Last day of the con, and it started with a bang. The annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel was held at 10:30, and featured Neil Gaiman, Darwyn Cooke, Erik Larsen, Kirby family lawyer Paul Levine, and moderator Mark Evanier. Mark took the first 30 minutes of the panel introducing Kirby family and friends, giving them the opportunity to mention upcoming Kirby stuff, and there was a really nice, touching letter about Jack written by Joe Simon, which was read by Steve Saffel (who’ll have something really, really exciting to announce soon for Simon & Kirby fans).
Darwyn Cooke had one of the most moving comments about Jack, discussing The King’s integrity, and just his human side. Neil Gaiman referred to the (aforementioned) Steve Ditko documentary by Jonathan Ross, and a comment made by Stan Lee where he basically comes out and says he doesn’t consider Ditko to be the co-creator of Spider-Man (which of course leads me to think he feels the same about Kirby as a co-creator). Lot of food for thought there. Erik Larsen hit a real personal note for me, commenting on how his favorite work in Kirby’s “Klik-Klak” saga in Kamandi (which is the first Kirby work I discovered as a kid). It was a rousing, funny, and touching 1.5 hours, and it’ll all be transcribed in an upcoming issue of the Jack Kirby Collector.
The remainder of the day was spent saying goodbyes to our friends, and then hectically packing up all our leftover booth stuff at the end of the show, and getting it shipped out. Some went to Chicago for our booth at Wizard World: Chicago, and the rest back to Raleigh, NC.
Comic-Con continues to grow each year, but I’m not seeing any real growth in the “comics” area. It’s mostly movies, gaming, etc., etc., and it’s gotten to the point where they could almost spin off the comics stuff into its own, solo con, and I don’t think we’d see any real difference in our readership’s attendence. Maybe other retailers would, but as much fun as the con is, it’s gotten so huge, that a lot of the fun of years past is missing. We’ll be back next year I’m sure (already paid for our booth), but this thing has gotten to be a monster. They’ve run out of hall space and hotel rooms, and the traffic’s ridiculous. But it’s in San Diego until at least 2012, so we’ll just have to see where it goes from here.