Now that we have a full slate of convention season set for 2022, we polled some of the creators who made it out to Fan Expo Philadelphia about how they are feeling. The question being asked of each participant was, “What did you find that you missed the most about being at conventions during the time that we didn’t have the opportunity to attend these events?”
The people that we spoke to were in general excited and happy to be at the show, and that includes creator guests, vendors, and paying customers. The answer to the poll question typically fell into one of two basic categories.
Yeah. People. This community is built around comic shops and comic cons.
The first sentiment involved missing the fan interaction that they enjoy at shows. Missing the chance to talk to fans and checking out the cool costumes that people wear to cosplay at the shows were two themes that were part of those answers.
The feedback that fans give creators is a significant plus for the pros who are working the shows. Often the solitude of creating comic books on their own, takes an emotional toll, and interacting with consumers of their product puts the amount of creative time spent on their craft in perspective.
I missed interactions with the people. I know that I wouldn’t be able to do this gig, full-time, without the relationships I made with the people at the show. That’s everything. They sustained me through the pandemic. They supported me even though they were struggling themselves. So, I missed most the give and take at the table, whether people buy something or not. That was the biggest thing. Just seeing everyone.
So, I think what I miss most is actually meeting the readers and the fans in person. It’s totally different. Even when you’re on either a virtual event or you’re interacting with people on Twitter and Instagram, it’s not the same. I love seeing like meeting the readers and hearing the stories about why they love the comics, or which book they got hooked on. Also, I like seeing my creator friends in person.
I definitely miss getting to interact with people reading the book, having conversations with people about what they like reading, and cosplayers. I am so baffled by the amazing things that they make. Somebody, yesterday, had like a handmade mallet, like a Harley [Quinn] mallet that they made. I was like, “I don’t even know where I would start that. That’s just different creative juices and energy.” That’s awesome.
I mean I, the obvious answer was “the people”, right? Getting to, to see fans face to face and talk comics again. Yeah. People. This community is built around comic shops and comic cons.
It’s nice to see everybody back…., and let’s hope it stays that way.
The second thing that people mentioned was the connection with fellow creators and their friends. Comic conventions are important economic generation machines for many aspects of the comics and entertainment industry. However, it is important to remember that creators are genuine human beings with all the needs and feelings that the rest of us have. Shocking, I know!
Despite what may be generally believed, comic book writers and artists are not just names in a book or automated bots on Twitter. The affection that they have for their colleagues is genuine, and we are happy that everyone is having the opportunity to see friends and family after the almost two-year hiatus.
As a writer, I’m in the cave all day. It’s a very hermetic experience, and being able to collaborate with artists and editors, and to be able to interact with fans, like that’s what keeps me going at the desk. So, to be able to get out in the world again and tap into that energy is very meaningful. It is infectious and makes me excited for the year to come because I’m going to be on the road making up for lost time.
I think the thing I missed the most was hanging out with like friends and stuff afterwards. That kind of like, becomes your social life too. So, it’s nice to be here meeting with fans and doing the artwork, but the social aspect is fun to have that back because that’s the artist’s social life: being with their friends at conventions.
The thing I missed most is just catching up with my friends. Other comic book people that I follow on Twitter. We follow each other on social media, and now we’re like finally able to catch up and go, “How was that experience working on Harley Quinn? How was that experience working with this editor?” And we can like just catch up and, you know, gossip and whatever. That’s the stuff that I live for. That’s my favorite part about Cons.
The thing that I think I particularly miss the most was just not only seeing the fans but seeing fellow creators. We don’t get to see each other that often. We all live in different parts of the country and there’s a camaraderie to the industry at times that you don’t get when you’re in the house. During the pandemic, it wasn’t a great time for everybody, but it’s nice to see everybody back. It’s nice to see all our creative fellow creators, and let’s hope it stays that way.
Thanks to all the creators who participated in this poll. We saw a return to some level of normalcy at this convention. While some level of apprehension remains, the feeling at this show was that comic cons are indeed back and people are happy about it.