It was so cold and so nasty outside at 10AM that I was convinced the show would be a disaster. And then it was 4:30 before I left my table - I was trapped back there cuz the crowd was so nonstop.
Kirby monster comics. They were buying Kirby monster comics. Or at least this one pack of kids were. Like 3 of them. They were like 10 or 12 years old and they bought up all my Kirby monster comics. All day. They'd rifle through the boxes every half hour or so and buy a new one. All three of them. So six an hour for four hours is a pretty good haul.
I sold a lot of Dash Shaw's Cold Heat Special; a lot of posters by Jim Rugg and Lane Milburne. What else? People seem over Brendan McCarthy. He didn't sell too well. And neither did Trevor Von Eeden. The Kirby, Ditko, Steranko, Mazzucchelli and Nowlan sections were decimated. Sold a ton of Slash Maraud. Dave Stevens' Rocketeer sold well. Speak of the Devil and Girl Crazy sets also sold. People love Beto. People love Bullwinkle too. And old Atlas comics. And anything about old video games. Remember Vector? Sold a bunch of those, haha.
It was definitely one of the most interesting crowds I'd seen in awhile. Very diverse in that New York way. Lots of parents with cool little kids who asked me a lot of interesting questions. One of them asked me "What's better: good art or entertaining story?" I laughed. Good question. I broke it down for him and then he pondered his 25 cent purchase with the intensity of a banker.
Lots of people well versed in comics who said they liked my selections. Lots of people buying stuff cuz maybe they had that particular comic when they were young. Also, lots of people who told me they'd never really seen comics for sale like I was selling them. So, something was going on. These were different fans than I was used to seeing at small press shows or at big comics conventions. It felt like a flea market or like an older form of comics convention. Fandom.
I think what's really fun about pushing old wacky comics to this type of crowd is that they're open to it. They want to read comic books. They're amazed to learn that these titles existed. I like to think they're relieved comics don't have to be serious or necessarily Art or something like that and are connecting back to the spirit of the form itself.
And amongst the masses, Brinkman made an appearance! Studying old Charlton Horror comics, he stood transfixed by Pat Boyette's artwork. See? The tree of influence in action.
What's hard to capture in these notes is the good feeling going around at that show. It was fun seeing everyone gathered together in such a ramshackle fashion. Refreshing. Nothing felt forced or off.
I wished I could have seen the Panter / Saul panel. Or the Ben Katchor panel. When Aaron C asked me why I wasn't at that one I wanted to strangle him.
The only break I had from the mad crowd was when it was time for the live drawing panel. Gabrielle Bell and R. Sikoryak each created a page of comics live on stage. I moderated and blab'd on and on endlessly to the crowd. The audience was able to see what they were drawing and asked questions. Drawing on acetate on an overhead projector is kinda wonky, but Gabrielle and Bob did an awesome job. Thanks to both of them for being such good sports. And thanks to Bill K for suggesting the idea. Hopefully, we'll have a post about the whole thing in the near future. (There's a lot of visuals to sort through!)
Layout for Gabrielle and Bob
Will be posting Gabrielle's and Bob's pages soon. Need to make scans.
More soon. Thanks to Gabe and Dan. Awesome show!