AMBER LOVE 10-DEC-2013 There’s a brand spanking new comic con on the calendar and it’s actually in New Jersey! The Garden State, while home to many creators, has never had a great comic convention. There was an attempt made earlier this year for the Asbury Park Comic Con but honestly, I wasn’t impressed and look forward to seeing the new changes they have for 2014. However, right now, there is the Hammonton show on December 13-15 called the JERSEY COMIC CON.
I have some trepidations right off the bat about this show and I hope that despite my concerns, the show will be very successful because this state is desperate for a comic con. I’m concerned about launching as a three-day show. This is ballsy. You should start with one day, maybe two and see how well things go. I love a good one-day show. I makes traveling a whole lot easier and more affordable. With a small show, you can cover the floor in a day without a problem and have one night for after parties. Nothing wrong with that. But JCC is launching with 3 days. More power to them but to me that’s a rookie mistake.
This is not a “comic” con. It’s definitely a “pop culture” con. Half the slated guests are actors and entertainers who are not comic book creators. The great thing is that the comic creators they do have booked are amazingly talented people that love the medium, support each other’s work, and are happy to meet fans. So if Philadelphia and New York shows have been off your schedule because of the cost or difficulty in traveling to them, JCC will have a fair amount of the same people and you won’t have the insane crowds to deal with in order to meet those creators. Speaking of the comic creators, here’s just a sampling: Neal Adams, Arthur Suydam, Neil Vokes, The Living Corpse crew, Jay Fife, Primo Cardinalli, Jim Kuhoric, Jeff Zornow and Mark Texeira. I will be assisting my dear friend Primo and booth hopping from time to time as I normally do so you might catch me at the Living Corpse booth which is my favorite booth at every show. Since one of my best mates in the world, Jay Fife will be there, he’ll have prints of the piece where I modeled as a steampunk Bride of Frankenstein in one of his exceptionally illustrated pieces. I’d be thrilled to sign it for anyone that picks it up.
I don’t know if the organizer gave any thought to diversifying the guest list to include some female blood but there aren’t any comic book women slated as guests only vendors. People, it’s almost 2014. Get your shit together and invite other women besides actresses and models, such as both prominent and up-and-coming comic creators to your shows. Hey, I certainly love seeing my fellow models out there but I’m also a writer and would love to see other women in the industry get some support by having them as guests not only vendors. It’s not exclusively a problem with this new show; in fact, because it’s new I’m more forgiving. Shows like Baltimore and Philly need to fix this problem in 2014. Baltimore has one female guest slated so far out of 35 guests announced.
Hammonton, New Jersey? I’ve lived in this state my entire life (minus one year) and have no idea where the hell Hammonton is. The convention will be in a catering hall. The lodging is only motels in this area and they are half a mile or more away. There’s not a single hotel on Google Maps which means no hotel bar for people to hit after hours. It reminds me of the Pittsburgh con which is not in Pittsburgh; it’s in Monroeville and you have to leave the expo center and drive to be anywhere for food but at least there’s one hotel everyone stays in and it has a good bar. So far, the best con cities for me have been Baltimore and Philadelphia though I hear Chicago is outstanding. According to Wikipedia, Hammonton is smack in between Atlantic City and Philadelphia so if you are a day tripper and want to venture out after seeing the con, that is something to consider. If you’re tabling at the con, however, the hours are too long to really venture out and enjoy other cities.
Finally, has anyone heard of this show? No. They have not done a thing to promote it. The social media is not active nor engaging. I haven’t seen any podcast bloggers mention it on their feeds which means it’s not being mentioned on their shows. It’s 20 degrees and snowing in New Jersey in December. People need to know there is something to do, where it is, and what to expect. I’m not seeing any of that in terms of PR for this con. There is a Drink & Draw scheduled to be hosted by the talented Tommy Castillo. On Saturday night they have a costume party planned for an additional ticket price. There’s no information on the website clarifying where those events are being held so I can only assume they are in the same catering hall as the con itself.
Incidentally, “First Annual” anything is really bad grammar. It’s first or inaugural but it’s not an annual anything until you have it again.
Help me and all these great creators make this Jersey show a huge success! Come out this weekend and pick up some original art, prints, get drawn as a zombie by the Corpse boys, and have fun.