Comic Cons stole my life!
Big Apple Con (BAC) 2017 may officially be over, but it will not soon be forgotten. A whirlwind of surprises surrounded this event. While Stan Lee was sadly unable to attend due to health issues, there was still plenty of excitement and variety to be embraced. Allow me to lead you through the lively twists and turns at BAC.
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Big Apple Con kicked off the festivities Friday evening with a wedding unlike any other. BAC founder Mike Carbonaro married his beautiful bride, model Nina Martinez. To say that this wedding was unique in its ability to provide the guests with unexpected entertainment would be a vast understatement. One look around the room was enough to tell the guests they were in for no ordinary nuptials. As I locked eyes with Darth Vader (Spencer Wilding) and rubbed elbows with a Power Ranger (Jason David Frank), I could only smile.
Several guests donned their favorite cosplay and the bride herself made a grand entry as Wonder Woman. The band, from another world altogether, provided the perfect background to keep the party rockin’. That is exactly what this wedding embodied… a celebration. I was honored to be in attendance to witness two people coming together in a way that embraces individuality.
No telescope needed here. Big Apple Con did a terrific job in providing a line-up of amazing celebrity guests. In the absence of Stan Lee, legendary artist Jim Lee (X-Men, Superman, Batman and more) flew in from Los Angeles to make a rare appearance to sign free autographs for excited fans. Signing next to Mr. Lee was the completely charismatic Jason David Frank (JDF). Chants of “JDF! JDF! JDF!” circulated through the crowd as they waited in line to meet their favorite Power Ranger. I was completely thrilled when Jason offered to sit with me for an interview, he is kind and inspiring beyond words. That interview/article is on the way!
The Marvel Universe was also well represented at Big Apple Con. Daredevil cast members Elden Henson, Peter Shinkoda, Gideon Emery and Geoffrey Cantor teamed up for Q&A on Sunday to the delight of their fans. While the Punisher himself, Jon Bernthal, was unable to attend the Daredevil Q&A, he did spend lots of time engaging fans during his autograph session.
Across the room from Mr. Bernthal was the incredibly kind Spencer Wilding. While he best known for his role as Darth Vader, Mr. Wilding’s talents expand to many fandom areas… Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy, just to name a couple. I personally want to thank Mr. Wilding for his generosity in taking pictures and signing artwork. He is a talented actor and fascinating individual.
There were many more celebrities on hand and I would love to have met them all! Check out the Big Apple Con website to view the entire list of those in attendance.
First Class Creators
Big Apple Con was absolutely loaded with talent! One of the most well-known creators in attendance was Frank Miller. Mr. Miller is known for his work on Ronin, Daredevil, Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and 300. The line to meet this man was nothing short of massive; fans I spoke with were thrilled just to have the opportunity.
One gentleman I did have the honor to chat with was Ernie Colon. Mr. Colon has a wide-ranging career in the comics industry and is best known for his work on Richie Rich and Casper the Friendly Ghost. Two titles that bring back fond childhood memories. Mr. Colon said he always enjoyed comics and never envisioned himself taking an alternate life path. He also wanted me to know that superheroes were never really his interest; he preferred the comic strip humor seen in newspapers and that is what inspired him as a creator. Mr. Colon was in attendance at Big Apple Con primarily to help promote the light-hearted culinary comic Johnny Zucchini. Johnny Zucchini is a combination of food AND comics put together by industry veterans and exciting new comers. Dig in!
Without the talent and skills of writers, artists, designers and creators in general… we have no fandoms. These are the people who drive the industry we geeks love so much. I implore you to spend time with these individuals. Allow them to take you on a journey; you will have no regrets.
Getting it Write
One area I had yet to tap into at any comic convention was that of an author. I found this to be odd considering how much I love to read. Prior to attending Big Apple Con I connected with a few writers listed to be in attendance. Best decision ever! Not only was I able to gain insight into their imaginative capabilities, I definitely made some friends.
A few writers representing The Rhode Association of Authors put together an informative panel called World Building in Sci-Fi. Together they provided expertise on how to manage the elements necessary to construct worlds without boundaries that somehow still feel ‘real’. I found myself captivated as I listened to the process behind their fantastic imagery. Aspiring writers can truly benefit in listening to the advice these skilled professionals have to offer.
If you have a passion for great story telling, originality and enjoy reading, I highly recommend checking out the works of Tabitha Lord, Mike Squatrito, Christopher Paniccia, Heather Rigney and C.L. Schneider. I look forward to featuring these individuals in the near future.
As always, the art. My passion knows no bounds for when I see a piece that pulls me in and Big Apple Con was a smorgasbord. The convention floor held a myriad of artists displaying their skills. Whether painting, sketching covers, or drawing comic book panels, there was something for everyone. It is always wonderful to see fans holding something that clearly touched their heart. It is even better to see the joy artists take in sharing their passion with fellow fans.
Paradise Not Lost
While Big Apple Con shows off plenty of individual style, rest assured, they also provide the expected. Endless aisles of comic books, jewelry ready to adorn, creative cosplayers eagerly awaiting photographs… all are found around every corner at this event. You only need to keep your eyes open and not miss any of it. This event is a comic book connoisseurs dream!
I would like to thank General Manager Dan Fogel for allowing me access to this event. I also want to thank Big Apple Con founder Mike Carbo for his generosity, hospitality, and kind spirit. It was a privilege to be at your wedding, an experience I will never forget. See you all in 2018!
Keeping You Comic Con-nected!
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