Bonus Post - The Comicazi Not-The-Boston-Comic-Con-Get-Together Non-Con Report!
We know, we know, it isn't Wednesday, and this post isn't about Batman. But as you probably know (and most of our readers are local, so you experienced it firsthand) it was a weird and stressful week. It was scary and sad to live through. Despite all of the horror and loss, though, Boston and its police, doctors, EMTs and first responders of all kinds did us proud. There were many acts of kindness between the rest of the members of the city as well, and I hope that's the part we all hold on to. The reason we're writing this bonus post is not to reflect on last week's events, however; many other writers have covered that territory. Instead, we want to talk about one of those great moments of community that came out of it all.
You see, before the world turned upside down, this past weekend was supposed to be the Boston Comic Con. Since the situation was unresolved until fairly late on Friday, however, the Con needed to be postponed. Since many of the artists, writers and other guests had already come to Boston, the Con organizers decided to try to do smaller signings, gatherings and meet & greets in comic shops across the state. Since Comicazi is both public transit accessible and has a fair amount of event space, it became the site of a reasonably larger one of these mini or non-cons. Thanks to the hard work of both Boston Comic Con and Comicazi staff, in a few short, late night hours the "Not-The-Boston-Comic-Con-Get-Together" was born!
We Ladies had planned to attend Comic Con anyway, to hand out info about the blog and our Bat-Night event (Batman stickers with the date and time written on the back!) and to help out the Comicazi guys at their table, so it was a no-brainer to do the same at the shop. Tiny Doom and I live the closest, so we arrived an hour early to prep our swag and help run errands. We were assisted by The Goog, who earned his official Honorary Lady designation that day for Good Handwriting and General Helpfulness. Ten minutes before 11, the shop's phone rang. It was Bill Willingham (whose works we've written about several times) asking if he could "crash" the con! Obviously the guys said YES, which meant some frantic updates by the web division on Facebook and Twitter to let folks know.
By the time we were really ready to open the doors, the line to get in stretched down the block! However, everyone was being very patient and kind. We also had a few MORE creators show up than expected, including Alé Garza and Nick Bradshaw, which was awesome but meant some adjustments. No problem - the guys just set up some tables in the back parking lot, but they made it work!
Tiny Doom and I worked the line, handing out bookmarks and acting as crowd control and general answer ladies (What is going on? Who is signing? Do you sell baseball cards?). Cartoon Sara soon arrived as well (Poor Smalerie, alas, had familial obligations) and we all had a grand old time chatting about Batman: TAS with folks (some of whom were very enthusiastic and full of high-fives, others of whom were a bit grumpy that we wouldn't reveal the rest of the episodes).
Around 12:30, I tried to give a sticker to a gentleman who (nicely) told me we was from out of town so couldn't make the event. Okay, no big deal. Then, some guys in line ahead of him asked me who was signing. "Oh, let's see," I said, "Tim Sale, Tim Seeley, Don Rosa, and at 1:00 Bill Willingham is supposed to be coming." My out of town buddy said something I didn't quite catch. I turned to face him, and he held up his hand and said, "I'm Bill."
Oh, lord. Why hadn't he said? I was so embarrassed. "I didn't want to jump the line," he said. I insisted that he come out back with me so that I could turn him over to the Comicazi guys and get settled. He could not have been more gracious about the whole thing - what a way to meet one of your favorite creators!
The crowd was steady for the rest of the day - we even had a few cos-players show up. They were determined that their hard work would not go to waste.
Around 2:30 we ran out of Bat-stickers, and while people were still coming in regularly, the line didn't seem to require as much supervision. We decided to head in and check out the action. I'd forgotten to bring anything to be signed or really processed that I might want anything (and hadn't known Bill would be there), until it suddenly hit me that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. When was I going to be in such an intimate setting with such big name artists sketching for free ever again? Cartoon Sara had been more savvy and gotten some the sketch she wanted already, but Tiny Doom and I had not processed that far yet. I asked Mr. Menace for some backing boards and got in line.
You can probably guess stop number one. Bill Willingham got his start as an artist, first for TSR and then for comics, before becoming a writer for DC, so why not get a sketch instead of a signature (besides, all of my Fables trades were at home)? I asked him for a Rose Red sketch since I wanted to show some love for a character who's often forgotten from the original tale and who is a fellow red head.
While he worked, I asked him where he'd traveled from (MN), and assured him that if he became trapped in Davis Square, we'd put him up in a spare room. He was totally open and welcoming, with a dry sense of humor.
Then, I went over to Don Rosa - he's a legendary cartoonist and was super fun to watch him sketch. I asked him for a Flintheart Glomgold - he made sure I knew it would be the comic version, which differs from the DuckTales one. I knew this thanks to Cartoon Sara's awesome post here, and let him know that I wanted HIS Glomgold.
Finally, I approached Tim Sale with Tiny Doom. She went first and got a pretty amazing Catwoman sketch (she asked him his favorite lady to draw, which I thought was pretty good).
In the course of their discussions he also mentioned Mary Jane Watson, and it hit me - I could get TWO bad-ass redheads of comics. He even brought out his red pencil for it, which I thought was super great.
All told, it was an exhausting but amazing day. We handed out over 200 stickers and bookmarks promoting the blog, got to meet some world class artists, and had a great time doing it! Many thanks to the folks at Boston Comic Con, the artists, and of course, our pals at Comicazi for making it happen.