Compilation comics have never been interesting to me. It's an odd phenomenon, because I love reading books of short stories, and I don't at all mind watching short films. Something about reading comics only two to three pages long seemed counterintuitive to me. Like maybe I wasn't getting what I paid for.
Comic conventions are playgrounds for creativity, and I can say that without the least bit of ironic pretentiousness. Maybe it's just genuinely pretentious, but whatever, conventions cannot help but be whirlwinds of imagination due to the amount of creators walking around. That's what comics have always been about for me: imagination. Stories. Entertainment. There're other things to be enjoyed - drama, emotion, etc. - and although these might not always be about smiling, rest assured that reading comics is fun.
Comic conventions, depending on the venue, can usually be depended upon to have certain things. Booth babes, cosplayers, massive lines, overpriced food, publishers selling things for cover price, venders selling things for discounts, and really weird peripheral interests like swords, juggling, and power drinks.
Inside one of those venders selling discounted books, I accidentally came across something I'd had my eye on before, but could never come to a decision regarding. My friend is the one who actually found it, and when he held it up I went, "Oh yeah." That book was "Popgun: Volume 1." It's a compilation book released by Image comics, and it features somewhere around 60 creators.
All of the stories aren't winners, but that might be one of the reasons for the book's existence: eclectic content. The styles are as varied as the stories, and there should be something for everyone. Probably the most interesting aspect of the book for me is the possibility of finding new creators I'd never heard of before. I was surprised to find out there's been four volumes of "Popgun" published already, the fourth coming out earlier this year.
If you want to discover new creators, pick up "Popgun." If you just want to read some interesting stories that take up a small portion of your day, it's good for that too. So far I enjoy it more than the one volume of "Flight" - another compilation book - I read. I've already ordered "Popgun: Volume 2."