You've Been Asleep for a Hundred Seconds

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


As anyone that has been to my house knows I read comic books,When I was about 10, I started reading comic books pretty obsessively. I stopped about halfway through high school and started back up in college. This past weekend I did something I have never done before, I went to a comic book convention. The Emerald City ComiCon at the the Qwest Field Exhibition center to be exact.

Why had I never gone to one before? I think mainly because all the previous conventions seemed overly small time and likely supper lame. I know from past record shows that any event you can get in free to by donating a can of food is bound to be super lame.

My biggest mistake of the day was that I forgot my camera at home. There were some truly egregious displays of geekery on display. There was the swarm of thirtysomething fat guys in full on Star Wars Storm Trooper uniforms. There was the massive line to see artist Jhonen Vasquez filled fully decked out goths of all sorts that wrapped around the whole front of the Exhibition Center. There were also lots of sweaty teen geeks wearing this ninja headbands and it wasn't until later that I realized some both was giving them away and this wasn't some Karate school field trip. Then there were the geeks with big wheel around bags filled comics to signed by the talent. Worst was this chubby girl with a rat tail, and bad skin wearing a fetching combo of stained sweats and Ugg boots. The vendors were far more freaky looking than the average convention goers. One female vendor was full done up as a leopard complete with face paint and rest of dealers were some variation on the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons complete with the bad B.O.

I was really impressed with the convention. This was a real convention and they had the big names and everything. Well big names for the comics world that is. At the Fanatagraphics booth I picked up a copy of Peter Bagge's new Hate collection Buddy Does Seattle and got him to sign it. I'm rather ambivalent about autographs and I was a more that a bit of pathetic dork when talking to Mr. Bagge, which of course reminded me of why never get autographs. My Brother bought some really nice prints from artists Tony Harris and Alex Maleev. And was much less of a dork about.

The highlight was definitely the panel discussions we walked in on the end of a panel about self publishing comics and got to hear some 50 year old dude on the panel tell the audience they should be watching The O.C. every week because of all the Seth Cohen comics discussion. The next panel was all Marvel Comics writers including big names Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker. Brian and Ed had a lot of interesting things to say about the writing process and were cracking jokes left and right. Lesser known writer Robert Kirkman stole the show when cracked that he never worried about repeating cliches and just ripped off shitty old comics that no one read like US 1 or Starbrand and mixed them up to plot his comics. I think I'll have to check out Kirkman's zombie comic The Waking Dead sometime soon.

Final Verdict? Good fun if you take it in small doses. I enjoyed it for what it was while remaining horrified by the more hardcore fans. Will I go next year? Oh yeah!


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