C2E2 is finally over, and Jimmy files this report on the events that took place on Sunday.
The booths were packed up and comic creators and con-attendees alike have gone their merry way now that C2E2 has finished, and the convention was a rousing success. Sunday was kids day, and all-ages comics were being promoted heavily, especially by independent publishers. As the day wound down, merchants had some serious price cuts on back issues of comics, with one booth going from $0.25 apiece to $0.10 apiece while I was browsing. Unfortunately that meant that the masses all started crowding around the small shelf of short boxes, but that’s one of the unfortunate inevitabilities of the final day of conventions.
When the guests were being announced, it seemed like Marvel was making a really strong push for this convention, especially with their losses on the sales charts earlier this year, but I think DC was the “winner” of this convention with their huge panels on upcoming events like Before Watchmen and the Second Wave of The New 52. The lines for signings at the DC booth were always wrapping around the area, while lines at the Marvel area seemed largely to be people wanting to pose on a stage with Captain America’s shield. Archaia had a nice turnout as well, showcasing titles like Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand and Mouseguard. There were also a ton of booths offering cheap Marvel trades (many booths were selling their trades, which usually have an MSRP around $20, for $5 apiece), which admittedly is open to interpretation, but I took to mean that merchants were having difficulties getting rid of their Marvel products compared to DC.
The most exciting thing from the convention was Mark Waid’s announcement of www.thrillbent.com, debuting May 1st, and the digital comic “Insufferable” by Waid and Peter Krause, as well as their plans for hosting more comics on the website. Waid has always been a powerful force in comic books, helping Boom! Studios grow with his work as Chief Creative Officer and writer of Irredeemable and Incorruptible, and now that he’s turned his focus to digital comics we’ll either see the medium flourish or we will, as he put it, see him “fail in the most spectacular way possible right in front of you.” His honesty and openness about the endeavor have me convinced that Thrillbent is a project worth following and supporting.
Another thing I really enjoyed taking time to do at this convention was meet and speak with creators. I got to meet Chris Burnham, who I believe does a more enjoyable version of Frank Quitely art than Frank Quitely does himself, and spent a while discussing Batman Inc with him and what it was like working with Grant Morrison, as well as trying to convince him to spill the beans on a couple mysteries in the title. I couldn’t get any real spoilers out of him, though I did confirm that the Wingman we saw in The Black Glove did die, and he seemed to hesitate a half-step when I proposed my theory that the current Wingman is Jason Todd before asserting that he couldn’t tell me one way or the other on any character. He also confirmed we’ll see Wingman in issue one of Batman Inc., coming to stores next month, though he wouldn’t tell me whether his identity will be revealed.
One creator that I’ve reviled ever since the launch of The Dark Knight is David Finch; I felt his writing to be particularly poor, and I felt he was overextending himself and that he should stick to art. I got a chance to speak with Finch at C2E2 and see him at the DC Artists panel, and he basically said the same thing. He described it as a “big mistake” to write Batman, though mentioned he hoped to try writing again at some point but with a creator owned project where he could find his voice better.
This article would be incredibly long if I discussed every nice creator I met, so I’m going to stop here, but as a partial list: Gene Ha was incredibly nice, and was donating his time to help raise money for Hero Initiative which is a great cause; Gail Simone was great, always smiling even when completely swamped with fans (and her husband Scott was a pleasure to hang out with as always); Norm Rapmund absolutely loved my wife’s Skeets hat, and we chatted for quite a while about inking Jurgens on Booster Gold and how sad it was that it had to end (he mentioned that at first he submitted the final page as blank because he didn’t want the finality of drawing the end) and his current work on Teen Titans inking Brett Booth; Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti were both very friendly despite being swamped the entire convention; Peter Krause, the artist for the upcoming Insufferable, and I had a nice chat about digital comics and Irredeemable/Incorruptible; Len Wein was a great guy, rocking an Indiana Jones-style fedora and a Swamp Thing shirt for part of the convention; Art Baltazar and Franco were hilarious as always, and I also got to meet John Siuntres of the Aw Yeah Podcast and Word Balloon fame. I am sure I forgot some of the creators I met, but there were no creators I met at the convention who were unfriendly in any way. The comic book community is such a friendly environment, and meeting creators was one of the best parts of the convention. C2E2 was a classy and fun show to attend with some top names in comic books and great panels.