Just about every year, I spend a week in Louisiana. Sometimes I get over to New Orleans, but most of the time I’m with old friends in New Iberia parish. My pals are folks like Dave Robicheaux, his daughter Alafair and his best friend Clete Purcell. They are good people, but boy, do they get into a lot of trouble.
My visits are facilitated by author James Lee Burke, and he’s been writing about these characters for years. He’s prolific and his novels never disappoint. Have you read a James Lee Burke story yet? Ostensibly they are thrillers. He’s superb at ratcheting up the suspense each and every time. Beyond that, Burke also has a way to peer into humanity’s soul and wrap it all up in poetic prose. His brilliant writing is achingly beautiful.
I just finished the second most recent one, called Robicheaux. His newest, which I should read soon, is called New Iberia Blues. Burke also writes other books outside of this series, and I’ve been enthralled by them too. I’d strongly suggest you give them a try.
But maybe I will really fly down there. Left Field Media just announced a new comic convention in New Orleans.
It will be a two day show this summer called Big Easy Con. In addition to standard comic-con elements, there’s also a a family friendly pavilion called Big Easy Con Jr. that looks to be a collaboration with the Toy Association
Comic publishers already onboard include Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, and Legendary. Their Artist Alley looks to be a little different too. It’s a curated section of the exhibit hall floor for independent and mainstream comic creators, webcomic artists, professional writers/illustrators, a Makers Market and an exhibit showcasing artisans and crafters original hand-made goods.
Greg Topalian is a bright guy who loves baseball and, like every good entrepreneur and base-stealer, is always on the lookout for new opportunities. When he was at the behemoth Reed Expo, he was the guy who started New York Comic Con. Operating within this bureaucratic structure, he was essentially an entrepreneur. (An intrapreneur, actually.)
He left Reed to launch Left Field Media. His entrepreneurial venture continuously and impressively, hits home runs. Somehow Greg and his team make it all seem easy, although I know running conventions is anything but easy.
I caught up with Greg for a mini-interview to learn some insights from him:
Ed Catto: Why do you enjoy creating comic cons?
Greg Topalian: I have always loved the energy of Cons and the pure joy it creates for fans. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing fans have a great time and creating truly memorable moments.
EC: Why New Orleans? Is it a good spot for a con?
GT: Those people know how to Cosplay!! It’s a great city and we felt that there was room for a great Con. The fans and community have been very supportive!
EC: You always seem to ensure that your conventions are top-notch for attendees & exhibitors, Greg.
GT: There is no other way to run an event. People spend a lot of their time and money to attend so we owe it to them.
EC: You have a lot going on – what’s next?
GT: Nothing official but we are very excited about how well Anime NYC has been received, so will have more to say soon!
What else can you say except, “Go Greg, go!” Here’s to his strong entrepreneurial spirit and the authenticity and respect he’s always brought to geek culture.
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And here’s a little more from their official press release:
- Saturday, June 1; exhibit hall hours 10am – 7pm, programming until 10pm
- Sunday, June 2; exhibit hall & programming hours 10am – 5pm
NOTE: We’ve just received word that the convention has been pushed back to November 1-3, 2019. Visit bigeasycon.com for the latest updates and more programming to come. New days and times will now be:
- FRIDAY, November 1: 2 PM – 9PM
- SATURDAY, November 2: 10 AM – 7PM
- SUNDAY, November 3: 10 AM – 5 PM
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70130
- Adam Kubert (X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Superman, Ghost Rider, Wolverine)
- Charles Soule (Daredevil, She-Hulk, Death of Wolverine)
- Chrissie Zullo (Vampirella, Josie and the Pussycats, Fables: The Wolf Among Us, Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love)
- David Finch (Ultimate X-Men, The Death of Captain America, X-Men: Messiah CompleX, and X-Men: Second Coming)
- Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas, X-Men First Class, Hulk, Flash Gordon, Batman ’66, Aquaman, Future Quest, Thunderbolts, Justice League United)
- Kyle Starks (Sexcastle, Rock Candy Mountain, Secret Wars, Too, Invader Zim, Rick and Morty)
- Peter Tomasi (Batman and Robin, Robin Rises: Omega, Superman/Wonder Woman)
- Amy Jo Johnson (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie)
- Lennie James (AMC’s The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Low Winter Sun, Jericho)
- Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
- C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders, Side Out, Asylum Days, The Amazing Spider Man)
- Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Beauty and the Beast, Blade II, Sons of Anarchy)
- Kristin Bauer (True Blood, One Upon a Time, The Crew, Hidden Hills)
- Laurie Holden (AMC’s The Walking Dead, The X-files, The Majestic, The Shield, The Mist)
- Lou Ferrigno (Incredible Hulk)
- Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street)
- Superstar Big E™ (WWE®)
- Superstar Xavier Woods™ (WWE®)
For more information – visit www.bigeasycon.com