Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 20, 2014

The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Shows And Events


By Tom Spurgeon

* John Porcellino has a short report from the Chicago 'Zine Fest, with photos. Porcellino is the best.

image* this is certainly the big event of the week, the opening of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum's first big show, and the first big show of its type for Bill Watterson and for Richard Thompson. It kills me not to be there.

* the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo will accept exhibitor applications until March 31. That show is set for August 2-3.

* MoCCA Festival week begins to take shape: Operation Margarine launch in Brooklyn, Nick Abadzis and Tucker Stone at The Strand

* this isn't a comic-con in any way, shape or form that I can tell, but the idea of a 24-hour convention is something I hadn't heard of before and they're in the Palmer House Hilton, which is my all-time Chicago nostalgic hotel not the Drake.

* there's something almost retro about a company saying "look at the people we have at this comics show" like in this post from Fantagraphics about next month's Asbury Park show.

* Heidi MacDonald gathers together some sourced material to string together an incident in the UK about someone attempting to do jerky-style humor that involves acting lasciviously towards female cosplayers. The people were subsequently banned from further shows, and their expressed desire to harass people as a way of getting to humor mocked as pathetic, both of which seem more-than-just outcomes. I hope this kind of thing stops happening yesterday.

It strikes me that this may have been kind of a lower-end enterprise -- the group was able to pull much of its on-line infrastructure down in the days after the show, which doesn't indicate to me a majorly funded entity for the ages. One of the outcomes of having more people interested in comics shows is that they can't have the laid-back, don't-give-a-shit elements that shows in the past used to, frequently to their detriment. That will likely involve more stringent examination of media access at future shows. Maybe every comic-con doesn't have to give a semi-official imprimatur to everyone with a couple of cameras and a dream on Internet comedy stardom. ECCC is pretty tough to get into as press right now compared to a lot of shows, and there are some rigid aspects to the Comic-Con family now as well. I think you may see more shows take a more active approach in terms of who gets to do what and when to whom. We should welcome it.

* these soccer-style convention cards are cute. I would like a big stack of yellow ones that say, "I still don't completely understand cosplay."

* the comic-con in Indiana last weekend found 15,000 people to pay to visit the show, which is a solid number right out of the gate. Indiana is a pretty good comics-reading state, by my estimation, but it doesn't have a rich tradition of cons. Other than a few Holiday Inn cons when I was a kid, everyone was fixated on Chicago.

* finally, this is a very nice story about a school holding a comics convention. I can see a lot of small groups doing something like that, actually, and feel that micro-focused and hyper-local shows are one area of growth for comics-related festivals.
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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