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Lifelike

Dara Naraghi's graphic novel Lifelike is now available in both digital and print editions. Click here for more info.

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Archive for the ‘bankies’ Category

Another year, another Mid-Ohio-Con. You know what that means, right? It’s time once again for the Bankies! First suggested by PANELista Tony Goins, and named after Jason Lee’s character in Mallrats, the Bankies are our random awards for various and sundry aspects of comic book conventions. Contributors this year include myself, Tony, Tom Williams, Andy Bennett, Brent Bowman, and Craig Bogart.

Ladies and gentlemen, The Bankies:

  • Charlie Sheen Award for Sexist Jackass of the Show – goes to one of the guys (incidentally, the one who was the more overweight and less shaven of the two) running the booth next to me that was selling a comic collector-type product, who kept getting attractive female cosplayers to pose for photos in front of his booth, holding his product like a Price Is Right model. To make it even creepier, he went into full-on amateur photographer mode, instructing them where to stand, how to pose, etc. Bonus: bragging about the “hot chick into comics” that he dated back in high school. Right. To borrow a phrase straight out of comics: “an imaginary story…”
  • Charlie Sheen’s Ex-wives Award for Exploited Women – to the attractive female cosplayers who were either a) dumb enough to fall for this a-hole’s shtick, or b) vain/insecure enough to go along with it.
  • Zombies Are The New Black Award – zombie costumes outnumbered Storm Trooper costumes 2 to 1 this year.
  • Zombies Are The New Black Award, part 2 – goes to the female zombie who was completely in character, and extra special scary. So much so that she scarred the crap out of a 6 year old boy and sent him running and screaming to his dad.
  • Return of the Living Dead Award – goes to a fan who brought me a copy of my Zombies: Hunters #1 mini-series to sign. Not only did I not think anyone bought that book (heck, IDW cancelled it after issue #1), but I was pleasantly surprised to find out he had really enjoyed it and had been looking for the other non-existent issues.
  • The Stanislavsky award for Method Acting – goes to the man dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, who never broke character—on OR off the show floor, even to the point of maintaining the swaggering, hysterical feyness throughout the Arena District night spots.
  • The Police Blotter “That’s Criminal” Award – goes to the fact that indie great Matt Wagner’s table was devoid of fans the few times I walked by. Seriously? Here’s a guy who created Grendel and Mage, wrote and drew mini-series for DC featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and has Vertigo titles under his belt, including Sandman Mystery Theater and the currently-running Madame Xanadu. I guess the kids are too busy reading Avengers: Scranton, PA.
  • Columbus’ Favorite Son…er, Daughter Award – goes to local Lora Innes, the talented cartoonist behind the historical fiction hit The Dreamer. She not only had a busy show, but was also featured in a 614 Magazine article, and on one of our local morning shows. Congrats, Lora!
  • Trying Our best to Dash Your Dreams Award – goes to the “Breaking into Comics” panel moderated by yours truly (Dara Naraghi) and featuring Sean McKeever, Bryan J. L. Glass, Marc Sumerak, and Khoi Pham. We talked about some of the ins and outs of the comics biz, answered questions, and offered some advice based on our own experiences. But mostly, we tried to paint a bleak picture of the industry, in the hopes of keeping some of these young upstarts from gunning after our jobs. (I keed, I keed!)
  • Big Lots Discount Store Award – goes to the return of not only 25 cent comic book boxes, but also 10 cent bins! Holy buyer’s market, Batman!
  • It’s time (past time) for the Bankies – the 2009 SPACE edition!

    I personally had a pretty darn good show. I sold more than I have in the past, even to some folks I didn’t know personally.

    I stole this and put it on my wall Award: (Or here’s a free postcard. thanks for stopping by.) Don’t know what to say about this but there were numerous broke art school kids running around the show. Nothing more frustrating than going to a convention with no cash… and being vocal about it. One of them did have a sweet sketchbook she was showing around. I’m wondering now if they wandered in or paid to get in.

    Hidden Hayseed Award. To Tom Williams for confessing this his middle name is Ray and that he was once called Tommy Ray Williams.

    Delicious food at low low prices award: Wal Mart, for having a McDonalds inside their store– much to Dara’s chagrin.

    Clean Up on Aisle Five Award: goes to the Left Handed Sophie posse for their table display that probably pushed the boundaries out into the aisle. Xeroxed and hand colored art was physically tapped to the floor clear across the aisle.

    Stay Classy Cosmo Award: people really took a note from Matt Feasell this year and started dressing up. The suit jacket/fedora to indie rock stache quotient was neck and neck. You won’t find folks dressed as a dumpy Superman at S.P.A.C.E.

    This … is … Sparta! Award: You will find people dressed in ancient costume, though.

    Zapper award: goes to Serena who brought a stun gun to the show. I heard a crackle-pop and turned around. Matt and Serena were playing with a stun gun. WTF?

    We’ve got it covered Award: goes to the sheer amount of web media at the show. Indie Spinner Rack, Comic Related and UVN: Behind the Counter were all out in force covering the show.

    Flava Flav Award for Best Hype Man: Mike Watson of Hotshot, who grabbed the mic for some vigilante marketing. It was a little rough on those of us sitting near the microphone, but you gotta respect the enterprise.

    Stand By Your Man award: Brent Bowman’s wife, who could wait until Brent got back from the show on Sunday before she went to the Urgent Care.

    Socialist Army award: Craig and Dara, who both showed up wearing their Obama shirts Sunday morning.

    Other … Pocket …. Award: Tony Goins, for waiting 10 days to get the danged Bankies up.

    Yesterday was the third annual Gem City Comic Convention in Dayton, Ohio at Wright State University. As always, Gem City is the most comfortable convention there is as guests are treated to cushy, executive-style office chairs. The independent creators’ room is in a conference room off the main dealers’ room. The show has gotten bigger and bigger each year. While the dealers’ room has always been hopping, what started as about ten creators in a small room, has turned into a couple of dozen small-press creators showing their wares. Out in the solarium/hallway is a great mix of old-time professionals (Marv Wolfman) and newer artists (Billy Tan).

    PANEL represented at the show. Andy Bennett was a featured guest out in the solarium. Dara Naraghi, Tom Williams, Craig Bogart, and I kicked it in the independent creators’ room where, according to a disembodied voice over the PA, “the cutting edge of comics was occurring.” Molly Durst wasn’t set up to sell comics, but was there (and scored a sweet set of fuzzy dice, polyhedron style). Luckily, we got there early to set up since the tables, for some reason, are first-come, first serve. While it wasn’t a problem for the most part, there were some creators who showed up later after the tables were all taken; they were forced to take hastily set up tables shoved in the middle of the room. Maybe next year, the indie room will end up being two rooms.

    There seemed to be a decent amount of traffic for a Sunday show on the nicest weather day of the year so far. There were the normal lulls in traffic at the beginning and end of the day. But while there were a lot of people in the room, it didn’t seem like many people were actually looking at the books, and they definitely weren’t buying.

    I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but sales were way down, especially compared to the last two Gem City shows. Even people who were familiar with the PANEL books and had bought them before didn’t pick up the new anthologies. In fact, if it wasn’t for Matt Feazell buying three Class of 2006 books for a dollar (and trading a Cynical Man for my Pyramid Story), I would have been totally skunked on the show. I blame the economy. We need to have another show after the economic stimulus checks come through.

    Having said that, I did have a good time at the show. I was able to make a good bit of progress on a freelance editing job, so I technically didn’t lose money on the show. It is always good to sit down and chat with the PANEL guys, and the show is only about 45 minutes from my house. The big pile of comics that Craig got from Bell, Book and Comic were fun to look through.

    Even though my sales were low, I’m not ready to give up comics, just rethink some strategy.

    No Bankies for the convention, but here are a few quotes:

    Dara: “Are we going to Chipotle for lunch?” trying to continue a PANEL con tradition, but we didn’t know where the nearest one was.

    Young kid: “Is this appropriate?” while pointing at Craig’s newest Ineffables comic.

    Sean: “What Sandman are you drawing, the Gaiman version or the gas mask version?”
    Craig (with contempt): “The Ditko Sandman.”

    Did I miss anything else?

    In a separate ceremony last night, PANEL was proud to present the following Bankies for the SPACE 2007 show.

    The Claude Rains Invisible Man Award (Or Martha Stewart Award for Achievement in the Field of Hosting): Tony Goins

    The What, No Pictures? Award: Those guys who had self-published novels at SPACE. The self-publishing revolution has gone too far.

    The Please Spay Your Catboy Award: The Drunken Cat

    The English are Coming Award (Spirit of ’76 Award): The Minuteman guy dressed like a colonist across from Camp Ferret. A refreshing change of pace from the big orange cat.

    The Attack of the Gamer’s Award: MOMO 2 for booking a video game throw down the same night as the SPACE Launch party.

    The Gloeckner Award: Carol Tyler and her class for bailing out early the second day of the show. In hindsight, probably a smart move.

    The Saving Face Award: Craig’s dentist, who replaced a missing front tooth on an hour’s notice the day before the show so he wouldn’t look like a character from “Monster Trucks and Baby Mammas.”

    The Check Is In The Mail Award: Everyone who says, “I’m just making the rounds right now, but I’ll be back.”

    The Why Have the Cow When You Can Drink the Milk for Free Award: The folks who read entire issues of Class of 2006 without buying a copy.

    The Clearing Up Any Misunderstandings Award: Ryan Gelatin, winner of the Gem City Uncool Perv Award. Turns out his He-Man porn is not pornographic at all. Mature audiences yes, but not porn. Thanks for the copy of the book.

    The Al Roker Forecasting Award: The weather, which finally decided to be pleasant while we were stuck inside for two days.

    Feel free to add others in the comments

    It’s hard hosting the Bankies after such distinguished hosts as Tony Goins, Tom Williams, and Dara Naraghi, but let me give it a shot. We’ll depart from the opening monologue and get right to the awards.

    The Beating the Sophomore Slump award: Jesse Noble and the rest of the organizers of the Gem City Comic Con. As Andy said, “I don’t know what it is they are doing, but they are doing it right.” Another great show.

    The Jericho Breaking the Walls Down award: Wright State Student Union. The temporary wall was moved aside to double the size of the small press room.

    The Uncool Perv award: The loser who dumped his He-Man porn zine on the giveaway table where kids were picking it up. Next time just distribute it to those of us who want it. [UPDATE: I met Ryan Gelatin at the SPACE show and he is far from being an uncool perv. I checked out his comic and it was not He-Man porn at all. Check out his work if you have a chance.]

    The Gene Siskel Memorial Movie Review award: The kid who, unasked, shared with Tom his thoughts on the Star Wars prequel. “Now the third one was almost the perfect movie.” Ouch.

    The Gotta Collect Them All award: The guy who after telling Craig that his book “looked cool, but isn’t my sort of thing,” proceeded to tell him all about his Marvel Superhero toy collecting adventures.

    The Wasn’t Lobot a Mute award: The guys, one book store manager in particular, who wear those stupid phones that clip to your ears. Lando’s buddy never talked. He was a lot cooler.

    The Ron Popeil Spiel award: Steve Black. Perfecting a great sales technique by offering a new sketchbook exclusively at the show and reminding the consumers that he was in from San Francisco. People jumped at his beautiful book.

    The Tammy Wynette Stand by Your Man award: Angie for supporting Steve in his endeavors at the show.

    The Don’t Cross the Streams award: The guys in the Ghostbusters garb. They learned their lesson from last year and ditched the jump suits (which caused them to sweat a river last year) and went with T-shirts instead. Still had the proton packs though.

    The Cameo of the Con award: Dan Barlow. Good of you to stop by, Dan. Good luck with school.

    Feel free to post your nominations in the comments. Look for the SPACE Bankies next week.

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