After years of fantasy scheduling and goggling at guest lists, last Saturday I attended my first comic con, and may it be the first of many. Camden Comic Con is a one-day event at Rutgers University that features indie artists, writers, panels, and workshops for fans of every age. This is the con’s fourth year and, from the talent assembled, it’s already building a following. A few things to know for future comic cons: Always come carrying a tote bag. Be prepared for the toughness of walking away from super nice comic creators. And remember, the comic store vendors have cool toys, but it’s the artist alleys where comics are waiting to be discovered. Here are some of the titles Camden Comic Con unearthed:
The Locust Moon Comic
Two young girls arrive at the Locust Moon comic shop to find a ‘back in five minutes’ sign. They proceed to imagine what could be holding the owners up and where the spare key is hidden. As someone who found out about this West Philly comic store too late (it’s been closed going on two years), I wish ‘five minutes’ was all it took for the front doors to reopen.
Why Picked Up: If we’re honest, budget. There wasn’t an item on the Locust Moon Press table (Shaman Volume 1, 36 Lessons in Self-Destruction) that couldn’t have been scooped up.
Highlight: Each hypothesis by one of the girls brings a change to the issue’s art style.
More Information: http://locustmoon.storenvy.com/
AA Squad Issue #1
With squads ranging from A to Z, The Double A Squad is Time Correction Organization’s bottom tier, assigned to fix the smallest alterations in time that have minimum impact. That is until they inadvertently stumble on a much bigger anachronism.
Why Picked Up: You had me at time travel, but then the unflashy time machine, reminiscent of Making History‘s time travel gym bag, double sealed the deal.
Highlight: A little robot on Carl’s heels who waits for him to spill drinks and need cleaning after (which he does quite a lot).
More Information: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ComicsByRob
This Way To Guru
A young girl requests the town guru’s help finding her missing dog and he fails to walk away.
Why Picked Up: The first page has the guru’s appointments being so regular, he has a chair on the top of the hill waiting for him.
Highlight: A panel best described as ‘attack of the speech bubbles.’
More information: www.paulabbamondi.com
Rock Mary Rock #1 (of 6, Season 1)
When Mary finds a guitar in the basement where her grandmother works, she touches it and ends up communicating with a sixties rocker’s spirit.
Why Picked Up: It’s a bright colored, all-ages comic with ties to the past.
Highlight: Recognizing the circuitous patterns Mary’s conversations with her grandmother take, where Mary reminds her they’re going to be late and grandma ignores her until she thinks Mary is the holdup.
More information: etsy.com/shop/nickysoh
Amazing Forest #1
A four story collection by the creators of Oni Press’ Motro, with entries about bird watching, slime, and robots. Each story features a different artist.
Why Picked Up: Amazing Forest brings the anthology format to a single issue spread. Not sure it’s the first comic to do this but a change from the book standard for anthologies.
Highlight: ‘When you assume’ you get a howl of a story like Wolf Mother.
Brown Paper #1
To hand the summarizing over to the back cover description, Brown Paper is “a tragic romance, an army of vampires, Melvin the worm, Batman, George W. Bush, a farm, a nuclear attack, Zombie Santa-Zilla, and more!”
Why Picked Up: Besides the chance to see a comic live up to that promise, the brown paper cover was a beacon of light, and it’s size (about the same as a quarter-fold card) gets a seal of approval for portability.
Highlight: Written by then five year old, Samantha Ann Peartree, Brown Paper doesn’t look back, a real neverending story that exhilarates in taking chances and not questioning the course that it’s taking (and that course takes some violent turns).
Reading Soon – The Mice Templar: The Prophecy Volume 1 (https://bjlgonline.com/)