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NEW YORK STATE OF MIND 2012 PART ONE
So I am back from New York Comic Con. I missed 2011 because I was moving and that made money a bit tight that year. What is scary is just how busy it has become since 2010 and the Saturday felt like San Diego Comic Con. It was still a great show and I did loads of interviews (mainly for Comic Heroes) and I managed to catch up with people like Andy Grossberg and Susie Lee, split a room with Bill Baker, hung out with Walter Simonson, Grant Morrison and had dinner with Mike Kaluta. I was going to do a show report here but the fact is that I didn’t get to see any of the panels and the main hall was too busy for me a lot of the time, so I either hid in Artists Alley or avoided the show (which I did do for much of Saturday). So here’s a selection of photos I took of some of the people I encountered or interviewed or saw, even from a distance. This may be a multipart post…

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HIT THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST PART ONE

It’s been a while since I went to a US show, partly because of the flat move last year. So when Wonder Con announced that they would be at Anaheim rather than San Francisco this year, I decided to try a new show. Emerald City Comic Con has been running for a decade and since I hadn’t really been to Seattle before (I spent an afternoon and an evening there about a decade ago while I was staying in Portland), I thought it was worth a proper visit. It has a reputation for rain and on a few of the days, this reputation was deserved. We did see some sunshine though including on the Monday after the show when myself and travelling companion Andy C walked to the Space Needle, which on a clear day does have some fantastic views. I did a number of interviews during the show with comic creators like Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Chris Burnham, Barry Kitson, Darick Robertson and Georges Jeanty and took loads of photos (there’s a shock, eh?;). Andy C and myself also got to catch up with Andy Grossberg and Susie Lee, who we haven’t seen since San Francisco last year. We wandered down to Pike Place and the market, which made for a fun couple of afternoons and also checked out the Elliot Bay Bookstore, a great bookshop. I didn’t realise that it would be quite as hilly as it was but this did give it some interesting vistas. I felt that we had only scratched the surface of the city with our six-day stay there. So here’s a selection of my photos both at the show and in the city itself…

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BITING THE BIG APPLE
I’ve not been to a New York Comic Con since 2008, when they were in the beginning of the year. So I decided that 2010 would be the year I would go back. October is a nicer time of the year than February so the weather was bound to be better. Unfortunately we left this rather late and because hotels were seemingly too expensive, we decided to book a flat. We searched online and found a place called feelnyc.com which looked quite decent. We booked a place in the East Village, which was cheaper than a hotel but we booked it with the understanding that it would have two beds. But when we got there, it turned out that it only had one bed and didn’t really match the photograph that was on their website. So we were forced to book a hotel at very short notice. To top that, they have refused to return my deposit. So that cast a shadow over the trip. I won’t be using anybody like them in the future and I would hope that people reading this blog would bear this in mind if they were to use them in the future. We found a hotel up near the park which was pretty nice but cost more than we were planning to spend. I felt a little bit stupid considering that I have been to New York countless times. But the days after were a lot better: we got to catch up with my friend Mark Chiarello at DC for lunch, we visited animator Bill Plympton in his studio and also we visited Mike Kaulta’s studio on the Upper West Side. So the precursor to the show was pretty enjoyable. The weather started as rainy but it became very nice and it actually felt like it was summer rather than autumn. The show was very impressive: from the Thursday afternoon icv2 Digital Comics Conference, it was obvious that it had already grown since I was last there. Icv2 brought together important figures like Boom’s Mark Waid, comicsbeat.com’s Heidi MacDonald and Marvel’s David Gabriel to discuss how digital does and should fit into the current market. We even got to catch up with Bill Baker, who I’ve not seen in over two years, for dinner which was very enjoyable. When we got there on Friday, the queue to get in was crazy but luckily because I was registered as press, I was able to circumvent this. New York Comic Con 2010 had an amazing guest list of the biggest and best comic creators working in American comics today including Brian Bendis, Joe Kubert, Adam Kubert, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and many more. Unlike San Diego Comic Con, even though film and TV was represented through the Walking Dead‘s Frank Darabont and a preview of Marvel’s Thor movie and DC’s Green Lantern film, comics were still the main thing on the menu. I have heard that it may have hit 100,000 people this year and this is phenomenal. Considering that it has only been going for five years, this is even more staggering. New York has been the home of the American comic for decades but at last it has a show that reflects that. We did visit Brooklyn on one of the days after the show but I’m going to save that for another post. Here are some photos I took at the show to give you a flavour of what it was like…