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What was likely the busiest New York Comic Con ever, this year’s highly anticipated fall extravaganza, once again, drew an energetic array of Graphic Universe authors, illustrators, agents, and fans to Big Apple’s Javits Center.

A frenetic scene at the Graphic Universe booth at the heart of Comic Con

All the way from Denmark, came Lars Jakobsen, creator of the greatly enjoyable GU series Mortensen’s Escapades. Lars’ talent was on full display Friday as he illustrated and signed images of his eponymous time traveling main character. He feverishly drew so many original vignettes in the hour that he could have probably completed a new volume.

Eager fans lining up for autographs from Mortensen’s Escapades author-illustator Lars Jakobsen (left) and Guinea PIG author Colleen AF Venable (right)

The next day, and perhaps the most frenetic of the weekend, saw two memorable GU signings. First, the prolific author Dan Jolley provided autographs for several of his recent titles—The Girl Who Owned a City and My Boyfriend is a Monster series. It was followed that afternoon by the Eisner-nominated dynamic duo of author-illustrator Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue who captivated the crowd with their latest Guinea PIG title Raining Cats and Detectives.

Graphic Universe author Dan Jolley handing over a signed copy of his book (left); Little White Duck Illustrator Andrés Vera Martínez with Lindsay Matvick, Lerner Senior Publicist (right)

Sunday was designated “Kids Day’, which was a perfect fit for the Illustrator-author husband and wife team of Andrés Vera Martínez and Na Liu who showcased their starred reviewed book Little White Duck. Fitting because their delightful young daughter, Mei Lan, was there to sign books too. And I must say she demonstrated an early gift for the activity.

Kathleen Clarke, Lerner Trade Show Manager with Robyn Chapman, Graphic Universe Editorial Assistant (left picture); Convention goer chatting with Carol Burrell, Graphic Universe Editorial Director and GU author Dan Jolley (right)

In addition, Spanish agent and friend Eduardo Alpuente, who represents many GU contributors (illustrators, colorists, and letterists) overseas made several appearances at the GU booth. The most memorable one was when accompanied by a friend, Alberto, a master magician, who mesmerized us with an impromptu card trick.

A young Guinea PIG fan (left); One of thousands of eye catching costumes at Comic Con; and Lars Jakobsen posing as Mortensen (pictured right) with Kasper Bent Rasmussen, Assistant Cultural Officer of the Royal Danish Consulate General (left)

And, of course, the convention couldn’t have been carried out without the tireless efforts and well-honed skills of the Lerner staff, including Lerner VP, Director of Marketing Terri Souter, the very pregnant Senior Publicist Lindsay Matvick, Lerner Trade Show Manager Kathleen Clark, GU Editorial Director Carol Burrell, and GU Editorial Assistant Robyn Chapman.

 (above) A variety of fans gathered for autographs at the Graphic Universe booth

In an adjacent hall was “Artist Alley”, a venue where independent artists showcased their works.

Carol Burrell, Editorial Director, participating on a panel discussion (left); A quiet moment at the GU booth with The Little Prince display in foreground

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As mentioned on the blog last week, the past few years has seen an exciting development of “crowd funding” websites designed to help serious artists raise money for their creative projects. Sites like Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) and Indiegogo (www.indiegogo.com) have spawned a wave of activity that allows designers, filmmakers, and yes, comic book artists the opportunity to raise funds by attracting people in their communities and around the world (often in the form of video presentations or art portfolios) to pledge money in exchange for small rewards (i.e. a T-shirt or a limited addition comic book). By simply getting the satisfaction of helping talented artists complete their projects and realizing their creative visions pledgers have helped countless artists get their products out to the public.

Now there are at least two Graphic Universe artists who’ve gotten into the action. Dylan Meconis (illustrator of Twisted Journeys #19 The Fifth Musketeer) was triumphant in raising money for her recent project appropriately named The Dylan Meconis Library 2012 (Dylan Meconis Interview)—a three-volume series of clever and cheeky tales, including an Eisner–nominated story called Outfoxed. And Yuko Ota (Manga Math Mysteries #3 The Secret Ghost and Twisted Journeys #17 Detective Frankenstein), a Brooklyn-based artist, has found success raising funds for her two Benign Kingdom projects through crowd funding.

The Dylan Meconis Library 2012

It’s exciting to see this new fundraising model provide great opportunities for creative people to produce winning new works that complement their traditional careers paths. Some of these endeavors may spark major breakthroughs.

Dylan Meconis (top) and Yuko Ota (bottom)

New York Comic Con is this weekend! It’s one of the biggest pop culture events in the country, and Graphic Universe is a part of it.

Please stop by booth 1140 to see our latest releases and exciting new series. Meet our authors and artists and buy a signed graphic novel. You can even take home a free My Boyfriend Bites or Lily RenéeEscape Artist poster!

Here is our full book signing schedule:

Friday, October 14

Tricky Journeys and Twisted Journeys

2pm, Booth #1140 

Chris Schweizer – Tricky Journeys author
Shelli Paroline – Illustrator, Tricky Fox Tales
Yuko Ota – Illustrator, Detective Frankenstein
Alaya Dawn Johnson – The Goblin King and Detective Frankenstein
Zack Giallongo – Tricky Rabbit Tales

Saturday, October 15

The Elsewhere Chronicles
11am, Booth #1140

Bannister – All 5 ElseWhere Chronicles books

My Boyfriend Is a Monster
2pm, Booth #1140

Alitha Martinez – Illustrator, My Boyfriend Bites
Hyeondo Park – Illustrator, Under His Spell
 Evonne Tsang – I Love Him to Pieces

Sunday, October 16

Manga Math
11am, Booth #1140

Tintin Pantoja – Illustrator, The Lost Key, The Hundred-Dollar Robber, and The Ancient Formula

1-2pm at the Autographing Area

1. Colleen Venable – Guinea PIG, Pet Shop Private Eye
2. Stephanie Yue – Illustrator, Guinea PIG, Pet Shop Private Eye

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