Nice photos: Comic-Con International 2013 Photo Gallery


The San Diego Comic-Con’s official site has a nice picture gallery of the 2013 show up, that is sure to trigger flashbacks just like being there. I’d like to steal this Galactus photo for every SDCC story from here out.

SDCC: Rep. John Lewis’s MARCH: Book One

by Pam Auditore

Costumed Heroesv3 Among the faux Heroes in spandex came a true, real life one, in suit and tie, to San Diego’s Comic-Con one Saturday morning.


Representative John Lewis, Democrat, of the Congressional 5th District of Georgia, and sole surviving speaker of the 1963 Freedom March on Washington, made his Comic-Con debut promoting his  autobiographical Graphic Novel MARCH: Book One


Written with Lewis’s Congressional staffer, Andrew Aydin, and drawn by artist Nate Powell (Any Empire, Swallow Me WholeMarch:Book One is about Rep. Lewis’s  coming of age in the Civil Rights era and the awakening of his activism. Learning how to  champion Civil Rights through Non-Violent methods advocated by Mohatma Ghandi and adopted by Martin Luther King.


Rep. Lewis began life on his family’s tenant farm,  in charge of raising the chickens.

“Those chickens taught me something. They taught me patience.  They listened to me.  More than the current Congress.”

He cared for them, learned from them, and even practiced preaching to them, hoping one day to become a Pastor.

What then was his inspiration to take another course?

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and–a Comic Book.

Frankly awed to be sitting next to Rep. Lewis before a packed panel of  fellow Comic Book Fans,  Aydin explained:

“In 1957 an organization called the Fellowship on Reconciliation produced a book to help explain the Movement and their Non-violent Methods”

Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story,”



“This 16-page comic book  illustrated the work and achievements of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and the nonviolent methods of King and his fellow civil rights activists sold 250,00 copies” Aydin continued.

By audience reaction, it was clearly a surprise for Comic Fans to learn a comic was instrumental in helping to educate, organize and inspire participation in the Civil Rights Movement.

Further, according to Aydin,  “The book continues to have influence around the world. ”

It made its way to South Africa and copies have been said to have appeared in Tariqh Square during the Arab Spring.


Now one of our country’s great orators, the 26 year Veteran of the House, Lewis was the youngest Speaker at the Famous 1963 March on Washington and was the 6th Speaker. Martin Luther King was the 10th.

Two years later,  Rep. Lewis, then Chairman of the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC),  lead a march in Selma, Alabama in 1965.  It forms one of the stories covered in MARCH:Book One

RepLewis leadsMarch

Lewis, and other Civil Rights Activists  were peacefully crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge when attacked by Police.








Rep.Lewis suffered a fractured skull as a result.


Escaping, he took refuge in a Church.  Before going to the hospital, John Lewis, bloodied, appeared before television cameras calling on President Johnson to intervene in Alabama. He still  bears visible scars from the incident today.  More  were to come.


Demonstrating what it takes to fight injustice, is one compelling reason Aydin and Rep. Lewis  put his story the story into Graphic Novel form.  “I fell in love with Comics and their Ethic of Justice being done” Aydin later said in an interview.

At the SDCC panel, after  Aydin finished describing the book’s genesis, Nate Powell  went through his process for creating the art.


“Going from the Script to the Page, I spent a lot of time just doodling things.   For details going through photographs to get a sense of clothing, cars, storesfronts, etc.  As someone who grew up in Arkansas, Alabama, I have a natural sense of the places in the story.”





While Aydin and the Congressmen have been working on

MARCH  for five years, in light of this year’s Supreme Court’s ruling effectively gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act while state legislatures around the country are attempting to restrict Voting, it seems an appropriate moment for another Comic Book to inspire and educate


According  to  Rep. Lewis, “MARCH is about the struggle to create a Beloved Society and lay down the burden of race and move on.”




“The Dark Knight” Cameo Actor and Comic Book Fan, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont endorses the reading of MARCH:Book One  to his colleagues.






With MARCH: Book One Congressmen Lewis hopes to inspire another generation.

Arriving before the 50th Anniversary of the August 28th March on Washington, MARCH: Book One debued at the TopShelf  booth at SDCC  and is now available through your local comic book retailers and at

Excerpts from the SDCC_2013 MARCH: Book One panel


#Tweetfolio: San Diego Comic-Con Needs To Get Bigger


By Bon Alimagno

I hadn’t been to San Diego Comic-Con in five or six years. I swore it off when I was walking through one of the halls, one that had become largely consumed by video game companies. The crowd those vendors attracted choked the aisles. I wanted to turn around to find the booth for some TV show, Heroes I think, but feared that any movement against the direction of the crowd that was carrying me away might get me trampled. In the years since I’d been encouraged to hear that crowd control and traffic movement were getting better. And having been out of comics for nearly two years I decided it might be time to finally experience Comic-Con’s particular brand of insanity from the perspective of a civilian, instead of one whose job for years had been to think that show floor was a suitable working environment.

So, to the bafflement of many of my old friends in the comics industry, I decided to vacation at Comic-Con, though focusing on the happenings outside the convention center – San Diego WITHOUT THE Comic-Con. I spent hours watching people dodge and weave around a zombie-laden obstacle course that took-over four levels of Petco Park. (Here’s a bit of the end of it.) I watched a dance party break out in front of two story balloons of the Teen Titans. There were events at nearby hotels, like the Xbox Lounge, and at pop-up spaces like the Godzilla Experience. A ship docked at the marina was turned into an Assassin’s Creed themed pirate vessel. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan did a signing at a hat store selling the infamous Heisenberg hat that completed Bryan Cranston’s villainous look.


I did eventually go onto the show floor in pursuit of only two things: the hardcover edition of Jeremy Bastian’s Cursed Pirate Girl and that new Metroplex Transformer with the nifty Con-exclusive Phil Jimenez box art. While I was successful at the first, I was defeated in the second by Hasbro’s bizarre Wait-In-A-Line-To-Get-A-Ticket-To-Wait-In-The-Real-Line system. All in all I spent three hours on the show floor, which was all I could stand to be there. The problem though wasn’t that the show was still as big and crazy as it had always been. It was indeed better managed than I remembered it. The problem is that San Diego Comic-Con isn’t big enough — it needs to get bigger. Much bigger. It needs more people, more exhibitors, more spectacle. It needs more of San Diego.

People will complain that Comic-Con’s biggest problem is that it’s become a celebration of movies more than comic books. I think Comic-Con’s biggest problem is that it’s become a celebration of wasting time. The reasons anyone would go to a comic book convention usually involve meeting and greeting, buying and selling, discovering something new and cherishing unique experiences. But you need space for that. And you need time. So how to create more of both?

Now, I have come to view myself as a bit of a “Fixer.” People, whether at my current employer or out of it, might come to me with a problem, looking for a solution. I always start the conversation by asking what resources are available to address that problem, and when and how we can make use of them. In the case of San Diego Comic-Con, it’s most valuable resource is San Diego itself.

San Diego’s downtown is a perfect cocktail of waterfront, lively downtown and public transit that makes a city takeover not just possible but enjoyable. Unlike, say, New York Comic-Con, you won’t have to trudge blocks to get to the heart of the city, it’s literally across the street. And unlike most Cons the ridiculously pleasant year-round weather makes taking advantage of outdoor spaces like the Marina and Petco Park much more doable.

For too long the conversation about fixing San Diego has revolved around just building a bigger convention center – making it the center of the Comic-Con experience with everything outside of it in a kind of secondary orbit. Now is the time to flip that model over completely, to not fight the creeping of Comic-Con out into the city, but to encourage and enable it, to unleash it across the entire city, every available or underutilized part of it.

The one size fits all, buffet style badge isn’t going to work when you keep adding more and more things to the buffet. Instead choices need to be made about what absolutely belongs in the convention center and what could benefit and even flourish outside of it. With that in mind, let’s create two kinds of Comic-Con badges with differing levels of access.

First, create a new class of 50,000 badges for people who can experience only out of Convention Center events and exhibitors. These badges will be targeted at folks already thinking of not returning to the show, ones who would’ve been exhausted by the scene at the Convention Center and are looking for better access to publishers, toy companies and creators. Next, move those vendors out into the city. For starters, move all comic book publishers to Petco Park, perhaps even on the field itself with appropriate staging protecting the infield. Artist Alley could be moved either to concourses at Petco or situated somewhere along the waterfront, a sort of Artist Marina.

Next, how about the Con partner up with the city to facilitate the adoption of blocks or even streets by the major publishers, movie studios and toy companies? Imagine Marvel and DC, Image and Dark Horse filling unutilized spaces with pop-up storefronts, or galleries for signings, workshops and other meet and greet events. Imagine Hasbro and Mattel with their own pop-up stores for convention exclusives – selling goods the way Goorin Bros. teamed up with AMC and Breaking Bad to sell the Heisenberg hat. Have anchor points set up around the city like at the renovated Horton Plaza mall where panels and screenings can find an audience they wouldn’t otherwise at the convention center due to lack of space and priority.

All the above would be tied together with a San Diego Comic-Con Without the Comic-Con badge, which would be lower priced, but at the same time entitle badge holder access to all of these unique spaces and events.


Meanwhile, reduce the actual San Diego Comic-Con badge count and cap it around 90,000. Give these badge holders access to all the “Without The” spaces as well but essentially charge them more for access to the Convention Center itself. Actively take advantage of the fewer attendees by creating more room to maneuver with wider aisles. Emphasize the Convention Center as truly owned by the movie studios and video game companies, letting those exhibitors create even bigger, more spectacular booths and experiences.

Though Comic-Con is officially a non-profit, it’ll still need money to run all of this. I figure the ability to sell the new class of “Without The” Comic-Con badges would make up for the lost income from capping attendance at the Convention Center itself. Agreements can be made with restaurants, bars, etc. licensing the ability to act as official venues for “Without The” events, allowing them to gain customers they wouldn’t have otherwise. (Tavern Bowl, where the Tr!ckster pop-up was hosted and where I held #Tweetfolio Live, is an excellent example of a place of business getting increased traffic by relatively direct association with the Con.)

This is of course easier said than done. But I think if the show started actively questioning which exhibitors and events should actually be at the convention center and which could find a better home outside of it, you’d transform the entire experience into something more enjoyable for con goers and more fruitful for the city. If a set-up like this had been in place this year perhaps I would’ve gotten that Transformer after all.

Got ideas for how to transform San Diego Comic-Con? Tweet them to me at @karma_thief! #Tweetfolio returns next week with the recap of the #Tweetfolio Live event at SDCC.

Faith Erin Hicks’ Fantastic Journal Comics from San Diego

Oh yes, more from SDCC, you’re all going to be thrilled. But wait! This time round the reporting doesn’t come from anyone at The Beat – instead it comes from SDCC Special Guest Faith Erin Hicks, who has broken down her experience at this year’s convention into a journal comic.

Picking up from the moment she was invited as a guest to the convention, the comic sees her fly out to San Diego with boyfriend (and fellow comics journalist) Tim Larade and experience life in the spotlight.

[Read more…]

Review: Mophie Juice Pack Plus

As past of my San Diego Comic-Con experience, I was lucky enough to be given a Mophie Juice Pack Plus to test as a back up power source for my iPhone. I always meant to get one but never had the $$ and the time to pick one up. Of course, zillions of people already have one, so I’m not spilling any secrets when I say that the Mophie made this Comic-Con a breeze compared to past ones, where finding a power outlet to charge my phone every six hours or so was my main goal in life.

For those of you who don’t use one, the Juice Pack slides around your iPhone, plugs into the dock connector and gives up to eight hours of extra battery life for talking and 11 for surfing the web. A switch allows you to turn on the extra joice when needed, or keep it in reserve. I have an older iPhone 4 that doesn’t hold a charge so good, so having the juice at the con for hours of those Hipstamatic photos Beat readers love so much, recording interviews for our podcast and checking Twitter to find out what the hell was going on—not to mention constant texting to see where I was going to eat dinner—put quite a strain on the old battery. Thanks to the Mophie, the only time I ran out of power was after live tweeting the Eisner Awards for three hours, an intensive episode that would tax any gadget.

Otherwise, it was all smooth sailing. In fact, every time I went to a press event, half of the journos were already using an external battery, so I way wayyyy late to this particular party.

As useful as it is, there are a few things that make this more “on the road” gear than everyday. In order to charge your phone and download photos and what not, you must use the Mophie’s mini-USB connector instead of the regular Apple cord. I have like six of those floating around the house so plugging in the phone to charge is never a problem. (I have an Apple cord plugged in to every computer I use, and when I get an iPhone 5x, i’d going to curse the new Lightning connector.) Using the provided cord charges both the phone and the battery pack, so it’s useful, but if you leave it plugged in to one computer and leave it at the office (as I did the other day), you will have to take the iPhone out of the battery pack to charge it. And it’s not the easiest thing in the world to take the phone in and out of the pack, which fits very snugly.

The other thing that I didn’t like is that the Mophie pack is black and I prefer to keep my phone in a colorful cover to make it easier to find inside a cavernous purse and harder to leave behind in a cab, as I did twice previously when I used a black case. (But I got it back both times, amazingly.) Mophie power packs come in other colors, however, so this can be remedied.

Anyway, I consider this a convention necessity, and when I get the next iPhone, I’m definitely investing in a corresponding power pack for travel and Hipstamatic. Because if there is one thing I know beat readers love, it’s my Hipstamatic photos!

[This product was provided to me by Mophie’s PR company for review.]

The Beat podcasts! More To Come – Comics At Comic-Con


Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In this week’s episode, Heidi and the rest of the More to Come Crew – Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss the recent San Diego Comic-Con including four Eisner wins for Chris Ware, three for Brian K. Vaughan, success for indie and digital comics, Neil Gaiman’s return to Sandman, Vertigo’s new push, sleeping outside Hall H, Monkeybrain, new kids’ imprints at NBM and Viz, Fantagraphics and D&Q, Lego hobbit holes and much more in this podcast from PW Comics World.

The con may be over, but More To Come isn’t going anywhere. Tune in for our next regularly scheduled bi-weekly podcast!

Catch up with our previous podcasts or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

Comic-Con’s comics winners and losers

I know Comic-Con is long gone and people have moved on to the TV Critics Association tour and actual vacations and what not, but as I like to put it, San Diego is the end of the “fiscal year” for the comics industry. It’s time to move on to new projects (I updated this site’s sidebar!) and new announcements, but while looking ahead to what’s next, I had a few tabs I wanted to close. So if you’re ready to move on already…no hard feelings. There will be ONE MORE Comic-Con post after this and then it’s done. Promise.

¶ A little business first. A few people mentioned the comic con attendance chart Matt White and I put together for PW. I made it as an image and not a table so that people couldn’t just cut and paste it (although I have actually seen people put up edited versions of the chart!) A lot of people mentioned this con or that con not being on it. The reason Wizard is not on the chart is they didn’t get back to me with figures until after the issue had gone to bed. (I did totally whiff Dragon*Con though.) I plan to update it but with only numbers that can be verified by con-runners as to how the figure was arrived at. In other words whether it’s turnstile or head count or another method. I’ve had a few people already give me figures for an expanded chart, so if you want to pass along your numbers AND HOW THEY WERE DERIVED, the email is comicsbeat at
¶ Ever since I saw this sign outside a restaurant I’ve been mentally calling people in San Diego during con Comic Connies. I think it’s the perfect name and it’s what I’m going to use from now on.

¶ Lists of winners and losers from the show biz end of the show have come out in several different sites, although few of them mentioned comics. (Oh here’s the The 10 Biggest Bombshells.) If I did a “comics losers” post following Comic-Con I could never eat lunch in this town again, so here are some


BOOM! Studios: 2 Guns money made for a better booth, and allowed Ross Richie to treat himself to buying a few things, like Archaia. According to this NY Times piece on the upcoming film, the deal money was “just shy of seven figures,” which means BOOM! and writer Steven Grant shared something in the six figures. Winning.

Steven Grant. Speaking of whom, it’s great to see a veteran creator get a payout for a long, honorable career. For all the horror stories out there, this is how it should be done. The NY Times story is a primer on the “creator participation” model, but when the participation is 50%, it’s a fair deal that keeps the publisher engaged in trying to be as successful as possible. Yes, I know there are many models that net the creator 100%, but for various reasons, some people may not be totally DIY. There should be a variety of paths to success out there. (And yes, it is a little sad to think that making a ton of movie money is the ultimate bar for comics success, but economically speaking, it’s hard to argue.)

Dynamite. They rolled out a ton of announcements in the days just before the show, and thus didn’t get lost in the shuffle. All without a booth or a panel.

Monkeybrain. Okay maybe it’s just the crowd I hang out with, but for the first few days of the show, everyone seemed to be talking about Monkeybrain, maybe for its one-year anniversary, but in a larger sense because there are a whole bunch of cartoonists who have followings from Tumblr and Twitter and other social media who aren’t about to be published by larger publishers. A digital-first imprint is just the way to get work out there.

Vertigo. Maybe Vertigo is a winner just for not being dead, but as someone mentioned to me, the DC booth seemed to be pushing Vertigo as much as the superhero stuff…a pretty huge change. The new Sandman prequel was obviously a big part of that, but the Vertigo brand has produced some of the greatest, most loved comics of all time, and people want to see it stage a comeback.

Robert Kirkman. Don’t think I need to explain that one.

Comics. Things are going good. “Even curmudgeons are finding it difficult to complain.”


Okay, there has to be at least ONE

• Marvelman Yet another Marvel presentation ended with a slide of the Marvelman logo and a “Coming Soon!” tease. SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT, people. (Actually, I understand shit is coming, but still…we’ve seen it all before!)

Easy socializing. This is the one where the most people are going to say it’s me, and yeah, I had a very busy con with a lot of panels and meetings and events, but so does everyone else, which means you never get to see anyone for very long. I lost track of all the people I saw fleetingly who I used to hang out with. I spotted Pia Guerra and Ian Boothby at a bus stop and then—WHOOSH!—they were gone. Ditto Douglas Wolk and Laura Hudson and so many more. Of course, there were a few golden random moments too—listening to Maggie Thompson regale Karen Green with a few of her great stories, and a badly needed breakfast with Eva Volin, Amy Chu, Brigid Alverson, and Deb Aoki with special guest Glen Weldon—but balancing those “I only see you once a year!” moments with “I will never get to see this again!” is hard. But so is life, I guess.

¶ PARTY PANIC. It was a topic of some grumbling that Marvel, DC and Image had all planned parties on Friday night opposite the Eisner Awards. The Eisners should be the big whooptedoo comics party of the con, but somehow it never works out that way. Why are SO MANY parties on Thursday and Friday and so few on Saturday? Back in the olden days, it was suggested to me that venues charged way more for a Saturday night, but given the level of top shelf liquor flowing these days, that can’t possibly be true any more. I think the reason for the Thursday-Friday orbit is that a lot of showbiz folks go home on Saturday morning to spend the rest of their weekend doing things you do at home; the only people who stick around are the ones who have panels or are going to the EW thing. Years ago people got the idea that Saturday was the busy hellish day of the con, but that isn’t true any more, either.

Maybe no one throws a party Saturday because they’re afraid too many people will come? At any rate, I suggested to Eisner administrator Jackie Estrada that the problem could be solved by moving the Eisners to Saturday, and she reacted with the level of horror you might expect had I suggested she throw an infant on the train tracks with a trolley bearing down: “But the Masquerade is Saturday night!”

That is true, I replied, but does anyone go to to the Eisners AND the Masquerade?

Now I admit, I knew going in that my modest proposal was unlikely to be met with favor by a single person on the planet. It is tradition. The Eisners are Friday and the Masquerade is Saturday. The Masquerade is the most sacrosanct of old traditions as the big winger dinger that caps off the big day, Saturday. To do otherwise would be to let the douchebags win. Saturday is just not for parties any more.

¶ LINKS — this is more for my own benefit than because anyone might want to read MORE about Comic-Con, but I had bookmarked a bunch of links of import.

OKAY FIRST OFF, you MUST READ NPR’s Glen Weldon’s daily postings—it is quite simply the best, most insightful “con virgin” coverage I have ever read. (Plus he proved you could stay on Coronado and still go to the con!)

For the past few months I’ve been nervously joking with SDCC veterans: “It’s pretty much like the Small Press Expo (an annual gathering of indie/art-comix creators and devotees I’ve attended for years), right? A bunch of beardy, fixie-bike guys and eye-linered Betty Page girls talking soberly about the linework of Tony Millionaire and Kolbein Karlsson, right?” Wrong. “You’ll see,” they say, and sink into a reverie, gazing fixedly into the middle distance like a hard-bitten ‘Nam vet at an American Legion spaghetti dinner.

Glen not only managed to experience the con but write about it in all its paradoxical glory as well:

12:30 p.m.: I am sitting in the Marriott bar attempting to write up the events of the past day, and failing miserably, and growing more anxious with each minute that passes, because sitting in the bar writing about a thing means I’m not, you know, EXPERIENCING the thing, and the more time I sit here not experiencing the thing the less of the thing I’ll have to write about tomorrow.

Okay, a few more:

§ The Christian Science Monitor interviewed Gerard Jones, author of the seminal comics history Men of Tomorrow about comics past and present.

§ Comic-Con best- and worst-dressed is now a thing.

§ Here’s the kind of story I love, a look behind the scenes with You shall not pass: The weapon inspectors of San Diego Comic-Con

Weapons check supervisor Jaime Limon is closing in on his fourth year of Comic-Con security, and he remains surprisingly excited about essentially being the cosplay TSA. “We look at thousands of different types of weapons,” he said. “We get a lot of simulated guns, knives and stuff, but people take apart computers, take the components off, add them to different tubes – it’s kind of hard to explain in one sentence what the most interesting thing we’ve seen is.”

§ Maggie Thompson, who was a guest star in Glen Weldon’s diary, had one of her own, and she obviously didn’t have the problems Glen and I had juggling being and doing.

Exhausted and happy but unable to leave the delights of one of many wrap-up events in the city, I found the day delightfully concluded by: Reciting Canterbury Tales to scholar Karen Green; hearing Graffiti’s Bob Chapman refer to T-shirts as “a gateway drug” (“They already buy T-shirts, and some get into comics initially just from the images on what they’re wearing”); confirming that Bob (whose early T-shirt stock had come to Comic-Con in his van) had had to use four 25-foot trucks to get this year’s stock to the show); photographing another photographer; meeting John Cassaday and so many others for the first time; hearing from Eric Shanower that he’s working on writing a four-issue version of a modern Little Nemo; pitching an Ed Wheelan Minute Movies collection to editor Scott Dunbier ..

§ Here’s an interview with The Beat’s own Bob Calhoun, author of “Shattering Conventions:

Bob Calhoun: We are one convention-going society. We choose our presidents at conventions. The biggest revolutions in electronics—the iPod, the iPhone, and so many others—have all been introduced to the world at Mac World or CES. The convention industry brings in $7 billion to San Francisco each year alone. There are books about Trekkies, and other types of fans, but there really isn’t a book about conventions themselves. I mean this country and our whole form of government was founded by a convention—the Constitutional Convention.

§ Augie didn’t go, so he knew all:

If you don’t want to do all that and are local, there’s now a second option: Go to San Diego and check out everything happening outside the convention center. The convention is quickly turning into the centerpiece for the festival. San Diego is turning into Angouleme, the French convention that takes over an entire town in January. Yes, much of it is the TV and movie studio pimping their wares with large balloons and posters the size of hotels, but there appear to be more and more activities and alternate conventions/shows happening in parallel. Tr!ckster started it and is still going, but more of those types of events are happening every year now. It’s still geek-related and some of it even relates to comics, such as the Teen Titans balloons. In a couple of years, the show will grow again as the convention center grows. It’ll be another touchstone in the show’s history. How will they fill the new space? Will it be Hall H doubling in size? Will they buy up one of those sideshows and bring it into the big tent? Will Hollywood just buy all that floor space and segregate itself from those silly comic book people? I don’t know, but it’ll be fun to watch. From afar. It’s too much work for me now.

§ Deb Aoki’s new site hasSDCC 2013: Best & Worst Manga.

§ Here is an excellent post by Philip Nel about comics at Comic-Con.

§ Comics Alliance had an excellent gallery of comics creators that included their names, unlike some other photo galleries.

§ Sean Kleefeld had a history lesson:

The first comic-specific “convention” was held in March 1964 at Jerry Bails’ house. Bails was the editor/publisher of the fanzine Alter-Ego, where he and co-editor Roy Thomas had decided to hand out awards to their favorite comics and creators based on votes from their readers. The votes for these Alley Awards (named after the comic strip character Alley Oop) were counted at Bails’ home by a dozen or so big name fans of the era, including Ronn Foss, Maggie Thompson and Mike Vosburg. The gathering was dubbed the Alley Tally and included viewings of original comic art and rare collectible issues (primarily from Bails’ personal collection)

§ Oh, very important! ICv2 had the only interview with Comic-Con’s David Glanzer:

There really is more of a ‘Comic-Con campus,’ with us being able to move to hotels and taking some of the public park space.  But there is a lot of stuff we don’t know about, or aren’t really informed about, that happens even further away, and I think there was even more of that.  What we are seeing, finally is a lot of those entities trying to contact us.  Sometimes it’s very late in the game, but a lot of them now are starting to say they want people to have a Comic-Con badge; they want to go ahead and make sure the people who come to this event are the people that are enjoying some of this stuff, and not just people coming downtown to people-watch or what-have-you.  So if it’s an added value for attendees, in most cases I think it’s probably a good thing.

§ Finally, Alexa Dickman salutes only the fourth woman to be inducted into the Eisner Award Hall of Fame, Trina Robbins

A week ago at the Eisner Awards, Trina Robbins was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame. She brought the number of women in the Hall of Fame up to four (out of 128). Hers was the last name announced, and I had already braced myself for disappointment when Sergio Aragonés said that the final inductee was “the most deserving” and called her name. I didn’t need a legend like Aragonés to tell me that, but I’m happy he agrees. Because here’s what Trina Robbins’s induction into the Hall of Fame means: Women matter to comics.

SDCC ’13: The final countdown—maybe Twilight did ruin Comic-Con (not really)

On the Saturday night of Con I was walking back from the Hilton Bayfront to the Manchester Grand Hyatt and happened upon the end of a line of campers. While once the madness of Hall H—where the biggest show biz spectacles are held—fell poignantly silent on Sunday, now it was a titanic blockbuster—Sunday’s line-up included the final appearance of Breaking Bad, the final appearance of Matt Smith as Doctor Who and the appearance of Supernatural in the fulsomeness of its midlife.

I hadn’t taken this particular route at night before, and so was stunned to see the size of the tent city of overnight campers for the Hall H activities the next day. It extended as far as the eye could see, halfway down the marina. People were lounging on concrete walls, some as well prepared as Edmund Hillary with sleeping bags, pillows, Nooks, and snacks. Some were just winging it, clad in jeans and shirts, Con badges hanging around their necks. It was only midnight and they had six hours on the chilly concrete to go, only their thoughts and their linemates to see them through the darkest hours.

As I like to do, I struck up a conversation with the fellow at the end of the line. I wish I’d grabbed his name, as he wasn’t what I was expecting—a 17-year-con going veteran who had a clear-eyed view of what he was doing and why. Let’s call him Bill. He explained that he was there for all of the Hall H activities the next day. Despite being camped out 12 hours ahead of time, he wasn’t even certain that he would get in to Hall H although based on where he’d camped last year it was looking good.

“Why camp out, though?” I asked.

“It’s how it is,” he replied. “Twilight ruined Comic-Con.”

Of course, that ruffled my feathers, as this seems to have become the watchword of the anti “geek girl” faction at Con. “Hey they’re fans too!” I protested.

“That’s not what I mean,” Bill explained. “They were the first ones who were so rabid you had to camp out. Before you might have to wait but it wasn’t this crazy. Now everyone is afraid of missing out, so they line up as early as they can.”

“But if it wasn’t Twilight, it would have been Doctor Who,” I offered.

“But if it wasn’t for Twilight they wouldn’t have brought Doctor Who to Comic-Con,” he countered.

At this I just sighed. For the first time, I began to understand why so many protested Twilight—it wasn’t just the demographics of the fandom but the rabid devotion to the source material that had made the lines longer and earlier, a fandom so devoted that last year a woman died for it.

Just at this moment, a security guard came up and announced that a line move was under way. Backpacks and gear were shouldered, and the Army of the North was on the march. I tried to keep up with my new friends but they were a fast moving, though orderly bunch. On we went past Min Rimmon and Eisenach, otherwise known as the special services VIP tent behind Hall H, the Pirate ship—”I heard it was a disappointment,” one woman scoffed—past the TV Guide Yacht and the Freeman portal, halfway to the Marriott, where finally this section of the line settled in for the long night of waiting.

“This looks good, I think we’ll get in,” said Bill, getting out his sleeping bag. I looked at the hundreds or possibly thousands of people out on the concrete and imagined them all waking groggy in the dawn to file in to Hall H, unshowered, brushing of the teeth maybe a finger and toothpaste or some Dentyne. Many people at the Con had mentioned to me that the bathrooms of Hall H are a horrible mess by the end of the day and given the outdoorsy nature of the inhabitants, I could understand why.

“So tomorrow Hall H will be full of 6000 unshowered people?”I asked Bill.

“No, there’s a lot of line waiters here,” he said.

“Isn’t that against the rules?”

“It is but we all do it. I have a wife and two kids, but I wouldn’t want them to go through this.”

Some generations of men brought home the bacon for their families, others fought wars to keep them safe. And now they hold their spot in the Hall H line.

I may be thick, but I finally was getting it. This wasn’t about celebrities. It was about adventure. It was about a shared experience. As I left he line I chatted up the security guard tasked to keep watch over the end of it. He had a smile on his face at the ludicrous nature of what was happening. “These people are crazy?” I suggested. “No argument with that,” he laughed. “Job security for me.”

As I left the eerily quiet line, I wondered again, could Hall H possibly be worth it? When you can read it live tweeted and reblogged and even on video much of the time?

I haven’t been into Hall H since the year of Scott Pilgrim. The year after that I got to moderate a panel in the big Indigo Ballroom—the Legendary comics panel of 2011. And here’s what I can tell you: the presentations in the big rooms are getting more and more theatrical. Producers and performers know that they are on stage and aim to present something that is live and in person that no one will forget.


Marvel—who else—has become a master of this. In 2013 it was Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Let’s think about this for a moment. Did Hiddleston just happen to have his Loki costume in his bag and decide it would be fun to come out? Even though the fast paced, chaotic nature of Con makes everything seem spontaneous, obviously it was all planned well in advance. Whoever did it, knew what they were doing. (When I moderated the Legendary panel we had a meeting, a pre-meeting meeting, and I think a pre-meeting pre-meeting.) Likewise Andrew Garfield and his Spidey costume, and Bryan Cranston and his Heisenberg mask. I dunno if actors now get a “comic-con promotion clause” in their contracts, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

From what I’ve heard and read, Hall H/Ballroom 20 and the Indigo Ballroom are not natural environments for many actors. Appearing in front of 6000 people is a bigger crowd than they might ever have been in front of, (the theater where the Oscars are held holds only 3,401 people.) It’s clear the stakes of the big panels have been drilled into them all.

But reading the details of the stars’ interactions and outbursts, you can see why Being There is still something that can never be replicated. For instance, the ultra-star studded debut of the X-Men Days of Future Past cast, with multiple Oscar winning and nominated actors. And this when Hugh Jackman—who is absolutely without question one of the most charismatic and obliging stars around—was asked, as he always is, if Wolverine would ever sing:

After the cheering died down, he sang, “I’m gonna slice her! I’m gonna dice her!” to wild applause.

Who wouldn’t want to be there for that? Or to be with 6500 of your fellow Game of Thrones fans to see the “Boys 2 Men” tribute video for the first time?

Or to see nearly the entire Dexter cast—even those long dead—together live one more time?

I mean, it’s obvious. This is the crowning moment of fandom. It’s fellowship with your peers and the dreammakers themselves.

Now, I do believe, as someone who is, as Jonathan Ross said of Neil Gaiman, “comics through and through,” that it is far better to walk up to Chris Claremont, or Len Wein or Herb Trimpe or even John Byrne or Scott Lobdell—let alone Mike Mignola, Geoff Darrow, Jill Thompson or any other IP mastermind— and be able to have a civil, one on one conversation with them, perhaps buy them a drink in the bar later. A true experience. At this year’s Comic-Con you could have met Kazuo Koike or Dave McKean or Bob Burden or Steven Grant. You could meet just about anyone who ever cerated something a comic book movie was based on who is still alive except Neil Gaiman or Mark Millar, who have different levels of access. But yeah, accessibility. We have it. Hall H-ers don’t…unless they get into Hall H.

So yeah, I get it. It’s important for those of us who are jaded by experience and access not to shit on the lawns of those who are just trying to have an adventure.

I don’t think Bill is right. I think even if Twilight hadn’t ratcheted up the stakes, some other property would have. And I don’t think the lines will ever get shorter.

(BTW I know the above is old news to those who go to Comic-Con for Hall H, but I am writing from he perspective of one who remembers the COMIC in Comic-Con.)

I formulated a few other theories about “Who attends Comic-Con?” and I came up with a few broad categories:

* Hall H-ers—fans of the material who are looking to get as close as they can. At the high end they may crash a party or know someone who can get them in.

* Tchtchke Fanatics—I know these folks cross over with the above, but I got the feeling that they were what Hall H-ers become when they get too old to sleep on cold concrete for three nights. Standing in line hours for a poster or a poster tube. Bitching when they aren’t as good as last year. They spend their time on the con floor.

* Collectors—these people are the lifeblood of Comic-Con as far as the original comics folks go. SDCC is still the greatest marketplace of the year for toys, prints and limited edition comics. People line up to buy them and to see their favorite artists. (I saw Brit chat show icon Jonathan Ross, unmolested on Sunday in Eton red trousers, standing at an art dealers going over the choicest offerings.) These people are into pop culture on an artistic level and are interested in comics…or maybe comics are their primary interest. These guys are A-okay and spend a ton of money and make Comic-Con okay for the rest of us. And shopping is a key Comic-Con experience—the last hour of the show on Sunday was a frantic scramble and the show floor was packed well after the 5 pm deadline.

* Cosplayers. Might be any of the above groups when not in war paint. Noticeably fewer this year, alas.

• Lookie-loos and douchebags—locals without badges and Hollywood types who come down to party or hang out and get autographs. Kind of part of the same eco-system , DNA wise.

Of the above groups, I think the first two are the most motivated to attend Comic-Con. I hate to say it but Hall H seems to be a life-changing experience for a lot of people. Although I’ve seen reports on this year’s Con that sales were good, and business was booming, I think that’s a far more problematic statement than in past years. Yes, Top Shelf sold more copies of Rep. John Lewis’s memoir March than any book they ever brought to Comic-Con before. Yes IDW sold out of everything. Yes, Fanta sold out and D&Q had strong sales. But elsewhere I heard too many times that crowds were smaller and sales were down. A lot of people mentioned that panels were not jammed, even for Marvel or DC. Whether it was just people stuck in lines for poster tubes, or people outside visiting the interactive Adult Swim house of horrors, these people were not on the show floor. The video game pavilion was moved to Hall A to improve traffic flow but I think people know what they want and know where to go to get it. I think it’s just harder for comics fans to get in to Comic-Con any more, and many have just given up trying.

There was a lot of talk from different parts of the floor about the low traffic. I think there were lots of collectors who were willing to pay for the new offerings like March and get it signed by a legend alike Lewis, but the casual con goer is not at the show any more.

Comics aren’t leaving Comic-Con of course. but their presentation will continue to evolve. That’s proven by all the companies that made their announcements ahead of con like Image and Dynamite, as well. It isn’t a PR lollapalooza for everyone, not when Hugh Jackman is crooning and Loki is declaiming.

One thing that did cross my mind though: the long planned for expansion of the convention center just means that instead of having 130,000 people standing in line for poster tubes it will have 160,000 people standing in line for posters tubes. The con will still sell out in minutes, thousands will still sleep out for Hall H. It will allow more exhibit space and net the show more money and that is a good thing, however, there aren’t any attendee “problems” that will be solved by it. When you consider that the price of the expansion is the charming wasteland at the back of the Hilton Bayfront, it seems a high cost, but so it goes.

A few more observations:

OFFSITES: Offsites have of course been getting bigger and bigger over the last few years. I didn’t get to go to all of them this year, but the ones I did see were genuinely impressive. I’ve written about the Godzilla Experience—an interview with the head designer Barnaby Legg reveals that it took between 50 and 100 people to set up (and I heard elsewhere it took three weeks). For all that effort, you couldn’t help but think it was the dry run for a Universal ride, esp. since Legendary Pictures is now set up at Universal.

Barnaby the experience guy, is probably as key a person at Comic-Con as any. As he told me, “I’ve done several experiences,” while remaining coy about them. I’d be very interested in following an “experience” from brainstorm to execution if any PR people out there want to make that story happen.

I never got to see the Vikings but the Teen Titans balloons from Warner Bros. impressed me as did the Lego hobbits. Last year’s Warner’s area outside the Hilton was kind of gloomy and Batmanesque; this was more life affirming and I liked it. Sadly the grassy knoll where this display is set up will fall prey to the planned convention center expansion so next year it will all be a memory.

I do think there were more people than ever at Comic-Con for several reasons. At the end of each day, the townies looked wan and sweaty, that glossy look that only the truly exhausted can achieve. And on Sunday I did the same thing I’ve done every Sunday at con for the last 10 years or so–had dinner in the Gaslamp and walked to Bob Chapman’s Dead Dog party. But never before on this journey did I have a packed restaurant or did I see people with their badges on staggering down the street at 9 pm on a Sunday. Con had come to stay.


NERD HQ: One thing that did impress me this year was Nerd HQ, the minicon organized by Chuck star Zack Levi. It’s gradually been creeping closer and closer to the con itself —this year it was held in Petco Park, and it offered interactive areas for sponsors like cars and drinks, a FREE lounge where you could see, in the hour I was there, the director and minor cast members of Kick-Ass 2, and a ticketed room to see stars like Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Evangeline Lilly and again in the hour I was there, True Blood/Magic Mike’s Joe Manganiello. Holy shit, that guy is hot. Of Nerd HQ I can only say that it seemed quite chill. (I was there late in the day, however.) Drinks were ballpark prices—$9.50 for a beer—so no one was hanging out to get drunk, and most importantly…everyone had a ticket. Selling tickets to individual Nerd HQ events remains as much of a meltdown as Comic-Con badges itself, so it’s actually a lottery, but the fact that everyone who was going knew they were going without additional lines or anxieties created a relatively mellow vibe very different from other parts of the show. The zen of the attendees was not achieved by the PR people, who seemed totally exhausted with the glassy look alluded to above. Maybe I just arrived at a slow moment, but it seemed like a pretty good time.

TR!CKSTER: and here is where my tale becomes sad. Each year Nerd HQ gets closer and closer to the con. Each year Tr!ckster, the indie comics pavilion, gets farther and farther away. Although some people told me it was just fine this year, several people I talked to mentioned sparse crowds and a listless environment. Also, I was told by several credible sources that Tr!ckster and the Con don’t exactly get along, and that’s part of the reason why it keeps getting less and less desirable locations. I think Comic-Con badly needs a “SlamCon” that is comics and not a fun time for nerdlebrities who can’t get into the EW party. Tr!ckster this year did minimal PR and seemed to be coasting on previous goodwill, not a good combination. Don’t get me wrong, I want it to succeed, but the first two years it was the go to place, this time it wasn’t.

THE OLD CON’S COELACANTH: Now here is an oddity. For those of you who want to go back to con the way it was, the good old days, there is a living fossil right on the con floor, which I hadn’t really noticed before. The area around the DC booth is known as Old Con—mostly publishers and self-publishers of the Spirits era—people drop out but only upon death or retirement and its been mostly the same folks for many many years. There’s the DC booth and next to it Slave Labor in a prime spot they’ve held for 20 years, back when Comic-Con was all about comics. Dan Vado may not be publishing many comics these days but he runs a local bookstore and he knows that giving up this spot would be deadly.

But there across the hall lies the living throwback, the New England Comics booth. On set-up night I was standing with a few people chatting near the DC booth, and without the rush of the fans it was evident just what a throwback the NEC booth is. Indeed, it IS the exact same booth that was set up 15 years ago or so. Talking to a booth worker it was explained that the booth is stored locally in San Diego and brought out, in the fashion of a box of Christmas ornaments, every year. Breakage will inevitably cause some freshening up of the Christmas tree and perhaps New England Comics should take a cue from it. They’ve been offered money to give up their booth—and after talking to a few people, a rumor emerged that it’s considered an “eye sore”. Which it is. Why on earth would you hold one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the biggest pop culture event of the year and resist updating or improving it? It was the 25th anniversary of The Tick, the only comic anyone has ever heard of that NEC published, and even with this marquee event, the booth remained unupdated except for an out of date QR code on a sign that looked 15 years old. It is a puzzlement.


BAR-CON: I stayed at the Hyatt this year which I was dreading but I though at least I’d be in the bar every night with pals. To my surprise the hotel rooms were the highlight—great update!—but the bar kinda sucked. (Okay I saw a bunch of people I adore there every night, so it wasn’t a total loss.) After years of people saying they didn’t want to hang out at the Hyatt, they actually did it. The Hilton Bayfront was the new bar of choice for most folks, but the one night I hung out there (the one night that the Hyatt was the highlight, natch) it was marred by horrible loud music to make people drink more and ghastly prices. Don’t get me wrong, next year I’ll pitch a tent there, but there was no there there for BarCon this year.

Thursday’s Scholastic and CBLDF parties were the only times that I saw a lot of comics people in that crazy “ohmigod you’re here!” way. They were great bashes, as always. I somehow got invited to the Kick-Ass 2/Playboy party and it was pretty wild and decadent and fun, and I got to hang out with Rob Liefeld there, but I missed my comic-con buddies there, even with all the incredibly strong top shelf drinks.

OKEE DOKE there is a lot more I could say about Marvel and DC and retailers and tea and panels and blah blah, but I’ve made my 4000 word minimum. I want to give a HUGE HUGE SHOUT OUT to sometimes Beat writer

Kate Fitzsimons

who produced the PW Comics World podcast while Calvin and I were on the road, and most importantly, packed four individual bags of trail mix for the con. I cannot tell you how many times racing here or there I reached into these bags and didn’t collapse in hunger and low blood sugar. They were literal lifesavers, and Kate saved my con.

Also, wow what can you say about

Steve Morris

OHMIGOD, Steve did a better job running the news during con than I ever did. This guy is a star people. Someone HIRE THIS MAN.

Also, the Beat’s writing crew—Henry Barajas, Bob Calhoun, Bruce Lidl, Shannon O’Leary, Carolina Cooksey, Nicholas Estey, Dave Nieves, Benjamin Villarreal, and the wonderful photographer Megan Byrd—did an amazing job. Seriously, I could not have asked for a better crew, and you’ll (i hope) be seeing more of them here and elsewhere.

Thanks to Ben, Mike Geszel, Christiana, Zena, Neal Pozner, Josh Frankel, Calvin and Jody, Alexa, Tom Spurgeon for moderating the blogging panel, Graeme and Albert, all the great folks on my Library panel, Chip, Alex, and the Comic-Con staffers David Glanzer, Eddie Ibrahim and Karen Mayugba. All of these people helped out endlessly and I am extremely, incredibly grateful for their help and generosity.

A couple of links and we’re out:

Rob Salkowitz, who wrote the book on Comic-Con, thinks it jumped the Sharknado this year.

Maybe I am jaded, but much of Comic-Con 2013 seemed like, at best, an incremental step forward from 2011 and 2012.  Having maxed out the carrying capacity of both the Convention Center and the Gaslamp District, Comic-Con no longer has room to grow exponentially in scale; it can only grow in intensity, like the contents of a pressure cooker.  And I’m not sure it did this year.

Things I heard comic-con compared to: a yearly wedding, the Superbowl ads, and my own image: a video game.

I’ll leave the final final word to Tony Isabella, who returned to Comic-Con after a decade and had the time of his life. Because that’s what you do or try to do.

I cannot and will not speak to the business end of Comic-Con.  It’s not my area of expertise.  Just as a rule of thumb, I’m sure there will always be room for improvement in Comic-Con…just as there is room for improvement in, well, everything else. 

However, speaking as a guest and a fan myself, I loved Comic-Con so much that we should probably get a room.  I saw the con through the eyes of my loved ones and those eyes were ridiculously wide with astonishment and excitement.  Mine were, too.

And so say we all.

SDCC ’13 wrap-up: Haters, be quiet


Rep for Challengers Comics and Neil Gaiman at the 2013 Eisner Awards. Photo by Megan Byrd.

By Megan Byrd

In the weeks and months leading up to the annual spectacle known as “San Diego Comic Con”, dread of this event is expressed as frequently as anticipation by attendees, professionals, and fans staying home. The cost, the planning, the con crud; these are a few of fandom’s least favorite things, and they are all mainstays of SDCC. But what about the comics, many say? Why must the news of films overshadow the beloved source material from which they came? Why should comic fans have to tolerate the droves of people only attending to get a glimpse of their favorite actors? For those that miss the comic con of yore, these are valid complaints.

I myself listened to these concerns and nodded in agreement from afar, even saying to friends that I would never want to go to comic con because it was “too late” for me. This former comic book convention had mutated into a pop culture monster and it was of no interest to my sophisticated comic book tastes.

Turns out that is complete and utter bullshit.

After attending my first ever International Comic Con, I regret having listened to the naysayers for so long. I expected to encounter large crowds and yes, the cost was significant to attend, but what I did not anticipate was that I would find myself with a big stupid grin on my face throughout the weekend. Having attended many of the small and large cons of the midwest over the last ten years, I am not new to conventions; but the attendees of SDCC are unlike any other crowd I’ve encountered. They’re an exceptionally chatty and excitable group, with little needed to ignite conversation. A frustrated con-goer can irritate those around them as easily as a happy one, but my experience was overwhelmingly (and surprisingly) positive.

How could it be that this the largest of conventions felt more intimate than any other con I’ve attended? The stakes are higher at SDCC for one to gain that “con exclusive” purchase or memory and this breeds a camaraderie that is infectious. There is no place on earth that has a higher concentration of comic book fans, creators, and increasingly more purveyors of film and television. Anyone willing to commit to attending does so with full force, and no one is blasé about it. The weekend is charged by the commitment and passion of the attendees and if you are on that con floor and don’t feel it, chances are Comic-con may not be for you.

The diversity amongst SDCC attendees perfectly illustrates the increasing overlap of various fandom. It’s like looking at a tumblr dashboard come to life. Not everyone that goes reads comics; but what better place to convince potential readers to get in on the action? As the grandeur of SDCC has increased, so has the comic book presence.

Throughout the weekend the booths of publishers were teeming with big name guests, whether it was the cast of S.H.I.E.L.D. signing at the Marvel booth, Robert Kirkman signing at Image, or excited gamers getting a glimpse of a new game from DC.  If a person attends the show for the sole purpose of seeing one Hall H panel and dedicates their entire weekend to that endeavor, it is surely their loss, but it does not diminish anyone else’s chances of pursuing their own brand of fanaticism. If anything it opens up a little more room on the con floor for one to peruse the offerings!

But this perceived “other” presence at comic con is nonsense. Most comic book retailers will tell you that getting someone in the door is half the battle of selling comics. Once they’re in, it is easy to find something on the shelves that will pique their interest, especially in today’s market. Why should SDCC be any different? The difficulties retailers and artists face in turning a profit at this convention is a complaint that cannot be easily disregarded, but it is one that is frequently applied to conventions a fraction of the size of SDCC. In fact many of the most pressing concerns raised each year after SDCC, including crowd control, harassment, and making the show more accessible for the disabled, are not Comic-con exclusive issues. Confining these discussions to a once yearly bitch session following SDCC may not be beneficial to promoting reform, especially when problems are perceived as a “Comic-con” issue. Everything is bigger at Comic-con, good and bad, and it should be an opportunity for industry wide improvement.

I’ll confess that my desire to finally attend Comic-con was not for the comics; after all, everyone had told me that the convention wasn’t actually about comics anymore, so why should that excite me? No, it wasn’t the largest concentration of comic book creators in the world or the numerous announcements likely to be made by publishers. It was a panel about the television series Hannibal. That’s what got my foot in the door and inspired me to spend large amounts of time and energy to attend comic con.

When it came down to it, I wasn’t even able to get into the panel. My experience was no less enjoyable because of this fact (I watched it online later anyway). Even if I had attended that panel, it would not have been the highlight of my weekend. It would be unexpectedly running into Grant Morrison on a crowded street and asking him if he was cosplaying Grant Morrison. It would be seeing Chip Kidd give a sloppy yet passionate kiss to Neil Gaiman at the Eisner Awards. It would be seeing longtime friend and retailer Challengers Comics + Conversation win their deserved Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. It would be meeting and thanking a countless number of creators on the con floor. It would be the fact that any one of these moments would have sufficiently made my con experience memorable; but only at San Diego would they all happen within 48 hours. San Diego Comic-Con is magic.

[Megan Byrd is a Chicago-based photographer and comic book blogger. You can follow her on twitter at @ComicBookCandy]

SDCC ’13: The very best panels at Comic-Con in audio

How do I know they were the best? Because I was on at least four of them!

All kidding aside, once again Jamie Coville has done the most important job at Comic-Con and recorded some of the most interesting, pertinent and comics-focused panels at this year’s show. Of the panels I was on I most recommend Comic Arts Conference Session #22: Superman On Trial: The Secret History of the Siegel and Shuster Lawsuits as Jeff Trexler and Brad Ricca unpacked some “What ifs” in the Siegel and Shuster saga as two corporate lawyers from Warner Bros. sat in the front row.

He has 157 pictures from the con right here, as well.

Here’s the Eisner’s and 170 photos from the awards.

San Diego Comic Con 2013 (July 17-21) – 157 Photos


How to Get News Coverage for Small Press Publishers (50:52, 46.5mb)
This was moderated by Rik Offenberger from the First Comic News website. On the panel was Albert Ching (Newsarma),
Glenn Hauman (ComicMix),
Tanya Tate (Justa Lotta Tanya),
Rich Johnston (Bleeding Cool),
Alan Kistler (,
Heidi MacDonald (The Beat),
Chris Thompson (Pop Culture Hound),
Holly Golightly (Jim Balent Studios),
Josh Waldrop (M1W Entertainment),
J.C. Vaughn (The Scoop)
and Bryan Young (Big Shiny Robot).
The group was there mainly to answer questions for creators/publishers in the audience. They started off
by going down the line to explain the best way to be contacted if you are looking to get your work promoted. They also gave advice on what not to do like using exclamation points in
a press release. They had talked about when not to be contacted (eg right now, as they are at a convention and theirs are piling up) and how much lead time is required for types of
coverage. Kickstarter was a big topic as everybody gets swamped with pleas to promote Kickstarter campaigns and why they rarely do them. They also talked a bit about sending them PDF

Dan Parent Spotlight (46:48, 42.8mb)
This was an interview of Dan Parent by Rik Offenberger and Chris Thompson. Parent started by talking about reading comics as a kid, how we went to the Kubert school and how that
lead to a job in the Archie Comics production office. He said he worked there for 10 years getting a good on the job education, including the switch to a more digital form of
producing comics. He talked about pitching stories while at Archie and how many of them were rejected at first (and for good reason). Eventually he started getting stories approved
and he talked about some of the stories that got a lot of mainstream media coverage. Regarding stories they talked about the move to doing longer stories and using the parent
characters more. Regarding art Parent talked about working with Dan DeCarlo and drawing clothes on the female characters. They also talked about the Veronica solo series he pitched
and has been successful with Archie and the Kevin Keller character and how he came about. His work outside of Archie was talked about, including Felix the Cat, Barbie Comics,
Carney Comics and Bratz. The audience asked questions about Archie’s Madhouse, his favorite Archie characters, artists outside of Archie he’s currently reading. Dan mentioned
Archie’s 50th Anniversary year is coming up. Some outside of comics stuff has come up, including his being on the Weakest Link and Who Wants to be a Millionaire TV shows. He also
told a funny story about being in Tijuana once.

Roman Dirge REBUILT! (42:40, 39.0mb)
This was moderated by Titan Comics senior editor Steve White. The reason Roman was “REBUILT” was due a bad accident he was in about a year ago. He was hit very hard by an SUV and
said they measured the distance he flew to be 15 feet. His leg was broken and had to be reattached to him. He has lost some of the bone in his leg and now needs a walking stick to
get around. Roman talked about the time it took him to recover. He says since being hit has made him more motivated to get work done. He showed art on 3 new projects he is currently
working on, this including a graphic novel called Monocle, a superhero book called Stringbean (it’s very dark and strange) and a TV show called Battleboy. He had also talked about
Lenore and upcoming plans for her and any other media possibilities with the character. He revealed that other strange things have been happening to him that could have seriously
injured or killed him since the accident.

8th Annual All Star Podcasters Panel (53:35, 49.0mb)
On this panel was a who’s who of long running podcasters. Moderating the panel was John Siuntres (Word Balloon),
on it was fellow podcasters Brian Christman (Comic Geek Speak),
John Mayo (Comic Book Page,
Heidi MacDonald (Publishers Weekly Comics World),
Jimmy Aquino (Comic News Insider),
Conor Kilpatrick (iFanboy) and
Ben Blacker (Nerdist). The group had talked about digital comics and argued about digital vs print sales.
They had also talked about comic book movies. Heidi brought up at the big 2 are not creating major artists anymore. They also talked about ‘event’ comics. The group
talked about sponsorships (one major sponsor was there in the audience) in terms of making money from the podcast, the length of their shows, how open podcasting is now and how
professional one has to be to do the show. The group ended the panel by talking about what comics they are enjoying now.

Family Feud: The Comics Blogging Panel (53:38, 49.1mb)
The panel was moderated by a very hungry Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter). On the panel was
Heidi MacDonald (The Beat),
Tony Isabella (Tony Isabella’s Bloggy Thing),
Alexa Dickman (Ladies Making Comics),
Rich Johnston (Bleeding Cool),
and Graeme McMillan (Many different sites).
There was a very large
audience and Tom joked about the panel being a pre-show for the next panel (Mega64: Decade of Perfection) which got the audience laughing. The group introduced themselves particularly to the
crowd who were not familiar with them. Tom had received some questions from his readers and asked them. Among the topics talked about writing in a way to generate hits from search
engines, (eg using words like exclusive, which generate traffic) or topics that they might not normally cover and how it may compromises their writing. Lots of discussion was around
those that have writers contributing to their blog. Among the topics for them were letting contributors develop their voice, how much they pay their writers and if it’s hypocritical
to write negatively about companies exploiting their talent while they pay their own writers little to nothing. The amounts being paid to contributors was revealed and what other
forms of compensation they are getting. For those that work (or had worked) in print how writers got paid was discussed. The group also talked about creator rights issues, gender
issues, creators in need and they also took questions from the audience.

Tony Isabella Spotlight (51:39, 47.2mb)
Mark Evanier interviewed Tony about his career in comics. They talked about his getting involved in comic fandom, his comic reading as a kid, particularly FF annual #1, his love
of giant monsters, his living in New York City and the seedy hotel on Times Square he lived in. He spoke about his editorial work at Marvel, writing books under tight deadlines
when other people blew them, his favorite artists to work with, in particular Frank Robins and Eddie Newell, him getting a chance to work with Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. Tony
revealed that he wrote a large, multi issue Captain America story only to later find out that Kirby had already been hired to take over the book after a few issues. He also spoke
a bit about co-writing with Bob Ingersol. He said said he would have loved to have more time on Daredevil and Ghost Rider. He said his original champions pitch was Iceman and
Angel buddy book with them on the road getting involved in certain situations. Said he would still liked to have written that. Tony also won an inkwell award for his work in comics
and Tony gave his love to the convention for having him as a guest.

Jose Delbo Spotlight (52:58, 48.4mb)
Moderated by his daughter/agent Silvana Frontera. Jose talked about differences between European and US comics. How he worked on superheroes except for the Flash. He didn’t want to
draw him. He loves doing Westerns and the Lone Ranger in particular. He did a number of other media type adaptations over many years, including the Beatles Yellow Submarine, Monkee’s
Comic Book, Transformers and NFL Superpro among others. He said he liked working on the Monkee’s because he can be comical and not be so strictly on model as he was with other books.
Jose revealed that his father wanted him to be a lawyer and was worried that he would be poor as an artist. When he got his first cheque he gave it to his father and he never cashed
it, he saved it as a symbol of his son having made it and making good living. Jose talked about learning under Carlos Clemen (a famous Argentina artist). He would move to Brazil to
work. His wife had a uncle who was an US citizen and asked him if he’d like to come to USA, he said yes and came over. He also told a story about almost getting drafted to go to
Vietnam, he told them he was married with 2 kids and they put him at the bottom of the list to put into service. He said he is happy for comic book conventions because 8 year olds do
not know what comic books are, that blew his mind and he knew comics were in trouble then. He said he finds artists today too similar in style and colourists don’t believe that white
is a colour. He talked about his love of Joe Kubert and working as a teacher in his school. He talked about his former Dell editor/writer DJ Arneson. He said Dell/Western destroyed
all the original art, but he knew a kid who spoke Spanish in the production dept and he snuck him some of his art back, he mentioned getting some of his Turok art, but he didn’t get
any of his Lone Ranger which is disappointing for him. He also said credits were not allowed in those books but he would sneak his name in the rocks of Turok. Jose was asked about his
relationship with editors. He mentioned Paul Levitz came by and asked him how he was doing earlier which he thought was very nice. He told a funny story about a kid who wanted a
transformers sketch at a convention but he couldn’t remember how to draw the character. As he was drawing the kid kept correcting him and a reporter was nearby and wrote a story in
the paper about a kid teaching him how to draw, which was embarrassing at the time. He said when he was drawing Transformers he was given the toys to help towards refrence but he had
to keep his grandkids from playing with them. He felt the superheroes today have bodies that are too super. Said Superman gets his powers from another planet and doesn’t need Arnold
Schwarzenegger’s body and Batman is an intelligent detective. Said they have him flying and super strong now. In regards to working digital, he only uses computers for reference
photos. Regarding inkers he liked, in named Al Williamson in particular. He said for a while he wasn’t inking his work and Al called him and asked why. He said he didn’t know why and
it wasn’t his decision, but he would ask that his pencils would go to him. So he called his editor and asked for Al and then Al got Transformers pages to ink. Al hated them,
only did 5 or 6 pages and quit. Jose would have liked to ink his own work but he couldn’t justify the time to do it. He mentioned doing some work on a new Transformer book but
couldn’t say what. Jose also got an inkpot award from the Comic Con organization.

Kim Thompson Tribute (46:55, 42.9mb)
Kim Thompson was a long time co-owner/editor of Fantagraphics who recently passed away due to cancer. On the panel was Eric Reynolds, Gary Groth, Diana Schutz, Gilbert and
Jaime Hernandez. Gary talked about Kim first getting involved with Fantagraphics. Diana talked about first meeting Gary and Kim. She said Kim would later reach out to her and other
women, asking them to contribute to the Amazing Hero magazine, which was very rare at the time. Hernandez Bros and Eric talked about meeting Kim and working with him. Gary talked
about how he, Kim and Harlan Ellison met in order to try and make up after the lawsuit, but Harlan did not like Kim’s review of Frank Millers work and they instead got into a huge
argument over it. Diana talked about working with Kim over the last few years doing translations. Gary talked about how they all lived in the Fantagraphics house and Kim used to
regularly work in his bathrobe. He would always be wearing shorts or sweatpants unless it was something super formal. Gary said Kim had knowledge about what was good cartooning. The
group talked about Kim not having any guilty pleasures and loved Brian De Palma movies. They all said he was always working, including late at night or very early in the morning.
Gilbert thinks there would be no Vertigo or many independent publishers around if it was not for Kim’s groundbreaking work wih Fantagraphics. Eric talked about Kim championing some
artists, including Jason which he wasn’t convinced would do so well.

Carmine Infantino Tribute (49:22, 45.1mb)
On the panel were Jon B, Cooke, Elliot S! Maggin, Paul Levitz, Martin Pasko and moderating the panel was J. David Spurlock. Carmine Infantino was a long time extremely important artist,
editor and publisher, much of his work for DC Comics. Elliot talked about Carmine patching up the many fights he and Julie Schwartz had. Both he and Martin said Carmine wasn’t
pretentious. Elliot told a story about Carmine and Julie getting into an argument and Julie said “I was here before you and I’ll be here after your gone!” and Carmine just laughed,
he didn’t let stuff said during heated arguments bother him. Paul talked about how after the 1966 Batman show started to drop in ratings nobody at DC had any idea of where to take
the company. Carmine provided DC with a direction and really experimented in ways that publishers didn’t do prior to that. Today publisher’s experiment the ways Carmine did back then,
trying all sorts of new ideas with different creators. Martin talked about Carmine’s cover design and David said all the DC covers were pretty much laid out by Carmine from when he
was art director and on up. David mentioned that as Carmine moved up the ladder at DC, he kept doing his old jobs. One time an HR person within the company was reviewing who did what
within the organization and they told Carmine he did the work of 5 people. David revealed that Stan Lee had offered Carmine a job in the mid 1960s and DC promoted him in order to keep
him. Martin and David talked about the many behind the scene changes that Carmine was responsible for that he doesn’t get credit for, both small and large. David said one of them was
ordering his artists to update their swipe files so that females were not drawn with 1950’s style clothing. They talked about how many artists got their start at DC comics, with
Carmine liking their art and telling editors to get the artist a script. Paul talked about how when Carmine took over, he broke down the BS formality at DC at the time and made it
much more open and about creating good comics. He said Carmine made DC more open to fans and solicited their opinions, much more than Marvel did at the time. Elliot talked about him
suggesting DC do a Superman movie and writing a pitch, Julie disagreed, thinking superheroes were over and he went to Carmine. Carmine sent Elliot and another writer to talk with
Mario Puzo about it. Paul revealed that in the early 60s, Carmine won the best artist in fandom awards 4 times in a row and people don’t realize how popular he was with fans during
that time. David said Carmine really went to bat to hire Kirby back, despite resistance within DC and he went to bat for many other artists as well. David and Martin said Carmine was
really influential and that Bernie Krigstein and John Romita learned from him.

Jeffery Brown Spotlight (49:18, 45.1mb)
This was moderated by Leigh Walton. Jeff talked about getting into comics, his autobiographical books and how they started. He said people in his life don’t appear to be too bothered
by their depiction because he makes himself look very unflattering. He talked about the style of art he chooses for which project. He talked about Bighead and how it came about.
Leigh gave the reason for the small sized Jeffery Brown books and why they are all different sizes. They then talked about his Star Wars books, Darth Vader and Son, Star Wars: Vader’s
Little Princess and they revealed a new Star Wars: Jedi Academy book and showed a video trailer for it. His next autobiographical book is about his wife’s pregnancy and his relationship with his father. His
father is a minister but he is no longer practicing religion. They talked about his use of colour on the books. They gave a handout showing a sample of his upcoming work to those the
audience that asked questions. Jeff revealed he wants to do a book about the business side of comic art. He is also a teacher and those types of questions get asked a lot by his

Joe Kubert Tribute (48:58, 44.8mb)
Moderated by Mark Evanier. On the panel was Sergio Aragonés, Paul Levitz, Marv Wolfman, Tom Yeates, Jon B. Cooke and Russ Heath. The panelists signed 3 books about Joe Kubert by
Bill Schelley which would be auctioned off for Hero Initiative. The panelists talked about Joe and what they liked about him. Sergio was always amazed on how fast Kubert drew and he
was drawing realistically. Paul said his funeral drew such a large crowd they had to borrow police from 2 nearby towns, considering the burial was done by Jewish traditions (where
it’s done fairly quickly) it was an amazing crowd of people that showed up. Many more would have showed up if there was more notice. Marv talked about Joe teaching him about how to
pace a story by taking one of his stories and ignoring his art direction and drawing it his way. He said Joe went over the art and explained what he was doing and why and that was an
enormous eye opener for Marv and it taught him a lot about writing. Marv also told a story about art that needed to be inked right away to make deadline and the only pen in the area
was a lettering pen, which has a very fat nub and is not something you draw or ink with. Joe made that pen sing and did a great job of inking despite the tool not being fit for the job.
Marv also talked about when he was an assistant editor under Kubert he would often have to completely re-write Bob Kanigher stories for Joe. Tom Yeates said he met Joe before he
started the school and connected with him right away, Joe then called him up when he was starting his school. While Tom was there he started getting work and tried to draw like Joe
in terms of surface detail, but found it wasn’t working and he learned from Joe about the under the surface detail that makes his drawings work. Jon talked about Joe using the school
to give back to creators as Joe had started when he was 11 and learned from multiple artists while sweeping floors at a comic sweatshop. Russ mentioned Joe gave hard backslaps and
told some funny stories about Joe. He also said that inking Joe was very hard. Sergio told a funny story about how Joe said he was going to take his 5 kids, wife and mobile home and
go on vacation. Sergio told him he should go to Mexico and drew him a map of Mexico and everywhere they should go and how they would get there. A few months later Joe told Sergio
that he had actually used his map to go into Mexico and thanked him for it being so accurate. Sergio was stunned that he would go into Mexico with his family just based on his drawn
map. Mark Evanier told an early San Diego con story about Joe doing a fund raising sketch for the con and a friend of his was too late to bid on it and lost it (price $300), Mark
talked to Joe and he quickly did another sketch that was even better than the first one and the winner of the previous sketch wanted the new one instead. Marv and Paul said Joe was
also a very good businessman too, something that was pretty rare back in those days.

Russ Heath Spotlight (55:38, 50.9mb)
This was moderated by Mark Waid. Russ talked about where he grew up and his early influences. He mentioned his father was a cowboy among his many other jobs, but as a result he
watched a lot of western related serials. His father would tell him that if the actor was wearing a flowery shirt or something that the character wasn’t a real cowboy. Russ took from
that that when writing/drawing fiction you need to be true to whatever you are depicting. He said he got started in comics when at 16 his father took him to Holyoke and he was given
a script, but was told he couldn’t draw it in pen. He had to buy a brush and after a few days he figured out how to use it. This stunned Mark as some artists take years to figure out
how to use a brush. Russ talked about joining the air force. He mentioned he was in and out of high school as he did not have good marks. He said prior to drawing for a living he was
a lifeguard and ran a scuba diving club. He did some advertising work, but then had a wife and kid and needed more money. The advertising paid $35 a week, he was looking for work
during lunch hour and found Stan still working. Stan offered him $75 a week to draw for him, which he did. Russ liked doing westerns but didn’t like doing Batman because of all the
straight lines on the buildings. Said he knew Harvey Kurtzman from Marvel as he was doing the 1 page Hey Look! gags. They had lunch together a couple of times and that lead to Harvey
giving him some work at EC comics. Russ talked about Kanigher and not in a positive way. He said he was also friends with Ross Andru and Gray Morrow. He talked about moving to
California in the 70s and working in animation. He also worked on Annie Fanny for Playboy while in the Playboy mansion. He was going to quit Annie when Hugh called him up, doubled
his salary and offered to pay him to move to Chicago, which he did. He also told a funny story about sabotaging Will Elder’s paint pants. He talked about Archie Goodwin and said he
was a very good editor and visual writer. He mentioned on an script Archie drew stick figure layouts of his story. Russ didn’t look at them and drew his own stick figure layouts.
When he was done he compared the two and found all but 1 of the layouts matched exactly and there was about 40 panels. Of newer artists he likes Adam Hughes. Russ also answered
questions on National Lampoon, inking Micheal Golden and other artists in general. He also told about becoming fast friends with Dave Stevens when they worked together at Hanna-Barbera.
He said they both caused chaos there.

Gerry Conway Spotlight (53:09, 48.6mb)
This was Conway doing a Q&A with the audience. Among the topics he answered questions on were the creation of the Punisher, the bridge Gwen Stacy was thrown off and the snap sound
effect, how he got into Marvel, DC comics being like Mad Men TV Show in the 60s, how he broke into DC comics, how he then got into Marvel comics and some of his reasons for going
back and forth between the companies. He revealed after Gwen’s death he didn’t read any fan mail or do conventions for a long time, why Gwen never came back, the Clone storyline,
villains who were often throw aways like The Grizzly, the issues comics are facing today, how Phantom Stranger at DC was his first regular gig, his moving into writing TV and films.
He also said that after writing Law and Order Hollywood thinks he can’t write superhero movies. He is now writing a YA novel, he also told a funny story about the Spider-Mobile, both
how it came about and it coming back one day in an unexpected way.

That 70’s Panel (1:20:25, 73.6mb)
Moderated by Mark Evanier. On the panel was Tony Isabella, Val Mayerik, Elliot S! Maggin, Martin Pasko and George Perez. They talked about their 1st pro sale, when they felt they
made it, “Oh Wow!” moments on working with their heroes. They explained was different about their generation from the previous one. Martin talked about a sad story of meeting a poor
Bill Finger who told him to “always get the credit.” The group talked about royalties. Mark Evanier told a funny story about being the 1st person to use express mail for DC. The group
talked about how express mail changed the industry in both good and bad ways. Mark also told a funny story about being in a strip club with other artists that were also using Fed Ex.
The group also talked about sexism in the industry back then.

The Best and Worst Manga in 2013 (47:47, 43.7mb)
Moderated by Deb Aoki, on the panel was Brigid Alverson, David Brothers, Chris Butcher and Shaenon Garrity. The group talked about the best manga in various categories and where it
could be bought at the con (or seen online). They were fairly quick as they ran through the titles and Deb had a dinger if the people talked too long. They had all taken turns
talking about their favourite books, sometimes 2 people would talk about the same book. They had pointed out that Fantagraphics is not publishing any bad manga right now. When they
went through the worst list some of the best books were on that list too which generated a crowd reaction and debate among the panelists. They also had an under rated section too.
Towards he end they were short of time and really rushed through the last of the books. You can find this list online here.

Comic Arts Conference Session #22: Superman On Trial: The Secret History of the Siegel and Shuster Lawsuits
(50:36, 46.3mb)
Moderated by Heidi MacDonald, on the panel was Jeff Trexler and Brad Ricca. They talked about how the lawsuits became part of the superman mythos now. Ricca talked about how
Donenfeld actually had published the Lone Ranger but the creator took it back and thinks that had a lot to do with Donenfeld wanting to own and keep Superman. The group talked
about what if scenarios. Jeff talked about the early 90s settlements between Siegel and Shuster families that are at this time in effect (and might remain that way). Brad also
talked about Joe Shuster’s last years and how it wasn’t all doom and gloom. He had been married once (but divorced, his wife was into a cult) and had a girlfriend. Also on the
panel and spoke towards the end was Peter M. Coogan, who said he had some some research for the DC side. Also in the audience was Wayne Smith, Senior Vice President, Senior
Litigation & Chief Patent Counsel at Warner Bros. Entertainment Group of Companies and Lillian Laserson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of DC Comics Inc. Lillian gave a
what if senario at the end of the panel believing that if Siegel and Shuster not sued DC in 1947 they would have been treated the same way Bob Kane was treated and Bob died a very
wealthy man. [Jamie’s note: This is bullshit in my opinion and other comic historians I’ve talked to also do not agree with this scenario.]


Jerry Ordway Spotlight (52:36, 48.1mb)
DC Editor Mike Carlin moderated the panel and joked at the beginning it was the spotlight on Dan Jurgens panel (who was in the audience). Jerry talked about where he grew up, his doing finishes on other artists pencils, getting penciling work, also inking John Byrne’s pencils,
always needing to be working and says it throws you off your rhythm to take a few days break. He talked about periods where he got really swamped, one time he had to do Fantastic Four,
Superman and Crisis of Infinite Earths #5 at once. He talked about working on the Superman relaunch with Byrne and Marv Wolfman. How he took an active role in plotting Superman, then
took over writing it. Carlin said the ‘weekly’ Superman books were a real team effort where everybody pitched in, he mentioned Roger Stern was really strong and keeping continuity
straight and clear for everybody across all the books. Ordway revealed that Byrne was originally going to do Shazam. He had done colouring for the books and used watercolour on the
covers. He also explained his process for creating a comic.

Dan Jurgens Spotlight (52:53, 48.4mb)
This was also moderated by Mike Carlin, who again joked this was the Jon Bogdamov panel. Jurgens talked about growing up in a small town and occasionally hanging out wiht Curt Swan. He loved the 60’s Batman TV show and was
introduced to comics by seeing his friends read some after it. The first comic he bought was Superman. They talked about his family’s reaction to becoming an artist. He said when he
was a teenager he loved Simonson’s Manhunter and wrote and drew a Manhunter story. He sent it to DC and somebody sent it to Simonson. Walt wrote Jurgens a letter asking if he could
keep the story in exchange for a Manhunter drawing. He agreed and Simonson sent him a really great full colour large sized drawing. Jurgens revealed he showed his work to Mike Grell
when he was in the area, and Grell suggested him to DC as a replacement for him on Warlord. DC had him and another artist do a 5 page tryout and he won the job. He talked about how
he got to start writing and how he got the Superman job. He also talked about the creation of Booster Gold. They then talked about the Death of Superman and one of the reasons it was
done was do to a negative reaction to not getting to do the Lois Lane marriage and the popularity of Image Comics. They said that all the drew designs for Doomsday and voted and
Jurgens design had won the vote. They talked about the major media coverage the story got and how they originally planned to bring Superman backed got changed to something more epic
in nature. The destruction of Coast City was volunteered by the editor of Green Lantern who very much wanted to tie into what was happening with Superman. Louise Simonson suggested
doing the different Superman when they did the return and Jurgens agreed to let his Cyborg version become the bad guy. Jurgens talked about what it’s like seeing Booster Gold on TV
and also his Marvel work. Along them was Superman with long hair after he returned, the red underwear, if death of Superman will be adapted into other media Armegeddon 2001 with
Monarch and working digitally. He says he still sends the physical boards to inkers to work on and will continue to do so until he can’t any longer.

Fans vs Pros Trivia Challenge (47:43, 43.6mb)
The fans were Peter Svensson, David Oates and Tom Galloway and the pro’s were Len Wein, Elliot S! Maggin and Martin Pasko. The question asker was Derek McCaw.
I was asked to be the official score keeper. The topic was characters celebrating their 50th anniversary. Tom Galloway was in top form this panel and answered a lot of the questions
single handedly. Len answered some correct questions on the Pro side and Elliot S! Maggin answered one question in a hilarious, not the answer we were looking for way, but we took as
true. All throughout the panel the jokes were flying fast and furious. In the end the Fan side one 360 to 110.

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Friday 2013 (July 19) – 170 Photos


Full 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (2:40:55, 147mb)
The 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards was held in the Indigo Room at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
The welcome was done by Jackie Estrada, Eisner Awards Administrator.
Among the presenters are Kayre and Bill Morrison, Maurice LaMarchie, Lauren Tom & David Herman, Chris Hardwick, Milestone Media founders Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingle, Edward James Olmos, Becky Cloonan, Ellen Forney,
James Marsters, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Neil Gamian and Jonathan Ross. The Bill Finger Award was presented by Mark Evanier. The Spirit of Comics Retailer
Award was presented by Joe Ferrara. The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award was presented by Ruth Clampett. Maggie Thompson did the Memoriam.
The Winners can be found at the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards page.

Cartoon Network Shows to watch out for: Steve Universe, Uncle Grandpa, and Clarence

Here’s one little last bit of SDCC ’13 coverage to put on your must see in the future list – Cartoon Network gave Saturday convention-goers a sneak peek at three upcoming animated series – Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa and Clarence[Read more…]

SDCC’13: The Final Photos – Axe Cop, Cosplay, Samuel L. Jackson and CROWDS

We’re at the end of our SDCC coverage! And we’re ending with Megan Byrd’s final selection of photos taken around the site. She’s found more fantastic cosplay than you can shake Gambit’s staff at, as well as looks at various signings, exhibits, art galleries and more! My favourite? The happy family of supervillains..

[Read more…]

SDCC’13: Comic-Con Talk Back 2013 – Ticketing, Convention Security, and Queues

By Nicholas Eskey

It’s that time again. Each and every year, almost as an unceremonious wrap up for San Diego Comic-Con International, the Comic-Con Talk Back is one of the last panels to run on Sunday. Its aim is to allow convention goers one and all to address any questions or concerns that had arisen over the last four days. And heading the panel as always is the president of the Comic-con board of directors, John Rogers.

[Read more…]

SDCC’13: Bob Calhoun Vs The Walking Dead Run

By Bob Calhoun

photographs by Rosemary Calhoun


I’m pressed up against the gates of Petco Park in San Diego, waiting for the 6 p.m. wave of “The Walking Dead Escape” to begin. I look over the crowd around me. I spot a few men older than me, but none fatter, and none are older AND fatter. I’m seemingly the most out-of-shape man at something that’s a part of Comic-Con, and it has to be the event where I’ll have to “climb, crawl, hide and slide (my) way through the evac zone,” according to the website.

[Read more…]

SDCC’13: How Comics Predicted and Embraced Punk

By Benjamin J. Villarreal

While droves of comic book, movie, television, video game, and toy fans roam the San Diego Comic-Con floor booths and exhibit halls, university professors and students are upstairs tackling the big questions through their ongoing research. The Comics Arts Conference is an academic conference that runs in conjunction with both Comic-Con International and Wonder-Con.



Sunday’s Comics Art Conference panels included “Comics and the Punk Aesthetic,” a scholarly look at the ways in which comics and the punk movement have influenced one another. Christopher B. Field kicked things off by looking at Jack Kirby’s blue, Mohawk-wearing OMAC. Field described a Kirby ever with his finger on the pulse on rising trends, forecasting the popularity of punk and using it to shock viewers with his own superhero of counterculture, battling against capitalistic greed.

Michael MacBride (Minnesota State University) studies underground comix and punk’s obsession with phalluses, both symbolic and actual, a relationship that seemed to encourage one another. Despite these mediums envelope-pushing (which peaked with 74 penises and 34 phallic objects in the pages of “Binky Brown”), MacBride asks, “Why isn’t anyone studying this?”

Christopher Douglas from Southern Illinois University discussed the ways in which the 1988 Akira film simultaneously featured bosozoku motorcycle gang members (prevalent in Japan’s own counterculture movement) as heroes fighting for social responsibility.


Finally, Keegan Lannon of Aberystwyth University [hey! I was at University with him! – Steve] shared his research into the ways Grant Morrison seems to have been influenced by the punk lifestyle in his series The Invisibles. In many ways, Lannon argues, The Invisibles appears to be a “punk manifesto,” featuring protagonists given the choice to fight the status quo or become sheep. And while this panel does not attempt to prove a direct correlation between punk and comics, the overlap in themes and aesthetics between the two suggests that this area of research can merit a deeper understanding of counterculture mediums.


Benjamin J. Villarreal is a Doctoral Candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Instructor of English at Kingsborough Community College. Read more of his work at

SDCC13: Watchtower: Mainstream Media Edition

dirty-kitchenWell, once again, we are repainting the kitchen to hide the stains we couldn’t clean, the comics cellar is being refiled, the liquor bottles refilled, and the linens have been burnt, per EPA regulations.  (And the capuchin monkeys have been bribed with money directly wired to their E*Trade account.)  The Beatrix shall return shortly from her journey west, and we can all return to our regularly scheduled programming.
BUT… before we go, here’s the last of this year’s Watchtower news feed, as we filter the Google News feed from Comic-Con like a cyber baleen whale.  This time, it’s mostly the mainstream media reporting, after Comic-Con has wound down.  (I wonder how they treat the stains left behind by the roused rabble?)  Click on the headlines for the linkage! [Read more…]