Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI members. Welcome to the 2nd edition of
The Blood Bank.
As a reminder, this column gives you under the radar books that may not be spec worthy, however are worth a look at based on the story and content. Fresh blood per se, that up and coming writers and artists are bringing to comic life. This week we are going to look at a book that just brings a smile and laugh to whoever reads the first issue. I am speaking to Oni Press’ The Long Con which released last Wednesday, July 25th.
The Long Con is written by Dylan Meconis and Portland Mercury film critic Ben Coleman, illustrated by EA Denich and colored by Victoria Robado. It’s about what happens when everything in a 50-mile radius of a major con is destroyed, but the convention just keeps going, five years and counting. There is the idealistic journalist Victor, who was at the Con when the “event” happened, and is striking out on story ideas with his editor. His boss has a new idea, go back to the con and write about what you see outside of the quarantine zone. Victor goes back to the convention center but doesn’t seem quite prepared for what he discovers.
With this story it gave the creators an opportunity to examine pop culture and a con experience within a post apocalyptic setting. Co writer Ben Coleman states:
“There’s something really compelling about being trapped in a place you love. At first it’s great, but an hour in, it occurs to you that the long term nutritional value of convention center popcorn is limited and some of the goth teens are starting to craft improvised weapons. A pre-apocalyptic comic con already has dozens of factions, feuds, schisms and coups. We’re just making them a little less metaphorical.”
Things get strange in this issue of The Long Con, as past and present collide in numerous ways. The comic teases what happened in the days before a cataclysmic event that decimated everything. The story uses the location and premise to have fun with it all delivering this issue that never fully reveals what happened. It also pokes fun at fandom – things such as Star Trek, but not in too derogatory of a way. You can tell there’s a big allure towards the subject matter. The characters are varied in personality and while we only have two main ones so far, there’s more than enough to stand them apart in this crazy world.
The art style manages to balance the before and after events of the quarantine while giving a very clear delineation between the time periods. It takes inspiration from geekdom and conventions and uses it all in some entertaining ways. The same can be said for the writing, it’s just having fun with everything. The illustrator EA Denich states “This book absolutely is a love letter to all the pop culture we hold near and dear in our dorky little hearts –it’s a book about nerds, by nerds, for nerds”
I strongly urge you give this cool story a try, even if waiting until the TPB hits down the road. Believe it or not, there has not been many comics revolving around con life and it’s intricacies.The Long Con does just that, with a bit of flare and humour which will sure to make you smile…We could all use more laughs in our lives huh?