Saturday at NYCC started strong and remained crazy with very few lulls. I’m very happy I uploaded my files to Lulu and had a batch of the Vol. 3 books on hand. Lulu had them to me — and looking great — inside of a week. By the end of the day, I would sell all of my copies of How to Make Webcomics, all of the copies of Evil Inc Annual Report Vol. 1, and almost all of volumes two and three. More on that in the next post.

Saturday brought D.J. Coffman my way. We spent quite a while talking about gossip and happenings. I met Deej at my first comic convention (Pittsburgh Comic Con, 2000) and was wowed at his ability to promote his work. He was working on a nwespaper-style strip called Gravity back then and promoting it with giveaway CDs. His current-day success is in large part to all the work and effort he’s ben pouring into his work in the ensuing years, and I’m thrilled to see him so happy.

Around noon, I had to shut down my booth to head over to the panel discussion on Comic Strips in the 21st Century. It consisted of moderator Lee Nordling, author of them seminal Your Career in the Comics; a representative from both King Features Syndicate and Universal Press Syndicate; David Astor, who writes about syndicates for Editor & Publisher magazine; syndicated cartoonist Mark Tatulli and… me. I did my level best to represent the webcomics business model to the best of my ability. I’m told that my words were one thing, but my face was quite another.

I got back to the table in time to see R Stevens and Meredith Gran. I was lucky enough to be on the preceding panel because their original choice to represent the InterWebs, Mr. Stevens, had to back out to attend another webcomics-themed panel that was being held at exactly the same time.

Ms. Gran very kindly gifted me with a copy of her new Octopus Pie collection. Meredith is one of those cartoonists who everyone knows is tremendously talented, but in case you aren’t aware of it yet, I’m going to say it: Meredith Gran is tremendously talented. It goes beyond her ability to write clever-yet-believable dialog. It goes beyond the fact that she has a handle on linework and image handling that makes even her most crusty peers weak-in-the-knees. She is quite simply a quiet genius. You just don’t find that type in comics very often. If you’re not reading OP, you really need to take five minutes and let her work a little magic on you.

You wanna know how good Gran is? I’ve been trying to hook my beautiful wife on a comic — any comic — for years now. When the Persepolis graphic novel came out, I snagged it, thinking I’d scored a home run. She was underwhelmed. I pointed out the Octopus Pie collection in my studio before leaving for work last night. When I came home, she had devoured the book and was catching up on the Web site. That’s beyond good. That’s miraculous.

MarkGary Tyrell brought over a man by the name of DaveMichael Ciccotello. Mike embodies the very reason we wrote the HTMW book. He’s got a tremendous start on a webcomic, and he just needs those little nudges to get on track to developing his work to get it to where he wants it to be. I’m really happy he went on his way with a copy of the book in his hands. I’m going to be checking his site regularly to see him put that book to good use. Also because I think his strip has awesome potential.

Also on Saturday, I was able to meet the uber-talented Chris Eliopoulos, who does beautiful hand-lettering and the Franklin Richards comic for Marvel Comics. Chris also has a webcomic, Misery Loves Sherman. MLS is well-drawn, well-written, and well-presented on the Web. If you start reading it today, I guarantee you’ll get to sneer at all the bandwagoneers who try to come aboard when Chris’ work gets the wider recognition it deserves. It’s got a look and a feel that’s going to grab you right away.

More on Saturday, the fans, and Greyhound(!) in the next post.