Pittsburgh Comicon Report

Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Pittsburgh Comicon Report

The team at Altered Realities seem to have had a fun time at Pittsburgh Comicon:

"Wow! This might've been the best con any of us were ever at! The con made over 35,000 dollars for the make and wish foundation and 9,000 for the CBLDF! Excellent! Yeah, Frank Miller "tore" the Harveys up, but the big news was that there was so much excitement and enthusiasm constantly surrounding our table! People were standing up and taking notice at the individual works of Marco Dileonardo, John Greiner, Becky Cloonan, Andy Macdonald, and Sal Cipriano! All of whom are part of Altered Realities 2001! The memorable three days included free donuts as part of a Broken Donuts promotion, and a huge foamboard jam piece with big names like Jamie Hernandez, Brian Bendis, Mike Avon Oeming, and Rags Morales along with the whole AR crew and many of our small press pals! We thank everyone who came down and supported us, ate a donut, picked up our books, etc. Big thanks indeed!"

Sounds good, so we asked them a few questions about the event:

Darren Schroeder: How easy was it for you to make your way to the con?

Sal Cipriano: It's taken years of hard work and dedication. Actually it was like a six hour drive, with lots of pee stops.

DS: What did it cost for a table?

SC: About a hundred bucks, a great price for a good con table. We (Altered Reality Comics) had two. Three by the end of the show somehow!

DS: Did you meet anyone famous?

SC: Like celebrities? Nah, bunch of old Star Wars peeps and Xena folks whom I never really felt belonged at a Comicon, but whatever. Comicwise? I met Ed Brubaker while getting a bottle of water. Really nice guy. I've met Brian Bendis, David Mack And Mike Oeming before and they're all pretty famous in comics now. They're all super cool to talk too, although I don't think Mack remembered me, oh well. Other than that, hmmm, not really I was pretty much lost in my own world that weekend.

DS: Did you go to any interesting panel discussions?

SC: Actually no. To tell you the truth I don't even remember what anyone of them were!

DS: What kind of audience did the convention attract?

SC: A big one, bigger than last year. And really a very indie friendly crowd. Very enthusiastic in hearing what we were all about.

DS: Did men outnumber women in the "interested in comics" stakes?

SC: Actually not really! It was pretty equal! There were more women at this con, who seemed to be there on there own then I've ever seen at any other con! I thought that was great!

DS: Did you attend the convention party? If you did can you remember any of it?

SC: I tried to! But alas you had to have a pass I had no clue about. s'ok I was pretty exhausted most of the weekend because I was up like 80 hours before it!

DS: Was the con well organized?

SC: Very well organized, I'd say the tightest organization of any con we've been too. Big ups to Michael and Renee George!

DS: Were sales good?

SC: For us? Well we gave away alot of books! I don't really believe in selling books at this point, people need to read what we got. The best way to do it is to just give it to them. The book we're working on now, Altered Realities 2001, that's the book we want them to buy, but first free stuff and lots of it. Just to get to know us, y'know?

Comicon Crowds and stallsDS: Get any good networking done?

SC: Hells yeah! This was my favorite part! Met alot of indie guys I wanna work with and hopefully will get the chance too. Already got like 4 or 5 projects starting up!

DS: Any other comics there that grabbed your attention?

SC: Lots actually! Crackurz by my buds James Patrick and DJ Coffman, really really funny book!Lint by Patrick Gleason, awesome! I think this guy's working for image now! The Stockboy by Tobb Webb! Man there's so many great indie books out there!

DS: Any decent freebees in the convention bag?

SC: Aw crap, I forgot to get one! I think there was this out there/ninja boy ashcan by Wildstorm that I got that I can't stop looking at: I love Humberto
Ramosand ale Garza!

DS: If you stayed in the hotel, what was the mini bar like?

SC: Man this pissed me off. We were supposed to have the mini bar fully accessible, but the thing was jammed shut! We tried real hard to bust it open to no avail. Aw well it was sober weekend, which was fine since I was dead tired!

DS: Did you decorate the tables with any posters etc?

SC: We make new "table cloth" every time we go to a con. It's a cool lil' gimmick that people respond to very well. What we do is grab a bunch of our comics, take the staples out and tape the page down to the table! It looks so damn cool! Then we hang poster sized artwork down from it. The table usually look pretty nice, and is always packed full of books. Right now I'm trying to work on some sort of background display, I never have time to do something nice, hopefully I can get somEthing done before the next con.

DS: Did the audience seem happy with what they found inside the convention?

SC: Certainly seemed that way! Lots of cool stuff going on, like costume contests, role playing games, etc. and of course comics!

DS: Did you keep a towel or bathrobe as a memento?

SC: Nah, but I did get this pink batton from Kmart! I love twirling things!

DS: Any plans to attend other cons in the near future?

SC: Yeah! The summer is gonna be kinda slow though. My friends, TLW comics, are going to San Diego so I'll throw them some books to take with them. I'll only be stopping by Wizardworld this year for a day, an it really won't be to promote books. Then comes the SPX, and that's the con we really want to hit this year, having missed the last two. After that Midohio, and maybe a NY con.(but they suck!)

DS: Thanks to Sal for the chat and the folks at Pittsburgh Comicon: for the picture and the event.

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