Another July is upon us, and nerds the world over will flock to California, tipping the entire continent to the West, causing us all to slide into the ocean. Perhaps that won’t happen, but maybe it will. Who knows? What I do know is that Comic-Con International, aka San Diego Comic-Con, is taking place from July 21st to 24th.
Over the past decade, Hollywood movies and television have taken over the event, and while this is a lamentable loss of focus, is does mean there’s usually some great finds for Simpsons fans throughout the weekend. Matt Groening started out as a cartoonist for alternative newspapers himself, a his love of the medium has always been part of The Simpsons.
In fact, one of the big happenings this year is Groening’s nomination for the Will Eisner Hall of Fame! Each year a pair of comics creators are chosen: this year Carl Burgos (creator of the original Human Torch) and Tove Jansson (creator of Moomin) for induction. In addition to the Judges Choices, a ballot of nominees is compiled, and after further voting, four more inductees are selected by their peers.
Matt is in this pool, a class that includes his good friend and peer Lynda Barry, as well as legends such as Rube Goldberg; fellow alt-cartoonist Bill Griffith creator of ZIPPY the Pinhead; Raw Comics founder and New Yorker Editor Francoise Mouly (video); Ranma ½ creator Rumiko Takahashi (perhaps the best selling woman comics creator in the world); and Herb Trimpe, one of the Marvel comics key illustrators from the 1960s-80s, known for his work on GI Joe, Godzilla, and his character defining work on The Incredible Hulk alongside writer Bill Mantlo. Those are just a few of the amazing talented people Matt is ‘competing’ against.
Honestly though, this is one of those awards where it is just an honor to be nominated. Matt already received an Icon award at the Con’ in 2012, so if he isn’t a 2016 inductee, Life In Hell will certainly find its way in eventually.
The other big Simpson related event is probably going to be Nancy Cartwright’s art show at the Chuck Jones Gallery!
Apparently Bart’s Voice has been studying painting and sculpture for a while now, and has developed a nice body of work. Here’s a picture of a bronze bust of Bartman she did for her show’s 25 Anniversary…
If anyone goes to this show’s reception, please take pictures for us, we’d love to include it in our post-SDCC wrap-up!
For fans looking for super-swag, it looks like the big ‘get’ for Simpsons fans this year will be KidRobot‘s 7″ Mr. Sparkle…
If you can’t make it to the show, you can try pre-ordering one of the 500 limited editions they’re casting. Might look cooler that Nancy’s bronzes, but surely not as limited or unique.
Other things to watch out for at the con include The Simpsons and SpongeBob Smile-Time Hour (Thurs. 21st, 1-2pm, room 23ABC) where BONGO director/editors Nathan Kane, along with Terry Delegeane and Chris Duffy will speak about humor in comics! BONGO itself will have a booth at spot 2519 in the exhibitors hall, and they’re sure to have artists and writers signing and sketching all weekend.
The Fox network will have a reduced presence at the con overall, but still host Hall H Simpsons (Sat. 23rd, Noon, Ballroom 20) and FOX panels, where the show’s creators, and network bigwigs will talk-up the upcoming season. Groening, Al Jean, Matt Selman, Mike B. Anderson, David Silverman, and Nancy Cartwright will hype the 28th season and 600 episode! (Apparently they’re still making new ones every now and then? I had no idea.)
Additional Bongo Comics creators attending the show this year include:
Sergio Aragonés (creator of Groo, and long-time MAD Magazine contributor) who occasionally writes Simpsons comics will be at booth I-07; Scott Shaw! will be next to Sergio at I-08. In addition to helping found SDCC, Shaw also co-created Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew at DC Comics, and drawn issues of Bart Simpson Comics and designed some of the Simpsons toys for McFarlane Toys.
>>>>>Update (July 13)! Thanks to Jesse Lankford on twitter, we’ve been told about another off-site event: On Friday 22, 6pm there’ll be a Simpsons Collector’s Panel/meet-up, held at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Pacific 24, North Tower. This event is hosted by the folks at SimpsonsCollectors.com.
For those of you lucky/crazy enough to go to SDCC this year, get pictures of the Simpsons cosplayers for us, and if Fox is doing any kind of Simpsons freebee we’d love to have some to give as prizes at our monthly Classic Simpsons Trivia contest.
Most importantly, remember: Comic-Con is the place to discover new talent, as well as meet legends of the industry. Some of the most fun you can have will be meeting the DIY creators shilling their own books, art, and creations. Fight your way past the huge Hollywood displays…
…and surprise yourself by buying work from new creators and tomorrow’s stars of the medium. Remember: before Superman was the cornerstone of a multi-media empire, there was two kids desperate for any break, before their was Walking Dead on AMC, there was 50+ issues of a black & white comic book, and before their was Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire, there was…