Comic Con International: A Librarian View
Welcome to Comic Con International
What amazing fun! This was my first Comic-Con, and it was way more than I expected. Overwhelming, amusing, touching, over-hyped, awe-inspiring, crowded, welcoming, alienating, mind-blowing, human, occasionally uncomfortable, and very funny. Yes, there were costumes and media frenzy, but the best moments involved finding authors I have loved and having a conversation with them. Since so much of the audience is there to ogle movie stars, the authors and illustrators are very accessible. And they LOVE librarians. Nate Powell and Jennifer Holm practically hijacked a panel on comics in bookstores to recognize the role that librarians have played in promoting their books, even giving a shout out to particular librarians in the audience.
Most unexpected moment of the con: An impromptu sing-along. The panel before John Scalzi’s panel on his new novel Redshirts had ended early. A volunteer was trying to fill a few extra minutes when an audience member suggested we sing some classic rock. Suddenly, this room of 300 strangers was singing “Don’t Stop Believing” together. When Scalzi entered, our voices all petered off self-consciously. He started the song up again, once someone had found the lyrics for him on their smartphone. The panel that followed, a discussion between Scalzi and Patrick Rothfuss, was hilarious, building on the camaraderie that had formed while belting out a Journey hit. At Comic-Con, anything goes.