Monday, September 20, 2010

A feminist goes to a comic book convention ...

And has a great time!

Some background: I don't really read comics. I have read some (most recently, all of the Walking Dead, in about a week's time), but I tend to prefer word-only books when I read. I have nothing against comic books or graphic novels and those who read them -- such as my boyfriend, who I live with, who is responsible for me reading the Walking Dead and for me going to the convention. But even though I don't read a lot of comics, I do try to keep up with some news about the industry, particularly as it relates to feminism (women in refrigerators, Wonder Woman's newest costume, are there any gay characters or characters who aren't white, women who write/illustrate comics, problems with sexism at Comic-Con, etc.).

So, it wasn't like I was thrilled to be going to this expo, but I wasn't dreading it either. Which is why I'm surprised I had as good a time as I did. This was a decent-sized convention; not huge by any means, but it had about 100 booths. By far, the best part of the experience was talking to the writers and illustrators, many of whom are local or near-local to where I live. I had no idea so many people around here were putting out their own comics, and it was cool to hear from them what their comics are about, have them sign and draw stuff for you, etc.

A couple highlights:


This print, "Fannie the Flesheater," is done by the talented Billy Tackett, and it's one of three we bought from him, all of which he signed. It is, unsurprisingly, my favorite purchase of the day. All three prints are going to be framed and put on our walls because we like them that much. Check out his work at his website, www.billytackett.com.

The BF and I were talking to Thom Zahler, author and illustrator of "Love and Capes," which neither of us have read. Zahler was telling us the story behind his comic and it sounded great, so we bought the first volume of the series, which he was kind enough to sign for us. But what was funny was Zahler asking me if I read comics (I said "sometimes," and he said "yay!"), and then him later telling me that all the women in his comic are clothed except one, and she's not because of her character. So that made me even more curious/excited to read "Love and Capes"! I was just thrilled that he would even think to let me know about that aspect of his work. (Maybe he saw my Fannie the Flesheater print?) You can check out the comic at www.loveandcapes.com.

Of all the featured guests at the expo, only one was a woman -- out of 14. It was Lora Innes, who writes and illustrates "The Dreamer." I wanted to be sure to check her out, as I'm unfamiliar with her work. After talking to someone at her table who told us all about the comic, I was sold. We bought the graphic novel and a print that was drawn specifically for this expo, which Innes kindly signed. I'm looking forward to getting into this book. By the way, The Dreamer started as a web comic, and if you're interested, I believe the entire comic is still available to read online at www.thedreamercomic.com. You can also find more about the comic there, and the author.

The one thing I saw at the convention that made me roll my eyes: A comic called "Thong Girl." If you're inclined, you can read about it here. (The plot does sound kind of amusing.)

At one point, after making many purchases (which aren't pictured here, such as a signed Tony Moore print), I turned to my boyfriend and asked if I was going to turn into a comic book nerd like him. (Jokes, I swear!) Who knows, maybe I will after this. So if you have any comic recommendations or favorites, let me know!

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