As you can see, the Bangor Comic & Toy Convention did not disappoint. This year I decided to have some fun and treat it less like a vending opportunity and more like attending a con with a permanent bench. Chris MacMillan, the organizer of BCTC continues to put on a great show that mixes a diverse set of interests from superheroes to anime, to MTG to consoles, and wrestlers to cosplayers. I continue to be amazed that hiding not too far from my hometown in rural Maine, there are geeks waiting for a chance to break out their costumes and delve into a world of storytelling, art, and collectibles.
Like last year, I was seated next to Amanda Kahl, a long time friend, illustrator, and graphic novelist. We had the opportunity to geek out, talk shop, and bounce ideas off one another. Unlike last year, I was smart and brought back up, a friend from my University of Maine Farmington days, Dan Johnston came and sat with me. Unfortunately, his iron will isn’t quite the same and he found himself victim to the amazing baubles of several vendors. I do have to admit, he scored some amazing artwork I’m a little jealous of.
The best part of it isn’t just meeting new fans, but seeing familiar faces for the second year in a row. I had multiple people say, “Loved your last book, gonna grab your two new ones.” I’m a bit more secure with signing books, well, at least until they ask for a personal message and then I just turn into an idiot. I had the chance to talk to hopeful writers and even a young man in the prime of his grade school years telling me about his awesome comic book adventures. Really, how much more happy can a guy get when he’s staring at a mini version of himself thirty years ago.
A special thanks has to go out to Chris MacMillan for putting on the BCTC. I’m glad I have a place near home where I can sell books and take in the geek culture, but it’s something much bigger than that. Growing up in a small town in northern Maine, we read our comics in the comfort of our rooms and felt a little shame about chasing down super villains with our heroes. Now, decades later, geekdom is marked with pride and you can’t help but think there is a new generation of creators being made because of this exposure. So thanks, for me, and the soon-to-be’s.