Baltimore Comic-Con 2008: Brandon's Take

I'll probably elaborate on some stuff in a few additional posts, but here are some scattershot thoughts/feelings about the Baltimore Comic Con and a list of all the crap I bought, which really, wasn't that much crap...

-To spend an entire weekend basically walking around and looking at comics and to never feel bored or anything--except during the panels I attended--is pretty crazy. When you got bored of looking through white boxes you could go upstairs and attend a panel or just wander around and oggle the artists and creators signing and selling their work. Talking to Richard Starking of Elephantmen fame was awesome, although I probably freaked him out because I was sort of an ass. Basically, David had already mentioned this blog, so when I went over he jokingly said "Better than Maus, eh?" to which I just sort of rattled off an explanation of why ("Well it says all the shit Maus says but with lots of guns and elephants fighting, so it's awesome"), to which he sort of laughed. I use my hands a lot when I talk, so maybe I freaked him out. Or not, he noticed me a couple hours later. He seems like a pretty awesome guy.

-The best thing is how, if you really, really, wanted to, you could pretty much complete any relatively recent series, just moving from "$1 Comics" boxes on one seller's table, to the next, and to the next. This is great. It also makes you separate the awesome guys from the schlockmeisters who sell shit for too much.

-Chubby, creepy but awesome guy with a ton of Underground "comix" on Richard Corben: "Corben draws em' right. He knows how to draw women right and he knows how to draw monsters right". To which David responded, "Yeah, he draws everything right...he draws leaves right too".

-Worst Moment: Yelling at this group of dudes that decided to take their wacky pictures in front of all these whiteboxes, blocking the way of a ton of people. It being a comic book convention, they weren't really ready to get yelled at, so they were all weirded out by it, so then I just felt bad for about an hour afterward. Bonus Bad Moment: Five minutes before this, one of the owners of this particular booth yelled at a black lady and her son who asked if they could have one of his bags (although they'd purchased nothing from him) but didn't have the balls to yell at these guys.

-Something I do not understand is getting autographs. I don't understand the appeal of waiting in line after line for them to write on your shit. Especially weird was hearing people looking for something by Tim Sale or Wrightson to get signed just because those guys were there. Can anyone explain the phenomenon of autographs to me?

-Lots of visual and vocal support for Obama, which is interesting.

-There was this one booth that was there last year too, and it's selling statues, but it's mainly selling statues from the Peter Jackson King Kong movie? It's sad.

-Little kids dressing up is the greatest thing ever. Adults dressing up is also great. There were these older, biker type dudes who were dressed up like these post-Apocalypse guys, with like football pads and metal boots and grime on them and a fake cinderblock on a stick.

-Comics people are almost all really nice and it's awesome. When the biggest worry about going up to some creator or even bothering one of the vendors is "they might act awkward", that's not bad.

-Best Moments: The fun parts of the Kirkman/Bendis panel, Being a douche to/meeting Richard Starkings, Jesse and Karen stealing over-priced Hero Clix from this asshole's table, Walking in the rain to eat bad chinese food and looking at the comics I got so far, "Laughing Ogre" comics' table, and tons of $1 comics...and, listening to Neu! 2 in David's car as we drove around to get pizza and beer on Saturday night.

What I Bought

-The Thing: Freak Show #4 by Geoff Johns & Scott Kolins: This issue's been evading me for six months now, so it was great to finally get it and be able to finish this excellent mini-series. Reading the first three awhile ago led me to think Johns and Kolins were actually good but I was wrong. This might be the only good thing they've ever done. Especially Scott Kolins, whose work for DC now, is like poor man's John Romita Jr. and uses lots of thick lines and no detail and has this photoshop/digital sheen that totally doesn't work for the ragged nature of his work...it's just terrible.

-Dark Horse Presents #71: I needed this to get an issue closer to having the complete Jodorowsky/Moebius story "The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart". There's still one more I need because I didn't bring a list with me and accidentally bought an issue I already had instead.

-Shaolin Cowboy by Geoff Darrow #2 & #4

-100% by Paul Pope #2 & #3

-THB, Comics from Mars #1 by Paul Pope: The San Diego Comic Con-only issue (I think?) from last year.

-Batman: The Order of Beasts by Eddie Campbell: Weirdo "Batman" stories by auteur-like artists are almost always great.

-Shimura TP by Robbie Morrison, Frank Quitely, et. al.

-Spacehawk #5 by Basil Wolverton: Some 90s Dark Horse reprint of one of Wolverton's worst and most awesome characters/comics.

-Dr. Robot Special #1 by Bernie Mireault

-Technopriests Book One: Initiation by Jodorowsky, Janietov, Beltran TP: I let this kid I know borrow these and in order to get them back I'd have to talk to him and don't really feel like it, so finding the first book for five bucks is awesome.

-Isolation & Illusion: Collected Short Stories 1977-1997 by P. Craig Russell TP: Monique actually bought this for me. She just thought it looked cool. There's a Lovecraft adaptation inside that looks INSANE.

-Heavy Metal, July 1980: This issue has a Bilal interview in it and lots of work by him and Moebius inside. It also, weirdly enough has a small article in it about James Chance? I love metal and prog and fantasy metal and all the shit usually associated with Heavy Metal and I'm not totally hip to what was going on in this magazine in its early years, but it seemed sorta crazy that there was this James Chance article in there.

-Heavy Metal, August 1980: Has a Moebius interview in it and some weird Rick Veitch stuff too.


Anonymous said...

I can see the apeal of an autograph. As a real mark made by the dude that made a book.
I got some moebius books that he wrote his name in and it seems to make them cooler.

the con sounds like a good time.

And man, that early all over the map crazyness of early heavy metals was the best thing ever.

brandon said...

Yeah...a Moebius sig makes me feel pretty excited...I guess it's the collector(s) that ruin the autographs for me?

Yeah to HMs...I only have maybe like 5 issues, but were a lot of early ones like that? It's me being elitist I guess, but a James Chance article--a really great article too--seemed particularly out-there.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, collectors need to get out of comics and find a gun show or some shit.

Having a James Chance article in a comix magazine is exacly the kind of take back the night shit that I wish happened in comics more. It seems more relevent to being a serious art to talk about actual musicians over what bullshit movie has comic book ties.

I just tried to write what I though about the Bendis/kirkman thing then realized that I don't read their comix either and it all seems to have little or nothing to do with my end of comics.

brandon said...

Agreed on collectors. It's weird and frustrating. I want to fight all of them...

I agree about the "take it back" shit and it now seems pretty much impossible for anything to do this. I remember back in middle school, when I cared more about "indie" comics as whole, there was 'INDY' magazine? It used to review movies and book and shit, but even then, my like 7th grade self, knew it was wack that the reviews were of like 'Trainspotting', so it was still sort of tried and true and played-out. James Chance on the other hand! Oh well...maybe the sort of thing to do on this little blog??

I think the thoughts of someone truly outside of the manifesto, that is to say, not a pseudo-independent like Kirkman and not a Marvel dude like Bendis could be interesting, but yeah, it doesn't apply to your comics with awesome fucking dinosaurs carrying cities on their back and shit...