It’s Operation Lois Lane this week at New York Comic Con. That will be me cosplaying as Lois Lane. I’ll be in disguise as mild-mannered Nicky. My very first Comic Con was San Diego Comic Con in 2008 when my grandfather, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame forty three years after his demise. I had no idea about comic cons, what they were, who attended and why. I arranged for ten of us from my family to come to this event and the phrase—herding cats fits well here. Not for nothing is everyone creative, dramatic and full of individuality. Well what did you expect with the Major—a prolific creator and courageous adventurer—as the father and grandfather?
It was mouth gaping, mind blowing, amazing wading through thousands of people, many dressed in incredible costumes, with the noise on the floor and the lines of people waiting to get in to see the celebrities. It was a grand opera and an amazing spectacle. Every time I attend a comics convention I still have some of that initial beginner’s reaction whether it’s the wonderful artist centric MoCCA or the big cons in San Diego and New York, specialty events like Pulpfest, Windy City or mid-size conventions in various cities promoted by organizations such as Wizard World. They have their differences but there are some common threads.
Denise Dorman, wife of artist Dave Dorman (Batman, Star Wars) has recently written about the difficulties for artists at the comics conventions these days. Whatever you may think about her point of view, it brought up a lot of necessary talk about the very creators who make comics and how they fit into these conventions. I’m not sure that I have a complete grasp of what cosplay is much less have an opinion about it other than it seems so much a part of the whole that I don’t have a dog in that fight. Cosplay or no cosplay one of my favorite things to do is walk the aisles of Artist Alley. Each time I find an artist whose work I admire like Jim Steranko and I often find someone new who is doing something exciting and fun.
At San Diego Comic Con in 2010 not only did I get to meet Keith Knight whose work I have always related to and found laugh out loud funny but I also got a signed print! I discovered I could buy art that wasn’t in the million dollar category but affordable and desirable. I also happened upon the Strangler Brothers—an amusing comic drawn by the terrific Melinda Davidson and written by Judge Leverich and Josh Frankovich.
This year at San Diego Comic Con I bought a wonderfully quirky comic byDoug Paszkiewicz–Arsenic Lullaby because I love the artwork and the story line is clever and sophisticated. In Richmond just 3 weeks ago I met Shawn Martinbrough, whom many of you probably already know. He’s currently working on Thief of Thieves. Shawn is so talented, smart and focused and it was a real pleasure to connect with him and the fabulous Ayanna. I also discovered two adorable young artists just starting out. Their artwork caught my eye and their stories are interesting. More to come.
I met Danny Fingeroth, one of my best pals when I attended MoCCA for the first time in 2009. At the same time I discovered a young artist named Nathan Schreiber. Nathan was doing his own comic that was beautifully drawn and had an interesting story line. I stopped and talked with him for a while and we exchanged information and stayed in touch from time to time. I have been following his career for 6 years now and I’m even more excited about the way Nathan has developed as an artist. I fell in love with the work he did while he was in France. His style has matured and developed in a wonderful way. I’ve asked Nathan to tell you his story. It’s a classic tale you’ll enjoy and what’s especially nice is that it’s just the beginning.