Symposium Notation

Once again, the Bard Comics Symposium has come and gone and for once I had almost nothing to do with it! How refreshing it was to sit back and enjoy the show after three years of presenting and two years of presenting AND c0-organizing past incarnations of the project!

Well, as I was your eyes and ears on the scene here's a transcription of my Facebook status-update-micro-blogging of the event exactly as it is on Facebook, with all comments and 'likings' as of April 10 intact combined with my Flickr photostream of the event!

It's long overdue! Enjoy!

Senia Hardwick '10 - "This Isn't the Wasteland: Fear Toxin and Its Implications"

Jon Gorga is at the Fifth Annual Bard Comics Symposium and it has just begun!! Senia Hardwick is talking about Fear Toxin!
Sat at 3:21pm · Comment · Like
Ana Cerro likes this.
Ana Cerro
Ooh, reporting live from Symposium!
Sat at 3:26pm · Comment · Like

Nicki France '11 - Dangerous Calligraphy: Chinese Calligraphy in American Comics

Jon Gorga sits patiently as Nicki France presents us a gorgeous slide of caligraphy now as she begins to talk about the ancient art as it's seen in the comics medium!
Sat at 3:38pm · Comment · Like

Molly Ostertag '13 - "The New Medium"

Jon Gorga just walked around and looked at the comics work of Molly Ostertag and is now listening to her talk about her work!
Sat at 4:11pm · Comment · Like

Josh Kopin '12 - Where is David Aja? Differing Artists as Narrative Device and the Comics Consumption Problem

Jon Gorga is excited to see Josh Kopin take the stage to talk about "The Immortal Iron Fist"!!
Sat at 4:34pm · Comment · Like
Jon Gorga
Awww...! Josh referrenced my SP work in his presentation!! I am honored.
Sat at 4:41pm
K.J. Nolan
Jon, post a pic if you get a chance.
Sat at 5:15pm
Geoff Auerbach
Sat at 11:34pm
K.J. Nolan
@ Goeff -- and?
Yesterday at 11:19am

Clare Nolan '12 - Two Sides of A Coin: The Nature of the Uncanny in 'Batman: Long Halloween'
Jon Gorga is very proud to see Clare Nolan begin her presentation on the doubles and mirroring in "Batman: The Long Halloween"!!
Sat at 5:26pm · Comment · Like
Ana Cerro likes this.

Jon Gorga Chris Claremont is at the podim and dropping wonderful knowledge on us.
Sat at 6:41pm · Comment · Like
Rebeka Felicity and Sarah Gordon like this.
Devon Jones
Chris Claremont as in "the"? Oh my.
Sat at 7:53pm

Jon Gorga enjoyed attending the Fifth Annual Bard Comic Symposium! And he enjoyed sharing its play-by-play with you via Facebook!
Yesterday at 5:00pm · Comment · Like
George Harris Fish, Rebeka Felicity and Megan Humphreys like this.

A couple spelnig mystakes here and there. Not too egregious. It was real time... at the time.

Also, my apologies for the poor quality of the photos, I was pretty far back in the auditorium and taking them on my iPhone! I didn't snap any of Mr. Claremont (@CClaremont, class of '72) as it just felt wrong to distract him at all as he shared old stories about Bard and living in New York City post-college in the 70s.

It was really pretty inspirational.

~ @JonGorga

Well, That's Done.

Siege has, finally, come to a close.

What do I think of issue #4? Well, for the most part, it's a case of the third verse being the same as the first two: Bendis' script has fewer words than usual, Olivier Coipel's art is really the major attraction here, the comic is a big, bombastic, crowd-pleaser and, for better or for worse, it's still the comic book equivalent of candy: you like it, you want more, even if there isn't a whole lot of substance.

The ending of the book is exactly what it should have been- the death of the Sentry (who, for all intents and purposes, is a Marvelman stand in*) and the reformation of the Avengers is really the only way the story could end. In many ways, this feels like a reinvention of the Marvel universe and I suspect that's the case because Bendis' story cycle really has run its course. I complained a while ago about how I hate it when writers put away their toys, but this ending doesn't feel like Bendis has undone everything that he's made; instead, it feels as if there are new stories to tell and, although the history won't be forgotten, it can be put in the past. I suspect this represents a pretty important shift; maybe this is the moment where our heroes get to be heroes again, at least for a little while.

If that's the case, then I certainly look forward to this "Heroic Age", this "Brightest Day"; there are new stories to tell, and perhaps they're a little less dark (although hopefully no less nuanced) than what has come before.

*I'll probably write about this some more when I'm done with finals.

Really, Marvel?

Fallen SUN? Come on now!

Great News, Everyone!

Despite the unfortunate implications of the Futurama reference in the title, I actually do have some good news:

Remember a couple of weeks ago, when Jon posted about Bergen Street Comics on FCBD?

Well, it turns out that they've done something really cool- they've started carrying Danny Lewis' brand new mini-comic Slantwise! Danny, for those of you who don't know, is a webcomics artist, friend of The Long and Shortbox Of It, and all around cool guy. His strip, No One Believes In Monsters, has just started up again after a short hiatus, and is well worth your time.

Danny gave me a copy of Slantwise a couple of weeks ago and, although I haven't had time to review it yet, I've read it several times over and I can guarantee you that it's a fine read. If you happen to be in Bergen Street Comics, please check it out, so that when Danny makes more, Bergen Street will continue to carry them.

Disneyland Has Got Marvel's Goods!

So the first Marvel merchandise has appeared in a Disney theme park store, according to today. Although, The Hollywood Reporter proves it was at least a few days ago, right on time for the release of "Iron Man 2". It is, as ICv2 points out, a first step to the integration of Marvel(@Marvel) merch into Disney retail, which is good in and of itself, I think.

In fact, the Online Disney Store has started carrying a healthy amount of Marvel items as well. [See image below of Online Disney Store Marvel product details.]

[Image at left and original report, via The Orange County Register here.]

The appearance of Marvel stuff at Disneyland is the first real, tangible consumer-side proof that the acquisition has gone through. It took almost six months, which is exactly what the pundits were saying it would take for any effects to take hold at all. Hopefully, this means it will take even longer for them to get their hands dirty in the trenches of Marvel Comics editorial... if at all.

Generally, let's hope for: At all.
(Not that it would be 100% bad, but better not to tempt the dragon.)

More exposure for Marvel's goods and characters outside of the limits of 'kid's merchandise' is a good step forward for Marvel (the specific shop is in the more adult-oriented Downtown Disney). But will this cut into the market of the comic specialty shop? If someone already bought an Iron Man t-shirt last summer at Disneyland, will they be less willing to buy another one at their local shop?

I suspect the answer is no, but I also suspect that won't stop the comic shop retailers of America from getting upset about it anyway because, theoretically, if the Disney Store offers the same Marvel merchandise as the average comic shop. and the Disney store is more high profile, people will go Disney first and then not be interested in the comic shop.


Equally theoretically mind you, if someone really, really liked "Iron Man 2" and they happen to be in a Disney store they're going to buy Iron Man stuff but it is almost equally possible that they are going to be in a comic shop first and buy the Iron Man stuff there. Furthermore, if someone buys a T-shirt or a toy of ol' shellhead at a Disney store and they want more (like... trading cards, the new awesome COMICS by Matt Fraction[@mattfraction], or the cool old COMICS, hardcover COMICS collections, vintage action figures, buttons, pins, nice expensive statues!) they might just seek out their local comic-book store with an inquisitive and money-spending mind. And they might just buy some comics.

I say that the industry as a whole, from the publisher to the retailer to the consumer has more to gain and not to lose from the appearance of Marvel merchandise in Disney stores.

And after all, those old Warner Bros. stores used to carry DC Comics (@DC_NATION) stuff and the world didn't end.

I am, as always, hoping for the positive!

~ @JonGorga