Monday, July 20, 2009

The Martini is Kicking In...

and I'm having philosophical debates with myself over going to San Diego, none of which has anything to do with the business side of it. I've blogged many times, most recently last week, over the need for the type of material that we do to be "pop" culture, with the emphasis on "pop" as in " "popular". Iron Man, treated like a second class hero by Marvel for the majority of his existence (despite being in the Avengers) has never been as "pop" as when Morton Downey Jr. played him. Dark Phoenix? The same. Famke looks great wearing the "bad".

No, this has everything to do with the fact that like a jilted college student whose favorite band has suddenly hit it big, I'm being nostalgic for the old Comic Con, with its shitty little tables and small time entrepeneurs, and I'm remembering being a poor college student and aspiring artist and sleeping on the floor of the Westgate (thanks Ron) with my leather jacket as a great blanket, and being part of marginal part of American culture.

Lets face it, we were dying. but somehow, when i was sorting through stacks of original artwork on these crappy little card tables, I was holding the original Gil Kane artwork to Iron Man #66, with Thor about to clock Tony with his hammer, and my heart simply stopped for a moment. There wasn't me trying to game some online auction by Heritage to get a piece of vintage artwork like I did 3 years ago to get a great Kirby/Ayers FF page (thanks Alaina), it was just me wishing that i had more money in my pocket to buy the damn thing. Same thing when I held the splash page to MOKF #39 i my hands and the dealers were trying to push the thing on me so that it could remain a set with the splash to MOKF #40.

The year is 1988, and I'm falling in love with comics all over again at my first visit to San Diego.

Despite living in California a decent chunk of my life, i had never made the journey down to San Diego. My family was fairly poor, and never supported my love of comics nor my desire to be an artist. They still don't, to this day, despite making a living off of being a professional artist for almost a decade in the '90's, nor have they ever even understood that what I did mattered to anyone out there. Without being Frank Miller, I can at least have the satisfaction of knowing that there have been people out there who have read and enjoyed the work that i've done, and I take that to heart every time I sit in my studio at 1am, struggling with a panel that doesn't work. Its worth it to make it work. Someone out there will care and will notice, i tell myself. And sometimes I'm right.

I'm toning page 8 for The Human Hourglass and preparing materials to take down to my 20th San Diego. Geek Prom, as my friend Lis calls it, is about to begin. Good. Let the freak flag fly. Let those of us who championed this form of entertainment get yet another sly smile at the 8 hour lines to get in and know that we were right when everyone else thought that we were idiots. Our shit is cool. Come and get it.


Tim Perkins said...

Hi Charles,

Add to that the fact, you can rest assured guys like me, have loved working alongside you as well, and indeed hope to do so again one day.

The trouble with what we do, especially before the advent of the Internet is, it is an isolated job, so our only point of contact used to be conventions.

Nowadays we get a much more and much faster reaction via the net, email, etc.

I agree with the pop culture aspect of things totally, as you know, and feel that is the aspect of the comics business, which we need to see promoted far more.

I find it incredible that Roy Lichtenstein's artwork, which used Jack Kirby's work as the main influence in his artwork, finds him in galleries up and down the land and pretty much a household name, especially in art and educational institutions and yet Jack, who influenced the work isn't.

It isn't the fact Roy's work is, but rather that Jack's isn't.

Is that not just so typical of the comics business?

We need to continue to grow outside of the ghetto that the business side of things and also the fans continue to pander to, especially if we are to survive in the long term.

The Geek thing is fine, but not at the expense of the business as a whole.

I just wish the fans would accept the fact the general public needs to be part of the scene to keep them alive. As the age group gets older and the drop off point for reading them becomes a higher percentage of these readers, so too sales will dip...until the inevitable happens.

So what if the accountant or the bank manager, or the guy in the chip shop down the road starts to buy and read them...that makes sales, which keeps the companies from going under and so what if the new folks looking at them don't know how many rings Cap has on his shield, or the name of Thor's hammer, or how many individuals have assumed the identity of and worn the costume of Goliath.

Hey guys, it really doesn't matter, neither does continuity, honest. This is exactly what is killing jumping on spot.

I think a future Blog is forming for me here...

Oh well back to Hot Wheels today for me, now I am off the soapbox.

Have Fun in San Diego and looking forward to hearing what you get up to down there.


The RIpple Effect said...

Not just nostalgia. The old con was simply a better experience. I find it hard to believe that I'd be able to meet you and form a 15 year friendship at the Con these days, like we met back then.

Still, have a good time. I'll be joining you next year.