This piece was included in the Philly Comic Con Recap Post, but I felt it deserved it’s own blog post, as I see it representing so much more.

I saw a lot of familiar faces at the Philly Con last weekend… a lot of people I had met at the same convention last year, or the smaller 1-day Comic Con near the airport, as well as a couple folks I met at Free Comic Book Day at a local comic book shop “Showcase Comics” in Bryn Mawr, PA. Overall, I getting to know the local “regulars”, and in a sea of new faces (some of them covered in masks and paint and whatnot at typical comic cons) it’s awfully nice to receive that “hey, I know you” look… or even have people search you out at local events!

The Story

One of the familiar faces I was please to see was a young fan, Joe and his father, who stopped by my table on Saturday, I believe. I met Joe at the Free Comic Book Day event in Bryn Mawr back in May. He told me how he found my bookmark (which I left at the shop prior to FCBD) and really liked the comic on the back, and he and his dad came to buy my book. The nicest part of that was that, since it was FREE Comic Book day, I was in fact giving away free samplers of Z&F, yet Joe opted for the full collection for $15. Then, a couple months later, he shows up at the Philly Comic Con, happy as ever to see me, and gives me this awesome piece of fanart! It seriously made my day, and I have to say, it’s a great representation of my characters as well! I would even presume that Joe took a lesson out of the first collection of Z&F, as the bonus material contains a “How to Draw Z&F” section. I’m very impressed, Joe, and I hope you keep drawing and growing as an artist, or whatever it is that you want to be as you “grow up”! Just keep at it, don’t let a setback set YOU back.

The Impact

So, how does a little piece of fanart represent so much more?

The fact that Joe discovered Z&F via a little bookmark at a local comic shop tells me that:

  1. The comic book shop isn’t a dead outlet for comics quite yet
  2. That some people are still open to reading new, independent, and local work.
  3. That a bookmark with a comic on the back CAN work wonders.

The fact that Joe (and his dad) came to Free Comic Book Day and actually PURCHASED a book, rather than skipped out with a freebie book (which would have been understandable in this economy), tells me supporting local artists isn’t a dead concept either. In fact, I recall his dad, Ben, saying he liked supporting local talent. While webcomics exist online and are often promoted online as well to reach the biggest audience as possible, do not underestimate the power of being “a local artist”.

Finally, seeing the piece of fanart brought to me by an excited and well-spoken young reader tells me Zorphbert & Fred can really touch people, particularly young readers, enough to do little things like this for the creators (whom they can ACTUALLY meet and talk to, yay webcomics!). It’s a recipe for the goodness that keeps me writing and drawing comics… and I know that’s what Joe would want me to do.

Thanks again, Joe.