Images © Todd Klein.
I spent a few hours at this show in Asbury Park, NJ yesterday, a town on the Jersey Shore which is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. It’s the third such con, and the first at Convention Hall on the boardwalk, which is part of this structure, though the con area was off-camera to the right, on the pier over the beach.
Inside, in the section of “boardwalk” that runs through the building making, in essence, a large lobby, were the 1960s Batmobile and a “Back to the Future” DeLorean you could have your picture taken in, or just take pictures of. A pretty good way to entice people into the show. Actually, the show seemed well-attended, the aisles were busy.
The main room of the con was on the floor of a large old theater where rock acts used to play in the 1960s, and still used for concerts in the summer I believe. Looking down from the seats with the con floor lit up and the seats dark, it reminded me of a sporting event like a boxing match.
The con was also on the upstairs gallery running around the outside of the building with great views of the ocean and beach. Most of the exhibitors up here were artists and small press publishers.
Dave Bullock was one of the artists I talked to there, I’m a fan of his work, but I don’t think we’d met before. He was kind enough to give me this cool poster he’s done.
On the main floor, guests like Herb Trimpe were busy signing their work.
Batman producer Michael Uslan was kept busy. I had a chance to talk to him a bit, and learned he grew up in Asbury Park, one reason why he was here to support the con.
I also talked to Allan Bellman, an comics artist of the 1940s-60s whos work I wasn’t familiar with. I asked him if he worked on staff at Marvel, and he did, in the early 1950s before the Martin Goodman laid off most staffers during hard times. “Did you know Artie Simek?” I asked, “Oh sure,” he said, “he used to play his harmonica to entertain us.”
Comics historian Jon B. Cooke was there with an advance copy of the first issue of his new magazine, cover by Alex Ross. Looks great!
Writer Don McGregor was there, talking a mile a minute as usual. I didn’t have a chance to say hi, he was so busy, but it was good to see him.
Also there were the editors/creators of “Once Upon a Time Machine” Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens, with someone whose name I’ve forgotten unfortunately. Chris and I talked about a new anthology they’re planning for which I designed a logo, and a show he’s organizing in Philadelphia.
Several of the guys from the TV show “Comic Book Men,” like Mike Zapcic, were there helping run things. I wouldn’t be surprised to see footage from the con on their show in future.
Two old friends that I had planned to meet there were John Workman and Dave Hunt, here with Jim Salicrup. It took me a while, but I did get together with them and we had some good conversation. John’s wife Cathy was also there, and our friend Ron Jordan. I talked to about a dozen other folks as well, my favorite thing to do at cons.
A fun afternoon, well worth the 1.5 hour drive up, and while I was there Ellen was spending time with friends. We went to dinner afterwards. Not a large show, but a good one, I’d certainly go again.