By Rose O’Connor and Yen Yen Woo
Comicon NYC has been a blast. Everywhere you turn there is a rush of costumes and sewing wizardry, spectacular artwork and writing, enthusiastic fans, and swag in gigantic Hello Kitty totes. Our booth is positioned in the small press area, and we are loving it because we get to meet other small publishing houses and find out how they are navigating the industry. On Friday we conducted some interviews with them and thought it would be fun to add a red-carpet twist, and find out who everyone is wearing.
Richard Benson and Michael Cecchini are two volunteers raising money for a The Jack Kirby Museum, in memory of the legend in the comics world. The museum will be located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and filled with exhibits that showcase Kirby’s extraordinary body of work.
Fun Fact: Jack Kirby inspired the cover artwork of Dim Sum Warriors Issue #2 Feast of Fury.
Words of encouragement from this dynamic duo:
Michael says small presses have to “fight” to become realities, and Richard says, “It used to be that to make it in publishing, you needed a lot of money. Now, thanks to the Internet, as long as you capture the reader’s attention, you can get in.”
Who they are wearing:
Richard- “Kmart trousers, JC Penny shirt, and Crocs- nice shoes for people with large feet.”
A.J. Moore combines his writing and editorial talents with his brother Antonio’s artistic ones to publish Super Newts (takes place in Amphibiland!) and Dorse and Doose (cheeky!). Their company is GudFit Entertainment and they are from San Antonio.
Words of encouragement: “You have to love it- because if you’re doing it for the money, good luck. Reach as many people as you can. Never give up and fight for it.”
Who A.J. is wearing: “Dorse and Doose shirt- GudFit Clothing line, Ross jeans and hoodie, Nike Trail shoes that give him extra bounce.”
Allen Drinkwater is one of three founders of the website Omega Level. In addition to writing reviews about comics, Drinkwater writes the comic Omni. He says that each issue is self-contained so that a person can pick up the story in any place and still enjoy and understand it. He teams with artist Manny Hernaez, who he has only interacted with virtually. Drinkwater, from Boston, spotted Hernaez’s work in a contest and contacted him despite the fact that he lives in Australia. The two connected and the rest is history.
Words of encouragement:
“If you want to do something, just go for it. People’s self-doubt keeps them from doing things. We’re not expecting to light the world on fire, but we’re trying to light a small piece of it.”
What Drinkwater (great name!) is wearing: “Threadless.com hoodie, Claw X- all the classic X-Men characters represented as animals, Express slim-fit jeans, grey Aldo shoes.”
Erin Canning works for One Peace Books, a 5-year-old press that translates classic works into modern Japanese artwork. In addition to manga-izing The Bible, Ulysses, and Crayon Shinchan, the press creates some original prints such as Kitty Crafts. The artistic and graphic work for each book is brilliant. Our artists bought some copies of Crayon Shinchan and scored some uber cute character keychains.
Words of encouragement: “Publish what you want, you don’t have to follow the trends. Be passionate about what you want to publish. Breathe deeply.”
Who Erin is wearing: “Muji shirt, Uniqlo sweater and jeans, Sven clogs.”
C.M. Butzer (Editor in Chief) from Rabid Rabbit and Aya Kakeda are deeply talented illustrators who shared their magazine, individual works and wares with us. Rabid Rabbit is an anthology of up-and-coming artists from all over the world. Each magazine reflects a specific theme, and in this way various works are linked and cohesive rather than being random and disconnected.
Words of encouragement: “Don’t quit.” “Keep doing it.”
Who C.M. and Aya are wearing: C.M.- “Blundstone boots, they are the best boots. From Australia. I’ve worn them 3 years almost every day.” Aya- “My friend made this Supayana dress. And, I’m wearing bird shoes.”
Neil Gibson, founder/managing director/writer of T-Publication, creates Twisted Dark, Tortured Life, and The World of Chub Chub. Neil dazzled us (and customers!) with his witty (he’s British they do that well!) and friendly banter, as well as the story behind his career transformation. He quit his job as a management consultant 2 years ago, and committed himself to his true passion: comics!
Words of encouragement: “I never did anything creative until 2 years ago. If I can do it, you can do it.”
What Neil is wearing: “Dolce Gabanna- she’s a big fan, and a bit of Armani. Shoes from Kmart and Diesel Jeans.”
David G. Klein, Martin Kozlowski, and Susann Ferris-Jones are among many illustrators who formed the non-profit Now What Media. You have probably seen their work before in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and just about every other major publication around. They decided it was time to self-publish.
Words of encouragement: David Klein – “This is all about doing the art and loving it…stick with it.” Martin Koz- “Learn as you go…the start-up losses are so minimal….express yourself more fully.”
Who Martin’s wearing: “Ralph Schistz, Levis, Reebok shoes”
Susann: “K-Hats, Poncho Peru, Bali Scarf, shoes from Texas.”
Dusty Wright & Susan Taylor direct and write The Mr. Gray Show, a comic talk show series. “Sent from his B&W universe to probe our technicolor world!” Wright entertained us with his alien stamp that reads, “Get Probed!” as well as his yoga moves which help him stay energized and flexible during the span of Comicon.
What Wright is wearing: “The Mr. Gray Show clothing” and no socks or shoes!
Dim Sum Warriors got interviewed, too!
Go Small Press! Today’s the last day of Comic Con. Go check out our booths in the 2400s… this is a bunch of courageous and inspiring folks!