Monday, July 25, 2022

Comic-Con 2022

Comic-Con Photo Dump! We had fun. I saw some friends but not all I'd hoped to. On Thursday, I had nice conversations with Tom Richmond, Dave Kellett, Chip Kidd, Peter Maresca and others. Had a howdy/handshake/hug with many more, including Karen Green, Stu Rees, Andrew Farago, Shaenon K. Garrity, and was especially happy to meet Johanna Draper Carlson in real life after a decade-long virtual relationship. Did a panel for Abrams Books, drew some sketches in exchange for donations to the Cartoon Art Museum, ate some pasta. 

Home away from home, the Abrams Books booth. It's not just the little counter in the foreground, but the booth in back that's twice as big. The smaller counter is for book signings; I'll be there later.

Editor Charlie! We slipped our masks off for just a moment for this shot. Otherwise, attendees are being very mask-diligent.

Two of the comics that started it all: the actual first appearance Spider-Man and first issue of Superman, going for "if you have to ask you can't afford it" amounts.

Two Lokis (Lokii?). In general, it feels to me like there's a lot less cosplay this year, and less elaborate.

For the Cartoon Art Museum's Sketch-A-Thon, cartoonists sit for an hour and draw anything a patron wants for $15. It's a good time for a good cause. As you look at the following drawings, keep in mind these are sketches done fast, not finished pieces.

One of my sketches. This was for a patron I didn't actually meet who had a standing order for mermaids in a variety of costumes and themes. He provided several pages of examples of the sorts of costumes he had in mind. One of his themes was "St. Patrick's Day" so I went with that.

Another patron saw me drawing Captain America and said, "Hey, can you do the Hulk smashing?" and I could and did.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has a classy display of comics that have been banned in various places, including books by my friends Maia Kobabe, Raina Telgemeier and virtual pal Jerry Craft. Just a reminder that this is the 21st Century.

A terrific Doctor Octopus.

Here's a nice summary of our Abrams ComicArts panel at Comic-Con (with my name misspelled only once, so that's a win) from Nancy Powell at The Beat. 

What the article doesn't say--and would have no reason to--is that I went out of my way to praise Abrams's design team, including Pam Notarantonio and Charice Silverman, who worked on "Last Mechanical Monster." Abrams designs books better than just about anybody, and they enhanced my book immeasurably. As I said on the panel, I bring them raw meat and they turn it into a gourmet meal.

I also encouraged the audience to build their own robot army by buying 30 copies of my book and gluing together the paper robot dolls in the back. To be used for good or evil, no judgment on my part.

The Abrams ComicArts panel, with Editor Charlie at the podium, then Abrams editor Charlotte Greenbaum, me, comics writer Brian Michael Bendis, and Chip Kidd. I hadn't met Bendis, who is famous in comics circles, and I was a bit intimidated, but he was very nice and gracious. Charlie is introducing me.

A selfie with me, Other Brian, and Chip.

Photo nicked from website "The Beat" (

After the panel, Brian, Chip and I went down to the Abrams booth to sign our books. Brian Michael Bendis had a line that wound around the booth, down the aisle and around the corner. Chip and I did not. But a few very nice people did want signed copies of "A Fire Story," including the cosplaying couple in this photo and a wonderful woman who dragged six hardcopies to the Con for me to sign to her relatives who'd lost homes in fires. Readerwise, what I lack in quantity I make up for in quality.

On Friday, I did another hour at the Cartoon Art Museum's Sketch-A-Thon, this time with my cartoonist friend Alexis Fajardo. The next photo is a drawing I did for a CAM patron who requested "Captain America and Pokemon," resulting in the ultimate team-up. (I originally thought to have them battling, but realized there's no way that Cap and Pikachu, who represent the heroic ideal in their respective universes, would ever fight each other.)

In addition to his own comic, "Kid Beowulf," Lex Fajardo works for the Schulz Studio in my hometown. So he liked my shirt.

Captain America teams up with Pikachu! Villains have no chance.

Next, a story about someone whose name I'll keep to myself. This person came to do a Comic-Con panel after spending a full day and night in a San Diego hospital with IVs, antibiotics, the whole enchilada (not infectious or Covid-related). They showed up having been released from the hospital just a few hours before, did a great job on their panel, and no one would have guessed how weak and awful they felt. Knowing full well that a convention panel is one of life's least pressing obligations and everyone would have forgiven their absence, they still kept their commitment. It was one of the greatest examples of "The show must go on" I've ever seen, and kind of awesome.

Finally, a word about how much I love going to Comic-Con with my daughters, Laura and Robin. To be able to share it with them--to have interests and passions that overlap in the giant Venn diagram that is Comic-Con--is one of the great pleasures in my life. We had a swell time, especially when they pulled me to things I never would have done by myself. Thanks, girls!

Robin and Laura and I ended Thursday gorging on gluten at Buca di Beppo.

Obligatory photo of the Con floor from the mezzanine window....

....and the same thing looking the other direction. This is just a fraction of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bucca de Beppo? Cosplayers? Well, no one died this time so there's that, hehe!