Posts Tagged ‘hypotheticals’

It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time when going to comics cons was an important, regular, and ever-present part of my life. My year’s calendar was, if not planned around it, then at least the dates were written in as soon as I knew them.

Partly of course this was because for a dozen years I, together with Dave Gibbons, ran the hypotheticals panel, which so many people were so kind about over the years.

I haven’t been to a comics con for some years, now. Oh, there are lots of different reasons for that, including but not limited to my occasionally-referred-to pretty much complete nervous breakdown earlier this decade,

But I do have to admit that the past year or so, I’ve started feeling an ‘itch’… and a growing wish… to immerse myself once again in that culture.

Why now?

No bloody idea at all. But it’s there, it’s definitely there.

An easy get-out would be to give credit to/blame (delete as appropriate) to the fantastic comics now being produced; so many incredibly good comics are being created by supremely talented artists and writers.

It’d be easy… but inaccurate.

Because there were as many very good comics being created and released and talked about and promoted last year. And as many the year before as well. And the year before that.

One of the best comics of the past few years – Kieron Gillen’s and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked + The Divine – is wrapping up now after five years or so. It didn’t suddenly become good in the past year. I didn’t suddenly discover it in the past year. It was superb from the very first issue, and kept being good. And their earlier collaborations were also very good indeed.

Greg Rucka’s and Michael Lark’s Lazarus started in 2013 and has been flat out amazing since the very first issue. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal has been going since 2006, when I was still attending comics cons. It’s still going, and it’s still incredibly good.

And yet the last time I went to a comics con, actually took part – either to do something there or just as a paying punter – was 2012, the year of the final hypotheticals panel.

So, what’s changed?

I’m not sure.

OK, I mean, yes, all right; I’ve changed, to a certain extent. As alluded to above, there’s a chunk of 2011 – 2016, very roughly, in which I wasn’t.… well, take your pick. I wasn’t well, I wasn’t ‘me’, I wasn’t that together, I wasn’t… well.

And the thought of being in a large crowd – and thankfully, comics cons are much busier these days than they were when I started going – wasn’t something that much attracted me, It still doesn’t, to a large extent.

Bu that’s not it. Because although I’m ‘better’ than I used to be, I’m not ‘better’ than I was a year ago, or 18 months ago.

So why now?

Perhaps it’s social media. Yes, that thing so often referred to disparagingly, has led to me seeing in real time how much fun people are having at events in which I used to have so much fun. I get to see video clips of people I know having a blast.

Maybe that’s something, because the only reports you used to get back in the day were – at best – decent reviews after the event of con reports, and they were so much a part of the con experience that even I wrote some.

And one at least that people seemed to like.

There are half a dozen UK comics cons these days; from the very small to the enormous, but there are a couple of in London, and one in Leeds, the wonderful Thought Bubble, that I’m starting to get itchy feet for.

We’re coming up to the end of 2019, and next year will be 20 years since the very first hypotheticals panel. I doubt Dave and I will do anything publicly to mark the occasion, although we’ve not discussed it, to be fair.

But if I’m going to return to comics cons, to get my feet wet again, that seems as good a reason as any to do it.

huh. 20 years. I really ought to do something to celebrate. I wonder what.
 
 
Something else, tomorrow…