Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Convention Time

While half of the Aggrochat crew were off at PAX this past weekend, I also attended a convention right near home. Saturday was the annual River City Comic Expo, and this year a friend and I decided to check it out. I hadn't been to a con since MidSouthCon in 2007 and just like then it was the guests that convinced me to go.

It was a relatively small convention; one big combination dealer's room / gaming area and a couple smaller rooms for panels. Plenty of dealers to check out, and I ended up spending about $15 on singles from one guy's quarter boxes. I picked up quite a few older New Mutants issues, issues 2-7 of Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby's Destroyer Duck, and most of the initial color run of Zot!, along with various and sundry other things. I was especially happy to find so many Zot! issues since the only collection of the color issues is long out of print, and Scott McCloud doesn't seem to have any desire to reprint them again.

Those first 10 issues were amazing pulpy fun

There were lots of cosplayers in attendance which in part drove home just how out of touch with modern anime I am. People dressed as comic book characters I could identify no problem, even the ones using TV or video game versions of costumes. There were plenty of people whose costumes clearly came from anime, though, and I think I recognized maybe a quarter of them. I am no longer in touch with the kids today. Woe is me.

The real draw, though, was the guests. The first I found and talked to was Bob McLeod who is probably best known for creating the New Mutants with Chris Claremont. He's also done art for any number of books for Marvel and DC both. I ended up getting a signed print from him of a lovely piece of the original New Mutants fighting Sentinels as well as a booklet of con sketches that he was selling.

Just beautiful

The other guest that I could not wait to meet was Gail Simone. She and her husband were both there, and were absolutely wonderful to chat with. I took the opportunity to let her know how much I enjoyed her work and that she's one of the creators whose presence in superhero comics keeps me optimistic about the medium. Her work on Birds of Prey and Secret Six is just stellar. From her I got an autographed hardcover copy of the Conan / Red Sonja miniseries she wrote for Dark Horse.

In all, an enjoyable few hours spent among my people. I'm looking forward to seeing who next year's guests will be; maybe I'll end up making this a regular thing.


  1. I have the brick single-volume Zot! collection, which is sadly in black and white entirely.

    1. The Complete Black and White collection, right? I wish McCloud had at least included black and white versions of the first 10 issues in that, but he seems to not care for that first section any more.

    2. That black and white collection is excellent but is more of an analysis and item for the interested folks than an item to introduce new people.

      It's just hard to get particularly well introduced to Zot! without those colour issues.

      Sadly the old colour collection sells used for about $65 now.