SDCC 2018: Thursday July 19

Across the tracks

Dropped off by the bus across the tracks from the Convention Center

With Preview night behind me, it was time to dive into the convention proper, and what I was REALLY interested in was attending a lot of panels.  As I’ve said before, there are numerous convention experiences that can be tailored to each person. I’ve mostly had my fill of wandering the crowded show floor and I really love seeing creators talking about their experiences in and around the comics industry.  They’re something that is not provided at many conventions, at least not in anywhere near the quantity and diversity of SDCC, so I like taking advantage of the opportunity.


L to R: Mark Evanier, Maggie Thompson, RC Harvey, Scott Brick

Panel #1: Spotlight on Maggie Thompson
Maggie’s spotlight this year consisted of talking about the late lamented Comics Buyer’s Guide, which is where I was first exposed to her work and in those pre-internet days the CBG was an invaluable news source about the world of comics..
Scott Brick wrote what Maggie calls the most popular article ever in CBG, the one on (spoiler alert) who REALLY killed Gwen Stacy…
(Spoiler spoiler alert… it was Gerry Conway. He never really liked Gwen.)
Long time fans may recall that CBG was cancelled by Krause and last issue was 1699, I
learned in this panel that Alter Ego #122 (from TwoMorrows) was what WOULD have been CBG #1700…. I’m going to have to track that issue down!


L to R: Scott Dunbier, Joe Jusko


Panel #2: Spotlight on Joe Jusko
I learned that Jusko sold one of the 1st 3 paintings he ever did when he was 18 to Heavy Metal and it was the cover to Heavy Metal #15.  I also never knew that he was a New York City police officer for 3 years in the early 80s. He would take overtime as time off and spend his couple of days off to paint a cover for Marvel.
Joe co-wrote the series “Cops: The Job” with Larry Hama (who was also NYPD). It’s based on stuff that really happened to him on the job. He got letters from police officers around the world praising its realism.


L to R: Graeme McMillan, ???, Ben Smith, ???, Mike Molcher


Panel #3: Treasury of British Comics
Fascinating to hear about how British comics were split into “Boys comics” & “Girls comics” but each had all kinds of genres, girls comics were not all romance and flowers.
Mike Molcher also pointed out when they got the bound weeklies after acquiring Fleetway, he ended up with 90 linear meters of shelving to hold all the comics many of which have not been seen since the week they were published.

Based on recommendations at this panel I later got Face Ache and Summer Magic at the 2000ad booth!


L to R: Jose Villarrubia, Jeff Lemire, Will Dennis

Panel #4: Spotlight on Jeff Lemire
One of my favorite current creators, I’ll get anything he does that’s creator owned. From writer/artist on very unique creator owned projects to a prolific writer teaming with others to produce popular corporate superhero comics to a writer teaming with other artists on creator own projects while working for so many different publishers. Lemire has done so much in a career that is only about 12 years old, it keeps me guessing about what we’ll see from him next.


Scott Hampton

Panel #5: Drawing with Scott Hampton
Last year there were only about 12 people in the room and Scott passed pages of his art around to those of us in the audience.
This year, there was a Jim Lee panel in the room after his, so room was packed with panel campers just there to get a seat for Jim Lee panel.

He did put a bunch of fully painted pages on the stage for an upcoming Neil Gaiman story adaptation “October in the Chair” (a story I love, BTW) so I was able to walk up and get a close look at those (see above).

For his drawing demo, loaded with tips for aspiring artists, he did The Joker.


L to R: Jessica Tseang, Aminder Dhaliwal, Emil Ferris, Jen Wang, Tillie Walden, Thi Bui, Larry Marder

Panel #6: OGNs: From Concept to Creation
Aminder Dhaliwal (Woman World), Emil Ferris (My Favorite Thing is Monsters), Jen Wang (The Prince and the Dressmaker), Tillie Walden (Spinning), Thi Bui (The Best We Can Do), Larry Marder (Beanworld)
Fascinating to hear these creators talk. I’ve read the work Emil Ferris & Larry Marder. I have Thi Bui’s book but have not read it yet. Since the convention I have also picked up  Tillie Walden’s “Spinning”.
Ferris had a great story on how she kept going on producing her massive time, “The Derrick Factor”, Derrick being a guy who works at her local market and who she told about the graphic novel she was working on. Every few weeks he would ask her how she was doing on it and she never wanted to tell the guy she had given up, so it kept her plugging away!

That ended my first day of the convention….6 hours in panels with a couple of forays down onto the show floor to meet some creators and grab autographs or just say “Hi” and catch up. At the end of the day I bumped into a friend and we jumped on the trolley and headed up to Old Town for some great Mexican food!

In the next installment of the Blog we’ll go over my Friday at the con.

Bob Bretall: By Fans who Love Comics For Fans who Love Comics

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