Memories of Asbury Park Comic Con 2 in Asbury Park, NJ

by Dre Grigoropol

Absury Park is the the rock ‘n’ roll capital of New Jersey. It is the hometown of rock legend Bruce Springsteen, my favorite media queen Wendy Williams, and now the Asbury Park Comic Con. Some of the featured guests at the Asbury Park Comic Con were Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dryer, Dean Haspiel, Larry Hama, Seth Kushner, J.C. Luz, and the shows organizers Cliff Galbraith and Rob Bruce.

As I was approaching the second Asbury Park Comic Con, the weather was dreary with dark menacing clouds twirling in the sky. Dark, unpromising weather could not discourage attendees. The show was inside one of Asbury’s most quirky and well-known venues, Asbury Lanes. The venue is actually a real bowling alley, which hosts punk shows and other subculture events at night. Asbury Lanes is completed with strange pop art, a bar and a grill that serves a variety of grilled and fried food. The whole day they played great music through the PA system, the playlist included songs by the Runaways, Plastic Bertrand, Sonic Youth, and the Wipers.

One the most interesting guests there in my opinion was young artist and New Jersey native Sean Pryor. He actually lives a few steps away from Asbury Lanes, so he probably had the shortest commute. He is well known for his work in Royal Flush Magazine and The Pekar Project. Sean also has a vast knowledge on the universe of music, too.

Also, Emmy Award-winning New York artist Dean Haspiel was there. He writes and draws superhero and semi-autobiographical comics which include a long list of household titles such as Spiderman, Batman, X-men: First Class, Cyclops, The Thing, Deadpool, Spider-Girl, Wildcat, Godzilla, Mars Attacks, and American Splendor to name a few titles. This guy has been a part of so many projects, it would take too much time to list them all.

Another Asbury Park resident that was exhibiting was long-time comics maker Megan Gale of Rock Candy Magazine. Her work is very funny and focuses on alternative music and subcultures. I have been reading her zines and keeping tabs on her since 2004. She is somewhat anti-internet so it isn’t to easy to keep up with the her. The best way to check out her work is in person, at an event like the Asbury Park Comic Con.

Carolyn Belefski and her partner Joe Carabeo came to the Jersey shore all the way from Virginia! Carolyn is an indie comics creator  and her work has appeared in Indie Comics Magazine, Magic Bullet, Team Cul de Sac, Queen Crab, and District Comics. Check out her online web comic Curls.

Here is Bryan G Brown and  me at our table. He writes and illustrates indie comic First Fight, and has done illustration work for Image Comics, the American Heart Association, Revolver Magazine and more. My comics series called Dee’s Dream is an ongoing comedy about a girl in a garage band. We had quite a few commissions and overall really enjoyed ourselves.

After the Comic Con was officially over, the creators poured out onto the boardwalk for some chats and snacks. We grabbed tacos from a new stand that opened up on the boardwalk called Mogo. Pictured above from left to right is Evan Dorkin (Milk and Chesse), Cliff Galbraith (Crucial Comics), Dean Haspiel (American Splendor), and Larry Hama (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero). The moon was full and very mystical looking above the ocean.  There couldn’t have been a nicer way to end the night.


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