As a follow up to some of my articles on digital comics and various entertainment options I wanted to share my recent experience with a local comic convention – Sac-Con. The costs for the event were low ($6.00) and I got a good amount of entertainment for my dollar. Just being able to listen to Billy West for an hour in a Q&A session was more than worth the price of admission. If you like comics, anime, manga, toys or gaming there’s something for your at most comic conventions.
Starting the day
I started out waiting in line because it wasn’t clear if there was a separate press or pre-registration line. Eventually, some of the staff came through and pulled pre-registered folks to the front of the line but not before I got to overhear one of the strangest conversations I’ve heard in a long time with from the people in front of me. I’m not going to go in to detail but one had the other on a leash. Anyway, pre-registration at Sac-Con (through Jason Dube mentioned below) got me out of some long lines at the beginning of the day and let me get started talking to some of the artists who were there.
I got a chance to talk with Tim Vigil before the place filled up and we had a real conversation. We didn’t get too in depth but he shared some information about the difficulty of working as an independent and how he doesn’t mind coming to conventions and drawing for fans. We talked of my former aspirations of being a comic artist and he seemed to understand having to make the tough choice on one career path vs another. He did encourage me to keep up with the art work. I appreciate his insight.
After that I circled around the main hall looking at the various comic toy and game offerings. There were some gems there but I didn’t end up purchasing anything. I stopped by the console gaming contest room and watched some folks play Dr. Mario for a few minutes. Most of the other games looked like ones I hadn’t really played so I decided not to enter the contest. It was very tempting though.
Next, I took some time to talk to some of the newer publishers and artists. There were many artists, publishers, vendors at Sac-Con that I either did not have the opportunity to speak with or didn’t include here. These are just some of the folks who I had a chance to talk to in person.
Earthbound Comics – Ben Ferrari, Editor and publisher
I really enjoyed speaking with Ben – he showed clear passion about his craft and his publications. See below for video where he explains his books. Please check them out at earthboundcomics.com or indyplanet.com. Ben was very cool and gave me some comics to review – I'll be adding a book review for those in the coming days.
Chunky Girl Comics
Talked to their representative at the table – did not get her name (was also not on business card). They are available at www.facebook.com/chunkygirlcomics. I liked their non-traditional premise behind their story and wish them well on producing their first issue. See the video below for their description and some of the artwork and upcoming first book.
Scattered Comics, Jason Dube
Jason is a locally (Sacramento) based artist and publisher who also helps coordinate Sac-Con. I was surprised to see him at a booth but he conveyed that the event was running smoothly so he had more opportunity to man his own space. Jason seems passionate about his work and his artists, who were stationed at nearby booths, were jovial and seemed to be having a good time. Check Jason out at www.scatteredcomics.com and www.scatteredcomicsstudios.com.
Devon Mc Mindes
Wrote Some People Have Antlers in a total of 12 non-consecutive days 24 hours total. Tells a story of a bumbling time traveler who has no control over when/where he travels and continually has to fix problems he creates. Devon provides access to the first 4 chapters on his website www.millionfeettall.com. The art (he admits) is not great but he felt the story was compelling – Readers can judge for themselves at the website. Devon was great to talk to as was his friend Gabriel Gutierrez at Nascent Games – I hope to be reviewing one of Gabriel's games in the not too distant future.
While I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with the artists and publishers, I have to say I fully enjoyed listening to the Billy West Q&A. I recorded the whole thing and here are some excerpts.
The 2 sections I included where where Mr. West talks about how he got started and who were his inspirations.
Billy was very funny and he joked around a lot with the crowd. He shared a lot of personal and professional insights which the crowd seemed to soak up eagerly. He powered through issues with the sound equipment in the Q&A room and educated and entertained us.
Sac-Con was filled with great people, which is fantastic. If I had to pick a criticism I'd say there are 2, the venue is pretty dark and it was fairly cramped. Other than that I had a great time talking to artists, looking at great artwork, checking out the toys and comics on sale, looking at the folks dressed up in costume, talking with publishers and just getting to enjoy the land comics. The place seemed packed but not overwhelming. If you have a chance to go to a local comic convention, I'd say give it a try – there are a lot of things to enjoy. Maybe I'll see you there!