I first saw Ben Hatke's book Julia's House for Lost Creatures at work two weeks ago, and have since been hand-selling it to customers and I even requested some of Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel series with the popular rise of kids' graphic novels. I was delighted when I heard he would be at NYCC, and even more so when he gave me this small sketch planning out a page in the picture book before doing the larger painting. Awesome!
Another artist I've greatly enjoyed for a about two years is Yale Stewart and his webcomic JL8, with 8-year-old Justice League members. I picked up some prints for my siblings and myself, and commissioned him to draw on my blank Swamp Thing cover. We haven't seen Alec Holland's green avatar in the comic, and as far as I know this is the only JL8-version of him around (so far). It's definitely a favorite.
I was debating the logistics of standing in line just to get an autograph, but there's something rewarding in meeting someone you appreciate on an entertainment level in the form of a signature. I stood in a few lines, but for the most part simply had to say "hi" at a booth in Artists' Alley. And man, it's really cool being able to do that. I couldn't get some of the big names (Scott Snyder, Dan Slott, Geoff Johns, Matt Fraction) since they weren't signing or their lines were too long, but I was able to get some stuff from writers and artists I really like:
Jeff Lemire is my favorite writer at DC Comics, so meeting him was amazing. (Better yet, the next day it was announced he'll be writing Hawkeye for Marvel in March 2015!)
Swamp Thing is also one of my favorite characters, and I was able to get artist Yannick Paquette's autograph on Issue #0 and rising writer Charles Soule's autograph on a great cover of his Swamp Thing run (he's set to start a Marvel exclusive contract early next year).
Other creators I met were Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato from The Flash, Andy Lanning from 2008's Guardians of the Galaxy, Ben Templesmith of The Squidder (his own title), artist Ivan Reis from Aquaman and Blackest Night, and Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder from Rocket Girl.
Finally, the LEGO events on Thursday yielded me some quality time with some CEE Team members, including Julie's business
Of course, the best thing I took away from the weekend was the memories made by hanging out with good friends. (Or is it the LEGO? Priorities, hmm...)