On the move: NYCC 2015

Having spent almost all summer in New York it was sort of like coming home to return for this year’s NYCC (New York Comic Con) at the Javits Center. I’ve attended twice before and even though I didn’t have a lot to do there, it was great to catch up with friends and peers in the industry, mainly in Artist’s Alley. A bunch of Danes there this year as well but apart from a dinner on my first night in the city, we didn’t really get to hang much.

Fighting a cold I brought with me from Denmark and bar conversations where we all had to yell to be heard over loud rock music, I pretty much lost my voice for a day or two. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I had brought some work with me. Holed up in the hotel room I was able to do a rewrite of a recently accepted YA novel, following my editor’s notes. With no interruptions and spotty wifi ensuring I couldn’t really get online to procrastinate, I managed about a week’s worth of editing work in two days.

I seem to be spending less and less time at the actual show (one of the reasons being the thousands of people pictured above), focusing my networking endeavors on after hours events, dinner with friends and meet-ups in terrible bars. As always when in NYC, my friend and collaborator Chris Miskiewicz was my tour guide, introducing me to people and taking me to the cool spots, like a speakeasy bar over a burger joint that you wouldn’t find unless someone told you about it.

Among other highlights of the trip was a random run-in with the guys from Pete’s Basement podcast, who absolutely loved Thomas Alsop. As a little nod I decided to put them in the comic, so you can find them kicking Thomas’ ass in issue #7. With the web and social media it’s possible to connect with people all over the world and it’s always fun to run in to online friends in the flesh.

The con was burdened by absent friends as well. Seth Kushner, who passed earlier this year, was a good friend and a big part of my entry into the US comics scene. According to Chris, Seth is the one who introduced us at MoCCA back in 2011, and his portraits of comics creators were certainly the reason I knew what anybody looked like. I’d stumbled over his site Graphic NYC, when I was researching for my trip. We never worked together except for Trip City, where Seth was the one who introduced me as “Danish noir artist” – a title I’m very proud of, as I think I’m probably the first person in history to be called that. As Seth said: “You’ve cornered the market!”

We’ve lost a great photographer and a great friend, nipped in the bud by cancer just when his writing career was beginning to take off.

It’s a weird time for the industry with a lot of change going on. Editors laid off or changing companies, DC’s big move to Burbank, the move from books to digital. Our editor, BOOM! didn’t have a booth at the show and neither did DC. What this all means to the future of Thomas Alsop or myself is in the wind. But new contacts were made and people seemed to know who I was. Or at least they knew of the book. Regardless of what people may believe, breaking into comics is not an over night thing but more like a constant climb on a hill of pebbles. Luckily I have more than enough on my plate right now with projects in Denmark but I look forward to making a splash in the US again some time.

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