My friends - or, at least, a great many of my friends - are in San Diego right now, attending COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL. Sadly, my personal situations have precluded conventions and travel for much of this year, leaving me to gaze wistfully towards the West while close to 100,000 comics fans, comics professionals, and other lucky souls enjoy the big show.
Sigh. I probably won't even get a t-shirt.
Last week's TONY POLLS questions were Comic-Con International questions. The first was the obvious one:
Do you plan to attend this year's COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL in San Diego (July 22-25)?
I'm extremely envious of 19.28% of you.
Regardless of how voters answered the first question, I then asked them this question:
If you are or were attending COMIC-CON, which of the listed choices would be your main reason for attending?
I repeated the list so they could also vote on their second and third choices, then tallied up the collective votes on a basis of three points for a first choice, two for a second, and one for a third. Here are those results:
COMICS GUESTS.....146 points
Comic Books (new and old).....106 points
Panels and programming.....76 points
Artists Alley.....26 points
Media guests.....16 points
Original art.....15 points
Meeting other fans....12 points
Seeing friends and family....9 points
Science Fiction and Fantasy.....8 points
Toys and other merchandise.....8 points
Looking for work.....5 points
Lord of the Rings.....no points
Portfolio reviews.....no points
Star Wars.....no points
I found these results pretty interesting. One of the common complaints I hear about COMIC-CON is that it doesn't emphasize its comic-book roots enough. Clearly, the comics aspects of the show are the most important to my readers, though, it must also be noted that my readers tend to be comics fans over all else.
Some comics professionals have complained to me privately that COMIC-CON is somewhat tight with a dollar when it comes to flying comics guests to the event and providing them with lodging and the other amenities. On the one hand, I can see where the expense of renting the huge convention facilities and staffing them properly can eat up a good chuck of any event's budget. On the other hand, it's more than a little embarrassing that, in years past, it's been the fans shelling out money to bring some of the greats of comicdom to the show. Methinks a more fitting balance could be struck and that the con should strike it forthwith.
Similar complaints also surround the placement of the Artists Alley tables every year. That's a trickier one. I know from some personal experience that, no matter where a convention places the exhibitors, professionals, and so forth, a certain number of them are going to be convinced they've been stuck in the absolute worst location in the place. Whenever I hear such complaints, which are sometimes justified, I turn my gaze to the sky and thank God that I'm not the guy making such decisions.
Persons affiliated with or close to COMIC-CON have sworn to me Lord of the Rings/Star Wars/Science Fiction and Fantasy are major draws. I don't doubt them, but I think the results of my minuscule poll reveals that to be another example of the growing gulf between COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL and the comics fans.
Don't get me wrong here. I adore COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL and that it offers so many different things for so many different fans. If I had my druthers, I'd never miss a year. I merely offer these comments for whatever wisdom or lack thereof the readers might wish to take from them.
Speaking of COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL, here's a request I posted on my message board earlier this week:
If you're attending COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL...
Don't be a pest about it, but feel free to tell comic-book editors and publishers that you'd like to see new Isabella-written comic books...and to tell anybody from Pocket Books that you'd like to see more Sam Cogley novels by Bob Ingersoll and myself...and to tell the fans and pros you'll be meeting that TONY'S ONLINE TIPS is now posting daily with spiffy stuff for one and all.
Convention photos are always welcome...and I may run them in the column. Just be sure to let me know they're coming so I don't mistake them for evil viruses. If I can't be there, I'll take the second-hand exposure to the fun you had.
This week's TONY POLLS questions ask you to pick your choices from the Emmy Awards nominations for the outstanding comedy series, the outstanding lead/supporting actors and actresses from comedy series, and the outstanding variety/music/comedy series. You can cast your votes at:
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.
Please send material you would like me to review to: