A tiny slice of last year's Comic-ConIt's hard to believe that Comic-Con International is a week away. San Diego is a city my wife and I like very much and we're going to make a nice vacation of it. I'll also be there to work, which assuages my conscience come tax write-off time. In the unlikely event anyone reading this would like to meet me, I'll be signing Mom's Cancer on Saturday from Noon to 12:30 at the Abrams booth (#1021 in Aisle 1000--look for the big numbered banners hanging from the ceiling).
I may do additional impromptu signings, and will certainly leave dozens of autographed books at the booth; check there for schedule updates. Abrams has several other authors lined up, including my friend and New York Times Bestselling Author (that's a string of words I've never been able to use before) Jeff Kinney, plus a great selection of graphic novels and comics-themed books I'd buy even if they weren't from my publisher. I'm really looking forward to seeing some friends, maybe making some new ones, and meeting some talented creators.
The other place you'll be sure to find me is at the Eisner Awards on Friday night. Jackie Estrada does an impressive job putting the event together and, for the first time, Abrams has enough people and presence to occupy an entire table. Cool. Mom's Cancer is nominated for two Eisner Awards: Best Reality-Based Work and Best Graphic Album-Reprint. A while back I said I didn't expect to win either and might share my guesses as to who might. How 'bout now?
Besides my book, nominees for Best Reality-Based Work are I Love Led Zeppelin by Ellen Forney, Project X Challengers: Cup Noodle by Tadashi Katoh, Stagger Lee by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix, and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. I must admit I haven't seen the first three works, which you might think would handicap my powers of prognostication. It does not. Fun Home is the 942-pound gorilla in this category--critically acclaimed, terrific sales, and huge mainstream crossover readership--and, as sure as the sun will rise over San Diego Saturday morning, it will win no matter what it's up against. It might even deserve to.
I figure my odds are only slightly better for Best Graphic Album-Reprint, where the competition is Absolute DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke, Castle Waiting by Linda Medley, Shadowland by Kim Deitch, and Truth Serum by Jon Adams. I haven't seen Truth Serum. Shadowland and Castle Waiting are both worthy works to which I would be honored to lose, but my pick for this category is Darwyn Cooke, whose deliberately retro storytelling and inkwork earned wide acclaim and restored something very fresh and fun to the superhero comic. He's won Eisners before, and I think a lot of the voting pros appreciate his uniquely stylized take and will be happy to reward him for it. However, if some bizarre vote-splitting occurs, I might have a shot here.
Having a sincere near-zero expectation of winning removes any tension or anxiety I might otherwise feel about the trip. As I think I wrote last year, Comic-Con International is fun in the same way being at DisneyWorld with 100,000-plus people is fun: you know the crowds will be crushing, parking impossible (in fact we're going sans auto this year), food scarce and expensive, all the good attractions filled beyond capacity, and you'll never get around to half the things you want to do. And yet, with some patience and strategy, it can be a blast anyway.