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8Jan/120

How to Contact Comic Book Artists & Writers

Article by Jordan McAuley

The first annual New York Comic-con brought out Milla Jovovich and was so successful, organizers almost had to shut it down. The second annual New York Comic-con was organized much better, even bringing out Steven King and Stan Lee to meet fans.

Below are some more insider tips for contacting your favorite comic book artists and writers at various comic book conventions around the country...

Meeting in Person:

Although most comic book creators, artists, and writers will tell you where to send fan mail inside their publications, the comic book industry also takes great pains to make itself available to their fan base through conventions, expos, and fan events.

The general rule of thumb is if you wait a while, a comic convention (or "comic-con") is likely to be announced in your area, and the organizers will make all sorts of promises as to who will be there (most of whom won't show up). Buy your ticket anyway, and take a few hundred bucks and a good Sharpie pen -- because even if the people who show up aren't the people promised, they'll most likely be worth meeting.

Most comic conventions today go far beyond only comic books. They often feature actors, directors, television stars, set designers, comic artists, writers, and an assortment of retro names that will have you scratching your head trying to remember who they were. The show will usually charge around $ 25 for a ticket, but the attractions will last all day long, from rare film screenings to autograph sessions to bootleg comics for sale. Most conventions travel around the country so fans don't have to spend any money to travel.

What should you bring to get signed? Nothing really, unless you know someone is going to be there and you have some great piece of memorabilia sitting around relevant to that person. Usually there are plenty of items for sale at comic conventions you can purchase to have signed.

Prices at convention's vendor booths are usually not cheap, however you can pick up some really neat pieces of pop culture memorabilia if you look hard enough, and the chance to get that item signed by its creator can be something really special.

Comic book conventions and the comics themselves are a huge industry that gets bigger every year. Therefore, comic-cons are a great place to spot up and coming stars before their signatures becomes worth thousands of dollars when they really hit it big.

How do you find a comic convention in your area? It's pretty easy -- just visit the Comic Book Conventions Web site. This resource list all upcoming comic-cons, usually four or five per weekend, and it also announces changes to programming, cancellation, and contact information.

The better conventions come back the same time every year, such as the Mid-Ohio-Con, which takes places in Columbus, Ohio on Thanksgiving weekend. The 2004 Mid-Ohio-Con lineup included the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld and Noel Neill, the original TV Lois Lane, as well as numerous other comic industry names.

The Vancouver Comic-Con happens once every few months, while Dragon-Con takes place each September. Every corner of the country has some sort of gathering, but even if you have to get in the car and drive a few hours to a really good-size convention near you, the money spent in doing so can be gained back when you take that authentic John Byrne sketch and put it up for auction on eBay.

The big names of the comic convention business include the following:

San Diego Comic-Con International, P.O. Box 128458, San Diego, CA, 92112-8458, 619-491-2475

The biggest and the best, Comic-Con has become a brand name in the business. Tens of thousands of enthusiasts gather every year, some flying in from across the country to listen to panels of experts, get autographs, buy memorabilia, watch special screenings of movies, and just hang out.

Dragon*Con, P.O. Box 16459, Atlanta, GA 30321-0459, 770-909-0115

A solid number two, Dragon*Con takes on more of a fantasy tilt-but it's not just for Dungeons and Dragons fanatics. D*C gets bigger every year, and as the collectors grow from obsessed teenagers to well-funded adult fans, the money going through the registers keeps increasing as well.

Big Apple Comic Convention, 75-34 Metropolitan Avenue, New York, NY 11379, 201-865-3288

This one is in New York City, so of course it's big. If you live in the northeast, the Big Apple Con is the one for you.

Mid-Obio-Con, P.O. Box 3831, Mansfield, OH 44907, 419-526-1427

The Midwest really knows how to put on a show, and M-O-C always has an interesting lineup of names. It's not the biggest comic-con around, but it's got a reputation as one of the best.

Mega-Con, P.O. Box 1097, Safety Harbor, FL 34695, 727-796-5725

New York Comic-con, Jacob Javiz Center, 655 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001, 1-888-605-6059

Sending Fan Mail:

To write your favorite comic book artist, look for his or her fan mail address printed in the comic book. Or send your letter to the comic book publisher, whose address will also appear inside the book.

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