New York Comic Convention, October 2011

New York Comic Con, "the largest pop culture event on the East Coast." Convenes every autumn at the Javits Center in Manhattan. There used to be a separate Anime Festival, but a few years ago the two events were merged to make one giant show. While listening to the panels, I often sketch the speakers, when I can get a seat close enough for a decent view. As my friend & editor Jon Gorga pointed out, publishers always ask to see recent pieces, so I added these drawings to the back of my portfolio as I went along - literally, my latest work! (For the rest of my portfolio, visit the Comics/Cartoons section of my illustration site.)

Even before arriving at the convention, I warmed up by drawing travelers on the subway. I began to recognize the convention-goers, such as the young man on the bottom wearing a hat. Was it a mushroom? A psyduck? Whatever it was, with the props they were carrying, he and his friends were clearly ready for some lively cosplay.

During the professional session, Josh Elder and others spoke about integrating comics within the classroom, and their potential use in education. Josh Elder currently runs the non-profit Reading With Pictures, but we became acquainted back in 2008, when he was writing Mail Order Ninja with Tokyopop. The slide on display was emphasizing the point that an airline safety manual would be considered a comic by many accepted definitions of the term, hence the caption "Comics Can Save Your Life."

Librarians share their perspectives on developing comics collections and the unique challenges they encounter while doing that within the setting of grade schools, university research libraries, and public libraries. Some of their recommended titles are noted on the right. I can personally vouch for the quality of Set to Sea, a recent read.

Notes on a session about running successful events in comic book stores.

Notes on a session about positive customer service in comic book stores.

The creators at Oni Press give updates on their latest comics work.

The creators at Archaia discuss their projects and answer audience questions.

Representative of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund recounts the history of comics censorship and describes the types of cases they handle. He tells a recent story of a young man being unjustly held at the Canadian border for possessing moe manga on his laptop. The CBLDF has been involved in shaping his defense and fundraising to pay for his legal fees.