All About Comics!
Four Dynamic Days Dazzle Attendees
Mainstream Madness |
Solid Gold! |
Alternate Universes |
Always entertaining, Special Guest Jeff Smith
(Bone), shares a laugh with Jean Feiwel (publisher of Scholastic
Comic-Con's mission is to create both an awareness and appreciation for comic
books, and as such over half of this year's programming slate was devoted to the
topic. We offered company presentations, panel discussions, creator spotlights,
slide shows, and one-on-one interviews covering everything from Golden Age to
current superhero books, small press to big-company titles, kids' comics to
cutting-edge alternative works, and minicomics to massive graphic novels. Pretty
much everything was included in the mix, and the excitement never stopped.
Panels presented by DC and Marvel Comics were focal points for many fans. With
editors and creative teams on hand to answer questions about current and
upcoming titles, fans lined up to hear the latest news.
DC had panels devoted to powerhouses Superman, Batman, Justice League, and the
Identity Crisis miniseries, as well as imprints VERTIGO and WildStorm.
Spotlights on DC's sponsored guests including Brad Meltzer, Dave Gibbons, and
Dustin Nguyen, were also a hit, along with a look at the team of Jeph Loeb and
Marvel panels covered the company's Ultimates line of comics, the shocking new
plotlines for Avengers, and of course Marvel's heavy hitters, the X-Men.
Dark Horse featured programs on the latest Conan release, Michael Chabon's The
Escapist, the company's manga comics line, while spotlights focused on Comic-Con
special guests Mike Mignola and Stan Sakai.
Other companies with a programming presence included Image, IDW, Disney Comics,
Bongo Comics, Devil's Due, Dreamwave, TOKYOPOP, VIZ, ADV, Broccoli Books,
Burlyman Entertainment, Keenspot, ModernTales.com, TwoMorrows, and Wizard.
Spotlights on Comic-Con's special guests included those for John Totleben,
Eduardo Risso, Adrian Tomine, Craig Thompson, Bruce Jones, Batton Lash, Geoff
Johns, and Jeff Smith, all of whom discussed their careers and current projects.
Comic-Con's devotion to classic comics and their creators was launched with
panels dedicated to the life of Jack Kirby, whose artwork also graced the cover
of this year's Souvenir Book. Veterans and Convention special guests Mike Royer,
Tom Gill, Frank Springer, Sid Jacobson and Jack Adler discussed their past work
in the industry, how times have changed, and where they see comics heading in
the years to come.
Mark Evanier, a Comic-Con favorite, presided over several panels on the Golden
and Silver Age of Comics. His Quick Draw cartoon improv panel delighted
audiences, with Jeff Smith, Sergio AragonÚs, and Scott Shaw! all proving to be,
well, quick on the draw! Evanier also brought back the popular Cartoon Voices
event and took a look at the current status of Groo with AragonÚs and the rest
of the Groo team.
And since we're talking about history, Comic-Con's 35th year was saluted with
two very special guests: comic book inker/letterer, Mike Royer, who was a guest
at the first Comic-Con, and fan favorite voice artist June Foray, a frequent
Comic-Con guest since the early 1970s.
Alternative, small press, and self-published comics also shone brightly in the
Comic-Con programming sky. Talks by Jeff Smith, Terry Moore, Craig Thompson, and
Adrian Tomine drew appreciative audiences, as did panels on the 10th anniversary
of Batton Lash's Supernatural Law, 24-hour comics, and "unknown treasures of the
small press," which was hosted by the Cold Cut Distribution team. Cold Cut also
sponsored a series of panels on self-publishing, featuring creators who've been
Discussion panels are always hot, and many topics generated heated debate.
Participants discussed spirituality and religious subtexts, feminist
mythologies, gays in comics, superheroes in pop culture, black comics, gendering
comics, and social commentary.
The Comic Arts Conference (CAC) also returned with a full schedule of panel
discussions. This was CAC's 12th year at Comic-Con, and they produced a record
12 panels, adding Sunday into their schedule for the first time.
Of course, Comic-Con wouldn't be complete without delivering programs to
Japanese comics fans as well. Manga panels from TOKYOPOP, ADV, VIZ, Bandai,
Broccolli Books, Central Park Media, Dark Horse, Del Rey, Digital Manga, and
DC's new CMX line all drew in the die-hard fans and curious readers alike.
Other comics panel topics ran the gamut from international favorite Tintin
turning 75 to webcomics, comics in libraries and schools, and the relation
between comics and videogames.
Finally, some of the best-attended panels focused on comic strips. Comic-Con
special guest Mrs. Jean Forsyth Schulz, the widow of Peanuts creator Charles
Schulz, spoke about her husband's legacy and the future of Charlie Brown and his
gang. Patrick McDonnell (Mutts) and Aaron McGruder (Boondocks) were also on hand
to meet fans and discuss their careers. These talents were highlighted by the
National Cartoonists Society's participation in Comic-Con, with both a booth in
the Exhibit Hall and panel involvement.
As we start planning for 2005, drop an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to let
us know what comic book topics or creators you'd like to see. Type "Comic-Con
Programming" in the subject line, and it will be forwarded to the proper person.
"How To" seminars for comic books have long been considered highlights of the
Comic-Con. In addition to Cold Cut's Self-Publishing School, a 4-day 4-program
nuts and bolts seminar series featuring creators like Carla Speed McNeil,
Shannon Wheeler, Paige Braddock, and Terry Moore, other seminars and workshops
- Writing - with such industry veterans as Marv Wolfman, Danny Fingeroth, and Fiona Avery
- Creating a comics character - with Draw magazine's Mike Manley
- Coloring - with Alex Sinclair
- Illustrating, painting, storytelling and composition - with Jeff Watts
- Legal issues - with attorney Michael Lovitz
Special Guest and 100 Bullets artist, Eduardo Risso, participates
in one of the many comics-related panels held at Comic-Con
Harvey Comics editor and Special Guest, Sid Jacobson, gives advice and
perspective to a new generation of comics creators
Special Guest Patrick McDonnell (Mutts) was one of many comics
strip creators featured in our programming
Panel layouts are demonstrated by Special Guest Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo)