Comic-Con is a lot more than a flea market. This time around we caught up with our comic book friends, we were blown away by Grant Morrison’s discussion with Deepak Chopra about the soul of the superhero, we bumped into one of my all time favorite artists, and were hugged by Lynda Barry. At the end of the week though, all we have to remember it by is the schwag. Here’s what we got:
What It Is by Lynda Barry: This is the reason we couldn’t miss Comic-Con this year. Lynda Barry was there to sign copies of her new book, What It Is. Christine was nervous but I knew she didn’t have to be. Lynda signed our books, told us stories, spoke to us in tagalog, and even hugged us before we left. Of course, the book itself is gorgeous. It’s a collaged and cartooned guide to Lynda’s writing technique and a devotional almost to her teacher, Marilyn Frasca. (Photo via Michael Wertz who Lynda Barry called “The king!”)
Peter Parker Mighty Mugg: Comic-Con is a mecca for comic books collectors and action figure aficionados alike and, every year, there are Comic-Con exclusives. This year, Hasbro offered this limited edition Peter Parker action figure that sold out long before I got there. Thankfully, my friend, Miguel, got one for me. Like it says on the box, a Mighty Mugg is “100% Recycled Awesome.”
The Savage by David Almond and Dave McKean: I visit the Allen Speigel Fine Arts booth because one of my favorite artists, Dave McKean, is almost always there. I have met him several times (including one weekend in college when the dean of the illustration department introduced me as the student responsible for bringing Mister McKean to our school). Nonetheless, Dave McKean meets A LOT of people. He always shakes his head and pulls the imaginary cobwebs from his mind when I remind him that we have met before. â??Iâ??m so sorry. I donâ??t remember.â? I donâ??t expect him to. It just feels weird not to say â??Oh no, weâ??ve met before. Almost every year actually.â? Christine bought me this beautiful not-quite-a-childrenâ??s book, The Savage, and Mr. McKean signed it and drew a quick lovely picture for me.
Hero Land by Esther Pearl Watson: I almost always go to Comic-Con with a mission. There’s a certain book or toy that I hope to find. There are surprises everywhere though. Hero Land was my favorite. Clearly, Mark Todd’s Superhero paintings rubbed off on his wife because Esther drew four whole comics about the day-to-day struggle of your modern crime-fighting superhero. What do super-heroes talk about in bed? After she battles the Joker, should a superhero go back to fighting petty crime? What happens when your superheroic spouse fights crime on your brand new tablecloth? Christine and I bought all four issues of this hand printed zine but, secret indentitily, the comics are actually about Esther Pearl Watson herself. Here’s the key to reading them: Superman = Esther, Fighting Crime = Making art. Enjoy!
Mr. Cubee Hughes by me, for you!: If you feel at all left out, here is some Comic-Con schwag for you! Every year, I contribute my own little freebies to the Comic-Con. This year, I used a cubeecraft template to design a little paper toy of myself. Mr. Cubee Hughes was actually conceived as a black & white paper art teacher that my students could build and color when classes let out for the summer. I colored this one though to make my own variant figure, a Comic-Con exclusive.