Conventions | More than 30,000 people descended upon the 24th annual Motor City Comic Con over the weekend, with attendees reportedly waiting for up to two hours just to get into the parking lot, and then another one to four hours to get in the doors of Novi, Michigan’s Suburban Collection Showplace. Comics legend Stan Lee and The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus apparently contributed to the long lines, but the site was also hosting two other events and undergoing construction of a hotel, leading to a parking shortage. According to The Oakland Press, some fans parked as much as a mile away; traffic was backed up for miles. For the first time, the convention offered advance tickets, allowing attendees to pay extra in exchange for not having to wait in line. However, because of a mess-up, even those who pre-ordered had to wait in line. Related: Lee talks to USA Today during the convention. [The Oakland Press]
Conventions | The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival has come to an end, after establishing itself in just four short years as one of the most loved indie-comics events. A message posted on the event’s blog under the headline “Thank You and Good Night” reads simply, “We have decided not to continue with BCGF. We had a great run and thank all of our colleagues for their support.” [The Beat]
Creators | Garry Trudeau talks about Doonesbury, supporting wounded warriors, and his Alpha House show in a video interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. [The Daily Cartoonist]
Creators | Michael Aushenker profiles Rutu Modan, whose The Property, a tale of a Jewish woman returning to Poland to reclaim an apartment lost during the Holocaust, debuted at Toronto Comic Arts Festival: “When I go to vote, I have to decide who is bad and who is a good guy, but when I write I can support the Poles and the Jews. I’m much more interested in the gray areas. They’re more closer to reality.” [The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles]
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, one of the high points of the indy comics year, has announced the first round of guests for this year. It doesn’t seem to be up on the TCAF site just yet, but Tom Spurgeon has the rundown at The Comics Reporter, and it’s an impressive list: Jeff Smith, Alison Bechdel, Guy Delisle, and Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon are the headliners. Smith will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bone, while Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? and Delisle’s Jerusalem are both due out shortly before the show.
But wait! There’s more! Kate Beaton, German creator Arne Bellstorf, Scottish creator Tom Gauld (whose Goliath is due out soon from Drawn and Quarterly) Gabriella Giandelli, Jennifer and Matt Holm (Babymouse), Jason, Kazu Kibuishi (creator of Amulet and editor of the Flight anthologies), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Gary Panter, Michel Rabagliati, Andy Runton (Owly), Olivier Schrauwen, and Adam Warren (Empowered) will also be gracing the halls of the Toronto Reference Library this May. That’s an amazingly eclectic and talented group. If you have been thinking “Some day I’ll make it to TCAF,” this should probably be the year.
Demo artist Becky Cloonan went really deep on this post that details the process of creating an illustration for this fall’s Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, England. While you can see the final “Snow White and the Seven Comics” artwork above, click on over to her blog to see it go from pencils to color tests to inks and so on, until it was completed.
The Stumptown Comics Fest is moving to a bigger venue next April, the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, in order to accommodate the ever-larger crowds that show up each year. “In recent years the exhibition hall has been packed to the gills,” notes the official announcement; “this move to the Convention Center will give attendees room to breathe with 30,000 square feet of exhibition space (nearly double the square footage) and will allow the amount of table to be increased with room for future growth.”
In other news, Indigo Kelleigh, one of the founders of the fest, is returning as its director. Kelleigh, who took some time off to focus on his own work (he is the creator of the Tintinnesque webcomic Ellie Connelly), is back in the director’s chair, and he plans to expand the show beyond its indy roots to include some of the more established creators in the area. This year’s guest list already includes Carla Speed McNeil, Molly Crabapple, Kurt Busiek, Larry Marder, and Barry Deutsch, who got his big break at Stumptown a few years ago: Agent Judith Hansen saw his comic, Hereville, at the show, and Scott McCloud, who had the booth next door, gave him a referral. Hansen took Deutsch on as a client and landed him a contract with Abrams, which will publish the book in October.