I wasn’t prepared to go to the Long Beach Expo, mainly because of a lack of funds and other personal matters that made me doubt whether I’d be able to go. When I finally procured the tickets I didn’t prepare as much as I should have (i.e. bringing a camera of some quality), and although I am sad about the pictorial loss, there will be other times.
As far as the convention itself I was able to sit and listen to the cast of Gargoyles, which is an epic show I ended up watching the next day. I met Keith David and Cree Summer, really kind people who gave me an autograph and made my day.
Next on the agenda was the McDuffie Awards, celebrating diversity in the comic book industry and modeled after Dwayne McDuffie, who co-founded the minority owned comic book company Milestone Media. You’ll probably remember him as the genius behind Static Shock, as well as writing and producing The Justice League and Ben 10. In remembrance of McDuffie, who died in 2011, the McDuffie Diversity Awards selected four nominees for its first award, they were:
Hex11 by Lisa K. Weber and Kelly Sue Milano (HexComix), Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel), The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew (First Second Books), and Shaft by David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely (Dynamite Entertainment), and the winner Nilah Magruder for her webcomic MLK.
This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to see these artists, and it was inspiring to see works of diversity embraced and showcased. Further inspiring is the fact that Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Derek Dingle are also trying to relaunch Milestone Media.
I roamed a bunch of random events after that (I wasn’t really sure what to do, but I’ll know next time). I bought great items, and I talked to some independent comic book makers who were really hustling and distributing their own content. It’s very possible to work in a creative field, it’s just difficult and an upward battle at times. Walking around at the convention it becomes apparent that it is very possible to achieve and to push forward if you possess the dedication and willingness to create amazing work. I have been a bit weary of continuing to pursue a creative career, since it doesn’t seem very promising at times, and it certainly isn’t a future of wealth and abundance, but there’s no reason not to try.
I encourage everyone to check out the McDuffie Awards winner and nominees and help fund their creativity, and I intend to post on some of the independent comic books I bought at comic con.