Wednesday, August 05, 2009

All right, time to wrap up this Comic-Con thing--I'm starting to bore myself.

Here's what I didn't like about Comic-Con: Too much shilling. Not enough just hanging out and enjoying the company of fellow nerds and nerdettes. See, when I do a book signing, I'm doing it because I get a thrill out of meeting people who share my interests--that's my primary motivation. But at this thing it seemed like so many people (and certainly all the corporate concessions) were there only to promote their latest product--which is the whole point, I know, I know, but it would be nice to at least have the illusion that there's some joy involved beyond the cash transaction. The girls in hotpants are nice, but I really just want to geek out with someone who loves talking about what they do. Maybe that's unrealistic in these difficult economic times, and people are depending on this for their living, but COME ON! If it's just about selling crap, then fuck it! No decent art was ever created solely to make money. It has to start with a vision, and someone who is willing to gamble everything on that vision. That's the part I'm interested in--the struggle, not the swag. And as a Star Wars fan, I would have loved to see a panel devoted to the original film, with as many of the actual movie crew, minor actors (Biggs? Porkins?), and props as they could dig up. I went to a horror convention a few years back where I got to meet almost everyone from George Romero's zombie films, and it was amazing how into it they all still are. I don't think the Star Wars folks realize what they're missing. For that matter, where was the booth devoted to Futurama, or Lord of the Rings, or Let the Right One In, or Alien, or Back to the Future, or Spumco, or R. Crumb, or Mad Magazine, or all the other stuff I would have loved to talk to somebody about?

Okay, that's my hippie rant for today.

Here's something I liked: There was a Ralph Bakshi booth selling actual frames from his animated movie Wizards. Ralph himself wasn't there, so I couldn't shake his hand, but I would have liked to tell him how much I loved Wizards--that movie had a powerful effect on me as a kid. With its blatant sexiness and violence, it was an antidote to the G-rated animated crap of the seventies. It took animated fantasy seriously at a time when no other cartoon would show a drop of blood, much less a nipple (and still won't, unless it's Japanese). Last thing I saw of Bakshi's was a hilarious reboot of the Mighty Mouse franchise, which was squelched for being too disturbing.

So I wandered the halls looking for these little moments of transcendence--and occasionally finding them--until it was finally time for my panel discussion. I had been stressing about this the whole time: the Monster Mash panel at three p.m. on Saturday. And it was finally here.


Blogger Froudedude said...

Are you serious? People actually come to get a copy of Xombies signed?

10:02 AM  
Blogger Walter Greatshell said...

I know! And such brilliant and attractive people, too!

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be there - I am a Xombie Zombie or am I a Zombie Xombie - or am I a Xombie Xombie . . .

5:18 PM  

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