Pipeline: NYCC Wrap-Up, Todd McFarlane and...the XFL?

Tue, October 23rd, 2012 at 2:58pm PDT

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

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MORE FROM NYCC 2012

Previously at New York Comic Con 2012, I gave a rundown of Artist Alley, lots of pictures, and how cosplayers gave me the warm and fuzzies. We continue this week with the leftover bits, the names not yet dropped, some new resolutions, and more hilarity.

  • I never went in the DC booth because there literally was nowhere to go once you got near it. Walking around it wasn't always possible either, particularly when Poison Ivy was busy adjusting Master Chief's helmet. Sorry for the blurry picture, but it was a last minute iPhone shot as I was moving with the flow:

    As you might suspect, those costumes couldn't walk five feet without stopping for a circle of cameras.

  • In retrospect, I wish I had made it a goal to cover the cosplayers more at this convention. I'm torn: Part of me yearns for respect for the art form of comics and thinks that it's never going to happen so long as we have people parading around convention floors in spandex and other awkward attire. But then there's the photographer half of me that sees cosplay as its own artform, and one that's exciting to capture. Plus, you know, it's just people having fun in their own way and it's not stopping me from having my fun for the most part, so what's the bother?

    In looking back at the pictures I took, I decided that I would very much like to go to NYCC 2013 and dedicate a substantial chunk of time to taking pictures of cosplayers. But I don't want to do it haphazardly. I don't want it to be entirely run and gun. I don't want to stop someone in an aisle, take a quick shot of them, and keep moving. I'd rather work with them to get something in character. I'd rather take a respectable format given the constraints of the lighting of the convention center and perhaps a single on-camera flash. That's exciting to me.

    As it turns out, I'm not alone in thinking that. Check out the amazing cosplay photographs (Friday, Saturday) featured here at CBR by photographer Pete Labrozzi. Those are the kinds of pictures I was thinking about. Glad to see someone took care of it for CBR, and gave us something different from so many of the other cosplayer galleries around the web in the last week.

  • This is the kind of picture I don't want to take anymore. I should have taken the thirty seconds to stand squarely in front of him, tilt the camera on its side, and gotten a good close-up of his head and hands. That would have looked more like a comic book panel. This picture -- this is just a dude in a costume near the men's room. (To be fair, it was a rush shot on the way to catch Elmo in action. C'mon, ELMO! You have to give me some leeway for that, right?s)

  • Ran into Todd "Perhapanauts" Dezago briefly in Artist Alley. We discussed mostly the crowds and the desire to leave the convention center, spread our wings out wide, and traipse across wide open countrysides like Maria von Trapp. OK, maybe it wasn't that bad, but Todd was definitely missing elbow room. Be sure to make him feel better by picking up "Tellos Colossal" Volume 2 or pre-ordering "Perhapanauts: Danger Down Under" today!

  • While talking to Todd, I met artist Agnes Garbowska. She had a couple books for sale, and they were my first purchases of the convention. I couldn't say no to her style, which is so cute and expressive. The first book, "Mymisiu Gazette" compiles some of her webcomics. You can see the start of one of them on her web site here. The book makes the webcomic look even better, though. The lettering has been redone with the grammatical/spelling mistakes fixed along the way. Also, the art just looked better on paper. I have a larger monitor, and I find myself squinting to see all the detail of the comic on screen. In print, though, it's clear as day.

    What I didn't realize until I perused her website, though, is that Garbowska did some work at Marvel, including a story in "Girl Comics" and four pages of the "Spider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special." Her style is perfect for Spider-Man. Check out this first page, complete with The Watcher. Awesome stuff.

    The second book she had one sale at her table was "You, Me, and Zombie," a short hardcover book that has the prelude to a larger webcomic, along with sketchbook and other materials. It's the perfect convention book -- something you'd buy direct from an artist as his or her table in Artist Alley, but probably not something you'd ever pre-order through your local comic shop, thinking it too slight.

    I'm kicking myself for not getting Garbowska's picture now. She was the first artist I talked to, and I hadn't gotten my Photographer Mojo going yet. Ugh. Better luck next year getting off to a running start. . .

  • Also had the chance to chat with an old friend of Pipeline's, Ken Knudsten. You know him best as the maniac behind "My MOnkey's Name is Jennifer," reviewed in Pipeline a decade ago. His unique angle on the most mundane pop culture trivia -- so useless that even Jeopardy! doesn't bother with it -- is always a source of amusement. Take, for example, this picture:

    That's Knudsten handing off an authentic licensed XFL football to Aquaman, who displays no proper football form. Remember the XFL? Knudsten does. In detail.

    Being jealous that someone had a better XFL photo in their collection than I did, I had to take an "official" pic of Knudsten to update the column.

  • If he's at a convention I'm at, I know that I'll run into Tripwire's Joel Meadows. I can't explain how it's possible, but we always run into each other. 116,000 people be damned, we managed to cross paths. This year, it was in the last hour or so of the day, but Joel and I had a nice chat about the convention, photography (he has a nice book of black and white creator portraits), and the fun of interviewing creators. Amazingly, neither of us took the other's portrait. Because, well, who'd care?

  • I wonder if security ever moved this guy. I kind of hope not. I know I was entertained for 15 seconds by him -- just long enough to take a picture and move along.

  • Todd Nauck drew on a car. He wasn't alone. The car was parked in the middle of Artist Alley, with a number of artists having added their handiwork to it. I liked Todd's work the most.

  • Standing not too far away from the car was this guy, who I thought of as the Naked Cowboy of Artist Alley, despite being fully clothed and horribly jaundiced. Sometimes, I don't "get" what people are promoting, but I can enjoy the sideshow, nonetheless.

  • This is the long hallway you needed to walk down to get to Artist Alley. Blocking the left half was a tent with a Tomb Raider set-up that people were entering to play. Nintendo also had a wall of characters promoting something. I didn't stop long enough to figure out what.

  • It's like a metaphor for the comics industry -- The Walking Dead hangs high and huge over the industry's head. Or something. I wasn't good at comparative literature or fancy analysis.

  • Here's a close-up of the Blacksad sketch Juanjo Guarnido did in the book I bought from him.

  • I do get irked at people referring to the show simply as "Comic Con." To me -- and to the Trademark department, I believe -- that's a name that only San Diego gets to use so cavalierly. But there's never been a fight over it, even when Wizard started using it. It's fallen into common use now. So when security is referring to "Comic Con" over their loudspeakers, my initial annoyance has now lapsed into acceptance.

    And, of course, there is a major difference. San Diego keeps the hyphen in "Comic-Con" while New York just calls it "Comic Con." (Note the hyphenation difference.)

    But the show itself is a fair mirror of its west coast cousin. All it needs is more of the west coast exhibitors and twice as much space for LucasFilm to set up in. It's overcrowded to an almost scary degree on the main floor, but has most of the same types of exhibitors. It needs a few more publishers -- I didn't see IDW or BOOM! there this year, for example -- and a few more animation-specific dealers, but it rivals San Diego now.

    That's exciting for me, because it's a simple 25 minute drive an a $16 ferry ride round trip away. If New York wants to be the new San Diego, I'll enjoy the convenience.

IT'S REALLY HAPPENING, TODD HAS VIDEO TO PROVE IT!

Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! It's something I've been tracking for the last couple of years and something I never thought we'd actually see. It seems, however, that Todd McFarlane is serious about it this time. His art book/autobiography, "The Art of Todd McFarlane" is due out on store shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. He's so serious, he posted a video about it on YouTube. I've been dubious all along that he'd get permission to show any of his Marvel/DC work in this book. He says in the video that it'll be in there, though there aren't any samples of it shown. That could be coincidence; that could be a contractual thing. ("The party is allowed to show his Marvel work as editorial product but not to use it in advertisement of the book," etc. etc.) We only have a month to wait now to see what we'll see. Sign me up!

PODCASTING LIKES

I told a friend recently that I don't listen to any comics podcasts at the moment. In the few days since, I've listened to two of them.

First, how could I pass up a Dave Sim interview? Inkstuds got the scoop, and a fine time was had by all, though I could almost imagine Scott Dunbier and Ted Adams in the room with Sim wanting to tie him down before he announces any more "potential" projects he might like to do someday before people start expecting them and get disppointed at IDW for not producing them. It was a call devoid of the kinds of things that get Sim in trouble, and I think he acquitted himself well. The one time he went on a political tangent, the host challenged him on it and he didn't properly defend his position, I think, but that's a minor thing. The point was, it was a fun hour of "Cerebus" and comics chat.

I followed that up with their interview with Boulet, a French comic artist whose blog has been linked to and passed along via all the usual social networks once or twice. His blog is available in French in a print edition, but nobody has offered him the chance to do an English version yet. I think Dark Horse or Fantagraphics needs to jump on that right damn now.

(Please?)

Second, I listened to Doughnuts and Top Cow, strictly because they were talking to Top Cow's letterer, Troy Peteri. And who am I to ignore an interview about lettering? It wasn't all lettering, but there was still some interesting chat on the topic there that's worth listening to. Once again, you'll learn how the best route to becoming a letterer is to get a degree in Graphic Design first.

Diving back into comic book podcast listening almost makes me twitchy to do my own podcasting again. ALMOST...

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TAGS:  pipeline, nycc2012, todd nauck, todd mcfarlane, xfl, cosplay

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