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Saturday, October 16, 2021 

What's taking place at the western Massachusettes convention

Here's what the Greenfield Recorder says about what's taking place at the Western Massachusettes Comic Book Show this week:
The event is organized by 34-year-old Kristopher “Kit” Henry. He and his wife, Kristen Henry, who live in Turners Falls, co-own and operate Amazing Comics. Under the title, the pair attend regional comic book shows where they sell and trade from their personal collection which includes issues dating back to the 1950s, “but issues issues from the ’50s and ’60s are getting harder and harder to find,” Henry said.
Well that's why I believe the time has come to encourage people to buy the very same stories in trade collections, and it's worth noting that Marvel's probably done a better job of reprinting at least 90 percent of their inventory than DC has. There's a number of items up till the turn of the century DC has probably never taken proper steps to reprint so far, and while some of their Golden Age output was reprinted in the 2000s, it's gone out of print in the past decade since. As far as I know, only the Golden Age Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman and Green Arrow are reprinted in the dedicated archives coming in hardcovers and paperbacks. Only the Silver Age Flash and Green Lantern stories have been put in such archives to date, but not the Golden Age stories. I cannot approve of a situation where a company marginalizes a significant portion selectively, so it's time they make sure the GA stories for Flash and Green Lantern get their own share of archive reprints, and also the original Justice Society.

The article also says one of the Ninja Turtles' co-artists, Jim Lawson, is attending this convention, but there's something here I must take issue with:
Comic book fans growing up in the ’80s and ’90s are sure to remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but they may not know the creators are native to the Pioneer Valley. Once struggling artists living in Northampton, Kevin B. Eastman and Peter Laird created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1983. The characters have stayed at the forefront of pop-culture, having been handled by different creatives across comics, toys, television and movies for the last 38 years.

Returning this year is Jim Lawson who worked with Laird and Eastman for over two decades after being introduced by “a friend of a friend” — kick-starting a 35-year-career in comics. He connected with the creators after graduating art school and worked for them at the Mirage Studios office which opened in Northampton in 1983. Lawson would spend 25 years with Mirage Studios as a writer and artist on the original black and white Turtles comic. [...]

Even after getting a job with Mirage Studios, he kept a part-time job in Turners Falls for a year or so until his comic book work grew and he was making enough to commit full-time to writing and illustrating. He recalled when the Rat King, an original character he created for the Turtles comics, was turned into an action figure — a badge of honor among comic creators.
Seriously, that's a joy for creators, to see their creations turned into plastic toys? Why not that a sizable audience actually read the original comics? I've thought over the years about all the potential flaws in how the USA entertainment industry approaches everything commercially, and believe all this desperation to be recognized via merchandise and movies has got to be the worst mistake many writers and artists could make. If that's not how they do these things in Japan, why should it be done in the USA? There is, however, a positive to consider here:
When asked what drew people to the Turtles to make it such a craze, Lawson said this was the topic of a panel at another comic show last month and he had a couple of theories. He said the series attracted a lot of female fans, transcending some assumed gender lines of that time to reach a wider audience. Additionally, he said the Turtles characters were viewed as “outsiders” hiding in the sewers, and the stories had a family aspect that appealed to readers.
Now this provides something to ponder. Ninja Turtles, much like say, the New Teen Titans, had significant numbers of women who loved reading it over 30 years ago, and they doubtless appreciated the sex appeal of April O'Neil, leading lady co-star of the franchise. Also:
Casey Kruk, of Kruked Art, is an independent, self-taught artist. Born and raised in Western Massachusetts, Kruk’s influences include Bruce Timm, J. Scott Campbell, and Michael Turner. Her passions are her children, illustrating and comics.
Here's another important aspect to ponder. You have a lady artist here who's drawn inspiration from guys who could be considered Good Girl art specialists, and that contradicts the narrative of the sex-negative SJWs.

There's also one more notable veteran listed at the convention holding:
Marvel Comics Colorist Bob Sharen will join this year’s show. From 1978-2001, Sharen was a colorist for Marvel Comics. During this time he worked on almost every Marvel title, mostly on long runs of GI Joe, Alien Legion, and the various Spider-Man titles.

His credits include nearly 1,800 issues: Over 160 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, 99 issues of Alpha Flight, Iron Man from 1979-1989, Captain America from 1982-1989 and over 60 issues of GI Joe from 1982-1994. Some of his favorite work includes coloring the illustrations of Paul Smith's run on Dr. Strange in the 1980s.
Yup, he's a good choice for a guest too. It looks like this convention does have some positives going for it. Even so, I think most artists have to reevaluate whether they should hope every creation of theirs ends up getting action figure toys adapted from their work, because it's not helping the zygote, and only takes away crucial attention from the comics, which doesn't help the industry.

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Actually, I know one autistic female fan who was more of a fan of Raphael (and possibly has a crush on him too).

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