Team Concrete Park Rocked Comic Con 2012! From a panel that sparked an internet controversy to the cover of Dark Horse Presents (to DHP winning the Eisner!) to a couple of great signings to a flower and poster giveaway to a symposium at Tr!ckster, we were all up in that mug, making our story the talk of the con.
Our SDCC experience started Thursday with a 1PM Panel, “Dark Horse: Powered By Creators“. Hosted by Dark Horse Comics Founder/Publisher Mike Richardson, the panel featured Erika and Tony’s first San Diego appearance as creators, along with killer pros like Geof Darrow, Stan Sakai, Sanford Greene, Francesco Francavilla and Eric Powell. Without having to say a word about it, Mike Richardson had affirmed his commitment to a diversity of voices and creators in the Dark Horse stable. It was an honor and a treat be the new kids sitting in and talking with this crew of veteran comics artists.
The panel also produced the Con’s most memorable quote. Relating advice from a studio executive they’d pitched to, Tony and Erika told how the exec stopped them in the middle of a sci-fi pitch that featured black characters and said “Black people don’t like science fiction. It’s because they don’t see themselves in the future.” It was this casually racist advice that led them to create (with Erika’s brother Robert Alexander) Concrete Park. The story got a big reaction from the crowd in the hall, and went viral a few minutes later. You can see some of the coverage (and HUNDREDS of comments) here at Bleeding Cool. It provoked a lot of healthy discussion.
We followed the panel with the first of three big signings at the Dark Horse Booth. In the first, we signed copies of Dark Horse Presents #14 featuring Concrete Park on the cover alongside our new BFFs from the panel. We traded sketches with Francesco Francavilla, our new favorite artist.
It was a little surreal to be signing a book with our cover on it in the same location where, a year ago, we watched Dark Horse pros like Mike Mignola sign their books. Last year we came to the Dark Horse booth to do business with Mike Richardson, we shook hands on a deal within five minutes of meeting him, and a year later, we found ourselves on the dais signing OUR comic, smiling like loons to see Mike Mignola looking up at us.
Joining us at the Dark Horse booth playing “Luca” from Concrete Park was our awesome copslay performer Jazmin Castaneda. Jazmin is an up-and-coming new model from San Diego, and her appearance at the booth was a big hit with the fans. With Jazmin we handed out hundreds of our plastic flowers, and it was amazing to see women (and men) wearing them in their hair for the four days of the Con.
We did a second signing Thursday that was just Team Concrete Park. Jazmin roped people in to the Dark Horse booth with the promise of a free poster signed by Erika and Tony, and we gave out 200 posters and the same number of flowers in an hour!
Friday night, Dark Horse Presents won the Eisner Award for Best Anthology. We were thrilled to be even a small part of the success story of this historic book.
Saturday would bring another epic sign-a-thon, but first we stopped by the Tr!ckster space around the corner from Petco Park where Tony participated in a great symposium on “Worldbuilding” with comics luminaries like (from left to right in the two photos below) Ted Mathot, Steve Niles, Marc Andreyko, B. Clay Moore, Josh Fialkov, Craig Thompson, Dave McKean and Scott Morse.
A few other highlights: Catching the screening of our friend Matthew Spradlin’s new film Bad Kids Go To Hell, running into Rosario Dawson there, hanging out for days with out good friend T.C. Carson, who, in addition to having played Kyle on Living Single, currently voices both Kratos in the phenomenally successful God of War game series and Mace Windu in Star Wars video games. Spending time chilling with Sanford Greene and Daniel Vest in Artist’s Alley. Meeting the inimitable Ms. Kai Charles. Also, getting a drawing and a compliment for Concrete Park from the incredible Geof Darrow.
Special thanks to Mike Richardson, Kari Yadro and their whole SDCC team for making us so welcome to the Dark Horse family this year.
All in all, a con we’ll never forget.
– Tony Puryear