Monthly Archives: October 2012
I had been to smaller conventions before – The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition in 2011 and PAX East this year, but New York Comic-Con was the first time I almost felt overwhelmed going through crowds of cosplayers, garden-variety geeks, and bewildered parents of tween Homestruck fans (which I honestly don’t get, or maybe I really am old). I didn’t really take in the full con at first due to working on Thursday and my Friday was severely cut from an immense pain in my feet from a beforehand walking from the New York Public Library down to Union Square in a “team-building” exercise for work.
I did manage to get a primary target out of the way on Friday despite the pain. I wanted to get my copies of Pax Romana and The Nightly News signed by Jonathan Hickman, the writer/artist of the books. For those that don’t know, both are indie graphic novels in which the former’s premise answered the question of what history would be like if the Middle Ages had never happened, and the latter involves terrorists against the media. Hickman’s current run on Fantastic Four was pretty good as well, seeing as you know, actually got me to read FF comics for the first time without tossing them back into a bin somewhere.
When it was my time to speak to him, I told Hickman as he signed my books that his run on Fantastic Four was the first time I had ever cared about them.
“Me too!” he responded.
I had my friend Phil take a photo of me with Hickman.
Oh, one more Friday photo of note is that of writer/artist and Kabuki creator David Mack.
Saturday was the true slog, however. I had convinced to take my mother, sister, and brother-in-law around the convention to their first huge convention. I had no internet/phone service from the moment I got within yards of the Jacob Javits Center, and after finding all of them more than an hour later, I lost them in the first fifteen to twenty minutes of walking around with them. I knew it would be pointless to find them in the crowd, so I walked around until more of my friends showed up. From there on out I walked around, taking photos of cosplayers. Here are some of the greatest hits from the entire con:
The above photo is a good segue for an interesting part of my con experience. I am fascinated with the steampunk scene. I used to own these great goggles but I lost them in the move back to Jersey. I saw this old man from Michigan selling them at a reasonable price (as if there is a reasonable price for gear of that sort) which included magnifier glasses. Phil said something that proved to be correct: ladies love cool goggles:
To be a complete attention whore about my new gear, I kept them on my head. even when I left the con to get food. I had a female tourist sitting outside a restaurant ask about them, and I had a group of women staring at me the entire time I was at a nearby dive bar. I wasn’t in the mood to start a conversation, however. The real test of the theory though? Her:
She politely complimented me on my goggles after I took this photo. That pretty much validated the purchase.
My final (and probably most important) target of the convention happened on the final day. I wanted to meet Phonogram and current Journey Into Mystery writer Kieron Gillen. To put it simply, Gillen is one of my new heroes. Gamer writer (he founded Rock Paper Shotgun), music geek on a level I’ve never been to (seriously, read the original and see just how much Britpop you really know), and apparently pretty solid at conventional comics seeing as the line in the 3:00-4:00 time frame comprised entirely of his fans, mostly young teenage girls obsessed with his Journey Into Mystery run. I normally like to chat with people in line, but seeing as I along with my associate Rob were probably a good ten years older than the people behind and in front of us, we both kept quiet.
I had brought two things for him to sign: one was a trade of his short run on the quickly cancelled SWORD from Marvel, and his sequel to the original Phonogram, The Singles Club. When it was my time to speak, I had put the SWORD trade on top. I slid them over to him and said:
“I bought the first one to keep the Marvel thing going but..”
I then slid it over to show the Phonogram trade. He smiled and did that British thing where they tip the side of their nose. I went off and told him that Phonogram was my Velvet Underground (to understand that, there’s this old anecdote that the first VU album did not do well financially, but it helped inspire and start many bands) in that he helped validate some of my old ideas of the connection between music and magic. I also told him he stole my idea of using TV On The Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” as a story title and premise. He told me that the same thing had happened to him, only that it was Alan Moore of Watchmen and V for Vendetta fame that took it.
“I took that as compliment,” he said. After that, he asked me if I’m still writing, which is very much the case. He signed my copy with the words “WRITE!!!” and “Music=Magic”, which is the tag of the entire Phonogram series. Rob took this photo of me with Gillen:
Afterwards, I walked around and bought more random stuff in the name of consumerism and went home. Overall, I had a blast. Can’t wait for next years.
I hate doing the “oh I’ve been away” part of this entry. Makes me feel like a chump, but I haven’t been. I dropped a new issue of Cram, got a poem published, found employment, and in a sense regained the part of myself I had been missing for a while. Vagueness of that last part aside, I feel and think clearer now than I have in a long time. Now, for the details.
Things did slow down a bit, mainly because both Cindy was busy with her new gig and I was in a state of flux for a good chunk of 2012. I’m still really grateful that we have been able to pull this off as much as we can, but I’m still hungry. I’ve been researching to write an essay for the blog, seeing as we need more content than the weekly Crams. Also trying to make moves with other ideas stirring in my head. also doing a project with Phil and Cindy with me on, of course, story duty.
I’m Going Going, Back Back, To Jersey Jersey
In I’m officially back in the mother country of New Jerusalem. The best way to describe my feelings is this: picture an archaeologist trying find his oldest tomb. Then picture that person now trying to ship ancient relics to a mausoleum, only to return and find out no matter how much you can move, the haul is endless and makes it a Sisyphean nightmare. That was just in the second week alone. I’m lucky I have a place to stand in my old room.
However, it has its moment of greatness. Holding my sister’s and her husband’s wedding rings as my part as her witness to her civil wedding was something worth being home for. That was a while back now, after reunions with old friends and abusing my ability at reconnecting with the newer ones, and blacking out for a good portion of the summer due to helping preparing for the (happy) clusterfuck that was my sister’s wedding party. I actually got back into the swing of writing because of this. and made up a magic realism story about a pilgrim coming home to a family of gods. A the moment there’s only one entry, but I’m cleaning up the next part which is an epic poem about the family dog.
The Job, Or How How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Become A Woman on the Internet
I finally found employment after a year of not having any. It’s not at all like what I was doing in SF. I’m still staring at Excel sheets, of course, but that’s interspersed with a crap-load of comments I put up under the pseudonym of Jamie. To date, Jamie is a mother, dancer, crafts and superbike enthusiast, nurse, customer sales rep, and recently Portuguese. I’ve had the opportunity to write blog posts, which is great. There’s a serious difficulty with the distractions of working from a home office however. I’m sure I’ll get it down right.
Badass and Published
That’s what I said I’ll be a few years back. Out of a lark it finally happened, thanks to Saul Williams and his Chorus book. Of the 97 poems in the book I’m number 21. To see a poem that I wrote in my sleep-deprived night owl phase back in 05 come to light in 2012 is crazy. I’ve been dabbling in poetry again, to see if I still have it. I probably don’t but you never know.
That’s it for now. you can find me on Twitter (@TheJesusGaray) and Tumblr (jesusgaray.tumblr.com), fyi. I’ll put up some of the content I put up there here.