My Favorite Convention Costume
(Also, appropriate commentary on what we've been served!)
God in Heaven, I'm back from Comic Con. Which hardly seems important since both Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni have died. Bergman was a big influence on 12 Reasons Why I Love Her (for this), and my slug line in the pitch for You Have Killed Me was "Antonioni directing The Big Sleep." Announcements about some stupid superhero movie, which appears to be the bread and butter of the show now, seem absolutely pointless by comparison.
I don't even know where to begin, don't even know that I want to. Tom Spurgeon seems to have some pretty accurate thoughts about this monstrosity, so read this. I didn't finish it, but I'm not really up to finishing anything at the moment. I got in at 1 a.m. last night and I'm still dead. I have a couple of links to other articles specific to me and my crew, but for me to come back and sift through all the write-ups to find mentions of us, it would take me a ridiculous amount of time. So, if you saw something, why not post it in the comments? (Tom's Collective Memory listing pulls in a huge amount of links. I actually met Tom for the first time, standing in front of the Image table occupied by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon while Marc Ellerby was buying stuff. Just one of those random meetings at Comic Con. I never saw Tom again.)
JK Parkin's summary of the Oni panel is worth reading. I'm kind of amused by the things I said that got directly quoted. He also avoided giving press time to the truly awful person in the audience who tried to chastise Oni for not having any "new female writers," emphasis on the new, noting that three female writers attached to new projects were just "wives, sisters, and friends," insulting quite a few people in the process. Which wasn't very smart, because by new, she meant, "Why haven't you hired me?" Way to blow your job interview, kid.
Joëlle Jones was on the Minx panel, announcing that she is drawing Token for next year, which is written by Alisa Kwitney. A quick scan didn't turn up any reportage on this, but DC has a slideshow I found via Rolston. (UPDATE: Ooops, and as Maryanne pointed out, here is Newsarama.) No captions, but Joëlle is the blonde with the blue shirt sitting between Jim Rugg and Brian Wood. She actually has the Jim Rugg placard while Jim is labeled as Cecil Castellucci. I spent a good amount of time talking to Cecil. In fact, she and I and Neal Shaffer had a long writerly chat one night at the bar. Cecil is everyone's new favorite. We were all charmed by her and wanted to brawl to see who could take her home in our suitcase.
I have my own photos, I'll post them eventually, probably today. I also need to get the photo of myself and Michael Cera from Chynna.
The awards shows were a bust. No Lulu or Russ Manning Awards for Joëlle, all the more bitter when Steve Rude lived up to his name and, claiming not to have a list of the nominees, skipped straight ahead to the winner of the Russ Manning. Not that, you know, he couldn't pause or something and wait for a list. Everyone in the room was handed a list of all the awards when they walked through the door. Or, I dunno, maybe turn your fat head and look at the giant freakin' slideshow projected on either side of you that showed the nominees. You know, something simple like that. Thankfully, Bill Morrison made the projectionist back up afterwards and gave our girl her spotlight. (I realize that the Dude may have simply been the victim of a screw-up on behalf of the show runners, but seriously, stop for a second and use common sense. I doubt he was being malicious, just not very conscientious.)
As we exited, shocked by sleeveless Paul Pope dancing up to the stage to riffs of "Cinammon Girl" and fed up with the process, I accidentally kicked Joëlle's empty glass--well, empty of drink. Because ice went flying everywhere! Way to be inconspicuous while wearing a bright red shirt, m'man!
On the positive awards front: Jennifer de Guzman beat DC editors Karen Berger and Joan Hilty to take home the Lulu for Woman of Distinction. Not bad for a scrawny girl with dirt on her knees hailing from an indie publisher!
People kept asking me how the show went, to the point I just wanted to scream. You know how when you break a limb and can't hide the fact that you have a huge cast on, and every time you run into someone, they have to know what happened? That same sort of irritation and ennui you get on your millionth telling of the same story about how you ate corn on the cob and then jumped on the monkey bars without washing your hands (how I broke my wrist when I was six) is similar to answering how you did at the show.
Really, my answer is that I have to judge by how well my artists did. I know we sold books, but I think they also got a little money in their pockets and did some sketches, and basically survived it being their first time mostly intact, so I think we did all right. Could have been better, but it wasn't nearly as bad as my first solo time as a writer three years ago, so it also could have been worse.
Honestly, I'd like to make this my last San Diego. I realize that's easier said than done, but it's just too big, too easy to get swallowed. You can barely move around, barely get to see the people you want to. Scheduled meetings are often canceled or delayed, so not even business ends up being easy to do. I already said this last year, but the word Comic needs to be taken out of the title. It should be Pop Culture Con International or something. The presence of movie studios is stifling. They used to pick and choose and promote movies that made sense to a nerdy crowd, but these days, it seems like there is no rhyme or reason. Just promote everything! It's sort of sad how the Hollywood areas of the hall get so congested, but then opens right up as soon as you hit the islands of comic book publishers. That earns a big boo from me.
I do know that it was great having Joëlle Jones and Marc Ellerby there, and we pretty much acted as a unit the entire time, which made me have a better time as well as helped me relax and not constantly be go, go, GO! You'd be hard pressed to find three harder drinkers in the mix. I also left with $500 in cash in my pocket, and gave my very last dollar to the cab driver who took us home. Yet, never used my credit card...so, personally, that's success in its own way.
Sorry this is random, but I kept no notes, my thoughts are scattered. I was not on the internet the entire time I was there, either, so no updating as we went. I think I'm going to wrap this up and maybe post individual anecdotes as they come back to me.
Speaking of anecdotes and hard drinking, I'll leave you with this:
On Friday night, Oni Press and United Talent Agency had a big party--which is where I met Michael Cera and Joëlle smoked cigarettes with Nick Frost, and I got to tell Masi Oka that I didn't care about Heroes but loved him on Scrubs. (I also failed to meet Judd Apatow or Seth Rogen, so Sarah Grace won't be too jealous.) I do realize that there is a massive irony in my excitement over this. Yes, that night I was seduced by the dark side, I was as starstruck as anyone. But I would also say that Oni's man on the scene, Eric Gitter, is a cool dude, and I am glad he got to have his party and I'm glad he is representing my books, so take that and smoke it.
The main point is that on the way home, wicked drunk, Marc, Ian Shaughnessy, and I got stuck behind one of those infamous late night trains that likes to stop for about half an hour and split the Convention Center from the rest of San Diego. This is 2:00 in the morning, and super obnoxious. So, while it was sitting there and a handful of other people just stared at it and waited, I threw caution to the wind and climbed between two cars and over their connecting joint and hopped through on the other side. It was the easiest thing in the world, but strangely exhilarating. I had just jumped a train! Marc and Ian soon followed, and we went home, leaving all those other people to wait.
Ironically, after doing what most people perceive as too dangerous to do, Marc hurt himself crossing the street. It was his own fault. We were the only ones in the street, but for some reason he shouted, "Run!" and we all did. Only once we hit the curb, I realized Marc was all bent and twisted on the ground, having tripped somehow (I didn't see it, he doesn't remember it) and sprained his ankle. I was completely schnookered, and so I wasn't sure if he was being serious or not. I kept asking him if he was really hurt, all the while digging in my pocket for my camera because he was making the most amazing pain face. He looked like a James Kochalka drawing--all buck teeth and pinchy eyes. Alas, I realized he was really hurt and gave up trying to go all paparazzi on him and helped him up. Don't feel too sorry for him, though, because two nights later, despite the ankle still being swollen and purple, he for some reason decided to tackle Joëlle and knock her to the floor, proving once and for all this whole polite British gentleman cliche is a total lie. I lifted his skinny frame with two fingers, just pinching the back of his shirt, and Terry Blas went all Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard and scooped Joëlle up, taking her to safety.
Marc Ellerby is a masher!
Current Soundtrack: Brett Anderson, Live at Union Chapel Hall; Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady
Current Mood: tired
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All text (c) 2007 Jamie S. Rich