NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comics Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee | FanboysInc

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comics Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee

By Jeff Ayers

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comic Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee
NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comic Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee

From left to right: C.B. Cebulski, Justin Warner, Regine Sawyer, Amy Chu, Ryan Dunlavey, Steve Orlando, Justin Jordan, Grady Hendrix

At this years (2015) New York Comic Con, the most fun panel hands down went to the Comic Creators Consuming Coffee:Where Food And Comics Collide panel held downstairs in one of the auxiliary rooms. A packed house eagerly awaited the start of this panel, which boasted talent from all across the comic spectrum. The whole panel was sponsored by the world’s strongest coffee, Death Wish Coffee, and the incredible Mike Brown and Kane Grogan from Death Wish were on hand to dole out the goods. If you missed this panel, you missed an awesome time, but you can relieve it right here on FanboysInc. Lets start with a rundown of who was there.

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comic Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee

Sean Von Gorman moderating as C.B. Cebulski looks on

First of all, the panel was moderated by the hilarious Sean Von Gorman (PAWN SHOP), and if you haven’t been to a panel featuring or moderated by Sean, you are seriously lacking some true comic con cred. (Also, check out his stellar work on Pawn Shop with Joey Esposito). The panelists were a veritable who’s who in comics and food culture, accenting the entertainment value to great heights. C.B. Cebulski (Senior V.P. at Marvel Comics) was on hand, and is also a prominent food blogger with his Eataku blog. Amy Chu (Girls Night Out) was there, and she is working on a food and comics anthology as well as an anthology of talented writers and artists who will answer the question: Who is Pizza Rat? (You can help fund that awesome idea from their Kickstarter Page.) She was also announced at New York Comic Con as the new writer for a Posion Ivy solo series from DC, which will be drawn by Clay Mann.

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comic Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee

Amy Chu and Ryan Dunlavey

Also on the panel was Steve Orlando (Batman and Robin Eternal) who lives as a wine and spirits expert by day, and pens the awesome Midnighter series for DC Comics by night. Justin Jordan (Green Lantern) is a self proclaimed addict of coffee, and be sure to check out his current work, John Flood. Regine Sawyer was there, and she is a prominent figure in the Women in Comics Collective, as well as a chef and writer. Ryan Dunlavey and Grady Hendrix were right at home, as the successful duo behind the amazing Dirt Candy comic cookbook. Rounding out this impressive panel was chef Justin Warner, the winner of season 8 of Food Network’s next Food Network Star and author of the newly released The Laws of Cooking: And How to Break Them. He also sported a rather impressive Captain America cosplay!

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comic Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee

Justin Weaver as Captain America, with Regine Sawyer looking on

 

As I have said in previous panel recaps, these are the type of panels you should seek out when attending a comic convention. Sure, the big, glitzy, celebrity laden panels can be fun too, but a panel like Comic Creators Consuming Coffee is where you get a rare intimate experience with creators in the comic book world. The fun kicked right off as the entire crowd was being caffeinated by Death Wish Coffee, as well as the panelists, creating a very fun atmosphere for all involved. Some of the highlights from the beginning were finding out the creators means of creation, as well as how they like to invest their coffee. Orlando told of how he used to write diligently in the back of a Denny’s, to the point where his free refills of coffee just turned into free coffee because of the hours he kept there. Cebulski revealed that he is an espresso guy at heart, as he likes his coffee intake to be “short, dark, black and quick” which got an uproarious response from the crowd. Seriously, this group should take this panel onto the stand up circuit, as measured by the amount of laughter that percolated throughout the room.(See what I did there?)

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comic Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee

By a show of hands, who likes coffee?

The amount of different types of coffee intakes ran the gamut of ways, including Keurig lovers (Jordan), Coffee Urns (Hendrix), and straight french press method (Dunlavey). But everyone on the panel seemed to enjoy the fresh brewed Death Wish, so maybe their habits will change? Von Gorman did say he likes coffee that is “readily available”, so we will see where he goes from here. In fact, he reminisced about meeting me outside of Baltimore Comic Con this year and discussing how it would be simpler to invent an “injection-style” method of consuming coffee, and we might just be onto something.

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The fun continued as the panelists were asked to talk about what they love in comics today, even though many lamented that once you get into creating comics, you have less time to actually enjoy ones you aren’t actively working on. The standout hit amongst the panelist was definitely Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, but others talked about the merits of Archie, Eating Vampires, Headlock, and Black Science to name a few.

Once the floor was open to questions from the audience, the first one asked why there aren’t as many western comics devoted to food culture. This is a true statement because the Asian comics market definitely has a lock on food and comics material, but as Cebulski pointed out, there are some gems out there in the Western world. Titles such as Starve bring the two worlds together very nicely, and a new book called Beer and Comics shows the history of beer in comic book form. Also mentioned was the aforementioned food anthology that Amy Chu is working on, that has artists and writers craft comic book panels depicting some of their favorite recipes. (When I got the awesome chance to meet Amy in Saratoga, she showed me some of the panel work, and this book will be epic!)

Another question was for advice on self publishing, which was met with the definitive answer of “make the book you want to make, and finish it.” from Von Gorman. The panel agreed you shouldn’t go into it expecting a big payout, but that there has never been a better time to publish comics, thanks to the web and affordable and good looking printing options. If you have an idea, then by all means tell your story, because the audience is there, and thanks to social media, especially twitter, you can interact with them with ease. Amy talked about a cool story involving how she tweeted early on in her career that she was going to give up coffee, and Axel Alonso from Marvel comics tweeted back instructing her how hard it would be and offering advice!

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comic Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee

free samples of Death Wish Coffee for all the audience members

The panel ended with the group discussing where they like to create and what they like to eat while they do it. Answers ranged from the normal – a clean house with isolation (Warner), to the slightly weird – on the subway with a slice of pizza (Sawyer), to the incredibly specific – never when its too nice out, or in daytime, and surrounded by comics and alcohol (Orlando). Some of the funniest moments came at the very last two questions, involving what comics make you the hungriest, and what comic would you do based on a breakfast cereal. Orlando said that he tries to put a food making scene in every comic he writes, and Sawyer talked about how Eating Vampires actually makes her hungry for meatballs. Dirt Candy, Chew, and Toriko were also mentioned as hunger-inducing works.

 

The cereal conversation devolved into an in-depth look into Warner’s extensive knowledge of breakfast cereal mascots (bring back Wendel for Cinnamon Toast Crunch!) and the audience was even treated to some of their favorite comic character and food pairings, including Martian Manhunter and Oreos, Wolverine and Beer, and Daredevil and Avocados from the Netflix series! The entire audience couldn’t have had more fun with this incredible panel of talented people, and we all walked away with a richer comic con experience because of them.

(As always, thanks to our sponsors Death Wish Coffee. Head over to their website where you can help vote for them to win a Super Bowl commercial! Also, any purchase you make from Death Wish type in “fanboysinc” at checkout to receive 15% off your entire order!)

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Comic Creators Consuming Coffee: Where Food and Comic Collide, Presented by Death Wish Coffee

Kane Grogan of Death Wish Coffee, Steve Orlando, and me (Jeff Ayers)

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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