I rarely go to comic book conventions, being that MAD doesn’t really fit in to the comic book world. Yes, it’s full of cartooning, but it’s a little like the red-headed stepchild in that environment.
There are certain factions of exhibitors and attendees at these conventions. You have the cape and tights crowd, that go primarily for the mainstream superhero genre comics, and the majority of them don’t have any time for the ‘funny books’ or a lot of the underground type stuff. Then you have the kind of La Bohemme crowd, most of whom are creators of various underground or avant garde comics with slice of life kind of storylines often infused with some kind of odd premise or twist. Most of them are self published, manning their own booth to show their latest work. A lot of these latter do it as a labor of love, scratching a creative itch while being part of a medium they love. Then you have the manga people… anyway, most of these folks don’t really see MAD as part of the comic book world.
As a result, I don’t do much at these conventions. I rarely ever sell a piece of original art, as my price of $200 per page or more seems outrageous to attendees. I guess I can’t blame them, as most comic book artists price their pages at $50 to $80 for recent work, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of such pages available to buy at those prices. Personally even at $200 a page I’d rather keep the work than sell it, so I am not all that put out by not selling originals. I did a few sketches for people, and got a lot of work done on two freelance jobs so not all was wasted. Plus I did get to meet a few genuine fans of MAD, signed a bunch of copies of the latest issue and hopefully convinced a few people to pick up a copy the next time they see it at the bookstore.
Here’s some pictures I took at the con this weekend:
From the far end, Clint Hilinski, Pat Gleason, my good friend Doug Mahnke and Shawn Moll.
They don’t exactly get the archetypes to fill these costumes, but their little friend here is still all grins.
Kurt Busiek and Gordon Purcell
Old buddy Tom Nguyen (left) imparts comic book wisdom
Legendary inker and artist Joe Rubenstein
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