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December 2, 2012


FFF Results Post #317 -- The Pros About Cons

On Friday, CR readers were asked: "In This Greatest Year For Comics Conventions And Festivals, Name Five Specific Things You Like About Specific Comics Shows." This is how they responded.

*****

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Tom Spurgeon

1. I like how French schoolchildren come to Angouleme in buses.
2. I like the strong drawing and art emphasis that HeroesCon has developed over the years.
3. I like the strength of the satellite events at this year's Brooklyn Comics And Graphics Festival.
4. I like the library space as utilized by TCAF.
5. I like the way San Diego consistently brings in or otherwise attracts non-North American comics-makers that I probably wouldn't get to meet otherwise, like Emile Bravo.

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. I like that San Diego's first annual Comic Fest was low-key and Hollywood-free.
2. I like how, no matter how crowded SDCC gets, I never have to wait in line to attend any presentation that I'm interested in.
3. I like how every year SDCC's Comic Arts Conference includes a couple of serious discussions about the visual aspects of comics.
4. I like that I have easy access at SDCC to practically every artist who interests me.
5. I like the convenience of SDCC's shuttle service between my inexpensive hotel in Little Italy and the Convention Center's front door.

*****

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Michael May

1. I like how Minnesota's SpringCon and FallCon give free tables to all creators just because they like creators.
2. I like C2E2's location: in reference both to McCormick Place and its proximity to downtown Chicago.
3. I like knowing that even if I miss my favorite comics people at other shows, I have a really good chance of seeing them at San Diego.
4. I like Fabletown and Beyond's innovation of a convention-exclusive bar that is always attended by at least one of the show's guest creators.
5. I like that Heroes is independent and has resisted spreading its focus beyond comics.

*****

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Jamie Coville

1. I like all the comic book history related panels at San Diego.
2. I like that TCAF is free and open to the public.
3. I like that Ottawa, Ontario had a comic con and a lot of 'never been to a convention before' people showed up.
4. I like that NYCC is close by to Times Square where you can see newsstands and imagine a giant disgusting squid suddenly appearing.
5. I like that Toronto Conventions have what I perceive to be a higher ratio of cosplayers than any other convention I've been to.

*****

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Charles Brownstein

1) I like what Bill Kartalopoulos describes as the "Camp Snoopy" gestalt of SPX, where practitioners and those otherwise vocationally tied to comics attend with the intention of being creatively refreshed and energized by comics.
2) I like new fandom, particularly as they are manifesting at Emerald City Comicon and conventions like it -- enthusiastic crowds of largely young people of a nearly equal gender balance who are coming to the show with a sense of excitement and curiosity and none of the stigma or alienation baggage that mine and previous generations of professionals labored under.
3) I like that San Diego now enjoys a cultural status on the order of the Super Bowl, Burning Man, or the Kentucky Derby -- a singular American experience that everybody knows about, and is, for a certain kind of person, a thing they must do at least once in their life.
4) I like the Chewbacchus parade that winds through the halls of Wizard World's New Orleans Comic Con -- the R2 D2 float/beer cooler; the X-Wing dancing ladies; the Sacred Drunken Wookie. I mean, it takes a special kind of dead inside not to.
5) I like the social dynamics of young cosplayers that manifests nicely at a show like New York Comic Con. I like how the elaborate costume making craft is an act of self expression that is remarked upon and shared in that scene; I like that it's an ice breaker for friendships and hook ups; I like that these folks are so entranced by the creativity of our field's creative output that invest their time, energy, creativity, labor and skill, and then save their money to meet their tribe at the convention. At NYCC it was especially noticeable because of that show's easy accessibility for young folks in the tri-state area, and for its intersection of western and eastern comics emphasis.

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1. I like how LosCon's low key one-big-coffeeklatch ambiance makes it possible to meet & get caught up with friends I otherwise won't see for a year or more.
2. I like how San Diego Comic Con justifies my career choices.
3. I like how WonderCon recaptures the earlier ambiance of San Diego Comic Con before it before (in the words of my wife) "a zoo".
4. I like the much higher proportion of well-mannered people over jerks at GenCon.
5. I like how surviving Pasadena's Rockin' Comic Con gives me "worst convention ever" bragging rights.

*****

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Jude Killory

* I like how supportive cartoonists are of one another at SPX
* I like how motivated and inspired cartoonists are to show their best work at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphic Fest.
* I like how the NYCC gives creators a severely discounted three-day badge.
* I like that CAKE has Edie Fake's help in organizing it.
* I like how open and generous with their time Tom Spurgeon and Heidi McDonald are at every con I go to, getting the chance to talk to both of these informed and charming class acts is always one of the highlights of any con I go to.

*****

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Brian Gardes

* I really like the way Emerald City Comic-Con mixes all the comic creators together so that big name draws are seated right next to self-publishers. Very egalitarian!
* I like the way Tr!ckster enhances the San Diego Comic Con experience. After the mayhem of the main con, it is great to rub elbows with creators in a low-key environment.
* I think it is awesome that every year Chris Yambar hosts Lawn-Con.
* I love that Stumptown Comics Fest is still the best place to find hand-made mini-comics!
* I like the fact that regardless of the convention, regardless of the location, every time I step on the con floor I am surrounded by people who share my love and passion of the medium.

*****

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Stergios Botzakis

1. I like the prominence given to artists at Indie Island at HeroesCon.
2. I like the prime focus on comics and not media tie-ins.
3. I like looking at the beautiful art pieces up for auction.
4. I like getting the opportunity meet, speak on a panel with, and engage in a book club talk with Jaime Hernandez.
5. I like seeing the range of programs from its 30 years.

*****

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Shannon Smith

1) I like that Fluke is a small show at the beginning of the con season where you can actually talk to you pals and catch up before the madness of the bigger shows.
2) I like that HeroesCon has basically become an original comics art and sketch show and that (more importantly) the attendees come to pay for that art and those sketches.
3) The diversity at SPX. Both in the exhibitors and the attendees.
4) Not paying for a ticket to DragonCon and just going to the bar at night and drinking with all the guests and cosplayers.
5) A whole row of tables with ten cent comics at RobCon in Bristol TN. (I've got at least 20 left to read from the last show.)

*****

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Jason Green

1. I like that C2E2 continues to grow, and in its third year has already graced the Midwest with a "major" con for the first time in a decade or so.
2. I like the "CBR Bar" at C2E2. A great draft beer list, a fun menu of comics themed cocktails, a huge good-natured crowd full of comics creators willing to hang out with the hoi polloi, and reasonably fast service considering the size of said crowd. Pretty much everything you could ever ask for in after-con entertainment.
3. I like that St. Louis has a viable comic convention in Project Comic Con. Now if only they could find a venue to hold it in that would allow Artist's Alley and the retailers to be in the same room...
4. I like that CAKE exists, and that I'll hopefully be able to go to it next year.
5. I like that Planet Comicon in Kansas City is doing such great business that it outgrew its home and is moving to a bigger, more central location. That is a great "small" con, the kind that attracts mainstream comics/sci-fi fans that are still willing to wander Artist's Alley and meet indie creators. If they play their cards right, it could be the next Heroes Con some day.

*****



Sean Kleefeld

1. I like that Comiket draws over 500,000 people twice a year.
2. I like that there are now Comic Con India and Middle East Film & Comic Con, and that -- even though I can't go to either -- we can still get decent news about the two shows here in the U.S.
3. I like that I'll probably be in Chicago to attend both CAKE and C2E2 in 2013.
4. I like that there is almost too much video & online coverage of San Diego to take in real-time, and the sensory overload rivals actually being there.
5. I like that the University of Chicago's "Comics: Philosophy & Practice Conference" was a thing this past year, even if something like it never happens again.

*****

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Aaron White

1. I like how at Heroescon Jaime Hernandez drew Maggie brushing her hair in response to a story about how my wife's former roommate tried to get her hair to look like Maggie's.
2. I like how at Heroescon I got to ask Colleen Doran if she thought things had changed in the comics biz Re:sexism since she gave a critical interview about it a decade ago (her answer: things have changed completely!).
3. I like that Brian Bolland was patient with my questions at Heroescon a year or so back.
4. I liked having Tom Spurgeon point out that Don Rosa was in attendance at Heroescon as a fan, not on the guest roster, just buying comics and keepin' it real.
5. I liked having my pubescent mind blown by Trek-A-Thon in Chattanooga during the 80s glut, via a dealer's floor packed with insane fannish memorabilia and third-party small press comics I'd never seen on the drug store spinner rack.

*****

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Jean-Paul Jennequin

1) I like the fact that London's Comica Festival is mostly about talking with comic creators and attending exhibitions.
2) I like the Angouleme awards not making a distinction between homegrown comics and translated material.
3) I like the S.O.B. (Salon des Ouvrages sur la Bande Dessinée) in Paris because it's not about comics but about books about comics.
4) I like the Fanzines! festival at the Médiathèque Marguerite Duras in Paris because, hey, some people are still making fanzines and some other people still care.
5) I like the fact that getting an Angouleme award really boosts the sales of a comic and the media attention it gets.

*****

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Al Ewing

1. I like how Thought Bubble in Leeds has a dancefloor, DJed by UK comics creators and retailers, that runs until 4am.
2. I like how NYCC gives me the perfect excuse to visit New York, as well as being a great time in its own right.
3. I like how Bristol International Comic Con is like a glowing hearth around which comic creators can congregate and enjoy each others' warmth.
4. I like how during Hi-Ex, in Aberdeen, there's always loads of kids running around, having fun.
5. I like how the Canny Comic Con in Newcastle is growing from its small beginnings last year into a convention to rival them all. It's next weekend, as a matter of fact. See you there!

*****

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Alexa Dickman

1. I like how Boston Comic Con has grown and evolved since I started going in college.
2. I like that the Festival BD au Féminin ("Women in Comics Festival") is a thing.
3. I like the even though NYCC has gotten huge, it's still mostly comics.
4. I like how SPX invited me to be on a panel in 2011.
5. I like the fantastic reputation GeekGirlCon has gotten after only two shows.

*****

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Mike Baehr

1. I like the relationship between SPX and the Library of Congress, and Warren Bernard as the public face of that relationship and the show in general. I hope to one day go.
2. I like many, many things about TCAF, including their strength in bringing in international guests.
3. I like San Diego's tenacious commitment to comics even as that aspect of the show becomes more and more marginalized.
4. I like the quarter/50-cent/dollar bins at Seattle's Jet City show.
5. I like the ambition and DIY spirit of Seattle's Short Run show.

*****
*****
 
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