September 5, 2012

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Creators and Companies to Look for at the Baltimore Comic-Con!

The Baltimore Comic-Con is coming up this Saturday and Sunday, September 8th and 9th, at the convention center in Baltimore, Maryland.  You can still buy tickets on their website, up to September 7th.


Whenever you go to a big show like the Baltimore Comic-Con, it's easy to get lost among the wide variety of people to see at the show, especially if you are only planning to attend for one day.  In order to help you out, here's a listing of the folks who should be on your watchlist for the show.  Some of them have or will receive a Panel Patter spotlight, so be sure to scroll back a bit for more details.

NOTE:  I am restricting this list to people who are in Artist Alley or listed as exhibitors.  While there are tons of great special guests of the show, they are too many to list and rely heavily on personal preference.  I'd suggest reviewing the guest list and making your own notes.

  • 215 Ink came up with an awesome idea--a tablet, affordably priced, pre-loaded with their comics on it.  I don't know how this works in practice, but it's an awesome idea.  I'm sure they'll be happy to talk to you about it, as well as their comics, which run the gamut from spy stories to science fiction and just about everything in between, at the show.
  • Action Lab Entertainment is a small publisher that offers a wide variety of titles, many of which I've enjoyed. Some of their books include Princeless, Double Jumpers, and Monsters are Just Like Us.  They're definitely worth stopping by to see, if you want to experiment with a solid small press.
  • Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo of Curls Studios might not get a cool end-cap this year, but you definitely need to find them, as they're a spotlight featured creator.  They'll have Curls books, Roxy and Dean (a pair of nimble thieves) collections, and some other comics and items waiting for you.
  • Boom! Studios had a great setup at Baltimore last year, offering just about every book they publish for sale, often at a great discount.  Boom! does an awesome job with Planet of the Apes, but they're easily just as good at writing quality science fiction stories (Hypernaturals) or turning concepts on their ear (What if a hero and his arch-villain are stuck together in a hostile world?).  They have a lot to offer the reader and definitely belong on your list.
  • Rachel Deering might be more familiar to you from her extensive lettering work on Womanthology, but she's a fan of horror, which of course puts her right in my wheelhouse.  If you are any kind of a horror fan, you lose cool points if you don't leave with Anathema 1 (and maybe 2 as well) in your bag.
  • Matt Dembicki is a long-time Panel Patter favorite, who was featured on the blog this morning!  Nature lovers need Xoc in their life, and quirky history buffs will love District Comics, the anthology he edited.
  • First Law of Mad Science had a great premise when I read their first issue.  It's cool to see they're still at it.  It's a science fiction story with quite a few layers and complex characters.
  • FUBAR collective really impressed me with a zombie anthology that actually hewed closely to its theme (in the case of FUBAR 2, the Pacific Rim during WW2), with quality stories and art that didn't tell the same zombie story over and over again.  Even those with zombie fatigue but a love of horror should see them.  I believe they have a summer special ready for the show.
  • Monica Gallagher is a former roller derby-er and talented creator who not only keeps two webcomics running regularly, she's got a thing for mythology, too.  She'll have collections and minis, as well as other items, as mentioned in her spotlight entry.
  • Kill Shakespeare is the story of what happens when the Bard's characters are set against each other in a world of treachery and hope.  I know that there are a ton of "public domain" comics out there, but this one is worth it, reminding me a bit of Fables.
  • Max Ink is the man behind Blink, which is (by degrees) a set of shorter and longer slice of life comics about three friends living in Ohio, having deep discussions and living life like you or me.
  • Rafer Roberts, who was featured yesterday, will of course be at the show, with his psychological horror opus Plastic Farm, along with sketch cards and other cool stuff.
  • Top Shelf Comix was featured earlier this week, but in brief, they're a great publisher of everything from all ages books to Alan Moore's latest comics to relative unknowns with a story to tell.
  • Valiant Entertainment starts wrapping up its "Summer of Valiant" at Baltimore.  While I don't love every book the new-old publisher has, they're working smartly (only a few books at once), hiring good creators (Fred Van Lente, Gary Frank, Robert Vendetti, Duane Swierczynski), and adding a new spin on their properties while not trying to imitate the others on the market.  See what you think when you get to the show.
  • Jeremy Whitley is the writer of Princeless, one of the best all-ages books around.  Anyone with a girl in their life who wants to read comics needs to see Jeremy, who's writing one of the most positive female role models I've found in comics.
These are just a few of the creators and small publishers at the show.  I'm sure I've forgotten someone I meant to include (I always do, that's the problem with lists), and of course, I'm always on the lookout for new creators to enjoy.  Make sure you wander around the aisles, and when you find the people above, make sure you tell them I sent you.  Have a great show!