While this was just my third Comic-Con, it was interesting to see that I already have created my own way of navigating the show to ensure I get to as much as I can. Unlike our intrepid editor, John Hogan, I did not grow up reading comic books, but rather just the newspaper strips, thus I am not as familiar with all of the creators --- but I am catching on fast. While I have been lucky enough to meet many authors in my day and have attended quite a few conventions, there is nothing that really compares with the interaction at Comic-Con. The lines of fans who cannot wait to meet their favorite creators generates a true feeling of excitement and brings such energy to the show. Seeing the enthusiasm of true fans and their groundswell of attention to what they love really cannot be beat. Yes, I have seen autographing lines at many conferences, but truly nothing compares to Comic-Con.
I’m late to file this because of all the fun yesterday. Thursday, the official beginning of San Diego Comic-Con, kicked off in wild fashion, with the expected throngs of people crowding the floor. The record crowd this year has led the convention to create a shuttle bus route from Mission Valley to the convention center, and there were reports of overcrowding leading to problems on preview night. Hopefully those problems have been fixed and everyone can enjoy a great convention.
San Diego Comic-Con kicked off Wednesday night with a bang. Record numbers of people are attending the show this year, but luckily, Wednesday didn't feel overcrowded. In fact, the air of excitement was there and it seemed to signify a true love for what's going on in comics today (with no real successor to Twilight or Avatar at this year's show, the "tent city" neighborhood near Hall H is a shadow of its previous year's self, for example...but excitement is thriving for ongoing and new comics properties).
Our sister site Reading Group Guides has an excellent new blog post up by reference librarian Bonnie Brzozowski about how graphic novels are perfect picks for book clubs. We couldn't agree more! Check out the great blog here.
Kent Allin is a 12th-grade literature teacher at Bayside Secondary School in Ontario, Canada. Below are his reflections on teaching a graphic-novel course in school this year, followed by the perspectives of two of his students.
She still doesn't have a movie in production (and why not? It's time), but Princess Diana, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, is getting a fashion makeover courtesy of DC Comics. For 70 years, Wonder Woman has been sporting a quite revealing costume that could double as a bathing suit...and that suit has gotten skimpier and skimpier depending on who the artist drawing her was.
News came today that Golden Age illustrator Al Williamson had passed away. He was 79. Al was a great artist who drew iconic images of Flash Gordon in the 1960s and well beyond. He was also the artist behind the comic strip Secret Agent Corrigan, and, in the work of his that made the most profound impact on me, the Star Wars comic book that Marvel put out when I was a kid. Artists like him are rarer and rarer in comics these days, sad to say, but his work lives on brilliantly.
Teacher, Masconomet Regional High School Topsfield, Massachusetts
You may have read this news in Publishers Weekly already today: A coalition of Japanese and American publishers has been formed to deal with the growing (and rampant) problem of online manga distribution (commonly known as "scanlation"--scanning and translating manga works for online distribution). There are 36 Japanese publishers (all members of Japan's Digital Comic Association) joined by American companies Viz, Tokyopop, Square Enix, Vertical, the Tuttle-Mori Agency, and Yen Press.
Congratulations to Raina Telgemeier's Smile, which was just named a 2010 Boston Globe Horn Book Award Honor Book in the nonfiction category. I remember first meeting Raina back in December at the GNR holiday party, and I told her I couldn't wait to read her book. Once I did, I was in love with it and tried to share it with friends and acquaintances. I'm so glad to see she's gotten this distinction from the Boston Globe. The book really deserves it.