Tell us about Boston Comic Con. Was it crowded? Did Dan Parent have a lot of people in line to get a commission? Did you see any people in wheelchairs , I ask because I use a wheelchair & going to a convention is too much for me to handle. I ask Artists to mail me the commission & they are nice & send it to me. Will you go again next year?
It was crowded on Sunday, but not as much as last year when I went on Saturday. This year I went on both Friday (not too bad crowd-wise) and Sunday (skipped Saturday because I was working). The main thing was that it was hot, really hot on Friday. It seemed hot on the convention floor with all the people (ditto on Sunday, even more so), but on Friday when you went to go outside it was like walking into a blast furnace -- it hit you just as soon as you walked out of the entrance to the convention center, and made you feel like just doing a 180 degree turn back into the building, so it helped you appreciate that even though it seemed kind of hot inside with all those people, it was much, MUCH worse outdoors.
Still, I got to talk to a bunch of artists, which was great, found some bargain deals (recent Archie comics for $1 each, non-Archie trade paperbacks for $5 [$16-$20 cover price], and those 1970s SABRINAs and JOSIEs for $5-10 each (pretty good condition on most of those, too). Picked up that BEST OF SAMM SCHWARTZ hardcover for $5 [$40 cover price], and just for the heck of it, a copy of Tania del Rio's BETTY: DIARY OF A GIRL NEXT DOOR hardcover novel (wasn't going to buy it at cover price, but it was only $3 at the show, so I figured eh, why not).
I spent a long, long time talking to Dan Parent. Probably about 3-4 hours or so between multiple visits to his table on both days. I tried to catch him early on both days after he'd just arrived at his table (in fact on Friday he was still setting up, so I helped him get his tablecloth, which had a big banner for DIE KITTY DIE on it, adjusted so it hung just about 1/4" above the carpet line and was nice and even). Dan always has a bunch of his original art on his table for display and for sale (I didn't buy any pages, because I got 2 original Archie Comics pages, plus an original Die Kitty Die page as part of my Kickstarter reward package, which I picked up from him at the show). I didn't get to pick the pages, but they're all nice pages. Then I had him do that commission of B&V for me (which is based on a pose of the Wonder Twins, from SUPER FRIENDS, where they say "Wonder Twin powers -- ACTIVATE!"). Also in that rewards package was an add-on, a copy of Dan's LOVE-O-RAMA 2000 trade paperback, which collects various stories he wrote and/or drew for different self-published comics. One of those had the big-assed dog, "Assie", which he put into Die Kitty Die in a cameo appearance. Dan owns The Carneys too, and he's thinking of putting them in the next Die Kitty Die miniseries (which will launch a Kickstarter in October, same month as the print comic of the first DKD miniseries appears from Chapterhouse Comics). He's not sure if he might work one or more of the characters (I suggested Linda-Louise, the double-headed sisters) into some small appearance in the main story, or make it a short backup story or maybe even have The Carneys drawn by a guest artist as a bonus incentive for the next Kickstarter (which is titled DIE KITTY DIE: "HOLLYWOOD OR BUST"... there's a pun in there somewhere, I bet...). He also said Chapterhouse is open to him and Fernando doing some other titles, so THE CARNEYS was one possibility there as well. He's also working on a project for ACP that he can't talk about yet, because certain details haven't been finalized or contracts signed, so he can't officially announce it yet (he told me, but swore me to secrecy, so... sorry). He had the blank sketch cover variant and Convention Exclusive cover variants of DKD #1 at his table, too, along with many new 11x17" prints ($20 each/3 for $50, autographed).
Last year at Boston Comic Con, Jeff Shultz and Andrew Pepoy had the two tables on either side of Dan's, but neither of them came this year. Erica Henderson had a table (I didn't talk to her, but she seemed like she always had someone there). Mark Waid had a table too, and I did talk to him for a couple of minutes (there was always someone at his table, too). Mark, Erica and Dan were all on a panel titled "Hey Archie" on Friday, and that was the only panel I actually went to. I can't remember too much about what they talked about, except I asked Waid a question about his early Archie stories after he mentioned how much he enjoyed going through picking the reprints and writing the introductions for them (his favorite artists are Harry Lucey and Samm Schwartz). I raised my hand and said "A lot of people reading the new ARCHIE probably aren't aware that this isn't the first
time you've written stories for Archie..." He said he'd only written six short stories for Archie 30 years ago, so I asked him "Well, why don't you reprint those
in the back of ARCHIE then, and comment on them?" He seemed quite taken with that idea, and smiled and said "You know, I like the way you think
. I'll have to see what I can do about making that happen." We talked a little about that memorable old short of his, called simply "MOOSE!" where Big Moose is on a rampage, and in the story he's portrayed sort of like the Incredible Hulk, or like Godzilla attacking downtown Tokyo, with everyone running around in panic and local real estate being destroyed. I think I asked another question later about how the fantasy elements in Chip Zdarsky's JUGHEAD related to ARCHIE, and how some people are convinced all of that stuff with January McAndrews etc. is just a dream, but Mark Waid said those things (he specifically mentioned Pureheart the Powerful and Archie 1) should always be on the table and a part of Archie, and he's absolutely open to them. I really couldn't think of what to say to Erica... I don't really 'get' her style of artwork to be honest, but she seems like a really nice woman, that's all I can say.
I don't recall seeing someone in a wheelchair but then I wasn't really looking for anyone. At a con this large, I'd be surprised if there weren't at least a few people in wheelchairs there. Most conventions I've been at, there always seems to be someone. Sorry, I just wasn't being particularly aware of this aspect, as it's sort of a given as far as I'm concerned. It does make things difficult if the convention is overly crowded, but most people are very accommodating about stepping aside for those people with mobility problems. I've never seen anyone treated rudely. Fans are a generally congenial bunch.