I went to Comic-Con.
While I was there I had to blog a bunch of times for Techland, to justify their paying for me to go, plus make a couple of appearances for The Magicians.
Then I was also cramming research for a Time story I’m writing now, and trying to write The Magician King. That was enough without blogging here. Though I would have liked to have been blogging here.
If you’re curious what I would have said, you can pretty much read it in the form of these Techland posts:
You might get from the titles of these posts that I have somewhat ambivalent feelings about Comic-Con. That is true.
Great things happen at Comic-Con. Amazing panels — I was lucky enough to be on one this year — and conversations happen. I see people I never get to see. One night last week I drank lots of beer and talked about Gamma World with China Miéville. That is not something you complain about. That is an unambiguous good.
But there are larger, more systemic problems with Comic-Con, relating to its having been effectively bought in recent years with millions of dollars of studio money. Here’s part of what I wrote about that:
Nerd culture is a counter-culture, and counter-cultures can die; in fact if there’s one thing late-stage capitalism is good at, it’s co-opting and killing counter-cultures. Viz. punk, the 60′s, etc.
Nerd culture could be the next punk. Every time I’m walking the floor of Comic-Con, and I see one of those dudes with drive-time DJ voices flogging plastic promotional objects at me, in the tone of a farmer calling pigs to the slop, so I can use those objects to better define my identity as a consumer of his products, thereby making the drive-time dude a fortune, somewhere a fairy dies. Or maybe a dark elf.
And so on.
No other news. Back to work.
p.s. if the images that accompany these posts sometimes (or always) seem inexplicable, you can always check the alt text by hovering your mouse over them. I’m a heavy user of alt text.