SDCC Comic Con Recap – Notable Things
The Dark Productions team shares their thoughts on different topics from San Diego Comic Con 2016. Some of us are veteran CCI attendees while others are attending the Con for the first time in years and/or are brand new exhibitors! Learn what it’s like behind the scenes. If you’re hoping to produce and promote your own comics & graphic novels someday, we hope our thoughts and experiences will shed some light into the world of being a small press company.
I really like Topshelf and First Second Books publishers. They both have historical and slice of life books. Having a couple of sculptures on our table helped draw attention. It’s convenient to apply for the following year’s Wondercon and CCI on site on Sunday. For years, I have admired European comics and Jazz Maynard was very high on my list. This year I was super excited that Europe Comics had finally translated the books into English! I had the pleasure of meeting Roger, the incredible artist and looking at his fantastic original art. I always try to put my money where my mouth is and I always like promoting small press so this year I bought a wonderful trade from Black Mask Studios called “We Can Never Go Home.” It was a recommendation made by a new friend we made from Regine’s WINC panelist and comics writer Vita Ayala. I traded books with the guys at Clockwork Watch films and it was nice seeing Igor again from Epicenter Comics. It feels rewarding to make new friends in small press and inspire each other.
The variety of exhibitors was overwhelming!!! I visited every table on the floor over the 4 days, taking note of booth designs, listening to sales pitches, and collecting cards and advertisements for future research.
I was impressed most by the Webcomic section – these booths were top notch in mixing books, merchandise, and even things like board/card games. I really liked the presentation of Alejandro Lee’s Ballad of Sally Sprocket & Piston Pete, the booth with Oren’s Forge by Teagan Gavet and the Girl Genius series. Booths with games (dice, card, board) were not as plentiful and they seemed to attracted decent attention.
As a writer I was a little dismayed by the low volume of novel-length fiction outside of the major print booths, but that was expected since comics are a more visual medium. That said, I was encouraged by the few projects mixing fiction-length work with graphic-novels or manga, such as the Curseborn Saga. That gives me great hope for our Doomsday graphic-novel project and inspires me to be creative with Pulse.
There were other people doing what we are planning to do: taking novels and turning them into graphic novels/manga. This was a huge deal to see small press companies tackling a project like this because previously I’ve only seen well-known novels and big companies produce such a product. It was also amazing to hear that so many people started with a crowd-funding campaign, which seems so daunting to me.
I was invited to sign my books at a booth for the independent San Diego bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, which has a built-in following. It allowed me to introduce my books and other Dark Productions titles to a whole bunch of people on a one on one basis, which was great!
This year was a beautiful madness with so many things to note. 2016 marks the first time I was invited to speak at a panel and despite my initial nervous butterflies, I ended up having a great time discussing topics of diversity in the comics industry. The panel was called “Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender & The Comic Book Medium” and was hosted by Women in Comics NYC Collective International of which I’ve been a member of since 2014. (Thank you to Ms. Regine Sawyer who heads this amazing collective.) We spoke about women of color working in the comic book industry and it led me to creators of note including meeting panelists, fellow cosplayer, Jay Justice, and writer, Vita Ayala, for the first time.
Like Nguyen, I was also turned to BlackMask Studios and their exceptional line-up of comics. Thanks to Vita, we picked up Kim & Kim, Jade Street and We Can Never Go Home. Their level of professionalism blew me up away. I’m knee deep in their comics right now and can’t wait to see what else is coming our way from this publishing company.
As always, I enjoyed running into fellow Girls Drawin’ Girl member Ma. Victoria Robado (aka Shouri). I shared a table shift with her on Friday and it was nice to catch up a bit. I’m a huge fan of Victoria’s work on IDW’s Jem & The Holograms title — she’s a coloring beast guys. (And I mean that with 100% respect.) It’s the candy-colored comic of my dreams. A Misfits spin-off comic was announced during the convention so it’ll be awesome to see what IDW produces next for the Jem franchise.