When was the last time you heard of legendary comics creative John Byrne, attending a comic con? No need to do the math, I can let you know that it was back in 2004 – thirteen friggin’ years! (And no, I’m not counting the STAR TREK 50th Anniversary cons he showed up at in 2016. That fandom feels special enough as it is, without all the special attention.)
It would take something special to tease Byrne out from his hidey-hole to mingle with the comics minions, and New York Comic Con has come up with something very special indeed: as part of the 2017 100th Birthday Celebrations of Jack Kirby, IDW Publishing will be hosting an incredible meeting of minds as Byrne and fellow Eisner Hall Of Fame legend Walter Simonson discuss the ‘enduring legacy’ of Jack ‘The King’ Kirby.
IDW’s President Greg Goldstein and CCO Chris Ryall will host the panel, as a dynamic slideshow of more than 1,300 pieces of original Kirby art plays in the background — the largest public showing of Kirby originals ever. The special draw, however, is the two titanic creators who have both put together sustained and acclaimed runs of comics created or co-created by Jack Kirby.
“I know John [Byrne] forever swore off comic cons, but let’s not remind him of that!” said Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer and Byrne’s editor for the last twelve years. “Really, though, the chance to publicly talk up the impact Kirby’s work had on his own career was the lure for John, and being able to do so alongside his close friend and fellow legend Walter Simonson only helped seal the deal.”
The panel is not the only place where fans can meet-and-greet with the two great comics luminaries: following the panel will be a special two-hour ticketed signing at the IDW Booth (#1844), where the first one hundred fans that purchase a special con-exclusive version of Byrne’s long-running series of STAR TREK photoplays, STAR TREK: NEW VISIONS 18: “What A Pain It Is To Drown” will get a ticket and the chance to come face to face with the man himself. This convention-exclusive item will feature a special Byrne-themed photo cover – and the good news is, if you aren’t one of the first 100 people, Byrne will accommodate as many standbys as time allows, which is bloody generous of him.
There are rules. Because Byrne’s signings are a very rare thing now, IDW will make every effort to accommodate as many fans as possible while maintaining an orderly and professional experience: to that end, Byrne will be unable to sketch in anyone’s books. And each attendee of the signing will be limited to a maximum of three items; the first two must be IDW books or comics and the third item can be a non-IDW item.
Here’s the details of the panel and the signings:
- THE ENDURING LEGACY OF JACK KIRBY, WITH WALTER SIMONSON AND JOHN BYRNE – Friday 6th October 2017, 1.45pm-2.45pm Room 1A21
Hosted by IDW Publishing’s President Greg Goldstein and CCO Chris Ryall present an incredible meeting of minds as two of comics legendary creators talk about the impact and influence of The King Of Comics, Jack Kirby. Simonson and Byrne will present a dynamic slideshow of more than 1,300 pieces of original Kirby art plays in the background — the largest public showing of Kirby originals ever. And everyone in attendance will also receive a Jack Kirby-related giveaway.
- SIGNING: JOHN BYRNE – IDW Booth #1844 (Friday 6th October, 3.30pm-5.30pm) ** Ticketed **
- SIGNING: WALTER SIMONSON – IDW Booth #1844 (Various Dates and Times to follow)
NEW YORK COMIC CON takes over the city’s Javitz Centre from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th October 2017 – the show is mostly sold out but stragglers now can purchase Thursday Day Tickets at $45, HERE.