This weekend I’ll be attending Rose City Comic-Con down in Portland Oregon. As someone who came into his own nerddom late in life, this is exciting for me as I’ve never been to a comic convention before. With it comes all the staples of a comic convention, guests like movie stars, comic creators, pop culture icons, and more. However, what I’m really interested in is sitting down with some of the indie comic creators and presses and asking them some questions about the changing landscape of the industry. See, I’ll be attending RCCC as a press member of Sequential Planet. Therefore, I’ll be covering the event with an angle. How is technology changing the way people read, create, and distribute comics? Of course, anyone who reads comics knows that the internet makes buying a volume or compendium almost instantaneous, but how does this change the way presses promote their new work? How does it influence the creation process from a writer’s or artist’s perspective? What, if any, does the infinite canvas afford both comic book fans and creators? Perhaps I’ll find the answers to my questions, but perhaps not. What I’m interested in is engaging in the conversation of comics in the digital age and how the scene may change heading into the future.
Another, lighter, topic I’m interested in is the profound impact comics have on readers. I remember the first time I was flipping through the pages of a comic and it was just blowing my mind in terms of character development. The way characters just seem to naturally flow off the page, how they had real lives and complex motives and suddenly this spark came into my head and I was like, damn, these stories are serious fiction. And I mean serious in the sense that it touches on the big questions of human existence. Those questions, I’ll let you decide what those are for yourself. So, to fans and creators, I’m going to try and scrounge up some personal stories about empathy within comics, and I have an article to support the theory that comics create empathy in some pretty profound ways. It will be a fun piece, but one that hopefully is grounded in research. Of course, maybe I won’t get the ideas I think I will, and then the project will change. All I know, is I want to talk with fans and creators and understand what comics mean to them.
Follow my RCCC adventure on the Sequential Planet Instagram, starting tomorrow.