2009 Baltimore Comic-Con Recap

For those of you that follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably expected this recap Saturday night. However, I realized it was pointless to recap just the first day of my experience at the 2009 Baltimore Comic-Con, so I wanted to wait until after Sunday. Then, by the time I got home Sunday night I was exhausted. Add in work on Monday, and that’s why this recap is coming to you Monday night instead of Saturday night.

Also, I’m saving a couple stories for the podcast, so you’ll just have to wait for those (and, in the meantime, subscribe to the podcast, either via iWeb or iTunes).

So as you probably know from Friday’s post, I drove down to Baltimore to attend the 2009 Baltimore Comic-Con. This was the first time I was truly attending a comic book convention solo (yes, I didn’t have any friends with me at Wizard World Chicago ’06, but I was working with the people from Time & Space Toys, so it wasn’t like I was solo).

I came to the convention with a bag full of issues to be signed and a pile of cash to get some commissioned art. This was the first convention I’d been to at all since Big Apple Con in 2007. If you remember, that was the one where PooZ and I both got sketches from Adam Hughes. Well, I was hoping to repeat that success this past weekend, but due to an illness he had to cancel his appearance. Still, both Georges Jeanty and Jo Chen -- the artist and cover artist for the ongoing Buffy series -- were there, so this was going to be a good weekend no matter what.

I got to the show early on Saturday, but not early enough, since there was already a HUGE line to get in. Amazingly, I still got into the show at about 10:15 -- 15 minutes after doors opened -- and got on the commission lists for Stephane Roux, Mike McKone, Georges Jeanty and Craig Rousseau.

After getting onto the commission lists, my Saturday was mostly spent getting books signed. I was going to post the full list, but honestly, it’s too damn long. I brought about 160 books with me (mostly individual issues, but a few trades and hardcovers too) and managed to get nearly all of them signed. My comic collection -- all obtained in the last four years -- is over 600 books now, and it’s possible that almost half of them are signed, which is pretty cool. The part I like about getting something signed isn’t the signature itself, but the interaction with the creator, and I’ll share some of those stories on the podcast.

The signing highlights for me included getting the entire run of Buffy signed by Jeanty, as well as a bunch of them signed by inker Dexter Vines, an incredibly cool guy who had a table right next to Jeanty. I also got a bunch of stuff signed by J. Scott Campbell, one of the heavy-hitters in the industry.

Campbell was also selling some exclusive prints -- one of the best part about these cons is getting prints that you’d otherwise have to scour eBay for -- as well as an exclusive version of Amazing Spider-Man 606 with an incredibly cool cover. I also got an amazing limited edition Faith lithograph from Jo Chen, who has done some amazing work with the Buffy covers.

Now, with all this buying and signing, you’d think I’d have a hard time managing all this stuff, but I made the smart move of staying in a hotel adjacent to the convention center. Some people will walk around these conventions with suitcases full of books. I can’t bring myself to do that (partly because I don’t even own a real suitcase), so I split my books, packed what I could in my laptop backpack and made multiple trips.

Saturday also featured a great panel discussion with Jeanty, Chen and Dark Horse editor Scott Allie, where they took questions from the fans. Yes, that included me (twice), and they had some pretty cool information to share. Chen had her own panel on Sunday that was more focused on her creative process. I attended that one too, and learned a lot even though I’m not an artist.

As for Sunday, that was my art collection and shopping day. I ended up not buying anything from the many dealers there, mostly because PooZ helped talk me out of buying a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man). I eventually want to get one, but just throwing it on the credit card is not the way to go. I did buy a published page from “Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane” inker Norman Lee -- who also signed a set of books for me -- and an inked copy of an Amazing Spider-Man page from inker Karl Kesel.

As for my commissions, Jeanty and Rousseau both were unable to get to me on their lists, but were both kind enough to offer to do mail-order art for me. Jeanty also sold me the original art for the cover for Buffy #31, which doesn’t come out until December. He had to finish some inking on it, but he’s FedEx’ing it to me today, and I should have it tomorrow. I’m pretty freaking excited about it.

As for the art I did get at the show, Mike McKone did an MJ head sketch for me that turned out fabulous, and Stephane Roux came through with a Mary Jane sketch that exceeded all my expectations. It was the last sketch he did at the show, and it turned out amazing (coincidentally, the Buffy I got from Adam Hughes was the last one he did on the day I was there in ’07 -- sometimes it pays to stick around all day).

I’m sure there’s a ton more I could write about my adventures at the convention, but I don’t want to use up all my material for the podcast (and I don’t want to bore those of you that aren’t comic fans). When all is said and done, it was definitely a fun and successful weekend.