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Over the weekend, Baltimore held its annual Comic Con, featuring loads of guests, panels and artists. Jess and I had the privilege of attending the event as press. We spent two days attending panels, talking with artists and buying tons of great goodies. Check out the recap of the always fun convention.

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CBLDF’s Comics on Trial, A National Disgrace: Moral Panic and the Birth of the Comics Code
“CBLDF proudly debuts Comics on Trial-a new lecture series covering the history of comics censorship and the court cases that changed the medium. In part 1, witness how comics were under attack from the very beginning! Attacks in the popular media gave way to comics burnings in the 1940s. This sparked a wildfire of moral panic culminating with the U.S. government investigating comics before a national audience in 1954 where the face-off between Frederic Wertham and William Gaines changed the medium forever. CBLDF executive director Alex Cox tells the sordid tale. “

We spent our first panel getting a bit of a history lesson from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Detailing the misunderstood art form from its early years, the presenter discussed how the media and sketchy science backed up crazy claims that comics produced criminals. It wasn’t incredibly surprising to hear, especially because it’s happened with just about every other art form out there but that’s why history is important, isn’t it? So we don’t make those same mistakes, right? Hmm, so why do we keep making them…tsk tsk. Another observation Jess had was how funny it is to hear that it was once considered rebellious to read comics and now it’s largely looked at as geek culture (not exactly the most threatening group I can think of!)

Additional Linkage: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

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AMC’s Comic Book Men (Walt Flanagan, Mike Zapcic, Bryan Johnson, Ming Chen) panel hosted by Jason Mewes
“An expanded Afternoon with Jay & Silent Bob event to include a new panel hosted by the one and only Jason Mewes! The panel will feature Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson of the award winning podcast Tell ‘em SteveDave! along with Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen of I Sell Comics! “

Jason Mewes was set to moderate the Comic Book Men panel but he mainly just wandered around the conference room space and filmed. After a few technical difficulties, the group fielded questions from the audience and dealt with the shaky microphones like pros. I’m not familiar with the show or the individual personalities but the guys had plenty of funny stories and insights to share.

Points of interest:

  • At the moment, there aren’t any plans to release a DVD for the previous season of AMC’s Comic Book Men but season 3 is under way.
  • There was speculation about Kevin Smith’s plans for future Clerks installments (and other projects) but it seems his next project will be Tusk, a movie inspired by a true story of a man that befriends a walrus while he lives alone on an island. Once the man returns to his real home, he puts an ad in the paper to offer free room and board to anyone willing to act like a walrus for 2 hours a day. Yeah.
  • An awkward moment came when a fan asked how they felt about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman. They were understandably apprehensive to answer (most of the guys are personal friends with the actor) but they noted the Michael Keaton skeptics as a solid reason to cool it when it comes to rush judgement.
  • The group was also asked about what comics they would like to see adapted to the big screen. Fun choices included Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (a Superman comic written by Alan Moore concluding the mythology of the character), Bulletproof Coffin (an audacious, over-the-top comic grab bag), and Garth EnnisPreacher (a cinematic Western tale.)

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Additional Linkage: I Sell Comics!, Tell ‘em SteveDave!, AMC Comic Book Men

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IDW Presents: Joe Hill
“As the Locke family’s long ordeal comes to a close with Locke & Key: Alpha, join IDW’s VP of Marketing, Dirk Wood, as he moderates a discussion with award-winning author, Joe Hill. Come find out Joe’s thoughts on the end of his run on Locke & Key, and his plans for the future! Featuring Q&A, hi-jinx, and tales told in the inimitable Joe Hill style!”

This was by far my favorite panel of the weekend. I’ve been very interested in all of Joe Hill’s work after reading up on him a little while ago. His novels are completely original horror stories (his book Horns is being adapted into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe) and his big comic series Locke & Key sounds like one of the most intriguing series to come out in a long time. Hill himself was warm and funny while fielding questions and didn’t shy away from questions asked about his famous father.

Additional Linkage: IDW and Locke & Key, Joe Hill

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Fellow Lamb member Dan Gvozden was also covering the event so Jess and I caught up with him over lunch to chat about our experiences. Comic fans should check out all of Dan’s coverage over at on his blog Grind My Reels and Superior Spidey Talk podcast.

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SO while Jess and I were waiting to go into the Joe Hill panel, we noticed Jason Mewes had popped out of a nearby door and was heading into the room across the fall. One lucky fan snapped a photo with him but when Jess asked him for another quick one he politely declined saying that he was late for a panel and that he would have to see if he had enough time. Obviously rushed, we totally understood and were just pretty smitten that we had even had that small interaction. But low and behold, after a few minutes passed Jason popped out of the same doors he disappeared into a moment ago and went right over to take a photo with Jess! A pretty pro move in the ‘make fans love you’ department. Very classy, very nice and totally awesome.

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Overall, it was another fun filled weekend at the con. Lots of costumes, art and friendly folks. It seemed like people really stepped up their deodorant usage too! Double score! Thanks Baltimore Comic Con, see you next year for the THREE day event!

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