People have been wondering what my thoughts were after going to a few Wizard World shows after a 6 year boycott, and the St.Paul Comic-con after lambasting the new management. I’ve been putting it off because frankly, I don’t have much to say about them.
I don’t just get on here and vent for effect. Sometimes I just don’t have much to say, believe it or not. But, since I made a point about my expectations, I’ll go over the two shows.
The Wizard World shows where fun, and well run and they did a nice job of making me feel welcome and integral to the show. they are not comic book conventions by any stretch of the imagination. At WW St.Louis I counted eight booths that had actual comic books for sale, and that included artist alley. There were prints, posters, merch, autographs, and chances to meet actors and actresses, but almost no comic books. WW doesn’t pretend to be any thing it’s not, and all the attendees seemed to be having fun, so … not much to say. If you like the stuff I listed, it’s a good, well run show.
The MCBA (MSP) comic-con in St.Paul was fun. The attendance seemed down quite a bit, but the weather sucked and that has a big effect. They made me feel welcome and integral to the show, it was well run…that’s all I know. I don’t know how the sausage is being made, and I don’t want to. I’ve said my piece, either they are taking the advice to heart, or they ain’t…I don’t know. I didn’t have any lengthy conversations with anyone about the behind the scenes stuff and I don’t want to. If behind the scenes it’s a clusterf*ck, that’s up to others to point out. If behind the scenes it was a well oiled machine, it’s up to others to give the kudos. I publish comic books, I show up and do my best to add to the success and atmosphere of the show, and It’s not really in my best interest to be involved beyond that. I will say I didn’t have much interaction with the volunteers only a couple stopped but to check up on me, but they were vigilant, I saw them checking up on the other guests and… I can’t say I blame any of them for wanting to give me a wide berth. hahaha!
I dunno, It felt different. It used to be run by my friend Nick, and he’s dead now. Comic conventions take on the spirit of whoever is running it so for good or bad, the spirit is different, and I miss my friend. I’m not an old man, but sometimes it feels like I’ve been alive a thousand years. I started in 2000, that’s good run, but not long career wise…yet, sometimes I think back to starting out and look around and think “who the f*ck are these people? Where did everybody go? Where are all the people who started when I did?” There are only a handful of people still left from when I started. I’m not sure I am conveying this right…it just sometimes feels like I leap out of my body ten years ago, and leap back in now and am just here to bear witness to the effects of time and change.
Death of my friend, and Twilight Zone-ish disconnect from the present not withstanding, it seemed fine. The other Illustrators from Comic Art House who went all seemed to have a blast, that may be a better litmus test than me anyways, since they have no sorted history with the convention.
That’s about all I have to say, except a big thank you to Wizard World and to the MBCA for their hospitality! Your next chance to see me will at COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL!