Brian West

Tales From the Con: My Day at RCCC Part 2

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Rose City Comicon, the adventure continues….
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My fun filled day at RCCC continued on as the time came to go to my first panel. One of the best parts of a Con are its panels, they are a great chance to kick back for an hour or so and possibly experience something pretty special. Luckily, RCCC had some great panels to choose from. You could listen to celebrities like Avery Brooks and Sam Jones talk about their experiences playing icons, or listen to voice actors Billy West and John DiMaggio bring some of your favorite cartoon characters to life. Me, I chose to explore the panels that centered around all things comic book.

My first panel of the day was Dark Horse Originals. I watched as some great independent comic creators talked about their creative processes and then previewed what they soon had coming out under Dark Horse Comic’s Originals line. With a motto of “Great Creators, Original Visions” and a commitment to bringing original independent graphic novels and web comics to the masses, Dark Horse is making itself the go to destination for independent creators to publish their books. It was very fascinating to learn about another part of the comic market that I didn’t even know existed, and to hear how committed to getting these indie stories out to the masses Dark Horse really is. I’m really looking forward to checking out some of these very different kinds of comics.
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I soon met back up with my fellow WPR explorers and we all went to Comics to Film, a panel dedicated to all things comics in Hollywood. It was a lot of fun listening to guys who had helped create some of the films and shows I love, talk about the process of comics to film and where the future of the media was headed. The discussion did take a turn for the serious when the question came up of women superheroes, or more precisely, the lack of female superheroes in movies and television. It was nice to hear the panel admit that there was a problem, and their willingness to answer all the questions that were asked by some people who really seemed affected by this issue. The panel did seem very confident that with great directors like Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams giving us such strong female roles, that the superhero gender barrier that exists in movies will soon be destroyed. Being a father of a 4 year old daughter who loves superheroes, that makes me very happy.
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Next up for me was a brilliant Image comics panel, where I got a lot of great insight into Image comics. The comic creators at Image gave a very opinionated hour long Q&A session that might have been the highlight of an already great day. The first thing I learned was that the comic creators LOVE Image. This seemed to be a underlining theme of the panel. They talked about how great it is to be able to own their work and how much they enjoy getting the freedom to do whatever stories they want without restrictions. They also believe that Image is at the forefront of keeping the comic industry alive and changing, and with all the great titles that Image keeps putting out it would be hard to argue with them. But the best part of this whole hour long discussion, was listening to Gregg Rucka tell everyone his opinions about Marvel, DC, digital comics, and the industry as a whole. That guy doesn’t hold back. It made for some quality entertainment.

As the day flew by we attended our last panel of the day, a live stage show that called itself “Varsity Cheerleader Werewolves From Outer Space”. This was a cabaret style production that was actually as awesome as it sounds. With a talented cast, a funny script, and a dedication to being as over the top ridiculous as its name suggested, it was a perfect way to end my super awesome day of paneling. I would like to point out that the hand-to armpit-to crotch-to face salute that the alien characters gave each other was comedy gold, and the overall effort given to capture the silliness of 80’s sci-fi/horror movies was outstanding. I don’t think I’ve had more fun at a live one-hour show. If you find yourself in Portland with time to kill, I’d highly suggest seeing if this is playing at one of the local theaters.
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Sadly all good things must come to an end. I decided to roam the main floor one last time, looking for that one item that I missed and couldn’t possibly live without. After finding about ten of that one item I couldn’t possibly live without, I said my goodbyes to Jasen and Becky and started my three hour drive back home. My day at RCCC had been a exciting fun filled adventure that wouldn’t soon be forgotten. Wither it was a picture with my favorite characters from a galaxy far far away, or listening to comic creators passionately talk about what they love while giving me a little look inside the industry, I had gotten to embrace my inner-child for a Saturday afternoon. That is the magic of a Comicon, the chance to get lost in that time when imagination was king and anything was possible. For me it was bittersweet that I wasn’t able to stay for day two of this fantastic Con, but I left with the knowledge that RCCC would be back next year. Rose City Comicon has officially been added to my list of must do things each year, I highly recommend that you set your calenders and meet me there.

If you missed Part One, you can read it here.

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