The panels at MorrisonCon will be recapped everywhere and anywhere, bones scraped dry of news bits and then licked up and down just to make sure there’s not even a taste left. What interested your correspondent more than the product news was the tone of the whole enterprise.
When Chris Burnham’s art for future issues of Batman Incorporated was put up on the screen, Burnham, Frank Quitely and Morrison spent their time picking over things like the way in which Burnham had drawn objects in motion, rather than hard-sell plot-tease hype-jobs. Without corporate minders, creators marveled at the craft and process of creation, and their enthusiasm was infectious. MorrisonCon panels were fun. The world of comics learned nothing of strategic import from Darick Robertson and Jim Lee having a laughing argument about the merits of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, and yet those in attendance got something a little weird and special: a glimpse at how these guys behaved when removed from the creator/fan dynamic of the typical con. Many Tweeting con-goers came away raving about how they now felt empowered to make their own comics and tell their own stories, and that wave of excitement grew from being able to see the exalted ones step out from the marketing-oriented news-site interviews and Artist’s Alley tables and just be themselves. The correspondent’s life remained as yet unchanged, but he could sense many others around him ascending.
That’s from The Beat’s wonderful write-up of this past weekend’s MorrisonCon in Las Vegas. I’m finding myself coming around to the whole enterprise the more I see people talk about the experience, in large part because of what’s evident above – That the con may not have lived up to the “life-changing” hype, but that it was revolutionary in a quieter way, revealing the people behind the more familiar public faces/facades of many creators. The cynicism I felt towards the whole thing ahead of time is melting into something much kinder, and more unexpected. I’m not jealous that I wasn’t there – To be honest, Morrison, Frank Quitely, Chris Burnham and JH Williams aside, I’m not sure that there were enough creators there that I feel strongly about to make it worth the time and money investment necessary – but I am happy that those who did go seem to have gotten everything they wanted from the experience. I mean, I don’t think I’ve seen any serious grumbling about the event from attendees yet, and that’s got to be some kind of record. This is the grumblenet, after all. MorrisonCon, then: The most successful comic con of the year?