July 27, 2007

Pix of the 2007 Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con--July 26, 2007

For me the highlight of the day was meeting Chad Solomon (Ojibway First Nation), the creator of Rabbit and Bear Paws. He's doing a great job of developing and marketing his historically accurate, elder-approved comics. I only hope my efforts with PEACE PARTY go so well.

Among the things I learned about Rabbit and Bear Paws:

  • Solomon is getting half the funding from grants and half from other sources.

  • The Rabbit and Bear Paws graphic novel has sold about 14,000 copies so far.

  • Solomon has made a distribution deal with Scholastic Canada and hopes to make a deal with Scholastic in the US.

  • As usual, there were few instances of minorities in comics at the Con. Other than Solomon, the only presence I saw of anything Indian was the small Skinwalkers booth.

    For more on the subject, see Thoughts on the San Diego Comic-Con 2000+.


    writerfella said...

    Writerfella here --
    writerfella realizes, after reading here and on SciFi.com and in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, that Comic-Con must be a descendant of FilmCon, a San Diego convention that hosted writerfella as a guest back in 1975 at its fifth outing. Filmation Studios had called writerfella and asked if he was available that weekend, as the Animated STAR TREK episode "Once Upon A Planet" had won an award as Outstanding TV Series Episode. Neither of Len Jensen nor Chuck Menville, the writers, was going to be able to attend, and none of the producers would be available, either. Would writerfella and a guest attend, all-expenses-paid, gas-hotel-eats-plus-bartab, to pick up that award? Sure, writerfella said, just let me call an old USAF buddy.
    With Jim Spradling and his car, writerfella made the two or so hour trip to San Diego, checked into the hotel, and then they set out to explore the convention. There were many movie and TV show previews, lots of promotional freebies, many comics booths, book dealer tables, any of several restaurants to choose from (just sign the ticket, sir), and a tab in a revolving bar atop the hotel. That first night, writerfella and buddy got drunk with George Takei high above San Diego. Super time, BUT --
    Come the night of the Awards Banquet, writerfella and friend Jim were stopped at the door because their tickets did not say at whose table they were to sit. Security was called, and the two had to stand aside while everyone else entered to seek out their assigned tables. Twenty minutes later, a convention manager came up, looked at the tickets, and then said, "Oh, no wonder! They're supposed to sit at The Russell Bates table!" Uh-oh! It should have served as an omen.
    We were ushered quickly to "The Russell Bates Table" which just happened to be in between Gene Roddenberry's and Theodore Sturgeon's tables. And there waiting were a dozen or so impatient and unsmiling fans who were supposed to be regaled and otherwise entertained by "Russell Bates," whoever the hell that was.
    Jim Spradling kept nudging writerfella in the side as writerfella did his best to tell who he was and why he was there. Then the meal was served and everyone's mood lightened. Finally, over dessert, the awards ceremonies began and all the prior difficulties were forgotten.
    At last, time came for the Best TV Series Episode award and writerfella made ready to attend the stage. BUT --
    The hostess held up the plaque and said, "This award is being presented to The Animated STAR TREK episode, 'Once Upon A Planet,' and we are fortunate enough to have its writer, Russell Bates, here in the audience to accept it!" Applause went up but writerfella almost didn't get out of his seat.
    Then he stumbled his way to the stage, the hostess handed him the award, the audience continued to applaud, and writerfella saw that, yes, the plaque said that 'Once Upon A Planet' had been written by Russell Bates! When the hall quieted, writerfella said, "I'm afrad there's been some mistake. I didn't write this episode; it was written by Len Jensen and Chuck Menville." (loud murmuring washes through the hall) "So, please, if this could be re-engraven or otherwise recycled, I would hope then to accept it for the writers who won it. Thank you." writerfella handed it back to the chagrined hostess, waved at the audience, and then made his way back to "The Russell Bates Table" to somewhat restrained applause. BUT --
    From out of nowhere, or perhaps more correctly a costume contest, came Dorothy C. Fontana in a spectacular, and really quite revealing, bellydancer outfit. She hit the stage, took the mike, and said, "We asked Russell to come here to accept this award because we wanted all of you to know what he has done. And that is, he has won STAR TREK its first and so far only major Emmy Award
    ever, for his episode, 'How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth.' So, please, if you will, let's have Russell up here again to accept this award in the spirit we had intended!"
    Thunderous applause! Jim and others at the table clapping writerfella on the arms and back! Omigosh! No trees or boulders to hide behind, so writerfella had to attend the stage once again. The applause just kept going. Finally, award plaque in hand, at the moment the hall quieted, writerfella said, "I've seen this happen at the Academy Awards-" much loud laughter "-so I believe I understand how it can happen. Very well, in keeping with the occasion, I accept this award in the names of the writers, Len Jensen and Chuck Menville, on behalf of Filmation Studios and its producers, Lou Scheimer, Norm Prescott, and Hal Sutherland, and I thank you all here at FilmCon. I don't think I'll ever forget this moment!"
    More thundering applause, Dorothy hugged writerfella when he stepped off the stage, people were standing at their tables and clapping, and writerfella kinda sorta floated back to his table, not at all sure this really was happening. Roddenberry smilingly shook hands with writerfella, Ted Sturgeon (one of writerfella's Clarion Workshop teachers) handed writerfella a glass of beer and they toasted to the award, and John Landis came running out of the crowd also to hug writerfella. "Weren't you embarrassed?" he asked. "You didn't look it! I would have been!" Everyone at "The Russell Bates Table" was all smiles and happy because every eye in the room was on us all.
    From then on, FilmCon was a dream: people competed to take Jim and writerfella to breakfast or lunch; hundreds of people wanted autographs; there were dozens of invites to parties; and John Landis asked if writerfella could arrange a special showing of "Serpent's Tooth" at the studio (this was done two weeks later, complete with 35 attendees and a catered buffet and bar).
    Unforeseen (and terrible) events have prevented writerfella from attending this year's Comic-Con, which would have been for a similar reason. But writerfella feels it would have been pale by comparison...
    All Best
    Russ Bates

    Rob said...

    FilmCon may have influenced Comic-Con, but I doubt it inspired it. Here is Comic-Con's origin:


    Comic-Con began as the idea of comic book fanatic Shelton Dorf and came to fruition on August 1, 1970. The inauguration of the first Comic-Con was held in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel the first weekend of August.

    Originally titled the Golden State Comic Book Convention, Comic-Con would go through a yearly name change for the first three years of its existence. The second incantation occurred in 1972 operating under the name San Diego’s West Coast Comic Convention. It was in 1973 convention that Comic-Con was christened with its final name, San Diego Comic-Con.

    writerfella said...

    Writerfella here --
    The word you searched for was "incarnation,' not "incantation." It cannot be a simple metatransjuxtaposition as the two words are not pronounced even closely the same.
    writerfella cares not if or whether FilmCon seeded Comic-Con. A San Diego convention of simulacritude was the scene of the crime, and the confusion, and the resultant delirium. The parallels between the two far are too striking. Let an old man keep his memories intact...
    All Best
    Russ Bates

    Rob said...

    Per my usual style, everything after the the colon and the URL is a quote from Suite101.com. You can blame them for "incantation," although one could argue that a convention is a magical place conjured out of thin air.