Since April 8th, I’ve been touring every single weekend (always with my sparring partner Will Torres, and occasionally with William Olmo). I won’t deny it, it’s exhausting. BUT, when you brave rain, distance and fatigue to get to a show like the Phillipsburg Comic Con… You’re rewarded. This show was all about love.
I won’t lie, when Will called me up and said: “Hey, look, we have to get to this show in Phillipsburg, it’s gonna be great!”, I was skeptical. “A show in a high school?” I asked. “Yes”, Will added, “but they have major talent like Walt Simonson and it’s for a great cause”. Indeed. Faith Roncoroni is a force of nature. She has put together an incredible show with the help of the students of the Phillipsburg Regional High School. The kids were the best volunteers you could find in any shows. Always happy, always smiling, always thrilled to help creators and vendors conduct their business. Coming to the Phillipsburg Comic Con was a blessing. Not only because we got to see the incredible energy behind Faith, an English teacher and Comic Club Advisor, and her remarkable group of students, but also because all the profits from the show went to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
No wonder that with such a motivated promoter and great cause, you get major talents like Walt and Louise Simonson, Joe Kelly, Franco, Amy Chu, Rags Morales, Lee Weeks, Chris Giarusso (and of course, Will and myself).
Phillipsburg is a little town located on the far west side of New Jersey, next to the Pennsylvannia state border (about 80 miles/128 km from NYC). So to make the trip there, you have to be motivated. But we were. And we weren’t disappointed. Miss Faith Roncoroni’s crew took care of us. We were offered a light breakfast with unlimited coffee (a must for me), then lunch options (like pizza or wraps) AND we were even invited for dinner!
I have to say that the fans were incredible. Supportive, happy and in such a good mood that we almost forgot it was raining cats and dogs outside. Considering the length of the show (10am-4pm) we did well commercially. And we got to meet great creators again or for the first time. It was with great pleasure that I could chat with Joe Kelly as his table was next to ours. Joe is one of the nicest guys in this industry and for those who don’t know, a kickass comic book writer (I Killed Giants and Kid Savage at Image or Spider-Man/Deadpool just to name a few). He’s also one of the four fingers of the Man Of Action studio (creators of Ben 10 and Big Hero 6). Last time I saw him was San Diego 2012… Boy, so much has happened since then. I also briefly met Soo Lee and Amy Chu in the Green Room (where all the food for the guests was). I also have to mention a kickass moment when Greg Anderson-Elysee, a young and promising comic book writer came to me to say he was a huge fan of Spider-Man Noir. We realized we lived 20 mn apart in Brooklyn. We agreed to meet again soon.
When 4 O’clock came, it was already time to pack. Students came to take the banners they drew for every guest (there was a Spidey Noir drawn by one of the kids just for me, how cool is that?). Positive energy was floating all around the room. Everyone felt satisfied. I certainly was. All this convention was about love. For comics from kids to creators, from fans to creators, from people to people. There’s an innocence to the Phillipsburg Comic Con that rarely exists in this industry. I really hope to get that fix of happiness again when I come back next year. Because not only I had a good time, but it was truly a balm for the heart, the kind of drug that pumps your creativity and restore your faith in humanity. Good job P’Burg Comic Con. You got me hooked on you.
To be continued…
NEXT STOP: FIVE POINTS COMIC CON!