Convention report: BENTcon 2010

BENTcon 2010
4232 Melrose
Los Angeles CA
12-7PM, December 5, 2010

This was the first BENTcon, a select group of GLBT comics creators in a nice little space on Melrose. According to Charles “Zan” Christensen, this is the first ever GLBT dedicated convention so I was very glad to be there. Here’s who I talked to:

William O. Tyler

William O. Tyler has been publishing Carabosse Comics for the past six years. “Fairy Tells” are comics about what the fairy saw other mythological creatures doing, and “The Goth Queen Needs a Mate” is the story of a widow whose grief was so profound, it awakens gargoyles who go out to find her a new husband. William is originally from Washington D.C. but moved here in 2006. He has a degree in film from the American University in D.C. His website is www.CarabosseComics.com.

Steve MacIsaac

Steve is as busy as ever and Shirtlifter 4 will be publishing in April 2011. More information at www.SteveMacIsaac.com

Michael Derry

Michael Derry has been drawing “Troy” comics since 1998. He went to art school for illustration at Northern Illinois University. He came out to Los Angeles and while bartending, met the founders of “Bent” magazine (no connection to BENTcon) who asked him to create a gay comic strip for the magazine. After “Bent” stopped publishing, another publication picked it up and it’s been published in Europe and South America. The magazine publication opportunities have been fading out, so now he’s working on making “Troy” into an animated cartoon. It’s online, too, at www.TroyComics.com.

Jeff Krell

Jeff Krell is the creator of Jayson comics, a strip that’s been ongoing for the post 25 years. He started Jayson because he was a fan of Archie comics and wanted to tell his stories in an Archiesque setting. He based his main character, Jayson, on himself and Jayson’s best friend, Arena, on his actual best friend. Jayson comes from a very small town called Farmville (pre the Farmville game) and moves to the city and struggles with his sexuality. The first publication Jayson appeared in was in the Philadelphia Gay Press and Gay Comics in the 1980s and Meat Men magazine in the 1990s. These two decades are anthologized in Jayson 1980s and Jayson 1990s. “Jayson Goes to Hollywood” is his first graphic novel. He’s been involved with Prism Comics for the past few years. He is also the translator and publisher of Ralf Konig’s “The Killer Condom” and some of Konig’s other works. Jeff’s company is Ignite Entertainment and the webpage is www.Ignite-Ent.com.

Charles “Zan” Christensen

Charles “Zan” Christensen lives and breathes gay comics. Is the founding president of Prism Comics. He has a publishing company called Northwest Press. It is his response to the decrease in gay publishers and distributors, especially in comics. Something like a gay Fantagraphics or gay Top Shelf. The first book published was “Tenleny and Camille,” which was adapted by Jon Macy from the novel “Teleny,” attributed to Oscar Wilde and his circle of writers and poets. The second book is Justin Hall’s “Glamazonia,” the anti-superhero(ine). The next book will be a collection of David Kelly’s “Steven” comics, which are about a gay pre-teen boy in the 1970s. This will be an all ages book and Charles feels that this is an important book in these times of gay kids being bullied and committing suicide. The book is called “Rainy Day Recess” and will be available in March 2011. Prism is planning to do more conventions in the coming year, especially on the East Coast. They plan to be at a new convention in Ashville NC that debuted last year called Fanaticon. Webpages are at Northwest Press and Prism Comics.

Tony Lawrence

Tony Lawrence publishes a comic called “Western Nightmares,” which is gay western romance with angels, vampires and werewolves who are unusual angels, vampires and werewolves. The website is at Western Nightmares.

Sean Z

Sean Z was one of the driving forces behind BENTcon. His goal with BENTcom was to celebrate and showcase GLBT creators in their own convention. The convention came together in four months in a vacant storefront. He is looking forward to having a whole year to plan BENTcon 2011. He wasn’t sure how many attendees there were, he thought it was around 100 when we talked at 3PM and there were four more hours of the show. Sean came to Los Angeles nine years ago after getting a degree in illustration from the Art Institute of Chicago. He’s publishing his work at Rated-Z.

More information about BENTcon at www.bentcomix.com.

Update December 2011: Here’s the coverage of BENTcon 2011.

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