Sunday, September 4, 2016

San Francisco Comic Con

I hit San Francisco Comic Con yesterday – only for one day, since I’m not sure whether comics are my scene in the same sense as text. It was a very different crowd than Worldcon: younger and much more numerous, creating a population density of approximately Disneyland-on-July-4th proportions. There has been discussion on File 770 about Worldcon skewing old due to the expense of travel, but I think a lot of it has to do with the relative sedateness of a crowd primarily focused on books as opposed to one that also likes movies and video games and, of course, comics.

There’s also the fact that the Nerdish faith has many different schisms, sects and cults (including, somewhere, the cult following that is out there waiting for my writing to zonk them over the head). I’m not sure if there are any cons that appeal to all of us anymore.

It was sort of interesting looking at San Francisco from the perspective of someone attending a convention here. It’s an expensive place these days, with astronomical fines levied upon those who suck at planning ahead, and scary danger is never more than a few blocks away, but we also have really nice food and views. Plus we’re a very functional big city, as opposed to the kind where downtown is mostly boarded-up vacancies, and I could start writing a big long love letter to San Francisco now, and I don’t want to do that because I’ve been fortunate enough to live here since the ‘80s and I don’t want to do anything that would jinx it. Moving right along.

I can sling words, I can play pretty music, I’ve indulged in video and sound and event staging type activities. When it comes to visual art, I feel like a mouthbreathing barbarian with aphasia who is distracted by a loincloth full of lice. It stuns me that people can just put their hands on paper and make fabulous designs appear. It’s like magic.

Out of respect for the magicians, I tried not to photograph the art in a way that effectuates stealing it. Art is stealable in many ways text resists (I pity the fool that tries to plagiarize my stuff) so I took photos mainly of the artists’ posted websites so I could link their art directly.

Teeturtle has some adorable t-shirts, and I just bought two from their website because the line at their booth was too long. Including this one.


Elisa Sassi had a great art print of a Gremlin rock band, and she does more bunny-oriented art – check out the vinyl wall decals. I was forthcoming about the fact that I am biased in favor of bunny-related art .

ChuckWhelon had a booth exploding with bright colorful games and art, and the Legitimacy game, about royal bastards competing for the throne. Sounds like fun.



Black Sheep Comics has a series all about the Skullbunnies, whom I found intriguing.



Knowyourself makes educational comics that teach about subjects like anatomy.

Vincent Kukua did some pictures of Hawaiian gods that made me stop and go “whoa.”

Sharon Skinner writes YA fantasy, and we chatted a little about her series and her publisher .  I bought the first book, The Healers Legacy.

I also bought Linchpin by Pat Griffith, a sci fi thriller. 
I admired art by Dearest Yasmin

And GhostThunder

And Gatsby Yeh.

ZeeCeeArt has cool pictures of African-American heroes like Redd Foxx and Muhammed Ali and The Purple One.


And Monstark.Com has … cool weird stuff.

I didn’t do any panels. Not feeling panelish.

I also didn’t attend the cosplay contest, but I saw lots of great cosplayers out on the floor.






This was a diverse crowd as far as age and race. While both SFCC and Worldcon had several panels about how to make the crowd more diverse, SFCC was actually doing it. Maybe comics are more friendly as far as actual diversity

Original comics rockstars Steve Leialoha and Trina Robbins were there, reminding me that there are a few of us artsy types still living in San Francisco. Hooray. This used to be an incredibly artsy type town, but the economy has made it difficult for creatives to converge here.

I was goofing on File 770 earlier about the grim moneymaking approach some self pubbers take, even more genre-clingingly restrictive than the corporate publishers, and I felt kind of bad about it afterwards. We absolutely live in a horrible economy for many people. and America still lacks healthcare (in the news recently - injections that save lives of allergy sufferers increased in price to equivalent of 7 steak dinners).

I would never want to begrudge people that are trying to earn an honest living with their hands, and I could see several people at SFCC that were clearly staking their futures on a con niche they were crafting for themselves. Power to them. 

And happy Labor Day!



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