By Alex - August 9, 2008
Closing Thoughts on Comic-Con:
As I reflect back on everything I saw and smelled at Comic-Con, I am forced to draw the undeniable conclusion that many would find shocking.
Comic-Con isn’t just about comics. A pretty good chunk of it is about other crap.
There, I said it. Y’see, although there are many booths and events at Comic-Con that you can quickly tie a mental rope between comic books and said event, such as Heroes and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, there are plenty others that I would see the booth or the event listing and would be like “How the hell is this related to comics?” Two of the best examples of this are Lost and Spore.
Although I cannot speak for the existence of Lost’s ties of comics, as I was unable to attend the Lost panel due to the epic you-had-to-be-there-the-night-before-you-should-have-seen-the-line-last-year-man-level line to get in. Spore, however, is a panel that I found the tie between comics and it in, and I attended said panel happily. The panel was headed by none other than a Mr. Will “Sims” Wright.
Let me get this out of the way: Spore looks amazing. Absolutely mind-blowing. You could play the game 1000 hours and never have to repeat a single thing. In just a few minutes Will Wright showcased the player’s ability to conquer an entire planet without even firing a shot, create a spaceship, travel through wormholes and destroy an entire planet. All of this only represents about .00005% of what you can do in the game. Prepare to lose your job for playing Spore.
Spore aside, let’s talk about Will Wright. Often times you might see a famous multi-millionaire and think “That bastard doesn’t deserve all that wealth. What the hell does he have to offer?” Will Wright is a shining example of a person who deserves every penny he’s ever made. Every sentence spoken by this man was filled to the brim with insight. He talked quickly and fluidly, giving a presentation that was both ubiquitous in its message and sagacious far beyond any expectations. He spoke of many things, of comics, movies, and video games, all as art. One of the strongest messages was the idea that creation begets play, and that play begets creation. What he means is, let’s use dungeons and dragons as an example. D&D was created as a game, and as people played it they had complex, marvelous adventures. These adventures often times spring into other forms of creation themselves, such as R. A. Salvatore’s D&D based novels.
“But Alex, you said Spore tied back to comics! YOU HAVEN’T TALKED ABOUT THAT YET! MY WORLD IS FALLING APART!” Relax thyself, for I shall speak of this. Spore has a feature on its website where you can take your spore creatures and use them to create comics easily. The tools are fluid and easy to utilize, and even the youngest of aspiring comic makers can use the site to create whatever their hearts desire.
I wish there was a more sufficient way to inscribe his words for you, dear reader, to experience but alas, I cannot. There was simply too much goodness to what he was saying.
So Will Wright was awesome.
On a related note, the video game booths at Comic-Con this year were exponentially bigger than last years. Capcom about tripled in size since they threw in an boxing-arena style arcade in the middle of everything. Capcom has every right to be at Comic-Con. Their company Udon is very respectable in the business of comic books. In fact, they have some of the best looking art out there.
Konami also has the right to be at Comic-Con, considering the fact that they’ve made graphic novels out of most of the Metal Gear Solid games at this point. Heck, even MGS: Portable Ops had comic book style cutscenes. They’ve also done some Silent Hill comics too.
EA also earned some serious comic book cred as of late. Both Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge, two of the most exciting games coming out soon, had comics to act as small teaser stories set before the game even starts.
Even though there is a giant influx of gaming booths at Comic-Con, they all seem justified for the most part. I think the most misplaced booth was Square-Enix. They haven’t done anything in the way of comic books, maybe some manga. Yes, nerds love them, but that still doesn’t make it quite appropriate them being there. I say this but I drooled over their intricately detail models anyway. I didn’t mind them being there at all. Their stuff was still incredibly cool and added greatly to the overall atmosphere.
Amongst the insanity of Comic-Com, we didn’t see much in the way of panels on actual comic books, which is pretty sad. I had to miss all of the comic book panels to get into the really big panels on things like Spore and Spaced. That’s just wrong. I’m going to have to change my approach for next year.
It was only two weeks ago and it seems like it was much longer. A lot happens at Comic-Con in a very short amount of time. Blink and you will miss it.