New York Comic-Con Look Back – The Legend of the Mantamaji Perspective
New York Comic-Con drew hundreds of thousands of pop culture fans from around the world and we had a blast! It was a big week, with parts of the Legend of the Mantamaji crew coming out New York to man the LOTM booth.
NYCC also fell during the launch week of Legend of the Mantamaji Book One! So, in the middle of setup and of course the Con, I was getting all sorts of texts and alerts from people talking about the book on social media and in the media. It was crazy and exciting.
The trip to New York was a week-long adventure. It started with an interview at the offices of The Shadow League and Black Enterprise Magazine where Ricardo A. Hazell and his team got all the details of the LOTM – and we had a lot of fun as well. Look for that interview to go live soon. Then after some fun, we went into NYCC. The Con was a BIG hit for our team. We doubled our sales from San Diego Comic Con with one less sales day!
We also got the attention of libraries who are interested in adding the Legend of the Mantamaji series to their collections. Staten Island Library, Brooklyn Library, Long Beach Library and the Free Public Library in NYC all picked up the series to share with their counterparts ahead of their larger order.
The librarians we talked to were thrilled to discover LOTM, as we were the only superhero graphic novel with a black lead at the event. They told us the series are the kind of books their kids will go crazy over – which, of course, brought big smiles to our faces! I mean, listen, that’s one of the major reasons why I started on this journey. As a kid, I grew up wanting a comic or graphic novel like Legend of the Mantamaji. So it is so gratifying to know that librarians, people who are instrumental in helping shape a child’s love of reading, see the need for heroes of color and are actively pursuing and supportive of creators of color.
Speaking of creators, we also ran into our friends Erika Alexander and her husband Tony Puryear who were at the Con to promote their awesome graphic novel series, Concrete Park from Dark Horse Comics. (Go check it out if you haven’t already.) It was like a mini Living Single flashback!
I love getting a chance to interact with readers and to tell new readers about the series. I also love seeing and hearing their reactions after they’ve read the first book and then come back for the rest of the series. Overall, NYCC was a great success. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with a great team, including Legend of the Mantamaji and Eisner-award nominated letterer Deron Bennett who was on hand to sign books. We met many wonderful fans and creators, doubled our sales over San Diego and reconnected with friends. You can’t ask for much more than that!