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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Decade of Comic Con

Back home and recovering from another week at San Diego Comic Con. My tenth year as an exhibiting cartoonist was very successful, and I had a great time hanging out with my friends, meeting new fans of my work, making use of the networking possibilities, and seeing all the ridiculous spectacles.

(this amazing photo was taken by Shawn Cheng)

San Diego Comic Con has changed a lot since I started going there. Most seem to think it has changed for the better. Maybe it did for a lot of people. But to me it no longer feels like a place for the kind of art and comics that I want to do. Hollywood has taken over the festival, and it's dominant presence is pushing out what put the word "Comic" in Comic Con. It has become San Diego Movie Con. The comic companies still there use this as a trade show for promotion and to sell properties to film and t.v. producers. And I'm not interested in doing that.

I went into this year's SDCC already thinking that it would be my last, but I was on the fence throughout the show. I love Comicon and usually do well at this show, but the increasing cost and stress of going to the festival makes it very difficult to continue.
Before the show opened on Saturday morning, I walked the entire length of the convention floor while my headphones played Pajo's album of Misfits cover songs. The quiet mornings before the attendees start spilling in are usually the only time I can get away from my booth. While I enjoy seeing the spectacle of rampant commercialism and pop-culture excess on display, and I revel a bit of an "us vs. them" rebellious feeling of being a self-publishing artist in that environment, this show now feels alien to my personal feelings about making art and comics.
I had this sinking feeling that they won. But I don't want to give them that much credit. Maybe I've just evolved in a different direction, and I no longer want to try to fit in there. Like when I realized that the popular kids in junior high were assholes who treated me badly and I should no longer try to be friends with them. It's a little sad, but also liberating. I spoke to several other cartoonists and artists throughout the weekend, and it seems I'm not the only one that feels that way. SDCC continues to raise the prices for exhibitors every year. I don't know what the reasons for doing this are, but from my perspective it's just another factor that contributes to my feeling that this Con no longer wants independent artists like me anymore. I can't afford the Hollywood prices and it makes more sense to spend that money elsewhere. There are more small and independent comic festivals popping up all over the country every year. And for the cost of a booth at SDCC, I could attend four or more of these smaller shows. These festivals feel more like a celebration of comics, filled with people who love the medium as an art form, whereas SDCC feels like I'm at war with a system that wants to crush me.
But I really do love the clusterfuck that is Comicon. So, I'll probably come back next year without a booth. I look forward to seeing the show from the other side of the table.
Special thanks to Shawn Cheng for coming all the way from New York to share the booth with me. He's the best booth-mate I've had in recent years. Thanks also to Levon Jihanian for hanging out and helping with our booth, and bringing his great new mini-comic Danger Country. And thanks to everyone at Sparkplug Comic Books and Teenage Dinosaur for doing these shows with me. You are all the best. Sharing an apartment with some of my best comics friends all week makes it feel like some kind of bizarro Cartoonist Summer Camp. Which makes me sad that this was the last one...
One of my friends said "if you sell something to someone in a costume, you win!" A girl in a Robin costume buying a black metal poster is a rare thing. She said she was a big fan of my art and this was one of my favorite moments of the week:

Good-bye San Diego Comic Con.


Thursday, July 22, 2010



Monday, July 19, 2010

San Diego Comic Con 2010

This week will be my tenth year of exhibiting at San Diego Comic Con as a self-publishing cartoonist.

Once again I have teamed up with Sparkplug Comic Books. The I Will Destroy You/Sparkplug Comic Books booth will be at #1630. In the indie neighborhood near Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly and Last Gasp. (Sparkplug has a handy map here.)

I will be bringing a lot of stuff to show and sell. Here's a rundown:

Henry & Glenn Forever
Henry & Glenn's "Special Package"
Henry & Glenn "The Final Blow" poster
Henry & Glenn Forever T-shirts
Moby Dick Silkscreen prints
ISIS Live V silkscreen print
War Paint mini
Neely Covers Comics to Give You the Creeps!
and some other secret stuff.

I'll have all my older books and prints as well: The Blot, Your Disease Spread Quick, Brilliantly Ham-fisted, ISIS tour silkscreen poster, Wolves in the Throne Room tour silkscreen poster and my Giclee prints: The Wolf, Reborn and Rise Above

I'll have several originals for sale, including pages from Henry & Glenn Forever, Your Disease Spread Quick, my horror covers and comic strip poems.

AND- My Sparkplug pals and I will be blogging from the con all week at the Funny Towne Humor Pump. Check it out every day to see what we're up to.

This year I will be sharing my booth with the incredibly talented Shawn Cheng of Partyka artist collective. It's his first time at SDCC. Come check out his amazing mini-comics and art prints.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gettin' ready for Comic Con


Wanna learn how to survive San Diego Comic Con? Find out at the Funny Towne Humor Pump where The Sparkplug Gang and I will be blogging about nonsense related to Ye Olde Comic Book Festivale!


Monday, July 12, 2010

The Final Blow

(click to make bigger)

Henry & Glenn "The Final Blow"
This is the mostly true story of Glenn's reaction to our comic book Henry & Glenn Forever. Thanks to J. Bennett at Decibel for lending me this story for my final HG4Ever strip, and for attempting to give Glenn a copy of our book that we all signed for him. As you can see, Danzig didn't even wanna look at it. Sorry we made you sad Glenn.

I will have these available as a poster at the I Will Destroy You / Sparkplug Comic Books booth (that's booth #1630) at San Diego Comic Con 2010 next week!


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Thar she blows...

I just got my new Moby Dick silkscreen prints back from the VGkids and they are beautiful!
There are three colors to choose from:
sepia, blue or red.
These will be available at my booth at San Diego Comic Con
and through my online store soon.

More info soon.