area, and I always enjoy looking around them when I get a chance; but at a lot of cons, there’s so much going on that I sometimes miss the Dealers Room entirely. In Baltimore, though, I had the time and energy to wander through the wares, and thus came up with some awesome finds, like this little Donatello that I’d been wanting ever since Rob Paulsen (voice of Donatello on the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) tweeted a picture of it. And then there was the My Little Pony Applejack purse (complete with pony!) which was adorable in its own right, but even better since I’d forgotten a purse to go with my red dress for the Harvey Awards. Not only did I luck out in finding a geek purse that matched at the last minute, but then it just so happened that Thom Zahler, who’s recently done some MLP issues, was nearby, so of course I ran on over and got it signed. And then off I went to the Harveys!
Baltimore Comic Con is a great home for the Harvey Awards, which honor “excellence in the comics industry.” Sure, the awards ceremony can get a bit long (I think several babies were conceived and born during this year’s), but I tend not to mind, because I actually thoroughly enjoy seeing creators who have produced awesome comics getting their moment in the sun. (And I enjoy the swag bag. And the tasty desserts. And, of course, I really thoroughly enjoy the pre-and after-partying.) I also enjoy the MCs, who have included folks like the hilarious and geeky Phil LaMarr, and, this year, the super-talented Bill Willingham. Bill did a great job discussing the history of pictorial storytelling from cave paintings to now and reminding us that “We in the comic book industry have to content ourselves with being the stones upon which all of civilization was built.”
Amen to that! He’s so right, and there are so many great comics out there; and that’s why I like going to Baltimore Comic Con, a con that’s big enough to attract excellent comics guests, relaxed enough to still feel friendly and a bit familial, and wise enough to really celebrate the comics that are the cornerstone of so many things we enjoy.
Baltimore Comic Con has already got their dates set for next year (September 5 through 7), so if you’re looking for a good comic con to go to, I recommend putting it on your calendar; and until next time, Servo Lectio!
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold