* I'm still slightly traumatized from the fact that the Eisners were 16,000 hours long. This may be slow in coming.
* that said, the number of women and diversely representative winners last night was encouraging and hopeful -- and category to category the right choices. Someone will let us know if that's more winners from underrepresented groups than in the history of the show or several years of it combined, and the fact that people are thinking about that notion out loud tells you something of last night's upbeat mood.
* someone told us last night that designer Jacob Covey has never won the design category, which seems semi-nuts to me.
* wait, I'm going to have breakfast now. If I don't get back to this in a timely fashion, feel free to make the joke about me having a 17-hour breakfast or whatever.
* okay, I'm back and now I only have to worry about packing. I stay Thursday morning to Saturday evening at Comic-Con, mostly because there was a time when $370 hotel rooms were not just painful but impossible. Plus I have a wedding reception in Claremont tomorrow. It's all good, but it makes these weekend windows a bit of a chore.
* only one Artist's Edition item of news this year, but it's a show-stopper: Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein, one of the comics-maker's career highlights and one of the great illustration projects of the second half of the 20th Century. That one's been a longtime coming, and I can't wait to see it.
* Todd Allen has the only report from the D+Q panel I've read. It focuses on John Stanley and Yoshiharu Tsuge, both coming to the publisher in major, serial-volume ways. Every book is interesting, though -- new work from Julie Doucet and a book from Kevin Huizenga, it all sounds great.
* it's great to hear about the new print iteration of TCJ, RJ Casey and Fanta-MVP Kristy Valenti supporting Gary Groth. I think Groth's interviews as a collective whole are going to be reappraised in the next 20 years as the great accomplishment they are, and anything that adds to that legacy like a new run of magazines on paper I am 100 percent interested in backing.
* speaking of Casey, he wore a one-piece jumper with fringe last night to the Eisners, which was fairly impressive. Lots of baby pictures from that guy.
* Top Shelf is working with George Takei on a graphic novel re-telling of his harrowing stories of childhood in a World War 2 interment camp.
* met a European writer-about-comics on the floor whose name is in my notes somewhere but isn't findable right this minute. "I'm so grateful when I see books being sold."
* wide agreement that the show is in its era where the energy on the floor comes from toy sales, and trying to pick how that might develop over the next few years was a lot of fun -- okay, nerdy fun but fun. Like I would imagine we'll get everyday-new exclusives in a more concentrated way very, very soon. I can imagine more book exclusives related to time and place -- I hear a lot about special book editions that never see the light of day. I can imagine some digital exclusives using virtual coin philosophies. It's going to get more complicated before it gets better.
* the first thing about which most folks have talked to me is the intensity with which security and staff are after people to have badges, to wear them correctly and to keep moving in those aisles above all things. It was noticeable to me as I can't remember having anyone give me directions like that for years now.
* closing the road right up next to the convention center is a big hit. Also there are kudos with how responsive and engaged the security and staff people tend to be. People got their questions answered. If it was appropriate, they got one called down from upstairs.
* I did talk to three writers that were discombobulated by the move to one registration line leading upstairs, as the longer initial wait time was more than they thought when scheduling their Thursday AM. Not a big deal to any of them.
* I somehow failed to register for the show as press. That's right. Laugh it up. Since I could show the person manning the panel participation booth that I was in the program for interviewing Noah Van Sciver later today I was able to score a pass. A press pass was offered to me, too. Pretty embarrassing. Everyone was nice.
* the D&Q booth was humming with the Doucet collection and the Lutes book. It was great to see Jason in front of that colossal effort.
* it felt busy in the aisles for a Thursday early afternoon although a lot of the smaller booths I talked to told me it was initially slow, and had been for most on Preview Night as well. It does strike me that the energy of the show in terms of what gets bought is very different now.
* at one point I saw Paul Karasik walking down the aisle, comfortable in his own skin, about two full rows away. I realized I might not see him again this entire trip and wished good thoughts and positive outcomes in his direction.
* my I don't really get fandom moment of the day was a guy playing the Star Wars lone-trumpet ending scene music on the way down the escalator and this performance's wild response.
* saw recently departed Team Billy Ireland member Amy Chalmers and the cartoonist Noah Van Sciver looking for the convention center's back porch to have lunch together -- "we heard you can see the water" -- and it was adorable.
* i made a comment about my regret at not having registered and a friend thought I was saying I regret I didn't register for a movement assistance device so I'm guessing I look pretty damn fat.
* there is a lot of walking, though, and walking that feels more tiring than normal walking because you're always negotiating bodies, backpacks and baby carriages. Only one person noted that the comfortable shoes I brought had holes over the big-toe toenails because I am a disgusting old man now with unicorn horns sticking up from each toe.
* Silver Sprocket's set-up looked great, and they were attracting a lot of young-people attention. I think they're a pretty ideal exhibitor in terms of their being able to do a show like CCI but also every small-press show and arts festival you can think of. Best t-shirts.
* four people mentioned to me how unfortunate the new NCS show was to use rhetoric that made it look like they will be inventing use of the festival model in North America, although everyone also noted their May 2019 show has a strong line-up.
* Sammy Harkham and Kevin Huizenga were there. Brannon Costello. Stéphane Beaujean. The latter two there are newbies and looked slightly stunned and maybe even a tiny bit dismayed. It's not an unfamiliar look there. Miriam Libicki. Larry Marder. Carol Tyler and I walked around looking for Last Gasp; Tyler expressed concern that the convention floor carpets were at different levels of thickness. Rob Salkowitz.
* saw a really fine Robert Williams spotlight panel moderate by Eric Reynolds. About 100 attendees. Williams deflected praise and spoke matter-of-factly about shifts in his own skill set and how complacent he thought American progressives become. Great hour.
* dinner at an impressively crowded Italian restaurant. Hit the party circuit afterwards. Brian Fies sounded gracious and moved in a few minutes of discussion about he and his family losing their home to California fires. Dana Simpson, Andrew Farago and the great Nat Gertler were some of the other folks at the GoComics party. Great to see Nat after about 13 years, and congratulations to him on 20 years of About Comics. Saw Gina Gagliano and a couple of other folks at a lively and high class Scholastic party. The CBLDF was Zander Cannon, Kiel Phegley, Chris Butcher, Brian Hibbs, Alex Cox, Jacq Cohen, Tom Neely, Denis Kitchen. I sat in a chair next to Scott McCloud for a while, but I'm too tired to remember what was discussed except a panel description he thought was the saddest of all time.
* a comic book starring Reginald Hudlin and JR JR's character Shuri is a New York Times article, in case you didn't remember how powerfully that Black Panther hit earlier this year. A comic starring that character could be something we've never seen before; I imagine we'll get more along the lines of something we've seen before.
* the writer Gail Simone will be doing some line-wide shaping of the superhero material published by Lion Forge. There are a lot of superhero lines, and it's a very specific sub-genre, so I don't expect anything all that different or groundbreaking from this material. People like variations on the standard formulas, though, a lot. If Mark Millar can have 27,000 TV shows made out of his riffs on the standards, there can be a workable line from as sturdily funded and confident a company as Lion Forge.
* some of the noticeable absences in terms of movie announcements at CCI are being turned into a business story. I think the show will be fine only attracting 87 of the 89 things out there. In fact, I think the show would do fine attracting 40 of those 89 things. The desire of the studios to announce efforts at the convention have been actively tenuous for about six-seven years now, and with results mixed and the context constantly shifting there is bound to be some energy in the going/not-going area.
* DC will accept returns on regular-cover versions of its recent Batman/Catwoman wedding comics that came out right after plot points were revealed in a NYT preview article. I'm all for retailers getting a hand whenever one is offered and I'm sort of generally against those preview articles that talk breathlessly about plot points in superhero comics as if they were real-world events, so I guess I'm glad to hear this. I've long believed that serial superhero comics exist as delivery system for narrative updates more than as a pleasurable experience, and this kind of thing tends to confirm that way of thinking.
* I couldn't get this to load, but it's apparently video from last night's Preview Night. Speaking of energy, there is a lot in the exclusive toys part of the field, leading to adjustments from toy-makers, leading to complaints from fans and philosophical discussions as to how the exclusives should work. That's not my world, but I think this kind of mercantile judo has been a boon for some longstanding comics-related properties just as a way to goose them a bit in terms of attention.