With Further Ado #206: Conventional Fun

You know how “The Holiday Season” starts right after Halloween and continues until a little while before the NFL playoffs? For comics, and geek culture, I feel like we’re in that time right now. We’re in the thick of convention season.

This past weekend, when driving home past Morristown, NJ, I decided not to stop at a convention there. It looked like a great con: with top guests like Louis Simonson, her husband Walter, Howard Chaykin and more. But you know what? I reasoned there were so many conventions, for me, on the horizon, and I kind of needed to get back home anyways.

Locally, this weekend in Rochester, specifically July 16th, there’s another comic convention. It’s the third Empire Comic Fest. They seem to keep getting better and better. These are fun shows run by professionals, like Ken Wheaton, who just love comics. And especially love back issues. Mike Grell is the featured guest and I’m sure he’ll be lots of fun. More info here.

Any visit to Jared Aiosa’s comic shop, Heroes Your Mom Threw Out, in Elmira NY is almost like a visit to a comic convention. Jared clearly loves comics, and boy, does he have a lot of comics for sale. Walking through this store instills one with a sense of wonder.

This Saturday he’s hosting comics writer Ed Brisson. There’s Something Wrong With Patrick Todd is a new AfterShock comic that Ed is promoting. Many fans know him from his long list of credits at DC and Marvel. I’ve been a fan of his since enjoying his time travel comic, Comeback, about a decade ago. Here’s a nice article on it from the local paper.

At San Diego Comic-Con, I always enjoyed visiting the Vanguard booth and visiting J. David Spurlock. I would always haggle over one book or another. The conversations and the banter were always more important than any discount. And reading a Vanguard book on the plane ride home become an annual ritual. The truth of the matter was that just about all the books Vanguard published were “my favorites”.

Vanguard won’t be at SDCC this year, but the publisher will be at Dallas’ Retro Expo. It’s a convention billed as “by collectors, for collectors”. It looks like fun, and who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend with Lindsey Wagner, right? (I’d love to talk to her about her Rockford Files episodes one day.)

Sounds like there’s a lot going on, eh? Next time, we’ll dive into SDCC feet first. And in the perfect world, I’d also spend time this summer at TerrifiCon and PulpFest too.