Comic-Con @ Home

Today, I went ahead with my plan to take a couple of days off from work for Comic-Con @ Home. (I put in for Thursday and Friday off.) They posted the Thursday schedule today, and it’s got some good stuff, including some old favorites like Scott Shaw’s Oddball Comics and Ric Meyers’ Kung Fu Extravaganza. I’ve managed to find stuff to keep me busy from 10 AM to 7 PM. That’s PDT of course, so that’s 1 PM to 10 PM my time. I guess I need to find something else to keep me busy on Thursday morning. (I’ll probably spend the morning reading comics!)

In other comics news, I enjoyed watching Mark Evanier’s talk with Peter David last night. I missed seeing it live on Tuesday, since it was on too late for me (10 PM). They talked about a lot of stuff, including memories of old San Diego cons, so that was fun. I know Mark will be doing some panels for Comic-Con @ Home, but I don’t see any on the Thursday schedule. He’s specifically said he’s not doing a Quick Draw panel, which is kind of a bummer, but I can understand why he’s not doing it. It would be technically difficult, and it wouldn’t be nearly as fun without a live audience.

In yet more comics news, this article at The Comics Journal site goes into even more detail on the CBLDF situation. I said previously that I wasn’t quite ready to burn my CBLDF t-shirts, but now maybe I am. I think it’s going to be some time before the CBLDF earns back anyone’s trust.

On a more positive note, this article about Carol Kalish has been getting a lot of attention. It’s good to read about somebody who was almost universally admired. (By the way, I’ve noticed that any article about comics that talks about somebody “you’ve never heard of” is always about somebody I’ve definitely heard of, and probably know a lot about. This is probably because I’m old, and I’m a nerd.)

And in one bit of COVID-19 news, the company I work for has pushed back our “return to office” date from early August to early September. I was starting to worry about that August date, given how things have been going in NJ and across the country. (I kind of doubt that things will be much better in September, but here’s hoping. And if things aren’t better by then, maybe they’ll give up and just let us work from home for the rest of the year.)

physical media and lockdown anxiety

I’ve now reached the stage of the lockdown where spending $100 for four Avengers movies on Blu-ray seemed like a good idea. (I already have the first one on Blu-ray, but none of the others.) I’d been keeping an eye on iTunes and Vudu to see if maybe the digital versions would go on sale for $10 each or something like that, but yesterday, I decided that it was OK to just go ahead and get the fancy SteelBook box set.

I go back and forth with my thinking on digital vs physical media. On the one hand, my cable & internet went out last night, while I was watching a Blu-ray, so I patted myself on the back for still holding onto physical media there. On the other hand, I accidentally knocked over a big stack of DVDs this morning and had to pick them all up and get them back in order. You can’t knock over digital video. I guess I’ll still keep going back and forth on this for the foreseeable future. There’s an argument to made on both sides.

I have been feeling lately like the lockdown is starting to get to me. I’ve seen some articles about post-lockdown anxiety recently. I think my main problem is that I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t be talking about “post-lockdown” yet at all. I see a lot of people without masks wandering around downtown these days, and I keep reading about the pressure to open stuff back up. I think we need to be real careful about that, and I think we at least need to be wearing masks more often. As of today, NJ is requiring people to wear masks outdoors, so that’s good, though there’s really no enforcement mechanism for this.

And I’m pretty steamed about movie theater chains suing NJ. This really seems like the last thing they should be spending time and money on right now. I’m fairly sure I won’t be entering a theater any time before the end of this year. And I probably won’t want to go into one until next summer, at least. (Assuming there’s a vaccine and/or treatment for COVID-19 by then.)

Some of my anxiety and restlessness is no doubt coming from the simple fact that it’s summer, and I really can’t do most of the things I like to do in the summer. Like going out to see a movie. Or going into NYC and visiting the Met and MoMA. Or going to a comic con. To address that last one, I’m thinking about taking a few days off for Comic-Con@Home later this month. Just sitting around in my apartment and watching panels online won’t come near the experience of actually being in San Diego for the con, but at least it’ll get me away from work for a few days and maybe let me recharge my batteries a bit (so to speak).

They have the Wednesday panel schedule up now, and it’s mostly not that interesting to me. It’s mostly serious stuff related to education. Which is fine. I assume the nerdier fan stuff will be Thursday through Sunday. So maybe I’ll take Thursday and Friday off from work and just chill and watch panels and read comics for a couple of days. I’ve been thinking about other things I could do to make the experience feel more like actually being at the con. I could skip my usual meal habits and get take-out on those days. Maybe I could even find some local take-out that reminds me of the kind of stuff I like to eat in San Diego, like fish tacos. I could sleep a little late and stay up a little late. (Or I could even try to switch to PDT for a few days.) Maybe I could try to ignore “regular” news for a few days and just read con-related news only. (That might be kind of hard to manage.) I guess that’s about it though. I can’t dress any more casually than I’m already dressing. I can do an excessive amount of walking, I guess, but just wandering around Somerville isn’t the same as wandering around downtown San Diego and the convention center.

Updates

The is going to be a general update post, with bits of news related to a few of my other recent posts.

eBay

It looks like I’ve made a little more than $100 from the comics I listed on eBay in July. I have the auto-relisting option turned on for most of my listings, so the stuff that hasn’t sold keeps getting relisted. We’ll see if the rest of my stuff sells or if I have to give up and donate it to Goodwill or something. I’ve only had one problem with shipping so far; there’s one package that made it as far as Dallas, TX, but somehow seems to have gotten stuck there, and hasn’t made it to its intended recipient in Austin, TX. I’m hoping it shows up this week, otherwise I’m going to have to give the guy a refund. Media Mail isn’t insured or guaranteed in any way, so if it’s lost, there’s not much I can do.

Equifax

According to the FTC, it’ll probably be possible to switch from the cash payment to the free credit monitoring option at some point:

For those who have already submitted claims for this cash payment, look for an email from the settlement administrator. They’ll be asking you for the name of the credit monitoring service you already have. Or, if you want to change your mind, you’ll have a chance to switch to the free credit monitoring.

I initially chose the cash, before realizing that it wasn’t actually going to be anywhere near $125.

Warren Ellis

I mentioned some of Ellis’ upcoming work in a post on Saturday. His weekly newsletter comes out on Sundays, and the most recent one contained some updates. It kind of sounds like the new WildCATs book might not come out at all, which would be a bummer. Batman’s Grave is still on the schedule, as is the new Trees series. So he’s got some comics work coming out, but it sounds like this might be the last new comics stuff we’ll see from him for a while.

Related to the WildCATs thing, I’m a little worried about where DC is going in general. This piece by Rob Salkowitz has been getting a lot of attention. I’m not sure I think things are that bad for DC, but who knows.

SDCC

After SDCC, I ordered a copy of the program book on eBay, as I’ve typically done in recent years. It finally showed up yesterday, so now I can spend some time reading it and fantasizing about what it would have been like to be there. On a related note, Maggie Thompson has a column up on the SDCC blog reminiscing about 50 years of SDCC. I always like reading her columns.

Cory Booker at SDCC

One more bit of San Diego Comic-Con news: Cory Booker Goes to Comic-Con.

I’m pretty darn jaded at this point, especially with politics, but this is kind of a nice thing. Cory Booker isn’t perfect, and I’m not sure he’s ready to be president, but, hey, wouldn’t it be nice to have a legitimate Star Trek fan in the Oval Office?

The last time I remember an important politician showing up at the con, it was John Lewis, cosplaying as himself, in 2015. (That was also hard to view in my usual ironic, detached, jaded perspective…)

 

more on SDCC and eBay

It’s been a very hot day here in New Jersey. I’d much rather be in San Diego today, but I’m doing my best to entertain myself and maybe even get a few useful things done here at home. Some of my eBay auctions ended, and I actually sold a reasonable amount of stuff, at almost reasonable prices. I had one TPB sell for $1, which was weird, since I thought I’d set the minimum bid on everything at no lower than $3, but I guess I screwed up on that one.

The highest prices I got were on the Akira TPBs, which all went for slightly more than my $12 “buy it now” price. It’s always a bit funny when auctions end up going higher than the “buy it now” price, but it can happen. One guy bought all three books, so now I’m faced with the problem of finding a box that can fit all three. I found a Priority Mail flat rate box that’s the right size, but I only planned on using Media Mail. I don’t seem to have any other boxes that are the right size. So I might go out and buy a plain box in the right size tomorrow, or I might just punt and use the Priority Mail box and take a hit on the shipping.

If I was trying to make a living at this stuff, I’d be doing a horrible job. Selling stuff for $1, shipping Priority Mail because I’m too lazy to buy a plain box, and so on. But since I’m in it just for the sake of clearing up space in my apartment, it’s fine.

I haven’t spent too much time today looking at SDCC news, but I did look at the list of Eisner winners. Tom King won in several categories, and his work is honestly about the only stuff on the list (both winners and nominees) that I’ve read. I’ve read the Ed Piskor X-Men stuff, and that was good. I have Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight, but haven’t read it yet. I’d like to read some of Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer stuff someday. And I’ve read a lot of the Brubaker/Phillips stuff, but not My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies. So there’s plenty of stuff there that I’d like to read eventually.

This short NPR story covers a bit about the history of the con, which is now 50 years old. And there’s some other mildly amusing coverage of the con up at the NPR site. There’s a playlist of videos from KPBS up on YouTube, including interviews with Scott Shaw! and Mark Evanier. (Though they call Scott “Stan” and omit the exclamation point he uses at the end of his name.)

not at SDCC 2019, day one

Once again, I’m not at SDCC. Instead, I’m suffering through a heat wave with the rest of the unfortunate souls stuck in New Jersey this weekend. It’ll only be in the 80s today, with some rain, but it’ll be back into the mid 90s tomorrow through Sunday.  Getting out of New Jersey’s summer heat and humidity for a few days has always been one of my favorite things about the San Diego con. (And the weather in San Diego looks pretty good this year: low 70s every day.)

I realized yesterday that my eBay auctions will be ending during the con, on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not sure if that helps or hinders things. On the one hand, anyone at the con probably won’t be looking at eBay. On the other hand, everyone not at the con (a much larger group) might be seeing more comics coverage in the news than usual, and might be more likely to check eBay for comics-related stuff. I have bids now on 6 out of the 31 books I’ve listed, and (assuming everyone who wins pays up), I’m guaranteed to make at least $20. So, that’s not great, but it’s not horrible either. It’s enough to buy a couple of sandwiches, I guess.

All three volumes of Akira that I’ve listed have gotten bids, and were the first items to get bids. I just noticed that I finished reading those volumes four years ago today, and blogged about it. Akira remains popular, possibly because of the upcoming live-action film. That’s apparently on hold now, but it’s still likely to happen, maybe in 2021 or 2022.

I haven’t had much time to look at today’s news out of the con, but I did read a bit about the DC Meet the Publishers panel. Most of the current stuff I’m buying and reading right now is DC, so it’s always interesting to see what’s going on with them.

John Rogers

I was going to write a post today about how I failed, yet again, to get tickets for next year’s San Diego Comic-Con. But then I saw the news about John Rogers passing away. I hadn’t ever met him, but he’s been president of Comic-Con for the whole time I’ve been going to it (and/or trying to go to it). Thinking about it now, he seems to have kept a pretty low profile over the years, considering his position. So there’s not much I can say about him. But the con has brought me so much joy over the years, and I’m sure his work was a big part of that. So, thank you for your work, John, and rest in peace.

SDCC day one

As I said in yesterday’s post, I am not at SDCC. But I am following the news. Or at least some of the news. So here’s a post with links to a few things I found interesting today.

Spotlight on Maggie Thompson panel: The panel I would most like to have attended today. I was a long-time subscriber and reader of CBG, and it’s nice to see Maggie get a spotlight panel. I learned a lot about comics (and a bunch of other stuff) from Maggie and Don Thompson, and I really miss CBG. (The linked article from The Beat is a little… off. I get the feeling that maybe it was written in a rush, at the back of the panel room, and uploaded to the site without any editing. Oh well. This is one of the reasons I miss CBG so much: well-written and well-edited articles!)

The Comics Journal returns to print: Not exactly SDCC news, but related, and probably timed to coincide with SDCC. I never subscribed to The Comics Journal, but I did pick up a number of issues, back when it was a regular monthly magazine. TCJ always seemed a little too self-important and serious to me, but they ran some great interviews and articles. The new print magazine will only be coming out twice a year, though, so it’s not going to be quite the same as it was in its heyday. But it’s still a welcome return.

Doctor Who Series 11 Trailer: Yeah, I’m looking forward to this! The Doctor Who panel today would be my second choice for “panel I would most like to have attended.”

DC Universe streaming service: I’m curious about this, but not sure I want to pay $8 per month for it. The Titans trailer is… interesting. I’m not sure what to think about it really. It could be a great show or it could be a train wreck. Hard to tell. You can pre-order a one-year membership for $75 right now, but I’m not sure I’d do that without having more of a clue about the new shows.

Grant Morrison on Green Lantern: This is a book I’m going to want to read.

Not at SDCC, preview night edition

Once again, I’m not at SDCC. Sigh. Tonight is preview night, and there are a few things going on, but maybe nothing too exciting (to me, at least). I see that they’re actually closing Harbor Drive during the con this year, which has got to be a pretty big deal. (They probably should have started doing that a few years ago, honestly.)

I’ll be keeping an eye on the news from San Diego during the con. There’s usually some interesting and fun stuff, and I could really use a break from serious news right now. The Union-Tribune has a landing page up with links to all of their con coverage. The local coverage of the con is usually pretty interesting. (They even have an article up about recreational marijuana use for con attendees! Pair that with the free Taco Bell, and you’re all set.)

I’ll probably also be spending some money over at Comixology this weekend. They generally have some pretty good sales going on during the con.

SDCC Open Registration

Today is the day for open registration for San Diego Comic-Con. It’s a good day for it: it’s snowing outside, I have a cold, and there was a derailment on the Raritan Valley tracks yesterday. So going into NYC would have been difficult even if it wasn’t snowing and I didn’t have a cold.

I turned on my desktop computer early this morning and made sure it was current with Windows updates, Firefox updates, and any other updates I could think of, so hopefully nothing will get in the way of working through the registration process. I also am all stocked up on ramen noodles, herbal tea, and cough medicine.

I’ve completely failed to get tickets for the last few years, and I’ll probably fail again this year, but hey, I have to try!