Wow last week was as arduous as Comic-Con, between Book Expo and BookCon…but I survived, and I never bought any food at the Javits! Okay, I did buy some Pinkberry on Friday afternoon because I saw Christine Dinh eating some and she looked so happy, and after I got some I was happy too even though it cost $8. Otherwise I survived on breakfast at home (oatmeal), trail mix, Kind Bars and a long, grueling succession of wine and cheese receptions. According to my phone app, I walked about 6 miles a day, which often included walking crosstown to the Javits because the 7 train extension still isn’t open.
So near and yet so chain link fenced off.
ANYWAY…back to the kibbles. First some creator health updates.
§ Writer James Hudnall has updated his GoFundMe page with one final push. Back in October, Hudnall had his foot amputated just as he had moved to Austin for a new job, and since then he’s had a lot of setbacks, but he’s been approved for disability but needs one more cash infusion to get back to San Diego for further treatment. Please consider helping him out.
§ Artist Norm Breyfogle suffered a severe stroke back in December, which left his drawing side severely impaired. He’s been updating his FB page, and he has also been approved for disability and recovery continues, although his drawing style will probably not return.
First of all, the basics: my recovery continues at a snail’s pace. I actually can’t see it occurring until I look back at a number of months ago, after which I see that I have come quite a distance. The other day I walked one third of a mile: about 1700 feet, with a cane. I felt very strong and could have continued even further if not for the windchill factor on the walk back which became pretty unbearable since I was not dressed adequately for it. My left hand continues to lag behind everything else, causing me to realistically aim, creatively, for publishing my writing and maybe training my right hand for drawing, as my new career. Call me Norm.2. I may be signing comics from now on with a “PS Norm”, meaning “post stroke” Norm. I don’t realistically see myself drawing or writing comics in the way that I used to do. Instead, if I do any more comics, they will probably be semi-autobiographical in nature and with an entirely different style: call it an “underground” style, if you will.
And now the news…
§ Here’s a very detailed report on the Book Con 2015: Women of Marvel panel which featured Adri Cowan and Margaret Stohl, who’s written a Black Widow prose novel.
§ Douglas Wolk returns to the NY Timeswith reviews of the seasons top books, including Unflattening.
§ Mark Paniccia has been promoted to Senior Editor of the X-Men Line at Marvel, Congrats to Mark!
Marvel’s X-Men line is now under new leadership. CBR News can confirm that Marvel Senior Editor Mark Paniccia has moved to the X-Men titles, joined by veteran X-books editor Daniel Ketchum. Paniccia has been at Marvel for a decade, but hasn’t previously worked on any X-Men series. He’s overseen the Ultimate Comics line, promoted to wrap up with the currently unfolding “Ultimate End” miniseries, since 2009, and has also recently edited “Hulk” and “Fantastic Four.” He’s already credited on the X-books, with his name appearing in “Old Man Logan” #1, released this past Wednesday.
§ Okay here’s is the latest “Comic-Con should leave San Diego!” piece from a site called Moviepilot.com. I have no idea what the pedigree of that site it, or writer Chris McKinney’s background, but I have decided that this article now stands in for every inane piece about why Comic-Con should move to Vegas EVER. McKinney examines all the options—SD, LA, Anaheim, Las Vegas—and decides Vegas is the best because it’s huge and has hotels and that’s all you need. His argument that Comic-Con has outgrown San Diego is partly true—there are lotteries for hotels and badges—but, HONESTLY THERE WOULD STILL BE LOTTERIES NO MATTER HOW BIG THE PLACE IS. SDCC and NYCC are huge, popular events that soak up all the people that can be thrown at them, and just getting bigger isn’t the “answer.” The answer is making the shows so shitty that no one actually wants to go, and that is not a serous suggestion.
Actually, I’m not sure what the problem is. It is true that a bigger San Diego Convention center would allow 25,000 more people to get badges and stand in line for Hasbro toys and Pinkberry. But it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t sell out just as fast or that hotels wouldn’t be at a premium. The CCI folks have been doing a great job at expanding programming and events to hotels, and the festival has taken over the entire downtown, from parking lots to nail salons.
The greatest advantage of a bigger SD convention center is that OTHER trade shows could come to a very desirable location, but none of them have the popular appeal of Comic-Con. And yes there are not “enough” hotels nearby for Comic-Con, but building thousands of hotel rooms for one weekend a year doesn’t make economic sense either.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the unique layout and seaside atmosphere of San Diego is what MAKES the show so successful and desirable. Now that the city admits that con is a huge event with a huge economic impact, they are playing ball, and that alone should ensure that the show stays in San Diego.
If for some reason, Comic-Con ever did “move to Las Vegas” all you’d get is 200,000 people wandering around air conditioned hallways where desolate old people gamble at 3 in the morning, and everyone eats at buffets full of Jell-o.
Can you imagine for one moment all the complaints and moaning about the “good old days” if SDCC moved to Vegas? Sure people would go but it would be awful and I’m willing to bet that Chris McKinney would be complaining too.
So people, come on. Get real. The San Diego Comic-Con is set in San Diego and that’s how it was always intended to be.
§ All that said, a lot of people I talked to at BEA were wondering how WonderCon will transition to LA. Because talk about no hotels, no food options and an often inhospitable climate. Yes yes, I know downtown LA is undergoing a renaissance, but the hotel options makes San Diego look like Anaheim.
§ And while we’re talking cons, while the Javits Center is a hellish facility that was never made for crowds of consumers, once the Hudson Yards development opens next door, this is going to be one of the best venues in the nation, with a host of shopping and eating options right next door, and the Highline as a walking option to other areas. All of which will be possible IF the subway’s 7 line extension ever opens!!! And now I’ve come full circle so let’s move on.
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.