Hey, gang! I foolishly forgot to mention that I recently attended the first Denver Comicfest 2009.
A great time was had by all. The vendors were cool and friendly and the attendees were really nice. I mixed, I mingled and met some really great people.
Some of the biggest names "at" the Con were Brian Michael Bendis and Jeph Loeb, who were nice enough to do a teleconference for Marvel Comics. Not much was said about actual comics but they were patient and good-natured, cheerfully mocking us for the blizzard we were suffering through and offering good advice to aspiring comic book professionals.
The most well-known guests who were actually kind enough to show in person were Brian Wood (the brilliant writer behind DMZ and Northlanders - two series I now have to catch up on) and Amy Reeder Hadley, the local artist extraordinaire who created her own manga and is currently illustrating the Vertigo tales of Madame Xanadu. Of course, every guest was delightful and gracious. Stan Yan, local comics wunderkind, was especially a gent (as always) and I was impressed by the massive amounts of talent on hand.
In the course of my otherwise boring job, I've had the pleasure of running into and speaking with Amy Reeder Hadley a few times and she's a genuinely nice, funny and talented person. But hey, don't take my word for it - note that she's even gone and put her "Drawing Dynamic Faces" panel up on her LiveJournal. Very well worth a watch for any aspiring artists. Even I learned a great deal at her panel and, as you all know, I draw like a trained chimp*. Seriously, I think I picked up some things to improve my rather hideous webcomic (more coming soon, if anyone's worried/interested).
Brian Wood's panel on writing comics was really helpful as well. It was extremely interesting to hear him speak about his time writing Generation X with Warren Ellis versus his more creator-owned Vertigo work. I'm trying to apply a lot of what he mentioned to my somewhat glacially advancing upcoming comic book, so fingers crossed Kismet ends up even half as awesome as Wood's DMZ. Particularly sharp readers may pick me out of a crowd from pictures at the con and at Brian Wood's panel specifically**.
In any case, I'd classify Comicfest 2009 as a great, mellow success. I look forward to next year and hope to keep in touch with the people I've met at the con in the future.
*If anyone asks, I'll put up my meager sketches from her lesson but it'd be better for your eyes and my ego if you didn't.
**I am not the maniacally grinning blonde man, just FYI.