By Jason Borelli
Going to a high school for a comic book show is not a new concept for me. Every few years, the art club at Hawthorne High School in New Jersey hosts a show with a few big names and a lot of seasoned veterans. Imagine my surprise a few months ago when I found out that New Dorp High School was doing something similar for the first time. As a native of Staten Island, the idea of a show so close to home appealed to me. While there wasn’t fanfare over a guest list, and information was limited to a Facebook account and a Twitter page, I was eager to see what the school had to offer.
The show was relatively small, with most of it taking place in the cafeteria. Visitors who paid a paltry $5 to get in were greeted with lots of artwork from students. Outside, LARPers battled in the brisk drizzle. With several costume contests happening, there was a lot of cosplay. A lot of the vendors looked to be selling stuff that has been in their garages for decades. The downside for me was that I didn’t get any new sketches to add to my collection, but it was a small problem that I was able to get over. It didn’t hurt that I wound up winning a copy of Civil War in a ticket raffle, even though I prefer Christopher Bird’s Photoshopped masterpiece to the real thing.
Panels were held in the auditorium. There were no moderators, so guests had to improvise. At the end of the day, Evan Dorkin (whose work I like a lot) managed to tell his life story to a few dozen audience members. I’m thinking if there is to be another New Dorp Comic Con, panels should be held in classrooms, like Hawthorne High School does at their shows, at least to start.
I do not know when my next “event” will take place. My schedule is clear through New York Comic Con in October. While New Dorp Comic Con did not offer much attraction, it was cozy enough to warrant another edition.