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

April 12, 2012

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


By Tom Spurgeon

* Tat Bestand sent along this story, astounding if I'm understanding it correctly: the artist David Finch was due to appear at a show, had his gall bladder removed (?!) and then went back to the show as soon as he was able. No one is allowed to bitch about being two blocks further away from the San Diego convention center than they'd prefer to be ever again.

* it makes sense that Stan Lee would want his own comics convention; that seems a natural extension of the kind of general superhero branding exercise in which his people have been working for years and years now.

* C2E2 this weekend. That's Reed's Chicago show. There's some intriguing rhetoric kind of bubbling around that show, now in its third year. On the one hand, Reed wants that show to kind of lock into place on the convention calendar, and has all of the advantages that come from having a Spring show in a great city for comics, Chicago, and their solid comics and media relationships in place in order to make that happen. On the other hand, it's not a show with a lot of natural buzz. I think the institutional and situational strengths will win out, and the show should have a solid to strong year.

* it might be worth noting that like the New York show they run, Reed's Chicago show seems to have no guests from the alt-/arts- side of things. At least none I can see this morning. The just-finished Emerald City, for example, is a very mainstream-oriented show, but Jim Woodring and Ellen Forney were there in addition to any number of pros that work that part of comics as a portion of their overall comics output. That's not necessarily a strike against Reed doing what it is they seem to want to do, and we're about 15 years past the date when people could seriously complain with righteous anger about comics shops and conventions not serving any kind of comics fan other than the kind they want to, but it does establish a certain expectation-level regarding that show for a certain kind of comics reader. If I were still in the city and not covering comics? I might not go.

* I hope you're reading Gabrielle Bell's site right now for her reports from Fumetto. Best Diarist + Most Intriguing Comics Festival = Compelling Comics.

* Brooklyn Zine Fest this weekend.

* here's a lengthy report from Hi-Ex that Joe Gordon brought to my attention. Is it my imagination, or do the non-North American comics shows feature much more flattering lighting?

* one thing I keep forgetting to mention is the hard news from ECCC. The show apparently attracted over 53,000 people -- a gain of about 10,000 -- and plans next year are for the show to take over the entire convention center and expand its Friday offerings.

* another thing that's failed to materialize on the site itself is a link to this report from Todd Klein about using Comic-Con's hotel reservation system.

* finally, Mark Evanier begins what will soon be a regular stream of posts about this summer's Comic-Con International. I always look forward to hearing from Mark about that show.
posted 3:10 am PST | Permalink

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