A lot of you left Comic-Con with the latest scoop on movies, TV shows, and toys. But what about comics? I finally finished my stash of advance and new titles from my favorite page pushers out of Montreal, and here are my takes. Of course, you should buy own copies at Giant Robot on Sawtelle or your local indie bookstore.
Seiichi Hayashi from Japan, Charles Glaubitz from Mexico, Jason from Norway–every time I attend Comic-Con I encounter at least one international artist with jaw-dropping, original talent who seems to redefine what comics can be. This year it was Brecht Evens from Belgium. His translated, painterly graphic novels, The Wrong Place (2010) and The Making Of (2012) are gorgeous slices of life that convey the power, drama, and luminosity of life without tights or capes. Or outlines or word balloons, for that matter.
Brecht’s storytelling ranges from stream-of-consciousness to dreamy and his panels swing from hyper detailed to quite sparing. But his gorgeous, voyeuristic pages always have a natural pace, truthful tone, and resonating message about the art of being human.
After meeting Brecht at the Drawn & Quarterly table, attending his panel with no visuals but plenty of interest, and then having dinner with the same crew as him at Comic-Con, I followed up with some questions about his work via email.
MW: It was a pleasure to meet you in San Diego, and I hope you enjoyed your visit. What were some observations that you took away from your first Comic-Con ?
BE: Thank you, and thanks for showing my comic book to the actress who played the scientist who tells the President the world is going to end, in The Day After Tomorrow!
There were a lot of nice people to meet at Comic-Con, but as a place, including the area around the convention center, it felt like walking around in a shopping mall for a week. Very peculiar.
It isn’t easy for the casual fan to acquire tickets to Comic-Con. Once you get in, it’s an ordeal to squeeze past the movie studio palaces with their big screens and giveaways. But if you are willing to put in the work, Comic-Con is still pretty awesome.
Preview Night. I don’t think I’ve ever seen preview night so crowded. Of course, the first place I went was the Giant Robot booth to see my great friend and conspirator, Eric Nakamura (top right). If you looking at the GR site, you know what I mean. Also there was ace cartoonist John Pham (top left) Why is it that I see certain L.A. friends only at San Diego? One more reason to go, I guess. On the bottom row are the two other places where I lurked. Not working the GR booth anymore, I can be that guy who hangs out at other people’s booths until it becomes uncomfortable. At Super 7, we talked with Brian and Scott more about hardcore shows than toys. And then there were Tom and Peggy of Drawn & Quarterly with Peter from The Beguiling. No bow-tie on Tom yet because the table was still a work in progress, without banners flaunting their world-class roster of indie, international, and classic comic artists.