Well, another Comic-Con International: San Diego has come and gone. This year not only marks twenty-five years since I first attended Comic-Con, but I was honored to be a guest at this year’s soiree! Still, my main duty was to helm the Exhibit A Press booth where the new Wolff & Byrd trade paperback, Zombie Wife and Other Tales of Supernatural Law made its debut. But–as they say on TV– there’s more! Lovely Wife Jackie premiered her first book, Comic Book People, and it was an instant sensation! Comic Book People is a handsome, coffee table book of Jackie’s photographs from the 70’s and 80’s of various comics professionals at conventions. Candid shots of Golden Age, Silver Age, and Bronze Age greats as well as today’s fan-favorites at the beginning of their careers. A highlight is Jackie’s captions accompanying her photos– very chatty and informative!
I always enjoy watching the passing scene from my booth. The cosplay is always imaginative and everyone looks like they are having a blast.
I would love to get away and attend some panels, but duty calls! However, I was asked to be on several panels this year.
One topic was digital comics. Mark Waid, who has successfully launched several new series online, was the moderator. It was a lively discussion with panelists Jeff Smith, Colleeen Coover, Paul Tobin, and Rina Piccolo . I spoke how Supernatural Law made the move to the web to create content for eventual print. I was also able to plug my new series, The First Gentleman of the Apocalypse, for David Lloyd’s online anthology, ACES Weekly.
I was also asked to participate on a panel devoted to Will Eisner’s tenure as teacher at the School of Visual Arts. Moderated by former DC Comics publisher and author of a forthcoming bio of Eisner, Paul Levitz, I joined SVA alumni Mike Carlin, Drew Friedman and Joe Quesada, all who were students of Eisner. You can hear what we said here.
And I had the pleasure of moderating a spotlight on cartoonist, editor, comics historian, Mr. Monster creator, and old friend, Michael T. Gilbert, who was a Comic-Con guest. You had to see Michael T.’s face when Comic-Con’s Gary Sassaman presented him with an Inkpot Award! He was genuinely moved with his well-deserved, long overdue award.
I was the subject of a spotlight panel myself, moderated by author/futurist Rob Salkowitz. I met Rob and his wife Eunice years ago; they were regular readers of Supernatural Law and would eventually become close friends. And I have Wolff & Byrd to thank for that! And as always, I enjoyed the sheer spectacle of the show itself and was delighted how the Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego gave it up for Comic-Con. Even if a fan didn’t have a pass to get into the exhibit hall, there was plenty to see and do downtown with extracurricular signings and events. And it was a common sight to see cosplayers wining and dining in the Gaslamp bars and restaurants. I particularly liked the vintage black and white Gotham City Police Department cars along Fifth Avenue! Friday evening was the 26th annual Eisner Awards where fans and professionals celebrate all that we love about the medium. Full disclosure (not that readers of my blog aren’t aware!) is that Lovely Wife Jackie is the Eisner Awards administrator. I watched her plan out and organize the event for months. Her hard work pays off: every year sees the show running a little smoother, the pacing a little quicker and the presenters a little more polished. But not everything works as well as one can hope. I was (ahem!) drafted by British comedian/ BBC host and longtime comics fan Jonathan Ross to assist him in a bit. Holding hands, I was supposed to be miffed at him for lying on Match.com because the photo he used for his profile was Zach Braff. Wossy said I lied, too- my profile photo was a well-endowed cosplayer dressed as Power Girl. Well, that was how it was supposed to go! Technical difficulties arose and there I was, holding hands with Jonathan Ross on stage in front of a befuddled audience, trying to make the best of it! Still, it was fun and Wossy knows how to bounce back from a misfired bit!
Saturday evening saw the debut of Boomshop of Comics’s “Drink and Draw.” Boomshop of Comics is a new comics shop (which also specializes in selling original art) right in the Gaslamp District, on Fifth Avenue. A klatch of cartoonists sketched live models while comics professionals schmoozed. If you are ever downtown San Diego, check them out!