As the owner of InvestComics LLC since 2005, I can say with confidence that we have covered many shows over the years. This blog has covered a few aspects of the comic convention scene. One of the most exhilarating experiences one can come away with from a comic show is meeting your favorite creator, media guest or social media cosplayer. The experience can either be one you’ll remember for the sheer joy or unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Everyone is allowed to have an off day. You do, right? It’s when we approach our favorite creators after a number of shows and come to the realization that the person we admire so much is kind of a jerk. As the old saying goes, oh well! No reason to really hold grudges about it though. Continue to follow or collect their work, some of the most talented human beings in the history of the word were jerks. Oh well! That’s the way it is. Horror stories of a child meeting Michael Jordan while ours say there was no issue. Different times, different results. Derek Jeter always gets a good report from 99% of people. Everyone has their own take on meeting someone. Some may say one thing while others may think ‘huh, what are they talking about? They were cool with me.’

Original Comic Art Poly Bags

Poly Bags

With all of the negativity going around, the focus here is to give kudos to those who deserve a mention. It’s mightily easy to point out the faults or the bad first encounter with someone and blast them on social media like a teenager (yes talking to all you ‘grown-ups’….stop doing things like that. Not cool and very immature. You ever have a bad day??). Rarely do you hear of a complement on meeting one of your favorite creators. It does happen, but not often enough. We need to shift the narrative and get with it folks. The focus here will be the humble comic creators at the shows we have visited. The ones that, every single time have had a smile and appreciated the visit to their table. These creators are a must see if you’re heading out to a show. You will not have a sinking feeling ever after visiting these mentions. Be sure to let them know InvestComics sent you and that we love them as much as you do!

This list will in fact have some missing players. No doubt it will, but it’s not intentional at all. Most creators are very cool cats anyway, so you’ll always win no matter what.

Bill Sienkiewicz

Bill Sienkiewicz

One of the first names that always seems to dribble out of the mouth when asked about ‘cool creators’ at a show is Bill Sienkiewicz. This man is usually working on a commission when you meet him (head down), but will give you the time of day if you want to say hello. Always a smile and always humble. You must go over to this legendary masters table and greet him. This man is a part of the world of comic books as one of the greats. Quick convention story. Bill informed me he lost his glasses at SDCC and he was working on commissions. I offered my reading glasses and he happily obliged. It’s not pride that hampered, not a crazy ‘no way man’, no it was about finishing a piece at the show for a fan. I went by at the end of the day and got my glasses back. He had taken them off because he either found his glasses or was getting a headache using mine, I do not recall. Either way, known this man for many, many years and just a super guy.

Bob Layton

Bob Layton

Speaking of humble, Bob Layton not only fits this mold, he’s funny as heck too! One time I went up just to say hello and I realized I didn’t have any comics signed by him. I wasn’t too sure of his exact Iron Man run, so he literally got up from his table and walked over to a comic box with me and looked for the letter ‘I’ for Iron Man. We found it and he thumbed through the box as he showed which books he worked on. The best part? He gave a few accounts of some of the covers as he hit some. Amazing experience and bonding moment with Mr. Layton. Besides this moment and some others, he’s been an absolute joy to bump into at a show. You want a quick history lesson? A great story? Some hard, good honest truth? Yes, this legend is a must visit.

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. These two were usually found together for the better part of the 2017 convention season. Who knows if this will continue in the 2018 season, but getting them together is a treat because they are as humble as they are. They is usually a person at the front of their line directing people to move along because if that person is not there, a fan cam probably carry on a 20 minute conversation with them. They are into pleasing fans, making them enjoy their time with them. If you catch either one by themselves, you will get even more of their attention. It’s spectacular. Really is. A quick NYCC 2017 story. Waiting in line for a Snyder/Capullo signing. The line is about 150 deep (probably more). As the line wrapped around the back of the booth where Greg and Scott were to sign, a person was coming up the line and literally shaking hands with people on line as he made his way through everyone. It was Greg Capullo thanking each and every single fan waiting in line. Not only is this class, but a tremendous about of graciousness. Greg obviously feels blessed to be in the position he’s in and shows it. Gives back to the fans in a special way. Each and every one of them. Go Greg! And go meet Greg….and Scott. A Dynamic Duo for sure.

Billy Tucci

William ‘Billy’ Tucci

Then there is Billy Tucci. What an amazingly humble dude this man is. If you’re looking for a good conversation that involves deep honesty and a great laugh, you must make your way to Billy’s table. I told Billy when passing by his table that I knew he was at the show because I heard him laughing two aisles away. His laugh is absolutely infectious. He laughs, you laugh, everyone laughs. His smile brightens the mood as you realize that coming to a comic convention really is a lot of fun. Gotta love Billy Tucci, dude makes things fun.

Power Couples

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

A few power comic book creator couples to look for at a show. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.

Aaron Kuder and Chondra

Aaron Kuder and Chondra, Louise and Walt Simonson, David and Meredith Finch, Rachael and Terry Dodson. A guarantee visit at any show. You must go to these tables and greet these couples. These couples light up more together than they do by themselves! Not taking anything away from them as individuals, but they are super teams when together. They really are.

Frank Tieri

Frank Tieri

Frank Tieri is an old Brooklyn New York boy and is as kind as they come. Very humble and if you are easily offended by rawness, this dude is not for you. Haha! He is as raw as they come, but also as kind too. Love to visit Mr. Tieri when at a show and you should definitely hit his table. Fugetaboutit!

Gail Simone

Gail Simone

Meeting Gail Simone is an experience toward the ‘I feel like I’ve known you for 20 years’ meeting. After spending a few moments with Gail you will realize that she’s listening to every word you speak. Not that the rest of the creators in this blog don’t do this, it’s just that Gail will make you feel as though you’re hanging with a family member or your best friend. Don’t believe it? Go to her table and speak with her. You’ll see. Gorgeous human being.

Jeff Balke

Jeff Balke (Photo by Andy Lyons 2015)

Jeff Balke is a colorist that’s been traveling the convention scene for a while. He’s grown as a creator since he first started and is now the owner of Balke Studios. Jeff and his partner in crime, Brandon are two of the nicest human beings you will meet on planet earth. Missing them at a show is a crime.

Wrapping up the MUST SEES are; Greg Pak, Sergio Cariello, Ed McGuinness, Fred Van Lante, Erik Larsen, George Perez, John Romita Jr, Charles Soule, Frank Cho, Jason Latour and so MANY others that were inadvertently left off this list. Who do you recommend as a must see?

-Jay Katz

Jay Katz, a comic book collector since 1983, is the owner/creator of InvestComics LLC since 2005. InvestComics LLC was originally a magazine before the website launched in 2005.

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  1. I would add Greg Smallwood (and his wife) whom I have seen twice now and both times are so gracious and grateful with fans. Aaron Lopresti and Terry Dodson were also very approachable and generous with their time. On the other hand, I waited three hours in line for a signing with Snyder & Capullo at the Dallas show where “Metal” was announced. Apparently they were involved in another event which ran long, then were tweeting from the VIP lounge for awhile, and finally showed up to the signing area an hour late as security was shooing attendees out to close the hall. It was then announced to everyone waiting in line that due to the late hour signatures were limited to one each and no photos allowed. Very disappointed.

  2. At the first Cincy-Con, I loaned my reading glasses to Jill Thompson, so she could finish a piece at her art tutorial panel.
    Turns out, her glasses were in the ladies restroom and the staff found them later.
    I’ve met Jill a few times, and she’s always gracious and charming. One of my favorites.
    Cool article, and could probably include 100s more names, as many comic creators are pretty good folks.


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