Matt meets Fernando from Hier on a chilly night on the East River
In my review of MidNight Tiger by Ray-Anthony Height I thought, based upon his comic, that Height would be the kind of guy I’d like to hang and shoot the breeze with. Well, at New York Comic Con 2016, I found out that I was right. Ray is a great guy who is fun to hang out with.
Like me, he has a deep love of comics and feels that they should be fun. The first comic that he bought with his own money was the West Coast Avengers. “Great stories, they didn’t talk down to me, and everyone could enjoy them.” We agreed that while Frank Miller has done some great things, not every comic needs the Miller touch. Stories can be “adult” without over the top sex and violence, and they don’t need to be so dark.
His goal with MidNight Tiger was to bring back that 1980’s sensibility and to make comics accessible to everyone by telling stories with a sense of fun, which seems to be in short supply at the Big 2 these days.
Anyone reading my reviews will know that I agree. I’m not against dark and moody, or even, with the proper justification, violent comics. What my gripe is that not everything should look the same. And if we are to snag the next generation readers then comics need to be accessible. There needs to be comics that parents and their children can enjoy together. Comics are a medium to tell stories and the range should be as vast as the talent pool.
Making it my mission at Comic Con to eschew the Big 2 and see what is out there, I explored the Independent Comics. In my travels around the Javits Center, I clocked about four miles a day moving up and down the aisles and met a lot of great people, and learned about small publishers of whom I have never heard of before. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting reviews of titles from the small presses. Some comics are outstanding, some not so good, but get a big “E” for effort.
I have read comics with important messages, like Erica Heflin and Amanda Rachel’s Flesh of White, published by Comic Times and Inverse to Oni Press’s subversively funny volume 3 of Rick and Morty.
If you’re tired of the constant massive crossovers, and the media event driven story-line (“Let’s make Thor a woman, Captain America a Hydra sleeper, etc”) try the independent lines. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Things at BoroughCon are moving on schedule. We’ve locked down the venue at St. John’s University. We can’t say enough great things about the folks at St. John’s. They have bent over backwards to accommodate us and are pulling out all the stops. When this is Con is a blow out success, a large part of the create will belong to the University.
We’ve signed up with Signature Bank. They are a Queens based bank, small enough to give us the personal service we need and large enough to handle our banking needs. Also, being from Queens they have been very pro active in introducing us to the Queens business community. Kudos to our new banker Diego Pinzon and his team.
NYC and Company, the officially marketing organization of the City of New York has been working very closely with us to promote the Con. They have been a great help in introducing BoroughCon to potential sponsors. As excited as we are with the project, every business we speak to about this is even more so. It’s not merely that we’re running a Con in the Capital of the World, but that we’re doing it in Queens.
More to come.