George Perez

In its 24th year, the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, MI outside Detroit has grown larger and attracted more fans than ever before.   A recent update on the Con’s Facebook page confirmed that over 30,000 fans attended the 3-Day show.  While it’s true that there was heavy traffic to enter the parking lot and long lines to enter the hall, indie artists reported triple the sales of last year’s show due to the high volume of people through the door.

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This is the front of the line on Saturday morning an hour before doors opened.

Here’s a rundown of the guests that this reporter had the chance to interact with.

Lloyd

David Lloyd

V for Vendetta artist, David Lloyd’s latest project is a 21-page noir thriller in Aces Weekly Volume 1.  Aces Weekly is an exclusively digital comic anthology available at http://www.acesweekly.co.uk/home.

Perez

George Perez

The Great George Perez attended the show, delivering commissions and sketching sharpie headshots in between countless autographs.  Mr. Perez’ latest released work is the cover of Legion of Super-Heroes #20, available this month from DC.

Anyone wanting to catch up on Perez’ past work need look no further than this month’s Superman Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? Tpb and Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 6 Tpb.

If that’s not enough, his influence is felt across the New 52 as characters he created may be followed monthly in the pages of Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Justice League.

Kitson

Barry Kitson

Barry Kitson is currently nailing it on Valiant’s Bloodshot title!  Issue #11, containing Barry’s artwork is out this month along with more Barry pencils in the Harbinger Vol. 2 Tpb.  Furthermore, it was just announced that Barry will be illustrating the aftermath of this summer’s Harbinger Wars event in Harbinger #15.

Kitson cares deeply for his fans and this weekend was a prime example.  When Barry saw gridlock on the road leading to the convention center saturday morning, he chose to make the journey from highway to convention hall by foot rather than keep his fans waiting!

Swierczynski

Duane Swierczynski

Speaking of Bloodshot, the writer for that title and Valiant’s big summer event, Harbinger Wars, Duane Swierczynski, was present!  Duane’s also involved with the revival of X for Dark Horse.

Clark

Matthew Clark

Notice a trend developing?  Bloodshot #11 Variant Cover artist Matthew Clark was stationed across the aisle from Swierczynski.

Manning

Dirk Manning

Horror comic writer and Bleeding Cool columnist Dirk Manning was dressed to impress while promoting his recent release of the Write-Or-Wrong column collected edition.  Dirk’s next project is a flip book called Love Stories (To Die For) containing two comic book horror stories.  The book will be available from Image Comics’ partner studio, Shadowline, in September.

McKenna

Mark McKenna

Industry veteran Mark McKenna’s new creator owned project, Combat Jacks, is about humans terraforming a planet while they’re attacked by Jack O’ Lantern monsters.

Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham, fresh from delivering the incentives to those that pledged to his successful kickstarter project NAWRG, set up in prime convention hall real estate.  In short, NAWRG is a story about a troll that lives with a family, but the story contains a deeper meaning on how adopted pets bring great joy to people.   Tyler’s recent work includes Red Hood & the Outlaws, Superman, Teen Titans, and Green Lantern: New Guardians.  His next project is Action Comics #22.

Paquette

Yanick Paquette

Yanick Paquette made his DC debut two years ago in the pages of Batman Inc. and continued his DC work with the New 52 Swamp Thing series.  Yanick’s next project is Wonder Woman: Earth One where he’ll reteam with Grant Morrison.   Yanick remarked on how he loves the way that Grant consistently surprises him and he never knows what Grant will put into their stories.

Hunt

Ken Hunt

Ken Hunt is an artist on the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream, currently working on a top secret cover for a future DC release.

Bisley

Simon Bisley

Englishman Simon Bisley was particularly interested in the Detroit Redwings t-shirts that local hockey fans were sporting, remarking on how cool the winged wheel design was.

Kolins

Scott Kolins

Scott Kolins recent Orang Lantern backups in DC’s Threshold title will soon give way to a Larfleeze ongoing series with his art and written by Keith Giffen.

Forney

Sean Forney

Local hero Sean Forney is in the midst of his own kickstarter project The Scarlett Huntress!  The Scarlet Huntress features Sean and his wife Stephanie sharing art and writing duties.  The story is a modern take on the Little Red Riding Hood mythos.  He’s almost at his goal and your pledge could be the one that puts him over the top!  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/838034909/scarlet-huntress-anthology

Defoy

Jay Defoy AKA Jay A.D.

Young talent Jay Defoy recently completed the first issue of his creator owned title Threadcount: The Tale of Norman Crest.  It’s about a man that gains superpowers that seem ridiculous at first but turn out to be a fun crime fighting asset as the story goes on.

Richard

Sara Richard

Sara Richard’s artwork has a fun fairytale influence to it.  She spends her days drawing adorable My Little Pony Covers.  Check her out.

Spaniards

From Left to Right: Ramon Bachs, Miguel Sepulveda, Manuel Garcia, Andrews Guinaldo, and Pere Perez

These five artists traveled from Spain to meet their fans and deliver high end commissions.  They’re pictured holding pieces that they did for comic art connoisseur Ari Shapiro’s Batman on Gargoyle themed collection.  Reportedly they were commissioned as a group since they share a common rep.  Once they started work, the artists competed with each other over whose piece was strongest and which Ari would like most.

Roadkill

Roadkill

Until next time, dear reader!

There are three things that make a con great, interactions with creators, watching creators interact with each other, and the overall celebration atmosphere that goes along with gathering a mob of fans in one location.  The third annual Cincinnati Comic Expo scored positive marks in each category!

The show floor was laid out in such a manner so that its aisles reached a pleasant crowd capacity.  Visitors could enjoy the feeling of attending an A+ event without being subjected to the claustrophobic feeling of a fire hazard situation.

Here’s what some of the guests had to say!

George Perez attended the show!  If you’ve never seen the great George Perez at a convention, it’s a good bet that he’ll impress you when you finally meet him. His work ethic and professionalism are only exceeded by his enthusiasm and friendliness. He arrives before the doors open to the public, then signs, sketches, and takes photos for and with his fans until the doors close.   Of the many times I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him at conventions in the past, this was the best I’ve seen Mr. Perez’ line managed, which is a huge gold star for the show.  George discussed how much he enjoys sharing art duties on World’s Finest with Kevin Maguire, while he feverishly works on commissions in anticipation of the many conventions he appears at throughout the year.

Georges Jeanty has been hard at work on Dark Horse’s Buffy: The Vampire Slayer comics over the past 5 years. The Buffy Season 9 comic is in full swing and is presently slated to run 25 issues.  Georges is great fun to catch at a show as he offers sketchbooks filled with behind the scenes information on his Buffy work that can’t be obtained through traditional retail outlets.

P. Craig Russell spent time following his tenure on Sandman adapting an opera called The Ring of the Nibelung to the graphic novel format, which he describes as his magnum opus.  He’s enjoyed promoting it these past few years and found opera culture to share many similar positive qualities to comic book culture.  He’s currently working on a comic book adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard.

Josh Blaylock,made a triumphant return to his hometown!  The president of Devil’s Due Entertainment showcased his recent collaboration with indie hip-hop artist Murs on the Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl hardcover graphic novel. The story follows a twenty something girl that works selling merchandise for a punk band that’s gaining fans and popularity at a rate too fast for their own good.  The story was conceptualized to capture the feeling of the lifestyle of a musician on the road.  Murs provided creative input and wrote a song to accompany each of the 10 chapters of the comic.

Josh and Devil’s Due are presently promoting the Kickstarter campaign for K. Lynn Smith’s Plume.  Check it out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/devilsdue/plume-help-k-lynn-smith-print-a-5-issue-miniseries

Whilce Portacio, Image Comics founder and artist of classic runs on X-Factor, Uncanny X-Men, Wetworks, and Stormwatch, was at the show sketching and signing autographs!  He’s presently working with writer Glen Brunswick on Non-Humans, a creator owned series about toys that come to life.  It’s due out October 3 from Image.

Mike Norton (Green Arrow/Black Canary, Runaways) was in attendance!  His web comic Battle Pugs is great fun!  Check it out at http://battlepug.com/

Geof Darrow just recently completed artwork for a Shaolin Cowboy novel.  It’s a prose story punctuated by Mr. Darrow’s hyper-detailed pinups, to be released this fall.  Mr. Darrow is also working on covers for the Marvel Now Deadpool comic.

One of my personal favorite parts of a convention is the chance to interact with up and coming professionals.  Local illustrators, graphic artists, and self-publishers are placed right next to DC and Marvel creators in Artist’s Alley.

Sean Forney had copies of his self-published comic Scarlet Huntress #2 on sale!  The lovely Stephanie Forney, who was promoting her custom superhero piggy banks and chef’s aprons, wrote the comic!  The cover was by Josh Medors, who was feeling good and sketching for fans!

Erik Hodson’s sketch cards were a crowd favorite!

Billy Tacket gave fans a chance to observe his process while working on a Swamp Thing painting in anticipation of Sunday’s auction.

Nik Havert, writer and president of Pickle Press, offered a bonus haiku when purchasing any of his comics.

Andy Bennett‘s gothic artwork competes with the best that Marvel and DC has to offer at a cost that’s much more accessible than that of many more well known creators.

Dave Aikins was positioned at a corner booth where he offered a fun juxtaposition of his children’s books directly adjacent to his zombie work.

Aikins also moderated the Swamp Thing reunion panel that closed the show on Saturday.  DC Comics’ early Swamp Thing creative team members Steve Bissette (his first show in 15 years!), John Totleben (his first con in a decade!), Rick Veitch (his first US convention in over a decade!), and Tom Yeates were on hand, invited as guests of honor.

The audience was treated to a tour of the careers led by these men.  It began when they attended first generation class of the Kubert School, continued as they began working with Alan Moore on his earliest US material, segued into creating John Constantine and subsequently fighting to retain creators’ rights on the character, and went on to discuss how they laid the foundation for what would become the Vertigo imprint.

The 2012 Cincinnati Comic Expo was a rousing success!  This show has a feeling of authenticity that fans and pros alike have picked up on and it’s demonstrated in attendance by the general public and the guests.

What do you think Short Box readers?  Did you enjoy the Cincinnati Comic Expo convention wrap up?  Are there any aspects of the show you want to hear more about, or parts of a show in general that I should focus on more thoroughly in my next review?