Apologies for this week’s column being so late! My friend Richard Rivera and I embarked on our yearly drive from Orlando, Florida, to Chicago, Illinois, for the C2E2 convention! (More on that below!) Things took longer than expected, and I was too pooped to put any kind of cohesive thoughts together before now!
Anyway, I thought I’d talk about something that came up during this yearly con!
Since I wrote a pretty extensive review of this convention last year, I thought I’d just update a few points before I get to my main topic!
We were located near other comics publishers this year, and it made our sales as well as our interaction with others a lot smoother. We were actually cattycorner from Marvel, so I doubt we’d find a better location if we tried.
I loved the Artist Alley (although I still wish it could be renamed “Creators Alley” or something else because there were many writers and others in that area. It had many rows of people to check out, the letters of each row going from A to V. That’s a lot of creators, and I got to put names with faces regarding several of my podcast guests. I also got to make contacts and set up a few interviews for future episodes, so I was pretty happy with that!
Again, getting out was a weird process for exhibitors. I mean, we were told we had to wait an hour while the clean-up crew removed the carpet that had been laid down (It actually took more like an hour and a half). During that time, we were to pack up our stuff, which we did. When we were pretty close to being ready to go, I went to the designated area and received the proper paperwork to drive the van into the building.
There were not one, but two long lines waiting to get into the building to pack up their stuff. I was fortunate enough to have a purple pass indicating publishing, and so she let me in immediately. I told her she was my new best friend!
They’ve got to figure out a faster way to get that process going in the future! They just do!
There was a great roster of guests, and I thought there was an excellent list of comics people to meet and greet as well.
Then, too, one of the folks at Marvel told me that the company now considers C2E2 a “major” convention for the future. That sounds like quite an endorsement to me!
HEY, I’M VALUABLE
The interesting surprise that greeted me this weekend was how important and valuable the various editions of DC’s recently released Batman #21 were. I mean, every version was tough to come by, and what ones I could find were double, triple the cost, and even more expensive! This was particularly true of what was being called the “tinfoil” cover. The lenticular versions (with Batman and Flash appearing and disappearing depending on how one held the cover) told some digging around, but one dealer told me, “You can’t go wrong buying this comic!”
I have to say that a lot of people seemed to be very surprised at this development. I had the chance to read the issue, and it was terrific! I’ll never spoil the amazing contents of that book, but I will point out that it was the first of a four-part crossover with The Flash, and there’s a little happy-face button that we’ve seen previously, back in Rebirth #1.
I have some friends who like to guess what’s going to be the “next big thing,” and this book was nowhere on their radar. I didn’t see it coming either. But I like it when things like this surprise me.
I hear some stores are desperately trying to get more copies to sell, and the more expensive ones are going up in price daily.
I’m hoping DC will reprint this issue immediately, if not sooner!
HEY, I’M NOT SO VALUABLE
I was also surprised to discover that on the other end of the spectrum was Marvel’s Secret Empire #0, the debut issue of the House of Ideas’ latest company-wide event. There will be nine issues after this one, so that will make it a ten-issue event. I was sure it would be the book of the week!
What I heard people saying about this event was that they aren’t very happy with the story, that some expect that it will be a major flop, and that the event’s writer might be held responsible for it. Of course, others loved it and didn’t understand people who didn’t “get it.”
Given all that, I saw many copies of it around the convention floor. Some dealers were wishing more people would buy them since they brought a bunch of them. Time will tell just what will become of this event. But it wasn’t as sought-after as Batman #21 was, that I can tell you.
I often like to tell the story of J. K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame. She was so poor she couldn’t afford to have her initial manuscript of the series copied, so she had to manually retype it so it could be submitted.
Now she’s one of the – if not THE – richest women in the world! I’ve read many of her books, and I feel that’s completely justified.
I’ll admit that I haven’t been as big a fan of the Tom King Batman run as I have been of the Scott Snyder Bat-books. But I’m seeing many reviewers on the Internet giving #21 a five-out-of-five-star rating. And I have to agree with that assessment. It made my jaw hit the ground!
Who knew that would be so big? I certainly didn’t! And I do love it when I’m surprised like this! I love finding something great when I didn’t expect it!
What about you? What do you think about Batman #21, and how it’s been received? Or maybe you prefer Secret Empire #0, and think some folks are not giving it a fair shake? What other books have surprised you by being great? Whatever your opinion, please share your thoughts in the space below!