Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The big show pt. 1

San Diego Comic-Con International 2007 was for me a great time and somehow I managed to not be super overwhelmed. I think this is because I took the advice of others who have suggested that faced with a convention as huge as San Diego has become, that you find the convention within that's right for you. My two favorite panels that I attended were the spotlights on Alison Bechdel (in photo above on the left of course) and Miriam Katin (photo below). Alison Bechdel gave a very entertaining power point presentation of her graphic novel Fun Home, additionally showing some very funny panels from Dykes To Watch Out For. Bechdel also read from Fun Home (while images from the book appeared on screen) and I'd guess that anyone who hadn't already read Fun Home would definitely get the book after this panel. Bechdel gave a demonstration of her art process which surprised me in how reliant she is on photographs (she doesn't trace photos though, rather she uses them as a tool to set the stage for locals and for what her characters are doing). Fun Home won an Eisner this year for best reality based work, but it was totally robbed by American Born Chinese (which was good but nowhere near the level of Fun Home) for best original graphic novel of the year.
Miriam Katin also had an excellent power point presentation of her graphic novel from last year, We Are On Our Own, which is her account of how her and her mother escaped Jewish persecution in Budapest during World War II. She's pictured here holding the Inkpot award that was presented to her at his panel. Miriam Katin's mother was in the audience while she showed photos on a screen of her parents and images from We Are On Our Own which made for the most emotional panel I've ever attended. Miriam Katin did a wonderful illustration in my copy of her book. Getting to attend Bechdel and Katin's panels and talking to them briefly were definitely the highlights of this years convention for me.
Cecil Castellucci (on the left) and Jim Rugg are the writer and artist of DC / Minx's excellent debut title, The Plain Janes and it was great talking to them briefly. They told me that they got the green light to do a sequel to Plain Janes and how that announcement didn't create big waves of excitement escapes me (probably because it hasn't been officially announced). Cecil Castellucci was also one of the people on this other great panel I attended called Comics Are Not Literature and I hope that a transcript of that panel shows up somewhere because everyone on that panel made a lot of really intelligent and interesting observations on comic books' place in the art / literature landscape.
I was happy to get my copy of Alice In Sunderland signed by the always excellent Bryan Talbot and he showed me nine pages from his next book that will be in the crime fiction genre with anthropomorphic characters done in watercolors and of course it looks amazing. He also has a prose book coming out soon called The Naked Artist which contains vignettes about comic book creators and some of the crazy things they've had happen to them at coventions and from fans.

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