April 27, 2010

Albany Comic Con 5!

On April 25th I was able to attend the Albany Comic Con and had a great time as usual at this ever expanding six hour event!  It’s pretty much host to some of the best local talent and industry greats past and present, year after year, and of course great fan participation and support for the con as always.

I made it just in time to get settled and ready for the Green Lantern panel moderated by Keith Dallas (Flash, Omega Chase), as he sat down with former Green Lantern artist Joe Staton (Green Lantern Corps, E-Man) and Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Witchblade) to discuss their past experiences with the character and how the mythos has changed, expanded, and evolved over the years.  For some that don’t know, Joe Staton had two separate runs on Green Lantern, the first in 1979, and the second in the mid 80s, but he has been in the comic industry since the early 70s.  His work spans decades and earned him an Eisner in 1998, and it was just great that he took the time out to share a bit of his history with us.  His contributions to the Green Lantern books are many, and it was good to hear that Killowog is among his favorites in the Corps.  Ron Marz helped to usher in the debut of Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, and explained how he was brought in on the project and even a bit of the madness that ensued because of the Emerald Twilight story line, which reminded me that some people take these stories way too seriously.  It was also during this panel that Marz was surprised with an honorary introduction into the legendary 501st Legion for his previous work in the legacy that is Star Wars.

With the panel over, it was time to hit the convention floor hard, visiting the different vendors to look for certain back issues.  Among them my favorite was Aquilonia Comics, who also hosted the Magic: The Gathering tournament again this year, and I had a good time talking with several of the cosplayers sprinkled about the convention floor throughout the day.  Everyone looked great, but my favorites were Matt as Green Arrow, Jen as Magdalena, and there was a guy who came as a “drunken” Tony Stark (Iron Man) straight off of the Demon in a Bottle cover, ready to party for the release of his new movie due out soon.  Sadly, there was no Black Widow in sight or even a Pepper Potts to help poor “Tony” navigate the con floor.

Now of course my favorite part of any con is looking for original art, and getting to talk with some of the artists and writers that provide us with all of this entertainment and share their talents, so I had to let the fanboy in me out to play for a bit.  I hit up almost every table, from Saurav Mohapatara (Devi, Sadhu) to Mike Borkowski (TMNT, Wolverine and the X-Men), checking out new books and looking at fantastic artwork, and just  having great conversations with the guests; not one was too busy to take a minute out to talk to the fans, or offer words of encouragement to anyone showing off their portfolio to get an informed opinion.  I will say that I was pretty excited to meet Terry Austin, as he signed and personalized my copy of Uncanny X-Men #142 along with my X-Men/Teen Titans issue; I’ve been waiting for that since about 1988 folks!  I also snatched up the Albany Comic Con exclusive of Magdalena #1 (pictured on the left) with a great cover of Patience at Empire Plaza drawn by Matthew Dow Smith (Doctor Who), which he was kind enough to sign after having a few laughs.

There was another panel on breaking into the comic industry, which unfortunately I missed due to me either running my mouth with other con attendees or burrowing through tons of long boxes looking for deals on back issues.  Or maybe I was too stubborn to leave the con floor, clinging to the thought that maybe I’d be the winner of one of the various door prizes being given out, but sadly my ticket was never called.

When it’s all said and done, the Albany Comic Con is a great experience for anyone who’s interested, and even a great family event since I couldn’t begin to tell you the amount of ankle biters I saw having a great time dressed up as their favorite super hero.  The vibe for the entire day was just cool, and I’m glad to see this thing getting larger each year.  So to the hosts and the guests I would like to say, thanks and see you again October 24!

Here are a few more pics from the Albany Comic Con.

Just a bit of the Albany Comic Con floor

Members of Garrison Excelsior 501st Legion

Terry Austin, Matt D. Smith, Magdalena (Jen), Ron Marz pic courtesy of Stacy Houghton

Aquilonia taking some time away from their pizza!

Christian N. St. Pierre’s Grafenveer

The Empire’s Youth Recruitment Drive was going well

He put a few eyes out with that thing! (thanks Matt!)

Thing sketch by Mike Borkowski

Also check out some of these other guests: Nick Tapalansky, Joe St. Pierre, Paul Harding, Jackie Santiago, Christian N. St. Pierre, and everyone else on that flyer at the top!

Infinite Speech



  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  2. […] Gid Freeman of also covered the conn […]

  3. Billy

    Speech, is that you as the Stormtrooper or Bobafett?

  4. Keith Dallas

    Nice write up, Gid! It was nice seeing you again! Hope to talk to you soon!

  5. Billy I’m always in crowd shots but never in costume actually I’ve never done the cosplay thing, just too lazy to make an outfit for myself lol

    Good seeing you again Keith! Glad I could pick up Omega Chase 3&4 as well 🙂

  6. Chrysta

    Great review. I was there, too. I attended both the Green Lantern panel and the “Breaking into comics Q&A”. Both panels were well worth the time and I’m glad I went to both, even though it leaves me less time on the floor.

    I went to both panels last October, as well and they were also excellent. One was a discussion with Joe Sinnot who told us stories about his many years in the Marvel bullpen and working with Stan. The other panel was a fantastic discussion with Ron Marz and Todd Dezago called, “I’ll wait for the trade” where we discussed how waiting for trades and not buying the monthly “floppies” effects companies decisions about what to publish.

    I think this con is one of my top favorites. Though its small, its more intimate. The hotel is very nice and the convention is well run. I will definitely be there October 24th. I hope they’ll come up with more great guests and interesting panels. The great thing about upstate, NY, is that there are so many artists and writers in the area or who can get to Albany fairly easily. The guest list is always impressive.

  7. Chrysta the “I’ll wait for the trade” panel last year was great! Dennis Calero and Ron Marz on a panel together just cracked me up the entire time but everyone on that panel has so much experience under their belt that you can’t help but want to hear the stories and the different viewpoints of each one. I did totally agree with Dezago about the whole paper comics/digital comics part of the panel.

    This thing comes around twice a year and I have a better time at each one! Thanks for comin’ by Chrysta 🙂

  8. Dakk

    Sounds way cool. Ive gotten my pic taken with an excellantly made Boba Fett cosplayer at decembers Tucson Con. .. it was a dream come true.
    great review. 🙂

  9. […] out Omega Chase but I was fortunate enough to grab the fourth issue from Keith Dallas at the Albany Comic Con last month and was ready to dive right back into the adventures of Mack Baron.  It’s been a […]

  10. […] and Uncanny X-Men & Teen Titans which I had signed by Terry Austin earlier this year at the Albany Con. Now if only I could get Walt Simonson to sign that book it would be […]

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