Sunday, July 31, 2011

Brass City Comic Con

I stopped by the Brass City Comic Con at NVCC this morning. What better place for a comic book convention than the city in which the first comic books were printed?

The event was organized by Legends of Superheros, a great local comic book store.

As always with a comic convention, there were more men than women, but it was definitely not a male-only event (just as comic books are not just for guys--I learned to read at an early age, thanks to Supergirl and Wonder Woman comics).

The convention was a mix of dealers and creators. That's one of the best parts of a convention--getting to meet the artists and writers.

Artist Dave Meikis with samples of his work.

Dave Meikis brought both original artwork and copies of his published work for Marvel and DC comics. As you can see from the photo above, he also brought the tools of his trade--artists typically spend their time at conventions creating new art. Meikis has been working as an inker since the mid-1990s.

Dan Moser, Creator/writer of Chaotic Soldiers, and friends.

Most people are probably aware of Marvel and DC comics, mega-publishers of familiar brands like Spiderman, X-Men, Batman and Superman. There are also smaller publishers like Dark Horse, which publishes Hellboy. Then there are the independent publishers and the self-publishers.

Cesar Feliciano working on a drawing.

The large publishers have a tendency to stick to a standard, proven formula with their comics and aren't looking to publish something different. Comic book creators often seek out small publishers for work that is more unique, or if they want to retain full creative control of what they do.

Carl Herring, Jr.

Carl Herring, Jr. is a Bridgeport comic book creator as well as the founder of Three J Productions. He began self-publishing in 1996. The comic book world is largely populated by white men. Female collectors and creators are rare, and black collectors and creators are even rarer.

Prof. William H. Foster III

William H. Foster, Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College, is also a comic book collector and the author of Looking For a Face Like Mine. He has assembled an exhibit of covers from different decades, showing how black people have been depicted--sometimes heroically, sometimes offensively.

Prof. Foster's exhibit, "Changing Image of Blacks in Comics"

Also present, with samples of his work and drawing board at hand, was Milford-based caricature artist T. C. Ford, who was also the last Editor at Charlton Comics in Derby. Charlton was the publisher of some great comics, including work by artist Steve Ditko. Charlton's superhero line was bought by DC Comics in 1983, and Charlton Comics closed in 1985. Ford is now Publisher/Editor/Creator of United Comics, which publishes creator-owned comics.

Caricature artist T. C. Ford.

There were other creators present, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get good photos of them. And then, of course, there were the dealers with their boxes full of comics for sale.

Legends of Superheros table.

Plenty of discount boxes, but also a nice mix of higher-priced hard-to-find comics on display.

The next Waterbury convention will be this September, again organized by Legends of Superheros. The first annual ClassiConn will be held at the Coco Key Water Resort Hotel and Convention Center, September 23-25, which will make for a fun weekend.

ClassiConn will encompass comic books, sports cards and collectibles, as well as Magic tournaments all three days. Confirmed guests so far include Dwight "Doc" Gooden, pitcher for the Mets and Yankees, Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd and Bob Stanley, pitchers for the Red Sox.


T.C. Ford said...

Hi, Waterbury Girl:

Great post, great pics!

This is T.C. Ford. Just to update you a little, while I am a caricature artist (a better link to me would be, your current link leads to one of my booking agents who always tops the search engines somehow}, I am also noted as the last Editor of defunct Derby, CT publisher Charlton Comics and as current Publisher/Editor/Creator of United Comics - - most of my big press was in the '80s & '90s, these days it's "Who's That Guy?". I just wanted to set the record straight, as I've worked at various comics industry publishers over the last 30 years.

Waterbury Girl said...

Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing--I had to choose between posting the blog the same day and or waiting many days while I did my research.

I always loved Charlton Comics and was sad when they closed. I think I was in high school at the time. I remember that a friend's mother worked there.

I'll update the blog post with the better link and little more info. Thanks again!