The following from our own Kevin Brogan, who was on-site at Ye Olde Baltimore Comic-Con:
The Baltimore Comic-Con (www.comicon.com/baltimore) proved once again to be a great success for fans and dealers alike. With a cast of talent that rivals any other con, it is one of the largest independent shows based strictly on comic books and comic book art. The Hero Initiative has had a presence in Baltimore since its first show, adding to its attraction by bringing in some high-profile names, and special events. This year, our guests were Joe Kubert and sons, Adam and Andy, and John Romita Sr. and son, John Jr.—a Full House. Unfortunately, John Jr. was unable to make it due to last-minute travel problems. Hero’s big event this year was an auction of “three-minute” sketches, collected by Michael Finn and donated to Hero.
As some of you know, Baltimore is a two-day affair, so from early morning Saturday, we were hustling. Joe and his sons arrived right on time with a Hawkman piece ready for auction. Joe took his seat and began signing. He did not stop until the line diminished. Two schedule one-hour signings became an hour and a half each. An estimated 300 autographs patrons came in closer to 500, but Joe signed ’em all.
Since 3-minutes sketches were our theme, I thought Joe might do a quick sketch in one of his “How to Draw” books. And he did three books. Sunday he was to be busy with interviews and panels, but he still was willing to do another signing session while he waited for the interviewer. Finally, one of Hero’s traditions at Baltimore is to have our guests do a duet piece. Joe and John Romita were willing to do it, and Joe had the brilliant idea of videotaping it (video to come).
John, who always comes through for us at Baltimore, made the mistake of showing up early Saturday. I suggested that he rest, have his coffee, talk to fans, and start signing after Kuberts’ shift. He started immediately. Since he started early he was able to finish early, but then he agreed to do two sketches. I tried to limit his signing for the rest of the show, but he kept getting away from me, and did another shift, as well as a gang signing for The Ultimate Spider-Man #100 Project. His incredible effort has always been at the core of Baltimore’s success.
Finally, thanks to Adam and Andy and the three signing shifts they put in, and their sketching. Hero was able to keep the booth active when John and Joe needed a much deserve break. The 3-minute sketches auction closed out the show on a big bang. Hero auctioned off nearly 150 pieces in the closing hours of the show. It was a proper closing to a busy show.
But the high point of the show was the Harvey Awards, Saturday night where The Hero Initiative honored Joe Kubert with its Lifetime Achievement Awards, recognizing his incredible commitment to the profession and its professionals. I was privileged to be the presenter of such a prominent award to such a distinguished artist, teacher, and hero.
As a fan of 40 years, it was a great experience for me to work together with Joe Kubert and John Romita. Having Joe and John as Hero’s guest was a dream come true for me as a would-be artist, and as the booth coordinator. Along with Adam and Andy, the team surpassed all tasks, helping us raise one of the highest total funds of any Con. If you have not been to Baltimore Con you should seriously consider attending next year, September 27- 28, 2008, where we will have another fun-filled show.