So this past weekend, September 29, marked the second Asbury Comic Con. Organized and presented by Cliff Galbraith of Crucial Comics and Robert Bruce of popculturizm.com and held once again at Asbury Lanes. With only thirty to forty-five tables it’s definitely on the small side but all of those tables are filled with some of the finest independent and self-published comics, art and memorabilia.
I love this convention, they really go out of their way to get good people, the ones out there that are doing they’re damnedest to get their books out to the public. The kind of people who want to tell you about their book. And the fact that it’s held in a bowling alley? That has a bar? C’mon this is Valhalla.
So many great creators, many whose books have already been profiled on this and other sites…
Megabrain Comics was there, with their book American Dark Age an unmitigated success, and issue 2 is hot on it’s heels. Editor Michael Vuolo and writer Jean D Michel were there with copies of issue one, t-shirts and a 13 page preview of issue 2! As soon as I have time to read it you can be sure you’ll hear all about it…
Eric Grissom and Phil Sloane were also in attendance for the second year. The author and artist (respectively) of another favorite here at What’cha Readin “Dead Horse” is a gripping suspense/adventure book that follows the journey of William Pike. He’s a man on a mission to unlock the secrets of the letter and key he received from his long dead father, if he can survive the forces that have set out to stop him.
Even if you haven’t read a single issue go and buy issue five. Read it once and I guarantee you’ll need to buy the previous four. Buy it here. Or ask for it at your local comic shop.
Then we have M3, the story of an assassin on the run from the FBI, written by Erica Schultz and illustrated by the legendary Vicente Alcázar. This book is gorgeous and the story is tense and fast paced. The first six issues collected in graphic novel form will be available at New York Comic Con! Not going to make it to NYCC? Get your local shop to order it for you!
Then we come to the Connelly sisters. College students who live in the area this is their second convention and they are the epitome of why we still need small shows. thINK Illustration is their endeavor and they have some great stuff to show! Both Paige and Claire are artists with Paige leaning more toward the animation end while Claire is leaning much more heavily toward comics. In fact when I met the girls in May (Asbury Comic Con 1) I picked up Claire’s book “Valves”, it was amazing. A story I would have thought was written by someone with many more years under her belt. This time around Claire had “Wheat King”, a poignant, moving story that she has posted in it’s entirety on her tumblr (see that link back there? click on it you fool!) Having already read the story I knew immediately that I had to buy a copy. I’m glad I did, now I can lend it to my peeps at Royal Collectibles!
That’s just a few of the people/books I was expecting or had already seen before this convention. But there were so many others that deserve some love, stay tuned for reviews on some excellent books you may not have been lucky enough to stumble across yet….
The Wonder City – written by Justin Rivers and illustrated by Courtney Zell, is a mystery set in the Greatest City in the World (yes NYC) in 1942. I’ve read it, I loved it. Here’s a blurb from the site:
“Where does myth end and history begin? What if there was no difference between the two? The Wonder City is a graphic novel that re-imagines the entire history of New York City, an adventure where myth and history become intertwined in a mystery over 400 years old.”
Sounds good right? Click here for a seven page preview
Then there was Tyranny of the Muse, written by Eddie Wright, illustrated by Jesse Balmer. This intense, disturbing story concerns Frank Fisher and the addiction that’s taken hold of him. He’s gotten hooked on “seeds of inspiration”. Don’t be fooled that’s no metaphor. They’re actual seeds injected into his body and without them Frank Fisher is nothing. Check out the link above, the site has a preview.
Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo were back with their wonderfully merchandised Curls Studio table. These two kids (I can say that, I’m an old man) have some great books, Black Magic Tales, Kid Roxy, The Legettes (review coming soon). And on top of all that they have a story in…
District Comics – An Unconventional History of Washington D.C. an anthology of little known stories of D.C. These stories seem a little odd at first but the scoop is the facts were checked the research was done. These stories are the real deal. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this particular book once I finish reading it.
Then there’s Constellation Park, I met writer Christopher Laudando and illustrator Scott Meaney in May at APCC 1. Great guys, with an awesome book. After talking with them for a while last time I picked up Constellation Park with the intention of reviewing it. That review never happened. So when I see them this time and book 2 is out (The Singularity) I know what must be done. I bought a copy of book 2, I’m reading both (book one again) then putting together a review and hopefully a small interview perhaps? (Whattya say Chris? Scott? Feel like answering some questions?)
There was so much more going on, so much more I want to tell you about, but alas this article is long enough. I hope you enjoyed it. Go back click on some links, buy some books! Tell me what you think!