Friday Morning at Comic-Con


I snapped the above photo of a sign on a door into Comic-Con. It amused me to think that anyone thought there was any adult supervision of anyone inside.

Thursday seemed less crowded than usual to me…and apparently, only to me. Others were still moaning about how wall-to-wall the place was with human beings and many who went to elaborate lengths to not look like one. If you ventured into certain sections down certain aisles, I'm sure that was so. But where I was, the walkways seemed manageable.

I tried something different this year…different for me, anyway. Partly because I feared my knee might be bothering me, I secured some space in the hall and figured to spend much of the con sitting there, right alongside Sergio instead of roaming the convention floor. That cortisone shot I got in my knee on Tuesday kicked in at just the right time. My knee stopped hurting about the time I was ready to make my first trip from my hotel room to the convention…which was fortunate because I learned that my tolerance for sitting behind a table is about fifteen minutes. After the con, I'll write a longer piece about why I feel that way…and why you won't find me doing that much in the future as long as I'm ambulatory.

This morning, I'm due at the Dark Horse booth at 10 AM for an hour of signing copies of Groo Vs. Conan alongside Sergio. I will tough it out but really. If I wanted to sit around doing the same thing over and over and over, I'd go back to writing Scooby Doo cartoons. It pays slightly better.

Four panels yesterday. The first was one I was on but didn't moderate about the great, unheralded co-creator of Batman, Bill Finger. I planned to repeat a lot of my "defense" of Bob Kane — the quotes are because much of his credit-claiming seemed indefensible to me — but there wasn't time. I did get to meet the charming Athena Finger, granddaughter of the late, wronged writer. She and I will be co-presenting three Bill Finger Awards at the Eisner ceremony this evening.


Phil Geiger took this photo of me, Anthony Tollin, Neal Adams, Denny O'Neil, Michael Uslan and Len "Two Badges" Wein. Click on it to make it bigger.

My second panel of the day was great. I moderated "Batman in the 70s" with Neal Adams, Denny O'Neil, Michael Uslan, Anthony Tollin and Len Wein. I'm sure there will be many accounts and probably an audio of the whole thing posted to the 'net in the coming days. Neal and Denny were particularly interesting as they discussed their collaborations on the Caped Crusader and how they reinvented him more or less forever.

Then the third panel…ah, the "Jules Feiffer Goes Noir" panel. It was billed as Paul Levitz and m.e. interviewing the great writer-cartoonist and that's what it would have been, had he been able to make it out from the east coast. Amazingly, few walked out when it was announced that Mr. Feiffer was not present. But we sat and spoke of him and his work for 50 minutes and attendees seemed to find that an acceptable alternative. (When I heard he wasn't coming, my suggestion was that we go down to the bad part of town, find some hopelessly-inebriated derelict, slap a Jules Feiffer badge on him and bring the guy in to be interviewed. How many people, I figured, even know what Jules Feiffer looks like, anyway?)


Tom Yeates, me, Sergio Aragonés and Stan Sakai.
Photo by Bruce Guthrie.

Lastly, we had the annual Sergio and Mark Show on which we spoke of Groo Vs. Conan and upcoming projects and discussed our silly careers. We were joined by Stan Sakai and Tom Yeates and it was covered briefly here.

Today, I have that signing, many meetings and but one panel — a spotlight on Walt Kelly and Pogo at 3:30 in Room 8. If you're not there, you'll miss the announcement that Volume 3 of the Fantagraphics series that reprints that great newspaper strip in full has gone to press. Then later…the Eisner Awards. I have to go get dressed and practice signing my name as fast as Sergio signs his. Bye now.