This was my first time as a Guest of Honor at Comic-Con and I have to say--everything I ever heard about the GoH experience is true. They take superb care of you every step of the way. Cory and I send along our great thanks to all the members of the Con Committee and the army of volunteers who make Comic-Con work with amazing efficiency on the ground. Particular thanks to my GRT: Tiff Hudson who made sure I showed up at all my obligations in plenty of time.
A few observations regarding the con itself.
Yes, it's gotten so big you can't begin to take it all in.
The sensory overload of crowds and displays and attendees in costumes and giant bags and swag and thundering noise put Comic-Con in a class of events up there with Mardi Gras and Super Bowl. Doesn't bother me a bit. The idea that there are one-way halls and entrances/exits is something that I've become accustomed to now--a few years ago it drove me nuts. Now it's just part of the way things are.
I have to admit, I've never set foot in Hall H in my entire life and I reckons there is a good chance I never will. That part of the convention is off my radar completely except for hearing anecdotes from friends and fans.
I really liked the placement of Artist's Alley all the way at the end in Hall G this year. Clydene placed me in a great spot. The aisles were wider and the noise level wasn't anything that bothered me where I was. Some folks thought the Alley was too far away from the larger artists tables and although that was probably true--I don't think it had a lot of impact on my fans. I think because Hall G is next to the fabled Hall H...it's possible we had foot traffic because it was the closest set of doors downstairs. Don't know but it felt like it.
As far as a metric for measuring foot traffic, I do know this--I broke a personal record in the amount of FREE Beanworld Action Figures I gave away. 3 1/2 pounds. I don't think I ever gave away more than 2 1/2 before. Zombie, Crazy, Battle Damaged, and Dead remain the most sought after of the lot. But Tee-Hee is definitely making a surge.
I received an Ink Pot from the Convention for Achievements in Comic Arts. This means a lot to me. People assume I've won all sorts of awards. But I haven't. I've only been nominated for one (a Kirby) once and that was in 1987. As I said in my dazed acceptance bit of babble "I've spent a lot of my career working for and with folks who have enough awards to crack the foundation of their homes. But this is one of the only times where my work has been recognized."
Scott McCloud immediately turned it into a FLEECE Beanworld Action figure merchandise display and I had the little fella working for on the table the rest of the show.
I'm a New York Times certified geezer!
I got a terrific write-up in by Peter Larson in The Orange County Register: Now our neighbors can see what Cory's husband actually does all day.
Some really nice words about the indescribable Beanworld experience from kli.
"It is the kind of book where you generally recommend it to someone by shoving it into their hands so it can be experienced directly."
I had a good time on all of my panels--as far as I know the only one that has turned up as a public documentation is “Graphic Novels: The Personal Touch” that featured Gabrielle Bell, Howard Cruse, Vanessa Davis, Jillian Tamaki, Carol Tyler and me--moderated by Shaenon Garrity. I'm rather quiet in that one--I was far more interested in what my fellow panelists had to say that hearing myself speak but I did mange to get in some pithy observations here and there particularly about the quality of printing reproduction these days.
The "Indy Writers Unite" panel was an odd collection of mostly writer/artists and it's reported on here.
In a lot of ways, the most remarkable panel I did was "The Funny Stuff: Humor in Comics and Graphic Novels." I more or less dropped out of it in the middle as I had front row seats to one of the most bizarre and surreal panels I've ever had the honor of sitting on in my quarter century of panel participation. As far as I know, it wasn't written up anywhere in depth. All I can say is: it was a classic example of funny-weird not funny-ha ha. However, I did get a chance to make one of my favorite points that I consider Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q to be the greatest satirical gesture of the entire 20th century.
Image comics/Shadowline Fractured Fables hardcover was launched at Comic-Con. My contribution isn't Beanworld but it's very Larry Marder just the same.
I did two Sketch-a-Thon stints at the Cartoon Art Museum table. One was with Scott Shaw! I think I laughed more in that hour than any other hour the entire run of the show. Lot's of cartooning fun
Well, that's as much time as I can steal for a blog post today.
More stuff as I remember it.
And my next post will be about this.