Quite a few Shakespeare Shaken contributors made it out to Boston Comic Con 2012. Jason Ciaramella, Alex Cormack, Matthew J. Fletcher, Jason Strutz were all out and about or working the show in artist alley. Contributor Erik Radvon was also there and reported various doings in Beantown. Take it away Erik!
“Comic creators and fans alike shipped up to Boston last weekend for the 2012 Boston Comic-Con.
Poe Twisted and Shakespeare Shaken contributors Alex Cormack and Jason Strutz were representing Red Stylo Media’s creative family throughout the weekend. Strutz displayed beautiful art from his series The Order of the Dagonet. Alex let it slip that the police duo from his Poe Twisted piece The Tell Tale Cat will be returning for another romp Shakespeare Shaken. Alex also gets extra points for rocking an AZTECA t-shirt on Sunday!
The Boston Con continues to grow from a sleepy non-event to one of the best comic gatherings in the country. Saturday saw record crowds wrapped around the block outside the Hynes Convention Center. By mid-afternoon, the throngs had gained entry and the con was rocking at full tilt. The refreshing thing about the Boston Con is that it is an event where comics, the people who create them, and the people who read and love them, are still the focus. There’s no Xbox stageshow, no vampire movie heartthrobs, no Hollywood glam—just comics.
Legendary creators Geof Darrow, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Bernie Wrightson could be found setup shoulder-to-shoulder with the next generation of artists like Mouse Guard creator David Petersen, Cursed Pirate Girl’s Jeremy Bastian, and Ben Templesmith of 30 Days of Night fame. The great charm of the Boston con is the ability for fans not only to meet such a wide variety of creative talent, but to be able to do so in a relatively casual, open environment. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman and Heavy Metal partner in crime Simon Bisely drew long lines throughout both days of the con, eventually being moved out into the main hallway to accommodate the fan love.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the strong presence by the Womanthology editorial team and creators. At their panel discussion, the diverse group covered the Twitter origins of the project, the overwhelming success of their Kickstarter fundraising campaign, and the future of the Womanthology brand. One gets the sense that Womanthology could become the Dark Horse Presents of this decade, introducing the comic world to a range of talent that traditionally have not gotten a chance to shine through the established comic channels.
Local Boston artist Ming Doyle made her presence felt both on the Womanthology panel and in Artists Alley, cranking out some stunning looking commissions in between chatting with fans. Fantastic illustrator Karl Stevens, whose comic strip Failure can be found weekly in the Boston Phoenix, was also in attendance, signing his graphic novels and sketching for fans. The local boys from the hilarious Hero Envy web series were also on hand, laughing it up with convention goers while sparing no mercy for Big Two artist with slightly oversized egos.
Overall, the Boston Comic Con continues to evolve into a top-shelf comic convention and pop culture event. This year seem to highlight the best aspects of the Boston event—intimate setting, variety of talent, and a focus on comics, but also brought the limitations of the current setup into view. The venue will most certainly need to expand in coming years, and more staff will be needed to accommodate the crowds and process lines in a better fashion. One hopes that as the Boston Comic Con grows, it will maintain a balance between getting bigger without losing the quality that has made it such a fun con over the past few years.”
Erik Radvon is a comics writer and contributor to Shakespeare Shaken, a new anthology of original comic art inspired by the works of William Shakespeare, edited by Enrica Jang and published by Red Stylo Media. Follow Erik on Twitter @radvonforrealz, or follow all things Red Stylo Media @red_stylo.