Before the San Diego Comic-Con, we spoke with or posted about several different creators related to their San Diego activities. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be catching up with them to see how things went and if they accomplished everything they were hoping to at the convention.
Up first is Larry Young, AiT/Planet Lar publisher, who offered up the opportunity for 16 hopefuls to meet with him one-on-one and pitch their projects.
Blog@Newsarama: Before the con you invited potential creators to schedule time with you to pitch their story ideas. What was the response like? How many people actually showed up to talk to you in San Diego?
Larry Young: Holy crap, I couldn’t even tell you. We were trying to control the flow a little with scheduling the 16 spots thing you helped us out with by getting the word out before the show, but I spoke to easily 100 people, after the 16 “official” pitches. We returned with two full large FedEx boxes absolutely crammed with takeaways people gave us. And that doesn’t even count the stuff pros pitched me. Maybe 125-150 different projects, call it. I’m going to spend the next two weeks, easy, going through it and responding to everyone.
B@N: What were the pitches like? Did you find the next great graphic novel while there?
Young: Yes, there are lots of folks out there with lots of good stuff. We’ll be working with some of the folks we met with, for sure.
B@N: Looking at the con overall, what were your general impressions? How did things go at the AiT table?
Young: I’m a little wiped out, honestly, with all the hustling. Lost my voice talking to everyone, as usual. But it was pretty smooth and lucrative and energizing, and uncharacteristically humbling for me personally. There were a whole lot of people thanking me, profusely, for publishing True Facts, which always brings out the modesty from deep inside me somewhere as I honestly don’t realize the impact that little bit of common sense has on some of the go-getters out there. Guys like Jason James and Kevin McShane and Matt Silady and tons of others give me credit for their work I’m not sure I really deserve. They’re doing all the heavy lifting; at most, I just flipped on the light so they could see where they’re going. But I have to say all the warm thanks is a pretty uplifting thing. I loved meeting Matt’s parents and seeing how proud of him they are.
The show was expertly run, as usual. I’m sure there were all sorts of disasters, because that honkin’ show is a logistical nightmare, and balls are bound to be dropped. But Fae and Dave and Eddie and Brett and Ned and everyone else made the whole thing seem effortless, as far as AiT was concerned. Nothing trickled down to us, and the whole thing was smooth as glass. This was our eighth year setting up, so we know the ropes, but between getting the press list in advance to arrange meetings, the easy early morning access to the floor, the superb air-handling (it was hot outside, but nice and comfortable inside), and the understanding but firm Elite Security, the whole thing was a joy for us. I could have done another five days, honestly, of people coming by to flatter us all and buy our books and arrange deals and whatnot.
I know some cynical folks call the thing “nerd prom,” but I’m not nearly so jaded. The whole thing’s like a wedding, I think, where everyone renews their vows to the pop culture they love, and everyone’s there because they love you and want to stand up and witness it all. When USA Today reports that actress Rosario Dawson was just hanging out at the Image booth like any creator, and that Samuel L. Jackson walked around the floor wearing a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet so he could see stuff unhounded… when they report that kind of thing equally with the news of new books coming and fans dressed in their costumes and movies premiered and deals made and and and…
The whole thing’s just a lovefest, as far as I’m concerned. I could shake hands and hear heartfelt compliments and sell books and sign autographs and accept the thanks of a grateful nation at our compound at booth #2001 at the San Diego show all damn year long, and that’s a fact.