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What's a Nubian?

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | July 21, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | July 21, 2010 |

Ah Comic-Con. It’s a few hundred thousand geeks packed into a convention center the size of a few football fields. The convention floor itself is a beehive of booths, some little more than a folding table and a sharpie drawn logo, some sprawling affairs erected by corporate giants with life size mechs and twenty foot big screens. It’s not just about comics, though those have always been the centerpiece. There’s a lot of science fiction and fantasy, certainly a lot centered on the spandex-clad genres, but what ties together all the indie comics, small publishers, and corporate giants is not a particular theme or even a particular demographic. The beating heart underneath all the disparate trappings of geekdom crammed into this place is the act of creation. From the corporatized slick presentations of new video games, to the Wacom sketched webcomics, to the hand drawn anime, and even to the Twilight fan fic gathering, the unifying impulse is “look what I made.”

It used to be a small affair, really something that artists went to in order to look at each others’ stuff. Where the big comic book companies announced their new titles. Where fans gathered in panels and meeting rooms to hash out the philosophy of Star Trek or the best techniques for drawing realistic musculature. Then the really big companies started moving in, Sony and NBC and the rest reserving the cavernous Hall H to debut trailers and footage for upcoming features. It didn’t sell out so much as it made room at the table for the popular kids who realized that the geek’s table was kind of the coolest one in the cafeteria.

Most coverage of Comic-Con tends to focus on reporters going to those big halls and then typing up what they see on the screen. It’s sort of a silly exercise, this describing what happens in a trailer or video clip. Look, either the trailer is going to be released online and you can see it yourself, or it’s not. But either way, a reporter describing to you how it looked is sort of pointless. It’s like listening to a friend tell you about a movie they saw: well then this happened, and then this happened, and it looked so cool …

So the point of this long-winded diatribe on Comic-Con is simply the announcement that Prisco and I will be there this year. And we will be trying very hard not to just tell you how cool the trailers looked.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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