Report from the Toronto Comicon
The highlight of the convention was the number of creators I got to talk to. Most were from the DC stable and they started to trickle back in after the OYL panel ended. I started off by talking to J.G. Jones as he sketched, and he was among the most pleasant of the people I spoke to. He was soft spoken, with an accent I couldn’t place, and he was genuinely appreciative when I told him I liked his work. I mentioned a panel arrangement he’d drawn in The Hiketeia, and said that I liked the figure work in this panel in particular, and he lit up and we talked Wonder Woman.
I walked over to Michael Lark’s table and spent some time looking at some original art pages he had out. I talked to him a little about his technique and the work he’s doing on Daredevil right now, but he seemed involved in his commissions, so I moved on.
I saw Dave Johnson gather his stuff and leave his table and I remembered that he was part of a panel on cover art that was starting soon, so I headed to that. The panel also featured Arthur Suydam, J.G. Jones, and Mike Mayhew. While some of the questions were interesting, Mayhew talked a lot and overwhelmed the other panelists. For much of the panel I wished he’d let the others talk, but then towards the end I asked an unnecessarily complicated and directionless question (as I manage to do at every panel I attend) and while the other panelists were quiet Mayhew was all over it, and then I was thankful for him being there. As well, the moderator asked him at one point about when he swiped the king of Spain’s photo to draw Magneto, and that led to a funny recounting, so it wasn’t all bad.
Back on the floor, I got Brian Azzarello to sign my new 100 Bullets book, and I talked to him a little about the series. I’m not particularly big on signatures, but it’s a great way to start up a conversation with someone when they’re behind a table. Azzarello was standoffish at first, but warmed up as we talked about the various books. I told him that I liked “The Counterfifth Detective” the best out of the books I’d read, and he joked that he may have overwritten that one. I also got Trish Mulvihill to sign the book on Brian’s suggestion, but like an idiot I missed the opportunity to pick her brain on colouring, an aspect of comics I’ve only recently begun to pay real attention to.
Walking by the ACTOR booth I saw George Perez, but he was busy with other people, so I didn’t get a chance talk to him. I spoke a little with Dave Johnson as I got him to sign my 100 Bullets book, before heading over to Greg Rucka’s table. I came in on the middle of a discussion on U.S. foreign policy, during which I got to talk with him about Queen & Country and the bits I liked most when I read A Gentleman’s Game recently. I got him to sign my favourite issue of Gotham Central, and on his suggestion I passed it over to Michael Lark who signed it and then defaced the cover. I’ll show you what I mean when I get my scanner back up. Thanks for nothing, Lark.
My favourite person to speak to, by far, was Jimmy Palmiotti, who is just as affable and good natured as his image suggests. I’d taken a few photocopies of the story me and Des are getting published with me, but I didn’t see much of an opportunity to show them to anyone, so when I saw Jimmy I thought I’d ask him for some tips on inking. He went through the pages almost panel by panel and told me what was working and what I could improve. The advice he gave was useful and honest, and though he joked the whole time, everything he said was substantial. It was the most human conversation I’ve had at one of these things. He finished by saying, “This is good work, not Marvel or DC good, but you’re only going to get better.”
The only real disappointment of the day came at the end when I went to see Darwyn Cooke, and got to his table just in time to see him packing up his stuff to leave. I took one final round of the floor, debated on buying a few more trades, and then left. I enjoyed the con more this year than last, mainly for the good conversations I had, both with the big names, and with some of the people putting stuff out independently, as well. The crowds seemed smaller this year, and the pros were more accessible than last. Virtually no one that I talked to had a lineup, and with those that did, if I wandered and came back the line would be gone. Vancouver doesn't get big conventions like this, but having experienced these two now, I might make my way down to Seattle for Emerald City if I'm on the west coast next year.