Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Brass City Comic Con 2013

This show, once again held at Naugatuck Valley Community College, has been getting bigger and better every year. I had to leave early to go to work, but I definitely could have hung out all day. Between the artists, vendors, and special programs, there was a lot to do and see.

Some great finds at conventions: comics and art you didn't know existed.

The bargain boxes, always worth checking for affordable treasures.

Teeny tiny superheroes.

Look closely--Doctor Who is shopping for comics.

R2D2 making its first appearance of the day, with its builder and operator,
Daniel Rodriguez, standing discretely behind. Kids came running to see the droid.

Art Fight!

Two participants are given a subject to draw. They have two minutes to complete the image, then the spectators vote by applause for their favorite rendition.

The first battle begins, pitting brother against brother.

The spectators, watching the dueling artists at work.

The final drawings. There were numerous art fights throughout the day.

Artists' Alley

There were so many creative people present, they had to open up a second floor to fit them all in. Here's a sampling of who was there (apologies to everyone I missed).

Dan Moser, writer for Chaotic Soldiers and FUBAR, originally from Waterbury.

Jack Purcell, currently an inker at DC comics.

Connecticut artist Frank McLaughlin has been in the comic book industry since the Silver Age.
I can't even begin to list everything he's done--Wikipedia has a decent overview of his career.

Cesar Feliciano, Tyler James, and David Meikis.
Feliciano and James are currently collaborating on The Red Ten.

Cesar Feliciano, working on a commissioned artwork.
The final piece can be seen on Instagram.

Dave Meikis, working on a sketch of Spider-Man. Meikis grew up in Waterbury. He started out as a fan of Star Wars. When he spotted a Star Wars comic book on the spinner rack at Rite-Aid, he became hooked on comics, making regular visits to the spinner racks Rite-Aid and the Bunker Hill Pharmacy. Now he has a career in comic books, working for Marvel and DC.

The finished sketch of Spider-Man by Dave Meikis.

Matthew J. Fletcher, a New Haven artist.

Bronx native Emilio Velez, Jr., creator of The Dodgeball Teens.

Nick Palazzo, another Connecticut artist (so much talent in this small state).

Alex Simmons, creator of BlackJack.
Seated to his right is Ric Meyers, who's done so much stuff there's a Wikipedia entry about him.

T.C. Ford, artist and publisher of United Comics, kept busy with caricatures.

Batgirl poses for T.C. Ford while her little sister supervises.

Kids love comics--and comic conventions!

If you want to stay up-to-date with comic conventions in Connecticut, stop by Legends of Superheros on Straits Turnpike. It's a great comic book store, and they have their finger on the pulse of region's comic book world.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Other Waterbury

Ever try to do an internet search for something here in Waterbury, and find yourself directed to Waterbury, Vermont?

The Vermont Waterbury was chartered in 1763 by a group of 65 men from Connecticut and New Jersey. According to tradition, they chose the name Waterbury because many of them were from Waterbury, Connecticut.

The two Waterburys have occasionally assisted one another. When Waterbury-VT was devastated by a flood in 1927, Waterbury-CT sent $10,000 in aid. When our Waterbury needed assistance in 1955, Waterbury-VT sent $5,000 in aid.

Last week, I drove through Waterbury, Vermont, stopping for gas and coffee (from what I can tell, all coffee in Vermont is Green Mountain Coffee), and snapping a few photos. The name may be the same, but there are some definite differences.

One of the most striking differences is the Police Department. In Waterbury, Vermont, the police department shares a building with a chiropractor and a currently vacant office space.

Like our Waterbury, the Vermont Waterbury has a weekly Farmers' Market on the Green.

Their Farmers' Market is larger and includes a wine tasting table.

The Vermont Waterbury also has a nonprofit group dedicated to revitalizing their downtown, which seems weird, since their downtown is so picture-perfect, but I suppose strip malls have taken their toll on downtowns everywhere.

Waterbury, Vermont also has the Ben & Jerry's factory. I didn't have time to tour the facility, but it's only a three and a half hour drive from here, so maybe I'll go back someday.