Another Con Job
Yep, it happened again. I went to the Boston Comic Con(vention), and had a terrible time.
I wrote all about this last year, so I won't repeat myself (much), but what the heck has happened to comic cons?! Back in the day (we're talkin' the Seventies) comic cons were great! It was a weekend-long nerdapalooza of all things geeky! Anything a nerd would love: Comics, Animated Cartoons, Obscure Movies, Comic Strips and more were there on display for all to enjoy. The attendees were different too. Back then, comics weren't "mainstream". Comic fans were an isolated bunch, who were sure that our interests weren't shared by the population at large. Seeing so many like-minded geeks at a con reassured us that we were "not alone". Also, all forms of cartoon-type entertainment were represented. You could find funny animal comics, Star Trek stuff, underground comics, Anime (called "Japanese stuff", back then) and more! Today, it's superheroes, or nuthin'.
The convention I attended last weekend was a different story. Sure, there were the vendors, but that was about it. Thanks to the success of mainstream superhero movies and the like, the con experience has become all about selling crap to the masses. The con had an impressive lineup of guests, but they were all hawking their latest projects and selling their autographs and drawings. Back in the day, the pros would do quickie sketches gratis, and sign autographs till their hands wore out. I understand why pros are hesitant to do free sketches nowadays, what with all the EBay slime balls out there, but charging for an autograph? Come on!
There was also no entertainment at the con I attended. No movies, nothing. Sure, they had a few panels where clueless nitwits interviewed some of the pros in attendance, but the one we sampled was awful: An interview with a comic book legend, hosted by a guy who seemed to know nothing about his work. The only highlight was when a big fat guy in a Batman outfit walked in during the middle of the presentation and sat down. No one reacted, like Batman showing up was no big deal.
All in all, the experience was a bust. Maybe though, the people behind the Boston Comic Con will contact me, and I can advise them on how to improve next years con. If they don't, I won't be back.
One highlight: I reconnected with my old teacher, comic book legend Joe Kubert (Pictured above. BTW, that isn't Photo shop magic, that is how big my forehead is!). Joe was a guest at the con. He was very important to my development as a cartoonist, and it was nice to tell him how much he meant to me. He pretended to remember me, which I appreciated. Come to think of it, he should remember me! After all, I once playfully pinched his cheek, and lived to tell the tale.
I just remembered, another pathetic aspect of the con: All the ham n' eggers trying to sell their self-published books. It was really sad to see. It convinced me to publish my Kaptain Keen book through some legitimate channel.
So, to sum up: No more Comic Cons for me. I'm moving on to something more legitimate.
Like a Star Trek convention.