Here’s some of what the best pundits and favored Beat pals were saying about the Very Big show. Interestingly, while creator blogs contain many of the juiciest bits, it’s the mainstream coverage — obvious comics moles who are blogging for newspapers and maagzines — that provides the most balanced coverage.
6. Still, in my rounds today at the show, more-or-less everyone I talked to said that the show was a sales success, and perhaps most importantly, everyone FELT really good. High spirits abounded in the small-press/indy-island, in the various comics publisher booths, and even in artist alley. Honestly and truly, I heard not even one negative feeling about the show as a whole.
BUT…not all is well.:
10. Chris Pitzer told me that he and Adhouse books were just… done… with San Diego. He said he was 40 and tired of sweating and lugging around boxes. This is a guy who had three outstanding debut books that all sold really well, and looked great. The show is going to be poorer for his absence, but as I’m in the midst of lugging a ton of heavy shit home with me myself, I totally understand where he’s coming from. With Mocca, APE, SPX, oh and TCAF, all much more focussed shows less interested in the established comics fan, I can see a number of legitimate art-comics publishers starting to pull back their appearances in the next couple of years… Of course… any publisher that’s trying to play the Hollywood Properties Game isn’t going anywhere.
§ Tom is overall similarly chipper even while pressing for the survival of the ever-vanishing cartoonist:
7. Is it crazy to suggest that the shrinking and perhaps even endangered Artist’s Alley space go to people with more comics credits over those who are illustrators, those who are prepared to draw while at the show rather than using it as simply free booth space, and perhaps maybe those who pledge to do kids’ work at a certain discount or even just at all? How about lifetime banning anyone who doesn’t spend at least 2/3 of their time with that space manned? I think some of the traditional spaces can be made more vital with a higher entry point that emphasizes certain roles such spaces play at the con.
Obviously a sizable portion of the monstrous crowd – for at least three days, the San Diego Convention Center had a greater population than most towns in California – had only passing interest in comics. But they were at least exposed to a lot of comics, to the breadth and variety of them, and there’s no telling how many went and dipped their toes in the pool. The fact is that when people can see comics they buy more of them, something a lot of direct market retailers have either forgotten or don’t have the resources to accommodate, and San Diego presents an unparalleled possibility for getting people to see comics, as well as interact directly with creators or others motivated to sell those specific comics. Even if only 10% of the general San Diego audience could be convinced to buy your book, that’s, rule of thumb, 16,000 new sales – which would almost double the sales of many low end major comics and triple to quintuple the sales of most independent comics.
§ Kevin C blogging for Boston’s Fox outlet, has some nice casual photos from the Eisners. Above Ellen Forney and Whitney Matheson.
§ Shaenon Garrity shares “Ten Thoughts About Comic-Con” which is must reading as usual.
4. I got to moderate the Spotlight on Miriam Katin, which was wonderful. Not only was Miriam amazing, she brought her mother with her. Yes, an elderly Hungarian woman who once fled the Nazis flew to San Diego to see her daughter compete for attention with the Harry Potter/Spiderwick Chronicles Fan Group Meeting and a demonstration of the Robot Chicken: Star Wars Special toys.** That is one tough old lady. I’m 29 and I’ve fled very few Nazis to date, and I had serious misgivings about my ability to physically survive Comic-Con.
§ Always enthusiastic Cecil Castellucci comes as close as she ever does to complaining, which is not very.
The convention was very crowded. Like so crowded that it was unreal. The crowds were relentless. That said, I pinched myself hourly at how amazing it was that I was there signing me and jimrugg’s comic book. It was really great.
Laurell here, at last. Why haven’t I posted? Because I think it’s taken me this long to recover from the shock that is Comic-Con. Why shock? This is a convention that dwarfs Dragoncon. Which I thought was pretty damn big. I have wandered around with Jon and Charles, trying to get my footing. I’ll be okay for awhile, then feel very at sea. Ironically, the day I finally get up and go okay we can do this, is Saturday.
People have been talking about Saturday in hushed or horrorified tones the whole time. They talk about surviving Saturday. Surviving? That doesn’t sound good. I’ve had two people recommend steel toed boots for today. I thought they were kidding, but they weren’t. We’ve had a fight to get through the crowd already, how much worse can it be? Do not answer that. You’ll scare me.
§ Ben Templesmith’s blog has a thoroughly nice report on what it’s like to be on the movie track and still be interested in Redneck Jedi.
Friday was Whiteout day, which was extraordinarily surreal. Jen, the kids, myself, and DHS were given an escort to the Very Special Place in Hall H, whereupon Jen and the kids went one way, and David and I went another. The “another” was, essentially, a con waiting room stuffed to the gills with Important People (and I recognize that, by saying such, it may appear that I am including myself in that number; I am not. Joel Silver was there. Sir Ridley Scott was there. James Hong was there (which may not mean much to you, but this is one of my all-time favorite films, warts and all). That kind of Important People, not the-guy-who-wrote-the-graphic-novel-the-movie-is-based-on important-with-a-small-“i”-people. Those were just the ones I recognized, mind you.
On my way onto the floor, I run into Jim Ottaviani and Carla Speed McNeil. In a better life I’d see them twice a week instead of twice a year. I can’t begin to say how much it means to just hang out with old friends for a few minutes, and I want to just grab them both by the arms and drag them away from the con. Just pull them away and away and take them somewhere quiet to talk, holding tight as if my hands could never tire, and ask a million questions and find out everything there is to know about their lives. I won’t of course, even with dinners and time after the show, the talk will be jokes, and rumors, and what’s the latest on the table, and how’s business, and how’s business, and how’s business.
For some reason an entire train decided to park itself between the Gaslamp District and the convention center, so I stood around for a long time with Tom Fowler who talked about the work he does for Mad Magazine. We were both being more safety-conscious and not hopping over the train hitches like some people were doing. The train finally did start moving right as one guy was standing on a link, and we feared we were about to watch a death occur right in front of us(which is an incredible omen of bad luck, by the way). Luckily the guy scrambled out of there in time.
…and probably about 20,000 more we will never get the chance to read…