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Monday, Jan 3, 2011
In the wake of arguably the failure of futurism, can comics launch the much anticipated Internet of Things? Most likely not, but Johnny Zito is one of the generationally-definitive minds and worth spending some time with if your in Philly this Friday.

There’s a Romeo Y Julietta No.2 drawing to ash on the tiny table positioned right next to the oversized leather armchair in my office. A holdover from Xmas, it was the kind Churchill smoked, and it’s the only thing from last decade I’m really ready to tolerate near me right now. From the horror of its opening act, the shock & aww hell of it’s crescendo and the bitter disappointment at the new Executive branch of government, the noughties seem to gratefully have run their course.


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Monday, Apr 26, 2010
Andy Smith continues his observations of the Pittsburgh Comicon. He has met the fans, gentlemen, and they are us.

I’m an hour and a half early.


A walk around the convention center finds scurrying vendors, convention center staff carrying a table between the same two spots and industry professionals strategically stacking original art with splash pages on top. And I, soon to be known as “the guy with the camera”, watch like an orphan on Thanksgiving.


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Sunday, Apr 25, 2010
Convention Confessional: Andy Smith begins his tour of Pittsburgh Comicon.

Who wouldn’t want to go to a Comicon?


Well, possibly a lot of people.


But that’s because there are only a few images that may come to mind, and nearly all of them feature an overweight man in a very, very undersized Captain America costume with a shield made out of a pizza box.


You see, I love that guy. But what I also love is the reality of a comicbook convention – the comraderie, the humility and the simple joys associated what that moment in which the doors open and the con-goers begin their assault.


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Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009
Above: Fabio Moon, Zane Austin Grant, Brea Grant, and Vasilis Lolos congregate at San Deigo Comic-con 2009.

When 125,000 people converged last weekend for the 40th San Diego Comic-Con to meet those who shared an interest comics and comics related media, I expected chaos.  I was warned about how crowded this year would be, and that traffic would be backed up for hours on I-5 South.  Another friend warned me about a man who would be dressed as the Hulk and randomly tackle attendees, but not be reprimanded because he was just being his character.  On top of these random assaults, there would be so many people that we could hardly move.  It was nothing like that.


After a quick two hour drive, Brea Grant and I went to the IDW Publishing booth to do a signing for our forthcoming series.  Everyone there was extraordinarily nice, especially given that most were working all day at the convention, starting at 5:00am.  Since our 1920’s zombie comic doesn’t come out until early next year, we made limited edition CDs, with lo-fi songs we wrote that retell the stories of seven horror movies from the narrative perspective of characters in the films, to sign and trade.  People were really friendly and traded everything from dances to push-ups to a drawing of Brea fighting zombies with a speech bubble that said, “Zane I know you are my brother, but when the zombies attack, I will trip you.” 


As we looked around for old friends and comics stars, continuing our trading and shopping spree, the rest of the weekend became dizzying.  I traded Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien, Empty Zone) for a shirt with a zombie eating a dog and picked up a signed copy of Dark Horse Comics re-invention of the Creepy series.  He took the time to say we were weird for making such a CD.  Becky Cloonan (Demo, American Virgin) traded us some beautiful limited prints and books.  Jimmy Aquino (Comic News Insider) traded a copy of Fat Chunk Vol. 2, an edited collection of zombie comic short stories, a few of which he penned.  Derek Kirk Kim (Same Difference and Other Stories) traded us a copy of Lowbright, and the list goes on and on.


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Thursday, Jul 23, 2009
Why I support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund enough to go to a not-so-great convention.

As I mentioned in my last post, I attended Wizard World Philly 2009 to volunteer at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund table.  So, I thought I’d tell you a little about that organization and why I chose to support it in this way (other than I didn’t have the resources to give money myself).


Since 1986, the CBLDF has been working to protect the First Amendment within the comic book industry.  Historically, comics have been associated with youth.  Even as they have become mainstream and more adults are reading them, they remain an easy target for people who would censor a writer’s work, because it’s one of the few industries in which it’s still easy to do so in the name of the children.


As a writer, I understand how important it is to be allowed to express yourself in a way that makes your story successful, or allows non-fiction to get your point across.  As an adult comic fan, I want to be allowed the choice to read what I want and when, and I firmly believe that it is up to parents to keep objectionable material away from their children.  More than that, I think that parents should be willing and prepared to discuss objectionable material with their children.  Children armed with information are less vulnerable than those who are not.


So, I spent two days shilling a variety of signed collectibles for a good cause.  Creators like Neil Gaiman, Brian K. Vaughan, and Frank Miller all donated books.  Artists like Jeff Smith, Amanda Conner, and Matt Wagner donated prints.  Then there were unique items exclusive to the CBLDF, like the fragrances inspired by Neil Gaiman’s novels!  All of these items are also available at their website.  Visit www.cbldf.org.


I’ll leave you with a word from Neil Gaiman, who provides a unique perspective regarding the First Amendment:


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