Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Comic Con and Digital Comics (more ramblings)

So another Comic-Con is done and gone. I guess one of the perks of not going is I can follow all the stuff online through various websites while people there won't be able to make every panel and won't find out some things until they get home (or at least to a place where they can go online). Yeah, that's the story I'll be sticking to (until I get to Comic Con myself).

There were some pretty big announcements (MarvelMan was the biggest for me as I've been wanting the Moore and Gaiman stuff back in print for a long long time and I hope this is the first step in making it happen) and some interesting looking panels (Iron Man 2 panel looked pretty cool and the Guild panel seemed fun and filled with interesting developments there). But the negative discussions linger, has Comic Con gotten too big? Is it still "Comic" Con? What about the "little man/publisher/stores"? Should deodorant/Febreeze be handed out (or sprayed out) at the doors? Okay, that last one is a bit more of a stretch.

Now as someone who has never been to Comic Con (or any big convention) I'm not the best person to answer any of these but in my mind, maybe it's gotten too big for some people. But really, what can you do? As was pointed out on Valerie D'Orazio's blog, the studios and such see the "geek community" as a place to get ideas (for now) and to try and build a fan base by promoting their scifi/fantasy movies (and some that barely touch on anything sci-fi or fantasy). A big Comic Con appearance can build quite a bit of buzz. Do you really want to start drawing a line on who is and who isn't allowed at Comic Con, especially when a large amount of people have shown they want them there or the panels wouldn't be as busy as they were. Or is the problem you want the companies and the celebrities but don't want the crowds?

As for the little man/publishers/stores, I agree, it sucks. The big companies can throw around their money, grab more space, and make it impossible for these other companies to pay for their own space. It would be nice if the competition could happen on a slightly more level playing field. But then again, Comic Con may be "the" con but it's not the only one. Smaller companies do have their chances to get in there. Get talent on some of the panels, doing workshops, get artists into Artist Alley, etc. I know I just don't understand the problem or I'm being too insensitive to people trying to make a living, but I think there's a lot of routes inside and out of Comic Con for these people.

Is it still "Comic" Con? Perhaps not. Perhaps it's more like the upcoming Fan Expo Canada convention in Toronto which is actually 5 conventions (comics, sci fi, horror, anime, and gaming) merged into one. But Comic Con still has its roots in comics and it's still "the" convention for comic professionals so I think it still has that. And in the end, I think it'll continue as Comic Con even if/when the other stuff dries up.

But as for the "digital comics" part of this post, yet again I hear announcements of comics/media coming out for iPhone or XBox or whatever. Every time I hear these I kinda wince. As someone who doesn't own an iPhone or XBox or whatever I don't really like it when content is made for these, especially content that I'd like to see. But that's just the hit I have to take for not owning them. I just hope that people making stuff for those either have a plan for eventually moving the media off them or know that they're limiting their audience a bit (and could take a hit if they rely on technology that disappears... not really a problem for iPhone or XBox though). But that does highlight a positive of print comics, your audience doesn't need the latest gadget to read it.

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