It’s more NYCC 2011 recaps as the con just keeps getting better and better. Especially since I decided to try my luck again in Artist Alley, and our photographer, Eric was on a mission to meet Sara Pichelli and J. Scott Campbell among others. If you recall, the last time we came to Artist Alley it was a complete fail for him even though I let him hold my signed copy of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #3! Go figure. My mission, however, was a little different as I was focused on getting some original artwork, finding something new, and getting some signatures for the few books I had on me.
After splitting up so we could cover more ground at once, I found myself at the table of ComicAttack.net friend J. K. Woodward when I turned around. Introductions were made and it was cool finally meeting him in person. I didn’t want to stay too long because the guy was neck deep in commissions, and I just knew that a lot of people were going home with some great looking artwork as a souvenir. Watching an artist work is pretty amazing, especially when they’re in a zone and you see how a few lines on a sheet of paper becomes one very bad ass portrait. Pretty soon after this is when I would pick up my “something new” from a pair of indie writers. Eric calls me over to these two guys and introduces me to Mada and Vin Shaye (aka Adam and Nick Hayes). They are the authors of an indie book titled Dark Age, and were showcasing the first graphic novel in their Dominion trilogy. First, I want to say that the cover of this book is SICK! That’s what caught my attention as I walked towards the table to talk to the brothers. They explained a bit of the premise then offered me a press kit, complete with a very cool t-shirt, bio, and a copy of the graphic novel. Don’t worry folks, the review is forthcoming, and so far I’ve nothing but good things to say about Dominion.
After leaving their table we didn’t venture too far from that side of Artist Alley, because David Finch would soon be back and Eric wasn’t going to miss out on getting some Moon Knight books signed. Since I didn’t have a thing, I checked out the artwork at the table next to them and came upon some of the illest work I had seen that day. What immediately caught my eye were the prints of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles among all of the other great work I was seeing from Ren McKenzie. After rifling through the overwhelming amount of art, I finally decided that there was no way I was leaving without one of the TMNT prints, but choosing which one would be even harder. So after a very heated mental battle, I decided to go with Leonardo, and will be ordering the other three soon, so I made sure to get his info before we went looking for more.
Now, I’ve got my artwork and something new to read, and pretty soon it would be signature time with some of my favorite artists and writers. The problem with huge cons like this is that you can get caught up in the spectacle of it all and lose track of time. That’s pretty much what happened to me as we began taking pictures with various cosplayers and chatting it up. Then when that was finished, there’s always something to catch your eye, and one of those things for me was the very inviting display of The Darkness II video game where the demo was available for play. So after we were carded (I kid you not), it was time to step into the world of Jackie Estacado once again and see if the hype around the game is worth it. Two words: Hell yes! So far the game looks great and is pretty violent, as you can manipulate the Darkness to rip your enemies apart in various ways while firing off various weapons in the process. Aside from some slight control issues I noticed, there’s no reason that a fan of one of Top Cow’s long standing titles shouldn’t pick this game up. Even if you’ve only had a passing familiarity with the title, you’ll still have a great time playing. After leaving the demo room, I realized too much time had been spent indulging my love of video games. It was time to hit the main floor in time for some signings and whatever else the day had in store for us.
While navigating through the sea of cosplayers and once again the long ass line for Robert Kirkman, we finally made it to where Szymon Kudranski was about to start signing. This guy is part of the reason why Spawn is a great title again, and he’s quickly become one my favorite new artists. He’s also the artist for DC’s Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, and I just so happened to have my first issue for him to sign. We talked for a bit and he asked me which page was my favorite in that issue. So as I found the panels that really stood out to me, he let me know which ones he enjoyed as well. It took a while for him to put his signature down only because he didn’t want to ruin that great cover of his. I thanked him for his time and moved on, since people began to notice he was there. His line was getting longer by the second, so it was fortunate that we were part of the first group. Next we were headed over to Marvel’s area to check the times for signings. We made it a bit early, so of course we took more pictures, and I even helped bring two universes together by posing with Deadpool and Power Girl. After a few laughs the line began to form, and I was well on my way to meeting up with Black Panther and Mystery Men writer David Liss. A while back when the new direction for Black Panther was announced from Marvel, he politely responded to an article that I put up. A few emails later he agreed to an interview, and several issues later I’m very much a fan of what he’s been doing with the character. Another writer I was pretty excited to get a signature from was Dan Slott. His run on Amazing Spider-Man is one of the best and got me back to reading the title again, and from our brief conversation Spidey is in for a very rough road in the coming year. I also had the opportunity to chat with Whilce Portacio for a bit about his role with Top Cow’s Aritfacts while we watched Tom Raney sketch out a pic of Wolverine.
So, you’re probably wondering whatever happened to that coveted signature from Sara Pichelli that Eric wanted. You would think the guy would be satisfied meeting one of his favorite artists in J. Scott Campbell and getting a book signed by Mark Brooks. Well, figuring that she just had to be back at her table, we made the long journey to the other side of the Jacob Javits. On the way I ran into some friends of mine from upstate, and even got to see Eric’s wife find Waldo and fondle Big Bird’s nipples. So when we finally arrived back in Artist Alley, hunger had started to set in so a snack was had. I’m going to leave it at that, because it has to do with warm nuts and an old man. Finished with that, we found some more cosplayers who were more than willing to have their pics taken, then made our way to Sara’s table. There was a pretty large crowd in that area, but we really couldn’t tell if she was there or not. As we came closer, things started looking up for our eager photographer as she was back from her break and greeting fans and friends alike. So with the signature finally on his variant copy of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, everything was okay with the world once again.
Be sure to check out the previous NYCC recaps, and come back for the final one that will wrap things up and give a shout out to two companies who really stood out to me at NYCC 2011!