con and confidence

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Back from this year's Comic-Con International, and attempting to catch up on domesticity (this mostly involves hanging out with Sterling, playing the sorts of games 4-month-olds like to play and surreptitiously sneaking sniffs of the top of his head). Some notes on it:

I always forget that Con is just incredibly physically taxing. The air conditioning held up this year, but it's still total sensory overload, and there's not much good food or peace 'n' quiet around to get one through it. Too many meals at Horton Plaza's food court, too little time around foliage. But: COMICS! At the Eisner Awards ceremony on Friday (very long, very emotional w/ tributes to the Will Eisner from virtually everyone who got up on stage), it seemed like half the people accepting awards said something about how much they love comics. Which is extraordinary: you don't hear Oscar winners talking about their deep love for movies so much, right?

Thing I wanted to find for Sterling's (eventual) delectation and couldn't: those Uncle $crooge and Donald Duck trade paperbacks that you tripped over everywhere a few years ago. Interesting. Also fascinated to see that a lot of the hot double-digit-price comics of years past were well-represented in the dollar bins--the McFarlane Spider-Man #1, etc. There is apparently a great deal of discussion of the "ages" of comics right now. Gold we know (started with maybe Famous Funnies, ended with Showcase #4); Silver we sort of know (if it's ended, when did it end?); but after that--Bronze? Tin? Platinum? Iron? What, and when? What is our age, right now?

As Heidi has noted, there didn't seem to be "buzz books" this year, particularly--well, there was one, but it was by J.K. Rowling. (I spent Saturday morning counting bleary-eyed kids with a copy in one hand, bookmarked by a finger.) A lot of the big art-comics publishers didn't have major new releases timed to this show--was hoping for the new Drawn & Quarterly Showcase, but they didn't get it in time. I loved Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle #1, but that's just a floppy.

I think DC was hoping to have everyone talking about All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, but most of the talk I heard about it was "well, that wasn't so hot, was it?" (Finally read it on the plane home, and I agree--if something like this is going to be hyped as a crossover to the public, it has to be awesome from page 1, panel 1. And it would help if they were far enough ahead of schedule to be able to print the cover to the second issue. Also, it's strange that Frank Miller--who contributed the idea of Martha Wayne's pearl necklace to the canon--should have had the Flying Graysons shot to death while on the ground after their act, instead of the more familiar and more dramatic ropes doctored to break midair...)

So the pleasures I was able to get from this Con were mostly geek pleasures--this is the place where nobody gets to snicker at anybody else for being Comic Book Guy or Girl. Like the fellow in the immaculate John Stewart costume, complete with bright green contact lenses. Or the seven-dollar copy I found of Amazing Adult Fantasy #11 (with half its cover torn away--I had to explain what Amazing Adult Fantasy was to the amused and baffled non-comics friends I visited in SD--it's an early-'60s anthology of short science fiction and horror stories, all by the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko team, subtitled "The Magazine That Respects Your Intelligence," as if; its final issue, #15, changed the title to Amazing Fantasy and introduced Spider-Man). Or the traditional Fans Vs. Pros Trivia Challenge, which gets really trivial--this year, the topic was Silver Age villains (the Silver Age defined as having ended with Crisis on Infinite Earths #12), at least two writers couldn't answer questions about comics they'd written, and the answer to one question was "Leonardo da Vinci's Pistol of Power." As a T-shirt I bought put it: "Stuff is AWESOME."

And one reliable and not-quite-so-geeky pleasure: the traditional Saturday night beach party, this time mellower than usual (a lot of the regulars weren't there this year) but well-supplied with firewood and the gentle non-laminated smell of the ocean. From the location of this year's bonfire, we could see in the window of an apartment nearby, in which there were three people swing-dancing (not a euphemism). Enthusiastically. For about an hour and a half. It was very sweet.

2 Comments

geeta said:

nice! welcome back!

FreedomGirl said:

Rock'n'Roll Camp for Girls starts on Monday, the 25th...hope you can make it to the showcase!

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas published on July 18, 2005 11:15 PM.

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