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.