Reporting From Comic-Con: There Goes the Neighborhood

Sitting at home with another Comic-Con behind us I look over my box of comics and deposited business cards sprawled across the floor like a Trick or Treater dumping his hoard after a busy Halloween night. This convention represents the week that Hollywood took over the event.

Many comic creators dreaded the move-in of the film and video-game industry. The center of the convention center is year-by-year sprouting more and more fancy studio spaces as evidenced by towering signs and a hogging of square footage. Meanwhile, fledgling artists with books under arm can barely afford their tables though there’s still a four-year waiting list to get booth space. With maximum occupancy filled by both exhibitors and attendees only one thing can happen…prices will go up. It’s the law of supply and demand.

As I stood within my booth today a huge swarm of convention attendees mobbed a booth. There was a sea of people trying to see someone inside doing a signing. The group was so big that even my six-foot-eightness couldn’t see who it was at the table. I pulled an Elvis-wearing-a-kilt aside to ask who was signing. “Jennifer Love Hewitt.”

In the afternoon I was joined by Electric Playground’s Victor Lucas for my yearly interview. Their show provides top commentary on video games and movies long before mainstream Hollywood media got either of these mediums. They don’t understand their broadest audiences and think people want to hear more about Perez or Paris Hilton than what’s going on with “Halo.” They’re wrong.

Mainstream entertainment news vomits, then trains and audience to consume it, then complain that the audience only wants more vomit. Entertainment news is lazy, they don’t want to dig up real events and only found the Comic-Con after five straight years of the sold-out event. They probably didn’t trust their audience’s interest in comics, and it’s probably unfathomable to them that the convention would be interesting even without Hollywood’s presence.

Comics have been around since the pyramids but video games and movies are relatively new to the scene. The medium of comics will outlive them and the Comic-Con will survive Hollywood’s flavor-of-the-decade interest just fine. In the meanwhile, it’s nice to sell books with Jennifer Love Hewitt signing right next door.


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