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The Middle Ground #14: And In The End...

See, if I was really professional, I'd have a con report already and lined up for you to read, analyzing the lay of the comic land at the con, what the buzz book was, who the up-and-comers were, that kind of thing. But, I'm sad to say, I'm not really professional.

I mean, sure: I could tell you all about the panel that I moderated, which went well despite my lackluster moderation - Mark Siegel from First Second, Matt Gagnon from Boom! Studios, Gary Groth from Fantagraphics and Dallas Middaugh from Del Rey Manga are smart and funny people, and really didn't need me up there awkwardly asking questions in a too quiet voice because my voice was already failing me even on the second day of the con - and the wonderful sense of unity that those publishers gave me (Well, aside from Gary) about the nature of the comic book industry. I could tell you about seeing the lines constantly surrounding the Oni Press booth as fans lined up to buy the latest (and, in my still-settling opinion, greatest) Scott Pilgrim, or the reaction of the crowd on Thursday evening when Edgar Wright told them that there was a screening happening that night (It's a very, very good movie, and different enough from the books that it feels a success in its own right, if that makes sense; also, for those who've read the books, and not seen the movie yet? The plot starts changing around the middle of the second book, and the showdowns with the evil exes are pretty much different from their original versions). But it's too early for all of that to really sink in, just yet.

As I write this, it's a couple of days after the end of Comic-Con International 2010, and I'm still in the mindset of "Something has happened. Let me get back to you about what exactly it was." I can remember highlights and lowlights (The former was meeting people I've known for awhile online in real life for the first time - You know who you are - and the latter probably working in my hotel as the Maxim party raged on around me, trashily), and I can remember looking at all manner of new releases (or new to me, at least) and having the word WANT arise in my head in flaming letters - Hello, Kevin Huizenga's The Wild Kingdom, which I magically forgot to buy on the last day because I was so busy - but everything else is still a jumble of emotions and impressions and con fatigue. There was definitely an impression from many people that this may have been the year when comics really started feeling the squeeze from other media, in part because so much merchandise was being sold this year instead of given away, but everything about the actual show that I loved was still comic-related in some form or another. Comics may end up being forced into a minority position as Comic-Con, it's definitely possible, but for now? It's still a comic show to me. Even when I couldn't tell you anything else about it.

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