PW Comics Week con wrap ups:
Douglas Wolk looks at thebig picture:
If one word could describe this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, held July 25-29, it would be “enormous”: big books, big buzz, big business. This was, by all estimations, the biggest Con ever; Friday, Saturday and Sunday were all completely sold out, hotel rooms were impossible to score, the aisles of the San Diego Convention Center were clogged with fans, every nightspot in the city was awash with after parties every night, and the lines for the biggest panels were so long that even some of the panelists couldn’t get in. Publishers sometimes seemed overwhelmed by the mobs of fans, but sales were great. As Diamond Book Distributor’s Kuo-Yu Liang put it, “Everybody is cranky but happy.” Comic-Con has become an event where Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Jenna Jameson, Sarah Silverman, Cory Doctorow, Michael Cera and Katee Sackhoff can all be spotted at the same party. We are all nerds now.
This year’s San Diego Comic-con continued to be a platform for important news about manga. Dark Horse announced a groundbreaking deal with CLAMP, the all-female, superstar manga team, to produce an original series to be published simultaneously in the U.S., Japan and South Korea. Viz Media announced the acquisition of Japan’s all-time favorite manga, Takehiko Inoue’s teen crush, basketball manga, SlamDunk! Viz also had copies of the much-anticipated giant omnibus collection of Tekkonkinkreet: Black and White by Taiyo Matsumoto, which had sold out by the end of the convention.
A minute later, I am shaking hands with Ellis in the doorway of his hotel room. He is a big man, tall and stout. His wiry hair is sparse on top and long in the back, his beard not overly groomed. We sit at a desk. “Mind if I smoke?” Ellis asks. From the smell of the room, and the five packs of Silk Cut cigarettes stacked on the desk, I guess that if I did mind the interview would be pretty short.