Sunday May 19th 2019, we took a quick bus ride over to the Jersey side. New Jersey that is. It was to check out the annual East Coast Comic Con over at the Meadowlands Exposition Center. I didn’t have my own table, but that was okay. It was nice to check out other established artists like Rick Parker, Howard Chaykin, Peter Bagge, Stephen Blickenstaff, Larry Hama, Russ Braun, Drew Friedman, Al Milgrom, George Perez, and many others. What sets East Coast Comic Con apart is that the emphasis is on the artists themselves. Without a doubt, there was also media guests, panels and cosplayers.
You knew you were on the right place when you saw Batman on line. Guess his Batmoblie was in the shop for repairs.
East Coast Comic Con is a three day event, but we could only check out Sunday. Which worked out fine. Plus I was personally still on that high from both the Jaz Coleman spoken word event, plus the Killing Joke concert earlier that week.
It should be noted that East Coast Comic Con was one of the last appearances for retiring comic book artist George Perez. Which means I totally missed most of the good panels. There was panels such as one for actress P.J. Soles (Rock n’ Roll High School, Halloween), and The Book of Weirdo. I did mange to catch the panels later Sunday afternoon. That we’ll get to later.
The first panel I attended that Sunday was about The Infinity Gauntlet comic book series. Infinity Gauntlet lead into other media franchises, such as video games and film. Most notably the current Avengers film series. The panel featured Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim and Joe Rubinstein.
Afterwards I stuck around for another panel. This one was pure nostalgia from my adolescence years. Titled Flash Gordon: Stars of An American Classic, it focused on the 1980 film adaptation rather than the original comic book series. The two stars from the film spoke at the panel: Sam Jones & Melody Anderson.
This was followed by yet another panel titled Denis Kitchen: 50 Years of Kitchen Sink Press. Being an underground and alternative comic book fan, this was an avid interest of mine. On this panel was Denis Kitchen, John B. Cooke, and Mark Schultz. Here Dennis Kitchen discussed mainly the history of Underground Comics, and Kitchen Sink’s role. Kitchen Sink later published titles like Omaha The Cat Dancer. (You can also check out info about Omaha here
Quickly ushered in after the Denis Kitchen panel was the annual Cosplay contest, held only on Sundays. The cosplay contest was broken down into two categories. The kids contest started at 4:30 pm. Below are a few highlights.
Immediately following was the adult section of the cosplay contest.
The East Coast Comic Con cosplay contest stands out, due to the focus being on the craft. The judges asked various questions in regards to materials used, where parts of the costumes were retained, if they were made by hand, etc. For the dedicated cosplayer, a lot of time and work goes in.
Although I didn’t get to meet all the artists, or attend all the panels, East Coast Comic Con is one of the better conventions to check out. Until next year.