Hi everyone! This is Megan Wright Adler, newly-minted wife of AICN COMICS interviewer/reviewer/@$$Hole Matt Adler, whose work you may have read on this site before. Last weekend was a wild one for us; not only did we attend the 2011 New York Comic Con on Friday and Sunday, but we also managed to squeeze in our wedding that Saturday! I know, we’re nuts, but at least we didn’t have it at the con or in costume! I’m a relative con newbie, this being only my second one, and I thought you all might enjoy hearing about it from that perspective.
Being at the New York Comic Con is like attending the world’s biggest Halloween party. There’s so much to see. Every other person is dressed up in some bizarre costume, seemingly in a competition to outdo each other for the most eye-catching and/or strange ensemble (the hairy, bearded, old guy in a speedo probably took the cake). But that’s not all there is to it. Companies from every medium show up at the convention, certain that it’s the best place to get the word out about their products, be it comics, movies, TV shows, games or even the latest technology.
Case in point, we attended ABC’s ONCE UPON A TIME panel, where we were treated to a screening of the pilot episode of the new series (minor spoilers follow). The series brings together classic childhood stories, and thrusts them wrenchingly into reality. Blending elements of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, and more, the show intercuts flashbacks from the fairytale world with present-day action in our own world, where a smart-alecky kid (Jared Gilmore) seeks his birth mother, a hard-bitten bail bondswoman (Jennifer Morrison), whom he claims is actually a refugee from the fairy tale world and the key to restoring the fairy tale characters, who have forgotten their identities, to their rightful place. I must say, as a fan of fairy tales growing up, I really enjoyed seeing this twist on the standard “Happily Ever After”, but Matt, who has read the Fables comic series, says the show doesn’t quite measure up to that standard.
Celebrities also make appearances at the con to promote their projects, and one star I was looking forward to meeting was Chad Michael Murray of ONE TREE HILL fame (you may have also seen him in DAWSON'S CREEK and A CINDERELLA STORY). Chad was signing autographs at the Archaia Entertainment booth for his new graphic novel EVERLAST and also was on an EVERLAST panel. The line for autographs was a long one, but Matt dutifully waited with me, despite never having heard of Chad before. He wryly commented that anyone female and under 30 automatically seemed to know who Chad was. In addition to signing my copy of the graphic novel, Chad posed for a picture, and congratulated us on our nupitals. Very nice guy.
Next up, I met Roni Haim, CEO of Zlango creators of a messaging program that features a greatly expanded use of icons in texting. Zlango has just come to the U.S. after years of success throughout Europe and Asia on multiple mobile platforms, and they’re launching a new line of icons, “skinZ”, and wallpapers, inspired by THE WALKING DEAD. Their PR team was out for the event, dressed up as Sheriff Rick Grimes and a passel of zombies. Roni showed us how the icons create a whole new language. The icons now cover so many different words that Zlango was able to produce editions of Romeo and Juliet, Adam and Eve, and even the Ten Commandments, told entirely through the icons! Check out my YouTube interview below with Roni for more details on how this works.
From there, we headed to Artist’s Alley, to meet and greet the people who make the comics. We got a chance to talk to luminaries including Tom DeFalco, Peter David, Glenn Hauman, Todd Nauck, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Cully Hamner, Jim McCann, Christina Strain, and Eric Canete. Tom DeFalco regaled us with tales of fun and hijinks at Marvel back in the day (most of which can’t be repeated… but one anecdote did involve editor Ralph Macchio crossing out the last name on all of Tom’s business cards and replacing it with “DeFatso”!). Tom also told us about his involvement in the upcoming “Hulk Smash Avengers” miniseries, which he will be joined on by artistic legends Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema. Peter David was signing copies of his new book “The Camelot Papers” published by the Crazy 8 Press writers’ collective (I’ve just started reading it, and let me tell you, it’s HILARIOUS). Glenn Hauman, editor of ComicMix and webmaster of many creators’ sites including Peter’s, told tales of the Dreaded Deadline Doom when he worked in DC’s production department. Todd Nauck was signing copies of his sketchbook, and told us that unfortunately, there aren’t any current plans for more of his creator-owned series Wildguard, as he is flooded with work from the major publishers. But that’s a good thing! Todd, along with Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (ANNIHILATORS) who were at the adjoining table were kind enough to pose for a picture for us. Jim McCann and Christina Strain (RUNAWAYS) also shared table space, and I got the chance to tell Jim how much I enjoyed his work on the late, lamented HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD series.
Saturday was our wedding, and I won’t bore you with details of that except to say that everyone had a great time. We returned to the con on Sunday, mostly tuckered out, but still with enough energy to meet up with our friend Shaelee Diaz, who’d brought along her kids to enter into a costume contest. Alas, no one told them that the contest had a limit of 30 kids. Oh well. They still looked cute! We also met up with indie comics creator Adam McGovern who will be hosting a January convention in Brooklyn aptly titled “King Con”. Look for more on Adam and his projects from Matt soon.
With that, we decided to call it a day, before we dropped dead from exhaustion. A fun time was had by all, and I can tell you for sure, we will be back next year—undoubtedly with more energy, as we won’t be fitting a wedding into the mix!
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G