Sunday, August 08, 2010

San Diego 2010: The Year I Became Part of the Problem

I'd been debating whether I should write a "looking back on this year's Comic-Con" post, given that we're almost two weeks out from the event itself. But time afforded me a perspective that I couldn't have realized that close to SDCC.

This year was a very different year for me: I wasn't covering San Diego as a journalist. For anyone. This was my eighth San Diego, and each of those was under the auspices of Entertainment Weekly's comic-book ambassador. They all required hustling from point A to Hall H, jockeying for position, lobbying for admittance -- the press-pass two-step that hundreds of other people perform every year. But this year, I was a comic creator, first, foremost, and solely. My allegiance was to myself; my time was my own.

Adam and I signed books when we were scheduled to, we took meetings when they presented themselves and did some promising business, and we hardly ever bought ourselves a meal, thanks to the generosity of those with expense accounts (ah, I remember those) and event budgets. The only panels I attended were those I was on or was moderating.

I still had a press pass, though, which secured a host of party invitations -- and being represented by one of the three biggest agencies in Hollywood secured still more, as does being a still-liked veteran of the magazine that throws the big Saturday night soiree. We drank our fill, ate like kings, and danced like Joss Whedon if Joss Whedon could dance.

It was Saturday, I think, when we were killing time in the Wired Lounge, staring around at the gathered doucheyness -- assorted B-level stars, schmoozing producers, and motley sychophants -- that I realized what had happened.

We were part of the doucheyness. We were doing all of the things that people rail against when they talk about how SDCC has forgotten what that first "C" stands for. We were having a Hollywood Con...and loving every minute of it.

Because it's easy to love, spending four days being treated a little better than the lion's share of the 120,000 other attendees. It's easy to understand why "Lounges" are popping up all around SDCC, catering to Los Angeles douchebaggers that see San Diego as a short vacation full of free shit and laughing at the geeks. And my SDCC, I'm almost ashamed to admit it, was wonderfully douchey.

I have become part of the problem. Sorry about that.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

San Diego Comic Con Dreaming

Okay, before we get into the new plans I've got for this wee blog, business must be attended to.

So, if you'll be in San Diego for the Big Show next week, here's where you can find me...if'n you're looking for me. Adam and I will be there in support of the new issue of Genius, which'll make it's debut, The Authority, and Monster Attack Network. And we'll be on hand to discuss anything else you're curious about — we do, it turns out, know where babies come from.

Thursday, 7/22
12:30-1:30pm: io9 panel: The Science Fiction that Changed My Life (Room 7AB)
4:00-5:00: Jeff Katz's State of Geekdom Town Hall (a boat somewhere behind the Convention Center)

Friday, 7/23
11:00-12:00pm: Top Cow signing (Top Cow booth)
12:00-1:00pm: DC Comics signing (DC booth)
4:45-5:45pm: Moderating the Fallen Skies (Spielberg's new TNT alien-invasion show) panel (Room 6A)

Saturday, 7/24
1:00-2:00pm: Monster Attack Network signing (AiT/Planetlar booth)
2:00-3:00pm: DC Comics signing (DC booth)
3:00-4:00pm: Top Cow signing (Top Cow booth)

Sunday, 7/25
10:00-11:00am: Top Cow signing (Top Cow booth)

And if you miss us at any of those places, just head for the Hyatt bar.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Clash of the Clashes

When I was a boy of maybe 13 years old, I did something bad. I forged the grades on my junior high report card. I fudged Fs to As, Ds to Bs. Not particularly artfully, either, given that I was a boy of maybe 13 years old. So my parents quickly discovered my lawbreaking and punished me in the matter they saw fit.

I was to stay in my room for an entire summer. Draconian, you say? Sure. My father was old school and brooked no bullshit. I was an ungrateful whelp who knew nothing of hardship, he would say. And he was right, given that he was born and raised in Haiti. He knew nothing but hardship...which is why he left. Anyway.

I was punished for the summer. No outside, no TV, no visits from friends. In retrospect, that time indoors reinforced my love of reading -- and I had nothing to do but read. And so I did. One of the few places I could go was the library, where I devoured all they had of Conan novels -- my first exposures to Asimov, Herbert, and Ellison came that summer. But even as I watched day turn into night and my friends head out to play and back for dinner, the thing I wanted most wasn't to join them. I wanted to watch Clash of the Titans.

It was premiering on HBO that summer. June, I believe. I was a sucker for Greek mythology, and wanted to see it terribly. But I couldn't. No TV. So it came and it went. As did the summer. The strictness of my confinement would ease before school started; even my father realized that he was being a little too strict.

The weekend before school started, the old man sat me down and asked me, as he did during every week of my punishment, if I'd learned my lesson. And, as I did every week, I told him yes. But this time, he handed me a videocassette. I put it in the VCR, pressed play, and smiled like an idiot as Clash of the Titans popped on the screen. He taped it for me three months prior. Because, through it all, he was still my dad.

So while I understand that the Harry Hamlin Clash of the Titans is a honking piece of cheeseball shite, I've got a love for it that can't be diminished by such a petty thing as quality.

Friday, January 01, 2010

I Do Not Wish

I do not wish for much of this new year, save more from myself.

This is the first year, in a long while, that begins with me as my own man. I am no longer beholden to anyone -- anyone I didn't choose to be, anyway. My time is my own, and now I must make the most of it, as opportunities like this come along but rarely.

I am a patient man except, at times, with those closest to me. That will change, because it must. Because I refuse to let anger cloud judgment, to let frustration obscure compassion.

How much will do I have, and can I bend it to what needs doing? This will be the question that I'll answer at the end of 2010, one way or another.

Can I change? We'll see.