This past weekend’s Baltimore Comic Con was a blast, start to finish. Baltimore is a beautiful place (or at least the InnerHarbor is) and we couldn’t have had better weather for it either.
The con itself was great – maybe not as lucrative as past years (there were a lot of people walking around with nothing in their hands – you paid money to get in, to just look around? And don’t get me started on the costumes…), but I thought it was a great time, especially because I got to meet so many people that I’ve known for a long time only through the internet.
I was set up at the 215 Ink table where we debuted the first Breakneck trade paperback. I signed a bunch of these this weekend, so I know a few people got their hands on some great comic book goodness.
The deals at this table were ridiculous: single issues two for $5, and all trades were only $10 – including the 300-page anthology Ignition. That’s a deal you just can’t beat, since the thing goes for $30 on Amazon. I signed a bunch of these as well (I have 4 stories in there).
Jim Starlin wasn’t actually sitting at the table with us, he had his own setup where he was signing, but he was sending people our way to pick up his Mindgames book. A lot of people came by to pick one up, and then take it right back over to him to get it signed. I got my old Dreadstar graphic novel signed by Jim.
I shared the table with publisher Andrew DelQuadro and sales guy Mike Miles, and I couldn’t have asked for a better couple of guys to sit with. We talked a lot about comics, about the industry, about where things need to go in the future. This was my first time meeting either Andrew or Mike, and we got along great right away.
I also got to meet and have some drinks with Dan Moser and Mark Robinson on the Friday night before the con. I’ve known both of them for a while as well, but strictly through Facebook. Both Dan and Mark are passionate about comics and have a ton of ideas about things to do in the industry, changes that could be made, experiments that should be conducted. Dan gave me a copy of his book Chaotic Soldiers, and Mark signed a bunch of copies of I Love Trouble for me.
One of the highlights of the con was meeting my long-time collaborator Carl Yonder. Carl was at the Action Lab booth signing copies of Pirate Eye, and we finally got to meet and shake hands. I got to meet Carl’s wife Sarah at the con as well, but she wasn’t able to join us for dinner Saturday night. Carl and I talked a lot about our past work, what we’re up to right now, and some future plans. It was fantastic getting to hang out with Carl and I enjoyed every minute. I got Carl to autograph my personal copy of the Oxymoron hardcover, the one with (naturally) Carl’s cover.
Another highlight was meeting the FUBAR crew and getting to see the Fu-Booth in full deployment. The guys were busy as hell doing sketches inside the books (I got a John Wilkes Booth from Dominic Vivona), but I got a chance to chat with Jeff McComsey for a bit (thanks for the FUBAR shirt Jeff!) and with Steve Becker as well. There was a lot of talk about their current Kickstarter campaign (pushing 40 grand right now), and they all deserve the success.
Also, speaking of FUBAR, I got to meet (briefly) my collaborator on FUBAR: American History Z, Eric Spohn. He found me at the 215 booth and we talked for a couple of minutes.
Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas came by to say hi. Mark Romasky stopped by as well. So did Rafer Roberts. I found Jason Copland at his table (hope he figured out something with all those t-shirts). Amber Love, long-time 215 Ink supporter, also stopped by to say hi, and Andrew explained I was the Canadian contingent of 215 Ink, at which point I was given the nickname of “Great Lakes” Bertolini. Har har.
I met some other guys I didn’t know already: Chris Charlton from Assailant Comics, and picked issue 1 and 2 of his book Black of Heart. Haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but it looks killer. I also met Mike Isenberg and Oliver Mertz, the team behind the First Law of Mad Science, and picked up all 4 issues. Mike and Oliver have a story in FUBAR: AHZ, and it’s just cool to see how much the small press community really is a community.
For my first ever U.S. con, it was a great time. The whole weekend was awesome, and I felt like a fuckin’ big shot walking around in my “Guest” badge. It was nice just strolling in past the huge lineups and going straight in. I don’t know if that feeling fades, but it was pretty awesome.
Thanks again to Andrew and Mike for putting me up at the booth. Thanks again to my love Julia for coming with me, going to her first convention, and spending the weekend with me. I wasn’t able to hang out with her the whole time, but we spent some great time together walking around Baltimore and eating some of the awesome food. There’s no one I’d have rather spent this weekend with.
This is probably the last convention I’ll be at this year, but I will definitely be making more trips to the U.S. next year for more cons.
And I can’t wait. I just wish I’d taken more pictures.