This year the San Diego Comic Con hit its 40th anniversary. This is the comic book fan convention that started them all, and continues to set the standard – well, if the standard you are looking for is an all-media convention. This con’s focus is primarily on movies and television for which the filmmakers and performers come out in droves to promote their upcoming projects. Comic Con also celebrates toys, card games, animation, video games, illustration, fantasy, science fiction, books and – oh yeah, comics.
This shot featuring a lifesize Transformer helps show a little of the crowded experience that defines Comic Con.
While I don’t attend every year, when I do go, it is purely to seek out and revel in the creative accomplishments of cartooning. If you can squeeze your way through the throngs of 125,000 fans (many of which come dressed as their favorite pop culture figures), you just might stumble across a great artist or two tucked between a few mega corporate booths. Many of these artists are creating spectacular work that really MUST be seen, but usually is not heralded by companies with big distribution channels. The independent spirit is alive and well at Comic Con.
But most of all, Comic Con is a spectacle. Every time you turn your head it’s another astonishing display. You might see giant robots, movie actors such as John Heder and Richard Dreyfuss, moms with strollers carrying lightsabers, movie directors, the cast of NBC’s Chuck or CBS’ Ghost Whisperer, someone speaking in Klingon, a girl who made a dress out of Warner Bros. big cloth giveaway bags, Matt Groening, Sergio Aragonès, twelve Wonder Women, a girl dressed as David Shannon’s book A Bad Case of Stripes, film score composers like Christopher Young and Bear McCreary, security throwing out people without badges, a family dressed like The Incredibles, etc. etc. Comic Con is a veritable wonderland.
So, for those of you who missed the menagerie, I have a few photos to help you experience Comic Con. Maybe next year you’ll grab your deerslayer and lightsaber like this fella and come as your own Jedi detective, too!
Each year at Comic Con, the Eisner Awards are given to the best and brightest talents in comics. Hosted by Bongo Comics’ Bill Morrison and assisted by his lovely wife Kayre, the Eisners have become a fun event of professional schmoozing and back slapping. It’s a true blend of the new young talent all the way through those who helped set the standard. If you attended, you would have rubbed shoulders with Neil Gaiman, Paul Levitz, Jane Wiedlin, Murphy Anderson, Stan Freberg, Bernie Wrightson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Gary Gianni, Scott Shaw!, Kazu Kibuishi, and many others.