Monday, September 29, 2008

Baltimore Comic-Con: A Not-so-Live Blogging

I was at the Baltimore Comic-Con this year and wow, what a difference a year makes.
Some quick thoughts:

  • Attendance appears to be WAY up; there was a definite San Diego vibe at one point, given how densely packed the aisles seemed to be. It didn't last all afternoon but... it felt a lot busier than last year.
  • Adam Hughes is one of the most talented artists out there--he is also one of the nicest. Visit his website and buy his sketchbooks; they are a bargain at any price. And if you're lucky enough to get a commission from him, I envy you greatly.
  • Darwyn Cooke is a riot. He was willing to chat with Kat on my cellphone while he signed my two volumes of DC: the New Frontier. He and his wife struck me as real nice, genuine folks. Consider me a fan.
  • Jim Lee is immune to the passage of time, except that his art keeps getting better.
  • Saw Pop Mhan again this year and enjoyed it even more than last year. He's an ex-WildStormer like me and it's great catching up.
  • The bar at the Sheraton doesn't stay open late enough--though I was ready to bail at 12:30.
  • Rain, rain everywhere. Lucky for us, there was a roof over the line going into the con on Saturday.
  • the Kirkman-Bendis panel was great (you had to be there to see Kirkman pull out graphs of relative sales and how working for the Big Two doesn't necessarily mean a spike in your creator-owned work)
  • So was the "Marvel: Your Universe" panel, where I asked a question about the way events lately seem to reset the status quo to a decades-past iteration OR strive to create a new status quo; Tom Brevoort, Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Slott and C.B. Cebulski were very good at answering the audience.
  • Said hi to Jim Shooter, Bernie Wrightson and a flock of others (reminding them of either long-ago or trivial connections in the process; I interviewed a bunch of Shooter's team at Valiant back in the day and was working at Chaos! when he drew a story for our horror anthology mini).
  • Thought Howard Chaykin was astounding in his Sunday panel with Adam Hughes. He gives Harlan Ellison a run for his money when it comes to snark.
  • Caught a glimpse of Tim Sale, at the tip of a long line of fans.

And that's the quick notes from the con. I might blog a bit more later but... it was a fantastic two days.

I suspect Baltimore has been "discovered," though, which might be good or bad. The number and celebrity of the professionals here is amazing; plus, it's a comics-driven show (until SDCC, which has been Hollywood driven for a long time now).

If you have the chance, come to Baltimore next year. I think you'll find it is an event you'll want to revisit over and over again.


Anonymous said...

Hi Drew,

Great blog, found you through Google of all places and I'll definitely be coming back. Comics, video games, and George R.R. Martin are reason enough for me to take interest in what another person has to say.

Please forgive the long comment I'm leaving, but something has been driving me crazy ever since the Marvel: Your Universe panel in Baltimore. As you may remember, right before we were all booted from the Marvel panel, Tom B. said he had time for three more comments. I was the second person he chose and I spoke as fast as physically possible in order to be courteous and take up as little time as possible. I spoke so fast, in fact, that I have no recollection whatsoever of what words came out of my mouth. I know I had a comment ready in my head since about halfway through the panel, but it was my first time speaking to the 'brains behind the books', and I was nervous.

My comment had to do with the questions about continuity that cropped up during the panel, and how I enjoyed Joss Whedon's method of just having fun when it came to referencing past events. I've never laughed out loud at a comic until I read some of the inside jokes in his run on Astonishing X-Men. I (think I) gave my opinion that writers should remember to have fun when writing their books, and that, dramatic as the 'event' stories are, fans and readers still come to comics to be entertained on all levels.

Like I said, though, it all happened so fast that I can't remember what I actually said. I've scoured the internet for footage or a transcript of the panel, but have come up with nothing. Do you know of any such source, or do you remember the crazy guy speaking super fast well enough to tell me whether I came off as a complete jack***? Bendis did say he agreed with me as I was sitting down, so that makes me feel a little better. But I'd still like to find out what I said, if only to put my mind at ease.

Again, I'm terribly sorry for the length of this comment, especially if it turns out to be a waste of your time, but I saw that you were actually at the panel and I just had to ask.

Thank you for hearing me out, and I'm really grateful that you took the time to read this novella, regardless or whether or not you can help me out.

Drew said...

Hey Jon,
Sorry for the long delay in responding (three months! egad!).
Unfortunately I'm not aware of any transcript of the panels or any videotaping that might have been done.
If you can, you might want to visit NY Comic Con in February-- you can probably find the same folks on hand who could give you a more thorough answer to your question.
For what it's worth, continuity is fine in moderation but when it becomes a straitjacket, it's time to remember that these stories are like myths-- they are entertainment, not history.
all best,

Anonymous said...

Hi again Drew,

Sorry for the rant before. I've since stopped worrying about my nonsensical statement, because I realized I was probably the only person who was in that room that day still thinking about it. I need to find something new to obsess over before I stress myself to death.

And I'm totally with you on the 'entertainment-not-history' viewpoint. Thanks for responding!