Matt Fitch and Chris Baker are two comic book professionals who have been diarising their trip to New York Comic Con to promote their new comic book Apollo from SelfMadeHero/Adams – and try and scare up some m0re work for the pair. They write,
Yesterday was our New York Comic Con main event – the ‘Graphic Novels that Make History’ panel. It was an honour and a privilege to be asked to talk at the con and sitting next to Peter Tomasi (The Bridge) as we talked about our work on an equal footing was imposter syndrome times infinity.
Also on the panel were Nathan Hale (Lafayette), Ted Fox and James Otis Smith (Showtime at the Apollo) and Mikaël (Giant) and moderated by the awesome Abraham Riesman, staff writer at New York Magazine.
The room was packed (see selfie above) with an audience keen to hear about the inspiration and process behind the various graphic novels being discussed, and as we sat listening to our fellow creators talk about their work it dawned on us just what a wonderful sub-genre of comics the non-fiction graphic novel really is. The art of taking historical research and crafting it into a compelling narrative is more than a matter of copying and pasting from Wikipedia as some might assume. It’s a labour of love, and as one of the panelists wisely stated, ‘being a historian doesn’t make you a writer’.
After the panel we sat down for another signing slot and met some lovely readers (Americans are so friendly and enthusiastic!) before heading out for a night on the town. Word on the street was that Marvel were holding a party somewhere in the city, but with no official invite and a desire to explore, we headed to the East Village (Chris has never been to NY and Midtown isn’t necessarily the coolest area to hang out).
Following the advice of the wonderful Tula Lotay, we found ourselves in Milano’s, a tiny ‘dive bar’ frequented by a host of New York locals. Conversations were had, drinks were downed, and temporary friendships were made. In a strange twist of fate, one of the locals we enjoyed hanging out with was a filmmaker who worked on ‘For All Mankind’, one of the key reference sources for Apollo (and cited in the bibliography). It really is a small world!
Eventually we did make it to the Marvel party, where we spent time with our friend Jimmy Aquino (of rival comics news site ‘Comic News Insider… sorry, Rich… awkward) and had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Nicola Love of BHP comics. Also in attendance were fellow Brit creators Ryan O’Sullivan and Ram V, charming and professional as ever, and James Otis Smith (aforementioned artist on ‘Showtime at the Apollo’) who is now our new favourite artist – if you haven’t checked out his work you really must.
Today we write this article from the Midtown Diner near our hotel. We need food and coffee before we head to the final day of the con. Lots of coffee.
Until next time,
Matt and Chris
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