[Editor’s note: Some of these photos are by my older daughter, Frankie Hanson, who accompanied me on this adventure!]
For the first time in a couple of years, I got to attend a comic convention where I wasn’t helping to vend. As a Christmas gift, my older daughter, Frankie, got me a weekend pass for the I Like Comic Con, put on by the I Like Comics shop in Vancouver, WA. We arrived a few minutes after the con started.
The venue was pretty cool, reminding me of the old school comic conventions I used to go to with Randy Long in the 1980s (and later, with my wife, Mariah, in the early 1990s) back when it was only about $6 or $7 to get in, and the show was mostly about venders selling books and independent artists hocking their wares. It wasn’t too crowded, and even people who I think of as “BIG STARS” were sitting right there, easy to talk to: James O’Barr (who created The Crow—he was cantankerous and surly, which was great!), Dan Brereton, Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, and Jim Steranko, were all just sitting there, waiting to say, “Hey!” (There were lots of newer, younger creators, too, who Frankie knew, but I didn’t…)
There were also some cosplayers, of course, which is always fun. Unfortunately, I was too busy looking at stuff and talking to creators to take very many pictures. (This Hellboy guy was my favorite! There was also a little two-year-old who was dressed as Lambchop, the old hand puppet, who looked great—but we never got a picture of her…)
Frankie and I went to a couple of panels, one where David Anders from iZombie answered questions from the audience, and one where a bunch of older collectors talked about all the expensive books they’d owned over the years. (I heckled those folks a bit, talking about how poor people, like ME, will never be able to READ these older books unless they are reprinted or digitized—and they responded, saying how great the SMELL of old comics is, and how digitization will never replace that smell. And I’m like “Fuck that, you old rich jerks…” (I’m paraphrasing what I said just a bit…)
We also went around to the booths and talked to writers and artists and other independent creators. Frankie found a bunch of art prints, like this one…
She also talked to Chris Roberson, writer of the iZombie comic, bought the second collection from the series, and had it signed. Meanwhile, I bought a mini-comic from his daughter, Georgie Roberson, which was excellent! (I had her sign it, too, of course!)
We also got to talk to the writer of the new series, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, Jonathan Rivera, who was very cool. (I recommended that he read Samuel Beckett, to help make his comic series weirder. He liked the idea!)
We also chatted with a guy who writes books about a robot who travels through time and meets famous people, Boilerplate. (I’d already run out of money, or I would have bought his books. He also had a DVD about his 24 Hour Comic experience, making a Boilerplate mini-comic.)
Found some other great stuff, too…
And Frankie and I had a great time! Now that she’s off and married, we don’t do as much stuff together as we used to, but we still share a lot of similar interests! THANKS AGAIN, FRANKIE for getting me to go to the con! Of course, going to a show like this can ALSO help inspire new ideas! Seeing the youngsters of today getting into all kinds of weirdness definitely makes me want to SHOW THEM HOW IT’S DONE!
Next week, I’m back to vending, as Randy Long and I will be slinging The Primitive Entertainment at LongCon in Longview, WA, USA!!! (More on that in the next day or two…)
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)