Book Review - Comic Con 40 years of Artists, Writers, Fans and Friends

The topic has come up before in my interactions with people about my interest in reading comics, and that is why is it that I like comics. In terms of a concrete answer I don't really have one, though the explanation of vicarious escapism is not the one which immediately comes to mind. While I associate with the characters I don't often get this impulse to know "what is next?" In my mind that is one main reasons that I think of that people hang around comic book stores for hours (or at least from what I have observed.) When I think about comic book conventions I have the same general idea, that it is a place to buy and sell, talk the talk, and in the case of cosplayers to maybe even talk the talk for a day or two (admittedly I have never been to a comic book convention.)

My last trip to the library got me a copy of the above mentioned book which looks in detail at the history of the San Diego Com Con, in its roots with a gathering of 300 or so people to the tens of thousands who frequent the Convention now. While some parts of this book reaffirm some concepts that I have of the conventions themselves, this book also does a good job of describing two other interesting aspects of this giant meetup. The first is that it showcases a human side, well demonstrated here by the annual Heinlein blood drive, which before reading about I had never heard of before. The second and perhaps more important to the average comic fan is that amount by which comic cons are not just a collection of comic interests, but rather by which they shape the development of the medium itself. Many heads come together at such a place, and invariably with so much creative talent there is also bound to be a lot of ideas being flown among them, some of them for not, but some of them also for good.

In that sense, I would think that this book is quite an informative one, be it for the Comic Con devotee, or for those who avoid them. Either way this book highlights an interesting aspect of comic fandom and I would recommend it to all.

4 Comments
4 Comments
Posted by etragedy

I used to want to go to the San Diego Comic Con so badly as a kid, as and as a teen. Nowadays it's just so big overhyped, filled with movie stars, long lines and non-comic related mainstream media stuff that it no longer holds any appeal for me.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@etragedy: That is somewhat of my approach, but it seems in the earlier years that it was less press conference and more of a focus on comics themselves.

Posted by batkevin74

It's like Mecca for Muslims, you have to go at least once in your life

Posted by chalkshark

My cousin has been getting a table in Artist's Alley for years. He's been inviting me to come with him for just as long. I guess he can get me a pass, so admission to the convention wouldn't cost me anything. That said, it still seems like an enormously expensive expenditure. I can never justify going.