We’re staying home for the next three years, but you should go!
Archives for July 2009
§ We SWEAR only one more day of San Diego links, unless it’s pants-peeing awesome. But, if like us, you are just now getting back to consistent internet access and want a quick refresher, Chris Marshall at Collected Comics Library has a nice news recap:
Zero, One, Two, Three, Four
§ Fantagraphics’ Jason Miles had a crappy time:
As a Comic Book Salesman at this year’s Comic-Con it was impossible not to feel the crushing presence of the latest and greatest bullshit Hollywood and beyond had to offer and I’m not sure why. Why did this year feel any different from last year, or the year before? Maybe I’ve gone to one-too-many Comic-Cons thus forcing me into a downward spiral of delusion and dread? Or maybe the mainstream acceptance sought by the comics industry at large is really a Trojan Horse? Regardless the cause, there were far too many injustices committed at this year’s Comic-Con and yes I will be pressing charges in future Flog posts.
§ Rob Bricken at Topless Robot sums up this year’s edition of press complaints/whining:
• The worst part of the con was covering the con. Mostly because of free wireless at the San Diego Convention Center, which never loaded a single kilobyte for me. I don’t really blame the con for this; I mean, no one can really prepare for 200,000 nerds suddenly trying to use the same wireless system at once. But it did means every time I wanted to post, I had to truck 10 blocks back to my hotel, furiously write, run back to the con, see some stuff, then run back again. Ugh.
• The other part of the problem was the press pass, which was worthless. Wait, let me correct myself — it was worth a four-day pass, and not a penny more. It let press people into the con for free, but didn’t allow them to get into panels or events — the press had to wait in line like everyone else. I understand a lot of the “press” at the show were knuckleknobs with blogs with a few thousand readers, and they didn’t deserve more access than the regular fans. But I’d much rather there be some kind of criteria that the press needed to meet to get a pass, which would also allow them access to cover the panels — even if I was excluded. The fact that Wired couldn’t get in to see the Iron Man 2 panel still astounds me.
§ Chris Butcher sums up that fact that…only Comic-con can do what Comic-Con does?
Something like SDCC but just for the entertainment industry? It doesn’t exist. The movie studios, the video game producers, the TV Shows and toys and Bud Bundy and all that, they’re coming to the comic book show. SDCC has got all the power, because nothing else like that event exists anywhere (Gareb Shamus tried and clearly failed; Reed is travelling the same road Shamus took). Imagine if SDCC really did take the ideological position of “how does what you do help comics?” with their exhibitors, and charged them accordingly? What if they used ideology as the wedge to expand the show into the parks, into the stadium, into the giant parking lot that’s as big as half the convention centre? Here I Drew A Map. Imagine the best possible things happened! Wouldn’t that be great? Why not work towards the best?
§ People who really had a SWELL time:
Richard Starkings con PHOTOS.
And who cannot catch the infection of excitement from Cecil Castellucci with a post she calls:Gosh I love you Comic Con! IS the love of a good woman enough to save the show? Tune in next year.
Underground pioneer Howard Cruse has just published a collection of his gay-themed comics, called From Headrack to Claude. It includes such things as “Gravy on Gay”, his never before reprinted first story from BAREFOOTZ #2. Ordering details in the link.
Just before CCI San Diego kicked off, we reported on a possible security breach at Travel Planners, the company that handles hotel bookings for Comic-Con. Although TP denied the problem, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that suggests that credit cards that were used to book rooms in 2008 may have been hacked, as several people have reported foreign travel being booked on the credit cards they used to book their hotels for the ’08 con.
Is this in any way related to the Travel Planners mystery? A whois search reveals that TP is listed under Network Solutions.
However, a TP spokesperson contacted by our correspondent said that TP is not hosted by Network Solutions but by IBM.
Please note, we didn’t contact TP ourselves, so you can make of this what you will. Apparently, the matter is still being investigated. Now that Comic-con is over, perhaps someone can figure out just what is going on here.
If this is dumb, I don’t want to be smart.
Never a dull moment, as Publishers Weekly has gone up for sale:
Reed Business Information is putting Publishers Weekly and its affiliated publications, Library Journal and School Library Journal, up for sale. The sale of the group is part of RBI’s strategy to divest most of its trade magazines in the U.S. Last year, Reed Elsevier, parent company of RBI, tried to sell all of RBI but dropped the sale when it couldn’t get the price it wanted in a depressed market for media properties. In a related announcement, Tad Smith, CEO of RBI US, has resigned. John Poulin has been named acting CEO and he will head the sales process.
The sale is part of Reed-Elsevier’s attempt to divest itself of most of its trade magazines, according to Folio:
Among the magazines for sale are Broadcasting & Cable, Mutichannel News, Professional Builder, Publishers Weekly and Tradeshow Week.
Reed said it will retain its Reed Construction Data, RSMeans, Variety, MarketCast, LA411 and BuyerZone properties. The company put RBI on the block in February 2008.
Today’s must read: BODY WORLD’s Dash Shaw joins the Comics Comics blog and in his first outing examinesGroundwork of Evangelion: 1.0 , a sketchbook for an upcoming anime. He finds it a treasure trove of semiotic information:
They’re marked with little notes that I don’t understand. All of the Japanese I once knew is gone, and I don’t know filmmaking vocabulary anyway. Unlike comics, which have a widely-known “insider” language (“these bubbly shaped frames around the words mean the character is thinking- is that cool with everybody?” “yeah, okay”) this is a totally foreign “insider” language used by the people at the studio to communicate to each-other. They weren’t drawn to be published for a wide audience; but here they are, published, and I could go into Kinokuniya in NYC and buy a copy. Awesome.
ACT-I-VATE is proud to announce THE ACT-I-VATE PRIMER.
16 original stories by the premier webcomix collective, ACT-I-VATE, with a foreward by Warren Ellis, coming this October from IDW Publishing.
With its roster of renowned creators serializing webcomix for free since 2006, ACT-I-VATE, has reached a comicbook critical mass. Now this funnybook big bang has birthed The Act-i-vate Primer, the very first collection of stand alone, never-before-seen stories. This tome is a lot bigger than it seems. Each of these stories extend way beyond the boundaries of mere paper and cardboard out into ACT-I-VATE.com where you’ll already be initiated to the worlds greatest webcomix collective.
The Act-i-vate Primer boasts original art and stories by Roger Langridge, Mike Dawson, Nick Bertozzi, Tim Hamilton, Dean Haspiel, Simon Fraser, Molly Crabapple & John Leavitt, Joe infurnari Mike Cavallaro, Pedro Camargo, Jim Dougan & Hyeondo Park, Ulises Farinas, Michel Fiffe, Maurice Fontenot, Jennifer Hayden, and Leland Purvis.
“ACT-I-VATE makes comics better.”
–Warren Ellis [from the ACT-I-VATE PRIMER foreward].
Jeff Newelt was nice enough to pass along some photos from SD09’s PopCult party, which he helped organize, and I’m nice enough to post ’em so here goes:
Paul Pope makes his DJ debut at Comic-Con
Pop Cult / Devil’s Due’s Josh Blaylock and Pop Cult / Kingdom Comic’s Christian Beranek
Jim Mahfood rocking the live art
Jim Mahfood [http://www.40ozcomics.com/] does live art on a live model
Comic-Con goers brought the ruckus to the PopCult party
§ We’re tragically one plane ride away from the time to finish our own convention rant, so until then, here’s the new most linked to post about the con, courtesy of recently promoted all-around comics genius Eric Reynolds:
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all doom and gloom by any means; we did well despite the oddly slow Saturday, thanks in part to a surprisingly robust Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. But amongst virtually all of the retail and publishing exhibitors I talked to, there were some remarkably consistent and potentially alarming trends that could carry over to future years. There were noticeably fewer back issues dealers this year, and many reduced presences from traditional con stalwarts like Bud Plant. Personally, this disappoints me and doesn’t bode well for the comics at Comicon. Many alternative cartoonists are passing over the show and focusing on events like MoCCA, SPX and APE, and it’s not hard to understand why; you have to get your ducks in a row so far in advance to even attend Comicon that it’s simply easier to focus on those other, smaller, more arts-friendly shows. They’re also considerably less expensive to attend.
Reynolds feels that this year, for the first time, all the media hoopla actively detracted from sales for Fantagraphics comics, and Saturday, usually a monster sales day, was just so-so.
§ One more post, from Tony Lee, and this one details the kind of heartbreaking capriciousness shown by the Elite security:
I then made my way to the Doctor Who panel, only to be told that I couldn’t enter with the ticket I had – I had to join the queue, the one that people had been queuing in since midnight the day before.
I was gutted, but then one of the security guys I’d met in the previous day’s Vampire panel caught me – he was a fan of my Doctor Who comic and I’d signed him a book the day before – and was confused as he’d seen my twittered photo and knew I had a ticket. I showed it to him. He marched me back to the door guy and screamed at him – apparently door guy didn’t realise that these were ‘special’ tickets, and I was allowed in. As I entered, looking to sit at the back Rich Starkings phoned, he was holding a seat for me in the ‘super special VIPs’ area. I slipped down to the front and walked across, getting a ‘Tony Lee!’ cheer from most of the second row (cheers guys) and a few IDW fans who recognised me.
Like we said, not actionable on its own, but very representative of the moans and complaining we heard during the show.