No matter what type of convention you go to, if you get enough fans of one property together some will always be enjoying the wonderful world of comics. BronyCon was no exception. With five members of the IDW Staff, a BronyCon exclusive cover from Jetpack Comics, and one particular vendor with a wall of comics that would actually make for a really good wallpaper display, the comics were definitely present at the con.
But the question remained, were people reading/buying them? Were people talking about them? Were people enjoying them at the convention?
Aside from me and my two friends myself and I?
Well, there were at least two people who were enjoying the books. I spotted the two above reading the comics shortly after picking up my badge on Thursday. As for the rest of the questions, well, you'll just have to check out the rest of the article after the break.
LineCon. I know the mother of all LineCons starts in less than a week in San Diego, but for MLP Fan Conventions BronyCon is LineCon. And like at Line Cons you have two options to deal with the lines. Sit down, pull out your DS/smart phone, and play games for hours on end, or--dare I say--turn to the person next to you in line and talk to them.
Yes, I know that the second option is undesirable, especially since a new smart phone game took the country by storm over the weekend, but do remember that you're waiting in line with a bunch of people who enjoy the same franchise that you do. These people probably have something you can both talk about with complete and total understand. Unlike at the office where where two cubes over you're listening to a bunch of guys "discussing" the latest loss of the Bruins when really they should be working rather than...
Right. BronyCon coverage. Not My Office coverage.
Anyways, I was standing in line with waiting for the vendor hall to open and chatting with a fanfic author who goes by the screen name of Somber--yes that Somber--when it was pointed out to me that this charming woman had on a dress that matched my jacket. I turned and sure enough there she was.
We chatted for a little bit and I learned she was really looking forward to seeing Andy Price, Tony Fleecs, Sara Richard, Jenn Blake, and Jeremy Whitley. Before I could really start geeking out with her about those five, the marketplace unfortunately decided to take that moment to open up. I saw her again briefly at the IDW Comics booth. I hope she had a great time at the con and got everything out of her visit with the comic professionals.
For first couple of hours, the IDW Comic professionals were not really present at their tables. For some reason they were tied up with a little thing called the BronyCon Opening Ceremonies. I know, it's absolutely crazy that the guests of honor would be expected to appear on stage before thousands of roaring fans. Apparently BronyCon worked in the "Rock Star" experience into their contracts.
So, while the comic pros were channeling their inner Gene Simmons, their comic books had a massive presence about two booths over. Located snugly between Artist Alley and the Exhibitor Hall was booth 701. Also know as the The Encounter. The Encounter is a comic book store I have never had the pleasure of setting foot in, for the very simple reason that the Allentown, Pennsylvania based comic shop is nowhere near my hometown in sunny New England, but I've known their Brony on staff Brad for several years now.
In terms of the IDW MLP Comics, Brad, Ramivic, and myself are basically the fandom's experts on the subject.
What? Did you expect that I was the only one?
Anyways, in terms of what they had available for purchase at the con it was basically every single comic that wasn't a specific store exclusive from IDW Publishing. From issue 1 of Friendship is Magic, to every single trade paperback released, to the micro series, to FIENDship is Magic, to the latest releases of Friends Forever. Basically, you name it, The Encounter had it.
And there were a lot of people naming it. I visited The Encounter about a dozen times over the course of the weekend. They were going through long box, after long box, after long box of comics. Before the weekend was out, they were sold out of their trade paperbacks of, believe it or not, Reflections. Apparently, even after two years, people are still reading the arc. Looks like Katie Cook and Andy Price crafted one heck of a tale.
If you know anything about the My Little Pony retailer exclusive covers, you've probably come across the name Jetpack Comics more than once. During the first two years of the comic's existence, Rochester New Hampshire based Jetpack Comics and Lowell Massachusetts based Larry's Comics were the defacto kings of the MLP Retailer Exclusive comic cover game.
And nearly all of those covers were on display at their table over the BronyCon weekend. That's in addition to the new BronyCon exclusive for Friendship is Magic #43 featuring a presidential debate between Pinkie Pie and Derpy.
While the piles weren't quite as low as The Encounter's were at the end of the convention, I did see a decent number of people walking around with the convention exclusive cover. Hopefully quite a few people got a good chuckle out of the *ahem* parody of the American Presidential Election Season. I know I picked up my cover on the first day. I wonder how much fun Tony had when he was making it.
Ultimately I didn't spend too much time at Jetpack Comics. There was far too much to see at the convention to linger by their table for too long. Unless you were waiting in line for Packbreakers, in which case when that line was snaking around the hall, there was plenty of time to linger around Jetpack Comics.
Hey even if the fabric has been discontinued, there's still plenty of it out there that hasn't been used. Who knows, maybe some other unique clothing designs will show up as the years go by.
I would be absolutely remiss if I didn't mention the shadow box that The Paper Pony had been teasing over the last few weeks leading up to BronyCon. As soon as I saw that it was the two page spread from issue 11 of Friendship is Magic (also known as Neigh Anything Part 1) I had two thoughts immediately come to mind.
The first, that is incredibly awesome and there is no way I'll be missing on seeing it in person at the con. The second, there is no way in HFIL I'll be able to afford it. But that I okay, for I actually got the chance to see this beautiful piece of art in person. The detail in the Paper Pony's work--which again is made entirely out of paper--is extraordinary. The fact that Andy Price also signed the piece is a testament to how accurate of a recreation it is of the original page.
Watcher pony is always watching. I tip my hat to these guys for bringing one of the most memorable visuals of the comic to life in absolutely stunning detail. I seriously hope that they'll consider bringing more of the visuals from the comics to life in their shadow boxes. Definitely not on the level and scale of this masterpiece, but perhaps images and panels that could more easily fit into their standard sized boxes. They would definitely get me buying from them regularly if they did that.
So, that just about covers everything that I saw when walking around the BronyCon marketplace. Oh don't worry, I'll have more coverage coming soon to focus on the IDW Comic professionals. But until then, tell us in the comments what you thought of the convention. Was there anything comics related in the hall that missed? Be sure to let me know.
This has been The Illustrious Q and I'll see you next time.
Twitter: The Illustrious Q