A weekend of comics-related activities. On Saturday, Sarah Fan sweet-talked me into going to WizardWorld East in Philadelphia, since her roommate Jenny, who works for Marvel, had sweet-talked her into going. (I noted with interest that it is slightly cheaper to take the subway, New Jersey Transit and SEPTA trains to get from my apartment to Philadelphia than it is to take a cab from the West Village to my apartment.) Sarah helped me get a press pass. The first person we ran into was Heidi MacDonald, who I believe is the person who coined the term FYOV to refer to a certain segment of the comics business's core market: Forty-Year-Old Virgin. There were a certain number of those there, and a whole lot of very excited kids. I knew this particular convention was skewed heavily toward the superhero side of things, but didn't realize quite how far until I decided I was going to buy Sarah a copy of Love & Rockets #33 (the one with the first chapter of "Wig Wam Bam"). Of the fifty-odd dealers there, exactly ONE had ANY L&R. (And not the one I was looking for.)

Also present: sweet old Golden Age artist Mart Nodell signing people's Green Lantern comics; more than a few Playboy bunnies; bootleg anime dealers; people in full Darth Maul costume and makeup; a guy wearing a T-shirt that said "If You're Such a Goth, Where Were You When We Sacked Carthage?" I did have a couple of memorable meals, though, especially a Chinese vegetarian banquet with Peggy Burns, Charles Burns (who I don't think is related to her--I don't think), and some Highwater Books people. And I got lots of reading done on the 5 hours' worth of train rides I took, though Toby Young's How To Lose Friends & Alienate People isn't quite what it should've been.

Then, last night, I saw Spider-Man with Lisa. The previews, first off, reminded me of why I never go to movies any more. Plucky-loner action movie, monster movie, wacky-loner action movie, monster movie, plucky-loner-teams-up-with-wacky-loner action movie. I was clutching a copy of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief that I'd brought to read on the subway, and realizing that the only upcoming movie I know about and care about seeing at all is Adaptation.

The movie itself is awful, actually: a badly scripted action flick with a romantic weepie stapled onto its back. Also, excessively faithful to the comics. I mean, X-Men was fantastic because they tried to make sure that something incredibly cool happened every 15 seconds, and were happy to ditch the comics continuity altogether if it made for a better movie. This one just alters the Lee/Ditko material a little, and ends up obeying its letter rather than its spirit. And Tobey M. cannot pass for 16/17, which he really needs to be able to do. Actually, all the "high school students" look like recent college grads with bad haircuts.

The one thing I really enjoyed, I'm afraid, was coming home and reading this. (Skip it if you haven't seen the movie already.) Oof.