It took me a few days to recover, both physically and emotionally, from last weekend’s Comic-Con. Last year’s Con was an underwhelming affair, and I had seriously considered giving this year’s Con a miss.
I am so glad I didn’t. Nearly everything about this Comic-Con was fantastic. It seemed more crowded than ever, and the schedule of official events seemed rather sparse, but concurrent events were happening all over the Gaslamp Quarter (downtown San Diego), such as Tr!ckster, Gam3rcon, and Nerd HQ. I found plenty to do in the Convention-Center proper, though. There’s a day-by-day breakdown after the cut.
Most of the comics-related panels I attended during Comic-Con happened on Thursday. DC practically ran one room all day, and so I heard about their plans for the Flashpoint spin-offs, and the “New 52”. I can’t say I’m super excited about most of the announced comics, save for two of the comics that Paul Cornell will be writing: Stormwatch and Demon Knights. Much of that interest has to do with Cornell’s unrestrained enthusiasm over the course of the panel, as well as his terrific runs on Knight & Squire and Action Comics last year. His unbridled joy stood in sharp contrast to publisher Dan Didio’s somewhat guarded attitude towards the attendees. I witnessed the opening salvos in his battle with “Batgirl”, and here, the two were civil to one another, as opposed to reports of their later encounters over the next few days.
My final panel that day was put on by Broadcast Thought, three forensic pathologists who are also comics fans. Each year, they put on a panel that takes a look at how mental illness is depicted in comics. This year, they examined the serial killers of Gotham City, and compared them to real life murderers. They were joined by a former FBI profiler who was as informative as he was entertaining.
I also saw some panels dedicated Mad Magazine, the pros & cons of self publishing, and the always entertaining Grant Morrison.
All of Adult Swim’s panels happened on this day in a single room, and I was there for nearly all of them. The Venture Bros. crew was on hand, as were the casts of NTSF: SD: SUV (who filmed part of an upcoming episode during the panel) and Children’s Hospital (easily the funniest Q&A of the Con). The creators of Black Dynamite showed the pilot for their upcoming animated series, and Seth Green and Breckin Meyer riffed off of one another during the Robot Chicken panel.
After all that, I attended a panel celebrating the 45th anniversary of the legendary Batman TV show with Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar. The three actors reminisced about their time on the show, showed a few clips, and remained coy about whether or not the series will ever see the light of day on DVD.
I attended a hodge podge of panels that day, from Grant Morrison & Deepak Chopra waxing philosophical about superheroes, to Morrison, Garth Ennis, Alan Davis, Dave Gibbons & John Higgins waxing nostalgic about the UK Invasion of American comics in the 1980s. I saw Mark Waid ponder whether or not the Comic Book is dead, and a panel of TV writers talk about breaking into the medium. I ended the day at the Fables panel, where Bill Willingham announced a new video game (revolving around Bigby Wolf, which will be considered canon), and a new anthology series called Fairest, which will focus on the most beautiful fables (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, etc.; of course Adam Hughes will be doing the covers).
Most of Sunday was spent waiting in line to get into the Doctor Who panel. The panel itself was fun: they showed clips from upcoming episodes, Matt Smith & Karen Gillan took questions, and people showed up in some amazing costumes. I’m glad to see that this show’s stateside fanbase is growing.
The rest of Sunday was spent buying graphic novels and filling some holes in my collection. After that, I went home tired and happy.
During all of this, I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in ages, met some people I know from the internets in real life, and met a childhood hero (and came across as a total idiot, I’m sure). I also decided to create a tumblr for the pics I took at the Con: http://comic-conpics.tumblr.com.
I reiterate. Best. Con. Ever.