The Beat’s Gregory Paul Silber has been accused of having a bit of an… obsessive personality. Each week in Silber Linings, he takes a humorous look at the weirdest, funniest, and most obscure bits of comics and pop culture that he can’t get out of his head.

Hey guys, I’m taking this week off from my column to celebrate a pretty cool career milestone: I moderated my first convention panel! Not only is it my first Comic Con International (the big one held in San Diego during non-apocalypse years) panel, but it’s my first time hosting a panel, period. So in lieu of one of my usual essays about how, I don’t know, that Halle Berry Catwoman movie is “good, actually” (it’s not, but that sounds like something I’d write, doesn’t it?*), I’m just asking that you watch “Ducks All the Way Down: Metafiction in Comics” on YouTube.

(*Ed. Note: It sure does! Adding that to the list of things we’re going to make you watch for this column. Thanks for the idea, Greg! –JG)

I think it turned out pretty great. You can thank the panelists for that, including:

  • Writer/producer Marc Guggenheim, who proved his comic book bona fides on titles like Blade and The Amazing Spider-Man before becoming a key writer/producer of DC’s “Arrowverse” family of TV shows. Watch Crisis on Infinite Earths to understand why I wanted him on this panel.
  • Writer/educator Ann Nocenti, who was already the queen of comic book cameos as a Marvel editor before launching her own groundbreaking writing career with acclaimed titles like The Seeds, Ruby Falls, and a beloved run on Daredevil. I think it’s fair to say we were all a little star-struck by her.
  • Editor/letterer Hassan Otsmane Elhaou, host of Strip Panel Naked on YouTube and founder of the Eisner Award-winning PanelXPanel magazine, which is up for “Best Comics-Related Journalism/Periodical” for the third time this weekend. I’ve contributed several PxP pieces myself, including this year.
  • Prism Comics communications officer and The Beat’s own Features Editor Avery Kaplan, who was absolutely instrumental in the development of this panel. I can’t stress enough that this wouldn’t have been possible without her. Oh, and she hooked us up with a surprise cameo appearance I won’t spoil here.

Considering how… esoteric the subject matter is, I think I did a pretty good job making the panel as accessible as possible for the uninitiated, if I may say so myself. But if you’d like some additional context, these past essays I’ve written might help you out:

Alright, that’s enough preamble. Enjoy the panel. And thanks to everyone who’s been reading and sharing the silly stuff that I write here and elsewhere. SILBER LININGS has been going a little over six months now, and in that half year it’s become one of the things I’m most proud of in my life. I’m truly grateful to all of you who’ve taken interest.