Comic-Con 2010 Preview Night: Is the Show over Yet?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's actually after midnight, and I'm usually long since asleep. Instead, it's been a delightful day and still wanted to get something online before passing out. Things started with a breakfast with Mike Pascale and Jim Johnson at the Westin Gaslamp Restaurant, as we mostly caught up on old times and outlined plans for the show. (Those boiled down to: We'll go over there and see what happens.) I realize now that I missed out most of the day on photo opportunities (such as with Mike and Jim), considering the fact that I quickly lost track of just how many people I saw, hung out with, talked to, or otherwise grabbed information from. I followed the breakfast by dashing off to the Convention Center (a $6-$7 cab ride, depending on traffic, trolleys and the route taken) to pick up Exhibitor Badges for our crew, then checked out our booth in the hall. (Comics Buyer's Guide shares a long booth with F+W Media's stacks of books of interest to con attendees, and F+W's Greg Hatfield had taken command of Doing the Job Right - with help from other F+W'rs, so - forgetting again to take photos - I headed back to the Westin so that later-arriving folks could have their badges.)

By the time I got back to the Convention Center, it was almost time for lunch with Michael Uslan (right), so lunch it was. Among many topics we covered was his continuing involvement with the "wedding of Archie and Betty - and the wedding of Archie and Veronica," complete with a newsstand magazine that will see national distribution in such sites as Wal-Mart. It was also the first of many discussions during the day about the future of the small comic book vs. the larger magazine vs. the trade paperback vs. downloads, downloads, downloads. Already, there are a variety of format wars in today's delivery of comics to electronic readers - and there will be more. Meanwhile, how does the comics-shop retailer fit in? And what format will be best? (In fact, the day ended with a discussion with Marv Wolfman over how digital "subscriptions" will work, if the subscription is for a service, rather than a kind of "permanent" download that the consumer sort of "buys," as with a Kindle. Talk about technology in flux!) And, yes, I forgot to photograph Marv, too.

What did I remember to photograph? Well, Tom Kraft was at Bechara Maalouf's booth (Nostalgic Investments, and he swears his website will be working soon, but I won't link to it yet, because it isn't quite ready). Kraft was working on collecting scans of the original art of Jack Kirby for a massive project that will eventually let critics and fans study the development, styling, etc. of Kirby's original art. They're scanning both sides of the art, because occasionally vital developmental roughs appear on the backs of pages. He showed me one in which someone (Kirby? could be) toyed with a number of different logos to identify The Fantastic Four and someone had circled the one that was finally chosen. And I realize I shall soon become incoherent (if I haven't already). Bedtime now. More tidbits tomorrow.



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