Martin Pasko: Your Wolverine Claws
Yeah, I know that last week I promised you the third and final part of that earth-shattering rant that, as you know, went hugely viral and made me the new darling of the Internet.
I promised to report on what I’d have learned – evidence that supported or refuted my thesis about Mainstream Comics being unable to escape from the corner they’ve painted themselves into – at the publishers’ booths in the exhibit halls of the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con.
But I made that reckless and foolhardy promise before I’d actually been to the San Diego Comic-Con – or, at least, to what it has metastasized into in recent years. Oh, I’d heard all the stories, of course. But none of them do justice to the actual experience, which taught me that you can’t, in fact, learn anything at the San Diego Comic-Con…because can’t really hear anything over the sound of dozens of Jumbotrons trying to sell you things you don’t want, or see anything for the crush of, uhm, imaginatively-garbed bodies slowly taxiing through the Area 51-like hangar like some flying fortress of presumably human flesh.
Wait. I take that back. There are some things you can learn at Comic-Con. And, because I won’t be able to concentrate well enough to resume the serious business of earth-shattering rants until I can see and hear again – and the anti-depressants kick in three days from now – I’d like instead to share some of them with you.
1. There is a definite limit to the number of times you can tolerate bleeding from the chest because you are being poked by some asshole wearing Wolverine claws.
2. SDCC makes you grateful for word processing apps on smartphones. Mainly because there are so many competing WiFi hotspots in the exhibit halls, you can’t use the phone for anything else. I am, in fact, writing this column on my phone, during my hour-long walk back to my hotel. No prob; I love hour-long walks. Good exercise. Unfortunately, my hotel is only three blocks from the convention center.
3. Best way to deal with being poked in the chest for the third time by some asshole wearing Wolverine claws: Fling a handful of your blood in his face and chant, “Nyah-nyah, I’ve got the Hanta Virus…”
4. Always remember, when tempted to accept an invitation to the Eisner Awards, that they are not merely a new version of the old Inkpot Awards banquet, because they are no longer, in fact, a banquet. And when you are sitting through 30-minute anecdotes from dead artists’ children, reminiscing about how their dad sculpted “Eskimos” from soap bars when they were five, you will really want to be having the dinner you didn’t eat earlier because you thought you were gonna get food.
5. No one presenting or accepting an Eisner Award is as funny as they think they are, and the ones who are supposed to be, aren’t. And Doctor Who cast members who try to be are just FAAABulously embarrassing. However, this rule does not apply to Chip Kidd, who made me believe the Eisners really are the Oscars of the comics industry because now they have their own Bruce Vilanch. But only when Chris Ware wins something.
6. None of the panels or “events” is as entertaining as the looks on the faces of the guys picketing out front with “You’re a crawling piece of shit but Jesus loves you anyway” signs, while people dressed as the entire cast of Supernatural shuffle past them. Especially not the events you can’t get into without coming down with a virus by camping out on the sidewalk all night.
7. The virus you get from camping out on the sidewalk all night is very effective in dealing with getting poked in the chest by assholes wearing Wolverine claws.
8. The Eisner Awards are not, in fact, “the Oscars of the comic book industry.” The Oscars are smart enough to video, in a separate, earlier ceremony – and play back at the main event only in judiciously-edited clips – the awards for Best Translation of A Graphic Novel You Will Never Read About A Subject You Don’t Understand Originally Published In a Language You’ve Never Heard Of Before.
9. In the convention center there is one Starbucks concession for every 10 guests, and by Sunday at noon every Grande Hazelnut Frappuccino® is being spiked by 150-proof Captain Morgan’s, and you are wondering how you can find an asshole wearing Wolverine claws so you can hire him to stab you in the chest.
Please Note: The above are Just Jokes. I actually enjoyed the convention (as a guest) enormously, and the staff is terrific. Still the best show in the business, serious about comics amid all the Hideous Hollywood Hype, and everyone – guests and paid members alike – are treated well. My thanks to all the folk at SDCC for a memorably fun weekend!
FRIDAY: Martha Thomases
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman