After spending the weekend at I-Con, yesterday was largely playing catch up and getting back to work and it wasn’t until evening that I realized I never wrote about the weekend. Silly me.
The con is huge, spread all over the Stony Brook campus so depending upon which track of programming you want to see, you might find yourself hiking from one building to the next. Still, it allows for a depth of programming unrivaled by most regional shows. It’s also a chance to spot trends since this is where I first noted the rise of anime and Manga and then cos play.
I find myself stretched across three tracks – authors, film, and comics – so my schedule tends to be very full. This is fine, I love interacting with the attendees. It also leaves me with precious little time to actually sit and talk with my fellow guests, many of whom I see once or twice a year.
Saturday started early with “Countdown to Whatever”, ostensibly a what’s new at DC panel. Of course, not being on staff these days, I know a smidgen more than the average reader. So, instead, we talked about what we liked and didn’t like from the previous year and what we’re looking forward to.
Then, two hours later, I was on “True Tales of the Comic Industry” with Glenn Hauman, Comics GOH Dwayne McDuffie and the legendary artist Murphy Anderson. Murph is such a gentleman that getting him to tell any of the juicier tales of the business during the 1950s and 1960s was like pulling hen’s teeth. Still, I think we had some fun and anecdotes from Peter David helped keep things lively.
I then did my annual 90 minute “Trailer Park” event, aided and abetted by Glenn. It went over well and if the audience reaction is any gauge, then the biggest movie of the summer is going to be Wall*E.
At 4, I attended “Lost in Translation: From Fiction to Film”. I was there as a panelist, but Peter S. Beagle and Norman Spinrad monopolized the hour with their own experiences and observations so I think I spoke twice and enjoyed listening.
Unfortunately, given the logistics involved, I met Deb at 5, right after the Boogie Knights finished performing. We hung with pals for a while before I took her to the Port Jefferson Ferry so she could take the 6:30 back to Connecticut and to keep Robbie company. This meant, though, that I couldn’t make it to the hotel (25 minutes away from the con!) in time for the 5:30 banquet where Paul Levitz made a special appearance to present Murphy with an award. Instead, I trooped back to campus, enjoyed dinner with the Boogie Knights and the Brobdignagian Bards and then headed to the auditorium to see them, and others, in the cabaret.
Sunday was another early event as the 10 a.m. hour was what has now become the Rozakis/Greenberger show, as I partner with Chuck, son of Bob. Glenn joined us this year, too. As ever, Chuck came prepared and this year we tried to answer the Top 43 Questions asked by kids. Chuck and I then remained in our seats so that at 11 we switched to the topic of “Comics are a Serious Business”. It was largely about how comics can monetize the web and how all the majors have somehow missed crafting something that works while independent talents have managed. (Interestingly, this was the second con in a row where people bitched about both the Zuda and Marvel interface.)
I then zipped downstairs to the auditorium where Kate joined me for the Bards’ concert. I had to leave early though for another hike.
My final event was a panel I conceived: Harlan Ellison, Murphy, Peter and me discussing our love for comics. It started late because the previous panel ran long. The word came that Harlan was running behind. So, we started and as Murphy was discussing buying Action Comics #1 as a kid, Harlan arrived. He kissed us each on the forehead and then took his seat. For the most part we stayed on topic and the stories were entertaining. As time passed, though, it wandered into related topics and suddenly the hour was over and technically, it was Harlan’s solo hour. When we pointed this out to him, he insisted we stay; he had questions to ask us. So we sat, which cost me my chance to see Kate and the Boogie Knights.
Finally, I managed to get out and saw Kate briefly back in the green room before I had to head for the ferry.
All in all, the panels were good. The con was fun. You missed out on a fun weekend.