Some more San Diego thoughts.
Blogger Laura Hudson has been asking pros to share their highlights and lowlights of Comic Con and posting them at Comics Alliance. Never one to turn down and opportunity to talk, I naturally answered her questions. You can read responses by the likes of Warren Ellis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Gail Simone, Shannon Wheeler, and others here, alongside my own, or cheat and just read mine now:
I had an incredibly good show. The highlight for me would easily be having a hit book at the con. "You Have Killed Me" made an extraordinary debut, and Joëlle Jones and I more than once felt like we were caught up in a frenzy. Just as fun was watching her star continue its ascendancy, having Matt Wagner point her out as an upcoming "Madame Xanadu" artist at the Vertigo panel and signing with Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen for the "Doctor Horrible" one-shot she's drawing for Dark Horse. I stood to the side of that one and sold her sketchbooks for her, and got to lean over and point out that she had just given Mario Hernandez an autograph. No one knew how Mario made it all the way through the raffle and into the autograph line without anyone stopping him and saying, "Dude, you co-created 'Love & Rockets,' you don't have to wait." What a guy!
I, for one, think the show was a little more chill this year. The big events upstairs meant less packed floors downstairs, and so I wandered a bit more than usual. Visiting Stan Sakai was a joy, as always, and I stumbled on Travis Charest's table by accident. Meeting Frazier Irving outside the Hyatt was also a highlight. Turns out I had corresponded with him when he was an up-and-comer and I was editing at Oni, and I had no idea.
The lowlight was when I actually stood in line for an autograph, and it reminded me that as creators, we have to be mindful of our actions. I wasn't even buying for me, which is an added kicker. I stood in line and bought some merchandise for a friend, and decided the queue was moving fast enough that I could get it signed. I got to the front of the line just as the artist agreed to do an on-camera interview with some podcast or other. Which is totally fine, that's part of the show, but there I am, standing at the table, and no one even turns to say anything to me. No, "Hey, sorry about this, it will just take a couple of minutes." Even worse, when the artist was done, he turned back to me, did not apologize, did not ask my name or if I wanted my item personalized, did not speak at all. He just scribbled his signature and shuffled me along.
Now, I'm the first to come to a creator's defense and say shows can be places where our manners suffer and we get tired and that it's a two-way street, there is often bad behavior in the aisles, etc. I've also heard plenty of stories about myself that I can't believe I may have done and know that perceptions on either side of the table can be different, but even so...we all need to think about how well we keep our game face on. I certainly hoped that this unnamed person perked up for those who followed me.
I like the format, and it actually makes the responses really interesting. Restrictions force us to think, and we can't ramble off course nearly as much as we do in our own con reports. This is part 1 of many. Keep an eye on Laura's site for more!
Current Soundtrack: Pulp, "Dishes;" White Rabbits, It's Frightening
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All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich