I really enjoy pop culture and recently attended the New York Comicon. Comic book conventions are full of inspirational illustrators, wild creatives, a few movie stars (usually from 20 years ago), and loads of fans in costumes.

I love seeing the variety of styles of artwork from the classic sci-fi of the 40’s, to the many creative styles of today. I also love seeing more female artists, and more diverse racial backgrounds each year at the shows. This keeps the art and the storytelling fresh, and with a different perspective. Check out Grace Lee’s amazing paintings.

I’m often touched, and inspired by the creativity of certain artists. I really love how brave some people are with both their stories and art. And of course, sometimes it gets pretty weird too. The amount of effort it takes to design their trade show booth, put their work together, and sit at a show for three days is extremely admirable. The younger artists experience a lot of rejection before they gain a following. (Been there.)

My favorite treasure(s) from this year are the comic books from Michelle Fariss. The images of her hand-made mini comics don’t do them justice. the stories are weird and make little sense on the surface. You have to enjoy them for what they are; creative whimsical journeys with no rules. I love that Michelle cared enough to make little stuffed dolls of two of her characters, and include them with one of the books. My girls enact the story with the dolls while I read to them.

It’s always fun to see which media celebrities are there, too. From wrestlers, to Lou Ferrigno (I saw him leaving the convention pointing and laughing at another guy dressed up as the Incredible Hulk), to Chewbacca. I even saw two of the guys from The Greatest American Hero, but didn’t feel compelled to buy any autographs. I missed the Watchmen preview trailers. That will definitely be the movie hit of the summer.

The wildest part of the show is of course, the costumes. From slinky Wonder Women to giant blobby Pokemon. Some people look great in costume, and some just deserve a handshake for the effort. They’re all fun, and all ages too.

I’ll leave you with 3 tips for attending a comic book show: 1) Bring plenty of money. Even if you don’t want to buy anything for yourself, you can get a year’s worth of gifts here. 2) Take a break for lunch. Just get out for a bit. Between the lights, and the colors, and the crowds – it can be very overwhelming. 3) Don’t get too close to anyone. You could get trapped in a conversation about who was the best captain of the Enterprise, or can Daleks really fly. And besides, not everyone smells so good.

Looking forward to the Boston Comic Book show in April! Maybe I’ll see you there? Share your interesting comic book or trade show stories below.