For years now, comics have gotten lost in the noise of Comic-Con — but this year felt like the worst example of that. The comic-book companies seemed to have a harder time than ever breaking through the clutter, and there weren’t really a lot of big announcements. We got more details about Spiderverse and Grant Morrison’s Multiversity, but a glut of alternate universe stories didn’t feel especially fresh at this point.
I wish I knew which staffer wrote this paragraph, because I’d love to sit them down and tell them why they’re wrong. I was at the show this year and all I saw were people excited as HECK for comics. I spoke to several rooms packed FULL of people, with lines around the corner, who wanted to see Image creators. I was on a manga panel where a crowd of people cheered or gasped or laughed at our choices for best and worst manga. I personally spoke to several dozen of people a day who wanted to read Rocket Girl or Lazarus or Deadly Class or Kung Fu Bible Stories. I watched Jasons Aaron and Latour blow through their signing lines. I watched Scott Snyder hustle to make sure the fans were right. I watched Kelly Sue DeConnick do her thing with aplomb at what seemed like every single moment of the show, and I watched Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction make a couple hundred people a day smile goofily. People kept telling me how good the panels were and how it made them fans of authors they’d never heard of before. One cosplayer said that sneaking her into the Saga signing made her whole weekend.
And that was just the experience of one man working one booth. Boom! was hopping. Fantagraphics looked great. Vertical had some of the best books at the show.
If you were at SDCC and you don’t think comics had a fantastic presence, if you’re judging the significance of comics through whatever announcements to buy things that aren’t out yet came through, you need to adjust your sights. You’re aiming in the wrong direction.
Judge it by the smiles, not the capitalism.