Wow! I can’t think of a better word. This year’s New York Comic Con was not only my most successful in six years of exhibiting at the show; it was not only my most successful convention ever; it was a tremendous experience all around, and I am grateful to all of the people who helped make that possible.
I’m almost speechless, in part because I’m at a loss for the right words, and also because I don’t want this blog piece to come off as some brag sheet for how amazing this year’s convention went. Sales were great, and I was commissioned for a number of varied pieces of artwork (with some carry over after the convention)–and here I would be remiss if I didn’t give an individual shout out to David “The Sketch Cover King” Cebollero who kept me busy for a full day-and-a-half’s worth of sketching. Seriously, it’s tremendous how supportive this man is of the artists he meets (and he’s a nice guy too). I can’t thank him enough.
Though, as with any convention, it’s not just about the sales; it’s also about the people you meet and reconnect with and this year was particularly unique in this way as well. My fans and customers over the weekend were extremely supportive and friendly. I even had a few who returned from previous years or who have seen me at other shows in the past. So, thank you all for the support, the compliments, the warm reception and conversations; it makes a convention go so much easier.
Regrettably, I was so busy I never got the chance to leave my booth except to run to the bathroom and there were a number of people I didn’t get a chance to visit. For that, I’m sorry. Yet, there were a number of people who dropped by my booth (and in one case, whose booth I happened upon in the morning), some of whom created a weird sense of this year coming “full circle”, as it were.
At the risk of name dropping and bragging, amongst the people who stopped by my booth to say hello was Mr. Mark McKenna (I’m sorry, Mark, but it was just so cool–and thank you). I’ve always dropped by to say hello to him at conventions. He was the very first person who gave me a portfolio review at my first comic convention (Big Apple Con 2007). So it was a little surreal that he came by my booth to say hi to me. But, he’s such a nice guy (I knew the first time I met him) that I’m not surprised–just honoured, I suppose, that he took the time.
What’s more, I saw two other figures from the beginnings of my career who I haven’t seen in probably five or so years. First, Mr. Vincent Ferrante of Monarch Comics who I was glad to see is still writing and publishing his Witch Hunter series. We almost worked together on a number of occasions, and he’s the man who pointed me to the right contacts which led to my work for Planet Lovecraft Magazine–the first published stories which I both wrote and illustrated. Thank you for the Witch Hunter #20. I really loved that story when it started publishing in Planet Lovecraft. I’m glad I’ll be able to finally finish it. Though, sorry I never got to drop by with my Chadhiyana issues. I’ll have to get them to you somehow.
Second, and certainly not least, was Mr. Ed Pereira. Many reading this blog may not know this guy as he hasn’t written comics in years, but to me, the Eds (he and Ed Traquino) were the guys I loved to hang out with at shows and CAG meetings when I first started out. We all lost contact for a while. And while I kept in occasional contact with Ed T. and reconnected with him at East Coast Comic Con this past year, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see Ed P. again. Dude, I was so happy to see you (as you saw). Really, we need to stay in touch better.
That said, this blog post is already overlong, and I have so many more people to thank. So, if we spoke at the show, whether you were a professional, a fan or a close friend, please know that I have you in mind when I say thank you for making this show such a wonderful experience. I left exhausted (as we all are after a convention, especially one as colossal as the New York Comic Con), but equally elated. Yes, the show was a massive success for me, but it was also a personally gratifying experience.
I look forward to next year. Cheers!