Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Ithacon, Resolutions, and Hey, It’s Our 6 Month Anniversary!

Sometimes life kicks you in the teeth, but in doing so, reveals to you a gold filling you didn’t realize you had.  And after that bizarre, unexplained analogy, Travis here is going to tell you about how he went to Ithacon last weekend.

Ithacon 42 was last weekend and I got to make it up there.  Well, for about an hour or so of the show at the end.  I’m slow, shut up.  Anyway, it was held on the Ithaca College campus, which, as you might suspect if you’ve ever been to Ithaca, is hilly.  By gum, it’s hilly!  For Ithacon, you’ve got to park in a lot that is quite a ways away from the convention, and the convention is uphill from the lot.  However, it didn’t seem to bother me as much as the other couple times the show has been there.  Dunno why, it’s not like I’ve worked out or anything.

Not only are you going uphill to get to the show, but the show itself is upstairs in the building it’s in.  I didn’t gasp as much this year because I had to stop on the first floor to sign in, which was a new thing, so I got a chance to catch my breath.  I got a wristband that I awkwardly stuck around my wrist.  But thinking about it, I don’t know that I saw anyone else with one on.  Hey….

Anyway, Ithacon is a fun show that I’ve been going to for…jeez, probably 20 or so years.  Egads!  It’s not a huge show, but there are usually a few guests who have worked in the “big leagues” as well as a bunch of local artists with their wares.  For a time in the early 2000s there was a push to get more indie creators, which meant I got to meet Matt Feazell and Tom Hart and Leela Corman, among others, which was cool.  But really, all the guests they get are neat and I try to chat a bit with a number of them, despite my social awkwardness.

Here’s a video with the new location of Ithacon.  Warning, this includes kids dancing to the “Everything is Awesome” song.  But you can see Roger Stern at about 1:30 in, and on the screen right now if you see the same thing I do for this YouTube link.

This time, though, since I was pressed for time, I wanted to be economical in what I did at Ithacon, both in spending little time or money on any one thing.  After a circuit of the room, I decided to visit Tom Hegeman’s booth.  He’s been involved in the show for years as a dealer, and he’s also done a neat little comic for APAs and such, Shyster Comics, a fun little strip full of lawyer jokes.  I believe I bought full runs of both Devil Dinosaur and V For Vendetta from him years ago (for 50 cents a book, too, btw!).  Anyway, this time, I saw the neat Bizarro Comics trade that DC had from the early 2000s with lots of indie creators doing stories of the DCU (including the infamous Kyle Baker story), and he was only asking 4 bucks for it, so I snagged that, then I took a look through his quarter boxes.  He had a bunch of Byrne and triangle era Superman, so I snapped up a bunch of those books.  While I was looking, I chatted with Mr. Hegeman about his time as a Jaycee district director, and how he asked Dave Sim permission to use Cerebus for a mascot.  Mr. Hegeman had been a fan of the book and jokingly said “fight like an aardvark” would be his district’s motto, so he needed Cerebus as a mascot, and Dave let him use him.  More info about it was posted a while ago by my pal Tim at A Moment of Cerebus.  What really made me drool was when I asked Mr. Hegeman when he got into Cerebus.  He said he got the first 6 issues at a convention in Albany fairly early on.  So early, he paid just cover price for each issue.  GAH!  Why wasn’t I born yet?!

Anyway, I took another circuit or two around Ithacon.  I talked briefly with Michael Garland, Jonathan Hickman’s colorist of choice, and expressed my amazement at the return of The Dying and the Dead.  He said that now that it’s coming back, it’s going to be monthly until it concludes, probably at issue 7 or 8.  If I understood him right, Image made sure the pencils were done before allowing any of the book to be solicited again, which is understandable.  Mr. Garland also said that he believes he’ll be coloring Hickman’s written and drawn book Frontier if/when that comes out.  He’s also doing some stuff for Marvel, including the new Rocket Raccoon book, if I recall properly.

I also talked with Frank Cammuso, who’s done some great comics like Max Hamm, Fairytale Detective, and The Misadventures of Salem Hyde.  The latter is unfortunately not continuing after volume 5, but Mr. Cammuso has something new lined up for next year.  I opened our conversation, awkwardly as usual, by mentioning the fact that he collaborated with Jay Lynch on a couple of books and Mr. Lynch passed recently.  Basically, I pointed at a copy of Otto’s Orange Day and grunted, him not alive no more!  Boy, I’m smooth!

I chatted with my friend Jim Coon, whom I’ve been a fanboy of for going towards 20 years (how did we get so old, Jim?!).  He did a great book about a superpowered guy that was called Dead End, and he’s also done a lot of fun one shot mini comics since, and unfortunately, I wasn’t sure if I had all of the comics he had available for sale this time, so I didn’t give him any of my money this time.  You should definitely check out his stuff, it’s great.  I namedropped AJS to him, too!

Ithacon 42 Jim Coon
Jim Coon’s cartoony art

You can see Jim’s art at about 48 seconds in on this video from this year’s show:

I stopped by Tom Peyer‘s table.  I got to talk to him at a couple of shows before, telling him how much I enjoyed his Batman ’66 stories, and also got him to sign my copy of the Atom Special that he did with Steve Dillon, which is honestly one of my favorite comics ever.  This year, I picked up a book from him of his stuff, and chatted a bit about his next project.  Turns out he’ll be self-publishing, and the story sounds very neat.  I’m not sure how much he wanted made public just yet, so I won’t go into it, but I did tell him that we’d feature the book here at the AJS!

I also stopped and chatted with Roger Stern and awkwardly name dropped our pal John Trumbull, who has interviewed Mr. Stern before.  I offered/promised/threatened? him that we might want to interview him here at the AJS at some point.  I picked up a copy of Writer’s Block, a book where Mr. Stern and other writers scripted the same 8 page story.  He signed it, too.  (The link goes to a trade collection, while I got a comic book issue.)

I picked up a few other things as well, like volumes 3 and 4 of Nailbiter for half price, and some older DC books (including a couple Brave and the Bold issues), and also got a few free Gen 13 issues.  I should explain — some people at one table had some older Image books on the floor with a “free garbage” sign on them, and there were still copies left at the end.  My ears perked up and I scooted over.  I told them I have a fondness for garbage Image comics, so I took a look.  Not surprisingly, I had a fair amount of them.  Several Stormwatch books, the Gen 13 ones I got (mostly because 13C was in there, with the SiP and Wolverine cameos), and then there was Wildgirl 2.  Uhoh, I said, that’s a book by Leah Moore, and her dad’s going to cast a spell against you for calling it garbage!  They oh noed nicely and we had a good laugh.

This video has some decent if shaky footage in the first 5 minutes of the Ithacon set up (set to chiptune music, and the video is pretty long after that, too, just to let you know, although you can see the program at 14:30 in):

Anyway, that was my trip to Ithacon 42.  Shout outs to the people who did the videos I linked to here.

I also stopped by the neato record shop in Ithaca, Angry Mom, and got some cool CDs, as well as a bunch of neat old comics, like a Jimmy Olsen one where he’s hanging out with hippies.  And an old Bugs Bunny “tall” comic, like a Big Little Book, but 2 or 3 times as tall.  Cool stuff!  I’ll have to take a picture of the Bugs Bunny book sometime.


Hey, remember how I told you about my New Year’s Resolutions? I thought I’d check in, 3 months into the year, and see how well I’ve kept up with them.

I made a resolution about keeping to a regular posting schedule here.  HAHAHAHA!

I also thought I’d catch up on comics reading.  HAHAHAHA!

I have managed to keep off of soda all year.  I’m not sure the alternatives are any good, as I still drink sweetened sugary stuff because seltzer water tastes funny to me and I don’t like just plain water much, but at least I’m avoiding soda!

YouTube rabbit holes are still my kryptonite.  I’ve started looking at Seth Meyers and Bill Maher now, and of course I loves me some Sam Bee and John Oliver.  Must…stop…!

Here’s another link to my pal Mark Scudder’s music, though.  We haven’t gotten a chance to hang out in a while, either, but at least I can post links to his stuff!

Did you know that we here at the Atomic Junk Shop are at our 6 month anniversary this weekend? I know, time flies! We’d like to thank all of you that stop by regularly and check out the neat stuff we do here. I know I appreciate all of your comments and love to hear from my internet pals! Don’t be shy about telling other people about us, too!

Anyway, I think what I’ll do to celebrate is try and catch up with all the stuff I keep meaning to write about. I get so many plans in mind, and I never get around to them (damn internet is too distracting!), but maybe this weekend I can get around to writing up a bunch of stuff I’ve had lined up.  [Note: that did not happen this weekend.]

Who am I kidding, really, though? I’ll be waiting until the last minute to finish something up at some time next week, just like every week! See you then!

One comment

  1. Simon

    “Ithacon: It’s All Downhill From Here!”®

    – “I’m not sure how much he wanted made public just yet”

    If Tom Peyer didn’t say “off the record”, doesn’t it imply a plug is welcome?

    – “I don’t like just plain water much”

    Ever tried a bottle cap of Tennessee whiskey in a glass of water? Or better yet, a couple drops of liquorice extract? (Secret sweetener of hikers and diabetics.)

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