Martha Thomases: California, Here I Come – Except…
It is the habit of old farts (check out our editor-in-chief’s tirade in this space next Wednesday morning) such as myself to complain about the San Diego Comic Convention. It’s too big. It’s not about comics anymore. Nobody kisses my ass anymore. I don’t have an expense account. (Those last two might be unique to me.)
My major philosophical objection is that a fine, non-profit educational organization has been completely co-opted by Hollywood. True, comic book companies used the occasion of the convention to promote their books, but the convention was at least about comics. Now, it’s a stop on the promotional train for television, movies and video games, complete with red carpets and stylists.
And, apparently, rock bands. Metallica will be performing a live concert for those lucky enough to get tickets (in case you haven’t waited in line for Hall H long enough), to promote their new movie.
Metallica is no doubt a fine group of people (although their music is not my genre), and, since they’ve been together since 1981, they aren’t exactly amateurs at attracting and keeping fans. They should live and be well.
But, as the New York Times story in the link reports, there is going to be a panel about rock music at the Con. And it will include people who score movies, but not the people behind the new Dark Horse graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle, which actually combines rock music and comics. It won’t include John Holmstrom who was combining rock’n’roll and comics even before Metallica was a band.
Look, I enjoy soundtracks as a musical form. Mark Knopfler did some of my favorites. It is an interesting and a demanding musical form with its own unique challenges and structures. There are lots of places that could host interesting panel discussions on the subject with a variety of experts, including composers, directors, and editors. I just don’t think the panel, as described in this article (and maybe it’s not accurate? Could happen) is that kind of conversation.
If you are going to San Diego, I hope you have a fabulous time. I hope you get into The Black Panel because it is so much fun. I hope no one hits you in the face with a backpack.
And, if you’re really lucky, I hope you find some cool new comics.
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman
SUNDAY: John Ostrander