In anticipation of Charlotte, NC’s 30th annual Heroes Con, I asked some scheduled attendees about conventions. David Peterson took a moment to share his thoughts.Peterson has worked on Mouse Guard and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
TCV: Thanks for taking a few moments to discuss conventions. How many events do you attend a year?
Peterson: I do about 10 conventions per year. (not counting store signings, school & library events.)
TCV: How do you pick the events that you will attend during the convention season?
Peterson: There are several ‘must-do-cons’ on the list: New York, San Diego, Baltimore, and then I try and pack in the shows that have strong artist alley’s and a good vibe for creators: Heroes, Baltimore (which is already on my must-list) and Emerald City con are on that list, and then I add in and rotate through shows I haven’t been to recently or get an invite from.
TCV: As a creator what do you hope to gain by attending events like these?
Peterson: Obviously there is a money component there, I’ll need to make the money to justify the expense and the time away from working in the studio, but more importantly is getting to connect with the fans (and perhaps make new fans). Making comics can be a very isolating experience. I sit in my studio alone for months and months to make my books. Sure I can read online feedback, but getting to chat with fans, hear their likes and dislikes about my books, give them info to my work, let them see parts of the process, and talk with them about comics and storytelling in general is a treat that is unique to conventions, and I love it.
TCV: Given the nature of the internet to foster a connection between creators and fans what is the continuing importance of the annual comic convention in your opinion?
Peterson: Fans like having the connection with the creators as much as the creator like having it with the fans, especially on a creator-owned title. Sure the internet provides me a blog and twitter where I can reach out and share my ideas, process, etc. to them, but only in small doses..and in a rather impersonal way. Talking in person gives each party so much more.
TCV: What is your coolest or most dear comic convention memory?
Peterson: Meeting children who are so excited by what I’m doing and then also meeting their parents who enjoy the books as well is my top moment to have at a convention…there isn’t any one that stands out as being better than another. I’m thankful every time it happens.
Look for Peterson and other great comics talent interacting with fans of all ages at Heroes Con this weekend. If you can’t make this convention then check out Peterson’s webpage.