Comic Con is a great place for those who love books, especially science fiction and fantasy books. I was sad that I didn’t make it to as many of the book panels as I wanted, but those I did attend were great.
First I attended the Penguin books panel, where three of the editors showed us the covers of many upcoming books and had a bunch of giveaways (sadly, I didn’t win any of them). There was not much to this panel otherwise, but it was fun to see the editors gush about these books – you can tell they are really excited for them.
On Sunday I attended two great panels – first the Inner Child panel and then the Young Adult panel.
Entertaining One's Inner Child panel (L to R): Jennifer Holm (Babymouse), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules), Adam Rex (Fat Vampire), Greg Van Eekhout (Kid Vs. Squid), David Steinberg (Daniel Boom), Matt Holm (Babymouse), and Sina Grace (Among the Ghosts).
This panel was all guys (except for the moderator), which they pointed out was unusual for children’s books. David said that when he joined SCBWI and went to conferences he was the only guy there!
The authors here write for many different age groups and pointed out – why aren’t there all ages books? Maybe now that Pixar is making all ages movies, books will become more accessible to all ages as well. Part of the reason they are not is due to how bookstores are organized, and how many more books there are than movies.
When asked about language, they said that a kid’s book is supposed to be an ideal everything, and you will get negative reviews for language. Adam said that he thought he had to use bad language to appeal to teens, but then he read a book that was popular and didn’t use any, and now he says it might not be necessary.
Teen Angst in Young Adult Fiction panel (L to R): Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix), James Owen (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographic series), Emily Drake (The Magickers novels), Nancy Holder (Wicked series), Kathy Reichs (Virals), D. J. MacHale (Morpheus Road series), Neal Shusterman (The Skinjacker Trilogy), and Michael Spradlin (The Youngest Templar Novels).
With so many great authors, you knew this was going to be an amazing panel!
When asked why they write fantasy, they said that fantasy books for younger readers can also be marketed to older readers as well, because there is a broader acceptance and lots of crossover fans. Kathy said she wants to bring science to a younger audience, especially to girls. Neal said that he likes fantasy because of the sense that the world extends beyond the pages. Emily said fantasy can be an escape from the harsh realities of teenage life, Michael said it could be a do-over, and Cindy said YA fantasy has the best fans (yes!).
On trends, DJ said that they are cyclical, and everything old becomes new and exciting again, while Neal said that there was strength in trend breaking.
The authors also talked about teen angst and how it feels to be a teen. Social networking is so big because teens want to stay connected to each other at all times. Nancy said being a teen is like being in a lifeboat with no land in sight, and Emily said it was all about love – you know you can love but will anyone love you in return? Cindy pointed out that the teen years are all about first moments, discoveries, and strong emotions – everything matters to teens.
After the panel was a book signing, where I got a ton of books signed by the authors and fangirled all over Neal Shusterman, author of one of my all time favorite books Unwind. I had so many books for him to sign and he was great about it and wrote little messages in each book! I also talked to Cindy Pon, author of the amazing Silver Phoenix, and she recognized me from twitter! I already had a signed copy of Silver Phoenix (from last year’s Comic Con) so I got this one personalized.
Here’s a quick rundown of other panels we went to during the four days we were there:
Red (movie) – Great actors including Helen Mirren and Bruce Willis, but panel was a bit boring because everyone just said how great it was to film the movie and hang out with the other actors.
The Expendables (movie) – Had no interest in this panel, but it was surprisingly awesome. Who knew Stallone was so funny? Favorite line: “We tried to get Van Damme, Steven Seagal, and Chuck Norris, but there were conflicting schedules, extraneous issues… and insanity.”
Scott Pilgrim (movie) – Fun although I wish the cast got to talk more… but I guess that would be hard since almost every member of the cast was there. Michael Cera came out in a Captain America costume (referencing his costar Chris Evans’ new role) and made many jokes about his physique.
Family Guy / Cleveland Show / Futurama / The Simpsons (tv shows) – Good panels that showed funny clips. Seth MacFarlane is hilarious, and even sang for us as Stewie!
Star Wars The Old Republic (video game) – Pretty boring since they didn’t show any clips or reveal anything new. We sat through a Star Wars Collectibles panel before this (by accident) which was more interesting, partly because they were giving out $900 Darth Vader helmets to the super-geeks who could answer their trivia questions.
V and Fringe (tv shows) – Sadly, neither panel showed any new footage (only highlight reels) but the casts from both shows were there. They hinted a lot about the upcoming seasons, and Joshua Jackson was so cute and funny. Morena Baccarin was gorgeous as always, although I think I like her darker hair better.
And since everyone loves them - more photos of costumes and crazy stuff in the Exhibit Hall:
Freaky thing from the Alien(s) movies, where you could climb inside…not sure what happened after that. Alien babies?
Not sure what was going on at the booth for the upcoming show The Walking Dead, but there were a lot of zombies.
There were also a lot of movie costumes on display!
That’s it for my Comic Con wrap up! I hope you enjoyed all my photos and a glimpse at my four days there.