Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Big Wow! 2013 - San Jose

Enjoyed visiting the Big Wow! Comicfest at the San Jose Convention Center this weekend. It was a total throwback to the "all toys, art and comics" pre-Hollywood show WonderCon used to be. In fact there was rampant speculation about the status of Big Wow! and if they were making an attempt to become the show that fills the vacuum WonderCon left behind (what's wrong with Oakland, we all wondered). This year Big Wow! printed a nice program book, spent a wad on bringing in Stan Lee and promoted the hell out of it. I thought it was a good promotional move to visit local comics stores a couple of weeks ago on Free Comic Book Day and post photos of the events on Facebook. Seemed like a good crowd while we were there. Someone in attendance actually lost their paycheck out on the floor, and was reunited with it 5 minutes later (there was some unintentional humor in all the announcements, but I could have lived with less of them).

A collection of Bruce Simon's essays for Mineshaft Magazine.
There wasn't the type of programming we've come to expect from big shows like SDCC, but there was a community oriented emphasis that was really interesting. Live drawing, an archery booth with NERF arrows for kids, a CosPlay fashion show and a rock band.  Artist's Alley dominated at this show, taking up the center and back, with the rest of the small exhibit floor filled with book sellers, comics sellers, comic art dealers, toy vendors, Aspen Comics (Frank Mastromauro was there selling Turner pages, the only publisher with a booth) and tables for fan clubs. We really enjoyed the chance to talk with artists without a million distractions. I scored a copy of Bruce Simon's Mineshaft essays and a couple of his Burlesque posters (Blaze Starr! She's a Human Heat Wave!), a sketchbook and How to Train Your Dragon rough from Aaron Lopresti, an Arthur Adams sketchbook, and a Winged Victory poster and sketchbook from Brent Anderson (Astro City is coming back! Yay!). Marc was thrilled to get a Lady Mechanika iPhone cover from Joe Benitez.

I hope this show continues to grow. It had a good vibe. APE has a totally different audience, and no one we talked with wants to go to two Southern California shows two or three months apart.

Lady Mechanika iPhone covers. Looks like they are
mainly being sold at shows, although you could try the Facebook page.

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