Heading into Pier 94 in NYC on Saturday morning, Matt and I really didn’t know what to expect from the second annual Special Edition: NYC. The show had moved to a new venue, trading the familiar confines of the Javits Center for the more “lived in” that hosts everything from art shows to indoor flea markets.
But while the space itself isn’t the Taj Mahal of convention venues, what matters is who’s filling it. And ReedPOP--the folks behind Special Edition: NYC--put together an impressive list of creators for this show. From the big two, to the indies, to some of the biggest webcomics creators in the industry, the guest list hit to all fields. There truly was something for everyone at Special Edition: NYC. And my experience at the show was reflective of how well-rounded of an experience Special Edition: NYC was. I was fortunate enough to get some of the best interviews I’ve ever had for Secret Identity.
Buddy Scalera is a guy I met years ago through our pal Joe Caramagna at a Big Apple Con. Buddy is a veteran of Wizard, and a fascinating guy to talk to about the history of journalism in the industry. Buddy runs the ComicBookSchool.com site and does creator connection panels at shows, where he helps comic creators network with one another.
Enrica Jang is the EIC of Red Stylo Media, and indie publisher that puts out some of the most creative projects I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Their yearly anthologies have had some amazing themes--the works of Edgar Allan Poe, the music of Queen--but this year’s is really something special. 27, A Comics Anthology is a book that's inspired by music’s infamous “27 Club.” There’s a Kickstarter running for it now, and you can check it out here.
Darrell Taylor is the man behind the Taylor Network of Podcasts, which boasts enough weekly content to more than justify its name. Darrell and I have been friends pretty much since Secret Identity began, and he podcasts about everything from mainstream comics to art house movies.
Chris Kipiniak is someone I just met this weekend, as he was hanging out with the aforementioned Darrell Taylor. It wasn’t until after I’d been talking to him for a half hour that I found out he’s the writer of Behemoth, a new comic under the Monkeybrain banner that I’d just reviewed a couple a weeks earlier. Chris is a great guy and we got to nerd out over some of our favorite influences.
I met Mark Frankel of Wayward Raven Media a few years ago at New York Comic Con. At the time the company was Aegis Creative, and they had a couple of books they were putting out. Fast forward a few years, and Wayward Raven has a full stable of ongoing books (The Ascendant, Horsemen, Signed C, Damn Heroes), and they were launching a new series at the show--The Committee. I spoke with creator James Emmett about the book as well as Mark and Creative Director Alexander Sapountzis about how Wayward Raven has grown and what we can expect in the coming months.
Special Edition: NYC was an absolute blast from start to finish, and it left me pumped for New York Comic Con. It's a perfect summer show that puts the focus where it should be--on the creators.
Thanks again to ReedPOP for having us, and stay tuned to Secret Identity for all the great interviews that Matt and I did at the show!