Comic-Con Panels: Fables or Being a Total Fan
By Jason McClain (@JTorreyMcClain)
I love Fables. How do I know that I feel that strongly about a series? Easy. If I read a TPB and can put it aside for a while, I liked it. I may go back and buy the next one whenever it is convenient like Free Comic Book Day or the next time I’m browsing at Golden Apple, Meltdown, Secret Headquarters or House of Secrets. If I love it? I go buy it as soon as I’m done with the one I’m reading. I’ll go to every comic shop and bookstore until I find the next book in the series. It happened with Y: The Last Man. It happened with Harry Potter. (I didn’t start reading them until the fourth one was in stores. I borrowed the first and second books from a friend. I finished them in probably a little over two days. Unfortunately, I finished the second one after 11 pm at night, so I couldn’t borrow the third one right away. What did I do? I bought a book at a Super Wal-Mart for the first time.) It happened with Fables.
Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Because I love Fables, and have lent my run of TPBs to quite a few friends (they are currently on loan to my good friend Emese – I hope she’s enjoying them) to show them how good it is, I figured going to the Fables panel at Comic-Con would be a great idea. It was. I had a great time.
Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book Two
Still, at the same time, I realized that my “love” and other’s “love” are two quite different things. Before the panel started, an emcee ran around asking for Fables related items or answers to trivia questions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a master of the trivial, but I had no clue on these questions. I even tried punching a couple of searches into my smartphone, as it was an open book contest, and barely scratched the surface of the answers as the searches I entered were much more general than I needed them to be. Still, there were people that had no problems and the man with the best knowledge ended up winning Boy Blue’s trumpet, a very cool panel prize if I ever saw one. I came to the realization that my love for Fables is much different than some of the other’s in the room, the people that knew trivia, the people dressed in intricate costumes or dressed in any costume. I have thought this before about different artistic endeavors and can break it down a couple of ways.
Single vs. Multiple Viewings
I understand the compulsion to watch something good again and again. There are some things that I’ll watch multiple times like episodes of Community. I read Harry Potter novels again before the next book in the series came out at midnight. I’ll stop to watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Shawshank Redemption or Goodfellas if I happen to pass them by on the TV.
But, it doesn’t happen too often.
Sometimes, I wish I watched things again more often. I’d be better with movie quotes, I’d better understand all of the pieces that make good novels, comics, movies or TV shows work. I’d notice those small things that the creators put into their works that are a reward for multiple views.
I just can’t do it.
I always think there is something new on the horizon like a new author, a new movie or a new series that could be worth watching. Sometimes I’m right and I stumble onto a Terriers or a Wonderfalls. Sometimes I’m wrong and I’ve wasted thirteen hours on The Killing. Maybe I’m just a short attention span person. But, with all of the things I’ve yet to see, it’s tough to spend time on things I’ve already experienced. Just this year, I’ve found for the first time Doctor Who, Veronica Mars and Sherlock and enjoyed each of them.
Sample vs. Complete
Speaking of those three TV series, I also watched every episode of each that was available to me through Netflix. With so many streaming options it has become easier to do that with most TV series. If you miss an episode, you can find it online, watch it instantly through your cable provider or just be sure to use your DVR so that you don’t miss a thing. You can wait for the DVDs and watch them all at once. It’s pretty easy to watch all of The Wire or to get current on Breaking Bad without too much cost or trouble.
Which is a good thing, because otherwise, I’m not good at seeing everything an artist has done. I believe I’ve seen every Coen brothers movie, but I still have quite a few Hitchcock, Huston, Ford, Wilder and Hawks movies that I need to see. I haven’t seen every Cary Grant, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino or Humphrey Bogart movie. Heck, I haven’t even seen every Marx Brothers movie.
I guess I could be sure to see every thing an artist has done, but after the Coen Brothers’ The Ladykillers, or Pacino’s The Recruit I’ve come to realize that missing an artist’s work is not always a bad thing. I guess I’m a sampler of artists and a completer of stories.
Since I’ve gone to five Comic-Cons now, I can definitely say I’m a pretty big fan. Still, there are some people that have gone to many more. There are those that also go to Dragon-Con and Star Trek conventions in addition to Comic-Con and go to the convention I look forward to attending in February that I heard about this summer while waiting for the Torchwood panel, Gallifrey One. I think if you’ve ever been to a festival or small show for whatever you love, you have definitely entered the realm of the big fans. I just know that I’m not the biggest fan, because then I would attend everything.
For my last word on Comic-Con, the truest sign of fandom is the ability to wait in lines. Not just wait in them but also successfully wait in them. I waited in several over the Comic-Con weekend and made a few panels and also missed a few. To the fans that got out at 8 am to be sure they made it to Hall H, congrats. I’m glad there are rabid fans like you out there, though I wish there were fewer so that my casual wake up at 9 am self could have gone to see more panels. See you next year super fans, and hold me a place in line if you can.