One of the coolest things about writing is immersing myself in creativity. What I enjoy doing with words and stories is analogous to what other people do with paint and canvas or beadwork or metal. We're all going to the same pond, but we're dredging up different bits to make new things. Comic conventions are hubs of creativity. I love nothing more than appreciating art while spending time with my partner in crime.
Shout out to the exhibitors in Artist Alley
If you caught my "Made with Aloha" post, you know that I'm particularly fond of finding local talent. Local artists are the creative lifeblood of a place.
The Amazing Honolulu Comic Convention did not disappoint where talent (local and imported) was concerned. We were lucky enough to run into Nick Cognition of Malcognition again. Nick hooked my husband up with this badass Brotherhood of Steel Dog Tag. If you haven't checked out his work, it's definitely worth a look. Nick combines his extensive knowledge of all things nerd-culture with artistic sensibilities to create unique gifts.
We picked out a few stickers from The StickerMan Online. As you can see, my husband and I really can't settle on being one kind of nerd. Now, I need to find places to put them all!
There were plenty of opportunities to purchase art, regardless of which fandom you identify with. Of all the cool options, we chose a Stormtrooper print by Pascual Productions. I loved Geoff Pascual's style because he was able to render our favorite characters with a unique fine art aesthetic.
The comics are the thing
A comic convention really wouldn't be a comic convention without comics. Sure, there were plenty of celebrities to meet, but I had the most fun checking out the comic book booths and meeting some of the people responsible for changing the way we view superheroes.
Chris Claremont was one of the comic-book legends we met during this con. He's the writer behind 17-years of iconic X-Men story lines. If you love Jean Grey (especially the Dark Phoenix Saga), Storm, Gambit, and Wolverine, then you've probably encountered Claremont's work. He was a humble guy who took time to chat with each of his fans. Nick had a few X-Men comics that he wanted to have signed, and Claremont remembered exactly what had happened in those issues even though they are a few decades old and he has written so prolifically. (How many of you can remember what you ate for breakfast?)
My husband also had an Indiana Jones comic scripted by David Michelinie. (You may be familiar with his work if you've enjoyed Spider-Man, Iron Man, or the Avengers. We didn't have as long to chat with him because he was busy signing umpteen comics from a superfan. (This guy had a wagon load of David Michelinie. I'm not even exaggerating!)
Chad Hardin, best known for his work on Harley Quinn, was gracious enough to sign my copy of Eclipso gratis because it was "hard core." I had just discovered Eclipso (and I admitted as much), but I need all the street cred that I can get. Thanks, Chad!
Meet me at the comic shop
Beyond simply meeting some of the artists and writers responsible for bringing iconic characters to life, we had a blast at the comic shops.
HI Collector sold mystery envelopes that reminded me of "Blind Date with a Book." For $5, patrons purchased an envelope that contained an assortment of comics. Some packages also had rare comic books or gift certificates. My husband and his friend both decided to try their luck, and both of them won gift certificates. I can't wait to check out their store!
As we perused the vendors, Westside Comics and Games treated us to a game of chance. We drew Magic Cards, and the color of the card determined the prize you could win. All of us walked away with a comic, and my husband snagged some MTG cards.
By the end of our time at the con, we had walked away with at least 60 new comic books. It didn't cost us an arm and a leg because these weren't particularly rare or unique, but we have hours of entertainment ahead of us nonetheless. We're not serious comic book collectors or anything. We just love good stories, and we love the art.
There was plenty to see and do
I felt lucky to have the rare chance to experience a second comic convention with my husband this summer. Having work that sometimes keeps us in different time zones (and even different days!) can be tough, but when we get the chance to be in the same place, we make it count. Most of writing is about getting your butt into the seat, but there's also some living that has to be done. I enjoyed taking a field trip into the world for this convention. Being able to look back on these happy memories is a gift.
I leave you with this image of me in my element. I was careful not to relax. Nobody sits on the Iron Throne for too long.