I’m very much looking forward to this weekend in Dublin, where I’ll be one of the special guests at ArcadeCon.
It’s a multi-media convention so there’s a variety of geeky interests for the fans: cosplay workshops, anime, comic book discussions, pop culture exegesis, music, as well as interviews with actors and actresses from genre TV and film.
There are a couple of events starting on Thursday, but the convention kicks off properly on Friday afternoon.
Neil recently announced he’s returning to write a five-issue prequel story for his iconic The Sandman comic. It will be called The Sandman: Overture, and will be drawn by the outstandingly-talented JH Williams III. We’ll be discussing that and Neil’s career in general. It’ll be roughly a ten minute slot during the hour-long show (7pm-8pm).
It’s always enjoyable to get the opportunity to talk about comics to a more mainstream audience. Last week at the Hay Festival I was struck at how many people still view comic books as a niche market, but also that people are intrigued if you talk about comics to them.
Almost everybody encounters comics and cartoons as a child, but many people leave them behind as they get older. A stubborn cultural notion persists that comic books are easy entertainment for young people, and they somehow don’t address the complications of ‘grown-up’ life. This despite the huge commercial success of talented creators such as Posy Simmonds, Marjane Satrapi, Joe Sacco, Art Spielgeman, and Mary & Bryan Talbot among mainstream and literary audiences.
Yet, what we encounter as a child resonates deeply with us throughout our lives. I think there are amazing opportunities to bring larger audiences to comics if they get the chance to understand that there is an incredible array of material – suited to all tastes – available today.