Do I Care About San Diego Comic-Con?

Another Comic-Con has come and gone, and the internet pauses to have a bit of a breather, after running around posting images and talking about teaser footage and reporting on panels. And, another San Diego Comic-Con has happened without me being there; so am I bitter? No, and yes, but mostly no.

SDCC is the nerd equivalent of Mecca, so there is a small part of me that wants to attend for the badge of honour. However, I wish I could have attended several years ago (back when I actually lived in the US for a few years), back when it was smaller and not just a big advert for the big studio films. I’m not denying progress, but the only news now is the film news – Empire magazine, even The Guardian, send people to report back on the big events, which equals Hollywood blockbusters. There used to be a geek connection, but even that seems to have lapsed – what geek factor could Salt, an action thriller starring Angelina Jolie, claim to possess?

The main news seemed to be focussed away from comic books themselves – even Marvel seemed more interested in the cartoons and the films, with the biggest news being the cast of The Avengers on the same stage. Any comic book news had to be linked to films where possible, with Marvel talking about Captain America comics because of the coming film. The big companies tend not to make big announcements to do with comics at SDCC. Or perhaps I’m being biased …

I’ve been to UK-based conventions, and enjoyed the panels about comics and meeting the people who create them; I would love to go to San Diego primarily because of Artists’ Alley, and get sketches from the big names but mostly to meet Stan Sakai (who doesn’t seem to come to the UK, as yet) and tell him how much I love Usagi Yojimbo before asking him for a sketch. I know there are other conventions that are more centred on comic books, but San Diego still has that mythical appeal to it, the special convention that everyone knew about, before EVERYONE now knows about it. I don’t have a bucket list, but I’d like to visit SDCC one time …

Still, there are many good things about SDCC, and one of them is the Eisners, the comic book industry awards; awards may involve politics and industry-savvy, but I’m glad they exist and I was happy to see the selection of awards this year. Chew winning Best New Series was wonderful news, and it was good to see awards for Ed Brubaker (Best Writer), JH Williams (Best Penciller, Best Cover Artist), Jill Thompson (Best Painter) and Tom Spurgeon for Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism. I thought the awards overall were good choices, and it made me happy that some part of SDCC still clings on to the idea of celebrating comic books.

Will I ever go to SDCC? It’s unlikely, but it’s nice to know that it’s out there.

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