Q: Do you attend many comic festivals and conventions? Why are they so important?
A: I attend MoCCA and SPX and BCGF each year, and often a few smaller shows. I think shows are great and essential to the survival of the comics community. It’s where creators get to meet each other, share ideas, good times and more importantly, it gives creators a chance to meet a new audience or have a chance to catch up or just talk to people who have been following their work for a few years. Long live great comics shows!
§ Augie de Blieck looks back at the first issue of Wizard 20 years ago to see where we were and where we’ve gone:
There’s something wonderfully homemade about this issue. Wizard grew up fairly quickly in its first year, getting to square bindings and full color sooner rather than later. It was a product of its time — debuting in the early 90s speculation market and catering to that brand of consumer. No wonder it hit so big and lasted as long as it did. Actually, it’s remarkable that it did last so long, but part of that might just be because it outlasted everyone else and basically cornered its market. None of the competitors lasted that long, and there were plenty of them, including “Arena” and “Hero Illustrated” and “Inside Comics.” They all came after “Wizard,” though, and couldn’t catch up fast enough. (I wrote about “Inside Comics” back in March.)
§ Brett Schenker at Graphic Policy has dug deep into Facebook’s profile keywords to present a survey of comics readers on Facebook. Among his findings: 1,215,960 people identify themselves as comics fans on Facebook. Much more raw data in the link.
§ Speaking of Facebook, Editor Marie Javins is currently traveling through Africa on a danger fraught journey that will someday be a major motion picture. The other day this exchange took place:
Shadrach Stanleigh What’s the reaction in Africa to the Osama news?
Marie Javins I’m in Gabon. It seems irrelevant here.
§ Speaking of the week’s big real news event, Alex Boney revisits all those 9/11 benefit comics and finds that one by Darwyn Cooke summed up the era best:
What I admire most about Cooke’s story is that he doesn’t dumb things down. Sure, the story can be read as jingoistic and morally myopic. There are no shades of gray here. Vic has clearly decided that an evil act needs to be punished, and he’s taken it upon himself to mete out that punishment because others (presumably the government-led military) are unable to do it themselves. It’s superhero vigiliantism directed at new-world-order terrorism. But it would be a mistake to call it simplistic.
§ Just to round out the Facebook links, the other day Spurge had a rant about how event listings on Facebook are not that great for us bloggers:
I wish I had mentioned in some fashion a signing by Mari Naomi at The Escapist last Friday night, but I couldn’t find a graphic that wasn’t the tiny one that Facebook allows and I couldn’t find an independent URL-type listing on the store’s site. So I put it on the back burner, and then I forgot. D’oh. I thought this might be worth mentioning not because it shows how much I suck — you’re likely aware of that by now — but to remind event planners that the Facebook events listings are really great for getting people’s attention on Facebook, but they’re not so good for some outside bloggers and they’re pretty terrible for me.
This is a view we endorse fully. Many’s the time we’ve written to a store or publishers asking for a LEGIBLE version of an event poster. I have no illusions that Facebook will crumble because of blogger ire, but I would like to point out that you CAN post images to an event listing, and even those will be in Flash, and thus not downloadable, a little web fu makes them more usable for promotion purposes.
Unless Facebook has eliminated the need for promotion to outside venues. Only a matter of time, I suppose.
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.