While we were checking out our ego Google alert, we found a response to our brief critique of a piece on the Anaheim Comic-Con that didn’t mention a single comics type person. The writer of the piece, one Matt Patches, says he was right to stay mute on comics, because everyone expects to find comics and cartoonists at a comic-con so it is not noteworthy enough to report:
This evolution is sweeping the comic convention scene — more and more, “comic” is becoming a stand-in word for “nerd/genre culture,” — and it’s necessary for everyone’s business. If Wizard World (or any comic con) wants to appeal to a broader audience (and maintain their ability to run the convention), they have to widen their scope, conjure up events that breach the reaches of conventional comic topics. You need Tricia Helfer there to peak interests. On the flip side, I feel inclined to spotlight what Wizard World feels are their biggest sells, because, heck, I want people to go to the show. New people, even!
If anyone is already sold on attending a comic convention, it’s comic buffs. That’s why when you navigate the ACC homepage, you’ll still find names like Ethan Van Sciver, Bernie Wrightson, Judd Winick, Mike Grell, Mark Texeira, Michael Golden, Bill Sienkiewicz and Rob Liefeld, but you’ll find them buried underneath the twin sisters from Death Proof (who?). You’d think Liefeld might have the muscle to push his way to the front of the pack, but it’s just not true anymore.
Those twins would be Electra and Elise Avellan, twin nieces of director Robert Rodriguez.
Now, I’ve seen a line of people at a show for Rob Liefeld. I’ve seen LONG lines for Robert Kirkman, Geoff Johns, David Mazzucchelli, Kate Beaton, Walt Simonson, David Finch and many many other comics people. I don’t know how many want to meet these nice girls, but I would love someone to go to a Wizard World and take a picture of the line for their autograph. I think it is debatable who is a bigger draw.
And it turns out only one of these twins even wants to stay in acting. Elise has a different career in mind:
What I’m actually involved in right now is that I’m managing my dad’s cheese company in Austin, Texas. We make my grandfather’s recipe of cheese in Austin. We make it out of raw milk and we sell it in the farmer’s markets. The name of it is “Dos Lunas.” It means two moons. It’s a lot of fun. We love it there. I still shoot movies with Robert and my sister in Austin. Like I said [before], it’s not my scene. That’s what I’m doing right now—I’m just managing a cheese company.
Seriously now, are you really going to pay $35 to stand in line to meet a women who manages a cheese company?
Patches concludes his piece with a comparison to a true comics convention — MoCCA — but declares that:
the bigger cons have evolved, and like Jack Shephard, we need to move on.
Sorry, Mister Patches (that’s his twitter handle), but I’m not moving on for a cheese company manager, even if she is hot.
Not that I expect this culture clash to go away any time soon. Or for cartoonists to ultimately win out. But I’m going to go down fighting.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.