Monday, November 9, 2009

Vegas Comicfest 2009!

This past Saturday
the Clark County Library (on Flamingo off of Maryland Pkwy.) presented the second Vegas Valley Comicfest in conjunction with the Vegas Valley Book festival. I'd say easily, without any qualifications, that everyone seemed to be having a great time and while I thought that last years' event was solid, this year was even better so I find that very encouraging on a lot of levels.

As an added attraction at my store's booth at the Vegas Valley Comicfest, I had as my guests, Matt and Mike Cossin (Matt, the artist is in this photo seated, with his brother Mike standing next to my sign), the artist and colorist of Boom Studios new title, Hunter's Fortune (of which I wrote a glowing blog entry here about a week ago). They sold a good amount of copies of their first issue of Hunter's Fortune at the show and Matt was busy doing sketches for people almost the entire five hours of the event!
A wee lad holding his Deadpool sketch that Matt whipped up for him (Deadpool seems to be the new Wolverine in terms of popularity). I was feeling a little guilty with how busy Matt was with the sketching, but he told me he had a great time chatting with people and hopefully turning on new generations to the wonder of the comic book medium. Between selling books at the event I also had a great time talking to Matt and Mike (they're such positive, energetic people) and watching Matt draw.
A gathering of people outside of my booth visiting other vendors at the Vegas Valley ComicsFest. In the future, I need to have a person other than myself taking photos of events such as this because I didn't get a chance (or remember) to take as many pictures as I would have liked to.
My great friends the Fagel family, left to right: Harry, his wife Leilani, Samuel, and Jake up front. It was warmer than I thought it would be, but better that than it being windy and I think that it being such an unseasonably warm day, brought out the families. At the Vegas Valley Comicsfest there really is something for everyone, with local comic stores such as myself (Alternate Reality Comics), Comic Oasis, and Maximum Comics showcasing some of the finest and different kinds of stories comic books tell, panel programming that featured comic creators talking about a wide variety of subjects, free movie screenings (such as the locally produced Thor At The Bus Stop), and creator signings.
Kate and myself surrounding Matt Wagner at my store, which I gave him a tour of after dinner Friday night. Matt Wagner, started off making a name for himself in comics in the 1980's creating, writing, and drawing Grendle and Mage. He's written and drawn waaaay too many great comics since then, so I just want to mention some of the great books he's presently writing or has finished in the last couple of years: Madame Xanadu (for Vertigo), Zorro (for Dynamite), Batman and The Monster Men, Batman and The Mad Monk (the latter two, he also illustrated), and the upcoming Green Hornet (also for Dynamite, by the artist who does their Sherlock Holmes series). Matt Wagner was the guest of honor of this years' Vegas Valley Comicfest and Kate and myself were quite fortunate to have had dinner with him Friday and Saturday night as he shared stories of people he's known within the industry the past twenty-five years or so (and if I share any of those stories with anyone else, I'm sure he'll turn me into a nice rug!).

As I like to attend to my booth whenever I set up at an event and interact with people who look at the books I bring, I didn't attend any of the panels or movie screenings and hardly got to visit with any of the guests (other than Matt Wagner and writer Steve Englehart, who signed my copy of Batman Strange Apparations). I did get to briefly chat with Gilbert Hernadez (Love and Rockets), Mark Evanier (Groo), Chris Staros (publisher of Top Shelf), Dan Vado (publisher of Slave Labor), and Gary Groth (publisher of Fantagraphics Books) briefly, but I didn't even see Kim Dietch (Alias The Cat!) or Cecil Castellucci (writer of my favorite Minx title Plain Janes) , although I had people stop at my booth to purchase a book by these cartoonists or stated that they just got something signed. Some of the local artists who did stories and art in the new publication, Drunk, were also present as was Pj Perez, selling the first issue of his online comic, The Utopian and I heard that they did well and had a fantastic time interacting with the people who came out on Saturday (and moved a good number of their books!).

I'd like to thank everyone who attended the event and made it the great time it was, thanks to Tony and Teresa for bringing Spencer Brinkerhoff over to my booth with a copy of the book he contributed to called The Beatles - The White Album (after their album of the same name, said book being illustrations by artists with their images inspired by Beatles songs) which was my favorite purchase of the day, thanks to the Thor At The Bus Stop brothers for giving me copy of their dvd, huge thanks to the creators who were a big part of the event, to the volunteers who made everything run so smoothly, to my wife, Kate, who moderated the Matt Wagner panel and took care of the Comic Book Legal Defense table, Lauren McCubbin (Rent Girl) and artist Deryl Skeleton (Star Trek) for the portfolio reviews and panels they moderated,Matt and Mike Cossin for helping make my booth an exciting place to be, Derek of Comic Oasis and Jay from Maximum Comics for being the other two great local stores who find good homes for good comics, and mostly a big tip of the hat to event coordinator Suzanne Scott and her cohorts, Aziz and Katrina for making Vegas Valley Comicsfest 2009 possible and a great success all around!

See everyone next year!


Pj Perez said...

Good times had by all on Saturday! I definitely feel this year's fest was even better than last year and should only grow from here. Thanks for the mention and your continued support, my friend!

MATT said...

Ralph, Mike and I had a great time at the fest! It was great talking with people and drawing sketches for all the wide-eyed kids (and adults).
You kept us smiling and laughing on a regular basis. It was a great environment to be in!
Our thanks!

spencer said...

it was great to be out at the show and meet you Ralph. I would have liked to talk longer, but there were lines and lines of people at your table! :D

Happy New Comics Wednesday 7/18/18 - Life of Captain Marvel, Magic Order #2 (we still have #1 too!), conclusion of Infinity Countdown, Justice League edition!

 Hope all of my friends going to the San Diego Comic-Con this week have a GREAT time!