Saturday, July 26, 2008

Comi-Con 2008

Is it just me or has Comic-Con 2008 been rather ... ho-hum thus far?
I know there have been several announcements of some notable degree (new Vertigo Crime imprint from DC, Disney/Pixar projects at BOOM! Studios, and Devil's Due teaming with among them), but two days into the Con there hasn't really been any big announcements the likes of what we've seen in previous years. Even the panel reports I've read have seemed less promotion-based than usual as they appear to be a lot more Q&A oriented. Q&A is certainly good and it allows the audience to interact more with the publishers, but there just seems to be a lot less excitement overall. Is this a case of publishers no longer holding back announcments for Comic-Con or is there really just not that much stuff to announce this year? In recent years there seemed to be a lot more things at the forefront of the panels along the lines of - 'we signed this guy to an exclusive' or 'this guy is doing a project for us' or 'here is the next major story-arc for this group of titles or line' - and there just seemed to be a heck of a lot more promotion for these projects and 'events'. Where is all the hoopla this year? Have publishers decided to dial it back because they believe they are approaching event overload or is this a case of the economic downturn forcing publishers to trim the lines a bit and not try to throw so many things at the wall at once to see what sticks? Whatever the reason, if the result is that publishers will have a stronger focus on a narrower range of books, I think it will result in better comics.
I do like the idea of the Veritgo Crime imprint, just because it means DC is putting even more resources into the Vertigo family.  When I look at the stack of comics I buy each month, invariably the Veritgo books are the ones I end up enjoying the most.  Superhero titles are here to stay and will certainly continue to drive the direct market, but the real future of the medium is in the type of material you'll find under the Vertigo banner (and with some other small publishers as well).  Those are the projects that are going to continue to open doors and expand to more mainstream audiences.

No comments: