|Shot of the Javis Center Lobby from the top of the stairs by Me|
My first comic convention was NYCC 2008. My sister nudged me in the side the whole Bat Panel, whispering, “Ask a question. Ask a question!”
I was nervous just sitting in a crowded room with Tony Daniel, Mike Marts, Ian Sattler, Peter Tomasi, Dustin Nguyen, and Greg Rucka. These were superstars, my Matt Damons and George Cooneys. I ended up leaving a little disappointed. I didn’t speak to one of them. I didn’t know what to say other than, “Oh my God! You’re—”
Flash forward three years and eight months later, my sister is out of the room, getting a Vitamin Water, and I’m one of the few fans left in the panel after questions start. My question is number two.
In the months prior to NYCC, I gained and lost some confidence. While I had lost The Seekers contest, I had been tweeting Kyle Higgins, J.T. Krul, Mike McKeon, Rich Ginter, Jeff Suter, Mikel Janin, Scott Tuft, Rickey Purdin, Patrick Zircher, Ryan Parrott, Owen Wiseman, and Mark Doyle and tons more. On top of that, I’ve even been FOLLOWED by some of the aforementioned. This time, when I went to NYCC, I felt confident (but still nervous) introducing myself because even though these creators didn’t know me, they knew my name. And that, my friends, was KEWL (NJ accent cool).
I spoke with Fabian Nicieza, Mikel Janin, Mike McKeon, J.T. Krul, Jim Cheung, Ivan Brandon (again!), Kyle Higgins, and Bobbie Chase. Many were kind enough to discuss their careers, even my own, and give insight into the industry. Each one was professional and kind. I cannot express how grateful I am for their generosity.
For the last however many years, I’ve been trying my best to break-in to the industry, and normally when I leave these conventions, I feel depressed, even demoralized, because I’m no closer to my dream. This time, I was jumping up and down like a fangirl. I couldn’t believe what I’d learned, how my idols had encouraged me not to give up and to continue working and improving and striving. On the train ride home, I was already mapping out a Destiny’s Fate’s miniseries in my notebook while Red Hood and the Outlaws was up on my iPad.
Where I thought The Seekers might be an end to my career, where I thought just perhaps the comic book industry was kicking me out, NYCC invited me back in.
Devin Leigh Michaels
October 17, 2011