Monday, September 29, 2008

Baltimore Con Report

I'm finally getting around to doing my usual post-con report on the annual Baltimore Con which i attended only on Saturday this year. Last year Sunday was pretty slow business wise for me, so along with that and the fact I have to spend my weekends catching up on freelance while in school, I decided to just do the one day. This year I set up shop with the Kids Love Comics booth, run by John (Buzz Boy) Gallagher. So along with my good buddy Scott Cohn I headed down and we parked and spent the day signing and drawing sketches. I have to admit, I was kinda' not in the spirit of the con this year, I have a lot of things on my plate and I am really not following the mainstream comic scene a lot, so I don't feel the pulse of the industry like I did.

My con report will sort of be brief as a result of that. I did see plenty of Babymen in attendance, and unfortunately I did not get a chance to get the BabymenT-shirts made yet, but I should have them done soon and for sale on my Ebay store soon. i did have a few people mention the Babymen to me, one guy even asked what they were, as he had been hearing the term, I told him to merely look around him and see if he could spot some himself...which he could. They are pretty easy to find. I didn't buy a darn thing and the afternoon flew by fast, so fast I only had about an hour to walk around and talk with friends, do some schmooze and business.

Superman and the Joker seem to be exchanging cell numbers...

Sorry dude, with the economy being tough right now, we are not taking any new members.
Grand master Nick Cardy who I read won a Harvey.

The Hellmen themselves, John Arcudi, Mike Mignola and Guy Davis
Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau

Some of the kids at the Kids Love Comics booth really got into the spirit of things and were having a lot of fun...
A Samurai Jack sketch I did.

You know I was wondering with the economy being crap and gas prices being still very high, if the show would suffer this year? From what I hear from friends at the show, their sales were pretty healthy, and I heard attendance was up. I don't know if that is true, it was pretty busy Saturday but the show was in a smaller hall this year, so I can't say if the crowd seemed bigger because the space was smaller. I read that overall sales are in the crapper and the big Animae show was happening the same weekend in NYC, so i wonder if this was felt in any way at the show? I will say I saw some costumes but nothing like the volume of cosplay or female fans I saw in the New York con. There were some female fans but far, far less and I would say this is much like the heroes con, really a solid Super Hero comic con. I did see a fair smattering of families with kids, some even with the whole family dressed up, which really makes me think of the con at times as almost a Halloween type pagent. I know I've said this before, but I will repeat it here, I think our society has really turned a corner where what used to be considered Geek Culture is really now mainstream. So your cosplay lifestyle is really just another life style choice like being into Rock, or Punk or Jesus.
My buddy Jamar Nicholas signs for some fans
Ivan Brandon and Mike Hawthorne

Scott Cohn signs for a fan. Congrats to Scott for landing his new gig drawing G.I. Joe!

Unlike the New York show, this was a fairly uncommon sight, to too many packs of roving fan girls at teh show from what I could see.

A Star Wars gag sketch I did for a friend...
The Great Ramon Fradon. I really like the fact that Mark Nathan has respect and love for the few great golden age artist we have left with us and has them to the show. I have been enjoy the big, fat DC Aquaman reprints that have both Fradon and Cardy's work in them.
This was my favorite pick of the whole show! batgirl should always be so precocious!

After the off and on rain the sky seemed to clear for a spell around sunset, but by the time we left to head back to Philly it was storming again. So the crowds that you usually find walking around the Inner harbor were not to be found this year. So all in all it was a fun day and I got to see a few friends I hadn't seen in a while. Before I can blink 3 times it will be September all over again and I'll be back in Baltimore for the next show. It's a fun and easy show to do, it has all the fun and spirit that the Wozard shows are clearly lacking, and if the industry is to shrink back, if it shrinks to have homey fun shows like this, well that's just fine with me. This con is all about comics, not all about everything else BUT comics, and that's just what I think the industry needs.

1 comment:

odessasteps said...

Hey Mike,

Sorry I didn't get to see you at Baltimore this year. Got sick and didn't make the drive down.

Did you happen to listen to Radio Times on WHYY today? there was a Penn State professor who wrote about about "boy men," how the current generation of young men is "not growing up" and stuff like that. I couldn't help but think about the whole "babyman" thing. If you didn't hear it, you might want to check out the podcast.