Wizard World Chicago, aka Rosemont is kicking off in earnest today, and it’s a bit strange not to be there. We’ve missed a few over the years, but we’ve been to most for the last decade, and always had a really good time. After the San Diego madness, it’s usually a place to kick back in Knuckles and hang with pals, tell jokes, and watch fights. Chicago is the cut loose con…lobby soccer, taserings, dislocated thumbs, bachelor parties, hot dogs.
But not this year. Oh we have a few spies on the scene to report on the goings on. And if we could be there, we would, but physically it’s just not possible. And besides, we’re a little conned out. Some folks are trying to get us to buzz down to Otakon in Baltimore this weekend, but after last year’s Bruce Campbell sighting-palooza, that might seem like a let down, too. We want to spend time with Inky, catch up on correspondence, and see our local pals.
So everyone who is at the show, have a good time. We do have out usual gripe about Wizard World, though, and we’ll trot it out again, like we do every year, even though no one will care.
The guest list for this year’s WizWorldChi includes only one woman creator: Jinky Coronado, the co-artist, writer and creator of Banzai Girl. We’ve met Jinky, and she’s very nice and we have no beef with her. It doesn’t bug us that she has a dual career as a model who has appeared in Femme Fatale and the Filipino edition of FHM in a scantily clad layout with her sister. Hey, you’re only young once, so we say go for it.
What does bug us a little is that Coronado is a guest and Carla Speed McNeil and Jill Thompson aren’t. Now, Wizard is admittedly stingy with their guest lists, but this year’s show is a bit spotty in that regard, and many younger artists are making the jump to guests, like our good pals Paul Azaceta, Ivan Brandon and Andy MacDonald. Good for them. But Thompson is a Chicago native who goes to the show every year—she has two TV SHOWS to her credit, for crying out loud. What does it take to make the jump to guest? (I should point out that Thompson is one of DC’s guests, and for whatever reason, none of the DC guests are on the list, so it isn’t necessarily all Wizard’s doing.)
As for Carla, she’s at the show every year, and has been nominated for several Eisner Awards (IIRC, Jill has won TWO Eisners, including Best Painter.) and she’s one of the best darned indie cartoonists working. In fact now that you don’t have BONE and STRANGERS IN PARADISE around any more, Carla might just be Queen of the Hill.
Anyway, it isn’t anything that Wizard cares about, we know that, but at the end of the day, we think Jill Thompson and Carla Speed McNeil have as much right to be listed as guests at a comic book convention as Jinky Coronado. That’s all.