This weekend, Epicstream went to Oak City Comic Con to see what the convention had in store. And we found a lot of fun stuff! Vendors, artists and writers sold their wares, cosplayers showed off their costumes and fans had a great time!
The biggest publisher present at Oak City Comic Con was IDW who were there to promote their brand and celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of their hit comic 30 Days of Night as well as the tenth anniversary of the movie adaptation. At a table at the front of the convention floor, they sold their wares. We at Epicstream had a hard time keeping our hands off a glossy collected edition of IDW's Samurai Jack comic adaptation!
One of the first events of the convention was the History of IDW panel. Publisher Ted Adams told the crowd about how IDW went from a small creative service company to the 300 million comics company it is today. The panel really drove home the importance of 30 Days of Night, as it was this comic that put IDW on the map and allowed it to compete with the big boys like Marvel and DC. Of course, IDW is now known for it's merchandised comics like Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were able to secure these properties and steal them away from Marvel and DC by assuring the merchandisers, "You're the priority for us." They promised to put their top talent on the books and treat the merchandised property with care. IDW selected creators who were passionate and excited to go to work on the properties licensed by IDW. Marvel and DC, while great, were putting their top talent on their own books, not on their merchandised comics. This commitment to excellent merchandised comics allowed IDW to acquire all it's merchandised properties.
IDW prides itself on the variety of merchandised properties they create and sell. They sell licensed cartoons like Samurai Jack and My Little Pony as well as toy properties such as GI Joe and Transformers. The late Darwyn Cooke's adaptation of Parker was also extremely important to them and Cooke is missed by all. This diversity in publishing allows IDW to reach a wide audience and encourage all people to read comic books, not just die-hard fans.
The members of the IDW panel encouraged the attendees to do something that won't seem radical, but in today's climate might be too much to ask for some. "Don't get into petty fights on the internet," they encouraged. This allows the building of bridges between people and companies and not the burning of them.
Unfortunately, we missed the 30 Days of Night screening as we were busy covering other panels. But we couldn't help but notice that the whitewashing panel was scheduled at the same time as the screening. Which made us laugh. 30 Days of Night the movie whitewashed the original comic by casting white people as character originally portrayed as Native American.
Ultimately, it was a great experience to get to peek back behind the curtain of one of our favorite comic companies! We'll have more to tell over the coming days!