San Diego Comic Con–the media hype–a gigantic party that an elite group of people and determined fans attend and hang out with tv and movie stars. It’s true that it’s a giant party and it’s true there are loyal and determined fans but as for an elite group rubbing shoulders with the stars, not quite. There may be a few people in that category but most of us, nope. After all the years I’ve gone to SDCC I’ve never even been in Hall H. Power to those who have! And no, I have not had the good fortune to meet Gal Godot.
San Diego Comic Con happens to be the biggest trade show in our industry. Trade show—Industry. We are writers, artists, publishers, editors, journalists, academics, promoters, film makers, animators, distributors, printers, gamers, cosplayers, and yes, even movie and tv stars. We’re here to enjoy one another’s company and we’re mostly here to sell our wares and get the latest news to stay out front in our business. Most of us are free-lancers—no company benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc.) and a trade show of this magnitude with people who have the potential to hire us, publish us and pay for our work is vital to our survival–pay the rent, buy groceries–the daily stuff of life.
The show is an incredible diversity of talent and art. Besides the exciting and seriously fun media hoopla of movies and tv, yes, Virginia there are comics–comics aimed for kids, comics for adults, comics from the Golden and Silver ages, Super hero comics, comics from independent creators, fantasy comics, romance comics, political comics, comics from all over the world, and more. Once you hit the convention center there is no time to reflect. There is only moving forward. It’s only when you get on the plane or on the road to head home that you begin to get back to whatever passes for reality these days.
What strikes me over and over at comic cons large and small is the art and artistry and the availability to the general public. It’s art! You can buy it for very little outlay and even talk to the artists who made it. You can’t own a Picasso but here at Comic Con you can buy original art you can read or hang on your wall. Even from the legendary Neal Adams!
So, forgive us for the next couple of days if we take time off from all the distressing news and immerse ourselves in our work with the joy of connecting with like-minded souls. And herewith my idiosyncratic list of some of the souls I’ll be looking for on the floor with their wares. There are so many more! Feel Free to share your own list.
At one end of the convention floor is Artists Alley. This is the heart and soul of the convention. Make sure you stroll the aisles and buy some art! Don’t miss a chance to see Marv Wolfman. He’s at AA-01.
It’s not SDCC until I see Jackie Estrada of Comic Book People who makes the Eisner Awards happen and Batton Lash at Exhibit A Booth 1909. Batton will have his new comic Grandfathered In. I love his art.
Dan Fogel a friend of the Major’s will have lots of great comics at his booth Hippy Comix booth 1615 and he’ll get you organized with all things Underground comics.
The person I’m nominating for the first MWN Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, David Lloyd will be at booth 1907 with Ace Comics–cyberspace comics. I’m a subscriber—get with the program!
Mr. Cool and Laidback Steve Leialoha will be at booth 1-06 with his beautiful work.
The prolific Dan Parent who along with Fernando Ruiz will be my 2nd nomination for the MWNSP Award will be at booth F-12 with tons of art/comics including the imaginative and fun Die Kitty Die.
Shannon Wheeler will be over in Small Press K-13 in his alter ego as Too Much Coffee Man and he has a plethora of books, art and things you must have including his new book Memoirs of A Very Stable Genius. Yes, I’m partial. This book includes his comic on the Major from the 2014 New Yorker Cartoons of the Year.
Mark Wheatley whose art covers a variety of genres will be at booth 2308 with his stunning artwork. I love the photo of these guys. J.C. Vaughn aka Mr. Wonderful and Mark Wheatley flanking David Lloyd. J.C. and Mark collaborated on a project for David’s Ace Comics.
There’s a rumor Scott Koblish will be signing his new book, The Many Deaths of Scott Koblish at Chronicle Books 1506 (on my list, Scott!) on Thursday. Check their signing schedule. How can you resist that face…
And don’t forget me at the Hermes Booth 1821 with my new book, years in the making DC Comics Before Superman: Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson’s Pulp Comics an exclusive for SDCC with a limited number signed by the grand master Steranko who wrote the Foreword.
Check out Vanguard’s booth 1709 with J. David Spurlock’s beautiful books. My favorite is on Margaret Brundage. It has a cameo in my book. If you don’t know who she is, better go look.
John Morrow and the guys will be at AlterEgo/TwoMorrows booth 1301 with decades of comic book history. According to Roy Thomas (yes that Roy Thomas) they are the midwives for my book and I completely agree! See Alter Ego #88.
Discover all things Jack Kirby at the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center 5520. Rand Hoppe and Mark Badger are usually manning the booth and Arlen Schumer is often about. Arlen has a number of great books on the silver age. I was late to the Kirby party but signed on two years ago and have no regrets. King Kirby!
Andrew Farrago, in competition with Travis Langley to overtake Mark Evanier for most panels, will be at our very own San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum Booth 1930. Their new digs at 781 Beach St. in SF are swell.
Always, always visit the good people at Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and make a contribution. They’re at booth 1918.
This is my quick and dirty friends list. There is so much more that I’ll be checking out and promise to pass on. Peruse the schedule and get out there and buy art!! More about panels later.