I keep vacillating as to whether or not I'm looking forward to Con this year. I was talking to Sky today about the fact that while looking at the schedule, I realized that I'm likely not to go into Hall H yet again this year. For those of you who have never been to Con, Hall H is where the movie studios do their thing. Sometimes you get a really big TV show (Lost, Heroes), but mostly it's movies. And huge stars. I used to spend lots of time there. But, the place is huge (seats 6,500) and the line to get in can be enormous, and I really don't care any more. And that's not what Con is about.
ComicCon, is where we comic book people go to meet each other. Because it is close to Hollywood, it now attracts a Hollywood contingent. There's the above mentioned Hall H, and there's Ballroom 20 (which seats 3,500?) which is where big TV shows wind up, and then there's another couple of rooms for lesser TV shows. The rest of the panel rooms, and there are a lot, are all about comics. Or science fiction books, or gaming, or costuming, or any other geeky thing someone can think of.
The main hall, which has grown so very much in the over 20 years that Scott and I have been going, has comics all over, in little ghettos. There's an Artists Alley, and a place where independent creators are grouped, another for web comics, and gigantic booths in the middle for major publishers. There are also booths where people are selling toys, clothes, weapons, DVDs, art, posters, or just letting you see cool stuff from movies that are coming out soon. There is something for everyone.
My experience at Con is different from anyone else's. This is because no two people are there for the same reason. The thing I love most about Con is seeing the people who have become friends over the years. I know lots of people, and I get maybe ten minutes with each, which is nowhere near enough, but it is enough for us to touch bases, and know that they are around and ok. I know this year during Con, I will eat meals with Larry Marder, Kurt Busiek, and Dave McKean, at least (they've already been planned). At some point during Con I will see someone that I have not seen in a year or more. There will be hugs, there will be comics and t-shirts to look at. I will come home with far more than I arrived with. Which is ok, because we drive, so it just goes into the car. It's all good. And then I have stuff to read, wear, watch, play with, whatever.
I will spend time talking about what has happened to all of us in the last year. And I will spend time talking about movies and TV shows I've watched or have been told that I should be watching. I will see people in strange costumes. People will come up to me and be impressed to meet me, and others will wish I would just go away.
I am likely to spend some time, at some point, with someone you wish you could meet, and perhaps, I will have a moment with someone I am excited to meet.
In the end, I will realize that there were people there that I did not get to see at all, and others that I only passed fleetingly with a promise that we would see each other later that never materialized. I will have memories that stand out, and far more that will blend in with the old memories of Cons past.
And Sunday will come far too soon.
That is Con.
But, the reason I wanted to post something today, had nothing to do with all that.
The reason for this post is to tell you that I did something very wonderful today. I read the first two parts (139 pages) of Scott's new book. Well, the layouts really. Scott has been working 7 days a week for 10 or 11 hours every day. The book that he is working on right now is one that he has been working on in his head for over 20 years, and I am the only person who is getting to read it as it goes. Pages have been sitting next to my bed for a while now, and I've put off reading them. I didn't want to because I have been listening to bits of this story for so long, that I was afraid that final book would not live up to what I imagined. I was wrong. This is only layouts, and the final will look different, and it will be revised, and stuff will happen in the process, but I am honored to be a part of it. I think it will surpass everything I thought it could be, and I had very high hopes.
One of the main characters in the book is based on me circa 20+ years ago, and it is always weird when you see yourself drawn by someone else (re-reading the Zot! book when it came out recently was eerie that way, there was far more of me in it than I realized at the time), but my character isn't in much at the beginning. I like her though. Maybe this book will help remind me of the good in me, as well as all the very many other things it's about.
With Scott's permission (he has no idea that I've read the pages yet, nor what I'm writing in this post) I am hoping to talk more here about the book and the process of writing it.
That was the reason for this post. To let you know that I've fallen in love with the new book, and to warn you that I am likely to talk about it from time to time in the near future.
But, for the next two weeks, expect a lot about ComicCon.