The webcomics blog about webcomics

Coming To A Comic Shop Near You

This day in Great Outdoor Fight history: I choose the believe that the retired band teacher is a warning of what things may be if Scrooge Ray does not mend his ways. In this case, by beating down on a bunch of long-time dudes and not embarrassing his dad.

So this is late, but I only came across it yesterday when visiting my friendly local comic shop to pick up this week’s books¹; it appears, much like the webcomics stay-at-home “convention” known as ComfyCon, the comics industry has put together a virtual con that will be broadcast to comics shops this Saturday, 5 March. It appears this is even the second time it’s happened, who knew?

The In-Store Convention Kickoff, as it is named, suffers from one stunning disadvantage, which is that the flyer they produced for handout in comics shops doesn’t mention their website. There are references to Facebook and Twitter, which eventually lead to the site, but that was a hell of an overlook.

Fortunately, it appears that the rest of the arrangements are better thought-out. The idea of having to go specifically to a store to participate is pretty clever, driving attention and potentially sales to those stores; there are even exclusive comics that only participating stores can order. There’s also a wide variety of guests that will be part of presentations and panel discussions, from (if I counted correctly) nine different publishers plus a toy company, not to mention the obligatory media guests (Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk).

Best of all, they found people that webcomics fans ought to be interested in: Hope Larson, Christopher Hastings, Ryan North, and Jim Zub will all get time in the program, although whoever thought that 10 – 15 minutes is enough time for Hastings, North, or Zub to be interesting and charming and erudite and entertaining as hell is kind of dumb. Then again, its not like they were singled out — the only sessions longer than 15 minutes are the DC Comics panel (45), the BOOM! Studios panel (30), and the Marvel panel (45). Hope Larson’s part of the BOOM! panel (what with Goldie Vance getting ready to launch), so there may actually be time to say something, given that there are four other people speaking with her.

To be honest, the scheduling and durations [PDF] are a bit concerning. The very short times (along with the disclaimer that times and schedules are subject to change) makes me wonder if some of the less well-known guests might serve the role of cushioning to allow for last-minute shifts in the big names (your Matts Fraction or Kellys Sues DeConnick, for example, who themselves are only allocated 15 minutes total what the hell people). A technical issue here or there, might they decide to cancel somebody with less industry pull than Brian Michael Bendis or Dan Didio to get back on schedule²? That would be unfortunate.

Those caveats aside, it’s an ambitious eight hours planned, and I’ll be curious to see how it turns out. If you have questions for any of the creators, you can tweet them to #ConKickoff2016.

Spam of the day:

These astronomers gathered X-ray data utilizing the orbiting Chandra X-ray
Observatory and brightness information from
one in every of TSU’s automated telescopes in southern Arizona, hoping to measure the age of
the star.

It’s really less spam and more free verse.

¹ Book of the week: Giant Days #12, where John Allison cliffhangered me and made me sniffly for Esther DeGroot, my favorite of all his creations. Except maybe Shauna and Lottie when they’re fixing time and space.

² Also a concern: there are few breaks allocated between sessions³. Things go over? Maybe there’s a cushion before the next session, maybe not. Somebody’s in the middle of a great story? Next person doesn’t get their ten minutes. I think there may be an overestimation as to the reliability of streaming software on the various computers of 37 different people.

³ Specifically, there are 26 events scheduled, with nine irregularly-spaced breaks:

  • Opening keynote speaker Jim Lee ends at 12:15, the Dynamite panel starts at 12:20
  • The Dynamite panel ends at 12:35, the Valiant panel starts at 12:40
  • The DC panel ends at 1:50, Skottie Young starts at 1:55
  • The Top Cow panel ends 3:25, Dan Jurgens starts at 3:30
  • The Dark Horse panel ends at 4:20, Ryan North starts at 4:25
  • Fillion & Tudyk end at 4:55, the Marvel panel starts at 5:00
  • The Marvel panel ends at 5:45, the Zenescope panel starts at 5:50
  • Jim Zub ends at 6:45, Mike Deodato starts at 6:50
  • The IDW panel ends at 7:45, closing keynote speaker Kevin Eastman starts at 7:55

It appears that if you are a publisher with a panel or if you are a very famous person, you can run long. Everybody else is out of luck. And yes, by this measure Jim Zub is a very famous person; glad I’m not the only one that thinks so.

[…] of conventions, a schedule change to this weekend’s In-Store Convention Kickoff: Jim Zub and Nathan Fillion/Alan Tudyk will be swapping timeslots, with the former now at 4:40pm […]

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