Nathan Bransford, Author

Monday, July 23, 2012

Comic-Con Recap!

Whenever someone asks me about Comic-Con, one word springs to mind: Insane.

Insane number of people. Insane costumes. Insane amount of noise.

And, yes, insanely fun.

This spontaneous moment pretty much summed up the experience. Two people in impeccably perfect Star Wars costumers were challenged to a duel by a young Jedi, who had some impressive lightsaber moves, I might add:

And speaking of Star Wars, check out the Fett family!

The costumes are seriously unreal and reason enough to go, but the highlight of Comic-Con for me (aside from the awesome CNET Base Station) was seeing so many authors and participating in two great panels.

The first one was What Hot in Young Adult Literature, which I moderated, and which included Leigh Bardugo, James Dashner, Kami Garcia, Tahereh Mafi, Melina Marchetta, Lish McBride, Myra McEntire, and Scott Westerfeld (and organized by the fantastic Lauren Billings). It was hard not to be startstruck.

We started off talking about superheroes and why stories about super powers are so enduring, then we touched on the level of violence in young adult literature, something I have some opinions about and will be talking more about soon. 

We wrapped up by talking about the worst writing advice people have ever received (follow trends) and the importance of setting.

For a full recap of the panel check out this great rundown of the answers.

The second panel was on heroes in middle grade fiction with E.J. Altbacker, Cornelia Funke, Lisa Yee, Brandon Mull, Tony DiTerlizzi, Emily Janice Card, and Derek the Ghost. 

Perhaps the most interesting discussion centered on how we work in a world where there is so much competition with other media. I personally feel like I've internalized some of the pace of TV and movies and am cognizant of attention spans, and Cornelia Funke spoke passionately about resisting that pressure and making sure we are serving the story.

We all agreed that we're excited about the future and the possibility afforded by e-books and new forms of entertainment. I talked about how novels were once an innovation, illustrations were once an innovation, book jackets were an innovation, and all added to the experience of a book, just as new innovations will add to the experience as well when they're done properly.

There were lots of book signings too.

I got to see so so many old and new friends, including Stephanie Perkins:

What a week! If you EVER have an opportunity to go to Comic-Con, jetpack yourself in a hurry. 

Bonus photos!


Rick Daley said...

The most important thing about super-powers in finding the right place and right time to use them. That's why I wrote a kids' book about that very subject, RUDY TOOT-TOOT.

I've never been to a Comic-Con but would love to go. In a couple years maybe I'll take my boys out to one, they would love it!

Congrats on the panel, is it available on YouTube or elsewhere?

Bret Schulte said...

I went back in 2000. Comic-Con has gotten so much bigger and better since then. I really need to go again.

Bryan Russell said...


Okay, that sounds pretty awesome. I'm hoping to hit the World Fantasy Convention this year in Toronto. Any tips for navigating the madness?

Stephsco said...

I've only been to the smaller con in Chicago (Wizard Con) which, even though smaller, is still crowded and full of hours-long lines (nothing like Hall H lines at SDCC though!). I usually follow twitter chatter and watch G4 coverage, but I realize it's not the same thing.

I love it when families dress up together; I see this at my local Reniassance Faire too.

Aurelia Blue said...

I sooooooooo wanted to go. Thanks for the pics! :)

Anonymous said...

Now those are what I call great pics. We like this. Glad you had fun, too!!

D.G. Hudson said...

Looks like a lot of fun for science fiction fans! I'd be busy with my camera too. Thanks for sharing the photos.

I'll be interested in what you have to say about violence in YA writing. We're shocked when real violence happens (as in that movie theatre) but yet books with violence sell well. Makes one wonder.

Kristin Laughtin said...

I love Comic-Con! Was this your first time? I'm glad it sounds like you had as much of a blast as I did.

Jenna St. Hilaire said...

OK, the pictures are TOTALLY AWESOME. Why have I never gone to this conference? Why?

I'll be interested in your thoughts on violence in YA lit, too. My own ideas are unsettled. I don't necessarily think it's wrong, and there's some violence in my own books, but reading much of it really messes me up emotionally. So, yeah--I'll not object to a good opportunity to think it through further. :)

Naja Tau said...

That is one good-looking Boba Fett costume at the top there!

Mira said...

Those photos are so fun. I'm glad you had a such a great time there! :)

Miriam Joy said...

I know this is random, but looking at these photos (and any SDCC photos) is seriously surreal for me. See, I watched 'Paul' for the first time yesterday and now all I can think is, "I wonder if any of them met an alien afterwards?"

wendy said...

Nathan, you little beauty! (Aussie slang for Good on yer, Mate! Which is more Aussie slang for Thank you!)

Loved this illustrated and comprehensive write up of your comi-con experiences. Will probably never get the chance to go there myself, so seeing it through your eyes made the experience even more interesting and meaningful.

The panels you took part in fielded fascinating questions, and I found the answers equally so. I've always loved stories featuring super heroes and I guess I always will. My preference even goes to darker super heroes such as vampire you might be aware given the years spent writing my vampire epic. That was an interesting topic about competition for a person's attention in a world where everything seems to be screaming (almost) 'Look at me!' I think the best of the best will always find an audience no matter what part of the entertainment media it is. Laughable that anyone could be advised to follow trends when those who are creators really have the responsibility to move the culture forward with new philosophies, attitudes and ideals. If the culture wasn't constantly moving forward, we'd still be living with prejudices, cruelty and superstititon and afraid to sail too far beyond the equator in case we fell off the end of the world. ha

Thanks, Nathan, for the photos and information, and it was great to see you having so much fun.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including all the information. I loved the picture of the little boy - and of you with Ransom Riggs - what a great author he is too!

Peter Dudley said...

Sounds awesome. You live an envy-inducing life, you do.

Matthew MacNish said...

What fun! Good to hear some people standing up for longer, slower paced novels too, because some of us still love them.

Judith Briles said...

Comic-Con looks amazing! It is fun to see people in costumes.

Dawn Treude said...

Comic Con is a blast. i heard some of the best writing advice ever during the Girls Gone Genre panel. There's something for everyone there because at its heart the Con is a celebration of creativity- but with lightsabers! I brought mine!

Related Posts with Thumbnails