Convention Plans

I’m heading off to SPX tomorrow, but I’m not as excited about it as I hoped I’d be, and I’m not the only one. I’m hoping that once I get there, I enjoy it a lot, and this is just my disappointment over having to find my way to a new location. There are some debut books I’m really looking forward to seeing.

Regardless, I cut back my plans so that I can leave as soon as I’m done on Saturday. That will also help me cut costs, although I’ll have to miss the Ignatz Awards. If you want to find me, I’ll be wearing some kind of maroon shirt and carrying a cinnamon-colored leather messenger bag.

In other convention news, Lea Hernandez points out that this year, 25% of the featured guests at San Diego are women, a great improvement from last year. Yay! Then she broadly hints that she wants to be invited.

A fan takes her up on this and then gets upset that the person who responds (someone not part of the official convention staff, by the way) a) knows who Lea is and what she’s complained about in the past and b) doesn’t immediately say yes. He seems to go out of his way to take offense on Lea’s behalf and look for sexism in Jackie’s response.

I love Lea’s art and blogging and personality, but I have to say: this doesn’t surprise me. A convention makes a wish list of who they want there and who they can afford to pay for. Like any business, they want the best return on their investment, so they want to use their budget efficiently, inviting top names who will attract lots of paying attendees. They also may want people with lots of output or current hot books, because that allows their retailers to sell lots of related and/or high-priced merchandise. Another factor may include who will get you lots of press (like creators of current buzz books or award winners).

Lea, in my opinion, doesn’t qualify on any of these counts. She’s an internet personality, but so are lots of other people with much higher readerships. She’s done great books, but I’m not sure all of her graphic novels are still in print. And I don’t say this to minimize her important and historical contributions to comics, but that doesn’t really matter when it comes to getting tickets sold today.

Lea then takes her ball and goes home. Ok, that’s a mean way to put that, and I apologize. I think that if it’s going to cause her stress, stepping aside from it is the best thing for her, with everything else she’s got going on. (But still, if you’re going to publicly hint that you want to be asked out, you shoudn’t get too upset when you’re publicly rejected. And if you publicly badmouth the show and everyone involved, you shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t turn around and invite you to join them.)

7 Responses to “Convention Plans”

  1. Matthew High Says:

    This is why I stopped reading Lea’s blog many, many months ago. I got really tired of all the “outrage” over the perceived sexism in the comics industry. Not to say sexism doesn’t exist (there’s more than enough stories about that to go around), but I’m tired of people who think they see it in EVERYTHING. The whole “Comicon is teh sexist” nonsense was the final straw for me. What a load of shit. Too much chicken little, not enough sky-falling.

  2. Craig Says:

    Pardon my ignorance, but I thought she quit comics? Am I getting my ‘internet personalities’ confused?
    As to the age old ‘debate’ (I seem to love my quotations today) on sexism in comics, I prefer not to look at it as one giant problem, but lots of singular problems, like that old arcade game Asteroids. Just take your anti-sexism joystick and blast ‘em one by one as they come down. You’re less likely to get overwhelmed by it all.

  3. Lyle Says:

    Craig, IIRC Lea’s “quitting comics” announcement was in reference to work for hire work, she said she wouldn’t work at making comics for other people but will continue making comics that belongs to her.

  4. Lea Says:

    All my gns are still in print. Cathedral Child and Clockwork Angels can be had from Cyberosia, Rumble Girls from NBM, and the sequels to both from same in 2007/2008.

    As for the rest, oh well. I haven’t said anything others haven’t said. I don’t blog to comfort people, although I do try to also entertain and amuse.

  5. Craig Says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Lyle!

  6. Johanna Says:

    I’m really disappointed that some people took my comments (and took advantage of my absence) as an excuse to badmouth Lea. I wanted to elaborate on the question of guest selection, because I thought I could add some opinions that aren’t often thought about (having seen this process from the other side a couple of times).

    Matt, perhaps people see a lot of sexism because they’ve experienced a lot of sexism? You may have the luxury of ignoring the problem (which is what your comments sound like), but most women don’t.

    Craig, love the metaphor! And thanks to you and Lyle for clarifying things.

    Lea, thank you for correcting my errors. (I thought there had been some issues with Cyberosia, but obviously I was wrong.) I’m very much looking forward to the sequels. I’m sorry I went overboard in my snark and upset you, and I’m sorry that some of the comments weren’t very civilized.

  7. Lea Says:

    No worries, Johanna.

    Cyberosia has been pretty quiet as Scott worked as a freelancer to keep bread on the table and moved house.




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