Baltimore Comic-Con 2009: Jesse's Take
This was my third year attending the comic-con, and this year I went in with a different approach: the list. We can all agree that the main objective is to take advantage of the flea-market atmosphere and get some great deals on comics. So, it was only natural to take the game to the next level. Maybe I just couldn't handle the next level, but the list had mixed results. I'd definitely get disappointed when a well organized booth wouldn't have anything I was looking for or everything was overpriced. I could really only keep a couple things from my fairly long list in my head, and while I was looking for one thing I'd get distracted by something completely different.
It's the surprises that are really the highlight of the comic-con though. If you're just going to come with a printed-out list of every comic you own and try and fill in the gaps you're not really doing it. You got to go with the flow and see what pops out at you. The list had it's moments helping to keep certain titles in my mind, but next year, any list I take will be short and consulted infrequently.
The biggest surprise for me was probably the highlight of my comic-con and that was the blog's good friend Larry Marder. I hadn't had a chance to meet him in the past and was interested in introducing myself as a fan. The first day I was lost in the throngs of people and missed out, but that night inspired by David's drawing he made to participate in the Beanworld sketch exchange I drew one of my own. The next day I handed it in and spoke with Mr. Marder and got to see first hand what I had heard: that he is a intelligent, friendly, and genuine person. As I turned in my sketch it brought about some laughs and he started sketching immediately so I didn't get a chance to ask for specifically what I wanted. When I saw he was drawing exactly what I envisioned I said, "Wow, that's exactly what I was going to ask for. You read my mind. " He promptly responded, "No, Beanworld did."
And that about sums it up. Come to get great deals and end up getting your mind read by Beanworld. I did get lots of great deals though:
The Maximortal by Rick Veitch
One of the classics right here. A super hero deconstruction that is actually thoughtful and gripping. Finally glad I got it and can't wait to read it again.
The Mystery of Mary Rodgers by Rick Geary.
Blanche Goes to New York by Rick Geary
Got to catch them all.
Challengers of the Unknown #1 by Leob and Sale
Space Usagi 92' #2 96' #2 by Stan Sakai
All the quality of Usagi Yojimbo.....in Space.
Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil by Jeff Smith
Big Jeff Smith fan and found the issues for real cheap. I've seen pages of this where Shazam is fighting monsters. The first issue has Billy Batson as a homeless orphan and Shazam sort of powerless to help him. Good so far!
Marvel Fanfare #12, #18, #19, #25, #33
I'm trying to get all these too. Even the worst ones are decent and the best ones are the best. Just read #18 last night and on the last page, after everyone is saved, Captain America goes back inside a burning building to save the American flag. Got to love it.
Star Wars Tales #13
Kind of like Marvel Fanfare, Star Wars Tales aren't attached to any continuity so writers don't have editors looking over their shoulders. This is an all Mace Windu issue and two of the stories are really well done. One has Mace Windu testing and failing an Jedi apprentice and the other features an email from Mace Windu's parents. One of the stories with a stupid time travel plot has great art and a very Moebius looking Mace.
Vimanarama #2, #3 by Grant Morrison and Phillip Bond
I got the first issue of this and it was interesting. The whole first issue is pretty boring minute of daily life then things explode on the last couple pages. A pretty ballsy start to a three issue mini-series.
Thor #387 by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz
This issue is the prelude to one of the craziest Thor stories I've ever read. The Celestials are destroying some planet and Thor decides to fight them. With the most powerful blow he's ever struck he cracks open the helmet of one, goes INSIDE the Celestial, finds its brain, and cracks Mjolnir. Yup.
Conan the King #27, #28, #29, #30, #31
These were the real comic surprises of the convention. I found them and picked them up from the cover art alone. They didn't disappoint. The first issue has an evil sorcerer turning eyeballs into worms and summoning demons to fight for him. They have a very Prince Valiant, anything can happen feel. Characters come and go and ones you are attached to could die at any moment. Numerous subplots run through each issue making it rewarding through each and every issue.