When I was preparing for my thesis last year – a web documentary on comic book culture, for those of you who are new here – I had to draw up a list of likely candidates to interview. The list consisted mostly of artists and writers, with a couple of cosplayers thrown in for good measure, and some publishing houses, but the one that stuck out as being completely different was the owner and operator of ComicBooks.ie – a comic book broker and grader by the name of Robert Glick.
At the start of the month, every month, Robert takes his collection to Dublin to sell at his own mini-con. When I first met him in the summer, it was just him, another seller, his wife, and step-son, and it stayed that way all summer, near as I can tell.
Then something changed. He began to introduce different types of sellers. No longer was the convention limited to collectible comics – graded and stored neatly, from first appearances to cool variants and key storylines. Artists entered the convention. Video game sellers. Craft retailers.
It’s a mini-con with an artist alley, filled with the same sort of material you’d find at a larger convention, but with more time and personal space to get to talk to the sellers, to meet new people with similar interests to you, and generally to soak in the atmosphere without a rush of heavy-weapon cosplayers bustling past you (that you really want to take a photo of but can’t even turn around properly.)
Every time I go to the convention, I find something new and wonderful to add to my growing collection. On top of a mass of Gareth Luby prints and a couple of pieces from Foxy Bros, I’ve got myself a few interesting comics from Robert Glick – the first appearance of Felicity Smoak, and a cool 3D variant cover of a Riddler comic from the launch of the New 52. (And that’s not to mention the really cool Majora’s Mask I picked up, and a chance to see Iron Man’s first appearance!)
After a summer spent mingling with the weird and wonderful people in the comic book industry, meeting all the mega fans and the cosplayers, the fanboys and fangirls, the actors, artists, writers, organisers, publishers and sellers, I can attest to the fact that there’s nothing like the monthly conventions run by ComicBooks.ie in this country. There’s nothing so regular, providing variety in its line-up and giving up-and-coming artists and producers an opportunity to show their work.
The next con will take place at The Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, on February 6th. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on all future events.