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ECBACC to the Future!

Posted by: Rich Watson on May 21, 2007 at 7:51 pm

I had a great time at ECBACC this year, but you already expected me to say that. Let me talk instead about the details. Starting with Friday night and the Glyph Comics Awards. Jamar Nicholas was such a funny host that I lost all track of time, which was important because we only had the auditorium at the African American Museum in Philadelphia until 9 PM. There were the usual on-the-fly changes: a presenter arrived late, someone wanted to perform at the last minute, we had no slides of the Story of the Year nominees.

Despite the many problems, some of which were due to my own procrastination (I admit it), the show was an improvement over last year. Two of the winners were there in person – Kyle Baker and Keith Knight – and a third, Derek McCulloch, actually phoned in to accept both Best Writer and Story of the Year. Professor Foster actually held his cellphone up to the mike so the audience could hear Derek speak!

We ended at nine on the dot, which turned out to be not a big deal with the museum after all. Afterwards it was drinks on South Street with Kyle, Keith and a bunch of other nominees and friends. If you’re ever in Philly, make sure you go to South Street; that’s where it’s at.

BTW, I wanna send a big thank you out to my GCA judges this year – Pam Noles, Johanna Draper Carlson, Calvin Reid and Hannibal Tabu. I greatly appreciate them taking part in the Awards this year. Thanks, guys.

On Saturday I did volunteer work here and there. This year we had a “kids corner,” where the younguns could relax, have lunch and assorted snacks, sample free comics, and watch movies and cartoons, and I took a shift in there. Yeah, it was basically a babysitting job, but it was cool because I had all the chips and popcorn I could want and I got to watch Spider-Man for a couple of hours! And the kids, thankfully, were no problem at all.

A little after midday I made the rounds, doing the odd errand here and there and getting brief interviews for UVC. One thing I realized as I talked to people about the GCAs on Saturday (and I’m continuing to realize it even now) is how few people were familiar with the winners. Stagger Lee is an Image book, but since it’s not Spawn, Savage Dragon, or anything written by Robert Kirkman, it’s off most people’s radar. Indeed, I was told by a few Philly natives that they’d never even seen Stagger Lee in their stores. Maybe next year we should partner with the local shops and get them to sell the nominees.

Big personal highlight: this one mini-comic dude who came to the show without a table came up to me and thanked me for reviewing his book a few years ago. It was a negative review, but he said it helped him tremendously, and he wanted to see me so he could tell me that. He even had his picture taken with me like I’m some kinda big shot. I tell ya, it’s things like that that make doing what I do worth all the trouble.

ECBACC was the most crowded I’d ever seen it, to the point where the aisles were packed at one point. (Granted, they were small aisles, but still.) There was at least one handicapped fan (maybe two, don’t recall). and while the other fans were accomodating, still, movement was greatly inhibited. Unless a way can be found to widen the aisles, a new venue should be seriously considered, in my opinion.

Still, ECBACC was a whole lotta fun and I can’t wait till next year.

photos from ECBACC
photos from the GCAs (courtesy of Mikhaela Reid)

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4 Responses to "ECBACC to the Future!"

1 | Mikhaela Reid

May 22nd, 2007 at 12:04 pm


Hey Rich! Those photos you link to require some kind of sign in and password and admin approval and whatnot… I haven’t posted my pictures from Saturday yet, but I do have a roundup of my pictures from the Glyph Comics Awards already up:


3 | Derek McCulloch

May 22nd, 2007 at 3:30 pm


Hi Rich – One more huge thanks to you, the Glyph judges, and the fantastic Glyph award audience for such a wonderful experience last week. I had actually thought a month or two back that I should talk to you about making sure copies of the nominated books were available at the convention, but I got sidetracked by other things and forgot. Live and learn – you’ll know to take it into account in your planning next year.

4 | Rich Watson

May 22nd, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Yeah, that is something I’m considering for next year, like I said – maybe we could have an entire table where people can purchase the nominated books.

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