Working at a comics convention: MeCAF

You might recall that E. J. Barnes did the dragon-headed cane and Vampire Bureau badge illustrations for this blog. Well, she also writes and draws comics, and as henchman / “art enabler” I sometimes accompany her to comic book conventions to provide support.

So we went up to Portland, Maine this weekend for MeCAF, the Maine Comics Art Festival. It’s a one-day show, mostly of small independent comics creators, with a reputation of being kid-friendly. (Keep the X-rated stuff under the table!) For E.J., that meant such items as her minicomic on astronomer Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) and her animated film Leatherwing Bat, based on an old Appalachian folk song, with her minicomic on astrologer and occultist John Dee (1527-1608/09) being the one “adult” comic on hand.

E. J. Barnes and me (photo: Keith O'Brien)

E. J. Barnes and me
(photo: Keith O’Brien)

Me? As you can see, I help tend the table when things get busy, or when E.J. has to take care of various necessities. And as you can also see, I advertise her art and my blog by wearing my The Dragon Lady of Stockbridge t-shirt.

Oh, and I indulged a hobby of mine while I was there. I like beer, and there are several breweries and brewpubs in downtown Portland. Indeed, the convention party the night before was held at the tasting room of Shipyard Brewery, while I had lunch on the day of the con at a brewpub farther up the street. These days I’m into barrel-aged beers, so I tried a barrel-aged IPA at lunch, and brought home a bottle of a barrel-aged imperial stout to try with friends.

It was a nice low-key way to spend a weekend. Although the forecast was for rain, the wet weather cleared out Saturday morning and didn’t return until late Sunday evening after we got home. So I had a splendid stroll through sunny downtown Portland to get my morning coffee and and my lunch on Sunday. It’s the one advantage to being the henchman: I get to leave the convention building and enjoy the nice weather if I want!


About Brian Bixby

I enjoy history because it helps me understand people. I'm writing fiction for much the same reason.
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5 Responses to Working at a comics convention: MeCAF

  1. L. Palmer says:

    Looks like a good adventure.

  2. crimsonprose says:

    “Me & Dr Dee”; shame Ms Barnes doesn’t ship to the UK, that looks a good read (though I’m not much of a comic-reader, residue of childhood when such frivolities were forbeodan)

  3. danagpeleg1 says:

    Now, when can we get to wear the DLS t-shirt? Do you need to qualify as a henchman to get it?

    • Brian Bixby says:

      We only made up two, Dana. The cost was prohibitive for selling them in small lots. That said, I’m sure the templates are available for use if you have a t-shirt printer nearby.

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