Tuesday, July 28, 2009

San Diego Comic-Con '09: The Year it All Changed

Grandiose title, yes? But it's true. In more ways than one.

THE AUTHORITY. Adam and I are taking over The Book Warren Built for Wildstorm. It's been in the works for a couple of months, and it's a massive thing for us. We are being entrusted with, essentially, the jewel in the Wildstorm crown, and we hope to be equal to the task. Or, at the very least, to blow up enough shit that you won't notice that we aren't.

GENIUS. Top Cow reaffirmed their commitment to the book. We're looking at early '10 for Vol. 1.

CELL DIVISION. Also for Top Cow, a new science fiction thriller. Most likely summer '10.

UNTITLED AMERICAN ORIGINAL BOOK. I'm gonna follow Jeff Katz into the fire for a spell and see what the weather's like. It's an "urban" miniseries — which means it'll have mostly black people in it. But I'll see if I can throw in a Puerto Rican or two.

MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK. I signed a copy of the book for the fella that's gonna be the star. Can't say who, of course. But there is sweetness afoot.

THE CONVENTION ITSELF. Maddening/phenomenal as always. The way the SDCC organizers deal with the press continues to be imperfect at best, impossible at worst. Catching up with old comic-friends is always worth the trip. And there is business to be done amongst the chaos.

But the thing that crystallized how the Comic-Con experience has changed for me was the Wired Cafe. If you haven't heard of it, it only underlines my point. On a terrace bar at the Omni Hotel, Wired set up an oasis: free food, free top-shelf booze, working wifi, banging sounds, gift bags, celebrities, the whole nine yards. It ran from Thursday through Saturday, and it was terrific. Once granted admission, one could visit there as often as one wished.

But the only people who knew of this were the famous and those who covered them. The multitudes who stood on lines for hours, who slept in the open to see Robert Pattinson, who walked the miles of the floor carrying an infantryman's pack worth of merchandise while wearing a Time Lord's trench before hiking to their hotel where they slept five to a room...they were oblivious. The people who made Comic-Con what it was, the very people who needed such sanctuary the most couldn't get it. Sure, there have always been parties and events not for public participation, but this was the first time I'd seen the Comic-Con equivalent of a Sundance gifting suite.

And that marked for me the turning of Comic Con.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My San Diego Comic-Con Schedule

Should anyone want to find me, here's where I'm supposed to be during the San Diego Comic-Con '09. Let the mania begin...

  • 12:00-1:00pm: Signing at the Top Cow booth
  • 2:00-3:00pm: Signing at the Wildstorm cove of the DC Booth

  • 8:40am: Fox 5 San Diego morning show
  • 2:00-3:00pm Signing at the Top Cow booth

  • 11:00-noon: Signing at the Top Cow booth
  • 1:00-2:00pm: Signing at the Wildstorm cove of the DC Booth
  • 3:30-4:30pm: Wildstorm panel
  • 4:30-5:30pm: Top Cow panel
  • 5:30-6:30pm: American Original panel

  • 10:30-11:30am: Signing at the Wildstorm cove of the DC Booth
  • 11:30-12:30pm: Comic-Con Independent Film Festival Awards ceremony

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Age and Innocence

When I first started reading comics, I always imagined that the people who created them were wizened old men who'd gathered the secrets of the universe — as it related to spandex superheroing — and doled them out on a monthly basis. (Okay, that's not entirely true: When I first started reading comics, I was 11, and I thought they just appeared — fully formed wads of coolness. It wasn't until later that I realized that people actually made them.) Those secrets seemed like the hard-won treasure of a long life lived to the fullest: These guys (and they were always, in my mind, guys) had been to the Well on the Edge and brought forth the Knowledge.

That image of comics creators has stuck with me, to this day. (Not the "guys" part: I know some great women going great work, and wish there were more of 'em. Hey, I like women.) People like Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis, Brian Bendis, Neil Gaiman, Brian Vaughan, Kyle Baker, Geoff Johns — they all had such mastery of the craft, such surety of voice, I couldn't see them as anything else but Obi-Wan Kenobis.

Then I started meeting them. And so many of them were young.

Given the skill with which he spins those beautiful, knowing noir sagas, I figured Ed Brubaker to be a dude in his sixties. Nope. Half that, give or take a nickel. The regularity with which Warren Ellis complains about the weather, his need for a cane, his failing body and addled brain brings to mind a bloke minutes away from a nursing home (or an asylum). Instead, he's perhaps a few months older than I am.

I say all of this for myself, really. To put this into a bit of perspective. Every now and again, someone will comment on the speed with which we've climbed into the professional comics arena. It'll be five years, this San Diego, since I first pitched Monster Attack Network to Larry Young. And, yes, in that time lots of doors have opened for us, between The Highwaymen, Genius, Push, and the other assorted projects we can't talk about.

But every day, I read something that floors me, something that makes me wonder how someone using the same tools that I do — a keyboard, an artist, and paper — can create such rich magic.

You see, we're not going so fast to get ahead. We're going so fast to catch up.