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NYCC was good.

NYCC was good. It's very rare for me to attend a convention without actually exhibiting, and I kinda cheated on this one by sharing a bit of Josh Elder's space at the Kids Love Comics booth (thanks, Josh!) and thus having a place to stand, put my books, and stash my stuff while I was there.

But I think it was the right choice. NYCC is too big, too exhausting, too loud, too expensive, and too much at the Javits Center for me. I get overwhelmed very easily when I am there.

This doesn't happen when I'm at San Diego Comic Con, for the simple reason that it's in San Diego, and we are technically on vacation, and the weather is usually beautiful, and it's easy to just skip out the doors and inhale the sunny marine air and sit at a table outside of Ralph's and eat a salad, before going back to con madness.

But we live in New York, which means an hour-long commute (usually a subway/bus/cab/walking combination) twice a day, for three days. In February. To the dankest, ugliest part of town. Where there are no good places to eat or relax within easy walking distance. NYCC makes exhibitors bring their own tables and chairs, which adds another level of headaches, especially when you don't own a car or have your own con-appropriate tables and chairs. We have solved these issues creatively in the past, but at the expense of health, sanity, and plain old EXPENSE.

Anyhow. Because we weren't exhibiting, it meant we could be there at our leisure, and actually enjoy ourselves. Dave was asked to speak at the ICv2 conference on Thursday (a few of his thoughts about that here), and he had a fine time at the conference itself as well as the afterparty. Neither one of us went to the con on Friday, although I generally like the early hours on con Fridays--not too crowded, and everyone feeling fresh and excited.

We did come in on Saturday morning, waiting in line to get in as we got to the show earlier than planned. The weather cooperated nicely: record highs for early February! Dave and I made a brief appearance on the Del Rey Manga panel, to talk about our upcoming X-Men: Misfits manga. I'm afraid the preview pages aren't on Del Rey's site yet...Hopefully soon!

Then, we hung around at the KLC booth for a little while, grabbed lunch, and then I took off. I was really tired from getting too little sleep the night before, and wanted to get some work done. So I took a quick nap, and then inked four pages. Sometimes you have to promote the comics; sometimes you just have to make the comics.

Sunday I felt very refreshed, and hit the con early again for the Coming Of Age In Comics panel. That was fun! Jeff Parker, Jason Little, and Mariko Tamaki were excellent panelists, and Douglas Wolk is a great moderator who knows how to keep things rolling. After the panel I chatted with a couple of friendly librarians from New Hampshire, then headed back to the KLC booth.

That's where I stuck for most of the rest of the day. Somehow, I sold out of all the books I'd brought before 1 PM, and that left me free to talk to people who came by the booth for the next couple hours. I saw lots of friends, met a bunch of kids who were fans, and had a fruitful discussion with my agent. I stayed till 4 PM, then headed home again.

So, I spent about 8 hours at the con over the course of the weekend, instead of 25 or more. It definitely made a difference. I was able to go right back to work this morning, instead of slogging through con-hangover. I regret that there were people I wanted to spend time with that I never saw, and I saw a lot less of the show than I had planned (floor traffic plays a huge role in those problems). But in the end, I have a much more positive view on NYCC than I have in years past. The show moves to October in 2010, and by then I'll have a couple of new books to promote! I'm looking forward to it.