New York Comic Con 2009: An Indie Survival Guide

Categories:  Features, News

Anyone who’s ever stepped foot in midtown Manhattan’s Javits Center knows what nightmare big conventions can be. The insanity proves exponential when, once a year, the Center opens its doors to the New York Comic Con, a pulsating gauntlet of stray light sabers, marked-up die-cast memorabilia, and bit players from largely forgotten 70s science-fiction series. Those attending the show in hopes of catching a fair amount of alternative comics action, we’ve sadly found, often don’t end up returning for a second year.

It’s unfortunate, to be sure, but let’s face it—having attending the show for the past few years, we can sympathize. The focus of shows like NYCC and its larger west coast counterpart is squarely focused on the big name players in the industry. They are, after all, the ones who largely tend to bring bodies through the door. While the showing from smaller publishers is smaller (Fantagraphics, for one, let us know that it won’t be in attendence, as it’s since decided that there’s little to be gained from a show like NYCC), they’re there if you know where to look.

We put the message out to indie artists and publishers, asking where we might find them at this year’s show. The responses largely came back in one of two forms:

1. Those who swore on their life that they’d never again risk setting foot in the convention, and wished us luck on our seemingly self-destructive pursuit.
2. Those who were, in fact, planning on attending the show, and were therefore more than happy help their indie brethren direct traffic.

After the jump, check out the list of exhibitors that just may keep you alive (and relatively sane) this weekend, and if you don’t see your name below, drop us a line at:


Jessica Abel/Matt Madden (La Perdida, A Fine Mess):
Matt and I will be there Friday, doing a panel on Drawing Words and Writing Pictures (and more generally on teaching comics in a non-comics classroom) at 2 pm, and a signing at 3:15, I’m assuming at the First Second booth.

Liz Baillie (My Brain Hurts): I’ll be at the Indie Spinner Rack table in the Podcast Area on Saturday from 3-5.

Scott Bieser (Roswell, Texas): I will be at NYCC representing Big Head Press and promoting my graphic novel, Roswell, Texas (written by L. Neil Smith and Rex May, art by myself and Jen Zach), and La Muse (written by Adi Tantimedh with art by Hugo Petrus, which has an endorsement by Alan Moore). We (that is, myself, Adi and Big Head Press publisher Frank Bieser) will be in the Small Press area in booth #2453.

Ivan Brandon (24/7): I’ve only got big two books out for the show, though i’ll be promoting Viking.  Likewise, my only panel is a Marvel panel on Saturday. As for my setup, I’ll be at booths # 2384-2386 with Eduardo Risso, Ariel Olivetti, Andy Macdonald, Nic Klein, Rafael Albuquerque, and Miles Gunter.

Molly Crabapple (Dr. Sketchy’s): I’m going to do a little signing at the Comic News Insider table, but otherwise just be concentrating on afterparties . I’m working on my first graphic novel (with John Leavitt writing) for Fugu Press.  It’s called Scarlett Takes Manhattan, and it’s a tale of love and corruption in New York’s 1880s vaudeville world.

Mike Dawson (Freddie & Me): I will be at table H4 in Artist’s Alley, with copies of Freddie & Me and an advance copy of my new AdHouse book, Ace-Face: The Mod With the Metal Arms, which is in Previews this week. I’ll also be talking up my new strip for ACT-I-VATE, titled Jack and Max Escape from the End of Time. I will also be on this panel, along with Dan Goldman (Shooting War), George O’Connor (Journey into Mohawk Country), and Sabrina Jones (Isadora Duncan): Saturday, 11AM – 12PM, Room 1A18, Telling A Story With Imagined Pictures.

Steve Ellis (High Moon): I will be there along with David Gallaher  at the High Moon table, and I will joining a panel on digital comics with Dan Goldman as well as being at the ZUDA panel.

Ulises Farinas (Motro): I’m gonna be there walking all around, in a bear hat, so i’ll be there!

Michel Fiffe (Panorama): I won’t have a table or a signing this year, but I’ll be roaming around, getting lost in the shuffle of the madness.

First Second Books: Jessica Abel and Matt Madden are doing a panel on teaching comics at 2:00 on Friday, and signing in our booth afterward. George O’Connor is on a panel about comics non-fiction at 11:00 Saturday and signing in our booth afterward. Danica Novgorodoff is on a panel about comics and visual symbolism at 1:30 on Sunday and signing in our booth afterwards, and Alexis Frederick-Frost is doing a program for kids based on the forthcoming Adventures in Cartooning on Sunday at 2:30.

Dan Goldman (08): Saturday Feb 7: 11:00am-12:00pm, Panelist: “Telling a True Story with Imagined Pictures”
Room 1A18; 12:00pm-1:00pm 08 Signing w/Michael Crowley Watson-Guptill, booth #1940; 5:45-7:30 Moderator: “Going Paperless: Drawing Comics on Computers 2009” Room 1A15; Sunday Feb 8: 1:00pm-1:30pm 08 Signing w/Michael Crowley Watson-Guptill, booth #1940

Indie Spinner Rack: Saturday: 11-1, Robin Enrico, Kevin Colden; 1-3, Liz Baillie, MK Reed; 3-5 Miss Lasko Gross, Fred Chao; Keng Wong, Pat Lewis. Sunday: 11-1 ,Doug Bratto; 1-3, Mike Dawson, Monica Gallagher, 3-5, George Lavigne, Rich Miller.

Neil Kleid (The Big Kahn): Saturday: Meetings and general walking around, saying hello to pals. Sunday: 10-11AM: NBM Publishing (Booth 1713), 11AM-12PM: Image Comics (Booth 1403), 3-5PM: NBM Publishing (Booth 1713)

Jason Little (Shutterbug Follies): I’ll be on a panel, “Coming of Age In Comics,” on Sun Feb 8 at 11, room 1A18. Thanks for asking.

Josh Neufeld (A.D.): I’ll be at the show for sure on Friday, because I’m in the “Comics and New Media” panel 3:30 – 4:30 pm Room 1a22; I’ll also probably be around a bit on Saturday with the family, and may stop by the Pantheon booth. I think they’ll have a blow-up of the A.D. cover as well as sell sheets

Oni Books: Booth  #1413, Featuring signings by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), J. Torres (Love as a Foreign Language, Scandalous), Eric Kim (Love as a Foreign Language), John Layman (Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen), Matt Loux (Salt Water Taffy, Sidescrollers), Philip Gelatt (Labor Days), Rick Lacy (Labor Days), Ray Fawkes (The Apocalipstix), Cameron Stewart (The Apocalipstix), Rick Spears (Black Metal), Ross Campbell (Wet Moon), TJ Kirsch (Uncle Slam Fights Back), Vasilis Lolos (The Last Call), Chris Schweizer (The Crogan Adventures), Cullen Bunn (The Damned), Ryan Kelly (Local), Greg Rucka (Queen & Country, Whiteout).

Alex Robinson (Too Cool to be Forgotten): I’ll be at the Top Shelf booth but nothing new unfortunately. I’m on a panel on Friday and Sunday.

Dave Roman/Raina Telgemeier (Teen Boat, The Babysitters’ Club):
Raina and I will be doing some signings at the Kids Love Comics booth 1930. We also have separate panels on Sunday.

Terminal Press:
Tell Them Johnny Wadd is Here will make its public debut at the 2009 New York Comic Con on February 6th at booth # 2364.

Toon Books: “Toon Into Reading” panel Sunday, February 8th – Variant Stage (Galleria) – 12:30pm-1:00pm
with Geoffrey Hayes, Leigh Stein, Françoise Mouly.

GB Tran/Fred Chao/Jamie Tanner (Content, Johnny Hero, The Aviary): We will be at L4 with copies of Content, Johnny Hiro, and The Aviary. We will also have mini-paintings and be sketching.

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No Comments to “New York Comic Con 2009: An Indie Survival Guide”

  1. TOP ENTREPRENEUR | February 4th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks for the tips, the will be handy.

  2. Zob Rhombie | February 4th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    “Fantagraphics, for one, let us know that it won’t be in attendence, as it’s since decided that there’s little to be gained from a show like NYCC.”

    Crap. One less table to shoplift from. Should have copped more from them last year, had I known.

  3. Liz Baillie | February 5th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    It turns out I’ll be at the ISR table on Saturday from 1-3, NOT 3-5. (blame Charlie!)

  4. Ryan Dunlavey | February 5th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Me and Fred Van Lente aka Evil Twin Comics will be there in full force at table B11 in Artist Alley, peddling the latest issue of Comic Book Comics and other stuff, and we may have some other folks float in from time to time while we run off to panels, bathroom breaks, etc.

  5. Ryan Dunlavey | February 5th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Oh, and I’ll also be on that panel with Alex Robinson on sunday, along with Danica Novgorodoff and Paul Karasik: “Comics and the Language of Visual Symbolism”. It’s at 1:30 pm, which I think is the same time as the Scott Pilgrim panel. Oh dear.

  6. J.T. Yost | February 5th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I just met with Chris Staros of Top Shelf this week, and he mentioned that he’d be at the Con this weekend. Go support him, he’s a great guy putting out wonderful books!

  7. ZEITGEIST / Ten Things I’d Do At NYCC 2009
  8. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Feb. 5, 2009: Next gasp?