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

June 5, 2014

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


By Tom Spurgeon

image* I'm not sure that I've seen this COMICA Festival Weekend listed yet. It'll be fun to see so much of Bryan Lee O'Malley late summer/early fall.

* smaller, more focused shows in Olympia and Brooklyn this weekend. The ambitious Phoenix Comicon is running a four-day show this weekend as well. It starts today. That one's interesting because while they have a definite interest on the kind of genre-oriented TV and film celebrity element, they also have a lot of comics-makers on hand, pretty deep into that field in terms of the kind of people they have on hand. My understanding is that they've been more aggressive than similar shows in terms of getting pros there and into rooms, but that's only a supposition based on a few things I've heard.

* I'm still hearing and reading weird things about the BookCon appendage to last weekend's Book Expo America, which seems to have served as a coming-out party for the author John Green in terms of drawing crowds in public so that media says, "Dude is drawing crowds." It's really just a comic-con style consumer show mushed into close proximity with a reeling industry show. There's no reason you can't do this, and BEA has long been slack on its back end in a way that it seems perfectly logical to suggest it could use the energy of several thousand reading fans on the floor to close out the weekend. I mean, I never knew anyone that went to BEA on the last couple of days without a direct professional incentive to do so. Let's be clear, though: we're not really getting an expanded BEA; we're getting a second show. I think the least convincing stuff I've read was trying to hammer home the choice to have one show within the other as a natural extension of what BEA does. This isn't necessarily true; many publishers with the capacity to do both tend to be differently oriented towards each as much as it is possible -- it's two different kinds of shows. That said, there will be publishers that will delight in being able to do two shows in roughly the same place for the same plane tickets purchased for their people. I think the challenge is to make this seem like a good idea for 1) publishers without celebrity authors (the book kind, the famous-people-making-books kind), 2) those not necessarily so loaded that doing a second show in a big city like New York isn't a huge risk, and 3) those without easy, relatable experience doing consumer-oriented shows of any kind. I expect it to work out.

* there's a subset of folks focused on next weekend's Denver show, I think; another subset of folk is focused on Heroes, two weeks from now. I assume a bunch of people are oriented towards the "Special Edition" of NYCC being held next weekend, and I imagine that one will do well, but I don't see a big surge in terms of anticipation for the show. I'm sure there's a wide cross-section of professionals that would love an early summer comics show excuse to visit New York.

* finally, I made this its own post yesterday, but to repeat: Alternative Press Expo has named its first round of guests for this Fall's show, including the great Lynda Barry.
posted 7:55 am PST | Permalink

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