TCC Pic by MamaRox

A while ago Libbi Rich signed up to be part of The Order of Electric Octopi, and last Saturday she volunteered to cover the Tucson Comicon for Lightning Octopus, because she is awesome to the max.

Behold her report!

There has been a massive explosion in Arizona.  The confluence of table after table of creative talent and thousands of fans dedicated to the comic arts resulted in a con that grew from a small gathering of devotees in 2008 to a truly epic, and truly overcrowded, event.

The 2010 Tucson Comic Con was held this past Saturday, November 6, at The Hotel Arizona in downtown Tucson.  With such renowned names as John Layman (Eisner Award winning writer of “Chew”), Tony Parker (Eisner nominated artist on “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” and Max Cannon (multi-award winning creator of syndicated comic strip “Red Meat”) in attendance, the Con now takes it’s place as a serious player in the regional circuit.

TCC Pic by MamaRox

R2D2 and the stormtroomers of the 501st Legion mingled with the Arizona Ghostbusters; steampunk cosplayers chatted with anime characters and roller derby dames, superheroes and supervillians alike queued up to meet the artists and writers who bring life to their kind.

There must be something about the heat or the hard water of Arizona that produces what is probably the densest concentration of creative talent around.  And the big guys are taking notice; several rising stars announced that their creations have been picked up by larger-market publishers.

Eric M. Esquivel, writer and cofounder, with illustrator Dave Baker, of Modern Mythology Press (“Horrible Little People,” “Childish Delusions of Grandeur and Superiority,” “The Calabrese Comic” (release Dec. 2010) announced that his collaboration with illustrator Ian Snyder, “The Lone Survivor,” has been picked up by Big Dog Ink.

Away from the mayhem in the main hall, creators spoke to aspiring writers and artists about the industry.  The Writers’ Panel boasted luminaries Jeff Marriott, John Layman, Shannon Eric Denton, and Eric M. Esquivel.  The Artists’ Panel featured Tony Parker, Daniel Bradford, Max Cannon, Ernest Romero, Arnie Bermudez and a surprise visit from Ben Glendenning. (Links to artists here.)

TCC Pic by MamaRox

At both panels, the participants stressed the importance of having confidence in the work you do.  “Never apologize for your work,” said Tony Parker.  Daniel Bradford advised aspiring artists to “strap a pillow on your butt.”  The writers and artists all agreed that it’s a tough business, and newcomers need to be prepared to face rejection, but that they also need to take each bit of criticism and learn from it.

Convention director Mike Oliveras announced that the convention will be held at the Tucson Convention Center next year.  Bigger and better seems to be the trend for this great little con, as well as for all of the terrific artists and writers who participated.

TCC Pic by MamaRox

HEARD AROUND THE CON:

“This is the funniest t-shirt I’ve ever seen!” — Attendee holding a “‘DAD SPELLED BACKWARDS IS ‘MURDER'” t-shirt at the Dave Baker and Eric M. Esquivel Modern Mythology Press table.

“I love Tony Chu  (the necrocannabilistic cop protagonist of Jahn Layman and Rob Guillory’s “Chew”), but I don’t think I’d kiss him.”

“Wow!  I’ve never seen a comic book siddur (Jewish prayer book) before!”

Thanks again to Libbi for the recap! Feel free to stalk her on Twitter.

I’ll be putting the rest of her pics up on the Lightning Octopus Facebook Page later.

And if you ever feel like recapping a local geek event for Lightning Octopus, please don’t be shy.