As we noted the other day, Brian Michael Bendis is a newly announced guest at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and it’s a very rare convention appearance for him. On his Tumblr he was asked if he’d be doing any other cons and his answer was pretty blunt:
Probably not. I know some people take offense to my convention retirement but I have four (FOUR!!) little children and very specific goals for what I want to achieve in my career and in my life. one of the reasons I’m able to produce the quality and quantity of material that I do is because I don’t spend 4 to 5 days every couple of weeks going to conventions. some of my friends do and they have a blast and I honestly can’t remember ever not having a great time at a convention, and maybe when my kids are older I will find more time for it but with the access we have to each other via the Interwebs I think convention appearances aren’t as necessary as they may have been in the past. if I’m a soapbox for a second- conventions are a big trap for many of my peers. you will notice some names popping up at many conventions and then you will notice their work either not coming in on time or at all. I think when all is said and done we will be remembered for our body of work and not our time at the convention bar. and I’m right here if you need me- probably more than I should be :-)
Although it’s also true that some will undoubtedly be remembered more for the convention bar than a body of work among their peers, he’s got a point. With a half dozen shows a weekend, and easy supplemental money to be made setting up at them, more and more creators are becoming hardened road warriors—balancing work and promotion is one of the career skills that everyone at a certain level must negotiate these days.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.