Dispatch: New York Comic Con
Written by Bwog Staff
This past weekend was the New York Comic Convention, a massive gathering of everything comic books. New Bwog correspondent and former Marvel Comics intern Shaina Rubin writes a dispatch about meeting the writers behind the heroes. (She’s even illustrated the scene with her very own comic.)
On first entering the New York Comic Convention, known colloquially as “Comic Con,” video games and movie trailers dominated the scene. But, comics remained the focus of the attendees, who surveyed Iron Man trailers boosting interest in the Iron Man comics, huge posters of DC Comics leading people to Superman and Batman.
Most people crowded the panels discussing shows or comics, wanting to see and hear their real-life heroes. Though it wasn’t the most popular, the Mighty Marvel Kids panel showed an inside peak at the world of the cartoonist-behind-the-comics. Having worked at Marvel Comics as an editorial intern, I’d enjoyed the comics, but I’d only met a few of the writers.
Fred Van Lente, the man behind various Marvel Adventures series, mediated the artists with his biographical humor, showing a picture of himself as a child in a homemade Iron Man costume and various other memorabilia. Chris Giarrusso, the man behind Mini-Marvels, the comic of Marvel superheroes as children, maintained a self-demeaning and dry wit: On the cover of Giarrusso’s new book, all the superheroes looked off to the right… except for Daredevil. (Daredevil is, of course, blind, so he wouldn’t know which way everyone else was looking.) The subtle humor makes you look closely at the cover, and that kind of joke is Giarrusso’s style on paper and in person. Also, Chris Eliopoulos, the genius behind Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, enjoyed juvenile humor, drawing his inspiration from his kids. “Nose-picking! We’ll call it Power Pick!” he said, referring to the child version of the Fantastic Four, the Power Pack.
The brilliance of the comics comes from these cartoonists, and hearing their personal humor shed light on the motivation behind the stories. Eliopoulos has children who come up with silly ideas like “bubble-bombs” while Giarrusso writes humor for himself and if others find it funny, so be it. Both writers embody the tones of their comics. When asked what the biggest challenge was for them in comics, each cartoonist replied “Nate Cosby,” jokingly referring to their editor.
The cartoonists are the brains behind the entire Comic Con. It’s not just the illustrations that amaze, but the humor that’s evident in their natural demeanor. People might be wont to write-off comics as just for kids, but even these kid comics’ writers were wry and witty enough to entertain even the most serious adults.