July 22, 2018
News & Notes From The San Diego Convention Floor
Here are some thoughts and links as to things I've seen or discussed on the convention floor and in the barrooms of Comic-Con International.
* when your exit day is everyone else's highlight/most grueling day, there's a weird energy.
* this was the first time I did a lot of work at the hotel during the show, so I did a lot of hotel things and paid attention to what was going on around me. I stay in the best hotel. This yeah I have to admit it was unfortunately upgraded on security and flow issues the same way the rest of the show was. There was a doorman and attention to keys and a denial of use of bathroom facilities, which I just thought were sort of an unfriendly look, especially given nothing in past years seemed crazy or overcrowded or dangerous.
* all hail the tuna fish sandwich at Cine Cafe, the Ralph's for those of us that can't get over to Ralph's.
* the length of the Eisners and all the jokes thereabouts were a discussion point in the morning, equal to the diversity of gender, orientation and race on display -- which was incredibly heartening. When people express sympathy in your direction for having to do too many acceptance speeches, you know you're having a good evening.
* what was weird about the length of that show is that there wasn't any cause. It just seemed like certain speeches dragged and presentation banter crawled at a stately pace. No one did anything that anyone could pivot from, which meant there weren't a lot of jokes that caught on -- making the time spent even more of a thing over which to obsess. I would recommend some pruning of awards -- I don't think anyone gets the distinctions between webcomics/digital comic or one-shot/short story (or whatever that latter category is called). Other than that, I'm not sure what to do.
* saw Emil Ferris' panel, and that was pretty special. There are a lot of things that are great about Emil Ferris on panel: she's funny, she's profane, she's spiritual, she's encouraging, she's smart and she seems like she's been around 30 but also provides a fresh experience. Also with a book like hers there is a significant connection between author and audience. One boy brought her a back-issue comic which he gave her before asking an excellent questionand their exchange was intensely charming. I'm told the book was a continued star sales-wise as well.
* saw the front-end of Scott McCloud's 25 Years Of Understanding Comics panel, and it was very funny and sweet. Lots of grateful dad and husband stuff. He sounds very excited about his next project, which is in comics form but has a much broader platform hitting all forms of communication and understanding. Plus no "Comics" in the title.
* I'm told Gary Groth didn't make it to the Ditko tribute panel. Neither did Ditko. Neither did I. Getting a report I'm told there were some charming stories and one assumes that most of them have a basis in reality. I'm interested in this thread of commentary coming out of Ditko's passing that he was largely inscrutable. I also like that some people are questioning the constant fan visits a bit, what the motivation was there and if they were truly welcome.
* got to meet Gabe Rodriguez, who is noticeably nice in an industry stuffed with nice people. It was great running to Denis Kitchen on the way out of the hotel lobby that afternoon.
* finished my day at the anthologies panel. This felt like kind of a throw-in to get some of the special guests some more panel time. Manuele Fior, for example, admitted sheepishly up top he has barely appeared in any. Still, the panelists were good so the discussion was good. Carol Tyler gave a short history of the Aracade into Weirdo/RAW days. Eric Reynolds described several sharp instances of contrast between MOME and Now. Justin Hall spoke up for cause related to anthologies. Solid panel.
* hit Little Italy for some food and walked the eight blocks to the train, where we got to see people act like assholes for the half-hour as we waited. People refusing to stand in line. People cursing the AMTRAK employee. Just amazing.
* good luck to all of those that braved Saturday night and Sunday and the dead dogs that followed.
* back to work.
photos and additional reporting by Whit Spurgeon and Chris Hatfield
posted 1:25 am PST
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