Tuesday, July 25, 2006

COMICS: San Diego Comic-Con 2006 Day 1

I just got back this morning from a very fun trip to San Diego for their annual Comic-Con. This was my first time to the San Diego Con and I have to say it was quite the experience drooling over all the beautiful and cool celebrities that were there, as well as the little toys and grab bags handed to me throughout the weekend.
I arrived in San Diego on Wednesday night late; I was tired and hungry so I decided to join a few friends in the Gas Lamp district to scavenge for food. I had to settle for a slice of bread and some ham from Ralph's grocery. At that point I didn't really care what I was eating cause they didn't feed me on the plane, which was a first for a five hour trip--You would think they would feed you more than some crackers, a cheese spread and a box of raisins. -- But I digress--back to the really important stuff--COMIC-CON 2006!

Thursday July 20

So we arrived early, about 9:00 AM or so to pick up our badges and wait to get onto the main floor of the Comic-Con. Once we made it inside I was bombarded instantly with a hoary host of imagery. Signs, posters, flashing lights, the flickering of monitors--it was intense. I didn't know where to start, luckily the night before I had planned out my day with the various panels scheduled, so I revolved my time on the floor around that. I followed my friends Ori and Dezi as they worked the room talking to various artists from different books and getting a few original sketches to boot. I was looking forward to my first panel it was a Comic Art Conference Session called the Great Leap: Adapting Comics into Film with Kate McClancy from Duke University. Honestly I did not read the description below describing what this panel was really about, I thought they would be discussing the details of how to take a comic book and make it into a film. It turned out to be a group of speeches or lectures about how certain comic book films do not depict the themes of the books very well. Of course these --very educated people-- decided to tell us why. There was a panel of about four of them and after the second one, I could take no more. It reminded me of an essay class in my freshman year of College, no real information just a lot of over analysis. The first lady, Kate McClancy, took her shots at the V for Vendetta film and how it was different from the comic, she was trite and she blah, blah blahed about the anarchy of V in the book and the, as she put it, fascist nature of the hero in the film (She was stretching a bit when she got to this part). To put it mildly I was bored, plus I personally liked the comic and the film so she wasn't winning any points with me. So to put it simply I left, and it's a good thing too, it gave me more time to explore the great hall and try to slow my brain down long enough to figure out where the hell I wanted to go and what the hell I wanted to see.

At three I decided to go and check out the Grant Morrison (All Star Superman, Batman, X-Men) and Deepak Chopra (How to Know God) panel about the Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes. Personally I was intrigued as to why a spiritual novelist would be at a Comic-Con. Apparently Grant Morrison is a deeply spiritual person and was inspired by Chopra, not a real shock if you've read any of Morrison's work. Actually the real reason I believe he was there to support his son Gotham (I'm not kidding) Chopra, who is a comic book writer for the newly founded Virgin Comics. It was an interesting panel; the two men discussed their lives and what they believe. Chopra seemed very interested in working with Morrison at some future date as they discussed the new evolution of the superhero and how they create a new idea of being. Chopra suggested that the seven spiritual laws were very similar to the seven chakras, which is a conduit between consciousness and reality. I don't know if it was enlightening per-say but it was very interesting. I do believe in the continuing evolution of super heroes, it's how they stay fresh and inventive. Otherwise you have golden age Superman, which in this day and age would just put the reader to sleep. Speaking of sleep, I was a bit tired cause I didn't get much sleep the night before so I kind of dozed here and there, it must have been the calm and soothing voice of Deepak Chopra I felt at peace and since I was tired I slept, price of being a spiritual guru I guess.

So my last panel of the afternoon was about Webcomics and how to get started. It was an interesting panel chaired by Bill Barnes (Unshelved) with panelists Dave Kellett (Sheldon),
Jon Rosenberg (Goats), Brian Fies (Mom's Cancer) and Phil Foglio (Girl Genius). I didn't get a lot of concrete info from this panel but I did feel that this panel did give hope to my fellow colleagues and I in our uphill battle to self publish and build an audience. They talked about merchandising and about just getting out there and creating buzz for your comic. Hopefully this weekend our little company, Cave Drawing Inc., will also have its own site where readers can come and enjoy free comics. Also click on the blue highlights in this article if you are interested in seeing some of these webcomics.

Overall I had a good first day of Comic-Con; I got a dose of comic elitism, some spiritual healing from the guy who writes All Star Superman and some good old fashioned inspiration. I can't wait for tomorrow. It's Stan Lee, J. Michael Straczynski, Joe Quesada and the Romitas, kick ass!

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