“Cons used to be filled with people who dressed up as Iron Man and actually thought they were the superhero but now they are filled with people who simply dress up as characters like Deadpool because they like them.” Tom Frank made this interesting fact known during the “Comics on Comics” show at Boston’s Comic Con which occurred on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22. In essence what this means is that the people in recent attendance are saner.
Cons are not just filled with people wearing eccentric costumes; it is also filled with collectors, media enthusiasts, fanboys and fangirls. This past weekend hundreds of people packed the Hynes Convention Center to take part in the annual event.
Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Yuu Yuu Taruu were two young comic book creators who had a table at the event. The two are currently working on a story about an assassin full of action and adventure. Ortiz said the best way to break into the comic book industry is to put your comics online; in fact, he and Taruu will be posting at least 3 weekly pages of their own comic online. Their comic is not available yet but if you want to see some of their illustrations you can visit www.RLOillustration.com or www.YuuYuuTaruu.Tumblr.com.
Hannibal King was another creator who had his own table at the event. He is working on a graphic novel called “The Cave Woman”. King told us he broke into the comic book industry in a very unconventional way. “I fell into it sideways,” he said. “I literally spilled some pages of my art work onto a guy’s portfolio at a New York Comic Con about 17 to 20 years ago and he was so impressed that he offered me a job.” King has been drawing ever since he was a child.
One of the highlights of the event was taking pictures of and interacting with the people who decided to “cosplay,” also known as Costume Play. Mr. T, Lara Croft, Sub Zero, Captain Jack Sparrow, Batman, Deadpool, Tony Stark, The Ghost Busters, and the Kiss Band were all present at the convention. During the “Star Wars Who Wants to be a Millionaire” show, ‘Mr.T’ became a fanboy and girl favorite by serving as a lifeline for many young contestants who did not know the answers to some of the hardest questions. “Mr.T is always confident with his answers,” he announced to the crowd as they all cheered. Every workshop had something geared towards these media enthusiasts.
During the “All Ages Comics Panel” Skottie Young, David Petersen, and Craig Rousseau talked about how comic book writers could appeal to the incoming crowd of young readers and the longtime fans of comic books.
“Don’t talk down to kids or dumb down your work,” Petersen said. “They will know. If you use a big word then hopefully the child will look it up or use the context in the comic to figure out what the word means.”
Petersen also said that one should not sugarcoat things like death in a comic book but rather should show the emotional impact of death without being too ghoulish. On the other hand Rousseau and Young both agreed that you should do the comic book how you want to see it and then hope that it resonates with younger and older fans.
In order to help create more buzz around comic books one of the biggest pieces of advice given by the panelists was to donate comics to your local library so that some unsuspecting kids can learn something new about the world just by reading that piece of literature.