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Monday, July 11, 2011

SDCC '11: Contemplating My First Comic Con

Don’t be overwhelmed. Don’t be overwhelmed.

Easier said than done. In just a week and a half I’ll attend my first Comic Con. Sure, I’ve been to a handful of Cons, but this is the Comic Con that simply goes by “Comic Con” and everybody knows what Comic Con you’re talking about.

I’ve never been there. I’ve lived in nearby Orange County for my entire life and I’ve never desired to take the southbound trek to San Diego for one simple reason: I’m not a crowd person. I don’t have claustrophobia, I just have never been particular to having my space invaded for long stretches of time. I won’t say that I’ve changed necessarily, but I’m going to go in spite of the crowds because—at my core—I love reading comic books.

Morrison talking about his work on Superman and Batman?
This fan will be there.
I’ve reviewed the schedule pretty thoroughly and I’m beginning to prioritize the panels I want to attend by categorizing them in the following groups: “shouldn’t miss”, “can’t miss”, “won’t miss”, and “will die if I miss”. I’m going to be realistic and have back-up panels for the duration of the Con.

It wasn’t until my first Wizard Con in 2006 that I learned I had a propensity to become starstruck. I had lived in Los Angeles for four years and seen more than my share of celebrities and it never really did anything for me. I attended a DC panel that included Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, Judd Winick, and Jeph Loeb—these guys were writing my favorite books at the time and DC was enjoying a creative high to be sure. These are my celebrities because I respect their work and enjoy listening to writers discuss their craft (and they seem to appreciate the fun inherent in writing about characters who parade in capes and tights).

At Comic Con I am eager to attend the Batman panel because the character has been experiencing a renaissance for the last year with Grant Morrison moving from his spectacular run on Batman and Robin to his equally spectacular debut of Batman, Incorporated, and Scott Snyder on Detective Comics. The panel will included Morrison, Snyder, Winick, Gail Simone, Chris Burnham, David Finch, Kyle Higgins, Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi. That is a hell of a group of creators.

I’ve been introduced to some of the best of Morrison’s work, in JLA and All-Star Superman, by Jerry (my co-podcaster) and have grown to become an enormous fan of the writer’s unconventional style. I think the most exciting news to come out of DC’s September relaunch is Morrison’s run on Action Comics. One of the medium’s most prolific author’s is finally going to get his turn at bat with the most recognizable hero on the planet—Superman. The Superman panel is perhaps the one I am most excited to attend. Whether Morrison is going to discuss who Superman is at his core or the length of his cape, I want to hear every word.

And it’s panels like this that gets me thrilled about attending Comic Con. I want to listen to the creators talk about their goals for their books, rib each other openly, and just get us as enthused about the stories they plan to tell. Once I plot out attendance plans for the entire Con I’ll share them so you can remind me of all the better stuff I should be attending!

More to come!

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