I went to ComiConn this last Saturday for the first time and was thoroughly impressed with this comic convention.
I knew going in that this was going to be a more relaxing sort of convention for me. This wasn't the size of Boston Comic-Con. There weren't as many guests that I felt I needed to run into (although the ones that were there were of the highest quality - more later). And I wasn't even sure if I was going to get any commissions. So I thought that this would be a leisurely afternoon of chatting with some creators and ... gasp ... buying comic books. Sometimes at the bigger cons, I get so wrapped up with meeting people I never even hit the dealer end of things. And with this con being closer to NY than Mass, I knew I would be looking at new dealers' collections.
I would describe this as a small to medium sized con with one big room for dealers, one hallway and one small room for indy and small press, and one small room where the main guests were sitting. As usual, me and my buddy got there early and thank goodness. The place got so mobbed they had to stop letting people in for a while and the line snaked out the hotel. I wonder if next year's con will be at a different venue.
We were near the front of the line when the doors opened and quickly spied the creator room.
Not everyone had arrived but Paul Kupperberg and Robert Greenberger were there. It was great to meet Kupperberg in person. I told him who I was and that we had done an interview at this site. We talked about Supergirl for a while. When I told how much I loved his characterization of Kara in the series, he told me he always wanted his 'heroes to act heroic'. I got him to sign a bunch of issues, including this gem in my collection - Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1, now signed by Kupperberg, Carmine Infantino, and Rich Buckler.
And I got Greenberger to sign my Superman Encyclopedia, a reference I use all the time for this site. I thanked him for putting that together.
With no other creators there yet, I went to the dealer room and started thumbing. The first table I went to I found gold. For a mere $80 bucks (after some wheeling and dealing) I got a low grade copy of Action Comics #253, the second appearance of Supergirl, and a very tight copy of Doom Patrol #121, the famous death of the Patrol at the hands of General Immortus.
I was basically half an hour into the con and if I had to leave right then I would have been thrilled. Fantastic.
Heading back to the creator room with my buddy, we saw that Peter David had arrived as well as Joe Kelly. I talked a bit to David about how much I loved his Supergirl run, especially the first 50 issues. I also had some Fallen Angel issues to get signed.
While finishing with David, Jerry Ordway arrived. Ordway was doing free quick sketches while you waited so my friend and I got in his line and got out our issues and commission gear. I had mostly Crisis on Infinite Earths books for him to sign, but also brought Secret Origins #1 and Adventures of Superman #444 (second part of the first Matrix story). And, of course, I got the quick commission that opened up this post.
While he was sketching, it was great to talk to Ordway. I asked about working on Crisis over Perez' intricate panels. (Not surprising he said it was hard.) I asked why he didn't ink the 'Death of Supergirl' pages for COIE #7. I always assumed Giordano wanted to ink them. Turns out Perez had already sold the pages to a dealer with the understanding that Giordano was the inker. So Giordano had to ink it to keep the contract valid. In return, Ordway got all the pages of Crisis #8 to do with what he wished (he still has them all). And I talked about inking Wayne Boring on Secret Origins. Ordway was a very nice guy and I had such a great time talking to him.
After some signatures from Joe Kelly and Mike DeCarlo, I hit the dealer room again and found some nice buys but nothing that compared to those top 2 books. I got a nice fun commission from Chris Giarrusso (will post soon). And by 3pm, we felt we had done everything we needed to so we headed north for home.
While I like the zaniness and guests lists of the bigger cons, I also think that these smaller cons are great fun and less stressful. ComiConn was really fantastic, providing an intimate venue to talk with some creators (a sort of tailor made list of creators for me) and grab some good books. I will definitely make the trek again next year.