AGZ's Report On New England Webcomics Weekend

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

As I said before, it was awesome.
Of course, awesome is in the eye of the beholder. Hop into my eye for a while and we can share a brief look back at last weekend's event.

M'Eye Perspective

This has been a long time coming for me. I recently started serious research as to what comic related event(s) I should attend this year. No offense to my homeland of Minnesota, but there's not that much from what I can tell that has a great place for a young but seriously invested web comic. Then from out of nowhere came the Webcomics Weekend announcement which later became New England Webcomics Weekend (or #neww on twitter). It was almost too perfect.

Many people have shared great stories of what happened then. Essentially what began as a few webcomics artists gathering for fun rapidly expanded to be a full on fledgeling convention.

Then the reality sets in. Holy crap. I'm going to meet face to face these people I've been reading about, listening to, observing their sites, reading their stories, and learn a ton from all the time!!!

What was it like?

There was an air of electric many directional excitement... a dense population of fans and creators all focused on the topic of webcomics feeding off the shared energy. So much thought about it, so much passion and focus on it. It was intoxicating.

One huge source of information and entertainment in creating web comics is Halpixel's Web Comics Weekly podcast. All of those guys were there, I met most of them and bought a copy of their book (which I stayed up reading most of it Saturday night).

Honestly listening to that podcast colored my experience quite a bit. I'd keep thinking about their anecdotes about how convention attendees both fans and budding artists act in both good and annoying ways.

All I can say is that if I've made a fool of myself I hope I did so in a solid manner to serve as a either inspiration or lesson to other creators in a future WCW podcast.

Various Highlights

Kate and I hung out quite a bit with "Kenard" the creator of Rick the Stick! It was tons of fun talking shop with Ken and sharing perspective on all the NEWW happenings. By the way: Thanks Ken!

I secured my first signed book from a conference ever by none other than Lar deSouza of Least I Could Do, then the next day when things were just getting started I had the opportunity to chat with him and ask a bunch of questions. Awesome.

Here I am at the Web vs. Print vs. a Bear panel (picture from this great post-NEWW article). 'Twas a funny and interesting panel in which there was some sort of living teddy bear/dog creature with a cone on its head.

So cool to see Art Geek Zoo mentioned in an article Monday morning after the event. Also cool, the article mentions Kate and how supportive she was. What can I say, I'm a fortunate man and she's awesome and happens to naturally be WAY more outgoing than I. Also, Kate was a volunteer at the NEWW event, Thanks Kate! You Rock!

Another highlight: getting a signed copy of How to Make Webcomics, the book by the creators of Starslip, Sheldon, PvP, and Evil-Inc.

Sunday I picked up a copy of Sheldon: Now 62% More Awesome! It's signed by Dave Kellett and he made a sweet sketch of Flaco inside too!

Another highlight, I have to admit, is that I was honored and pumped to hear various artists feedback on the AGZ shirt. Specifically the new Pick and Crunchy long sleeve black. People dug it and mentioned recognizing the characters. :)

The Aftermath

Somehow I felt both really inspired and really sad after the event. It was the strangest thing. Perhaps it's a sense of loss from being in such a dense region of creativity. I've pondered it this week and I'm still not sure why. Also I noticed throughout the week that other attendees had similar affect, then there's the whole "almost everyone that went to NEWW got a cold" thing, but that's barely worth mentioning.

What I am sure of: I'm totally going back next year.

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