I didn't exhibit this year at Comic Con, but I did attend the show on Saturday and Sunday as a 'civilian'. Too be honest, I had a really good time. Mostly I spent the days hanging out at the tables of several friends. I just sat back while they would sell their wares, occasionally covering for them as they took a break. This year I was able to experience the show in the way I did back before 1998, in my pre-publishing days.
Kicking it with Michael Aushenker!
Of course, I would be asked by many people on why I wasn't exhibiting, or what new comic I was working on, or the most popular question, when was the movie coming out! Well, as my producer told me before I left: "If anybody asks, tell them the film will be done in August". So there you have it!
The common topic about San Diego recently is the size of the show and how it's grown monstrously in size. I remember a few years ago when the movie studios started getting in on the act, promoting their films and bringing in the talent for panels and signings. We all feared that comics would be squeezed out. Or at least the self-published variety. From what I hear from many of my associates who couldn't secure tables in the Small Press area, that may be true. But I also have to say that with the recent phenomenon of the New York publishing houses launching graphic novel imprints, and establishing a presence at Con, comics are more in demand than ever. As someone who has benifitted from a film deal himself, I can't argue the influx of the film industry into the Con. And video game manufacturers also use comics as content for their systems. And I think the amount of fans who come for all these things certainly helps the Con, but maybe, just maybe, they might get exposed to a self-published comic or two.
Hanging with Galactus!
What's I really love about the Con is the sheer variety of things you see and experience there. Panels on Golden Age artists, copyrighting your own creations, Christian comics, and the digital application of comics. You see people dressed as Mexican wrestlers, Galactus, TV characters, and the endless variations of Star Wars personalities. Vendors selling out-of-print art books, home made zines, 1970s Marvel Super-Hero Slurpee cups, and T-shirts featuring just about any character that has ever been draw, animated or appeared in a movie! There are now oppurtunites to make a pitch to a publisher for a graphic novel, submit your portfolio for consideration on a monthy title, showing your work to a video-game company or animation studio, or meeting an actor from a favorite childhood TV show. You can network, sell, buy, collect, play, masquerade, listen, participate or just plain enjoy any umpteen number of presentations, celebrities, booths, vendors, events, screenings, readings, contests, demonstrations, etc.
It really has become the nexus of all things cool! If it's comic related, nostalgic, hip and cutting edge, printed, manufactured, animated, painted, sculpted, filmed, digital, audio or whatever, there's a good chance that it came from a comic book or strip. It certainly came from someone's imagination. Created for fun, personal vision or for profit. It's all there for the right price, or just make the time to catch it.
And next year, I'll be back, behind the booth. With new Muerto comics. Another new property or two. Various bits of merchandise. And one way or another, that Muerto movie!
At attention with Rhode Montijo!
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