I won’t have a table or anything, but I’ll be wandering around the show all weekend and occasionally table-sitting for Grant Gould (table H9 in Artist Alley). My usual schedule involves a lot of visiting Artist Alley and publishers on Friday, panels on Saturday, and using Sunday to finish up whatever I missed the other two days. This year, there are way more panels I want to see than I’ll ever get to, so I could easily spend all my time just going to those.
Archaia’s upcoming releases panel is always something I want to check out, so that makes my list for Friday afternoon. I’d attend Dark Horse’s panel too if it didn’t overlap with one on how the Cold War shaped morality and gender roles in comics. I always have some of those cool, weird, academic panels on my wish list, but rarely get to them. I’d like to change that this year. The Cold War panel also overlaps with DC’s first panel and comiXology’s, so I’ll skip those too. That’s a little disappointing about comiXology’s since I’m interested in digital comics. They make my head hurt trying to figure out what they’re going to look like in five years, but that’s why I’m curious about their evolution.
Also Friday evening is an academic panel on the depictions of children, women, and racial diversity in comics. That sounds cool too, especially since one of the comics it will use to discuss gender is Wapsi Square, the webcomic by my friend Paul Taylor. Following that is just enough time to grab a quick dinner and then four, simultaneous panels that I’ll have to pick between.
Mark Waid’s offering a second chance to learn about digital comics, there’s a discussion of the four types of superhero origins, there’s a panel on women’s perspectives of geek culture, and a creative process panel about storytelling. The superhero one sounds interesting, but miss-able in comparison to the others. (I’ve already categorized superheroes to death in my spare time, so I don’t need to hear how someone else does it.) The Geek Girl panel is also something I can skip without dying. I’m always fascinated by hearing that perspective, but my female friends who like geeky things are already keeping me up to date. The storytelling panel is focused mostly on superheroes and manga, which sounds more limited than I want, so I think I’ll end up listening to Mark Waid. I’ve been following his blog about digital comics and – as I expect from Mark Waid – he has some thoughtful ideas about the medium and how to make it work for creators.
Saturday morning begins with the AV Club panel on the future of the superhero genre. After that, DC has a New 52 panel, but it overlaps two other interesting panels: one on creating and marketing independent comics; the other on upcoming releases from IDW. It’s a tough call between DC and IDW, so I’ll save myself the decision by skipping them both for the How To. I’ve studied enough of that kind of advice that I’m not expecting much new from this one, but if nothing else it’ll be good to reinforce what I’ve already learned. Plus, it’s by the guys who created Kill Shakespeare and they sound like interesting cats.
After that it’s a choice between Dynamite’s upcoming releases and Marvel’s TV shows. I tend to love Marvel cartoons, but I’d rather just watch them than hear about them. Dynamite is an always fascinating company, so they win.
After that are four more panels that overlap each other to one degree or another: one on LGBT characters in comics, one on the Valiant relaunch, one on Vertigo, and Marvel’s “Cup O’ Joe” panel. The LGBT panel is at the top of my list and it’s also the earliest of these four. That means that if I feel like joining the massive crowd that’ll be there, I’ll have time to listen to Joe Quesada. I’ll keep that on the schedule, but I imagine that dinner will take priority. I’ll just have to skip Valiant and Vertigo and catch up with their announcements online.
Sunday morning has another opportunity to learn about storytelling; this time thanks to Archaia and three of their creators: David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), and Sean Rubin (Redwall). Fortunately, there are no overlapping panels I want to see that day, so if I want, I can also get a make-up panel on women and geek culture with Chicks Dig Comics, hear about Marvel’s “Next Big Thing,” and finish up the con with a discussion of disabilities in comics.
That’s a full schedule and I know right now that I’ll never stick to it. Except for Friday morning and early afternoon, it leaves no time for walking around, visiting, or any kind of spontaneity. There’ll be way too much to look at and people I want to talk to, so I’ll probably cut out about half of those panels. I just won’t know which ones until it’s fifteen minutes before the panel starts and I have to decide whether going is worth missing out on whatever just popped into my head that I want to do. But it’s good to have a plan.
Anyone reading this going to C2E2? If so, let me know. I’d love to meet up.