This weekend, I attended “Kids Read Comics”, a free and open comic advocacy event for kids and teens that took place at Dearborn Henry Ford Centennial Library. There were workshops held throughout the day, hosted by professionals within the animation and comics industry. My workshop, “Brainstorming Character Design”, was filled to the brim with enthusiastic children and their parents. The energy of KRC was upbeat, and the variety of comics (from genre to style) was quite impressive.
The highlight of my trip was meeting my long-time virtual comics buddies: Jerzy Drozd, Mark Rudolph, and Kevin Cross (hosts of the amazing Art and Story Podcast. I made a lot of new friends at the event, too, including Sara Turner, Kevin’s wife Laura, Roger Langridge, Ryan Estrada, Brandon Dayton, and Zach Bosteel. The camaraderie was evident right from the get-go, which bode really well for the rest of the weekend.
Friday evening we attended the art auction at Green Brain comics. Green Brain was an AMAZING comic shop. No lie – it’s the BEST comic shop I’ve ever visited (and I’ve been to many, many stores). Sure, there were super-hero books, but what really blew me away was the amazing selection of indie books (min-comics, webcomics, ashcans etc.) on the shelves. The owner of the store, Dan Merritt, was friendly and jovial – making us all feel right at home.
Above is a photo we took just outside of Green Brain. To my right are Jerzy, Kevin, Mark and Sara.
Mark Rudolph with bandana:
Kevin Cross strikes a pose:
Below are a few photos taken from the art auction at Green Brain:
After catching a couple of hours of sleep we made our way to KRC around 9AM Saturday morning. The Dearborn Henry Ford Centennial Library was a really majestic place – spanning three floors with a beautiful spiral stair case connecting them all. The workshops took place on all three floors, while the artists and guests had spacious tables on the third floor.
The event itself was very well organized. I was particularly impressed by how much care and attention we were all given throughout the show. I didn’t get a chance to take photos during the event, but I’ve captured a few during the first day’s set-up before the show opened.
Below: Sara Turner puts the finishing touches on her table.
Eisner nominated Roger Langridge chatting it up with a fan.
A better look of the top floor:
My table set-up:
Kevin Cross setting up:
There were two volunteer photographers who captured the entire show. I’m hoping their photos will make it online soon. Here’s a pic of one of them with his very own copy of “Rebootus Maximus”!
After setting up, I had a few minutes to walk the show floor before participating in my first panel, “The Future of Comics”, which should up on the ‘nets soon. Immediately after the panel, I gave a workshop on “Brainstorming Character Design”, which was packed full of enthusiastic children and their parents. The hands-on activities went really well, with parents taking a particularly active role by participating with their children.
Sales at the show on Saturday were brisk, picking up as the day came to a close. Almost all of my sales were to people who were unfamiliar with my comics. Many of these folks had previously attended my workshop. As the afternoon progressed, I had the pleasure of talking with Kurt Sasso, the notable and super-friendly podcaster behind TGT Comics. Kurt interviewed just about every artist at the show – look for those interviews to appear on his site in the weeks ahead.
Saturday evening, many cartoonists gathered at Mark Rudolph’s abode for some dinner and drinks. Laura Cross took care of preparing the food (it was awesome!), Mark grilled, while Kevin and I attempted to do our best making the garnish for some portabella mushroom burgers. We had about 15 or so Storriors gathered together – setting a world record of sorts. :)
The party continued until the wee hour of the morning. It was an evening of interesting conversation and good times. And that concludes my summary of events for the first day of KRC. Day 2’s write-up will happen later this week. Enjoy!