Sunday, July 26, 2009

SDCC - One day to go!

Well, it's Sunday morning! Yesterday was a hard day, the hardest by far. I think the most people were there, I did the most walking in a short period of time, and since my wife and I gave blood on Friday, our energy levels were down by just a tad. Add to that a minor setback / disappointment (not a huge deal, just a slight delay), we we both ready to head home a little earlier than we have been.

No complaints, though!!!! SDCC is an amazing experience for everyone there, except maybe the poor security guard we saw faint yesterday or the unfortunate death we witnessed on Thursday evening as we were walking to the convention center. We're not 100% certain what happened on that one, but a man must have fallen out of his chair at a restaurant, hit his head, and passed away. We passed by as the paramedics had already inti bated him, had electrodes on his chest to shock him, etc, but you could tell he wasn't responding. This was from about a ten second glance as we walked by (didn't hover because, well, that's rude), but there was something about the situation, the looks of dread on the paramedics faces, and the man's lack of response that gave a pretty good indication he wasn't going to make it. Very sad, actually...

Sorry for the downer there. Yesterday's highlights included the chance to meet most of the Image founders plus the new partner Robert Kirkman. I have more pictures up on my PhotoBucket, too, and unfortunately someone was standing in my way when I was trying to get one of Rob, Doh! Alas, though, everyone was very nice ~ in the picture, from left to right are Jim Valentino, Erik Larsen, Whilce Portacio, Todd McFarlane, Mark Silvestri, Robert Kirkman, and Rob Liefeld. All very polite. I slipped in a few comments such as how cool it is to see Todd back at work doing artwork (we both agreed you can only get stuck in administration for so long) and I told Mark that I'm happy to see him doing some X-Men work again. Yeah yeah, it was an Image line, but still, the dude can draw X-Men like no one else... <-- Updated with yesterday's photos!

I was thinking about that this morning, actually... My three favorite artists for X-Men are probably (not in order) John Byrne, John Romita Jr., and Mark Silvestri. I mean I love Jim Lee's work, Greg Land is phenomenal, and there have been countless great artists over the years, but those three just cry X-Men to me. I started reading X-Men with 203 back in 1986 with Chris Claremont writing and John Romita Jr drawing... That's what drove me to start backtracking issues. Mark Silvestri was drawing X-Men by the time I managed to start really digging into the John Byrne era; I had a few issues, but at the time for a young lad, they were really expensive.

Back to the Jim Lee era of X-Men.... Amazing artwork; I mean the guy can draw superheroes like no one's business... My issue in reflection is that the mid - late 90's was a death of sorts for the comic book industry. With X-Men in particular, we went from athletic, but still somewhat realistic proportions to these musclebound models with everything exaggerated to the point it was difficult to really identify with the characters so much. The times really got people reading comics, but the time before then really was about the marriage of story and art more than it was in the mid-late 90's and after. The last handful of years have brought a good marriage back, but it may be another few years before things get back to how they once were... if ever... with sales.

I've got some commentary involving marketing and other things based on meetings and panels I attended, but I'll save those for another day. Needless to say, I've got some opinions... Even argued with a panel DURING the panel. ;) I'm not shy, I guess.

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