Friday, August 6, 2021

Terrificon Wrap-Up

 Last weekend was Terrificon, my first con since 2019 and I had a blast.

I had been looking forward to the return of conventions for a long time and the guest list was great so I knew I would be going. And I am definitely glad I went.

This definitely was a unique con. COVID isn't over so it did impact the con experience a little. I am vaccinated but this was indoors so I wore my mask inside the con pretty much all the time. There seemed to be fewer guests and fewer exhibitors than in the past. Some creators were masked, others not. I figured no harm in me wearing one if it helped others feel more protected.

This was also a con I went to alone. My usual con-buddy partner was unable to attend. Half (if not more) of the fun at cons is the camaraderie as you wait in lines with each other, share stories, and show each other what you bought. Without my pal, I was basically all business, in early and out early.

That said, I feel very grateful for meeting a new friend, Clint from Maryland. He was very much a kindred spirit with sketch books and organized issues for signature. I waited in line pre-con with him on Saturday and Sunday and the time went by quickly. He isn't much for social media but if you read this Clint, cool meeting you.

But let's not bury the lede!

 I finally got an Amanda Conner sketch!


There was a bit of serendipity here. At prior cons, Conner wasn't sketching at all. So my first table to hit was Lee Weeks in hopes of getting a con sketch.

Despite being in the first 10 ticket purchasers inside and the second person at Weeks' table, his sketch list was full. I suppose he must have taken some pre-con commission requests. (On a side note, his sketch prices were relatively high so I don't know if I would have bitten even if the list was open.)

With my number one (and sort of only) commission want squelched, I headed to the Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner table to get signatures. I have learned they always have a long line and figured I'd knock them out.

Turns out, at least while lines allowed, both would do 'remarques' on covers for $50. I asked if Amanda would do one in a sketchbook and was told yes. 

Huzzah. I told her that getting a Supergirl sketch from her was something of a Grail piece and I was so thankful. 

So already the con was ... well ... Terrific.

I had sketches from many of the other guests and so there weren't any other commissions to hunt for. And it sounded like many lists filled quickly. So all that was left was meeting the creators and getting some signatures. I'll show just a sampling of books I got signed.

I was happy to bring these books to both Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks. I asked them both about the creation of Jon in Convergence and if they had anticipated him becoming as big a deal as he has. Both said they knew they loved the character and recognized the potential in him.

I also got some other books signed by multiple people.

Love the Jurgens/Breeding team from back in the day and glad to get the Cyborg Superman first issue and the extreme Chromium copy of Superman #82 signed by both.

And then a couple more issues I love. Jurgens, Ordway, and Breeding all signed Superman #50, the famous engagement issue.

I love Superman #226 with it's alternate sort of histories. So happy to have added Ordway and Tim Sale signatures to the book. (I had Howard Chaykin sign it at an earlier con.) I showed Tim Sale my Supergirl commission from him from waaayyy back in 2009. He said he didn't remember doing that one. We very briefly chatted about his Supergirl book in the Solo book from back in the day. All good stuff.

I walked around and got signatures from a lot of folks.

I was glad to bring more current books to some creators to show that the medium is still thriving. Heck Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow and Superman Red and Blue are from just a couple of weeks ago. I really liked the Bendis run so got Action Comics #1028 signed by Klaus Janson, the end of the House of Kent run with a nice Supergirl image on the cover. It was nice to see Justin Gray and add his sigs to a number of books I had signed by Palmiotti and Conner in the past.

And it is always a pleasure to run into Paul Kupperberg.

So overall a very fun time.

A couple of minor things.

The venue only gave wristbands when you left the hall, not as you scanned in. As a result, even though I bought a three day pass, I needed to wait in line to get my ticket scanned each day. I wish they would have simply given me a 3 day wrist band on day one so I could walk through without the ticket scan logjam.

I have started to have sticker shock for some of the prices at these cons now. 

Many artists commissions started at $200 for a head sketch. One went as high as $1000 for a full body. Gone are the days of leaving with multiple commissions, I think. And it becomes tough to justify the price in my head. If I pay $400 for a full body, I hope I will be floored by it. But it is a risk.

Also most signatures are $10 a pop now. While there is wide variation (Dan Jurgens was free, Jerry Ordway $2 each, some had 'first free', etc), the majority were $10. So now I have to think long and hard what book(s) to bring to get signed. I am not getting signatures because I hope to flip the book. I am getting sigs to bring issues that mean something to me to creators who mean something to me. It certainly will make the backpack much lighter to lug around.

I feel a lot of that has to do with CGC and slabbing. Many exhibitors 'wall books' were slabbed. That's just not for me. 

Still, I won't mull on the financial downside or the waiting in line (something you know you will do at cons). This was a great show, the best local show I can think of. And this year was spectacular.


Martin Gray said...

That’s brilliant, just beautiful. I say put that sketch in next year’s tee shirt!

Anonymous said...

Well now that's pretty depressing with the pricing �� One good thing about it though that I have got out of it is that I have been finding some really beautiful commissions at good prices (not super cheap, but way less than $400-$1000) from lesser known smaller artist who do fantastic work. It's really opened my eyes to some of the great artists out there who just haven't got that shot to make it big even though their art is so wonderful. Sure I'd love to have a full body sketch by an artist I grew up with, but beautiful art doesn't always need that big name attached. Speaking of beautiful art, that piece you had done by Conner is lovely. It almost radiates joy.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

Agree that the Conner drawing is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

That definitely a gem in your collection, love the impish little smile.