One of the greatest things about living in NYC is the wonderful plethora of opportunities to meet cool people. Comic books are very much alive in the Big Apple and you can meet all manner of writer, artist and publisher if you keep your ears open. One such opportunity presented itself on February 8th. Midtown comics (64 Fulton Street) hosted a signing of Dark Horse’s Conan #1 with Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan.
Being the fanboy I am I asked my buddy Juan (@JuanCPineda) to accompany me and have a look at a shop we’d never been to and maybe get some stuff signed. When I asked him if we could really pass on a new (to us) comic shop on a Wednesday he responded with a text that read and I quote “No way! Nerd High Five!” No, really, he did.
When I got to the shop I noticed something disconcerting, if you closed your eyes and were transported to any Midtown Comics location upon opening you eyes you have no idea which one you were in. Maybe that’s good, maybe they want to be the MickeyD’s of comic shops I don’t know. It’s a fun place to visit but I prefer my local shop (Royal Collectibles) hands down. Enough about the shop, on to the signing.
Becky Cloonan and Brian Wood were set up at a table and received many many visitors and from what I could hear much well deserved praise for Dark Horse’s Conan #1, which I conveyed as well. They were both gracious and happy to spend a few moments talking about pretty much anything. My problem at signings is that I always have a million things I’d love to ask, mention, etc but I feel like these guys have been trapped behind a table dealing with god knows what for a while. So I usually just thank the artist/writer for an enjoyable book, mention that I make sure I get my LCS to order it, make my usual “autograph it to Chuck, my name’s not ebay” and move on leaving the space clear for the next fanboy to step up and pay homage.
Now this differs greatly at a convention for some reason, at a convention I’ve been known to strike up a conversation in which I can usually conduct a mini interview, extracting his or her personal favorite work and get a few recommendations out of as well. Why the difference? I really believe the people who appear at comic book conventions are truly there to meet and experience their fans whereas the comic shop signing feels more “put on by the publisher”. Am I wrong? Guess I’ll have to ask around.