Around the world in cons: Helsinki, Singapore, Easthampter, Bellingham, Boston

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Every week there are seemingly dozens of comics conventions, signings, art shows and so on around the world. Covering them all is impossible for a multi-topic site, but here’s a brief run down of coverage and news:

201011091658 Around the world in cons: Helsinki, Singapore, Easthampter, Bellingham, Boston

¶ MUST READ: Matthias Wivel has a great write up of the Helsinki Book fair and asks What Is Finland Doing Right?. Photos reveal that a Finnish indie comics show looks much like a domestic one — awkwardly attractive young folks sitting behind tables covered with colorful little scraps of paper. But it’s also a marvelous, vibrant emerging comics scene, far from any commercial influences:

I have long wondered what makes Finland such a regional epicenter of inspiring experimental comics, increasingly making waves internationally these days. What, for example, makes it different from the other Scandinavian countries, in which interesting work is also being produced, but not as consistently and across as diverse an expressive field? The conditions of production are comparable if not identical, and yet Finland has maintained the lead for at least a decade-and-a-half.


A show of Finnish art at PS.1 here in NYC several years ago alerted us to the amazing freshness and beauty of this strain of creativity — as serene, lovely and deadly as a floating iceberg. Their comics are equally remarkable.

¶ The most important show of the past weekend was surely Webcomic Weekend New England #2. Gary Tyrell went and has the kind of informed report that the event deserves

Okay, it’s been a long day of going through notes recollections of the immediate past weekend, whilst simultaneously trying to get back to regular life (boo). One of the things about NEWW that stuck with me was an offhand comment (and I’m sorry, I didn’t note who observed this bit of truth) that this wasn’t the show where you’d see a lot of big announcements.

I think that’s partly because it’s at the very end of the con season, partly because any such announcements will be possibly more effective next week as the end-of-year merch sales pick up, and partly because it’s not a commerce-centric show. Make no mistake, there was plenty of merchandise, with creator after creator selling and taking commissions at their tables (along with two merchandise rooms for collective business groups), but it was a lot more about recognizing the creators, the fans, and the peculiar bond between them. So much of what’s below weren’t announcements, but just things that came up because that’s where the conversation (and the booze) took us.


Undoubtedly a hotbed of the future, we’re awaiting a report of our own from one of out must trusted operatives.

¶ The report on the Bellingham Comicon reads like “Mainstream con reports greatest hits” with profiles of collectors, a wishful small publisher, cosplayers, and every other convention archetype that we all know so well:

Long boxes filled with comic books were scattered among three rows of vendors, artists and publishers.

Among the rows of comics sat 10-year-old author Mackenzie Meredith drawing in her sketchbook and waiting to sell copies of the comic book she wrote.

Doctor Zombie was created from the mind of Meredith because of a game her father used to play with her. Her father used to chase her around like a zombie and try to suck her brains. When she was 8, she told her father she wanted to do a comic.

201011091704 Around the world in cons: Helsinki, Singapore, Easthampter, Bellingham, Boston
¶ A testament to the way comics shows are getting bigger and better even in markets with competing events, next May’s Boston Comic Con Doubles in Size, Moves to New Venue:

This spring the Boston Comic Con doubles in size and moves to a much larger venue, the Hynes Convention Center! In light of the massive crowds at the previous convention, the move was essential to accommodate the growing popularity of the show. And with this line up of comic creators, every extra foot of space is absolutely needed.


As you can see from the flyer, the show has an excellent guest line-up including Frank Quitely, Adam Hughes and so on. But not one female creator? Hm.

§ December’s ReedPOP run Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention (STGCC) is ramping up with the announcement of Marvel’s participation. Globetrotting CB Cebulski will be there, as will Leinil Yu, Alex Maleev and so on. The show takes place December 10-12, pretty much the latest show on the calendar, but the main religion in Singapore is Buddhism, so Christmas isn’t a big deal there. Sadly, no one invited The Beat. Maybe next time!

PR below:

Reed Exhibitions, the organizers of the Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC), announced today that Marvel Comics will be exhibiting at STGCC 2010. This is the first convention that Marvel has ever exhibited at in Asia. To date, Reed has announced a slew of Marvel talent at STGCC 2010 including Guest of Honor Salvador Larroca and other Walk of Fame Featured Guests including Leinil Yu, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Esad Ribic, Harvey Tolibao and Alex Maleev. Reed further revealed Marvel’s Senior Vice President, Creator & Content Development and international talent scout, C.B. Cebulski, will join Larroca as Guests of Honor at STGCC 2010. STGCC will take place from 10 to 12 December 2010, at the Suntec International Convention Centre.

“Marvel’s extensive popularity is manifested through successful box office ticket receipts of Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, and The X-Men series because the comics these characters are based on have strong plot lines that dwell on universal themes like good versus evil, heroes versus villains, which resonate well in Asia,” observed Ms Yeow Hui Leng, Project Director, Reed Exhibitions. “The further extension from Marvel Comics into games, toys, television programs and the upcoming films like Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America have sparked the creative imagination of Asian fans. We are therefore very honored and delighted that Marvel has decided to exhibit in Asia for the first time at STGCC.”

In addition to the various Marvel-specific panels that Marvel talent will be presenting on Friday, 10 December 2010 at STGCC, there will be sessions with other creators, writers and illustrators to discuss the impact of Asian influences and elements in Western comics on Saturday, 11 December. There will also be a panel by Cebulski on Marvel’s talent hunt where he will give an inside look into the world of Marvel and what he looks for in the next Marvel artist. He will also explain the procedure for aspiring talent to submit a portfolio and the possibility of having it reviewed during the show. Cebulski’s panel is scheduled to take place on Friday, 10 December.

Michael Pasciullo, Marvel’s Senior Vice President, Brand Planning & Communications said, “We have built a strong partnership with Reed in the US through its conventions in New York and Chicago where they have created platforms for our fans to access our creators in a personal manner. We recognize the importance of these events in engendering a community where we can interact and engage our fans. Marvel has had a strong presence in Asia for a long time through publishing and consumer products. We are very excited to have the opportunity to reach out to our fans in Asia by attending STGCC with a strong roster of creators who will be participating in panels and autograph sessions.”

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