Somehow I survived the madness that was San Diego Comic Con 2012.
SDCC has exploded into this huge gigantic multimedia entity. While the focus on comics has indeed diminished, this year us comic guys weren't going out without a fight.
First and foremost, among the the crowds of hundreds of thousands of people, across the hall from billion dollar corporations and production companies, sat tables upon tables of people who just really like to write and draw.
People have said so many times that Comic-Con isn't about comics anymore, but damned if I didn't see a glint of happiness in the eyes of tons of creators who were selling a lot of books -- something they created themselves.
One major thing I noticed too was the huge support of creator-owned content and projects. Sure Marvel and DC Comics had their fortress-like booths like every year, but the smaller companies had it all figured out. Image Comics, Archaia, Dark Horse Comics and Top Shelf Productions to name a few who pride themselves in giving their creators full credit and support on content they have created themselves without swallowing it up and letting any random person work on those characters or books.
It's both healthy and essential to the comics industry to reward both originality and creation. Things are being done differently every day and that is something that should be celebrated, not shunned.
Seeing originality at the show was awesome, because as bad as people say SDCC has become, I think this year mixed it up a bit and showed us that comics are still a serious force to be reckoned with.
Another major reason why I had such a great time at SDCC was something called Trickster. It essentially was an off-campus event at local bar in San Diego. It looked unassuming enough when you walked down a little alley into the entrance, but then suddenly, BOOM! It's Alive!
I walked into it not quite knowing what to expect and a mere few steps in, I saw a huge crowd of people sitting down and drawing. Immediately that put a smile on my face, because usually after a comic show people are too tired to do anything, yet all these people were creating art on their own time even though they probably do it for a living.
A huge section of books, which mixed both published talent and independent "no name' creators, was off at one corner of the bar. It was like a little mini-comic store that only carried cool stuff.
Dozens of established creators mingled with working stiffs like me, and that made it great. There was no separation between people, and everyone was walking up to each other and starting a conversation.
It had spirit and life and never at all felt corporate, like most of SDCC felt.
I met so many cool friends, both new and old, while in San Diego, and at the end of the day that's all the matters.
Follow Dave Scheidt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davescheidt