Saturday, 8 October 2016

NYCC 2016 - Con Day 3 'Speed Dicks are Cool!'

Saturday is the big day for Conventions. I'm sitting here writing in one of the rare seated areas just bracing myself for the impact of the crowds. Crushed beyond belief it can sometimes take you up to forty-five minutes to cross from one side of the convention centre to the other. This is also the big day for the Cosplayers. The outer lobby and the car parking area outside the building are full of cardboard, foam and feathers. 

But c'mon! That's not why I am here. I'm here for art, comics back issues and to meet the creators. Artists Alley is normally the most civilised of the various areas in the Javitts Centre but today is going to be carnage. It is hard to pause or stop to look at something or chat to a buddy or creator because this rushing river ain't stopping. 

You think the above photo looks like a crush it isn't anything compared to the main retailer floor in the next building!

I used the advantage of being in early to catch a few minutes with Chris Burnham and grab a copy of the hardback presentation of Officer Downe. Written by Joe Casey with some crazy art by Chris this is not a book for the faint of heart. Gorgeously mental in each panel I got a copy for my University age son and Chris Burnham told me how excited he is for the movie that comes out in November. 

Find out more about Chris at or follow him on Twitter @TheBurnham.

LOOK AT THAT PRINT!!! LOOOK AT IT! Paolo Rivera is a beast. This is a print from a page of his in The Valiant from last year. It's also a series that Mr Vander bought on my recommendation and just bloody incredible. 

I also got to catch up with Fabrice Sapolsky who is the writer on the new Dynamite Comics series called The Intertwined. We chatted about his home in Paris and how he finds the US comics scene more condusive to his style of writing. This is a series with a full on Old Skool kung-fu movie vibe to it and is well worth a punt.

Have a look at all the products from the mighty Dynamite Comics at and follow them on Twitter @DynamiteComics.

You can find this creator at and on Twitter @Fabricesapolsky

This is a photo of Alan White aka NewMutant. One of my favourite people in the small press scene and it was doubly cool to meet him as it is also his birthday!!! Buy  his comic The Power Principle at or follow him on Twitter @NewMutant or have a read of the story online at

Happy Birthday Alan!

The upcoming movie Valerian: The City of a Thousand Planets was getting a big push at NYCC this year. Not only did they have a big green screen booth they also had a Valerian only shop that was showing off these fuckers. Looking like a night out in Newcastle these were getting a lot of attention from punters. This coincided with some new teaser footage of the movie.

Directed by Luc Besson this has some real promise and I can't wait to see it. Also great to see the English translations out of getting some much deserved publicity.

I got to chat to one of the storyboard artists on the upcoming Justice League Dark movie Kirk Van Wormer. He's an interesting chap and has also worked on Batman: The Killing Joke, The Venture Bros and Chasing Amy. We talked about our love of the John Constantine character and how great it is to see him returning in the DC TV Universe as well as the animated movie.

I bagged a great print from him for my Hellblazer obsessed son.

I then headed off with Marc Laming to his signing at the IDW booth for their Star Trek comic line. Laming managed to sign a book for me (along with Donny Coates the writer - 2nd from the left) without drawing a speed cock on it. Nicely done sir!

I'm just back at my room and there is just one more day of the Con left. Thiis year has been fuller and a tiny bit more tiring than usual. Oh well, I'll soon be back to work for a rest!

Oh, here's a few more photos from the weird and wonderful world of cosplay nonsense 'cos I know you love them!

They also seemed to be giving these away??? Anyone would think there was an election on!

NYCC Day 2 of Con - 'The Ghost who Poos....'

The second day of the NYCC 2016 was pretty ruddy great. I once again managed to blag it early into the dealers hall which seemed eerily empty compared to the crazy hours of opening yesterday.

During this magical hour I got to handle and gaze at some incredible original art. Thor Kirby pages, Ditko horror pages, Starlin, the Buscema brothers it was all there. Pages that you can touch and examine but all with a huge pricetag.

Today was going to be all about the art and the back issues.

If you have to ask how much these cost you ain't got enough dough to buy them!

After a short time the best quarterback in comics Brian Vander arrived (pictured above with punchy Marc Laming). A pal who hangs with us every year at the NYCC and beyond and the hugely talented artist on and so much more. (You can find more about Brian and his great art on Twitter @vander11chi).

Our first stop was to see Daniel Warren Johnson. We were lucky enough to have Daneil as a guest on a recent episode of The Awesome Comics Podcast and he is totally the guy to watch at the moment. His art is (as I told him) Geoff Darrow level detailed with some of the best design and action you'll see in comics.

This photo shows a page from Daniel's new mini comic Martok abaout that much put upon Klingon from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Brian has asked this photo to be called 'Suck it Vince' :)

You have got to get over to or Twitter @danielwarrenart to see more of this incredible work.

Whhilst we were hanging out at Marc Lamings table I was lucky enough to meet Tristan Jones. Currently working on Aliens for Dark Horse this is another guy who is really going places. We swapped stories of comics and laughed at some NSFW tales. A grreat guy with an bloody incredible art style.

Find out more about this Aussie at or follow him on Twitter @tyrannojones.

Roaming the main floor I also got to finally meet the writer of Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises a great guy called Jeff Kline. This was a great new series that launched with a zero issue on New Comic Book Day this year. It is co-written with Lee's daughter Shannon Lee and has some great pencils and inks by Brandon McKinney. I hadn't been able to find new issues in the UK so grabbed the new ones straightaway.

Find out more about this and other stories and grab a copy at or follow them on Twitter @DarbyPopComics.

The day was also filled with watching some top names draw. Here are a few examples.

Bill Sienkiewicz was putting some real time in with the fans. THIS GUY!

Ed Benes working on possibly the best Jam Piece I have seen in a while.

Steve Dillon representing the UK with some Punisher for fans.

And I had to include this amazing Ben Grimm from Brent Schoonover! Chjatting to Brent we agreed that a Crime Noir/Private Eye story of Ben as a Detective investigating crime in Yancy Street would kill!

Also here are some of the better (and weirder) cosplay I found ('cos I know you love it!)

(Why have a spaceship when the walk from Grand Central it is only a half hour?)

Hey! I know this geezer!


Tomorrow is Saturday. You better get yourself in order.

Friday, 7 October 2016

NYCC Day 2 'Lightsabres and Dildos'.

Day Two of my trip was the first day of the NYCC proper. It began with a power breakfast for myself, Matt and Natasha. We then began the long walk down the hill to the Javitts Centre. Thursdays are the quietest day of the Con but don't let that fool you it is still a madhouse.

TV properties fight for your attention in the car park, roadway and lobby even before you reach the main halls. Ash vs The Evil Dead and South Park (now on its 20th season) have a big presence in the outside loading bays. Inside we see banner and stall after banner and stall for mainstream non comics nonsense like Teen Wolf and Back Sails.

The main hall was as usual full of the normal cosplay bellends. Matt and I ruminated if any of the light sabres on show had even been inserted in a body cravity whilst turned on and glowing (and making that annoying noise). Listen, each to their own but what the fig is wrong with some of these people? Strangely it's the ones with no shoes on that have me wondering the most. No shoes in Manhattan?

(And strangely this guy had his wife and family with him - who were not in costume......)

So with a blagged pro pass hanging round my neck I headed into the main hall before the smelly crowd of 'normal' punters made it into the halls.

The back issue section sits to the north end of the main hall right next to the original art tables. I grabbed a bag load of black and white magazines and found a couple of real gems for a cheap price.

I then headed over to Artists Alley. In a building attached to the main halls but with a nice separate and less crazy feel this is definitely the place to be for the weekend. We spent some great time chatting to Jim Mahfood and it was superb to see Matt Harrower showing the mighty Mahfood some of his art. Jim Mahfood combines being a really talented artist who is full of original ideas to tell a story with being a great bloke. He had a table next to Dave Crosland who I grabbed an excellent Batman print from.

You can find more about Jim Mahfood at and Dave Crosland at

Got some time chatting to Jason and Vince from 11 O'Clock comics and gave them a give of some UK comics as well as that hard to find Prog 2000 of 2000AD. This is a great podcast that I have listened to for years now. The guys are hugely enthusiastic about comics and chat with real insight and thought. Have a listen at

I then got to buy a copy of Gabriel Hardman's new horror comic 'Belfry' and grabbed another copy for my Awesome Comics Pod bro' Vince (as pictured). He and his better half Corinna Bechko are at the absolute top of their game and this new book looks great. 

Find more about Gabriel at and Corinna at

Got to buy the first Power Man / Iron Fist new trade from Sanford Greene and meet the man who is turning into a huge fan favourite. Spoton stuff.

I got to spend some time place holding for Marc Laming and his equally talented table mate Brent Schoonover. Laming has some great news coming up and really killed it recently on the Star Wars adaption! 

You can finf Mr L on Twitter talking comics @monkey__marc

Tash even managed some sketching of The Ghost Who Walks whilst Marc was away hobnobbing it elsewhere in Artists Alley!

Throughout the weekend it is going to be great to chat to Brent Schoonover. I really enjoyed his recent Ant Man work and he has been kicking out some gorgeous sketches all day. (He has even listened to the Awesome Comics Podcast!! - I apologised for this trauma!)

Yoou can find more great art over at

I got to head over to finally meet up with the crazy maniacs from Man vs Rock. Absolutely brilliant company. They are a force of nature and I got to hear their enthusiastic sales patter. Buy this book before they either the world hears how good it is and Hollywood snap it up or the authorities catch up with them!

Head over and read some online at

And yes, I have been using their cup holder!

I then headed over to the Image booth and got to continue my chat with Bob Fingerman. He was signing the two recent Minimum Wage. I got a copy for Matt and Tash has promised to have a read too. 

Myself and Matt rounded the day off with a trip to Midtown Comics near Times Square - hell, it's not as if we have enough comics?

Day 2 was an absolute blast! Tash kicked my ass in the step challenge (a measly 29,000 to her 33,000). We are becoming quite competative.

Roll on Day 3!

(I am already quite pooped :)


Thursday, 6 October 2016

New York Comic Con 2016 - Day minus 1 - 'The Countdown'.

New York Comic Con 2016 is the tenth year of the event and the tenth year that I have had a ticket. This is Mecca, The Batcave and The Avengers Mansion all rolled into one for us comics fans. It is nothing short of a pilgrimage and the high point of my year.

The event runs from Thursday to Sunday and I arrived at JFK a little jaded from a long working month but a real buzz on. A fun game is creator spotting on the plane and this year I nodded a hello at Rachael Smith artist on Star Trek/Planet of the Apes and Doctor Who at Titan Comics.

A quick and easy walk through the newly designed immigration lead to a very hot and sweatily congested cab ride. I have taken to staying at the New Yorker on visits. Not the most well kept hotel but one full of character and is fast becoming a meet up point for comics professionals and fans.

After a quick turnaround I headed down to the Javitts Centre and picked up my four day pass. Already a buzz of activity. Vendors unloading vans, union members moaning about work, cops chatting and people looking directly up at huge billboards. The scale of this event never fails to blow me away.

After another quick cab ride I headed to a famous diner for a late lunch with the mighty Bob Fingerman. We sat and chatted for hours about politics, comics and the comics business. Anyone who listens to the podcast I'm a co-host on knows that Bob has gone from a big influence and comics/art hero of mine to a pal. He is intensely intelligent and I always flex mental muscles when we chat. He told me about some new projects he has coming up and showed me some absolutely stunning new pages.

Myself and Mr F then had a walk round his neighbourhood and looked at the bizarre architecture of some local park statues and churches. 

If you've never read anything by Bob Fingerman I highly suggest you start. Minimum Wage has been a pleasure to read for pretty much twenty years and never fails to raise a smile.

Another cab ride and quick shower and toilet business had me meeting up with NYC pal Adrian Hashimi. THIS GUY! Along with his better half Amri they are my favourite people. Adrian is a comics creator, filmmaker, storyboard artist and painter. Pop over to his site

We then met up with Marc Laming, Natasha Healey and Matt 'Peachstone' Harrower and headed off to tie one on. Day one of NYCC is always a marathon and we all managed to be up for a full 24 hours but it was still a night full of laughs. 

Roll on Thursday!