Hi, everyone. It’s a little crazy to me that Comic-Con is over already. I feel like I anticipate it for most of the year and it’s so strange that it’s over. This is going to be a long recap post. Sorry, but it was a very busy 4 days. This year’s con was pretty relaxed (relatively speaking). There weren’t any signings I had to do or panels I would be heartbroken if I didn’t get in. I had a loose schedule and really just played everything by ear. I only made it into Hall H once this year. I am so not into sleeping outside and camping just to get into a panel. I like sleep way too much. I am going to start with some of the panels I saw and will go in chronological order since that’s the easiest for me to remember. :)
I love it when I am able to get to the con early on preview night. It doesn’t always happen but it’s great when my schedule works out. It’s great picking up my badge early to avoid the rush on Thursday and I get a few hours on the con floor while it’s relatively quiet. I usually do a quick round of the publishing booths right when the floor opens. It’s a good time to have a minute to chat with the reps before the craziness of the con really starts. I also pick up all of the signing schedules so I can plan them into my con schedule. Below are a few pics I took of the con floor on preview night.
Thursday was a pretty full day and I started it by missing out on the The Buffy Effect panel with YA authors Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle), Kiersten White (In The Shadows), Rae Carson (Girl of Fire and Thorns), Brittany Geragotelis (What the Spell?), and Valerie Tejeda (Hollywood Witch Hunter). There was a huge line for it when I got there and I didn’t think I would get in, so I decided to get an early seat for my next panel.
I got to sit in for the very end of a William Shatner panel. This panel was to promote the new book The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman. I’ve never seen William Shatner (is it weird that I feel like I have to write out his whole name and not just his first or last?) interviewed or anything before and have to say that this was a pretty entertaining panel. He’s very charming and funny and had a lot of fun stories to tell. I am glad that I caught a bit of this.
The next panel up was a spotlight panel on Jim Lee. If you don’t know, Jim Lee is a very well known comic book artist and writer. He is also now the co-publisher of DC Comics. My love of his work goes far back into my childhood. It was his run on the new X-Men in 1991 (yes, I am old) that really got me into comics. I have been following his career for a long time and I love seeing his panels when I get a chance. I’d never been to a spotlight panel like this before though. Lee basically talks to the audience and answers questions while he draws. He pulled up two artists from the audience to draw with him and he later took their work and inked it while answering questions.
If you’ve never seen a really good artist draw live, it’s pretty amazing. It really looks so easy when he does it. As you can see, he was drawing the Joker for us. Lee is extremely personable and funny and it was really entertaining just listening to him. One of the questions was about how being Korean affected his outlook and art. Lee came to America when he was around 5 and he says that he latched onto comics pretty early. He initially only looked at the images but he eventually learned to read the words as well. He lived in a place with very few Asians and says that he always felt a bit different, like an outsider. He thinks this helped with his artist ability because his outsider status meant that he was often looking in and observing others. Had a great time at this one and highly recommend seeing him if you get a chance.
Image Comics: Where Creators Own the Mainstream with Kody Chamberlain (Punks), Keenan Marshall Keller (The Humans), Chip Zdarsky (Kaptara), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Alex Grecian (Rasputin), and Michael Moreci (Roche Limit). Sadly I don’t seem to have a picture of this panel. While I am fan of a lot of these panelists, I have to admit that I mainly went for Marjorie Liu. Liu is one of my favorite writers and she has a new series, Montress, coming out with Image in the fall. I really can’t wait to read her new comic whose first issue comes in at a whopping 70 pages! That’s a lot of comic. Definitely check it out as her writing is wonderful and the artwork looks amazing.
Next up was the Sherlock panel with Steven Moffat (co-creator, executive producer, and writer), Sue Vertue (executive producer) and Rupert Graves (actor, DI Greg Lestrade). Normally I think it’s really hard to get into this panel but Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were unable to come this year. However, Moffat, Vertue and Graves were more than enough to keep everyone in the room laughing and hanging on to their every word. Andrew Scott (Moriarty) sent a special message to all the con goers and we even got to see a clip from the Victorian Era Sherlock special, which Moffat said would be available in theaters as well. You can see both clips below.
I had a bit of a late start panel-wise on Friday and my first panel was not until Minority Report at 1:45. This show is based on the popular film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. I really love the Minority Report movie and was excited about the idea of a television series. They showed a special 20 minute cut of the pilot episode with a Q&A with Stark Sands (Inside Llewyn Davis), Meagan Good (Think Like a Man franchise, Californication) along with other cast and producers afterwards.
I’ll talk more about this one in a post dedicated to all of the pilots I saw at Comic-Con, but I’ll just say that I think the show has promise. I love the original premise so much and this show is taking it to a different place that’s still pretty interesting. I’d like to see the full pilot before making a real judgement but I’ll give this one a chance when it starts airing.
Next up I got in a very long line to try to get into the Bob’s Burgers and Archer panels. They are held in the same room every year during a whole day of panels featuring animated shows. This was the longest that I stood in line for the entire con. I was probably in line for almost 3 hours. I guess animated shows are more popular than I thought. Sadly I did not get into the Bob’s Burgers panel, but did make it in for most of the Archer panel (which was what I really wanted to see). I did have a nice view of the water while I waited though.
I was in line for ages, but I finally made into the Archer panel for the last 40 minutes or so.
My pics for this panel are pretty bad so sorry about that. This panel featured creator Adam Reed and executive producer Matt Thompson, along with the voice cast of H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter, Aisha Tyler, Judy Greer, Chris Parnell, Amber Nash, and Lucky Yates. If you don’t know, I am a huge Archer fan and I really look forward to this panel every year. The actors are always a bit crazy but I love it.
My first panel on Saturday was New DC Universe The Lighter Side: Are You Ready? featuring Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn, Stargirl), Heath Corson (Bizarro), Dan Jurgens (Batmite), Corynn Howell (Batmite) and Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn, Stargirl). I went to this one mostly for Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti since I am a big fan of their work on the current Harley Quinn and other projects. This was a very funny and interesting panel about comedy in comics. Conner and Palmiotti said that they knew something was funny when the editors red flag it. Overall though, they said that they’ve had a lot of creative freedom on the Harley series.
My next panel was The India Inkblot Test: Why Comics Are Good for Mental Health, and Mental Health is Good for Comics with forensic psychiatrists H. Eric Bender, M.D. and Praveen R. Kambam, M.D. (Broadcast Thought), Gail Simone (Batgirl, Red Sonja), clinical psychologist Andrea Letamendi, Ph.D. (Under the Mask,The Arkham Sessions), comedian Jenny Jaffe(Camp Time with Jenny Jaffe, CollegeHumor), Project UROK. Psychologist Janina Scarlet, Ph.D. (Superhero Therapy) forensic psychiatrist Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D. (Broadcast Thought) and moderated by attorney Jeff Trexler (The Beat, The Comics Journal).
Mental health on its depiction is something that is being discussed more and more in the current comics climate. For years, mental illness was the go to cause of villainy in comics. Writers like Simone are trying to change this perception. This was a really interesting panel and it was cool to hear from actual psychiatrists and people working in the field.
Next up was the Diversity: We Demand Diverse Books panel with Soman Chainani (School for Good and Evil), Cindy Pon (Serpentine ), Cece Bell (El Deafo), Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Scott Sigler (Alive ), and Judd Winick (Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth). This was a really thought provoking panel about writing diverse characters. I was impressed with all of the authors. They all had their own take on the subject and spoke passionately and eloquently about it. Congrats also to Cece Bell for her Eisner win that weekend.
The last panel of the day was Fantasy Literature with Zac Brewer (Vladimir Tod series) and Jonathan Maberry (Rot & Ruin), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures series), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series) and Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle series). Moderated by Henry Herz (Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes). I had a ton of fun at this panel. I am a huge fan of both Stiefvater and Brewer, whom I’ve met before, but I was excited to see them again on this panel. The other authors were great as well and the panel was hilarious.
Sunday (yeah, we’ve made it to Sunday!)
First panel of Sunday was No Capes Required: Modern Day Superheroes which featured Pierce Brown (Red Rising), James Dashner (The Maze Runner, Scorch Trials), Marie Lu (The Young Elites), Lexie Dunne (Supervillains Anonymous, Superheroes Anonymous), Noelle Stevenson (Nimona) and Robert Venditti (Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape 1: Attack of the Alien Horde), moderated by Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Complex). The authors on this panel went off on a lot of funny tangents.
After that, I went to brave the Hall H line with my friend. I hadn’t been in it all weekend but he really wanted to see the American Horror Story/Screem Queens panel. We only got into line about an hour or so before the panel started and, surprisingly, we ended up making it in for most of the panel. Unfortunately we missed the teaser reel at the beginning of the panel but we did see most of the cast and creator Q&A. I loved seeing horror film vets like Jamie Lee Curtis and Kathy Bates together and Matt Bomer is always nice to look at. My favorite part of the panel was when an audience member asked the panel who their favorite superhero was. Kathy Bates asked Matt Bomer who the “Armenian man” who did that dance was and, after a moment of thinking, he replied “Joe Manganiello!” (meaning Joe’s stripper character in Magic Mike XXL).
Alright, we’re in the home stretch now. If you made it this far, I commend you. Only a few more pics to get through.
Christina Lauren – Thanks to S&S for the signing. I have met this pair before but they are always a treat and a highlight of the con. I brought a couple of books with me to get signed and they gave out copies of Dirty Rowdy Thing.
Zac Brewer and Kami Garcia – This was after the Fantasy Lit panel. This was Brewer’s first event after coming out as trans, which the audience cheered for at the panel. I was excited to get a copy of The Cemetery Boys signed with Zac’s new name.
Maggie Stiefvater – Love, love Maggie’s books! I finally started The Raven Boys recently and just had to talk to her about it. I am listening to the audiobook (read by Will Patton) and Maggie asked me how I was liking it. She said that she specifically asked for Patton to read the book. (BTW he’s a great narrator and I totally recommend the audiobook.)
You’ve made it to the end! Wow, this actually took me a really long time to write and I am leaving some of it out for separate posts since this post was so long. Thanks for reading this far (or at least skipping to the bottom). I had a great time at Comic-Con this year. It’s a crazy whirlwind but I do love it. If you have a Comic-Con recap, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your experience. My friend says that one of the great things about Comic-Con is how each person can have a totally different experience. If you’ve never been, would want to or have you been to another comic convention? I’d love to go to a comic convention in another state or country. Until next year, San Diego!