Author: Marc Alan Fishman

Marc Alan Fishman Becomes a Viking!

SpringConBy the time these words hit you, I’ll have trekked across the barren wasteland known as Wisconsin (sorry, Cheeseheads!) to arrive at the Midwest Comic Book Association’s Spring Con, held annually in Minneapolis. Since Unshaven Comics started seeking conventions outside the Chicagoland area, Spring Con has long been a desired destination. Our compatriots sang nothing but praises for the show each year without fail. And with careful planning, we’re elated to schlep our way west (for once) in order to hawk our wares to the unsuspecting Vikings fans.

I always look forward to a new convention. Unshaven Comics has built a reputation on the cold sale. Why? Because we embrace the fact that no one knows us from Adam. Or the Atom. Or Adam Strange. Or Dr. Strange. I could go on. The simple truth is our Artist Alley table represents a pop-up artist’s commune. But a Domo Trading Card or hand-made commission by Matt is only an expression of our physical talents. The sale of a Samurnauts book is a representation of two very important things: it’s validation of our ability to create a fulfilling piece of fiction, and it’s assurance that we are able to tap into the market and minds of like-minded fans. It’s cliché, but it’s true; there is no greater satisfaction professionally.

Even better, Spring Con is very much a dying breed, one we hope to continue to pump life into. As a convention that isn’t owned by some large conglomerate seeking to grow its mound of gold atop the mountain… it’s one of those “wacky” shows that seemingly is founded first and foremost on the celebration of the culture. Not ‘pop’ culture – tacky, silly, D-List, exploitative wastes of time – comic culture.

Panels at Spring Con? Adam Hughes being interviewed by Bill Willingham. Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber discussing their process. And rather than purposefully gouge show-goers with inflated concessions and needless gifts? How about free autographs, free picnic areas, and free parking. And the coup-de-grace? Over 250 comic creators on hand, ready and waiting to interact with fans. While Reed and Wizard may boast similar numbers… they aren’t the type to offer a free dinner for their artists. Spring Con does. Sensing a theme?

Don’t get me wrong. Unshaven Comics would not be in business (such as it is) without Reed and Wizard. C2E2, Chicago Comic Con, and New York Comic Con combined for over a thousand book sales last year. In all honesty, if we top a buck fifty by the end of Sunday night, it’ll be a banner convention for we beardly boasters.

Spring Con – which is nearly all volunteer run – exists first and foremost to bring people together. For over 26 years now, it’s been a staple of the great lakes (one would assume). Reed, Wizard, and the like also desire to bring people together… but their purpose is profit, and no one questions it in the least. The fact that they continue to pick on the local conventions like MCBA, and try to push them out of town only endears them harder with the community of creators. Of course we all also attend those for-profit shows too; we need to eat at some point.

This brings up my last li’l point. You see, many people (OK, like three or four) have asked us how we’ve attained the successes we’ve enjoyed to this point – specifically regarding our track record at making all attended conventions lucrative.

Well, I could (and will eventually) spill those beans at a later date. For now though, how about one juicy secret. We count everything. We count books in, books out, dollars in, dollars out, number of pitches, number of unique customers, number of up-sells, yadda yadda. And when we do a new show, we bring our data with us to try to figure out what sort of business we should expect. And when we leave the show, we debrief on the car trip home. Spring Con brings with it the most important thing Unshaven covets… numbers. But I digress.

Should you find yourself in or around the Minneapolis / St. Paul area today or tomorrow? Make your way out to the state fairgrounds, and find your way to our table. We’ll pitch, you buy. Sounds like a plan! There’s nothing more invigorating than a new set of fans to be made. I’ve built a semi-career around it. So, for the time being, I’m happy to declare it:

Go Vikings.

 

Marc Alan Fishman: “Dear Gotham…”

My dearest Gotham,

I saw that you prematurely showed yourself to the world. It’s OK to be a tease. I can forgive that. But I couldn’t help myself… I was a voyeur to your little show. What can I say? I like what you’re bringing to the table.

For starters, you’re what’s all the rage these days… what with the grim and gritty streets that threaten to be poisoned with rivers of blood. You’re chock full of seedy low-lifes, sexpots, and wealthy elites. Your soldiers are unshaven (which how could I not love?), morally ambiguous fighters looking to right wrongs by any means necessary. And at your heart? A unmoustachioed malcontent, ready to play by the rules,  for once, goddamnit! How could I not swoon over the possibilities!

That being said, I’m not without my reservations, kiddo. It seems like you’re awfully complex right out of the gate. While I know your generation is just chomping at the bit to show off, be wary. A slow burn works today too. Now, if you were a little less straight edge, I’d sooner see you look towards campuses like AMC, FX, or the ivy leagues like HBO and their ilk. But I get it. FOX is a good commuter school with tons of public transportation. What you’ll lack in creative classes, you’ll make up with exposure. And more eyes early in your career can’t be a bad thing – unless you’re light in the loafers. But I digress. It’s just that I care about you, Gotham, I do. And to see that you’re bringing so many of your friends to the party right out of the gate makes me think you’ll end up not being able to really enjoy everyone’s company. But I’ve been wrong before. Hell, ask your older brother Arrow.

What you need to know though is this: pay close attention to your cousin SHIELD. He tried to balance all his loose threads when he hit the scene, but it took some serious reevaluation of his mission before he really started coming into his own. Come to think of it, Arrow was much the same. Given what you showed the world already, I’m wanting you to do the best you can, and look to graduate on time. No need for a masters or doctorate, slick. Get in, do the work, and get out. Trust me, don’t be like your uncle Smallville. Sure he came on strong… but eventually he stayed too long at the party. It’s something for you to consider. And take heed in knowing no matter how much you slip up, you’ll never touch the depravity of your sister Birdy. I mean, it was over a decade ago, but people still won’t let her live it down! All you have to do is keep your pants clean, and mind your manners. Yeesh.

At the end of the day, I’m proud of you. You took a chance, and soon will be ready to let the world see you each and every week. Just stay true to yourself, take deep breaths between large thoughts, and be sure to keep us guessing what you’ll do next. Don’t go goth on us. Don’t have a sass-mouth. Respect your elders, and realize in our post modern world… we’ve likely seen it all, already. We don’t need you to reinvent the wheel so much as we need you to prove that you did your homework. Capisce?

All our love,

Momma and Papa Warner

 

Marc Alan Fishman: Wanted, Dead or Alive … Not Both.

Wolverine Potato HeadSo I guess when the AV Club is reporting on the future death of Wolverine, the cat is out of the bag, eh? In yet another PR stunt, the mainstream comic houses show their full hand in hopes mega media attention will somehow garner a boost in pulp sales. I’m reminded of that saying concerning the definition of insanity. And surely this is a topic we, the snarky columnists of any number of media outlets, have covered… well… to death. It’s still worth another look though, so indulge me, kiddos. It’s time to beat a dead horse.

Isn’t it a shame when the knee-jerk reaction of your most dedicated fan-base upon hearing about the death of a beloved character comes with an audible snicker and eye roll? Suffice to say when I’d read the newswire piece it didn’t come as a shock, as much as a continual reminder that my favorite medium was often regarded as kitsch. And truly, no other medium comes to mind – save perhaps for soap operas or pro wrestling– where the announcement of a significant loss bares no bitter fruit as much as it comes complete with scoffs from the peanut gallery.

Wolverine to be stripped of his healing factor and killed. Peter Parker’s mind is destroyed, only to be inhabited by Otto Octavius. Batman banished forever in time by the impact of some Omega beams. Superman dead. Thor dead. Professor X dead. Steve Rogers dead. Jean Grey dead. Colossus dead. Hell… Bucky Barnes dead. Phil Coulson dead.

Feh, I say. Feh! In each instance of the leaked announcement, I immediately retort “…until sales drop, or a movie comes out.” And if you’re a betting man, you’d be smart to go all in each time. I think though, that ranting and railing against something you could count on as easily as the tide coming in, is a waste of negative feelings.

What sits at the root of all of these stabs into the mainstream ether is the soul-crushing realization that our beloved cape-and-cowl crowd are all for-profit entities, each built to harness the dollars and cents of a loyal customer base that has proven more often than not to continually purchase product even while loudly protesting it. Simply put, one need not sweat the wrath of the fanboys and girls until they leave you high and dry at the checkout counter. And as attendance at comic conventions continue to swell, and the multiplex becomes choked annually with blockbuster after blockbuster… there’s little need to fear that our ink-and-paper rags are going away while the licenses need to be coddled.

And what would you do if you were the EIC of a major comic book publisher? You’d keep hitting your cash piñatas until they stop dropping Tootsie Rolls. One can’t simply let their comic character live and die with the times. They must constantly be in a cycle or dramatic repartee with one another. They must converge on mighty battlegrounds. They must make odd alliances. They must recalibrate, reinvent, and redefine their very being every few months. The moment they stop, the attention is drawn elsewhere. Even to let a mortal man, like Frank Castle – a character whose very mission is clearly drawn in severe black and white terms – die a hero’s death, is really just another way to bookmark him for a new series later. One cannot simply let a comic character die… not when there’s a bloodstone to find and money left on the table.

To learn of Wolverine’s impending dirt map should not actually be met with a scoff, and an upturned nose. As in nearly all my aforementioned examples of re-re-retconned demises… in their immediate wake came some of the best stories I’d ever read concerning that character! When Batman was time-bulleted away, Scott Snyder’s Detective Comics gave me the Dick Grayson I’ve always wanted to read. When Dan Slott took the leap to let Otto drive as the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, he opened up a fantastic object lesson in proactive versus reactive heroism. And when Wolverine bites the big one, it will be less about ending his story as it is opening up a new chapter in the plethora of X-books that will no doubt be touched by the loss. Death, as it were, is then less about the loss specifically of the character in question, rather, it’s about the aftermath that needs to be considered.

It is sad to me that we must accept this as fate; that our heroes and villains are merely pawns in a never ending churn and burn of story arcs and universe resets. In the time since its inception, the Marvel Universe (the 616), and the DCU (whatever we call current continuity since it’s neither new, nor 52) have relegated themselves to reinvention at every turn of the corner. Unlike a soap or the WWE, where fictional characters can eventually die in real life… or even Doctor Who, who remains the same alien in spirit, but purposefully reimagined to coincide with the times – mainstream comic books must remain forever in Neverland. While DC tried hard to create legacies with a few of their major heroes (The Flash and Green Lantern, most of all), they too eventually succumbed to a massive PR stunt (the still-absolutely-unbearable Flashpoint), in order to move the zeitgeist back into its clutches.

So mourn not for James Howlett, folks. Let no tears stain your mutton-chopped cheeks for his once robust form. For now, he will join any number of other X-Men at the famed Marvel Island. He’ll enjoy the umbrella drinks, and free bacon… as the 616 spins out of control.

Because let’s face it, a world with Wolverine leaves a roster spot open on at least 1,246 different teams. And that is why we mourn.

Snarky Synopsis: “Original Sin” #0

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Original Sin #0. Written by Mark Waid. Art by Jim Cheung, Paco Medina, Mark Morales, Guillermo Ortego, Dave Meikis, Juan Vlasco, and Justin Ponsor.

It’s that time again. No, not when the swallows return from Capistrano. No, not when Dan DiDio polishes his head in the Shine-O-Ball-O. It’s epic-crossover time, kiddos! Marvelous Mark Waid puts his pen to paper for Original Sin #0, a cosmic odyssey that focuses on the supreme perv of the 616, The Watcher. Ole’ Uatu is destined for a possible dirt nap, and let’s just assume a ton of fallout will occur. But I’m getting ahead of myself. You’d clearly have known that… had you been an all powerful, big headed, poorly dressed voyeur. But you’re not, so you’re likely wanting to know how the prequel – such as it were – fares. If I were to bestow upon you a fair and just warning that a major cosmic event is about to occur? You’d be long dead before it comes up concerning this review.

Issue 0 of Original Sin anchors itself with the newest Nova of Earth, Sam Alexander. Waid is quick to establish his voice – cosmic Peter Parker. Simply put, it’s impossible to read through the issue and not be reminded by Marvel’s everyman. As Sam quips, zaps, and stumbles his way through the issue, every smirk that crept to my mouth was adjoined by the feeling I’d been there before. The plot, as it were, is as straight-forward as you might get. Nova, in between telling himself his life story (assuming he doesn’t know he’s a comic character), comes to a great and grand universal mystery: Why does the Watcher watch? This is opposed to Who Watches the Watchmen, which everyone knows already. So, with the innocence of a child, Sammy takes to the moon to ask Uatu if he watches Dateline: To Catch A Predator.

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Marc Alan Fishman: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

When I made the leap to the other side of the aisle, I did so because I had my brothers from other mothers right next to me. And because of both of them I’ve continued to push myself to do things I honestly didn’t think I’d be capable of. Thanks to Kyle Gnepper, I write this column. (OK, it helps that Mike Gold lets me.) Because of Matt Wright, I’ve gone from gingerly tiptoeing around 12 pages of simple interior art to crashing my way through 18 pages of the most complicated, action-packed work I’ve ever done. It’s because of those friends I smiled at complete strangers and pitched my wares with a steely grin, confident that the product on our li’l eight footer could stand next to anything else on the convention floor, and be considering a quality book.

I made that leap, and figured that the world of independent comic bookery was a lone-wolf business. DC and Marvel, Image, Avatar, Boom, and others – places I’d kill to be a card-carrying employee of – but knowledgable enough to know that it takes them coming to me (and me being worthy of them) that would make that dream come true. And given how cutthroat the industry felt from the outside looking in, I always assumed that the introverted artists holed up in the Alleys were happy to sell you a book, and drown their sorrows at BeerCon when the show ended; alone. Now, after half a decade in the trenches? I know now how very wrong I was.

I started in this business alone with my logo-mates in tow. I type before you now, amongst a veritable community of cohorts – all of whom share in my successes, and console me in my failures. It’s only fitting I take time out to give them their due. My column this morning is an affirmation that the Artist Alley is not a dark and scary place. In fact, it’s the most inclusive and sobering reminder that my dreams are what crush the perception of loneliness I’d anticipated long ago.

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Marc Alan Fishman: All New or All Now?

Fishman rt 140419Over the last few weeks I’ve made a concerted effort to balance my pull list between DC and Marvel. As I’d been gone from weekly books for a few months, I figured it’d behoove me to give a fighting chance to both of the big boys of comics to impress me. To prove to the self-proclaimed king of snark, that there exists good mainstream cape and cowl rags still on the racks. For those who follow my review column over at MichaelDavisWorld, you’ll probably recognize what I’m about to say. Let me not bury the lead, kiddos: Marvel good. DC bad. DC very, very bad.

Superior Spider-Man. Magneto. Ghost Rider. She Hulk. New Warriors. All books I picked up with half a snicker, save perhaps for Spidey. Launching a full-on series (as in, not a “1 of 6” mini-series like they did back in the day) with venerable B, C, and D listers is not a way to drive insane demand to the local comic retailer, I thought. Each in their own right are good characters, rich with backstory, and plenty of defining moments, don’t get me wrong. And yes, save perhaps for Magneto, all of the aforementioned titles had previously been a thing. Never though, have they been anything that you launch with guns blazing. Then I cracked them open, and gave them a read. And it all made sense. All New Marvel Now? Well, that’s synonymous with taking a risk, telling a good story, and letting characters be unto themselves. It’s a novel concept that was seemingly stamped into oblivion when Image Comics begat Spawn. But I digress.

This is not an object lesson on conceptual trends – mostly because my knowledge base would be bolstered not of first-hand knowledge so much as Wikipedia page entries. This is however, a reckoning with modern day storytelling. Marvel’s Now initiative, as I’ve noted before, seems to be about the slow burn off of older concepts and heavy continuity, and letting rise a phoenix (no, not that Phoenix…) from the ashes… born anew.

She-Hulk has been many a gal in her time. And in a single page splash on her March issue politely nodded to it. And with it, poof! The book continued to be about a bold new modern take on the character. A human (granted, a large, green, shapely human) who has intelligence, emotions, and exists in a world that doesn’t revolve around whatever team she’s seat-filling for her Hulkier cousin.

The New Warriors, reformed now after the last person forgot about their downfall a few epic-crossovers ago, set about finding their inner heroes once more. Largely (again) a team built of newbies, loose-ends, and forgotten morts (looking at you, Speedball…), the relaunch hits a small heart string of my own; harkening back to the innocent-fun of books like The Order, The Defenders (the Fraction-penned ones), and Slingers.

Magneto, yoked with just about the longest rap-sheet of who-could-recite-it-all mythology is given a chance to breathe in his own title. Now, without a Brotherhood, or X-Men yelling at him every panel… his book is a quiet, brooding, sharp bit of work. He’s weaker in his mutant abilities, and that makes him a deadlier man. And anytime a writer can write a Holocaust flashback scene that doesn’t make me feel like they’re shooting for the lowest common denominator? Well, it’s a sign something is being done right.

I could go on, but frankly, just read my individual reviews. The unifying factor that exists across all of these new books is clear to me. Mickey’s stopped cracking the pressure valve so hard. The fact that Marvel’s editors have the wherewithal to produce titles that care more about the individual truths that exist within the character(s) they’re reintroducing is beyond refreshing. Combining young and fresh talent to produce these books – each with an art style that is decidedly a step above house style only adds to the appeal. Ghost Rider’s slick magna-esque art helps feed the hellfire that churns through the LA backdrop. She-Hulk’s retro-chic flat art takes the Hawkeye approach to storytelling. And anyone around the shops in the last year or so, know that ain’t no one bad mouthing that book. The key to all of them being critically praised (by me at least) lies within the fact that each book touches in some way on the lengthy barriers to entry with each titular character, and then takes a nice ninety degree turn and goes it’s own way.

And by comparison, DC releases a book like Aquaman and the Others. A book that pulls a plot from any rote team origin you’ve already read, marries it to artwork that feels like any one of seven or eight other current DC titles, and then has the gall to double back on itself to do literally nothing to set itself apart from what has been done before it. I gave a synopsis of the book itself to my podcasting cohorts, and even they were floored at how unoriginal and awkward it all was. And here, in the New52, where there’s absolutely no chains to previous continuity, the best they could deliver was something that felt like Captain Planet (the bad United Colors of Benetton stuff) smashed with G.I. Joe (the whole evil henchmen and shrouded evil guys trying to unsuccessfully smash and grab artifacts stuff). Sad, really. Especially given the fact that a guy like John Ostrander exists, and would have done something amazing with the concept.

I could go for miles on the contrasts in presentation. I could labor all of you to churn through endless paragraphs going over the economics of it all; how Marvel and DC must keep the publishing alive less for huge profit, and more for idea incubation. I could make impassioned speeches as to how DC should consider the New52 a bust, and start All New Now’ing their way through their rich backlog of characters – letting young and fresh creative teams strip down to the bare-essentials, and enjoy telling singular stories that elevate and celebrate the essence of the characters. I’d probably spend another half page just finding quirky ways to insinuate that Bruce Timm become the EIC, and steer away from the sun. But why bother? If DC doesn’t care… for the while, neither should I.

For now… Make mine Marvel.

 

Marc Alan Fishman: In Defense of the Hustle

This past week, I joined a panel of fellow indie comic publishers in a Q & A session revolving around the industry. There were some great questions bandied about, but for my money? The best concerned ‘the hustle’. When you’re a garage band, your merch doesn’t march into the stores without serious work. As I’ve detailed before, the way into every comic book shop is paved in broken glass, and tarnished dreams. Indie publishers’ best chance at initial sales comes first and foremost in face to face pitches. But you see, on this panel, I sat next to two other gentlemen… each representing a side on the teeter-totter of salesmanship. It got me thinking about the process of building a brand, and how those who are readying themselves for their first cons on the other side of the aisle might benefit from knowing the lay of the land.

On one side? I had Dan Dougherty. As many fans and followers of this column know the name by now… Dan is my quintessential nemesis. He’s a sharp wit, a deft hand, and an amazingly well-coifed comic creator. At the comic cons? He’s on the side of the introverts. A fresh smile, a board to draw on, and typically a “table helper” to help handle purchases if his hands are otherwise occupied. But in order to crack the nut, if you will, one must mosey past and have their eye caught on his wares. And after a decade in the trenches, his table is a veritable warzone of brilliance. He has well over a dozen projects available at any time – including the next ‘Revival’ if he keeps it up with “Touching Evil”, and Hellboy-by-way-of-the-Red-Line with “Bob Howard: Plumber of the Unknown”. At the end of the day: Dan wins his customers over with the slow burn. He lets those interested come to him, confident that if they saw something they liked? They’ll like picking it up.

On the other side? I had Onrie Kompan. If Dan’s pitch is a 1, then Onrie’s is a 100 on a 10 point scale. Unlike nearly any other creator I’ve seen in the Artist Alleys… Kompan untethers himself from behind his table, stands, and literally plucks passersby to pitch to. He’s quick on his feet. He knows to butter up the sale with a free giveaway. He mercilessly doles out his elevator pitch. It takes less than 15 seconds to hear the price. And if you give the glint of a yes? Onrie’s already up-selling you from single issues to a graphic novel. It’s jarring to see, to be a part of, and I safely assume… to sell next to. But the proof is in the pudding. Kompan continuously sells out his wares at each successive show he attends.

For those who know me and my Unshaven cohorts… you’ll no doubt see how I consider myself somewhere between the two extremes. It also helps that unlike Dan and Onrie… we’re 3 men to their solo acts. We have a consummate pitchman though, in our writer, Kyle Gnepper. While he doesn’t stand in the aisle to attract would-be suitors… he does stand and beckon to any passing by. In fact, it’s become a bit of a larf for those who know us (and know Kyle can’t remember a face to save his life) to listen to his pitch only to chortle off a snarky response. Gets him every time. But for those folks who don’t know us? Being able to pitch our Samurnauts series in a succinct set of seconds makes for quick turnaround. We’ve enjoyed our victories – with increasing sales per show – now for 5 years strong.

Honesty time, kiddos. My title of the article, “In Defense of the Hustle”, comes out of the debate Dan and I had on the car trip home from the panel. And yes, I drive my nemesis to gigs now, what of it. You see, prior to knowing Onrie by name, I knew him by reputation. Upon knowing I would soon share a space at the dais with someone I’d previously professed “Crossed the invisible line between hungry creator, and used car salesman”, I was resigned to enter the discussion already jaded. But Dan, politician that he is, asked for me to give Mr. Kompan a chance. And I did. And he spoke. And he won me over. Not with his book mind you – I respect that his Yi Soon Shin series takes creative non-fiction to new heights… it’s just not my bag per say – but with his enthusiasm. Truthfully, I’d never step around my table to hawk my wares. But I respect that Onrie has the extroverted nature to do it, and do it relentlessly. And according to his sales figures? He’s on to something. But perhaps akin to Mark Waid’s allegory on breaking in to the industry itself… his way is his way, and no one else’s to take. And so long as he’s not selling next to me (and his neighbors have been properly vetted on his approach)? God bless.

So, I open up the column to your opinions. When you walk down the aisle to a comic con, do you prefer your creators be playful and shy? Can you handle the hard sell on a 5 dollar book? Or do you think there is an etiquette to pitching your passion to passersby? I’m a capitalist through and through… but my friends, what are you?

Marc Alan Fishman: Turtles the Size of Buicks!

No doubt you’ve watched it. If you’re of my generation? You’ve likely re-watched it several times over. And after each subsequent viewing… you ask yourself: Is Michael Bay destroying my childhood one license at a time? In response, I think we’ve all come to relatively the same conclusion– maybe a little bit. But the trailer in question reveals to us a Michael Bay at his Bay-ie-est.

Let’s start with the good. There’s plenty of hints that the film makers know the lore from which they are drawing. From April O’Boobs’ yellow jacket, the TCRI building, to the relatively recognizable Shredder armor… it’s clear that someone in the production watched a few cartoons in their pre-production meeting. (more…)

Marc Alan Fishman: How To Lose Your (Convention) Virginity

On a recent jaunt into the social media interwebs, an old foosball buddy of mine asked that I help him discover the creepy, crazy, wacky world of comic book conventions. By proxy, I assume he also means sci-fi cons, pop culture cons, and possibly the auto show. In any event? Todd Burrows, I got your wonderfully tattoo’ed back. Consider this your introduction and survival guide all rolled up into one easy to read article. Forgive me though, this ain’t Buzzfeed, so don’t expect 10 glorious animated gifs for scrolling.

Let us assume you’re not a comic guy, but this whole comic thing is mildly intriguing to you. Perhaps a person you used to know back in high school is now a small indie publisher, and you think it’d be neat to see him again. Perhaps that publisher from time to time uses his or her friends in model reference shots, and you think that maybe you’d like to see yourself as a superhero or nefarious villain. And maybe, just maybe, you think dipping your toe into the waters of these new-fangled cons would be a good way to know if all your intrigue is just a waste of your time. I know, that’s a lot of supposition. But I digress. The question is simple: Why Go To A Comic Con?

It’s inclusive.

Since the first time I’ve stepped onto a convention floor, I’ve never once felt on the ‘outside’ of the industry. Once your badge is flung around your neck – be you a complete noob or a working professional – you’ll find most every con filled with folks in the exact same situation. In the pair of decades I have considered myself a fan, I’ve not once found a fellow con-goer not willing to lend an opinion, give a bit of backstory, or make an education recommendation on a good read. It can be daunting, no doubt, to jump in head-first to a world you think you don’t know. But lucky for you? Comics have permeated TV, movies, and pop-culture now for so long, there’s little to no chance you haven’t been introduced already without even knowing it. (more…)