I happen to be lucky enough to live in a truly amazing place. The Pacific Northwest spans several states and encompasses two of the coolest cities in the west coast. Although I’m smack in the middle of the action of Washington State Tacoma isn’t on par with Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con or even Portland’s Rose City Comic Con but Jet City Comic Con will forever hold a place in my heart. For starters the ticket price was more than affordable; it only cost twenty bucks for a two day pass through Groupon. For me and my girlfriend affordability is a pretty big deal, were not very well off, and anything we save with tickets we can spend on books. I pride myself greatly on the fact that I support indie creators and even more supporting indie creators from my area. We as consumers have to put up or shut up, we have to speak with our wallets, we need to support those that need it and deserve it, and that was exactly my mission on this Halloween.
As I mentioned, Jet City Comic Con is in Tacoma Washington, about forty minutes south of Seattle. I live here and I love my town, but I don’t discriminate, if they traveled from any distance to show up I was going to throw my money at them and take home some awesome products. Here is a quick rundown of the loot I left with so you can pretend you were there with me.
The first book I bought was a hardback copy of Sunglasses After Dark; written by Nancy Collins and illustrated by Stanley Shaw. It’s a small world and an even smaller comic community so needless to say I was more than surprised to learn that my girlfriend knew Mr. Shaw. The fact that she knew Mr. Shaw aside the book is fantastic and Ms. Collins was with him so I got both signatures on it. They were both very nice and I have a feeling it was more than just the acquaintance because Ms. Collins didn’t know either of us and she was more than happy to sign my book.
The second booth I stopped at had a couple of happy looking fellas smiling and chatting with each other. I decided to stop because I found the art of the cover interesting and eye catching. Charlatan was the book and after talking to the very enthusiastic writer Gil Lawson I learned that he is doing some really fun and innovative stuff with his site that can be found here. Also the first issue of the omnibus I got is free to download. His friend and booth mate was no less ecstatic about his work either; Kasey Quevedo and his book Velocidad was a must have when I saw the art and heard how passionate he was about it. Mr. Quevedo was working on the fourth issue and only had the first three available but he took the time to chat and both guys signed their work for me. Their enthusiasm left me no choice but to ask if they would talk to me for an article and they both said they would love to so check up on us on Comicbooked and be looking for the interviews.
One of the big complaints I hear about comics is that there is a lack of female protagonists, which I don’t want to get into because I feel people mean the big two have a lack of female presence, and Sin of Omniscience by Nathan and Danielle St. Pierre is why I say so. There are actually a lot of female leads in comics it’s just that sometimes we have to search for them. When I walked past the booth I saw a poster that said something about female protagonists and picked up this book only to fall in love with the art. I can’t wait to get some reading in and see where they go with the strong female role because the art is truly something to behold.
There was only one book in particular that I knew I was going to buy because I have followed their project for a long time. Blood and Gourd was one of the first successful crowd funded projects I followed but regretfully couldn’t donate at the time. Blood and Gourd is done by some locals from Olympia Washington which caught my eye immediately. Needless to say I was excited to meet them and finally get to support their project. They were more than kind and gave me some free swag when I told them I have been following them on Facebook. I got a set of cards and some buttons along with a signed copy of the comic. They were also enthusiastic as hell and more than willing to talk so I gathered their information with my swag and recruited another interview candidate. Clearly I have a lot on my plate but talking to these guys is a must for me and my mission to support indie comics.
At this point of the con I only had twenty five dollars cash left to spend and didn’t think I was going to run into someone I consider a Northwest icon. Mark Rahner has written some of the more iconic Vampirella books and more recently Vampirella Army of Darkness for Dynamite. Mark had a show on local radio that I just happened to listen to before its untimely demise and I was sort of going fanboy while trying to keep it together. Mark was more than nice and we talked about the show while I looked at his books. I always want to support the artists over anything else so I bought his book Rotten but while we were talking I mentioned the Vampirella Army of Darkness book and asked about it and what it would cost to get the first four of that along with Rotten his creator owned book. I didn’t have enough but Mark was so cool he gave me all of it for about ten bucks less than it cost. He said anyone that listened to his show and was willing to call the station and tell them to put his show back on should get a little discount. Mark was a super cool guy and really solidified my love for indie comics with his willingness to be flexible about cash and still sign the books while chatting with me. I had already had a wonderful day but Mark really made it something special, he totally put the cherry on top and made me feel like a superhero.
Overall I had an amazing time at Jet City Comic Con and all of the purchases aside it really was the people that made it amazing. The true love of comics and the pride everyone takes in their products can’t be more fun to watch and be a part of. The enthusiasm of the work, willingness to talk to me, and willingness to sign the books I bought are the main reason I love indie comic creators and every person I talked to couldn’t have been more kind. Compared to the time and money it would have taken to get to San Diego there is just no real comparison. I plan on spending a Saturday at Emerald City Comic Con in April so stay tuned for more Con adventures and interviews from the guys and gals I talked to at Jet City Comic Con this year. Since this is my first time I apologize for the lack of good pics to share, I will attempt to remedy this as I get my bearings straight on how to be a half way credible journalist as well as fanboy.